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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 99 9-3 that is completly stock and I would more power for a reasonable price. I also don't want loud exhaust I would just like to keep it mostly stock just thinking about an ecu upgrade. Any suggestions about this?
 

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i would suggest a hardware upgrade first, because it's almost certain that you won't want to stop once you've had a taste :D

a downpipe would make a difference, without increasing the exhaust volume too much. i'd also consider handling mods (brakes, antiroll bar, tires).
 

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That would be fine if you want a little more boost, then a stage 1 ecu upgrade is great! The problem comes when you feel that boost and say well this is great, I want some more;)

The exhaust upgrades, especially the down pipe is done to relieve the back pressure and get the exhaust gases flowing better so you can boost more without having high egts or knock. The sound is often kept fairly quiet with many of these good 3" or 2.5" exhaust and sound almost stock while driving normal or in cruise, then have a deeper tone when going wot.

Most of us are upgrading our exhaust for performance, not sound like the Honda Fart can guys. :cool:


Both high egts and knock will damage the engine over time and if you end up going with higher boost and say a stage 3, then a larger exhaust is a must, as well as a better larger intercooler and maybe a intake.

Good luck and welcome to the wonderful world of Saab tuning!

John
 

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new93owner said:
I have a 99 9-3 that is completly stock and I would more power for a reasonable price. I also don't want loud exhaust I would just like to keep it mostly stock just thinking about an ecu upgrade. Any suggestions about this?
you might want to consider an mbc+a
 

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John pretty much covered it, but i'd like to re-emphasize...once you get that craving, you're gonna want more. The trend seems to be Intake, DP, then exhaust...followed by a stage 3 tune. Only because re-tuning everytime gets really expensive. Going stage 1 is like buying a nice jacket, eventually you'll want the nice shirt, the belt, the slacks and shoes...but going that route means you pay a fee each time you get something new. By getting all the hardware first, you can just pay once for that ECU tune.

I know the feeling first hand. Originally I wasn't supposed to modify this car. It was my grocery-getting, baby-hauling, daily driver. I convinced the wife that the car needed to breathe a little better, perhaps for better mileage *wink *wink, and well, the rest is history. Saabrina's currently at a stage 3+/4 setup...and now i'm looking at what's next. Good luck on whatever you decide and welcome to the community. People here are awesome.

-d
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
yeah that kind of sounds like what I would do and have already done. I also have a 03 mustang gt which i didnt plan on doing any performance mods and one thing led to another and I just kept wanting more. So if I were going to buy a dp intake and exhaust what brands would you recomend? I already plan on upgrading the brakes. Thanks for the quick responses to all my questions, this site is great.
 

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If you have the time, Nick is having a custom tuning day with the Swedes from Nordic in late February. It might be a hike, but would probably be a very educational experience. Especially for a greenie.
 

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I assume you have a T5 ( red DI) on a 99? An MBC+A will give you about the same ultimate power as a stage 1 or 2 ECU upgrade for a fraction of the price. Then do the 3" DP, IC ( Viggen or aftermarket X-flow) and then think about stage 3 software. You may want to also think about a bigger rear ARB and steering rack clamp before you do any of this just to tighten up the handling ready for any power increase.
 

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You could do this, but as said before, once you have a tatste you're going to want the whole pie. One good thing is that after you buy the software, a re tune is pretty cheap.
 

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new93owner said:
that sounds like a good deal. I think im going to go with a mbc+a and go from there.
The MBC+A is a wonderful thing but there are prerequisites. Here is a quote from the website.

"Disclaimer:
The use of a SMBC or MBC is very safe in many applications. You must research and evaluate the use of these devices on your own model/year/engine etc. The MBC will work well where any MBC could be safely used. When increasing boost; the engine must be in good mechanical condition, a true synthetic oil and good filters should be used, plugs must be in good shape and the heat range might need to be changed (cooler), premium fuel must be used, keep fuel injectors and combustion chambers clean (Techron Concentrate suggested), as a rule of thumb - one needs to have a low restriction intake and exhaust when increasing boost pressures, it might be foolish to increase boost pressures with a stock intake and exhaust setup.
Lean air fuel mixtures at higher boost pressures and air flows can lead to knocking and damage. If you hear any knocking, get off the throttle and reduce boost immediately. Learn what can be done with your vehicle. A MBC may be all that you need for more power, but some applications would require larger injectors or greater fuel pressures. Study and find out what works and what does not. You may need to install a fuel-air meter to monitor the AF ratios. Some well known applications need none of that, but you need to know these details for your self."


I want one so bad I can taste it but I also want to make sure my engine, suspension, and brakes can handle the increase in power / fun.
 

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nocluetim said:
The MBC+A is a wonderful thing but there are prerequisites. Here is a quote from the website.

"Disclaimer:
The use of a SMBC or MBC is very safe in many applications. You must research and evaluate the use of these devices on your own model/year/engine etc. The MBC will work well where any MBC could be safely used. When increasing boost; the engine must be in good mechanical condition, a true synthetic oil and good filters should be used, plugs must be in good shape and the heat range might need to be changed (cooler), premium fuel must be used, keep fuel injectors and combustion chambers clean (Techron Concentrate suggested), as a rule of thumb - one needs to have a low restriction intake and exhaust when increasing boost pressures, it might be foolish to increase boost pressures with a stock intake and exhaust setup.
Lean air fuel mixtures at higher boost pressures and air flows can lead to knocking and damage. If you hear any knocking, get off the throttle and reduce boost immediately. Learn what can be done with your vehicle. A MBC may be all that you need for more power, but some applications would require larger injectors or greater fuel pressures. Study and find out what works and what does not. You may need to install a fuel-air meter to monitor the AF ratios. Some well known applications need none of that, but you need to know these details for your self."


I want one so bad I can taste it but I also want to make sure my engine, suspension, and brakes can handle the increase in power / fun.
An MBC will make you happy, but you'll get more power out of the more significant hardware bits. I know they are much more expensive, so I guess what Im saying is don't feel down that you have to get a better exhaust/ intake before you get the boost controller, because the other bits will make you happy too.
 

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9-3sleeper said:
An MBC will make you happy, but you'll get more power out of the more significant hardware bits. I know they are much more expensive, so I guess what Im saying is don't feel down that you have to get a better exhaust/ intake before you get the boost controller, because the other bits will make you happy too.
I completely agree 9-3! :cheesy:
 

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my opinion is save for a stage 3 or maybe just a 2. stage 3 will be louder exhaust but you could throw a resonator in with the cat and muffler to lower the noises even more and youd be good to go i think. i wouldnt claim it to be "loud". louder than stock, yes but not loud. i think throwing a resonator in would help make it a bit more quiet that might be to your likings. in 95 % of the cases of people wanting some more power, you will only want more if you got the stage 1. i vote for stage 3

--for the time being a mbc+a would be a great move and if that makes you happy then just stay with that and then consider doing stage 2-3 or whatever you want
 

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Counterpoint: Stage one is enough for some.
I have the BSR stage one upgrade in my 2002 9-3SE and love it. Coupled with the steering rack brace and 22mm rear anti sway bar the differences from stock have been huge to me. Much better ( although it was already very good ) acceleration with seemingly quicker response. I won't be going higher and this is my 4th mod'd SAAB so I've been down this road before.
Bilstein shocks next, sticking with stock springs. I've done lower springs and Koni and Bilstein shocks before and prefer the ride this way.
Gotta know what you like and what you feel you need.
 

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stage 3 + 3in downpipe
 

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I would say if you want to stay mostly stock just get an MBC+A..and for a louder exhaust tone get the saab sport exhaust..dont spend all your money on a stage 1 ECU because as most have already said you will want more and then you will have to pay for a re-tune..MBC is a good first step
 
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