SaabCentral Forums banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, what's the deal with the various aftermarket folks who say they can increase your Saab's horsepower with adjustments to the ECU/other tricks?

Does the engine suffer from any of these mods? And if they give such dramatic results, like 20+ horsepower increase, why didn't Saab set the cars up the same way on the assembly line?

Just curious.

Thanks for any comments!

Bruce
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
285 Posts
Modifications are relatively easy to make. They do indeed add power.

Factory settings may not result in maximum power due to trade-offs with emissions, fuel economy, engine longevity, drive ability, etc.

What vehicle (year, model, trim level) do you hope to modify?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,284 Posts
Higher output puts more strain on everything, and if you use it more stuff breaks.

I've ran a 300hp Aero in Europe for 7 years now, with lots of WOT autobahn runs and tracks including full on at Nurburgring. I get through a lot of parts!
The 500hp guys get through shed loads of parts.

However many modified Saabs get to see full throttle for the occasional 5 second burst, and in this type of use mods don't impact parts much or at all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,284 Posts
To give you an idea, I know how to use a clutch very well, and my car has 103k miles. Most 9ks are on their original clutch at this many miles. My 3rd clutch is real tired now, and I do not live in a hilly area...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,938 Posts
20 hp isn't much. SAAB did indeed issue mods for both engines. The 2.0 was available with the "red box" adding 15 hp and some additional torque with no further mods, this was an APC box if I recall correctly, tweaking the boost curve closer to detonation critical.

Then when DI was installed the 2.0 got boosted by SAAB to 190 hp with no other mods. The 2.3 turbo ran 200 hp in standard form but Aero models with manual transmissions got 225 hp and useful extra torque with no internal mods. Just a bigger turbo and higher base and peak boost using 91 (95RON) octane fuel only. BTW horsepower is for poseurs. What matters on the street is torque and the 2.3 delivers massive torque at low rpm. In fact, once rolling a box stock Aero will run with Corvettes and Porsches due to that torque curve. If modifying for street use look for big torque low down in the rpm range.

Finally, SAAB themselves got 286 hp from their 2.0 in stock form when they were looking at V8 and V6 power to raise the 9000 upmarket. Their nifty V8 was two fours cast together but way too expensive to build. Lancia stuffed a modified Ferrari V8 into their Thema (one of three FIAT group models of the 9000) and although the Aero is quicker the Lancia V8 is very much a quirky collector car these days, Europe only, sadly. Point is there's room for a much bigger engine up there.

Bottom line? This SAAB four cylinder is extremely robust and can be tuned to produce piles of torque reliably. However, the transmission and the fwd layout make this fairly pointless. A good box stock Aero can rip its tires off and break its transmission in no time if you try to extract what's already there!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
As usual, thanks to all for the informative replies.

As requested, I have a '96 9000 2.3 turbo with 202K on the odometer. Runs great, seems as strong as ever.

I did have a mess to untangle the other week -- resistor on radiator fan blew up, which blew the appropriate fuses which caused both radiator fan and ac compressor fan to stop working, in 110+ F weather. So stuck in traffic, radiator overheated, and the ac compressor got hot enough that the pressure relief valve opened up twice to dump freon and oil.

I replaced the resistor and have been running the car for a couple of weeks with no problems like blown head gasket, etc., other than no AC.

As you all know it would be nice if there was some indicator on the dash showing fans not working....

Anyway, the car is going to the shop on Monday to see if the AC system can be recharged -- hopefully the pressure relief valve did its job.

Wish me luck!

Bruce
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,938 Posts
Temperature gauge will show overheating which will tell you your fans aren't working.

When you say the radiator overheated do you mean coolant blew out from the expansion tank on the passenger side of the engine compartment? How much coolant did you lose?

If you lost no coolant then the engine did not overheat.

If your engine overheated you may have a head gasket failure in the future but may not. Generally if the engine is allowed to cool down without someone opening the expansion tank the head gasket will be fine. The absolute worst thing you can do is open that cap when the engine has overheated as even more coolant will blow out as the pressure is released. That coolant blows out because the hottest part of the engine, the exhaust valve seats, vaporizes the coolant instantly as the pressure is suddenly released. Steam has very poor heat conductivity.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
529 Posts
However many modified Saabs get to see full throttle for the occasional 5 second burst, and in this type of use mods don't impact parts much or at all.
Thats good because the Aero I have just got has a stage 3 ECU from maptun, ITG air, full stainless exhaust and racing cat, and a forge dump ;oops: but previous owner was a retired guy who loved it with all his wallet so I believe it has not been thrashed
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,938 Posts
His wallet was.

These engines are anvil solid if looked after. SAAB got 280 hp from their stock 2.0 liter version of this engine decades ago. Fully street able and reliable. Too bad they only ever sold 190 hp versions of that engine but then again they can run half a million km with no wear issues.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
529 Posts
Not very...I am too mean to keep filling the tank and buying fresh rubber, just the occasional burst to overtake a tractor with major overkill;ol;
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,938 Posts
The stock Aero springs and shocks are just about ideal for the street. Made by Sachs Boge there would be no point Bilstein making the same thing. I've heard the Bilstein is an HD product and stiffens up the ride quite a bit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,472 Posts
So, what's the deal with the various aftermarket folks who say they can increase your Saab's horsepower with adjustments to the ECU/other tricks?

Does the engine suffer from any of these mods? And if they give such dramatic results, like 20+ horsepower increase, why didn't Saab set the cars up the same way on the assembly line?

Just curious.

Thanks for any comments!

Bruce
No big deal, or mystery here. Get over to the T5 forum on the ecuproject and read on.

download T5 suite from Mobix.eu and read on.

Up to about 235 hp, according to T5 suite docs (which may be inflated figures) and no hardware mods are needed. That is a Stage 1 wizard tune. Over that a few mods are needed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
410 Posts
engine mods

hi. i agree about the bilsteins.they are fantastic in the '88. handles like a go-kart. in the '94 way too harsh and the struts chew out the top mounts real quick with the bilsteins. the sachs boge are back in the '94 and have now done over 300,000k and i don't slow down for most railway crossings! still have the bilsteins (just in case). love that car.cheers
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top