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Discussion Starter #1
Hey gents, I took my 2002 9-3 SE in for an NC State Inspection, and while everything else was in pretty good shape, the tech found an exhaust leak at the flex pipe. Since she's approaching 185k miles, I'm not really all that surprised. It's minor enough to have a bit of a purr at idle, although it's enough to require a fix before it can pass Inspection. Since I've been meaning to get around to a Stage 1 ECU tune (by way of MPS Tuning), I wonder if I should go the cheap route and just swap out the flex pipe (~$90 parts).
Or-
The fun way, with this new hotness: Taliaferro/Genuine Saab 3" Downpipe V2 (attaches to stock or 2.5" catback), for $557.
Whaddya think?

Also, what's some other stuff I should be doing before the tune? I already got a new DICE, NGK copper plugs (.030" gap), and a recent oil change with Mobil 1 0W40.
Just to be on the safe side, I will probably want to drop the oil pan and get a new gasket, and maybe swap out the gear oil, since she's probably about due. Anything else I should check? Boost hoses, BPV, whatever?
Thanks, dudes. Happy Motoring.
 

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If you have the money and you want to tune it to stage 3, then a custom DP/exhaust is in order. If you want to pass inspection and go stage 1, just go cheap and replace flex pipe. Up to you.
Car should be a great tune before you mod it,. new maf if over 60k is a given.
 

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FYI - there's no oil pan gasket, just anaerobic sealer. If you have not done a pan drop on that car, you are very overdue. Also do PCV update #6.

You have to drop the downpipe to do the pan, so if you replace the downpipe, definitely do it then. See the "all things oil" thread for a pan drop novel.

You have mtf0063 fluid, so just drain and fill.
 

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You might consider using two layers of 2" header wrap and securing each end with a stainless screw clamp. I did this to my flex pipe 6 years ago because it seemed like it was leaking a little.

The best way to apply it is the hardest way. Take the downpipe off and secure it in a vise wile you apply the header wrap. DEI has some very high-tech and expensive header wrap, but really all you want to do is reduce or eliminate the leak/noise.

For $15 or so, it might be a cheap alternative to try... Ron
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hey gents, took me a while to get back to it, but I've got some updates.
Purchased Taliaferro's 3" Downpipe Version 2. As soon as I removed it from the packaging, I started giggling. TIG welds and stainless steel look absolutely gorgeous, and I can't wait to install it (after it warms up around here a bit). After I install it and run it for a few days, I plan to write up a review on GenuineSaab, and if anybody is on the fence, it's totally worth the purchase. I am well aware it was pricey, but my tax rebate was well spent.
My 9-3 appears to have PCV update #6, and it all looks well-sorted without leaks or cracking.
I was looking into gasketing, and in addition to getting rid of the original seals, which sealant would be preferable? RTV? I'll get a good read going on the All Things Oil Thread and see about what I should purchase before I get under the car.
Anyways, thanks dudes.
 

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Pan drop parts are minimal:
- three new nuts for the turbo/downpipe connection
- loctite 518 sealer
- two o-rings for oil delivery tube
- one o-ring for oil pickup tube
- maybe a muffler clamp for the downpipe to mid-pipe connection

You'll need something to clean the pan out with: Gunk, oven cleaner, something like that. Some alcohol for a wipe down and to clean the gasket surfaces.
 
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