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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
WARNING: This is first post on here.

I have a 1999 9-3 se 5 door automatic that I absolutely love but its an auto so my first question is.
1. how hard would a manual trans swap be to do ?
2. parts? what am I going to need ?
I plan to gut the car for a full cage. pull the motor rebuild it for some serious power around 600hp (head,cams,big turbo,IC,water meth injection) and replumb the mill with braided hoses (aircraft grade). The idea is one really nasty saab but more importantly to stomp the piss out of my rival's built srt4 neon all day. The tranny's the only thing really holding me back from starting to spend money on it. I have access to alot of tools and plently of spare time.
yes there is a reason to keep this car and do the swap.
 

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You'll need the clutch peddle and cylinder and the manual trans.
You'll need the gear selector and it's mountings, as I remember, this is the majority of the metal part of the center console.
You'll need to edit the ECU and turn off the bit for automatic transmission. You'll need to modify the wiring harness (worst part of the job) for the reverse lights and clutch-in-to-start.
You'll need the linkage between the gear selector and the transmission.
You'll need the clutch, pressure plate and flywheel for the manual trans.
You'll need some band-aids and about a case of beer.
You'll need the mounting brackets for the manual trans to chassis.

If your really aiming for 600hp. Your going to need to consider your gearbox selection for the proper ratios to match your powerband. As I recall, 600hp is 272° cams pushing 8000rpm. Power between 3200~3500 - 7800RPM I would stay away from the FM55 & FM57 unless this is going to be a drag car. If that case the lower ratios might help control the wheel spin.

Honestly 600hp in a FWD is pointless unless it's a drag car. Wheelspin at WOT in 1st and 2nd gets out of control at around 250hp. Much feathering of the throttle required. If your build is for a road course build for 350-400hp 262° cams and a slightly smaller & faster spooling turbo. Much better response across the effective RPM range and much easier to keep the smaller turbo spooled.

_____1st___2nd__3rd__4th__5th__
FM53_15.06_7.83_5.25_3.98_2.94
FM54_13.70_7.12_4.52_3.62_2.85
FM55_12.92_6.72_4.27_3.41_2.69
FM57_12.92_6.72_4.50_3.41_2.52
 

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Don't forget stuff like pilot bearing, throw out bearing assembly, hydraulic lines, etc. Can go with clutch cable if weight and simplicity are a concern. One thing worth mentioning is these Saab's have extremely ridged roof supports. I think I saw a test awhile back where one was dropped upside down off a crane and it didn't crush, so you might not need to go crazy on roll bars unless your competing and it's required. Spend time on the suspension, as well as the front subframe connectors. There are guys with high HP numbers, yet they're lucky to even break the 11's.
 

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if you are going to put all that $ into it....

Why wouldn't you just sell the one you have and buy a stick?
seems like it will cost more and be a pain in the *** to do...
 

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He'll need a better than stock transmission anyways, so it probably won't be that much different as he'd have to pull the stock trans regardless for his estimated HP level he's shooting for.
 

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I'd go with rameleg's idea too: You can pick up one of these with a manual in it and a bad motor for $500-$1500 depending on year. Hardly worth all the detail work IMHO.

That said, there's a fairly detailed post out on saablink.net in one of the 9-3 forums on doing the auto to manual swap. If you can't find it, ping me back and I will look for it. I posted the link here in a thread within the last few weeks so you could search here for "www.saablink.net/forum/" with a date range of the last month with my user ID and find it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
wow thanks guys for the quick response for starters I am welder by trade so fab work doesn't bother me. The cage/tube chassis is because most of the steel is going to be cut out a replaced with thin aluminum panels my goal is to shed as much weight possible yet retain/gain strength as with big power and the speeds I will be doing its a safety concern of mine. The motor is going to head to the wild side I want a nasty mill (my last mill was a 454 sbc ) its not a daily driver but it will see the road I'm not all to worried a about wheel spin as most of the time I'll already be rolling I know i said 600hp but chances are i will keep pushing it up.

Now why stay with this car well its been the butt of many jokes on the local car scene and well I love it, and its different its been a great little car I paid $2700 91k on it last year and put a new battery and alternator in it fixed the waste gate linkage and presto change-o runs like a new. My dad taught me "built is better than bought and learning is to be done by doing" sure it will be some work but hell that aint nothing to be scared of I want it to stand out even from other tuned and built saabs.
mild to wild is the idea here I want a goddamn jet fighter!!!:evil: Ya with me ?
 
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