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I've had two 9000 5-speeds since 1986, put over 250,000 miles on both, sold them very reluctantly. I got a great deal on an '04 Arc, 5-speed, but, so far, I'm really missing my '97. The new one acts like it doesn't want to let me drive - it wants to do that itself. It's impossible to really control the engine speed, among other things. There's a very annoying lag of about a half-second, from the time you let off of the gas pedal, to when the engine starts to slow down, and reluctantly even then. In the old days, a little WD-40 on the linkage would have probably done the job. Last month, the Saab tech just shrugged and said "they're all like that", and that he had no way to change it. I called the Saab hotline, and was told they'd "open a file" on the problem. Meanwhile, the car that's been so much fun to drive over the years is much less so. I'm adjusting, but it's a pain. It's like the computer was programmed by someone that had never driven a manual transmission before (perhaps a "helpful" dufus from GM). Can this be fixed? Has this been corrected in newer models? Are there any cars out there (Saab or not) that let you actually drive them???
 

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Thats "fly by wire" for you :confused:

Upgrading the power & exhaust can really help with responsiveness ;)
 

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I noticed something interesting this weekend.

I pulled off my open airfilter and replaced the stock airbox. It totally feels like everything has been "smoothed out" now. If I came off of the gas too fast with the open intake, the car would lurch... now the revs just smoothly drop down. Similarly, I don't spin the wheels the second I touch the gas pedal either... even in sport mode. Responsiveness is waaay down.

I do however have the tiny McDonalds straw snorkel attached... the bigger intake pipe (part number 5327424 from the stealership) is en-route, so hopefully this cures most of the lag. If not, I may be switching back to the open intake sooner than I thought.

Chris is correct though... tuning has done a lot to the car. My car was certainly responsive enough to rip your face off with one flick of the pedal, and that's with an autobox!
 

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9-5-Speed, there are two parts to your problem. One is the electronic throttle that does lag behind your inputs by half a second. I know it sounds crazy, but you'll get used to this, I'm at the point where I can't drive other cars smoothly. The other part is the massive, 20 pound flywheel and balance shafts, the engine really does have a lot of momentum. Again, you'll get used to it, there's a definately a certain way to drive a car with a heavy flywheel.

At the moment, the first part (throttle) is exaggerating the second (flywheel). Basically you're lifting and hitting the clutch at the same time so the revs rise between gears. Eventually you'll learn to lift half a second before your gear changes and the revs will drop a lot faster. And when you finally get comfortable you can do what I do which is dump the clutch at ever gear change rather than waiting for the revs to drop. Really takes advantage of the momentum of the engine. ;)
 

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Raven18940 said:
9-5-Speed, there are two parts to your problem. One is the electronic throttle that does lag behind your inputs by half a second. I know it sounds crazy, but you'll get used to this, I'm at the point where I can't drive other cars smoothly.
Are you calling that a "feature"? You're right - it sounds crazy. No, it is crazy! There must be some benefit to this electronic throttle, somewhere, but I can't imagine it being beneficial enough to overcome this feeling of total disconnect from the vehicle.
The other part is the massive, 20 pound flywheel and balance shafts, the engine really does have a lot of momentum. Again, you'll get used to it, there's a definately a certain way to drive a car with a heavy flywheel.
Like I said, I've been driving 2.3L Turbo 5-speeds for 20 years in 2 previous 9000s. Over 270,000 miles on each. Absolutely loved to drive them. Sold both with the original clutch. The flywheel hasn't been an issue.
...Eventually you'll learn to lift half a second before your gear changes and the revs will drop a lot faster. And when you finally get comfortable...
I guess I was hoping I wouldn't have to work this hard to get comfortable. Is this "feature" present in all manual transmission models? If so, it's got "Detroit" written all over it, and I'll probably need to look for another vehicle. (sigh)
 

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All the manual trans 9-5s are like that, it's a pollution control measure to prevent the drop/return in RPM when you shift. Common complaint but that's what they do.
 

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I thought it was to keep the revs up for turbo spooling, but the green idea works for me ;)
 

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I've only been driving the manual for a few weeks now after driving autos for several years, but I have to say I kinda like it. :confused: When I'm shifting under hard acceleration (esp 2nd-3rd), I don't feel like I lose much momentum thanks to the inertia. I dunno, maybe I don't know how to drive. ;oops:
 

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I do not think the 9000s B234 had a flywheel that was significantly lighter than the B235 one. The only real difference is that the B235 is more refined and has lighter, better flowing parts which tends to smooth out the power delivery--it doesn't feel as lively as a B234 but it is every bit as powerful and torquey. Other than that, there is just the electronic throttle, but that minor delay should not trip you up unless you are REALLY sensitive.
 

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The benifit to an fly-by-wire throttle body is that you can have features like "anti-stall" and the car can dynamically dictate how much air comes in based upon A/F mixture maps without physically moving the gas pedal. (Same goes for cruise control.)

I do believe that it has to do with the whole clean air thing. If you think about it, if you close the throttle rapidly, you have a whole ton of unburned gas chillin in the cylinders that gets fired out the exhaust. That's why on a lot of race cars you'll see a flame when they accelerate hard, then just close the throttle. I wonder if it's possible to do a cable driven throttle body conversion...? Maybe off of a 9000? Does anyone know if this is possible?
 

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stipud said:
It's funny, I could have sworn my '99 auto throttle body is cable driven. There's a cable attached to the throttle body, and pressing the gas pedal with the car off will move it.
I believe that is limp home mode, but it's just not engaged.
 

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Hmm... now that you mention it... good point! The throttle cable may be disconnected from the throttle body until limp home is engaged. Once it turns on, the cable would be directly connected to the throttle body. It makes sense why they did this then... if there are any problems with the electronic throttle, it would be a good idea to connect the cable directly so that you can still limp the car home.

Eureka!

Now I just wonder if there is a way to get it stuck somewhere in between, so that it is more responsive. I recall when resetting limp home mode once, I screwed up where I put the spring, and my throttle response was amazing. Pressing the gas or coming off too fast yielded instant face-ripping response, but the car still drove normally through all gears. Unfortunately I recall this set a check engine light, so I found a picture online, and realized I had reset it improperly, so I fixed it.

Now if I could only remember how I had the throttle spring set... It may still be possible to make something work.
 
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