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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all ,

brought a Saab 9-3 Coupé 2.0t SE , runs nice and fairly quick for such a heavy car very impressed.

Looking for basic upgrades;

Panel filter or induction kit? not much of a performance upgrade but looking for a more louder sound. heard induction kits can suck in to much hot air and also the MAF sensor could cause issues. So maybe a panel filter which would create more of a sporty sound?

Dump valve replacement? upgraded recirculating valve or a BOV? i would like a BOV as i do love the sound , but will a blanking plate cause any harm or issues?

Stage one remap? being a turbo engine it should add alot of bhp so i guess this is a good upgrade to do.

has anyone played with bleed valves or are they pretty pointless in gaining more power from the turbo? i dont know much about them.

Any advice and help would be great.


841 Posts
Stock airbox with stock panel filter has been tested to 300+ horsepower, a more open setup will give you lots more noise though. Aftermarket filters which require oiling (such as K&N) can foul the MAF if too much oil is used. The airbox on the 9-3 has a long snorkel that extends from the front of the airbox up into the fender, removing that will let you hear some more turbo sound without having to purchase anything.

Because the engine uses a MAF for air measurement you cannot use a non-recirculating dump valve (blow off valve). The air that is 'blown off' will cause measurement errors for the ECU and ultimately a Check Engine Light. An open air filter setup will help here, you can hear some of the blow off from a recirculating valve.

Stage one remap is definitely a good value as far as horsepower per dollar, but do make sure the car is running in tip-top shape first. For your 9-3 that means dropping the oil pan to ensure the sump and oil pickup are free of debris, replacing the spark plugs with the correct plugs gapped to the correct spec, clean air filter, check fuel pressure to make sure filter and pump are good. Basically a thorough tune-up to make sure the car is running properly before you add more boost.

Bleed valve for boost control does not work with these cars. The ECU requests a specific air mass and boost pressure and modulates the turbo to deliver that amount of air. The ECU will quickly realize the bleed valve is there and adapt, and probably cause a Check Engine Light due to the valve essentially acting as a vacuum leak. All of this is better handled by a proper tune as you already proposed.

620 Posts
Panel filter or induction kit?
I run the factory air box and paper filter with 380HP. K&N only if you have a t5/pre MAF sensor motor.

Dump valve replacement? upgraded recirculating valve or a BOV?
You cannot run a blow off valve on a t7 car. The forge units that GS sell are good, but only replace if your current one fails or you do more performance upgrades. The factory bosch units do a great job. Get yourself 6gt of silicone vacuum line and do nicks t7 mod.

Stage one remap? Has anyone played with bleed valves or are they pretty pointless in gaining more power from the turbo?
Bleed valves do not work with t7 motors as you will throw an engine code. In general they are cheap and nasty, as soon as the weather changes your tune is thrown out. The factory boost controller is fine and accommodates temperature and air density so the tune is always precise. I am using the factory system running 23-25psi.

Assuming your car is bog stock, this is what I would reccomend:
1) steering rack brace, rear sway bar (GS do a high quality product for both of these).

2) (handling) springs and shocks. they will transform your ride, i have adjustable koni's and springs from abbott racing.

2) (power) stage 1 tune is OK, but i would recommend getting a cross flow intercooler (if not already fitted), and a 3" dump pipe and 3" or 2.5" exhaust and go straight to stage 3, the performance boost will be noticeable over stage 1 only.

3) (handling) poly bushes throughout, rear hatch brace, front subframe brace.

3) (power) td04 turbo, all alloy intercooler, higher pressure fuel reg, t5 cams, stage 4+ custom, tune.

3) (brakes) 308mm fronts from a viggen or early 9-5 aero (same callipers and pads, you just need the calliper mount bracket), 300mm rear vented brakes from a 02-05 9-5 aero, you will need the whole assembly, custom lines, and a bit of a re position of the handbrake cable.

4) machine turbo out to 18t (19t lags too much, bigger isn't better), 7cm exhaust housing, cobra intake pipe, custom exhaust manifold, 1000cc injectors, walbro 255lph fuel pump, the list goes on. my b205 got a 2.3 crank, 9000 rods/pistons (machined to fit steel gasket and increase comp). i'll pm you my full list if you need ideas :)
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