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Saab 9³ SS/CV/SC FAQ, Past Stickies & more

Okay, here it is, my first stab at a FAQ for this burgeoning forum. This isn't a FAQ about the car, but rather a collection of frequently discussed topics. Certain topics keep coming up, and it's nice to look here first, or use it as a quick reference. I hope to keep this current by adding links as they come up, but feel free to let me know if something should change. And yes, I'll clean it up, but I figure what better for post number 1000? :cheesy:

Legend: SS=4 door Sedan/Saloon, CV=2-door Convertible, SC=5-door SportCombi


web1, web2, web3, web4, web5, web6, web7, web8, web9, web10, web (long term), web (2005),
user1, user2, user3, user4, user5
web1, web2, web3, web4
2 year owner review

2.0T vs V6 Aero: Thread1
Volvo: Thread1, Thread2, Thread3
Infiniti G35: Thread1, Thread2
Audi A4: Thread1, Thread2, Thread3, Thread4, LinearSLT's owner comparison
Audi A3: Thread1
Cadillac CTS: Thread1, Thread2
Acura TL: Thread1
Acura TSX: Thread1
Jaguar: Thread1
Saab 9-5: Thread1
Saab 9-3 Viggen: Thread1
BMW 3 Series: Thread1, Thread2
Saab 9-2X: Thread1

Debadging & Rebadging: (How to)
Front License Plate:
Window Tinting & the Felt:
Body/Trim Kits:
Bras/Exterior Protection:
Fading Door Handles:
Upgrade Halogen headlamps to Bi-xenon: (How to)
Mesh Grille:
Rusty Lugbolts:
Fading Saab Emblem:

Yeah, lots of posts on brakes, squeaks, pad replacement, etc. Best to just do a search.
18"s & Hubcentric Rings

Cruise Control
Homelink (Garage Door Opener)
Radio Station Presets:
How many computers / modules in the vehicle?:
Will I save gas by turning off the AC?:
DIY passenger seat sensor fix (thanks to ctrlz)
Installing a 12 volt switch for power with ignition in OFF position (thanks to MichSaab)
Another way of getting power with ignition in OFF position (thanks to brianl703)

Air Filter replacement: Thread 1, Thread 2, Thread 3, Thread 4
Cool Down Fan: Thread 1
Turbo Noise: Thread 1, Thread 2
Oil Change How To & Oil Consumption: Thread 1
SAI (Secondary Air Injection) Problems (unique to MY2003)
How to inspect your SAI check valve from the company who made it:
How to inspect the valve with photos of an actual 2003 93SS:
Step-by-step SAI Check Valve replacement guide:
Vacuum leak - common source is EVAP/purge line next to dipstick:

Hardwire a Radar Detector: (sedan w/sunroof) (sedan w/sunroof) (sedan non-sunroof) (convertible)
Take the Door Panel Off:
Make door locks flush with door panel:

Speed-dependent Volume:
Installing aftermarket amps/speakers:
Infinity Basslink Subwoofer Install Instructions
150W/7 to 600W/9 Audio Upgrade
Line level for AMP1 and EHU:
Front 3.5" speaker replacement how-to's:
3.5" Dash Speaker Install (Boston FX3)
There are many more threads.
Infamous "Damn Stereo" Thread:
CD Text
Aux-in, Tel1
See below for a complete list.

Comfort Open/Close:
Recalibrate windows

The Clunk:

Gas/Petrol gage acting funny:
Exhaust System
Correct Jacking Points

Washer fluid:
Replacement wipers:
Wipers not working properly:


The "-" button:
Dead Pedal & Pedal Sets
Aftermarket Dash
Missing Trunk Hinge Plastic Cover:
There is a body-colored plastic cover only on the left side, who's purpose is to cover wires, neaten the appearance & prevent wires from catching on items in the trunk. There is none on the right side (no wires). Here are some relevant threads: 1, 2, 3, 4.

Here's a nice Saab VIN Decoder.

· Registered
2,944 Posts
This list details the items that have been added or taken out, and major changes to the vehicle in general. While there are many differences between models, the items listed here will try to focus on Global changes that have been made to every single vehicle, like model year changes.

What's different from Model Year 2003 models to 2004?
-Tie-downs for net in trunk...gone
-Passenger floor mat holders...gone Relevant Thread
-Headlamp washers...pop-up style replaced by permanently raised washers (warts).
-Locking mechanism for gas cap...gone Relevant Thread
-Dead pedal in carpet...gone (only a limited run at very beginning of 03)
-Different GM-designed gas tank (rumor)
-Aero now comes in the full palette of colors (instead of just Black, Red, White, Steel Grey & Graphite Green)
-Carpet changed from a berber-type. Relevant Thread
-Ignition switch light...gone Relevant Thread
-Wood trim in Arc is different
-Upshift light for manual trannies...gone Relevant Thread
-Some unspecified change that resulted in becoming the first car ever to be called the IIHS "Double Best Pick".
-Colors Midnight Blue, Dolphin Grey, Cosmic Blue...gone
-Colors Nocturne Blue, Espresso Black, Glacier Blue, Hazelnut , and Lime Yellow (vert only) added

Research 1

What's different from Model Year 04 models to 05?
-Linear with 175 HP engine added to convertible lineup for North America
-Rear Passenger vents in Linear center console...gone Relevant Thread
-Interior Motion Detection...gone. Disappeared halfway through 2004 MY. Relevant Thread
-Sunroof button different. (See Research 2 link)
-CRAS indicators go from sewn in to heat-staked. (See Research 2 link)
-Dash indicator lights different & move around for 2005. (See Research 2 link)
-Speed dependant Volume (SDV) actually works. (See Research 2 link)
-Aux-in standard on all models except Linears.
-No Manual 6-speed, only 5 speed (USA only). Relevant Thread
-Tire Pressure Monitors-gone Relevant Thread
-Passenger side lumbar support-gone Relevant Thread
-Navigation added for the US market.
-Driver's side door trunk longer illuminated. (courtesy of cleveland_saab)
-Storage console in rear center armrest...gone (courtesy of cleveland_saab)
-Moonroof has plastic trim around it instead of black flocking (the fuzzy stuff). (courtesy of cleveland_saab)
-'SAAB' embroidered logo on front floor mats...gone (courtesy of cleveland_saab)
-Passenger floor mat holders...RETURNED -- THEY'RE BACK! (courtesy of cleveland_saab)
-Parchment floor carpet changed so all models have Grey carpet. (courtesy of gjdavies) Relevant Thread
-Colors Espresso Black, Graphite Green, Merlot Red, Hazelnut, Glacier Blue...gone
-Colors Chili Red, Parchment Silver & Smoke Beige added

Research 2

What's different from Model Year 05 models to 06?
-Sportcombi Added! (Never available in any shade of white however.)
-Body colored door handles Relevant Thread
-250bhp 2.8T engine with dual round tailpipes for Aero model
-Bosch engine management for 2.8T Relevant Thread
-Stitching on leather shift knob is different. (See Research 3 link)
-Phone button is now spelled out PHONE instead of the handset picture. (See Research 3 link)
-Plastic molding around sunroof is different. (See Research 3 link)
-Floor mats are different. (See Research 3 link)
-Aero steering wheel has silver thumb inserts.
-There is a airbag off indicator on the right side of the instrument panel. (See Research 3 link)
-20th Anniversary Edition for Convertible with (Many thanks to Jubilee Vert):
Electric Blue Metallic paint
Electric Blue tonneau cover
Electric Blue interior door trims
Parchment colored leather sports interior with matching Electric Blue trim lines in the center.
2.8L V6 and in Aero trim (NA only, ROW had all engine/trim choices)
Touring Package (NA only, ROW have as option)
Rear spoiler (NA only, ROW have as option)
Unique double five-spoke 17" aluminum wheels (optional 18" 10 spoke aluminum wheel in ROW)
-13 speaker audio changed to 10 speaker audio. Relevant Thread
-Aero automatic transmission now 6-speed instead of 5-speed.
-6 speed manual returns, but only with Aero 2.8T
-Linear model and 2.0t (175 HP) engine no longer available in North America.
-Arc model name dropped in North America. Now referred to as 2.0T
-Garrett turbo previously used in 1.8t and 2.0t from 2003-2005 is no longer used for these engines. All turbos for 4 cylinder engines now sourced from Mitsubishi.
-No colors gone!
-Colors Jet Black, Fusion Blue, Arbor Green & Electric Blue (20th anniversary convertible only) added

Research 3

What's different from Model Year 06 models to 07?
-A new dash! Relevant Thread
-Premium audio is no longer 10 speaker 300W Clarion/Pioneer, but Bose system with 260W and 9 speakers
-Felt added to door seals, replacing rubber
-Additional sound damping materials added
-60th Anniversary Edition available with:
Black sports seats with grey inserts and grey stitching
Black floor mats with grey piping
Rear spoiler
Dark walnut interior trim
Premium audio
Dual front power seats
Front fog lights
17" anniversary wheels
-Colors Arbor Green & Sapphire Blue...gone
-Colors Titan Gray (sedan and combi only), Ice Blue (60th only), & Silver Added

What's different from Model Year 07 models to 08?
-Exterior refresh!
-Xenon cornering headlamps
-Two types of leather now available: leather appointed and natural leather
-Black leather now optional on all models.
-5-speed manual dropped on 2.0T, 6-speed manual and 5-speed automatic only for 2.0T. Aero transmission choices identical to 2006/2007.
-Electronic Brake-force Distribution standard.
-Late model year introduction of Turbo X with:
2.8T engine producing 280 HP and 295 lb/ft TQ
18" wheels
Jet Black only
-Colors Chili Red, Lime Yellow, & Silver...gone
-Colors Snow Silver, Pepper Green, Steel Grey (not available in North America, vert only), Lynx Yellow (vert only), & Arctic White (vert only) Added

What's different from Model Year 08 models to 09?
-XWD now available on 2.0T. Now standard with Aero trim package. Not available on convertible.
-Colors Carbon Gray & Glass Gray added.

What's different from Model Year 09 models to 10?
-2.8T V6 dropped
If anyone can add or correct this info, please PM a moderator to let them know!
For information on retrofitting most options that have disappeared, or to learn more about anything listed here, visit the Saab Global Factory Options Guide.

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2,944 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)

· Registered
2,944 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Videos of our whips

I don't know why, maybe I'm just a organizatiomaniac.
Here's a collection of various videos of our car in action, in no particular order.
If pictures tell a thousand words, well then these moving pictures tell like, uh, 3,129 words.

Cojoroh's J-turn vid. Talk about it here.
Automaggot's headlight vid. Demonstrates Hella Optilux. Talk about it here.
Deli-Llama's Mt. Cotton Driver Training, clip#1 & clip#2. Talk about it here.
A vid of an insane 850 BHP 9-3 SS. Talk about it here. Beware, 44MB!
93t on the track in Sweden. Check out clip#1 & clip#2. Talk about it here.
Swedeteam's 9-3 SS race car. Talk about it here.
ESP on & off comparison video. Talk about it here.
JNGold's Tribute to the Freshman Class vid. Talk about it here.
Larakin's Arc Autocrossing clip#1 & clip#2. Talk about it here.
Here are some interesting vids from Saab. (If anyone can d/l them, please tell me!)
A thread with a bunch of other vids. There's another thread too.
M4Gunner's Magnaflow exhaust vid. Talk about it here.
Automaggot's Magnaflow exhaust vid & at idle. Talk about it here.
Vid of the 9-3 SportCombi. Talk about it here.
Video of some fancypants driving with 2 of the SS. Thread is here.

Got a cool video you need to host? Maybe cswerin can help. Click here. He has kindly provided some space to host these, so please be considerate to his server & don't d/l them all at once!

Did I miss any? PM me & let me know!

· Registered
1,840 Posts
2.0t (150 + 175bhp) vs 2.0T (210bhp): The differences

Originally posted by Saba in the Mods sections:
General Engine Specifications

2.0t vs 2.0T

The article reproduced here

Stonkin' Saab

Those sonorous, sporty Saab 750 GTs that wailed banshee-like around Grand Central Circuit during the 9-Hour races back in the late '50s were unique.

They could be heard at night all round the track. There were only a handful of other manufacturers that produced sporty sedans for petrol-heads and the enthusiast: the Alfa Romeo Ti, Volvo Sport, Renault Gordini and Simca Monthlerey.

Fortunately the first four survived and still produce provocatively exciting sporting sedans. The major change among them is Saab. Its 2-stroke-only engines are now a swearword for the world at large — they're essentially banned to anonymity for their air polluting habits. But they're a pleasant memory.

High-tech 2-strokes are not exciting pieces of machinery and with only a few reciprocating parts they're as interesting as pedal-driven sewing machines. But Saab continued to supply performance-orientated cars for the owner wanting refined, fast driving.

The Saab 9-3 Aero engine is one of a few that belong to the select club of mills that have specific power outputs of over 100bhp per litre — an almost magical figure considered by enthusiasts in the past to be the standard for identifying race-car status. Aero in fact punches out 207bhp (154kW) for a 104bhp specific power output.

In standard trim and with a low output pressure turbo the new 9-3 engine pushes just 110kW. So what has changed to make it so strong? To start with, Saab is a manufacturer that designed the 9-3 engines from the planning stage solely as force-fed (turbocharged) units. Combustion chamber shape, and the shape and length of the inlet and exhaust ports, were designed to suit turbocharging. There are no normally aspirated engines in the 9-3 stable.

The biggest increase in power is gained by the addition of the larger Mitsubishi MHI TDO4L-14T turbocharger with 0.3 boost and 2.5mm waste-gate pre-tension. The more standard versions make use the smaller Garrett GT 2052 blower. To compensate for the increase in fuel/air charges the flow capacity of the injectors were increased from 134ml to 176ml.

Up rated pistons and rings are oil-cooled from below by spray nozzles. Made from light alloy and tin coated, they're fitted with two compression rings — the lower one being phosphate coated, and the other a oil nitro-hardened scraper ring.

Naturally, the camshaft profiles were revised to assist the increased breathing capacity of the turbo. Although cam lift remains the same on both inlet and exhaust, the breathing cycles have been altered. Even though the Aero's inlet cam duration is the same (235 degrees) as on the standard engines the overlaps differ.

The biggest change is on the exhaust cam with its 240-degree duration — 10 more than the standard version to help expel the higher volumes of waste gasses.

With far more airflow through the system, the air cleaner box' lower-section intake pipes are coarser, in order to reduce the restriction losses on the inlet side of the engine. Naturally for the increase in exhaust gas flow an improved exhaust system is fitted with better backpressure and larger pipe dimensions. Then to take care of the new settings the software engine-controls are upgraded with the Trionic T8 module.

The all-aluminium engine is a basic 4-cylinder with DOHC 16-valve cross-flow layout. The inlet valves are steel with chromium-plated stems while the exhaust valves are sodium filled, which assist in dissipating 50 percent of the heat through the valve stem and away from the valve head to the stem.

An interesting aside of these valves is the warning by Saab that when scrapping them a cavity should be cut in the stems to avoid the risk of explosion under certain conditions
For those seeking more power from the Aero the Saab factory will gladly supply a 300bhp Hirsch version to tackle almost anything on the road, especially here at altitude.

The main problem facing Saab with its big output engines is the front-wheel drive layout. Testing the manic Viggen was a never-to-be-forgotten but exciting experience with the car swaying, thrusting and snorting its way to stardom — its anti-slip diff trying hard but failing to compensate accurately. The front-wheel drive layout could just not keep up with the great swathe of power.

But Saab lovers need not fret — an all-wheel-drive is on the drawing boards in conjunction with Saab's GM sibling Subaru...
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