SaabCentral Forums banner

1 - 20 of 40 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Well, the V4 may be more classic, but are there any other engines that bolt up to a Sonett (directly or with cheap modifcations or adaptation) and will fit under the hood? I'm mainly interested in better fuel economy, but performance would be welcome as well. In particular, I have a Sonett III in mind.

Wikipedia says the following, but does the swaps fit in Sonetts?
Since the engine mounts and gearbox connections are identical between the Ford Cologne V6 engine and the V4, some vintage V4 Saab 96s were modified to take a V6, for rally racing, although this dramatically changed the weight distribution and steering characteristics.
Thanks! -Jason
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
451 Posts
FieroGT42 said:
Well, the V4 may be more classic, but are there any other engines that bolt up to a Sonett (directly or with cheap modifcations or adaptation) and will fit under the hood? I'm mainly interested in better fuel economy, but performance would be welcome as well. In particular, I have a Sonett III in mind.

Wikipedia says the following, but does the swaps fit in Sonetts?


Thanks! -Jason
Yes with a little modification it has been done with the V6 typically found in the 71 - 73 Capris, though the extra weight makes the car nose heavy and causes bad understeer because of the extra weight forward of the wheels. Also, the extra torque has been known to repeatedly pop the inner drivers. This is why it hasn't been done very often, it's not worth it in the experts opinions.
No other engine will fit under the stock hood as far as I am aware.

You are much better off upgrading the stock engine to a two barrel Weber carb and a manifold to go with it along with upgraded exhaust, changing over the belt driven fan to an electric one.... after that you're talking about big buck items like reworking the heads for bigger valves, increase compression by skimming the block, and other things like lightening the flywheel to take the stock 65 hp up to around 120 hp. After this, you have to get into upgrading the transmission, etc. to handle the extra power.

There are a couple of fuel injected, turbo charged Sonetts out there, but that's big bucks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Phew, I looked into getting all the engine goodies, for around a 100 hp engine...was looking like about $4000 so I dropped the idea. Either Jack Ashcraft or Jack Lawrence can set you up with that stuff. Probably others too. Personally, I'm going to keep it simple with dual manifold and carb.

I reckon a turbo wouldn't actually be much more. It wouldn't take much of a huffer to give this engine a lot more go. Probably less work than an engine swap. Though I don't know about compression ratios and all that jazz..maybe tough, though I've seen examples here and there...especially on saabnet.

you might check out some of the kit car forums too. A lot of guys are putting bike engines into porsche spyder reps and such. Though, since the saabs engine is in front of the axle you should maybe look at mid engine rear drive examples instead of rear drive porsches..I really wanted to look into those 2.0 liter V-8s from grafting two GSXR motors together...but I don't have the budget, and I have a solid V-4..so why monkey about.

For fun we measured my 2.5 liter subaru engine and it would just squeak into the engine bay...maybe...you could drill holes in the side for access to spark plugs...Also, the yamaha VMax is a V4...tempting tempting...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Did you proceed on this?

I guess you know by now the Honda is too wide.

The Subaru EA81 will just fit & weighs 30% less than a V4. They do 140HP all day long in aircraft. Use the Subie trans as well. If you want to get nutty, use the Subie AWD.

Mazda rotaries will work, but they are Gas Hogs.

Saab V4s eat the transmissions, so anything stronger will just eat them faster.

It has crossed my mind to run a Honda (maybe even a Prelude) in the trunk...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Hello...just a couple of quick questions....if I do this:"you are much better off upgrading the stock engine to a two barrel Weber carb and a manifold to go with it along with upgraded exhaust, changing over the belt driven fan to an electric one...."......on a Sonett III....how many more HP would I get from the original configuration? Also....is there a modern 5 speed transmission that can be used with the original V engine? Thank you!!

Yes with a little modification it has been done with the V6 typically found in the 71 - 73 Capris, though the extra weight makes the car nose heavy and causes bad understeer because of the extra weight forward of the wheels. Also, the extra torque has been known to repeatedly pop the inner drivers. This is why it hasn't been done very often, it's not worth it in the experts opinions.
No other engine will fit under the stock hood as far as I am aware.

You are much better off upgrading the stock engine to a two barrel Weber carb and a manifold to go with it along with upgraded exhaust, changing over the belt driven fan to an electric one.... after that you're talking about big buck items like reworking the heads for bigger valves, increase compression by skimming the block, and other things like lightening the flywheel to take the stock 65 hp up to around 120 hp. After this, you have to get into upgrading the transmission, etc. to handle the extra power.

There are a couple of fuel injected, turbo charged Sonetts out there, but that's big bucks.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
1,730 Posts
Hello...just a couple of quick questions....if I do this:"you are much better off upgrading the stock engine to a two barrel Weber carb and a manifold to go with it along with upgraded exhaust, changing over the belt driven fan to an electric one...."......on a Sonett III....how many more HP would I get from the original configuration? Also....is there a modern 5 speed transmission that can be used with the original V engine? Thank you!!
Making the changes you suggested is probably good for 20 HP or so gain. I’m guessing you’ve never seen a V4 gearbox...very odd unit! Nothing else will just “bolt up”. Any other transmission would mean serious custom work...assuming you could get it to fit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,616 Posts
I had a 1972 Sonett from 1978 to 1998 that I did the Weber 2 barrel with manifold update with a free flow exhaust. I think the 20 HP gain is pretty reasonable assumption. I do know it was faster than a relative's Datsun 280ZX (not saying much, I know, haha). I was happy with it but would have preferred to get into 100 to 110HP range. These cars weigh almost half of most cars so 85 HP can feel like 160 HP or more, seat of the pants observation.

I met a kid with a rich daddy in Chicago area who brought over his rebuilt engine Sonett. Never quoted me HP, but it went like a bat out of hell. Also had huge discs upfront. Stopped quicker than a race car. He seemed to do 0-100 MPH faster than I could do 0-60
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Making the changes you suggested is probably good for 20 HP or so gain. I’m guessing you’ve never seen a V4 gearbox...very odd unit! Nothing else will just “bolt up”. Any other transmission would mean serious custom work...assuming you could get it to fit.
Thank you!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
1,730 Posts
Are there any risks or potential complications due to the additional 20hp? Cheers
If your clutch or gearbox is on the weak side, adding more HP won’t help. If you pull the gearbox for any reason, be sure to disable the freewheel mechanism.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Thank you for all the great comments.....is it possible to put a 5 gear on the standard transmission? Also, can you share any websites or any supplier where to find parts (Better EU)? I am planning a major remodeling project and need a lot of parts. Thank you again
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
1,730 Posts
Thank you for all the great comments.....is it possible to put a 5 gear on the standard transmission? Also, can you share any websites or any supplier where to find parts (Better EU)? I am planning a major remodeling project and need a lot of parts. Thank you again
You should check out my blog that I did a few years ago when I did a major tear down and rebuilt of my Sonett.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
If your clutch or gearbox is on the weak side, adding more HP won’t help. If you pull the gearbox for any reason, be sure to disable the freewheel mechanism.
Could you please explain me why the freewheel mechanism should be disabled?

Could you also please let me know the model number for the Weber carburators as well as which manifolds should I buy to make the small HP upgrade to my Sonett? Thank you very much for all your help
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
1,730 Posts
Could you please explain me why the freewheel mechanism should be disabled?

Could you also please let me know the model number for the Weber carburators as well as which manifolds should I buy to make the small HP upgrade to my Sonett? Thank you very much for all your help
The freewheel was designed for the 2-stroke engines! With your foot off the gas, the engine receives no oil, so freewheeling allowed the engines revs to stay down when you weren’t accelerating (like going down hill). As such, it was never designed to handle much torque. It’s a very weak mechanism and I wouldn’t recommend using it with the V4 engine.

No idea on the carbs as I built a custom fuel injection system that I intended to run on mine.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Alessandro M

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,616 Posts
Could you please explain me why the freewheel mechanism should be disabled?

Could you also please let me know the model number for the Weber carburators as well as which manifolds should I buy to make the small HP upgrade to my Sonett? Thank you very much for all your help
http://markashcraft.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Catalog-web.pdf

Mark Ashcraft is still in business. I have e-mailed them this past month. He says not all parts are in stock or available, but call and talk. The Weber carb for V4 is shown in this PDF
 
  • Like
Reactions: Alessandro M

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
1,730 Posts
Great info about markashcraft, lots of parts and support, I need to find a similar one in Europe. Thank you very much
In Europe, I believe Skanmobile Classics has a lot of vintage Saab parts and they ship everywhere. I bought a few things from them for my Sonett a few years back.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Alessandro M
1 - 20 of 40 Posts
Top