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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys I was wondering if any of you had any ideas about this problem I have. Basically I recently got me an OG 9-3 which came with a black DI cassette. I know this is a tronic 5 engine (oil cap in centre) and I wanted to use the correct cassette so I bought a red one from ebay which the seller says is tested fully working. On inspection it looks perfect, no obvious signs of wear or cracks.

So, I swapped over to my red top this morning and the car starts and misfires immediately and continues to do so on idle and driving. I left it idle for 5 mins but still misfiring (feels like 1 cylinder is misfiring). So I switched back to the black top and everything is perfect again!

What could this be? So disappointed as I was looking forward to having the correct cassette for the engine!
 

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Hi guys I was wondering if any of you had any ideas about this problem I have. Basically I recently got me an OG 9-3 which came with a black DI cassette. I know this is a tronic 5 engine (oil cap in centre) and I wanted to use the correct cassette so I bought a red one from ebay which the seller says is tested fully working. On inspection it looks perfect, no obvious signs of wear or cracks.

So, I swapped over to my red top this morning and the car starts and misfires immediately and continues to do so on idle and driving. I left it idle for 5 mins but still misfiring (feels like 1 cylinder is misfiring). So I switched back to the black top and everything is perfect again!

What could this be? So disappointed as I was looking forward to having the correct cassette for the engine!
I would still be doubtful of the Red DIC , that seems the obvious .
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I would still be doubtful of the Red DIC , that seems the obvious .
Yeah I agree, a shame I don't have another red DIC to try and confirm that theory. I was hoping someone on here might know something I don't or there is something I needed to do for the switchover to work.
 

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2000 93 SE Vert Auto 2001 93 SE Vert 5spd
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The consensus on this forum is that the DIC is something that needs to be purchased new and needs to be OEM, even though they are a bit pricey. The cheap Chinese ones are known to last for only a few months (my brother went down that path with the red cassette on his NG900).

Some of us, myself included, carry a spare DIC in the trunk. I have a Chinese DIC that I verified works that I keep as a spare for emergency use only.

When my DIC went bad there were no exterior signs of it failing, it is all internal. My guess is that the ebay cassette is bad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
ok thanks I appreciate your input, and I'm now going to return this item on ebay. I'll look for a new OEM one, although this one looks to be OEM like you say it's not working anyway.
 

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2000 93 SE Vert Auto 2001 93 SE Vert 5spd
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Out of curiosity, did you put Dielectric Grease on the red DIC connectors before installing? I have read that this is important, but I do not know if not using it would cause issues (I always apply some whenever I remove/install a DIC).

Perhaps someone with more knowledge could chime-in as I want to know how important it is that Dielectric Grease be used on the DIC.
 

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Short term it doesn't matter, but long term it will prevent corrosion building up in spark plug socket. But the real purpose is simply to make the boot easier to slide over the plug. :)
 

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Yeah...a lot of people think that dielectric grease helps to make good contact. Actually, the opposite is true. Dielectric grease is an insulator. It's meant to be applied after the connection is made to prevent corrosion.
 

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Haha... Any time dielectric grease is mentioned I just wait for someone to say something about "improves connections" or whatever. Come on people, read the label! :D
 

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Dielectric grease claims to be pushed out of the way so conductivity is unimpeded.

Anyway, tjfayaz, if you haven't sent the DIC back yet, remove the black plastic under-cover (8 screws) and see whether the relay is cracked. Thats not the only failure mode, and as someone else mentioned, they can fail with no visible symptoms, or have visible symptoms and run perfectly. There will likely be black dried "foam" which part of the resin pour process, and signs or arcing from the transformer to the metal edge of the "bathtub" nearest to it. There might be hairline cracks in the resin bed. They all do these after a while, which MIGHT make no difference to performance.

DIC red T5 parts.jpg


Where are you located? Maybe find a Saab specialist and ask whether they would lend you one for test purposes. If you just want to idle it they might let you. They might even have a used one to sell you on the basis of try-before-you-buy! Note that the correct plugs are important. The ECU/DIC/Trionic 5 system is tuned for the red DIC and specific NGKs in the owners manual.

UKSaabs • View topic - Good garages/services in your area is a thread of Saab garages in UK.

SAAB Owners Club (GB) Ltd - Saab Dealers and Specialists is a map.

And Search Our Register For An Independent Saab Specialist
 

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I use this on every electrical connection that is exposed to elements. Zero issues, no more broken housings due to stuck terminals.

 

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The other thing the dielectric grease does is discourage flashover. The head itself is a wonderful ground. If the spark can make it down between the plug and the boot, it won't fire your cylinder.

So the thing to do is to make sure your plug and boot are clean, and then smear on the dielectric grease for protection.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Dielectric grease claims to be pushed out of the way so conductivity is unimpeded.

Anyway, tjfayaz, if you haven't sent the DIC back yet, remove the black plastic under-cover (8 screws) and see whether the relay is cracked. Thats not the only failure mode, and as someone else mentioned, they can fail with no visible symptoms, or have visible symptoms and run perfectly. There will likely be black dried "foam" which part of the resin pour process, and signs or arcing from the transformer to the metal edge of the "bathtub" nearest to it. There might be hairline cracks in the resin bed. They all do these after a while, which MIGHT make no difference to performance.


Where are you located? Maybe find a Saab specialist and ask whether they would lend you one for test purposes. If you just want to idle it they might let you. They might even have a used one to sell you on the basis of try-before-you-buy! Note that the correct plugs are important. The ECU/DIC/Trionic 5 system is tuned for the red DIC and specific NGKs in the owners manual.

UKSaabs • View topic - Good garages/services in your area is a thread of Saab garages in UK.

SAAB Owners Club (GB) Ltd - Saab Dealers and Specialists is a map.

And Search Our Register For An Independent Saab Specialist

Hi that's some useful info I'm going to remove the under-cover in the morning and check it before I send it back. I'm based in Huddersfield I know there is one place in town but they have some mixed reviews so I'm on the look out for a good saab specialist nearby, I'll check your links thanks. will post back once I've checked the relay.
 

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Pull the plugs. Gap to .9mm. Replace them if they are old, NGK BCPR6ES. The black DICs have a stronger spark mechanism vs. the Red.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Pull the plugs. Gap to .9mm. Replace them if they are old, NGK BCPR6ES. The black DICs have a stronger spark mechanism vs. the Red.
now sure how old the plugs are going to pull them, ordered 4x NGK BCPR6ES. Last chance before this red top goes back ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
ok got the new plugs (BCPR6ES) and gapped to 0.9mm. After installation the red top now does not misfire when idle, so good start! Actually driving the car it's fine below 3000RPM but as soon as I try to accelerate fast the engine starts misfiring. So pretty sure this red top DI is faulty now. Back to the black one and I think I will just stick with it for now as it seems to work perfectly.

Next week fitting APC valve and noobtune stage 1 ECU so wanted a proper red DI to go with it. Seems this black will be ok I think (hope!).

Thanks for the help, plugs almost resolved it!
 

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Hi guys I was wondering if any of you had any ideas about this problem I have. Basically I recently got me an OG 9-3 which came with a black DI cassette. I know this is a tronic 5 engine (oil cap in centre) and I wanted to use the correct cassette so I bought a red one from ebay which the seller says is tested fully working. On inspection it looks perfect, no obvious signs of wear or cracks.

So, I swapped over to my red top this morning and the car starts and misfires immediately and continues to do so on idle and driving. I left it idle for 5 mins but still misfiring (feels like 1 cylinder is misfiring). So I switched back to the black top and everything is perfect again!

What could this be? So disappointed as I was looking forward to having the correct cassette for the engine!
it will prevent corrosion building up in spark plug socket. But the real purpose is simply to make the boot easier to slide
 

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I'd find another red one if you are going to tune... as I mentioned, black will work... but the knock signal is wrong. If you're pushing the engine more than normal, you really should head back to a red one as soon as you can.
 

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ok got the new plugs (BCPR6ES) and gapped to 0.9mm. After installation the red top now does not misfire when idle, so good start! Actually driving the car it's fine below 3000RPM but as soon as I try to accelerate fast the engine starts misfiring. So pretty sure this red top DI is faulty now. Back to the black one and I think I will just stick with it for now as it seems to work perfectly.

Next week fitting APC valve and noobtune stage 1 ECU so wanted a proper red DI to go with it. Seems this black will be ok I think (hope!).

Thanks for the help, plugs almost resolved it!
There will likely be black dried "foam" which part of the resin pour process, and signs or arcing from the transformer to the metal edge of the "bathtub" nearest to it.
 
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