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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
so I have a '01 9-5 aero and I think it's totally stock... it's my first car and I reeeally like it (I bragg about my h.o.t. sweed to all my honda/toyota/mazda owning friends)

but I think i'm getting a case of the tuning bug... and I read the sticky about tuning... but I have absolutlely no idea where to start.

so my parameters:
veeeery little $ (but of course if the parents deem it a worthy cause santa may very well pitch in)

little/no mechanical experience (but i'm willing to learn if that counts for anything? and I think I understand most of the mods people say they've done)

and i'm sure theres some other things...

so is tuning a saab something for me?
 

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Little money?

Are you really handy with tools? If so, build a front mount intercooler, have an exhaust shop replace your resonator with straight pipe, and the rear muffler with a free flowing one. Then get a stage 2 tune... that's probably the cheapest thing I can think of. A set of Bilstein HD shocks go a long way in performance and comfort with the stock springs. And finally get some good brake pads and flush your brake fluid.

Most importantly, change your sparkplugs, airfilters, etc. when necessary, and perform routine fully synthetic oil changes every 5k miles at most. If you can do this, the car will treat you well.

No substantial power gains will be achieved without an ECU unfortunately, so the cheapest possible tuning is still around $900. But hey, I started off like you did... no money to tune, and now I have replaced everything under the sun. The bug is contagious!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
greenmatt said:
i'm interested... good price... i like cool sounds...hah and it would give me something to do on a boring saturday...

but i'd like to know what exactly it does? (performance boost?) and how easy/ how to put this in myself without having my car explode (keep in mind... i havn't even changed the oil in a car before... haha sooo yea)
 

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Not a great deal of performance gain but with a 2001 you have the old snorkel which is a bit restrictive. Basically its so you can hear the bypass valve do its stuff and the turbo spooling. As for difficuilty, its about as easy as mods go and as long as you seal everything up about zero chance of doing any major damage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
greenmatt said:
Not a great deal of performance gain but with a 2001 you have the old snorkel which is a bit restrictive. Basically its so you can hear the bypass valve do its stuff and the turbo spooling. As for difficuilty, its about as easy as mods go and as long as you seal everything up about zero chance of doing any major damage.
cool actually... just asked the parentals and they'd be willing to foot the expense (because it would be a productive hobby and would increase mpg... at least according to some of the reviews...) so i think i may be getting it...

but if i needed help with the install do you know of any like guides that like step by step it with pics?

lastly are there any other fairly cheap and productive mods like this i can do... cuz i'd like to find a few and ask for all the parts for christmas and then just do them on boring saturdays

thanks for the help dude!
 

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May i be boring and suggest the following things.

1. New PCV kit #6 to fix potential sludge problems (A new engine could be expensive)

2. Fully synthetic oil and a change for new oil regularly. I do mine every 10k kms for a temperature range of -5 to about 40 deg celsius of city/country driving.

3. Brakes - get new pads, ebc redstuff/pbr ceramics... stopping quickier is good as is ridding the dusty front OEM brakes. Its a safety feature ;-)

4. Tyres - make sure you have decent tyres not shtty korean rip offs that cost nothing to put on. Another safety feature....

Now to the fun stuff...

5. Suspension - bilsteins are the prefered and can beused with stock aero springs. Your rear shocks will die eventually and this is just a massive excuse to put in a complete bilstein kit. www.shox.com are dirt cheap. Decent handling is worth so much more than a simple plus hp gain in point to point driving, braking and generally driving excitement.

6. Stage 3 stuff... I''d go chip, filter, exhaust (might want a 3" downpipe) in that order.... but its costly at 1500 bucks + for all three..

7. Front mount intercooler... difficult to do yourself and possibly costly to get someone to do it but will help spool time and inlet temps...

Beyond that it gets expensive and you need to change a lot.
 

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ditto to the last post. get the basics done first then get some performance taken care of... a chip is the easiest thing to start with, but maybe upgrade some hardware so you're not constantly retuning the car every time you change something. good luck and have fun!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
AdrianB said:
May i be boring and suggest the following things.

1. New PCV kit #6 to fix potential sludge problems (A new engine could be expensive)

2. Fully synthetic oil and a change for new oil regularly. I do mine every 10k kms for a temperature range of -5 to about 40 deg celsius of city/country driving.

3. Brakes - get new pads, ebc redstuff/pbr ceramics... stopping quickier is good as is ridding the dusty front OEM brakes. Its a safety feature ;-)

4. Tyres - make sure you have decent tyres not shtty korean rip offs that cost nothing to put on. Another safety feature....

Now to the fun stuff...

5. Suspension - bilsteins are the prefered and can beused with stock aero springs. Your rear shocks will die eventually and this is just a massive excuse to put in a complete bilstein kit. www.shox.com are dirt cheap. Decent handling is worth so much more than a simple plus hp gain in point to point driving, braking and generally driving excitement.

6. Stage 3 stuff... I''d go chip, filter, exhaust (might want a 3" downpipe) in that order.... but its costly at 1500 bucks + for all three..

7. Front mount intercooler... difficult to do yourself and possibly costly to get someone to do it but will help spool time and inlet temps...

Beyond that it gets expensive and you need to change a lot.
1. we had our mechanic do the pvc fix when we got the car...

2. just got the oil changed... with synthetic

3. my front brakes are at like 40%, so when my parents deem it a necessary fix i'll try and convince them to buy some nicer brakes

4. we just got new tires... they're mud and snow... mostly cuz during the day i park in a dirt lot... and it happens to snow a lot here... skiing anyone?

5. ok so the heavy duty shcoks or the sport shocks?... i'd probably have to get our mechanic to do that one... but when the time comes i'll look into it.

6. can i do the filter and exhaust without a chip upgrade? (those are the cheaper upgrades right?) and can you show me a link to the filter/exhaust?

7.hmmm are there any how-tos on the intercooler?
 

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you can absolutely do the filter and exhaust w/o installing a new chip. I ran my car on the stock chip and I had a full 3 inch exhaust, custom front mount intercooler, big inlet pipe, K&N and a bunch of other little stuff and it was fine... but once I got a new ECU that was tuned to work with all of my hardware upgrades, my car felt like a rocket ship.

as for installing the intercooler, its not impossible, but you can hit a couple of problems. It took me about 4-5 hours to get my front mount installed. here are the basic steps:

1. jack up the car, remove the splash guards in the passsenger wheel well and under bumper/oil pan
2. remove the bumper, remove stock rubber intake pipes going in and out of your stock intercooler
3. (this is the tricky part) get your new aluminum piping and rubber pipe connectors sorted out. measure out how you want to run the new pipes. you're going to need straight and curved pieces of pipe, or just have a machine shop build you a few custom pieces of pipe.
4. once you have your pipes somewhat figured out drill a few holes in the front bumper support and bolt the intercooler either under or behind/under the bumper supprt.
5. run all of your pipes from the turbo to the intercooler, then from the intercooler to the throttle body.

all in all its a good bit of work. if that sounds like it might be too much for you genuinesaab.com has a really nice intercooler that bolts in place of the stock one.
 

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As spoolin said, genuinesaab offers a drop in replacement that flows even more air than most front mount units, without needing to make custom tubing.

http://www.genuinesaab.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=47_53&products_id=478

I personally installed this one and couldn't be happier. It's an easy job with immediately noticeable gains, and would be my first performance mod on an Aero.

Lots of people say the front mounts are better, because it doesn't soak up heat from the A/C, but the A/C is disabled for wide open throttle anyways. Other people also claim to have data showing that the ETS intercooler is superior, but few people have actually tried both and come up with any conclusive evidence either way.

I can guarantee you would be happy with either the front mount or the drop in replacement. Huge gains even on a stock Aero.
 

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stipud said:
I personally installed this one and couldn't be happier. It's an easy job with immediately noticeable gains, and would be my first performance mod on an Aero. Huge gains even on a stock Aero.
:nono; i was specifically told by others on here (quote coming when i can find it) that any intercooler upgrades aren't worth it until about 275hp (stg 2 ish)

edit: i found the quote, it was Chris was I was considering doing an IC upgrade before anything else
http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/showpost.php?p=978363&postcount=2
 

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pdenton said:
:nono; i was specifically told by others on here (quote coming when i can find it) that any intercooler upgrades aren't worth it until about 275hp (stg 2 ish)

edit: i found the quote, it was Chris was I was considering doing an IC upgrade before anything else
http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/showpost.php?p=978363&postcount=2
I said Aero didn't I? The post you linked says 250hp, which is how much power an Aero has. Many many people suffer from heatsoaking and reduced flow in stock Aeros, especially in warmer climates. At their power levels an improved IC is a huge help.

And just as I stated in the thread you linked, I wouldn't recommend the IC as a first mod on an LPT, just as Chris stated in your link. It would be better suited for a Stage 2 or higher LPT. Stage 1 would see a benefit from an IC as well, but for the price of an IC you could get an exhaust, and then a Stage 2 tune instead. This would likely give you more usable power than an IC upgrade on Stage 1, unless you live somewhere very hot.

For a more recent thread, read up on the intercooler discussion here: http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=115299
 

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he has an 01 aero so technically he has 230hp. I didn't mean to negate what you were saying stipud, i just got confused over what had been said previously. (as for my lpt, within a few weeks i should be swapping it for a td04, so i'll get to enjoy all the benefits of added heatsoak;))
 

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pdenton said:
he has an 01 aero so technically he has 230hp. I didn't mean to negate what you were saying stipud, i just got confused over what had been said previously. (as for my lpt, within a few weeks i should be swapping it for a td04, so i'll get to enjoy all the benefits of added heatsoak;))
Apparently the differences on the dyno and quarter mile between the 230hp and 250hp models are negligible. I think the 250hp rating was simply a more realistic quote than the original 230 rating. The only real change beyond the Aero that Saab had made was for the jump to 260hp by adding the "King Cobra" intake for the 06 models.

Once you do a TD04 and a computer to take advantage of it, I highly recommend you get an IC as well ;)
 

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pdenton said:
thanks for dropping some knowledge on me :D
and by the cobra intake you mean
http://www.genuinesaab.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=471 correct?
Should I get that done before I get the TD04 fitted?
You could only get it done when you get your TD04 fitted, it wont work with a LPT turbo. If you have your TD04 already and if your close they could machine yours and then you could get it all fitted.
 

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i have the td04 turbo right now, its just not on my car. so i can send GS my turbo and get the new stuff installed now and then get it put on my car?
 

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pdenton said:
i have the td04 turbo right now, its just not on my car. so i can send GS my turbo and get the new stuff installed now and then get it put on my car?
Yes, as far as I understand, send it to them and they will machine the inlet to match the 06 king cobra. Then you can install it in one hit. But best talk to them about it.
 
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