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Discussion Starter #1
Somehow, some way I was able to get my hands on a 2009 Saab 9-3 Aero [6MT, XWD, V6] :cheesy:... granted, the engine does need to be rebuilt 'cause it jumped time :D. But I think it'll be a pretty sweet project car once finished. I've done a solid amount of research and have sourced a vast majority of the parts I'll need.


One hiccup I'm having however, is what to do with the B284 pistons: there doesn't appear to be a ton of aftermarket (or OEM) support. On stock internals, these motors are good for some solid power figures. I don't really need to go aftermarket forged for what I'm looking to do. But I can't seem to find a stock OEM set that isn't $300 a piston :roll:. I could always get a forged Wössner set for $800, but then I worry about daily drivability. So piston slap, blowby, oil consumption, and just general longevity. I've read a few conflicting thoughts on the matter, so I would definitely like some input on that.


If I do end up needing a new engine altogether (I'm still assessing damage), I'd hate to purchase the motor and then the forged pistons to top it off. At that point, it seems way more economical to buy an LY7 motor (cheaper), buy a set of pistons for $200, and engine swap the car. The aftermarket support for that motor is soooo much better when compared to the B284, which isn't saying much lol. Of course doing such a swap would have its own adventures haha.


I'm not sure how active the Saab forums are anymore (I've missed the golden age :cry:), but I'm all ears to any help, suggestions, and critiques you guys may have (I may also just be talking to myself over the next few months lol). But I figured this could be the start of a cool, summer build thread.


TLDR; where can I find cheap OEM B284 pistons? What are your opinions and experiences on forged dailies? I might LY7 swap the car. This will probably turn into my build thread ;ol;.
 

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One thing you haven't mentioned - why are you in search of pistons? Are the existing ones toast from valve contact or something?

Also, swapping in the LY7 - I assume you mean the 3.6NA engine - will be an extraordinary feat. I don't even know where you'd begin for engine management.

In my opinion, your best bet is to source a used B284 (if you can't rebuild the existing), tune it, and call it a day - you will be more than happy with the result.

If you want to read about a B284 big power build, here you go:

https://www.saabcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=250532
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The heads are pretty much ready to pull at this point, I'm just waiting to pop off the harmonic balancer so I can remove the timing chain. I'm not too sure on the condition of the pistons atm, but the motor had ~200k miles on it before it died, so I'm sure it's time for a rebuild. I plan on pulling the motor, so I figured I may as well replace wear pieces (gaskets, pistons, bearings, timing components, etc) while it's out. Even if I got a "new" used motor, I'd prob want to replace the pistons anyways.


And I figured the LY7 (3.6 NA non-DI/VTT) would be difficult on the tuning side. I know the engine is pretty supported in Australia, so I thought perhaps I could ask around over there. Could also ask JZW for his tuning knowledge, but it seems he's out the game.


I'll more than likely go the forged piston route. I just want to make sure the rebuild will last as a daily.


But I actually have that thread bookmarked ;ol;. There's a lot of good stuff there.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So the engine is completely disassembled and it honestly doesn't look bad. The timing chain was pretty loose tho. If I had tried, I could've probably pulled the chain off one of the cam gears by hand. But the head looks undamaged and the valves (while dirty) are seating fine. The pistons have a ton of deposits, but look structurally fine otherwise. The cylinder walls are smooth. And there were no metal deposits in the pan/oil pickup. So I think I'm just going to make sure the original pistons are within tolerance and just run with them.


Below is a list of parts I've already sourced and figured I'd replace while rebuilding the engine. Any suggestions for anything I should add (or remove) to the list ;ol;?


I'm also not 100% sure on what I'm doing with the heads... Are the valve rollers (rockers) and valve lifters pieces that really need to replaced? The engine has 200k miles on it, so I imagine everything has some wear on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Engine is out and is completely stripped ;ol;. Parts are currently being ordered and hopefully it's a pretty straightforward, uneventful rebuild lol. I was gonna replace the clutch assembly while it was out anyways, but, man, that DMF is completely trashed. I could jiggle the pressure plate by hand back and forth a decent amount before even engaging the flywheel.




But that brings me to my next point... what are people doing for their high performance, non-race clutch setup :cry::cry::cry:??? I have been doing a ton of research to find a **street** clutch that can hold around 500lb-ft of torque at the crank (JZW stage 5 numbers) which seems nearly impossible for this car. It seems SPEC is the only company with a complete solution. But between build quality, customer support, and everyone claiming they slip like no other, SPEC products seem iffy at best. I've read suggestions to go with a SACHS pressure plate, but that doesn't have the pound rating I'm looking for.


I was thinking about Frankensteining something together under the pretense that an F35 pressure plate could fit an F40 flywheel (minus some pin manipulation), but I don't have any hard confirmation on that. If so, I could potentially go Fidanza/SPEC flywheel, ACT EVO IX clutch (240mm @ 1" 23 spline), and ACT Cobalt SS pressure plate. But idk :roll:.


I could go with a ZZP Southbend F40 setup, but I refuse to use a 6-puck race clutch. CG Motorsport seems to have some really good stuff for Vauxhall/Opel, I'm just not sure about their reputation. They definitely have the performance numbers tho. The twin-disk clutch developed on this site by SPEC seems promising, but that entire thread was a fiasco, and I don't know how I feel about unsprung discs with a solid flywheel...


I got no response from CG motorsport from an earlier email, but I think I'll try again and see if can find some review info. Worse comes to worse, I guess I just keep it at stock power figures ;oops:. Any thoughts?
 

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What do the Cobalt guys use?
 

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Sorry, thought we were talking about this car:

My Saabs: 2003 Saab 9-3 Vector [6spd]

Anywho, 500ft/lbs reliably? That 6 puck might be your only hope.
 

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On the clutch.... with the XWD Aero the stock flywheel mixed with a SACHS custom clutch has done fine for me. The XWD Aero has a slightly larger OD flywheel so it can hold a bit more torque than the FWD clutches.


Apparently California Customs makes an upgraded pressure plate for the stock DMF.... If you get one please let me know how it works out!


My Aero has been modified pretty much to the limit of the stock turbo frame. 20T, upgraded injectors, open downpipe/catless, D088 Intercooler, D088 intake piping from the turbo-IC-intake, etc. Without a custom turbo setup I can't really go any further with the exception of methanol (my fuel economy is bad enough now, so don't get me started).


The clutch setup I mention above has been fine for me, and I'm about 15k miles in, albeit I don't clutch drop every time the light turns green, but I can chirp the tires with it on launch, so it seems to have plenty of holding capacity, unless you are planning more mods than I listed above. I know you mentioned forged pistons, but unless you're doing a custom turbo, you don't need them. In theory these pistons/con-rods would probably be acceptable up to ~500 hp.


The SACHS custom clutch is just a stock clutch plate with a custom friction material that they have developed. If you're interested let me know, and I can send you the part numbers. I think they are also somewhere in the threads linked above, but those are pages on pages on pages.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The 500lb-ft figure is a slightly arbitrary number. I'm really just looking to get the most power I can get from the platform on stock internals. So like JBarstad, just the 20T turbine and supporting mods to start. I read that JZW's tune puts down around 500lb-ft to the wheels (https://www.saablink.net/forum/performance-modifications-new-9-3/59646.htm), so I figure a similar tune would be comparable and I'd need a clutch to hold close to that 500 figure.


I've heard about California Customs but after reading this (https://www.saabcentral.com/forums/showpost.php?p=6386762&postcount=475), I'm not too sure. But honestly, if the SACHs clutch and pressure plate are doing the job, I much rather go with a quality product.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
So progress is coming along. The engine def jumped time, but no catastrophic damage. The pistons are cleaned and in good shape, which means no valve contact or bent valves ;ol;. I have a whole bunch of parts coming in, and the more I buy, the more I realize I'm missing lol. I should probably get a new set of banjo bolts and washers for the turbo. I know's there's a braided turbo line Mamba kit for the B207R, anything for the B284? But I'm hoping to have the engine rebuilt by the end of the month :cheesy:.

Also, has anyone attempted to throw on an ATI super damper from the LLT V6 Camaro? An LLT = DI LY7 = Bored & stroked LP9. So I could see it definitely working. Just gotta make sure the crank dimensions check out (https://www.phastekperformance.com/2010-Camaro-V6-ATI-Underdrive-Balancer-918637-2011-p/ati-camaro-balancer-918637.htm)

Before:


After:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Granted I'm still not 100% sure the engine won't grenade on start, I like where I'm at ;ol;. The engine is completely together. The cylinders were deglazed, new rod bearings, new piston rings, new valve springs and seals, all new timing components installed, and a slew of new gaskets - amongst many other things. Hopefully I'll never have to replace anything again for the life of the car haha. Of course I have a drill bit stuck in the trans bellhousing where the slave bolt goes :roll:, but once that's out, the car is ready to go


For those interested, I opted to purchase an ACT EVO IX rigid clutch disk (240mm) - in combination with the stock AWD DMF. I could've purchased a 3000GT VR4 clutch disk at 250mm, but it was sprung, and I figured the decrease in surface area would equate to an increase in pressure on the disk - even if slight.





 

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Discussion Starter #14
So it's been a bit, but BIG update: she runs 🙌! Granted, it's a little rough haha. I'm hoping that's product of bad gas however. The car has a full tank of fuel which I'm assuming has been in there since January at least. I threw in some water remover and an octane booster, but I'm sure it could use a drain and some fresh 93. I'm also getting 3 DTCs: P0352, P0354, & P0356. I installed brand new spark plugs and cleaned the coils to no avail. I'm hoping the presumably bad gas may have a part in that, but worse comes to worse, I'll purchase new ignition coils and see what happens.


From my last post, the drill bit in the bellhousing was an absolute pita 🙄. I ended up pulling the trans entirely and pulling the bellhousing off. From there I had enough space to remove the drill bit, and retap the hole to a larger thread size. Got the transmission altogether and properly reinstalled the slave. I remarried the engine and trans outside the car and dropped it in as one unit (the only possible way to do it from the top).


As of the moment, my problems include a coolant leak (small), a non charging battery, a little rough operation (idles at 750 which is nice), and some DTCs. Hoping to knock all those out soon. I haven't tried, but I think I could drive it around town now 👍


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