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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been tossing around ideas of what I'll eventually do with my 9-3 when finances permit. This post will only deal with the engine and head setup that I'd ideally like to go with, with references to the turbo and supporting mods being mentioned for references. Mainly I just want clarifications, input, as well as good donor years to go with.

OK, so I have the 99' 2.0L T5. I'd like to eventually go with a 2.3L or possibly a tad larger if the bores are done which they will be done if this route is taken. I'd also like to have a head from a T7. So, either a T5 2.3L bottom end with a T7 head, possibly T5 cams or custom grinds aiming for low to mid range power as the turbo should pick up the slack for the top end, especially if a bigger puffer where to find home under the hood. It'll be a street car so torque and low speed grunt with lots of mid-range will be the goal. Clarifications I need advice on are:

1. Can I just stroke the 2.0L block I have now for simplicity's sake as well as the bells and whistles incorporated into the block? (Would be a full on rebuild with new everything and machine shop work done to it)

1a. What would be the best year for a 9000 2.3L crank? (would probably be easier to just buy a complete engine)

1b. What's the HP/TQ rating on the 2.3L's crank and connecting rods for the "best" year in question? Only the pistons would be new and forged of course ;)

1c. What's a safe piston size to go with? (Longevity and durability are goal here, not displacement bragging rights)

2. What are good years for the 9000 T5 2.3L's to start a good foundation on if I go that route? Not interested in T7 blocks.

3. What's the best T7 head/years that I should go with? I know nothing about T8 or other years assuming they're compatible; is the T7 head the way to? Figure the flow should compliment the larger displacement from the 2.3L stroke as opposed to the T5 head. Even considering head porting on a T7, as well as 3 angle valve job, pocket porting, blueprinting everything.

4. What's the best intake plenum to go with? Extrude honing the T5's plenum is a possibility, but it's not cheap and I want to make sure the performance gain per $$ is worth the extra work, or if a particular year is better as-is, like say from a 9000 car?

OTHER STUFF: It'll have full 2.5" exhaust from down pipe to muffler with a race cat or high flowing cat and most likely a T25 with the GT2860RS compressor wheel and housing, or maybe a 19t. Not going for MAX dyno numbers here, going for real-world street performance with a fully usable power band and where torque is king. Also going to stick with a 2.5" exhaust unless it gets past say the 350 WHP mark as I don't want the loss in torque when off boost. (please don't argue this one with me, I'm set on this) If EGT's are too high, I'll get the 3" DP. The transmission is debatable at this point. Will probably stick with a 5 speed and maybe some goodies in it like 4.45 final ratios if I can get the 1st gear ratio a little wider so it's not entirely useless. Thoughts? :cheesy:
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
People are S-L-A-C-K-I-N-G on here lately. No one knows anything about the 2.3L from the 9000? If I go and post in the 9000 section, will they ignore me too as they won't know anything about the 9-3 or the T7 heads? Am I the only one who has aspirations of actually doing more to the engine than just adding a semi truck diesel turbo and bragging about racing his Viggen in 5th gear @ 3300 RPM'S against his EVO and loosing? I'm just saying :cry:
 

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sounds like you're not afraid to throw some $ at it, I'd go for a b205r with some forged pistons. I know you said no b2x5, but when you get rid of the stock pistons and rings you also get rid of the problems that plagued those engines.
 

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crank rods and pistons should be diff. bore is the same. if you decide to go 2.3 get the rotating assembly balanced, or you will be spinning main bearings like i keep doing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
crank rods and pistons should be diff. bore is the same. if you decide to go 2.3 get the rotating assembly balanced, or you will be spinning main bearings like i keep doing.
Are you using a stock harmonic balancer? I'm wondering if when you guys up the max RPM with a tune if it's exceeding the factory limits. Are the flywheels balanced differently between the 2.0L and 2.3L? Am I assuming this is what you're referring to by balancing, and not the individual weights of the reciprocating assembly?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
sounds like you're not afraid to throw some $ at it, I'd go for a b205r with some forged pistons. I know you said no b2x5, but when you get rid of the stock pistons and rings you also get rid of the problems that plagued those engines.
Money at it will be an eventual thing, like when it gets to sit during winter. Trying to just set a realistic goal now, something to think about and work towards it. It'd either be this, or an early 80's Fox Mustang with a turbo set up which I'd probably get into some serious trouble with. Anyways, this car is fun for being FWD and something still new to me.
 

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Balancing is done by placing the assembled rotating assembly into a machine and measuring off balances. Then they drill out spots in the crank weights to balance the assembly. The factory balancer is all I know of and the flywheel should be balanced from factory

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Compatible 9000 engine is 94-98. They didn't change the engine much. Actually at all

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Balancing is done by placing the assembled rotating assembly into a machine and measuring off balances. Then they drill out spots in the crank weights to balance the assembly. The factory balancer is all I know of and the flywheel should be balanced from factory

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I'm used to the 302/351 Fords where the crank was already a certain balance say 50oz in late model, then you just match the harmonic balancer and flywheel both being for 50oz. Any idea what Saab is at? If everything is factory balanced and matched, I'm betting high mileage HB @7k+ is killing the balance. I know race they have better HB to handle the higher speeds and keep everything quiet, but i'm guessing Saab ones are stupid $$
 

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Pontius:

What would be the point to all this work? You can get all the HP and torque curve you want from your T5 with the right mods. Why spend a few thousand extra on this plan? It would be way kuel, but I can't see how there are any strong benefits. Unless you plan to set a new HP record, it seems like a lot of work you don't need to do.
 

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I'm used to the 302/351 Fords where the crank was already a certain balance say 50oz in late model, then you just match the harmonic balancer and flywheel both being for 50oz. Any idea what Saab is at? If everything is factory balanced and matched, I'm betting high mileage HB @7k+ is killing the balance. I know race they have better HB to handle the higher speeds and keep everything quiet, but i'm guessing Saab ones are stupid $$
i put in brand new bearings and checked the tolerances with plastigauge, everything checked out. the 9k engine isn't meant for the kind of abuse i put it through. but with talking to john, a balanced rotating assembly and coated bearings is how he makes them last longer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Pontius:

What would be the point to all this work? You can get all the HP and torque curve you want from your T5 with the right mods. Why spend a few thousand extra on this plan? It would be way kuel, but I can't see how there are any strong benefits. Unless you plan to set a new HP record, it seems like a lot of work you don't need to do.
First off you get more torque down low which gets the car up and moving which I know you know. If the NA side of the engine is greatly improved early on, then obviously the turbo multiplies the gains if done right. If I can get an engine making 310-400 HP from say 2k RPM to 6.2K RPM, it'll be a killer and extremely fun and rewarding to drive. If I just pop a bigger turbo on, then it'll be like a lot of other cars that don't do much until 3k+ RPM which, to me at least isn't fun in street situations where I spend 95% of the time. Having cut my teeth on Mustangs in the 13 sec and 11 sec range, getting the power down low is something to experience. If I had kids and a wife, obviously I'd need to be on a Dentist's salary LOL, but I've got none of that, so I say why not? It's still cheaper going this route than hunting down an early Fox in either pristine condition to start building on, or most of the mods I'd want it to have before hand. Most of what I want to do won't really add much to costs over getting the engine in the car rebuilt as 2.3's and T7's are plentifully cheap. And I'm planning to keep the car for sometime to come, so why not go all-out with it. If/when the time comes to sell, if it's a legit 12 sec Saab or quicker with say nitrous, I think it'll be an easy sale to recoup from. I need a hobby with rewards :cheesy:
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
i put in brand new bearings and checked the tolerances with plastigauge, everything checked out. the 9k engine isn't meant for the kind of abuse i put it through. but with talking to john, a balanced rotating assembly and coated bearings is how he makes them last longer.
I wouldn't overlook the harmonic balancer or the flywheel in the equation. If the flywheel is off but everything else is spot on, it'll eat the rear main as well as other bearings. I had it happen when I swapped a T5 (5-speed trans in Fords) in a Mustang I had as the PO decided to go with an older style crank and harmonic balancer so I found out the hard way. It was balanced for the old setup and ran great with a C4 automatic. But switching to the manual trans and a billet flywheel destroyed it.

Another thing you could do is lower your MAX RPM'S to stock or say 6000 to save the vibrations from exceeding the limit of the stock harmonic balancer (and avoiding it from blowing apart) which is the only thing that can really be changed to accept the higher RPM's. And make sure the flywheel is balanced correctly and not missing any weights if it's set up with them. If it were me, I'd get a 9000 flywheel or a new aftermarket light weight one, a new HB, and go to town. I'm not a big fan of high RPM's though as it's much harder on the engine and obviously requires more work and specialty parts to keep it stable.
 

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i think your over thinking all of this, and setting yourself to spend a lot of money to be dissapointed.

the b234's can do 500bhp in stock form without flinching. they were over engineered and spending tons of money on high dollar parts really only makes it faster in the form of wallet weight reduction.

get a 94-98 9k engine, pull it apart, clean it up, balance it and have the head cleaned up if your really anal.

you really want a bad *** daily driver with all the low end your after? have JE build you a custom set of pistons after you do the math and create a 10:1 cr motor (really not difficult to do) and throw an 18t on it.

i also think your kidding yourself with 2.5 inch downpipe...your shooting yourself in the foot. even a t25 will spool faster with one.
 
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