: More power?
Advanced my timing two degrees thinking I'd feel a little more kick in my 86 NA 900S, but I didn't. I'm affraid if I go any more the engine will ping. I have a cold air intake running from underneath my bumper. Now that little mod has been beneficial for me when the air temp is cold. Any how I'd like to know what other things I can do, that does not require extensive time or money, to make my SAAB more powerful?
07-11-2000, 04:51 PM
Setting any engine up is really something that can only be done on a rolling road by an experienced technician. Adding things like an extractor ehaust manifold, larger bore exhaust with striaght through silencers, big valve head and sports air filter will all improve power. But it will cost money and to get the best from them you will really need a rolling road tune. Then you have to let the insurance company know, maybe better to get a turbo model, could prove the cheaper way to the power you require.
If you are still determine to improve your current car maybe others out their have some experience? Also worth asking on the 99 section as Julian has been looking at tuning a standard NA 99 so he may have some experience.
Rolling road tune what is that suppose to mean? Notifying my insurance why would I want to do that so I can give them more money. I live in North America, and I will do anything to improve my car on my own before letting a tuner rip me off. It seems like there's next to nothing for aftermarket tuning when it comes to SAAB. My other vehicle is a VW and there are numerous aftermarket items and numerous tips on improving performance from many different people. Apparently SAAB is already good enough stock for some people not me. Are there any people out there who build up SAABs after they roll off the production line?
07-13-2000, 04:23 AM
I guess you could try a number of things ...
- Bigger injectors, presumably from a 2.3i 9000? Probably need a higher-pressure fuel pump here, too.
- Swapping the cam for a higher-lift or stepped cam (maybe from a T16S?)
- The usual breathing modifications - Jetex air filter and exhaust, and porting / polishing the cylinder head. You could maybe fit bigger valves while you've got the head off.
If you have the time / inclination, you could always take the engine apart and have the wholething dyamically balanced. But, as Adrian said, that would cost you more than just buying a turbo car.
My other car is a VW, too, and I sympathise to an extent with your comments on aftermarket tuning products. But I think the thing to remember is that all air-cooled VWs were slow straight out of the box, hence the vast aftermarket business in making them quicker. But there are off-the-peg Saabs out there with up to 235 horsepower, which is more than enough for a lot of people!
The thing is to make sure you buy the right Saab in the first place, as a turbo model (either full-pressure or LPT) is a much better starting point from the tuning point of view.
In terms of aftermarket tuners, the three main players are Hirsch, Abbot Racing and Trent Saab. I'm about to take my 900 Convertible to Abbot Racing to have a charge cooler fitted, which should be fun. Rather than ripping people off, I think the cost of the chargecooler is fairly reasonable given the difference it will make to the car.
PS A rolling road is a set of rollers connected to a dynamometer. The rollers simulate a never-ending straight road, enabling you to tune your engine accurately under normal running conditions.
PPS Here in the UK the law states that you must inform your insurers if you have modified your car in any way.
07-13-2000, 06:55 AM
Hey James let us know what difference the charge cooler makes. Try recording some times up a hill starting at a given speed etc before and after. Its a lot of money. Still think water injection is a cheaper option but not tried it yet.
Thanks James. I had an 85 turbo until someone decided to pull out in front of me and I T-boned his junk Cavalier and ended my 900T life. I keep looking for another turbo here but when I find them there are too many things wrong with them for me to be still interested in purchasing them.
I was wondering if it's possible to fit a turbo from a 900T to a 900 non turbo car as in my case?
07-14-2000, 05:12 AM
Not impossible to fit turbo but not easy. Pistons may be different (compression ration between NA and turbo engine). Over here in the UK it would be a non-starter due to insurance, much cheaper to look out for a good original turbo. Gearbox ratios I think are different also radiator bigger for turbo and oil cooler needed. Vacuum advance different and overfuelling device needed when on full boost. Its not a simple bolt on job.
Hope you find decent turbo.
Have you found the turbo! web site and TSN web site? These are both American based so have lots of people who should be able to point you in the direction of a well looked after example.
Thanks Adrian. I have not looked at those sites yet, but I will soon!
BAAS, sorry to hear of the demise of your 900T :-(
Remember, there are a few ads popping up on this website aswell now at http://www.saabs.co.uk/cgi-bin/classifieds/classifieds.cgi
Hope you're turbo-ed up soon!
Thanks John, I wish I lived in the UK, I'm here in the US where people like to buy SUVS:( I wish people here had the same outlook towards autos as you all do. Not only that but you guys get all the good cars like the 150HP VW TDI!!!
07-14-2000, 05:50 PM
Adrian, you're probably right in that water injection will get you more bang for your buck on a 900T. But for an LPT like our lovely new Convertible, I think the charge cooler is probably the best first step. A lot of money, yes, but then the car we ended up buying was a lot less than the one I was about to buy, and it's a better car, so I 'm kidding myself I've already saved money :-)
Good idea about taking some reference measurements beforehand and comparing them afterwards. There's a suitable stretch of A3 near our house which should fit the bill.
Baas, one final thought. There are a number of firms in the US, mostly on the West Coast, who could fabricate some sort of supercharger arrangement for you. Dick Lundy Industries in Orange County is one I can think of - I've seen some very neat installations of theirs using a compact B&M blower on a custom-made manifold. The supercharger from a Ford Thunderbird is another option. Big project, though!
FWIW, VW have jsut uprated their 150bhp TDi to 180bhp for the Audi A6. Not that you'd catch me driving one ...
The Abbott chargecooler *is* water-injection, isn't it? It sprays a fine mist of water into the air going in thereby making it more dense? Or am I the one that is dense?
07-15-2000, 10:16 AM
Sorry John - you are being dense again! ;-)
A chargecooler is traditionally a water cooled intercooler. The water is used purely for cooling purposes and is not mixed with the inlet air.
Going back to the original question about more power from a non-turbo saab - the most cost effective way for substantial gains is to sell it and buy a turbo. Things like free flow air filters and bigger exhausts all free up a couple more bhp but you hardly notice it that much. I'm planning these mods for my 1975 99 along with a gas flowed, reworked head/cam and twin carb conversion but the end result will be nowhere near as powerful as my 99 turbo. However, pulling away from standstill should be a bit more lively (the turbo is not very good from rest due to the low compression and very mild cam profile). My reasons for messing with my 99 are purely for fun but if you really do want more power but don't want to go the turbo route then you are talking a lot of money for top and bottom end work. There's no real cheap solution.
It is three years since I originally looked into getting the chargecooler fitted - so three years since I read the article. Makes a bit more sense now! ;-)