Changing SAAB 9000 Automatic transmission to manual
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Thread: Changing SAAB 9000 Automatic transmission to manual

  1. #1

    Changing SAAB 9000 Automatic transmission to manual

    Hello,

    I obtained a very nice looking silver grey 9000 Aero. As much as I like an automatic transmissions, I would like to change it to a manual one. The main reason being is, that I want to increase the power to approximately 300-400 hp, and the fact that the 9000 auto transmissions cannot take a lot of power, does not help.

    Does anyone know if its possible to change transmissions, and how can it be done? If so where could I obtain a manual transmission, clutch, etc? Is it a lot of work. If its too complicated, then would it be possible to rebuild and strengthen the auto, so that I could push the car daily if I wanted to? What sort of work would have to go into this?

    Any help will be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks

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  3. #2
    Motor Mouth
    Join Date
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    Re: Changing SAAB 9000 Automatic transmission to manual

    FSTSUB1,

    I considered this a while ago, even had a spare manual car available but eventually just bought another 9000. The only financially viable way would be to buy a suitable donor car. There are generally a few available on this site. I'd go for a 2.3 turbo, doesn't need to be a full pressure, 'cause the 'boxes are the same. The 2.3 has 'longer' gearing than the 2 litre so you will not be grabbing gears all the time if you go for 300 BHP. I've been in a formerly 2 litre LPT putting out about that amount and the low gears certainly made it quick off the mark but it ran out of steam well before it should have.

    You need the 'box ( obviously ), and the flywheel and clutch as well. Not sure if the flywheel just bolts on where the fluid flywheel is on the auto. If not then you will need the crankshaft as well. Hope someone can chip in with a yea or nay on this. Take the pedal box as well giving you the clutch pedal and master cylinder and you will probably want the fluid reservoir to feed it. I would suspect that the output shafts from the diff are the same but worth checking anyway.

    If you are going up to 300+ BHP then even the manual needs to be treated carefully. No dropping the clutch at 5000 rpm and generally taking it a bit easy in the lower gears. You might find that you will need an uprated clutch plate. Even a Sachs OE Aero plate will struggle with that sort of output. Most tuners to that level fit a SPECS clutch. Give Abbott Racing a call since they used to race 9000s and know all there is to know about transmissions. They even used to offer a LSD to help with the axle tramp and get the power on the ground.

    Another Guy to speak to would be Ranald at Rose Isle Motors in Dalkeith. He used to have an extremely nice Imola Red 9000 putting out around 500 BHP.

    Paul @ Kippen.

  4. #3

    Re: Changing SAAB 9000 Automatic transmission to manual

    been there done that.. lotsa work. buy a 5 spedd wayyy easier and eventually much cheaper... youv'e been warned ;-)
    While the boxes in the post 94 2.3's are longer lived. They remain in serious danger at increased boost levels.
    My old erm..'modded' 2 litre did not run out of steam, happily boosting to redline in 5th.. I suspect there was something genuinely amiss in the stated example, based on my experiences.
    Also don't overlook the unavoidable fact that fuel consumption on a heavily 'modded' Saab goes from really poor to horrific. All that hp needs comes from burning fuel ..at a prodigious rate ;-)

  5. #4
    Saabisti Jopo001's Avatar
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    Re: Changing SAAB 9000 Automatic transmission to manual

    I would be with the others - you need another car. if your desperate to keep your good condition aero get a donor and swap the parts otherwise i would suggest buying the manual aero and sell the auto. also the auto Aero has the garrett turbo rather than the bigger TD04 so an auto will only be giving around 200 bhp as standard.

    on the topic of power, you really need to choose whether you want 300ish or 400ish BHP. the garrett t25 runs out of puff around 270bhp, the mitsubishi TD04 (Manual Aero) runs out of puff around 320bhp, anything past this and you will need a hybrid TD04 which will cost around 400+ to modify a good condition TD04. a hybrid will do you to around 400bhp.

    on gearboxes, there are 3 ratios - non-turbo (short ratio), LPT (standard of the 3) and Aero (longer ratios) - ideally you want a post 1994 gearbox. a standard gearbox will quite happily take around 300bhp with no issues as long as its treated with respect (regular gearbox oil changes would be a good idea).

    to get around 300-320bhp from a manual aero (TD04 turbo) all you really need to do is put on a better exhaust system, put in a better quality air filter in the box and get it mapped by someone that knows what they are doing. this will be putting the standard system under a bit of strain but it will take it pretty easily. a spec stage 2 clutch would also be a good idea. also NGK BCR8ES spark plugs

    to get around 400bhp you need to get an exhaust system, bigger intercooler, hybrid turbo, green injectors, 3bar MAP sensor and the remap + the spark plugs above.

    with regard to the MPG ....... a 2.3 with trionic, running about 300-320bhp can still achieve about 30 mpg if its not pushed too hard.

    also depending on where you live ..... as mentioned above rose isle would be good to speak to if your in scotland OR saabflight (south of england)

    hope this helps
    JP

  6. #5
    Motor Mouth
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    Re: Changing SAAB 9000 Automatic transmission to manual

    danilo,

    When I mentioned that it 'ran out of steam' I didn't mean that it wouldn't rev., just that it got to the red line about 140 rather that the 155+ you might expect with the taller gearing.

    Paul @ Kippen.

  7. #6

    Re: Changing SAAB 9000 Automatic transmission to manual

    My CSE is a 5 speed swap, it was done over a weekend and three buddies "helping".Done over a year now, shifts great.(I had a complete donor car,and a month of planning. so should you.) only problem is I blew the head gasket from having way too much fun.
    Right now i'm trying to figure how to drop a b234 in a V6 CDE. I might wanna keep it auto too. but that's a lie.

  8. #7
    Saab Newbie
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    Post Re: Changing SAAB 9000 Automatic transmission to manual

    While I am a long standing owner of every Saab from 96 TS to modern 9-3 sport, I have only just acquired my first 9000 ( a 1997 CS anniversary). its in good condition ( no rust as its Australian) but has a faulty auto box. The box will only drive in reverse gear. I have two choices, rebuild or fit another. I have two queries.

    First, I have a 1993 non-turbo box from another car. You say this should have shorter ratios. That doesn't bother me, BUT will it fit the 1997 turboed 9000? I heard that there might be a vent with the turbo box.

    Alternatively, does anyone know if or where you can get a rebuild kit or parts for the original 1997 turbo box. I have rebuilt boxes before, so that's not an issue.

    Cheers Charles

  9. #8

    Re: Changing SAAB 9000 Automatic transmission to manual

    Hi Charles,

    maybe better start a new tread with your question?

    Anyway, the '93 N/A box will not fit on your '97 turbo for a couple of reasons:
    1. Different bolt pattern, was changed in MY94.
    2. N/A boxes have shorter ratios, not a good thing as an automatic turbo already has very short ratios.
    3. N/A boxes will not be capable of handling the torque of a turbo engine. Internally they are lots of differences, for instance N/A's have fewer friction plates in the clutch packs, thinner splines on the planetary gear set etc etc.
    4. N/A boxes lack the boost pressure connection on the front of the box. This is used in turbo boxes to increase pressures during the 3-4-3 shift under boost to prevent the box from slipping under the high torque.
    Oh yes, and one final argument for not using the old box: pre 94 boxes are much more prone to failures, the post 94 boxes are vastly improved.

    The no forward good reverse condition of your box is very likely caused by a jammed 3-4 or 4-3 traction valve in the valve body. Common problem usually caused by lack of maintenance (oil chances). If the oil looks clear without burned smells I would take out the valve body and free up the valves. Can be done without removing the box from the car and it is very likely that it will fix your problem. Good luck!

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