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Discussion Starter #1
Well, I had the pleasure of driving John/ 's 9-3 last night, now that it has a full performance exhaust system and the Maptun stage 2 ECU.

Flippin' heck - what a difference!
I drove this car originally with a Hirsch cat back exhaust when it was delivering around 210bhp. Now, it has 248bhp/260lb. Before, it felt quite ponderous compared to the 9000. Now, it feels very similar in performance terms to my 290bhp 9k. Power delivery is different, with the engine feeling free'r revving than my 9k. This may be due to the different ECUs (mine is Speedparts), but whatever it is, it adds to the driving experience.

Although (strangly) it suffers from a load more torque steer than the 9000, the handling balance with Eibach suspension and 17" Hirsh alloys (nice!) is so much better than the 9000. It feels more 'chuckable' round corners and the ride quality is much better too. Makes me start to think that the Koni's that seem to be a stock 9000 upgrade, are actually rather primitive units. Someone needs to get Leda/Nitron/Pilbeam etc to make a bespoke set of shocks to compare!

So, I can't wait until John/ gets the stage 3 ECU fitted, which should hit 270bhp!
 

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Having had the pleasure, ooh err...

I can wholeheartedly concur with Jezs' comments. /johns ride handling compromise is far less so than with a Koni/Abbott 9000. The chassis is well controlled without the harshness that is let through on the 9000.

I think the 9000 has the advantage with the extra 300cc though as the weights are broadly similar. A case for a pie free diet?

Nick.
 

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Pilbeam[/b]
Pilbeam suspension, hmmm, do the do engines and chassis too?

270bhp is pretty darn good for a 2.0l stage 3 trim...thats the same as the non Aero 2.3 stage 3 kits
and only 10 behind the Aero stg 3's!!

Andrew
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I think that my 9k is still slightly faster (it feels punchier mid range), but there really is not that much in it. I never thought that a 2 litre would ever feel so quick & that is before the stage 3 ECU has been fitted!
 

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I also tried it a couple of weeks ago- before the exhaust upgrade.

The engine is indeed very nice, and pulls very sweetly indeed.

The ride is a very good compromise but my opinion was that the power is too much for it in it's present configuraton. I'm comparing it against my 9000 here (which now has front and rear strut braces as well as Konis, full poly etc) and talking purely about the handling under power rather than ride comfort. Under acceleration, I can feel the front of the car twisting and moving and the steering becomes vague and it drifts under torque steer.

I'll admit I am being very critical here, but I think it's only fair to put another side of the argument for balance.

In terms of day to day living with it, I would completely agree that /john's set up is far more refined than a 9000 with Konis, but we are talking performance here and my own viewpoint is that the power abilities of the car now outstrip those of the chassis.

None of this is news to /john, I hasten to add, because I said this when I drove it and urged him to fit the VRK- then let me have another go and see if I can manage more than 3 laps round the roundabout with squeeky tyres
.

So, to sum up, I think it's a great compromise but it's a compromise... sort the chassis before the horses
 

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Discussion Starter #6
What's a VRK, Mark?

Certainly, it does move around a bit under hard acceleration. 9000's don't seem to do this. Still, it is a great drive, & I will be interested to see how scared I am when it has 270bhp.
 

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This is what we are torque-ing about:
Perhaps I can now understand what they were getting at with the Viggen?
 

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Originally posted by /john:
[qb] ...but this problem can largely be resolved by sensible application of the throttle[/qb][/b]
PMSROFLLL! I see, you mean Mrs /john doesn't notice it in the week so you get away with it
 

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My mum's 9-3 2.0T conv recently went down to Abbott's for some extra
and just the rack brace/poly bushes rather than the full VRK (so no subframe brace or rose joints).

It's only 225 bhp and auto, but with a banana chassis like the convertible who needs/wants more?!

The rack brace made a huge improvement to the torque steer and turn-in precision. Even if you don't go the full VRK route /john, I'd recommend this any time. Wish I'd done it on my 9-3 when I had it. The subframe brace in the VRK really takes a big chunk out of your ground clearance so I'd be wary if you use the car frequently on bumpy roads or your local council has speed hump fever like they do up here...
 

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Originally posted by fliptop:
[qb]The rack brace made a huge improvement to the torque steer and turn-in precision.  Even if you don't go the full VRK route /john, I'd recommend this any time.  Wish I'd done it on my 9-3 when I had it.  The subframe brace in the VRK really takes a big chunk out of your ground clearance so I'd be wary if you use the car frequently on bumpy roads or your local council has speed hump fever like they do up here...    :rolleyes:   [/qb][/b]
The VRK does indeed do a great job of taming torque steer. Virtually non-existent here, even when being very daft with the loud pedal!

I can honestly say the sub frame brace has never caused clearance problems for me in the eight months I've had it fitted, even the awkward wheel width, square shaped speed bumps are fine.

The worst speed bump I've ever seen is at my local cinema (it's huge! narrow and high
) and would regularly take a bite at the sump guard on my T16S if given the slightest chance, I'm sure it would love rip bits off the front spoiler of the 9-3 if given the opportunity too . So far even this monster is yet to trouble the sub frame brace... touch wood!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
So, John/, it sounds as if you need to spalsh out on a few more bits, perhaps??


John/ + 'sensible application of throttle' - is that a joke?
 

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Originally posted by SenTineL:
[qb]I can honestly say the sub frame brace has never caused clearance problems for me in the eight months I've had it fitted, even the awkward wheel width, square shaped speed bumps are fine.  
[/qb][/b]
Fair enough, I'm just conscious that I managed to bend (like, flatten!) one of the beefy tie strap mounts (or towing eyes or whatever they are) underneath my 9-3 when grounding it on a bumpy stretch of North Yorkshire countryside.

Well, OK, this particular bit of countryside had been covered with Tarmac but you get my drift...

At least it made me slow down for, ooh, at least 25 seconds while I made sure I still had some oil pressure
 

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If anyone is interested, I'd love to hear your stories on racing conquest with your cars under the "900 racing stories" topic in the NG900 category.

Sounds like something I can only dream about for now...as I slowly build my 97 900T up.

I also wondered if the VRK would fit on the NG types. Couldn't find enough information on the AbottAmerica site.. most of it is non-op.

The torque-steer is incredible sometimes, and I'm surprised SAAB has had a service bulletin for warranty upgrades.

Still trying to find more on ground clearance using the kit....

DC
 
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