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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
HI all


I have a '96 2.3CSE 200bhp automatic- 107k miles, which i am very happy with. Its my third 9000 and apart from a costly head gasket incident, they have all been great cars. I am planning to keep this car for a few years as i personally don't think that the 9-5 is going to be a genuine replacement for this car. So i am considering an ECU upgrade from Abbott Racing to prolong the grin factor of the car. I think it adds 35-40 bhp.
Does anyone have specific comments relating to these conversions- cost/reliability/performance issues etc would be welcome. I dont want to spend £5-600 on something thats going to eat turbos/ gearboxes, and i also have to drive about 3 hours ( legal speeds of course) to get to Abbot.
I mainly want more mid-range performance, not off the line acceleration.

All views/opinions welcome

TheFox
 

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Hi TheFox and welcome to saabscene
Your not going to get a 9-5 well thats up to you
As for your ECU Upgrade try www.speedparts.se (site in swedish) or you could get some info from there UK Authorised dealer www.elkparts.com nothing against Abbotts but speedparts seem to be more bhp per £note and come highly recommended by quite a few people.
Stay about you will get just a few replies on this subject
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the info + welcome, SaabMan.
Ahem as my Swedish isn't so hot- do you have any english links for info about the Speedparts upgrades ? Can't seem to find it on the Elkparts site either.

Cheers
 

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At the moment there are no English links for speedparts but if you click on produkten? or something like that and then follow that link for ECU upgraden (or similar) it gives the specs and prices but you will need to convert the currency to sterling and then add a bit for postage&handling.As for Elkparts just click the yellow banner at the top of this page or go to www.elkparts.com
 

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Hi,
I would seriously consider one of the Swedish
or Swiss tuners before Abbott. Abbott requires that one replaces the existing waste-
gate actuator with another that raises the
base-boost. In short, what this does is lower
the threshold by which the ECM (trionic5)
compensates for, if and when knocking occurs. Tuners' such as Maptun or Hirsch
will actually reprogram the fuel and ignition
maps without compromising the waste-gate
actuator design or Saabs' APC. What does
higher base boost give? Well, it may seem
like the throttle response is quicker, but this
is at the expense of Saabs' APC response
to knock. Besides, with a less restrictive
exhaust and especially with an automatic,
throttle response isn't really an issue. I had
the same company (Maptun) as BillJ used
to reprogram my ECM. I found them very
knowledgeable and reasonably priced, too.
 

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Elkparts are working on a Speedparts site in English. If you do not want to wait, give them a call or email, they are very friendly.
The page you want for your model year on the Swedish site is http://www.speedparts.se/prod/newupgrade/p...00_23_94-.shtml
divide the kr price by about 14 and you will be pretty close to what elk will charge. ie just under £350 for the stage 1 (35bhp) upgrade (trionic chip & JR air filter)
 

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Sorry TheFox misread your post,Ive found this out for you,
Saab 9000 2.3t M94-98 (170bhp/260Nm) Stage One upgrade (+65bhp/+141Nm) T5 from speedparts works out at under £500 If you give Elkparts a ring they will tell you the full spec and price or use the accept a quote on there web site.
A good few on this board have used them and are pleased with the results
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for prompt replies folks! Typing as fast as the cars eh ?
Interesting about the Abbott upgrade- thats the kind of info i was after.

I will investigate the Maptun/Speedparts route as well. Under £500 for 15% more power seems good value to me.

Thanks again for the input.
 

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Sorry again just ignore me I was working on a 170bhp engine.
DrD is right the stage one is 35bhp increase and is the £350 mark and it goes up to,
Saab 9000 2.3T M94-98 (200bhp/323Nm) Stage Three upgrade (+48bhp/+88Nm) comprising reprogrammed Trionic ECU, JR Sport airfilter and 3'' sports exhaust system complete with 3'' Sports catalyser (Trionic 5)at around the £850 price range
 

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I went the Speedparts/Elkparts route and I'm very pleased with the results. However, you might want to consider Maptun (www.maptun.com) - which BillJ used for his upgrade. Maptun is a little bit more expensive but I now accept that it's probably a slightly superior upgrade to the Speedparts one.

Alanb
 

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Aren't you worried about destroying your autogearbox?

I'm also keen to increase performance on my 9000 2.3T.. ..but scared to upset my nicely working autobox... the auto specialist I took my car to didn't seem to think that the ZF transmission was overly weak in comparison to other transmissions... but many people have pinpointed the 9000 auto as not being able to sustain the increased torque that an ECU upgrade will bring.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Seem to have sparked a popular converation thread here-

Mark_A- not too worried about Auto gearbox as i rarely use kickdown which i believe is the highest stress point. ( pls correct me if i am wrong).
I mainly do long A road/ motorway journeys so its mid range torque that i want rather than revving the mutts nutts off the thing )

Alan_B- what upgrade did you have ?
 

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Originally posted by robert lavergne:
[qb]Hi,
 Abbott requires that one replaces the existing waste-
gate actuator with another that raises the
base-boost.  In short, what this does is lower
the threshold by which the ECM (trionic5)
compensates for, if and when knocking occurs.   [/qb][/b]
AFAIK this is not correct; Abbott's tuning reprogrammes the fuelling, ignition and boost curves just like the others. I have a "standard" ECU plus an Abbott one for my 93 2.3T and you don't need to do anything other than swap them for an immediate, noticeable performance improvement. Abbott's reprogramming was borne out of their racing, where IIRC they were limited to 1.1 bar maximum boost so had to gain power from other mods, so nowadays their gains are more conservative than the likes of Speedparts or Maptun, who programme higher boost.

What is very common with any upgrade is to increase the base boost pressure, thus gaining more power, albeit at the expense of perhaps stepping outside the "guaranteed" safe areas at higher revs.

However, because the modified fuel mapping can take care of this by dumping more fuel, it's still relatively safe up to about 280hp on 2.3T's. Beyond that you really need to get your car on a rolling road to at least check it's not leaning out.

The only instance I know of Abbott replacing the actuator is for some of their uprated turbo kits, which they don't recommend using anyway without an upgraded ECU.

<edit>

I forgot to say, regarding autos, the real benefit you get from any of these upgrades is a significant increase in mid range torque, so I'm afraid you simply can't get away from stressing the auto box more if you want to exploit them to there maximum benefit
 

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When abbot upgraded my ecu they did not change the actuator...
however the boost pressure was roughly the same but there was significantly less lag and more power/torque...however fitting a bleed valve/mbc did significantly increase the grunt ...torque methinks I was measured at 318 ftlbs !!on the recent rr outing
My boost is limited by the std cut out ..I have
set the dd at 1.3 bar (and it still spikes )
however dawes sells a device to fool the map sensor...£20 !! ..this will be my next cheapo upgrade....300 hp here I come !!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
OK so i got lots of information about the ECU upgrade but now have to think about the AutoBox-
did the Aero Auto use the same model of Gearbox ?

I am very stringent about servicing ( oils/ fluids 5000 miles max ) and also have Transmission fluid changed every year so the car is runnning nicely, and the car has a full Saab history up until a year ago when i started using a Saab Specialist called CGS in Surrey.

I am not a balls out driver- but the occasional need to overtake quickly to get past a slower car is a) fun b)could loosely be considered a safety benefit and the extra power would help with that.
I have received info on the Speedparts upgrade ( ta /john) which looks like a good basis for tuning the car.
 

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did the Aero Auto use the same model of Gearbox ?[/b]
AFAIK yes but the auto Aero was limited to 200bhp (not 225bhp). That said Gassy is running about 248bhp through an autobox and doesn't have any problems.

The confusion with Abbott and the wastegate is, I think, because for their LPT conversions they do replace the wastegate to raise base boost, but on the FPTs this isn't necessary as the base boost is higher. I'm not sure if the internals are uprated on their wastegates: I seem to remember them telling me they were when I was looking into this a while back.

FWIW I went down the Speedparts route and am very happy with it (see team turbo europe under projects for info. Gassy's FPT is there as well).
 

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Welcome to Saabscene TheFox

It's generally said that the maximum output for an Auto box is 200BHJP, though as SteveN pointed out, Gassy is running at well over that, and believe he has done probably 40,000 miles plus with the upgrade. Think his car has done over 200,000 miles - and Gassy does like to use kickdown frequently
 

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I know a guy named JJ who posts frequently
on TSN. He works, not far from me, in Cambridge, MA. He had Abbott redo his
ECM and it did require a higher rated waste
gate actuator, which they supplied. His
base boost is now at 12 psi. He hasn't had
any knocking problems and always runs
high octane gas. However, if he should ever
come across a bad tank (it does happen
here in the states) and the ECM/APC tries
to reduce the boost to compensate, then
the lowest it will drop to is 12 psi, which might
not be enough to prevent an ugly piston episode. JJ's '95 Aero is an automatic and
he changes his ATF yearly with Mobil 1.
He also has a good 'feel' for the shift points
and never uses full throttle during downshifts
or upshifts. When he feels the transmission
is about to upshift, he lifts the 'loud-pedal'
slightly. He's got well over 100k on his Aero
and has never had a problem with the automatic, even with 220 hp at the wheels.
 

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I discussed the autobox issue with Abbott some while ago. They pointed out what I should have noticed anyway, namely that the 9000 autobox features "locked up" third and fourth gears, i.e. there is no torque converter slip in 3rd & 4th. In 1st & 2nd, it behaves like a normal auto, the revs increasing with throttle opening even though the road speed is constant. In 3rd & 4th it's like a manual, revs and road speed are purely proportional.

It was Abbott's view that in 3rd & 4th you can safely use a lot more torque than standard, so you can use increased engine performance as long as you are careful in 1st & 2nd gear. I believe they have built several seriously fast (300bhp) autos for people who can control their right foot in 1st & 2nd.

And finally, gearboxes (either manual or auto) do not know anything about power, they only feel torque, so it's the max torque figure that you should worry about. Whilst the 2.3FPT engine produces 147kW or 200bhp @ 5500 rpm in both manual and automatic form, the maximum torques are different, 323Nm @ 1800 rpm for the manual, but only 294Nm for the auto. These figures also apply to the Aero auto, whereas the manual produces 342Nm @1800 rpm to go with its 165kW or 225bhp.

It would seem therefore that ZF are only happy to warranty their autobox to about 295 Nm (or 218 lb.ft if you prefer).

Using the basic formula:

Power (W) = torque (Nm) x rotary speed (radians/s)

you can calculate the following:-
2.3FPT engine produces 255Nm @ 5500 rpm
Aero engine produces 288Nm @ 5500 rpm
a notional 300 bhp (220kW) engine would produce 383Nm @ 5500 rpm

And just in case you are still reading:

1000 rpm = 104.72 radians/second
and Americans should note that the horse power quoted are metric (735.5W) (sometimes now referred to as "PS") rather than the US version of 550 lb.ft/s = 745.7W
 
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