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Discussion Starter #1
While recognising that any opinion given below is purely based upon that individuals personal experience of the company, and some may wish not to fully comment on their experiences due to their being in a legal discussion with the company, I wish to capture for the record everyone's experience with the Abbott Racing.

Please write a short note describing your inquiry, business or contact with Abbott Racing and how sucessful that experience was for you.

This won't be used for any other purpose than education.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
My personal experience :

September 2001
I called Abbott wanting information on their TiD upgrade box for the 2001 Model Year 9-3 2.2 TiD - they were very helpful and invited me to bring the car over on the ferry.
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October 2001
I brought the car over on the ferry, having had a booking at the garage. The TiD upgrade was fitted, whilest at it, they fitted the VRK(minus strut brace) and a Viggen back box, the whole operation took a day, I was given a courtesy car and left pretty happy.. however,

The viggen back box was positioned way to close to the rear under valance on the bumper, which covered the rear of the car with soot pretty quickly. Also the car didn't subjectively feel really quicker, a bit quicker but not that much quicker.

Also at the time my car had Eibach springs only - and Ed critised these as being spongy and not impressive.. on the test drive (I had to conclude that this was because I hadn't fitted Abbott springs or Koni dampers yet)

Koni dampers where then subsequently fitted. Handling had improved unbelievably, however I don't know if it would have been even better with Abbott springs. So perhaps I'll take Eds word at that, but I wasn't for changing over brand new Eibach springs to find out.
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Back in NL I was having real doubts about diesel upgrade, the little light on the switch to switch it in wasn't on (never was)in either switch position, it wasn't noticably faster (however by this time I had a performance air element from JR fitted (Elkparts supplied) and perhaps that, the switch, and the backbox were having a placebo influence on me.. it was however very good around corners.

March 2002
I was over on business in the UK in March 2002, had an appointment with Howe Engineering in the UK for them to fit a set of spangly 17'' Saab alloy wheels and tyres (a very good deal) to the 9-3 and dropped into Abbott on the way home...

They took the car out for a drive and said the upgrade was working.. they moved the exhaust further away from the bumper, and charged my half an hours labour for that.

Moving the exhaust away from the bumper cured the rear soot problem.

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Back home again, I just couldn't tell the difference.. one day I ended up kind of racing another Saab 9-3 TiD he stuck with me - so eventually I got scientific. Stop watch in hand one evening I timed 0-100kph, 50 to 70KPH in different gears, 70 to 120KPH etc.. in both switch positions.. times were the same - and they were low (little quicker than standard) - so the box has never worked.

By this time it was coming up on the Saabonly Abbott trackday at Goodwood.

I called Abbott ahead of time and told them to bring a new box with them, because I was sure mine wasn't working. No problem they said.

October 2002
They fitted the new box at the trackday whilest I was at driver briefing, the little light worked.. and for the first time I could *feel* the box working.. the car felt great and much quicker.
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But the soot was all up the rear of the car again, and everytime I switched the upgrade on I could see diesel smoke in my rear view mirror when I accelerated.. it's much worse with the upgrade ON versus OFF.. and this lead to me investigating the cause, how the upgrade works, and how to really tune a diesel (Which is discussed in another post on this board).

In November 2002 I bought a 2.3 Turbo Saab 9000 for my wife...

I replaced the brakes with parts bought from Trent Saab (Stage 2 Group N kit). I replaced the exhaust with the full JT 3'' system including downpipe from Elkparts. I replaced the airfilter with a JR performance element from Elkparts. I replaced the front corner lenses with white ones from Speedparts. No problems with pricing, quality of parts, delivery or service from those vendors.
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In March 2003
I fancied an ECU upgrade for the 9K.. I had called speedparts, but they wouldn't sell one for a 1992 car equipped with TCS.

Abbott had just reduced prices on 9000 ECU upgrades so I called them.. the price agreed, the upgrade delivered almost next day. Credit card debited, it came with good instructions and consisited of a chip for DI/APC and an uprated wastegate actuator. I fitted both of these and the performance increase was impressive (adding 40HP)
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April 2003

The car's timing/balancer shaft chains were really rattling by this time, the car was dropping copious amounts of oil from several places, I had no record of the head gasket ever getting done, and the handling was woeful for such a powerfull car.

So I contacted Abbott again. We agreed a price of 3200 pounds for the following work:

New Chains, pulleys, balancer shafts, full engine out rebuild and check of bearings etc.

New cylinderhead gasket, new cam cover gasket, new oil pump and seal.

New uprated rear anti-roll bar, new abbott poly bushes on the front and rear anti-roll bars, new abbott poly bushes on the wishbone bushes, new abbott poly gearbox mount, new abbott poly top engine mounts, abbott springs and Koni dampers.

The work would take 3 weeks and I could leave my car with them and pick it up 3 weeks later. A good price I thought.. Okay - VAT would need to be added, but that was fine.

I got there and added two more things to the list - Gas polishing the cylinder head (it was going to be out anyway) and taking care of all the dents on the car. 400 pounds was to be added to the price.

I paid a 500 pound deposit and left the car.

For two weeks the car never moved from where I parked it. When I called Abbott to see what was going on he offered that they were very busy, but not to worry it would all be done.

On the tuesday before the friday that I was going to the UK to pick the carup I was rung by Abbott to say that the parts that were delivered for the engine job were not correct, that this particular 1992 car needed another kit and would I mind waiting a week.

I couldn't because the ferry was booked etc, so he said he'd do what he could.

On the Friday I arrive at Abbott.. the car is finished, everything is done. I'm presented with my bill - 5800 Pounds INC VAT. About 1600 pounds more than I was expecting!.. WHY I ASK?

Ahh, well the kit for your car was considerably more expensive than that of other 9000s (okay, but I wasn't warned of that by Ed in the previous conversation). The head also had damage I didn't know about which was one of the contributors to the considerable oil leak - which they took time to repair, and fixing the dents cost a wopping 180 pounds... also they were charging a lot more than 400 extra pounds for the gas flowed head.. also Oil, a transmission service and other fluids were charged, not on the original quote...but were necessary.. it was still a shock tho.

I negotiated on several points and got the price down to 5000 pounds, some 600 pounds more than I was expecting.

The car certainly drove very well though.. excellent in the corners and a completly different car to drive, very composed, and very very fast.

After my test drive, I drove back to Abbott.. I noticed that the top engine mounts hadn't been replaced - that was immediately taken care of and fitted. The guys at Abbott also commented on the TCS CRTL light being on.. (it was on before the Abbott work and spent a good hour helping me determine the cause of it, gratis (I should think so .
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May 2003

The check engine light comes on, the car runs roughly and rich. I get on-the-phone help with Abbott all day to help diagnose that the crankcase breather hose has perished and split, Mark Edger gets me a used one, which Bill Jones brings over from the UK for me the eve before speed 2003 - Replacing the hose cures the problem (but why didn't Abbott notice that when rebuilding my engine? - they had replaced all the small diameter vacuum hoses).

On the drive to the ring, and at the ring the car runs so hopelessly hot, I only do two laps. Bar the heat the car performed flawlessly and was a great drive.

I call Abbott at home on a holiday regarding the overheating.. he answers my questions, however typically the answer that comes back are more upgrades. They had previously swapped my 82degree thermosat with an 89 degree on. He recommends I fit their highflow alu intercooler (more cash!)..

Overall I have to conclude that the service I've recieved from them has been consistant, however, they need to sort out their quotation process and give firm quotes.

I'm not at all happy with the diesel ECU upgrade.. i think it's dangerous to fit without suitable air and cooling mods. I'm a little disappointed as to the overheating nature of my 9000 on the track.. but hey, it's a road car and is fine in that capacity.

I'm very happy with all the chassis advice I've been given, and would say that that is their core competancy.
 

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I've had my 9k Aero at Abbotts twice. Last summer I got a lot of work done - Gas Flowed Cylinder head, Trionic Upgrade, Dump Valve, Manual Boost Control, Sports Filter, Intercooler, Springs, Dampers, 308mm Brake Kit, Poly Wishbone and Anti Roll bushes, Stainless Steel Exhaust. As the distance was so great Giles met me half way to swap cars The only problem during the work was a delay in the Gas Flowed Cylinder head which was down to the third party who makes them for Abbott. Afterwards I had an issue as I wanted a road legal car but it failed its MOT 2 days later on emissions despite assurances from Giles when I collected it (quickly fixed by replacing the downpipe/cat).

This year I took it back for a check up as suggested by Giles when I collected the car. I also had the new Intake pipe installed. I travelled down to Abbott and experienced some excellent hospitality with a tour of the facility, being driven around in the R3 by Ed Abbott and sitting in the customer lounge watching videos of the Abbott race cars in action.

Overall I'm delighted with Abbott. I've spent a lot of money but as I intend keeping the car until it falls apart around me that's not an issue. The car goes like sh*t off a shovel and that's what I wanted (the original plan was to enable me to keep up with my brothers M3 cabrio - I'm not quite there yet )and I'm comfortable that the work has been done by experts which is important to me as a non-technical individual.
 

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I've had 6 Saabs in my time and five of them have been modified by Abbott - both engine and chassis. I've always had excellent service from them and have been really pleased with the end results. None of the cars have ever had a problem relating to the upgrades and the quality of workmanship is first class.
I don't live too far away so always go to them for fitment which allows them to sort any issues there and then and they always take me out in the car before payment to make sure that I'm happy with the result. In short - highly recommended.
 

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Abbott Racing-

Dealer that i bought my current 97' 9000 2.3lpt rang Abbott - who mentioned the ECU upgrade discount, so i ordered it there and then.Couple of days later and spoke to Giles and asked about what else they would recommend/ benefit the car.


Two weeks later I drove to Abbott and had a great day. I have had ECU/dump valve/ replacement Abbott downpipe minus cat, and Poly Anti Rollbar bushes all round.
Work was done whilst i waited- was given a loan car so that i could pop to a pub for lunch.
Came back to find Ed going for a test drive in my car Boost pressure was ok- they tested the Saab Alarm /immobiliser was working ok and off i went.
Car was transformed- throttle response between 1800 and 3000 rpm is excellent. MPG has improved, and the car is far quicker than my old 2.3 FPT. Abbott estimated car was producing 220-230 BHP.
Very happy with the work done, as were the 3 other LPT 9000's owners who were also there for ECU upgrades on the same day. I also learnt loads from talking to Ed about ECUs'/ turbos/ exhausts / tuning, which was a bonus.

As soon as budget allows, then i will be going back there to talk about Springs/shocks etc. So as you see i am happy to deal with them again.
 

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Not....

I've had 2 contacts with abbott racing, both have been very negative...

First was, a rear camber problem, I thought I'd take it to someone who knows modified saabs to get it fixed, seemed the simplest way!
I was 'lured' into going there on promises of an easy fix, and being told they have the nessercery 4 wheel alignment tools...
How wrong? They checked the car over with 20 year old manual tracking gauges, and told me my rear camber was to much (which I already knew!) Ed then proclaims this is all down to eibachs being fitted.... too low ride height... when measured against 'project 9-5' shows incredabily similar ride heights

Then the tech procedes to tell me you can't adjust the rear camber on 9-5's... so I explained how you adjust it.... anyway they couldn't do it, they really didn't have the tools for the job. He adjusted my front tracking... Only later when I went to trents with it, did I find out the tracking was toeing out instead of in... gee thanks!

Another occasion I witnessed the single most appaling lack of aftersale customer services I've ever seen... (and I watch rouge traders on BBC1) but I won't go into detail as thats not my story.

Needless to say... despite them having a couple of products I'd like they will not be getting a penny in business from me.
 

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Wow, talk of diverging opinions! I ordered a ECU upgrade from Abbott last week, mainly because of the positive feedback concerning Abbott in this Forum. Well, I will report as soon as I tried it out. Giles was very responsive and nice so far.

Yours,

Philip
 

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My experience has been that some suppliers are specialized in certain areas. My experience with Abbot for a '94 9000 Aero (www.kyankton.net) has been a T5 ECU (changed for SQR box), rear sway bar (changed for SAS bar), rear shock brace (nice piece, but worth the cost?), poly wishbone bushing (available now from several sources), and their "high flow" intercooler (soon to be changed for a much more efficient one that costs less). While some of their suspension pieces are nice, if not overly priced, you can get most of the other engine performance parts for much less from other UK suppliers like Elkparts/SpeedParts or Trent or for that matter, go directly to Sweden. Based on my assessment of their pricing and customer service, I would suggest that unless you have gobs of money to throw away it would probably be best spent elsewhere.
 

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I've dealt with Abbott now off and on for about 5 years.

When assessing the merits of an aftermarket supplier it's all too easy to focus down on specific issues rather than look at the overall picture.

There's no doubt that some of their prices are high- they're trying to recoup their investment as one of the leading Saab tuners. I think in many ways they're shown the way forward and deserve credit for that.

However they need to consider their commonly perceived market position as one of a number of possible tuners.

The quality of work I have had from them has always been absolutely top notch, no mistake. However I would agree with Mark that they are not always so good at accurate and timely estimates. Mind you, in my experience they're certainly not alone in the Saab indy sector in that respect.

The Saab aftermarket tuning business, whilst being small, is nonetheless very competitive. There has certainly been a tendency for all of the tuners to slag one another off. However, in my case, Abbott haven't done that. They've been very helpful and offered assistance to me to help resolve the problems I have encountered with ECU software from another supplier. They have been sympathetic and supported my chosen route of tuning. However I think this in part is because I have established a good relationship with them. I have no doubt that they get an awful lot of speculative enquiries and also folk just simply trying to sponge knowledge off them...

IMO where they do have the edge over most of the other tuners is that they are UK based and offer a genuine complete package.

All "tuning" has it's downsides; it's not without reason that manufacturers don't wreak the maximum out of their vehicles. I think we have to accept that in most cases the tuning will inevitably result in a deterioration in longevity.

So, yes, I can certainly recommend Abbott. You just need to establish the relationship for both parties to get the best out of it...
 

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I noticed a lack of boost when I first bought my 9-3SE, and took the car down to Abbott. Dan diagnosed the fault within a minute, and the wastegate was replaced. The bill was quite hefty at £365, but I caughted up...

Earlier this year I had my ECU remapped, again by Dan (I'll miss that guy ), but had the ECU swap-out and the Abbott clamp fitted by Two Stroke. They charged me far less for doing the job dan Abbott quoted me .

Funny thing is that after Ian and Dave at Two Stroke re-adjusted my Viggen suspension setup after fitting the Abbott clamp, I have been less inclined to upgrade the suspension with bits form Abbott. I would have to drive another car with their kit, before I could say if it would be worth the dosh.
 

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I've had a few dealings with Abbott and have already posted the problems I've had with them either here or on another Saab board. They are most helpful on the phone but that disappears when ever I turned up. I read a great report about someone who travelled down from the north in this months SOC magazine...maybe I should mention I'm going to be posting or writing for a Saab magazine to get the wonderful service other people have received.
I will never use them again and will always try and use the services of other suppliers.
The prices of some of their products are rediculously overpriced, but as I've metioned before if they sold square wheels, there would be a rush of potential buyers.....I don't fall into that catagory I'm pleased to say.
 

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I think the price issue seems to be the predominant factor regarding posts about Abbott, with some notable exceptions of course...

I think the problem here is that Abbott I feel set prices, not only to reflect development costs, but on the premises of the tie with Saab-City and the upgrading of 'new' cars supplied by them. This they were very successful with, but this market seems to have dried up a bit and they aren't able or prepared to price some of the stuff (particularily regarding tuning stuff on the obsolete models)to compete with the other Saab specialist tuners. On the other hand the advertised prices of a part seems to include the fitting charge if you are able to get to them, in which case the price looks more attractive. I've used them on several occasions, including LSD supply and fit, and I've not complaints, so far, but that doesn't mean I don't use others if they offer a better product.
 

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This is my 3rd 9000 which has been modified by abbott and the best so far. an aero with all the trimings, including their new intake pipe. It would appear you pays your money and take your chance, well that's why I go to abbott because I or they don't take chances. As I live in Fife in Scotland I'm quite happy to drive down periodically to get an injection of "abbottitis", either in problem solving or add-ons. On all occasions I found them to be helpful, professional and supportive. When your the best in your field there are always people trying to put you down. The best usually doesn't come cheap.
 

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Prices for Trionic 7 ECU upgrade for Saab Viggen:

Abbott GBP 339,57 incl. Fitting
Elkparts=Speedparts GBP 503,70 exl. Fitting, but Including Air Filter
Maptun 702,66 incl. fitting (but in Sweden)
Hirsch GBP 1064,16 excl. fitting

All Prices are exluding VAT.

So for ECU upgrades, Abbott are quite cheap in fact. Regarding suspension, they seem to be very competent. I think it is not fair to compare them to Elkparts or Speedparts because latter won´t do any fitting or development- they are only boxshifters.

Please correct me if I´m wrong.

Yours,

Philip
 

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Originally posted by philip hs:
[qb]Prices for Trionic 7 ECU upgrade for Saab Viggen:

Abbott GBP 339,57 incl. Fitting[/qb][/b]
On their site, it says £535 + VAT for a 9-3 upgrade. It doesn't give a separate price for the Viggen, but since they have a link on that page to the upgraded Viggen power curve, I'm assuming the Viggen is the same price as all other 9-3s. In Saab Driver, their advert says until 6th June (too late now) all upgrades are £499.95 incl. VAT (usually £720 incl. VAT), but this includes a "free service" which includes Mobil 1 oil, plugs, filters and labour.

Including an hour's labour at Abbott's rate, I make the service worth about £140.
 

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Hi Bill,

399 incl. VAT is what they charged me. I think their website is not up to date regarding ECU prices: Ms Welham (their secretary) told me that all ECU upgrades were reduced by 25%.

100 Punds more (= the advertised 499) for 5 litres of mobil one, new plugs, filters and fitting seems sensible to me: My local saab dealer charges 75 pounds for 5 litres of Mobil One 0W40 alone...

Yours,

Philip
 

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Hi,

my ECU from Abbott arrived yesterday. I fitted it today and had a rather lengthy adaptation run. Works fine, without any problems. It´s especially nice to get that kick in the back when opening the throttle at 110 mph :) And acceleration in 2nd gear is awesome ... I´m very happy with Abbott!

Yours,

Philip
 
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