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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Recently became aware of the possibility of getting more power and torque from my 9000 ECO by having the ECU changed or chipped. Several chippers claim to be able to do it and offer power increases of between 25 & 40 bhp with, they say, no downsides other than increased fuel consumption if the car is driven harder as a result. Seems a bit too good to be true. Anyone tried it? Is it really as straightforward as they say?
 

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If it's a 2.3Eco then you can get a mighty 65BHP for 450GBP with stage 1 taking it to 235bhp.
Generally - the only downside is that upping the power puts more mechanical strain on eg. the gearbox. If you use the extra power all the time then things wont last as long as they would. If you are careful/sensible about how you drive then there won't be much in it at all.
The Saab engine is pretty understressed as standard, especially in LPT/Eco form so the extra power is not an issue.
Go with Speedparts, Maptun, Hirsch, Abbott for your ECU - lots of people have done it and I havent heard any negative comments.
Before you do anything - make sure the engine is running well - spark plugs, DI, hose leaks etc and that the suspension/brakes are in good order (so you don't end up in the first hedge).
 

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I recently fitted the stage 1 speedparts ECU from elkparts (their service is excellent) to my 95 9000cse and even with my limited mechanical abilities it took about 30 minutes to fit. Driven sensibly it doesn't use any more fuel and feels the much same as it did before, although I think throttle respone is a little crisper, until about 3000rpm at which point it's much much quicker. The previous poster is right though, make sure everything else is in good order as my clutch, which was already near death, now slips quite badly. The only other downside is that the standard car was slow enough to make aftermarket stuff like strut braces and stiffer springs etc seem a bit pointless, with the added power I now seem to be spending a lot of money on other toys.
 

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Welcome to Saabscene saab tyro!!

Stick with the ECU tuners mentioned above. They are experienced in the complexities of Saab. There are other tuners around that sell kit that fools the system sensors. I think that's a recipe for disaster. Done properly with an upgraded ECU you should be OK.
 

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Welcome to Saabscene

The only caveat with the upgrades is that if yours is an auto, then you will significantly shorten the life of the box if you take it above it's design limit of 200hp.
 

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Originally posted by Mark E:
[qb]if yours is an auto, then you will significantly shorten the life of the box if you take it above it's design limit of 200hp. [/qb][/b]
Or more precisely, its design limit of 300Nm torque. There is no horsepower design limit for the auto gearbox that I'm aware of. As long as the torque is limited to this (standard output is 293 Nm, I think, so pretty close to the limit) then I believe there isn't too much risk in increasing power at higher RPM.
 

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Quote: (standard output is 293 Nm, I think, so pretty close to the limit)

Is this figure of 293Nm for a 2.3 FPT? I'm assuming my 2.3LPT Auto would still have some room for an increase?

Please say yes as I like this idea a lot
wul
 

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Originally posted by wulbert:
[qb]Is this figure of 293Nm for a 2.3 FPT? I'm assuming my 2.3LPT Auto would still have some room for an increase?
[/qb][/b]
www.maptun.co.uk have the stock 2.3lpt as having 170 Hp/260 Nm. Their stage 1 upgrade is listed as 245 Hp/380 Nm (but I assume that's for the manual, they - by repute - do something different for autos.

Abbott say my abbott upgrade to my 2.3lpt auto is about 210Hp/310Nm. Which is on the limit of what seems sensible.
 

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I had my 9000 2.0 LPT chipped by Hirsch from 150bhp to 215bhp a big 65bhp with no problems, infact at lower speeds the car ran better, the servicing was done by my local saab dealer and all they needed to know is who chipped it and to what level so they could servce it accordingly, and the service charges stayed the same!

There are two downsides which did come up though, front tyre wear and fuel bills (mine had to run on 98+RON or better).

But having said that the good out weighed the bad, and if you have a higher performance vehicle its always best to look after it!!
 

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Old moaner here.

In the "any modifications" box on your insurance proposal form what would you put ???.

Apparently if you are in a crash the police can sniff a chipped ECU at 25 paces.

My AERO won't start at the moment so I'm miserable.

Moan Moan Moan
 

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I would like to know how the police sniff an ecu upgrade at 25 paces ?

I can understand if they pop the bonnet and see a rainbow of polyurethane, 3" manifold intake pipe, 6 " turbo intake (eh ylee )strut brace, blue silicon hose then they might dig deeper, but if your car looks stock, will the police still go digging ?

Just a question Haggag01
 

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A few years ago my 16V astra GTE got written off when a drunk driver parked her car into it.

Went to secure area to collect personnal stuff and got talking to the mechanic, apparently the police mechanics check for bald tyres then the ECU's on GTI/turbo cars.

I've also spoken to folks (ex-girl friends policeman brother) who confirm this.

As you say, they might never check and it might never happen .
 

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When my insurance expired in February I though that I had better declare my Speedparts ECU (50% power increase over the standard car) and prepared to pay double last year's premium.
Direct Line wanted to put it up from about £350 to £550 - better than the rise I was expecting.
Rang round and Chris Knot came up with £340 (including £20 legal expenses cover) covering the now declared ECU ***and*** change to self-employed with business use.
JFP is right to point out the potential problem - but my experiance is that it need not break the bank to declare.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks guys. What a brilliant, helpful lot of responses. V. glad I joined. Mine is a 2.3 auto and I hear what you say about the amount of torque that the box can cope with but, being technically thick, the quoted Nm's etc clear my head by quite a margin. In words of one syllable, preferably, if I mainly drive a chipped 2.3 Eco auto like the dodderer I basically am, saving the extra neddies for circumstances of extreme provocation (untimely challenges from White Van Man, reversed baseball capped Saxo pilots etc) would I be putting the box at significant risk?
 

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Yeah - I think even if you intend to be 'conservative' , its very easy to use lots of torque at lower revs in high gears without thinking about it - if you get my drift.
i.e. - In 5th gear in the aero, I can find myself using lots of boost instead of changing down. It doesnt feel like you are stressing it, but I'm probably using near peak torque. Mind you, the auto will drop a gear and might compansate a little.
Either way - I'd stick to the recommended max torque and see if you can get a mapping that's got lots of BHP at higher revs.
Like sgould says- it will exist already somewhere.
 
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