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1,448 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I just thought it would be a good idea to gather together in one thread as much information as we can about all of the Saab contemporary engines. (It might not be a bad idea to start a seperate one concerning the older engines as well. I just think I'll leave that other individuals, as I've not much to contribute to that.)

So here's what I'm thinking ...

Start with some general specs on the engines. These are already available on the SSc forums, but it wouldn't hurt to have them in this thread with the other info. (Just to get things all in one place.)

What I'm really thinking about is more performance differences between the engines. What sort of modifications suit different models.

Example: The B235R, when compared to the B234R, has weaker pistons. This means they are often upgraded relatively soon in the tuning process .. etc etc etc However in the same comparison, it is a more responsive engine in stock form because of a tighter exhaust turbine side, better flowing head, and lighter internal componants.

I think that gathering as much information in one place would greatly benefit those out for any serious tuning. It may even help with maintainence, though I'd like it to remain performance based as this is in the performance forum.

Let me know what you think. Good idea?
Or would you rather just keep things less general?

If you like the idea feel free to start posting any performance related information you have on the Saab engines! This could generate some very good discussion! (Though we may want to start another thread for the discussion portion later on.)


348 Posts
Hi Adrian,

good idea, but not an easy task. For example, there are multiple generations of the B235R. I know they changed from standard to forged pistons in MY2000, and they beefed up some other internal components (I have some Saab technical bulletin somewhere to prove this). However, I know at least one MY2000 B235R owner whose piston rings failed at exaclty the same mileage as my MY99´s.



1,448 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Perhaps they changed at some point mid-year?

I don't doubt it will be difficult. I'm not saying we should try to finish this right away. But I think we should keep this thread active and any time someone thinks of something new that relates to these engines they should post it. That way over time it should amount a large quantity of information into one place.

We might even see if we can't enlist the help of some Saab tech's. I'll have a chat with the one local to me. He's not a current Saab tech, but he was for 15 years, so he might know a bit about the older engines.

Just keep adding to the thread as new information comes up! Every so often perhaps one of the administrators can edit a post in near the beginning that sums up the information thus far. Or even gather it all up into once place much like we did with the Saab Jargon. Just some thoughts.


1,448 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Here's an idea for a possible format concerning the post that will be edited by the administrators every now and again as information is added. I’d like to compile a list of attributes like what follows for each Saab engine. Not for each variant though. For instance the B234R and B234L would share the same listing, but inside the listing you would show examples of how the L differed from the R, and how various years of each changed. If anyone can think of any categories we should add let me know!

I know this will be a lot of information. Small moves, just add a little at a time. Eventually with any luck the listing will become quite large, and hopefully even more useful.

General engine code: (ex: B201, B204, B234 … etc)

General Specs: (What was the engine capacity? Dimensions? Standard power outputs? What cars can it be found in?)

Cylinder Head: (are there any variations on the heads of this engine?)

Engine Block: (same as the cylinder head, but relating to the physical block)

Internal Components: (how do the internal components vary between engine variants/years?)

Ancillary Device Changes: (Were radiators and oil pumps changed between models and years? Alternators, coolant pumps etc)

Engine Electronics: (same as internal components, but relating to engine management)

Mechanical Similarities: (Does this engine use similar parts to any other Saab engines?)

Engine Generation and Differences: (ex: There were three generations of B23X engines, how were they different? How were they similar? Which generation are we talking about?)

General opinion on the engine: (Was it one of the more reliable engines? Less reliable? What were its general strong and weak points?)

Look it over and give it some thought. If you can think of a good catagory to add, or if you'd like to start on it go ahead!


1,676 Posts
Second try

B201/202 1981-'93


Capacity; 1,985 cc
Bore: 90.0 mm
Stroke: 78.0 mm

Starter on exhaust side
Starter on intake side

Pistons: cast Mahle for Turbo models
Cast Mahle, KS, Hepolite for N/A models
Compression height 39.5 mm (IIRC)
Con rods: forged steel, 134.5 mm long
Crankshaft: forged steel, 5 main bearings, thrust bearings at 3rd main bearing


B201, 8 valves

Intake valve 42.0 mm
Exhaust valve 34.5 mm

Same head casting for all versions

Sodium filled exhaust valves for injection and Turbo models

Hardened valve seats (unleaded fuel) for Turbo models; all models from 1985 onwards at latest

B202; 16 valves

Intake valve 32.0 mm dia.
Exhaust valve 29.0 mm dia.

Two head castings:

1984-'86.5: Symmetrical ports; 'swirl effect' achieved by different cam lobes for either intake valve (8.65/6.65 mm lift)
Combustion chamber volume 42 cc

1986.5-'93: assymmetrical ports; combustion chamber volume 46 cc (pistons were changed simultaneously to maintain compression ratio)

interchanges with
B212/B234 1990-'93: symmetrical ports; intake port area ~14% larger (use with B212 intake manifold on c900; B234 intake manifold on 9000) differently shaped combustion chambers. Short side intake radii are said to be not as smooth as with B202 (second version). Combustion chamber volume 48 cc.

Flow data (according to Dave, Group 9 Performance, AZ - all at .450" valve lift IIRC)

B202 1984-86.5: intake 153 cfm, exhaust 160 cfm
B202 1986.5-'93: intake 182 cfm, exhaust 165 cfm
B212/234 1990-'93: intake 192 cfm, exhaust 170 cfm

1,448 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Awesome start! Way to go EVS!
Let's work on the B201/202/212 for a bit. We may want to eventually give them seperate listings, but only if there is enough data to justify that.

Keep it comin'!


1,676 Posts
B201/B202 engine controls


Single Zenith Stromberg CDX 175 carb
Twin Zenith Stromberg CDX 150 carbs
Single Pierburg carb (later models)

Bosch K-Jetronic mechanical fuel injection
Bosch KE-Jetronic mechanical fuel injection with Lambda-controlled modulating valve

Non-lambda Turbo models had six-port fuel distributor w/ two ports blanked off; all others had smaller four port K-Jet fuel distribution unit

Turbo's had Garrett TB03 turbocharger (.48 A/R turbine, trim 40 compressor): 1981-'83 (non-APC) cars had larger turbine housing(A/R?); '88-on had watercooled bearing housing

1982.5 (US/Scandinavia?) and 1983-on (all) models had APC boost control system; new APC version (mounted in left fenderwell instead of under back seat) from 1986 has additional function of returning to base boost when brakes are applied.


1984-'88: Bosch LH 2.2
1989-'89/'90 (depending on market/model): Bosch LH 2.4.2
1990/'91: Lucas CU 14

N/A models had EZK ignition control with crank position sensor mounted in oil pump cover and two-slot shutter wheel on inside crank pulley

APC as with B 201.

Some '88 9000T models had stand-alone Direct Ignition in addition to LH 2.2 and APC

'89/'90 9000T had integrated DI/APC with digital APC (ignition and turbo boost pressure maps contained within Eprom).

900 models:
Garrett TB03 turbo (turbine .48 A/R, trim 45 compressor), watercooled bearing housing from '88 on; Mitsubishi TE05-12B turbo from 1990/'91 (depending on model and market).

9000 models:

Garrett TB03 as per 900 up to '88 (watercooled bearin housing from '87 on); Garrett T25 (most models) or Mitsubishi TE05-12B (204 bhp Carlsson models, others?) from '89.
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