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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was trying to decide on the next car to build up. Given that I have a lot of experience with the 9000, this is an easy route and I could try of couple of new things. I mean that its not like these cars are not incredibly fast, as I am reminded each time I drive the one I built up. However, the new stuff is intriguing. The problem with doing a 9-3 SS as I see it is that there is not as much aftermarket supply for these cars yet, but given the closer relation with GM, there might be more eventually and lower priced. It is tough enough trying to get parts out of Europe for the old cars, let alone any new stuff. The obvious overall factor is price. The Aero could be had and built for less than $25K USD, but the new car would cost more.

Thoughts and opinions are welcome.
 

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If you can afford it, I'd say go 9-3 SS. It has arguably the best handling potential of any Saab to date, and you can bet most of the aftermarket/racing development is concentrating on that car right now, and will for some time to come.
 

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Kevin,
I have to say my thoughts would be going the 9-5 route rather than the new 9-3SS route. At least the technology is next generation from the 9000, and still 'old' Saab. I think the 9-3SS is still far too new yet and I'm personally suspicous of the GM/Opel/Vauxhall based engines having the strength/longevity of the B series Saab units as used in the existing range, although there are plenty of companies offering tuning parts for these engines in their non-Saab guise. It's just a question of being able to marry these components with modified T.7+ electronics......
From a chassis point of view the new 9-3SS has got to be the choice without question.
 

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For the purpose of racing in the Belcar series (as an assignment from the Belgian Saab importers), Frank of Sweedspeed is shoving a B235R into a 9-3 SS. Talk about the best of both worlds...


I think from a performance perspective, the 9-5 is a bit large and heavy...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hey, easy there! That's my baby your talking about. Just kidding! We do like them large some times, but was wrong with a little more cushion? The 9-5 is an intersting idea. I could build up a 9-5 and sell it in 2 years when the new Aero SS is in full production and maybe the AWD will be available by then. If I were able to use some of the GM performance bits and get the performance in the 450+ range, then the natural question is how to get the power to the road. It was interesting that I did not see any transmission upgrades listed the the GM performance parts. I am almost sure that a standard transmission would not take the full power. Maybe the all-wheel-drive would help. I would have to agree on the suspension being a definite area of improvement. If there is one thing about the 9000 Aero that I really don't care for is the weight balance. Wayyyyyyyy toooooo much weight on the front wheels.
 

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Kevin,
I wasn't having a pop about 'largeness' in the USA, I was hinting (to Eric) that a larger car would be preferable for driving in the US. That's from my own driving experience there, driving a smaller euro-compact (9-3SS or smaller) was infinately more intimidating than driving around in a larger vehicle.
All wheel drive conversion of a 9-5 may be possible, there is a suspision it may have already be done by Anders Norstaadt Racing on a 9-5 Estate emergency/safety vehicle..??? See an earlier thread below, need to scroll down the thread a bit...

Ooops...late edit...forgot link....
http://www.saabscene.co.uk/ubb/ultimatebb....t=000453#000000
 

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I wasn't having a pop about 'largeness' in the USA, I was hinting (to Eric) that a larger car would be preferable for driving in the US.  [/b]
Try telling that my autocrossing, rallying, driving instructor friend in Atlanta. She has a classic 900T and a Scooby Impreza RS. You're not going to win the road wars with 3 tonne SUV's there with whatever car you're driving, so you might as well have something compact and nimble to avoid them.
 

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Kevin, I suppose it depends on how confident you would be in pioneering stuff on the 9-3SS. Not having driven one myself, I bow to the experience of others, but by all accounts it is a better platform to start from from a handling point of view than either the 9000 or the 9-5.

Then again, are you OK with the idea of developing your own solutions? ECU upgrades for T8 will doubtless be the first major upgrade available, in fact Abbott have one already although I don't know whether it's available for sale yet. Other than that, I think you may be on your own for a while. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, since you've obviously broken a lot of interesting new ground on your 9000 and we'd all be grateful if you could show us how to upgrade the SS without shelling out paycheque after paycheque to Abbott and the Swedish tuners.

The 9-5, on the other hand, has known shortcomings - many with known cures, available at a price. Then again, not everything's been done, I'm sure, so there is a challenge to break new ground there too. It is also a basically sound platform to start from, I believe, although I couldn't get as excited about driving one as I do with just about any 9000 (power isn't everything...)

Finally, the 9000. If you're like me, you'll have things you haven't tried yet and things you'd like to try differently if you were starting again with the benefit of hindsight. Speaking personally, I'll bet I could do a second modified 9000 before the law of diminishing returns would make another not worth doing. For a start, I'd love to try some of the stuff you've done to yours.
 

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Well Kevin, I've had a look at your Saab 9000 development chronical (erm your website).. wow!

I think you'ld get board with the 9-5... you've just about done everything you could do to one on your 9000!..

Which is handy.. because many of us are quite a few stages behind you, and you're giving us the info we need to move forward.

Go for nimble... pave the way.. and lead us all on to the SS... (so that when I get mine in a few years, you'll already have done some work that I can work towards copying... )
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Since I already have the big, fat SUV covered, strangely enough, with a British SUV in a Land Rover Disco 2003 (my wife totaled our 2002), any car is really open. Actually, I was talking with Bo Engstrom today and he mentioned the possibility of being able to get a complete drive train and engine, including turbo from one of SQR's car for a T-5 9-3, probably a 1993 model year. I hadn't really thought about doing a 9-3 since the styling never really excited me, but with an engine set-up like this, I could get interested. However, when I looked around today to see what availability there was for a used 3 door, 1999 9-3 manual transmission, it was prettly slim pickens. I would like to get a leather interior also, you know, for my soft bum. This makes the car search even more difficult. Basically a few far flung cars and I would hate to have to pay top dollar for a '99 Viggen and then rip it a part. So, maybe the 9-5 Aero is the winner. But then again, we're talking mid $25USD for a good used one. That puts me near a new 9-3 SS. Don't know, this is all to confusing. Maybe I should just build up a big monster truck like most everyone else on my block.

Cheers!
 

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Kevin....monster truck.... NO...DON'T...PLEASE.....AARRGHHH

All steel '32 highboy with a flathead and triple strombergs.....maybe ...but not the truck...

Early 9-5 Aero's can be had for less than $15K in the UK.....pity ther're RHD or you could have considered importing from UK..
 
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