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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

Dulux, Trixy and Myself are embarking on a little adventure. We are creating a stripped out track day car.
None of us have done this before, although we have all modified cars in the past.

We will, if you are all interested, post some updates here as the car progresses.


We are on virtually no budget for this project, so it’s not just a case of going off to Maptun with a shopping list. (As much as we'd like to!) Everything we get out of this car will be by our own blood, sweat and skinned knuckles! (And maybe some begging and pleading!)

We would like to hear your own advice and thoughts. So if you feel you have something to contribute let us know!

We have already acquired a car for the project. I'm sure there are arguments for and against a range of Saabs that would be ideal for a track day car, but we chose this one:

A 1992 Saab 9000 CD Carlsson. It’s the 2.3 Turbo engine, we would have preferred a 2.0 Turbo to keep the weight off at the front, but beggars can't be choosers and we only paid £500 for it.

We plumped for the CD due to the stiffer body shell. The 9000 also has a stronger gearbox over the 900, which we also considered.

I'll post some pictures soon and I’m sure Dulux and Trixy will be along soon to add their 2p's worth.

I look forward to seeing what you all have to say!
 

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We plumped for the CD due to the stiffer body shell. The 9000 also has a stronger gearbox over the 900, which we also considered.[/b]
Aye, quite a few people were surprised how well mine cornered at Anglesey (when I actually tried a bit). Looks a gorgeous car, I really must get a Carly bumper for mine so I can fit the rest of the kit. It just makes the car look so slick.


The problem you'll find is that power upgrades on for the Jetronic/APC are hard to come by. If you search this forum you'll find plenty of previous discussions on this matter, but, if you're not bothered about engine preservation you can fit and MBC and turn it up to 11. Best of luck anyway guys.
 

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I've a set of special rippled black trackday doors I'd swap with your nasty flat black ones...

I'd say that if you stripp out the ACC/AC than the front end weight of the 2.3T will not be too dissimilar to the 2.0 with AC, and the 2.3 does have the ability to pull itself along nicely..

Andrew
 

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Am I right in thinking that the 2.3 Carly box had a longer final drive ratio than the 2.0? In which case this is a far bigger disadvantage for track use than the slight weight penalty.

Good luck, I'm sure we'll chip in whatever we can
 

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Looks like a v.interesting project. I'd be tempted to go for a stand-alone ECU on a track car. But if your on a budget then that wouldn't be a priority. Maybe a wide-band lambda sensor, fuel-pressure gauge and some other monitor equipment would be useful. Also a DIY water-injection system wouldn't cost much and might be quite a bonus.
 

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Originally posted by Bubbles:
[qb]Am I right in thinking that the 2.3 Carly box had a longer final drive ratio than the 2.0? In which case this is a far bigger disadvantage for track use than the slight weight penalty.[/qb][/b]
Pretty sure, having done track days with three different final drive ratios in my Aero, that it all depends on the circuit. No ratio will be perfect for every circuit so you take your pick, really, and it all averages out in the end. I didn't think the longer gear ratio came in until the Aero arrived. Certainly my '91 model CD 2.3T had the shorter final drive and I didn't think the Carly was mechanically different at all from other 2.3Ts with sport suspension. In fact, I thought they were "Carlssonised" by the UK distributor.

Anyway, the upshot is that it matters a lot less with a big torquey motor than a little normally-aspirated one. If anything, I'd say higher gearing is better when you've got a big fat torque curve. Fewer gearchanges. That's my experience anyway. The only time I've ever struggled to find the right ratio in the Aero was when coming out of the hairpin at Anglesey. Then again, I had exactly the same problem at the same place with both the 90 and a 205GTi - both pretty low-geared (especially the 205).

Anyway, sounds like a fun project. I'd say strip it out, spend as little as possible on it and learn to drive it well. You'll out-perform a lot of other good track cars.
 

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Fortunately it is actually quite a low spec CD carlsson - so it doesn't have aircon as it was optional in 1992 - so that's one less task to do.

I think it has quite a long final drive, but since the speedo isn't working (any ideas) it is hard to say 100%. I certainly don't think it is as low as the one fitted to my Aero (which I believe is off an lpt. This would be lovely with a really slick gearchange, but with the saab change it is a bit of a pain sometimes.

I looks like it's cheaper to get a trailer than it is to insure it for the road, so it will be completely stripped of anything deemed unnessesary, and performance mods will probably be more Heath Robinsonish than were it a road car. Hopefully we can get something that is quick enough and light enough to give us a bit of fun and let us know we are in the track car rather than our 9000 aeros etc.

Look out for bits of Carlsson appearing on ebay soon!
 

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First rule of performance: lose weight!

So you are doing the right thing there
I would also bleed the brakes and put DOT5.1 (compatible with DOT4) fluid in there. Having done three trackdays I have had my brakes bled after every single one of them


Look forward to seeing the car
 

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Quick list of what I'd do


- Have a good check over the car and replace any iffy looking bushes or other worn suspension components.
- Strip all interior out of car, take everything possible out of the car.
- Weld/Rivet plate over sunroof and remove existing sunroof drain tray/mechanism
- Remove every other bolt from front wing securing points etc.
- Fabricate stiffer rear anti-roll bar
- Disable APC and run with MBC, if your sensible the DI should be able to retard timing sufficently to keep the engine safe.
- Convert to studs from wheel bolts, much easier for quick changes at the track.
- Replace all pads with suitable material front and back, 1166 or DS Series.
- Buy a roll cage (250quid from Safety Devices) as the only major expense on the car, it'll stiffen the shell and keep you safe, plus you should be able to cover the cost by selling the interior.
- Buy/Beg/Borrow/Steal some slicks.

Job done and for a reasonable cost.

Matt
 

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So on the weight issue apart from interior is there anything else we sould be removing?

What is the opinion on track interior? is it worth diy'ing a roll cage or is that more dangerous than nothing?

So you are doing the right thing there I would also bleed the brakes and put DOT5.1 (compatible with DOT4) fluid in there. Having done three trackdays I have had my brakes bled after every single one of them


Brakes will be completely stripped and fluid changed, aparantly the fluid boils near the calipers so just bleed it through, this is another reason why we bought a separate car and the principle of trailering it to tracks, sinec we all have carr which are required on a daily basis, it will take the pressure of our own cars.

I am really looking forward to the track experience, which I think is hightened by having a track prepared car, stripped/sticker
, then actually start trying to learn how to drive track styley.
 

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Originally posted by Tricxy:
[qb]I think it has quite a long final drive[/qb][/b]
Not sure about the earlier gearboxes, but on the later ones the final drive ratio is marked on the plate at the top. On my Aero's gearbox it says "i=3.61", which is the long 3.61:1 ratio. Having been through 4.05:1 and 3.8:1 as well, I prefer the highest ratio. Standing starts aren't necessary on a track day and with the higher ratio you might find you can use 2nd gear for some slower corners, so you've gained an extra gear.
 

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Originally posted by Dulux:
[qb]So on the weight issue apart from interior is there anything else we sould be removing?

What is the opinion on track interior? is it worth diy'ing a roll cage or is that more dangerous than nothing?
[/qb][/b]
For the amount an off the shelf bolt in cage costs its rarely worth making it yourself, unless you already have the jigs etc. to triangulate the cage and cross members correctly.

With sufficent weight reduction the standard brakes with some decent friction material should cope reasonably well. With less weight in the car they have less energy to disipate and therefore heat buildup will be lower. Go for some Brembo discs, 5.1 fluid and good friction material and if you can get the car down to 1200kilo's of there abouts you should be okay. Might also be worth looking into ducting some air to the brakes to aid cooling and removing the disc guards if fitted.

Matt

[Edited To Add] If you want me to have a ring around and get you some prices/suppliers for a cage, extinguisher etc. let me know.
 

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Thanks for all the helpful suggestions.

As far as a cage goes, we need to look into what is allowed should we ever decide to use the car for anything more than trackdays. The funds arent there to fit a cage yet, so that really is something to think about in the future.

In terms of modifications - we have access to a full blacksmith's workshop, and skilled welding, but can see that items like a roll cage might be easier bought.

The car has a steel sunroof, so we could just weld that in and take the gear out. That woudl help with headroom, as some people are quite tall!
 

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And a bigger intercooler! You should be able to pick those parts up cheap at the local junk yeard or on this forum!
 

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And a bigger intercooler! You should be able to pick those parts up cheap at the local junk yeard or on this forum!  [/b]
There isn't much out there that will be a big improvement over standard and fit without major mods to the front of the car. The upgraded ones from Abbott and Elkparts are very expensive
and are designed to fit within the radiator and a/c condensor so are only approx 2" thick.
Larger ones are available out there but you have to go abroad to get a better deal on them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hi All.

I have spoken to safety devices and they no longer make a cage of any kind for the 9000.

They apparently made one once but it was a custom build - Very pricey!

Looks like it may be a case of get in the workshop and manufacture one...
 

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Mac, Dulux and Trixy,
Have a word with the guys that took their CD on the Anglesey track day. Dave Rowbottom is a college lecturer and his mate, from Trent Saabaru IIRC
The college had done the car as a project, and although basic in it's ideas (no ECU reprogramming here!) they did a roll cage from scratch, and very nice it was too. I believe the cage was made to a design from Safety devices, so there's a precedent for them giving away their spec.

Nick.
 
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