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Discussion Starter #1
Right now on my 2000 9-3se HOT i have:

cat back exhaust
JR open air kit
HyperBoost dump valve

My question is...I plan on getting JT 3in down pipe with hi-flow cat soon

and also whant to get SQRs ECU upgrade from Engstrom

and was told that the stage 3 was made for 3in dp
but what would happen if i went with the stage 2?say i baught the stage 2
then got the dp what would i do? or i got the dp
without getting any ECU yet....?

im looking for more information/advise...

thanks a lot.
 

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Yes, stage three upgrades from all the swedish tuners require a 3" downpipe.

You will notice a significant improvement in performance just by fitting the JT 3" downpipe. I was blown away by the improvement whilst running it on a stage two upgrade. The estimated improvement (based on results between rolling roads) is in the order of 12-15bhp from the downpipe over the stage two with cat-back exh only.

From my own experience I recommend the following:
<ul type="square">
[*]Stage One is fine on an otherwise standard car.
[*]Sort your suspension before going to stage two.
[*]Sort your brakes before going to stage three.
[/list]
Of course, I sorted suspension after stage two ...and I now need to look at brakes
 

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Actually, in hindsight, I'd recommend sorting suspension and brakes before any power mods. But then again, the power is where the most fun is at, isn't it?
 

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IMHO a full 3" exhaust is the first best upgrade you can get. Just my oppinion obviously ...

I think it's better to increase the volumetric efficiency before buying a chip that adjusts the fuel/timing/boost curve. The stock T7 system (at least in this climate with California reformulated gas) seems to be already at the heat and knock limits ... so for me reducing wasted power in restrictive exhausts and intakes is first priority. Also reducing the tendancy for detonation with water injection. As you, iwantaviggen, also live in california, but not in as dry or hot a region, you might consider the same sort of process. Buying water injection, exhaust, and intake first ... then once completed just going straight to the stage 3 chip. I think you'd see more peformance out of water injection and a good exhaust and intake than you would a chip. Combined price of an Aquamist 1s, and downpipe would be less than the price of just a stage 1 ECU and I think would give better results for this region, and on our gas. You might also consider a better intercooler before next summer as the stock factory unit is not, at least not to my standards, adequate. (You can purchase an intercooler from a 80's Chrysler turbo car that only had about 175 hp and flows 320 CFM for about $50. The Viggen unit only flows 125 CFM and is used for 200-230 hp. Flow isn't everything, but you can see why one might be a little disturbed by that.)

Just my thoughts on it all anyway ... keep on Saabin'


Yours Truly,
Dubbya
 

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I've installed the free flow air filter (K&N), hyperboost bypass/diverter valve, 3 inch dp and race cat. Essentially all of the components for a stage 3 before installing the remapped ECU, and noticed an immediate improvement in performance...

However I've found that the car seems to run leaner because the stock ECU can only compensate so much. Without the stage 3 ECU to compensate by increasing fuel supply to counter the leaner mixture. The turbo spools up incredibly quick to pump more boost/air, but you need the stage 3 ECU to adapt by countering for increased fuel needs.

I've been considering stage 4 but find that I need the bigger turbo, with injectors match and a more efficient ic to pump more airflow and fuel efficiently. But it goes without saying that, suspension and braking are especially important before moding the car for increased hp/torque at that level....so back to Eric's page.

I've found the recommendations on Eric's page very helpful before proceeding..... hope you do too.

http://www.lehigh.edu/~erp4/Saab.html

DC
 

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Originally posted by Adrian W:
[qb]You can purchase an intercooler from a 80's Chrysler turbo car that only had about 175 hp and flows 320 CFM for about $50.  The Viggen unit only flows 125 CFM and is used for 200-230 hp.[/qb][/b]
Interesting info, Dubbya. Will the Chrysler intercooler fit a NG900/9-3? Is it bigger than the Saab intercooler?
 

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It wouldn't be a direct swap, and the frontal facing area of the intercooler is smaller. However, it has more rows, and the rows are both thicker and taller even if not as long, which gives it about the same total surface area. Relentless Racing makes double and even tripple versions of this intercooler core. The core itself can only be found in the US to my knowledge.

A better idea than buying a chrysler core might just be having this place make a double core of your existing unit. IceSaab did it with his 9000, and a 900/9-3 Viggen style intercooler can be made into one as well. But because of limitations on space ONE of the three following modifications must be done to fit two together (the first two double the forward thickness of the unit, the last makes it taller):

1. The aluminum bumper insert could be either cut to fit the intercooler, or removed to give enough forward thickness.

2. Removing the A/C condensor would give roughly the forward thickness needed to get two cores together.

3. Relocating the horns, low pressure switch for the condensor, and Receiver/Dryer for the A/C should allow another Viggen intercooler to be stacked above the existing one.

Also the above mods would be usefull if you wanted to buy a Spearco Intercooler or something along those lines. Unfortunately Saabs weren't built with a lot of space for intercoolers, so if you want to install a significantly larger unit you're just going to have to get a little creative.

Earlier I was just pointing out how deficient even the Viggen IC is, I don't even want to think about the NG900 and C900 stock intercoolers! Jebuz ...

Yours,
Dubbya

edit: At the spearco site they list an intercooler that flows 320 CFM

"3.5"Dx6.8"Wx11.75"H 215 320 2-222 2-113"

It's rated at 215 hp. So if 320 is good for roughly 215 hp, I really don't think the stock Viggen's 125 CFM is adequate at all.
 

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Thanks for the information, Dubbya


Back to topic:

The SQR stage 2 upgrade doesn't need a 3" downpipe. After adding a big downpipe your Saab will probably be even more powerfull than the quoted 235hp for stage 2.

When my car had a stage 1 upgrade with 3" downpipe, exhaust and some intakemods, it delivered over 250hp at the dyno. However, we didn't measure A/F ratio. If it was running lean, Trionic would have reduced boost because of knocking tendencies. At 250hp for a stage 1, it doesn't look like boost was reduced, so I suspect fueling to be adequate.

Before deciding, it would be wise to take DC_SAAB's remarks into account and give Frank at SQR a call.
 

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Adrian, how do you explain all the 9K guys getting 300+ hp with their stock intercoolers that flow 83 cfm, then?

Kevin K did some calculation on Saabnet regarding IC flow versus airflow requirements for a typical, highly modified 2.0 Saab 16v T engine. His conclusion was that at the airflow level associated with 250 crank hp, even a worst case scenario (9K IC) will give a pressure drop of about 1.7 psi (With a late-model c900 IC, for instance, it would be 1.3 psi, as with the thinner of the Abbott 9K IC upgrades).
In all literature I know to date on the subject, 4 psi is deemed the 'acceptable' limit for pressure drop across the intake.
If you are a racing team, however, the threshold for things being 'acceptable' is a bit different, and Spearco sells their IC's for racing purposes mainly...
Looking at OE IC's, I do not know of anything that would make the cut according to Spearco's standards. Even on high powered applications you see crossflow IC's with the airflow through the narrow sides of the intercooler, i.e. an IC that's 20" wide, 6" high, and flows from left to right. Unless the core is like 10" deep , physics forbid that those will flow much better than 100 cfm or so. The IC's you find in Evo's and Skylines are similar to the 9000/9-5 sort of thing, only the cores are about 1.5 times as thick. Call it 130 cfm, then.
The cars they're in don't seems to have a problem with that on the road, though - their 'unsuitability' only comes to light with exhaustive sessions on the dyno (that's why dyno tests as a benchmark can be deceiving - you're potentially spending lots of time and money to make issues 'right' that don't play near as big a part on the road/track). Look at the stock 9-5 Aero - its IC (same as all other 9-5's) flows a meagre 76 cfm according to Abbott. Now if you drive this car, I doubt you'll fail to be impressed with the performance and lack of turbo lag on it, given its not inconsiderable bulk...

As said before, it's the balance of flow and cooling efficiency that matters. If an IC poses a considerable restriction in the intake path, it better make up for it by cooling the charge air to a very large degree, but if it does - it might be perfectly OK. The turbo might have to work a wee bit harder and it takes a little longer for the air mass to get pressurizes by the turbo - but the, if the charge air at the IC's outlet is, say, 30 degrees C instead of 65, the cooler, denser air more than makes up for it. And a small core (for instance in a liquid/air IC) flowing 100 cfm might give the same amount of lag as an intercooler that flows better, but has a significantly larger internal air volume.

The bottom line is that there's a 'better' solution for everything. But before you make yourself believe the 'better' option to be mandatory at a certain stage, ask yourself whether there might be more worthwhile gains to be made elsewhere for the time and money involved. And even then, you might be chasing ghosts by assuming your accumulation of 'best' parts and techniques will make a better car overall. If you're Map Tun or Speedparts - sure, you'll build a 650 hp Saab just to prove a point. But if you're a private person that pays for everything out of his own pocket and value your own personal driving experience more highly than bragging rights, you might well conclude that the standard 250 hp car is the better one on the road (certainly an easier one to drive...), and spend the difference on a Porsche, TVR or Noble instead...

Another point is, I can't help but notice that the complex of performance issues in the USA seems to be centered somewhat more around traffic light burnouts and sanctioned drag racing compared to over here. This will mean US tuning firms might place a bit more emphasis on big mofa turbo's and IC's than is the case here, where most drivers want to have a bit more urge for overtaking, more instant throttle response, sharper handling and better braking - both the first and second of these objectives can be perfectly well met using software upgrades as mentioned in the original query. Yes, our IC's might get heat soaked when racing from stop light to stop light, but that is rather untypical a situation for real-world driving over here. You're either in traffic where you just go with the flow, or in a 20/30 mph zone in built up area's. A bit more sluggishness from a heat soaked IC because of the spirited backroad drive or motorway blast that got us to said light won't matter too much, as long as Trionic adapts and protects.
Certainly, a lot of the stuff US-based websites have on offer for relatively humble FWD Japanese and VW/Audi cars looks like huge overkill for exploiting the overall capability envelope of those cars, except when quarter mile ET's are your thing.
It also seems like (paraphrasing a recent Saabnet discussions) the general concensus is that there's no such thing as too big an intercooler, where a recent technical paper from OE supplier Behr on charge air cooling technology indicates that keeping internal air volumes small for the sake of throttle response is an important consideration when designing CAC systems for OE applications. As a relative layman, I would tend to go with what OE engineering finds rather than do the opposite...
 

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Eric, Dubya - do you think that is best as a separate topic, otherwise we risk commandeering iwantaviggen's question?
 

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I'll 2nd that suggestion by /John. But can someone in admin sort of "cut & paste" the intercooler responses at the top of the new topic? It's all VERY interesting stuff to me.
 

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And to actually answer the original question, it is most advisable to get all the breathing mods done first and then go for the ECU to maximize it. Therefore, I suggest getting the downpipe and such done first and then go for the suitable ECU upgrade.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
thank you /john...and thanks to evryone

i do have some susspetion
Eibach lowerin
steering brace

and soon to have Koni adjustables and rear sway upgraded

So what i got from all that was do the dp first then go for the ECU...but if i do this...it will obviously be running lean...im just worried that it will be running that way for a couple of months without a new ECU to boost the fuel....is that bad?

i think ill stick with my stock cross-flow IC for now..and hold off on the water injection till summer...

as for brakes?..when you say upgrade..do you meen bigger brakes? better pads? better rottors? i planed on slotted rottors and new pads..and also upgrading the clutch...

and how would all that power sit on 18 in wheels? if i where to ever get some...

thanks again evryone!
 

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'better pads'.. don't worry about leaning out.. as your airmass meter and lamda will sort that out if you fit a 3'' downpipe.. and 18'' will look nice I'm sure.. but make it a pig to steer... stick to 17''
 

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Originally posted by iwantaviggen:
[qb]So what i got from all that was do the dp first then go for the ECU...but if i do this...it will obviously be running lean...im just worried that it will be running that way for a couple of months without a new ECU to boost the fuel....is that bad?[/qb][/b]
I have some figures somewhere for A/F ratio for my Stage 2 with a JT3" downpipe when it was dynoed a couple of months ago. I do not recall that there was any issue with it running lean. I will see if I can find the data.

Originally posted by iwantaviggen:
[qb]as for brakes?..when you say upgrade..do you meen bigger brakes? better pads? better rottors? i planed on slotted rottors and new pads..and also upgrading the clutch...
[/qb][/b]
Better pads is good. My experience is with Pagid fast road on standard Saab discs - an improvement over standard Saab pads. Good for fast road use but probably not up to heavy track use.

Better discs will help in conjunction with pads - I am sure there will be experience and debate on this - I have no direct experience apart from Pagid FR with Brembo discs which are an improvement over standard.

Slotted rotors (grooved discs) - lots more brakedust - my brembos are grooved. I think they're better but I never got the datalogger on the standard set up to perform comparative analysis


Clutch - I have no experience of this. For my requirements I think the Saab one is OK

HTH
 

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Just to back up Mark A and /john, the car will not lean out with the addition of the downpipe. The Trionic, or any stock engine management system can get the fueling right for the increased flow the big fat downpipe can deliver. even on an otherwise stock engine, a bigger downpipe can only do it good as it helps pull the excess heat away from the head and turbo adding to their longevity. Then, when you get the stage 3 ECU upgrade, it will be then maximizing the boost you can safely use and change the fuel and timing to match that. And away you roar!


I can also back-up the fact that stock size discs are adequate and perform well even on the Nurburgring. A good aftermarket pad is the best thing you can do for your brakes for a relatively small price. In the US, you can look for Hawk HPS pads, EBCs and others. Slotted discs have better initial bite but do not necessarily cool better. They also create lots of brake dust. I can say their performance in wet weather is outstanding. Although not cheap, I highly recommend KVR Performance to source the discs. They properly machine the stock units and offer CAD plating as well. They also carry their own line of carbon pads as well as many other brands.

And finally, IMHO, if you are getting bigger wheels for looks and money is a concern, leave the wheels for last on your list. The performance gain to be had with them is minimal over good max performance tires on even you stock size wheels. I guess it will come down to what your personal priority is.

Have fun!
 
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