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Come springtime I'll be lookin to let rip with the cheque book again and I'm starting to plan the next step which will be a stage 4.

So a few questions if any of you experienced heads could be of assistance!

My car has now almost covered 130k and has never had the balance shaft or timing chains replaced. Everything still sounds fine but b4 embarking on all this, is it worth doing them and all the assorted tensioners and sprocket thingys?

I currently have a Speedparts Stage3.
Is the Stage 4 from Speedparts made by them or Maptun sourced/aided? And does anyone know if Elkparts will supply it or do I have to go direct to Speedparts?
Also looking at their site the differences from a 3 to a 4 seem to be a race cat and an open air kit. Anyone got any pics of this open air kit? Also is the turbo upgraded?
Or the injectors?
Is it a whole new ecu or a tinkered stage 3 unit?

At this stage should I also be looking at an upgraded intercooler? Whats the difference between Elkparts and Abbotts? This seems to be the first instance where Abbotts are cheaper! Would Abbotts intake pipe add any benefit at this level of tune?( well its always looked tasty!)

And one final one....
How much of this will I be able to do for less than £3000 inc the labour at a soon to be well minted saab specialist!
Thanks in advance for your help and when this is all done I'm up for a track day in the summer somewhere!


Ta,

Andy
 

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So a few questions if any of you experienced heads could be of assistance!

My car has now almost covered 130k and has never had the balance shaft or timing chains replaced. Everything still sounds fine but b4 embarking on all this, is it worth doing them and all the assorted tensioners and sprocket thingys?
 [/b]
Well mine is a 9-5 not a 9000 but I changed from stg1 to stg4 at aroung 150k on the original engine timing chains etc. I have now covered 166k ish and still no problems
there is an old saying "if it aint broke don't try and fix it" as long as you look after your car it will be ok!
 

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well...
My aero has gone (and going through) two stages of tweakery
At 130 k I did the abbbott upgrade but my philosphy is power is nothing without control so ...gearbox and lsd and lowered final drive as well as chains and the ecu upgrade (and some poly bushes)
but to quote another phrase power corrupts and this was not enough so a downpipe and various mbc's were tried along with a suspension upgrade

now its done 200k and the strain of the 300 hp was beginning to tell so...
gearbox re-build (the infamous circlip had broken and I was living on borrowed time )
And I decided to go for a stage 6..
now to make this power reliably there is no point in trying to put it through what must be a quite tired engine so ...
engine has been stripped ,new bearings lightened and balanced crank, con rods shot peened and polished,new rings and the bores re-honed,
piston assembly match weighted.
to help the engine breathe a stage 3 semi race porting job with stronger valve springs and larger exhaust valves...
Oh and again new chains and guides....
These engines are extremely strong and hardwearing but chains and things wear out and if you are not aware of the service history you do not know if ,at 130 k ,your chain sprockets are worn down to discs !!..it happens

My view is you cannot take the chance if the car is to be a daily driver and you rely on it (if you have a few back ups this might be different)
so I would do the chains and guides before the upgrade and maybe consider a gearbox /lsd job as well
the lsd was the best modification to date imho..it transforms the car ....
just my view tho...

to answer your other questions
ic choice ..I do not think there is much to choose between them
intake pipe...looks good
open air kit
I do not know of anyone that has fitted one...
race cat is required for higher states of tune (as I have just found out
turbo ..I will check I believe that the 18 or 19 version of the tdo4 is used in stage 4/5 depending on tuner
can you do it for 3 big ones...
maybe if you select your artificers well
(my engine work is not costing much more than a big valve head from abbotts !! )
 

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My car has now almost covered 130k and has never had the balance shaft or timing chains replaced. Everything still sounds fine but b4 embarking on all this, is it worth doing them and all the assorted tensioners and sprocket thingys?[/b]
I had the timing, balance chains, gears and guides done last September. At that point the car had covered around 185K and the engine, although smooth, had a discernable rattle at idle. Since your car's only done 130K, it should be OK for a while BUT, if there are any services not logged in the service book then there might be excessive wear on the gears, in which case it may need doing sooner. In the 3 odd years I've been using SSc I've yet to hear of any timing chains slipping off but the balance shaft CAN on the earlier engines (pre-94). Apparently the balance shaft sprockets are prone to hardening on earlier cars and "it's not uncommon to see sprockets from this vintage with the teeth almost worn down to nothing".


So in essence, if you want to be safe get them done and delay the upgrades a few months or do the upgrades and make sure you keep an ear alert to any engine rattles.
 

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My stage 4 software was done by Fredrik at MapTun. The hardware (IC, injectors, JT exhaust) was sourced elsewhere. However, stage 4 is sold as a package from Maptun and includes all the things I mentioned, plus a few other items. Mine isn't a great comparison, compared to the other posts, because my mileage is relatively low. I've had the stage 4 tuning for only about 20k of the ~60k miles that are on my '98 B234R drivetrain. MapTun lists the horsepower rating @ 310 and it feels like a very conservative 310 hp with the ol' subjective butt dyno.
 

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Oh, the intercooler - I've got the Kylar Jonsson 50 mm. I'm not sure what Elkparts carries, but I paid around $750/£500 for it 2 years ago. It's a lot heavier (all aluminum) than the stock unit, but it's an essential prerequisite for stage 4 tuning. Not only does it seem to have a cooler exit temperature, the pressure loss at higher rpms must be considerably less than the stock unit. Even if the performance gains I'm sensing by the addition of this intercooler are imaginary, it's still worth the piece of mind knowing that I can
for extended periods at high speeds without worrying about holes in my pistons
 

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At this stage I'd go with the engine strip down and rebuild before adding a power hike... the reason being that you will only get the max performance out if everything is running properly. Think about it. Trionic adjusts fuelling/mapping (ie ultimately power) based on the measuremtns it takes from combustion. If the combusiton isn't "perfect", it will react accordingly and you will lose power.

The extra power will also place more strain on components, and any that are part worn will have their rate of wear dramatically accelerated.

So, I would invest the money in the mechanicals now and use whatever you have within your budget for tuning, because you can always add tunign progressively.
 

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(my engine work is not costing much more than a big valve head from abbotts !! )

 [/b]
And thats farmed out also as when I was doing research on getting my head gas flowed I spoke to a specialist company and asked if they had any experience on Saab Turbo heads. He said he'd done a few for a company called Abbott Racing down south.....only difference was he charged £350!
 

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They advertise in the weekly motoring sports newspaper. I think the reason I didn't use them myself is they didn't do knife edging of crankshafts and went to a firm who did everything inhouse that I was getting done to my engine.

What a lot of people who own Saabs do is assume the few main tuners are all that is out there.
I saw the price of an Abbott head
and bought the motorsport newspaper, looked in the ads and phoned around and had very informative talks to most specialist head tuning companies in the UK.
One company in the NW,I think, gas flow Lambo, Ferrari, Porsche heads, plus any other make including all motorcycle heads and will tell you what gains will be made and guarantee their work, Saab head rebuilt, fast road/race flow, new seals etc was priced at something like £250.
It pays to shop around.
 

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Originally posted by Mark in Ireland:
[qb]What a lot of people who own Saabs do is assume the few main tuners are all that is out there.[/qb][/b]
In defence of the main tuning companies, many Saab owners don't have the technical or necessary background to source this kind of work themselves. If you go direct to the engineering firms, then you need to know EXACTLY what you want to have done to each part being modified. The Saab specialists can take peoples "rough sketch" ideas and give them guidance offering off-the-shelf products, which although more expensive then bespoke or self sourced items do offer a greater degree of convenience for the Saab modding newbie.
 

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I'm purely highlighting other options, money doesn't grow on the trees in my garden, although my daughter would probably disagree
, and if I was a lottery winner would like nothing else to just give the car to Abbott and say tune it to the hilt, but I simply cannot justify paying their costs. Thus I shop around and will happily pass on the info so Saab newbies can have a few more options.
FWIW, when I bought my Carlsson the car had over £3500 of Abbott bills less than 12 months old for a gas flowed head, new chains, dump valve etc and I bought the car off him for £2000.
 

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Hi,

I think Mark is perfectly right. It´s the same here in Germany with Hirsch: Everyone complains about their prices, but everyone goes there - because it is the only way they know.

Thanks to the help of the people in this forum, my attention was drawn to Maptun, and I´ve paid 1500 EURO for a Stage III ECU, Downpipe, Racecat, full 3" exhaust - which is less than Hirsch charges just for the ECU upgrade!

The same thing with the suspension: The Hirsch suspension costs 1070 EURO just parts. My upgrade cost me 170 EURO for H&R springs, and 500 EURO for Koni shocks (as soon as my stock shocks wear out) - and I get better parts than the Hirsch parts (they use cheap Sachs dampers) and save 40%.

The moral of thes story: The main tuners let us pay for their knowledge - which we get for free on the internet!

Yours,

Philip
 
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