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Discussion Starter #1
I am thinking of replacing my stg1 2.3 9000 with a late 900 or early 9-3.
Has anyone driven both..... will the lower weight of the 9-3 make up for the smaller engine capacity.
What I realy like about the 9000 is the wave of torque - does the 9-3/900 have similar characteristics?

Cheers

Alyn
 

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Ooh! This could start a war...

Leaving aside the chassis elements for now, assuming your car is a MY94-, then you have the best engine for tuning potential. The 9-3 isn't that much lighter than the 9000, and there's no substitute for displacment.

The stock intercooler design is also much better on the 9000, and you can go a long way (circa 300hp) without needing to change it.

I haven't driven a 9-3 with a fully sorted chassis, but my view is that the basic 9-3 chassis is not as good as the 9000. A good illustration of this is the universal slating that the Viggen received in the press for it's terrible torque steer and front end vagueness under acceleration. Abbott designed the Viggen Rescue Kit, which sorted most of the problems out.

So, I'm going to say a late model 9000 is your best bet for tuning... simply because you have to do less to it.

I'm sure others will be more than willing to lend their views...
 

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If it's torque you're after, get a 9000 Aero. The engine has great tuningpotential. You'll never get the same torque from a 2.0 engine.

If you're man enough to handle a powerfull FWD car, get a 900/9-3. Torquesteer's not a problem, it's fun!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Torque steer........pah........Renault 5GT turbo in the wet......ah!!!!!!!!! happy memories


A low mileage Aero is probably my heart's desire, but there aren't many around.....unless you've got £8k plus for the one being sold by a well known tuning firm

Alyn
 

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Hi Al,

To reaffirm Marks comment, the 9-3 is not significantly lighter than an Aero 9000, I've weighed both at the same weighbridge at the same time.
Even a tuned 9-3 can't produce the torque of an equivilent Aero, Ok if you leave the Aero as standard and tune the 9-3 then you'll reach an equal point but then tune the Aero and it's sure to have more torque.
However, the ride/handling compromise of an Aero is just that, a compromise. On my local roads the smaller lumps and bumps really do transmit through to the cabin, which is a basic failing of the 9000 range. A 9-3 in comparison starts of with a more insulated cabin, which in conjunction with an Eibach spring and damper set-up gives a beautiful ride, nicely controlled over the undulations with little of the bump/thump coming through to the cabin.
I can't say what it's like at the limit, as I'm not sure /john would like his pride and joy being taken that far, but at sensible speeds it gives you confidence in the 9-3 that the 9000 doesn't.
Personally I'm waiting a while for a 9-3SS with sports suspension, now that will be something else!

Nick.
'93 Aero + a mod or two.
 

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Originally posted by cdcarlsson:
[qb]Personally I'm waiting a while for a 9-3SS with sports suspension, now that will be something else! [/qb][/b]
Not necessarily!! It crashes into potholes and rattles the car. On old concrete motorways it's very tiring. You can feel your fillings loosening


But on good roads
Corners like a go-kart
 

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Originally posted by cdcarlsson:
[qb]To reaffirm Marks comment, the 9-3 is not significantly lighter than an Aero 9000, I've weighed both at the same weighbridge at the same time. [/qb][/b]
Here are the numbers:

1996 SAAB 9000 2.3 Aero, 1473 Kg
1994 SAAB NG900 2.0 Turbo, 1320 Kg

Take 153 packs of sugar in the trunk and go for a ride.........you'll feel the difference.
 

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I echo CD Carlsson's comments.

We are not talking about a 900 for weight comparison & re 9-3 - 9000, weighbridge's don't lie!!

Performance wise, I think the 9000 2.3 will outdo most 9-3's, unless you have about 5 grand to spend on engine mods. I know that my Speedparts Stage 3 Aero can still pull away from John/'s lovely 9-3 (although the gap is narrowing all the time!!), despite the tall gearing. 9000's also seem better controlled under hard acceleration than 9-3's - difference suspension design, I guess.

As for the new sport 9-3, it's just too heavy to get like for like performance with a 9000.
 

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Originally posted by Mark E:
[qb]I haven't driven a 9-3 with a fully sorted chassis, but my view is that the basic 9-3 chassis is not as good as the 9000.[/qb][/b]
If both cars are stock in the suspension department, I like the 9000 better. The ride is a bit more relaxed. It's probably because of the longer wheelbase and wider track. I'm comparing my father's '89 9000 and my '94 900 when it was on stock suspension here.

Next comparision, my brother's Abbotted 9000 (Abbott lowering springs, Abbott uprated rear anti-roll bar, Abbott uprated anti roll bushings, Abbott uprated wishbone bushings, Koni adjustable sports dampers) and my Hirsched 900 (Hirsch Performance springs, Koni adjustable sports dampers).
Lowering springs in conjunction with Koni's have a bigger impact on the 900 than on the 9000. Probably because the 9000 was better in stock form. Both cars feel a bit more secure on lowering springs.
Understeer is worse on the 900, but that might be solved with an uprated rear anti-rollbar.
For highspeed cruising on the Autobahn the 9000 is the better car, because it's more comfy.
When it comes to playing with your Saab (accelerating, braking, cornering) the 900 is much more fun. I can feel what the 900 is doing. I don't have that feeling with the 9000, it just feels big and comfy.

I'm aware that most people think steering is vague on the 900/9-3, maybe I'm just too much used to it to bother. Within a few weeks a MP Performance brace will be fitted, which is basically a cheaper VRK alternative. Maybe then I'll discover that steering was vague.
 

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Or of course you could go for both ...

Want the 9-3 bodyshell with the 9000 motor? Buy a Viggen!


Also the Viggen comes standard with a softened front swaybar to lessen that horrid understeer. I've found that it's not *too* bad in a standard Viggen. Which is saying a lot since the last car I drove this much was my C900, and it tended to over-steer.


Cheers,
Dubbya
 

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Originally posted by JezF:
[qb]I know that my Speedparts Stage 3 Aero can still pull away from John/'s lovely 9-3 (although the gap is narrowing all the time!!) [/qb][/b]
The gap is narrowing all the time My target is 270bhp which will still be short of Jez's circa 283bhp - but he has got a bigger engine.

I think it is fair to say that neither the GM900, the 9-3 or the 9000 are sports cars. I have driven plenty of 9000s in my time but I shall not comment on them as I have not owned one for long enough. I can relate my experience of the 9-3 and tuning, though.


Standard In standard form the 9-3 is pants; handling is a real disappointment and unrewarding experience. I was very unhappy. The 9-3 had 1,100 suspension revisions over the GM900.

The GM900 got a real slating in the press over its handling when it was launched. I do not recall the same level of frustration with the 9-3, given the changes, but it was still not right. Unfortunately, I think that a lot of people with Saabs read something about something and then perpetuate and embellish that myth without any direct experience themselves. Having said that, standard 9-3 suspension is nothing great.


Handling Why didn't I do this first? What an incredible transformation - even the Saab technician that fitted it was hugely impressed and raving about it when he returned from the test drive. I fitted Eibach pro-kit springs and matched Eibach pro-dampers. I did consider Konis but ruled them out in favour of the dampers made for the springs.

I really can not begin to convey what an improvement this is over standard. The car is much more enbjoyable to drive and it handled pretty respectably on the track. I had considered a stiffer rear ARB but thinking back it has not understeered anywhere as easily as the classic 900.

Power Is it fair to compare 9-3 2.0 with a 9000 2.3? I don't know. Both are good engines, the 2.0 is free revving and responsive. In my experience up to about 240bhp is handled pretty well and forgiving to the shortcomings of the driver. Above this level and you have to be more careful when planting your right foot.

You'll have to ask yourself how much power you want?

Torque-steer Many people who have driven my car are confusion loss of traction on one of the wheels for torque-steer. It did not torque-steer often at 200bhp and I have only really noticed torque steer now that the vehicle is in excess of 250bhp. Whilst running at between 230 and 248bhp it was a quick car without huge a huge torque steer issue. It can break traction easily depending on surface conditions and heavy right foot, though.

Upgrade strategy? It is good advice to sort the brakes before you do anything else. Event Pagid FR pads on standard Saab discs are an improvement over standard, or Pagid FR on Brembo discs.

Best VFM upgrade? Probably a stage one on a 9-3 lpt taking it from around 150bhp to 220bhp.

Stage One - circa 220bhp. OK on standard suspension but you really would benefit from the better springs and dampers.
Stage Two - circa 240bhp. Sort the suspension before going to a stage two!
Stage Three - circa 270bhp. Suspension an absolute must. Brakes could really do with an upgrade, too.


Best experience is to drive a couple of 9000s and 9-3s if you can. I will not belittle the 9000, likewise it seems fashionable to put down the 9-3
 

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What an interesting thread. I have done a bit of modding to my 96 GM 900SET. The first thing I did was have it Superchipped fitted a JT racing 3" cat back and a J&R airfilter, oh and a Forge BPV as the original was doing a good goose impression. All of the above gave me 225 BHP and 232lbs ot torque. Which was nice until I tried putting my foot down with the front wheels anything but straight
. My car wallowed and pitched and exhibited quite dramitic torque steer. Of course this is subjective but it was enought to frighten the hell out of me.
So I set about sorting the suspension. I fitted Eibach Pro springs with new Sachs dampers a Viggen Rescue kit and Abbotts rear anti roll bar. It created a different car, so much more drivable, no scarey moments, not brought on by my enthusiasm and no torque steer at all in the dry. The whole car felt smaller and more precise on the road. Again I need to qualify this a little as I was replaing suspension that had covered 150K miles with new components. In hindsight I wish I had done the suspension mods first but don't we all have 20/20 hindsight. The only thing I still want to do is fit a Viggen intercooler then I will let it be.
I have thought about the brakes but they still feel excellent, when the current pads/discs need replacment I will upgrade then.
The only 9000 I have driven was a Carlsson and to be honest my 900 felt a much faster sharper handling car. Although I have been in BillJ's beast and my car doesn't compare to that at all.
Cheers Rob
 

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Al,
Have to agree with Adrian here......

If you can get a good mint 9000 Aero then great, but, altough quite rare as well, I'd keep my options open and look for Viggens as well.
A Viggen will be newer with probably less miles, you still get a hatch and equally lovely seats, and that 2.3L B235R motor, which with a bit of Abbott chassis mods and a dose of Maptun would be just.......
 

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Hmmm, where's StanleyB when you need him?

If you're talking starting from scratch, will it really cost huge amounts to build a decent 2.3l 9-3 versus a tuned 9000 Aero?

I would have thought the purchase cost of (for example) a 9-3SE lpt would be significantly less than that of a good 9k Aero. The lpt is all you need, since you'll be junking the engine and uprating the undercarriage anyway. And I'm just guessing, but I would have thought the 2.3 engine swap wouldn't be prohibitively expensive. I find the idea rather attractive, since you could start with a 'base car' that's far newer than the youngest 9000.

At the end of the day I guess it all comes down to personal preference, whether you'd rather have a 9000 or a 9-3. But with a 2.3 motor in the 9-3 you'd expect that both could be made to perform to the same level, more or less.

Of course I've never owned a NG900/9-3, and my only 9000 was a 2.0lpt, so I could just be talking rubbish


James
 
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