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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Having got one of those boost relief valves to gain maximum boost really drove home to me that under full power the car (9000 SE 2.3turbo) really is a handful, even though being an automatic tranmission means that I can hang on with both hands.

So I decided to invest in a handling upgrade from Abbott Engineering: sports suspension, uprated rear anti-roll bar, uprated ARB bushes front and rear.

When Ed Abbot took it for a run he realised that the turbo – without the help of the relief valve – just wasn’t functioning properly, so he spent some time on that as well (installed one of their own boost valves, diconnected APC) and fitted a Motorsport dump valve into the bargain.

Finally, the catalyser was well past it’s prime and we replaced it with one of their stainless steel silencer boxes.

I’ve just got home, after one of the most exhilarating - and yet more confident - drives I’ve had for a long time.

Lots more power and the car goes where it’s meant to. It’s rock steady, far more balanced and with better traction under acceleration, and braking is a lot better.

I had been concerned that the suspension mod (lower stiffer springs and Koni adjustable dampers) would result in a harsher ride. If it does I didn’t notice it.

Breathtaking (but there again, so was the bill).

I have to say, if anyone’s been considering such upgrades, go for it 1 It’s worth it. And the Abbot Experience was very enjoyable – these guys totally know what they’re doing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I suggest you contact Abbot's direct to check with them, but I would brace yourself for a bill in the region of £1500 (includung fitting and VAT). But excluding the ss exhaust would take £250 off that.

I originally was just going for the handling side of things done, which would have come to about £1200 in total.

I've not yet told the insurance company, but I hope that since there is no "chipping" involved the penalty there won't be too high.
 

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I am taking my 1994 2.3 turbo CSE into Abbotts next week for similar upgrading,
specifically:Sports Filter, Sports Dump Valve, Front wishbone bushes, Front and rear anti roll bushes, Uprated springs, 3" rear sports box, Trionic Upgrade and Full Service.
phew.....Anyway, anyones comments please, good balance ?? any other suggestions for anything I have missed please(assuming actual mechanical problems dont need too much extra dosh, and I have any cash left) !!
 

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Insurance company will probably add on some since you are now 'non standard'. They even load if you go from steel to alloy wheels. Still, while the motoring public is fool enough, who blames them.
My 89 Carlsson cost less than your Abbott work.
 

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...not always. When I was considering a chargecooler on my 900s lpt to give it more power than a T16S, I contacted my insurer (Cornhill at the time) and spun them a line about increased gearbox life due to fewer changes and safer overtaking as less time exposed to danger etc etc etc

They were happy for me to have my 900 Abbotised and advised that there was NO ADDITIONAL premium to pay. And I was the wrong side of 30 at the time!

/john
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I take the point, quarryeff, and indeed I spent less on buying this car than I've spent upgrading it and rejuvenating it, one way or another.

However, Abbots won all their racing triumphs by taking a good car and making it hugely better. They did this by re-engineering to a much higher standard than the standard production vehicles were built to - whether "ordinary" ones or Carlssons.

I don't want to get into a fight about it but I wouldn't be surprised if my car now has better handling characteristics than a Carlsson of the same vintage.

I made a conscious decision soon after getting this car that I would like to be driving it in 9 years time when it has achieved classic status, but I would like to steadily "invest" in it over that period.
 

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And the 'emmissions limits' for vehicles produced from Jan '92 onwards reflect the fact that CATs are fitted, hence are much lower than older cars which were not designed with a CAT.

Incidentally, I have never heard of a Saab CAT that has worn out bad enough to fail an MOT on emissions. My local Saab Dealer in Cardiff recons that they have never had to replace one, but then not many folks would take a very old car to a main dealers for basic MOT and service work!
 

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As far as the Insurance goes - my Insurance company at the time would have none of it.

I had my old 2.0 CS LPT booked in at Abbotts for the Chargecooler upgrade, but Ensign (through Chris Knott), wouldn't touch it with a long pole because it was non standard. They quoted me £350 around that time for a 2.3 CS Carlsson I was looking at, but would not quote for a modified car. The only place I could get a quote from for the upgrade was quoting £1250. That was for a 35 year old with 7 years no claims!

I seem not to have the gift of the gab when it comes to insurance companies :-(

Never claimed from the buggers either!

Now pay £225 Classic Insurance for my 1991 2.3 Carlsson (though I am thinking of taking it to Mr Abbott when the dosh situation is rosier).
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Re cats not wearing out, all I can say is that there are lots of bits rattling around inside the old one out of my car. But since is MY91 I don't have to have a cat, and since the car runs on very very low emission LPG, I reckon I'm already doing my bit to save the planet.
 

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Sorry to disagree, but the standard car, whether a CDE, Carlsson, Aero or whatever is a compromise that is placed upon us. We choose to buy whatever is nearest to our desires (or wallet), but it is still a compromise. If someone wants more performance, then it will be easy to improve matters as the standard components are limited by the accountants pens and the governments' eco limits. Suspension is a cheap item at the start and after a hundred thousand miles is far past its' best, so its' not difficult to improve upon.
At the end of the day if we want to improve aspects of our cars and we have the mopney don't knock it just baecause you're happy...
 
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