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Old 07-18-2015, 10:43 AM   #1
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(not at all) New 9-3 sedan in the driveway!

So, I had a few extra bucks, and a hankerin' for some good ol' T5 goodness.

Last week, I picked-up a 99 9-3 Base sedan of CL for <$750
I'm fairly certain it's Frost Grey Metallic. (Grey-ish, blue-ish)
It's either black or charcoal interior. I'd call it charcoal.
5-door, with sunroof, Manual a/c manual trans, 181k miles.
It's got some surface rust, but the suspension and undercarriage are in pretty good shape. Apparently, it spent some time down south. It rides as well as any 9-3 I've ever been in,

I've already repaired the non-functional climate control. It not blows hot air, and REALLY hot air. The good news is that I hear the relays and compressor kicking on. I'll toss some refrig. in and see what happens. If it works, I'll keep it, if not... short belt!

Either way, I'm going to pull the engine and trans to replace the clutch/flywheel/slave/axle seals, and re-gasket and time the engine. I'll probably send the head out for some love, but keep the bottom-end alone. It's a low-pressure, so it's never been worked hard. I'm sure the cross-hatch is perfect, and that it has perfect compression. (I'll check, of course)

I'm thinking I'll do a larger-than-stock turbo. maybe 19t, maybe just an 06+ TD04. Maybe I'll actually use this evoIII 16G I have hanging in the shed.
(doubt it)

The real mystery is the suspension. I have to figure something out. I may just lower it with B&G and kyb. keep it cheap/simple.

Should be a fun project that I hope to get on the road before snow falls, but I'm not going to rush it.

I'll attach some pictures and post updates as they come. Don't expect a big, technical thread. I tend to forget pictures until too late =0/

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Old 07-27-2015, 05:44 AM   #2
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I did a thing!
Dissected a couple manual heater controls to make one that worked.
I now have all speeds and temps! I just have to pop the kick panel off to re-insert the rod. The good news is that I can hear the A/c compressor kick on! bad news is... it's still warm air. I'll vacuum/fill it and see how it goes.

Prepare for N00b questions as I break/upgrade stuff!


First: If I acquire a SID2, is it plug n' play? It's not like the base model is missing plugs or anything, right?
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Old 07-27-2015, 07:27 AM   #3
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I may still have some OG9-3 stuff kicking around. Considering I probably wont be buying another myself, I'll ship you a box of goodies.
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The only reason it took all day to install was because we couldn't keep our dicks out of each others mouths.
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Old 07-27-2015, 08:55 AM   #4
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That'd be super! I love free stuff!
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Old 10-06-2015, 07:27 AM   #5
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So, I've made the decision. I was thinking of going china-charger 19t, but they've gone WAY up in price! almost $900 for a new complete turbo!

Then, I was thinking I'd try to find a smaller 7cm HY35, but I'd still need a manifold, and I'd have to block water lines, need custom downpipe, possibly need an external and have issues with the radiator fans. but.. man $200 for an authentic HY35? I can see the allure. On a DD, maybe not. but, for a car that's just going to be a weekender, why not?

With all the fab work needed, I decided to go another route, still.
After a couple quick emails to Tim, I'll be using an SAS manifold with Mitsubishi Flange so I can use this EvoIII 16G I've had kicking around for a few years. It's a 46lb/min turbo, 7cm, internally gated, water-cooled, basic turbo. We'll position it in a way that allows me to use a DSM O2 housing, and 3" downpipe to a JT, or other catback.

In this case, the turbo's "free", I'll have to pay about $580 shipped for the manifold, not need an external, be able to use stainless lines for water/coolant, and It'll fit almost-perfectly where the stock turbo did.

Then It's a simple refresh of the engine with gaskets and timing pieces, ARPs, a Viggen clutch, new motor mounts, injectors, fuel pump, tune, and BWAAAAHHHH!

Unfortunately, this is going to be a winter project. Parts won't be ordered until Nov.

I'm sort of thinking I'll keep the suspension stock-ish. This thing rides so nice!
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Old 10-06-2015, 04:39 PM   #6
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Ordered the new mitsu exhaust housing today. Original one had a stud broken in it, and had to be helicoiled from galled-up bolts breaking. Found someone clearing out old stock for $120, which was cool.

Ordered new speakers, too. I've never heard a worse-sounding stereo in a car. Stupid base car has no door speakers.
Can a 9-3 sound good with decent original-size replacement speakers?
6x9 fit in the rear shelf, right? am I going to have to dremel the hole to make em fit?
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Old 10-06-2015, 05:11 PM   #7
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really jealous of this car. My girlfriend loves this color.

let's see some more pictures!
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Old 10-06-2015, 05:24 PM   #8
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It is a nice color. It's a big reason I chose it, even with the work needed. It'll need a little body work, but nothing crazy. I'll get some pictures of it this weekend when the truck is out of the way. I've been taking it out every once in a while to keep it "fresh". It's nice that it doesn't leak at all. No water getting in, and not a drop on the ground

Last edited by g96nt; 10-07-2015 at 06:41 AM.
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Old 10-07-2015, 05:18 AM   #9
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None of my 9-3/ng900's ever had decent stereos except for my Viggen with Memphis Audio components. Didn't realize you were going to make this car faster than your 9-5! This should be fun with ol' sloppy 9-3 base suspension.
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The only reason it took all day to install was because we couldn't keep our dicks out of each others mouths.
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Old 10-07-2015, 06:51 AM   #10
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Well, It may not end up being any faster. I may put it together with all of the fun parts and keep it around 300hp. I don't want it to be unreliable at all. I'd like to be able to drive it to MA/NH if needed, and I certainly have to feel comfortable putting Leyla in it.

The plan is to get it together and sell-and-replace the wagon with a much more family-friendly vehicle. Kristen's Eye-balling the XC90. That may allow me to pick up another Aero wagon or V70.
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Old 10-07-2015, 07:01 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by g96nt View Post
Well, It may not end up being any faster. I may put it together with all of the fun parts and keep it around 300hp. I don't want it to be unreliable at all. I'd like to be able to drive it to MA/NH if needed, and I certainly have to feel comfortable putting Leyla in it.

The plan is to get it together and sell-and-replace the wagon with a much more family-friendly vehicle. Kristen's Eye-balling the XC90. That may allow me to pick up another Aero wagon or V70.
I've always wondered why people consider an SUV more family friendly than a station wagon. I understand yours not being family friendly, low, loud, etc. But what gives?
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The only reason it took all day to install was because we couldn't keep our dicks out of each others mouths.
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Old 10-07-2015, 07:12 AM   #12
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The wagon is plenty for the people. We have no issue there. It's the crap that goes along with a week-long visit to MA that kills us. The matrix is barely cutting it. The wagon would do fine, but I can't imagine asking them to ride in it for 1000 miles. We'd stick with a crossover. I'm trying to steer her to an xc60. The pilot has been on our radar, too. In everyday life, the matrix and wagon are fine, but we go back and forth to MA, and eventually FL. Neither car will be good fir that. Especially if Leyla has a sibling.
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Old 12-01-2015, 10:17 AM   #13
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So, this project took a weird(fun) turn.
I picked up the Gordon's 97 9000 that nobody seemed to want.
It's got a built 91mm b234 with ported head, stock manifold and Hx35.
I'm not a huge fan of the Holset, but I have to say- The engine has enough off-boost "go" that I don't know that I'll mind it. I imagine it'll feel better in the 9-3.

So, about that. The car's put-together pretty well. It's old and tired, though. It's got 204k and it looks/feels it. It's dented, it's (partly) melted, it's missing trim pieces, and there are a couple non-life-threatening electrical issues. Things that will make this thing non-inspectable. So, the decision is: Put the b234 in the 9-3!

So, the 9-3 has become project HX35'd B234.
The fun thing is that the 9000 has almost everything I'll need, right down to gauges.
I'll have to have IC pipes and exhaust made, but otherwise, It's just swapping things over.

wheeee!


Anyone need anything from this 9000? I'm willing to part-off anything, as long as the car stays drivable. It's lowered. has SAS swaybars. The base interior is "meh", but if you need anything, let me know.
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Old 12-01-2015, 03:20 PM   #14
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Uh, hell yeah. That's gonna be sick. You could always pick up an HY35, good for high 300's whp.
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Old 12-04-2015, 09:35 AM   #15
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Yeah. 60lb/min is a bit excessive. In the quick drive I did in it, it seemed to make boost around 3k, but I wasn't really paying attention.

I think I'm going to try to tear into this thing w/in the next coupld weekends. It's still in the high 50's here, so I may be able to squeeze-in some tear-down time, still.
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Old 10-19-2016, 06:46 AM   #16
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So, the 9-3 is off at the mechanic today.
It's getting it's MD inspection.
I spent a week making sure that all the stupid stuff works.
headlight relays, fog lights, those stupid turn lights in the fog lights.
windows, mirrors, brakes... etc.

It's got a handful of surface rust. I'm hoping I don't catch flack for it.
If I do.... I'll pick up a blown-engine 9-5 off CL. There's a handful for <$800.

I hate cars
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Old 10-19-2016, 12:22 PM   #17
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...and it failed. Some really minor stuff, but there's some rust I didn't notice.
I'm not doing rust repair...so it gets crushed. literally.
If anyone wants an otherwise good manual frost grey 99 9-3, you can have this one cheap!
No performance parts included, but it's got a perfect compression b204 and manual trans.
It actually rides REALLY nice, but has 181k

$600 if anyone want/needs it.
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Old 10-23-2016, 02:06 PM   #18
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Drain plugs rotted ?
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Old 10-24-2016, 04:39 AM   #19
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Honestly, I haven't even looked.
He said he marked the spots with red paint, but I haven't even taken a look to see if they're holes or what. Someone mentioned using fiberglass to repair, depending on the severity. I suppose I'll take a look some time soon.
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