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Old 09-06-2010, 09:38 AM   #1
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B234R Engine Swap/Build *Project Phoenix*

As most of you know, I melted a piston (more like disintegrated it) and threw a rod trough the engine block of my 9-5 Aero last summer. I have sourced a B234R block and I'm going to transplant it into my 9-5. I am starting this thread as a place to get questions answered and to share my progress.

My plan is so build the motor much stronger and with an eye to performance/longevity.

Here's my basic plan:
Put JE or Wossner forged pistons in, refresh all the necessary seals and gaskets, drop the new engine in, stage 4+ software (to accompany: 3" turbo-back, T5 cams, ETS intercooler, bigger FPR, bigger injectors [how big???]).

Questions:

I see the crosshatching on the cylinder walls, do I bother to bore it? Will I get much of performance increase if I bore it to the 2nd bore point (91mm). What about the 93mm forged pistons that MapTun sells, is 93 sketchier than its worth?

Do I use 9000 or 9-5 pistons? Its going to be a B234 block with a 9-5 head.

Can someone look at my shopping list from eeuroparts and tell me what I'm missing from doing an engine refresh, or if you see anything that seems to be irrelevant.

Timing Chain, get a new one? Endless or the master-link kind?



Thanks

I will update this thread on a regular basis and add photos once this project really starts cranking.

Update 1:

Just for fun, here's what I found when I pulled the oil pan off my current B235R:


Hmmm, pieces of a piston?









And a hole!
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Old 09-06-2010, 11:25 AM   #2
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use all b234 parts on the bottom, b235 parts on top, and IIRC a b234 headgasket(but i'm not sure on this, someone who is will chime in i'm sure.
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Old 09-06-2010, 01:27 PM   #3
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b234 rods/pistons= b234 headgasket
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Old 09-06-2010, 04:10 PM   #4
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How much power are you really aiming for? IMO I'd say a stock 234 will handle anything you want unless you plan on a much bigger turbo later down the line.
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Old 09-06-2010, 04:19 PM   #5
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From an earlier thread. Did the job now in the midst of tuning:

Quote:
Originally Posted by jssaab View Post
Got a few Q's aobut how to do this so I thought I would post a how to.

I did this for my 2000 9-5 but thought it is helpful for other saab motor builds as well.

Many thanks to all the folks on here that answered my questions and helped me get into this project.

Engine is in and car is running .. smooth...

I will know more after break in ( 500 miles)

I put together list of what you need from each engine and what it takes. i think I have it all covered. Found stuff out by reading lots of posts, asking questions and talking to people people ( wpressley, saabpro and few others)

Put it all in one place for future reference:

I just built one and am installing it now. Use the T7 head and all the lowers from a 94 9000.
Few Tidbits to make it easier if you try…
Only 94 and above blocks work.

You need to use the 9-5 timing gear/balance chains and all. It might be easier just to pull the balance shafts and plug the holes, genuinesaab makes the plugs. It makes it much cheaper and you don't have to fiddle with the differences in balance shaft gears. But in case you want to keep them you need to know that the obd II cars ( 96 and above I think ) use the same balance shaft bushings and gears as the 9-5 but the earlier ( 94-95) 9000 OBD I Balance shaft gears are different, all the other bits work no matter the year ( 94 and above). The balance gears on the non- 0bdII have a bit of a sleeve on them that help them clear the obdI balance shaft bushing collar.

You need to move the oil pressure switch to the other port in the rear of the block ( under where the starter is) and move the plug over

You use the 9-5 timing cover and oil pump. It would be nice if the 9000 pump worked here but it won’t fit into the housing. If you can figure out how to use the 9000 timing cover ( and I will try in my next one) good for you, you get the higher capacity 9000 pump.

You need to use the 9-5 oil pan, you will need to remove the alignment pin in the 9000 block.

You need to use the 9-5 dip stick tube. To do that you need to remove the barbed sleeve in the dip stick port of the 9000 block. The 9-5 tube fits in there with a new o-ring.

Use the 9-5 PCV system, vesrion 6.

You keep the entire lower 9000 rotating assembly, crank, pulley, rods pistons. They are not as good from a geometry pint of view, the pistons are heavy, and bigger and it has shorter rods, which means more rotating mass and larger rod angles not good for hi RPM but the pistons are beefier.

Use the 9-5 crank pulley and balancer

You need to use the 9-5 flywheel.

You must use a 9000 head gasket, it is thicker and necessary to get the proper valve clearance, otherwise you will hit the valves. The 9-5 pistons have valve indents to help here. Don't worry if the headgasket looks like it covers some of the water ports it the head it will still flow fine and get plenty of cooling.

You will need to use the 9-5 oil filter attachment housing, the 9000 has oil cooling lines oriented in the wrong direction for the 9-5 oil cooler

You need to use the 9000 intermediate oil galley pipe that goes from the oil filter housing to the block. The 9-5 one, and later OBDII 234 blocks ( 96-98 ) is flared and will not fit. Use the same o-rings in each.

Use the 9-5 intake. If you want to swap to a later or Aero model intake remember that the earlier models have a bit of a different MAP pressure sensor and the injectors are different on the air injected 99 models.


That’s about it I think.
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Old 09-06-2010, 04:32 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the replies, Jssaab thanks for re-posting that great post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 132417SAAB View Post
How much power are you really aiming for? IMO I'd say a stock 234 will handle anything you want unless you plan on a much bigger turbo later down the line.
I want to go with a stage 4-5 tune, I'd like a 350whp daily driver. Do you think I should go with stock 9000 pistons?
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Old 09-06-2010, 05:39 PM   #7
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Stock would be 100% fine for 350whp. Remember Jk was running a stock 200xxx b234 on his 400 + hp 9k

Edit: as more reasurance I plan to run at 350 whp on my 243k aero; that's how confident I am in these motors
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Old 09-07-2010, 05:45 AM   #8
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So, anyone know where I can get a good set of 9000 pistons/rods?
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Old 09-07-2010, 05:51 AM   #9
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we have a 1993 & 1994 9000 Aero engine for sale - runs great.
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Old 09-07-2010, 07:29 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chriscam84 View Post
So, anyone know where I can get a good set of 9000 pistons/rods?
You can get a bare bottom end rebuildable for like 50 bucks, all rotating assembly. Better than scrap for the seller...
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Old 09-07-2010, 08:38 PM   #11
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Question:

Since I do not have access to a car lift (I can only get it as high as my jack stands), is it easy enough to remove the engine out the top? If so, HOW?
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Old 09-08-2010, 04:03 AM   #12
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Yes Its easier if you pull the head. You need to pull the front pully. removeit with the trans attached. Tilt the front up snd pull it you need to tilt the front way up
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Old 09-08-2010, 04:07 AM   #13
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https://www.saablink.net/forum/showthread.php?t=49120 Check this thread, there's good pics of an engine with 5spd coming out the top. Auto trans may be a tighter squeeze, TSL member cdnate was going to try it with an auto, don't know if he pulled it off or not
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Old 09-08-2010, 05:22 AM   #14
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the 234 swap is only so-so,, unless you already have a holset, or something big bolted to the motor, i would not do it..

youll loose alot of throttle response and fuel mileage in the conversion. and the cost/benefit over the JE's is marginal.. look at it like this

b234 pistons/rods will typically run 150-200 second hand. rings for them range from 100-250 for all four cyls.

so 450$ total in parts, the Jes are 520$ from gen saab, which includes all the rings and wrist-pins ect ect... a difference of only 70$ for whats will add up to be 30-40hp right away on stock t7 rods (which are pretty strong) in a nutshell its 40hp more for 70$ invested.. to me thats a good deal.

as far as the build goes, i generally just pull the head, and the oil pan, then pop the pistons out of the top of the motor in car.
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Old 09-08-2010, 05:24 AM   #15
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Yeah, but he has to buy a block too.
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Old 09-08-2010, 05:47 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike d View Post
the 234 swap is only so-so,, unless you already have a holset, or something big bolted to the motor, i would not do it..

youll loose alot of throttle response and fuel mileage in the conversion. and the cost/benefit over the JE's is marginal.. look at it like this

b234 pistons/rods will typically run 150-200 second hand. rings for them range from 100-250 for all for cyls.

so 450$ total in parts, the Jes are 520$ from gen saab, which includes all the rings and wrist-pins ect ect... a difference of only 70$ for whats will add up to be 30-40hp right away on stock t7 rods (which are pretty strong) in a nutshell its 40hp more for 70$ invested.. to me thats a good deal.

as far as the build goes, i generally just pull the head, and the oil pan, then pop the pistons out of the top of the motor in car.
My block has a hole in it!

Quote:
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Yeah, but he has to buy a block too.
I have a B234 block already .

Okay, so Mike convinced me. Here's where I'm leaning:

JE or Wossner forged pistons
Gonna get my TD04-15t remade to an 18t or 19t (or this t28 upgrade)
JZW Tune to stage 5
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Old 09-08-2010, 05:53 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chriscam84 View Post
My block has a hole in it!

I have a B234 block already .

Okay, so Mike convinced me. Here's where I'm leaning:

JE or Wossner forged pistons
Gonna get my TD04-15t remade to an 18t or 19t (or this t28 upgrade)
JZW Tune to stage 5
Nonononono. Mike was talking about using a T7/B235 motor with just upgraded pistons, not upgraded pistons in a B234.

In my opinion, upgraded pistons in a B234 is a waste of money because a 19t will not reach the power limit of the factory internals.
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Old 09-08-2010, 06:08 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chriscam84 View Post
My block has a hole in it!



I have a B234 block already .

Okay, so Mike convinced me. Here's where I'm leaning:

JE or Wossner forged pistons
Gonna get my TD04-15t remade to an 18t or 19t (or this t28 upgrade)
JZW Tune to stage 5
I've heard that the JE pistons are like the "cheap knock offs" when compared to the Wossner Pistons... if you have the money I'd go with the Wossners’ based on what I've heard, but you may want to do your own Internet digging on this. Everyone here is a JE fan b/c that's just what people here in the states tend to use more often. Over seas they prefer the Wossner pistons and constantly complain about JE lack of quality. Again - this is just me looking around the internet reading what others have used and said about this very Debate. My vote is to be different and use Wossner.
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Old 09-08-2010, 06:24 AM   #19
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dont know about the quality of the pistons,, but they cant be any worse than the T7 ones.

i didnt know the block was killed too, my bad.

as far as a 19t on a b234,, i would replace the pistons/rods when you blow them,, any sooner is pointless. 234s have sluggish response compared to a 235, but if its already there, run it.... just keep throwing boost and fuel down its throat and it will make power
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Old 09-09-2010, 09:21 AM   #20
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Got the B234 block sandblasted and painted. I'm gonna have the block sent out to have it bored over.
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