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Performance Modifications for the NG900 / Old 9-3 This forum contains PERFORMANCE related Q&A's for the NG900 and 9-3. This may also include suspension.

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Old 09-10-2007, 08:52 PM   #1
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Wastegate Helper Spring

I think I finally need the wastegate helper spring. Before, Nick said I didn't need it, but now its looking like I do.

I'm guessing that when I hit that log and banged up my downpipe that it torqued the turbo slightly and futzed my wastegate a bit.


Now that I have my exhaust taken care of, and my boost leak fixed. When I get on it in 3rd, 4th, or 5th gears, it will spike up to 21psi, then waver back and forth between 15psi and 20psi like a windshield wiper. I can even hear the exhaust note changing as the wastegate opens and closes and opens and closes.


How hard is it to install the spring? I've been told it's a bit difficult and many people ruin their wastegate actuators.


Or should I just go for a TD04 swap?
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Old 09-11-2007, 05:15 AM   #2
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Could it just be the hot weather? I know my car will keep much higher boost in the fall/winter compared to the summer.

I've never had that spring fail so I dont know, sounds like the symptoms are similar.
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Old 09-11-2007, 05:38 AM   #3
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you can call me if you need to at 828-775-3719
but basically the spring is bigger then you think
I use a pedal return spring assortment sold at advance the second from the lightest
the coil diameter is betweeen 17 & 19MM & the wire diameter is like 2 mm
IM not sure what car or turbo you have but Ill be happy to give detailed instructions on the bracket & whatnot
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Old 09-11-2007, 06:00 AM   #4
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Isnt a helper spring more of a bandaid for an the problem? I would think that upgrading to a wastegate like a Forge or one with a preset spring in it already would be a better idea. IMHO.
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Old 09-11-2007, 06:21 AM   #5
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the internal helper spring is the same thing as the forge just with out a spify looking wastegate, and the return spring does the same thing.
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Old 09-11-2007, 06:34 AM   #6
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Yeah I know the internal spring modded wastegate nick sells is the same as a forge. I was reffering to adding an external helper spring being a bandaid fix.
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Old 09-11-2007, 06:39 AM   #7
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Go for the TD04.

https://www.saablink.net/forum/showthread.php?t=21572
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Old 09-11-2007, 07:47 AM   #8
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there is no problem with running an external spring its as good method as any.
a forge unit sure is pretty though
its just a cheap old school way to do it
I ran stuff that way for years & never had a problem nor have any customers using them......
whatever you do dont just shorten the rod way up though that is teh wrong way for sure

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Old 09-11-2007, 08:26 AM   #9
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I was running a helper spring on my t25 before I dropped in the TD04. I actually just went to home depot, found a spring in the hardware isle and slapped in there. Less than $3 later I was running about 3-5psi higher. Make sure you reset your ECU when you add it though.
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Old 09-12-2007, 03:17 PM   #10
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Hmm... People are talking about 2 different springs.


When I bought the ECU, I was told that Dan (Snow4_1man) who was the original owner of the ECU had the "Stage 3 Wategate Spring"

When I asked Nick about the Stage 3 spring, he recommended NOT to upgrade as most people who try to upgrade themselves end up destroying their Wategate Actuators, since the spring is an internal spring. That and my turbo was boosting quite nicely at the time.



Now what are you guys talking about? An external spring?

Please post pictures of the springs, and the installation of them.


I was under the impression that I would buy the spring for $10 from genuine saab, carefully disassemble my actuator and replace the spring (which would basically be upgrading my actuator to the same as the Forge one).


Jak & Mark, are you saying that there is a spring I can add that does not require me to disassemble my actuator?



Also, for everyones reference, the wastegate itself does not get upgraded, as it is internal/a part of the turbo. It is the wastegate ACTUATOR that is bolted onto the turbo that gets upgraded.


Also also... my boost issues are NOT weather/temperature related. I was boosting nicely and holding in the dead heat of summer of ~90degrees. Now the highs have been in the upper 50's low 60's and I'm having boost issues holding boost. Colder air + my massive FMIC should = more boost.
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Old 09-12-2007, 03:43 PM   #11
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I'll try to put this simply... with some cars, especially those with an old wastegate an external wastegate spring is helpful. If you are trying to get 7 PSI base boost, but in order to get that level of base boost the rod must be made too short (which will reduce the amount that the wastegate can open overall and cause run-away boost at high RPM's), you can set the base boost down around 6 PSI, add the wastegate spring, get 7 PSI base boost, and still retain full wastegate function, even at high RPM's.

It's really as good a method as any to get proper base boost, and retain full wastegate function.
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Old 09-12-2007, 07:35 PM   #12
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Okay amish geek, I'll give you the low down on it. I just put one on mine yesterday with Jak's help over the phone so I'm pretty sure I can explain it now.

Basically what you're doing is making a bracket on the actuator, the leftward part of the funny looking thingy on top of the turbo in case you don't know, so you can connect one end of a spring to it and then connecting the other end of the spring to the end on the right of the wg arm.
All you need to do this is a small L bracket which is exactly what it sounds like and you can buy it at Lowes/Home Depot etc. - a short, flat piece of metal bent at a 90 degree angle. The one I found at Lowes already had 2 small holes in it, but they turned out slightly too small for the bolts on the actuator so you may have to grind them open a little.
Next, you need some kind of spring, a clutch pedal return spring as Jak was saying. I found mine at AutoZone and I couldn't find one quite the right size so I just bought this pack of 4 springs of various sizes, and the one you want to use has a coil diameter of 2.3mm. It may show it in inches so just look for the specs in another language somewhere else on the package.
Ok, to start putting it on, look down at your WG and take off one of the two nuts that's on the actuator. Stick the L bracket on the opened up bolt, running parallel with the ground, and throw the bolt back on there. Next comes the fun part.
Once the hooked end of the spring is on the remaining end of the L bracket, hold it up to the right to see about where you need to make the bend. What you're connecting it to is the part of the turbo that sticks out, that is connected to the right end of the WG arm. On the bottom of that part you'll see a small pin through a hole that is holding on a washer, and the WG arm. I just took the pin out (you'll need to squeeze the ends together and shove it through) and tossed it because I had my other WG springs to cut another one out. Take off the washer and push down the WG arm, but not completely off. This should give some space to make a bend, with the remaining end of your spring, to be bent around. Find that spot, cut off what you don't need, and stick it on there and then stick everything else back on there as it came off. If you didn't keep that little pin, then just make your own out of anything really.
I found a couple of pictures from the other forum from an old thread, so hopefully they'll help.
You can see the two bolts on the actuator; remove the upper nut.


Here's the other end of the WG that you need to take apart to connect the other end of the spring.



Be sure that once you're done with all of this, or while you're doing it, to disconnect the battery so you can reset your ECU After reconnecting, do a few adaptation runs in 4th from 2500-4000rpm. As far as adjusting or anything like that, I have no idea.
If none of this helps or you need to know something else, just say or do like Jak said and give him a call, he's a nice guy and really helpful. Enjoy.
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Old 09-13-2007, 04:10 AM   #13
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good job there
I get lazy about typing stuff out on boards & I think you did a great job
if anyone is ever stuck they can allways feel free to call me or if its something which could be handled through email thats best
have a great day
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Old 09-13-2007, 07:00 AM   #14
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I worked at the helpdesk on campus for 4 years during college. I try to avoid phones now.


The "External Helper" spring seems cheap/simple enough... I'll give that a try.


I think it would also help to get a good description/pictures of the "Stage 3 wastegate spring" that is upgraded inside the actuator itself. And then compare the merits of each.
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Old 09-13-2007, 07:25 AM   #15
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http://photo.platonoff.com/Auto/2005...tuator_Spring/
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Old 09-13-2007, 07:59 AM   #16
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^ that's the internal spring installation - just in case anyone is wondering

(I know someone was bound to ask)
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Old 09-13-2007, 08:06 AM   #17
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sorry, i didnt think an explanation was necessary
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Old 09-13-2007, 09:20 AM   #18
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So, when doing this on a c900, basically I want to attach one end of the spring on or about the WGA bracket, and then the other end maybe through that little pinhole where the "safety wire" goes? (On a c900 there is a jesus pin that holds the arm on the rod, the pinhole is secondary assurance that it doesn't slip off)

And in regards to the effects, I imagine that this will increase the amount of air pressure needed for the membrane to move the rod or something? I'm assuming that I'll still be able to fine tune the wastegate activation pressure by threading the rod in/out as normal, right?
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Old 09-13-2007, 09:32 AM   #19
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any pictures of the end result Jak or comtran? Jak mentioned this method to me, as I will be putting his tuning in the slaab hopefully soon.
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Old 09-13-2007, 10:18 AM   #20
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sorry, i didnt think an explanation was necessary
Well, people seem to be getting confused about this stuff...so I figured I'd just make that REALLY clear
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