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Old 10-06-2004, 05:45 AM   #1
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What's the best Turbo intercooler combo for 290+

I have a slightly modified NG900 SET, and looking to upgrade a few things for increased performance in the mid/top-end range.

Has anyone done any comparison testing or research on the best combination of Turbo and Intercooler for 290+ HP.

Looking for a good intercooler system that won't require mods to the front bumper on a NG900. I've also noticed that the rubber hoses will tend to flex under boost with age or heat. I believe this to be a weakness that could cause lag, preventing full boost potential. I was thinking about building a pipe kit that will replace those rubber hoses once I find the right intercooler.

Also curious about opinions or research on whats the best turbo to use on a 2.0 NG900. I've done some reading on mitubisi versus garrett turbos, ceramic vice ball bearing. All have relatively the same performance depending on application.

Any responses with ic and turbo performance/flow rates greatly appreciated...

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Old 10-06-2004, 06:23 AM   #2
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spg9 will be coming out with front mount i/c kits pretty soon,and they're supposed to be less than the johansen unit.
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Old 10-06-2004, 06:30 AM   #3
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does anybody have specs on flow, etc... for the various intercooler options?

Like a Viggen is supposed to flow 110 cfm, right? i am trying to see if $1000 is worth the flow of the other units like the KJ unit. That's a lot of money!
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Old 10-06-2004, 08:37 AM   #4
 
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I'm looking for that same HP range, and had many of the same concerns. First thing before new turbo or IC is the 3" exhaust turbo to tail. With that in place, then start tinkering with the turbo and IC

I chose a spearco with an 18 inch core, which should flow about 214 cfm -- plenty big for 300 hp.

There's a variety of turbos that will get you there, but all have tradeoffs -- usually more lag.

Easiest to bolt on would be probably be the Mitsubishi TD04HL 15T, found on US Viggen, Euro 9-3 Aero, 9000 Aero and 9-5 Aero models. The 9000 Aero turbine side is slightly larger -- a 6cm2 housing compared to 5cm2 -- so you'll have slightly more lag but a bigger top end. For 290hp, go bigger...

more later....
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Old 10-06-2004, 11:21 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by mike saunders

Easiest to bolt on would be probably be the Mitsubishi TD04HL 15T, found on US Viggen, Euro 9-3 Aero, 9000 Aero and 9-5 Aero models. The 9000 Aero turbine side is slightly larger -- a 6cm2 housing compared to 5cm2 -- so you'll have slightly more lag but a bigger top end. For 290hp, go bigger...
A TD04HL 15T #5 is too small of a turbo if you are looking for 290+ BHP. That turbo wont be to stabile much over 280 to be honest. My car is dynoed to 290 with this turbo and it pushed to the max. Pushing a small turbo to its max is never good since the air coming out of it will be very hot, which will eat up your if capsity faitly quicly.
TD04HL 15T #6 is slightly better, but I would not setttle for it either if you need to change the turbo anyways.
Go for TD04HL 18T #6 with the normal (not cutted) blades. It is a good all around turbo with charaters like the TD04HL 15T. Spool up quickly supplies a wide torque range etc. Warning! if you choose to use the -18T with #6 do not over speed it since the #6 is slightly to small for the 18T turbine. Back pressure and EGT's will go out of the ball park if pushed over 300hp. If you're in a quest for more power choose a bigger exhaust side like the #7. #7 works better with -19T turbine. Also note that the #7 exhaust side is no longer a bolt on application to the exhaust manifold.

Garret has also some bretty good turbo for this power range, so have a look at them also. In the end it is up to you what do you really want from the turbo, so there are plenty of choices.
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Old 10-06-2004, 12:15 PM   #6
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Have a 99 Viggen IC and turbo already.......TD04HL 15T/5cm2. Planning to split my exhaust using 2 2.5 pipes off the cat, or resonator I found. However, Intercooler and turbo combo taking more planning than I thought.

The Viggen IC I thought was rated at about 95 cfm or so., yet still a puzzle for me. Because looking for one that properly matches a turbo rated for 290+, and dosen't require much or any modification to the bumper. Some say big is good....but my logic tells me the flow rate will decrease, given a limited turbo. I'm thinking as the air is faster into the throttle body as opposed to being cooler by 5 or 10 degrees and slower...it might not be an acceptable trade-off. So matching the IC with the turbo I believe is the way to go.

Mike, did you say 18 inches long...sounds shorter than the Viggen one I have now by about 2 inches....does that include the end-tanks? Did your Spearco, have the end-tanks piped to the sides from the center, or piped to the rear from the center? Otherwise, what dimensions did you end up with?

Just a matter of time before I pin this one down..., just want something that deals with mid-range, and top-end more effectively.

thanks for the responses...,

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Old 10-06-2004, 12:55 PM   #7
 
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Back from the doctor....got a Percocet prescription for my wrenched back, which might go nicely with the beer chaser..

Vigge correctly picked up on my point about the 15T being unsuited for apps above 280 hp, without some stop-gap measures like water injection. He's absolutely right. The Viggen turbo can reach that mark but not for long. It's fine for 250-260 stock, which is well within the safe range of the fuel system and IC. Eric (ERP) has gotten to 280 or so with fuel system mods, water injection and a 6cm2 upgrade from a 9000 Aero.

I was going to talk about the 18 and 19T Mitsu options but Vigge covered them quite well, except I'll add that most folks who have gone the 19T route have reported serious lag issues. (search for Dr. Boost posts on Saabnet for verification). The 18T is slightly better, but remember: that boost will come on suddenly and put an old-fashioned ass-whuppin' on your rods, tranny and clutch....And Vigge was again right about the EGT issues with the smaller exhaust housing. Still, the 18T and 19T and a 7cm2 housing (look at the Volvo S80 T5) can get you well above 300 but with more frequent visits from the lag monster. On a dyno, however, it will scream and beg for more.

The GT28R (the "disco potato") is a great turbo for raw HP, but it's a bitch to fab up the lines. (CO Saab can tell you all about this). The spoolup of a ball bearing turbo is supposed to be amazing but again, there's a tradeoff: the ball-bearing turbos aren't as rebuildable as the journal sleeve Mitsu turbos. This might come into play 60 or 70,000 miles down the road.

There's a three-way tradeoff between raw HP, ease of configuring, and driveability, so you might want to consider that. My car is going to be a daily driver in all sorts of traffic conditions so I'm actually going with a Volvo TD04HL 16T/6cm2. I've already ported the stock manifold to accept the larger housing and I'll need an adapter plate to bolt it on. Volvo users have gone up to 350 hp with this turbo with limited reports of some tranny and connecting rod issues in extreme cases, but the Saab should be comfortable around 290-300....I'm probably going to add water injection just in case.

About my IC: The Viggen IC is thinner (2 inches vs 3) and lower (6 inches vs 8 ) than the Spearco core. The width of the allowable IC is dependent on the end tank config. My total length with end tanks is about 26 inches, piped to the sides, so with 2.5 inch in/outlets they'll just fit inside the OE piping locations. The Viggen IC is 31 inches long tank to tank, but the core is far less efficient.

This size Spearco is just big enough for 300 hp, but not too big as to introduce unneeded pressure loss. Our IC size is dictated by a couple of factors: height between AC components and oil cooler lines (8 inches) and length of opening (31 inches with stock bumper)

The most critical piece of this is the first few feet after the turbo. A 3" inch dp is definitely the way to go...
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Old 10-06-2004, 07:26 PM   #8
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I would not recommend the VIC to be used with power output as high as we are talking here, I know it is cheep and that about the only good thing I can say about it.
Here is a normal stage III a 9-3 aero, ambient below +20deg C


If you use a bigger turbo intake tems wont be as high.
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Old 10-06-2004, 11:16 PM   #9
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"Volvo users have gone up to 350 hp with this turbo with limited reports of some tranny and connecting rod issues in extreme cases, but the Saab should be comfortable around 290-300....I'm probably going to add water injection just in case"

Saab rods are beefy ... real real beefy. Every 16V Saab ever made has had very strong forged connecting rods. Also remember that rods are sensitive to RPM, and rarely to boost pressure ... unless extremely poorly made ... apparently like some Volvo rods.

I like the TD04HL-16T-06cm ... that sounds like a perfect match for that power level. The GT28RS (yes there is a different GT28R turbo, but the "Disco Potato is the RS) is also a great turbo for that power output. Actually, so too is the GT28R ...

The Viggen intercooler is very poor, but flow isn't the big problem. A better flowing IC is better ... that much is true. But an intercooler which is properly ducted such that air cannot go around it is better. An average intercooler will reach around 70% efficiency ... a well ducted one can approach 95% ... even for long periods under full throttle at high speed.

Also, remember that a small turbo generates more excessive heat on the exhaust side than on the intake side. Here's an example:

Example one: The high efficiency region.

Air going into the turbo, temp: 75F
Air going into the turbo, press: 14 psi (.7 psi pressure loss)
Turbo Outlet Pressure: 20 psi (assuming 18 psi manifold boost and 2 psi pressure drop)
Compressor Efficiency: 78% (right on the eff-peak-island)
Turbo Output Temp: 266F! (but wait, that's not the temp the engine sees)
Intercooler Efficiency: 70% (1 psi pressure drop at intercooler)
Ambient Temperature: 65F (temp of the air over the outside of the IC)
Intercooler Output Temperature: 125F. (which goes right along with ERP and other's data)

Exaple Two: The LOW efficiency region.

Everything is the same except the IC pressure drop is now 2 psi, and the turbo efficiency is 60% (very low ... this is about right for 315 hp)

Intercooler Output Temperature: 142F That's right, only 17 degrees hotter. A good intercooler would easily compensate for that.

A well ducted intercooler in the same 60% efficiency region (compressor efficiency) would only produce an outlet temperature of 78F degrees with a 95% efficiency (intercooler efficiency). As long as the turbo shaft speed is still acceptable (and it should still be, even at that region) it would be perfectly safe.


Anyway ... just food for thought. I like the GT28RS's compressor map ... but the pain of installing it may make it not worth your while. Worth a shot? Otherwise I think the 06 cm Aero turbo would work fine ... as would the 16T. Just my two cents.

Adrian~
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Old 10-07-2004, 10:06 AM   #10
 
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Adrian, I think DC has the beefier pistons and rods found in the 2.0L NG900. I believe I have the lighter piston/rod combo with my B205 That's the reason for my conservative mod plan. I've taken all the horror stories of Viggen and SE owners downshifting before an exit ramp and hearing that gut-wrenching ring-ding-ding-ding of a piston burrowing itself into a cylinder wall!

Ducting is of utmost importance, but DC is planning on a stock bumper so the increased core efficiency will have to do what improved ducting can't. He could also cut out part of the lower air dam and replace it with mesh but that still might not properly direct air toward the core.

DC, the open config of the Viggen bumper is much better than the NG900 for putting air where you need it. In line with what Adrian wrote, I'm guessing that the Saab engineers calculated that they could go with a seemingly undersized IC if the air flow was properly directed. Downside is that they're incredibly hard to come by.

Adrian, I should have the Volvo turbo in about 5 days. I'll post pictures of the oil/water line placement. The stock TD04HL 15T that I have only has about 15K miles on it so I might keep it around as a spare.

I considered the GT28RS but I'm a little leery of the long-term replacement costs. The folks over at Brickboard.com have debated Garrett vs. Mitsubishi ad nauseum but the relative benefits of each are really a matter of personal preference. I liked the Volvo's map too, and the long-term reliability isn't an issue....
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Old 10-07-2004, 11:31 AM   #11
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Thanks for the feedback...., and sounds like a bigger turbo is definately in order... Mitubisi or Garrett.. that is the question.

Looking at an IC with a tube/fin core of 21 x 9 x 3, and 31" long tank to tank. Looks like modifying the mounting if the AC bottle gets in the way. The Viggen bumper might be in order after all. Its rated at 550hp and 800 cfm with 30 psi leak tested; (somehow the irony of that seems to be that you'll probably need 30 psi to get 550horses). The price is not bad at just over $300, but also has a ...lifetime guarantee.
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Old 10-07-2004, 03:12 PM   #12
 
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That's a nice IC....you'll need to route the piping around and under the bumper attachment brackets because that IC is too big to use the stock return holes.

It's also an inch too tall to fit between the ac dryer and the oil lines on the bottom...You can probably re-route the oil lines, though.

Good luck with it!
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Old 10-10-2004, 03:12 PM   #13
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my quest continues.....found a bar&plate type rated for 330hp; including spouts at 29x6x3..less than 1psi pressure drop at 16psi.
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Old 10-10-2004, 03:21 PM   #14
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here's one at 450HP , Approx. Flow Rate 650 CFM and 28 inches x 6 1/4 inches x 2 1/2 inches...not sure how they were able to acheive that..
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Old 10-10-2004, 05:10 PM   #15
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Why not just go to Corky Bell's intercooler site? http://www.bellintercoolers.com

Here's a quote:

Also carefully read the tech section, some n00b stuff there, but some good info too: http://www.bellintercoolers.com/Pages/tech.asp

I would also be HIGHLY suspicious of the flow data for those cores. Where are you finding these? If it's some place like E-Bay, buyer beware!

The first bar and plate core is roughly the same as the following example from Bell Intercoolers:

3.00" thick, 6.20" tall, 24.00" long, 156 CFM 8.90 lbs = $321.00 Core Only

That's barely more than the Viggen's intercooler!

Here's a quote from Bell Intercoolers: "Does one style core cool better than another?
No, almost no difference. With three decades of testing intercooler’s, we have found no appreciable difference between any core style or manufacturer.
"

So why should a similar sized one to the Viggen intercooler flow better?


I'd look for something much bigger than the Viggen unit if you want more flow. Some of those cores look ok, but generally you want a shorter (flow wise), and taller (more tubes) intercooler. It will have the same cooling surface area, and because it will have more tubes it will flow much better.

Seriously, anyone who's considering a DIY turbo modification oughtta buy Corky Bell's book, Maximum Boost FIRST if he/she wants to get the most out of each mod! It covers just about all of the non-Saab specific stuff here.

Adrian~
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Old 10-10-2004, 05:55 PM   #16
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you have a point adrian....I thought something was suspicious but strange about those ic sizes.... but they went out of their way to specify cfm...and yet have a basic look in design.

I've been talking with Gerhard/bell intercoolers for quite some time now...and to meet the boost levels of 21+ psi....and 290+ hp....he recommended a 14" tall core with a shorter length, and top to bottom flow, rated for a minimum of 400cfm. He didn't believe he could help me.., and I'm curious if anyone has purchased a Bell intercooler for a SAAB yet.

I'm sure I could probably go with a larger head, and lower the boost levels to gain the same hp to some degree...but I believe the ic will still be the key to effective yet dependable power ranges. I considered water injection much like yourself.., but not happy about the potential for leaking at some point....and refilling the bottle more often than not.

I also spoke with George's Imports guy, and he's had a Bell IC on his rocket NG900 with dual spark plugs, big injectors..and a whole bunch of other goodies...he's using a tall intercooler that flows from top to bottom.., but heavily modified to get it in there.....seeing boost standing still. He had to remove his horns, and reroute the ac lines...even discussed finding a way to wrap ac lines around the exit pipe of the ic....

I guess you can see what I'm up to...trying to avoid modifying the car as much as possible....but may not have a choice to meet the hp specs I'm hoping for.

thanks for the input though...

regards
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Old 10-10-2004, 07:30 PM   #17
 
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DC,

Gerhard at Bell knows his shit. I spoke with him earlier this spring, and had some excellent ideas. He suggested a top-to-bottom design that would have required way too much modification (about 11-13 inches high) but would have offered the best cooling and flow.

400 CFM is doable, but.....

I'm never going to be at full boost for that long, and this car is going to be a daily driver. The 400 cfm figure is an maximum use ceiling, kind of the way mall parking lots are designed for maximum capacity on Christmas Eve. I couldn't see paying $400-500 for a custom IC and having to reroute oil lines, horns and AC stuff.

That was my reasoning, but I'm sure I would have a different outlook if I was building a Yankton-esque racer....
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Old 10-10-2004, 09:05 PM   #18
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DC,

Gerhard at Bell knows his shit. I spoke with him earlier this spring, and had some excellent ideas. He suggested a top-to-bottom design that would have required way too much modification (about 11-13 inches high) but would have offered the best cooling and flow.

400 CFM is doable, but.....

I'm never going to be at full boost for that long, and this car is going to be a daily driver. The 400 cfm figure is an maximum use ceiling, kind of the way mall parking lots are designed for maximum capacity on Christmas Eve. I couldn't see paying $400-500 for a custom IC and having to reroute oil lines, horns and AC stuff.

That was my reasoning, but I'm sure I would have a different outlook if I was building a Yankton-esque racer....
Hi,

IC max. hight depens on the width. I have a custom built IC on my viggen that connects to original piping. Dimension are roughly 370*370*75 [mm] which equal to ~15*15*3 [in].

Some pictures can be found
http://viggen93.mine.nu/viggen/IC/

If you dont have A/C or you relocate your dryer you can go wider.
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Old 10-11-2004, 04:31 AM   #19
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If you're willing to modify the aluminum bumper beam assembly I found that an 18"(flow wise) x 10"(height wise) x 3" (thickness) SHOULD be doable. And Bell Intercoolers just happens to make one which flows over 300 CFM at those measurements!

Not only that, but if you modify it correctly it tips the top of the intercooler slightly forward so that it's not right against the A/C condensor and radiator assembly. It also puts it right against the Viggen bumpers IC duct.

Eventually I plan to do that (intercoolers are smog exempt, so you can do whatever you want with them, same with water injection), but it will be a while. I have a close friend who is a highly certified welder and regularly constructs performance headers, builds 600 hp engines, etc etc ... he's an ex-aerospace engineer. So as soon as I get him to teach me to TIG weld, we'll be in business.

Anyway ... I like Vigge's setup, but I think the relocation of th A/C dryer, and horns would allow MUCH better end-tanks for the IC assembly. Good end tanks are invaluable, so it might be worth the effort.

Adrian~
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Old 10-13-2004, 08:01 AM   #20
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This data has been posted here before, but people keep saying the Viggen IC flows 110 CFM, so I thought I'd post it again:

"I had the opportunity to put a Saab Intercooler on the flowbench yesterday. Why post about a Saab Intercooler here? Because it happens to be used on a aftermarket supercharger kit designed for our BMWs. The results were:

176cfm @ 28" of H2O

For reference, 1psi = 27.681" of H2O

What does this mean in laymen's terms? It means that when flowing 176cfm of air through the intercooler, it has a pressure drop of 28" of H2O (which is about 1psi). The more airflow that you push through the intercooler, the higher the pressure drop. Here are some other readings I took as an example:

126cfm @ 14" (0.51psi) H2O
176cfm @ 28" (1.0psi) H2O
189cfm @ 31.5" (1.14psi) H2O
200cfm @ 34.5" (1.25psi) H2O "


Here's a converter for pressure: http://www.math.com/students/convert...e/pressure.htm

For reference, a Saab 2.3L engine at 6,000 RPM, even moderately modified, would consume less than 200 CFM. So it's very unlikely that there would be more than 1.25 psi of pressure drop across the IC even on a Viggen. On a 2.0, there will be even LESS pressure drop because the smaller engine, even at the same power, is making it's HP with more boost, and less flow.

I have found that my duct-tape-ducting has made a significant change in boost pressure on warm days, you might try proper ducting BEFORE a larger intercooler. Save yourself some money.

Adrian~
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