MBC+A (SAFETY CONCERNS) - The Saab Link Forums

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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 03-28-2005, 08:02 AM   #1
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MBC+A (SAFETY CONCERNS)

Hey everyone, Doing a little research on the MBC+A and I was wondering of any downfalls seen with this device. Ive talked to Nick from Genuinesaab and he has said that "if you want to replace your headgasket, then i suggest not to use this" - ....coming from someone with such knowledge within the saab world...makes me shy of attempting this upgrade...what is everyones take on this????
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Old 03-28-2005, 09:37 AM   #2
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I would not agree with that quote one bit for use on the t-5 ems that these cars use. If you bought an ecu from him it would push even higher boost! The mbc+a is very safe on our cars because the ecu has a fuel cut at 15.5psi. The ecu will map fuel up to 17ispsi (16.5-17.5) Reguardless there is still a safety margin when using the mbc+a, from the fuelcut. You want to do an intake mod, run premium fuel, and top quality oil. A low restriction cat-back or saabsport is also good to do with the mbc+a, but i ran mine for over a year with the stock exhaust with 0 probs.

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Old 03-28-2005, 09:54 AM   #3
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I agree, for a T5 the MBC can be a good option. but on the other hand an ecu for a T5 is only 500$ why not just shell out the extra cash and do things the right way, more performance + it will ride MUCHMUCH better than with a MBC.
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Old 03-28-2005, 10:26 AM   #4
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Keep one thing in mind about asking advice from tuners and parts suppliers (no matter who they are or what company they are from) and that is they will recommend the parts they are familiar with and the ones that they sell.

The MBC is a decent way to go if you will never be able to afford the ECU tune. Even companies like Abbott Racing sell them so I can't see that it all that bad of an upgrade if you are on a budget. It gives you some more power and helps make your car come alive but I think what Nick may have been saying has some (little) truth to it over the long term. But what he didnt tell you was that a remapped ECU can have the same affect on your car too !

Anytime you modify your car you take a risk in blowing something up or hurting your motor in some way shape or form. The MBC+A will give you an extra 2 or 3 psi of boost and help to even your boost out over all gears so you can run 15psi in 1st through 5th gear. Where as the new ECU (depending on the stage you choose) will give one of a few levels ranging from 13-15PSI (stage1), 14-17PSI(stage2) or 15-18PSI (stage3) (this is as quoted from Maptun based on my research and talking to them). The question is not which is more harmful to your car here it is more like the following 3 questions you need to ask yourself.

What are your overall plans for your car?

How much can you afford to spend in upgrades?

How much can you afford to spend on repairs based on damage from the new upgrades(IE: Suspension, steering rack braces, bushings and yes maybe even a head gasket )?

Once you find out the answer to those questions then you will know exactly how to upgrade your car.
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Old 03-28-2005, 10:56 AM   #5
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T5 is a speed/density system that calculates max boost based on a number of factors such as fuel octane and intake temperature.

With a MBC or MBC+A, you usually fiddle with the boost valve until you get fuel cutoff and then back off. Then you never adjust it again.

In setting max boost mechanically with either a MBC or MBC+A, max boost is no longer a calculated value. You assume that the variables used by the T5 or aftermarket ECU in calculating max boost are constant. Reality is different: Your intake temperature will be different stuck in traffic on a hot day with the a/c running vs. a cold, crisp fall day running on an empty road in the mountains... yet your MBC or MBC+A will still allow the same max boost under all conditions.

If your boost is too high for the ECU to adjust fueling or timing, your car may suffer from detonation, and this can blow head gaskets and more importantly cause stuff to melt. Alternately, you might just find yourself boosting into a fuel cutoff at the wrong time such as when passing in the opposing lane when going uphill.

Using the ECU or a modded ECU is always the preferred solution to set max boost. You can always get the spoolling benefits of MBC and MBC+A by using a MBC in conjunction with the stock BPC in the SMBC configuration.
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Old 03-28-2005, 10:57 AM   #6
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First off, I want to thank you all for these prompt replies!!! - Really appriciated. Well as far as my plans for the car....is to tune it enough to place a smile on my face due to being slammed in the back of my seat. lol. My budget is fairy broad. The amount of mods is somewhat modest as im going to be done everything i want to do in a couple months... That being, performance tires (done), rims(done), peformance intake (done) turbo-back exhaust with free-flow cat (done), shocks, springs/ etc suspension upgrades, (awaiting spring to arrive), steering brace clamp, (upgrade brakes,...again.), and the ECU which i'll probably do ina montn or so. I'm shooting to upgrade the car over all aspects...lightly.. As I dont think i'll have this exact car in a couple years...I plan to pick up a newer 9-3 (2002ish) or an older viggen. THEN, i will start heavily modifying the car...As for now, like i said...I just want to have the joy of picking up some extra horses, and occassionaly laughing at ricers and those pesky bimmers. lol - ... - All all - "FUN".
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