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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 08-16-2012, 09:34 PM   #1
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Advice for my engine build

Hey everyone thanks for reading. If this gets a little lengthy I apologize in advance I just want to make sure all the info is here so everyone can give accurate advice. So here we go.

I use to own a 1999 9-3 Vert Linear. It is the 2.0 LPT with the stock turbo and only upgrades on it are the MBC+A. I recently saw it at a local car lot in the back. So being curious about it (I loved that car), I asked the dealer what was the deal with it. So turns out it has a 20psi compresion on all cylinders and the turbo is bad. So the dealer asked if I was interested. So long story short I just got my vert back for $150. Anyway, since this is not my daily driver I plan on spending a lot of time building this the way I want it. So here is my goals.

300+or- bhp.
try and keep build under 2500 but that is not set in stone.
I would like to use as many stock parts as possible.
I dont mind swapping pistons, cranks, heads, ect....
I would like to keep the power range in the mid to high range.
I would like more RPM's to play with what changes need to be made to the head.
I know the Vert is not the best for handling, but I want to get the best handling I can out of it.

The idea i was shooting around was just a fresh rebuild, upgraded valve springs and a bigger turbo. Maybe some head machining for some better top end flow. but I the real reason I am building this is because I REALLY enjoy the build itself so I dont mind doing more than less

P.S. what is my engine code? searching for parts would be way easy if I knew that lol
Thanks for the help friends!

Last edited by JOECROTCH; 08-16-2012 at 10:21 PM.
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Old 08-17-2012, 04:54 AM   #2
 
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You have a B204 engine...I think it should be the B204L.

I don't think they used the Linear designation back then, just the base model, the SE and the H.O.T.
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Old 08-17-2012, 05:13 AM   #3
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the last build I did I used a b234 block. stock pistons. new bearings. a tdo4hl-19t, and a 3.5bar fpr. once I have it tuned, it should be around 300whp (so I'm told)

all said and done I'll have spent about $2300
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Old 08-17-2012, 05:29 AM   #4
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Depending on what you're trying to do, we're in the process of rebuilding a B205 (yes, different pistons) but from my calculations we'll have well under 2k in the motor with machine work, JE Pistons, oversized bearings, and all the gaskets and whatnot...

I know you're going for 300hp, but I'd start with making sure you have a good bottom end regardless of the hp you're going for.

Also I'm pretty sure that the "Linear" would have just had the regular B204 with a Low Pressure Turbo.

By the way, getting your vert back for $150 is a steal. People are getting more to scrap the cars here.
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Old 08-17-2012, 05:30 AM   #5
 
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Turbojohnny's build is nice for all-around performance but still streetable with good gas mileage. Not stupid power that breaks driveshafts but still able to scream on the highway.

If that was my engine, I'd pull the head to see what's wrong and why you're losing compression across all cylinders. That's pretty odd.
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Old 08-17-2012, 09:51 AM   #6
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Yeah I just got it home today and first on the agenda is head removal I am betting on a blown HG. It was really sad to see my old vertigo in that condition. Looks like the oil hasn't been changed since I owned it 2 years ago. And the trans oil is black! But I am not worried because I bought it to be a project and as I always say broken parts means UPGRADE! Lol. But thanks for the info guys. As soon as I pull the head I will post up some internal pics. See what you guru's think.
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Old 08-17-2012, 08:32 PM   #7
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Holy crap so before work tonight I took a quick look at it, and well lets just say I will be spending a lot of time in the for sale threads and on Ebay. There is lots of parts missing or broken, nothing major just little stuff that was abused or not serviced properly. I am seriously debating a manual swap. If the tranny is as bad as the trans oil indicates then its shot. Anyone actually done this swap and can tell me how intense it is? I think the wors thing about the car is all the ricer stuff someone did to it. The PO painted the headlights all Black on the bottom half and blue on the top! light barely gets through. and they completely blacked out the corner lights so there is NO turn signals in front. Iam hoping that I can remove the paint somehow without damaging the plastic. And the headlights will just get E codes. It is so sad what people (kids) will do to a beautiful car. All the tools from the spare well are missing and there is a German flag sticker in the engine bay? Not to mention more red spray paint on the engine than one can handle. Oh yeah, who paints the brakes flat black and even sprays the calipers wheels tires brake lines and everything else in the wheel well.

I think at this point my best bet is to get the engine out of the bay and start pulling parts off I want to replace. Also get the head off and get it to the machine shop. So that brings another question. What kind of head work should I do port & polish exhaust side and port intake side. Has anyone shaved the head a little to up compression?
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Old 08-20-2012, 03:34 PM   #8
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I have had over spray happen on (plastic) lights and some brake clean on a rag has gotten it off really easily, just go light on the brake clean and be prepared to clean it up with water once the paint comes off. This will get the brake clean on and off quickly, and hit it with some plast-x or the like.

I'm sure you know that the headlights are glass, so there shouldn't be anything to worry about there, until you get the e-codes.

I'd go with straight up paint remover (the stuff stings if you get it on your hands) to get paint off of metal parts on on the engine. If you're looking to save your moneys and focus on the parts that matter (TD04, internals etc) this stuff will save you from replacing stuff that's not needed.

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Old 08-20-2012, 04:30 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by JOECROTCH View Post
What kind of head work should I do port & polish exhaust side and port intake side. Has anyone shaved the head a little to up compression?
I wouldn't be so concerned about having any port work done. I usually don't even bother to shave the head down at all. if the surfaces are good and clean after being scraped with a razor blade I consider them good enough to be reassembled.

if the bottom of the head is pitted, or the deck of the block is pitted at all it is recommended to have them resurfaced so the gasket will seal properly

as far as bumping up compression, there is no need to do that when you have a turbo. you can simply increase boost with a tune and a larger turbo.

the engine I am currently running in my 9-5 is a beast. I currently only have a stock tune with the 19T turbo but it pulls harder than the stg3 tuned 900se that I used to have. and cruising on the thruway, even at 70 MPH I'm able to do about 34 mpg

I'm really impressed.
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Old 09-09-2012, 10:12 PM   #10
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Thanks TurboJohnny a lot of good info!

So i am ordering parts now. Any suggestions for online parts at a good price I am looking for head studs, Head gasket, valve springs , Bearings, ect......

Also I have read a little about the balance shaft removal. Is it really worth it, does it make drivability go down hill bad! this car is gonna be my sunday cruiser for me and my daughter. So ride needs to be a little smooth. But I will NOT sacrifice performance for comfort.
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Old 09-10-2012, 09:26 AM   #11
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balance shaft removal is really based on opinion. it doesn't increase horsepower enough to really go nuts over. I prefer to keep the chain on. it makes the power feel much smoother. I've had engines with and without the timing chain. I just think that if the engine was designed with the balance shafts in place there's probably a pretty good reason those swedes decided they should be there.

as far as ordering parts. eEuroparts.com has always been my go to site to order my parts. lots of people will complain as their delivery times are taking a while longer than normal. but they are reliable and have most everything you could need.
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Old 09-10-2012, 04:22 PM   #12
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The balance chain was put on for grannys to help with a little vibration, for a performance build, the balance chain should be left off in my opinion because its just another item to break and it can take the entire engine out if it gets caught up in the main timing chain area or oil pump area.

All the swedes acutally build the performance motors out of the b206, the 94 ng900 that did not have the balance chain at all, no galley ways or anything on that block. That is the one used on Pa's big hp car and many others, speed parts and nordic, etc.

I just saw a picture the other day where a balance chain tensioner guide broke and left the chain in there lose and rattling around, luckily the customer shut the engine down immediately and it did no more damage...

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Old 09-10-2012, 06:55 PM   #13
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Thanks guys as usual good info and fast response. I have been lurking at the other Saab forums but I have decided to make this my home bas for all the good tech info, and of course the people! I think I am going to stick with the balance shaft unless I can find some big reason why to remove it.

Update:
Last night I ordered the following

Intercooler-Ebay 28x9x3
All new silicone vacuum lines
some trim parts that were missing
Volvo Valve springs
New head bolts - Under 300 bhp I dont really think ARP's are necesary
New pcv system
Oil catch can to add to pcv system
and a box full of mandrel elbows to start making my top mount manifold

Anyone that did the top mount, what kind of oiling problems did you run into.
Also I am working on a design for a roll cage. Well more of a roll bar. I think being my car is a vert this should stiffen up the chassis a lot and provide some overhead protection in a roll. Anyone don this before I have searched and searched for some pics but nothing so far.
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Old 09-10-2012, 08:33 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JOECROTCH View Post
I think I am going to stick with the balance shaft unless I can find some big reason why to remove it.
As JZW stated, the balance chain cant handle the extra hp and be safe
It's less than half the size of the timing chain, so less than half the strength
you dont see much extra vibration on a b204 (if any)
if you're shooting for over 300hp i would def suggest against it
ive seen a couple break on stock saabs with spirited drivers

Quote:
Originally Posted by JOECROTCH View Post
Also I am working on a design for a roll cage. Well more of a roll bar. I think being my car is a vert this should stiffen up the chassis a lot and provide some overhead protection in a roll. Anyone don this before I have searched and searched for some pics but nothing so far.
20.04.2007: Saab NG900 Convertible Roll Bar - photo.platonoff.com



Quote:
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Intercooler-Ebay 28x9x3
are you planning on keeping the A/C
that IC is about an inch too tall to fit with the A/C dryer in place
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Old 09-10-2012, 10:24 PM   #15
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[url=http://photo.platonoff.com/Auto/20070420.Saab_NG900_Convertible_Roll_Bar/
20.04.2007: Saab NG900 Convertible Roll Bar - photo.platonoff.com[/url]




are you planning on keeping the A/C
that IC is about an inch too tall to fit with the A/C dryer in place
I was going to try to keep a/c. but if I have to do a little re arranging I will. Wow I found a thread that had given intercooler size info and i went smaller than was stated.

Thanks for the pics, these are great!!!!!
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Old 09-11-2012, 01:32 AM   #16
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I always thought that with the balance chain removal it would vibrate like buggery and be a pain in the ass for a daily driver.

And that they may break in high hp motors, I didn't know that either.

MMMmmm....... looks like I maybe be up for a balance shaft delete.
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Old 09-11-2012, 10:22 AM   #17
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It definitely vibrates more than just a little. It can set off your rear view mirror and radio buttons with a buzz. But, once you get used to it, it is better and more edgy with a quicker rev and response. My wife said "you ruined a perfectly good car!".
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Old 10-08-2012, 06:06 PM   #18
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Is there a good balance shaft delete write up anywhere?
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Old 12-21-2012, 12:21 AM   #19
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Hey guys just wanted to give everyone a update on my build. I have pretty much got my game plan minus which turbo to use and head gasket. I just bought a 20x30 pre-built wooden shed for a shop and its got big barn doors. So I finally have a proper shop to build my dream Saab in. I just want to take this time to voice my appreciation for my wonderfull wife, who has to put up with my 4 project cars and is always supportive.

Ok so on to my questions for the day.
Does everyone running stage 3+ use stock head gaskets or is there a big power gasket to use? I have always been partial to Cometic gaskets.

Also I am now planning on removing the intercooler. I live in Santa Fe NM and it rarely gets over 90 in the summer. Plus this is going to be the sunday cruiser(and who needs A/C when the tops down lol). That said I sold the intercooler I had bought and am gonna try and stuff a massive one in there now with the dryer out of the way.

Anyone know where to get some E-code lenses on the cheap? those things are expensive!
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Old 12-21-2012, 12:58 AM   #20
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Skandix has E-Code lenses on their catalog for 44 Euro, they also sell to the US, you just have to convince them to sell you E Codes...
SKANDIX Shop: Lens, Headlight

Actually that's 44 Euro with 19% VAT (tax), so to export should be 36 Euro.
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