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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 08-20-2013, 04:57 AM   #1
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New headbolts for stage 5?

Is it necessary to retorque or replace the headbolts when moving to stage 5? I don't have any head gasket problems but the car has 185,000 mi on it. It's a B204L

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Old 08-20-2013, 05:21 AM   #2
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It would be a good idea to replace the head bolts... recommend getting ARP (GenuineSaab.com).

With the power at stage 5, your head bolts have already been stretched over time. Given that you will need to take things off to put in pistons (correct?) - just replace the head bolts at the same time.
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i don't think a c900 has sold for 28k since the day one left the dealership new.
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Old 08-20-2013, 02:01 PM   #3
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ARP head studs may be your best option, but I would base your choice depending on how much boost you are planning to implement... A set of new head bolts is only $20 bucks or so. ARP's are over $200 a set, but are reusable...
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Old 08-20-2013, 08:01 PM   #4
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I have roughly that many miles and am still using my old factory ones.
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Old 08-21-2013, 05:31 AM   #5
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Thanks for the replies everyone. I didn't know GS offered ARP ones, but considering the price I may just go with their new style stock ones.
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Old 08-21-2013, 08:18 AM   #6
 
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I went with new style stock ones on my last rebuild, as I don't plan on going back into this engine again. Ever.
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Old 08-21-2013, 08:24 AM   #7
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I'll assume this is a T5 car if its got that many miles and is stage 5 on the original engine.
Edit: Just saw B204.

I'd also be surprised if you didn't have some seepage around cylinder 4 if you are still running the original head bolts.

As it's been said, just grab the updated OEM ones and pop 'em in.

Last edited by srp; 08-21-2013 at 08:27 AM.
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Old 08-22-2013, 03:27 AM   #8
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if it ain't broke...don't fix it....

Fix it when it breaks.
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Old 08-22-2013, 05:42 AM   #9
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if it ain't broke...don't fix it....

Fix it when it breaks.
usually I'm in that camp, but for $60 it seems like cheap insurance instead of having to take the head off to replace the gasket later. I also need to replace that stupid distributor blanking plug that leaks for everyone
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Old 08-22-2013, 04:28 PM   #10
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Id be changing your rod bearings...... before fixing a head gasket that isn't leaking...
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Old 08-22-2013, 10:52 PM   #11
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But for the hell of it.... Change your head bolts anyway... It's easy enough..

You won't need fancy Arp bolts for stage 5... as everyone else said, current OEM bolts... One at a time, the proper way.
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Old 08-23-2013, 06:56 AM   #12
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Id be changing your rod bearings...... before fixing a head gasket that isn't leaking...
I guess rod bearings are another thing to put on the list. How long did it take you to do yours? I can't remember if your engine was still in the car.
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Old 08-23-2013, 07:58 AM   #13
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Stage 5 is just a number, what are you doing in regards to going stage 5 as dif tuners have dif numbers for what it is you will be adding on?
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Old 08-23-2013, 09:39 AM   #14
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Stage 5 is just a number, what are you doing in regards to going stage 5 as dif tuners have dif numbers for what it is you will be adding on?
Yeah I hate the whole "stage" thing, but I thought it was just the easiest way to get it across. I'm upgrading to a 19T with all the supporting stuff: 60lb injectors, ecu, 3 bar, intercooler, downpipe. From what I read 1999 9-3's have a bad head bolt design that doesn't affect (effect?) NG900's. So mine might only be finger tight by now and I'm afraid of the head lifting with the higher cylinder pressures.
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Old 08-23-2013, 11:25 AM   #15
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Yeah I hate the whole "stage" thing, but I thought it was just the easiest way to get it across. I'm upgrading to a 19T with all the supporting stuff: 60lb injectors, ecu, 3 bar, intercooler, downpipe. From what I read 1999 9-3's have a bad head bolt design that doesn't affect (effect?) NG900's. So mine might only be finger tight by now and I'm afraid of the head lifting with the higher cylinder pressures.
Give them a re-torque and go from there, but that is just me.
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Old 08-23-2013, 05:08 PM   #16
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I guess rod bearings are another thing to put on the list. How long did it take you to do yours? I can't remember if your engine was still in the car.
Rod bearings are easy...

It's a day job by the time you drop the subframe and sump.. But changing the bearings is easy...

I also agree with lms.. Just re-torque and go from there... see what happens.

But re torque them properly ..one by one
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Old 08-24-2013, 06:48 PM   #17
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if it ain't broke...don't fix it....

Fix it when it breaks.
This philosophy works so well with cars.
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