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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 09-23-2013, 09:28 PM   #1
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ECU tune?

ok I am really new to tuning a car, I am kind of confused, Example, for every time I modify something on the car... eg. turbo, intercooler, exaust etc, do I have to get a tune done to my ECU?

What I have going and my delima is that my 95 Saab 900 turbo has 3" down pipe, no catalitic converter and some pretty sporty exaust. I ordered a viggen IC down the road I plan on a T-28 turbo wanting around 290ish hp with a stage 4 tune (maptun). can I drive it with a stage 4 ecu tune without the turbo then down the road upgrade it later?

thanks, Phil
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Old 09-24-2013, 02:34 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by marktwained View Post
ok I am really new to tuning a car, I am kind of confused, Example, for every time I modify something on the car... eg. turbo, intercooler, exaust etc, do I have to get a tune done to my ECU?

What I have going and my delima is that my 95 Saab 900 turbo has 3" down pipe, no catalitic converter and some pretty sporty exaust. I ordered a viggen IC down the road I plan on a T-28 turbo wanting around 290ish hp with a stage 4 tune (maptun). can I drive it with a stage 4 ecu tune without the turbo then down the road upgrade it later?

thanks, Phil
Generally, you'll need a tune that matches your hardware. Changing the IC won't effect the tune but that's about it. Even major changes to the exhaust will effect how the stock turbo spools and how the ECU should manage things.

Each major hardware change will require changes to the tune to make use of the hardware.

A different turbo with different spool and flow characteristics -- gotta have a tune for that.

No cat? Gotta tune the ECU to turn off cat diagnostics, same with the evap purge valve.

This is mostly why the term "Stage" is used. Each stage of tune needs it's own hardware and ecu changes.

In short, it does not make sense to progress though each stage of tune unless you're doing the ECU updates yourself.

Start with your target power, workout what hardware needs to support that power and then find a tune that supports the hardware. Install all at once.
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Old 09-24-2013, 02:44 PM   #3
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1995's do not have a rear lambda, so it will never notice the lack of a cat converter.

With each step in hardware, you need matching software, there are many people (including myself) who do tunes for a very reasonable price.

to get to 290 wheel hp (which is about 320-330 crank hp) you will need injectors,a larger turbocharger. (as you mentioned) and a clutch. Injectors are a modification that needs to be done at the same time as a software update.the car will run horrible until the ECU it matched to the injectors! you will probably also need a better intercooler than a stock viggen unit. they do heat-soak pretty quick with that type of air volume going though a still "not-that-great" core


Where are you located? i may be able to help you out, feel free to give me a call if you have any questions
978 877 9862
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Old 09-24-2013, 08:16 PM   #4
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thanks alot fellas, good information and very easy reading for someone has spent the last 3 hours cross refrencing acronyms just to see what the hell everyone is talking about on TSL... this computer ecm stuff gets a little who is used to old school small blocks and whatnot... just bolt it on, take a drive and raise hell...lol. ahhh the 'good ol days'. Mike I live in Central Kentucky close to Lexington. I have so many questions I get overwhelmed.lol I will deff be in touch! -Phil
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Old 09-25-2013, 05:53 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by marktwained View Post
thanks alot fellas, good information and very easy reading for someone has spent the last 3 hours cross refrencing acronyms just to see what the hell everyone is talking about on TSL... this computer ecm stuff gets a little who is used to old school small blocks and whatnot... just bolt it on, take a drive and raise hell...lol. ahhh the 'good ol days'. Mike I live in Central Kentucky close to Lexington. I have so many questions I get overwhelmed.lol I will deff be in touch! -Phil
Call Mike D, just a short phone conversation will clear everything up for you. He is also a classic car person too!
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