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1981 8v c900 sedan, 1990 2.0 9k carlsson, 1992 21 c900 sedan
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

In a posting in the C900 General Technical Forum on my website, I posed the question of adding a turbo to my non-turbo 1983 900S which has an 8V engine.

Has anyone else considering doing this? Is it worthwhile assembling all the parts to do the job in preference to just waiting to find a turbo-equipped C900 that's running, or buying one that' s not running and using it to strip out the necessary parts?

Other than the transmission issue (mine has an auto, and I want to replace it with a manual), adding a turbo would give the car a significant increase in performance. I would like to keep the 8V engine as I quite like the brute reliability of the B201 engines.

If I'm barking up the wrong tree with this idea, please tell me! It's not at the top of my wishlist but is definitely something I'd consider doing if it was possible to achieve it without budget-blowing expense...

Regards,

Craig.
 

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I Have done this, 1993 2.1 NA to Turbo with complete turbo kit off an earlier 1989 900T but with ECO 9000 garret, this conversion is essentially based on what others have undertaken in the US.

This car is one owner and I have always given preemptive servicing so I started with a solid base and this is important. Also this mod is ongoing as there is way more to be gained if you can bare the relatively small cost when compared to some hobbies.

Currently 6 psi and on boost and no lag at 1800 rpm then flattens off at 3200 rpm, very snappy around town (and all within speed limit). This characteristic is likely owing to my turbo choice. But contrary to all the doubters who will say go buy a 900T otherwise you will grenade your motor etc. this is the single most sensible way to power up a NA 900. I have previously spent way to much for minor gains that can be had from a NA vehicle. As far as reliability for all intents and purposes this is the same vehicle as was turbo'd stock with the exception of some boost protection. I am quite sure I could blow this motor the same as I could my modified stock 900T if I was so inclined but sensibly driven and with pre set limits I am confident of longevity.

This Mod once collecting all the kit, the conversion is only 12 hours work for a home mechanic plus some specialist exhaust work. Collecting all the parts is simple if you have access to a complete 900T wreck or what ever. I didn't and this took some months but US based enthusiast were very helpfull, however it's just timing and since this project I have collected sufficient for another without much drama. I am in Australia so if you care to contact me please post a reply.

grlyd
 

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1981 8v c900 sedan, 1990 2.0 9k carlsson, 1992 21 c900 sedan
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
grlyd said:
I Have done this, 1993 2.1 NA to Turbo with complete turbo kit off an earlier 1989 900T but with ECO 9000 garret, this conversion is essentially based on what others have undertaken in the US.

This car is one owner and I have always given preemptive servicing so I started with a solid base and this is important. Also this mod is ongoing as there is way more to be gained if you can bare the relatively small cost when compared to some hobbies.
Well done - I'm impressed. I don't know if the same sort of upgrade can be attempted with 8V C900's (mine are 8V NA's, so the ballgame is in a different sort of court compared to the more recent 16V NA C900's).

Would be interesting to look at grafting a turbo to a NA 8V car but other people who've emailed me privately all seem to think it's not worth the trouble. Granted there are very few turbo-equipped 8V C900's in Australia that I've come across on Ebay or in other places such as online classified websites, but that doesn't mean they aren't out there!

The one issue where i could see a turbo being an advantage with my cars is that they have auto transmissions so the way they shift gears means a turbo would not be spooling up and down with every gear change due to the engine revs staying fairly constant during changes (which consequently means the intake and exhaust pressures and flow rates are going to remain relatively stable across each gear shift).

Pity there aren't (I don't think so anyway) any 4-speed auto transmissions that were fitted to C900's. I've only heard of 3-speed auto's in the pre-GM 900's such as what I own.

Craig.
 

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Craig and Burnside,

Craig,
I had an '87 auto 8v NA some years ago although my memory of the engine bay has dimmed I do remember it wasn't to dissimilar to those that came later. If yours is an injected model I can't see why you can't simply bolt up the necessary kit from a later 16v 2 Lt T. The major possible difficulty being if the exhaust manifold pattern was different or that the later manifold if it was able to bolt up interfered with the plug leads etc. If this later manifold worked everything else would just hang in place with the odd push and shove and removal of redundant intake and so forth.

I will email shortly.

grlyd
 

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I am very interested in this,

what parts did you get to complete the modification??

has any1 successfully put ABS on a car with none?
 

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1981 8v c900 sedan, 1990 2.0 9k carlsson, 1992 21 c900 sedan
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
grlyd said:
Craig and Burnside,

Craig,
I had an '87 auto 8v NA some years ago although my memory of the engine bay has dimmed I do remember it wasn't to dissimilar to those that came later. If yours is an injected model I can't see why you can't simply bolt up the necessary kit from a later 16v 2 Lt T. The major possible difficulty being if the exhaust manifold pattern was different or that the later manifold if it was able to bolt up interfered with the plug leads etc. If this later manifold worked everything else would just hang in place with the odd push and shove and removal of redundant intake and so forth.
Well I have now found a 1985 8V turbo 5-spd manual C900 here in Australia that is currently for sale. Not sure if I'll get it yet but if I can then I can sit it next to my 8V NA car and do direct comparisons. I think the major issues apart from the different intake/exhaust piping would be wiring mods/additions and adding the APC (which is just an electronic control box as far as I know?).

Regards,

Craig.
 

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Hey craig (and everyone else)

I have a '92 900NA at the moment and have purchased all the parts to convert my 2.1L NA engine to LPT form and will be doing so on july 1st, canada day week end. My boost gauge is on the way and my MBC as well from purchases on Ebay, I picked up half the parts in montreal and James is shipping the rest to me next week. All I am missing is a fiew gaskets (manifold and such) and some brand new silicone vacuum lines. I will report my results to you guys in a week and a bit!

I grabbed the instructions from this : http://webusers.physics.umn.edu/~nmoore/saab/lpt_conversion_files/lpt_conversion.html
website and am using the stock blackstone I/C and garrett turbo from and SPG.

I plan on running roughly 6-7 LBS of boost and eventualy do the head gasket. While the head is off, I will be doing a bit of trimming in the combustion chamber to alter the compression ratio (on the head mostly) so I can run a bit more boost.

I hope to eventualy get a bigger I/C with better flow down pipe as well as an aquamist system in order to be able to run aprox 11-12 LBS of boost.

As for you GRLYD, did you encounter any difficulties durring your conversion? did you do the head gasket prior to conversion?

OHH also, I need to get the pressure fitting from SAAB for the oil line to the turbo that goes into the block. Anyone know howmuch this costs???
 

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Your on the right track, undertake a complete installation as if it were a
stock 900T. It works fine but for your interest following is some observations
as experienced with my project.

The oil feed line you mention is fiddly without stripping away the intake
manifold but still quite do-able with all in place with perseverance, another
pain in the butt was the lower radiator hose to turbo coolant line if using the original metal pipe (chop it near the turbo, fit a hose nipple at the turbo and
run a hose to the chopped pipe (makes life easier when you start swapping turbo's in and out as this whole exercise become infectious). The original 2.1 head I'd had rebuilt and flowed gasket matched and enlarged throttle etc. previously whilst still in NA form. Initial performance was restricted to 3 -4 psi as realistically this is ALL that was (is) achievable for mechanical longevity. 5 - 6 psi will result in pinging with any drawn out sustained acceleration e.g.
continuing rpm whilst at maximum boost. However at 3 - 4 psi your vehicle
will be a completely different experience from its NA drive. Spirited
performance around town (1800 to 3200 rpm) and a way better drive than a stock 900T in this range due to greater capacity and compression, plus on the
highway a noticeable smoothing of the engine note harshness from previously.

However to achieve sustained acceleration linear with increasing boost pressure, personally I've now had a 2.3 liter head rebuilt with moderate port
work,matching and importantly the combustion chambers enlarged. A compression test prior to the head work (stock 2.1 head) showed an average
of 175 psi per cylinder, the now installed 2.3 head has an average 151 psi per cylinder . As a comparison my fully rebuilt and restored '89 900T Aero has an
average of 162 psi compression per cylinder. Initially I was concerned that maybe I had gone to far but I can honestly say that after this head work I felt
no noticeable drop in the low down performance that makes this 2.1
conversion so desirable and boost is now set at 10 psi and will handle sustained acceleration into higher rpm ranges while at max. boost.

This however!!! is still not the complete picture while the 2.1 stock fueling would appear more or less acceptable for spirited road use, that is providing
your fuel pump, injectors etc. is all up to scratch (important) or better still
slightly enhanced (however to much is not better). In my instance sudden
wide open throttle did initially and still does cause an instant stock level response from the 2.1 EZK ignition, which works, but really now needs
greater response to initial lean out ping. Personally to complete my
conversion I need to better control ignition retard with knock and boost
and at present I'm rectifying this (quite simple and affordable unit).
Personally I am trying to emulate within the bounds of the stock 2.1 enhancements that were considered stock on a 900T. Doubters will
down cry this 2.1 conversion as a waste of time and money however these forums are loaded with tales of big spending on
stock 900 turbo's!!. Myself and numerous others that have done this 2.1 conversion have previously and still continue to enhance stock 900
turbo's as well so we can't all be mad!!!

Have fun.

see pic most recent engine bay, 2.3 head
 

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I noticed you are not using the Turbo distributor for ignition retard...... I will be installing all the stock turbo hardware from an 87 or 86 SPG.... I already have half the parts.

The one I have is oil cooled only so that saves me from runing the extra lines. The one confusing thing is: where can I get the special pressure fitting for the oil feed line? the one located under the EXHAUST manifold (bigger diameter oil line, also very short. Bolts to the bottom of turbo) The part where it goes in the block has a plug. How did you remove the plug, what is the better way to do it and how easy was it to find the pressure fitting that holds the metal oil line in there?

Thanks!
 

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looks like a nice set up. I am well aware that turboing a 2.1 car is a compleetly viable option, there are several people who have done it and good results. Personally, if I were doing the job I would go about it a bit differently that most people who do it seem to..

#1 I would junk the EZK ignition and install the stock turbo set up, but back it down to 14 deg BTDC.. additionaly, I would also junk the 2.4.2 jetronic system and install a 2.4 from a turbo along with the injectors. this conbination along with an intercooler and possible water injection would probably make quite the barn burner out of a 2.1 liter C-900. APC system would replace the EZK, even some of the wiring is already in place for that so it's a simple matter there (mainly knock sensor wire) that should make it nearly as strong and reliable as a 2.0 turbo engine.

I like your valve cover and manifold too, are those powder coated?
 

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I already have the SPG hi-flow injectors in the car, I installed them last week when I picked up the turbo and exhaust manifold. I also have the original Blackstone I/C.

I eventualy want to buy a bigger I/C and an aquamist system to cool charge temps.

Thing is thoug, I am also looking into buying an '82 Turbo 8valve C900 at the moment (in mint condition, see my other post in the c900 general post section) so this will be slowing down my B212 mod project as well as draining some of my funds.

I do plan on doing quite a bit more with the T8 but eventualy will complete my T16.....

They will both be realy nice once I am done.... (give me a good year and a bit)
 

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Passion4_900,

Sorry I miss understood which oil line.

I would expect any Saab wrecker should be able to supply the oil return as a complete item. Essentially it consists of the pipe with a flange at the turbo and a straight pipe with a flared ring which a 'O"ring sits against and this in turn just sits in the recessed hole in the block where the plug (plate) was removed. To remove the plug I used a center punch to carefully knock a hole in the plug then just hooked it out. Carefully means don't have anything fly through the hole or damage the future seating for the O ring. I don't think there is a great deal of pressure within this return line if any.

DeLorean,

Your correct in what you say, but unfortunately I don't have the confidence to attempt a swap in of a complete APC system which incidently I have sitting spare. If I could find the information as a blow by blow I would probably give it a go. Also it would be nice to know how well this works in this exact situation prior to, as invariably all these things turn into a suck and see situation and then have faults to be sorted. At present this vehicle is running almost as well in performance as my '88 900T, and being a '93 the subtle year changes make for me anyway, a nicer drive. As I have owned this one from new I have complete confidence in its longevity and ability to handle this new output based on the years of pre emptive maintainance.
Realistically I have acheived all I intended from this swap but enough is never enough so on we go fiddling away.

Cheers
 

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so the bigger line that goes into the block only has an "O" ring? no high pressure or nothing....

Can I get just any o ring that fits or do I have to get one in particular?
 

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Passion4_900,

You require the genuine O ring as this is a different composition from standard rubber types, also it is quite thick. I have in emergency tried alternatives with sealant (moderate success) but trust me nothing beats the Saab part. Be carefull as its prone to breaking and tearing compared to rubber. Attach the oil return pipe to the turbo prior to installing as its all but impossible to bolt up to the turbo later.

DeLorean,

The valve cover was sand blasted and then I just coated immediately with VHT brand aerosol spray high temp 1500deg clear from an Auto shop (thick and rapid cured between coats with a heat gun). Red plug cover was same product flat red oversprayed with same clear. Manifold was just a VHT brand high temp product of manifold colour all seem to hold up very well.

All the best
 

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I have a 1988 900 Turbo SPG that I added a few mods to and cranked the wastegate down too far and had severe piston meltdown. Well anyways I had a friend who gave me his 1986 900 NA That needed a slave cylinder, So I put the NA motor in my SPG and swapped turbo parts and need to know how I should set my timing and boost levels. I have 24lb injectors and a 3.0 bar regulator and spg9 stage one apc box I also removed the converter and have 2 1/2 inch exhaust back to a 4 inch fart can muffler. Any ideas ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
grlyd said:
Passion4_900,

You require the genuine O ring as this is a different composition from standard rubber types, also it is quite thick. I have in emergency tried alternatives with sealant (moderate success) but trust me nothing beats the Saab part. Be carefull as its prone to breaking and tearing compared to rubber. Attach the oil return pipe to the turbo prior to installing as its all but impossible to bolt up to the turbo later.
This might explain one of the things with the 8V turbo engine I'm working on at the moment with a vew to getting the car good enough to register and insure soon...

There is quite a lot of oil around the top area of the turbo sort of near where the oil line enters. Is that a possible candidate for a buggered seal? I'm not sure how the oil lines are set up yet - quite a bit of a learning curve with the turbo engine compared to the other cars of mine with 8V non-turbo donk's.

Craig.
 
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