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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, Iv done a bit of non-mechanical upgrades so far, but may be looking towards real ones sometime, exhuast, air intake, suspension, ect. Some of them may be a ways off though.



My main question would be is that i have always feared power upgrades will cause more strain and lessen engine life or increase chance of breakdowns? But maybe im wrong.



Also what would be the recomendations for first upgrades on a stock base 2000 9-3 convertible around 85,000 miles?



I dont beleive i could lower the car because of my location, lots of horrible bumpy roads and potholes.
 

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I started with the steering rack brace and rear sway bar (best to prepare for the additional power). I then went with the open air intake, 3" inch exhaust and catback with the Stage IV software upgrade. I then went to 17 inch rims and I eventually added the koni suspension kit and the poly engine and tranny mounts. Last upgrade I did was short shifter.
 

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Also, the only power related issue I had was with the clutch, I did have to replace the stock clutch with the viggen version as it started to slip after a while.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Also, the only power related issue I had was with the clutch, I did have to replace the stock clutch with the viggen version as it started to slip after a while.
I have a throwout bearing on its way out, may upgrade the clutch aswell when that happens, not sure.

How much difference does the air intake make without the ecu upgrade or the catback?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
What kind of tires do you have?

Good summer tires and upgraded brake pads should be your first.
Some sort of the michelin x radials types right now i beleive.

I dont beleive i could upgrade wheel size from the 15inch since the roads around me are so bad, what sort of break upgrade would i be looking at? Any good places to buy them, or specifications i would need to know?

Is GS the best for most of these parts or are there better/cheaper alternatives?

Thanks for the responses
 

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Just get some summer specific tires, rather than all seasons. As for brake pads, just get a decent set of EBC or similar and flush/bleed your brakes.

It's stupid to do anything else, until you've touched those.

I love when people recommend power or suspension mods and then run on some shitty tires.

Remember your tires are the ONLY thing on your car that touches the road.
 

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I've done the rear sway bar and steering rack and brace, loved them, made the car feel sure footed and sportier. Also added an MBC+A set to a bit more boost than stock. Got also the 2.5" SAAB Sports exhaust, good summer tires (General Exclaim UHP) on stock 16" size.

I have yet to install poly bushings, Vogtland springs, new control arms and Koni shocks. I am just waiting for some time to do it.

Future upgrades that I am looking to do within the next month is a better inetrcooler (have a HOT unit waiting for install), plus Speedparts CAI that's in the mail. Within the next year I want to do the downpipe and a Stage II ECU. Maybe a TD04 turbo upgrade too.

To a certain extent doing upgrades to any vehicle beyond stock will cause some wear and tear, but if you keep up with preventive maintenance and don't go too wild with upgrades the car should last as long with stock. Main thing on a car is always stay on top of oil changes. New oil every 3000 miles is a lot cheaper than a new engine. A lot of how much wear and tear the upgrades will cause also depend on how you drive it. If you are careless with shifting, dump the clutch often, go over potholes with a lowered suspension instead of slowing down, etc, you will break something sooner or later. Have some common sense, learn to drive smooth (smoother is faster), and stay on top of maintenance then the car won't last any less than stock.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I've done the rear sway bar and steering rack and brace, loved them, made the car feel sure footed and sportier. Also added an MBC+A set to a bit kore boost than stock. Got also the 2.5" SAAB Sports exhaust, good summer tires (General Exclaim UHP) on stock 16" size.

I have yet to install poly bushings, Vogtland springs, new control arms and Koni shocks. I am just waiting for some time to do it.

Future upgrades that I am looking to do within the next month is a better inetrcooler (have a HOT unit waiting for install), plus Speedparts CAI that's in the mail. Within the next year I want to do the downpipe and a Stage II ECU. Maybe a TD04 turbo upgrade too.

To a certain extent doing upgrades to any vehicle beyond stock will cause some wear and tear, but if you keep up with preventive maintenance and don't go too wild with upgrades the car should last as long with stock. Main thing on a car is always stay on top of oil changes. New oil every 3000 miles is a lot cheaper than a new engine. A lot of how much wear and tear the upgrades will cause also depend on how you drive it. If you are careless with shifting, dump the clutch often, go over potholes with a lowered suspension instead of slowing down, etc, you will break something sooner or later. Have some common sense, learn to drive smooth (smoother is faster), and stay on top of maintenance then the car won't last any less than stock.
I bought it last year with 75,000miles on it, i have a 1999 9-3 hatchback that i drive in winters, and garage the conv. I always keep up on oil changes and use synthetic with gm/saab filters.
My driving habits are fast, But i always shift before the redline, in this area its almost impossible to not hit a lot of bumps unfortunately so i doubt i would ever lower it.
 

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An aftermarket cold air intake would be the first thing I would think of because the better an engine can breath, the better it can perform, period.

In keeping with the whole 'better flow' theme, my next suggestion would be a 3" DP and elimination of the silencer from the exhaust system.

I'd then go onto upgrading the grounding system in the car by swapping in larger gauge cables to decrease it's signal transmission resistance, thereby enabling the electronics to function better, afterall, the majority of the cars' systems are regulated by the electronics, so enabling them to better communicate with one another should be a priority.

Leaving only the suspension to contend with...It really all matters how you prefer to go about things, you see, while improving the engines ability to perform would seem to be foremost in most peoples minds, they'll soon realize the need of improving it's handling &/or braking ability to compensate for the increased performance, so perhaps you should heed others input in that regard.
 

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An aftermarket cold air intake would be the first thing I would think of because the better an engine can breath, the better it can perform, period.

In keeping with the whole 'better flow' theme, my next suggestion would be a 3" DP and elimination of the silencer from the exhaust system.

I'd then go onto upgrading the grounding system in the car by swapping in larger gauge cables to decrease it's signal transmission resistance, thereby enabling the electronics to function better, afterall, the majority of the cars' systems are regulated by the electronics, so enabling them to better communicate with one another should be a priority.

Leaving only the suspension to contend with...It really all matters how you prefer to go about things, you see, while improving the engines ability to perform would seem to be foremost in most peoples minds, they'll soon realize the need of improving it's handling &/or braking ability to compensate for the increased performance, so perhaps you should heed others input in that regard.
Are you serious!?

1. intake, most modern cars perform better with the oem intake an a performance panel filter than with an open intake

2. grounding? seriously?
 

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Are you serious!?
Always...Unless I say otherwise.

1. intake, most modern cars perform better with the oem intake an a performance panel filter than with an open intake
We're not talking about "most", we're talking about Saab, or at least I thought so.

2. grounding? seriously?
Seriously...ALL (Saabs and otherwise) cars benefit from decreased ohmic resistance in their electrical systems, plus, the 9-3's (and in particular the 9-5's) are somewhat notorious for developing certain, uh, issues...with their transmission management systems (which is why I also suggest tracing down each and every electrical connector in the system, unplugging it and squirting a dab of hi-temp silicone into the connector and replugging it, then wiping away any excess silicone).
 

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Saabs T7/8 systems will adapt the tune, basically negating putting an open filter on it. The only thing you are going to get is a louder intake noise. UNLESS you put in a custom tune for it.

I still don't "buy" grounding. Namely because all the kits for them are 1. ricey and 2. it makes your car look like the unibomber rigged it. For the most part it's a placebo.

Here's an EE's take on it (from another board)

The way most people do their grounding kits I doubt that it is affecting the spark at all. Spark electrical spectrum is an engineer's nightmare - they are full of harmonics that won't efficiently travel down a wire and have plenty of power behind them. A good braided ground strap or high conductor count wire are much more effective than a standard wire. You need surface area to deal with these harmonics and standard wire just doesn't provide it. Add to that the fact that most cars now the coils are located on the engine, with the power coming from the alternator (not the battery), also located on the engine, so I highly doubt the grounding kits affect the impedance the spark systems sees at all.

What grounding kits are most likely affecting is the reference point that the ECU uses to read all of its sensors. The ECU is rarely located on the engine (for good reason - you wouldn't want to pay for an ECU that could survive the temperature cycling and vibration it would see there) so it must get its signal reference from a wire attached to some common reference point. With the manufacturer's trying to reduce costs as much as possible the reference point will also be the signal return so it has to carry some current, making it susceptible to impedance growth over time. If the reference point moves the ECU sees it as a signal change, and adjusts accordingly, but it is adjusting to a false signal change. If you clean up the ground connection points the problem typically goes away, but it seems much easier to just throw in more wire rather than fixing the problem. FWIW from what I've seen the is no way a vehicle will pass SAE EMI emissions tests without a good, solid ground on the engine.

If you do clean up the ground connections get yourself some dielectric grease. Put a good coating over all the ring terminal, the ground point, and any star washers present. This will prevent or reduce resistance growth from occurring. And if the ground bolt doesn't use a star washer (external toothed lock washer) it should. They help significantly in cutting thorough any oxides that may be present when the connection is made.
 

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Always...Unless I say otherwise.

We're not talking about "most", we're talking about Saab, or at least I thought so.

Seriously...ALL (Saabs and otherwise) cars benefit from decreased ohmic resistance in their electrical systems, plus, the 9-3's (and in particular the 9-5's) are somewhat notorious for developing certain, uh, issues...with their transmission management systems (which is why I also suggest tracing down each and every electrical connector in the system, unplugging it and squirting a dab of hi-temp silicone into the connector and replugging it, then wiping away any excess silicone).
Although I do agree with you....Would you please start smoking weed or drinking heavily...Really, Who the hell wipes off the silicone:twisted:
 

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Are you serious!?

1. intake, most modern cars perform better with the oem intake an a performance panel filter than with an open intake

2. grounding? seriously?
I lol'd at this too Topher.

Intakes on these cars are really more about sound and looks than a major performance upgrade. Like mentioned above, I would start with the IMPORTANT stuff aka suspension + tires. I bought my NG with a bit of "GO" mods done. Since then I have done the important stuff, steering rack clamp + brace, 22mm ARB, Bilstein HD's and vogtland springs all round. I am also running 17" rims with a performance summer tire.

My two cents, do the 22mm ARB, get good tires, steering rack clamp + brace then do a stage 1 tune. Next up look at a 3" DP and a KONI kit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Get these tires:

Tire Details - Discount Tire Direct

BRAKES not breaks.

Get some EBC Green Stuff pads and then have the brake fluid flushed.

Excellent suspension set up that handles well but will not drive like shit.

GenuineSaab.com
Thanks!
Those springs though would seem to lower the suspension, i would be worried about bottoming out all the time in my area? Many potholes bumps and hills here.

And brakes, sorry lol, multitasking too much.
 
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