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Discussion Starter #1




This will serve as a sort of build-log and update center for the work being done to my 2004 Saab 9-3 Arc Sport Sedan. Black exterior with a charcoal gray interior. It's a 5spd manual with a TD04-14T turbo on a 2.0L Ecotec I4 engine. Yea yea, four cylinders. Yea yea, front wheel drive. The list of planned modifications is as follows:
  • BSR OptiFlow CAI
  • Simons/BSR Catback Exhaust (single exit)
  • Zimmerman rotors (302mm front, 292mm rear)
  • Akebono Ceramic Pads (all corners)
  • Nordic Tuning Stage 2 ECU (265bhp, 284ft-lbs)
  • 3" Downpipe and sportcat
  • Strut brace
  • Koni sport and Vogtland Suspension Kit (35mm lower)
For now that's what I have planned. Anyways, I've got the pads and rotors at the house. The exhaust and CAI are at my mechanic friend's shop, he'll be installing those while I'm on vacation next week (along with the ECU which will be ordered shortly). Dropping the car off tomorrow along with the brakes to be installed.

Now, before you go commenting "You should just do it yourself, save yourself the money and such" - the complex I live in doesn't have any sort of driveway/garage area to do work in, and they really get pissed if you do so much as open the hood while it's in your parking space. So I could do the work, I just don't have a place to do it at.

Anyways, for now it'll be just the intake, exhaust, ECU and brakes. I'll get the other pieces in stages. I will not be doing any exterior modifications to the vehicle, this will not be a show car, it's a go car.

Stock car:


Akebono ceramic pads:


Zimmerman front rotors (302mm):


Zimmerman rear rotors (292mm):


All together now:


Yes, the rear rotors are a slightly different color, not sure if they're coated, or if the front's should also have been coated but weren't.

Comments and suggestions are welcome.
 

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Those rear rotors are plain ugly. Interesting that you got akebono's on a "go" car. Would have figured that you get something else instead. Maybe some hawk HPS or something else. I have akebono's on my car, bu I on'y got them because of the very low dust. Ironically, a friend of mine starts selling rotars and brakes after i get some brembo blanks and the akebono's.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Quote:


Originally Posted by Socom
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bigger turbo/intercooler/exhaust>all your mods.

And? I'm not looking to build an absolute racing car or track vehicle. It's my daily driver, I'm looking to get a little bit more oomph out of it. I'm also not going to slap on every single part I can get my hands on, for that very same reason. I want a little bit more power right now, while maintaining the stock looks. That's what I mean by "go" rather than "show". Lots of people around here do the "show" part with absolutely no go.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Got back from a vacation yesterday. Called the mechanic at the shop to see if the car was ready...

It wasn't. There was an issue with the brakes requiring some special tool they apparently didn't have. So they're finishing it up today (they've been swamped this week apparently) and should drop it off tonight so I can get to work tomorrow.


I'll have the brakes installed by another shop, there's still a little bit of life left in the pads so they're not in danger of failing. It was just a "car's in for work, brakes are getting close, change if you can."

They've assured me they've taken a lot of photos, so when I can get copies of those, I will definitely post them up. I'll be taking photos of it in addition to the shop's pictures.
 

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I was gonna come in here and say "is that what kids are killing it these days"? Then I saw it was about jets or something. So I came in and said it anyway.
 

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If your Saab-model range still have the twist-piston brake calippers(which Saab always have been notorious for since the 90 & 99 models), then yeah, they'd definitely would need a special tool for that. Kinda lame that they say yes to a job and don't know how to do it, or atleast don't have the needed tools...

I like your thinking though, upgrading the brakes can be just as satifying as adding 50hp and IMO, everyone should START upgrading with the brakes and suspension. A car feels alot safer when driving fast with good brakes & handling rather than just a juiced up engine.
 

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Quote:


Originally Posted by kimosabi
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I like your thinking though, upgrading the brakes can be just as satifying as adding 50hp and IMO, everyone should START upgrading with the brakes and suspension. A car feels alot safer when driving fast with good brakes & handling rather than just a juiced up engine.

This. Cornering fast and in control is way more fun than ripping in a straight line then having to drop to 30 just to get around a bend.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by BlankThis View Post
This. Cornering fast and in control is way more fun than ripping in a straight line then having to drop to 30 just to get around a bend.
Yea, no kidding!
 

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Quote:


Originally Posted by Socom
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bigger turbo/intercooler/exhaust>all your mods.

This.

That stock turbo reminds me a 1.8T Jetta. In fact, it's worse. At least the 1.8T has linear power delievery. The turbo on the 9-3 is like a light switch. It goes no where (almost literally) until it hits boost so violently that traction is hopeless... then it continues to go no where.
I once turned the traction off in a 9-3 Aero in the rain. I couldn't accelerate normally. I had to choose between baking tire from 0-40mph or crawling up to 40mph off boost and then accelerating normally.

Seriously dude, a properly sized turbo would be the best money you ever spent on that car. It has nothing to do with going fast is a straight line - the car would just DRIVE better.
 

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Nice mods. Since you're in FL with no annual emission testing, you can easily pick up another 10-15hp with a test pipe.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Heh, yea the shop had the proper tool, just the wrong size. They'll have the proper sized tool tomorrow and I should be stopping by the shop later this week to have the brakes properly installed.

I also got the car back tonight and what a difference. Freer flowing intake makes the bypass valve (blow-off valve will never work with the car) sound much more noticeable in the cabin. Love that sound. Exhaust sounds nice, it's definitely not too loud, though you can hear it, and it doesn't annoy me at highway speeds either. Best part is the tuned ECU, which delivers a much better kick in the pants.

There is one thing I have to take a look at when I have more light this week ... I am noticing a definite drop in boost at 3500-4000rpm in 3rd and 4th gears. Now in 1st-2nd gears, boost is limited and there is no issue, but in the higher gears the boost seems to just disappear. From what I've been reading, I'm thinking it has something to do with the bypass valve not being able to handle the higher boost of the tune, and is failing. I am not a mechanic by any stretch of the imagination, so I could be way off base.


Passing is much more fun now, and I definitely have to be MUCH more careful, as the WOT length I've been used to using to pass someone will easily get me very close to triple digit speeds ... definitely want to avoid those on public roads. >_>

All in all, I'd say it was worth the money so far. Next up is definitely some sort of suspension modification while I adapt to the new power delivery.

EDIT: @AyeYo: The stock turbo on my 2.0T is the Mitsubishi TD04-14T unit. Upgrades are available to the TD04-18T unit or any of a number of Garrett turbo units that fit the car. Are you suggesting my unit is too small for the 2.0L engine I have? I'm not well versed at all in turbo applications, so please do elaborate.
 

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Hm. A tune won't make you run more boost really, you need a bigger turbo. If you wanna feel some power, get a cam and a larger turbo. The blow off will make you very happy
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by afzsom View Post
EDIT: @AyeYo: The stock turbo on my 2.0T is the Mitsubishi TD04-14T unit. Upgrades are available to the TD04-18T unit or any of a number of Garrett turbo units that fit the car. Are you suggesting my unit is too small for the 2.0L engine I have? I'm not well versed at all in turbo applications, so please do elaborate.
It's a combination of a too small turbo and a restrictive exhaust. The idiots of the world "zomg soooo hate turbozzz lagzz" so OEM's put these extremely small hot-side, instant spool turbos on these cars so that said idiots get instant transient response (turbo spools the second you hit the gas while above boost threshold and after a shift) when test driving the car with the equally stupid saleman.

Quick spool isn't a bad thing if you just want to make an I4 feel like a V6 with no top end. However, due to restrictive intake and exhaust piping and restrictive cast manifolds, a turbo that WOULD be nearly spooled at idle (exaggeration) suddenly has a higher boost threshold (rpm at which pressure goes positive).

So what do you end up with? You now have a turbo that's so small it goes from no boost to full boost instantly, but the boost threshold has been raised so high by the restrictive parts that the otherwise weak motor STILL has no bottom end to get you going... but then you hit boost and get a massive, instant rush of power, but only for second because the tiny hot-side of the turbo has already become a massive restriction and is killing power WELL short of the limiter.

Basically, you'll see a massive difference in boost threshold after putting the exhaust and intake on the car. It'll drive more like it should have from the factory and will probably make full boost 1000+ rpm sooner. However, this is only going to exaggerate the non-existant top end of that turbo, as you enjoy your newfound response and bottom-end, only to realize it doesn't actually pull any harder up top.

As for actual specs on the turbo, Mistu has soooo many different slight variasions of turbo it's nearly impossible to find specs for it. From what I can find, both the 14T and 18T use a 6cm^2 turbine housing, which is too small for a 2.0L. The 18T has a larger compressor, but the issue is the extremely small turbine side, so I don't see a larger compressor is much of an upgrade.

18T compressor map is here: http://www.stealth316.com/images/td04h-18t-raw.gif
Turbine map, you're just not going to find. Mitsubishi turbine maps only exist in the same alternate universe as Fermi and Iraq's WMDs.

Looks good enough for <250whp. Again, the issue is the hot side. IMO, it'd be more appropriate for a 1.6L. While it'll make the power, even this one is going to lack a nice top end pull... but maybe that doesn't matter to you. Some people don't like any delay between jab at the gas and motor response. I'm not one of them; I'd pefer a little lag with my otherwise linear powerband and strong top end pull.
 
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