Modifications, this thread is a place to list your cars modifications the results and the costs if you want to own up to them. It is not meant to be any more of a guide than just providing examples of what others have done to their cars. Please only post your modifications, this isnít meant to be a shiny cars thread but a reference for everyone.
My own 1996 NG900
I was lucky with my NG900 SE Turbo coupe because it was in very good condition, despite its 155k miles, when I bought it, as it came with a full Saab dealer service history. It wouldn't be sensible to modify any car that was not already in tiptop condition IMO.
Really are the first place to start if you plan on increasing the performance of you car. I havenít done anything radical to mine though apart from Mintex C-tech grooved and dimpled discs at the front combined with Pagid fast road pads and Goodridge S/S flexi brake lines all round. This combination has definitely improved stopping distances as the car will pull up very quickly but the feel of the brakes has changed as well, they feel a little more wooden without the sharp initial bite of the standard setup. But having said that I feel that the braking has been improved substantially. I suppose that was inevitable with different discs, flexi lines and pads but it is something to consider along with the fact the grooved discs do make more noise. Long term plans for me included a fitting a new master cylinder that is currently sitting in the shed.
A lot has been written about the comparative quality of the handling of the NG900ís and I donít really see the need to repeat it here but lets just say there is room for improvement.
My cars steering was woolly, there was a lot of body roll and it torque steered quite alarmingly, part of the problem was that the car suspension had covered 155K miles.
I fitted an Abbott Racing Rear Anti Roll Bar which brought the back end well under control and helped sharpen up the steering a little. Eibach Pro Springs, which lowered the car by 40mm, also stiffed up the handling and reduced body roll further. I was advised and found that the Eibachs were a good compromise as I didn't lose much in terms of ride quality for the above benefits. Whilst changing the springs, it was sensible to fit new shocks. After a bit of research and an answer from Eibach themselves they recommended fitting new OEM spec Sachs shocks, so thatís exactly what I did. They work well together but it would not have been advisable to stick with the original shocks as they had already done 155K with the movement range of the original springs.
To completely cure the woolly steering, torque steer and poor directional stability I fitted an Abbott Racing Viggen Rescue Kit. The kit consisted of a steering rack clamp and brace, front sub frame brace, steering control arm poly bushes and roller bearing top mounted ball joints. It was an expensive item at £550 but it, more than anything else really transformed the car. The steering is lighter and more precise, it is completely stable and doesnít drift at all on motorways and most importantly of all it just doesn't torque steering in the dry. You have to be more careful in the wet though. I can't praise the VRK highly enough in terms of what it delivers, weather I would buy it again is another matter. In my opinion all of the above modifications have completely transformed the way my car handles. It feels nimble with lots and lots of grip inspiring confidence in all situations.
I have kept the original 16" Viking wheels as I like them and think they suit the car, I am running Viking Pro Tech 500 tyres which I prefer to my previous Pirelli P6000ís.
I originally had my cars ECU modified with a Superchip that did exactly what Superchips stated (225 BHP and 232 ft lbs of torque) that was verified at Power Engineering. That was pleasing but it did highlight other areas that needed attention. Most noticeably was the handling of the car mentioned above, it turned my car into a torque steering, wheel spinning, body rolling beast that was hard to drive, so if I were ever to go on a NG900 tuning adventure again I would definitely sort the brakes and a handling first. Also as a result of the Superchipping the car, even with all the extra power, felt strangled like it wasnít breathing as it should. So I fitted a Viggen intercooler as I had read that the standard NG item starts suffering from heat saturation at around the 220 BHP mark. This is a fairly easy swop as all you need is the intercooler itself and two connecting pipes, job done and supposedly good until 300BHP.
Also the NG's air box is a known restriction. So I tried it with a J&R performance air filter but that didnít make much if any difference, also at the time I had read quite a bit about how such filters were letting particulates through that were big enough to cause damage to the turbo vanes so I went back to the standard paper filter. I then set about modifying the box itself but cutting off the original 2" snorkel and fitting a 2.5" pipe, also drilling several holes in the bottom of the box before the filter.
This helped and noticeably improved the breathing IMO.
The next step for me was to fit a 3" JT racing cat back exhaust as the original was rotten, that also provided a noticeable improvement and sounded wonderful as a bonus. I kept the original down pipe initially but sourced and fitted another standard pipe with the cat cut out. That also made a noticeable improvement and saw the fuel consumption improve by 2-4 mpg overall. Eventually I would like to fit the 3" JT front pipe but I have read that there are clearance issues with the VRK front sub frame brace, which is low enough as it is on my car.
The extra BHP finished off the, worn wastegate actuator and by pass valve. I replaced the WGA with a new standard item and the BPV with a Forge item which are both working fine, mind you I could have saved a few quid by buying a standard BPV as I have since found out that they are fine for at least 300BHP when serviceable. With the modifications to date I am hoping for
250bhp and 260 ft lbs at the next Rolling Road day, but we shall see. For more than that and I think I would have to further upgrade the ECU, turbo, clutch, brakes and wheels to fit over the bigger brakes. Also I would want to gas flow the cylinder head. All of which is expensive stuff, I donít know if I want to go that route as I have a c900 to play with as well now. Also to be considered is the reliability factor of higher tuning. To date my car has covered 20K miles in its current trim without an issue, but it has to be recognised that the more you tune the car the quicker it will wear out. This of course depends greatly on how you drive and maintain it to.
My car came with the standard grey velour innards so I went about sourcing a leather interior for it. To my surprise it wasnít that easy a task at the time but I eventually found a Sand Beige one for sale in Bristol, so I fitted that along with a wood look dash kit from Ebay and a BSR 1.5 bar boost gauge.
I wanted more power from my cars puny 7w per channel head unit but didnít want to lose the standard appearance. The NG900's integrated Clarion head unitsí pre outs are in the form of an 8 pin din arrangement which is a difficult size to find a connector for. I ended up making my own pre out cable by cannibalising 2 x 5 pin din plugs for their innards. Your can get some help in doing this here http://www.lehigh.edu/~cak7/Audio/Preamp.html
Once I made the cable I used it to supply an Alpine V12 Amp which powered the following; Pioneer 16cm TS-E1695 speakers in the doors and some Pioneer 6" x 9" TS-A6988 speakers in the rear. To fit the door speakers you will need the Saab fitting rings or you can make up you own arrangement if the fitting rings arenít there. They werenít on my car but I got a couple of the rings with the new interior. The rear speakers fitted in place of the standard ones but had to mounted from below the brackets rather than sit in them like the standard units. I also fitted a twin 10î sub box. To finish it off I fitted some small 3.5 cm Infinity Kappa speakers in the dash with base blockers and powered them from then head unit rather than the amp. All of this worked well together after being set up. But after a couple of years I got fed up with the lack of boot space so removed the amp and subs. I now power the rears and dash speakers with the standard head unit and will fit a smallish amp to power the door speakers. It was a good project that I enjoyed doing but practicality won the day in my case. Besides how loud do you need to have Radio 4