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Saab 900 Tuning

"The first ever decent Turbo car."

The 900 is a good solid base for a tuning project. Getting on a bit now there are still many good examples around of the 900 a testimony to the solid build quality and excellent engineering. 

Improving the handling should be your first priority in your 900 tuning project. We would go to a maximum drop of 35mm on most models. You risk rubbing on the arches if you go lower than this.

Top end power should be your overall aim on the 900 with a nice fat peak torque band. Reduction of low down lag is also good although many prefer the better fuel economy at lower speed during the lag.

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The 900 was one of the first real turbo cars. Considering its age it performs very well and rewards the tuner with even more!

Sadly with smaller engine sizes you are wasting your time spending money on modifications, so if this applies to you get yourself an engine swap preferably to the 2.0 Turbo and then apply the following mods.

Saab 900 Tuning modifications.

This will help to ensure you retain some economy low down. Fast road cams offer one of the biggest performance gains as far as a bolt on part goes. Don't forget to uprate the fueling when you are increasing the power - it makes the car more thirsty. Improve your cars response to the throttle with a Fuel pressure boost valve. Uprated injectors will enable you to supply sufficient fuel to the engine. When increasing your fueling you will also need to get a bigger fuel pump to supply it.

The following modifications are usually performed by our members, decide how far you want to go before you begin.

Getting the right mods for your planned usage of the car is vital. Stage 3 (competition) mods just don't work well on the road.

Stage 1 mods: Exhaust, Panel air filter, Remap, lighter flywheel

Stage 2 mods: Fast road cam, ported and polished head, fuel injector & fuel pump upgrades, 

Stage 3 mods: Engine balancing, forced induction (turbo/supercharger), Internal engine upgrades (pistons/head/valves), competition cam.

Saab 900 Intake and Exhaust.

Breathing mods are usually next up. For small 900 engine sizes go with a washable panel air filter. On larger engines and turbo vehicles an induction kit will help increase power. Do not go with the biggest exhaust you can find - the best for power gains are usually between 2 to 2.5 inches.

In nearly all cases of 900 tuning your clutch will start to slip and this needs to be uprated - read our article on clutches for more information. Turbo engines are just begging to be custom remapped.You will see big power gains on most turbo engined cars including diesels making a remap one of the most cost effective modifications.Decreasing the engines compression ratio will allow you to add forced induction, water injection may also help prevent detonation.

Get a remanufacutred turbo with ball bearings and you will experience faster spool up and a more crisp power delivery.

Saab 900 Wheel modifications.

Because alloy wheels are lighter they improve performance and they help to cool the brake disks. It is worth noting that although they can look cool on the 900 Big alloy wheels will actually decrease your performance. The larger you go the lower you top speed will be due to the change in your effective final drive ratio. For this reason we would advise sticking to a maximum wheel size of 18 inches, although we know some of our members have got away with larger sizes than this with no problems.

Please join us in our forum to discuss the 900 options in more detail with our 900 owners. It would also be worth reading our 900 tuning articles to get a full grasp of the pros and cons of each type of modification.

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