Saab Modifications

Power modifications

I like power. Some people might consider 290bhp through the front wheels excessive, but I think it is about right, and probably not enough…  The bhp figure is misleading, as peak torque is much higher than would be expected for that bhp (about 360 lbft), which is just a little bit more than the clutch can handle.

JT 3″ exhaust from turbo back including high-flow catalytic converter

  • Useful for reducing back pressure at the turbo, it flows better, and has a nice burble
  • These exhausts also last well

JT performance air filter

  • I don’t think this adds much

Forge recirculating dump valve

  • Replaced stock dump valve
  • Does not improve performance, but is shiny and should be reliable
  • Some dump valve noise is audible, but not the excessive noise of an atmopsheric valve
  • All small vacuum hose was replaced with red silicone hose at the same time as the original hose was failing

Speedparts Stg3 ECU Updgrade

  • Designed to operate with the above modifications to increase engine power
  • Power improved from 225 bhp (standard) to around 285 bhp
  • Rolling roaded at 243 bhp at the wheels following fitting
  • Much higher boost in the lower part of the rev range
  • Turbo / injector limitations force a reduction in boost in the upper rev range
Shiny exhaust, but not the end that makes a difference to power
3" Exhaust heading back
Lovely Saab engine

Brake modifications

Useful for stopping. The standard pads can fade, as I found out on the ring, but with performance pads, you can damage the brake disks.

Brake Pads

  • Ferodo DS2500 – Much better performance than stock. Good when cold, very good when hot
  • Far more expensive than stock pads
  • Can squeal under light braking (although current set are ok)
  • Produce plenty of brake dust

Brake disks

  • Brembo grey-iron disks
  • Good reputation, and very reasonable price
  • I seem to cook these, and despite every care when cooling-off, they don’t brake smoothly
  • Larger brakes may be required – or improved cooling through foglight removal and ducting

Brake hoses

  • Goodridge braided hoses
  • Supposed to be better, no difference that I have noted
New Brembo disks and DS2500 pads
DS2500 pads
Brakes and suspension showing braided brake hoses


Bit of a tricky area. The Aero has stiffer and lower suspension than a standard 9000, with bigger anti-roll bars, but it is still a long way from ideal for a car used on the track. That said, the Saab has done well despite roll.

Abbott racing front strut brace

  • Sold piece of steel, supposed to stiffen thigngs up
  • It has been since 2004, maybe I would notice a difference if I took it off
Stut brace and top engine mount bushes (yellow)

Poly bushes

  • These are in plenty of places to reduce flex
  • Both parts of the upper engine mount
  • Gearbox mount
  • Anti-roll bars
  • Various suspension components


  • I think tyres make the car. I am always keen to have the best tyres on, and in good condition
  • I have 2 sets of 16″ Super Aero alloys shod in 205/55/16 Z-rated rubber. This is the original size, and tyres are very reasonable as it is a common size on many cars now
  • Currently running Bridgestone Potenza RE050A. These have plenty of grip and wear well
  • Have also been through 2 sets of Bridgestone Potenza S03. These have been good in the dry, but when new with lots of tread, exceptionally good in the wet
  • There is no point using more specialised sticky rubber until the suspension is modified to cope with additional grip
New RE050A on refusrbished Super Aero Alloy
Saab Aero alloy wheel interior


I don’t like cosmetic modifications, and prefer a car to look reasonably standard. All the better to surprise other cars with.

  • Aero and Turbo badges removed
  • Clear side repeaters
  • Northloop sticker and ring sticker – these do go against my ‘standard’ look, but I like the Ring, and I like Northloop, who are a good bunch
Subtle changes