Saab Alchemy

Saab Alchamy_1Saab Alchamy_2Saab Alchamy_3Saab Alchamy_4

My recent decision to stick with the original generation 9-3 Aero convertible rather than go for a newer model, resulted in it being put in the safe and hugely capable hands of Jason and his team at Malcolm Miles for a major operation and upgrade.

Things have been moving rapidly – new Bilstein B8 shocks and MapTun springs are now in place to sort out the handling, the engine has been removed and its replacement is taking shape in the workshop.

I like to think of this as Saab alchemy, Jason has taken the beating heart of a legendary 9000 Aero 2.3, bolted on a brand new Turbo, all new gaskets, water pump, chain set and 3 part clutch amongst many other things and is currently reuniting it with the 9-3.

Once back in place, it’ll be treated to a new performance stainless steel exhaust and a bespoke remap by Noob Tune.

All this alchemy will result in an understated, stylish Aero convertible producing a sweet 280hp with the handling and stance the Saab deserves.

Can’t wait to feel the results.


11 thoughts on “Saab Alchemy

  1. Eibach springs might have been a better choice Paul (my car sits on them at the moment) as there is a strong school of thought that the MapTuns go ‘coil bound’ on the rear of our cars.
    Have a search on UKS for the thread, the boys at Neo’s were taking springs back, or offering to, should the purchaser have had this issue with them.
    It’s quite some time ago but there was take up on the offer with a bad/poor batch getting the blame.
    It was enough to have me go Billie B8/Eibach route anyway and after travelling in several OG’s with different suspension set up’s I believe THIS was the best set up for my application…I have some MapTun spacers if you are only buying the springs because it says MapTun on them 😉
    Karl is who did/does my tunes…280 on that motor is very conservative though. Have him push the boat out, take it to 300 and be replacing tyres every three months 😉
    Looking forward to seeing this one finished as you had/have a very nice base car

    • Thanks Kent, we were going for Eibach springs, but had to save funds for other things. If it noticeably effects the ride, I’ll be changing them when funds are replenished 🙂 I’ll mention the 300 to Jason and the team, watch his reaction. Just happy to be lavishing a bit of attention on such a great Saab, they really deserve it. I’ll be updating again soon.

    • That’s interesting. My og9-3 coupe is on Vogtland/Maptun/Koni springs (all the same I believe, mine as part of the Koni “Yellow” adjustable kit), and it is very firm and harsh on a lot of our roads Down Under. I wonder if I got that bad batch, it’s always felt a bit off..

      • After to feedback, I’m hoping the MapTun springs turn out to be up to scratch, the folks at Neo are really helpful, so if they aren’t I’ll give them a call 🙂

  2. I think you’ve made the right decision. Although your Aero Convertible was elegant and exclusive, now also it is going to be a beast on asphalt.

    Beware of excess Hp.

    Good choice.


  3. I really like the style of this generation 9-3. The aero big bumpers make the car look great. The seats are some of the best ever made. I put Bilstein B6 shock absorbers on my sedan and they really made a big difference. I also have a convertible and was thinking of putting the B6’s on this but was advised to be careful because of the chassis limitations of the convertible. Plus I still like to smooth ride that’s not overly hard. Glad you didn’t go for the new gen 9-3 as I think this one is much nicer. Look forward to hearing more. Have you installed a Steering Rack Clamp & Brace from partsforsaabs. It helps firm up the car. Did you have any cracks in the chassis? This was only a RHD thing and the brace will help stop this.

    • Thanks for the note, it’s already had a brace fitted, and luckily no, no cracks. Looking forward to seeing how it handles with the new shock / spring setup, I had Abbott Racing suspension on my last Aero convertible and that handled beautifully. I’ll report more once it’s back on the road.

  4. So, you’re building a B234 bottom end mated to a b235 head? Forged pistons? You should be able to push the HP nicely beyond 280 if that’s the case!

  5. Nice job ! All those modification will makes it even more fascinating …. 🙂 BTW, I went through something similar ….. very huge impact on our pocket ….. at that time I was wondering to move for two seats german spider, but at the end here I’m …..

    • Thanks G, I love the fact that they’re becoming pretty exclusive now too. Not many left, so the one’s that are we need to look after. German convertible – just too many around for me 🙂

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