Latest Viggen mods complete

Today was a busy day. It started with moving kids out of the house, but that task had a definite deadline: I was due at Drew’s place by 3pm so that Matt the fudgepacker could do a little work on the Viggen.

Matt’s a former Saab tech who now makes fudge for a living, and it’s darn good stuff too. As soon as they get a web presence they’ll be linked up here. But back to the work at hand.

Last week I had a package delivered from Elkparts. It contained a brilliant 1:43 scale model of UrSaab, but more relevant to this post, it contained a new Forge Motorsport recirculating dump valve and a Taliaferro intake pipe. Some silicon hose was also present to pretty things up and replace the original and deteriorating vacuum hoses.

Here’s how things looked at the start of the day. Click on any of the images in this post to enlarge.

Viggen BPV

The black plastic lump nearest to camera is the original dump valve. The intake pipe is over on the left, connected to the bellows that leads to the air filter. And one was much easier to do than the other. Matt got through them both in around and hour and 45. I was initially thinking of doing them myself (I’ve gotta start some time) and I would have been OK with the dump valve. The intake pipe, however, looked like a job that would still be in progress right now if I’d tried my hand at it. Watching Matt do it made it look relatively simple.

Here, Dominic the Dump Valve watches Matt work on the heat shield.

Saab Viggen work

Below are the removed parts and their replacements. As you can see, they both look a lot better, but more importantly, they both add their little bit of performance and functionality as well.

Saab Viggen intake pipe

Saab Viggen dumpvalve

I’ll spare you all the gory details, but here’s what the finished product looked like. Taken from the same angle as the first photo.

Saab Viggen engine

A few notes from the day….

1) The install.

Installing your own dump valve is dead easy, so if you’re thinking of blinging things up and getting something a bit stronger than the OEM plastic unit, have no fear. The Forge unit looks brilliant. How much effect it has on the road, I’m not sure. I never noticed the OEM valve and I haven’t noticed this one either, except perhaps that the boost holds out for longer, but this may be a tandem thing with the intake. More in a moment….

One GOOD thing about OEM parts is that they’re the real deal and made to fit properly. If there’s one criticism of the Taliaferro intake, it’s that Matt had some trouble marrying it with the turbo initially, then once that was done, making the top-end connections was also a little troublesome. They got done in the end, but we had to manipulate a few connections to get everything to fit securely. Some of the tolerances on these parts are pretty small and if somethings more than a millimeter or two out then it can make things pretty tough to connect up.

But that complaint goes totally out the door when you do…..

2) The drive.

We took the car for a spin after it was done. As Drew couldn’t recall having driven the car at all, I threw him the keys. Matt still had grubby hands so he rode in the back.

As Drew was driving and I was in the passenger seat, I couldn’t really get a feel for any improvements in the car. It was an interesting and later on, valuable experience. Drew’s recent driving has centered around V4s, so I got the feeling that he was enjoying the power surge. Matt indicated that he could never own one as it’d be impossible to retain his licence due to the speeding violations he’d rack up.

Back at Drew’s, we said our thankyous and seeyas and I got in the car to take it for a run myself. Once again, I feel pretty satisfied that the money spent has led to an improvement in the car.

From the reviews of these parts I was expecting the turbo to spool up a little faster and hold its boost for a little longer. And I wasn’t disappointed. The boost definitely does come on quicker. It’s all marginal, but it’s definitely there. Between these mods and the steering rack clamp and brace I got installed a few weeks ago, the car really does feel like it’s getting the power on quicker, and getting more of that energy to the wheels. As a matter of fact, I’ve got 2nd gear wheelspin available at any time, which is fun.

Maybe tyres will have to be next?

The car is now starting to resemble the Viggen I always wanted. And to be honest, with the problems I’m having getting the available power to gain traction, I’m really wondering how the ECU upgrade will effect things. It feels so grunty right now, imagine another 40-odd horsepower!

Tomorrow morning I’m taking the car down to Baskerville Raceway here in Hobart for a driver training day. Should be a hoot!

—–

I’m very happy to recommend any of the bits I’ve picked up so far for the Viggen. These include:

Koni adjustable shock absorbers (front and rear) as recommended by Abbott Racing Motorsport.

The steering rack clamp and brace from Abbott Racing Motorsport.

The Forge Motorsport recirculating dump valve from Elkparts.

The Taliaferro intake pipe from Elkparts (or from Taliaferro if you’re in the US).

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5 Comments

  1. I was just at Sears the other day buying some ratchet extensions and I saw a 20″-long one and said to myself, “nah, you’d never have a use for that”. Good thing I wasn’t replacing the intake pipe on my wife’s car apparently! 😉

    Tell Matt to get some of this stuff. It works GREAT!

  2. kudos!

    on performance, it sounds like you’re close to reaching the law of diminishing returns. hehe.
    (i remember watching a video of a few saabs racing. one of them was 500bhp and was getting eaten alive by the lesser horsepower saabs because the front couldn’t handle all that power. the tire spin was hysterical.)

  3. Tires, YES!!

    Something sticky will keep the power output on the road. Some Kumhos aren’t a bad choice, and they won’t break the bank.

    The C900 is a lot different than your Viggen, but the Kumho Ecstas on my car have been a great thing.

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