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February 24, 2014 in Technical
February 3rd I wrote an article about getting better brake performance in a 9-5 at an affordable price. The article suggested that one can install 9-3 Aero 314 mm brakes on a 9-5 bolt-on and thus getting more highly developed brake system to a car that otherwise has great performance. This weekend I spent about 7 hours together with my father and two other friends installing such a brake system on my MY09 9-5, and even though we had to scratch our heads a bit as we ran into some trouble along the way, the end result is far better than I could have imagined.
It all started with Maptun offering a complete brake upgrade including calipers, disks and pads for front brake upgrade for both 9-3 and 9-5 owners. The complete set originally comes from the 9-3 Aero and is generally referred to as the Aero+ system since this is the bigger version of the two variants of brakes offered for the 9-3 generation 2.
I however decided to modify the package that I ordered from Maptun Parts by replacing the original brake disks with the EBC’s USR disk and I also decided against the green stuff or red stuff pads in order to try something new from EBC: the environmental friendly Ultimax2 pads. In order to install this kit on a 9-5 you also need to replace the brake lines since the old ones are not compatible with the connectors which fit on the bigger calipers.
Tearing down the rear brakes isn’t that hard but once you’ve done that, and if you’ve got a number of km’s on the car, you might as well replace the handbrake assembly as well while you’re doing it. Make sure that you also unhook the handbrake from the wire before trying to remove the disk, otherwise the disk can be very hard to remove. The handbrake assembly was purchased from Maptun parts and came as a complete replacement kit. Removing the old handbrake pads is easy, installing the new handbrake is a completely different matter. Its a daunting process which take a lot of time and you have to be really careful at the same time as you apply some force in the correct place. If you are alone and haven’t done this before, DONT!
You need to be at least two people in order to get the parts in place… I’ve done the job three times before and even so I more or less invented a whole new language of curses trying to get everything in place. But with some help of fasteners, the right tools and a LOT of patience we finally got the assembly in place after an hour.
Putting the disk in place is easy, it involves one single screw which is tightened with only 4 Nm of torque. The Ultimax2 pads are black in color and look just like the original ones, visually you won’t notice any real difference except for the initial ware surface colored pink. Applying a great deal of copper paste around the areas where the pads touch the calipers is a good idea to ease the installation and keep rust away.
There has been a lot of discussion regarding the new seats in the 2014 9-3 and if they still have the famous Saab Whiplash-protection built into it. This morning I talked to Mattias Bergman on the matter.
The former seat manufacturer LEAR Corp which was located in Trollhättan closed down its facilities in 2012, shortly after Saab Automobile AB went bankrupt. Since LEAR no longer were able to supply the Saab cars with seats NEVS had to look at other solutions. The requirement for the seats were that they had to be even more safe than the previous version of SAHR2. The seats had to take in to account peoples different body shapes, lengths etc. Extra focus was placed on women since they often suffer injuries more often and sometimes more serious injuries than men. The reason for women being more fragile than men is probably due to a weaker muscle structure in the neck region. Such seats were found with an OEM supplier and the seats installed in the 2014 9-3 are equipped according to NEVS requirements on protection.
There are several suppliers of seats and whiplash-protection systems and since Saab developed the SAHR2 a lot of progress has been made in its development. New OEM developers have created systems where not just the neck-rest moves but also the whole seat. Today most companies use similar systems where the whole seat moves rather than just the neck-rest. Volvos system which has undergone a lot of development in recent years is built largely on this concept which can be seen in the movie below.
More details of the system will be revealed once the specifications of the car is released.
First off I’d like to say the reason for this article is all the negative comments that have been circulating around Facebook and other social media that the new SAAB 9-3 does not qualify for the 2013 requirements of safety.
This is partially true and partially not true. So lets first find out what the pedestrian impact regulations are and what the difference is? The Saab 9-3 qualifies for all other safety regulations except pedestrian impact.
There are two stages to the protection system, one deals with the reduction of the impact speed, the other deals with the collision itself by minimizing the damage caused by the impact to the pedestrian.
The rules were formed after more than 10 years of discussions on how to decrease the fatality rate within cities where speeds were relatively low but impact injuries severe.
Until not too long ago the automatic reduction of speed of impact system was technically almost impossible to implement and today it is still a very expensive system, so manufacturers are not yet forced to implement this into their cars even though many manufacturers of high-end cars have chosen to do so anyway. This basically includes some kind of distance measuring, most often doppler radar which is used in parking-sensors or automatic distance keeping cruise control to spot an object in close range and automatically engage the brakes of the car.
I’ve been a SAAB fan for as long as I can remember. The SAAB-virus hit me through my best friend in school whose father had his own SAAB dealership. I still vividly remember the test drive we took with the brand new 99 Turbo he had just received from the factory that day. I sat behind him and saw the Turbo meter that was mounted on top of the dashboard spike as we were vastly accelerating. I was sold on SAAB but had to wait until 1999 before I could afford to buy my first one.
Advancing many years and about some 10 SAAB’s later, I read about the fact that many unique SAAB’s would be auctioned out in December 2012, among which several 9-5NG SportCombi’s.
I have always admired SAAB’s quirkiness, performance, reliability and above all its design. The new 9-5 launched in 2010 I just find stunning and when I realized I could get my hands on one of the extremely rare SportCombi’s, I set my mind to it. It would take me almost a year before I actually was able to call one my own and drive it.
This epos (it got quite a bit longer than I initially envisioned) is a summary of the different events that happened from the date of the auction until the day I received my permanent Swedish license plates in the mail. A journey and a struggle of more than 10 months to get a truly unique car that was supposedly “never to be allowed back on the road again” road legal.
16 Dec 2012: The highest bid!
After many nerve-racking minutes and frantically hitting my browser’s refresh button I finally understood that I had won the highest bid and that I had just bought a very coveted 9-5NG SportCombi!
The beautiful Arctic White was now mine!
My blood was still rushing as I received the confirmation mail from auction house KVD.
I understood that the car was located in Wallhamn (near Gothenburg) and as there was no obvious way to drive it to Stockholm myself I had KVD arrange for transport to their facilities in the Stockholm area.
However, many more things had to be figured out: how to get the car insured, but more importantly, how to get it registered? Read the rest of this entry →
To be certified, a vehicle must demonstrate that its exhaust and evaporative emission control systems are durable and comply with the emission standards for the vehicle’s useful life. This is done through durability and certification testing of the prototype certification vehicle. Compliance with on-board diagnostics, anti-tampering, fuel tank fill-pipe and openings, crankcase emissions, etc., must be demonstrated also.
Each new car or engine need to be put through a test cycle, the base of the test is explained by the NEDC (New European Driving Cycle) trial. For certification purposes, vehicles are grouped in engine families or test groups for exhaust emissions and evaporative families for evaporative emissions. Within each family, the vehicles share similar designs and are expected to have similar emission characteristics. An “Executive Order” is issued to certify an engine family in combination with one or more evaporative families. An Executive Order is valid for production during the specified model year. Vehicles produced for another model year require another Executive Order.
Specific certification information is included in an Executive Order: vehicle model year, engine and evaporative families, vehicle category, emission standard category, engine displacements, operating fuel, emission control systems, values of the exhaust and evaporative emission standards and certification emissions, and vehicle models.
- The cycle must be performed on a cold vehicle at 20–30 °C. The cycles may be performed on a flat road, in the absence of wind. However, to improve repeatability, the tests are generally performed on a roller test bench. This type of bench is equipped with an electrical machine to emulate resistance due to aerodynamic drag and vehicle mass.
- For each vehicle configuration, a look-up table is applied: each speed corresponds to a certain value of resistance (reverse torque applied to the drive wheels). This arrangement enables the use of a single physical vehicle to test all vehicle body styles by simply changing the look-up table. A fan is coupled to the roller bench to provide the vehicle air intakes with an airflow matching the current speed. Many more tests can be performed during vehicle development with this arrangement than with conventional road tests.
- The test is conducted with all ancillary loads turned off (Air conditioning compressor and fan, lights, heated rear window, etc.)
ECE R15 cycle, or better known as The Urban Driving Cycle
The cycle has been designed to represent typical driving conditions of busy European cities, and is characterized by low engine load, low exhaust gas temperature, and a maximum speed of 50 km/h.
- When the engine starts, the car pauses for 11 s – if equipped with a manual gearbox, 6 s in neutral (with clutch engaged) and 5 s in the 1st gear (with clutch disengaged) – then slowly accelerates to 15 km/h in 4 s, cruises at constant speed for 8 s, brakes to a full stop in 5 s (manual: last 3 s with clutch disengaged), then stops for 21 s (manual: 16 s in neutral, then 5 s in the 1st gear).
- At 49 s, the car slowly accelerates to 32 km/h in 12 s (manual: 5 s in 1st gear, 2 s gear change, then 5 s in the 2nd gear), cruises for 24 s, slowly brakes to a full stop in 11 s (manual: last 3 s with clutch disengaged), then pauses for another 21 s (manual: 16 s in neutral, 5 s in the 1st gear).
- At 117 s, the car slowly accelerates to 50 km/h in 26 s (manual: 5 s, 9 s and 8 s in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd gears, with additional 2 × 2 s for gear changes), cruises for 12 s, decelerates to 35 km/h in 8 s, cruises for another 13 s, brakes to a full stop in 12 s (manual: 2 s change to the 2nd gear, 7 s in the 2nd gear, last 3 s with clutch disengaged), then pauses for 7 s (manual: in neutral with clutch engaged).
- The cycle ends on 195 s after a theoretical distance of 1017 meters, then it repeats four consecutive times. Total duration is 780 s (13 minutes) over a theoretical distance of 4067 meters, with an average speed of 18.77 km/h.
The combined fuel economy is calculated by a total consumption of urban and extra-urban cycles over the total distance (theoretical 11023 meters). The total test time amounts to 1180 s with an average speed of 33.6 km/h.
In order to get a car certified a test of the cars components must also be made, this list of parts include:Air Diverter Valve, Air/Fuel Control System, Air Injection Control Valves, Air Injection Pump, Camshaft Position Sensor, Canister Purge Valve, Carburetor or Fuel Injection System, Catalyst,Choke, Controlled Air Intake System, Coolant Temperature Sensor, Crankshaft Position Sensor, Diesel Particulate Control System, Distributor, EGR Control System Components, Electronic (Computer) Control System, Emissions Related Hoses, Tubing, Clamps, Belts, Fittings, Wiring, Connectors, Sensors and Switches, Evaporative System, Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR), Ignition Coil & Wires, Ignition Control Module, Intake Air Temperature Sensor, Malfunction Indicator Light (MIL), Mass Air Flow Sensor, Misfire Detection System, On-Board Diagnostic System, Oxygen Sensor, Positive Crankcase Ventilation, Power Train Control Module (Built-in test, BIT), Throttle Position Sensor, Vacuum Hose Connections
But thats not all, its not just good enough that these parts last during the test, all parts need to function just as well at an age of 5 years or 100’000 km as they did when they were brand new. For US certification the distance requirement is 150,000 miles.
Whats new for manufacturers is the Euro6 requirements that are coming up, these include changes to the test cycle but also introduce new items such as cold and time to warm-up. For example the exhaust cleaning installed must reach efficient operation temperature within 400 sec after starting up at -7°C but it must also work at these low temperatures.
ON-BOARD Diagnostics is a brand new thing for Euro 5b+ which is sort of an in-between stage from Euro 5 to Euro 6 regulations. What is basically means is that all cars need to carry a computer onboard that measures the exhaust and if the engine operates within the parameters required for its certification. If a component fails that causes the emissions to increase beyond the certification range, the drivers is notified that the car requires maintenance. The certification range measured by this system is the NEDC explained above.
The current regulations in effect is: Euro 5b+
October 21, 2013 in Technical
Here in the northern part of the globe its high time to put on the winter wheels, thats what I spent the better part of the weekend doing. But to my big surprise the Hankook tires on my girlfriends car had been worn down a lot more than I expected. The tires have rolled for about 15000 km’s in total and more than 3 mm were gone from the front tires.
Other than being worn down way too quickly, the tires are really good. Anyone got any good experience from good winter tires?
September 16, 2013 in Technical
Many of us wonder what to do when there are no new Saabs to buy for the moment. A lot of the comments on SU concern replacement options. I did my homework and came up with the conclusion – I don’t want to replace my car, I love it!
I bought my car 2010, just after the new year. Saab was already in a shaky situation and I wanted to buy a car which would last a long time even if Saab would not make it as a company. I got hold of a 9-5 Griffin Vector Sport. It is basically an Aero, but with the 210hp 2.3l Bio Ethanol engine. It was less than one year old and was previously driven by a shop floor manager at Saab in Trollhättan.
I can’t really find any car with good value for money which is fun to drive, beautiful, eco friendly and can fit my entire family.
So how do you keep your darling in good shape? I decided to give it some TLC in form of some good old rust proofing. I have already applied paint protection and this was the natural next step.
I decided to go with Dintrol or Dinol as it is also called, after recommendations from a relative who has been in the business. Dinotrol is a rugged product with a deep penetration effect. The next step was to find a good workshop. There are several players in this field in the vicinity of Gothenburg where I live. I made my decision after talking to Ulf, a proper Saab nut like myself. Ulf has been a Saab mechanic since 1980 and has worked with Saab until he bought Protec. He has one 9-5 Aero and beautiful 9-3 convertible. This is a man who knows what he is talking about when it comes to Saab. Ulf promised that I could come by to document the different steps and that I could share the experience with the readers of SU.
The Tuff-Kote Dinol treatment is a thorough procedure which takes three days to complete.
September 11, 2013 in Technical
Most Saab fans know they have a turbo in their car and most of us know how it works, but there might be some out there who dont know or understand the technology behind it all, and what does an intercooler do? Well its explained in a nice way in this video, enjoy! =)
September 11, 2013 in Technical
I’ve found a lot of good points from CNET and their tech shows about cars, but this one was especially inspirational, honestly the guy in the video makes a lot of good points!