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27/02/2006 12:21:49   Tom   Hi all, i am currently trying to put an zetec into my saab 96, have been away at uni for ages and am back there now but was home for a day which gave me a chance to measure and weigh the engine. its about 50lbs heavier which is annoying as someone said on here it would be lighter! but will get uprated springs etc to counter that! my main prob is where to relocate the radiator as i thought it would just squeak in but it doesn't. the engine will just fit in the engine bay when its mounted to the gearbox. so where is the raditor traditionally mounted when someone puts a v6 in? i guess behind the engine is an option, if i get rid of the heater motor housing! or it might fit with this in place. anyone have an idea where to put the raditor?  
27/02/2006 12:48:36   Senor Burt   As the Zetec is

a)Heavier

and

b)an inline 4

It will screw the handling up as you have too much weight forward of the front wheels, even if you fit heavier springs. The 96 was originally designed with a far lighter 3 cylinder 2-stroke engine and even the short V4 engine had and adverse effect on the handling as basically all the weight is ahead of the front wheels.

It depends what you want, power or handling. One way to get both would be to tune up the existing V4 engine with uprated cam, ported heads, twin-choke carb and manifold etc. But this is usually expensive.

On the 96 fitted with a 2.8 V6 I have seen, the heater was removed and 2 small rads fitted in its place.

Another option would be to replace both the engine and box with lighter units, but this would be a lot of work. I always thought it would be interesting to fit something like a VW Golf V6, which would be lighter than the Ford V6 engine and more powerful.

It has been suggested that the VW V6 could be persuaded to mate to the 96 transmission as Highgate's diaphragm clutch is an adapted VW clutch I believe.  
27/02/2006 18:47:26   Tom   yeah i looked into tuning the v4, it was so expensive i thought it was a waste of time! to get 130 bhp out of the v4 is quite a task where the zetec i have makes that already and only cost 80! admittally its gonna cost abit to fit it. but i am going to have to get rid of weight in the front of the car. any ideas? i guess relocating the battery and raditor will shift the weight back. is it possible to get hold of glassfibre wings and bonnet for the 96? or will i have to make them myself?  
27/02/2006 19:18:43   john wyatt   I am amazed the 96 engine is so much heavier than a zetec, 96 glassfibre wings used to be easily available, A place in the back of Practical Classics used to advertise them, try there, you are right about the V4 being expensive and hard to obtain parts to tune but by the time you start changing body parts etc. you could probably do a fair bit to a V4, someone can correct me but I believe you may need to think about beefing up the gearbox to accept 130bhp and remain reliable, my 96 engine has had a lot of money spent and goes fantastic but it still looks and sounds right, will be good to hear how your project goes.  
27/02/2006 20:27:32   Tom   Yeah i was suprised too! especially as the v4 has iron heads and block and the zetec has an iron block and alloy heads. but i came to the conclusion that its because the zetec block is that much bigger, its going to be heavier! is abit annoying but will have to sort out the suspension to compensate! i think the gearbox will cope, a guy called kalle in finland said it would take it. as his engine has a 140 bhp with 250 bhp planned!  
27/02/2006 23:05:01   John Wood (Woody)   Saab recommend the cast iron gearcase if you have power output of over 130hp. They advised using this case when different gear sets and final drives are used. What clutch would you use? You could beef up the suspension with harder springs, HD suspension bushes and double gas shocks. Are you going to uprate the braking system as well?  
28/02/2006 10:22:13   Tom   Yeah i have a spare gearbox which i plan to get rebuilt and uprated, but will use the gearbox in the car and see how it lasts with the zetec!I plan to use the zetec clutch, as it can be modified to fit the input shaft. how the release bearing will work i don't know, i am not sure how it works! I plan to uprate the springs and get adjustable dampers to sort out the suspension. am not sure about the braking system, i will definatly get uprated pads but will see if i need to go further when the time comes. is there an easy and hopefully cheap way to uprate the brakes?  
28/02/2006 11:05:42   Senor Burt   The existing brakes are plenty good enough. The SAAB rally cars used more or less standard brakes. They were very good for the era and still pretty good compared to modern cars. The only issue is that the discs aren't vented, so heat can build up causing fade which uprated pads will help with. The competition dept used to just bend out the shields for a bit more cooling.

The gearbox will stand as much power as you can throw at it. It all depends how aggressively you drive. If you dump the clutch at max revs, you will break it. If you apply power smoothly, you will be fine.

The main advantage of the cast box is that it doesn't expand as much when it warms up so the tolerance on the ring and pinion stays within limits. You can set them to be a bit tight if you can be bothered warming up the gearbox properly before each journey.

As for the suspension, stiffness is not the main issue. It's all about weight distribution. You're always going to be stuck with too much weight in front of the wheels. Mounting the engine as low as possible may help (IE use lower profile engine mounts than standard).  
28/02/2006 11:41:39   Tom   that good news at least about the brakes and gearbox. the car is only intended to be a road car so as long as i am careful the gearbox will be ok. u are right about the weight disturbution, i am hoping to get rid of some of the excess weight by removing the ancillaries i don't need, ie the power steering pump and the air con pump for example. i guess i could mount the raditor at the back of the car along with the battery to help with moving weight backwards, any ideas where i could mount it? i don't want to mess around with the car too much!  
02/03/2006 12:38:03   Richard   I pump out more than 130bhp into a std alloy box, no problems for road use. If you hammer it to death in 1st and second all the time it can cause problems. I am talking 6500 rpm in first and second, not your normal driving practice.
You would alway have to remove the rad. I would pipe it in the boot, but that's a bit radical for a road car. You can mount a rad with electic fans near the heater box at an angle.  
02/03/2006 23:02:32   Alistair   Tom - I have to be honest, if you're a student on a budget (I've been there, running V4s too!) & with limited time then transplanting the V4 for something else is like asking for an open cheque, just does not make economic sense.

My advice is get your V4 running well with some cheap mods (carb, ignition, exhaust, cam, maybe some headwork if you're inclined) for not too much outlay, get it handling well, and enjoy it !

Learn to drive it with 80-100bhp first. Then when your budget, road experience & skill have grown, maybe then think about how you achieve 130+. EVERY under 24 year old I know who's had a "fast" car has only gone on to wrap it round something solid, and some have really hurt themselves in the process.

And don't forget, compared to modern cars a 96 is very light, 90bhp is close to 100bhp/ton and that is pretty reasonable even today. I used to run a 136bhp 2.0 Astra Sport which was 1.25 tons...and a sorted 96 would easily outhandle that heap of Luton garbage!  
03/03/2006 11:18:24   Alex   You won't get much weight advantage by removing the power steering pump and the air con pump; they are not there to start with unless you have a very special version...  
03/03/2006 11:27:47   john   You could do what I have done and pick up a Lancia Integrale, handling and performance to boot just dont talk about rust and maintenance horror stories.  
03/03/2006 14:25:18   Senor Burt   Like a student is going to be able to afford the insurance on that!

My c900T 16v is faster than a very fast thing and handles really well, but a 95/96 is always going to be more fun and turn more heads in a 'What the f was that??????' kind of way.  
03/03/2006 14:43:17   john   No problem Burt classic insurance apparently, still has to be a 2nd or 3rd or 4th or 5th car though.  
03/03/2006 15:02:50   Tom   well its my only car which is currently situated about 4 hours drive away from me as i am at uni and will probally end up being here for at least 2 more years yet. i can't afford the insurance on it as it is! that was 400 quote that i got from cis. thats the best qoute i have ever had by quite a margin. also i don't have a driving lience! so this is not a short term build. I did plan on modifying the v4, but its not really viable i decided to go with the zetec when a carb and manifold went for 155 on ebay! so to tune the v4 to about 90-100 bhp will cost about 500 which is still more than putting the zetec in, well hopefully anyway! i meant the pumps on the zetec, if i get rid of them i start removing the 50lb excess it has over the v4. so far the zetec has cost 80 with the ecu and loom etc 60 and the mounts should cost about 40. the exhaust will cost a bit, but i already have an siliencer i can use, and i can reuse the manifold on the engine! the only thing that may cause a prob is mating the gearbox to engine. it will be possible but it may require a custom bellhousing which will be expensive! i am still hoping it will bolt striaght up, only needing me to fiddle with the release bearing etc. the integrale would blow my budget, the saab was picked up for a 100 pounds! i have so far spent about 300 on it over the course of 2 years. but it is and is meant to be a low cost fun machine!  
03/03/2006 15:18:21   john   You are quite right to do it, nothing more boring than endless original cars, dont bother fitting 3 Hellas and straigth away you will have saved 10-12lb of the extra weight from the front end, I have seen some companies I think maybe in fast ford magazine offering a plate that mates up the box to the engine you could maybe do something similar with a 96 motor if it cannot go on otherwise.  
03/03/2006 15:40:10   Senor Burt   Exhaust is easy. Most of it is straight through. If you get a Jetex system excluding the front section it should be easy. If it doesn't quite line up, a bit of flexi pipe should sort it. You could always make your own. Not very difficult.

Good luck with the electronics!

400 sounds pretty cheap for the insurance. Make sure you tell them it's modded when you eventually get it on the road though.  
03/03/2006 16:38:26   mark   I made my exhaust on the cheap with 2" flexi pipe and universal simons boxes which i got from halfords as they are a supplier,so i didnt pay postage!sounds great!had to make my own rear box hanger though.i also already had the manifold.  
03/03/2006 18:12:32   Tom   well i got a silencer off of ebay for the total of 3 pounds, it should be good enough! i will have to mount it on the other side to oringinal as the exhaust manifold will be on the offside of the engine bay. it should be ok with joining the two with exhaust pipe. I was thinking of getting fibreglass wings and bonnet at some point to combat the nose heavyness. will see how bad it is when i have got it in and running! the electronics will be fun as i am using the ford ecu from the car, which people say is a waste of time but i can't afford to spend money on an aftermarket ecu! it can be done tho, have got some very useful diagrams and pictures to help me! 400 is cheap! when i tried to insure it at where it is now in my name it was 2000! when i used my uni address it dropped to a 1000! shows what kinda are i live in! when i made my girlfriend the named driver, (shes had a driving lience for threes years) and added me on to the qoute it dropped to about 400! amazing the difference address and sex causes!  
28/07/2006 11:58:32   Alistair   And having a licence, and some no-claims, and some experience, etc etc.

I'm all in favour of people modding their cars, but I do think a young chap without even a licence and NO road experience looking to make a fast 96 is a recipe for disaster... Learn to drive quickly and safely in something slow before you try to do anything too clever. Or get good life assurance...  


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