This week we finalized our plan to bring the saab 9-3 race car shell down to S&W Race Cars to design and install a roll cage kit suitable for road racing. They came highly recommended by Gary Reider who used them in his classic 900 race car ‘RED’. Because of their work with him, they currently have a c900 kit for very reasonable money. You can choose to install it yourself if you have the right equipment and know-how, or bring to a local welding shop. Either way, it is a great time and cost savings to have a great fitting pre-bent kit vs. starting from scratch each time. This week we get on with the final roll cage preparation, as well as check out a few new parts that arrived.
The final removal of interior components revealed that the HVAC heater core unit was first installed and the rest of the car was bolted together around it at the factory. After some struggling it finally came free, and the car became an open canvas. Removing the dash revealed some chassis and safety design efforts that reinforce our belief that this is a good starting platform for a race chassis (no pun intended). We refitted our spare subframe and suspension, and Kip Moncrief loaded it on the trailer for delivery.
The search for more performance suppliers has been fruitful and parts have started to roll in. Our Wiseco pistons found their way to the machine shop to get matched to the re-bore needed for our slightly scored and aging block. We found them available in both the factory 86mm and 86.5mm overbore sizes right off the shelf, supporting either an 8.9:1 compression ratio for high pressure turbos, or a 10:1 compression ratio for non-turbo or LPT applications. Off the shelf parts mean lower price for us (and you), and time proven performance.
Next the Molnar 4340 forged H-Beam connecting rods arrived. The stock rods actually look to be sinter-forged steel and well designed, but at this level of build, the extra expense is negligible compared to the added insurance. There are several performance benefits with h-beam style rods over stock, which include the strength of a stronger shape, and the weight savings therein. The stronger a component is, the less metal you have to use. Make sense?
Finally, an LSD for the 6-speed F40 was sourced from Wavetrac, although it’s not here yet. A Wavetrac differential is torque-biasing, similar to the Quaife, but with the added feature of preloading an unloaded wheel which guarantees the most grip in all conditions. This will add extra pounce to our front wheel drive platform, especially in slippery conditions.
Wavetrac is designed and manufactured in the USA, which means we don’t have to worry about import tariffs or high shipping costs. eEuroparts will be adding the full line of Wavetrac LSDs which has applications for BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Volkswagen, Porsche and Volvo models. We will also be the exclusive US distributor for the SAAB 9-3 6-speed application.
Next week we will start tear down on our spare engine as well as show you the start of the rebuild on the race engine.