Saab History

A Bullet from Sweden – 900 Enduro S

Saab 900 Enduro S

Here’s an interesting article from an Australian magazine “Hi-Tech PErformance” about a special Saab 900 model – Saab 900 Enduro – special version for Australian market.

The whole article is dedicated to the “super Swede” – 900 Enduro, owned by Mark Kostyrko. The car is so much more attractive to the media that before this article was published in another magazine, in AutoSpeed magazine in article “Steroid Poppin’ Swede“.

When Canberra  resident, Mark Kostyrko, parks his car, people occasionally come up to him. Trying to be helpful, they say, “Excuse me, your car’s got a water leak” and point to the drips coming from under the front. Mark simply thanks them; it take too long  to explain the intercooler waterspray required when you’re pumping up to 21 psi boost…

This 1980 model has the upright windscreen and heavy bumpers characteristic of the breed, but it also has the Australian-fitted factory Enduro pack.  In addition to the wild boxed guards, the pack included an up-rated instrument package and a modified suspension and a wheel/tyre combination. Mark’s car, Enduro “S”, even has a sophisticated factory water-injection system, needed when the non-intercooled  car was sold with no less than 1.2 Bar (17psi) boost!

The major modification to Mark’s car are under the bonnet, the most interesting aspects involving the injection system. Unlike the more familiar electronically controlled systems, mechanical injection uses continuous flow injectors. The fuel pressure provided by the electric pump is well up when compered with electronic systems – Mark worked at 82 psi. The first stop on Mark’s modification agenda was to experiment with the combined cold warm-up/control pressure regulator.

Saab 900 Enduro
Saab 900 Enduro

Mark modified boost enrichment circuit – to give the maximum enrichment possible within the factory guidelines. Then, his engine demanded even more fuel, so hi decided to add a fifth injector – Volvo six-cylinder injector head was fitted. So what sort of engine has such a voracious apetite for fuel? Surprisingly, it’s a very standard. The only engien modification as such is a lightened flywheel, which was made only because ther gearbox was out of the car. The turbo was watercooled TO3, with the exhaust side running a Saab 16-valve engine’s turbine inside a standard housing. On intake side, a larger-than-standard compressor is used within an aftermarket housing; the exact details of the turbo are unknown because the turbo builder is no long in business.

The gearbox was replaced with a ’92 Aero 16-valve car unit, the original 8-valve engine’s clutch was retained and, in fact, the clutch was as old as the engine.

The suspension of Enduro  is quite unlike other 900s. Revised front and rear springs are used, specificaly 386lbs/in front spings are used with a free lenght of 290mm, while at the back a harder rate of 484lbs/in helps control body roll. Bilstein gas shocks perform dampint duties at both the front and rear. Huge Simmons 15×7.75″ rims are clad from the factory Pirelli P7 225-50 tyres; Mark was changed both the brand an also the rear tyres width. At the back, 245-50 Bridgestone RE7 are hard at work, while turning and torquing is performed by 225-50 Kelly Chargers.

Saab 900 Enduro
Saab 900 Enduro

So, what’s the car like on the road? With 13psi boost and full throttle in lower gears, Mark fights the torque steer like a man possessed, as the car gives all indications of wanting to mow down pedestrians on the footpath. Even trough there’s a need for plenty of twirling of thw power steering, the car’s not accelerating all that hard. It’s certainly getting up and going, but not to the extent the modifications might indicate, especially when we know this car can keep up with a Porsche 930 turbo till 160km/h.

In third and fourth gears, though, the 900 Enduro really hauls, reeling in the road at a rate of knots that would make open/road passing ridiculously easy. Against a V8, it would lose every drag  – but only if the strip was just 200 meters long. Get the Saab into third and the gap would be wiped away.


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