SAAB Tuning

Saab-Powered Transformation: Michael Scullin’s Remarkable Ford Sierra

Unleashing Power and Style: Michael Scullin's Saab-Powered Ford Sierra Transformation

"Michael Scullin's Ford Sierra with the Saab B204 engine – A true masterpiece of automotive tuning.

In the world of automotive enthusiasts and tuners, the quest for more power, better performance, and unique modifications is a never-ending journey. Michael Scullin, an automotive enthusiast from Northern Ireland, has taken this quest to a whole new level with his Ford Sierra.

This words dives deep into the story of how Michael transformed his Ford Sierra into a true masterpiece by installing a Saab B204 engine, and for the story we have to thank the car enthusiasts from Speedhunters magazine and their article “Saab-Powered, Hydraulics-Equipped: Not Your Average Ford Sierra…” (pay special attention to the exceptional photographs by Cian Don). Inspired by the Saab engine swaps we’ve seen in the past, Michael’s project is a testament to the creativity and engineering prowess of car enthusiasts.

The Saab-Powered Legacy

Before we delve into Michael’s remarkable Ford Sierra project, let’s take a moment to appreciate the legacy of Saab engines in the world of automotive tuning. Saab has long been known for producing robust and powerful engines, particularly the B204. This 2.0-liter, 16-valve turbocharged engine was originally found in some of Saab’s classic models, including the Saab 900, 9000, and 9-3. Tuners and enthusiasts around the world have come to admire the B204 for its strength, reliability, and exceptional potential for performance upgrades.


Opel Astra B204 Saab Holset HX35 Turbo
Opel Astra B204 Saab Holset HX35 Turbo

Saab engines like the B204 have gained popularity among car enthusiasts not only for their impressive power output but also for their robust internal components. Compared to later Saab engines like the B205 and B235, the B204 is often preferred by tuners due to its stronger internals, making it an ideal candidate for performance enhancements. This engine’s reputation led to a trend of engine swaps into various car models, as we’ve seen in the Saab-powered Opel Vectras, Mazda MX-5, and even a MINI race car.

Michael Scullin’s Ford Sierra Transformation

Now, let’s shift our focus to Michael Scullin’s extraordinary Ford Sierra project. This Ford Sierra, originally equipped with a 2.0L twin-cam engine, embarked on a journey that would defy convention and push the boundaries of automotive modification.

Exterior and Interior Upgrades

Michael’s Ford Sierra, finished in a striking Fire Red paint, may seem relatively understated at first glance. However, a closer look reveals the subtle but impactful modifications that set it apart. The addition of a Sierra RS Cosworth bumper, Rouse-style splitter, side skirts, and rear spats transform the car’s exterior, giving it a more aggressive and purposeful appearance.

Inside the cabin, simplicity meets sophistication. Michael opted for Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VII-sourced Recaro front seats, re-trimmed in suede for added comfort and style. The rear bench comes straight from a Sierra Sapphire RS Cosworth. The chunky three-spoke wheel is another nod to the RS Cosworth lineage. Notably, a versatile GM power steering pump from an Opel Astra enhances the car’s maneuverability.

Performance Redefined

The heart of Michael’s Ford Sierra transformation lies under the hood. While many might have expected a Ford Cosworth YB engine, Michael took a different route by installing a Saab B204 engine. This 2.0-liter, 16-valve turbocharged powerhouse, originally found in Saab’s 900, 9000, and 9-3 models, has garnered a dedicated following among tuners seeking both power and affordability.


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To ensure the engine’s full potential is realized, Michael entrusted the build to Ali McClelland of Ali’s Garage, a decision that paid dividends in terms of performance. With ECU mapping nearing completion, Michael anticipates an impressive 480 horsepower from this Saab-powered masterpiece.

Key performance enhancements include a Pulsar 5449G (G25-660) turbocharger paired with a Precision Turbo PW46 external wastegate. These components have not only increased power but also transformed the driving experience, enhancing reliability. An FMIC Performance front-mount intercooler delivers chilled air through a Honda throttle body, while an uprated pump and 875cc injectors ensure a consistent and ample fuel supply. To keep the engine running cool, a Lee Smart Racing custom aluminum radiator has been installed.

Michael Scullin's Ford Sierra: A Saab B204 Engine Swapped Marvel
Michael Scullin’s Ford Sierra: A Saab B204 Engine Swapped Marvel

Drivetrain and Suspension

The drivetrain of Michael’s Ford Sierra is just as unconventional as the engine choice. It now boasts a BMW E30 M3 5-speed gearbox, complemented by a Saab 9-5 Aero flywheel and Sachs pressure plate, along with a custom six-paddle clutch to transmit power effectively. A custom prop shaft connects to a Sierra RS Cosworth rear end equipped with a Gripper Differentials LSD, ensuring exceptional traction and drivability.

However, it’s the suspension that truly sets Michael’s Sierra apart. Instead of traditional coilovers or air suspension, he opted for a custom hydraulic setup. This innovative choice not only contributes to the car’s unique appearance but also solves practical clearance issues. Each corner of the car features individual hydraulic controls, powered by a custom-converted B7 VW Passat pump. This setup, while reminiscent of lowriders, is designed for form over function, allowing Michael to achieve the desired fitment of his wheels.

The Final Touches

Completing the transformation, a set of classic Buddy Club P1 wheels in white adds a Japanese touch to this eclectic mix of UK, Swedish, and German influences. With the suspension lowered, Michael’s Sierra embodies the essence of an early-’90s touring car, a testament to his vision and dedication to building something truly unique. The brakes have not been overlooked, as they feature a Porsche 911-sourced setup adapted to Ford Granada hubs.


Ford Sierra RS SAAB – A remarkable and unique masterpiece

In the world of automotive tuning, Michael Scullin’s Ford Sierra stands as a testament to the boundless creativity and ingenuity of car enthusiasts. By choosing to install a Saab B204 engine and implementing unconventional modifications, Michael has crafted a remarkable and unique masterpiece. This Ford Sierra is a brilliant fusion of power, style, and innovation, and it serves as an inspiration to all who share a passion for automotive transformation.

Michael’s project demonstrates how the legacy of Saab engines continues to influence and inspire the automotive tuning community, pushing boundaries and setting new standards for performance and aesthetics. As the world of car modification evolves, projects like Michael’s Ford Sierra remind us that true automotive artistry knows no limits.


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