Saturday, October 13, 2007

How To Remove, Modify, and Install the Air Intake on a SAAB 9-5

Tools:
Small Flathead screwdriver
Medium Phillips screwdriver
Medium Torx screwdriver
13mm socket and wrench

I used the K&N RB-0900 in my SAAB 9-5. I purchased it from (of all places) Amazon.com and it cost less than $30 with free shipping. Any similar universal air filter with a 3 inch flange should fit. There is plenty of room behind the fender, so the size of the filter element is up to you as long as it has a 3 inch flange.


This took me less than one hour to complete.

The stock air box is located between the passenger side wheel well and the bumper. There is a plastic tube that goes from the side of the air box, across the back of the bumper and up behind the grill. There is a rubber tube on top of the air box that runs inside the fender and through a hole under the hood to the mass airflow sensor (MAF).





These instructions will remove the box and both tubes. The rubber tube is then reinstalled with the new filter attached.

Under the car: Remove the two nuts that attach the air box to the car and loosen the hose clamp on the side of the air box. A photo of this area



Under the car: Remove the screw on the under side edge of the bumper near the wheel well and the two screws that connect the plastic wheel well to the edge of the front bumper. Remove the four 13mm screws and four Phillips screws on the large plastic engine guard panel under the car and set it aside.

Under the hood: Remove the two plastic pressure screws that hold the grill in place and then remove the grill by lifting up and out.



Set the grill aside. Remove the 13mm screw holding the air intake tube to the bumper. The intake tube is already removed in the photo below, but the screw location is marked, along with the other half of the mounting bracket.



Wiggle the hard plastic tube to detach it from the air filter box. Store it someplace because it won't be reinstalled on this modification.

Under the hood: Unscrew and pull out the passenger side corner lamp (I didn't do this and ended up breaking the light clips as I pulled the air box out).



Loosen the hose clamp on the MAF that is closest to the fender and remove the rubber tube from the MAF with the help of the flathead screwdriver.



Under the car: Push the stock air filter box up and over to clear the bracket. Push the front bumper and wheel well to the side and pull the box down. It should come out with a little pressure.

Once out, loosen the hose clamp and remove the rubber tube. Put the box away because it isn't reinstalled in the modification.

The rubber tube and your new universal air filter with 3 inch diameter flange will connect together and the hose clamp is then tighten.



The tube and filter can then be routed back through the fender and reconnected to the MAF. I used silicone adhesive and a small square of stiff foam rubber between the tube and the inside fender wall to keep down wear and rattling.



Reinstall the three fender well screws, the plastic under-engine panel with eight screws, and the grill with plastic pressure screws. Clean up the area and put away your tools.

Start the car and check out your work. Enjoy the test drive. Idle and low speed driving sounded the same on my SAAB, but the turbo can really be heard now when you give it some gas. I can hear the turbo with the windows up, but the most fun is with the windows down.

Some people will have concerns about rain water getting pass the filter and into the engine. You will want to install some sort of splash guard if you are worried. I'm running around without a guard and will report back if I end up having any problems. See update below.

UPDATE: I just drove in what we Kansans call a "toad choker" of a rain storm. The roads were flooded. It was more than the average rain storm, so I got home quickly and checked my new filter. It was soaked. No problems with how the car was running, but I will be finding some sort of splash guard to keep the bulk of the water from getting up there again.



UPDATE:

Getting a performance diverted valve, like the one made by Forge, and installing it in the reverse configuration will further enhance the sound of the turbo.

17 comments:

  1. [...] A detailed “how-to” for the removal and replacement of the air filter. [...]

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  2. hello there, i am in need of the air box that runs inside the fender and through a hole under the hood to the mass airflow sensor (MAF).
    can anyone be of assistance

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  3. There are a number of parts included in that setup. The box itself is #1 on the link below, but there is also the bottom of the box and various connectors that might be needed depending on what needs replacement and what can be used again.

    http://www.thesaabsite.com/shop/search.php?MaxCount=10&gogo=2&extra=air+filter&myCat1=95&a1=Start+Search

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  4. thanks a lot for your help. Got the part i was looking for. great help

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  5. hi there, i'm back again. This time i am not getting any heat from the front vents on my dash board and my display is also not showing any temperature reading for the outside temperature. i suspect the thermometer to be faulty but i cant locate. can u please help me locate and replace it. and also how to fix the heating. thank you.

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  6. So by the looks of it you don't have the V6, am i correct? Anyways do you know if its the same on both engines?? I own a 2000 saab 9-5 SE

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  7. Correct, I have the I4. I think the process is the same for the V6, but let me do some research tomorrow before I give you an answer for certain.

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  8. I checked into it and you can follow these instructions to give the V6 an open air intake using any universal 3" flanged filter. You should be in great shape. It's a fun project.

    Good luck!

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  9. Correct. I used the hose clamp from the removed air box to attach the filter to the rubber hose.

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  10. I had a quick question about the following steps: Under the hood: Remove the two plastic pressure screws that holds the grill in place and then remove the grill by lifting up and out. Set the grill aside. Remove the 13mm screw holding the air intake tube to the bumper. Wiggle the hard plastic tube to detach it from the air filter box. Store it someplace because it won’t be reinstalled on this modification.

    Under the hood: Unscrew and pull out the passenger side corner lamp (I didn’t do this and ended up breaking the light clips as I pulled the air box out). Loosen the hose clamp on the MAF that is closest to the fender and remove the rubber tube from the MAF with the help of the flathead screwdriver.

    Do you think you could post pictures to show where all the screws are?

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  11. Sure thing. The updated photos are now in the post.

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  12. Hey, thanks a lot for posting the pictures. When taking out the corner lamp..do you have to be rough with it, because mines being fucking stubborn and doesnt want to come out

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  13. If I remember correctly, mine removes by sliding it out. After the screw is removed it was a matter of grabbing the lens from the front (by the headlight) and pulling straight out. There are a few pegs in the back that prevented it from coming out any other direction.

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  14. I do not recommend this mod only because your a/f system is run off of your mass air flow sensor, with that said it can be dangerous for a forced induced engine such as your's. Though it may sound nice it may throw off your ratio. Companies that design cai's or short rams spend alot of time and money to ensure an improved performance and safety of your platform. This the expensive price tag for after market parts from a reliable producer. Great DIY with great pictures and details! -Andy

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  15. Edit*
    Looks like apart of my comment was cut off
    *This justifies the espensive price tag for aftermarket parts. I recommend buying an intake from a reliable producer.

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  16. I agree with you when discussing cars in general. I wouldn't, for example, do this to my Ford Focus because I get the impression the car's ECU wouldn't know what to do. But the Genuine SAAB open air filter and the K&N Cold Air Intake for the 9-5 installs exactly as described above, using the stock rubber pipe. I'm not familiar with a 9-5 filter modification that includes anything but a filter and a little brace to keep the filter from flopping around.


    Not directed at your comment, only a general note to 9-5 owners looking to get more power out of their 9-5: SAAB's T7 adapts to the point that bolt-on modifications like this filter don't change the performance of the 9-5. The computer sees the difference and adjusts to keep the car at the stock performance numbers. The same for upgraded fuel injectors and larger exhausts. 9-5 owners need to change the ECU software to see any gains from these modifications because the T7 dials things back to keep hp/torque/boost at stock levels. If a modification is drastic enough that the T7 software can't keep the car at stock levels (such as installing a boost controller), the CEL turns on and the car goes into limp mode.

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  17. how did you remove the headlight, as you said you didn't do it yourself

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