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Old 03-14-2008, 12:06 AM   #1
Lord_Athlon
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Default Saab APC: Modifying and Installing

Disclaimer: This is a compliation of the works of many others...Im just putting my experience and others information into an easy to use and straightforward, easy to follow guide.

The Saab APC (Automatic Performance Control) system was designed by saab to allow 900's to run a higher boost level, yet still be safe enough that even in adverse conditions the engine wouldnt go ping ping ping boom. It senses detonation, and retards boost until the knock goes away. The system consists of a knock sensor, pressure transducer, APC control unit and 3 way boost valve. What does this mean for us volvo guys? Knock sensitive electronic boost control on the cheap.

The APC box:



This is the heart of the system. It takes the signal from the pressure transducer and knock sensor and adjusts boost accordingly.

The pressure transducer:



Looks like an oil pressure transducer. Made by vdo in sweden.

The wiring harness and knock sensor:



The Solenoid Valve:



Left goes to wastegate, the middle goes to the pressure port (turbo, intake manifold etc...) and the right goes to a vacuum source before the turbo (amm to turbo pipe, kjet bellows to turbo so on and so on)


Removing the APC from a 9000t:

On a 9000T the box is located under the drivers kickpanel. To remove it you need a T20 torx, T25 and a T15 (I think).

Pop your head under the drivers kickpanel and you will see a black box. There are two torx screws holding the box to the plate, remove them and the box should slide out from its place. This is the apc box. (if the box happens to be red, you hit the jackpot).

Now remove the screws affixing this panel to the underside of the dash. Should be on the leading edge and there should be two or three of them. There is one more 10 mm bolt near the rear of the panel towards the center console, remove this bolt also. Once the panel is loose pull it down. Might take some force and you will need to snip the zipties holding the harness to this panel. Once it is removed you will see a bunch of parts. Remove the pressure transducer, and the hobbs switch. (the hobbs switch is just fun to have around. Can use it to trigger things based on boost, or if you're kjettin' it, the terminal 11 mod)

Here is the fun part. Go to the front of the car and pop the hood. Locate the intake manifold. If its not there, your job is so much easier. On the pass. side of the intake you will see a 12mm bolt. Loosen this bolt and pull out the pcv plastic thing. Now there will be 8 hose clamps and 4 rubber/silicone hoses affixing the manifold to the head. Loosen up the hose clamps and pull the intake over towards the drivers side. Once removed, you can see the knock sensor on the backside of the block. Remove it with a 12mm socket/wrench. Now follow that harness back to the firewall and feed it through. Go back under the dash, and find the harness you just pushed through. It will be going into a much larger harness. Trim back the nylon sheath/electrical tape on the harness and you will see the shielded wire going to the knock sensor. Keep the shielded wire and the wires going to the pressure transducer. Now you have the APC connector, pressure transducer, knock sensor and some wiring harness.

Go back under the hood and locate the 3 way valve. It should be up by the radiator near the ignition coil. Remove it from its bracket and snip the vacuum lines leading to it. Make sure to get the electrical connector and the pigtail.

We've gone this far, and now you are probably wondering what to do next.

Wiring up the APC:

Pin 13 is fused power. Run a wire from pin 13 to the fusebox. Fuel pump? I would keep it off of the radio circuit.

Pin 10 goes to the larger spade on the transducer (but if you followed my advice, you already have pin 10 wired up)

Pin 23 goes to the smaller spade on the transducer (again, refer to pin 10)

Pin 12 goes to the 3 way valve. Ground the other side of the valve.

Pin 5 is a ground.

Pin 25 is the rpm signal. Take it off the coil unless you have an msd box. If you have an msd box, you either need to make a tach circuit or fire a dummy coil.

Pin 19 grounds for .5 seconds when knock is detected. Use at your will. A knock-light comes to mind.

Pin 20 Goes to the brakelight. Move that pin in the connector to pin 19. That way you have a wire thats a bit more useful

There are 3 ports on the boost valve. Make sure they are hooked up correctly.

Modding and Adjusting the APC:
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Last edited by Lord_Athlon; 06-08-2008 at 07:29 PM.. Reason: Getting there.
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Old 03-31-2008, 10:55 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Lord_Athlon View Post
Pin 19 grounds for .5 seconds when knock is detected. Use at your will. A knock-light comes to mind.

Now we're talking! A knock light/alarm is something every turbocharged car should have IMO. I'm going to install one of these even if I don't set it up to control boost.

Do you know if this pin 19 was wired to anything in the Saab? Did it have a knock light?

What boost will this system run stock, if you just install it without modifying it?

Thanks for the excellent post/article!
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Old 03-31-2008, 06:21 PM   #3
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Im still working on it. I got as far as i could get without testing it. Now i just need to finish the exhaust and get some real world data from a brick. It should be setup at around 8-9 psi.
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Old 04-01-2008, 06:22 AM   #4
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Some vague thoughts to add chaos and confusion:

1) AFAIK, Bosch designed the apc system and offered to both Saab and Volvo. Saab took it but Volvo did not.
2) I know for a fact that the 9000 turbo from 91 has its APC under the driver's seat,
.
That car is also LH 2.4.2 and has direct ignition, but that is besides the point. So, I wonder if they move around the APC box. I yanked its ECU and APC box to save for posterity.

There is another turbo 9000 (I think it is an 89) in the yard. I am going to try to find and rescue its apc system. One thing that annoyed me in the 91 is that I could not find its pressure transducer and solenoid valve.

3) In a Saab 900, at least in mine (I happen to have a 88 900 turbo convertible), it sits in front of the left front fender. After reading the electrical diagrams, and noticing that is where all the N/A classic Saab 900s have their EZK ICUs, I wonder if the APC box we see is actually its ICU, which has the APC goodies built into its board.
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Old 04-01-2008, 07:54 AM   #5
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I thought the 91's had the diapc. Also, the turbo saabs should have a vacuum advance distro like the kjet cars, and that fires the 139.
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Old 04-01-2008, 09:48 AM   #6
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I am glad people are showing interest in the APC again. If anything it is a cheap knock indicator. More info can be found on a saab forum: http://www.900aero.com/ They have a few sections devoted to the APC with various tuning and modding methods.
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Old 04-02-2008, 07:23 AM   #7
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Hi Guys!
Great info on the APC, so great infact that right after i ordered a Knocksense from Boris i went and scored an ebay bargain - £1 for the APC box .. No loom though, so i don't suppose anybody knows the order of the pin numbering system, looking at the plug ?! or how to test the pins with a multimeter to find out? i'm gonna feed it pink noise till it blinks, just for giggles
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Old 04-02-2008, 07:28 AM   #8
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AWESOME, found it !! if anybody else wants in, its here on 900aero.com
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Old 04-02-2008, 07:53 AM   #9
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The pinouts were up top.
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Old 04-17-2008, 08:47 PM   #10
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I just found out about this APC system about a week ago, can't wait to get mine installed... Another great resource for it is here:
http://web.inter.nl.net/users/turbo-team-europe/apc.htm

Has a lot of info about the APC system itself, the different versions and modifying it, including modifying the regular versions to act like the red box. I've been talking about this system with my co-worker, ha, now he wants to put it on his 240SX and his girlfriend's Jetta 1.8T. Well kept secret, Sweden.
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Old 04-20-2008, 01:32 AM   #11
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Anyone done this on an n/a brick? except instead of retarding boost, retarding timing? Even just the knock light would be worth it for me.
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Old 04-20-2008, 11:28 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dalek View Post
Some vague thoughts to add chaos and confusion:

1) AFAIK, Bosch designed the apc system and offered to both Saab and Volvo. Saab took it but Volvo did not.
2) I know for a fact that the 9000 turbo from 91 has its APC under the driver's seat,
.
That car is also LH 2.4.2 and has direct ignition, but that is besides the point. So, I wonder if they move around the APC box. I yanked its ECU and APC box to save for posterity.

There is another turbo 9000 (I think it is an 89) in the yard. I am going to try to find and rescue its apc system. One thing that annoyed me in the 91 is that I could not find its pressure transducer and solenoid valve.

3) In a Saab 900, at least in mine (I happen to have a 88 900 turbo convertible), it sits in front of the left front fender. After reading the electrical diagrams, and noticing that is where all the N/A classic Saab 900s have their EZK ICUs, I wonder if the APC box we see is actually its ICU, which has the APC goodies built into its board.
No Bosch didn't develop the ApC.
it was a system Developed by SAAB and produc.ed by NIRA, a swedisch company.
Here is a lot more info about the APS syestem.
http://www.900aero.com/


Morten
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Old 04-20-2008, 01:37 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Morten VJ View Post
No Bosch didn't develop the ApC.
it was a system Developed by SAAB and produc.ed by NIRA, a swedisch company.
Morten
yeah, it seems to be the same company that developed the TCU unit for the B204FT/GT engines, the sticker on the box looks the same....
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Old 04-25-2008, 01:11 PM   #14
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What are the advantages of a red box?
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Old 04-25-2008, 04:23 PM   #15
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I believe the red boxes have been either factory tuned or professionally tuned. As opposed to tuning it yourself.
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Old 04-26-2008, 09:20 PM   #16
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the redboxes are from the saab equivalent of r-sport.
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Old 04-28-2008, 01:46 AM   #17
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Quote:
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the redboxes are from the saab equivalent of r-sport.
change in POT settings and some different resistors
nothing else is changed
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Old 04-30-2008, 04:40 PM   #18
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Default 900 Turbo Apc

"3) In a Saab 900, at least in mine (I happen to have a 88 900 turbo convertible), it sits in front of the left front fender. After reading the electrical diagrams, and noticing that is where all the N/A classic Saab 900s have their EZK ICUs, I wonder if the APC box we see is actually its ICU, which has the APC goodies built into its board."


I agree as I have just acquired the majority of the apc system from the local pick and pull. I have the apc box, the pressure transducer, wiring harness, and knock sensor. However, i could not find the hobbs switch nor the selenoid valve! CAN ANYONE TELL ME WHERE THEY ARE ON A 1990/1991 SAAB 900 TURBO!
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Old 04-30-2008, 06:21 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Tiebird View Post
change in POT settings and some different resistors
nothing else is changed
I understand that part. Both of mine are hotrodded. But what I was getting at is the redbox is an SPG thing, and SPG is to saab as R-Sport is to volvo.
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Old 04-30-2008, 10:31 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mjolner View Post
"3) In a Saab 900, at least in mine (I happen to have a 88 900 turbo convertible), it sits in front of the left front fender. After reading the electrical diagrams, and noticing that is where all the N/A classic Saab 900s have their EZK ICUs, I wonder if the APC box we see is actually its ICU, which has the APC goodies built into its board."


I agree as I have just acquired the majority of the apc system from the local pick and pull. I have the apc box, the pressure transducer, wiring harness, and knock sensor. However, i could not find the hobbs switch nor the selenoid valve! CAN ANYONE TELL ME WHERE THEY ARE ON A 1990/1991 SAAB 900 TURBO!
The solenoid valve, which is beige and brown in color and has three approx. 6mm black vac lines attached to it, is screwed to the front cross-member, at the top edge of the radiator, adjacent to the coil, in front of the distributor. These are often removed at pull-a-parts because they can fail.

There are NO hobbs switches on '90 cars. In fact, there are no hobbs switches on ANY APC system fitted to a car with Jetronic LH2.4; that is, from MY89 and newer. (On LH2.4 cars, overboost fuel cut-off, which kills power to both the fuel pump and injectors, was managed by Jetronic: when the AMM signal exceeded X volts, the fuel was cut.)

The EZK and APC boxes share nothing in common other than the same connector. Even the plastic boxes themselves are different.
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Old 04-30-2008, 10:44 PM   #21
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What are the advantages of a red box?
Red Box APCs were fitted to the last two years of SPGs (90-91), as well as the Commemorative Editions that followed. Additionally, prior to that, you could buy a red box APC out of the Accessories Catalog; depending on the year, it came with a slightly higher pressure fuel regulator (by 0.3 bar), as well as a distributor with a better boost retard curve.

Stock, run-of-the-mill 900 Turbos made 160 hp/188 ft-lb, while the hottest, latest (90+) red boxes made 185 hp/low 200s ft-lb. The standard, 160 hp version allows about 11 psi (assuming high enough octane) max boost. If you fit one of these APCs to your Volvo, and you are not running more than 11 psi, then it makes no sense to modify the APC to "red box specs" (e.g., the "recipe" at 900aero.com). A nice thing for 900T owners is the ability to add 25 hp for the cost of a few resistors, a used fuel regulator from a non-turbo car, and a minor mod to the distributor vac capsule, all for $10 or so.

Your "base boost" (wastegate opening pressure without APC hooked up) should be half of max boost. If you always run good gas, then you can bump that up a couple psi.

Last edited by procainestart; 04-30-2008 at 10:49 PM..
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Old 07-11-2008, 09:28 PM   #22
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mbc can still be used right? or do you turn up the boost via the APC? I just got a redbox and want to hook it up tomorrow, just curious if the mbc goes inbetween the compressor and the 3way or the 3way and the WG?

[edit]
nevermind...reading on the saab forum i found that this is dumb....boost can be turned up via the "f" pot on the apc
[/edit]

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Old 09-08-2008, 10:39 AM   #23
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ok, bump!
there is a 1988/1987 Saab 9000 turbo in the junkyard, already grabbed the solenoid and pressure sensor, but i cant find the APC box itself. I removed both the kick panels on the driver and passenger side and looked in the engine bay and under the windshield cowl stuff, the box is nowhere to be found. The car was basically untouched when i started dismantling it, i doubt that the box is gone (no traces of removal...). Where is the APC box..? I thought it was near the driver side dash.
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Old 09-08-2008, 12:07 PM   #24
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Try looking under the drivers seat.
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Old 09-08-2008, 12:14 PM   #25
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Try looking under the drivers seat.
no luck under driver/passenger seat, i only saw a relay+resistor for the seat heater, thats it...
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