Trionic

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Trionic is an engine management system developed by Saab Automobile, consisting of an engine control unit (ECU) that controls 3 engine aspects:

  1. Ignition timing,
  2. Fuel injection
  3. Acts as a boost controller.

Hence the numerical prefix 'Tri' in Trionic. 'Ion' comes from the fact that it uses ion current as a sensor for knock, misfire and synchronization detection

Since Trionic 7, the throttle and thereby the air charge is electronically controlled, but the name "Trionic" was not changed accordingly.

History[edit]

The SAAB Trionic engine management system was developed for the 9000 and 'New Generation' 900 turbocharged engines. The engine management system was first utilized on the Saab B204 and B234 "H" engines to monitor and control the fuel injection system and turbocharging pressure control.

The Trionic 5.2 and 5.5 systems utilized the manifold absolute pressure (MAP) sensor and the intake air charge temperature sensor to calculate the fuel injection curves, while the Trionic 7 and 8 systems are mass air flow type. The two have substantial differences that prevent utilization of components between the two. Generally speaking, engine tuners prefer the easier to work with Trionic 5 systems over the Trionic 7 and 8 which are more restrictive in what can be manipulated in the software.

The intellectual rights to the Trionic 5 and 7 systems were sold to BAIC, along with the Saab H Engine that it was designed for, in 2009 as part of Saab's restructuring and transfer of ownership from General Motors to Spyker.

Models and ECU information[edit]

Trionic T5.2 Trionic T5.5 Trionic 7 Trionic 8
Released 1993 1994 1998 2003
Processor MC 68332 MC 68332 MC YQQCU MC 68377
User ROM 128 kB 256 kB 512 kB 2048 kB
Features TCS/ETC Optional TCS/ETC Optional /intake heatplate Optional 98-99 Does not use TCS on four cylinder models,

optional on 00-02 four cylinder models

??

Generally speaking, Trionic systems are shortened to indicate which version they are, e.g. T5, T7, T8, etc. The engines with T5 had red direct ignition modules which differentiate them visually from the T7 models which had a black ignition module. The ignition module on both T5 and T7 are an integral ignition coil and electronics that plugs directly onto the spark plugs without the use of spark plug wires that are typically used on most engines.

SAAB Models Utilizing Trionic Engine Management System:

  • 2nd Generation 900 ("NG900") 1994-1998 - T5
  • 9000 1994-1998 - T5
  • 1st Generation 9-3 1999 - T5 (Except Viggen, which is T7)
  • 1st Generation 9-32000 to 2002 - T7
  • 2nd Generation 9-3 2003 to Current 4cyl - T8
  • 1st Generation 9-5 1999-2009 4Cyl - T7
  • 2nd Generation 9-5 2010-Current 4cyl - T8

Projects/Aftermarket (Non OEM) tuning[edit]

Many people around the world are working on reverse engineering the Trionic engine management system, by way of various open source communities. The work involves understanding the binary files stored in the ECU itself, and what changes affect the car's hardware and operation of the vehicle. The T5, T7 and T8 management systems have been successfully manipulated to allow self-tuning for enthusiasts.

There also some alternative options in the way of interceptors like # Unichip that clamp the various inputs to the standard management systems, but they are restricted by the fact that fuel delivery generally cannot be easily increased as manipulation of the air-flow meter input and/or aggressive modifying of the ignition timing causes the Check Engine Light (CEL) to illuminate easily due to a deviation between the expected and targeted torque and quality of emissions. It is therefore common to increase the fuel pressure across the board by using an aftermarket fuel pressure regulator when tuning is performed by these interceptor computers, and trim the fuel out instead. However, increased fuel pressure has the side-effect of affecting the engine's ability to idle due to injector lockup, and as such sometimes an alternative solution of additional injectors instead of a raised-fuel-pressure regulator is proposed. The number of cars with such complex requirements is very low, and in general a full aftermarket engine management system is used in these cases, such as Nira or MoTeC.

Glossary[edit]

Sources include: Engine management system SAAB Trionic T5.5[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Engine management system SAAB TRIONIC T5.5

External links[edit]

  • ecuproject.com, Community dedicated to giving Trionic power to the people! Founded by Andrew J. Weaver and Steven A. Hayes and supported by the global SAAB community.
  • Trionic Suites open source engine tuning software