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Trionic

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

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

The numerical prefix 'tri-' in Trionic. 'Ion' comes from the fact that it uses ion current, measured by the spark plugs between combustion events which acts as a sensor for knock, misfire and synchronization detection. The ion current stream which was developed within the ion sensing system due to combustion, can be deduced by monitoring the secondary current of the ignition coil. Using the value and wave shape of the current, after the actual spark event, the quality of the actual combustion process is determined, thus allowing the engine control unit to optimize the timing of the spark for the best engine performance while keeping emissions low on a much wider range of rpms.

Since Trionic 7, the throttle and thereby the air charge has also been electronically controlled, but the name "Trionic" was not changed accordingly as it was determined that the name had value.

History

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. Both systems 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 within the software.

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

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Saab 9000

Saab 9000

The Saab 9000 is an automobile produced by the Swedish company Saab from 1984 to 1998. Representing the company's foray into the executive car scene, it was developed as a result of the successes of the turbocharged 99 and 900 models. The 9000 remained in production until May 1998 and it was replaced by the Saab 9-5 in late 1997, although some final cars were produced into 1998. The Saab 9000 was only available with petrol engines, as 5-door hatchback or 4-door notchback and never as a convertible or a Coupé.

Saab 900

Saab 900

The Saab 900 is a mid-sized automobile which was produced by Saab from 1978 until 1998 in two generations. The first generation from 1978 to 1993 is known as the "classic" or "OG", and the 2nd generation from 1994 to 1998 is known as the "new generation".

Saab H engine

Saab H engine

The Saab H engine is a redesign of the Saab B engine, which in turn was based on the Triumph Slant-4 engine.

MAP sensor

MAP sensor

The manifold absolute pressure sensor is one of the sensors used in an internal combustion engine's electronic control system.

Saab Automobile

Saab Automobile

Saab Automobile AB is a defunct car manufacturer that was founded in Sweden in 1945 when its parent company, Saab AB, began a project to design a small automobile. The first production model, the Saab 92, was launched in 1949. In 1968 the parent company merged with Scania-Vabis, and ten years later the Saab 900 was launched, in time becoming Saab's best-selling model. In the mid-1980s the new Saab 9000 model also appeared.

General Motors

General Motors

The General Motors Company (GM) is an American multinational automotive manufacturing company headquartered in Detroit, Michigan, United States. It is the largest automaker in the United States and was the largest in the world for 77 years before losing the top spot to Toyota in 2008.

Spyker Cars

Spyker Cars

Spyker Cars is a Dutch sports car marque. The modern Spyker Cars held the legal rights to the brand name. The company's motto is "Nulla tenaci invia est via", Latin for "For the tenacious, no road is impassable". The marque's logo displays an aircraft propeller superimposed over a spoked wheel, a reference to the historic Spyker company that manufactured automobiles and aircraft. In an attempt to save Spyker from bankruptcy, Swedish Automobile in September 2011, announced the immediate sale of Spyker to American private equity and hedge fund North Street Capital for €32 million. On December 18, 2014, Spyker confirmed that it had gone bankrupt, hoping to restructure its finances and getting back on its feet. The bankruptcy declaration was reverted early 2015 and the company announced to continue with the production of sports cars. In 2021 it went bankrupt again. In January 2022 Spyker announced a return to building cars after being backed by Russian investors.

Models and ECU information

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

??

Trionic systems are shortened to indicate their version; for e.g. T5, T7, T8, etc. The engines with T5 had red direct ignition modules which differentiated 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 plug directly onto the spark plugs without the use of spark plug wires that are typically used in most engines.

SAAB Models Utilizing Trionic Engine Management System:

  • 2nd Generation 900 ("NG900") 1994-1998 - T5
  • 9000 1994-1998 - T5
  • 1st Generation 9-3 1998 - T5 (Except Viggen, which is T7)
  • 1st Generation 9-3 2000 to 2002 - T7
  • 1st Generation 9-5 1998-2010 4Cyl - T7
  • 2nd Generation 9-3 2003 to 2011 4cyl - T8

Discover more about Models and ECU information related topics

Trionic T5.2

Trionic T5.2

The Trionic T5.2, an advanced engine management system in the Trionic series, was introduced in Saab 9000 year 1993 and was discontinued the same year. This engine management system was used on the "long block" engines. It was superseded by the Trionic T5.5 engine management system.

Trionic T5.5

Trionic T5.5

Trionic T5.5 is an engine management system in the Saab Trionic range. It controls ignition, fuel injection and turbo boost pressure. The system was introduced in the 1993 Saab 9000 2.3 Turbo with B234L and B234R engine.

Trionic 8

Trionic 8

The Trionic 8 is an advanced engine management system in the Trionic series, created by Saab Automobile. It is used in both Saab 9-3 and Opel Vectra vehicles, and is available with 150, 175 and 210 horsepower (160 kW) engines. It will also be used for a flexifuel version starting production spring 2007. Saab Trionic T8 has been developed by Saab and is a very advanced engine management system. The Engine Control Module (ECM) is used principally to regulated the air mass, fuel and ignition timing.

Motorola 68000

Motorola 68000

The Motorola 68000 is a 16/32-bit complex instruction set computer (CISC) microprocessor, introduced in 1979 by Motorola Semiconductor Products Sector.

Kilobyte

Kilobyte

The kilobyte is a multiple of the unit byte for digital information.

Saab 900

Saab 900

The Saab 900 is a mid-sized automobile which was produced by Saab from 1978 until 1998 in two generations. The first generation from 1978 to 1993 is known as the "classic" or "OG", and the 2nd generation from 1994 to 1998 is known as the "new generation".

Saab 9000

Saab 9000

The Saab 9000 is an automobile produced by the Swedish company Saab from 1984 to 1998. Representing the company's foray into the executive car scene, it was developed as a result of the successes of the turbocharged 99 and 900 models. The 9000 remained in production until May 1998 and it was replaced by the Saab 9-5 in late 1997, although some final cars were produced into 1998. The Saab 9000 was only available with petrol engines, as 5-door hatchback or 4-door notchback and never as a convertible or a Coupé.

Saab 9-3

Saab 9-3

The Saab 9-3 is a compact executive car initially developed and manufactured by the Swedish automaker Saab.

Saab 9-5

Saab 9-5

The Saab 9-5 is an executive car that was produced by the Swedish automobile maker Saab from 1997 to 2012.

Projects/Aftermarket (Non OEM) tuning

There are communities working on reverse engineering electronic engine management systems ( EEMS) and particularly the Trionic EEMS."Tuning Software Lists". Reddit. August 30, 2017. Archived from the original on August 30, 2021. The work involves understanding the binary files stored in the ECU itself, and the changes that 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 are also some alternative options such as 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. This is 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, trimming the fuel out instead. However, increased fuel pressure affects the engine's ability to idle due to injector lockup, therefore, an alternative solution of additional injectors instead of a raised-fuel-pressure regulator is proposed. The number of cars with such complex requirements such as Nira or MoTeC is very low so a full aftermarket engine management system is generally used in these cases.

Glossary

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

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Automatic Performance Control

Automatic Performance Control

Automatic Performance Control (APC) was the first engine knock and boost control system. The APC was invented by Per Gillbrand at the Swedish car maker SAAB. U.S. Patent 4,372,119

Engine control unit

Engine control unit

An engine control unit (ECU), also commonly called an engine control module (ECM), is a type of electronic control unit that controls a series of actuators on an internal combustion engine to ensure optimal engine performance. It does this by reading values from a multitude of sensors within the engine bay, interpreting the data using multidimensional performance maps, and adjusting the engine actuators. Before ECUs, air–fuel mixture, ignition timing, and idle speed were mechanically set and dynamically controlled by mechanical and pneumatic means.

Electronic throttle control

Electronic throttle control

Electronic throttle control (ETC) is an automobile technology which electronically "connects" the accelerator pedal to the throttle, replacing a mechanical linkage. A typical ETC system consists of three major components: (i) an accelerator pedal module, (ii) a throttle valve that can be opened and closed by an electric motor, and (iii) a powertrain or engine control module. The ECM is a type of electronic control unit (ECU), which is an embedded system that employs software to determine the required throttle position by calculations from data measured by other sensors, including the accelerator pedal position sensors, engine speed sensor, vehicle speed sensor, and cruise control switches. The electric motor is then used to open the throttle valve to the desired angle via a closed-loop control algorithm within the ECM.

Pulse-width modulation

Pulse-width modulation

Pulse-width modulation (PWM), or pulse-duration modulation (PDM), is a method of reducing the average power delivered by an electrical signal, by effectively chopping it up into discrete parts. The average value of voltage fed to the load is controlled by turning the switch between supply and load on and off at a fast rate. The longer the switch is on compared to the off periods, the higher the total power supplied to the load. Along with maximum power point tracking (MPPT), it is one of the primary methods of reducing the output of solar panels to that which can be utilized by a battery. PWM is particularly suited for running inertial loads such as motors, which are not as easily affected by this discrete switching, because their inertia causes them to react slowly. The PWM switching frequency has to be high enough not to affect the load, which is to say that the resultant waveform perceived by the load must be as smooth as possible.

Saab Information Display

Saab Information Display

Saab Information Display (SID) later also called "Saab Car Computer" (SCC) is the name for various in-car computer systems found on most Saab automobiles beginning in 1985 with the Saab 9000 and followed in 1994 with the Saab 900 NG.

Traction control system

Traction control system

A traction control system (TCS), also known as ASR, is typically a secondary function of the electronic stability control (ESC) on production motor vehicles, designed to prevent loss of traction of the driven road wheels. TCS is activated when throttle input and engine power and torque transfer are mismatched to the road surface conditions.

Throttle position sensor

Throttle position sensor

A throttle position sensor (TPS) is a sensor used to monitor the air intake of an engine. The sensor is usually located on the butterfly spindle/shaft, so that it can directly monitor the position of the throttle. More advanced forms of the sensor are also used. For example, an extra "closed throttle position sensor" (CTPS) may be employed to indicate that the throttle is completely closed. Some engine control units (ECUs) also control the throttle position by electronic throttle control (ETC) or "drive by wire" systems, and if that is done, the position sensor is used in a feedback loop to enable that control.

Source: "Trionic", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2022, November 25th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trionic.

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External links
  • ecuproject.com at the Wayback Machine (archived 25 February 2019), formerly a Community dedicated to giving Trionic power to the people! This site is no longer online. Founded by Andrew J. Weaver and Steven A. Hayes and supported by the global SAAB community.
  • trionictuning.com, community driven exploration and development of new Trionic features, supported by the global SAAB community.

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