Wu Sheng-Tse recently shared an innovative creation with the Saab community that he and his friend Lin Fuzhen came up with. The idea was to replace the upper engine mount on his Saab 9000 CD Griffin with something a bit more sturdy, and they did so by repurposing a – wait for it – bicycle shock. Now that’s ingenuity at it’s finest.
Wu was kind of enough to answer some questions we had about this invention. Read on to find out more about the process behind its creation.
Why did you decide to do this? Do you race the car, or did you just wanted a component that wouldn’t continue to ‘break’?
The car is used as my daily driver. We found that the upper engine mount breaks easily because the turbocharged engine gets so hot and ruins the rubber in the mounts. In addition to being able to sustain the heat, the shock-style engine mounts can also reduce engine vibration, and users can adjust the dampers and spring of shocks to their liking.
What’s your background? Are you an engineer? What about Lin?
I am a student Master’s student studying in National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan. My research is in electric motor design, though I am also interested in traditional cars. My car is 1994 SAAB 9000 CD Griffin, which came from my father’s friend who passed it down to me.
The developer of this engine mount/shock is my good friend, Lin. He is a great vehicle technician, and he has a car repair shop called 富懋汽車 (Fuma Motors), in Tainan, Taiwan. In addition to routine maintenance and repairs, he can also modify automobiles. He owns two Saab 9000 Aero models; one is a 1996 with a manual, and another is a 1997 with an automatic. We both love the 9000 very much.
Why did you decide to work on a Saab versus another kind of vehicle?
Saab vehicles are both safe and offer very good performance because of the robust turbocharged engine and aerodynamic design. These cars can not only have fun but also meet the demands of daily driving.
Wu and Lin did a masterful job in creating a solution to the issues caused by the OEM rubber mount, though it turns out they aren’t the first to try to implement a bike spring as an engine mount.
A fellow car enthusiast, Dave Warrillow, tried to do the same before in his Vauxhall Calibra, but the spring he used ended up being too soft. So, instead, Dave upped the ante and created a fourth engine mount, which is shown below. It’s actually quite similar to the top engine mount used in modern Volvo’s, like the V60 2.0T.
Wu is continuing to test the shock-style mount, and is currently seeing if the oil in the shock can withstand the high temperatures from the motor. We’ll check back in for the results in the near future.
Below you’ll see a video demonstrating the effectiveness of the shock-style mount developed by Lin and Wu, and below that is a small gallery including more images of the mount, Lin and Wu’s cars, and Fuma Motors.