Bilstein spring has broken!! [Archive] - SaabCentral Forums

: Bilstein spring has broken!!

4th August 2002, 04:34 PM
Just doing some routine maintenance on my brother's 900 in preparation for selling, and to my surprise noticed that the bottom section of the spring has broken away!!

Don't want to scare people off Bilsteins as I think they are easily as good as the Abbott springs (on my car) for a much more reasonable price. This however, has got to be a fault in manufacture.

Anyone else ever seen anything like this before? I've never heard of a coil spring breaking....ever


4th August 2002, 08:28 PM
wow, that's total BS... you should call Bilstein and make a fuss or something. that could have killed someone!

5th August 2002, 12:56 AM
Well, I've seen a V*lvo 240 with a broken spring. It was probably the original spring, so it had been on duty a considerable amount of miles before failing (fatigue kills metal).


c900 single carb.4dr, 337k km's, last 6k with a whining gearbox(waiting for the big Bang or money to repair it)
Mods: -Chihuahua stickers on rear side windows
-Gas shocks

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: V.J.S on Aug 5, 2002 9:47am ]</font>

Janne Selinummi
5th August 2002, 04:29 AM
It's not rare for coil springs to crack, but usually they start with a small crack that's very hard to spot. It only becomes a noticeable problem after a while, when the crack grows. Personally, I have never seen such a major crack on any road car. In rallying it's quite common though with the rough roads.

6th August 2002, 08:20 AM
Well my brother spoke to Demon Tweaks (the supplier) who in turn spoke to Bilstein. The spring was out of warranty, and they would not replace it.

Also they will not supply one spring, so all four springs would have to be replaced if I wanted to put the correct matched springs back onto the car......Useful!

I cannot fit standard springs onto the car either as the dampers are shortened stroke Bilstein items. And to be honest I would never want to revert back to the standard setup.

Anyone have any ideas apart from looking through the classifieds?

Saab 900 T16
Some Mods...

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Nuts on Aug 6, 2002 1:22pm ]</font>

7th August 2002, 03:23 PM
My brother has had to replace all four springs unfortuantly, we wanted to just replace the two fronts but Bilstein refuse to supply anything other than the kit....Useful! :sad:

The springs failed within 2 1/2 years (50,000 miles?) of normal road use. And they are sports springs NOT race springs so I would think that to be low mileage failure.

I will definately think very long and hard before buying any equipment from Bilstein again. They are definately on my black list along with Jamex (now Gmax).

On a semi related note, a weld on my Abbott exhaust began to fail fairly recently. Abbott repaired it FREE! And on another occassion when I asked them for one of the rivets for the exhaust plate(see pic)(after I'd had to remove it when modifying my tail pipe) they not only sent me a bag of rivets....but also 3 brand new plates!

I guess that's the benefit of doing trade with smaller companies, or is it just better service?

Johann F
7th August 2002, 04:02 PM
What's the beef with Gmax?

7th August 2002, 04:35 PM
<TABLE BORDER=0 ALIGN=CENTER WIDTH=85%><TR><TD><font size=-1>Quote:</font><HR size=1 color=black></TD></TR><TR><TD><FONT SIZE=-1><BLOCKQUOTE>
On 2002-08-07 21:02, Johann F wrote:
What's the beef with Gmax?
</BLOCKQUOTE></FONT></TD></TR><TR><TD><HR size=1 color=black></TD></TR></TABLE>

My brother bought some 900 T16 lowering springs probably 4-5 years ago from Jamex, hoping to sharpen the handling a little and also to improve the general appearance of the car.

The fronts were waaaaaaay to soft, the lower engine guard grounded out frequently on hill dips when driving with a moderate amount of speed, and were therefore unacceptable.

The rears actually raised the back of the car (from a non-sagged state) quite considerably, not a good! :???:

We even tried to remove a small amount of the rear coils in desperation (yes I know - bad idea) to improve the visual appearance. However, after removing a safe amount, we found the amount we'd have had to remove to get an acceptable drop would've meant the spring could drop out if the rear wheels ever came off the ground.

Although it wasn't my money that was wasted, It still annoys me that the product was didn't do what it what supposed to, over 100 was wasted, and a couple of days ruined.

In short they made the car undrivable (other than a cruise), and also gave it the appearance of a throw back 50's drag racer! :grin:

Needless to say we put the standard springs back on a couple of days later.

Maybe we got a bad batch (as well as from Bilstein?) but the ones we had were terrible!

"P.S: Sorry for the RANT" :eek:

Saab 900 T16
Some Mods...

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Nuts on Aug 7, 2002 9:40pm ]</font>

7th August 2002, 04:46 PM
If memory serves me correctly the Bilstein springs for a Saab aren't actually made by Bilstein, I think they are produced by Terra.

8th August 2002, 01:51 AM
did you by anychance have the rears on the front and fronts on the rear? it woud explain the saggin- rear springs are softer since they carry a ligther load, so it woudl sag uupfront.. and the rear woudl raise with the stiffer front springs. any clippin of springs is unsafe

8th August 2002, 07:23 AM
Irfan...No afraid not, they were the correct way around.

Alex...Have you got any more details or any way of finding out? Or is it just somehing you've heard of?

8th August 2002, 12:50 PM
Irfan-I would have said that it was impossible to fit the springs the wrong way round on a 900 anyway, i doubt very much that you would be able to get the front springs on the rear of a 900!!.
As for cutting springs as long as you know what your doing this is NOT unsafe, you just have to know where and how much you can cut off.


Johann F
8th August 2002, 01:09 PM
Mine's got some El cheapo lowering springs on - I think they are Ventura. Anyway they were about 80 from Eurocarparts. They slammed the front - and kept the rear about the same/maybe slightly up. The stance looks a lot better than the traditional nose up Saab stance. BUT - you need to jack it to get an oil pan under it and I had to cut the bump stops down. It does handle loads better and with the front anti-rolll bar off it's not too harsh over the rough stuff. Never bottomed it - but I reckon the Boge/sachs sport shocks keep it out of trouble.

8th August 2002, 01:18 PM

The rear springs on a 900 are actually stiffer than the fronts. I've had the Abbott springs (new versions) measured. The fronts are 175 lb/in, the rears 420 lb/in. There was a web site listing spring rates for most of the springs for the 900 but has been down for several months. Fred knows about this one to.


Info comes from Graham at Trent Saab when I was chatting suspension a year or so back. I've also seen magazine info on the 309GTi, again the springs in the Bilstein sport pack are not Bilstein manufacture. Unfortunately I recycled the mag when I moved.