Genuine Saab 3-point subframe brace - SaabCentral Forums
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9-3 Sedan, Cabrio ('04+)/Combi & 9-3X Performance Mods & Tuning - ALL ENGINES Covers GENERAL Tuning & Performance modifications that are *non-engine specific* in nature

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  #1  
Old 2nd May 2008
Professor MSP Professor MSP is offline
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Thumbs up Genuine Saab 3-point subframe brace

Yesterday I took my wife's 9-3 in to the shop for an oil change at the 5000 mile mark. I took the car to Cory Fairbanks Mazda, located in Longwood Florida. The technicians there are a fine group of guys, as they and their bosses always treat me and my cars with respect.

Anyway, given what I had read here regarding the difficulty others have had installing the rivet-nuts, I asked my mechanic Ricky if he would like to install the Genuine Saab 3-point subframe brace while he had the 9-3 up on the rack. I explained the installation proceedure to him (and showed him the instruction sheet), which he instantly recognized as a familiar one, as it was similar to installing aftermarket roof racks on SUV's. He and I (yes, I really helped with the installation) then went about installing the rivet-nuts.

The first rivet-nut was a textbook installation—Ricky widened the hole carefully with a drill, inserted the "tool," I then held the wrench on the modified nut, and Ricky cranked hard on the bolt using a 1/2" ratchet armed with a 14mm socket.

The second rivet-nut was a major ordeal! Even with both of us exerting all of our effort, we simply could not prevent the rivet from rotating when Ricky torqued the bolt. After about half the shop stopped by to offer their opinions on how to deal with this matter, I ended up using vice grips to hold the rivet directly while Ricky cranked on the bolt—what a work-out!

The third rivet-nut went in more smoothly than the second, but not as nicely as the first. By the end, the bolt (part of the "tool") showed serious signs of wear!

Given what we went through, Ricky agreed that this would have been next to impossible to pull off for the home mechanic working alone. It was quite a bit of fun, however, even if I did bust a knuckle! Having the car on a lift made a big difference, and the right tools are indispensable.

To top it all off, I was not charged for the installation of the subframe brace, which took more than an hour to install. I plan to see Ricky tomorrow before work to give him some under-the-table compensation.

I will report back with my impressions of the subframe brace when I have had more time in the 9-3 to evaluate its effects.

P.S. I tried to attach the installation instructions from Genuine Saab for reference, but it is too large to be accepted.
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Performance:—Genuine Saab 3-point subframe brace ($100)—K&N panel filter($44)—Bridgestone Potenza RE760 Sport ($99/tire)
Sound:—Boston Acoustics S35 & S45 ($120)—Infinity Reference 6022si ($49)—RAAMmat BXT—Dynaliner
Looks:—Llumar 30% tint ($150)—Ultimate Pedals ($140)—Griffin valve stem caps ($17)

Last edited by Professor MSP; 2nd May 2008 at 01:04 AM.
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  #2  
Old 2nd May 2008
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Frosty288 Frosty288 is offline
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Good write up. As I want this!
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  #3  
Old 2nd May 2008
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MooF MooF is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Professor MSP
see Ricky tomorrow before work to give him some under-the-table compensation.
...

Sorry mate, but you may want to re-word that, we know what you mean but doesn't sound too good...
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  #4  
Old 2nd May 2008
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yspaik yspaik is offline
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Hahahahaha
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  #5  
Old 2nd May 2008
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meph meph is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MooF
...

Sorry mate, but you may want to re-word that, we know what you mean but doesn't sound too good...
Hey - if it's what the guy wants... it's what the guy wants...
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  #6  
Old 16th May 2008
Professor MSP Professor MSP is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MooF
...

Sorry mate, but you may want to re-word that, we know what you mean but doesn't sound too good...
Wow, I never would have read that in to my comment! I guess I am getting old.
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Performance:—Genuine Saab 3-point subframe brace ($100)—K&N panel filter($44)—Bridgestone Potenza RE760 Sport ($99/tire)
Sound:—Boston Acoustics S35 & S45 ($120)—Infinity Reference 6022si ($49)—RAAMmat BXT—Dynaliner
Looks:—Llumar 30% tint ($150)—Ultimate Pedals ($140)—Griffin valve stem caps ($17)
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  #7  
Old 16th May 2008
saab19 saab19 is offline
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don't worry, I'm pretty young and didn't see that way...at first
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  #8  
Old 19th May 2008
Calisto Calisto is offline
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I am interested as to how much the new brace has helped as well as how much $$$ it was and where you bought it?
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  #9  
Old 19th May 2008
Dach Dach is offline
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got a question about the subframe brace too.

how much does it help the handling if the car is lowered till like almost 1 finger gap between tire and fender? or if at all?
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  #10  
Old 21st May 2008
Professor MSP Professor MSP is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calisto
I am interested as to how much the new brace has helped as well as how much $$$ it was and where you bought it?
The title of the thread indicates where I purchased the 3 point subframe brace, namely, Genuine Saab (.com). In my signature I have indicated what it cost, in this case $100 (plus shipping).

I find the brace has reduced body roll noticably in spirited driving, and turn-in is also more crisp. I also detect a "tighter" feel to the car while traveling over bumps and curbs. None of these improvements have come at the cost of ride harshness and the like, things which often accompany suspension upgrades. In the typical everyday sort of motoring around, you would be had pressed to notice a difference. In fact, my wife says she cannot tell the difference between pre- and post-subframe brace handling given her driving stlye, and for that reason she likes, or should I say, does not dislike, the brace. It is her car after all.
__________________
Performance:—Genuine Saab 3-point subframe brace ($100)—K&N panel filter($44)—Bridgestone Potenza RE760 Sport ($99/tire)
Sound:—Boston Acoustics S35 & S45 ($120)—Infinity Reference 6022si ($49)—RAAMmat BXT—Dynaliner
Looks:—Llumar 30% tint ($150)—Ultimate Pedals ($140)—Griffin valve stem caps ($17)
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  #11  
Old 21st May 2008
Professor MSP Professor MSP is offline
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Posts: 52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dach
got a question about the subframe brace too.

how much does it help the handling if the car is lowered till like almost 1 finger gap between tire and fender? or if at all?
Sorry Dach, seeing as the car is not lowered, I cannot provide you with the feedback you are seeking.
__________________
Performance:—Genuine Saab 3-point subframe brace ($100)—K&N panel filter($44)—Bridgestone Potenza RE760 Sport ($99/tire)
Sound:—Boston Acoustics S35 & S45 ($120)—Infinity Reference 6022si ($49)—RAAMmat BXT—Dynaliner
Looks:—Llumar 30% tint ($150)—Ultimate Pedals ($140)—Griffin valve stem caps ($17)
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  #12  
Old 21st May 2008
Dach Dach is offline
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Oh well, I do think that it might help my car, just not sure to what extent as mine is already handling pretty well with my set up.

Keep your ears on the lookout for premature creaks as the body has to deal with additional stiffness.
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