9-3 SS: Strut/Shock Life? Bilstein HD or Koni Shocks? - SaabCentral Forums
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  #1  
Old 14th November 2008
supafastR supafastR is offline
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Exclamation 9-3 SS: Strut/Shock Life? Bilstein HD or Koni Shocks?

Hi all, I need to replace my broken front coil springs (2003 defect - corrosion), it's an expensive repair that I'm unwilling to do myself, so I was thinking of doing the struts (inserts) as well... I wanted to know how long the stock front struts (shocks) are usually good for in a 2003-2006 9-3?

Anyone put on Koni Sports or the Bilstein HD shocks?

Thanks for any and all info.

Craig
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  #2  
Old 14th November 2008
Xeo01 Xeo01 is offline
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I have the Koni Yellow Sports and Vogtland springs. They work very well. Just make sure you don't make the Koni too firm or it will rattle your brain. I'm 50% firm up front and about 65% in the rear. It took me a few months to work out the correct firmness for me. However I did my own reinstallation after my dealership screwed it up initially. Not very difficult at all.
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  #3  
Old 15th November 2008
gfgf gfgf is offline
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Shock life depends on driving style, but after 5 years it seems a good idea to replace them. I recommend Koni FSD, firm while cornering and at high speed, but incredibly smooth at short bumps.
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Old 18th November 2008
supafastR supafastR is offline
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Anyone else want to weigh in?
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  #5  
Old 18th November 2008
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i say go with coilovers!!!
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  #6  
Old 18th November 2008
JonV JonV is offline
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Fsd.......
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  #7  
Old 18th November 2008
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I have the Koni yellow/vogtland spring combo with the fronts set at 80% firm and rear at 75% firm. Love it the ride is 10X better than the stock struts/springs. I had it 100% firm front 90% rear for an autoX and it was still a better ride than stock.
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  #8  
Old 19th November 2008
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Pugheaven Pugheaven is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 04_Aero
I have the Koni yellow/vogtland spring combo with the fronts set at 80% firm and rear at 75% firm. Love it the ride is 10X better than the stock struts/springs. I had it 100% firm front 90% rear for an autoX and it was still a better ride than stock.
So you had a steel bar in place then hahaha

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  #9  
Old 19th November 2008
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Malibu Malibu is offline
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My shocks were shot on my previous '03 at 75K. I went with the Koni FSDs. I highly, highly recommend these. I wish they made them for my '08 (maybe by the time I need to replace the shocks on it, they will).
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  #10  
Old 19th November 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pugheaven
So you had a steel bar in place then hahaha

Cheers
Pug
I realize (hope) this is a joke, but 100% firm meaning they were at the stiffest setting
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  #11  
Old 19th November 2008
MrsReebs MrsReebs is offline
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The only problem I have with Koni's is the quality of their paint! All of my yellows have had the paint flake off the struts and start rusting after 5,000 miles! I've never had the FSD's, but I'd bet it is still the same poor prep and paint... just in a different color! Any of you guys experience this as well? I've had many sets in recent years and all had terrible paint. Maybe it is just the rough winters and loads of salt up here in Michigan.
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  #12  
Old 20th November 2008
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cjhutch cjhutch is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsReebs
The only problem I have with Koni's is the quality of their paint! All of my yellows have had the paint flake off the struts and start rusting after 5,000 miles! I've never had the FSD's, but I'd bet it is still the same poor prep and paint... just in a different color! Any of you guys experience this as well? I've had many sets in recent years and all had terrible paint. Maybe it is just the rough winters and loads of salt up here in Michigan.
I would say the salt and snow probably has something to do with it. You can also just spray them with some rustoleum before you put it on. I've done this previously with car parts that go under the car. Just like week I put a swaybar on a friend's car and we sprayed it down before installing. The front bar we put on over a year ago got the same treatment and still looked great.

On this topic I have decided that at the beginning of the year if I still have my car I will begin to mod it. The first thing being done is the suspension and wheels. I cannot stand the ride in my car and I can tell the suspension is wearing and I have 68K miles on my car. I will probably go with the kit from GS, but swap the Vogtland springs for H&R. I have never used Vogtland springs, but I have used H&R on two other cars and i like them.

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  #13  
Old 20th November 2008
MrsReebs MrsReebs is offline
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For those of you recommending the FSD's, you do know that they are ONLY supposed to be used with stock height springs. I don't want someone on here buying them without doing the research and blowing them prematurely just like we blow stock struts early with lowering springs. How long would the FSD's last with lowering springs? We will never know until some tries it by mistake; however I do know it would be underdamped. Koni yellows aren't pretty but they are the only way to go if you want Koni struts with lowering springs.
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  #14  
Old 20th November 2008
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^Which is exactly why I am going with the Koni adjustable. I can see how some may want to go for the Koni FSD. Some people don't want or can't have a lowered ride height. I know if I live in a place where it snowed I would go crazy driving a lowered car and using the front lip as a snow plow. Not only that, but the OP also put Bilstein HD shocks which I believe are not adjustable therefore the Koni FSD would be a direct comparison.
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  #15  
Old 27th November 2008
gfgf gfgf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malibu
My shocks were shot on my previous '03 at 75K. I went with the Koni FSDs. I highly, highly recommend these. I wish they made them for my '08 (maybe by the time I need to replace the shocks on it, they will).
I actually test drove a MY2008 9-3 with FSDs, which convinced me to buy them for my MY2003. This particular car had been customized at the Koni factory not far from here (yes, it's Dutch Design ). I expect that FSDs will be available for MY2008 soon.
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