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Saab 9-3 SportSedan, Convertible ('04+)/Combi & 9-3X GENERAL Performance, Mods & Tuning Covers general Tuning & Performance modifications for the Saab 9-3 SportSedan, Convertible ('04+)/Combi & 9-3X , 2003 - 2012

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Old 15th March 2004
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finklejag finklejag is offline
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Default I called Bilstein USA

I was talking to the customer service rep. I asked him why the Bilstein sprints were double the price of their same shocks for the VW/Audi's. He said Bilstein USA has not come out with shocks for the US market yet. He said they weren't authorized to sell European market shocks in the US. They have to be tested for the US market first. He also said that there are different chassis's for European cars and US cars. This might be true for some makes, but SAAB uses the same chassis for all their cars worldwide.

I just can't swallow spending $500 over the normal price of Bilsteins. I can buy the shocks/springs and pay for the labor on another car for just the price of the shocks for SS. I don't know if Bilstein will bring these shocks to the US market or not.
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Old 15th March 2004
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Maybe if we all email/call them and show interest in a US product, they will come through? Got a number or email?
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Old 15th March 2004
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CallipNCSUsaab CallipNCSUsaab is offline
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yeah man, post a number fink so we can call and annoy him for a LOWER PRICE!!!
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Old 15th March 2004
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They make the shocks for the 99-02 9-3. So they will probably come out with them. Here is the contact info.

Bilstein USA
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Old 16th March 2004
mav238 mav238 is offline
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Default Re: I called Bilstein USA

Quote:
Originally Posted by finklejag
I was talking to the customer service rep. I asked him why the Bilstein sprints were double the price of their same shocks for the VW/Audi's. He said Bilstein USA has not come out with shocks for the US market yet. He said they weren't authorized to sell European market shocks in the US. They have to be tested for the US market first. He also said that there are different chassis's for European cars and US cars. This might be true for some makes, but SAAB uses the same chassis for all their cars worldwide.

I just can't swallow spending $500 over the normal price of Bilsteins. I can buy the shocks/springs and pay for the labor on another car for just the price of the shocks for SS. I don't know if Bilstein will bring these shocks to the US market or not.
Hey Finkle:

Are you referring to the cost of the bilsteins as indicated in Genuinesaab's website?

They are definitely more expensive than the bilsteins for other applications. Generally, the price for new bilsteins that is supposedly a "brand new" catalog item for a late model car such as the 2003-2004 9-3 SS will be high. The bilstein prices for VW's are cheaper because the VW's models have not changed much over the past 5 years (chassis and suspension set-up) and thus very little development work by bilstein is needed.

Stock factory shocks are typically good for 40,000 - 50,000 miles (or at least 2 years) depending on driving conditions. Thus aftermarket shock manufacturers do not actually start producing in large quantities for these late model cars, until a time which they feel that customers will be looking to replace them.
There are not as many SAABie's in comparison to VW racers who typically mod their cars the moment they got it.

For myself, I am leaning towards Koni's (incidentally, Abbott tuning already has them on sale for the 9-3 SS, really expensive), with their adjustability. Bilsteins are typically more expensive than the Koni's, and they both offer superb dampening characteristics.
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Old 16th March 2004
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He did say that people don't usually upgrade their shocks for a couple years like you said. When I had my 03 A4. Bilstein had shocks out for the B6 A4 within a year. It was a completely different chassis from the B5. Those shocks are $476.00, the same price as when they came out.

The Koni's on Abbott Racing site are not made for the SS. As you know. Koni hasn't come out with shocks for the SS yet. Abbott took these shocks off another car and tweeked them for the SS and painted them blue. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't buy those.
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Old 16th March 2004
mav238 mav238 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by finklejag
He did say that people don't usually upgrade their shocks for a couple years like you said. When I had my 03 A4. Bilstein had shocks out for the B6 A4 within a year. It was a completely different chassis from the B5. Those shocks are $476.00, the same price as when they came out.

The Koni's on Abbott Racing site are not made for the SS. As you know. Koni hasn't come out with shocks for the SS yet. Abbott took these shocks off another car and tweeked them for the SS and painted them blue. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't buy those.
you are correct, I checked with Koni and they do not have any units out for the SS, and abbott probably did rework the units themselves.

My shocks are now at 30,000 kms at 1.5 years, will probably look to change them at 50,000 or 60,000 km. Hopefully, the Koni's will be available then, or may have to go with OEM SAAB, made by SACH-BOGE.

I priced the bilsteins (complete set of 4) from PFS and compared it to genuninesaab, there is very little difference after the shipping and custom duties are added, if you order it within the US. For us in Canada, it would make sense to order directly from PFS, as we would only be paying custom/broker fees once, instead of twice if we orderd it from the US.
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