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Discussion Starter #1
I know this as been discussed but it’s all over the place.
My 01 wagon is showing the signs of improper toe in.
The is a cupping sound from the left rear tire and I believe the inner rear tires are showing some inner cupping.
What is the process for fixing this up.
I just put in new shocks.
The car has 98000 miles.
 

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Look near the forward bush anchorage on the trailing arm - its fastened to the underside by three bolts. loosen these and the mounting bracket can be moved. On mine it needed a hammer and a wooden drift, they're pretty tight, and strangely one went easily into range but the other only just got within limits.

The official line, which I found repeated (not unreasonably) by the alignment shop, is that the rear toe isn't adjustable. I had to persuade them, tell them how and accept responsibility.

It was done whilst on the lift, laser stuff installed, so the changes could be seen.

However, the tyre damage you describe is, according to my (Saab specialist) mechanic, primarily caused by the rose bushes attaching the rear transverse arms to the hubs. Distortion of these causes change to both the camber and toe.

My 2004 had terribly knackered inside rear tyre edges when I got it. The rose bushes were replaced and new tyres fitted. Nearly 25K miles later, no inside edge wear, and that was when we discovered, during a Hunter alignment, the rear toe was out. The rear toe was spot-on after the rose bushes were done.

The only change I can remember was having the original worn-out sport suspension replaced by non-sport suspension ( some of the best money I've ever spent on the car) and I assume this change put the rear toe out.

There has been no inside edge wear since this change, and I would suggest that rear toe error, unless extreme, might not be the primary cause of the tyre edge wear.

You're right though, there have been various threads about this and opinions are varied.

Doug
 

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Mike I re-read your opening post, which said you are seeing the signs of toe error, and I went off on the basis that you had confirmed the toe was out.

Therefore I could have just summarised by saying that the rubbed inside edges are often caused by the rose bushes wearing out, and the cause might well be the camber error as well as a toe error. They both happen as the hub position changes as the bushes deform. I too suspected rear toe error until my man put me straight.

However if nothing else I've broadcast the "impossible" rear toe adjustment method! I should emphasise that Saab do have the rear toe adjustment technique in the WIS, its the align shops' computers' databases that disallow it. There are certain "possible" adjustments they don't like doing in case they dig themselves into a hole, although I can't imagine how what we're talking about is irreversible or risky.

And for general consumption, don't bother getting the laser align until all suspension changes are complete and ensure its unladen with all fluids full.

Doug
 

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There is a big chunk of reality missing in this discussion so far, and that is that Saab 9-5 rear springs sag.

When they sag you lose ride height and when you lose ride height toe in increases and negative camber increases.

The multi link suspension is designed that way.

So the first step is to measure ride height. This is all spelled out in the WIS, but the short version is Aero with 17" wheel have 610mm of ride height and cars with 16" wheels 620 mm. Ride height is measured through the center of the wheel from the tire/wheel joint to the inner fender.

YOU NEED RIDE HEIGHT TO BE CORRECT BEFORE YOU HAVE ANY ALIGNMENT DONE.

I sugggest spring spacers to get the ride height to specification. You can replace springs, but new ones will sag in short time.

Lower, outer rose bushes do wear as well and if they look out of center should be replaced

As mentioned, toe is adjustable on this car at the front of the trailing arm.

Camber can be adjusted too, but shims are time consuming and proper ride height is probably the answer to too much negative camber.

The cupping is caused by toe adjustment. I had this happen to my 2001 and that is what led me on this long journey of studying this rear suspension and curing the problem with proper ride height through the use of spring spacers.

AGAIN, YOU NEED RIDE HEIGHT TO BE CORRECT BEFORE YOU HAVE ANY ALIGNMENT DONE.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
That is very helpful. Can you give me lead on spaces. Are they tied to how much it needs to be raised. I mean are the sized linked to how much it needs to be raised. Also, is there’s link to buy the best spacers.
Thanks so much. You have helped to delist this issue.
Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Ok. I went out and got my current ride height with a full tank of gas on level ground.
Ride height is suposed to be 605 mm or 23.8" SE wagon with 16" wheels.

What I have is:
Left: 22 13/16 or 597.4 mm
Righht: 23 1/2 or 596.9 mm

So it seem the right side is pretty close to spec to within 3/10"
The left side is down about 1 inch or 25.4 mm.
The left tire is the one beginning to cup.

So my question is: Should I just do 1 25mm spacer on the left side spring, put in the 2 bushings that are weak and leave the other side alone and then do an alignment?
I would appreciate any input.

1. Trailing Arm Bushing - Rear Forward
2. Control Arm Bushing - Rear Outer
Mike
 

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I'd make changes symmetrically. Your height error is minimal and the difference is tiny but whatever is deteriorating, its doing it on both sides!

Doug
 

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Ok. I went out and got my current ride height with a full tank of gas on level ground.
Ride height is suposed to be 605 mm or 23.8" SE wagon with 16" wheels.

What I have is:
Left: 22 13/16 or 597.4 mm
Righht: 23 1/2 or 596.9 mm

So it seem the right side is pretty close to spec to within 3/10"
The left side is down about 1 inch or 25.4 mm.
The left tire is the one beginning to cup.

So my question is: Should I just do 1 25mm spacer on the left side spring, put in the 2 bushings that are weak and leave the other side alone and then do an alignment?
I would appreciate any input.

1. Trailing Arm Bushing - Rear Forward
2. Control Arm Bushing - Rear Outer
Mike
The difference is so small I would not put in spacers. Replace the lower outer rose bushes.

Also replace the big bushing at the front end of the trailing arm. It is a big rubber bushing and does fail. Best to install the Power Flex poly bushing. It is much more rigid and really tightens things up. Also it installs easily because it it a 3 piece design. Google the power flex one. Most Saab parts suppliers have it.

Getting the old one out can be time consuming and you may have to cut the steel ring out. Google it there are some photo articles on doing this.

Here is a how to article that is pretty good: http://photo.platonoff.com/Auto/20070930c.Saab_9-5_Rear_Trailing_Arm_Bushings/


Then get the car aligned using the WIS specs. You don't need fancy laser stuff.........my guy does it all manually. The toe adjustment is at the new bearing front end of this trailing arm.

The cupped tire that I think is now on the front will rumble like a snow tire forever....cupping ruins the tire.

Good luck....glad to help.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks so much. I have 600 miles to go to get back to the UP. I’m on a reunion week atMarblehead, Ohio.
Now my heater bypass valve failed. I’m glad I brought a spare and a flexible hose clamp pliers. Geez, what a week.
 

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Thanks so much. I have 600 miles to go to get back to the UP. I’m on a reunion week atMarblehead, Ohio.
Now my heater bypass valve failed. I’m glad I brought a spare and a flexible hose clamp pliers. Geez, what a week.
NO PROBLEM

GOOD LUCK!!! get rid of that bogus by-pass valve. All it does is leak!!
 

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I have a set of Mackey hoses but I can’t figure out how to install them. They are also 600 miles away
What do you need to figure out how to install them? They go i pretty much the same as the old comes out.

Mark in Maine posted this info online:
The picture DIY's don't seem to be out there, but check FixMySAAB for the by pass valve DIY. Search MacKay and SWEDECAR - Anders has multiple references on how to. I just did this on a 2006. Remove the battery (quick and easy) and then loosen three nuts to rotate the fuse box out of the way. Unplug and remove connectors for the ECU harness as you would to replace the BP valve, and "pull back" the ECU wiring harness to give access. Like Anders suggests, use a new sharp knife (X-Acto or similar) to cut the hoses right at the firewall. The shorter MacKay hose goes on the bottom - and pay attention to Anders' advice to use silicone on inside AND outside of hoses when you fit them to get the clamps to move over the hose and hose barbs.
 
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