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Discussion Starter #1
My 99 95's handling has been deteriorating for a while now. I recently replaced the rear shocks ("dampers" if you like) and it helped but today coming back from Chicago going about 80mph, every time I went over a dip or gradual bump the car seemed like it was floating - not as bad as if the shocks were bad but similar.

The front struts are original and when I do the bounce test seem fine. Could it be that the springs are fatigued? How many miles should the front struts go? The car has 87K miles on it.

Any other suggestions? I miss the tight ride I originally bought.

Thanks!
 

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The average life of suspension components is around 50-70K. I'd say it's time for an aftermarket suspension all around. ;)
 

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Front wheel bearings are probably the culprit. Also have the tires and alignment checked. Springs don't usually deteriorate in this timeframe, but the struts might.

JM
 
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jmartin said:
Front wheel bearings are probably the culprit. Also have the tires and alignment checked. Springs don't usually deteriorate in this timeframe, but the struts might.

JM

My feeling is that it is the springs. Generaly it is recommended to change springs the same time as shocks. 87K on a set of springs is pretty good going the saab is a very heavy car. I dont believe that wheel bearings are the problem, generally bearings are accompanied by all sorts of clonks and noise..
 

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Which model 9-5 is it? :confused:
 

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Im not agreeing or disaggreeing with the opinions on suspension but The springs and shox depreciation is an interesting issue, and maybe this post is a good place to start to really look at whats happening with the depreciation in a technical sense.

I had 2 alfa romeos , also quite heavy cars at 1475 - 1575kg and they were on original suspension at 134000 miles and 110000 miles respectfully, and both of them held the road like glue, and still felt very tight to drive.

I off course drive mostly on my own with little baggage, and im very particular about going over any obvious bumps on the road - speedbumps, ramps etc very slowly as i like to treat my car very well, but i also like to use the suspension when required in the corners.

But im not saying the saabs suspension does or does not need replacing at the miles suggested but i would certainly like to find a way of determining when the rear springs or front shox / springs are past it as i would like to maximise my suspension status but without replacing things unless necessary.

I have changed my rear shox as there was a leak in one of them, and this made a difference especially noticeable in improved braking

But how do i determine if my rear springs or front shox or front springs are past it.

I assume that the quality of manufacturing will have a bearing on the depreciation ?
Can anyone scientifically describe the process of wear on the saab shox and springs ?
Is there a way to determine this state of wear ? - progressive, or sudden etc and how progressive
Or do you just change them after a certain mileage as a precautionary undertaking to ensure you now have excellent suspension

I have heard so many opposing opinions of how long shox and springs last, that it will be good to put some objective data on the board :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Chris 9-5 said:
Which model 9-5 is it? :confused:
Chris, it's a SE - V6 turbo.

got this email this morning from a forum member:

"I have a '99 with about the same mileage. Lots of the systems are beginning to fail. There is a reason that the resale on the '99s is so bad. Every two months, it's another $300-$600 for some piece of the car that has gone kaput."

Gawd, I hope he's wrong. This car has to last. I don't mind fixing it when needed but I don't want to replace things that are not necessarily the problem. (I also have a 64 vette that is just getting finished up and I'm getting tired of spending all my time crawling around under a car....)

so the consensus here is: Change the springs and check the struts?

pm
 

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pmonfre said:
so the consensus here is: Change the springs and check the struts?

pm
Don't waste your time and money changing springs unless they are obviously failed.

If a spring breaks, the car will sit down on one corner and handle like a pig.

If the springs are fatigueing with extreme milage, they will go softer and sag.
The obvious result is that the car will sit lower down than it did.

If you car sits level and isn't sinking, there's NOTHING WRONG with your springs. Most Saab springs are very conservatively designed and are made from large gauge material, this results in low stresses in the steel and very good fatigue life.

On the other hand, dampers are very 'delicate' components, precision machined and relying on close clearances on moving parts. They don't last forever and can easily deteriorate over 50-70,000 miles, although some may keep going much longer. Without a damper testing machine which applies loads at various speeds, while measuring damping forces, you can't easily tell if a damper is losing efficiency, other than by the car feeling 'off'.
 

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pmonfre said:
so the consensus here is: Change the springs and check the struts?

pm
Not sure, depends on what you intend to change them for :confused:

With stock struts / shocks you need stock springs, its a shame you have had some replaced as changing the whole lot for a koni, eibach, bilstien, or whatever set up will be far more rewarding and reliable to drive :confused:
 

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I have been having some suspension problems with my Aero. Found this post by searching and decided to post to see maybe you guys can shed some light on what can be wrong with my car.

I have 2002 9-5 Aero which I bought used last year. It had about 33K miles on it. Car drove great, handled very nice and was very stable on the highways for almost a year.

About 4 months ago with the car at 50K miles, I started noticing how car started to drive differently. Meaning it became much more loose and floaty when driving especially on the highway. Coincidentally I started noticing car driving this way after Saab dealership performed some work on my car. First thing they did is they replaced both Front End Links of Front Sway Bar. Second thing they did was they disassembled steering column and lubed and oiled it. They did that because I had some clicking in the steering wheel and they said both Front End Links were bad. After that service clicking and clunking in the steering wheel went away, which was good. But after that service I started noticing my car driving not the same way it did before. I am not sure if it had anything to do with service they did or not.



Basically to describe the way my car drives now is that when I am on the highway and I jerk steering wheel to the right and back ever so slightly, I notice the car make this floaty transition to right and then back to straight line. Before I would do that the car would move to right and back to straight line in very firm and controlled manner. Now it makes the whole car feel very floaty. It feels like front moves to right and rear follows it in floary manner.

With this in mind I decided to replace shocks. I decided that because thought my rear shocks were bad, especially after reading that people have replaced their rear shocks on 9-5 Saab at around 50K miles.
I went with Konis and just replaced them last week. The place that replaced them set them to 50% stiffer from original box setting. I do feel that the car is firmer now when going over bumps, etc. But the problem I had before with the car being floaty is still there. I again performed that test on the highway by jerking steering wheel to the right and back and car still exhibits same floaty behavior.

So my question is:
1. Can something else be a problem with my car and not the shocks? Maybe rear sway bar? Maybe front sway bar and end links they replaced?
2. Can Konis I got be defective? I tested them by doing bounce test and they feel fine.

Sorry for long post, but I really want to return the car to original feel of stable and good handling it had when I got it last year. It seems that Konis did not help me fix the problem, which makes me kinda of upset thinking it's something else with the car.

Thanks guys
 

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Did the shop rotate the tyres? This can upset the balance of the car, especially if the tyres were wearing unevenly.
 

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My 87 300E had 155K on the original suspension and it performed as NEW. Why would Saab suspension components be only good for 50-60K? Are they that far below MB. Maybe it's a good thing that the new 9-5 will be a reskinned Impala, it could then go 100K trouble free miles (I know 3 with late model Impalas that have over 100K and only routine stuff, oil, brake pads etc.) Maybe GM should just take an Impala and stick a key between the seats and call it a day. My old much heavier 92 Park Ave went 125K with no suspension issues. Only 1 waterpump, 1 alternator, and 1 relay. No other repairs in all those miles and it ran as new and did not burn a drop of oil.

Having said all that, I agree that it should not be a spring issue based on what you report. Sway bars, bushings, and shocks all come to mind. I had an 87 XJ6 that was floaty and the trunion bearings were bad (seemed as if the shocks were bad). I don't know if the 9-5 even has these in the suspension but if it does they should be looked at.
 

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I'm experincing the same thing although I have 113k miles on mine. It seems to me the shock/struts are the issue. Unless the car is being autocrossed I can't see the springs being worn out.
 
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