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Featuring five broken bolts and a mass of mangled pieces of metal, this weekend brings you... a complete chassis rebuild of my junker. Bilstein Sport shocks, Eibach springs, new strut mounts, rear Aero anti-roll bar and poly bushings everywhere.
(click the above links for more pictures)











...ok, I cheated - the front bushings were done last week ;]. Booking my wheel alignment tomorrow...
 

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Excellent post, thank you for documenting so well with pictures and details. Job is enough of pain just zipping through it so I appreciate you taking the extra time to help others.
 

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Oh yeah I love Dip's photo instruction series.

Did you do the front sway bar as well? Didn't see the photos on that one... is it because you tossed the camera away in disgust at how difficult that job is?

I want to hear your review of the ride quality change with stiff shocks, stiff springs, stiff bushings....
 

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Discussion Starter #5
MacNoob said:
Did you do the front sway bar as well? Didn't see the photos on that one... is it because you tossed the camera away in disgust at how difficult that job is?
The front bar is on hold until I have a good enough reason to drop the subframe ;]
 

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dip said:
The front bar is on hold until I have a good enough reason to drop the subframe ;]
It DOES make a huge difference in body roll and balanced handling, don't wait too long! Replacing the front bar is a 'good enough' reason... It took me about 4 hours or so. Start with the PB Blaster on the sway bar bushing attach bolts now. I shot mine every time I had the car on ramps for a year. Then when I went to remove them (fine thread, strong alloy bolts) I was able to slowly winkle them out. DON'T BREAK ANY. Loosen a bit, PB under the head, tighten, loosen a bit more, PB under the head, tighten.... repeat as necessary... you can reach them with 3/8" ratchet through the wheel wells. Air ratchet is super for reinstall.

About 3 feet of 3/8" drive extension is handy, so you can reach the rear engine mount bolts from up top behind the engine - you will also need a Ujoint and/or wobble sockets. You just need to disconnect the mount and steering rack - don't need to remove it.

I disconnected the downpipe at the turbo and lowered it a little too.

I removed the rear and middle subframe bolts. You just need to be able to lower the subframe an inch or two to get the bar out.

Replace the sway bar end links (Scantech, $20 ea) when you have it apart, it's too easy to damage the rubber boots on the end links when you take it apart. I've got 80k km on my Scantech links and they are still solid.

Then get a good alignment. My caster was out, it can be adjusted through shifting the subframe, so don't know if I screwed it up loosening the frame or if it was already like that.


And that's all I've got to say about that.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the reassurance. I actually did the job a couple of times on other cars... There's only so much you can squeeze in one weekend though. I will certainly post the photos when I find the time to install the front bar.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
MacNoob said:
DON'T BREAK ANY.
Actually, breaking sway bar bushing bolts is not such a disaster. You just take a cold chisel and hammer away the nuts welded to the bracket. They come off easily. And then you re-install the bar with regular bolts and nuts.
 

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Top post!

Well done!
Kermit another one for the FAQ section please :p
 

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Did you notice any difference after you just did the front bushings? I'm wondering if I should do this as my next suspension upgrade.
 

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so how is the ride height compared to a stock aero suspension?

I want to do a spring/strut upgrade on my aero, but the stock rige height is as low as I want it to go, otherwise I'd lose the airdam on a weekly basis around here.
 

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ACBarnett said:
so how is the ride height compared to a stock aero suspension?

I want to do a spring/strut upgrade on my aero, but the stock rige height is as low as I want it to go, otherwise I'd lose the airdam on a weekly basis around here.
Mine (same suspension) was lowered no more than 5-10mm. Honestly I couldn't tell the difference when I saw it.
 

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Awesome writeup.... I know that I'm due for a suspention sometime in the near future which includes a polly bushing rebuild as well.
 

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Does anyone notice a difference from the poly bushings? lol
 

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if you have shot old ones then yes, it will amaze you how much difference a set of new poly bushings tighten up a cars feel.
 

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Fantastic post! Just in time as well. Question: my passenger rear tire is cupped to hell, it is almost octagonal. Looking at the suspension, the shock has a very faint hint of leaking fluid but thats all. The spring, when compared to the one on the driver side, is slightly curved and the drivers side one isn't. How do determine if I need to replace the shock and spring or just one or the other? Budget is an issue.
 
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