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Discussion Starter #1
If i am looking to replace my factory 900 S suspension, what are the best upgrades? (and what were the exact ones fitted? bilstein sports, right?)
im not sure the exact purpose the car will have yet.
I may want stiff, yet durable for unpaved road rally days, so that means beefy and durable, possibly raising the car up.
or something meant mainly for the street, stiff and low. pretty much, any testimonial to certain stuts/springs would be most helpful in determining what i want.
where i live is proabbly going to decide whether i want rally based or street based performance, but at the same time i know an adjustable 'street' setup is capale of gravel goodnes, while a rally setup would most likely suck on twisties.
-marty
 

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just try driving your 900S on a gravel road and you will understand why saabs were pretty good rally cars before 4x4...
 

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The original shocks were Sachs Boge. These are no longer made but Sachs Advantage are similar. I have them on mine and they are fine on rough farm tracks. I also have heavy duty springs made by Ventura. The best setup of all is said to be Koni, which are adjustable, so handy if you need different settings, but they are expensive, require a lot of readjustment and would be complete overkill for most driving. Bilstein are also highly regarded. There's a lot of different combinations that people have - if you search through this forum you'll see some more suggestions on what you can do.
 

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Suspension suggestions

Koni Shocks and the Adjustable Springs from Three Trolls are the way to go.

Both are adjustable:

Adjustable Springs: $600.00
Minor modifications need to be done to allow them to fit properly.
Adjustment is very easy, the front simply requires a ratched to raise/lower the car while the rear requires the car to be lifted up & the spring adjusters manually adjusted. When using this kit aftermarket sway-bars are not needed.

Koni Shocks: $365

These shocks are 3 way adjustible to help suit your cars needs. Unfortunately for the Classic SAAB 900, the shock must be removed in order to adjust it.

http://www.threetrolls.net/ under products then Suspension
 

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Immo said:
Koni Shocks: $365

These shocks are 3 way adjustible to help suit your cars needs. Unfortunately for the Classic SAAB 900, the shock must be removed in order to adjust it.
In the front only the under bolt;)

Sorry my English is not so good:lol: ;oops: .
 

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Aftermarket sway bars have been available for many years through SAS - www.sasab.com

There are a few other manufacturers too.

Since the c900 does not use struts, there are no strut braces available. Rather, the only thing one can do is fabricate up some bracing to connect the top of the shock mounts together. On the front, this is a bit difficult as the coolant reservoir is in the way. In the rear, search up Eric Van Spelde's car in cardomain.com and you can see what he's done.

I've also got a little piece in the works too, which I've just been testing this past week. I won't say more, but if you know which sites are associated with me, you can keep an eye on those for more! ;)
 

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Bennie said:
In the front only the under bolt;)

Sorry my English is not so good:lol: ;oops: .
It's better than my Dutch!
 

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Immo said:
Koni Shocks and the Adjustable Springs from Three Trolls are the way to go.

Both are adjustable:

Adjustable Springs: $600.00
Minor modifications need to be done to allow them to fit properly.
Adjustment is very easy, the front simply requires a ratched to raise/lower the car while the rear requires the car to be lifted up & the spring adjusters manually adjusted. When using this kit aftermarket sway-bars are not needed.

Koni Shocks: $365

These shocks are 3 way adjustible to help suit your cars needs. Unfortunately for the Classic SAAB 900, the shock must be removed in order to adjust it.

http://www.threetrolls.net/ under products then Suspension

  • this looks like cut and paste from the website. is three trolls your company??
  • you are recommending about a thousand dollars of springs and shocks and a few hundred more if a buyer pays a mechanic to install it. sorry but that's just not worth the money.
  • you can't just raise and lower a car all willy nilly when you feel like it as the ride height affects the alignment.
  • that spring kit is for race cars and people that take their car to the track to speed about.
  • it looks like those shocks are not valved for those springs. they will not last as long with such stiff springs and may not even be able to control the springs properly.
  • sorry but street cars don't need adjustable shocks and those are barely adjustable.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
yeah i cant be spending a few grand on this, and im just researching as of now. when i do go for something, i would install myself, at least for the most part. i did my bmw's front suspension no prob but the back was tricky, i could replace the shock but the spring required dropping the driveaxles and torquing with tools i didnt have. it sucks when shocks are only adjustable once you remove them, but they arenbt too hard to get out.

thanks for some of those sites. most likey i would be running street setup, as most of the driving is on street.....
as for what i have now, its very capable of rallying. with teh scandinavian flick used, the car gets sideways when you want to turn quick, but needs a new e-brake.
i was looking for somehting quality and beefy that would handle offroading, like my KYB AGXs on my subaru that are pretty tough.
however, i disagree that adjustability for street is uneccesary. on my wrx i have adjustable KYB AGXs that are 4 way damping adjustable (these are struts/spring on all fours) and its very nice to be able to open the hood and loosen the car up a bit on crappy roads and unpaved adventures. even if you dont rally, its nice to be able to track it full stiff and drive on a lesser settting, but again, not neccesary.
-marty
 

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iconoclast said:
  • this looks like cut and paste from the website. is three trolls your company??
  • you are recommending about a thousand dollars of springs and shocks and a few hundred more if a buyer pays a mechanic to install it. sorry but that's just not worth the money.
  • you can't just raise and lower a car all willy nilly when you feel like it as the ride height affects the alignment.
  • that spring kit is for race cars and people that take their car to the track to speed about.
  • it looks like those shocks are not valved for those springs. they will not last as long with such stiff springs and may not even be able to control the springs properly.
  • sorry but street cars don't need adjustable shocks and those are barely adjustable.
1 .No, it's my company (using a friends saabcentral account)

2. The title of this thread is "best 900 suspension" thus this is the best however the most expensive as well

3. yes you can raise/lower it as much as you want. It will change your alignment however not very much. On my SPG I threw the springs on, raised/lowered the car to where I wanted it then had a alingment

4. correct, they do extremely well at the track however if you drive your car agressivly at all on the street it does equally as well in that environment. Due to how these are designed you can have a inumerous different springrates thus if you want a soft street setup go with 500/650 # springs, more agressive 500/700 or what I use is 550/700#. Even with my 18x7 forgelines's & koni's at full stiff it's quite comfortable on the street. Also, guess what the most common model C900 that I have sold these kits to? the convertible! We can change the springrate to account for the added weight of the car

5. correct, the shocks are not valved for the specific springs, that's $1200+ to have done according to the koni rep I talked to last year. I have had my koni's & adjustable springs on my SPG for 3+ years now, I am not sure what "not very long" means to you but so far zero problems. The koni's also have a lifetime warrante so if in 10-20 yrs they do blow apart koni will give you a new set due to the shocks inability to be rebuilt. If you are serious into racing then the $1200+ would be worth it for revalved shocks, otherwise stock if fine!

6. if you don't want them then don't get them simple as that. The original idea behind the adjustable koni's was to compensate for wear on the shocks however with today's design that's not what the adjustment is for. They are adjustable & koni makes a LOT of shocks which are adjusted this way, calling it barely adjustable isn't true because they ARE! The koni's on my SPG I set & leave them alone. I do not trust the cheaper boge, KYB, etc shocks for what I use my car for & I did not want bilstein due to them being high pressure & they would of given me a stiffer ride w/o any handling improvement.

I would suggest before you talk down about these products as well as other products that you have possibly never experienced???? You should either talk to people who have them or take a ride to see what you think. Like I stated earlier, the topic of this thread is THE BEST C900 SUSPENSION & not the best C900 suspension for less then $200
 

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I have some direct experience with the 550/700 spring set-up and I have to say that I sort of see where the bullet point guy is coming from on one hand, but I disagree on the other. I am waiting for a co-worker who is late to a meeting, so here goes the written puke-out of what I've learned:

On one of my c900s, I have a DIY-built adjustable set-up using similar kinds of parts as the $600 kit. Most of the parts in that kit are readily available from any of dozens of circle track/stock car racing products shops across the U.S. You can either design and fabricate your own set-up like I did (and which was kind of a pain in the butt) or buy Brad's kit already made. Thousands and thousands of race cars are using this stuff, BTW; if you look through a circle track magazine, you'll see that ads for these weight jacker parts are as common as fartcan exhaust ads in Honda ricer mags.

Back to the springs. 550/700 is stiff. If you live where the roads aren't great, it's jarring and you will begin to subconsciously flex your abdomen in anticipation of bumps in the roadway. This stiffness can be a bit better or worse, depending on your tires' sidewall stiffness, the shocks you run and, to a minor degree, running a front bar or not. What kind of roads do I experience? Well, we have no salt where I live and few melt-freeze cycles, so they aren't too bad. But there are some places where expansion joints, pavement quality, etc. are a problem, and I sometimes apologize to passengers for the harshness if we hit the rough patches.

I am currently running Bilstein HDs and find that the rebound is definitely not enough to control the springs. If you go to Ubipa's site (or others??) and look at the stock spring rates (presumably taken from a Saab manual), you'll see that they're considerably softer than 550/700. Those softer, stock rates are what Bilstein, Koni, etc. valved their shocks for. Will they last with the stiff springs? I don't know. Are they properly valved? Not in my experience. Will the springs wreck the shocks? I can't say for sure but it wouldn't surprise me if it happened.

I also do my own alignments. Raising a car will add positive camber; lowering it will add negative. In addition, raising the car will add toe-out; lowering the car will add toe-in. I have never run widely varying heights -- for example, run at "winter height" and then lowered for summer time -- but I personally would not make these changes without also re-setting the toe, and camber, too, if I was going from a height I'd aligned for to one I hadn't. Additionally, disregarding any potentially detrimental affect on handling due to increased CG height, you will certainly affect the cornering capability due to loss of camber if you jack up the car.

Another consideration when running weight jackers (that is what the $600 kit is, a weight jacker set-up) is metal-on-metal noise when going over bumps. Now, this doesn't bother me at all, but I do know of one Saab guy on an email list local to me who removed his set-up because he didn't like the banging noise. I don't know if he ever found a solution and re-installed or not. You might try adding some rubber on the front upper spring perches if it's troublesome to you.

Saabs 900s have a really thin aftermarket -- there just aren't very many people out there making parts for them and, specifically, there are only a couple choices for springs out there (and it's really tough to find springs from other cars to fit because the 900 springs are pretty wide and most cars have MacStruts). The $600 weight jacker kit simply allows enthusiasts who want a really stiff set-up to run super-common, inexpensive 5" springs (there are many many vendors selling many many rates, from super low to ultra-stiff). So, in essence, you are buying an adaptor to run 5" springs.

The jackers are not really to allow you to raise and lower your car to suit your mood for the day: weight jackers' purpose in the racing world is simply to set the ride height, then "corner weight" the car or dial in some "wedge" for the lefthander-type racing. (My car, while it's seen a lot of regular driving, is really more of an autocross toy I play with.)

Is the $600 weight jacker set really the "best"? Depends. Personally, if I knew of decent spring rates to run that worked for other Saabers, I would probably look into having a set of stock-diameter springs custom-wound. My guess is that this would be less than $600. I would also track down a set of used Bilsteins and send them to Bilstein to be re-valved. The innards will be brand new and the valving will be appropriate for the springs. You could also buy brand new shocks, but at about $60 per shock to rebuild/revalve, it gets pricy pretty quick (hence the used shocks).

If you don't have the time, knowledge or inclination to determine the specs you need for custom wound springs (it's more complicated than just calling up a spring guy and saying "I want X & Y spring rates for my Saab 900), and you are willing to accept a stiff ride along with shocks valved for stock springs, then the $600 kit may be for you. The nice thing about it is if you are dissatisfied with the springs, you can replace them with different rates. If you are tracking your car, then I'd say, yes, the $600 kit is the way to go. If you are tracking your car and you know how to weld and are interested in fabrication and you have the time, then you might consider doing your own set-up (I know of a guy road-racing a non-turbo 900 who's done this, too). If you are the type of person who simply likes to have really cool stuff on your car and is less interested in its performance features, then, yes, consider buying the kit for that reason as well.

Okay, that's my two cents. Sorry to be so long-winded but I thought some actual feedback might be helpful here -- I've put in a lot of time and energy on my version of the adjustable, 5" spring suspension, plus 10,000 miles on it. :)
 

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iconoclast said:
  • this looks like cut and paste from the website. is three trolls your company??
  • you are recommending about a thousand dollars of springs and shocks and a few hundred more if a buyer pays a mechanic to install it. sorry but that's just not worth the money.
  • you can't just raise and lower a car all willy nilly when you feel like it as the ride height affects the alignment.
  • that spring kit is for race cars and people that take their car to the track to speed about.
  • it looks like those shocks are not valved for those springs. they will not last as long with such stiff springs and may not even be able to control the springs properly.
  • sorry but street cars don't need adjustable shocks and those are barely adjustable.
I have a friend with this setup (and neither one of us has any thing to do with three trolls). I have driven my friend’s C900, and I want this set up on my C900.

I wanted to give the author what he asked for. The "Best 900 Suspension"!

I agree it's not cheap...

What I do not understand:


· You are not the author of the thread how can you decide what is right for him (Unless you are friends?).

· You replied before the author did.

· You surely have never seen this setup, or been in a car with it. :roll:

 

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Discussion Starter #14
cool well thanks guys i appreciate all the arguing for the sake of my knowledge growing a bit. i got some good (or bad? lol) sites to check out and some good opinions.
-marty
 

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Discussion Starter #16
yeah, but i dont own the subaru and it would cost wayyy more to keep it a dirt driven car, while i may be buying the saab from my parents for very cheap.... they are both fun to rally. saab takes more skill though, nice and challenging.
 

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Forgive me if this question is premature as I have not reviewed all the threads revealed in my "spring" search. Nevertheless I have recently upgraded my 92 900S from 15" rims to 16" rims with 205/55/16. I do like the look and feel of the upgrade however I am noticing the rear end tends to bottom out and/or scrape the wheel well during dips. This never happened with my 15" rims so I am assuming the larger rims are to blame. I would like to know what I can do (simple and inexpensively) to improve this situation while maintainting/improving the car's handling?

An acquaintance suggested
Rear Spring Spacers (1/2" thick). I would be interested in knowing whether or not this would solve my problem? I would also like opinions on how much handling would improve by adding sway bars (assuming they don't already exist) to both the front and rear of the car?

The car will be used for street (pothole ridden/bumpy) driving. Generally no more than two (2) passengers. Although I do want the ability to carry four (4) without the back tires scraping/bottoming out every 5 mins. I also like high speed (75-85mph) curves and have noticed the car does not feel the same perhaps as tight with the 16" rims as it did with the 15" rims during the same high speed curves.

TIA
Gus

 

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The tyre size is the problem here. 205/55/16 do not fit - no wonder you are getting rub. 205/50/16 is the highest profile you can go, and even that rubs sometimes, so 205/45/16 is better still - anything you can do to lower that sidewall height. No point in adding swaybars - to improve handling and response you're better off removing the front one anyway. Stiffen up the rear suspension, either with spring assisters or just stiffer springs and shocks. That will sharpen up the handling a lot and should solve the rub - once you get the right sized tyres on. A few links ;) :

http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=52758
http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=46486
http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=43819
http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=43154
http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=38706
http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=35782
http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=34766
http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=31839
http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=7752

Welcome to Saab Central :cool:

Edit - Looking through those old threads, I really ought to get around to just cutting and pasting my little routine :cheesy:
 

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Thanks for that info. I went back to the shop and explained the situation they agreed to order me a set of 205/50/16 and exchange the 205/55/16. It appears the back end of the wheel well rubs the corner of the tire while the top of the wheel well rubs the upper outside/sidewall of the tire. I suspect the later occurs on highway/elongated dips and the former while traversing speedbumps/pothole like changes in the road. I suspect the 205/50/16 will correct the rub at the corner of the tire and new rear springs will resolve the other rub on the upper outside/sidewall of the tire.

Thanks for sharing Jezz my search did not reveal as many threads. Thus I inquired of the merchant prior to purchase which of the two would be a smaller fit. He originally felt the difference in size was negligible. Surprisingly another vendor recommended the 205/55/16 as well. I suspect the merchant I choose may have been motivated by the fact that 205/50 was not in stock.
 

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So far so good ... the 205/50/16 have solved the tire rub. I've even taken some 3' wide speed bumps at 25mph with no rub. The whell wells are still marked and there is not white paint surfacing on the tires as of yet. Thus far the results are very encouraging. Undestandably the real test will have to wait until I get three (3) passengers or 400lbs of cargo. Nevertheless I'm content with the results thus far especially since I did not have to change my springs to get this level of satisfaction.

Thanks again for the info ...
 
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