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Discussion Starter #1
And the result is very mixed. Body control is improved but the ride, especially over rough stuff like tar strips and rippled pavement, is as jarring as it was before. The car doesn't have the fluid poise that Bilsteins brought to other cars I've had. It's bothersome because the car is quiet and otherwise comfortable, especially for long journeys. The ride really detracts and should be better.

My Combi has 17" wheels. I drove a Combi with 16" wheels (and Chinese tires!) that felt much more nimble than my car.

I have an '07 Convertible, too, which seems to have a better sorted suspension than the Combi. They're apparently very different cars.

Any comments? Anyone know if the ride can be improved?
 

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What tire and size do you have on the SportCombi versus the other cars. Sidewall size and strength can play a large role in comfort, along with compound.

I'm assuming the Bilsteins are paired with factory springs? Spring rates can also affect how the car feels.

One more thing to note: Depending on how long the Bilsteins have been installed, they may not have had a chance to break in or settle yet. A lot of dampers will be stiff within the first few hundred miles.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Tires are Cooper Zeon RS3-A, 235/45-17.

The Bilsteins have >1000 miles of use, and the springs are stock. The shock damping is tight: the car recovers instantly. Feels like a track car! Nearly overdamped and definitely stiffly sprung. Suspension feels like it lacks compliance.
 

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Those are the same tires I have - size and all. They are definitely a heavier tire with a stiff sidewall. So you can count on those contributing toward the jarring effect over bumps and uneven road surface. I have noticed that bumps and cracks in the road are much more noticeable with them, despite being paired with the sport factory sport suspension. This is particularly noticeable in the colder winter temps.

Being a sport-inspired damper, the Bilsteins have most likely enhanced this feeling.

As for the rest of the suspension, maybe check the condition of various bushings for additional wear.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The Bilsteins transformed my '73 Fiat 124 Spider into a magical little machine. I could feel the Bilstein poise after a mere 50 feet of driving. And this car had a very simple chassis, A-arms up front and a live rear axle with panhard rod.

I put Bilsteins on a huge '86 Mercury Colony Park wagon. Again amazing—except rough roads would rattle your fillings loose.
 

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B8 or B 6? hoping B8 if B6 do this you are correct, too much damper for your needs....I would go B4 or original Sachs if it was me. I have a 9-5 combi and thats where my mind set is, but I was leaning towards B6 to tell the truth. Depending you your feedback I may change my mind. As you get older, the harshness that goes with the "track" response gets less tolerable. ;oops:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Mine are B6—the only Bilstein I could find for the car. I did some searching and purchased them from AJUSA.

This is from their website:

Bilstein B4 gas pressure shocks and struts are designed to be the economical choice for maintaining the original equipment ride performance while incorporating Bilstein's world-famous durability and precise construction.

Bilstein B6 Heavy Duty monotube gas pressure shocks and struts are the ideal choice for most vehicles, including full-size sedans, SUVs and trucks. These shocks provide improved handling and stability, without sacrificing ride comfort. They offer super damping ability that makes them ideal for the driver who demands superior performance, while maintaining an exceptional street ride.

Bilstein B8 Sport monotube shocks and struts deliver absolute mastery of the road surface for the performance-minded driver. Designed to push a car's suspension to its performance peak, these shocks are specifically suited for use with special lowering springs in combination with anti-sway bars or other suspension upgrades.
 

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and my experience with Bilstein is similar to you folks but Pace may have identified the culprit. borrow some tires. Even DWS contis are no where nice as Bridgestone Pole Position for example,and I am sure its tire sidewall. Runflats are the worse of all for that.
 

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not what I wanted to hear maybe ill go with konis this week after i get my taxes back
 

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i am trying to figure out why the sachs oem are so expensive...koni inserts would be cheaper if you are handy with tools.... B4 would be my gut feel but they are not a monotube damper...so....

too many questions.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The Combi had an unsettled, jostling ride before I installed Bilsteins. I've not ridden in a 9-3 sedan, which made me wonder if the wagon's ride might be stiffer due to higher spring rates for load carrying.

I have read negative comments about the 9-3's ride—though my Conv rides nicely.

At some point I have to decide to keep the Combi or sell, as I also have a Golf TDI. Truth be told, the Golf, though it's not perfect, has a smooth, polished feel the Combi lacks. The Combi's looks are so striking, so fascinating, that I want to be able to love it.
 

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I am keeping my car for a bit longer. I have been pricing out these b6 bilsteins for a month and now am probably going to go with koni fsds after this review. I will also go with strut mounts and sway bar links just in case. my issue is I didn't want adjustability like the yellows or b8s as I cant make up my mind from day to day.
 

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if you were looking for more of a comfort. you should of went with the koni FSD's

and the tires made a huge difference after i put those fsds in. the month after i put some bridgestone potenzas 245/40 R17 and that made another gigantic difference. (wayyyy better than the michelin pilot sport) i actually ended up returning those back to costco.

also if you hate going over uncomfy potholes in the road i HIGHLY RECOMMEND these:


http://www.fcpeuro.com/products/saab-suspension-stabilizer-bar-link-9-3-9-3x-24417251



best upgrade ive ever done in terms of suspension.
 
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