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Discussion Starter #1
I have been doing some research on how to improve the harsh ride quality of my 02 93 SE HOT. I understand that by it's very nature the car rides rough, but due to driving on probably some of the worst roads in the US, I am thinking of changing some things. I really enjoy the ride on nice roads out in the country, and on normal roads that arent all rutted up by trucks, but where I am driving now is nothing but potholes and those awful dips and bumps from blacktop merging with bridges. Also some of the seams in the roads are practically speedbumps that you hit at 70mph. At times I feel like the whole car is just going to explode :)

The car has close to 60k on it, so I was wondering if I needed new suspension, but through searching I found a lot of people that said the shocks should last till 100k, but of course that is in ideal conditions.

That said I was focusing more on getting a new set of touring tires with a softer sidewall to compromise for the horrible roads I drive on. Then I found one post among all of the other posts I was reading that said something to the effect of:

"If you hear a squishy squishy sound when you go over speedbumps your struts/shocks need to be replaced".

I definitely hear a noise when I have my windows down, in fact I have heard this noise in a lot of cars I have owned and always thought it was a healthy sound, not a bad sound.

I don't know that I would describe the sound as squishy though, it is more a sound like psst psst. Bearing more resemblence to the sound of using a tire pressure gauge than squishing a twinky. I always thought that it was a normal hydraulic noise. Please lend me your experience and expertise.

Thanks,
DougR
 

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I have that sound as well as well as a VERY rough ride, Im hoping to do the koni setup by the end of the summer. Another problem I have is the if I hit a dip in the road or say a dropoff or something, it feels like the shock FIRES the tires in to hole and I have develop a buch of rattles I assume its due to the rough ride.
 

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Mine make a psst noise as well when I drive over bumps. Some people freak out about noises like this... I pushed down on each corner of my car, and the shocks seem to still absorb shock pretty well. Though if this is the sound of shocks about to fail, I dont know.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
My car is rattle galore. It only had a few when I got it, but after driving it for around 2k on these awful roads I have about 300 more :)

The rattles are something I can accept, and don't notice if the radio is on, but it's the harshness that is killing me. When I drive down the highway I am focused on every single imperfection in the road, trying to preplan my route a few seconds ahead so that I get the least jarring possible.

I have trouble believing it is worn shocks being that a lot of owners of 04/05 model 93's are complaining of super harsh jarring rides and major rattles. I would imagine the se hot is the equivalent of the new aero's or whatever the sportiest model is now, so there could be a comparison made.

I do love the suspension on nice roads, and I don't notice any of the classic worn shocks signs like float, and bobbing, I just need to tweak things a bit to make this ride more tolerable for the daily commute.

It makes me just want to take my hyundai to work, but I sure as heck would not want to drive that thing on the highways I commute on, I have had way too many close calls and seen too many bad wrecks to risk it for a little ride comfort. Plus it is my dog car and it smells bad :p
 

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I don't think your struts need replacing. 9-3 SE does have a fairly stiff suspension so on a rough road it's quite the kidney jiggler.

As you noted, do get touring tires. I noticed that when I put on my winter tires, the ride is much more supple and smooth. They don't handle very well under heavy cornering, but that's the compromise that all cars make.

If it really bothers you, you might even consider replacing the rims to a smaller size :roll: and putting on tires with higher profile.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I will most likely just try out touring tires first. I did let some pressure out of my tires which made it a bit better, but then my gas mileage was poor because of the the low tires, plus I don't think it's safe to drive around on underinflated tires :)
 

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For a better ride, try true "summer" MEDIUM performance tires, sized about 195/205 by 55 to 60 by 15 or 16.

The correct size is very hard to come by, Saab does allow some latitude.

I use BF Goodrich Touring TA 195 x 65 x 15... traction A... temperature B.... Tire pressure at 28 to 30 psi...

They are NOT meant for driving on the Autobahn at 130 mph NOR are they good for slalom racing....
 

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Yes, this is the most depressing part (for me, at least) of Saab ownership. The stupid car has a ride befitting a go cart but the handling performance of the Love Boat. I fit stiffer shocks and struts to mine mistakingly thinking it would help the ride and or handling and it did neither. The ride IS harsher though. I keep my tires 16 inch 205/50 Kuhmo Ecsta 711's (the correct size for a 16 inch wheel and not THAT hard to find) inflated to 34 psi. I could deflate them a BIT, but I figure the excess tire wear isn't worth a not noticeable increase in comfort. You may just want to go around making sure all screws are torqued and any plastic screws or clips for interior trim are firmly fastened. You'll get used to the ride and a bigger rear anti-roll bar will give you cornering performance more fitting a car so harsh. Touring tires MAY help, just remember that those softer sidewalls will cause a bit of a cornering loss.
 
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