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Any suggestions on spare parts to buy before taking apart the rear shocks? Should I replace the shocks while I'm in there, and any other parts that are probably all rusted and worn out?
I would replace the shocks. I like Bilsteins. If you use Koni, put the spring perch on the upper setting.

Spring spacers are the only way to get ride height in spec. It is not a cheap replacement, just and adjustment to ride height. As noted Saab springs tend to sag, even new ones.
 

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RedAero, just to play devil's advocate, what if someone wanted to lower their wagon? Toe-in is adjustable from the factory, so there's no issue there, but because of the design of the rear suspension, I don't think there's any way to correct the camber on a lowered 9-5 without the use of those adjustable arms. I'm also curious why you think they're junk. Have you had, or heard of them bending or failing in other ways?
I guess I should call them unnecessary rather than junk.
 

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Is adding spacers a cheap alternative to just replacing the spring altogether?

I'll make sure to measure the ride height because I would like it to be right. How difficult is adding spacers?
As noted by Jeremy it is the only long term solution. Fortunately easy to change. The spring/shock holder comes out with 4 bolts. Upper shock nut can be a problem in the rust belt.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
I would replace the shocks. I like Bilsteins. If you use Koni, put the spring perch on the upper setting.

Spring spacers are the only way to get ride height in spec. It is not a cheap replacement, just and adjustment to ride height. As noted Saab springs tend to sag, even new ones.
I don't really care about sportiness or whatever, would just prefer to put something of OEM equivalent. I was thinking Monroe, unless that's a bad idea for some reason?
 

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Designed by GM engineers? Prove it please.

Ride height is not even mentioned here by these "experts".
I would presume that any suspension part that GM installs on tens of thousands of their cars from the factory will most likely have an engineers stamp of approval on them somewhere.

If you have adjustable camber and toe in and all components/bushings are up to spec then ride height isn't critical at all.
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Discussion Starter #27
Monroe is worse than OEM, and 140,00 to 170.00 usd. Bilstein is around $200.00 usd.........will last years longer than stock or Monroe.
I've been reading a lot of debate over Monroe and it definitely seems like mixed reviews. I did replace the front struts with Monroe's so it seems fitting to replace the rears with them...

I've found Monroe's and B4 Bilstein's for $50 a piece, and then Bilstein B6 and B8 for $95 a piece
 

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I don't really care about sportiness or whatever, would just prefer to put something of OEM equivalent. I was thinking Monroe, unless that's a bad idea for some reason?
OEM/Sachs are a great product, I put Monroes on my old 1999 9-5 and drove it for a few years without issue, drove just fine until it passed away from rust.
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Discussion Starter #29 (Edited)
At this point, I'm almost not sure what to do. It does seem like replacing the bushings and then the adjustable control arms is the easier solution, whereas replacing the shocks + adding spacers and replacing the bushings is the proper longterm solution.

Honestly, since the car has 205k miles, I wish I would have considered just doing the really cheap solution and using camber shims. While I do value the car, I can't really see it lasting more than 2+ years. Seems like the smart thing to do would be to conserve money until a nice '05 Aero with ventilated seats finally pops up on Craigslist 😏

However, I already have all the bushings and the adjustable control arms, and don't feel like going through the hassle of returning them. So I think I will replace those components which will hopefully bring everything in to spec (except ride height), knowing it's not the proper solution, but not the worst one either
 

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I know what you are going through, I plan on moving my adjustable control arms and a bunch of go quick parts that I have bought over the years over to my 2004 AERO manual replacement car in the next few weeks.

The cars don't last forever in rust world but fortunately the fun 'add on' bits (200 cell race cat downpipe, short shifter, updated shift linkage just to name a few) can last a while longer.
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At this point, I'm almost not sure what to do. It does seem like replacing the bushings and then the adjustable control arms is the easier solution, whereas replacing the shocks + adding spacers and replacing the bushings is the proper longterm solution.

Honestly, since the car has 205k miles, I wish I would have considered just doing the really cheap solution and using camber shims. While I do value the car, I can't really see it lasting more than 2+ years. Seems like the smart thing to do would be to conserve money until a nice '05 Aero with ventilated seats finally pops up on Craigslist 😏

However, I already have all the bushings and the adjustable control arms, and don't feel like going through the hassle of returning them. So I think I will replace those components which will hopefully bring everything in to spec (except ride height), knowing it's not the proper solution, but not the worst one either
Wait until the weather's nicer, and it's not such a bad job. I spent a day one summer weekend hammering out the old rose bushes from both rear trailing arms and pounding in new ones. I borrowed a small Harbor Freight hydraulic press from a local tool library and used that to press in the large trailing arm bushings. Once you get the top shock nut off, whether you can do it yourself with a pair of wrenches or take it to a shop with a big impact driver, installing the spring spacers is a piece of cake. I'll be doing the bushings on my wife's 2001 Aero this coming summer, unless, like you, I find a nice 2004 or 2005 Aero with ventilated seats. :) Until then, I have a 2000 Aero wagon with ventilated seats that keeps me happy enough, although it's not red, and it doesn't have the BBS wheels on it anymore. Some day!
 
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