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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have 75K on my 2004 9-3 Aero, the ride quality has always been harsh but it has gotten progressively worse in the last 25K miles (either that or I have been more sensitive to it). I bought Koni FSD’s hoping to get some relief from the pothole strewn roads of Massachusetts. After reading the Koni marketing and online reviews I thought I had found the Holy Grail.

Initial impressions:
The FSD’s have not turned my Saab into a Buick Regal, but it has softened the blows from uneven surfaces. The ride improvement is noticeable at speeds above 35 mph, below 35 mph it does not seem to be much different from stock.

Before the install I imagined that the handling would be similar to stock, but just less harsh of a ride. Actually, the biggest improvement seems to be improved handling! The Koni’s allow the car to take corners much more confidently, the body roll is diminished. It seems like my car is riding on rails (I am using my 16” snow tires at the moment, can't wait to get my summer wheels on).

I think the price is a bit steep ($500 parts + $400 labor), but overall I am really happy with the results.
 

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I thought FSD's weren't to be used on the Aero models, and were not designed to work with the sportier Aero springs, do you think that might have something to do with your overall impression?

I'm considering them for my linear '04.

Thanks for posting this.

darod.


P.S. Where did you get them?
 

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They work fine with 03 Vector Stock Springs...the design is perfect. It's when using lowering springs and FSD's on a Vector/Aero that a problem comes up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
They are designed to be used with stock springs, not lowering springs. There are others here running FSD's with springs lower than mine that have favorable impressions.

I bought the Koni's from ajusa.com, they have the lowest prices I could find.

It took two months to deliever since they were drop shipped from Koni in Europe.
 

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interesting... what SPRINGS do you have?

^ the FSDs were designed ideally for the aero and their 10mm lower springs but many have used them on non aero/vector SS'... some even against konis guidance have used lowering springs with mixed reviews.

Where did you get them for $500? I ended up paying $680 includding shipping.. I feel like I was ripped off now.

* edit * just re-read my post and realized I asked what shocks you have, good LORD... replaced now with the correct word, springs :)
 

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MarkJ said:
They are designed to be used with stock springs, not lowering springs. There are others here running FSD's with springs lower than mine that have favorable impressions.

I bought the Koni's from ajusa.com, they have the lowest prices I could find.

It took two months to deliever since they were drop shipped from Koni in Europe.

I just looked on that site and they don't have the FSD's listed.......

I wish I just paid 500. :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
JonV said:
I already gottem....but that link is not showing FSD's
Check the Koni part number, it is correct. I know it is since that is the page I ordered them from.
 

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These New England roads will ruin your Saab real quick. The frost heaves, the salt, the fact that the roads are not very well taken care off up here. Drive a second hand vehicle around New England in the winter. A new car will just get destroyed on Route 1, Lynnfield, and 93 is a total discrace all way from the New Hamoshire border, get a pick up truck for the winter!
 

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What i dont understand is that we all know that ride quality (thumping, rough, etc) is a negative in our cars. Would'nt that be related to crappy shock absorbers?

But people are changing to the "best" shocks in the market and still are suffering from moderate thumping/rough rides. How the hell could we make our cars drive and feel like Audi/BMW/MB. It is not the insulation is it?
 

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I think the weather plays a signaficant factor in how the suspensions feels. For example up here in the North East both my Saabs have bramd new shocks and control arm bushings, however when it is cold, really cold the suspension is terrible. My fathers Audi A-6 is the same way, but in the summer and the spring it rides great. It is also possible that it could be the tires as well, always check the pressure, is shouls be around 30PSI in the winter.
 

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MarkJ said:
I have the stock Aero springs

If it makes you feel better they were actually $587.95 :)

They still carry them, here's a link
http://www.ajusa.com/cgi-bin/koni/details?part_num=2100%204014&lookup=1&db=&session_id=c54ede0a23ea67a910dab3d7e433c460
This is quite funny, as JonV says, this link doesn't show a product. Or rather, it does, provided you know the Koni part number for the FSDs that fit the Saab. It gives you the price and part number, it just doesn't know what it is giving this info for. The description just says "UNKNOWN".
 

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What i dont understand is that we all know that ride quality (thumping, rough, etc) is a negative in our cars. Would'nt that be related to crappy shock absorbers?

But people are changing to the "best" shocks in the market and still are suffering from moderate thumping/rough rides. How the hell could we make our cars drive and feel like Audi/BMW/MB. It is not the insulation is it?
first of all, it's hard to say what exactly is causing the knocking noises over repetitive bumps, which i get a lot. second, springs and dampers should always be matched to work together. even the best springs/dampers for a particular model doesn't equate to a non-rough ride. this is considered a sports sedan, which has a somewhat sporty suspension setup. sporty and comfortable almost never go together.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Cojoroh said:
first of all, it's hard to say what exactly is causing the knocking noises over repetitive bumps, which i get a lot. second, springs and dampers should always be matched to work together. even the best springs/dampers for a particular model doesn't equate to a non-rough ride. this is considered a sports sedan, which has a somewhat sporty suspension setup. sporty and comfortable almost never go together.
The hollow knocking sound came from the stock shocks/dampers. I don't hear it anymore and I tested my car over some really rough roads yesterday.

Vector-SS said:
What i dont understand is that we all know that ride quality (thumping, rough, etc) is a negative in our cars. Would'nt that be related to crappy shock absorbers? But people are changing to the "best" shocks in the market and still are suffering from moderate thumping/rough rides. How the hell could we make our cars drive and feel like Audi/BMW/MB. It is not the insulation is it?
My wife has a 2006 Lexus IS 250, it has a firm ride and I would compare our cars as similar ride comfort (with the FSD's). Since they are both sport sedans, they certainly transmit the feeling of the road so they aren't like riding in an 80's Caddy.
 

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What I noticed when test driving BMW and Audi, and driving my boss's IS350 is that you feel the same bumps and road imperfections you feel in our cars, but the isolation is a lot better so that it doesn't intrude so much on the cabin and passengers as far as noise, so I think it's both a combination of better stock suspension components as well as sound insulation material. This is no brainer stuff that SAAB can fix if it chooses.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
johnc_22 said:
What I noticed when test driving BMW and Audi, and driving my boss's IS350 is that you feel the same bumps and road imperfections you feel in our cars, but the isolation is a lot better so that it doesn't intrude so much on the cabin and passengers as far as noise, so I think it's both a combination of better stock suspension components as well as sound insulation material. This is no brainer stuff that SAAB can fix if it chooses.
I agree 100%, SAAB fell prey to the GM cost cutting machine.

John, please come an visit this forum once you have your new BMW to let us know how the ride quality is over time (long term Atlanta road testing), I'd be really interested to hear from you.
 

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" not a buick.. but softened the blows "

- You wouldnt really want your car to ride like a buick would you? Are you under the impression there is a noticable change in the sound/jarring from hitting some of the same bumps you used to hit in the stock setup?

" the ride improvement... noticeable over 35 mph.. below 35 seems like stock"

- So.. you think its just as rough of a ride as stock when going slow but when going faster its better?

" seems like my car is riding on rails "

- this sounds incredible.. so the handling is really good at all speeds, or again.. only when going faster?

" the knocking noise was from the stock set-up...not hearing it anymore.. and i went over some really rough roads"

- so, you got rid of the suspension noises when you just swapped the shocks, no other changes made right?


Hmm... after reading this it all sounds positive to me. Noises are gone, your car rides on rails, and the ride comfort actually got better (and sportier too?)... I read your posts and it seemed negative but all that sounds amazing to me. Am I reading your comments correctly?
 

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MarkJ said:
I agree 100%, SAAB fell prey to the GM cost cutting machine.

John, please come an visit this forum once you have your new BMW to let us know how the ride quality is over time (long term Atlanta road testing), I'd be really interested to hear from you.
I'll do that. It's going to be a long, painful wait. I'll still be around here - I'm still a SAAB fan at heart but need to try something different after 10+ years of the same brand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
CallipNCSUsaab said:
" not a buick.. but softened the blows "
- You wouldn't really want your car to ride like a Buick would you? Are you under the impression there is a noticeable change in the sound/jarring from hitting some of the same bumps you used to hit in the stock setup?
Yes, the ride seems better, but by a marginal difference only noticeable at 35mph + over large road irregularities. It is not like a Buick and that is not what I was going for (a joke BTW), my car is still very much in contact with the road, I would say more than stock.

CallipNCSUsaab said:
" the ride improvement... noticeable over 35 mph.. below 35 seems like stock" - So.. you think its just as rough of a ride as stock when going slow but when going faster its better?
Correct, it is not noticeable at slower speeds, but if you hit a pothole at 45mph it used to send a massive SLAM into the cabin shaking everything, now the car is composed.

CallipNCSUsaab said:
" seems like my car is riding on rails "
- this sounds incredible.. so the handling is really good at all speeds, or again.. only when going faster?
The handling is much better. I notice this at all speeds. Body roll is diminished, the car feels more stable, improved handling was unexpected to me since I bought the FSD's to add ride comfort.

CallipNCSUsaab said:
" the knocking noise was from the stock set-up...not hearing it anymore.. and i went over some really rough roads"
- so, you got rid of the suspension noises when you just swapped the shocks, no other changes made right?
I just added FSD's to my stock Aero setup, no other suspension changes.

CallipNCSUsaab said:
Hmm... after reading this it all sounds positive to me. Noises are gone, your car rides on rails, and the ride comfort actually got better (and sportier too?)... I read your posts and it seemed negative but all that sounds amazing to me. Am I reading your comments correctly?
I think the cost is a bit steep to get our Saab's ride quality to a level that they should have been from the factory.

It is cost me approx $1000 to make my car's suspension perform like my wife's stock Lexus IS 250, that is why I may have come over a bit lukewarm. I'd say they are a great addition to my car, I just wish we didn't have to augment our cars to bring them up to the level of the competition (stereo, suspension, etc...) I plan on keeping my Saab for at least another four years so I will get my money's worth out of this investment. It will be interesting to see how many of the regulars are still on this board at that time :)
 
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