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I am looking to renew the springs on our 91 turbo vert.

For those of you that have taken this step, what do you recommend? It seems that most aftermarket offerings would lower the chassis 30-40mm. I plan to do the mod that moves the rear axle forward .4", and am running 16" super aeros with 205-55's--slightly oversize by .7" in height according to one calculator.

Are most lowered springs stiffer than stock? Many but not all that I have surveyed indicate a 25-30% increase, which seems reasonable if some of the suspension travel is being eliminated. I would welcome a slightly stiffer suspension.

After 16 years and 120K miles, how much additional suspension stiffness should I expect if I went back with new "stock" springs?

I am tilting toward lowered and stiffer springs if it won't create a worse rubbing issue until I can get 50 aspect ratio tires on the car.



I look forward to the benefit of your experience.

Thanks!
 

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I have Intrax springs on my car. They replaced the sagging SPG springs and I honestly didn't notice much, if any, increase in harshness. They lowered the car nicely. Good progressive feel to them. I'd recommend them.


Also thesaabsite.com sells Swedish c900 lowering springs. It came down to these vs. the Intrax. I went with Intrax only because others have them, and expressed favorable opinions of them.

saabsite springs
 

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I seem to remember long ago reading that thesaabsite springs actually were intrax springs, just painted red instead of purple (so they're no longer girls springs).
 

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Gabby said:
After 16 years and 120K miles, how much additional suspension stiffness should I expect if I went back with new "stock" springs?
Don't just replace the springs. After 16yrs and 120k miles, there's going to be plenty of other bits in there which are shagged.

When I got mine ('90, 150+k miles), the suspension was loose, rattly, crashed into potholes. Very unpleasant.

I've rebushed almost the entire rear (didn't do the front of the spring links or the spring link-to-axle bushes yet), new standard rear springs, new standard Sachs "Sport" dampers all round.

It's transformed the car. Both ends are visually higher, perhaps a little more so than I'd like - especially the rear - but it's not too big a deal going for the "standard, classy" look - black, no bodykit, ducktail and 15-spoke allys. Anyway, it's not necessarily a bad thing, as the centre flaps and front skid plate are grounding MUCH less frequently. The handling's much tighter, and it's a much more pleasant place to be than before. The ride is still a little too firm for my taste, but I'm used to hydraulic Citroens, so YMMV...
 

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I would consider the adjustable springs offered by Brad at KCSaab. Running these on my '88 SPG and the performance is fabulous.
 

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TooMany2cvs said:
The adjustability is only ride height, though? No way to adjust the compliance of them?
I think they can be ordered in different stiffnesses
 

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Brad's springs will make your car ride extremely rough but will handle like a dream. I bought Kilen springs from eeuroparts for $200. I'm still fitting them to the car so I don't have any driving impressions yet.
 

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TooMany2cvs said:
I've rebushed almost the entire rear (didn't do the front of the spring links or the spring link-to-axle bushes yet), new standard rear springs, new standard Sachs "Sport" dampers all round. It's transformed the car.
Very interesting - thanks. That's just reinforced my decision to re-bush the front and rear suspension of my car when I get it into a workshop.

Did you use genuine Saab bushes or aftermarket? If aftermarket, which brand?

I've been considering poly bushes for the wishbones and power steering rack.

TooMany2cvs said:
The adjustability is only ride height, though? No way to adjust the compliance of them?
Correct.

The alignment of the front-end will also need to be tweaked when the ride height's adjusted (camber change mainly IIRC).

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partsforsaabs only sell scantech bushes. Except for the bushes which scantech don't make. That said, I doubt theres a great deal of difference. I've rebushed the front of my car, the back is in bad need of the same treatment.
I think poly for the wishbones and rack is a good idea, just don't put any on the back of the car.

On the subject of adjustability, I was reading PPC magazine last night and saw an ad for adjustable spring platforms for the ford escort. 21 pounds :evil: And the adjustable setup for the rear of the saab is how much? Hundreds?
 

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Matthew said:
Very interesting - thanks. That's just reinforced my decision to re-bush the front and rear suspension of my car when I get it into a workshop.
When it was stripped down, it became obvious that the rebush was badly needed... I think it was the rear link rods where the centre sleeves just fell out.

The two I didn't do didn't look to be needed - they looked absolutely fine. B'sides, doing the ones on the axle itself was going to be a right pain without removing the axle, which I didn't want to do because I wasn't touching the brakes then. I may when the brakes get looked at. The spring link front ends were absolutely fine, but I may yet do them. They're fairly easy to get at.

Did you use genuine Saab bushes or aftermarket? If aftermarket, which brand?
A PfS rubber bush kit, with genuine Saab bushes for the ARB - they aren't in the bush kit.

I've been considering poly bushes for the wishbones and power steering rack.
The dampers that came off the front had poly bushes in the lower ends. They were shagged. Absolutely knackered. Completely oval.

The alignment of the front-end will also need to be tweaked when the ride height's adjusted (camber change mainly IIRC).
I really ought to check castor & camber on mine - remaking the RH driveshaft tunnel inevitably moved the front mount out a couple of mm, resulting in a large change to the toe - and, presumably, a similar change to the others.
 

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which of the suspension bushes one can DIY without being in a shop and having a press?

I imagine that A-arm bushes are only for the shop to tackle, what about ARB?
What about the rear end?

I`d like to change things that I could do myself ... to stiffen up the ride
 

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KurBads said:
which of the suspension bushes one can DIY without being in a shop and having a press?

I imagine that A-arm bushes are only for the shop to tackle, what about ARB?
I've not touched the front on mine, apart from new dampers. The ARB bushes are new, though, and I believe they're fairly straightforward - just bolt-on.

What about the rear end?
The problem with the rear end is holding everything in place whilst you do it... If I were doing it again, I'd do the rear brakes and flexis at the same time, and just pull the axle. Leaving the axle in place made it a bit "interesting", even with a ramp and a tall hydraulic stand. Balancing the axle on the stand, with nothing else connected to it bar brake flexis and handbrake cables - and trying not to strain the flexis definitely got a bit tense once or twice.

Getting the dampers, panhard rod and rear links off is dead easy - driveway/axle stand stuff, no question.
Getting the front spring links is trickier.
The ARB's easy with the spring links off - dunno without doing that.
Once you get the spring links off, keeping the springs *in* would be the difficult bit...

Fortunately, the easy bits are where the real wear was on mine. Both ends of the spring link looked fine, but the ARB bushes were a bit tired. All of those three rods have the bushes in them directly. Removing and refitting the bushes should be easily doable with a vice, given a wide enough selection of sockets or bits of tube to use as drifts. Do those rods one at a time, and it'll be easy to keep everything where it came from. Take 'em all off at once, and be prepared for a bit more of a trial. They're all held by Nylocs, so make sure you've got new 'uns to hand - they're a right mixed bag of threads, though.

The body end of the panhard rod's a bit of a bugger - the bolt comes through from behind, but won't withdraw easily because of the fuel tank. Don't attempt to move the tank - there IS just about room to give it all a good wiggle once the other end of the rod's free, and withdraw the bolt - you need to, in order to remove the rod. I put it back in with the thread towards the tank, but Bentley councils against this because of the risk of damaging and holing the tank. However, there's enough space that I don't think that's a realistic risk except in a hard rear-end impact.

I *think* the spring links should be quite doable as long as you only do one at a time. Actually, the more I think about it, that really is the key to this - only do one component at a time, unless you're happy to take the whole axle out. The front bushes on the spring links are in the bracket bolted to the body. The rears are in the axle itself.
 

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Matthew said:
I've been considering poly bushes for the wishbones and power steering rack.
Why change the power steering rack bushes?

A Saab mechanic told me that these do not generally wear very much. When I changed the PS rack (20 years old) the bushes looked to be OK. I replaced the bushes as I had a pair from the front end rubber bush kit I got from PFS. But it was not necessary. If you are changing the PS rack it might be worth replacing these bushes at the same time, but I doubt you will notice any difference.
 

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To tighten up the feel of the front of the car, is it not also worth bracing the chassis legs, and the a-posts? I think poly bushes on the steering rack will only make the chassis flex more noticeable. Just my 2 cent.
 

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philb said:
To tighten up the feel of the front of the car, is it not also worth bracing the chassis legs, and the a-posts? I think poly bushes on the steering rack will only make the chassis flex more noticeable. Just my 2 cent.
I'd agree with that assessment. My 81 turbo needs all it's control arm bushes done, esp. the bottom ones. I am seriously considering going poly (either superflex and/or powerflex depending which bushes are made by which company and what's available at the time) instead of rubber as I'm also wanting to replace shocks with Bilstien HD's.

Craig.
 
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