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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've got a 91 SAAB 900 turbo convertible with a suspension that feels a little sloppy. The car only has 66,000 miles on it and it looks great, but I'd really like to tighten up the ride. In addition, I just bought new tires.

My main complaint is that the front end feels a little wobbly when I hit any kind of imperfection in the road. The car does not float and the shocks seem to be ok, but I had an independent SAAB shop recommend replacing the shocks to address this. I'm thinking with the age of the vehicle there may be some bushings that are shot, but I'd really appreciate any help from the experts here.
 

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I am far from an expert when it comes to suspensions, but I do know that any car of our vintage will have bad bushings. Especially the lower shock bushings.


Could also be bad ball joints. Search the board for both for more information.

Welcome!!
 

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Just to make sure there's no dangerous structural problem {there is after all only two door sills and a floor pan holding the front and rear of the car together...} try the following test:

  • Open the roof.
  • Place an axle stand under one jacking point and lift it to meet the body
  • Jack up the diagonally opposite corner as high as you can
  • Open and close each door {there should be little or no difficulty in doing so}
  • Repeat for the other pair of corners

If either test causes the door to be significantly off its striking plate {the bit the lock latches into}, the chassis is twisting too much. If not, all is well with the body and it's likely down to suspension components.
 

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I think you have to take a systematic approach and cancle out one component at the time.

So, measure if the ball joints have any play (also check the steering joints while you are at it).
If not try the suspension (most likely it)
Then the bushings (although i don't think that's the problem after 66k miles)

Unlikely but possible: Wheelbearings
Also check the influence of the tyres (pressure!) on roadholding

Good luck
Marc
 

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Could be right about the bushings with low miles, but plastic and rubber components also deteriorate with age -- and any c900 is old enough to have some problems with that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks Marc

I like your approach. When you say "try the suspension", which components specifically am I looking to evaluate?
 

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I thought my suspension was still pretty ok when pressing down one side of the car, no real up-and-down wobbling or hissing from a leaking shock absorber. After much consideration I did replace them on the front. Man, the difference!! :D They were so worn you could compress the old ones easily by hand and they would stay in that compressed stage for a few sec and then they would very slowly start to expand again... :eek: Not good!! Going over speed bumps or taking roundabouts is a BIG difference now, I'm gonna replace the rear ones too 'cause can really feel a difference now between the front and the rear end when going over speed bumps...
 
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