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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi all,


I've owned my '97 900S since '12, and now with it nearing 140K miles I decided it's finally time to do the full suspension & brake overhaul. Much of the work is already done, except for a few final questions I'm trying to decide.


First, the original stanchion arm bushings seem totally fine. But I did purchase new ones before the tear down. I'm not able to press them out myself, so am thinking about just leaving the originals in there. But, being pragmatic I wonder if I should bite the bullet and pay for a shop to press them in. Are the stanchion bushings ever much of a problem for the NG900? They seem perfectly good still.



Second, I can't figure out how to replace the sway bar bushing without dropping the sub frame. Again, they seem fine although I already bought poly replacements. Does this really require a sub frame drop to replace them? If so, I think forget it, not worth it.


And finally, all of the driver side CV axles I see for sale do not include the inner housing. I already have a new "half shaft", but I wonder why one wouldn't want to replace the inner housing. Since most are sold this way, there must be a good reason. I would think that the housing would also wear, so I just don't get why it's not included typically.


I used KYB dampers and just OEM equivalents for most of the other parts. I did upgrade the sway bar links to poly bushings, but I bought complete control arms with new bushings and ball joints already there. It might have been nice to go poly, but I also didn't need to press anything out/in.


Otherwise, I used Brembo rotors and Akebono ceramic brake pads. Basically everything is ready to reassemble once I decide about the stanchion bushings.
 

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The OEM stanchion arm bushings do last a long time, but mine had started to fail around your car's mileage. I don't think it would be a bad idea to install your replacements, and yes, you do need to have a shop do them. Did you buy OEM bushings? The ProParts bushings that are out there fail in short order. I had one tear in barely a year.

You do need to drop the subframe to replace the sway bar bushings. It may be possible to do by loosing the bolts and prying it down, though. Someone else may have experience with that method, assuming it's possible.

They sell the CV axles without the inner driver so that they'll work on either side. The inners definitely do wear, and that seems to be one of the more common causes of vibrations in the cases that aren't caused by out of balance wheels. I finally found a passenger's side CV axle at O'Reilly's that had the inner driver included. The original inner driver had started to come apart at the crimp joint on the end and was splattering grease all over the alternator and the back of the engine.

Did you use coated rotors? I used uncoated Brembos once, and they looked horrible in about a week. The hats rusted up in no time.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply. It's always nice to get confirmation from others who have dealt with things before.



The new stanchion bushings are by Professional Parts Sweden. I get most of my parts from either eeuroparts or fcpeuro online, which are the best sources I've found. Do you know of any other good ones?




For now, the sway bar bushings are definitely going to wait I think.



The CV joints I bought are by EMPI and the passenger side is the full unit. Just the driver side is without the inner housing. I think many cars might use identical shafts on both sides, but for my 2.3L 5-spd the driver's side inner housing is very different. So it kinda makes sense that they sell them without it. But it is a wear part, so it also doesn't make good sense. I guess maybe the outer housings wear more? I may shop more for a complete unit just for the peace of mind. Well, I suppose I could use what I have and accept that I may need to pull that side again someday.
 

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I wouldn't install those Professional Parts Sweden stanchion arm bushings. Those are the same ones that barely lasted a year, or didn't even last a year. I was pretty disappointed with them. Unfortunately it looks like the genuine Saab ones, which are made by Boge, are on backorder. It might be best to stick with the originals for now.

The outer CV joints definitely fail more since the boots flex on every turn, and when they break, dirt gets in the joint, and it gets trashed. That's what causes the classic clicking sound around turns. The inners are more of a plunge joint. They fail in a different way, and not as often. Aftermarket axles aren't usually recommended around the Saab boards, but since you have a non-turbo, it's not going to be as hard on them.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ah, dang, I didn't pick up on ProParts being Professional Parts Sweden at first. Well, I did buy them about 6 years ago so maybe quality was better back then. But I am going to stick with the originals for now. They show no signs of physical degradation and still have very good, stiff flex.

My regret however, is that I just bought ProParts strut mounts and already put the strut assemblies back together. The original mounts also look really good, but I hadn't tore it apart until after I ordered the new mounts. I didn't want to be stuck waiting for parts if the originals were shot. I'll just roll the dice with them, since the work is already done.

Luckily, other than the poly sway bar link bushings and unused sway bar bushings, nothing else is ProParts. The bearings are IMA, the complete control arms are Deeza, the sway bar links are HLC, and the unused tie rod ends are URO. I hope those are all decent brands, especially Deeza.

As for the aftermarket CV axles, I did have reservations buying aftermarket. But for the money I decided to risk it. As you noted, this is not a turbo, so less stress. When I first got it in '12 it only had 97K and was still clean like new, and I was pretty proud of it. But now it's barely more than a slightly sporty errand runner that's way cheap to insure ;)

I forgot to mention motor mounts. I realized that the new right is also a ProParts. But the new left one is Febi, which is a relief since it's the more important one. Oh, and yes, I believe the new Brembo rotors are non-coated. But they were a closeout on rockauto about 5 years ago and were like $12-15/ea. Those are easy enough to change for that kind of money.

I already did the rear, with KYB shocks, Brembo rotors and Akebono pads. Nothing else looked to need replacement, since that trailing arm is fairly simple. According to the CarFax when I bought it, Midas had done a full brake job on it at around 75K I think, so I'm using the calipers as is since they look/work fine and show no signs of leakage or seal deterioration. But I do have rebuild kits if needed.

 

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Discussion Starter #6
Oh, and I understand what you mean about the inner housing being a plunge motion, so it makes sense that it would last longer. I have found some complete left side aftermarket units on eBay, and on rockauto. But I think I'll go ahead and use the new half unit I already have. Changing CVs is not easy, but not nearly as much work as a full suspension/brake overhaul if it doesn't work out. I may only have the car another year or so, and at this point it's not worth very much. So it's hard to justify Genuine Saab parts for it.
 

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Where did you find the Deeza control arms? People who bought their products used to say they were very good, but they've pretty much disappeared from the US market. I have a pair of their tie rods waiting to go in my 9-5.

If the ProParts strut mounts fail on you, I'd recommend Febi mounts. They're cheap and seem to last a long time. OEM strut mounts for an old NG900 are one thing I definitely couldn't justify. They were about $150 each the last time I checked vs. $20 or $30 for the Febis.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I can't remember where I got the Deeza parts now. I started buying all these parts piecemeal within the first year or two of buying the car. Much of it came from eeuroparts or fcpeuro, and some from rockauto. I may have used partsgeek and discountautoparts for some stuff also, other than eBay. eBay often has what I need at the best prices, as with my new Starla muffler and resonator last year.
 
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