SaabCentral Forums banner
1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
734 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Interested in a range of most effective options for a $500 and $1000 price bracket to result in better control/cornering of a 2002 saab 9-3

The problems that bring this up are:
Bad cornering & body roll
Squirrely acceleration - car veers because it's so floaty
Braking - car veers because it's so floaty
Nothing is mechanically wrong, keep in mind.

Rims will be 16" and tires can be left out of the equation

Things coming to mind are
Different struts/shocks/springs (which would mean aftermarket alignment adjusters?)
Different bushings
Subframe brace
Rear brace
Steering rack brace

All of this can add up quickly, it seems like struts/springs/shocks is the first priority, but $1000 seems like it would be reached very quickly, especially once you lower, because you'd have to add on some adjuster equipment if not mistaken. Not sure if any experienced people know what would be best/most effective/within budget, if it's even worth the time, for a max of $1000 (in parts only, forget labor)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,129 Posts
I would start with a new set of Bilstien or Koni struts/shocks then build from there. If you are going to lower it any I would look at the Eibach Pro Kit. Mine gave me 1.2" drop and was firm but forgiving. A set of poly control arm bushings, lateral arm bushes and sway bar bushings will also improve handling quite a bit. The biggest bang for your buck in cornering will most likely come from a new rear ARB from Nick at Genuine Saab.

Bilstien Struts: $202
Eibach Pro Kit: $270
ARB: $90
Poly Bushing Kit: $108
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
375 Posts
Check out my suspension upgrade thread in the performance section. I went with the following hardware and the car drives like a dream!

Bilstien Sport (NOT the HDs) struts/shocks
Genuine Saab Poly Bushing Stage One Kit
Koni Springs from Genuine Saab

I also replaced the control arms with new ones because one of my ball joints were worn. Various bolts should be replaced as well if you are looking to do the work yourself. Another item that I would have installed but did not have enough money are the hardened strut mounts from Genuine Saab.

The final suspension parts I will install are:

22mm rear sway bar
GS strut tower brace
rear shock tower brace (fits neatly in the trunk)
2 point sub-frame brace

You should be able to afford what I have done so far. I spent about $800 total IICR. Hope this helps!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,583 Posts
I would start with a new set of Bilstien or Koni struts/shocks then build from there. If you are going to lower it any I would look at the Eibach Pro Kit. Mine gave me 1.2" drop and was firm but forgiving. A set of poly control arm bushings, lateral arm bushes and sway bar bushings will also improve handling quite a bit. The biggest bang for your buck in cornering will most likely come from a new rear ARB from Nick at Genuine Saab.

Bilstien Struts: $202
Eibach Pro Kit: $270
ARB: $90
Poly Bushing Kit: $108
Best possible advice, re-new the old worn hydraulics.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
296 Posts
I just recently got the Taliaferro steering rack brace and rear sway bar from Genuine Saab. The difference is amazing - it just feels right now, the way it should have been from the beginning. That was a great value!

My car just reached 50k miles and already got some new front struts; depending you your mileage, you might need the struts/shocks first.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
997 Posts
Check out my suspension upgrade thread in the performance section. I went with the following hardware and the car drives like a dream!

Bilstien Sport (NOT the HDs) struts/shocks
Genuine Saab Poly Bushing Stage One Kit
Koni Springs from Genuine Saab

I also replaced the control arms with new ones because one of my ball joints were worn. Various bolts should be replaced as well if you are looking to do the work yourself. Another item that I would have installed but did not have enough money are the hardened strut mounts from Genuine Saab.

The final suspension parts I will install are:

22mm rear sway bar
GS strut tower brace
rear shock tower brace (fits neatly in the trunk)
2 point sub-frame brace

You should be able to afford what I have done so far. I spent about $800 total IICR. Hope this helps!

Kind of the opposite of most people when modding suspension b/c of the high cost of springs/struts. High mileage will benefit from new springs/struts and poly bushings (but in reality they should last close to 200k, unless really abused).

If you have a vert or don't want to spend $$, the rear sway bar (could double up 2 stock ones), steering rack brace are your best bang for buck. The 6 point brace is a must for convertibles. After that I would start looking into shock/struts and poly bushings.

The car veering when braking? sounds like your brakes need checked, air could be in one of the lines.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
734 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks everyone that helps get an idea of this relative to the world of saabs & gives a great place to start

The one remaining question is about lowering & camber/toe correction

When you lower, say an inch, or, down to half of what I was at with stock,
it would be nice if alignment could be achieved without any extra camber correction plates, etc. Is this possible?
Or is it necessary if lowering, generally speaking? This is something I'd like to avoid but at the same time it'd be nice to lower.
Nothing crazy, I don't want it to look showy, I want the function most.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,129 Posts
You should be safe up to 1.4" without a camber kit the front but the rear will have a slight negative camber. Anything more and you'll be looking at additional components and the ball joints will be in a huge bind.

Drop it like it's hot...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
734 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So I wonder what the max drop is for the rear before being unable to compensate for alignment...the big issue here is avoiding camber kits, but at the same time, would rather get a camber kit than have abnormally worn tires, or accelerated wear.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,129 Posts
So I wonder what the max drop is for the rear before being unable to compensate for alignment...the big issue here is avoiding camber kits, but at the same time, would rather get a camber kit than have abnormally worn tires, or accelerated wear.
Honestly, at 1.2" my rear camber was within specs. It was at the edge but still within specs. You can go as low as 1.4" w/o any serious issues but I wouldn't go any lower w/o serious upgrades. I have 20k miles on my tires 225/45/17's and they still look fantastic.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,335 Posts
Interested in a range of most effective options for a $500 and $1000 price bracket to result in better control/cornering of a 2002 saab 9-3

The problems that bring this up are:
Bad cornering & body roll
Squirrely acceleration - car veers because it's so floaty
Braking - car veers because it's so floaty
Nothing is mechanically wrong, keep in mind.

Rims will be 16" and tires can be left out of the equation

Things coming to mind are
Different struts/shocks/springs (which would mean aftermarket alignment adjusters?)
Different bushings
Subframe brace
Rear brace
Steering rack brace

All of this can add up quickly, it seems like struts/springs/shocks is the first priority, but $1000 seems like it would be reached very quickly, especially once you lower, because you'd have to add on some adjuster equipment if not mistaken. Not sure if any experienced people know what would be best/most effective/within budget, if it's even worth the time, for a max of $1000 (in parts only, forget labor)
The problems that bring this up are:
Bad cornering & body roll. Best bang for the buck is by far the 22mm rear arb
Squirrely acceleration - car veers because it's so floaty. Rack brace for sure
Braking - car veers because it's so floaty. The above will fix some these issues as well as better springs, shocks and bushing, with bushing being last.
Nothing is mechanically wrong, keep in mind.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,490 Posts
if you have low profile tires the car will pull under any uneven surface under braking that's just how our cars are
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,143 Posts
floatyness is caused by poor dampening. replace your struts. for a nice tight feel go with the konis from GS. they are adjustable.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top