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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2005 Saab 9-3 linear. It's an extra vehicle with a lot of miles so I don't want to spend alot of money on it. I recently replaced the control arms and replaced all of the alignment bolts and now I need to align it I was wondering if there was a way for me to get it in the ball park on my own instead of paying the shop $100 or more to align it.
 

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The rear has both camber and toe adjustment and adjusting one affects the other as well as the steer-ahead. The rear is always adjusted first, then the front. Having watched techs align my 9-5 and 9-3s many times I’d bite the bullet and have it aligned. You’d be surprised how little movement in any one of the bolts affects all the other settings.

Even being a little out of alignment will ruin your tires in no time.
 

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Not sure about the specifics of the 9-3 rear suspension, in general marking the exact mounting position of the old arms before taking them out and reproducing the length of any length-adjustable parts might be better than assembling randomly. But sounds like it might be too late for that? Personally I'd get it aligned.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Not sure about the specifics of the 9-3 rear suspension, in general marking the exact mounting position of the old arms before taking them out and reproducing the length of any length-adjustable parts might be better than assembling randomly. But sounds like it might be too late for that? Personally I'd get it aligned.
Yeah I already burned up a a new set of rear tires. I was messing around with the adjusters today and just turning them a little makes a huge difference. Maybe I'll find a shop.
 

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I roughly aligned mine with the string method after doing entirely new rear end componentry -- similar to what you did, all bushings, springs, control arms, etc. I set the camber roughly halfway, then did toe by setting the wheel parallel to a string run the full length of the car BUT you have to factor in the track width difference when making the string parallel to the car. I was within 0.1 degrees of 0 for total toe which I was very happy with but some of that was definitely luck.

You can look up videos on the string method which I think is great for getting you to a shop with a tool but in our case, not really as a permanent solution.
 

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I tried to align my car once without using an alignment rack--it's impossible. The suspension geometry is too complicated, and as mentioned above, the angles are all related, so adjusting one puts the others out. You need to find a good alignment shop that is willing to take the time to do it.

The other thing to check before you bring it in is to make sure that all of the adjustments turn freely, since in my experience they are prone to rusting together.

The good news is that once it's aligned these cars drive brilliantly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi, I posted before about rear alignment. I replaced the upper control arms and it threw the alignment way off. I tried messing around with it in the driveway and I can get it any where normal. Guessing I somehow have the wrong control arms on it. Seems like they are too short. The camber is way in no matter what I do with camber and toe adjustments. Any ideas. I don't want to take it to the aligmnet shop like this. You can see, even in the picture, it's way off. Both wheels are like this.
 

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Check all bushings. Adjusters can adjust quite a bit but eventually they max out. One is primary camber and other is primary toe. (Short arm toe long arm camber) Which means they both affect each other in large ways. You will have to adjust both to get into spec. On my 93 and some other 93s I could only ever get camber to 1.0 spec is either .6 or .8 but toe is higher tire wear so you may have to sacrifice camber for toe. I deal with this alot on bunch of vehicles as my job as a align tech. Best and really only way is to have a shop do it. Talking tenths of degrees.

P.s rear is not steer ahead it's thrust angle
 

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Gers what I replaced.
Those look right, but who knows. Also, maybe it's the ad, however these are the same left or right. I replaced both on my convertible using Mevotech, which were on clearance from RockAuto. Alignment place had no issue getting the car fully aligned afterwards--and it took care of clunks when going over a bump.

If you still had the old arms, you could try to measure the distance between the two mounting holes and compare with the ones you got. It seems to be a crap shoot with aftermarket parts. Even the Mevotech had some funny finish on one of the arms....I requested a replacement, which they sent, which had the same funny finish. So only one of the arms was really great externally, but the other ones functioned okay it seems. And I have a spare arm to throw at kangaroos. 🦘🦘🦘
 
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