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Discussion Starter #1
I'm going to pay somebody to add rear spacers on my shocks to correct ride height sag and may as well replace rear shocks (originals on a 2006 with 140k). Every time I've replaced shocks on other cars, I've bought non-OE, and they've come with things like boots and upper mounts, etc. Best I can tell from the images on eeuroparts/fcp/esaabparts, when you buy the shock you get just the shock and nothing else. I could obviously just buy all the pieces, but I have other ways to spend money if it's unlikely that I'll need them (like buying the rose bush tool so that I can replace the rose bushes in the spring).

So, for those of you who have trod this road before, what else should I definitely get?
 

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There are quite a few kits available. You can get genuine saab kit on eeuro that includes everything apart from the spring, mounting bracket and bump stop. Those are items that you are unlikely to have to replace. That would run you about 115 bucks a side, which is about what I paid for my bilstein B6 HD's alone.


If you dont wanna buy the kit:
Pretty much everything on my old shocks I would say were reusable at 100k miles, however...

Are you from an area prone to rust?
The top nut that holds the entire assembly together rusts on there pretty good, and the the hex socket on the top of the old shock strips out very easily. I got one side off with heat, the other with a grinder.
In either case I ruined both the shock washer and top bushing on each side.
I did buy all the parts aside from the bump stop to have on hand just in case. I hate not being able to finish a job when I start, and I wasn't about to let the car go out of commission while I wait for new parts to ship to Canada.

If so you may consider buying
2x SAAB Shock Washer 90495623 | eEuroparts.com®
and
2x SAAB Shock Bushing 5058318 | eEuroparts.com®
 

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IIRC the WIS says to replace the lower shock bolts as well. I got mine from eEuro but I can’t remember how much they cost. +1 on the Bilsteins!
 

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The lower bolt does not need to be replaced. +2!on Bilstein. Like no other. The biggest issue will be upper bushings and hardware for the upper shock shroud. The lower zinc washer is discarded with bilstein. Spacer must fit Bilstein body it’s slight larger in diameter than OEM shock. I have a couple extra one inch rear spacers. I would machine them to fit Bilstein if you wanted them 50 shipped the pair
 

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I like the Bilsteins too. The spacers you can buy on eBay come machined for specifically for spring perches of OE/Sachs, KONI, Bilstein. Just order the right one.
 

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I replaced the rear shocks on both of my Aeros last summer with factory Sachs shocks, since they're by far the cheapest. The sport versions are even cheaper than the standard versions for some reason. Even here in Washington state, where cars rarely rust, all of the metal washers in the rear shock assembly, and the nut on top, were heavily rusted. I replaced all of them just because they were cheap, not necessarily because they were structurally compromised.
 

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Bilsteins are +- $100 USD. OEM are about $60. You can save $80 and have inferior shocks both in part life and handling. NOT good economy to me.

I have no interest in Bilsteins, Konis or anything else. One is Sachs/SAAB is mediocre OEM.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
$80 here...$50 here...eventually it adds up to real money. If I were in a position to DIY, using B6 wouldn't be nearly as much. But since this has to happen in the middle of winter and I have no garage, I have to pay somebody, which means that budget that would normally be available for upgraded parts has to go towards labor.

IMHO, the OE isn't horrible, and a new OE will certainly be better than a 13 year old OE. This is all being driven by the need to correct excessive camber causing tire wear before I wear out brand new tires. So there's already a lot of $$ moving and I don't have the option of doing it piecemeal and spread the costs out.
 

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I have no complaints about the OE shocks. Both of my 9-5s handle well, and I was impressed with how well the rear shocks still functioned at over 150,000 miles. They're both high mileage family haulers that won't be in our fleet forever, and the money saved by using OEM shocks on both cars was considerable. Back in my single childless days, I wouldn't have hesitated to put something fancier on the car, but that's not an option for all of us. Funny how in most cases, using OEM parts is the preferred, and more expensive way to go, but it seems like on these cars, using OEM shocks at least, isn't looked kindly upon.
 

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$80 here...$50 here...eventually it adds up to real money. If I were in a position to DIY, using B6 wouldn't be nearly as much. But since this has to happen in the middle of winter and I have no garage, I have to pay somebody, which means that budget that would normally be available for upgraded parts has to go towards labor.

IMHO, the OE isn't horrible, and a new OE will certainly be better than a 13 year old OE. This is all being driven by the need to correct excessive camber causing tire wear before I wear out brand new tires. So there's already a lot of $$ moving and I don't have the option of doing it piecemeal and spread the costs out.
Understand. I just feel OE is not very good.

I forgot about winter.....I live in So Cal. Well I used to live in Quebec, New England and IL......so I remember!!! ;0-)

By the way Camber is way less and issue than Toe misadjustment. Are you getting uneven wear across the tire, or are you getting cupping? Toe mis alignment causes cupping. Camber does not.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I forgot about winter.....I live in So Cal.
Thanks to climate change, the winters have gotten more mild in St. Louis over the last 20 years, but they've also gotten way more unpredictable and wet. With no garage, my outdoor work window in the winter is very limited.
By the way Camber is way less and issue than Toe misadjustment. Are you getting uneven wear across the tire, or are you getting cupping? Toe mis alignment causes cupping. Camber does not.
The inner edge of my tire wears more than the outer edge. Noticeably. Maybe we are calling different things "cupping"? When I hear "cupping" I think of wear that scallops across the tire from edge to edge.

Looking at the car sitting in a parking space from the rear, the rear tires have noticeable negative camber (tilting in towards the center of the car at the top).
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IMG_9129.JPG IMG_9128.JPG
 

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I wouldn't put Bilstein B6 shocks on again. Too harsh on minor pavement cracks and patches.

But if you live in a place where there are few cracks and utility companies doing incompetent fixes after digging up the street, you may be okay. If you routinely carry heavy loads in your car, rear B6 would make sense.

The B6 are fine over large speed bumps and heaves. The car is well controlled. But having everything from the HID bulbs to the sunroof blind being rattled by ratty pavement is no fun.
 

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I replaced the rear shocks on my '07 Aero wagon about a year ago at 110K with OEM sport Sachs. Did the rear trailing arm bushings at the same time. Very satisfied with the improvement in handling while maintaining good ride quality.
 

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The bushings that there are four of are the rose bushes. They're spherical metal bushings that connect the trailing arms to the lateral arms. The ones that are usually referred to as the trailing arm bushings are large ones that connect the trailing arms to the body. There are six bushings, total, that should be replaced. The trailing arm bushings tear and allow the trailing arms to twist, which effects camber. The rose bushes get sloppy, but I don't believe they effect camber as much when they wear.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The bushings that there are four of are the rose bushes. They're spherical metal bushings that connect the trailing arms to the lateral arms. The ones that are usually referred to as the trailing arm bushings are large ones that connect the trailing arms to the body. There are six bushings, total, that should be replaced. The trailing arm bushings tear and allow the trailing arms to twist, which effects camber. The rose bushes get sloppy, but I don't believe they effect camber as much when they wear.
Thanks!

Since it's winter and there's currently a "wintry mix" on the ground I'm highly unmotivated to go look myself. Are the trailing arm bushings--the ones in the front that connect to the body--easy to see when the car is up in order to determine if they're in a bad situation? Or should I just assume that at 13 years old and 140k they're sloppy?

I've seen that powerflex sells a two-piece version of that bushing which is always easier to install than pressing something large and metal-sleeved in; thoughts?
 

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It's really hard to see the front trailing arm bushings. They're sort of up inside the body when the arms are bolted to the car, but if your car has much over 100,000 miles on it, they're more than likely shot. I've heard nothing but good things about the Powerflex versions. They're easier to install, should be longer lasting, and they're not much more expensive than the rubber ones. There's a great write-up on how to install them on Platonoff's website. Just Google "Platonoff Saab" and you'll find it. I'll probably be installing a pair on my wife's car this summer.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Based on the parts diagrams I had guessed they were pretty impossible to inspect without actually pulling them. Maybe if I could get it on a lift and use a prybar to try to torque the trailing arm in towards the body...

I've seen the writeup on Platonoff's site. That whole site is gold.
 

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Poly bushings make a big difference. The OEM ones are pretty soft and fail in 100k miles or so. They are difficult to get out of the trailing arm, but installation is a snap because the polys are 3 piece so you just put in a piece from each side and then the center steel insert. My wife's 2001 as them on the rear and spacers getting the Aero ride height up to spec [610mm].
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