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So i bought an OG 9-3 Aero, engine is great, bodywork / interior have been restored, but in terms of handling, i kinda hate this car.




The car leans in the corners worse than a big old suv, even at slow speeds (like 30kmh / 20mph). The socks were bad so i changed them all with OEM Sachs shocks. Changed a few bushings, a control arm - each wheel is now stiff - but the car rolls like crazy in every corner. On the straights, it's all nice and smooth, no matter how bumpy the roads are (it goes over bumps really smooth, the shocks are doing their job, the wheels maintain road contact all the time). But in the corner it's like a 80s Range Rover.




Shocks are new - but i expected the handling to be better. I read that the OG 9-3 was designed to be luxury car so the suspensions were on the softer side. But it's ridiculous how soft they are (i have driven other old cars and none of them were this bad).




So is this the way it's supposed to be or do i have fix something else?
 

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The cars are known for alot of body-roll. A bigger rear anti-roll bar makes the biggest difference to reduce it.
 

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2000 9-3 Aero 5d
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Replacing struts and bushes is a good start.
I'd look at your tyres and tyre pressure for a start.
I assume your engine mount is ok?

When you replaced your struts/shocks in the front - did you also replace the strut mount?
Most people will suggest the rear sway bar upgrade as the first major chassis upgrade for handling. If you use lower springs - you can be limited with strut choice eg B8's are designed for lower springs, but B6's aren't from what I understand.

I suggest you read the guides here by Nick T at GS: about tuning the chassis and upgrades.

http://trolltuner.com/?p=577
http://trolltuner.com/?p=56
They will give you some insight into potential modifications and effects, also cost when you look them up.
After the rear sway bar upgrade - some choose the steering brace and also the 6 point subframe brace. These can be costly, so think about it.
I've gone the following route:
New tyres (Michelin pilot sport 4)
New suspension bushes - including new link ends.
New strut mounts and a Koni yellows Sport setup front & rear. I kept my springs as OEM orange/white etc, as I am also happy with the height at the moment.

My next modification is likely to be a rear sway bar upgrade or the steering brace.
I must say the Koni yellow feels great compared to the worn OEM at the rear and Monroes on the front. I think it was a worthwhile investment choice.

Hopefully, this helps a little.
 

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Rear bar upgrade and Koni adjustables are a world of difference. So the springs if you want serious handling but are willing to tolerate a bit of hard thump on fast/short bumps.
 

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2000 9-3 Aero 5d
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+1 Bob.


Andy -

Aeros ( or SE ) and Viggens were lower by 10mm than the standard 9-3. Konis do enable you to tune it a little to your preference - however the rears are a little hard to get to unless you cut open the inspection ports in the Boot/Trunk.
Have you looked at your tie rods and steering setup recently?
 

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You can do all sorts of things to make these handle better, but for the most part, they will never handle great. I have pretty much done them all, consider myself a pretty good driver. Auto-x like crazy for years in a few other cars, but these cars are pigs. Still, I love my viggen, I just don't drive it the same way I do my other cars. Why, because I would crash it in a heart-beat. :) I have a 2011 Volvo c30 r-design, stock, and that car will run circles around the viggen in the twisties.
Genuine saab has all the go fast parts, start collecting.
 

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My parents' 1988 Honda Accord handled better than my 1997 900 SE. I love my '97 900 for lots of reason, but in all honesty, handling isn't one of them. My '00 9-5 Aero wagon handles so much better than the 900 it isn't even funny. I will say that the 900's handling was vastly improved with lowering springs, a thicker rear sway bar, and 17" wheels with low profile tires, but at the expensive of ride comfort. My friend's base model 2001 9-3 with 15" wheels feels like a Cadillac compared to my 900.
 

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My parents' 1988 Honda Accord handled better than my 1997 900 SE. I love my '97 900 for lots of reason, but in all honesty, handling isn't one of them. My '00 9-5 Aero wagon handles so much better than the 900 it isn't even funny. I will say that the 900's handling was vastly improved with lowering springs, a thicker rear sway bar, and 17" wheels with low profile tires, but at the expensive of ride comfort. My friend's base model 2001 9-3 with 15" wheels feels like a Cadillac compared to my 900.
I had an 88 spg with all sorts of mods back in the day, that car handled better than the viggen, and I had both at the same time to compare.
 

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My parents' 1988 Honda Accord handled better than my 1997 900 SE. I love my '97 900 for lots of reason, but in all honesty, handling isn't one of them.
My dad had an '87 Accord when I was learning to drive, and yeah, that car was awesome! Honda made such good stuff back then, even the Accord was a very rewarding drive. Years later I got a '94 wagon with a manual and enjoyed it quite a bit. Had it not been gold (harvest beige? :) ) I probably would have kept it.

Strongly agree, as much as I like the NG900/9-3 as a car, it's not a great driver. You can feel the budget chassis no matter how hard you try not to.

I had an 88 spg with all sorts of mods back in the day, that car handled better than the viggen, and I had both at the same time to compare.
I have an '85 SPG and a Viggen right now, and yeah, the '85 runs circles around it. The Viggen's engine is far, far smoother and it's a nice way to go down the road but it sure doesn't like to be pushed. In all seriousness, it's probably better at being plushy than my Jaguar. Ack!

I've got a buddy with an '86 SPG - very highly modified - and back in the day he bought a nearly-new 1998 900SET... it was maybe four years old when he got it? He spent a fair amount of cash doing all the things to do, but it was *never* the rewarding track car the SPG was. All the tuning, bracing, braking, and suspension mods couldn't get it close.

This is exactly why I went for the Viggen convertible. I know it's never gonna be an inspiring drive like the SPG is, but it's comfortable, quiet, has no roof, and runs into the law before it runs out of talent. It's a great daily driver to be sure. That's why I keep talking myself out of selling it. :)


Edit: Some day, I really wanna get a 9-5 as I have very little seat time in them. Unfortunately my requirements (a not silver '03+ manual Aero wagon ) make finding one tough. :D
 
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