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2004 Saab 9-3 Aero
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Hello,

I realized today that my 93 has ~132,000 miles and I've never replaced the shock absorbers. ;oops: They feel fine to me but I guess I've been driving it all this time so I probably would not notice the handling degrading as it's such a slow change...

Anyway, I was wondering if I need to change the springs as well at this point? Or can I just replace the shock absorbers and be done?

I've read in other posts that while replacing the front ones is fairly easy, changing the rear ones is more difficult. is that true? And if it is, why is that? Just curious... I was planning on doing it myself but obviously I've never done it before. :cheesy:

Thanks,
Olivier
 

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If none of the springs are broken and the car appears to sit properly then the springs are likely ok to reuse. In the front you'll be replacing the entire strut, less the springs; in the rear it's just a plain shock absorber.

In addition to the shocks, you'll probably want to replace the upper strut-mounts and bearings in the front and get a new set of zinc spacers also. The spacers sit beneath the spring and supposedly help slow the corrosion of the springs. Earlier cars came with a piece of rubber hose in place of the zincs and should be changed to the zincs when serviced.

In the rear you'll probably need to replace the upper shock mounts as they usually self-destruct when you unbolt them. They are made from cast aluminum and not very durable.

You'll need a spring compressor for the fronts to disassemble the struts. You can rent a heavy-duty one at AutoZone or similar. Beware of cheap ones that are just a couple of pieces of threaded-rod with hooks. Disassembling a strut with a cheap spring compressor can cause injury or worse.

The rears are a piece of cake, especially if you replace the upper shock mounts at the same time.

I replaced my original shocks with Bilstein H6's and they are somewhat firmer than the stock shocks but that's what I was looking for. If you want to restore the original ride quality, you can get Sachs shocks which is what the car came with. Eeuroparts has both brands. You'll need the "sport suspension" ones for your Aero.
 

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I am having my front shocks changed as we speak; the shop recommended the Bilsteins, so that is what we went with.
 

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Update: just got the car back. Wow, the difference is quite obvious!

Firm, but controlled. I recommend Bilsteins highly. I actually think the car handles bumps better now than when brand new!;ol;

Funny, since the SportCombi is a bit different from the sedans, it gets noticed a LOT. The service manager was discussing the services being performed, stopped, and said " that is a really nice car!" Then later I guess another customer was looking it over and having heard it was a V2 turbo, wanted to take it for a ride.

Luckily the Service Mgr said "don't think so". But the other customer said he loved it too, and wanted to know if I might be selling.

Nope, this guy is going to fall off its axles before it leaves my ownership.
 

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Update: just got the car back. Wow, the difference is quite obvious!

Firm, but controlled. I recommend Bilsteins highly. I actually think the car handles bumps better now than when brand new!;ol;

Funny, since the SportCombi is a bit different from the sedans, it gets noticed a LOT. The service manager was discussing the services being performed, stopped, and said " that is a really nice car!" Then later I guess another customer was looking it over and having heard it was a V2 turbo, wanted to take it for a ride.

Luckily the Service Mgr said "don't think so". But the other customer said he loved it too, and wanted to know if I might be selling.

Nope, this guy is going to fall off its axles before it leaves my ownership.
What color is your Combi?
 

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Me wants pictures!
 

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Another option: Koni currently has their 20% off sale through the end of the summer. This includes the Yellow-line of struts/shocks and would pair well with OEM springs and some aftermarket options.
 

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Me wants pictures!
I meant to add some, but realize I haven't taken any recently. Will do ASAP.

I purchased a BMW X3 for winter driving ("it's my winter beater!") as I didn't want to subject Snaab to any more abuse in PAs mix of traction rubble and salt.

I insured my 9-3 as a seasonal car, meaning I don't have insurance between Dec 1 and Feb 28. I look forward eagerly to March 1, assuming weather allows me to actually drive it.

I am SO much more at home in my Saab than the BMW...dang it, get Saab back into production!!!
 

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I meant to add some, but realize I haven't taken any recently. Will do ASAP.

I purchased a BMW X3 for winter driving ("it's my winter beater!") as I didn't want to subject Snaab to any more abuse in PAs mix of traction rubble and salt.

I insured my 9-3 as a seasonal car, meaning I don't have insurance between Dec 1 and Feb 28. I look forward eagerly to March 1, assuming weather allows me to actually drive it.

I am SO much more at home in my Saab than the BMW...dang it, get Saab back into production!!!
So the Saab has no insurance for 2 months a year? That makes no sense, cuz if a car ain't insured ya gotta return the plates to DMV What a PITA for such a short time. I'm surprised u don't use the Saab with XWD as a winter car.
 

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I meant to add some, but realize I haven't taken any recently. Will do ASAP.

I purchased a BMW X3 for winter driving ("it's my winter beater!") as I didn't want to subject Snaab to any more abuse in PAs mix of traction rubble and salt.

I insured my 9-3 as a seasonal car, meaning I don't have insurance between Dec 1 and Feb 28. I look forward eagerly to March 1, assuming weather allows me to actually drive it.

I am SO much more at home in my Saab than the BMW...dang it, get Saab back into production!!!
Coming from an insurance background, leaving your car uninsured for any length of time is foolish unless you don't care about it. Comprehensive only is fairly cheap and will cover almost anything that could happen to it.
 

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Miss my fusion blue metallic sport combi, take care of it they're getting rarer every day!
 

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Yeah but Carbon Gray...me likey!
I am a huge fan of the new one, with all the bells and whistles and what not. However the easily acheivable stance on the FWD 06 is a thing of the past. Now with a baby on the way I won't be springing for any coilovers any time soon :(
 

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I am a huge fan of the new one, with all the bells and whistles and what not. However the easily acheivable stance on the FWD 06 is a thing of the past. Now with a baby on the way I won't be springing for any coilovers any time soon :(
Ah yes...XWD. But you will reap the benefits of that in CT certainly. I just dropped my '08 FWD on KW variant 1 coilovers. What were you running on your Fusion?
 

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Coming from an insurance background, leaving your car uninsured for any length of time is foolish unless you don't care about it. Comprehensive only is fairly cheap and will cover almost anything that could happen to it.

Sorry, not NO insurance, just no collision etc.

I would NEVER totally uninsure this car. This was recommended by my insurance company to save some money if I am driving the BMW exclusively in wintertime.


The Saab gets winterized, covered, and stored in a building of my brother-in-law.

The AWD Saab belongs to my wife.
 

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Sorry, not NO insurance, just no collision etc.

I would NEVER totally uninsure this car. This was recommended by my insurance company to save some money if I am driving the BMW exclusively in wintertime.


The Saab gets winterized, covered, and stored in a building of my brother-in-law.

The AWD Saab belongs to my wife.
And you know I was only joking about the BMW. This is a SAAB forum after all :lol:
 

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And you know I was only joking about the BMW. This is a SAAB forum after all :lol:
Oh sure, but it wasn't like I had the chance to buy a new Saab, eh?

I had said when I first bought my 9-3 that I'd drive Saabs the rest of my life. They just "fit" me and my driving style. Not pretentious like some "other" brands - <cough> BMW <cough> - can be. It's like I like the brand, just not the people driving them. Having said that, the Bimmer is really good in the snow and ice, has all the creature comforts like Nav, and HEATED steering wheel, that are nice in the frozen winter months or when driving longer distances. Holds our bicycles inside perfectly (actually, my SC does as well) without a rack.

At this point my Saab is a special vehicle, deserving of all the extra love I can give it. The BMW is my workhorse.
 
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