Date: Wed, 27 Nov 2002 10:51:25 -0500
From: Bob <uctraingNOSPAMersnopsamanet.com>
Subject: Re: GM plans Saab Restructuring


On Tue, 26 Nov 2002 15:02:47 -0800, "pablo" <pabloATsimplyhombreDOTnet> wrote: >I was wondering whether anyone with a newer vintage 9-3 has tried the >aforementioned improvements, and can confirm that the enhancement is >noticeable? I might consider it for my 9-3 convertible, since anything that >improves rigidity is a good thing in a convertible... Pablo: I have an NG900 convert and have done a great deal of research on the subject. I have also talked in great length with a friend who has done many of the mods on a hatch 9-3. The basic problem with the convertible, as you probably know, is the chassis flex. You can even feel a difference when you put the roof up/down in flex on a washboard corner. There is no way that any of these (Abbott?) improvements will fix that issue. Adding stiffer springs will help handling in some situations. If you plan to do that, I would highly rec that you go with the least stiff (and progressive) aftermarket springs from Eibach. These will give you stiffness at the upper rang of travel but be fairly normal in the lower range. They are also a bit lower and reducing the CoG will help quite a bit. I would NOT go any stiffer than these as the stiffness will simply be transferred to your 'vert chassis and the chassis is _already_ having problems coping with the transferred stiffness from the stock setup. In fact, my friend with the (hatch) 9-3 has tried the Eibach, Viggen, and B/G springs and found all but the Eibach to be a bit harsh. What will help tremendously is the addition of a set of Koni adjustable shocks. These will, incredibly, improve both the ride and handling. I didn't think that was possible since as you go stiffer, you most always lose ride comfort. But, they do it and it's been confirmed on both NG900's and 9-3's. Also, they are adjustable so you can adjust to meet _your_ needs. This is a major improvement to the car. The viggen rescue kit from Abbott is a good buy, according to all reports. This stiffens the steering rack mount substantially with a brace and by replacing the rubber bushing that it mounts on. You can read about the other improvements that Abbott provides at their site. Aside from a minute amount of additional vibration, you won't reduce ride comfort according to everyone who's installed this kit. I'd do it in this order: Koni's, Abbott steering rack brace and or Rescue Kit, Springs. If you have unlimited funds, do all three and then pull the springs back out if you find it too stiff and rough. If you have more limited funds, skip the springs. Still more limited, skip the Abbott. If you do not do your own work, you have to consider that doing the struts in front is the same labor as doing the springs, so you will be paying for that twice if you do the springs later. MHO, and worth what you paid for it, Bob

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