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  1. #1
    Frank
    Administrator nordwulf's Avatar
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    Rear shock absorbers and springs

    I noticed the camber of my rear wheels is way off. I think I read in another thread this means the rear shock absorbers are gone. My car has 80K miles so that's probably a valid assumption.

    I read the removal and fitting instructions in the WIS and it seems a pretty straightforward DIY job. The only special tool you need is a spring compressor. Is that correct or is it more difficult?

    Rear dampers are about $200 per pair but there are several choices:

    Koni Sport Rear Shocks
    Bilstein HD Shock (Premium, Performance Street)
    Bilstein Sport Shock (Performance Street, Autocross/Track)
    KYB GR-2 Shock (Premium)
    Sachs/Boge (I think these are the aftermarket/OEM Saab dampers)

    I know Koni FSD are the best choice but I don't really want to spend $650 and do the front as well if it is not really needed.

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  2. #2
    Roger Cook
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    2008 9-5 Aero, 2006 9-3SC 2.0T, 2000 Viggen Convertible, 2000 9-5 retired at 318K miles
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    Aero wagons and their sagging butt

    Aero wagons are notorious for rear springs which sag over time - (too soft by design or overloaded by owners?) - yielding rear camber problems. Rear shocks typically do not last more than 100K miles so yours likely need to be replaced. You will also need to address the springs issue to get your camber back into proper specs.

    Two options exist; new rear springs, and camber shims.

    Replacing the rear springs adds no complexity to the rear shock replacement as the springs need to be removed as part of the R&R for the shocks. They will add more to the cost.

    You will need a spring compressor. The top of the rear shock is a bayonet mount - (I hate these!) - so plan on lots of PB Blast or other solvent and wire brushing the daylights out of the threaded portion of the shock mount prior to starting to loosen the top nut. Or use an impact wrench.

    Getting both rear wheels off the ground at the same time will remove any obstructional influence of the rear anti-swaybar. So lift the car from the rear center and sit the car on jack stands to do this work.

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  3. #3
    Mike
    Moderator Shazam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MI-Roger View Post
    You will need a spring compressor.
    Most Autozones will allow you to "rent" them. Basically, you buy a used set, and when you bring it back, you get refunded your money. I found this out after I bought a spring compressor set from Harbor Freight... they are scary to use, so I felt much more safe using the ones from Autozone. Just make sure you say you want to rent them, and not buy them.

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  4. #4
    Saab Enthusiast
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    2005 9-5 Arc, 1999 9-5 V6 ( Sold )
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    I am just getting my FSDs delivered today. having said that, on my previous saab ( 1999 9-5 SE V6 ) I had put Bilstein HDs and they are pretty good. I would stay away from Sachs purely because they are OEM replacements and would likely have same issue of going soft sooner than you would like. I know every one says that fronts don't go as often, but on my 99 when I replaced fronts as well, on old ones I could push the rod in with just slight pressure from my pinky. I don't think that was supposed to happen
    and spring compressor is only speciality tool you would need. dimitri's DYI guide is pretty good ( better than WIS ) in terms of actually step by step.

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  5. #5
    Robert
    Saabologist in Training weav999's Avatar
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    I Just did this on my wagon a month ago. I opted to buy the spring compressors from Advanced Auto for @$30-$40 and now I have them for later.

    I installed the Bilstein HD Shock (Premium, Performance Street), but I did not change out the springs.
    I found them for $89 each at www.autopartswarehouse.com , so keep looking.
    Parts Ordered
    Shock Absorber and Strut Assembly Bilstein Shock Absorber and Strut Assembly 9-5|Arc Bilstein Price: $ 88.95 Qty: 2.00 Part #: W0133-1607216
    Sub Total: $177.90 Discount: $0.00 Shipping: $0.00 Handling: $0.00 Tax: $0.00 Core: $0.00 Total: $177.90


    I am now thinking I should have done the springs too while I was in there and had everything apart.

    It is easy to do with the rear end up off the ground. You will need to get a new lower bolt for each side as it is recommended to replace this due to the high torque (~145 ftlb's if I remember correctly.) I reused the old bolts and things seem fine but I will replace the bolts when I replace the springs with a more heavy duty pair (I tend to really load up the wagon).

    Having never done this before it probably took me 2 hours. There are only 6 bolts to get the shock/spring unit off. Getting the lower end back in place and the bolt in is a bit of a challenge. I almost stripped the threads in the housing, so be sure it is lined up before you start putting a wrench to it.

    -R

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  6. #6
    Frank
    Administrator nordwulf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MI-Roger View Post
    Aero wagons are notorious for rear springs which sag over time - (too soft by design or overloaded by owners?) - yielding rear camber problems. Rear shocks typically do not last more than 100K miles so yours likely need to be replaced. You will also need to address the springs issue to get your camber back into proper specs.
    That's a good point about the rear springs. It doesn't really make sense for the suspension to sag because of bad shocks when you think about it. I never really thought springs would wear out and sag over time. Saab OEM rear springs are about $75 each so that's not too bad. I searched for aftermarket springs but only came up with sport springs set on GenuineSaab.com. Are there any aftermarket Aero springs available?

    I am a bit surprised there are so many different brands offering shocks for the 9-5. Thanks for all the great advice so far. The job itself doesn't seem to complicated and will be a nice weekend project when the weather gets a little bit nicer.

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  7. #7
    Jared
    The young one J-Rod's Avatar
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    Best rear shocks for SEDAN?

    With passengers in the backseat of my 9-5 the wheels tuck in the fenders. Though, I must admit it looks cool, the camber is getting bad (even unloaded) so I think it's time for new rear shocks. I'm not looking for any sport suspension stuff (unless it's cheap, of course), and I want to spend as little as possible. What are my best options? I'd like to spend less than $175 for the set.

    Thanks for the move to this thread, Wulf, I wasn't sure if the sedan needed different ones due to the difference in weight over the rear.

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    Last edited by J-Rod; 13 April 2011 at 02:31.
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  8. #8
    Frank
    Administrator nordwulf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J-Rod View Post
    Thanks for the move to this thread, Wulf, I wasn't sure if the sedan needed different ones due to the difference in weight over the rear.
    I checked to make sure before I merged your post. The sedan and wagon use the same shocks according to GenuineSaab. However, the Saab EPC lists different part numbers. And the springs may be different.

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  9. #9
    Frank
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    Parts ordered:

    2 Bilstein HD Shock absorbers W0133-1607216 from autopartswarehouse.com $165.90 - 8% online coupon = $152.63
    2 Rear Spring (EE) (12755245) from eEuroparts 79.21 x 2 = $158.42

    All with free shipping.

    Thanks for the advice and recommendations. Soon, my rear won't be sagging anymore and camber should be back to normal. And ride quality should improve as well. The rear feels like it's floating around a bit and new shocks/springs are probably going to be a nice improvement.

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  10. #10
    Frank
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    Guess what I'll be doing this weekend.

    Name:  bilstein shocks and saab aero springs.jpg
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    The part numbers for these shocks can be confusing. Fortunately, I found this post on Saabnet so at least I was pretty sure I ordered the right shocks that I wanted. Saabnet.com: 9-5 BB Post: Re: Bilstein Part No.?

    On box: F4-BE3-2708-H0
    On shock absorber: 2010BE3-2708-H0
    Auto Parts Warehouse: W0133-1607216

    Bilstein website:
    Part Number: 24-027083
    MSRP: $145.00
    Old Part Number: F4-BE3-2708-H0
    Setting: B6 Heavy Duty (HD)

    In the USA: B6 = Heavy Duty and B8 = Sport
    In Germany: B6 = Sport and B8 = Sprint

    Both the shock absorbers and springs are Made in Germany.

    For reference, for my 2005 9-5 Aero Wagon, part numbers for the rear springs are 12 755 245 (code EE Blue Orange). There are many different part numbers for other models and years.

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