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  1. #1
    Frank
    Administrator nordwulf's Avatar
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    previous: 2006 9-3, 2001-06 9-5, 2011 9-4X
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    Shock absorbers and springs - Rear - Saab 9-5 tutorial

    Tools needed:

    • Car jack and axle stands
    • Spring compressor
    • 21mm socket (lower damper bolt)
    • 16mm socket (shock housing bolt)
    • 16mm/17mm spanners (depending on the shock absorbers)
    • 7mm socket and/or 5mm hex bit socket
    • Torque wrench
    • Breaker bar

    Parts and supplies needed:

    • Shock absorbers and/or springs suitable for your 9-5 model.
    • Penetrating lubricant

    Difficulty rating (scale of 1 to 5):

    2-3 It's a pretty easy procedure but you must be comfortable with working on springs and other suspension components. As with most of these jobs, attention to detail is important. Some part may be difficult to remove because of rust and age and high tightening torque.

    Time estimate:
    2 -3 hours if you're doing this for the first time

    Tutorial

    Raise the rear of the car and support both sides with jack stands. Getting both rear wheels off the ground at the same time will remove any obstructional influence of the rear anti-sway bar. Axle stands should be safe to use but I like to slide the wheel under the car just in case.

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    Remove the spring bracket's lower bolts and slightly slacken the upper ones. Note the left lower bolt has a shim installed. Make sure to put that back when you put the shock housing back on the car again.

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    Remove the damper's lower retaining bolt. This can be difficult to loosen because of the high tightening torque. I used a long breaker bar and still had a bit of a difficult time to get it loose.

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    Lift out the spring and damper assembly.

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    Undo the damper's lock nut but do not remove it. You have to grip the piston rod to prevent it turning. With the stock Saab/Sachs dampers, I could use a 7mm socket and ratchet for the piston rod. This may be different for other dampers. My 6 year old 9-5 hardly has any rust anywhere so I only used a penetrating lubricant (WD40) and the nut came loose pretty easily. Others mentioned they needed a wire brush, a lot of solvent or impact wrench to get the nut loose.

    The wrench/spanner in the picture is actually not the best type to use but it worked for me. A better choice would be an offset wrench but I didn't have those.

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    Use a spring compressor to relieve the load on the shock absorber and remove the centre nut, washer and rubber bushing. Remove the spring and shock absorbers, remove the spring compressor and compress the new spring if you are replacing those.

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    Use all the other parts from the shock/spring assembly and replace the shock absorbers and/or springs with new parts. Make sure to put all the parts back in the right order and orientation. If you can't remember where a certain part should go, use the other spring/shock assembly for guidance.

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    I used a hex bit socket to grip the piston rod when tightening the dampers lock nut on the Bilstin HD shocks I used. Tighten the damper's lock nut
    Tightening torque 20 Nm (15 lbf ft)

    Put the spring/shock assembly back in place and tighten the 4 bolts. Make sure to put any shims back in place. Mine only had one on the right side.
    Tightening torque 55 Nm (40 lbf ft)

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    Use a new lower damper retaining bolt and washer. Tightening torque for this bolt is quite high so that's why it's recommended to use a new one. I had to put the car jack under the damper in order to compress the spring and shock and get the lower retaining bolt into place.

    Tightening torque 190 Nm (140 lbf ft)

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    Attach wheels and lower car.

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  2. #2
    Saab Nut
    Join Date
    02 Aug 2010
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    336
    Thumbs Up:   9
    Instructions from the WIS:

    Dampers

    Removal

    1. Raise the car and remove the wheel.

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    2. Remove the spring bracket's lower bolts and slightly slacken the upper ones.

    3. Remove the damper's lower retaining bolt.

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    4. Lift out the spring assembly complete with damper.

    5. Undo the damper's locknut but do not remove it (grip the piston rod to prevent it turning).

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    6. Depress the spring bracket to relieve the load on the shock absorber and remove the centre nut, washer and rubber bushing. Use 88 18 791 Spring compressor.

    7. Remove the damper, spring and spacer ring.

    Assembly

    1. Fit the spring with spacer ring and spring bracket on the damper.

    Important
    Make sure that the end of the spring fits in itsrecess in the spacer ring.

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    2. Depress the spring bracket to relieve the load on the shock absorber and add the rubber bushing and washer. Screw on a new locknut a few turns. Use the spring compressor.

    3. Tighten the damper's locknut (grip the piston rod to prevent it from turning).
    Tightening torque 20 Nm (15 lbf ft)

    4. Fit the spring assembly in place (the spring bracket should be pushed upwards) and tighten the bolts.
    Tightening torque 55 Nm (40 lbf ft)

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    5. Fit the damper to the spindle housing using a new bolt and washer.

    Position the bottom damper mounting on the rear axle. Insert the bolt. Raise the steering swivel member with a column jack to about the same height as when the car is standing on its wheels. Tighten the bolt.
    Tightening torque 190 Nm (140 lbf ft)

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    6. Fit the wheels.
    Tightening torque
    - aluminium rim 110 Nm (81 lbf ft).
    - pressed steel rim 50 Nm +2x90, max 110 Nm (37 lbf ft +2x90, max 81 lbf ft)

    7. Lower the car.

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  3. #3

    Join Date
    21 Jan 2012
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    Saab(s)
    2003 Saab 9-5 Linear, 2.3t
    Thumbs Up:   0

    Shocks AND springs?

    Thanks for the write-up!

    So, if you could, I would greatly appreciate your advice. My 2003 Saab 95 has 130K miles, and I still have original (I believe) shocks and springs. I ordered new struts, anticipating that both springs and shocks would be included. Although, only shocks were inlcuded in my order. Should I replace springs, along with the shocks? I don't notice that the car rides too low, so perhaps new springs are not necessary. Thoughts? Thanks!

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  4. #4
    Frank
    Administrator nordwulf's Avatar
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    previous: 2006 9-3, 2001-06 9-5, 2011 9-4X
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    Do you have a sedan or wagon? I think it was mostly the wagon that suffered from a sagging rear-end. If the ride height seems to be fine, I wouldn't replace the rear springs.

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  5. #5
    Mark Niskanen
    Lurker niskanem's Avatar
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    01 Sep 2010
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    Grand Rapids, Michigan
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    Saab(s)
    '04 9-3 ARC SS, 04 9-5 Aero Combi
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    I'm planning on replacing the rear coils when I do mine. they are sagging quite a bit and it seems the drivers side more than passenger.

    Frank, aside from the lower bolt did you come across any bushings or mounts which seemed like wear-and-tear items which should also be replaced while having the strut assambly apart?

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  6. #6
    Frank
    Administrator nordwulf's Avatar
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    previous: 2006 9-3, 2001-06 9-5, 2011 9-4X
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    Quote Originally Posted by niskanem View Post
    Frank, aside from the lower bolt did you come across any bushings or mounts which seemed like wear-and-tear items which should also be replaced while having the strut assambly apart?
    No, I didn't see anything that should have been replaced. The rubber ring and other rubber thingy (lower right of this image) was still in very good shape and there was no need to replace those.


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  7. #7

    Join Date
    13 Jul 2013
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    minnesota
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    Saab(s)
    2001 9-5 aero
    Thumbs Up:   0
    I noticed that the spring in the third picture is different than the rest of the following. How do you determine which is the original spring colde for your car? I know that there are 2 different rear springs for the '01 9-5 aero

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  8. #8
    Frank
    Administrator nordwulf's Avatar
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    previous: 2006 9-3, 2001-06 9-5, 2011 9-4X
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  9. #9
    Saab Fan
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    23 Dec 2014
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    Ohio
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    Saab(s)
    9-5
    Thumbs Up:   4

    Rear shocks on 9-5... a faster way to get the rusty nut off

    I just replaced the rear shocks on our 2005 Saab 9-5 Arc sedan. It’s a pretty easy job except for the (dreaded) rusty nut. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about if you’ve done this job.

    I first removed the passenger’s side spring/shock assembly. At first I tried to use a closed-end wrench (5/8 inch, interestingly) and a 7 mm socket and ratchet (to keep the shaft from spinning) to remove the nut. Didn’t work – too rusty. I then used a Dremel w/ cutoff wheel to make downward slices on the nut until I was able to peel the nut off the shaft. Took about 30 minutes just to do that.I then did the driver’s side. After I removed the spring/shock assembly, I decided to try another technique to deal with the rusty nut: cut right through the damn shaft - through the rubber bushing, just below the nut. (The new shock should come with a new rubber bushing, so you can safely destroy it.)I installed a metal-cutting blade on my 10 inch miter saw and cut through the rubber bushing. Took about 1 minute. Worked like a charm. Here are some pics.














    So here is my advice: don’t mess around with the rusty nut. After removing the spring/shock assembly and installing the spring compressors, just cut through it using a miter saw with metal cutting blade. I suppose a Sawzall might also work.

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  10. #10
    Frank
    Administrator nordwulf's Avatar
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    previous: 2006 9-3, 2001-06 9-5, 2011 9-4X
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    Thanks for the pictures and advice Ohioan. I added your post to the replacement tutorial, hope you don't mind.

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