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  1. #1
    Dave T.
    Super Moderator Dave T's Avatar
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    03 Aug 2010
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    1999 9-3SE (2013-2015), 2005 9-3 (2005-2013), 1990 900 (1990-2003)
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    Saab 9-3 full sized spare tire details and instructions for minor modification


    Car companies use compact, donut style spare tires to save weight and achieve slightly better government fuel consumption ratings. Having a full sized spare tire is advantageous because compact spare tires are speed limited to 80 km/h (approx. 50 mph), have limited treadlife, sub-optimal handling and reduced car safety. Some say that the compact spare should be placed in the rear but if one has a front flat tire, that means putting the spare on the rear and putting the rear tire where the front flat was.

    Here's how I got a full sized spare tire to fit.

    In my U.S.-spec car, there were 3 black hard foam blocks glued to the floor of the spare tire well that propped up the compact spare. These 3 blocks are not found in all Saabs. There are reports that at least some Singapore and UK spec cars do not have this. The blocks are glued to a silvery mat which, itself, is glued to the floor of the spare tire well. These blocks were cut off with a sharp knife. About 5 mm of the blocks remained attached due to the difficulty in completely severing the blocks without damaging the silvery bottom mat.


    Note the foam blocks have been cut off. The 4 rubber pieces at the right of the photo is packing material used to secure the springs of a new car. I kept them.



    A Pirelli P6 Four Seasons 215/55R16 tire is 0.75" too wide (19mm). Placing a thin piece of wood or some cardboard to raise the floor may do the trick. I use the 4 rubber pieces placed under the floor so it rests on that, not the spare tire. If one uses a 205/55R16 tire, which is a permissable size, then that tire might be 9 mm too wide. One drawback of a 205/55R16 tire is that the circumference of the tire is slightly less than a 215/55R16 or 235/45R17. It is close to a 225/45R17.

    Scion xD cars use an unusual 195/60R16 size. Bridgestone Turanza EL400-02 195/60R16 spins at 823 revolutions per mile, the exact same as the Bridgestone Blizzak WS60 215/55R16 and the Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 235/45R17 spins at 824 revs per mile so the circumference is perfect. Trimming the 3 foam pieces and using a Turanza may work. However, nothing is perfect as the Turanza has a load rating of only 89T.

    A load rating of 89 is 1279 lbs. Therefore, the 89 tire probably shouldn't be used with a fully loaded car. The owner's manual lists a 91 load rated tire as ok (1356 lbs.) and my car came with tires with a 93 load rating (1433 lbs.). My Michelin snow tires have a load rating of 97 (1609 lbs.).


    Finished product

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  2. #2
    Dave T.
    Super Moderator Dave T's Avatar
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    1999 9-3SE (2013-2015), 2005 9-3 (2005-2013), 1990 900 (1990-2003)
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    Eventually, this spare tire will become old. When that happens, I am considering putting a snow tire there as a spare. During the winter, however, my regular tires are too wide for the wheel well. They are 235/45R17. I am considering washing the 17" wheel/tire then putting one in a bag and in the trunk. This would use up a lot of trunk space. I carry a cardboard box with jumper cables. This could be put in the wheel well to recover some trunk space.

    Another possibility is for one to buy a new compact spare for winter use or a dedicated spare tire.

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  3. #3
    Saab Fan
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    01 Jan 2013
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    France
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    None yet but a 93 Biopower awaits
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    Not being funny but why would you do this??

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  4. #4
    Dave T.
    Super Moderator Dave T's Avatar
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    1999 9-3SE (2013-2015), 2005 9-3 (2005-2013), 1990 900 (1990-2003)
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    The compact spare tires is rated at only 50 mph (80 km/h), has limited treadwear, and unfavorable handling characteristics. If you are driving a long distance and have a flat tire, you can continue your journey at your usual speed with a full sized spare tire. If one of the front tires are flat, some people with a compact spare would replace a rear tire with the compact spare and use the rear tire to replace the flat front tire. This is a lot of work.

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  5. #5
    J. Tucker
    Saab Fan Fender Bender's Avatar
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    24 Dec 2013
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    Virginia
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    2005 9-3 Arc 2008 9-3 Aero
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    Changed out the 'donut' spare first day after buying my 2005 9-3. All for the very reason stated above. Would not be without a dependable spare when 50 miles from home.

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  6. #6
    Jeffrey
    Master SaabTech/Moderator Burnsside42's Avatar
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    25 Oct 2010
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    Point Pleasant, PA
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    - 86' 9KT - 95' 9K Custom CS - 06' 9-3 Combi - 07' 9-7X Arc - 08' 9-3 Convertible - 08' 9-3 TurboX -
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    Meh - this is what AAA is for lol

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    European Motor Services, LLC - Point Pleasant, PA 18950 - www.europeanmotorsvc.com

 

 

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