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Hi all,

I'm posting on behalf of my Dad - he has a 97P 9000 2.3T Anniversary which he loves, but wants to get the handling a bit tighter.

It seems to me that he needs to looks at new springs/shocks. His local specialist (West Midlands Saab) seem to use Elkparts supplied Eibach kit, which I have heard /john praise on his 9-3.

Does this seem like a good option? What other choices are there? He wants to keep a decent level of ride quality, just tighten it all up a bit!

Also, what sort of price would he be looking at?

TIA,
 

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Originally posted by PHudson:
[qb]First, change the rear ARB bushes for poly ones. Cost about £11, fitting cost me £20. Reduces "lurch" and understeer considerably.

A dramatic difference for little money! [/qb][/b]
What does ARB stand for? Can I get the bushings off of Abbott Racing?
 

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Originally posted by Mr. Person:
[qb]What does ARB stand for? Can I get the bushings off of Abbott Racing? [/qb][/b]
ARB=Anti Roll Bar.

And yes, if you want to pay three times the price of Elkparts (allegedly the Abbott ones are different - a little softer? - but I'm quite happy with Elkparts ones)
 

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Originally posted by PHudson:
[qb] QUOTE
Originally posted by Mr. Person:
[qb] What does ARB stand for? Can I get the bushings off of Abbott Racing? [/qb][/b]
ARB=Anti Roll Bar.
[/qb][/b][/quote]In the US of A, ARB = (anti) sway bar

The other "first thing" that you might want to do is to change the rear bushes on the front lower wishbones, using poly ones. The standard items are quite soft and allow the bottom of the wheels to move around under cornering loads. I used Abbott's. I don't know who else does them.

After that and the front ARB bushes, you are into springs and dampers. Although there are many about, the Abbott springs and Koni adjustable dampers are recommended by quite a few folk, including myself.
 

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Does changes the bushes really make such a difference? I was wonderning what was happening under sharp cornering (not familiar with the correct terms), found the car "wallowing" a bit and giving serious understeer.

Thought it was tyre pressures, but they were fine (used to happen a lot in my last car - 93 ford fiesta with slow puctures in both front tyres )

It would seem that from what has been described in this thread that I need to sort the bushes out as soon as funds allow (motorbike just set me back another £400 to get back on the road and about to sort out stuff on 9k this weekend for MOT).

Will start saving for Elk poly bushes next week.

Cheers,

Pete
 

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Getting the various elements of the suspension sorted makes a tremendous difference. When I first got my 9000 2.3t (with 180,000 miles on the clock) the handling was definately "hairy-scary"; understeer on corners, wallowing on roundabouts, ABS kicking in if braking on even the slightest bit of gravel. I then got an uprated rear Anti Roll Bar, ARB bushes front and rear, lower stiffer springs and koni adjustable shock abosrobers - all Abbott standard upgrade stuff. The difference was little short of incredible, the car goes where its pointed, sits flat on corners and roundabouts, doesn't have any appreciable nose-dip even under hard braking, and the ABS is hardly ever called into play. Going up to 16" wheels was useful as well.

Once I'd done all that then I was able to go for some modest power upgrades with total confidence.
 

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Originally posted by efcbluepete:
[qb]Does changes the bushes really make such a difference?  I was wonderning what was happening under sharp cornering (not familiar with the correct terms), found the car "wallowing" a bit and giving serious understeer.[/qb][/b]
Yes changing the bushes does make a big difference, particularly if the current ones are worn. Firstly, it helps to keep the wheel geometry within spec, and secondly stiffening the rear ARB/bushes helps to reduce understeer.

If the shocks on the car are in good nick, then you can achieve a quite incredible transformation in the car's handling and poise just by changing the springs. You don't have to also fit sports shocks as long as you don't lower excessively or over-stiffen.

I've done this very successfully on my previous 9000 which was an LPT and my C900.

Lowering springs start at about £95 for "unbranded" models. Branded ones come in at around £140, then premium/specialist up to £290.

Labour to fit them at a garage should be no more than 2 hours I reckon.

Sports shocks can make a big difference too. You've got two route to go down here really- buy a matched package of shocks and springs which come in from around £430 or go for the top of the range, which is the springs of your choice coupled with Koni adjustable shocks. Not cheap, but very good. I wouldn't waste money on sports shocks unless I'd already beefed up the springs though.

HTH
 

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I also have a P reg 9000 2.3 anniversary and oddly enough my nearest specialist is also west midlands saab.
Am getting bushes and engine mounts changed for performance ones next week - along with a stage 1 speedparts upgrade. Will let you know how it goes.
 

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Does changing the bushings for polybushes make the ride harder? One of my previpus cars was a Golf MKII - superb and precise, but go cart-like handling was the result of upgrading the suspension. I just could not cope with UK's well maintained country roads - my back did not like it at all.
I'd like to updrade my 9000 Cse worn out suspension, but i'd like to keep it smooth rather than super sport - what's the best way to upgrade the suspension for me?
 

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Originally posted by Nico:
[qb]     
Does changing the bushings for polybushes make the ride harder? One of my previpus cars was a Golf MKII - superb and precise, but go cart-like handling was the result of upgrading the suspension. I just could not cope with UK's well maintained country roads        - my back did not like it at all.
I'd like to updrade my 9000 Cse worn out suspension, but i'd like to keep it smooth rather than super sport - what's the best way to upgrade the suspension for me? [/qb][/b]
Replacing rubber with poly means that you're removing some of the damping from the system. The main downside is increased vibration transfer from wheel to cabin. On smoother roads this isn't a problem but on very rough country roads the ride can be quite jittery. On the whole I wouldn't go back to rubber bushes. But as Mark says, simply replacing worn/decaying bushes will improve the handling substantially.

I should add that I'm still running with std springs and shocks on my CD.
 
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