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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Lots... well I finally finished my phase 1 upgrade to the 1996 9k Aero. To benefit others, I'll list the things I did and add comments...
Overall, this lot took me most of a day but there were two of us + a bit of planning.

Before I started, every bolt was zapped with Plusgas just in case. My car is amazingly rust free as it has been in the SE all its life and to date I have not come across a seized bolt.. (touch wood!)
1) Koni front shocks/abbott springs. Got the old struts off without a problem, but the top strut mounts will probably be on their way out past 100k miles (mine were grinding away at 105, but still together). This resulted in a 2hr panic trip to get a couple of new ones...
When you drill the hole in the bottom of the strut, I suggest squeezing out all the old oil as you'll get it everywhere.
When I cut the struts, I just marked a line around the strut and attacked it with a grinder - much easier than a hacksaw and just as neat (plus you get lots of nice sparks!)
I found the springs a bit of a fiddle to get lined up and forgot to put the bump stop on one first time round (dolt!). I also cut 1 ring from the bump stops.
You'll need a nice pair of spring compressors too.

2) Replaced the control arm rear bush with new fresh ones although the ones I took off were in mint condition at 100k miles (dolt2) but I might use the old bush frames to fit poly to at a later date.
Its a bit of a ****** to get the wishbone back in again and I had to lift the car about 1 inch to get my spanner in the torque them, so under normal driving they will be in tension-which I need to re-do on ramps or similar.
I also did the drop link bottom bushes at the same time as they looked very tired..These are a fiddle and I used a G clamp to pull the ARB down to the control arm.

3) Gearbox mount - I bought a yellow abbott one and it went on very easily. The car was lifted using 2 trolley jacks under the subframe and the gearbox was lowered onto an axle stand to reduce the stress on the saggy saab effort..
The bolt was removed and the car lowered further to allow the bush to be removed and the new one dropped in.
Oh - before that, spend ages wrestling out the inner wheel arch liner and even longer putting it back

4) Top control arm bushes (dog bone). There are many ways of doing this and I bought superflex for the engine side and standard for the bulkhead side, for vibration control and it's the easier way round to do it. This is what I did:
Unbolt the dog bone and remove from the car. Attack it with the 14mm drill bit I used for the konis to clear the rubber hack saw a groove.
Attack with a hammer/chisel and collapse/drive out the bush.
I popped the new standard bush in the freezer and greased it before pushing it in with a vice. I used a couple of smaller sockets as spacers to get the positioning correct.
Back in the car I did the same to remove the bush, but with a lot more care! Remember to put the hacksaw blade in upsidedown so you are pulling the blade up the way when cutting the bush(good for clearance)
I then cut the superflex in half and popped it in.
Job done!

5) Retorque as many bolts as you can find.. inclding the subframe bolts.

6) Abbott rear springs - I had already done the shocks and the famous bottom bolts hadn't given me a problem so I didnt hit any issues here.

7) Finished my airbox mod. - I used a large double flared speaker port http://www.falcon-acoustics.co.uk/Port-80M.jpg and hacked it into the existing hole with a bit of expoxy to hold it all together. I used the shortest lengths for the port shown and actually had to cut it down further to get it into the car. There wasnt enought room to face it forward, so it still faces back and the theory is that the air is pulled in easily in the large funnel, but also eased into the airbox with the 2nd flare inside the box which sits flush against the outside wall.
Results? - Well its about the same noise level as before but its a much smoother, more controlled sound instead of the flappy/loose tone you get by just removing the snorkel.
Performance -hard to tell - feels even better higher up but it's always subjective!

Other bits of my phase 1 already done:
1) Brembo discs and pagid fast road all round
2) Rear poly ARB bushes
3) Strut brace
4) Remove heat plate
5) ITG filter
6) Speedparts stage 1

Still to come:
Found a leak in the back box ( )- This means I can order my stage 2 JT cat-back exhaust without feeling guilty.

So- although I havent had much of a chance to test the car well, it now feels really tight and can actually now enjoy the extra power as opposed to the previous white knuckle experience!
The biggest difference on this recent effort was probably the engine mounts as the old ones were pretty tired. The gear change is vastly improved and the car puts the power down soooo much better
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Oh - I meant to add a big thanks to folks on this site as the job would have taken me 4 times longer and I would have spent lots more cash without the info here! - so cheers
 
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