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Discussion Starter #1
I've been pricing the steering rack braces for a little while now.

Just put one on using a steel with a rubber bushing...vice the larger solid aluminum type Abbott sells. The car feels so much better out of a turn then it used to, and there's no drag on turning the car.

Uses the same solid brace to stiffen the firewall, while using a slightly different design for the bracket around the steering brace. Awesome concept for a whole lot less ...at $150.00.

check out the install...and the part here...
"http://www.mpperformance.com/wst_page5.html"
tell him, "Frank where his inlaws live, sent you"

regards

DC
 

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DC, I too found MPs steering brace on ebay...
it was MUCH cheaper and the differance is very noticeable...

you can see mine here
 

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saying it has greatly reduced the "torque stear"
but i also noticed that it also reduced "bump stear" such as when driving on cruddy old freeways...at least thats my oppinion.


"The reduced body roll will also add stability under acceleration when traction is lost on one front tire. (This is commonly misdiagnosed as "torque steer".)"

^got that from Taliaferro talking about their 22mm rear sway bar/ant-roll bar...

thats ones on my to do list...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Absolutely correct.....


As it also reduces the flex in the Firewall as well..in essence "keeping the car together" so to speak. Both better on the road, and in turns as you throttle hard.

I've put the rear anti-roll bar on mine from SAS. The car feels balanced in turns like it should have felt to begin with. Guess the rush to get the car to market was the reason for so many little things to be missed.

The NG 900, feels just like that...a New Generation of SAAB now. Both smooth and agile, but controled and powerful ....

I'm moving to the brakes next, then a new "suit" for the car; as I believe I've located a good body-kit for it also.

Keep you posted.....

DC
 

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say...., if you installed a sway bar was it an all day job, on the 9-5 it says you gotta hoist up the motor to do it. man I don't want to attempt that. did you have to go there? dan
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm sure someone will respond to your inquiry on the 9.5's as I'm not experienced on them.

As for the front of the car..; the NG900's already have a pretty good top brace over the strut towers under the hood/bonnet. Although I'm sure you could find something thicker, the recommended tune-up for roll on the NG900 is for the rear of the car.

I can tell you that installing one for the rear was a breeze and only took 15 minutes on the NG900.. If the car is lifted with wheels in the air when you install the sway bar.., recheck the and tighten again after lowering the car on it's wheels.


DC
 

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There are differences in theory about which anti-roll bar to upgrade on the 9-3. Most have chosen to put a larger one out back because of ease of installation. Hirsch actually chooses to put a softer bar up front. Reason is, the benefit will be the same as far as neutralizing the handling, reducing understeer. However, it will not stiffen up the rear and cause a bit of tail hapiness like a stronger bar in the back does. The problem with a front bar change is that it is much more difficult/time consuming to change but it will give the same benefits of reduced understeer but will better retain a compliant ride and keep the rear of the car in check better.
 

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Of course to be fair to both sides ... while a softer sway bar in the front makes the car more neutral same as stiffer in the rear, it also gives on the whole a bit more body roll. Many people choose to keep soft-ish springs and make the sway bars much harder as this keeps the ride over bumps very soft, but reduces body roll.

As for members who may have a Viggen it should be noted the front sway bar on the Viggen was softened 25% from the factory so if you want a more neutral steering car you'll need either upgraded suspension, or (if that doesn't work) a harder rear sway bar.

My personal choice regardless would be to have a harder rear sway bar as I'm more concerned with recuding body roll than I am with having a compliant ride, but other people may choose differently. Hirsch probably uses the softer front swaybar as a financial move on the 900's and 9-3's because they can likely get the Viggen bar from Saab for cheaper than a custom unit. You pay more for labor to install, and the same amount for the bar, but they get the bar cheaper as it's mass produced and of course receive the extra money from the labor. Could be wrong, but I can't imagine why they'd make their own front sway bar if Saab makes a softened one already that will bolt straight in. Eric do you know how much it's softened? Is it 25% same as the Viggen factory unit?

Cheers,
Dubbya
 

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They produce their own stuff for the most part. I am pretty sure their front bar is even softer than the Viggen's. The other reason for going softer in the front is that the roll is actually better for ultimate grip as the weight shifts more over the outside tires that are actually doing all the gripping. I do agree, however, that for 90% of us that the cheaper and easier to deal with bigger rear bar is the way to go.

The stiffer rear bar does show itself quite readily in the form of high speed oversteer in some corners, most notably at track speeds, such as at the Nurburgring. You can't see it in the vid but in one corner while I am chasing the 911, you can hear my passenger get a bit nervous as the back end of my car decided it was going through the corner on an entirely different line than the front.
 

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If my experience with the c900 is anything to go by, I am all for softening the front bar to maximize front end grip.

Problem with the Viggen was, that maximizing front end grip really showed up the insufficient wheel location of the GM900/9-3 design (soft 'donut' style rubber divider between both legs of the lower control arm for NVH purposes & steering rack only held in place with sheetmetal clamp aatached to firewall) - torque steer that verged on the unacceptable was the result.

But I disgress - the thing to remember here is, that connecting both sides of an independent suspension layout with a torsion bar will diminish lateral grip proportional to the stiffness of the bar.
Of course, one could (and should) argue that the weight transfer to the outside wheel when cornering is bad for lateral grip too, because ultimately you have only one tyre to take the 'workload'. The thing is to find a hapy medium, and here our FWD, 60/40% weigh distribution cars with their natural tendency to understeer give great scope for stiffening up the rear (or 'make the rear bad' as racers say), getting the needed roll stiffness there, and leaving the front alone or potentially even make it softer.
 

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... you can hear my passenger get a bit nervous as the back end of my car decided it was going through the corner on an entirely different line than the front. --- Eric(9-3 Hirsch)

Heh heh heh *insert evil grin here*

But of course, the beauty of front wheel drive is that you can get VERY sideways without losing controll. Something I love doing in my C900 and only wish I could do in the Viggen.

With regards to grip, the tires will grip as much as the weight on them allows. Softer sway bars do allow more of the weight to transfer to the outside tires, but sometimes that's half the problem.
Soft sway bars can cause high tire wear because all the weight goes onto just two tires. Also it effectively renders the other side's tires useless so they lose grip more easily. Either way though, I wish I had a videos of some of my antics in that C900 with it's very stiff rear bar. That car could literally go completely sideways then recover and go sideways in the other direction. Great fun!
 

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The idea, as Eric mentioned, is that you want the weight to transfer onto the tire doing the work. The effect of the body rolling towards the outside actually puts the weight over the tires that are doing the work and pushes them harder down onto the road. Of course the tires will wear more rapidly as they are actually doing mmore work. Another thing to think of is the inside tires are doing almost no work at all. A stiffer bar will result in the back tires being pulled up off the road sometimes as the suspension will pull up into the well when the outside is compressed as the car corners.I know you have seen front drive race cars do this. So then if you take the thought to the front, a softer setup will allow the tires to maintain better contact with the road and therefore give more grip for both cornering and accelleration. Heck, I know many tuners and places, for some cars will simply remove the front bars for the best front end grip.

I do agree though, that the bigger rear bar is fun and relatively harmless for our cars. However, softening up the front is probably the best way to go. I have the SAS rear bar myself as it came down to that is all that I knew at the time of purchase.
 

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In my experience of the 9-3 on the track I doubt that any changes are required to the ARBs on the vehicle if running less than 240bhp provided that you have decent springs and dampers - such as Eibach pro-kit. Above 240bhp you might well benefit but I have not changed the ARBs yet.
 

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You'll notice a huge difference in the cornering attitude when you fit one. The car goes from a massively understeering beast to one that still ultimately understeers but is nice and neutral unless the throttle is planted to the floor. I felt it was a great improvment to my car even when I was still at just 192 hp.
 

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My point is that the 9-3 was not a massively understeering beast with sorted springs/dampers and all that power when it was on the track.

The only times it was understeering was piling too fast into the hairpin ...which was my fault, not the car.

Nevertheless, I do not doubt your experience of improvements changing the ARB.

Anyway - I do now have a problem with understeer ...as I discovered when I was matching the speed of a Scooby up a hill last weekend.
 

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Trust me, you will really notice the difference once you have one. Is this another case where I have to say you weren't going fast enough? Honestly, even on the street, it felt better to me.
 

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Another reason to fit stiffer ARBs is quicker weight transfer when switching directions quickly. Just a thought. Typically quick weight transfers make the car much more nimble.

In the long run I'd say it's far more important that the car is neutral, as stiffer springs will facilitate reasonably quick weight transfer. Also many FWD racers may eliminate the front ARB to keep from getting tire spin out of the corners, but just about every AWD or RWD race car I know of has sway bars, big ones. Either that, or suspension so stiff the body just can't roll in the first place.

It is worth noting again that the Viggen has a looser front ARB in case anyone is considering installing one.

As for my cars, the Viggen may not have anywhere near the composure or be nearly as neutral as the C900, but it doesn't understeer too badly at all as long as you keep off the throttle. (obviously any FWD car understeers with enough power) And it does easily carry comparible speed through corners. Any speed I could go in my C900 I could go in the Viggen. The only only differences were that the Viggen could dive deeply into the corner without the risk of going sideways like the C900, but the C900 could put down full throttle out of the corner without tire-spin. More food for thought I suppose. Keep in mind a bit of understeer is prefered by most racers, and is quite a bit safer in daily driving and accident evasion.
 

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 DC, I too found MPs steering brace on ebay...  [/b]
Unfortunately only available for left hand drive cars at present I believe, so not suitable for the UK models unless they go down this route.
 
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