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Performance Modifications for the NG900 / Old 9-3 This forum contains PERFORMANCE related Q&A's for the NG900 and 9-3. This may also include suspension.

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Old 07-12-2015, 07:12 PM   #1
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 71
Time for some faster steering!

Thought it was time to try something new on my 99 9-3s, a faster ratio steering rack.

Chose a '95 Chevrolet Beretta w/sport package rack, very similar type rack, but 2.5 turns lock to lock rather than 3.5 turns. Autozone part number 6449, just over a hundred bucks including the core charge and a life time warranty. Yea, $100.00 compare that to ANY rebuilt rack for the 9-3!

Only had 4 minor hurdles to over come.

1st: Both the 9-3 and Beretta racks share a 16mm outlet/return, but the inlets are different. The SAAB uses a 16mm banjo bolt, the Beretta an 18mm o-ring. A pair of adapters from Earls via Summit racing allowed me to fit a flex line in place of the final SAAB hard line.

2nd: Not an issue for the rubber bushing rack mount guys but the Beretta rack was 39mm in diameter, the 9-3's is 36.5. Had to open up the PFS rack brace/bracket to fit.

3rd: The Beretta's P/S hard lines between the far end of the rack and the pinion end go straight across the top of the rack, on the 9-3, the brake booster bracket conflicts with the Chevy hard lines. No big deal to remove the hard lines, carefully straighten them and re-route straight down and below the booster bracket.

4th: I had to move the inner bracket for the steering column up about 8mm. Simply ovaled out the mounting bolt hole and to make assembly easier, replaced the bolt with a stud and nut reusing the original thick washer.

Total time was about 5 hours and well worth the effort. Steering is heavier than before, but not objectionable. Much more responsive without getting go-cartish. Maybe my imagination, but seems to tame some of the torque steer when I romp on the go pedal.

Under the brake master cylinder: I'd though, and ordered the parts to use a 45° pointing straight up from the pinion area and a 90° to join to the original flex line but the clutch master is in the way. In my install, a straight where I used the 45 would be better, but I used what I had. Just need to make a bracket to secure the union.

Behind the brake booster: You can see how tight the 90°bend is to the clutch master cylinder, and how tight the lower hard line is to the booster bracket.

List of parts: These came from Summit racing, the hose and bends are generic SAE J1402 bits, possibly less expensive at your local hydraulic hose shop. The real "magic" are the two adapters.

SAAB parts diagram of the column. Had to mod bracket #15 in the pick and replaced bolt #20 in the pic.

Probably the biggest unexpected even was the steering wheel was clocked 90° to the right. Had to pop if off the column and re-index it. Notta a big deal, might be unique to my 9-3, unique to the rebuilt rack, or possibly a 9-3/Beretta difference.

As a side note, some of the GM racks use a 16mm inlet, but seem to keep the 3.5 turns lock to lock. Should make an affordable near mod-free repair option.
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