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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 05-18-2009, 05:26 AM   #1
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Love this car but...

this is what sums it up:

loose  /lus/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [loos] Show IPA adjective, loos⋅er, loos⋅est, adverb, verb loosed, loos⋅ing.
–adjective
1. free or released from fastening or attachment: a loose end.
2. free from anything that binds or restrains; unfettered:
3. not firm, taut, or rigid: a loose tooth; a loose rein.

The suspension is just fucking awful (wish I could say it nicer but it reflects my frustration level). I am not even concerned much right now with great handling, it really is just the bad the ride quality and loose feeling of this chassis. Do I need to replace everything (springs, struts, bushes) just to have an acceptable feeling in the suspension? I know it is a 100k mile car but it is in good order (do need new mounths) and the front suspension has already been overhauled.

I know the ARB, steering rack brace and clamp, and the subframe brace will help but will it help alot? I am at a crossroads here. Love this car but dont want to invest 2-3k to just get it to barely OK!

I only have 2-3 other cars to compare it to and it makes me even more depressed. I had an 1989 e30 325i and that had around 130k on it and it was SOLID. 91 300ZX with 150k on it, no suspension repairs at all, completely stock and the ride and solid feeling is there.

This has been discussed at length but I just need to vent and am looking for some sympathy from the community haha.

I want to enjoy this car for a couple years but have only had it around 9 months or so and am just bummed out.

What is my next step in trying to make this a bit better w/o a complete overhaul???

Thanks again guys!

Last edited by LB Viggen; 05-18-2009 at 05:46 AM.
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Old 05-18-2009, 05:39 AM   #2
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Try and meet up with someone with all the suspension mods, beg a drive and see if you think it's worth it. There are plenty nearby in MA!

It's never going to be an e30.
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Old 05-18-2009, 05:42 AM   #3
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i have poly: tranny, engine mounts, poly control arms, poly bushings, steering rack&brace and 22mm ARB. Come to South Boston if you want to compare how your car feels like with those mods.
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Old 05-18-2009, 05:49 AM   #4
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Good advice, didn't even think of that. I think I will sometime soon Rafal and then start saving. I will have this car a couple years for sure but need to figure out what is good money spent and what I can just try and live with. Sometimes I wish I wasn't so particular and anal about my car haha.

My top priority is to try and cure the insanity that occurs over rough payment or bumps. I was driving on Comm Ave and its a mess. It seemed like everything was moving and crashing at the same time and my car was just going to fall apart.

Last edited by LB Viggen; 05-18-2009 at 06:18 AM.
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Old 05-18-2009, 07:26 AM   #5
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I agree w/Nick that the car will never feel like an e30....its one of the most balanced sedans ever built and its RWD. You'll be able to get the Viggen to handle quite well, but you'll never be able to toss it around corners like an e30 or VW A1 Rabbit
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Old 05-18-2009, 07:33 AM   #6
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I have done pretty much everything you can to this car to make it handle and fight the flexy unibody as best I could.

It has come a LONG way. But it's sad how my stock gigantic CC sedan(glorified Passat) feels 20x more solid and surefooted stock to stock. It convinced me that just swaybars and coilovers would have the CC surpassing the Viggen in terms of handling and composure. This is one of the main things allowing me to sell the Viggen next year.

Suspenson/handling upgrades I have made:

Quaife LSD
Koni sport kit
Poly control arm and swaybar bushings
SE 24mm front bar
22mm rear bar, would do a 25mm bar if I was keeping the car
GS steering rack clamp and brace
Mp rear strut brace, does NOTHING, would buy the GS one
GS 6pt lower brace
GS Octopuss strut tower brace
225/40/18 Falken Azenis 615's, not much stickier out there than this for a street tire
18" wheels, 22lbs each are lighter than stock 17's.

Now, driving my car as it sits now and then a stock car, night and day difference. But you have to know the limitations and realize it will never approach a true sports car like an E36 M3.
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Old 05-18-2009, 07:49 AM   #7
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Oh I completely understand that. Right now, I am just trying to make the normal, day-to-day driving experience a little better. I am looking into the subframe brace. What else will improve the ride over potholes, rough pavement, etc?

My real disappointment is over rough payment and bumps. I was thinking about this situation when I was about to post:

I was home a few weeks ago and was helping my parents move about 15 yards of mulch for all the landscaping. We had one brand new wheelbarrow and one with some nuts and bolts missing/oose. It worked but the wallowy, loose feeling was the same I felt on my Viggen while i was moving the loads. Just felt disconnected and rattly even though it was attached to the wood frame.

All of those mods that have been done would be great but I need to put the money towards other things at this point (young kid trying to save). Might be an impossible situation but what can I do on an under 1k budget?
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Old 05-18-2009, 07:52 AM   #8
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i would make sure your not having any issues with your suspension now. tacking mods over a broken suspension wont really help you.

have you checked your struts, mounts, ball joints etc? thats where i would start first.
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Old 05-18-2009, 07:59 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LB Viggen View Post
Oh I completely understand that. Right now, I am just trying to make the normal, day-to-day driving experience a little better. I am looking into the subframe brace. What else will improve the ride over potholes, rough pavement, etc?

My real disappointment is over rough payment and bumps. I was thinking about this situation when I was about to post:

I was home a few weeks ago and was helping my parents move about 15 yards of mulch for all the landscaping. We had one brand new wheelbarrow and one with some nuts and bolts missing/oose. It worked but the wallowy, loose feeling was the same I felt on my Viggen while i was moving the loads. Just felt disconnected and rattly even though it was attached to the wood frame.

All of those mods that have been done would be great but I need to put the money towards other things at this point (young kid trying to save). Might be an impossible situation but what can I do on an under 1k budget?
If that is your main concern, then make sure you avoid poly engine mounts, poly bushings, and look for a semi-comfort biased tire. I would also look into the Koni struts as having them on full soft makes for a more compliant ride than stock. The 6pt brace helps a lot when crashing into large potholes, the front end feels more tied together and solid.

X2 on what Craig said. Make sure you aren't finding issues that are just worn parts like original bushings and strut mounts etc.
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Old 05-18-2009, 08:07 AM   #10
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Ok something to think about then. I am sure I need to replace my tranny and engine mounts but thought that just helped fix the weight shifts and slight bucking under engine load.. I was going to get the poly bushes. Are they much more stiff and uncomfortable over the OEM rubbers? I actually don't mind a firmer ride (dont want to turn this into something it isn't intended to be) but it would be nice if it wasn't so crashy and sloppy.

Will look at giving everything a good exam to find any problems. Right now I am almost 100% sure I need a new tranny and at least 1 engine mount.

Thanks for the help with all my questions. Really appreciate the help and time.
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Old 05-18-2009, 08:40 AM   #11
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Would bad tranny and engine mounts add to the crashyness and loose feeling of my suspension? I would like to learn something here as I am not that mechaniclly inclined (nice way to put it). I guess if they were bad it would be the same as not having any "cushion" between the mounting points thus the hard impact over bumps. This may be connected to what I am experiencing.
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Old 05-18-2009, 08:57 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LB Viggen View Post
Would bad tranny and engine mounts add to the crashyness and loose feeling of my suspension? I would like to learn something here as I am not that mechaniclly inclined (nice way to put it). I guess if they were bad it would be the same as not having any "cushion" between the mounting points thus the hard impact over bumps. This may be connected to what I am experiencing.
I think so. Movement is bad. Everything on the front end is tied together in some way. If there is engine or trans movement than your suspension is less effective at doing it's job.
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Old 05-18-2009, 09:10 AM   #13
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I will start there.

Again thanks Jameson and others for your help. Much appreciated and great to get a second, third, forth etc. opinion on things.
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Old 05-18-2009, 09:36 AM   #14
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if you have bad transmission / engine mounts your oil pan could be sitting on teh subframe which will certainly cause some crashing/car falling apart sounds.
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Old 05-18-2009, 11:20 AM   #15
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I would get the anti roll bar, and steering rack and clamp first and save for the brace later it definitly makes the handling acceptable. Not that much invested and it will help. What tires are on it? I never really thought the saab was awful though, i would check the mounts too.
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Old 05-18-2009, 12:10 PM   #16
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i have poly: tranny, engine mounts, poly control arms, poly bushings, steering rack&brace and 22mm ARB. Come to South Boston if you want to compare how your car feels like with those mods.
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LOL. Try similar but in a CV. Suspension is mint, but I'm sure the body does a bit of moving around.

What mileage are you at? Im at 132xxx and EVERY rubber part I have replaced was in poor shape.
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Old 05-18-2009, 12:40 PM   #17
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I just ticked over 100k. I am sure the mounts are bad. I think I want to get those sorted and then move onto the other basic mods (ARB, steering rack brace and clamp, 6pt. After that, I may just try and live with it unless it is unsafe in any way.

It isn't horrible under normal driving at all. My observations are as follows:

1. stock "Sport suspension" - I def feel the firm ride offered by a sport suspension with no benefits haha (leans over corners, long sharp turns and then a sudden dip from going over a bridge? whoaaa hold on
2. over rough pavement it just seems real bumpy, loose, like everything is connected but only tightened half way
3. weight shift while on/off gas, ex. give it a bit of gas in 1st or second, feels like engine moves in place and moves toward rear of car, then the rest of the car catches up (probably engine.tranny mounts)
4. feel alot of bumps or little road indentations even on what "looks" to be a smooth road, i know it should be a firm ride but EVERYTHING really seems to be transfered through to my body.
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Old 05-18-2009, 12:48 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LB Viggen View Post
1. stock "Sport suspension" - I def feel the firm ride offered by a sport suspension with no benefits haha (leans over corners, long sharp turns and then a sudden dip from going over a bridge? whoaaa hold on
2. over rough pavement it just seems real bumpy, loose, like everything is connected but only tightened half way
3. weight shift while on/off gas, ex. give it a bit of gas in 1st or second, feels like engine moves in place and moves toward rear of car, then the rest of the car catches up (probably engine.tranny mounts)
4. feel alot of bumps or little road indentations even on what "looks" to be a smooth road, i know it should be a firm ride but EVERYTHING really seems to be transfered through to my body.
This sounds like a description of a Saab chassis.
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Old 05-19-2009, 04:23 PM   #19
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Nobody has chimed in raving about the Koni kit yet ?? I was hoping to hear how a sportier sport suspension was working out for those guys.

As for the motor mount, I had to jack the engine up an inch and a half just to see the bolt. It was bad.
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Old 05-19-2009, 05:26 PM   #20
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Nobody has chimed in raving about the Koni kit yet ?? I was hoping to hear how a sportier sport suspension was working out for those guys.
See post #9
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