Mixing Front Strut Brand/Type with Rear Shock Brand/Type - The Saab Link Forums

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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 10-31-2009, 11:44 AM   #1
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Question Mixing Front Strut Brand/Type with Rear Shock Brand/Type

This is for my 2001 9-3 Vert:

Goal is to have a solid ride with overall comfort the main priority. Obviously the Bilstein Sports are more geared toward a performance type of setup, but since no one seems to want the ones I have for sale, I may well use them.

Question:

1) With use of the Bilstein Sports Struts up front, do I go with a used/less miles OEM spring or go aftermarket?

2) Do I use a used, but low miles OEM rear shocks OR go with Bilstein Sports for the rears?


I'm trying to eliminate costs as much as possible while also having a secure and comfortable ride. If you had new Front Bilstein Sport Struts, but you needed to get new or lightly used Rear Shocks put on due to worn out Rear Shocks, what would you do in this position?


Thanks for the help, ideas, and contributions!
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Old 10-31-2009, 12:55 PM   #2
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You can mix Konis and OEM shocks because of the adjustability with the Konis to better match rebound and dampening. I would not have a mix of OEM/Bilstein because it will upset the balance. I would go with either but in a complete set, and getting them new will mean you will go that much longer till the next time you need to replace them over installing used parts.
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Old 10-31-2009, 02:59 PM   #3
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i was thinking about doing konis up front for the adjustablity and blistien sports in the rear. saves a little money. i dont think i would mix the blistiens and stock balance of the car would be off
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Old 10-31-2009, 03:44 PM   #4
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I ran a 9-3 w/ the following setups:

Stock OEM springs all round (se springs)+ Bilstein Sports in the rear == weird, dippy curves when turning, obviously the fronts were not as solid as the rears. It was strange...

Stock OEM springs all round (se springs) + Bilstein Sports front AND rear. Car handled very well, but was a bit 'intense' and choppy on choppy pavement; like to skitter around when having bad patches of rough pavement, but fine on nice curves / solid road.

Viggen springs all around + Bilstein sports front and rear -- Car was *mint*. Made it a little smoother than the above setup, and car stuck to the ground very well on the above mentioned choppy road surfaces. It hugged the road *very* well on a set of 17" GF wheels + poly bushes. (and 22mm rear arb)...

I'm not sure what to tell you as far as mixing shocks, but I *loved* my Bilstein sports all around, and the fronts are far more expensive than the rears, as you may have discovered.

Either way, I suggest you either get a, aftermarket lowering springs, or b, viggen springs that lower a little, but just provide a firmer spring...

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Old 10-31-2009, 05:29 PM   #5
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My setup is Koni shocks all the way around, and new OEM springs. It handles great in my opinion, although I really want to lower it again.
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Old 10-31-2009, 09:16 PM   #6
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Sounds like I'm going the Bilstein route with OEM until I can get some Viggen or something similar springs.
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Old 11-02-2009, 07:14 AM   #7
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Do you have Bilstein Sports or HD? The Sports are really designed to work with a lowering spring (shorter stroke) and the HD's are fine with OEM springs (really just an OEM damper that is slightly firmer, beefier in construction).

Running a firmer damper up front versus a softer rear will increase terminal understeer some, but I think the overall driving dynamics will not be unstable or twitchy in any way.

You can buy Bilsteins individually, it may just make more sense to buy a pair of Bilsteins for the rear too.
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Old 11-02-2009, 11:00 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewtide View Post

Stock OEM springs all round (se springs) + Bilstein Sports front AND rear. Car handled very well, but was a bit 'intense' and choppy on choppy pavement; like to skitter around when having bad patches of rough pavement, but fine on nice curves / solid road.
I had very similar results when I had Koni shocks/struts all around, and OEM base 9-3 springs. I can easily say the ride was garbage, very skittery and the car never felt all that planted. Adding the Koni springs to the mix really helped the ride.
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Old 11-02-2009, 11:16 AM   #9
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I have the Koni setup, springs and dampers- they call it their "sport kit".

I love it, except for the fact that my car likes to eat front struts for some reason...
I highly recommend this setup, although it might be out of your low cost price range.

I have full poly bushings, Quaife, 22mm ARB and the thing sticks to the road like a porsche. The adjustable feature on the Konis is what sold me.

Full soft is near, possibly softer than stock, while full firm may rattle out your fillings on a bad road; but I find it a fair trade off for the impressive handling. A middle setting is great for daily driving- firmer than stock, but not harsh. The best part is 3 minutes, and a few turns and you can change from soft to firm and anywhere in between.
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