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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 10-01-2011, 04:52 PM   #1
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Raceland Coilovers - Saab development?

For those of you who aren't familiar with anything outside of Saab, Raceland is a company that has been in the US for 3 years and in Europe for I think at least a decade.

Their US branch just happens to be here in Utah and I went to a meet today hosted by them. They generally cater to the likes of Subaru and VW but they also have parts for Mazda, Audi, BMW, etc. One of my friends has an STI and he's all about the whole stance thing, and he's currently testing one of their prototypes. They're still a young company trying to fill all the niches and so they look for locals here to test their product and give feedback. There is also a Mazdaspeed 3 in our group who will be undergoing the same thing this Wednesday.

Coilover kits from them start at right around $300. With suspension - or anything else - you usually get what you pay for. That's the rule of thumb. After speaking with two of their guys for a good half hour today at the meet, they really seem knowledgeable and eager for feedback on all of their products so they can make adjustments to spring rates, firmness of the suspension valving, etc. They are a smaller company and are still working on expanding. I'm a pretty good judge of character and I can tell when someone is just out on a business venture apart from someone who is really looking to make great products.

I started talking to him about Saab. I have never really cared all that much for slamming my car or autoX but I'm rolling on stock suspension and with the way I drive with the amount of power I have available to me, sometimes it can be scary to say the least. They're always looking for more cars to use for product development. He mentioned them starting something back in June even for the Hyundai Tiburon that they're still finishing up.

So to the point - if there is enough interest, it could be worth their time and ours to look into development of a coilover solution for our cars. They told me to ask around, see if I can find an interest in our little community so this is what I'm doing. People on here always complain about price and also how we have such few choices for suspension whereas with Honda, the market is just saturated.
They said they love reaching those little niches such as the Hyundai Tiburons and perhaps even the Saab's.

Is there a fairly moderate-sized group of people on here who would be interested in another suspension solution for their 900/9-3? If it seems like there is enough genuine interest, I'd be more than happy to be the mule. I don't work for them, I'm not advertising or anything. I'm just sick of everyone always complaining about lack of availability but then they're all so unwilling to dish out the cash when it comes down to it. $300-$400 for a set of coilovers is very reasonable. If you have doubts and their product turns out to be crap, then I will be the first to know. For those of you who know me well enough on here, I'm pretty reasonable and sometimes outspoken so I won't have a problem with pointing out any flaws.


So who's in? Anybody?



Tentative list, for count:

1. Drew in Houston
2. comtrang
3. Aero
4. chevyman?
5. messinian900s?
6. pitman
7. upstateViggen
8. tour96se
9. 1995BlueBeast
10. rabbit (SC)
11. byastremski
12. srp
13. s900seT (SC)
14. kennygee (SC)
15. tap804
16. shaner3721 (SC)
17. trollspeed850 (SC)
18. swill424242 (SC)
19. Tan997 (SC)
20. ctviggen (SC)
21. NVSBANDIT (SC)
22. Paul8ex (SC)
23. Shazam (SC)
24. SaabDriver87 (SC)
25. sha-d
26. grkgrl
27. split5s (SC)
28. shift_nah23 (SC)
29. We_sleigh (SC)
30. snowsaab
31. byastremski
32. 'Neil'
33. localized (SC)
34. SPG_GASM
35. LordScania
36. joefro (SC)
37. wren38 (SC)
38. bryn (SC)
39. av_dumitrascu
40. squarl
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Old 10-01-2011, 05:40 PM   #2
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I'm in, depending what the rear setup might look like.

Should be interesting to see what they do with that twist beam rear.
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Old 10-01-2011, 06:15 PM   #3
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On my Miata boards, the Raceland coils seem to be well-accepted as an UBER-cheap suspension option.

As long as people keep their expectations realistic for a $300 set of coils, I see no reason that these would not do well in the Saab community.

As an aside I have a Raceland header on my Miata:


It was $125.

Shipped.


Obviously, welding some tubes together is easier than shocks, but they do know how to come out with a decent cheap product. Compared to say, a RacingBeat header that's $450, I could go through 3 of these things, and still be looking good.


I'd offer my 9-5 for suspension testing as well, hah.
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Old 10-01-2011, 06:37 PM   #4
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I'd be in for a set
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Old 10-01-2011, 06:55 PM   #5
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I asked them if they would be interested in making some coils for us like a year ago and they basically said they don't care about markets that are too niche (eg not money makers).

Too bad if they even do this is wont be in time for me as my new upper mounts just broke and im not going to throw more money down the drain with new ones again. I'm already planning on buying their jetta mk4 setup (ultimo!) and custom fabbing them/the car to fit (rears dont require too much work at all at least) in less than 2 weeks if I can get the measurements I requested them for soon... I'm not fucking paying $800+time to just custom make the fronts, when I can get a half-way decent full coilover setup for less than $400.

As far as quality, they are great for the price. my buddy had em in his legacy wagon that was slammed and it rode better than my saab ever has. they are perfect for those looking to be low and ride decent...not for hardcore autox/roadracing/etc, but I'm sure those types will come and bag on these all day, in the end its just about value.

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Old 10-01-2011, 07:04 PM   #6
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Here is the c&p of the email response I got back in Feburary:

"David,

Sorry but at this time we do not have plans for any Saab production coilovers. While we have had some interest in Saab coilovers we have not had enough at this time to warrant production.

Thank you for the interest.

Davin
Raceland USA"

How much interest, exactly, would be enough? VW interest? cuz thats never gonna happen.
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Old 10-01-2011, 07:31 PM   #7
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I would definitely be interested. I couldn't guarantee that I would buy a set, but at the price point you mentioned there would be a good chance I'd go for it.
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Old 10-01-2011, 07:53 PM   #8
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Well..

As Palmer states, you gotta keep in mind they're ~$300. And just as the gentleman I was mostly speaking with today told me (Cody), they never said that they were $2000 suspension.

He also explained to me that the management was different before and that they were more interested in just getting products out the door, not so much worried for the nitty-gritty/fine-tuning with development.


When I first went up to them and my friend yelled out, "make some for Saab's for this guy," he did kinda imply that there was no market for it but he's not wrong.

Honestly, I bet if we had 50 people who said they would be interested in some coilovers they would take a closer look. As I said with the Tiburons, there really wasn't more than 100 and that was just gathered up from forums.

I don't know if there are 50 people here, on this board, but if enough people email them and bug them about it then they will listen. That's how he put it to me. They get lots of oddball requests and until there are a ton of us emailing them, we're just another one of those.
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Old 10-01-2011, 09:27 PM   #9
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agreed. everyone just email them to get them to make these, even if you wont really buy.

pwease?
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Old 10-01-2011, 09:43 PM   #10
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if its a good product id be in. would all four be 300-400? rebuildable? adjustable? im not into slamming to the ground where it rubs/scrapes but im in for a 1 1/2" to 2" drop. what kind of spring rates? i would need daily springs not too stiff but not to soft.


you should try to contact parts for saabs, genuine saab, performance saabs, and maybe JZW maybe raceland would feel better or make them quicker.

if these are equal to or better than koni/vogtlands i couldnt see them not selling
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Old 10-02-2011, 06:47 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pitman View Post
if its a good product id be in. would all four be 300-400? rebuildable? adjustable? im not into slamming to the ground where it rubs/scrapes but im in for a 1 1/2" to 2" drop. what kind of spring rates? i would need daily springs not too stiff but not to soft.


you should try to contact parts for saabs, genuine saab, performance saabs, and maybe JZW maybe raceland would feel better or make them quicker.

if these are equal to or better than koni/vogtlands i couldnt see them not selling

And this is the part we manage expectations...

-Since it's a coilover shock, and is height adjustable, you set the height.
-not rebuildable
-Stiffer than factory spring rates, but probably not terrible
-No shock adjustment for rebound or damping.

All of that other stuff you mentioned makes a full set of coilovers cost upwards of $1500.
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Old 10-02-2011, 08:51 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Palmer View Post
And this is the part we manage expectations...

-Since it's a coilover shock, and is height adjustable, you set the height.
-not rebuildable
-Stiffer than factory spring rates, but probably not terrible
-No shock adjustment for rebound or damping.

All of that other stuff you mentioned makes a full set of coilovers cost upwards of $1500.
i like how on top of that you were. gj
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Old 10-02-2011, 08:52 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pitman View Post
if its a good product id be in. would all four be 300-400? rebuildable? adjustable? im not into slamming to the ground where it rubs/scrapes but im in for a 1 1/2" to 2" drop. what kind of spring rates? i would need daily springs not too stiff but not to soft.


you should try to contact parts for saabs, genuine saab, performance saabs, and maybe JZW maybe raceland would feel better or make them quicker.

if these are equal to or better than koni/vogtlands i couldnt see them not selling
Quote:
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And this is the part we manage expectations...

-Since it's a coilover shock, and is height adjustable, you set the height.
-not rebuildable
-Stiffer than factory spring rates, but probably not terrible
-No shock adjustment for rebound or damping.

All of that other stuff you mentioned makes a full set of coilovers cost upwards of $1500.
Indeed, the more 'features' the higher the cost. i.e. dampening adjustment.
I was talking to him about spring rates, telling him that the issue most people have with what's available to us now is that the spring rates aren't high enough. He said what they've been doing some extensive research with lately is finding that balance of spring rate and stiffness of the valving of the dampener. I don't remember which other company he mentioned but they were advising that a not-so-high spring rate but a stiffer dampener was what they found to be the key to making a comfortable coilover that still could perform on a track day here and there. So basically, of course they would listen to our feedback once they started development but super stiff springs really isn't their objective. Daily driven, good quality coilover is.


I bet that if we had a large number of people on here bugging them, they would look into it. Start shooting them emails.
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Old 10-02-2011, 08:54 AM   #14
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for comparison, the MK4 jetta rates I think are 350lbs/in in front and progressive 100-150lbs/in-ish rear. The jetta has similar weight, suspension layout, and weight distribution (FWD too after all).

the ultimos are 385lbs in front and 240 out back..which is what I really want, but i would easily take the normal units

i also shot an email to solo-werks, they only make 2 models of coilovers and I would love to pit them against RL for first to market with a solution for us.
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Old 10-02-2011, 08:55 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pitman View Post
you should try to contact parts for saabs, genuine saab, performance saabs, and maybe JZW maybe raceland would feel better or make them quicker.
I'm not sure on the likelihood of this, but I think that if there's just enough shouts from the market/drivers, they will hear us.

I kinda just wanna make a really rough list, not so much so that we could put orders in - development would take at LEAST six months. But just so we have a number, and perhaps a list that I could show them to show that there's interest.

Seriously if you know anybody who wants suspension for their 9-3/NG900, have them stop in.
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Old 10-02-2011, 08:58 AM   #16
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I would be interested in some coilovers
Need to do something to the vigs stock suspension anyways
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Old 10-02-2011, 09:00 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by messinian900S View Post
for comparison, the MK4 jetta rates I think are 350lbs/in in front and progressive 100-150lbs/in-ish rear. The jetta has similar weight, suspension layout, and weight distribution (FWD too after all).

the ultimos are 385lbs in front and 240 out back..which is what I really want, but i would easily take the normal units

i also shot an email to solo-werks, they only make 2 models of coilovers and I would love to pit them against RL for first to market with a solution for us.
Awesome idea, go for it.

As mentioned though, the dampening and not just the spring rate are factors. A good balance between them and an awesome ride is what we want in the end.
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Old 10-02-2011, 09:06 AM   #18
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I went ahead and made a list on the original post just for the hell of it. I'd really like to see this get started.

I'm sure a lot of you have seen this, but a 3D rendering of a REAL lowered Saab:




By the looks of it, I swear our cars were meant to be lowered more than half the cars that actually are. The Viggen body kit looks just perfect, I think, for a slammed Saab. And that's without adding all the extra shit that most other cars have to add like lips and such.

And I'm not even a stance person. I just like to see different things and stanced Saab's are really low in existence.
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Old 10-02-2011, 11:04 AM   #19
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they're junk..had three sets on three diff BMWs...but i'm in anyways!! put me on the list
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Old 10-02-2011, 11:06 AM   #20
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What kind of BMW?

One example, my friend's STI running a prototype of theirs.

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