Weird Experience With Bilstein Sports& Eibach's - 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 11-14-2011, 09:35 PM   #1
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Weird Experience With Bilstein Sports& Eibach's

So, over the summer I basically rebuilt my whole car. In that process I poly bushed every single bushing on the car (including rears) and replaced a lot of other stuff. The major stuff was replaced with the Eibach pro kit and the "wicked hard" Bilstein sports. I have found the car to ride *considerably* smoother than the stock setup. Obviously, big trenches pack more wallop, but regular road imperfections are swallowed up.
The weirdest though is this feeling that the car lost 1000lbs. I liken it to when you have a full, full, full car and then driving right after unloading it; the driving experience is like that of a different car.

It feels like a hovercraft-little up/down, very little lean,~sort of a "gliding" feeling.
Is this normal? I expected a hard ride based on what others told me, like a go-kart, so I am kinda paranoid.
I am eager to hear of what others have experienced with a setup similar to mine.
Thanks,
-Cm
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Old 11-15-2011, 03:34 AM   #2
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Did you get it aligned and did you leave off the plastic under carriage pieces? Bil sports are harsh as hell, had them on my auto-x car and took them off after 6 months and went with HD's, but I don't think it's the shocks.
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Old 11-15-2011, 09:59 AM   #3
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Very funny you should say that but i bought my 9-3 Aero a few months ago and have carried out alot of work over the last few weeks and this is my current spec....

Chassis Mods:
Bilstein B8 shock absorbers
Eibach lowering springs
Steering rack clamp and brace
6 point subframe brace
Powerflex TCA inner and outer bushes
Powerflex Stanchion arm bushes
Powerflex rear axle bushes
Powerflex drop link bushes
Toyo T1R tyres 225/45R17 94Y allround

I also had the Geometry/Alignment set up the day after all the suspension work was carried out and i get the exact same feeling, I was told by alot of people that the B8 shock absorbers would be too hard but infact i think they softer in certain conditions than the standard 10 year old Aero dampers i took off.

It does feel lighter the faster you go especially on the Motorway at 70mph when lane changing. When you turn into a corner at speed it never feels disconnected but you dont get loads of feedback so its a bit strange at 1st, Im getting used to it now and the car has loads of grip with Virtually no bodyroll but i can agree with what you have said.

I dont think its a bad thing, Just takes some getting used to.
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Old 11-15-2011, 10:52 AM   #4
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i always thought the blistein hds were the stiffest. and from my understanding the b8 shocks are made for lowering cars while keeping ride quality.

blistein makes soft shocks and hard ones. you guys bought the soft ones
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Old 11-15-2011, 11:52 AM   #5
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I'm pretty sure bilstein sports are bilstein sports...no, i have yet to get it aligned, though it does seem to track straight and true.
What bonelorry said really captures the feeling; it doesn't have a lot of feedback. What may be true is that I've yet to push it hard enough, but compared the stock setup I feel like I know less through the steering wheel about the outside tire in a turn. The steering does not weight up through corners like it used to; much more "point and shoot".
Honestly, cornering flat is so weird to me compared to stock which leeeeaned and rollllllled.
-Cm
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Old 11-15-2011, 02:05 PM   #6
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Regarding the Bilsteins, The B8 are the most hardcore in the U.K for the 9-3.

The B4 is OEM, The B6 is sports and the B8 is same valving as B6 but with shortened dampers.

The B8 is the best shock absorber you can buy for the 9-3 in the U.K, Far better build quality than the Koni adjustable IMO.

@Cm452, Ive just been out and done a good 40 mile quick drive on some twisties and can confirm that the car is really nice now. I think you get used to the body roll on the stock set up or to put it another way with the stock set up its very easy to find the limits of the chassis.

With the uprated bushes and suspension the car behaves very different and you almost find yourself not pushing it as hard at first, I think its a confidence thing as my friend who has a 9-5 Aero got in my car earlier tonight which he has never dirven before and drove it quickly straight away and was impressed with it.....He has drove alot of 9-3's over the years aswell!
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Old 11-16-2011, 09:29 AM   #7
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With just HDs on stock spring with poly bushings and misc braces, even with snow tires I find that i can easily handle extreme speeds on back roads lots of feed back and a huge amount of confidence in the car compared to before. With stock springs and shocks I would get a loose traction to the rear tires over bumps.
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Old 11-16-2011, 07:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bonelorry View Post
Regarding the Bilsteins, The B8 are the most hardcore in the U.K for the 9-3.

The B4 is OEM, The B6 is sports and the B8 is same valving as B6 but with shortened dampers.

The B8 is the best shock absorber you can buy for the 9-3 in the U.K, Far better build quality than the Koni adjustable IMO.

@Cm452, Ive just been out and done a good 40 mile quick drive on some twisties and can confirm that the car is really nice now. I think you get used to the body roll on the stock set up or to put it another way with the stock set up its very easy to find the limits of the chassis.

With the uprated bushes and suspension the car behaves very different and you almost find yourself not pushing it as hard at first, I think its a confidence thing as my friend who has a 9-5 Aero got in my car earlier tonight which he has never dirven before and drove it quickly straight away and was impressed with it.....He has drove alot of 9-3's over the years aswell!
I'm fairly sure I have the B8's, which are "sports" and NOT HD's. The shocks I have are quite short and were designed for lowering springs-to my knowledge the HD's were not and in many cases raise the car a tad or leave it at stock height.
But yes, I think not feeling the visceral limit of the chassis is throwin me off.
-Cm
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Old 11-16-2011, 08:04 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by bonelorry View Post
The B8 is the best shock absorber you can buy for the 9-3 in the U.K, Far better build quality than the Koni adjustable IMO.
What I like about the Konis is that you don't have to worry about picking the right shock before you can test drive them... you just install them and balance the car to match your mods and preferences, changing it as your mods or preferences change.

I've driven 'steins, and I like them, but I love adjustability.
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Old 11-21-2011, 06:23 AM   #10
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I have your exact setup... Bilstein Sports w/ Eibach Pro Kit and I LOVE it. I don't think it rides too harshly at all. I have no idea how to describe the feeling; my guess would be that your car is fine. The steering wheel response is increased and roll is decreased to the point where it might feel "lighter" depending on how you describe a feeling of weight.
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