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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 05-31-2012, 09:37 PM   #1
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Lowering Springs question???

I've been interested in lowering my viggen just a little......1-1.5", and was curious about the stock struts and dampeners on the viggen. I read that you can put Eibach, H&R, Hirsch, etc. lowering springs on stock viggen suspension components.....any truth to that? I'm sure you could do it, but does it add any noticeable stress to stock struts?

I know a lot cars can't take lower springs on stock struts. Thought maybe because it was a viggen and it had the stiffened lowered springs and firmer dampeners stock it could possibly take some lowering springs without buying the complete set-up(which I eventually plan to get when the time is right).

Just wanted to see if there's anybody that has tried this with their viggen. Thanks!
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Old 06-01-2012, 04:45 AM   #2
 
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If your stock dampers are still in good shape, you can add lowering springs without too much problem. The only issue is that the increased spring rates will accelerate the wear on the dampers.

If your stock dampers were getting tired, or have >150K on them, then it's a good idea to replace them.
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Old 06-01-2012, 05:14 AM   #3
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You may want to look around, too... I think most aftermarket springs are only marginally lower than viggen springs. (save the $$?)

(this is why you'd be able to use stock shocks/struts, though)
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Old 06-01-2012, 05:30 AM   #4
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^ This.

You may not drop that much more. See a thread called "spring height survey" at saabcentral.com for some measurements on 9-3's. You will end up where everyone else does - that is, the Viggen geometry is exactly the same as all other 9-3's so whatever a set of Eibach or Koni's will drop you is the same for a 9-3 or 9-3 Viggen.

The Viggen struts will handle stiffer springs since the Viggen is already 10/25% stiffer in stock form. However, somewhere around 75-100K miles the fronts have died or will die. A good set of Koni's (my preference) or Bilsteins would be in order for an upgrade on anything but a very low mileage car if you are changing springs. Note that Koni was running a serious sale as of May but it may end at any time. You can order direct from their site or through a retailer.

Google for some spring threads here and at saabcentral.com for experience with different combos of springs and struts.
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Old 06-01-2012, 05:59 AM   #5
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You could pick up an extra set of Viggen springs, and experiment with cutting a short section out ( e.g. 1/4 coil) until you reach your desired lowness.
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Old 06-01-2012, 08:01 AM   #6
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I'm at 112k and almost positive the struts were replaced by the previous owner.

Definitely going to look over the threads on SC and get some comparisons to the stock viggen springs. Didn't really think about aftermarket lowering springs being similar to viggen springs. Makes sense though.

My friend and his dad(30+ year saab technician) cut the springs on one of their SPG's. Turned out really good. Don't think they cut that much off. I'd consider that an option on an extra set of viggen springs but definitely need to do my homework before attempting. Wouldn't wanna do a half ass job on that project.
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Old 06-01-2012, 08:09 AM   #7
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The thing about stock Viggen springs is that they point the car nose-down at a pretty good rake. Aftermarket levels things out and drops the rear more than the front..

Viggens start out with a lower ride height compared to the rest of the lineup, but the effect of aftermarket lower springs is that you actually gain a little clearance going lower, but more level, because the nose of the car sticks out so far (at least until the Koni's springs "settle" lol). I'd recommend the stock Eibachs and stop there.
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Old 06-01-2012, 06:50 PM   #8
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Clarifying my post above a little... you will end up at the same HEIGHT as any other 9-3 on the same springs; you won't end up with the same DROP that people report (standard 9-3 drops more, Viggen drops less because it's already dropped.). So Koni springs on a 9-3, or a Viggen, give you the same height from the ground.

Note that cutting springs also stiffens them and lowers them by roughly a linear percentage (not exactly, but the calcs get deep if you want to do it by the book). So if you cut 10% of the active coils, you roughly stiffen the spring by 10% and drop 10%. Or, with a 9-3, there are roughly 5 active coils in front - cut one off and you stiffen the car 20% and you lower it roughly the same amount. So if the compressed Viggen spring sits at 5" tall, you'd lose 1" of height at the same time you stiffen it 20%.

I'd go with what Drew said - try the Eibach springs. Although the car will flatten a bit an may clear obstacles better, I think that will put you down at 4" of ground clearance at the front once they settle. That isn't much for a daily driver. If you don't like it you could start cutting coils.
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Old 06-01-2012, 08:03 PM   #9
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Definitely some good info Bob, really appreciate it. It probably wouldn't be a bad idea to pick up a set Eibachs and start from there. My friend does have a set Viggen springs(60k) he'd give to me for free. Thought I'd possibly try something with them.

This is my desired goal.....

stock


lowered
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Old 06-02-2012, 01:12 AM   #10
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Your goal height is attainable with most aftermarket springs, at least in the rear - those are 18s, right? My vig came down about an inch in the rear on koni/vogtland, maybe 3/4 in the front.
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Old 06-02-2012, 06:58 AM   #11
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^^yeah, 18's.......you should post a side view of yours. i'm curious what it looks like.
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Old 06-02-2012, 07:53 AM   #12
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Not the best pic, but here's where my Vig is on 17's and un-cut Eibachs. I had the spring set on another car before installing on this Viggen so they have probably 150k mostly highway miles on them.

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Old 06-02-2012, 09:12 AM   #13
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I agree the stock dampers should work ok, provided they are relatively new. I switched from stock Viggen springs to Eibachs, and to me it felt the Eibachs might even be a little softer than stock, at least in the rear. I don't have numbers to prove that, though.

That said, I'd save up and get some good dampers to go with your new springs. I bought my Viggen almost brand new, and even way back then I always thought it felt oversprung and underdamped. Meaning, it had a good bit of impact harshness but then too much body lean and motion the harder you pushed. The Eibachs with Konis kind of reversed that sensation.

Good luck.
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Old 06-02-2012, 03:29 PM   #14
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drew in Houston View Post
Not the best pic, but here's where my Vig is on 17's and un-cut Eibachs. I had the spring set on another car before installing on this Viggen so they have probably 150k mostly highway miles on them.

Great pic that shows the way the lowering springs eliminate the front to back rake...IMO, the slight hit to looks is more than made up by the improved handling.
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Old 06-02-2012, 06:10 PM   #15
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^^yeah, that looks great! are those eibachs on stock struts or other?

first viggen I ever saw was monte carlo, great looking car drew!
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Old 06-03-2012, 07:23 PM   #16
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Thanks guys. I like it; bought it for $570 after the previous owner (friend of mine) hit a mounted spare coming at him on the highway. It was just short of totaled so the title's clear and, unrelated to the accident, it turned out to have some bent valves too. Looked like money shift at some point. So the previous owner got out of some major engine repairs and I got a Viggen that needed some work but for cheap. One of these days I may paint the front bumper skin, or not. After I got it on there I started liking how the matte black plastic looks, don't have to worry about any rock chips too lol.

It's on Koni yellows, they work well with the Eibachs. I've never tried aftermarket springs with stock dampeners so can't comment on that.
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Old 06-04-2012, 07:32 AM   #17
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This LB vig is running Koni shocks and Eibach springs on 18" wheels:

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