9-3 steering brace- need some opinions - 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 09-28-2013, 08:54 PM   #1
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9-3 steering brace- need some opinions

I've got a 9-3 that has new strut inserts, ball joints, GS poly bushings and new stock stanchion bushings.

Despite decent ride, I've got a strange "floaty center" feeling at highway speeds. It seems to gently wander side to side.

Alignment was corrected (with toe) after my front end work was completed.

Does any of this sound familiar? Has anyone experienced/resolved this? Does the GS brace resolve issues like this?

I can't see much movement in the rack.

Shout out any ideas!


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Old 09-29-2013, 05:40 AM   #2
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What kind of tires do you have? Size? Brand? Model?
What kind of shape are they in?
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Old 09-29-2013, 07:49 AM   #3
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I know you've stated that the alignment is correct but the symptoms you're describing are are classic to inadequate toe in.

I've installed a rack brace on my 99 Coupe, it appears (wishful thinking??) to have sharpened the steering feel but does nothing to alter the rest of the steering.

Might be worth the effort to use a tape measure to check your toe in, you can get surprisingly close measurements using the sipes parallel to the tire rotation.

If your steering wheel is centered, just make identical (but small) adjustments to each tie rod adjuster. Remember, the adjusters are sided, they rotate in opposite directs to make similar in/out adjustments.

If the measurements look good, it's possible the inner tie rod bushings or outer rod ends are worn but those causes are usually checked for by most alignment techs before putting any wrenches on a suspension.
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Old 09-29-2013, 10:28 AM   #4
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I've attached my alignment print off. What front toe values should I aim for?


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Old 09-29-2013, 12:10 PM   #5
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Attachment 16154

I've attached my alignment print off. What front toe values should I aim for?


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While the numbers are within spec, the toe is near the minimum allowed, particularly on the right and that might account for the wander.

.30 total toe in works out to right at 1/8" difference between the front of the tires and the rears. I think I'd add a bit of toe to the front right tire, maybe a single flat of the right adjuster.
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Old 09-30-2013, 09:42 AM   #6
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What kind of tires do you have? Size? Brand? Model?
What kind of shape are they in?
This, check your tires and all bushings, was car in a wreck, ever?
I run zero toe on my viggen and another car, does not wander at all, sure it wants to go where the grooves are at times, but they do not have a floaty feeling.
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Old 09-30-2013, 03:28 PM   #7
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Do you already have a steering rack brace installed by any chance?

If the cut on an aftermarket rack brace is a little small and the brace is tightened good and snug it's possible to put a kink into the rack tube, or maybe just press in slightly. Then you feel a small bump sort of when the cylinder is in that spot, which makes it feel floaty because it takes a little extra effort to get off that bump. Long shot, hope that's not it, those racks suck to change out, ask how I know lol
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Old 10-01-2013, 03:30 AM   #8
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Where do you live, this isn't a right hand drive car is it as the firewall can crack?
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Old 10-01-2013, 03:02 PM   #9
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You didn't mention the miles... but I'd be thinking outer tie rods - although as Wink mentioned,the alignment tech should check those. Might be worth replacing them and the inner bushings if you have over 70K miles.

If your tires are worn or have a more performance oriented tread, they can follow the road a bit, although you tend to feel that more at lower speeds on roads with ruts and defects. Tire inflation can help with wander issues but won't cure them if it's the tires.
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Old 10-03-2013, 03:04 PM   #10
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Thanks for all of your suggestions. I added some toe-in to both front wheels and the car now has MUCH improved road handling. I really wouldn't have believed the difference would be so great. The car even feels less "rolly poley" in cloverleaf entrance ramps and cornering.

What I have done: (to answer your questions and possibly help those who come accross this thread)

Tires are Yokohama yk580 with excellent tread
Car has never been crashed
LHD, no firewall cracking
Inner tie bushings are refreshed to the Moog purple/violet ones
GS control arm bushings / recent stanchion bushing refresh with stock one
Outer tie links were refreshed about 1 year ago
Recent ball joint refresh (I say buy cheap & insert poly - replace more often)
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