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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
While installing my new to me wheels from a G5, I discovered the source of my alignment issues. I'd just noticed that my left front tire was wearing a little unevenly. Luckily there's some tires I don't care about on the wheels now, so I can toast them. Anyway, I looked around underneath, and both front ball joints have broken boots. That would explain the creak I get over bumps, since I checked the strut mounts and they're ok for now.

Is there some sort of write up on the web, or someone on here that would be willing to guide me through the process? I'm sure I can do it, but a second set of eyes and more knowledge certainly won't hurt. Also, where should I get the control arms from? I know eeuro's stuff is usually decent, but it can't hurt to ask. Any other parts I should replace while I'm under there? Not on an unlimited budget, so I'd like to just do the essentials and save the rest for later if I can.
 

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Common wisdom is don't get scantec arms. If you google platonoff guide you will find a website with a treasure trove if Saab diy tutorials, I'm sure control arms are there. If you can't find it I will get you the site when I get home.

Depending on ur budget maybe get the arms from genuine Saab with the poly bushings already installed.
 

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spgproject has installed these Nordics on a family member's car and my '01 9-3. He said the only thing that differs on them from the Genuine Saab ones is the box they come in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ok, so at least Nordic is safe. That's good to know. I'd looked at those, but wasn't sure. This is the sort of job I don't care to do again for a while, at least not on the same care.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So should I replace any other bushings, etc, whilst under the car? I'm going the order the poly ARB bushings that GS sells, since mine look gross and they're only $12. Going to do the links too, since I've had some break on other cars when they get old and you try to remove them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I know you can get the bushings already installed. I meant the sway bar/ARB bushings. Those are a separate set. I've no interest in plunking $400+ into control arms at the moment, as the budget isn't there.
 

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sorry i posted before your post had gone through so i didnt see it.

no experience with the arb bushings but supposedly they stop the creaking when it gets cold...i think.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
sorry i posted before your post had gone through so i didnt see it.

no experience with the arb bushings but supposedly they stop the creaking when it gets cold...i think.
No worries. I had poly motor mounts on my old jeep, and they were so stiff they rocked the vehicle to the side when I revved it. However, I doubt the difference will be quite as extreme in this case. Poly is stiffer, and I live on a nasty dirt road, so I imagine they may make some noise. However, I doubt I'll hear it until I get to pavement. Wish they'd put more gravel down, sliding around corners is fun.
 

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I ordered the "oem" ones on eBay for 160 for the set and they have been great so far. Only a couple thousand miles so far though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well then BurnsSide42 and laxian55, I think you picked a winner. I'll give those a try soon. Anything else you'd recommend I do while I have the car apart? Keeping in mind I want to stay under $400 for the job if possible, since lack of excess funds was my reason for not doing the GS arms with full poly.
 

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Check your tie rod ends for play. I'd replace all bushings with poly while your there. But I think you were already planning that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Sway Bar End Links - they will probably break when you try to loosen them.
Yeah I thought about that. Worked at a shitty tire shop for a few months, saw those break everyday. Probably due in part to the caliber of employees they had. Im certain mine are original, as everything I could see under there seemed to have SAAB stamped on it. 150k miles on it, Im somewhat impressed. My old Subaru wore out faster.
 

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I know a few members on here will bitch and moan about them - but honestly they are built as well as OEM, if anything I think they are better built. I have installed them in a few customer cars as well as our previous 9-3 and I have NEVER had a problem with one to date. They are a nice lesser prices option over OEM.
I'm no expert on this topic, but I've discussed it with people that know more about it than myself. It was explained to me that some OEM parts may very well be lower quality because the OEMs that fabricate them only need to do so within a certain specification given by the auto-manufacturer. Whereas some aftermarket parts made by the same company will up the quality so people will actually want to buy them, and since they aren't being sold by dealers, they are a lot cheaper.

I'm not saying this holds true with all parts on all cars or anything, and there a lot of bad aftermarket parts out there, but OEM isn't the end-all for high quality parts because there really is no incentive for them to be a really high quality (just enough to be within spec, and at least out-last the warranty). Most people take their car to a shop to fix it, and most will probably reluctantly accept the parts costs.

Careful discretion when purchasing parts I guess would be the lesson?
 

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I just did mine earlier this year. I got mine from gen saab though. Reasoning behind that was it was easier for them to press out the bushings for me since my car was apart then take a set to a place and have them do it. I had already bought the poly bushings a year or two ago when I had my '96, they just never made it on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I just did mine earlier this year. I got mine from gen saab though. Reasoning behind that was it was easier for them to press out the bushings for me since my car was apart then take a set to a place and have them do it. I had already bought the poly bushings a year or two ago when I had my '96, they just never made it on.
Still have those bushings that you never installed? If so, I'd happily take them off your hands and get them pressed into some new arms. Would be cheaper than paying GS for the same service.

Actually after swapping out wheels, I can't feel anything through the steering wheel. So I'm thinking most of my rough steering feel was bent wheels, but the joints are still obviously done. Those boots have been cracked for a while Im sure, and the fact that the one wheel had different wear on the tire leads me to believe this. Oh that and random creaks and pops from that vicinity.

Just wish it wasn't so damn cold right now. I can't exactly do this indoors where Im at, and the driveway is not very appealing when its 30 degrees and windy.
 

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Still have those bushings that you never installed? If so, I'd happily take them off your hands and get them pressed into some new arms. Would be cheaper than paying GS for the same service.

Actually after swapping out wheels, I can't feel anything through the steering wheel. So I'm thinking most of my rough steering feel was bent wheels, but the joints are still obviously done. Those boots have been cracked for a while Im sure, and the fact that the one wheel had different wear on the tire leads me to believe this. Oh that and random creaks and pops from that vicinity.

Just wish it wasn't so damn cold right now. I can't exactly do this indoors where Im at, and the driveway is not very appealing when its 30 degrees and windy.
The bushings are in the new GS ones that I bought and on the 9-3.

If you can, pull the arm out and move the ball joint. If it is still a little stiff but moves smoothly, then you can probably just reboot them. If they feel a little gritty or move real easily, then they are probably toast.
 
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