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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Like I posted elsewhere, I recently picked up an 86 900t. One of the first things on my mind is changing the hubs/lug pattern to the later 4x108. I think that the car is desparately in need of a brake upgrade, and aside from putting on new rotors and pads, I don't think there is a way to make these much better (pretty limited by the 4x114.x config.) Plus, I'd have a bit more of a wheel selection.

Is there a common conversion to the later spec? I'd really only be interested in the front at first, and then sourcing some 9000 rotors/calipers. What parts are needed for the conversion?

thanx in advance!
 

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Very easy swap if you have a parts car handy, buying each part as you go along can be a pain.
You’ll need the following
(2) Hubs from a 1988 + 900 (try and stay away from ABS parts)
(2) knuckles from a 1988 + 900 (again stay away from ABS stuff)
Then what ever you want as far as brakes, either 900 or 9000 but you’ll need the caliper bracket from the one you decide to use.
The rear is easy, just the hub from a 1988+ 900, pretty sure the caliper mounting is the same.
I swapped a complete 1988 SPG suspension and brakes into a 1980 900 turbo without any real hang ups…. I did end up changing the outer driver on the axle though……. And swapped out the compete rear axle….
Your biggest hang up is going to be e-brake cables and swapping to a 6 flexible brake line set up vs. a four line set up on the older style 900’s…
 

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well first off for updating the old style brakes you can use hubs, knuckels, drive axles, brake discs, everything from ANY 88-93 saab 900 no matter if it has ABS or not. The only thing that was changed on ABS cars was that a little hole was drilled in order for the sensor to mount on the knuckel, and on the drive axle they have the cut outs so the sensor can read what's going on with the wheel. my 88 has these on it, there is no problem with using parts from a car that HAD ABS on a non ABS car :roll:

in any case, your 86 has the old style disc brakes, but they are ventelated and will stop the car fairly well. If you are not going to be crazy with the car and the calipers are still in good working condition, a new set of discs, pads, drain and fill with DOT 4 fluid (bleed it too ;) ) That will do the car wonders. should stop nice after that...
 

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I just offered my opinion, if he wants to use parts from an ABS car so be it, I look at it this way, when and if it comes to replacing an outer CV joint does he want to replace one without ABS at $87 or replace it with a joint from an ABS car at $147…..
Another thing is yes, the knuckle has a hole for the ABS sensor, wonder what to do with the hole? Leave it and let crap build up in there? Or find a knuckle without a hole and not have to worry about it?
Like I said I shared my opinion only…..
Another (old school) lesson would be to….. "keep it simple" why not stay with one type of set up? Or do you want to have to try and remember down the road when replacing parts…uhm????? What year axle was it? What year hub? Or knuckle????
Stay with simplicity…. One year and no worries……
But I guess from now on I'll keep my opinions to myself……
Hey..... and use this :roll: anytime you want........
 

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from the way you put it, it sounded like you were saying that ABS parts would NOT work at all on a non ABS car :wink:

Sure the prices of NEW parts are higher, but who in their right mind would pay the amount of money saab would want for NEW hubs, knuckles, drive axles, brake discs, calipers, etc when the junk yards are littered with 88-93 C-900's and you could easily get all the parts for the conversion for $50 :lol:

As long as we are on the subject of opinions, it's my opinion that if I saw a 90-93 900 in the junk yard I would not hesitate to grab parts off it because it has ABS.

wonder what to do with the hole? Leave it and let crap build up in there?
I have no idea what you are talking about there... first off, I highly doubt that this could every be a problem even if there was no sensor in there. my solution to it was to leave the ABS sensor in the hole and just snip off the wire right at the sensor… don't see what's so hard about that.

If you want my opinion use what you can find. If you see a 90-93 C-900 there is no reason not to get parts from it. ABS or not, the parts will both work fine regardless of what some peoples ":eek:pinions" are...

but like I already said, if you want to truly keep it simple, just fix the brakes that it has. the 86/87 brakes with vented front discs are not all that bad really.
 

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wow - sounds like the two of you have too many good things to advise - and it's crossing wires - shall we stop the nonsense and just try to help the poor guy out - you both gave excellent points and facts - let's not go about this in the mannor of who is better then the other in how to do things. I agree with both of you on this - but Rhich - just bear with DeLorean - he and I are junk yard pack rats for the Saabs - you know this - we can get almost ANY part for a saab dating back to 1980 upto 1995 in some cases for almost nothing. That is what DeLorean has based his opinion on as goes the getting the parts in the first place. Now - as far as it goes for actually having the brakes and using them - you both are familar with them - both set ups - so I don't need to say anything there. I personally prefer the 88+ brakes because they are more user friendly. They are the more conventional disc brake set up. That's my $0.02. The 86 style has yokes on them which can get hung up bad if no anti seize was used.... and can be a lil more difficuilt to rebuild or work with sometimes. So can we stick to the topic of brakes here now and cease the childness fits.... :roll:
 

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I dont know if anybody mentioned this, but you'll either have to do the back first, or do both at the same time to keep a hand brake. Remember that the 87 and older had the front handbrake, and 88+ had the rear hand brake. If you just did the front, you'd lose your handbrake.
 

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Castor Troy said:
I dont know if anybody mentioned this, but you'll either have to do the back first, or do both at the same time to keep a hand brake. Remember that the 87 and older had the front handbrake, and 88+ had the rear hand brake. If you just did the front, you'd lose your handbrake.
true - but you really don't NEED a handbrake :p I lived without one for most of my driving days... just fixed mine for the 4th time yesturday - so nice to be able to leave a car running and have it sit still :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
At first I was going to completely redo the stock brake system, until I realized that my choice in pads/rotors seems pretty limited to OEM or worse. I figure that since I'll eventually want to upgrade, I can't see the point in spending the money on these guys. And I'm thinking that at ye ole junkyard, the parts for the swap are pretty cheap.

Now, I'm wondering about the local wrecking yards...I don't think there are any pick and pulls left on this side of VA, so I think I'll be making a few trips to PA. Any recomendations? -- or are these heavily guarded secrets :wink:

Thanks for the help!!

Edit -- just realized Tire Rack has a decent selection of pads/rotors; maybe I will do a "temp" fix...
 

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well if you wanna hit a few in the PA area - where about are you planning to be - I or DeLorean could show you a few :p - but some are secrets :lol: We may hafta blind fold you 8) :lol:
 

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BurnsSide42 said:
Castor Troy said:
true - but you really don't NEED a handbrake
Well, you really should install the handbrake. The handbrake on '88+ cars is what keeps the rear brakes' pistons in proper adjustment as the pads wear. Of course, there are also legal and safety issues to consider.

BTW, plenty of people who drive harder than you and I find the older style brakes more than adequate; I know of two rally cars that use them with no problems whatsoever, and one of them uses the older solid rotors (I'm told the vented style are prone to warping). There is a third car, an '83, I believe, that likely uses them as well.

Personally, I did the swap because I didn't like dealing with the front calipers, I already own two other '88+ cars, and because I found a set of nearly-new 9k calipers/rotors at a junkyard for next to no $$.

Last, the ABS and non-ABS CV joints are dimensionally the same; the only difference is the notches for the sensors. The only reason I'd look for a non-ABS donor car is I believe the lines on the rear axle are different for ABS cars--it's truly bolt-on if you get a non-ABS axle. If you do the swap, as a matter of course, swap the CV joionts from side-to-side to get fresh bearing surfaces to run on.

Last last, you can get a full, 6-line set of DOT stainless lines from Group9 for less $$ than a set of stock aftermarket rubber lines from the usual online suppliers.

IMO, for wheel selection, both bolt patterns aren't exactly ubiquitous; swapping to 4x108 won't open up tons of options for aftermarket wheels. If only Saab made 4x100 hubs...

0.02, YMMV
 
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