More Viggen DIY – installing a rear anti-roll bar

Mike900 is a Viggen owner living in Melbourne, Australia, and he’s been kind enough to let us sit in on a few of his recent DIY adventures. This fix actually happened around a month ago, but preparations for the Frankfurt show got in the way of me posting it straight away.
Previous installments included acquiring all his bits, and installing the steering rack clamp and brace.
My thanks to Mike for the photos and writeup. I’m going to have to get me one of these for the Monte pretty soon 🙂
And it should be noted that whilst Mike owns a Viggen, the mods that he’s doing are standard fare for all Saab 900/9-3 models, from 1994-2002.

——
It’s been about a week since I’ve installed (and been delighted with) the new steering rack clamp and brace. Having had enough time to get used to the new feel of the car, I figured it was about time to get cracking on the next step in the process…… the new 22mm Rear Anti-Roll Bar, or ARB for short. This part was bought from Taliaferro Saab in the USA – www.genuinesaab.com
A little about the product:
22mm refers to the diameter thickness of the bar, and is the default size aftermarket ARB sold by Taliaferro. It is also the most popular size for the NG900 and 9-3 models. Taliaferro are also able to produce other sizes ranging from 19mm up to 25mm to suit your specific needs where applicable. There is a very helpful and informative description on their product page here – as well as a great article written by Nick Taliaferro about the trial & testing phase when designing their ARB here.
This bar is thicker than the standard piece that comes with your Saab, and while the ARBs purpose is mainly to reduce the amount of body roll present while driving, it also improves other handling aspects too. The part comes in a silver powder coat (a form of painting), cost $90 USD, and would have also come with free shipping if I had lived in the USA. It comes with a very clear set of instructions which are easy to follow too….. it even had a few colour pictures.
You could easily do this installation using only the instructions supplied, so I’ll breeze through the installation and focus on a few of the easily solvable problems I had. As previously with the steering clamp & brace I’ve uploaded a bunch of extra pictures, in higher quality and each with descriptions on Flickr to save Swade some bandwidth – http://www.flickr.com/photos/mike900/sets/72157622218582355/ (but you can click any of the images below to enlarge and see normal res versions – SW)
Here are the parts as delivered, the bar itself with four nuts and bolts:
ARBPic1.jpg

My Installation experience:
This was FAR easier than installing the steering rack clamp and brace, and took 45 minutes from beginning to end including photos. If I had to compare the level of difficulty to something, I’d say this was no more involving than changing a wheel after a flat tyre. Really, really easy from beginning to end. In fact the only problem I had was nothing to do with the product at all…… it was the Viggen body kit that was the main obstacle. Let me explain.

Read moreMore Viggen DIY – installing a rear anti-roll bar

Mike900 does more Viggen DIY – installing a steering rack clamp and brace

Mike900 – an Australian Viggen owner – is currently doing some upgrades to this Saab 9-3 Viggen and he’s invited us to join him on the ride.

Part 1
involved him getting all the bits together and fitting the new center armrest and billet aluminium oil cap.
Part 2 is a much more complex job – fitting a new steering rack clamp and brace. This magic bit of kit will eliminate most of the average 9-3 owner’s torque steer problems. If you’re curious, read on.
You can also see bigger and clearer photos at Mike’s Flickr account

——
DIY Part 2 – Steering rack clamp & brace
You can find a tonne of comments about the steering rack clamp and brace on the web. I’m willing to bet you that every one of those comments is positive, and I’ll tell you now that all the praise is justified. It is just the prettiest, simplest, most rewarding, most effective, most brilliant and wonderful piece of automotive engineering I think I’ll ever know…..EVER!
I am thrilled with the difference it has made, and I doubt the feeling will die down any time soon. I was a little worried going into this installation that I was going to be disappointed with the end results……. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
I’ll share some thoughts on the effect of this great part later on, but for now, let’s get to the installation.
Let me start off by stating anybody is capable of doing this installation, it was not without a few minor difficulties though. It will require some effort and patience, it can be fiddly and frustrating at times, but it is absolutely within the average non-mechanical persons’ capabilities. I am not a trained mechanic, it’s entirely possible that a Saab technician will point out my mistakes, but everything I have done was either from the printed instructions I received with the parts, or from the wonderful technical forums at www.saabscene.com and www.saabcentral.com.
The entire job took 2.5 hours from beginning to end, from the time I walked into the garage to when I took it out for a victory test drive. That time also included my stuffing up several times on a few steps, before working out how to make it work on the 3rd or 4th attempt. If you learn from my mistakes you could do this in half the time or less.
This is the location of the torque steer inducing monster deep within every Saab NG900 & 9-3 engine bay. Sadly, the loose grip of that little metal band with rubber lining allows the steering rack to slide horizontally left and right, while the squashy rubber lining permits flexing backward and forward, as well as upward and downward. This permits slight movements in the wheel angle causing sloppiness and torque steer:
RackClamp1.jpg
Here’s what I’m installing in its place, blue bit is the clamp, long silver bit is the brace. The clamp will hold the steering rack firmly to there’s no sliding or flexing, while the brace adds further support by connecting the unit to the nearby wheel arch:
RackClamp2.jpg

Read moreMike900 does more Viggen DIY – installing a steering rack clamp and brace

Mike does DIY on his Viggen – We follow

Mike900 is a relative newcomer to SaabsUnited but he’s certainly made his presence felt with some contributions via comments. I’ve been corresponding with him a little via email, and when he said he was going to attempt some DIY work on his Viggen, I suggested it might provide some good value for readers here.
Personally speaking, I’m no wrench guy, so I always like to see what others are doing and get inspired to pick up the tools myself. Maybe there’s some more of you out there like that?
First, an introduction. The name is Mike900 on site, but he’s working on a Viggen. So where does the 900 come into things? Well, Mike’s not only blessed with the craziest car in Saab’s history (the Viggen), he’s also got a very nice classic 900 Aero:
MikesSaabs.jpg
These are the bits he’s purchased to install on the car (along with a Haynes manual for some helpful advice…)
MikesBits1.jpg
And of course, the bits arranged in Viggen formation 🙂
MikesBits2.jpg
So what have we got here?

  • There’s a new rear anti-roll bar
  • A sterring rack clamp and brace
  • A center armrest
  • A Haynes Saab 9-3 manual
  • Powerflex inner & outer bushes for the front control arm
  • Billet aluminium Viggen oil cap and gear lever knob

The parts we all sourced from either Parts for Saabs, or Taliferro. Mike also picked up some jackstands locally to help with elevation and a flouro lamp for visibility.
These only arrived in the last few days, so Mike’s done the easy bits first. We’ll come back with more play-by-play information when he tackles the dirtier jobs later.
For the moment, though, here’s the armrest being put into place:

It feels quite well made for the price, and has genuine squishy leather on top. The lid can be slid forward to gain access to the storage area within, while at the same time doubling as an arm rest. Both the old original lid and the new arm rest have a little bit of flex in the plastic, so I just carefully stretched the attached edges off the little button/hinge to remove the old lid. Then the armrest was installed by stretching the outer edges over the hinge/button until it clicked into place.
.
Here’s the new armrest with the little hinge/buttons visible –

MikesArmrest1.jpg

Underneath the lid is a storage bin, which is lined with thick felt…..no more rattling coins! Below is a photo from the front, showing the clearance over the hand brake lever
.
The arm rest only comes in Beige or Grey. The photograph tends to emphasise the colour difference between the grey colour of the unit and black of the seats. In person it is far less noticeable, and still matches the grey colour of the rest of the centre console. I went for a quick drive around the block and the armrest feels very comfortable in its position. If they had made it in black I would have bought it, but I still think it looks great as it is.

MikesArmrest2.jpg

The other bit I installed quickly was the billet aluminium Viggen oil cap. It’s a straight swap out with the girly original yellow unit, and was very simple to do. Just remove the dipstick component from the original by hand, no tools required, and insert it into the aluminium one.
.
Here’s a shot of the new cap installed in the engine bay….. which now looks rather dull by comparison, and in need of a wash

MikesCap.jpg
——
As I mentioned, we’ll come back with more instalments of Mike’s DIY wrenching adventures.
My mechanic said fitting that steering rack clamp and brace can be a mongrel of a job, so I’m looking forward to hearing about that one 🙂
And I might have to check out one of those anti-roll bars for my Monte, too…….

Fitting an air filter to my Monte Carlo

I’ll return to all the news stuff shortly, but for a moment I’d like to get to some more home-based stuff – the reason why sites like this actually exist – the joy of driving and playing with our Saabs.
The latest little enhancement to my Monte Carlo occurred last weekend and it’s one that I’m very pleased with.
Last month I purchased this BSR/Speedparts air filter kit from Elkparts. Being July, it took a little time to arrive as most of Sweden shuts down for the summer holiday. It arrived eventually, though, and I’m very pleased it did.
The instructions that come with the filter have apparently improved in the last few years, but are still pretty brief. It’s not a difficult job, but here’s my own step-by-step process.
I’ve finished it off with a little review at the end. Click the images to enlarge.
——
Here’s what we’re working on. The big black box to the left of the engine bay houses the factory air filter.
SaabAirFilter1.jpg
The first thing you need to do is disconnect the filter from the pipe to the right. Just loosen the circular clamp and it’ll slip off pretty easily.
SaabAirFilter2.jpg

Read moreFitting an air filter to my Monte Carlo

Aussie Saabers at the dyno

Some of the Victorian members of the Saab Car Club of Australia took their Saabs down to a local automotive college last weekend. They dynometer was available and it seems they put it to very good use!
Sledswaiting.JPG
That’s a few of the ‘sleds’ waiting their turn before going for a roll.
Steve B provides the following:
——
The guys running the day were really impressed with the numbers put down for our Saabs – they didn’t expect the numbers we ran at all!
We had 9 cars run on the dyno, including two infiltrators: a 1990 Bentley Turbo R and a VW Polo GTI that was chipped.
The dyno was a DynoDynamics unit, so apparently the results will read a little lower than what they would on a dynojet, dynomite dyno, mustang dyno (these three are the ones that are used the most in the US).
All the cars put down some great numbers, with the overall winner being James’ 1997 9000 Aero beast with 283.6 kW (380 whp)! Amazing sled! I was pleasantly surprised with the numbers my Nordic beast put down, too, being the 2nd best on the day!
The results were as follows in order of highest output (best run wheel kW and corrected crank kW output shown):
James’ 1997 9000 Aero T5 Suite Stage 6 (or something like that)
Best at the wheels: 283.6 kW (380 whp)
Corrected crank: 334kW (448 bhp)
Sab’s 2002 9-3 Aero with custom Nordic tune
Best at the wheels: 173.9 kW (233 whp)
Corrected crank: 206.2 kW (276 bhp)
9-3 TurboX
Best at the wheels: 160.5 kW (215 whp)
Corrected crank: 195.3 kW (262 bhp) (although this should read higher as an AWD would have more drivetrain loss)
AlAero’s 2001 9-3 Aero
Best at the wheels: 157.7 kW (211 whp)
Corrected crank: 187 KW (250 bhp)
Roman’s 9-5 Aero (Stock)
Best at the wheels: 150.0 kW (201 whp)
Corrected crank: 178.7 kW (240 bhp)
Peter’s 9000 CS Abbott Tuned
Best at the wheels: 142.5 kW (191 whp)
1996 900 V6 Convertible
Best at the wheels: 106.4 kW (143 whp)
And the two infiltrators:
Troy’s 1990 Bentley Turbo R
Best at the wheels: 148.2 kW (199 whp)
Corrected crank: 183.5 kW (246 bhp)
Callans VW Polo GTi
Best at the wheels: 119.3 kW (160 whp)
——
More pics (including dyno readouts) here.
TXdyno.JPG
sleddyno.JPG
Alexdyno.JPG

ANA Specialbilar – what Alf Persson’s doing now….

Hopefully you’ve read a little bit about what Alf Persson used to do at Saab. He was the head of crash test lab there and demolished over 1500 cars in his time there.

Dave R was in Trollhattan recently and paid a visit to Alf at ANA Specialbilar, where he’s the General Manager. He also runs the SDCC (the Saab Development Center for Car recycling), the people who hold the ultra-cheap parts sale at the Saab Festival.

Here’s Dave’s account of what’s going on at ANA Specialbilar.

——

So begins our tour of ANA Specialbilar…..

Alf is wearing glasses, in shirtsleeves. The chap at the tailgate is Martin Schmidmeir, Workshop Manager.

The chap in the leather jacket is my Saab owning friend, on his first visit to Sweden, Dave J. Dave is a traffic officer in the Metropolitan Police in London. He spends most of his time in a BMW. The Met has over 450 of them, in addition to vehicles of many other makes. (Not that Britain is in any way a Police State!).

Dave was allowed to drive this car, their demonstrator. When we asked if this would be OK, Martin said his sister worked in the police locally, and that as it was raining, they would all be in the office catching up on paperwork. As I don’t have a police license, I sat in the back.

ANAspecbil1.jpg

The demonstrator has been used in several films and TV series, including ‘Wallander’ – though I am not sure if it was the Swedish or BBC versions.

ANAspecbil2.jpg

The workshop is extremely clean and well organised. Behind the Polis vehicles is a Fire Service vehicle and in the background, in for its first service (sorry if there is a pun there), the Saab ‘hearse’

ANAspecbil3.jpg

In this version of the fire brigade vehicle, the front passenger seat has been replaced by a desk for, amongst other items, a laptop and printer.

ANAspecbil4.jpg

Read moreANA Specialbilar – what Alf Persson’s doing now….

Tuesday Nights Snippets – things you’ve got to see

I apologise for the lack of content today, but I’ve had several obstacles to posting pop up today.
The first was real life, as my real job is catching up with me at the moment and demanding a lot of time. The second is our migration to a new ISP at home, which has gone well thankyou very much.
Hopefully we can all get back to normal soon.
——
Welcome back, Eggs!!
——
I’ll take this opportunity to once again remind people of the comments policy at the site. Disagreeing with a post or a comment is fine, but trying to bring the writer down a peg or two just discourages people from contributing.
Respect is the key.
——
The Dude speak thus:
Today, XXXXX could respond with flexibly to high and lows in sales. “This flexibility can’t exist in a Giga-Corporation like YYYYY,” says Dudenhöffer. Moreover, the entire production at YYYYY is based on modular systems that are standardized and leave no space for individuality. And in this chain should now be incorporated XXXXX says the expert. “In the long run”, says Dudenhöffer “the success of XXXXX will be lost, and their income will fall.”
So who are X and Y?
Saab and GM?
No. But some would see the situation as kinda similar.
It’s Porsche and Volkswagen.
Thanks to Joan!
——
Now, something the car enthusiasts amongst you must see: a gallery of many of the cars – not just Saabs – that participated in the Midnight Sun rally last weekend.
It’s huge! Click the images below to enlarge and then view the entire gallery.
MSAudi.jpg
MSVolvo.jpg
MSrally9-3x.jpg
That last photo is of our mate Jorgen and his Saab 96.
I must email him straight after this to see how he finished up.
My thanks the Bengt for the gallery above, and the one below as well!
——
It seems the rain might have put a dampener on proceedings all last weekend in Trollhattan.
The Saab Days festival carried on, however, and it looks like a great collection of a cars and a good time being had by all.
Thanks to Bengt once again. I wish I could have been there as well to collect some stories. Actually, I just wish I was in Trollhattan, period.
SD900Viggen.jpg
If anyone knows some details about the car below, please fill us in via comments. It was at Saab Days so one would assume there’s a relationship there, but I’m struggling to see it at this point.
Curious.
SDUnknown.jpg
——
I’ve had a full weekend a few days with my Monte Carlo since I did the upgrades last week.
I’ve got to say it: this car is now incredibly pleasurable to drive. The power boost, the increased responsiveness, the increased stability with the improved suspension – it’s just absolutely brilliant.
I wish I’d done these upgrades before buying the MX-5. I don’t regret that purchase at all, but I’m sure I would’ve thought about it a bit longer. The Monte is that good now.
I had around a 40km commute to work this morning through along some beautiful country roads and it was a blast to drive.
To anyone contemplating a similar upgrade: it gets a big double thumbs-up from me.

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close