The Saab 9-3 Aero of the first series, as a relative lightweight and in connection with various Hirsch upgrades, brings sporty driving performance to the road. The Trollhättan Turbo is extremely strong, only the brakes spoil the driving pleasure a bit.
They do not meet the requirements of the constantly growing volume of traffic and are in disproportion to the sporty pull-through values. My 9-3 Aero got for this reason slotted discs from the Orio range. They brought improvement, but could not completely convince.
New EBC brakes in 9-5 Aero format
Reader Àkos took a different approach. We have been in contact for a long time and he was looking for a solution for his 9-3 Aero. After extensive research, he decided to upgrade to aero brakes in the size of the Saab 9-5, which have a diameter of 308 mm.
This was joined by new wishbones with Powerflex bushings, which should further improve handling. The perforated and slotted EBC brakes (Link) and the matching brake pads came from specialist dealers, who were also able to provide detailed advice on the subject.
An additional subframe and a steering rack clamp were already installed. The upgrade of the EBC brakes was carried out by the Saab specialist Michael Reichhold (Link) carried out. It should be noted that a Saab 9-3 Aero OG with new original wishbones feels relatively tight. With additional Powerflex bushings, the chassis becomes even harder by a few degrees, which Àkos also noticed.
And while the 9-3 Aero was now tight and very sporty, a feeling of dissatisfaction remained even after the conversion and plenty of running-in time. The pressure point of the 308 mm brakes was spongy and imprecise, although the braking performance as such was noticeably better.
It began the search for possible causes. Bleeding the brakes and checking for leaks gave no indication. In the following step, the master cylinder was replaced to exclude it as the cause of the error. After extensive test drive no change was noticeable.
Precise braking performance with new ABS pressure pump
The next point was to change the ABS pressure pump, and the Saab immediately delivered a precise pressure point when braking. The brake feel corresponds to that of a well-tuned, modern car. The Saab 9-3 Aero Coupe is now sporty on the road - with brakes that correspond to its driving performance, preferably where there are beautiful mountain roads and high passes to be experienced.
The picture of the article shows the Aero in Obergoms in the canton of Valais, near the Nufenen Pass at an altitude of 2.478 meters.