Upgrade - better brakes for the Saab 9-3 Aero

I like the 9-3 Aero, the last hatchback Saab from Trollhättan. I like driving it, especially on longer journeys. But something bugged me from the start. It's the brakes that are undersized in the series. Which is no trifle. Good brakes are also essential for older cars.

Associated with the series brakes there was always a feeling of “throwing anchor”. Step in, say drop the anchor, and wait for something to happen. Not tingly, and in the long run stressful, especially in dangerous situations an unnecessary thrill. The first remedy was to switch to slotted brakes from the Orio Germany range. A clear improvement, but not the solution to the problem. Because the “throwing anchor” effect remained.


Upgrade - better brakes for the 9-3 Aero

Last winter, the realization matured that only an upgrade program would solve the problem. The 16″ brake system from the 9-5 OG Aero, which is also used in the Saab 9-3 Viggen, should finally solve the problem. Also against the background that I want to drive the 9-3 Aero for as long as possible with fun, but without unnecessary risk, an understandable decision.

At the start of the season in March, the 9-3 came after Frankfurt. Major inspection, TÜV and AU, and the upgrade program. Then, after two days of the expected call, the Saab can be picked up. And once again excitement like a little child getting new toys. The first look is fun. The brake disc fills the space in the rim and looks more impressive than the little thing from the series. But how does the toy drive?

The first impression is unspectacular. The Saab brakes now, absolutely calmly, without the notorious anchor effect. This is reflected in city traffic by the fact that an unusual distance of an additional car length opens up between Saab and the vehicle in front when the car is stationary. You get used to it quickly, after a few days everything is normal, the stress is gone and the car drives and brakes really effortlessly.

It's more spectacular on the freeway, and especially when you unintentionally have to brake hard. The 9-3 Aero decelerates very sustainably, and if necessary, several times in a row.

Looks good: 16 "brake system from the 9-5 floor
Looks good: 16 ″ brake system from the 9-5 floor.

Better brakes for the 9-3 Aero - project accomplished

The brakes are now as they should be on a modern car. Precise, stable, with a clear pressure point. Winning driving pleasure and safety, the Saab is as it should have been from the start. A lot has changed on my 9-3 in the last 5 years. The "Steering Rack Clamp" proved indispensable. It brought more steering precision and sportiness, but also robbed a lot of comfort.

I would no longer use the 4-point subframe today, I would use a more effective 6-point solution instead. The Hirsch LLK, on ​​the other hand, which is only available under the counter today, you only have to have if you want to upgrade a soft turbo. The series intercooler in the Aero is not noticeably less effective.

The best upgrade of all though was the brakes. Making an almost 20-year-old car fit for the current traffic situation is practiced sustainability and a gain in safety. However, as is unfortunately so often the case, there is a decisive disadvantage. The required parts are no longer available in full from Orio.

It depends on the Saab workshop of trust, their stock and organizational skills, whether an upgrade is possible. (Thanks to the team of Saab Service Frankfurt!Therefore, there are on the blog also exceptionally no price for the action.

25 thoughts on "Upgrade - better brakes for the Saab 9-3 Aero"

  • blank

    A look at the WIS confirms: to convert the brake to the 308mm disc you need a new “brake caliper bracket” (OEM supplier ATE) - so that you can get the “extra” distance of the 308s. The caliper can stay.
    Maptun has all parts in the program. (looking for 9-3I brake shoe holder)
    The "dust protection plate" - the mentioned brake deflector does not do more - you do not have to have it - the TÜV did not criticize it for me (if necessary look for the used part)
    The 308s with slotted discs (EBC106281) change the braking behavior sufficiently - especially in the rain with cruise control - because the shock seconds WAS the most noticeable for me.

    Since the 308 brake comes from the Viggen, it is also worth taking a look at EPC and WIS: the Viggen also has a different brake booster - instead of 4: 1, one with 5: 1 conversion ratio and another master brake cylinder (the sectional drawing in the WIS reveals Details of the particularity).
    These parts are also found on the 9-5 Aero (see BJ 2000). This should explain the difference to the Viggen / Aero brake now.

    Now I would have to go in comparison a Viggen to judge that there is no such anchor effect!
    Who invites me for a test drive 🙂

    • blank

      Thank you! That explains something. The Viggen has not the effect, the brakes absolutely good.

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      Incidentally, the 3.0TID has also installed the 308 brake ... if you are looking for parts you will probably find it. There are likely to be significantly more of these as battle vehicles than Aero or Viggen. What it looks like with BKV and HBZ is currently beyond my knowledge because I have EPC and WIS installed on another computer and cannot look at it at the moment.

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        Thank you Daniel - good objection to a possible “organ donor” - I'll check it out today if I can.

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    You can drive 16 ″ rims. For example, the Anniversary rims fit. The (felt) improved braking behavior is more likely due to the new parts. Everything is going better again. The grip of the rubbers is still decisive for the delay on the asphalt. A revised chassis contributes to this. When fading it looks different with a larger disc, of course. After the upgrade, my car's moment of shock when braking in the rain disappeared. But it was more due to the slotted panes.

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    Sometimes referring to the 9-5 OG: my LPT also brakes much more “sluggishly” than my Aero, which, compared to BMW or Mercedes, doesn't really grab hold of it, but at least it does better than my SE. What would you recommend for the LPT brake system in the 9-5I, or what is Orio even possible here? Upgrade to Aero? Can you say something about availability and costs?

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    The text says that the "Steering Rack Clamp" brought comfort loss. I think about the part for decades now. Is the impression still precise? Where and how is that expressed?
    Is there actually an 6 point solution for the subframe?

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      Saab has designed the steering according to comfort and durability criteria. Traction suffers as a result, the story is somehow “vague”. The “Steering Rack Clamp” takes the “play” of the steering column, everything becomes much more direct, but also less comfortable. In other words: the 9-3 is sportier ...

      There is one here 6-point solution, The supplier is recommended, has delivered fast and reliable in the past.

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    I think Maptune recently introduced new braking systems (as far as I know on Facebook) ...

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    Lately, on a long drive to Stuttgart, I was shocked by the limbs. Before me shuns a current E-Class and goes powerful in the iron. With our SAAB 9-3 I Limited Edition, I have to brake completely from 180kmh and it happens a shocking little. That could have gone wrong! With my Stinknormalo- company car, I would not have been at the limit in the same situation.
    Thanks for this post!
    @Orio: Would not it make sense to re-produce the missing parts?

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    The upgrade seems sensible to me, but I don't quite understand the availability ...

    What does an 9-5 OG Aero driver do? Hopefully there are enough (spare) parts?

    Be that as it may, it seems to me that Orio would be well advised to rely on the most efficient and intelligent spare parts management possible. That means reducing the number of available and produced parts as much as possible. And of course to reduce it so that many SAABs get an upgrade and no one a down grade ...

    The effort for the vehicle owner must of course be kept within reasonable limits. A 16 "brake needs at least 17" wheels. Even in winter and regardless of the engine. This is probably not the solution for every 9-3 I ...

    But there are some points, as the program for spare and wear parts can be meaningfully reduced. For example, the clutch for the 9-5 OG petrol engine (switch with 4 cylinder). The AERO coupling fits all! And maybe it is similar with the 9-3?

    And maybe there is much more potential?

    Anyway, I would like the direction (casual upgrade through service) ...

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      In the case of the 9-5 OG, the axles were changed in between and with them the brakes. Hence the problem with different brake systems and their compatibility with the old 9-3. Of course you can now only drive 17 "tires. Disadvantage: Noticeably less comfort than with the 16 ″ or 15 ″. Advantage: better brakes ;-).

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    I know this post is about brakes. But I would like to emphasize once again what an all-round harmonious car of this 9-3 I is! Simply perfect proportions.
    It's raining heavily for me, looking sadly out of the window and there it is, my dark blue 9-3 I Aero Coupe. Shines wonderfully in a wet dress, my mood is better!
    My Coupe is a bit wider, deeper and has the Viggen brakes. Just a great car!
    Yesterday with a colleague in one of the new Mercedes (do not ask me about the guy, because nobody looks at it anymore). All this electronic frippery, somehow no human needs.

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    ??? The required parts are no longer available at Orio to buy. ???

    Why with Orio, they do not make any brake parts, right?

    !!! The company Zimmermann should be able to supply appropriate disc brakes. !!!

    Greetings Klaus

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      It's not about the brake discs but about the baffles. Only available for the 16 ″ + system, which does not fit the 9-3 AERO. In addition, I would always give ORIO priority over another supplier. They do SAAB. Just my opinion.

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        Well, ORIO does not produce the brakes itself, for example, but allows production / purchases and, if in doubt, packs them in another box. I don't know which manufacturer is behind ORIO for the 9-3I, but for the 901 and 9k it's Mintex. Absolutely sufficient in terms of quality, but there are far “better” products when braking is to go in the direction of “performance”. If you want a better brake, you should definitely use braided steel brake hoses. You have a completely different braking feeling.

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          Small supplement dear Daniel. Mintex also manufactures brakes Orio sells. But there are also better qualities on the shelf, because even Buderus manufactures for Orio.

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            Are you referring to the 9-3I? Because to the 901 and 9k I had written that those of Mintex are, because now no dissent in our statements.

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              As a general rule.

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          We have a convertible from 2009, steel braids are installed, but the “brake feel” is still indifferent. It still takes too long to build up adequate braking. So it helps a little, but it is not enough.

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            Interestingly, with 9k and 9-3 I felt the difference like day and night. Unfortunately, I can not say anything about the 9-3III, because everything is original with me.

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    It would be interesting to know which parts have been installed and to what extent so that everyone can decide for themselves how to approach a similar project.

    Brake discs / pads are still available in the accessories and in the no longer available Bremsleitblechen (that really means that?) You can probably fall back on used parts.

    Thank you. So for more details on your project to be imitated!

    Greetings Robert

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      I will ask for a lineup in Frankfurt. It's really about the sheets, which are no longer available.

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