Upgrade! Better brakes for the 9-3 Aero.

I like the 9-3 Aero, the last hatchback Saab from Trollhättan. I like driving it, especially on longer stretches. But something annoyed me from the beginning. It is the brakes that are too weak in the series. Which is no trifle. Good brakes are also essential in the older car.


Associated with the series brakes was always a sense of "anchor throwing". Enter, 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 the switch to slotted brakes from the program of Orio Germany. A clear improvement, but not the solution to the problem. Because the "anchor throwing" effect remained.

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

At the start of the season in March, the 9-3 came after Frankfurt, Large inspection, TÜV and AU, and just the upgrade program. Then, after two days of the expected call, the Saab can be fetched. And once again tension like a little child getting new toys. The first glance makes you happy. 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 go?

The first impression is unspectacular. The Saab brakes now, absolutely unperturbed, without the infamous anchor effect. It is reflected in city traffic in that between Saab and the front vehicle at standstill unfamiliar distance from an additional car length opens. You get used to it quickly, after a few days everything is normal, the stress is gone, and the car drives and brakes really sovereign. It is more spectacular on the highway, and especially when you have to fully stop unintentionally. The 9-3 Aero delays very sustainably, and if necessary, several times in succession.

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

The brakes are now what they should be in a modern car. Precise, stable, with a clear pressure point. Driving pleasure and safety gain, the Saab is what it should have been from the beginning. On my 9-3 a lot has changed 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. The 4 subframe I would not block today, I would instead resort to a more effective 6 point solution. The Hirsch LLK on the other hand, which today only exists under the counter, you only have to if you want to upgrade a Softturbo. The serial intercooler in the Aero is not noticeably less effective.

But the best retrofit of all was the brakes. To make a nearly 20 year old car fit for the current traffic situation is lived sustainability and a gain in safety. However, there are, as unfortunately so often, a major disadvantage. The required parts are no longer in full Orio zu kaufen.

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 9-3 Aero."

  • Thanks Daniel - good objection regarding a possible "organ donor" - I'll check it out today on occasion.

  • Incidentally, the 3.0TID also has the 308er brake installed ... if you are looking for parts you will probably find it better. Of these, significantly more than battle vehicles may be present as Aero or Viggen. How it looks like with BKV and HBZ currently withdraws my knowledge because I have EPC and WIS installed on another computer and just can not look.

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

  • A look into the WIS confirms: for the change of the brake on the 308mm disc one needs a new "brake caliper holder" (OEM supplier ATE) - so that one gets the "more" at distance of the 308er. The caliper can stay.
    Maptun has all the parts in its range. (look for 9-3I brake shoe holder)
    The “dust protection plate” - that's all the brake baffle mentioned does not do - you don't have to have it - the TÜV didn't criticize it for me (if necessary, look for the used part)
    Due to the 308er with slotted discs (EBC106281) the braking behavior changes already sufficiently - especially with rain with cruise control - because WAR was the most shocking for me the shock seconds.

    Since the 308 brake comes from the Viggen, it is also worth taking a look at the 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 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 🙂

  • You can drive 16 ″ rims. For example, the anniversary rims fit. The (felt) improved braking behavior is probably due to the new parts. Everything goes better again. The grip of the rubbers is still decisive for the deceleration on the asphalt. A revised chassis contributes here. When it comes to fading, it looks different with a larger disc. After the upgrade, the shock of my brakes in the rain had disappeared. But it was more likely due to the slotted disks.

  • Times related to the 9-5 OG: my LPT brakes also much "slower" than my Aero, compared to BMW or Mercedes, not really snappy access, but at least better than my SE. What would you recommend for the LPT brake system in 9-5I, or what is possible here at all by Orio? Upgrade to Aero? Can you say something about availability and costs?

  • 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.

  • We have a convertible made of 2009, steel flex are installed, but the "brake feel" is still indifferent. It still takes too long to build up sufficient braking. So it helps a bit, but it is not enough.

  • Saab has designed the steering according to comfort and durability criteria. This suffers traction, the story is somehow "spongy". The "Steering Rack Clamp" takes the steering column the "game", everything is much more direct, but also not very comfortable. Say: the 9-3 is sporty ...

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

  • 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?

  • Maptune has recently introduced (as far as I know on Facebook) new brake systems ... ..

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Well, ORIO does not actually produce the brakes, but lets it produce / buys and, in case of doubt, puts them in another box. I do not know which manufacturer hides behind ORIO on the 9-3I, but for 901 and 9k it's Mintex. Absolutely sufficient of the quality, but there are far more "better" products when it comes to braking in the direction of "performance". If you want a better brake, you should also install steel brake hoses. Since you have a very different brake feel.

  • 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?

  • In the 9-5 OG you have changed in between the axles and thus the brakes. Hence the problem with different brake systems and their compatibility with the old 9-3. Of course you can now only ride 17 tires. Disadvantage: noticeably less comfort than with 16 "or 15". Advantage: better braking ;-).

  • The upgrade seems to me useful, but I do not quite understand the availability ...

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

    Anyway, 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 so that many SAABs get an upgrade and no one a down grade ...

    Of course, the effort for vehicle owners must be kept within reasonable limits. An 16 "brake needs at least 17" wheels. Even in winter and regardless of the engine. That's 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?

    The direction (casual upgrade by service) I would certainly like ...

  • 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.

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

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

  • ??? 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

  • Hallo,

    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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