Retrofitting. Another brake upgrade!

In spring, the 9-3 I Aero was released better brakes upgraded. The system from the 9-5 OG Aero, which can also be found in the Viggen, has been serving well since then. The brakes are (almost) no longer an issue. The 9-3 was meanwhile in Hamburg, Kiel, Bamberg and otherwise on a long distance on the way.

Visit to Hamburg at the vintage car tank
Visit to Hamburg at the vintage car tank.

He does a great job, amazing for a car that will soon be 20 years old. Summer heat of more than 30 degrees leaves it as unimpressed as heavy rain on Hessian highways. With his comparatively narrow 215er Michelins he pulls his tracks even in aquaplaning, even without ESP. His brakes are a win, they delay even in the wet sustainable. Only one point bothers.

After the first euphoria subsided, I noticed the difference to a modern car. A pedal travel when braking that was a little too long and a bit too indifferent. And with it the uneasy feeling of giving away one or two seconds when stepping on the brakes. So what to do?

One possibility would be to upgrade with additional Viggen hardware. The brake booster in the Viggen is designed differently, it would certainly bring a further improvement. Alternatively, I can think of the option of switching to steel braided brake lines. They are the classic when it comes to improving the pressure point when braking. Their stainless steel mesh prevents the Teflon brake hoses from expanding and their service life is almost unlimited. In addition, the closed system means that the brake fluid absorbs less water, which is another plus point.

In addition, there would be the cost issue. The remodeling of the Viggen hardware is more complicated than the transition to new brake lines. Kiel and Frankfurt, which I ask for advice, unanimously advise me to Stahlflex solution as the next step. With which the conversion is decided.

Last week in Fechenheim. Saab Service Frankfurt has had the new brake lines made, the Aero comes to the workshop. In addition, still a small leak at the manifold flange must be eliminated, the Aero blowing since the trip to Kiel in the cold state clearly. The problem is solved quickly, the conversion is just as fast. On Thursday I can receive the Aero.

And how does he drive? The longer pedal path is gone, as if it had never existed. Was there something there? You forget quickly. The feel of the brake pedal is now as commonplace as any Audi or VW. All this costs, including labor and all materials, less than 400 €. Well spent money, which keeps the good, old Saab everyday and stress free.

16 thoughts on "Retrofitting. Another brake upgrade!"

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    I use greenstuff rubbers. There are different coefficients of friction (greenstuff, redstuff). I also have power disc brake discs. I am very satisfied with this combination, especially if I have to slow down several times in a row and the fading is significantly lower than before. But: The basis of the whole is a modified brake system. I went there the cheapest possible way and have taken over the brake system from a crashed 2005er 3,0 TID. The larger front brake is more heat resistant and the ventilated rear brake is wonderful when I am traveling with the caravan. So far, I've only thought about a spongy pressure point in race mode.
    Oh yes: I drive a 2009 9-5 1,9 TID estate Griffin, a wonderful car.

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    There is no question that the YS3D's brake was not an anchor during its “lifetime”. But what options do you have when you upgrade from 17 ″ to 16 ″? Steel flex cables alone are not a panacea either and usually only improve the pressure point and controllability, which has always been a popular tuning part for motorcycles. The only difference is that there is no more braking force. But a greater distance to the person in front enables a better view and enjoyment 😉

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      I think you should introduce an important distinction into the discussion.

      On the one hand there is the driver's feeling when braking. If the pressure point is spongy and the force on the pedal high, you have a bad feeling.

      On the other hand, there is the actual possible braking performance of the vehicle, if you just ignore both feelings and quite vigorously rises in the iron. A favorite topic in every driving safety training!

      8 to 9 of 10 participants, the jaw drops to the floor, when the coach brings their car several meters earlier to stand still, although the coach is indeed strange and well-known to the participants. The human factor is considered one of the best in terms of braking performance and stopping distance.

      Feeling and technology are partly very, very far apart. Even not very young SAAB have not reasonless ABS. As a rule, the system is sufficient that in a courageous kick (in the possibly spongy and rebellious pedal) the wheels would reliably block if no ABS was on board.

      But back to the feeling. It's okay to want to feel good ...

      Yes, Stahlfex helps with the pressure point! Yes, Stahllex is of little use when it comes to effort on the pedal. If you don't want to or can't build a larger system (rim size), all that remains is the coefficient of friction between the discs and pads. As far as I know, MapTun sells brakes and pads that are supposed to do just that ...

      An increased coefficient of friction (compared to the original) could even be chosen in two stages. From moderately better to quite toxic gripping. At least that was the case a few years ago. I know that my service of trust has done this for other clients. It would have to be theoretically possible in D and TÜV compliant.

      Something's going to happen! If you have any wishes, then simply take a look at MapTun online and consult the confidante personally. If that doesn't work out, all that's left is training ...

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    900 Turbo I already had some 97 years ago, steel braided brake lines at the front and at the back mounted on my 4II Turbo (Jg.2). With very positive result when braking and without "side effects". At the first vehicle inspection after the conversion, the lines were not an issue. At the next vehicle inspection after 1 2 / 900 years, the lines were the subject of the examiner. I have touted the benefits of the lines and that I have better braking and no problems with it. It was also a branded product that explicitly indicated its use for the XNUMXer.
    Ms. Prüferin forbade me to reuse the steel lines with the justifications: not type-tested (in Switzerland) and the ABS could not work properly!
    I had to set up again. Since then I've been looking for cables that are approved by our cantonal vehicle testing authority.

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    Just drive a new car from time to time. For example BMW with BJ 2007 or younger. Then you slow down humbly in a Saab. The interpretation of cars from Sweden around the turn of the millennium is simply shameful. So even with an upgrade you should keep a distance. That should be clear to anyone driving a Saab or Volvo

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      This is by far the stupidest comment I've ever read on this blog.

      1. There are quite a few SAAB and Volvo who are younger than 2007.

      2. Neither SAAB nor Volvo have ever been noticed negatively in the engine press due to poor brake performance

      3. BMW also only uses what the suppliers have in their program

      There is absolutely no reason why the Bosch spark plug or the XY brake should work miracles in one car and fail completely in another car. This is plain and simple bullshit ...

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        I appreciate your comments, Herbert Hürsch, but I can not recognize the "stupidest comment" in this nice blog on reader Levi.

        Levi reported "Sweden around the turn of the millennium" (certainly something generalizing, and whether BMW, Audi or SAAB "Bj 2007 or younger" does not matter) and unfortunately I have to agree (!) Regarding my two YS3D Sweden:

        902 Coupe MY96 and 931 Convertible MY03 (series brakes, one unit just completely overhauled) brakes so late (Tom's "anchor") and also rather tame even in the dry, that I consciously keep clear distance to the vehicle ahead, as a Daily Driver.

        Unfortunately, I can't do Tom's brake tuning like that: I liked the handling and the torsional flexibility at least with the 931 Cabrio with original 17 "rims (ALU36) so little that it now runs on 15" wheels (wonderfully) ...

        My question to the blogger:
        Tom, was that a "house price" for you in Frankfurt, or is it basically for customers (+/- because of unforeseen)? Another question, what does the TÜV say, §19 (2) on site?
        I would be tempted to call Frankfurt in late summer and drop by with the 931 for steel braided cables ...

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          Okay, 2 points: The 9-3 I runs more harmoniously with smaller rims, that is undisputed. 17 ″ are optics, 15 ″ are comfort. About the price: I would take this as a guide, it wasn't a special price (I think). However, working hours can vary. As far as the TÜV suitability is concerned, it would be nice if you could talk to Frankfurt directly.

          @ All: Please preserve the manners in the discussion. The last 7 years worked well too. Thank you!

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            Thanks for your answer Tom, and for the report! I will contact Frankfurt after my vacation. That working hours vary I only had before 6 days: let's just set the track, then shears off the screw head of the clamping screws on the tie rod end.

            When it comes to optics to comfort, I am completely with you, especially as far as the 3 and 5 door with its two-dimensional C-pillar (hockey stick) is concerned.
            In the convertible, ALU20 and Viggen body kit are doing quite well (to the surprise of all); I'll send you a picture, because the combination is so rare: On 2 IntSaab not even and never seen.

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        @ JanV,

        many thanks. This is a fair and, in some respects, very nice answer to my comment. This was clearly too harsh and I failed. I have to admit ...

        I came across that in the course of the articles and comments (most recently by reader Levi) the impression was possible that any Audi, BMW or VW would brake better per se than any Swede. And I can disagree with that from my own experience ...

        Not every Swede has good brakes. That's true. Upgrades can be useful and sometimes work wonders. Reader Levi denies that. Quote:
        “So even with an upgrade you should keep a lot of distance. That should be clear to everyone who drives a Saab or Volvo. "

        Still sell the VW Group and other new cars that lag behind some older Sweden.
        It's difficult not to vehemently contradict. The shape should of course be preserved ...

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    In an older car, the brakes can not be good enough! No ESP, no electronic helpers. At the end of an emergency braking is only the man and the best possible brake between accident or not!

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      Physically, the brakes on an older car can be as good as a brand new one. The maximum physical braking force is to be able to block the wheels at any speed, load level, tire width or weather.

      However, the braking distance can be shortened further with the helpers and a minimum of control can be obtained (ABS).

      Conversely, if the built-in system is too weak (such cars are still on the market today), ABS and ESP are pure cosmetics. If the wheels don't lock anyway, then you don't need ABS, right? An experienced driver with an old vehicle can then take the shorter braking distance ...

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    So I don't brake that much because I take advantage of the momentum and roll out beforehand - at Porsche that's called sailing.
    Of course, large and powerful brakes are a plus for safety, but many accelerate before a stop sign and then brake unnecessarily hard. Bugatti already said to a customer who complained about the weak brakes that a Bugatti is there to drive and not to brake - little fun!

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    Brakes like any VW or Audi?
    That is probably and hopefully an elegant understatement ...

    There are several younger vehicles of the VW group on the road, which have at least the rear drum brakes. Also front is not always generously dimensioned depending on the model and engine. An upgraded 9-3 Aero brakes but hopefully better than any, or not?

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      Well, there are probably in Wolfsburg also good brakes, or 😉

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        Yes of course! There are also good Wolfsburg brakes ...

        But they are just not universal and can be had with every model of any engine. In this respect, the statement that the feeling on the brake pedal is “now as common as with any Audi or VW” also has something disparaging for me. But maybe this is just my occupational disease (advertising)?

        I think the braking performance of a multiple modified 9-3 Eros could and should be described more positively ...

        The VW Group certainly has weaker models on offer. Apart from the “digitalization” of the brakes, little has technically been done in this area for many years.

        I have an old Swede in the yard who already has front and rear discs, a hydraulic two-circuit system and no fewer than 12 (!) Pistons that press brake pads onto discs. It will be almost half a century old ...

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