: Knocking front suspension.



AJV
11-11-12, 04:05 PM
Hi. The front suspension on my BLS diesel has started knocking when traveling on rutted or rough roads. I had my broken springs replaced about 18 months ago, could they have gone again? Any advice on this one welcome.
AJV

S70RMP
11-12-12, 03:02 AM
Sounds like it ! Try Bay Horse Saab see if they can help they are nearish to you.

t4evs
01-09-13, 11:08 AM
Have had a similar problem.

Front driver side spring snapped and blew a tyre. Replaced both front springs but there was a bit of a rattle before.

The rattle got worse - diagnosed as needing new Front Stabiliser Anti Roll Bar Drop Link Rods. Only 12 on ebay.

Still left a bit of a rattle / knocking diagnosed as worn out front shock absorbers. Replaced these with Monroe Reflex E7022. All seems well now.

To get the right part I just order the same part as for a Saab 9-3 - hardly anybody is listing compatability with Cadillac now.

Mazuk
01-09-13, 01:29 PM
T4evs,just out of curiosity what is your mileage?P,S. Mine goes in for its first MOT tomorrow at 28000 miles.

t4evs
01-09-13, 01:43 PM
Mazuk - good question. The car is a September 57 plate with 120,000 miles on the clock.

Although a lot of the milage has been on motorways my local roads are potted. However, the original suspension has probably done very well. The garage told me that replacing springs was becoming more common and they often see problems at about 4 years.

Hopefully you wont have any problems with your MoT.

S70RMP
01-10-13, 05:08 AM
Local garage told me recently when having the MOT done that 65% of there work now was replacing front springs

t4evs
01-10-13, 04:13 PM
Apparently the problem is caused by the springs being made from recycled metal so more prone to corrosion and fatigue.

ExRPO1
01-11-13, 06:52 AM
Having recently had my own first MOT done at only 25,000 miles, no problems were found concerning the coil springs, so that was a relief.

Anyhow, I've been doing some research into the availability of genuine front coil springs for the 1.9 BLS. Certainly the correct part number for the 1.9 diesel (well my own anyway) is 93190638, which have colour codes 1 Red, 1 Green and two Pink spots. These springs as many are probably aware, have not been available for at least the last twelve months. I have recently been informed that it is likely they will now be available sometime from February this year. If they do become available, I hope they will have been manufactured to a higher specification! Once they do become available, I shall be buying a set to keep on the shelf as spares or throw in the boot when away on long journeys just in case my originals snap.

I want to stick with original equipment if possible, because I know they will be the correct spring tension for the car. I've had far too many people say, 'Just stick some Saab 9-3 springs in mate' without any technical backup to qualify their statement or that they will be correct spec for the kerb weight of the vehicle etc. And this too is the problem with just sticking other aftermarket springs in. How do you know whether they are capable of doing the job correctly? Agreed, if you have no other choice, the best bet, probably, is to use the standard non sport suspension Saab 9-3 Aero springs to get you out of a fix. By the way, if anyone has already done this and has a Saab part number to share, it would be appreciated! As for shocks, I believe Bilstein B4's are easy to obtain at normal prices for standard BLS suspension set up. If anyone has a BLS that ends up with a broken coil spring, make sure both are replaced at the same time and get the shocks replaced as well if the car has done over 80k. Don't forget, these are quite heavy cars and imo, it would be a false economy in the long run not to do so. Shocks wear out slowly over time. Just because they might not be leaking or pass 'the bounce test', doesn't mean they are ok. I had a previous car a few years back where I had the front shocks replaced at 80k and the old ones were absolutely knackered. Massive difference to the car with the new ones in. Worn shocks also affect braking performance and ride height.

I really enjoy ownership of my car, I'm just getting fed up of some idiots who think they can take us BLS owners for a ride by trying to charge us inflated prices for other easily obtainable parts. If like me you use the internet properly, you'll find Vauxhall/Fiat/Alfa Romeo compatible service items at reasonable prices. That is why I stick Vauxhall spec brake pads on the car because they are certified GM quality, don't interfere with the warranty (not that that matters now anyway because mine has just expired!) and can be much cheaper than other brands. Genuine GM rear pads last year cost me 16 and genuine GM front pads cost me 12, both bought from suppliers on ebay.

Anyway, happy motoring to those that are still with us!

S70RMP
01-11-13, 09:39 AM
WHen mine went and were replaced they were the same sa the 9-3's as the garage ordered a pair from local Saab dealer to check on the ones I bought from Whitequay Cadillac (Saab dealer!)

ExRPO1
01-12-13, 12:17 PM
I've done a huge amount of research into this, even emailing a Cadillac dealer in Sweden (and they responded!) and seemingly, there is no known crossover parts reference number between the original Caddy front coil springs and Saab 9-3 springs. At least, no parts number that anyone is prepared to divulge! All those I spoke to or emailed, will not/cannot confirm or otherwise that there is a set of 9-3 springs that will do the job exactly as the original equipment specified. There are allegedly, no known Saab 9-3 springs that even match the colour coded dots the same as the Cadillac springs. I've known since early last year, that the front coil springs for our vehicles have been out of stock/production and that the lead time given to me by the official dealer channels, was week 44 of 2012. Well that has been and gone and the springs are apparently, still unavailable from the latest information given to me.

Every parts supplier I had contact with, no matter how polite I was or how much I kept pressing them, could not or would not, supply me with an alternative Saab part number even though most stated that they could supply me with Saab springs to fit. Again I asked, 'What's the part number then?' Again, coy responses or just a plain refusal. One supplier I spoke to said to me "Yeah mate, I've got a set of Saab springs that will do the job, 120 quid to you!" When I pressed him for the part number, he abruptly stated to me "Ah no mate, we don't give out part numbers, you either want them or you don't, they'll fit" and he ended the call. Yeah, like I'm gonna just trust some bloke on the end of a phone with his 'expert' knowledge!

What is the big secret about not sharing the part number? You wouldn't mind, but whenever you have your car serviced at a main dealer, all of the part numbers used, are listed next to the service items. So If anyone still has original service paperwork listing the part number/make/brand of springs supplied from their parts supplier, I'd be grateful to know because no one else is telling!

S70RMP
01-12-13, 01:28 PM
have you spoke with Whitequay Saab/Cadillac ? they were very helpful

ExRPO1
01-13-13, 12:12 PM
Aaaah yes. Initially, they were helpful until I started questioning them about exactly where they would be getting the springs from, seeing as no one else had them or could even get them! I know they didn't have them in stock themselves, because they told me so. I sent them an email and I left a telephone message for a particular individual who worked there, to get in contact with me to discuss further. They never did reply - I wonder why?? If the intention was to supply Saab 9-3 springs, they should state the fact and provide me with the part number before any money exchanges hands. I'm sorry, I'm not handing over my cash unless I know exactly what I'm getting for my money.

I'm sure they have been helpful to you and others, but I won't be contacting them again.

70eldo
01-15-13, 05:53 PM
Did you try at the remaining service points in in Holland and Germany? They are most probably less mysterious on facts like that.

ExRPO1
01-16-13, 02:49 AM
70eldo,

Thanks for the tip. No, I didn't try any of the service outlets in Holland, Germany or Belgium, only the Swedish dealer who confirmed the Cadillac part number for me.

Sadly, there sometimes appears to be a culture here in the UK of supplying information only if someone is going to make some money out of the deal. I may well give your advice a try!

ETC93
06-24-13, 12:31 PM
My car has one sway bar link to be replaced as there is a noise on one side, I checked ans found left side not OK. The thing is that a snapping spring seems to be common on these cars (2006 92000km). Should I replace both front springs before a blow a tire at high speed on the way to vacation ??:hmm:

ExRPO1
06-26-13, 04:57 PM
If you know you have or you have been diagnosed with a broken coil spring, then the obvious answer is to get them both changed.

96,000 km equates to nearly 60,000 miles. Personally, I would now be considering replacing the struts (shock absorbers) with Bilsteins as well as the front coil springs. I would also change the top suspension mount bearings.

There will be people reading this who will be thinking 'What! Why?' The problem is, most people never bother changing their suspension parts because foolishly, they believe they don't wear out. The fact is shocks wear out over time and at about 50 to 60 thousand miles, they will be pretty tired but the owners won't notice because the wear is gradual and they get used to it. I previously changed front and rear shocks on a Nissan I owned that had done 80,000 miles and they were absolutely worn out!

Changing all of these items at the same time might be quite expensive, but will then probably last the remaining lifetime of the car. Ride and handling will be noticeably better and the vehicle will perform better under braking. I assure you, your car is now seven years old, you would undoubtedly notice a big improvement in overall handling.

Don't forget, you will have to have a four wheel alignment carried out after any major suspension work carried out.

ETC93
06-28-13, 01:30 PM
Carrying out a 4 wheel alignment will anyway have a good payback in terms of tire wear and fuel economy !
If everything was OK then it's only prevention, still good to do:)
It would be of interest to publish the correct alignment information right here somewhere in order to get it done with them becaus not everyone has this information and perform the job correctly...
My car has a worn out sway bar link on driver side, start to knock also so they will be replaced soon.
About the springs, I've one question : in case of replacement (sounds mandatory if only you image what can happen if you blow a tire in the mean time..., this happened a couple years ago on a recent french car nearly in front of my door)
How can we make sure get a better quality and not a kind of New Old Stock with the same risks than before ?

ExRPO1
07-02-13, 02:35 PM
Concerning alignment information, really shouldn't be a problem for garages, even in France with good set ups. Again, even if they don't have info on the BLS, the alignment set up is likely to be the same as the Saab 9-3 equivalent diesel and that is what I'd be telling them.

Sway bar links will again likely be Saab 9-3/Vauxhall Vectra-Opel and they are readily available.

Coil springs, it would appear there are a few choices but I'd opt for genuine Saab 93190596 or Lesjofors 4077816 for my own car, but again, I can't stress this enough, you need to check part numbers for your own application. I've given up considering the Cadillac GM coil spring part number, especially as the car is now out of warranty anyway and all of the research I've done indicates the Saab and Lesjofors part numbers are good for my own car.

ExRPO1
03-10-14, 03:30 PM
Well a year on from my last post, I thought I'd share what I've just carried out on my own BLS.

A few weekends back, I was carrying out some routine maintenance, front wheels off and I discovered the front offside coil was rusting and pitted in one particular area. This gave me concern because I realise this is how these cars end up snapping coil springs. So having given up long ago trying to get the correct part number coil springs, I settled with buying genuine Saab Aero diesel coil springs, 93190596. I also decided to buy new Bilstein B4 shocks because the original factory fitted Sachs units were beginning to look quite tired. I then decided I might as well go the whole hog and buy all the components to build two complete brand new struts. So throughout one week ordering the necessary parts off the internet from both Saab and Vauxhall specialist part suppliers and a very well known Irish parts supplier for drop links, everything duly arrived. With the aid of my Saab Haynes Manual and a set of coil spring compressors, I built a pair of brand new struts. Total cost (including new drop links) 360.

I then replaced the front struts myself at home. A really straightforward job, especially as I was removing complete struts and just sticking a whole new unit back in its place. As it turned out, when I removed the old drop links, I found they were breaking apart at the swivel ends. The new heavy duty Meyle drop links are superb. End result is the car sits perfectly on the new coils and the front end ride is now much better, cornering is pretty tight now for a large heavy car. The car steers absolutely straight and true, though I did discover I had a very slight wheel wobble. Had both front wheels checked and the offside wheel was out of balance and so that has been sorted.

I haven't bothered with a four wheel alignment because after taking much advice, I haven't altered any of the steering geometry. If I'd have changed the tie rod ends, then yes, I'd have had the alignment done.

Really happy with all the work I've done.