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PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:50 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2017 1:40 pm
Posts: 64
Location: Bury, Greater Manchester
Car Model: 2006 9-3 1.8t Convertible
The gist of it is - the 285mm front brakes on my 2006 9-3 Convertible (not the lightest car in the world) just don't feel that great.

When I bought it in January I had a few jobs done - new tyres, alignment, etc and I asked my trusted mechanic to take a look at the overall health of the car and everyone said the front discs need replacing - so me and a mate who's a competent enthusiast but not a mechanic replaced the front discs and pads and completely flushed the brake fluid.

I was expecting the difference to be night and day but if it's any better at all then the improvement is tiny. It's definitely not worse though. The discs and pads are Pagid brand which I thought would be decent enough from a bit of Googling and we flushed it with Comma DOT 4, including the clutch, which weirdly feels easier to press but otherwise about the same. Any thoughts on that?

My main question is, are the 285mm (smallest size) front brakes on my car just a bit inadequate when compared to the "head-through-the-windscreen" stopping power of most new cars that I've driven, or is something maybe a bit broken/worn out? In the dry if I slam on the brakes I don't get tyre lock up (I have good tyres) but it stops in what I consider to be a safe distance, but it's not impressive, if that makes sense.

Is it worth trying to source an upgrade to one of the larger disc sizes, with the accompanying caliper upgrade or is it best just to bury my foot in the mat where necessary?

Any thoughts?

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2006 Saab 9-3 1.8t Vector Convertible, Stage 1 Noobtuned
2010 Hyundai i20 1.2 (The Red Turd)


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 3:38 pm 
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Joined: Sat Dec 23, 2006 12:41 am
Posts: 1781
Location: Manchester
Car Model: MY 07 9-3 SC Vector
I've just had new brake fluid, new discs and pads on the front and new pads on the rear (all Saab) and it stops much better than before! On 73k, original discs. Maybe the pads aren't touching enough..caliper?

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:47 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2017 1:40 pm
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Location: Bury, Greater Manchester
Car Model: 2006 9-3 1.8t Convertible
It could be the caliper(s) but there's no apparent pulling either left or right so if there is something wrong with them then they have worn very evenly. I think to be honest it's just a heavy car with 11 years and 110k on the clock so it's all a bit "not-brand-new". It would be good to hear from someone who's upgraded the brakes to a bigger size. It's something that I might do in the future.

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2006 Saab 9-3 1.8t Vector Convertible, Stage 1 Noobtuned
2010 Hyundai i20 1.2 (The Red Turd)


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:57 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2015 8:13 pm
Posts: 981
Location: Peterborough UK
Car Model: 9-5 Aero 2001;9-5 Estate 1999
Might be an idea to get your brakes tested like they do for the MOT(compare the numbers) then you will know for sure if you have a braking problem...for example you could have a vacuum servo or slave cylinder issue.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 11:20 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2017 1:40 pm
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Location: Bury, Greater Manchester
Car Model: 2006 9-3 1.8t Convertible
My MOT is coming up in a couple of weeks so I'll see what happens then. It doesn't feel broken or dangerous - just underwhelming. The 285mm front discs are the smallest available (or so I think) for my car so it might just be that I'm expecting too much from them. Would you expect to be able to lock up the front wheels when slamming on the brakes on dry tarmac with good tyres? I don't get any ABS vibration in the peddle but it does stop quick enough.

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2006 Saab 9-3 1.8t Vector Convertible, Stage 1 Noobtuned
2010 Hyundai i20 1.2 (The Red Turd)


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 11:46 pm 
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Full Pressure Turbo

Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2015 8:13 pm
Posts: 981
Location: Peterborough UK
Car Model: 9-5 Aero 2001;9-5 Estate 1999
As I said get them checked properly I doubt its anything to do with the size really.
The next size up is 302mm and which is about 12% bigger but the pad sizes and the force from the caliper
are more or less the same........there are loads of 9-3's and Vectra's out there with the same brakes.....


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 12:13 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 4:48 pm
Posts: 21073
Location: Fliptop Towers, North Yorks...the flat bit.
Car Model: One or two...
Even the smaller 9-3ss brakes are usually pretty sharp as the servo ratio is higher than the older cars. Not sure about the Pagid discs though. Brembo or Bremtech discs are always good IME, as are OE Saab pads (which may actually be Pagid...), though M1144s or DS2500 would be my choice.

Avoid EBC discs, soft as hell and score very easily.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2017 7:20 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2009 10:19 pm
Posts: 3948
Location: Island of Sodor
Car Model: The Pizza Taxi
Have they bedded in?

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Might one day get around to the 234 conversion.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2017 11:59 am 
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Full Pressure Turbo

Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2014 5:41 pm
Posts: 886
Location: Kippen STIRLING
Car Model: 9-5 Aero Sportwagen and more
PabloDos,

I've had 'less that confidence inspiring' brakes on a 9000 Aero and my current 9-5 Aero estate. New discs ( various ) pads ( various though Ferodo DS 2500 were pretty good ), change of fluid all improved slightly but not to where I thought they should be. Eventually had the 9000 calipers overhauled by Bigg Red which solved that one and did an overhaul using a kit from BrakeParts .co.uk on the 9-5. Similar big improvement.

It'll be rust and poo build up in the inside of the caliper under the dust cover. Do one caliper at a time with an assistant gently pumping to get the piston out. Leave the pedal jammed down to prevent further loss of fluid then strip out and clean. Brasso cleaning pads are good for removing marks from the piston. Pretty sure I did a 'How to' a year or so ago.

Paul @ Kippen


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2017 11:00 am 
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Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2007 6:13 pm
Posts: 18820
Location: Maidstone
Car Model: 9-5 Aero
I take it the discs were cleaned up with brake cleaner before fitting?

Are the rubber flexis original?

To echo the bedding in, give them 200 miles gentle use, then take them off and hammer them with several foot to floor 60-10mph stops. Then allow a cool down....... do not come to a complete stop and do not hold the car on the foot brake whilst doing this.

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CC Carlsson - The colour's secret
9-5 Aero saloon - Espresso
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2017 11:28 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2008 10:47 am
Posts: 5146
Location: Queenborough, Kent
Car Model: 9k, 9-5 Aero & a Jaaag
to mirror Rich's comment about about the rubber flexis - the brake pedal on my 9000 was rather spongy, there was what could only be described as a bit of slack before anything happened. I replaced all the hard and flexi lines, the slack has now gone.

But - other than bedding in the brakes as described, it may be worth considering a brake upgrade. However, I've always found the Saab brakes to be progressive rather than overly servo assisted like on some cars (especially VW's) ...

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'98 9k 2.3T CSE, stage 3
'04 9-5 Aero manual, stage 3
'08 Jaguar XFR (quick enough as-is)


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2017 1:24 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2017 1:40 pm
Posts: 64
Location: Bury, Greater Manchester
Car Model: 2006 9-3 1.8t Convertible
Thanks for the advice guys. That's all very useful. The new discs were thoroughly cleaned with brake cleaner before installation. Basically everything in the braking system (except the new pads and discs) is original and the car has done around 110k miles now. I've done around 1000 miles or so since doing the brake job but I didn't do any intentional breaking in procedure. Would it still be worth doing that or is it one of those "do it when new or don't bother" type jobs?

Replacement of all of the hard and flexi lines sounds like a pretty major job. Is that the case or is it not too bad?

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2006 Saab 9-3 1.8t Vector Convertible, Stage 1 Noobtuned
2010 Hyundai i20 1.2 (The Red Turd)


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2017 6:19 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2009 10:19 pm
Posts: 3948
Location: Island of Sodor
Car Model: The Pizza Taxi
You probably don't need to replace the hard lines, good excuse to upgrade to braided hoses (saabits for those)

The brakes should have finished bedding in by now, they should slowly get better after a few hundred miles.

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