Air Suspension replacement to coil springs

tonyscha

Member
My 2006 Saab 97x (94k miles) rear suspension has been leaking for a while, but I have been avoiding it since the air compressor fills it up. I know for sure the bags are leaking (using soapy water). So now I am to the point where the air compressor runs but it wont go up.

I am pretty set on switching over to coil just to avoid the air suspension problem in the future, however I can be persuaded.

I found these from Arnott - https://www.arnottindustries.com/part_SAAB_yid19_pid128_gid499.html, they run around $260-$280.

From looking at Rock Auto, the standard oem replacement are Moog 81049 on the GMC Enovy for around $50 to $80, from my understanding the Saab didnt have a coil option, so it doesn't list them as compatible.

Is there any difference between the two other then the price?

Thanks
 

The_Roadie

Founding Member
Administrator
No. Arnott charges a bit more because they're custom, and they're selling to people who are looking at spending a LOT more for air bag or compressor replacement.

The Saab spring perches are identical to the other five marques that are built on the GMT360 platform. Guaranteed members here know more than Rockauto about what's compatible. :wink:
 

jrSS

Well-Known Member
tonyscha said:
My 2006 Saab 97x (94k miles) rear suspension has been leaking for a while, but I have been avoiding it since the air compressor fills it up. I know for sure the bags are leaking (using soapy water). So now I am to the point where the air compressor runs but it wont go up.

I am pretty set on switching over to coil just to avoid the air suspension problem in the future, however I can be persuaded.

I found these from Arnott - https://www.arnottindustries.com/part_SAAB_yid19_pid128_gid499.html, they run around $260-$280.

From looking at Rock Auto, the standard oem replacement are Moog 81049 on the GMC Enovy for around $50 to $80, from my understanding the Saab didnt have a coil option, so it doesn't list them as compatible.

Is there any difference between the two other then the price?

Thanks
I have a good set of oem air bags $50 and they are yours.
 
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tonyscha

Member
The_Roadie said:
No. Arnott charges a bit more because they're custom, and they're selling to people who are looking at spending a LOT more for air bag or compressor replacement.

The Saab spring perches are identical to the other five marques that are built on the GMT360 platform. Guaranteed members here know more than Rockauto about what's compatible. :wink:
That is what I was hoping, weekend project in queue now.

I have read a few post on people changing their springs out, any tips I need to know?

Thanks!
 

IllogicTC

Well-Known Member
tonyscha said:
That is what I was hoping, weekend project in queue now.

I have read a few post on people changing their springs out, any tips I need to know?

Thanks!
I've got an obvious one: Don't rush.

I'm pretty sure you understand springs of the sizes we're talking are pretty powerful once they're compressed. Should be a no-brainer, but you'd be surprised at the kind of things that happen to people. Take your time and do it right, don't risk injury.
 

The_Roadie

Founding Member
Administrator
Rear springs don't have to be compressed to install. Support the frame with stands, put your floor jack under the diff pumpkin. Remove one bolt from each rear shock and slowly lower the diff. Coil Springs will need to be pried or booted over the perch and into position. Will be obvious when you see it.
 
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tonyscha

Member
The_Roadie said:
No. Arnott charges a bit more because they're custom, and they're selling to people who are looking at spending a LOT more for air bag or compressor replacement.

The Saab spring perches are identical to the other five marques that are built on the GMT360 platform. Guaranteed members here know more than Rockauto about what's compatible. :wink:
Not that I didn't trust you, but my local auto part store actually had both, so I compared the two, they are basically identical.
 

lifted326

Member
You may have to compress the springs on the Saab....

I know I had to when I converted mine last week on my Bravada. Just a little to get it in and this is after jacking and letting the rear drop as far as it could.

I actually followed a post on here and it only took me 3 hours...... only took me 3 hours because I was trying to get them on without compressing them..... amazing how many times you will try something that will not work until you actually prove it to yourself an hour and a half later that it will not work.... LOL

Really was not hard.... 2 jack stands, 1 jack, and two screws and you are in business.
 

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jrSS

Well-Known Member
When i switched from bags to springs took maybe an hour. And that was jacking the truck up with stands and cleanup afterwards. Of course I am using lowering springs compared to the normal size stockers.
 
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tonyscha

Member
Thanks everyone for the advice. I got them installed this weekend without any major issues.


lifted326 said:
You may have to compress the springs on the Saab....

I know I had to when I converted mine last week on my Bravada. Just a little to get it in and this is after jacking and letting the rear drop as far as it could.

I actually followed a post on here and it only took me 3 hours...... only took me 3 hours because I was trying to get them on without compressing them..... amazing how many times you will try something that will not work until you actually prove it to yourself an hour and a half later that it will not work.... LOL

Really was not hard.... 2 jack stands, 1 jack, and two screws and you are in business.
I read from another forum post that someone recommended to pop out the break line clip from the frame then using the bottle jack to push down the axle, which I had to do to get the springs to go in, which took be about 30 minutes to figure out. Can't tell if the ride height is different because I was so use to the airbags being flat. The ride is about the same as the airbags. Took me about 2.5 hours total using hand tools. and warm up breaks.
 

lifted326

Member
Yeah I thought about that as you see the bottle jack in my photo..... then I thought about .... what if the bottle jack slips.... don't want anything shifting while I am under the truck so compressing the springs and inch was easier for me.
 

Canyonrider

New Member
So you compared the springs to the Arnott and they were basically the same? Im just curious because I just went to advance auto and they said stock springs wont work, they have to be a special spring because the air ride is different than the coils. I want to make the switch also, but hate to pay $220 for a pair of springs that should only cost me like $100 plus the insulators. Id like to get the Z71s, but I don't know what year springs to get and how stiff it will be. I tow a pop up camper and a sled trailer so I may need more than stock. Any help is definitely appreciated.
 

The_Roadie

Founding Member
Administrator
Canyonrider said:
So you compared the springs to the Arnott and they were basically the same? Im just curious because I just went to advance auto and they said stock springs wont work,
Members here know the platform 1000X better than any parts store clerk. Guaranteed. This mod is a very successful way to save $$
they have to be a special spring because the air ride is different than the coils.
Nonsense and balderdash. OF COURSE they're different, but equivalent in all ways except the air ride can handle varying loads and keep the same ride height. Coils can do the same if you throw AirLift1000 bags inside them and manage the pressure yourself.
I want to make the switch also, but hate to pay $220 for a pair of springs that should only cost me like $100 plus the insulators.
As I posted in this and other threads. Arnott sets their price more by the cost you're AVOIDING by not repairing or replacing the $500 compressor. Stock GM springs or Tahoe/Avalanche Z71 springs are more typiccally priced.
Id like to get the Z71s, but I don't know what year springs to get and how stiff it will be.
You get about 1.5" of free lift out of a Z71 spring. Buy them on Ebay by the part numbers that have been posted or from any GM dealer or Internet parts supplier. What you need is 2007+ Tahoe or Avalanche.
I tow a pop up camper and a sled trailer so I may need more than stock. Any help is definitely appreciated.
You might also benefit from AirLift1000 bags. Run a search. Part numbers have been posted many times, the question comes up so often.
 

Canyonrider

New Member
Thanks Roadie. Ive read many of your replies and you really know your stuff. I was hoping I would hear from you. I will check out ebay and probably rock auto for the springs. Thanks again for your help. Im going to have to get a lift for the front as well but that's fine, I can run bigger tires then.
 

CajunWon

Well-Known Member
The_Roadie said:
Members here know the platform 1000X better than any parts store clerk. Guaranteed. This mod is a very successful way to save $$Nonsense and balderdash.
OEM Springs advice? I tow a 3500# boat most summer weekends, but only 80# at the tongue. Rear bags are nearly gone and am visiting LQK this weekend. What vehicles have the same, non lifted, springs? At 80# Thinking to keep ride comfort over load carrying.

Primary reason for visit is not for springs, but figured to make better use of time.
Thx
 

CajunWon

Well-Known Member
djthumper said:
If you get springs from an XLT the rears springs are normally heavier... Though any stock rear springs should work for your needs.
Thx
Any stock rear springs? Envoy only, or will Trailblazer Avalanche, or other work as well?
 

djthumper

Administrator
CajunWon said:
Thx
Any stock rear springs? Envoy only, or will Trailblazer Avalanche, or other work as well?
Any GMT 360/370 should give you a stock like ride. If you go to an Avalanche I believe it has to be a 2009 or newer, same with a Tahoe, I believe those will be a harsher ride. We use Tahoe Z71 springs and without weight it can be kind of a harsh ride.
 

CajunWon

Well-Known Member
Scored coils springs from '06 TB for $15 at the Yard. Removed a sway bar bolt and a shock bolt from each side and the springs simply fell out. There is an 02 Envoy there, but would have required my hi-lift & would have been much less safe, so settled for the TB springs.
Thx for the assist!
 

sarg

Well-Known Member
So I have seem many references to "z71" springs for a 2007+ Tahoe. When I go to look these up on Ebay I only get the option of LS, LT and LTZ models of Tahoe for 2007. My situation. I have a 2006 Envoy Denali 4x4 which I want to replace sagging rear bags. My hope is to use the "z71" springs to get a little more lift as well. What exactly am I looking for? When I search 2007 Tahoe Z71 coil springs I get zero results.
 

The_Roadie

Founding Member
Administrator
For Z71 springs, just search for them by part number: GM Part #15234633 or #25978750. Ebay, Rockauto, your favorite GM parts vendor.

These were also used in some non-Z71 optioned trucks. Part number will get you the right thing.
 

sarg

Well-Known Member
Done. Now to get them on and stop the sagging. Just bought the truck 2 days ago and after a day parked on a light incline the bumper was dang near sagging the next day....grrr. Hoping this does not become a regular money pit. I know it needs tires now, so trying to figure what I can stuff up under there with these new springs and possible light lift in the front. I am waiting to hear back from "Lift Meister" about leveling it out in the front.
 

sarg

Well-Known Member
Roadie is there a spring seat that I should be concerned with on these? A Poly mount maybe?
 

The_Roadie

Founding Member
Administrator
sarg said:
Roadie is there a spring seat that I should be concerned with on these? A Poly mount maybe?
Ahhhh, yeah. The coil vehicles come with a sheet rubber sort of thing on the top side. None on the bottom. Use sheet neoprene if you have any. Worst that will happen is it will clank a tiny bit and you'll want to put in in when it's warm. You can buy the GM specific part, again, if you have time and want to avoid going in there again. They list for around $10 at the dealer, and they call them "Spring insulators". GM part number 15765071.

sarg said:
...Just bought the truck 2 days ago ...
Ummmm, what sort of pre-purchase inspection did you perform? Get maintenance records? Mileage? Fluids changed especially (if you're 4WD) the transfer case that's CRITICAL to do every 50K. Lots of maintenance needed at 100K.
 

sarg

Well-Known Member
The_Roadie said:
Ahhhh, yeah. The coil vehicles come with a sheet rubber sort of thing on the top side. None on the bottom. Use sheet neoprene if you have any. Worst that will happen is it will clank a tiny bit and you'll want to put in in when it's warm. You can buy the GM specific part, again, if you have time and want to avoid going in there again. They list for around $10 at the dealer, and they call them "Spring insulators". GM part number 15765071.

Ummmm, what sort of pre-purchase inspection did you perform? Get maintenance records? Mileage? Fluids changed especially (if you're 4WD) the transfer case that's CRITICAL to do every 50K. Lots of maintenance needed at 100K.
As for the 4x4 stuff, not a lot. I am new to 4x4 vehicles. I have owned a couple awd vehicles, but never a 4x4. Those were bathed in transmission fluid and did not have a transfer case. They had a front, center and rear differential. I did check the transmission fluid, engine oil, checked for presence of codes, and inspected the engine (rebuilt this same engine in my kitchen last year for my mustang :tongue: ) The motor I know very well. Yes that is a 5.3 motor.



The transmission and transfer care I know next to nothing about to be blatantly honest. But I figure I can learn to service them. I am not 100% sure that my wife pulling the truck around the driveway with the parking brake engaged did not lend to the demise of the air shocks as they were fine previous to this. That being said, it seems to be more the driver's side when I park slightly uphill and leaning towards the driver's side when it does it. But this is also the first vehicle I have owned with air bags and auto leveling feature, so it could be perfectly normal for it to be off and settle to one side? I honestly just know nothing about the system other than it inflates, deflates and has some sort of auto level feature that is controlled by two sensors. I have also found it to be quite unreliable, have pumps, bags and air leaks going out constantly from the research I have done. That is one reason I have decided to go with good old fashioned coil springs.
 

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