Saab 9-7x Struts and RPO Codes

Maverick6587

Well-Known Member
Looking at replacing my struts (2006 Saab 9-7x). As I do not want a stiff/stiffer ride. I'd like to stick with AC Delco and not switch to Bilsteins. My RPO code for the front suspension is 6HA.

I looked at a few of the dimensions of a few of struts listed in the picture below and they seem to be exactly the same. The struts in the picture are the struts only, not the strut assemblies. I assume I could put any of the struts in the picture on my 97x and only the ride stiffness/softness would be different between the different strut models?

The Trailblazers seem to have just as many if not more variances in struts even for the same year.

I found an AC Delco for the 6HD strut code on Amazon for $16, so I just ordered because it was so cheap. They only had one in stock and I'm hoping when they restock it, it'll still be $16, if not oh well.

1568123938287.png
 
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Maverick6587

Well-Known Member
I called ACDelco to verify.

ACDELCO 540411 - Stiffest ride and monotube design. Meant for heavy towing
ACDELCO 540230 - Dual tube design. Semi-stiff ride
ACDELCO 540229 - Dual tube design. Softest ride

Any of these can be used in most trailblazers, rainiers, 9-7x's etc.. They are all interchangeable. The only difference is the ride type (stiffness/softness).
 

Reprise

Lifetime VIP Supporter
The Trailblazers seem to have just as many if not more variances in struts even for the same year.
I know GM used about 10 different spring rates in the 360 / 370 / 375 lines, at least on the US marques. A while back, I had posted a listing of all of them, and I believe Mooseman copied them to the FAQ section, as well.

Not sure if GM used different shocks (or struts, as you're calling them) across the lines; the OEMs were made by Bilstein, btw (and it looks like the 540411 has a Bilstein label on it, on Amazon's site, at least).

My own RPO label on the Envoy had four different codes, one for each corner. I've read that there were as many as sixteen different variations across the lines, depending on wheelbase / engine / other options / trims. I have a LWB V8 (as you can see by my avatar, which is a pic of the frame label), and mine was built with the 2nd or 3rd stiffest springs all around (which I also retained, rather than going with a 'quick strut' up front, even though it would've been quicker / cheaper to put the struts in.)

Retaining those springs, and putting a set of 4600 Bilsteins in on all 4 corners... I'm pretty pleased with how it rides now -- more controlled, less body roll (although most of the rest of my front suspension got replaced as well, so I'm sure that also contributed to the improvement).
 
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Maverick6587

Well-Known Member
Ah, you're right they're shocks. I'm not replacing them with the strut assembly either. I tried that with Moog struts and they were horrible. I'm just going to replace all parts of the struts.

I thought Bilstein was the OEM but I've only seen the 4600 HD as an option. Maybe I'll keep looking around for the non-HD Bilsteins. Or maybe I wasn't paying close enough attention. Thanks for the update.
 
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Mooseman

Moderator
I'll just throw my 2 cents here. The Bilstein HD's, which I got for the old TB EXT, were too soft and bouncy IMHO. I kept them when I scrapped the truck and put them in the current TB in an attempt to fix a clunk (wound up being the tranny slip yoke). They often bottom out hitting the rebound bumpers. The originals were better than the HD's. The Saab's shocks and struts are way stiffer and like that ride despite having over 200k km. I should try to figure out what those are and get the same for the TB.
 
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Maverick6587

Well-Known Member
I guess I should also try to find out the model. From what I've noticed... It looks like the 97x's and the trailblazer SS's have the same ride height. That's probably why those Moog quick struts had my front end sitting so high. They were probably built for the standard TB height.

So, I called Glassman Saab and they said that the 97x suspension is not ACDelco or Bilstein. They couldn't tell me who the OEM manufacturer was because "It just says Saab on the box." There are only three front shocks left in the country for my RPO codes for the front suspension. He also stated that the 97x suspension (shocks) are "vastly" superior to the trailblazer.

I mentioned to him that the 97x and trailblazer were both built by GM. He agreed but, he stated the suspension is one of those items that was built by Saab and not by GM.

Now... I am on a hunt!
 

Reprise

Lifetime VIP Supporter
If you can, post your RPO codes or sticker. I'll see what I can find out on this end regarding those shocks. <on edit:> I can see you have the RPO codes listed in the first post.

Depending on what they retail for, and if you can return them if not installed, it might be worth ordering up a pair, since we know there won't be any more of them in the supply chain at this point.

<2nd edit:> Check this link out, below. It looks to me, from the 2nd of the part #s in your first post, that they're both the same shocks that go on the other 360s, and they're Bilstein-supplied:



There's a code '6973' on the label in the picture, but I can't find a Bilstein cross-reference - when I search on it, I receive hits on Envoy / TB struts, same as if I search on '15195073'.

BTW, it appears that GM calls them 'struts' b/c of the round mounting lip on the shock housing, and they reserve 'shock' for units that don't house the spring as an integrated unit (e.g.; 'traditional' shocks, if you will)
 
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Maverick6587

Well-Known Member
Well, just the one. They're 6HA and 7HA.

Yeah, I was thinking the same thing, to order them anyway. They're $165 per shock/strut and I can't remember if he said that price was for the front shock or the strut assembly.

I'll just try to resell the front shocks, since I got them for so cheap.
 

Reprise

Lifetime VIP Supporter
With those RPO codes, you can see from the listing that your OEM replacements are 15789589

Delco x-ref is 540-230, so it looks like you could either get that, or go a little stiffer with the 540-411s, if you were looking for that. Hope that helps!
 
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Maverick6587

Well-Known Member
Update: I had the Monroe 911510 Reflex Monotube Shock Absorbers on the rear. I bought them 2 years ago and they have been a horrible ride from day 1. I changed them out with ACDelco 530-335 Professionals.

Those ACDelco shocks are life-changing, at least vs those Monroe shocks. The vehicle actually hugs the road now instead of bouncing me all over the place fighting bumps and cracks in the road.

I'll be swapping out the struts in two weeks.
 

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