Saab 9-7x Struts and RPO Codes

Maverick6587

Silver Supporter
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

Maverick6587

Silver Supporter
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

Maverick6587

Silver Supporter
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

Maverick6587

Silver Supporter
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

Maverick6587

Silver Supporter
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

Maverick6587

Silver Supporter
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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Maverick6587

Maverick6587

Silver Supporter
Update: I installed the ACDelco 540-229 struts and while the ride is smooth, it is a little too soft for my taste.

I'm going to buy the 540-230's in a few weeks and swap them out the 540-229s.
 

Mike534x

Well-Known Member
I'm not big on the Monroe Reflexes either. Got them installed on my Avalanche, and while not bad, I wish they were a bit firmer going over bumps. They only really seem to perform well when there's a load on them (particularly the rears), since RA had them on sale I bought them just to save a bit. Will more then likely swap them out for Bilsteins later on.

When I bought the Envoy, it had OE Spectrum shocks in the rear but the original struts up front still. Those were definitely shot. I bought OE Spectrum struts and the slightly firmer Moog spring. They don't perform too badly, but I wish it was a bit firmer. Otherwise the front ride is fine. I didn't like how the rear felt over bumps, it was a bit mushy. I swapped them out for the KYB Gas-a-Just shocks and they're great. Ride wise they sit between the OEM shocks and the Bilsteins. So they're soft enough for a comfortable ride, but firm enough to handle bumps and cracks without making it too harsh if that makes sense. I may get KYB struts for the Envoy, the Monroe's seem to slightly lost their firmness over the past 2 years.

Before I lost my Trailblazer, I had the KYB quick struts and KYB excel-G shocks and those were great. The front was firm, and similar to the OEM struts, but they were firm when they needed to be. The excel-G was good, but was a little too soft, but firmed up with some weight in the rear. I attributed the extra body weight of it being an EXT probably helped with the ride itself.
 

Dpitts

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.

View attachment 90798
Hi! Where would I find my strut code? I have a 08 5.3 97x. Thanks
 
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Maverick6587

Maverick6587

Silver Supporter

Dpitts

Member
Hi! It looks like my truck call for a 230 on the passenger side and 229 on the drive side. Does that seem right?? Also, is there information to find the rear shocks? Thanks!
 
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Maverick6587

Maverick6587

Silver Supporter
I've used both of those struts and the 230s are way better! Put the same strut on both sides, 230s on driver and passenger side.

Edit: I never really researched the struts as mine is air bag rear suspension. You'd be safe gambling between either ACDelco or Billstein shocks for the rear.
 

Dpitts

Member
I've used both of those struts and the 230s are way better!

Hi, What qualities made the 230's better? Is it the stiff sports car feel? I don't car for the floating suv or the stiff sports car feel. Somewhere in the middle works for me. I upgraded my Acura TL to their Aspec sports suspension and regretted it.
 
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Maverick6587

Maverick6587

Silver Supporter
It would depend on the roads you drive on. If you have horribly bumpy roads, like Michigan does, then I would go with the 230s.

The 229s just knocked me all over the road when cruising over any bumps really. The 230s handle them great. The 229s are probably great for smooth roads though.

I like the stiff ride that lets you float I've bumps. I'm going to try the 411s out before winter.

What most Michigan roads look like (they are getting better now though).
charlotte_s_road_picture_0_1.png
 

Pygot

Silver Supporter
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).
This is great to know as I will soon be replacing the front and rear as I can hear the bags leaking (08 97x)
 

Dpitts

Member
It would depend on the roads you drive on. If you have horribly bumpy roads, like Michigan does, then I would go with the 230s.

The 229s just knocked me all over the road when cruising over any bumps really. The 230s handle them great. The 229s are probably great for smooth roads though.

I like the stiff ride that lets you float I've bumps. I'm going to try the 411s out before winter.

What most Michigan roads look like (they are getting better now though).
View attachment 93369
Damnit man!!! Those roads are terrible! I live in suburbs north of Atlanta and my commute is wide open highway. So are you saying that the 230’s are a firmer ride than the 229’s? What about body roll with each pair. Thanks
 
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Maverick6587

Maverick6587

Silver Supporter
Yes

Edit: the body roll on turns is about the same for both. The sway bars take on a lot of that movement though.
 
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Maverick6587

Maverick6587

Silver Supporter
Do you currently have the stock struts on your vehicle? If so, what number is on them?
 
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Maverick6587

Maverick6587

Silver Supporter
I honestly would go with the 230s. When I called the ACD suspension department. The guy who I spoke with twice said that the 230s were stiffer (not the stiffest) and will last probably twice as long as the 229s.

You can call them as well and ask for their suggestions. Call this number 1-800-223-3526 and ask to speak with the suspension/strut specialists.
 

Dpitts

Member
I trust you. I will replace the bags and rear shocks this weekend and the fronts in a few weeks. Thanks
 
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Maverick6587

Maverick6587

Silver Supporter
If you're replacing the bags as well. I will use the Arnott bags. They have a lifetime warranty. I bought a set for a $150ish and they lasted 1 year.
 

Dpitts

Member
Shoot!! I had already bought them! One of the old ones had a visible leak. I replaced both and it still squats on cold mornings. Where would I find the pressure release valve? I would liken to check it for leaks.
 
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Maverick6587

Maverick6587

Silver Supporter
See if you can return them. How low does it drop overnight?

I believe that's a one-way valve going into the air bags. It shouldn't be leaking at all and it should only drop an inch or two from a temp drop. I would try to return them stating that they have a slow leak. You could verify where the leak is with a soap and water spray test.
 

Dpitts

Member
I did find a leak in the old bags but can't find a leak in the new bags. When the compressor stops I hear pressure being released. Sounds like air brakes on a big truck. I don't remember hearing that before the truck started dropping. On a cold morning it drops all the way.
 
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Maverick6587

Maverick6587

Silver Supporter
It's probably a leak in your lines or a valve on the compressor.
 

Mooseman

Moderator

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