6 scuff-free inches

If you ever come to Hobart and see a 9-3 Viggen parked a little out from the kurb, that’ll be me wanting to ensure I never have to front-up for repairing my wheels ever again!

I’ve just received a quote from Bocchinos, reputedly the best body repairers in town. To repair and repaint all 4 wheels on the Viggen, plus a very minor body repair that I may as well throw in while I’m there – $1250.00!!!

The wheels on the Viggen are very soft, so any rubbing on kurbs etc leads to instant kurb rash. They’ll also bend reasonably easily if you take it too hard over potholes etc. The wheels on my Viggen look OK in photos but up close reveals another story. One rim has a kurb-crater big enough to stick your fingernail into and all 4 wheels have suffered some paint weathering over their relatively short lifetime.

As I got the car at a decent price, I’m willing to spend a little to get it right up to scratch – but $1250 for cosmetics – ay carumba!

So the question becomes: do I prep them myself and save a few bucks or do I give Bocchinos the whole job and just forget about it?

Fellow Tasmanian Saabist, Drew B, has written a fantastic article of wheel repairs. I’ve published it once before here at Trollhattan and you can read it again at the following link: Wheel Repair Guide. If you’ve got any plans to refresh your rims then it’s a great start. It’s really not that hard to prep them. Painting them? Well that’s a different matter. I’ve prepped a set of wheels before, though doing it for the Viggen requires that I try to arrange a spare set to use whilst mine are off the car. A tricky task, though not impossible.

Hmmmmmm. Save yourselves some dough and make sure you keep away from those nasty curbs!!

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  1. Swade, unless they’re damaged to the point of liability, i’d leave them. You’ll only scrape them again.. and around it’ll go. I have numerous scrapes on my Viking Aeros but the costs ( I was quoted quite a bit less than you) versus the repeat factor made my mind up for me. Remember that its not always you driving as well and others may not be careful/aware.

    The bending/buckling is a serious issue though one of mine has a slight buckle that I need to correct. My sources also proclaim Saab wheels as “soft”.

  2. I’d drive the car for a bit longer before I spent money on wheels and paint. However, I think it’sa good pairing to buy new wheels when you get new tires. My aesthetic vote goes for the 17″ wheels that came on 9-5 AERO’s in 1999-2000. See: http://us1.webpublications.com.au/static/images/articles/i520/52054_00mg.jpg

    I don’t think the 5-spoke Viggen wheels are as unique, and I always read how soft they are.

    As for curb rash and scrapes, after I bought new wheels I’ve just been very diligent about parking and always tilt my side mirror down so I can see the curb. So far, OK.

  3. Feature idea for future SAABs: electronic curb feelers. You know, like those old wiry things that used to stick off the side of your car and make a horrible racket when they scrape the curb so your wheels won’t?

    Have it based on the rear end proximity sensor things (falsely called RADAR as I believe they’re infrared).

    SAAB owners with expensive wheels will LOVE this option. Or just go find some 70’s car with curb feelers and swipe them. They’d look wicked sweet on your Viggen! 😉

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