Monday, October 29, 2007

Install a Front Lip Spoiler on the SAAB 9-5 for Only $25

This is how to add a front lip spoiler known as an "HD lip" to the SAAB 9-5 for $25. What is an HD lip? Well, the HD stands for "Home Depot".

This project is not for everyone. It is just for fun and just for appearance. For $25, it is a project that you can do in an hour. The lip can be easily removed if it gets damaged or if you get tired of it.

I picked up this modification from an autocross forum I frequent. I don't autocross and I wouldn't use my SAAB if I did, but I grew up in an SCCA family and I love to keep up with the sport. I saw the HD lip and had to try it out.

You will need:
9 feet of "rubber garage door bottom" (preferably from Home Depot)
two 1.5 meter rolls of outdoor mounting tape (I used Scotch brand)
a dozen self-tapping lathing screws
a bottle of rubbing alcohol
clean rags
a pair of scissors
a screwdriver that matches the screws

You can optionally jack or ramp the car to get to the front bumper easier, but the installation will still work at ride height.

Use the rubbing alcohol and rags to wipe down the underside of the front bumper and the edge of the rubber "garage door bottom" strip. Apply the mounting tape to the strip. I ended up with an extra 2 feet and 4 inches of rubber. You could just tape 7 feet of rubber and you should be safe, but I wouldn't cut the rubber yet. Take your time adding the tape and really press it into the rubber strip. It will take about 1 and a half rolls of tape for the entire project.

Peel back to expose about a foot of tape at a time and, starting at a wheel well, carefully place the strip around the edge of the bumper. Cut the end of the rubber so it is flush with the end of the bumper. Really press the tape into the bumper as you go to make sure it sticks. You could stop here if you only wanted the lip to be temporary.

I went ahead and used some screws at key points under the bumper to make sure the new lip will hold for awhile. No pre-drilling was required, the screws went in by themselves.

It actually looks quite finished for $25 worth of hardware store items. Maybe I should have cut and pre-taped some strips and then sold them online for $$$ instead of writing this post. (c:

There are two ways of mounting the rubber strip, one is a thicker "aggressive" looking lip and the other a thinner lip. I went with the thicker lip by taping the smaller of the two edges to the bumper. A thinner lip can be made by using the other surface of the rubber strip. Play with the strip before you add tape and figure out which edge you want to use.

Here is a closeup photo soon after I installed the lip. The edge near the wheel well was at the center of the roll. It straightened out after a week in the sun.


11/29/07 Update:

Welcome to the visitors from and

I ended up using satin black bumper paint and toothpick to carefully blackout the places where the gray tape could be seen. A month and many highway miles later, and the lip is holding strong, no ripples or sagging. We will see what winter weather does to it.

12/13/07 Update:

Welcome to the visitors.

The lip stood up to the ice storm in the midwest this week. Tomorrow has a forecast for some real snow.

1/23/08 Update:

Welcome and visitors.

The lip seems to hold fairly firm at high speed with little bending or flapping. The fold of the foam gives it a certain strength.

My lip is still holding strong in all our winter weather and even in the automatic car wash. I really didn't expect it to last long or look as striking as it does. I've decided that I'm keeping it on as long as it holds up and might even install a new one when it is time to retire the current lip.

3/16/08 Update:

Welcome visitors.

The lip is still on and looks as good as it did when I installed it, even after being folded over and pinched by the occasional curb when parking. Something that isn't shown in the photos is how the lip looks when coated in an Armor All type rubber conditioner. I suggest giving it a wipe down with rubber conditioner ever so often because the stuff really makes it look better.

5/25/08 Update:

Welcome visitors.

I don't have anything really to add to the post except that it is still holding strong after more than six months. I put a coat of armor all on it occasionally to keep it looking fresh.

7/25/08 Update:

Welcome visitors.

The lip is still holding strong, I just give it a spray of Armor All when it starts to look rough and it's as good as new. I drive 40 miles round trip to work five days a week and most of that is at 70-80mph. The lip takes the abuse like a champ.


  1. Hi you said you bought it from home depot could you show the exact link please?

  2. Hey saabblackman, thanks for asking.
    I posted this same link on SaabCentral, and I know you saw it there, but I'll post it again here for other visitors.

    Here's a link to the rubber door bottom from Amazon:
    I couldn't find it listed on the Home Depot website... Home Depot really needs to make their website easier to use.

    I found it in the store with the window and door seals.

  3. My front spoiler took a lot of winter/curb damage so I decided to try this out today. I pulled off the lip and taped up the cracks like crazy, put it back on, and used the mounting tape to basically cover it up with the rubber strip. It looks pretty badass and conceals the cracks/chips in the lip, and will hopefully allow me to get a bit more life out of the front lip before having to drop the $185 to replace it (and have it crack again).

  4. I think you'll be impressed at the ruggedness of the HD lip. I bent it on a lot of curbs over time and it always bounces back into shape after I back out of the spot.