This article is one in a series that have been released in conjunction with Wayne's book, 101 Projects for Your Porsche 911. The book contains 240 pages of full color projects detailing everything from performance mods to changing your brake pads. With more than 650+ full-color glossy photos accompanying extensive step-by-step procedures, this book is required reading in any Porsche 911 owner's collection. See The Official Book Website for more details.
Are you getting tired of having your deck lids fall on your head? It's probably time to replace your hood shocks. These are among the most disposable of parts on the 911. They will fail - it's just a matter of when. Replacing them is an easy task, however one that is made easier with small hands that can reach into tight places. With a little bit of patience, this task can be completed in about an hour.
The front hood uses two gas-pressurized shocks that hold up its weight. Start by lifting up the front hood, and securing it using a long stick or a baseball bat. Make sure that this support is securely affixed, as the hood will hurt if it falls upon your head. Starting with the right side, remove the small clip on the pin that connects the hood shock to the hood itself. Remove the same pin from the mount that connects the shock to the floor of the front trunk.
Replace the old shock in the same place and orientation that the old was in. Refasten the clips to the pins, and make sure that they are securely fastened. Repeat the procedure for the left side. This is a bit trickier, since the bottom of the shock is surrounded with hoses, brake lines and electrical cables. It is very easy to drop both the pin and the clip down into the recesses of the front trunk. In this case, it may be easier to replace the pin with a bolt and a nylon lock nut to prevent it from coming loose. If you do decide to use the bolt and washer approach, make sure that you don't clamp down too tightly on the bolt, as it will compress the shock against the mount, and may damage the mount.
The rear shocks are very similar in their replacement process. If your car has a factory-installed tail on the rear decklid, then you probably have a shock on either side of the car. Replace these in a similar fashion to the ones in the front, being careful again not to drop the clip or the pin into the engine compartment.
If you recently installed a Carrera or Turbo tail onto the rear of your car, you will probably need an extra hood shock to support the extra weight. There is a special kit for dealing with this problem. The kit contains a couple of spacers, and an extra hood shock that is placed directly alongside the other shock, on the same side of the car. This extra shock is more than enough to hold up the extra weight of the decklid. The kit is installed pretty easily and takes about ten minutes to complete. Simply take the clips and pins out and install the new pins, the spacers, and the extra hood shock alongside the original one.
Each shock is held in using a small pin and clip to keep them in position. Make sure that you are careful not to lose the clip or the pin into the recesses of your engine compartment or front trunk. The new shocks should last you several years, until they begin to wear out again.
The dual shock kit for the rear decklids is shown here. A spacer separates the outer shock from the inner one while allowing them both to use the same mounting points. A long bolt with a nylon-insert washer keeps the entire assembly together. Install the dual shock kit if you are installing a rear spoiler on your 911.