I should first give you an overview of my project:
My car is a 1974 911 coupe. The car was purchased for $500.00 in not running condition with little rust and minor dents. I intend to completely rebuild the mechanicals from front to rear. The 2.7L engine had been butchered by a shop that the previous owner had used. Not being very familiar with Porsche I started looking into hot rodding the 2.7L. However, after several weeks of research, I decided to use a 3.2L engine (more power reliability etc., supercharger option :).
So now that I have the 3.2L engine I needed to think about stopping and turning. The small front brakes required changing the struts to accommodate the larger brakes that I desired.
FRONT STRUT REPLACEMENT
Now the two most important aspects of any car are braking and how it handles. Since all these factors have a bearing on each other it will take very careful thinking when proceeding with any front steering, suspension or braking modifications.
- First, will my current struts accept any of the available brake upgrades? Do I want to upgrade at this time or in the future?
- Two, since I will be doing front end work what other modifications should I do at this time ( or how many times do I want to pay for an alignment). Such as turbo tie rod ends or control arm bushings camber plates etc.
- Three, do I have the correct tools to perform this work Torque wrench's, allen sockets/wrenches flare nut wrenches etc.?
BASIC STRUT REPLACEMENT
First obtain all the parts you need. (from Pelican Parts of course)
The following is a list of parts that need to be replaced because of safety considerations:
1.Washer 900 038 002 01 you will need 2. This is the upper mount lock washer.
2. Ball joint retaining pin 911 341 119 06 you will need 2. This is the pin that locks the strut to the ball joint.
3. Washer 900 089 006 02 you will need 2. This is the washer for the pin.
4. Lock nut 999 084 019 02 you will need 2. This is the lock nut for the pin.
5. Copper washers for the caliper banjo fitting.
DO NOT REUSE THE BALL JOINT RETAINING PIN, WASHER OR LOCK NUT. OR THE UPPER STRUT MOUNT LOCK WASHER.
Other items you will need:
1. Front wheel bearing grease seals
2. Wheel bearing grease
3. A flat floor to work on
4. 2 quality jack stands
5. A jack to jack up the car
6. Brake fluid
7. A good helper
The first step is to clean the inner fender of dirt etc. A hose or pressure washer will work for this. After the car has dried out, break loose the lug nuts on both front wheels, but do not remove them. Jack up the the car far enough so the front wheels are off the ground and secure the car with jack stands. Open the hood and look for the upper strut mounts, when you have found them you will see the upper strut nut and lock washer. At this time, pry down the tab on the washer and loosen but do not remove the nut just yet. (see Figure 1).
Now remove both front wheels and set them aside. Leave one strut assembly together at this time in case you forget how it came apart. In the following order:
2. At the bottom of the strut you will see a nut facing to the front of the car. This nut is for the ball joint retaining pin. At this time remove the nut and washer and with a suitable punch drive out the retaining pin. Now throw the pin, washer and nut away! (Figure 4)
3. Place a pan under the brake line where it connects to the inner fender.
4. Remove the brake hose from the inner fender mounting point making sure to use a flare nut wrench on the hard line nut and counter hold the brake hose with a suitably sized wrench. Remove the retaining clip and set it aside. At this time let the brake fluid drain into a suitable container. (Figure 5, Figure 6 and Figure 7)
5. Place another (or the same one) pan under the caliper banjo fitting. Remove the banjo bolt and sealing washers from the caliper(you will need to get new washers so keep these as samples), see Figure 8 and Figure 9.
6. Locate and remove the two caliper retaining bolts. Remove the caliper from the strut and rotor by rotating it towards the front of the car, set it aside at this time. You will have a brake line attached to the strut. Do not remove it at this time. See Figure 10, Figure 11, and Figure 13.
7. Remove the wheel bearing dust cap and set it aside.
8. With the correct allen wrench loosen and then remove the wheel bearing adjusting nut place it on a clean rag/towel. Carefully draw the rotor towards yourself making sure the outer wheel bearing and washer do not fall on the ground. Place the rotor with the adjusting nut. (Figure 14, Figure 15, Figure 16)
9. Remove the spacer and O-ring from the spindle using a two jaw puller of sufficant length. (Inspect the spacer for grooves on the surface that the seal rides on. If there is damage order new spacers). Place these with the rotor. If you do not have the proper tools, have a machine shop remove the spacer and install it on the new strut. See Figure 17, Figure 18, and Figure 19.
Carefully withdraw the strut from the upper mount and wheel well. Place the strut aside.
Congratulations you are now ready to reassemble!
But first you need to.....
1. Clean the dust shield and mounting bolts.
2. Remove the inner grease seal and wheel bearing from the rotor hub assembly.
3. Clean and pack the wheel bearings.
4. Clean the rotor hub assembly with a suitable solvent.
5. Install the inner bearing and grease seal onto the rotor hub assembly.
1. With the new and old struts side by side transfer the brake lines from the old strut to the new strut.
2. Carefully insert the new strut into the upper mount, while holding onto the strut with one hand install the large washer and the new lock washer, making sure to align the tab into the slot on the strut. Loosely tighten the upper strut mount nut.
3. Carefully guide the ball joint stud, making sure the cut out will line up with the pin hole in the strut. This may take some effort to do so make sure the stud is going in straight.
4. Install the NEW ball joint pin from the engine side of the strut, making sure the flats on the pin line up with the flats on the ball joint stud.
5. Install the NEW washer and lock nut onto the ball joint pin, tighten the nut to the torque value specified for your car.
6. Install the tie rod end onto the steering arm and with your helper holding the steering wheel straight ahead, torque the tie rod castle nut to the torque value specified for your car and install a new cotter pin.
7. Making sure the mating surfaces on the brake line and hose are clean. Loosely attach the brake hose to the hard line on the inner fender, install the retaining clip at this time.
8. Now tighten the brake line nut with the correct size flare nut wrench and counter hold the brake hose. Do not over tighten!
9. Install the dust shield and torque the fasteners to the value specified for your car.
10. If you have the correct driver or can manufacture one, install the o-ring and spacer onto the spindle. If you do not have the correct tools bring the struts to a machine shop and have the spacers installed for you.
11. Making sure you have lightly greased the seal lip, install the hub rotor assembly and adjust the wheel bearings and reinstall the dust cap.
12. Make sure the brake line banjo fitting and the mating surface on the caliper are clean. Install the caliper onto the rotor and fasten it with the retaining bolts tightening to the torque specified for your car.
13. With new sealing washers install the banjo fitting bolt and tighten it to the value specified for your car.
14. Recheck the torque on the caliper mounting bolts, brake line banjo fitting and ball joint pin nut.
Now look at the other strut and brake assemble. If the side you have just completed looks like the one you have not worked on. You can now proceed to repeat the above steps on this side. (Figure 27)
Once you are finished with the second side you will need to bleed the brakes. After bleeding the brakes and reinstalling the wheels, lower the car and torque the lug nuts.
Now tighten the upper strut mount nut to the torque specified for your vehicle and bend over the locking washer so the nut can not move. You will now need to make an appointment with your local alignment shop to have the car aligned.