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Rennbay Ball Joint Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Rennbay Ball Joint Replacement

Steve Vernon

Time:

3 hours3 hrs

Tab:

$190

Talent:

***

Tools:

Flathead screwdriver (2), vice, sockets or PVC pipe for spacers, floor jack, jack stands, wheel chocks, safety glasses, torque wrench

Applicable Models:

Porsche 944 (1983-89)
Porsche 944 S2 (1989-91)
Porsche 944 Turbo (1986-89)
Porsche 944S (1987-88)

Parts Required:

Rennbay ball joint kit

Hot Tip:

Check your bushings

Performance Gain:

Better handling

The front control arms on the Porsche 944 and 951 have a bit of a storied history. The control arms up to 1985 1/2 were made from steel and then changed to cast aluminum. While the arm is not set up for you to be able to change out the ball joint, Rennbay has now made it possible to replace the ball joint with their ball joint replacement kit. With the Rennbay kit you can easily replace the aluminum control arm ball joints with units that are better than what the car was delivered with. No special tools are required, and no machine work is necessary. The Rennbay ball joint kit incorporates solid aluminum bronze internal bushings, forged chromalloy ball pins and new lower plates with grease fittings. The kit includes everything you need to replace both front ball joints. 

You will need to have already removed the front control arms to perform this work. If you have not done so, please see our article on front control arm removal.

This ball joint is shot.
Figure 1

This ball joint is shot. In the past that meant you were looking at a very expensive repair because you had to replace the entire control arm -- well not any more. This article will show you how to replace the ball joint with the Rennbay ball joint replacement kit.

The kit comes complete with everything you need to replace both front ball joints.
Figure 2

The kit comes complete with everything you need to replace both front ball joints.

Begin by turning the control arm over and scrapping out all of the old epoxy from the bottom of the control arm (red arrow).
Figure 3

Begin by turning the control arm over and scrapping out all of the old epoxy from the bottom of the control arm (red arrow).

With everything cleaned up you can see the gap in the factory-retaining ring (red arrow).
Figure 4

With everything cleaned up you can see the gap in the factory-retaining ring (red arrow).

Use a small drill bit.
Figure 5

Use a small drill bit. I used a 1/8th inch and drilled a relief hole at a 45-degree angle behind the retaining ring (red arrow).

You can use a pick or a common wood screw and insert it in the relief hole and gently pry the retaining ring outward (red arrow).
Figure 6

You can use a pick or a common wood screw and insert it in the relief hole and gently pry the retaining ring outward (red arrow).

Use a flathead screwdriver and pry the retaining ring out (red arrow).
Figure 7

Use a flathead screwdriver and pry the retaining ring out (red arrow).

Remove the old plate and spring from the control arm.
Figure 8

Remove the old plate and spring from the control arm.

Remove the old ball joint pin and clean the inside of the control arm.
Figure 9

Remove the old ball joint pin and clean the inside of the control arm.

Turn the control arm over and remove the old boot and spring (red arrow).
Figure 10

Turn the control arm over and remove the old boot and spring (red arrow).

Make sure to give everything a good cleaning, making sure to get everything out of the retaining ring groove.
Figure 11

Make sure to give everything a good cleaning, making sure to get everything out of the retaining ring groove.

Use the supplied grease pack and grease both the inside and outside of the upper bushing (red arrows).
Figure 12

Use the supplied grease pack and grease both the inside and outside of the upper bushing (red arrows).

Insert the greased upper bushing into the control arm.
Figure 13

Insert the greased upper bushing into the control arm.

You can use the plastic lower bushing (red arrow) to firmly press the upper bushing into place in the control arm.
Figure 14

You can use the plastic lower bushing (red arrow) to firmly press the upper bushing into place in the control arm.

It is important that the upper bushing is pressed all the way into place in the control arm (red arrow).
Figure 15

It is important that the upper bushing is pressed all the way into place in the control arm (red arrow).

Use the supplied grease pack and grease the ball joint pin.
Figure 16

Use the supplied grease pack and grease the ball joint pin.

Insert the ball joint pin into the control arm and upper bushing.
Figure 17

Insert the ball joint pin into the control arm and upper bushing.

Place the lower bushing into the control arm.
Figure 18

Place the lower bushing into the control arm.

Place the conical tension spring on top of the lower bushing with the wide end down.
Figure 19

Place the conical tension spring on top of the lower bushing with the wide end down.

Insert the seal ring.
Figure 20

Insert the seal ring.

Screw the grease fitting into the lower ball joint plate.
Figure 21

Screw the grease fitting into the lower ball joint plate.

Place the new retaining ring over the lower plate.
Figure 22

Place the new retaining ring over the lower plate.

You are going to use a press or vice to compact the ball joint together so you can insert the retaining ring into the groove in the control arm.
Figure 23

You are going to use a press or vice to compact the ball joint together so you can insert the retaining ring into the groove in the control arm. You need to place a socket or nut deep enough to protect the grease fitting on one end (yellow arrow) and a deep socket, piece of PVC piping or I used a couple of spacers from a bearing puller kit (green arrow) deep enough to clear the ball joint pin. With everything lined up place it into a vice and compress it until the retaining ring will fit into the groove in the control arm.

Use two flathead screwdrivers and work the new retaining ring into place in the control arm (yellow arrows),
Figure 24

Use two flathead screwdrivers and work the new retaining ring into place in the control arm (yellow arrows),

When you remove the control arm from the vice use a flathead screwdriver and hammer and gently tap the retaining ring into the groove to make sure it is well seated (red arrow).
Figure 25

When you remove the control arm from the vice use a flathead screwdriver and hammer and gently tap the retaining ring into the groove to make sure it is well seated (red arrow).

Use a hand grease gun ONLY and fill the ball joint until you feel hand pressure against the grease gun.
Figure 26

Use a hand grease gun ONLY and fill the ball joint until you feel hand pressure against the grease gun. Install the protective cap.

Place grease on the top of the ball joint (red arrow).
Figure 27

Place grease on the top of the ball joint (red arrow). The ball joint should be stiff but able to move.

Push the boot over the top of the ball joint until the spring clips on the top and bottom of the boot slip into their grooves (red arrows).
Figure 28

Push the boot over the top of the ball joint until the spring clips on the top and bottom of the boot slip into their grooves (red arrows).

Apply the included two stag epoxy to the area around the lower plate, retaining ring and control arm.
Figure 29

Apply the included two stag epoxy to the area around the lower plate, retaining ring and control arm.

Use the grease pack or a clean screwdriver to mix up the epoxy.
Figure 30

Use the grease pack or a clean screwdriver to mix up the epoxy. Allow the epoxy to dry, and you are done.

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