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Front Control Arm Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Front Control Arm Replacement

Steve Vernon

Time:

5 hours5 hrs

Tab:

$60 to $2,000

Talent:

***

Tools:

Jack, jack stands, 19mm(2), 17mm, 13mm(2), 10mm sockets, wheel chocks, lug wrench, torque wrench, safety glasses

Applicable Models:

Porsche 944 Turbo (1986-89)

Parts Required:

Control arm

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 half 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, there are after-market companies now that make it possible to replace the ball joint at a greatly reduced price from replacing the whole arm. If you are interested in replacing your ball joints, please see our article on ball joint replacement. The cost of installing new control arms is not cheap. There are companies that will re-manufacture yours for you. Due to this secondary after-market, Porsche lowered the cost of the replacement arms, but they are still not inexpensive. Whether you want to replace the ball joints or are simply replacing the control arms or bushings, this article will show you how to remove them.

You will need to safely jack up, support the car, remove the under tray and remove the front wheels to perform this job. Please see our articles on these procedures for additional assistance.

There are two lower control arms on the Porsche 944 (red arrows) that attach to the cross member, frame and spindle and have the sway bar attached to them.
Figure 1

There are two lower control arms on the Porsche 944 (red arrows) that attach to the cross member, frame and spindle and have the sway bar attached to them.

Begin by removing the sway bar from the control arm.
Figure 2

Begin by removing the sway bar from the control arm. The sway bar attaches to both the control arm (red arrow) and the frame (yellow arrow).

Use a 17mm wrench or socket and remove the single nut on the top of the link (red arrow).
Figure 3

Use a 17mm wrench or socket and remove the single nut on the top of the link (red arrow). The nut sits on top of the link, which is a solid piece, so you do not need to counter hold the link like you do on some systems.

There is a washer (red arrow) and bushing on the top of the control arm.
Figure 4

There is a washer (red arrow) and bushing on the top of the control arm. Remove these noting the orientation of the washer for installation.

Use a 13mm socket and remove the two nuts on the mounting bolts.
Figure 5

Use a 13mm socket and remove the two nuts on the mounting bolts. There is a good chance you are going to have to counter hold the bolts (yellow arrows) with a 13mm wrench. Remove the bolts and the bracket will slip off.

With the top nut removed on both control arms you should be able to pull the bar and swing it down and out from the control arm (red arrow) and remove it from the vehicle.
Figure 6

With the top nut removed on both control arms you should be able to pull the bar and swing it down and out from the control arm (red arrow) and remove it from the vehicle.

The control arm mounts to the spindle (green arrow), the cross member (red arrow) and the frame (yellow arrow).
Figure 7

The control arm mounts to the spindle (green arrow), the cross member (red arrow) and the frame (yellow arrow).

There is a single nut and bolt that holds the control arm to the spindle (red arrow).
Figure 8

There is a single nut and bolt that holds the control arm to the spindle (red arrow).

The spindle is held to the control arm ball joint by a 17mm nut and bolt that sits in a groove in the joint.
Figure 9

The spindle is held to the control arm ball joint by a 17mm nut and bolt that sits in a groove in the joint. Use two 17mm sockets and remove the nut and bolt (red arrow). Note: this ball joint is shot (yellow arrow). The dust boot has been destroyed, and all of the grease has leaked out. Do not let your ball joints get to this stage of disrepair.

With the nut and bolt removed you can slide the spindle off the joint.
Figure 10

With the nut and bolt removed you can slide the spindle off the joint. You may need to spread the joint apart and use a little lubricant to get it to let go of the ball joint. There is a groove in the ball joint that the retaining bolts sits in, so you need to remove the bolt not just loosen the nut.

Before removing the rear control arm where it mounts to the frame, make sure to mark the concentric washer (red arrow) so you can get the alignment close when installing the new arm.
Figure 11

Before removing the rear control arm where it mounts to the frame, make sure to mark the eccentric washer (red arrow) so you can get the alignment close when installing the new arm. You will still need to have the alignment performed on the vehicle but this will get you close, so you can drive it to the alignment shop without doing damage.

Remove the two 17mm bolts holding the rear bushing in place (red arrows).
Figure 12

Remove the two 17mm bolts holding the rear bushing in place (red arrows). Use care; once these are out the control arm is free. You do not want it to drop. I like to undo the 19mm nut (yellow arrow) while it is still in the vehicle as I find it easier.

Slide the rear bushing off the control arm bolt.
Figure 13

Slide the rear bushing off the control arm bolt. The bushing is replaceable separately (yellow arrow) and is available in the aftermarket in varying degrees of stiffness for increased performance. Installation is the reverse of removal.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Andrew Comments: What is the 10mm for? I just did this job and realized I didn't use a 10mm socket or wrench.
August 27, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I don't see any where it is used. I will have the article updated. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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