944 Replacing Strut Inserts (Front Shocks) and Lower Ball Joints w/PICS

So I was forced to change my front strut cartridges, busted ball joints, and a tie rod end on the 944. From my research, this was suppose to be a 90 minute job. I did it in four…..days, loosing time because of lack of tools, and my car got towed by the city without the wheels. (THOSE BASTARDS) Anyway…………….

1. With the car on ground with the tires on. Remove the top strut nut.(Everyone said use an impact wrench which I did not have. So I tried it by hand at first…WHAT WAS I THINKING)
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So I took it down to Harry at the Joe’s Mobil Service (Franklin and Argyle) and he backed the nut out with the impact wrench. Thanks Harry.
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2. Jack up front of car on stands high enough to clear wheels by a few inches. Remove the wheels and sway bar drop link.
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3. Push down the control arm far enough to drop the strut shaft from the upper mount and carefully pull it clear of the front fender. If your shocks were toast like mine were, the assembly will just fall out..LOL
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4. With the strut clear of the fender you can pull the spring easily. Remove the threaded cap on the housing.(This took me a while because I was using a oil filter remover, go get a pipe wrench from Home Depot and save yourself some sunlight and self esteem.) Check the level of the existing oil in the housing with a pipe cleaner or something.
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5. This part was tough to me. I put the strut protector on. Then I put the spring on. One the spring was on I push the strut down and locked it in place with vise grip pliers. I carefully slipped the strut assembly back under the fender. Took my jack and raised the control arm while guiding the shaft back into the upper mount. Make sure the spring is are set correctly correctly and re-installl the upper strut nut by hand.

6. If just doing struts. Put the wheels back on, lower the car, bounce it several times to make sure it seats, and use an impact on the upper nut.

BUT my ball joints were shot so now that I had the struts assembled and jacked up, I decided to REPLACE MY BALL JOINTS.

1. I pushed down on the control arm to expose the broken ball joint.
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2. The early 944 ball joints were riveted in. The replacement ball joints bolt in. So using a drill and drill bits for metal, I dipped the small drill bit in oil and slowly started drilling. (I used a 9.8v drill so the battery needed recharging a couple of times which added to the time.) Once I had a hole through the control arm, I switch to a bigger bit. One I had the bigger hole through the control arm, I used a big flat head screwdriver and a hammer to pry the rivet heads off giving me a clean piece of metal.
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14 Replies to “944 Replacing Strut Inserts (Front Shocks) and Lower Ball Joints w/PICS”

  1. Hey Man, Thanks for the post. I am looking to do the same to my 1986 944. Turns out I am also in LA. Maybe I will catch your act sometime or seek your advice when I get the tools and struts together for this upgrade.

  2. Byron, What year 944 do you own?

    I would like to do the same change to mine, that is replace the strut cartriages.
    On Line says that cartriage replacement is not an option on a 1987 944S.

    1. Hey Vic,
      I believe the 83′-85/1′ is the only 944 Porsche that has that option of changing only the cartridge. Mine is an 83′

      1. Hey Byron,

        Just about to do the same with my 86 944 Turbo. Hope this will work on mine. Thanks for the post.

  3. Nice job sir! This is one of many front end projects I get to do. 🙂 I start acquiring parts in a week or so. I am picking up a set of 4 jack stands tomorrow, then borrowing a jack lift. I plan on taking over my garage for a week or so. I am in Dallas, 1984 944 N/A. Cheers!

  4. Ahahaha ok this is crazy, I need to change my 944 shocks, I’ve been looking for tips online, 5 minutes later I founded ur post and I even bookmarked thinking ok this guy know what he’s doing, and then I realized that u r the Byron that I met at the improv Hollywood I while ago, I use to be a cook there, we have the same car I don’t know if u remember, anyway I hope u r doing great bro hope to see ur show soon :]

  5. Byron. Stumbled across your page looking for some info on 944 Strut replacements. Good info. However, I spent more time looking at your comedy. You are hilarious. Love the bits about your 944 (sunroof, airbag, etc….)…..made me cry. I am in Atlanta. My father in law owns the Original Uptown Comedy Club downtown here in ATL. You would rock that place. If you want to check into it, lets connect.

  6. Hey Byron.

    My son and I are beginning this project today and your outline is great !
    I do have a couple questions if you would be so kind, regarding step 5. You mention
    “strut protector” and I notice a rubber boot ?… is something else we need to buy ?
    I don’t get the vise grip thing either ? Are you saying you lock the tool on the shaft just under the nut in order to make adding nut possible ?

    BTW the way, next time you are at the Comedy and Magic in Hermosa, I’ll be there.
    It’s always been our favorite place and I can see you kiill’n it.

    1. Sorry this took so long to answer, Im traveling.
      1. If you r rubber boot is good then you dont have to replace. All it does is keep the strut from hitting the fender etc.
      2. I used the vice grips to compress the spring because I didnt have a spring compressor tool. If you get the tool it would be much easier.

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