Although my 1987 Porsche 911 has less than 50K miles, the front end has felt a bit loose. If I did the standard shock absorber test of bouncing up and down on the front bumper, the car would rebound twice before settling down. Ball joints were also needed so I figured I’d do it all at once. The article on ball joint replacement can be found on this same web site.
Jack the car up and place proper supports under. You are going to be really pushing and pulling on the wrenches and you don’t want it falling off a simple jack.
Note: I did this whole procedure without removing the disc brake rotor, caliber or front hub. It took about 30 minutes per side this way.
Remove the front tire:
Loosen and remove the nut inside the front trunk. You will need to bend down the washer that retains the nut from spinning first. Once the nut is off, remove the lock washer and the metal strut cap.
You can now push down on the strut and bend the wheel assembly outside the front fender. Depending on the year and previous service of your car, you might have a cartridge shock absorber like this or a bunch of separate parts in an oil bath. I had the separate parts and free floating oil. What a mess!
Put a pan under the wheel to catch the oil. Pull the strut cover off the strut, remove the rubber bump stop. You will now have a large round “nut” that needs to be removed. This “nut” is smooth all the way around. I used a large set of Channel Lock pliers to remove it. But before I started yanking on it, I reinserted the shock back into the fender hole to give it some purchase.
Once this nut is off, some oil might be leaking out. Use a syringe to suck up as much as you can, then carefully pull all the internals out of the strut. You will not be using any of these internals so you can put them aside for disposal.
Once the parts are out, I used a syringe and a piece of rubber tubing to suck all the oil out of the strut. Once the oil is out, simply insert the cartridge shock, put the large round nut onto the strut. (This nut comes with the cartridge if you ordered your parts from Pelican Parts.) Tighten it down with a large set of channel locks or a strap wrench.
Reinstall the bump stop rubber thingy, put the strut cover back on, depress the shock to get it back under the fender and pop it back through the hole.
Reinstall the strut plate and the lock washer and the nut. Torque to specs and you’re done!
Very easy and as I said, about 30 minutes a side.
Pelican Parts was extremely helpful when ordering the parts needed. I highly recommend using them for all your P-Car needs.
I couldn’t believe the difference these new shocks made in my car. The car handled well before, but now it truly is “on rails”!
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