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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: cali
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Question Poorman's suspension upgrade....

My 88 911 has 107k on it with what I believe to be original shocks. After reading some posts on upgrading shocks I decided to get a quote for the Bilstien HDs on all 4 corners.

My local Mech comes back w/ a quote of $1,000.00 installed..yicks.

I also asked about lowering the car to euro height after installation (understanding that my car is riding too high now and that new shocks make it sit even higher...). He described this as difficult task, involving re-sizing the springs and an extra 500 bucks?????

If I lived in a house w/ a garage, I'd do the work myself, but right now it doesnt make sense.

Anyone have thoughts on a cheaper way to get the same result?

Thanks for any help you guys can give.

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Old 02-02-2004, 03:49 PM
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The shocks/struts themselves will run you around $500-600. They are relatively easy to replace, but would be easier with a garage. Seeing as you are in Cali one of the fella's on the board would probably be happy to have you come over and do it at their place.

Lowering a 911 is a pain (the rear is a *****), check with the fella's who live in your area, they can recommend the best place for quality and price to get that done, but it's never cheap. Not only does the car get lowered, but it should be corner balanced and aligned too.
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Old 02-02-2004, 03:57 PM
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Where in Cali are you located? I can name a couple of places to get it done for cheaper.

-Britain
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Old 02-02-2004, 03:58 PM
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PS, yes you definitely need to put new shocks on. I did so with mine. I didn't think the old shocks were bad, but when I got them off they were toast, and the new parts made a huge difference.
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Old 02-02-2004, 03:59 PM
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The front is easy....the rear less so....but if you are going to do it....consider heavier Torsion bars and aftermarket spring plates. The spring plates...I have Sway Away.....have an easy adjustment for the rears....mo' bettah than re indexing the t-bars. I have moved mine up and down a few times depending on the locale and what I plan on doing.

I advertised on the various boards and got them from private parties. You would be surprised at what people have squirreled away that they never got around to installing and you ad jogs the memory....
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Old 02-02-2004, 04:19 PM
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Guys thanks for the info, Im in san carlos, CA ...there are a couple of mech. real close to me that have done work for me in the past.

Britain- If you can recommend a few, definitely like to hear about them.
also, do guys think the hd's are worth the money? I know stock equip. is cheaper...

Thanks
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Old 02-02-2004, 04:25 PM
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You should only need the inserts, the boge are not that much cheaper than the Bilsteins. I got the Bilsteins. They certainly look to be top quality. I think they are probably a better shock than the Boge from a performance perspective, but that's just my opinion, and you know what that's worth.
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Old 02-02-2004, 04:41 PM
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If you already have Bilsteins, Bilstein will refurbish them for far less than new inserts. Lowering the rear of your 911 may be as simple as dealing with the eccentric bolt, depending upon factors like how much you want to lower it. Lowering the front is a snap. Changing torsion bars is a good idea, for increased performance, but is much much more involved.
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Old 02-02-2004, 04:53 PM
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I would reccomend taking it to Darin at Westend Allignment in Gardena. He does great work and has very fair prices (almost half of others), he transformed my car with just a few adjustments. He worked on my car for almost three hours, the whole time I sat in it to ensure proper adjustments and he talked me through every adjustment he made. A fellow Pelican member recomended him to me, it was worth every penny spent.
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Old 02-02-2004, 05:00 PM
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I would run far away from that mechanic if he said the springs would have to be re-sized....there are no springs, but there are torsion bars, which can be re-indexed.
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Old 02-02-2004, 09:01 PM
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Change your mechanic !!!!!

For the shocks you need to check what type of strut/insert you have in the front. If it's Bilstein insertsyou can send your inserts in to Bilstein for a rebuild/revalve at 60$ a piece. If its Boge buy new Bilstein inserts for Boge struts at 260$ the pair. For the rears I would try and find a set of shot Bilstein shocks for next to nothing and send those in for a rebuild as well. That makes 220$ for fully rebuild shocks.

The torsion bars can be reindexed (setting the ride height. its a lot of work but you can do it in your driveway) or you can go to stiffer torsion bars. They are between 100$ and 200$ used per pair. Adjustable spring plates are between 100 and 200$ used and make the ride height adjustment in the rear alot easier. The front is simple to begin with. A simple 11mm wrench and you are in business.

After you are all done do yourself a favor and have the car aligned and maybe corner balanced 150$-200$

Cheers,
Ingo
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Old 02-02-2004, 10:39 PM
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Just rebuilt friends suspension for the track on a 1984 Turbo look and rebuilt my track car suspension last year. If your on a budget, like most of us junkies, and you want to save some $$$ send your front inserts and rear shocks back to Bilstein for refurbishing. I believe they are charging $55 for each front and $65 for each rear, give or take 5 bucks. I had mine done by them last year and the WHOLE bill including shipping was under $300. Turn around was about 2 weeks. A lot less than replacing for new. They will be new when u get them back anyway. They will revalve the inserts and shocks at any setting u wish within reason. So talk to your local suspension nut and find the valve settings you are looking for, stock, HiPerf street or race. Of course that is if you can remove them yourself and have a place for the car to sit for 2 weeks. removal and installation is pretty straightforward.
P.S. Run away from that mechanic. He's lookin to fund his kids college education!!!!
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Last edited by SCOTITUDE; 02-02-2004 at 10:51 PM..
Old 02-02-2004, 10:49 PM
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I replaced my shocks for right around 700.00 for new Bilsteins with labor. Not super cheap, but not a grand either. I could have done it, but chose not to deal with it. On occasion it's nice to bone up, especially if you don't have access to tools or a facility in which to do the job...
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Old 02-02-2004, 11:35 PM
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I would bet you have Boge stuts and inserts which I do not believe can be revalved (when you pull the fronts out fluid will leak all over and the inserts come out in pieces). Bilstein HDs are the way to go. I have them in my 87 and they make a big difference. Going to bigger torsion bars will make the car handle better but unless you are doing DE stuff there is no need at this point. I am in Half Moon Bay and could probably hook you up with some locals who may be able to help you on the cheap. Shoot me a PM if interested. By the way, I think the rear shocks are easier to replace than the fronts. But in any case. with some help you could DIY in a day and then take it to a shop for alignment when done.

Bill
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Old 02-02-2004, 11:47 PM
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Guys-

Thanks for the guidance...sometimes I think the folks on this board are more qualified then some of the 'bosch certified pros'...or maybe just more honest. Anyways, I'm gonna give another local guy a shot, I think I know enough now to smell a rat. Zcat3, thanks for the offer, I may ask for your contact if this doesnt work....cant wait til I have my own garage!!!!!!!!!

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Old 02-03-2004, 10:40 AM
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