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Location: Flemington, NJ
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Front suspension refreshening

It's that time of year again...winter project time! On the top of my list this year is a suspension upgrade for my '77 911S. I currently have a horrible binding issue with the existing polyurethane bushings that needs to be addressed, so why not change everything. Right? Yes, that's exactly the kind of thinking that keeps us all browsing this board.

Current set-up:
22/28 sway-away torsion bars
22/22 weltmeister adjustable sway bars
polyurethane bushings front & rear
turbo tie rods
Bilstein custom-valved shocks & struts

Going to:
23/33 sander torsion bars
keeping current sway bars
Elephant Racing polybronze bearings front & rear
Elephant Racing rear sealed monoballs
Elephant Racing low friction A Arm kit
ERP bump steer kit
Bilstein custom-valved RSR shocks & struts

I began surgery today, and I thought I would share my progress and my procedure for anyone planning on a similar upgrade. If there's a more efficient or smarter way approach the project than how I went about it, please feel free to chime in. Santa provided the first project as a soft place to sit and ponder any impending projects or challenges.




Success!!




This is the majority of the parts for the project, sans rear torsion
bars and RSR shocks & struts. I have my 101 Projects book handy, as well as an article from Excellence (although reading upside down, as in the picture, definitely slowed me down).




The subject:




First things first, I jacked up the car and placed jack stands under the front end.

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Rob Fusi
77 911S | 3.6 Varioram | Triad Muffler | B&B 9400 Cooler |WEVO everything | Big Reds | 23/33 | 22/22 sways | Polybronze | RSR shocks/struts | FM10s |
GTC Motorsports
Old 01-02-2005, 04:40 PM
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The front wheel is removed to reveal the big honkin' red brakes.




Off they go! I unbolted the front caliper and hung it out of the way with a zip tie, and I removed the front wheel bearing retainer along with the rotor.




Next, I decided to disconnect the tie rods from the strut. I removed the cotter pin, unscrewed the retaining nut, and had at it with a BFH. It popped off without too much trouble.






The brake cooling duct is removed, and the tie rod is now disconnected. I decided that the strut would be my next victim, and it is held in place at the top by a nut and at the bottom by a pin, securing it to the ball joint. I removed the nut at the end of the pin (seen in the below picture), and the grabbed the BFH again along with a punch to knock the pin out. I left the top intact during this part so the strut wouldn't be inclined flop around with all my pounding. Next was removal of the nut at the strut top, inside the trunk.



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Rob Fusi
77 911S | 3.6 Varioram | Triad Muffler | B&B 9400 Cooler |WEVO everything | Big Reds | 23/33 | 22/22 sways | Polybronze | RSR shocks/struts | FM10s |
GTC Motorsports
Old 01-02-2005, 04:41 PM
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I lifted the strut "up" and off of the ball joint, then carefully lowered it down.




I needed to remove the torsion bar, and ultimately the A arm, and the first step was to unscrew the height adjustment screw. (I first removed the belly pan protection plate - 4 bolts) My bolt was very difficult to turn, so be prepared to use a bit of elbow grease if you car is anything like mine.




This is the "rear" end of the torsion bar. I removed the cap and was fortunate enough to be able to simply wiggle my torsion bar out of the A arm. In Wayne's book, he states that it is sometimes necessary to tap it out from the other end.



I next unbolted the front A arm mount and slid the control arm forward and "out", and removed the rear A arm mount as a secondary operation. In hindsight, it might have been a bit easier to unbolt both the front & rear A arm mounts and pull it out as an assembly.




Woohoo!

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Rob Fusi
77 911S | 3.6 Varioram | Triad Muffler | B&B 9400 Cooler |WEVO everything | Big Reds | 23/33 | 22/22 sways | Polybronze | RSR shocks/struts | FM10s |
GTC Motorsports
Old 01-02-2005, 04:42 PM
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I'm using Chuck's low friction A arm mounting kit to ensure collinear movement of the A arm. The kit contains a self-centering washer "system", and a new rear A arm mount. Here is the Elephant Racing mount compared to the factory original.





Off go the polyurethane bushings, followed by some clean-up of the existing pieces. (btw, the existing polyurethane bushings are actually in great condition if anybody wants them) The polybronze bearings are a two piece setup. First you install the race on the A arm, and secondly you press the bearing into the A arm mounts. In order to get a snug fit, there are several different size shims provided with the kit. It took a bit of trial and error to choose the correct shim(s) and a lot of "twisting", but I have both races very snugly fit onto the A arm.




Rear A arm mount with the polybronze bearing started.




Finally, the bearing is pressed into place using a vise (that's what I used, anyway!).




Yeehaw, everything is now ready for re-installation! I only had time to mount the A arm back in place. When I get more time I will install the RSR struts, the ERP bump steer kit, a new rotor, and the caliper. Oh, and then I'll do the other side . I'm still waiting for my rear torsion bars to arrive (they are back-ordered), and then stage 2 will begin!

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Rob Fusi
77 911S | 3.6 Varioram | Triad Muffler | B&B 9400 Cooler |WEVO everything | Big Reds | 23/33 | 22/22 sways | Polybronze | RSR shocks/struts | FM10s |
GTC Motorsports
Old 01-02-2005, 04:43 PM
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Wow! This is a tutorial. Good work and nice pics. Should make the job go easier for anyone that is contemplating doing suspension work.
Old 01-02-2005, 04:55 PM
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Thank you so much for sharing! You made us feel like we were there, vicariously handing you the tools.
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Old 01-02-2005, 05:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by William S
You made us feel like we were there, vicariously handing you the tools.
I'm always glad to have the help!
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Rob Fusi
77 911S | 3.6 Varioram | Triad Muffler | B&B 9400 Cooler |WEVO everything | Big Reds | 23/33 | 22/22 sways | Polybronze | RSR shocks/struts | FM10s |
GTC Motorsports
Old 01-02-2005, 05:16 PM
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Great post - just outstanding.

Just a quick idea. Use a "sacrificial nut" at the very end of threaded pieces that are going to be hit with BFH to protect the threads.
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Last edited by JSDSKI; 01-02-2005 at 05:51 PM..
Old 01-02-2005, 05:28 PM
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Very cool, thanks for the tutorial!
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Old 01-02-2005, 05:41 PM
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Thanks again! I'm about one month away from upgrading my stock '87 to your "old" setup and bookmarked this post. Want to sell your front 22mm t-bars and bushings?
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Old 01-02-2005, 05:45 PM
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What a gorgeous car and great write-up!
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Old 01-02-2005, 05:49 PM
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Very nice. I hope to be going thru mine this spring. If I can get the other projects taken care of. I have to stop reading these post. I get too many ideas.
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Old 01-02-2005, 05:55 PM
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Sweet. I am going to do some work to mine this winter as well. Only turbo tie rods.
BTW---Is that a 959 wheel and tire sitting behind your car?!
Pictures 13 and 14 I think.
Hey, that's cool. It's 9:59 as I am posting my reply.
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Old 01-02-2005, 06:01 PM
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JSDSKI beat me to it !

I would have turned the castellated nut upside down over the exposed threaded "end" of the tie rod bolt.....so it sat flush with the end of the thread...before I wailed away with a BFH....

Same idea.....but an important one. You don't want to mangle the very first threads that a fastener engages upon....

Wil
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Old 01-02-2005, 06:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Oh Haha
Sweet. I am going to do some work to mine this winter as well. Only turbo tie rods.
BTW---Is that a 959 wheel and tire sitting behind your car?!
Pictures 13 and 14 I think.
Hey, that's cool. It's 9:59 as I am posting my reply.
Is this what you are referring to? I think it's a lawnmower wheel.

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Old 01-02-2005, 06:12 PM
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Hi Rob:

Nice job of documentation, Sir. My compliments to the "Chef",....

I think this will prove useful to others who are contemplating such upgrades.
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Old 01-02-2005, 06:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Wil Ferch
I would have turned the castellated nut upside down over the exposed threaded "end" of the tie rod bolt.....so it sat flush with the end of the thread...before I wailed away with a BFH....

Same idea.....but an important one. You don't want to mangle the very first threads that a fastener engages upon....

Wil
Excellent point, Will. I wasn't terribly concerned about mangling the end of the tie rod since I'm replacing it with the ERP kit, but anyone re-using theirs absolutely should follow your advice. The same probably holds true when pounding out the pin between the strut and the ball joint.
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Rob Fusi
77 911S | 3.6 Varioram | Triad Muffler | B&B 9400 Cooler |WEVO everything | Big Reds | 23/33 | 22/22 sways | Polybronze | RSR shocks/struts | FM10s |
GTC Motorsports
Old 01-02-2005, 06:20 PM
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Rob:
for clarity.....that was only meant as a minor point of constructive criticism for others to follow as they read your post... I too think your write up ( and your car , fer sure!) are fabulous !!

Wil
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Old 01-02-2005, 06:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Shaun 84 Targa
Is this what you are referring to? I think it's a lawnmower wheel.
It's a special model at Sears, this year. 6hp never felt faster!
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Rob Fusi
77 911S | 3.6 Varioram | Triad Muffler | B&B 9400 Cooler |WEVO everything | Big Reds | 23/33 | 22/22 sways | Polybronze | RSR shocks/struts | FM10s |
GTC Motorsports
Old 01-02-2005, 06:31 PM
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There are many methods to the madness of front suspensions. Mine was a little different but the results were the same. Great job and enjoy your new ride. Here is mine.

Old 01-02-2005, 06:43 PM
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