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Chuck Moreland's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Santa Clara, CA
Posts: 5,666
How to: Spring plate bushing replacement part 1

A little background:

I recently met a 944 Turbo owner named Bill at a recent swap meet. He was looking to set up the suspension on his 944 turbo with some performance bushing replacements and asked if I had anything for the 944 (I manufacture a line of performance suspension components for the 911, the company is Elephant Racing).

My answer was no, but I’d been thinking about creating some 944 parts and with Bill offering up his 86 turbo as a test-mule for development purposes…….. This looked like the right time to develop some 944 pieces.

So the plan was put into motion; Bill dropped off his car and I went to work. I soon had the 944 up on jack stands with the suspension parts off. I gathered the information I needed to design the parts, in process now.

As luck would have it, the spring plate bushings are similar to the 911. With some lathe work I was able to adapt a set of 911 Polybronze Spring Plate bearings to fit. I set about to install this prototype set in Bill’s turbo.

I couldn’t find a good step-by-step for 944 spring plate bushing installation, so I thought I’d create one. I know the 911 suspension intimately and have learned a few tricks that ease installation of spring plate bushings. The 944 rear suspension is very similar save for a few notable differences. Most of my tricks apply.

I took lots of pictures, so I am breaking this how-to into three separate posts. Eventually I’ll get this cleaned up and posted to my web site.

Part 1 will be spring plate removal, part 2 bushing replacement, part 3 spring plate installation. Without further fanfare or introduction, here is part 1:


Click any picture for a larger view.

Put the car up on jackstands, or a lift. At a minimum you need both rear wheels up in the air, but the job is easiest with all 4 wheels up. Remove both rear wheels.

Remove 2 bolts attaching spring plates to the trailing arm.*Remove the sway bar drop links.

Popular wisdom says disconnect the brake line flex hoses, remove the exhaust, and drop the torsion bar tube. I found this wasn’t required. It is possible to tilt the torsion tube down, one side at a time, and gain the required clearance.

Do remove the spring clips that hold the brake line flex hoses to the trailing arms and the tub. Pulling these clips off affords a couple extra inches of slack on the brake lines.

Pull the trailing arm clear of the spring plate. You will need to remove the bolt that secures the trailing arm to the torsion bar tube. On the driver side you will need to remove one side of the axle to avoid interference with the muffler. Your goal is to have the spring plates hang free without interference from the trailing arms. Lifting the trailing arm with a jack will help.

You want the spring plate to hang free so you can create a reference line marking its angle relative to the torsion bar tube. This mark will be extremely valuable when you re-assemble to avoid repeated attempts at re-indexing the torsion bars.

Draw a pencil line as shown:

Again, be sure the trailing arm is not interfering with the angle of the spring plate. If you plan to re-install the same torsion bars, your goal will be to re-install the spring plates with the same angle. If you are installing stiffer torsion bars, you will need to install the spring plates a bit higher than the reference angle. The amount will depend on the stiffness of the torsion bars, but at least you have a staring point to reference.

Remove the rear bolt that secures the torsion bar tube to the chassis.

Remove 4 bolts surrounding spring plate, 1 bolt from forward bushing, and 1 bolt from the rear mount.

You will need to pry the forward bushing down to free it from the bracket.

You should now be able to tip down the torsion bar tube, one side at a time. Be sure you are not putting excessive stress on the brake flex hoses.

Remove the spring plate cover. Remove the rear section of the rubber rocker valence.

Pull the spring plate from the torsion tube and remove. The torsion bar sometimes sticks in the spring plate. Usually it can be freed by rocking it back and forth while pulling.

With the rocker valence removed and the torsion bar tube tilted down you should be able to fully remove the spring plate and the torsion bar.

That's it for part 1. Part 2 will cover bushing removal and installation of the the bushing replacements.

Read part 2 here
Chuck Moreland - -

Last edited by Chuck Moreland; 07-23-2004 at 10:36 AM..
Old 07-22-2004, 07:31 PM
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