My 924S needed basically all of its suspension updated, and I’ve been kinda taking a low-hanging fruit approach - start with the easiest and least expensive jobs. I replaced the tie rod ends ($14 each) which was a pretty straight forward job, though old rusty bolts can make anything anything a crapshoot - took about an hours worth of PB Blastering, blowtorchery, and hammer whacks to get the old ones out. Then I replaced the rear shocks (some very squishy KYB) with new Bilstein HDs really easy, took about an hour to do both sides. Next up was the front sway bar bushings, but that’s currently on hold due to me ordering the wrong parts, or the car coming with the wrong parts, depending on your point of view. Making sense of the various sway bar options is probably worthy of its own article (once I figure it out, at least).
So, control arms. The 924S rear suspension is basically compatible with the later Porsche 4 cylinder transaxle cars (85.5+ 944, 968) while the front is similar to the early cars (924, 83-85.5 944). This means we’re using the steel control arms, as opposed to the later aluminum ones. In my opinion, this is a good thing, since the steel arms are much cheaper and the wear items are easier to replace.
To keep things simple, I chose to assemble new arms, bushings and ball joints. Replacement arms from the OEM supplier are only around $20 each, which is worthwile to avoid the hassle of removing old bushings and ball joints. My shopping list looked like this:
- 2x Lemförder control arms
- OEM supplier
- $23 each
- 2x Febi front control arm front bushings
- Febi part # 06561
- replaces Porsche part #171-407-182-D
- $3.50 each (vs $30+ OE)
- 1x Weltmeister poly front control arm rear bushings (comes as a set of 2)
- Weltmeister Part #911940
- replaces Porsche part #477-407-169
- $30 per set (vs $116 each OE)
So that comes out to around $85 for everything. I’d normally prefer to use OEM parts when possible, but I saved $250 by going this route - enough to buy 3 more control arm assemblies! I bought it all from Pelican Parts, who isn’t always the cheapest, but their website is easy to use, and their customer service is excellent - which can be handy when working on these cars as part compatibility is not always obvious.
Once you have everything, assembly is pretty self explanatory. Jam the front bushings into the hole (I was able to do this with some dish soap, a bench vise, and a doorknob saw bit as a spacer), bolt the ball joints to the only place they go, and slide the rear bushing on.
Swapping out the arms is pretty straight forward, and there are lots of guides online so I won’t reinvent the wheel here. Just remember to mark the position of your caster blocks (where the rear of the control arm attaches to the body) with bright paint or nail polish so you don’t screw up your alignment too badly.