Replacing Struts/Springs/Camber Plates


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Front suspension
Rear suspension

I have done this 5 or 6 times on various Boxsters.  This may not be "the" way, but it has worked well for me.

If you find any errors or ommisions, please drop me an email at gwl@rmsolo.org

There are people who have completed this job without disconnecting the hub from the lower control arms.  I have no idea how they managed this feat.

Disclaimer:
If you have any doubts about your ability to complete this suspension R&R, stop now.  I can not be held responsible if you damage yourself or your car following these instructions.


Tools :
Stahl Wille SF12623 Two Stage Tie Rod Tool  - This will make your life a whole lot easier if you have it.
Torx T25 screwdriver.
Torx T40 socket or bit.
Torque wrench capable of torqueing up to 118ftlbs
Lots of  long (~12") tie wraps
10mm wrench
17mm wrench
18mm wrench
21mm wrench
24mm wrench (for Stahl tool)
13mm socket (deep socket if installing EVO camber plates)
18mm socket
7mm allen wrench or socket
10mm allen socket

Selection of 3/8" and 1/4" extensions

Front Suspension

If you are not using air tools, break loose - but do not remove - the front wheel bolts. Now get the car safely off the ground either on a lift, or on jack stands. 
It is much easier to work on the car if both sides are off the ground.

Remove battery cover, then the trim piece covering top of strut using a Torx T25.
 

Remove wheel.
I'll assume you know how to do this...  If you don't, stop now and take your car to an authorized service center :)

Remove brake caliper, disk and ABS sensors
Before removing the caliper, remove the 10mm bolt holding the brake line to the hub. 


Two 10mm hex bolts hold the caliper to the hub.  Remove bolts and secure caliper.  DO NOT let it hang on the brake lines. 
I like to use 2, 12” tie wraps as shown.
   

Remove the 2 screws securing the brake disk to the hub and remove the disk.
Unclip the ABS/Speed Sensor wires from the rear of the strut.  Unplug ABS/Speed Sensor wires and move out of the way.  Don't worry, they are keyed so you can’t plug them back in the wrong place when it comes time to put everything back together.  Remove the 10mm bold holding the ABS sensor assembly to the hub and secure out of the way.
     

Remove Hub/strut assembly
Remove swaybar endlink from hub.  Secure with a 17mm open ended wrench and remove using an 18mm socket.  


Place a jack under the swaybar to stop the end drooping, then use a long ¼” extension to drift the endlink bolt out.
 

Remove the track rod end.  Insert a Torx T40 socket (or T40 screwdriver) into the top of the bolt to stop it turning and remove the nut with an 18mm wrench.  Be sure to turn the nut and not the bolt or you may rip the track rod end boot.  Remove the 3, 10mm bolts holding the dust shield to the hub to make space to attach the ball joint remover.


Remove the ball joint.  You might be lucky and the ball joint will simply fall out of the hub.  More likely, it will take a few turns on the removal tool.  The Stahl tool I have requires a 24mm wrench or socket to turn the bolt.  Turn the bolt on the tool until it is putting pressure on the ball joint.  Wait 5s or so.  Turn the bolt ½ a turn.  Wait 5s or so.  Repeat until the ball joint pops.  This can happen suddenly and with a loud “BANG”  don’t worry, nothing will get hurt.  However, if you are like me, it will scare the pants off you!
 

Disconnect diagonal brace from lower control arm with an 18mm socket and 21mm wrench. Turn steering all the way towards the side of the car you are working on to make space for the diagonal brace to slide off.


Remove the nut holding the hub lower ball joint with an18mm wrench. If the ball joint rotates with the nut rather than the nut unscrewing, use your jack to jack up the strut as high as possible (without lifting the car) to get as much pressure on the balljoint as you can.  If the balljoint still rotates, you can improvise a tool with small torx T40 bit and a ¼” wrench.  Pop the ball joint with your handy dandy ball joint remover using the same technique as above.  Pull lower control arm out of the hub and then pull the hub off the strut. Amaze at how light the hub assembly is – Thanks Porsche!  Don’t worry if the hub won’t come off the strut at this point.  Carry on to the next step and separate the hub from the strut once they are on the bench.
           

If you have assistance, get your helper to hold on to the strut to stop it falling out as you remove the 3, 13mm bolts holding the top of the strut assembly to body.  If you (like me) are doing this by yourself, hold the strut up using a jack or other support.  Now you can simply remove the strut.  Congratulations!  It’s all downhill from here! :)
 

Removing/replacing spring and/or camber plates
If you have a large bench vise or Workmate, either of these will make the next step easier.  However, they are not necessary.
Place strut in vise and attach spring compressors.   Tighten compressors evenly until all the pressure has been removed from camber plate. 


Remove the nut on the strut with a 21mm wrench and a 7mm allen wrench to stop the strut post from turning.  Be careful removing the camber plate as the camber bearing my separate and the ball bearings in it may roll everywhere.


Putting it all back together
Now you have everything apart,  reassembly is a simple reversal of the process.
Fit strut to body.  Install the 3 strut nuts, but leave them loose for now.


Slip the hub on to the strut and install the lower balljoint. This will take some wiggling.  Try to get the angle of the balljoint bolt to match the hole in the hub - easier said than done. 
Once you get the balljoint into the hub, push the bottom of the hub in towards the car.  This will allow the balljoint to slip fully in to the hub.  Slip the swaybar mounting bolt in place (we'll attach the nut later) to stop the hub riding up too high on the strut, place a jack under the control arm and lift the hub up so the car just starts to lift off the jack stand.  This should seat the balljoint sufficiently for you to tighten the bolt.  The book says to torque the balljoint bolt to 55ftlbs, but I have no idea how to get a torque wrench in there.  I just tighten it up until it “feels right”.


Reinstall the diagonally brace with the M14 nut and bolt.  The bolt goes in from the bottom with the nut on top. Torque to 118ftlbs.


Next put the nut on the swaybar bolt we installed earlier.  Make sure you use the nylock locking nut (it is the one with the rounded top and a band of nylon at the top).  Use the 17mm wrench to stop the bolt turning and tighten to 63 ftlbs.


Now connect the steering arm to the hub and tighten to 55ftlbs.  Use the jack to apply pressure to the balljoint if necessary.  Don’t lift the car this time, just compress the spring some.


Now it’s time to tighten the three nuts on the top of the strut.  Push the top of the strut in as far as it will go towards the center of the car (to maximize camber for now) and torque to 27ftlbs.


Reinstall the dustshield to the hub with the 3, 10mm bolts. If you can figure out how, torque them to 7ftlbs. Otherwise, just tighten them up.  Remember you are screwing into aluminum, so don’t get carried away.


Reinstall the brake disk with the 2 star headed screws.  DO NOT over tighten these screws.  They are only to hold the disk in place until the wheel is reinstalled.  If you over tighten, they will be an absolute PAIN to remove next time!!!
Reinstall the brake caliper.  Porsche recommends using new mounting bolts as the are supplied with a special factory coating.  I don’t know if this is an anti-seize/corrosion coating to stop them seizing into the aluminum hub, or a loctite type coating so they won’t back out.  Personally, I use them 4 times before replacing, but then I replace rotors at least once a year.  Torque to 63ftlbs.


At this point, you should be left with 2, 10mm bolts a long one and a short one, (and a black caphead T25 torx bolt for the trim).
Take the short one and reattach the brake line to the hub.  Torque to 7ftlbs.



Clip the ABS/Speed Sensor wire to the rear of the strut, take the last bolt and reattach the speed sensor to the hub (torque to 7 ftlbs), insert both speed sensor wires making sure to route the brake wear sensor wire between the swaybar drop link and the hub and snap on the retainer.
   

Reinstall the trim piece under the hood with the caphead T25 torx bolt, reinstall the wheel, torque the lug bolts to 96ftlbs. 

Now for the rears

If you are not using air tools, break loose - but do not remove - the rear wheel bolts. Now get the car safely up on a lift or jack stands.  As with the front, it will be much easier if both sides of the car are up together. 

Open rear trunk fully and the top only about 8”.  This will give you room under the tonneau to get to the top strut bolts.
 


Pull the out the grommet beside the tonneau adjusting assembly, remove the large plastic retainer by the rear of the top holding the sound insulation under the tonneau and pull back out of the way.  Now you should be able to see all 3 13mm upper strut mounting bolts (the stock strut hat is black - the one shown is the EVO strut hat).

It will be easy to drop any of these 3 bolts into the innards of your car.  I have successfully used the following technique to avoid losing bolts.
Take some regular electrical tape and stick it to the socket as shown below.  The sticky side will be on the outside.

Loosen these bolts, but do not remove yet.

Remove brake caliper, disk and ABS sensors
Before removing the caliper, remove the 10mm bolt holding the brake line to the hub.
 

Two 10mm hex bolts hold the caliper to the hub.  Remove these and seecure the caliper.  DO NOT let it hang on the brake lines. 
I like to use 2, 12” tie wraps as shown. It's difficult to see (sorry!).  I ran the tiewraps through the caliper mounting hole and secured it to the brake line mount on the subframe.


Unclip the ABS/Speed Senor wires from the rear of the strut, then unplug and move out of the way.  They are keyed so you can’t plug them back in the wrong place
Remove the 10mm bold holding the ABS sensor assembly to the hub and secure out of the way.

Prepare to remove the strut from the hub
Remove swaybar endlink from hub.  Secure with a 17mm open ended wrench and remove using an 18mm socket.   It is easiest to get the 17mm wrench on the bolt from the inside.  The endlink bolt should pull out with some wiggling, if not, use a long ¼” extension to drift the endlink bolt out.

Remove the 6 bolts holding the half-shaft to the transmission.  A 15” extension makes this much easier, but it is not required.  As you will only be able to get to 2 of these bolts at a time, an assistant using the parking brake to stop the driveshaft rotating can be a great help. MAKE SURE THEY DO NOT USE THE BRAKE PEDAL. You run the risk of popping a piston out of the brake caliper if they do.  You will need to stop the drive shaft turning as you break each of the 6 bolts.  There are little plates that pair up the half-shaft bolts.  Make sure you don’t forget they go on when you put the bolts back in.

Disconnect the diagonal brace by removing the 4 15mm nuts and 1 15mm bolt.  It will still be attached to a plastic cover, don’t worry, just let it droop
.

Disconnect the rear toe arm using an 18mm socket.  If the whole balljoint turns, use an 18mm wrench an a T40 torx bit to stop the shaft turning.  Use your handy dandy ball joint splitter to split the ball joint using the instructions <here> in the front suspension.

Push out the balljoint, turn the rear suspension (no toe control now so this is easy) so you have max toe-in and you will be able to lift the rear toe link so it sits on the hub.

Disconnect the lower cross brace.and push 1/2 way up the lower control arm.


Now remove nut holding the lower control arm with an 18mm wrench.  Push the hub so it goes as far toe-in a possible to get the ball joint removal tool on properly.  Pop the lower control arm ball joint using the handy, dandy balljoint tool.


Now the fun part!  You have to get the lower control arm balljoint out of the hub.  Push down on the lower control arm until it clears the hub.  You may need to resort to some mechanical advantage.  If so, you can use a large crowbar to pry the control arm down out of the hub. 

Slide the hub off the strut.  A few taps with a copper mallet might help here.  You want to use copper because it is softer than the aluminum you will be hitting and should not mar the hub.  Hold the hub in place with a jack.  (Note I removed the rotor.  This is not necessary unless you are replacing rear rotors at the same time like I was).  Remove the 3 nuts holding the strut to the body.  Now you have the strut assembly and you can replace the bits you need.

Replace Spring/Strut/Camber plate using the instructions given for the fronts <here>

***EXTREMELY IMPORTANT*** Make sure when you reassemble the strut, the recesses in the white plastic ring mate up with the strut mounting bolt bases.

 

Whew!  Half way through...

Re-assembly.
Using the electrical tape trick mentioned earlier <here>, bolt strut back into body loosely fixing it in place with the 3 13mm nuts.  Twist the strut until the tab on the back of the strut is pointing to the center of the car.  Slip the hub onto the strut.  This will take a lot of wiggling and giggling to get it up.  Be patient.  If it gets stuck, make sure the tab on the rear of the strut is sliding into the slot in the rear of the hub.  Once in place, hold there with a 3” long 3/8” extension. 


This is where a helper will be really, really helpful.
Did I say you could do with some help here?  You need 3 or 4 hands.  You *might* be able to do this yourself, but I gave up and enlisted the help of my wife.

Set the driveshaft loosely into position in the transmission and push the lower control arm down and the hub in towards the center of the car so the lower control arm balljoint mates up with the hub.  If you angle the balljoint so it is at the same angle as the hole in the hub, this will really help.  Getting this set properly will take lots of wiggling, jiggling (and in my case swearing) to get the balljoint seated properly. Make sure the end of the driveshaft stays correctly positioned in the transmission. It has a habit of falling out which will make you have to do this all over again!   Be patient.  If you are having problems get it seated properly, stand up and walk away for a minute, take a few deap breaths and come back to it.  It will go in if you persevere. 

Install the 18mm nut on the lower control arm balljoint to and if you can figure out how, torque to 55ftlbs - or like me, tighten it until it's tight.  Use a jack to apply some preload to the balljoint if the bolt turns in the assembly as described <here>

Bolt on the diagonal brace with the 4 nuts and 1 bolt.  Torquing each to 48ftlbs.

Reattach the diagonal arm with the M14 bolt and 21mm nut.  The bolt goes in from the bottom.  Torque to 117ftlbs.

 Remove the 3/8” extension from the swaybar mounting hole and reattach the swaybar drop link with the 18mm nut torqued to 63ftlbs

Reattach the rear toe link to the hub torquing the 18mm nut on the balljoint to 55ftlbs.  Use the jack to apply some preload to stop the bolt turning.

Reattach the half-shaft to the transmission. For a Boxster S, torque to 60ftlbs. For a Boxster, torque to 29 - yes, 29ftlbs.
Make sure you use the spacer/washer thingies to pair up the bolts.


Reattach the ABS/Speed sensor to the hub with the longer of the 2 10mm bolts and torque to 7ftlbs.

Reattach the brake caliper to the hub and torque to 63ftlbs.  Porsche recommends replacing the caliper mounting bolts every time they are removed.  I use them 4 times before replacing.  Don’t sue me if you have problems with reused bolts.  Reattach the brake line mount with the last 10mm bolt and torque to 7 ftlbs.

Clip the ABS/Wear sensor wire into the rear of the strut. Insert the speed sensor and brake wear wires making sure to route the brake wear sensor wire between the swaybar drop link and the hub and snap on the retainer.

Torque the 3 13mm nuts holding the top of the strut to the body to 27ftlbs, replace the grommet and the plastic screw holding the sound insulation and one side is done!

Once you have complete the other side, get the car back on the ground, stand back and revel in fact you just saved yourself upwards of $700 :) :) :)

Now drive straight to your friendly alignment shop and get an alignment done.  I had 1" of toe-in up front after I was finished!!!  Failure to do this last step may result in your savings going towards a new set of tires.