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Silver Porsche 944

Silver Track Car – Rear Suspension, Bearing Replacement

For purposes of increased reliability and to enhance track performance, I tackled the R&R of the rear suspension.  This car of course has the torsion bar rear suspension with trailing arms.  The plan is to replace all the rubber suspension bushings with poly bushings, to replace the wheel bearings, and the rebuild the rear brake calipers.

As I discussed in a previous post, I dropped the entire drivetrain out of the body.  I first inspected the transaxle for any obvious problems.  Not that there would be much to see unless a hole was blasted in it, but it appears to be in good shape.  No excess slop in the pinion gear, etc.  I did replace the plastic bushing at the base of the shift lever.  I then restored the transaxle and torque tube into the car.  I left the front of the torque tube dangling downward a little as I have found this makes it easier to fit the engine when the time comes.

Next I turned my attention to the rear suspension.  I removed the brake calipers, brake disc, and the rear axle link, which contains the hub and wheel bearing at it’s end.  I realized that I had not broken the torque on the big castle nuts at the hub.  I removed the cotter pins and found one of the nuts to be only finger tight.  Wow, that was an accident waiting to happen!  I have a really long stout bar that I can insert between 2 of the wheel studs to provide resistance as required to remove the nuts.  The other nut was tight but came off after application of suitable force.  With the nuts removed, the hubs with the wheel studs slide right off of their splined shafts.  The gets you down to the bearings.  The bearings are bracketed inside and out with oil seals.  These can be pried out.  Once the oil seals are removed, the outer bearing can be driven out with a punch (working from the inside of the hub).  The inner bearing is held in with a snap ring.  Once the snap ring is removed, the bearing can be easily tapped out.

Re-assembly of the bearings is the reverse of removal.  You of course want to pack the new bearings with a good quality grease first.  There are tools that will do this but I do so few I just work it in using my fingers and the palms of my hand.  Reference to the Porsche parts catalog is really helpful to make sure the various parts are going back in the correct order.  I do have an inexpensive Harbor Freight press which makes the job easier.  And I have a cheap set of 3/4″ drive sockets that are useful for the castle nuts.  I also find these larger sockets come in handy in conjunction withe press for driving in bearings and seals.

For now, I didn’t bother applying the full torque to the castle nuts.  The torque is easier to apply once the half shafts are hooked up and the car is on its wheels.  I just need to be sure and not forget!

For the next post, I’ll talk about the suspension bushings.

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