SUSP-10, 944 Control Arms - General Information, Rebuilding, and Aftermarket Replacements
This page deals primarily with the alloy control arms used on late model 944s. They have been a source of heartache for many 944 owners. The basic problem with the alloy control arms is that the ball joint rides inside a nylon cup or sleeve which is inserted into the aluminum housing of the control arm. That in itself is not a huge problem. However, due to the geometry of the control arm, spindle, and ball joint housing orientation a pre-load is created (for lack of a better term) which forces the ball joint against the side of the nylon cup under normal loading. This results in premature wear of the nylon cup which eventually allows the ball joint pin to contact the aluminum housing. This results in wear to the housing and ball joint pin. Over time, the pin develops cracks and finally shears completely. This problem is more prevalent in cars which are driven extremely hard (i.e. hard cornering, auto-cross, or tracked cars). It becomes and even bigger problem when the control arm geometry is changed on cars with lowered front suspensions.
The logical solution would be to change ball joints more frequently. However, ball joints on alloy control arms were not, until recently, easily replaceable. In fact, early on, there were no replacement parts available to rebuild the alloy control arms. The only solution was to replace the control arms with new ones from Porsche. The new control arms from Porsche do come with a two year warranty. However, they're also brutally expensive. Fortunately, there are a number of companies who now offer a rebuilding service for the alloy control arms. Most of these companies offer a two or three year warranty. And, for those who are adept at doing their own repairs, parts are available for you to rebuild the control arm yourself.
In addition to rebuild options, there are also aftermarket control arms available which have easily replaceable ball joints. However, these tend to run any where from $900 - 1600 USD. We will discuss their availability later.
While this page deals primarily with the later alloy control arms, we will also look at upgrade control arm options for the early 944 control arms.
Below is a list of companies who rebuild 944 alloy control arms. Each has different policies regarding warranty and core charges. Before deciding on a rebuilder, contact each to determine their policy and current pricing.
|Blaszak Precision Motorsports||4835 Holmes Rd.
Canada K0H 1X0
|Dynamic European Technologies||5103 Gulfton
Control Arm Ball Joint Boots
Quite often, the grease boot on the alloy control arm ball joints gets torn during the removal or installation of the control arm. The grease boots are not available for sale separately. However, you can purchase an early control arm ball joint and use the boot from the early ball joint to replace the torn boot. The Porsche part number for the early ball joint is 171 407 365 G.
Aftermarket Control Arms
There are a number of aftermarket control arms available. The options are somewhat limited for early 944s (pre-1985.5). However, more control arms should be available for the early cars in the near future. Below is a table showing control arms currently available. There may be others available that I've yet to hear about.
7204 South Hill Dr. Manassas, VA 20109
Plus $60.00 for Derlin bushings (required for installation)
|Available exclusively from OG Racing. One of the first aftermarket arms available.
Uses a spherical bearing "monoball" system instead of the traditional ball joint.
|Charlie Arms||Available from:
|$1595.00||Top quality billet aluminum control arms. Uses a replaceable ball joint and spherical cross-member bushing. Direct bolt-in arms available for 1985.5-86 and 1987-1995 944s and 968s. Can also be adapted to 1983-1985 cars.
Also available is an optional spherical caster eccentric and billet aluminum mount ($425).
|Blaszak Reinforced Steel Control Arms||Blaszak Precision Motorsports
4835 Holmes Rd.
Canada, K0H 1X0
|Reinforced steel control arm. Available for both early and late offset 944s. Must specify type of sway bar when ordering (i.e. early or late mounting and OE or Weltmeister mounting).
|Blaszak Racing Control Arms||Blaszak Precision Motorsports
4835 Holmes Rd.
Canada, K0H 1X0
|Tubular steel control arms with replaceable ball joints and front and rear spherical Teflon lined bearings. Available for both early and late offset 944s.
Control Arm Rebuilding
There are several vendors who now offer rebuilding kits for the alloy control arms. The first company we'll talk about is KLA Industries, Inc. They offer bushing kits to replace the original factory bushings. The bushings are made of nylon similar to the original equipment bushings. The KLA kit does not include new ball joints. According to KLA, it's not typical for the control arm ball joints to be damaged even in cases where the bushings are extremely worn. The KLA kit currently runs $74.95. Contact information for KLA Industries can be obtained from their web site:
Web Site - http://www.ssiauto.com
This procedure is based on a procedure originally written by 951 RacerX. It has been modified to use the same format used on this web site. The original procedure, with pictures, can be found on the 951 RacerX website. Also, the author is working on a new procedure for replacing the ball joints without removing the control arm from the vehicle.
Again, this procedure is an overview of the procedure written by 951 RacerX. For the complete procedure with additional information, tips, and pictures go to the 951 RacerX website.
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