1987 Porsche 944 Koni Cut a Strut Installation

My first track day ever in the Porsche, and I had a blast!  Track Night In America is awesome, and my first experience was terrific.  I did a couple of laps on Iracing for the NJMP Thunderbolt track and I think it really paid off.  My buddy was with me and by the end of the night I was running sub 2 minute laps in my slow Porsche.

On its maiden voyage to the track, the Porsche developed a little bit of an issue.  I didn’t really know it at the time but all of the shocks had decided to blow out.  When I got home and took a look at my wheel wells, I found oil from the shocks all over the place.  Time to get those replaced!

I looked and looked for replacements for these struts in the front but could not find a direct bolt in replacement.  I’m sure I could have found stock replacements somewhere but this is a track car and if I am going to spend any money on parts, they will be upgrades!  I eventually found that Koni makes a strut insert for the 944 but you need to cut the existing housing.  I watched the YouTube video from Koni and decided that I would give it a go.  Below is how I did it, if you’re at work or something and cannot watch the video.  Also, its 944 specific…..

First things first, jack up the car and support it with jack stands.  Safety first!

Remove the front wheel and mark the top bolt on the bottom strut mount.  This is the camber adjustment bolt and you want to be putting it back together the way it came apart.  I used a silver sharpie, but you may want to try something that is more visible.

There is a 10mm bolt on the strut assembly that acts as a ground for the electronics in that area of the car, ABS, etc…..You will need to remove this bolt and the electronics that are connected to the strut assembly.

Remove the 4 13mm bolts that secure the top of the strut assembly to the chassis.

Next you will remove the two bolts that are holding the strut assembly to the hub assembly.  They are 19mm and 17mm respectively.

This should allow you to remove the strut assembly from the car.

Use a set of spring compressors to compress the springs so that you can disassemble the upper mount from the strut.

To disassemble the upper mount, I used an air compressor, an impact gun, and a giant socket.  I just hit it a couple of times and it loosened the bolt.

Once this is done, you will be ready to continue on to the massive upgrade operation that needs to occur!  This really wasn’t too hard but it was the first time I’ve attempted anything like this!

So the video explains how to do this, and I pretty much followed it to a tee.  I made some improvisations along the way but for the most part I did exactly what they said.

Before you begin you will need some tools to complete the rest of this project!

You will need something to cut metal with.  I used a Sawsall with a metal blade.  This worked quite nicely but anything that you can cut metal with would probably work, maybe a pipe cutter or something.

You will also need a drill with a ½ inch bit.  I had a ½ inch bit but the drill I was using was only 3/8 inch.  This is where I improvised and just kinda made the hole bigger…..

An Oil catch can would also be nice, but you will need some way to catch the strut oil.

Once you have these tools, you are ready to begin.

Put a piece of painters / duct tape around the strut.

Then measure down from the top of the strut where you need to cut.  Mark this on the tape a couple of times around the strut.  Then align another piece of tape where you made your marks.  This will give you a clean line to follow while cutting.

Once complete, find the center of the bottom of the strut and drill a small hole in the bottom on the center mark.  This is the point of no return!  If you are not feeling confident at this point, you can put the strut back in the car and it will at least be drivable.

Over an oil catch can, drain the fluid from the strut assembly.  You can pump the strut to make sure that you are getting all of the oil out.

When all of the oil has been removed, you can secure the strut on a bench or under your foot (not recommended, but the route I took since I don’t have a bench) and begin cutting.  Using your tool of choice, cut the strut along the line that you have measured previously.

When the cut is complete, you will be able to remove the strut from the assembly and discard.  You may want to file the edges smooth and clean out the inside at this point.  I did clean the inside as best I could and made sure there were no sharp edges at the top of the strut that may cut me or cause damage.

Now you will want to flip the strut over and find your giant ½ inch drill bit.  Drill that giant hole using the previous hole as a pilot.  I did not have a ½ inch drill so I needed to improvise.  If you got this far, you will probably know how to make this work anyway, if not, I just kind of bored out the hole using the biggest bit that I could get in my drill.

After cleaning out the metal shavings from all that drilling, you can slide the insert into your strut assembly.  Use the supplied bolt to bring the strut down to the bottom and secure it in place.

There is a rubber sleeve that they give you to cover the top of the strut and hide the cut that you made.  Now is the time to install that.

Assembly is the reverse of the above!

 

 

 

 

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