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Suspension refresh - what's involved?


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I'm guessing that my 2000 996 Cab is ready for a suspension refresh. It has 65k miles and while I'm not noticing any problems, I figure it must be time to replace at least some of the components. I don't know much about suspensions and I'm not a mechanic, but I have basic maintenance skills. Besides oil changes and brake fluid flushes, I've replaced the water pump, thermostat, and serpentine belt. I've done a complete brake job with pads and rotors. I've replaced the spark plugs and tubes and fixed various issues with the doors and locks. I have a decent amount of tools and have a floor jack and four jack stands.

 

Can someone tell me what is likely in need of replacement and if this is within the capability of the casual driveway mechanic?  I'll probably replace the engine mounts as that looks fairly easy.

Edited by wyovino
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There's nothing particularly difficult (for the home mechanic) regarding suspension refresh assuming you have a) the right tools, b) the right parts,  c) Documentation/Reference materials and d) plenty of time. The main obstacle I found while doing my suspension components was corrosion/adhesion between dissimilar metals (aluminum and steel in this case). It took me about a week of evenings to remove the front strut carrier bolts without doing damage to the carrier itself. Of course, I was sure to use anti-seize when re-assembling everything... Good luck

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@dporto - Is there something that I can try to loosen as a test to see what kind of adventure I'd be in for? Ideally something that I could get to without removing other parts first. I haven't had any trouble with corrosion/freezing on the other repairs I've done.

 

Also, who has a good set of instructions?  I checked out a few youtube videos but they don't really show much. The guy says what he did but doesn't show it.

 

Never mind. I found Loren's instructions and this looks to be outside of my comfort zone.

Edited by wyovino
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On 2/7/2018 at 11:02 AM, wyovino said:

@dporto - Is there something that I can try to loosen as a test to see what kind of adventure I'd be in for? Ideally something that I could get to without removing other parts first. I haven't had any trouble with corrosion/freezing on the other repairs I've done.

 

Also, who has a good set of instructions?  I checked out a few youtube videos but they don't really show much. The guy says what he did but doesn't show it.

 

Never mind. I found Loren's instructions and this looks to be outside of my comfort zone.

 

It's really no more difficult than the other work you've done. This being said, it is "involved" and time consuming (a big part of the bill when you get a shop to do it). The only bolts that gave me real headaches were the Spring perch/Strut carrier bolts (M12 1.5 x 70 IIRC). At the very least I'd recommend getting the car up over 20" (clearance underneath) so you can work comfortably. Of course good quality 3-6 ton jack stands are a must... Safety First!!!

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I might reconsider it. The problem is that most DIY's on the subject assume some level of familiarity with the components and I have none. So if the instruction says to remove a specific part but doesn't point it out or explicitly describe the process, I'd be lost.  I guess once I have the new parts in hand the replacement process will make more sense to me. I'll keep checking out videos and DIY's.  Thanks.

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I hadn't done much suspension work to speak of when I did mine (some ball joints many years ago and a lower control arm bushings on a E39 540i). Pelican's 101 projects is a good, if somewhat "lite" reference - one of the nice things is that most of the projects (including suspension, have/make reference to, online videos in case you have questions or get stuck). A better - albeit more expensive reference to is Bentley's 996 Service manual. ** I've also found The Knowledge Grupp's 996 Torque Values book indispensable. Everything is laid out logically by section in a small "shop use" format...As for the parts, and where they go - One of the reasons I really love and appreciate these cars is due to the engineering. Everything seems to be laid out very logically and for the most part symmetrically. It's quite impressive! As such, if you run into a question on one side, you can pretty much find the mirror image on the other...A dece3nt torque wrench is required as well!  Good luck

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