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docwyte UltraDork
5/3/19 4:25 p.m.

OK, time to get on installing the Bilstein PSS9 coilovers I have.  I made an appointment for May 17th for corner balance/alignment, so my plan is to do the rears today and the fronts next Friday.

First off, I need to remove the Bose subwoofer that's behind the front seats.  Sharkwerks has a very good DIY on their website but here's the jist of it.

Squash yourself into the back seats.  Fold down the seat backs.  Using a 6mm allen, remove the rear seat posts on either side.

Use your fingers to pull off the plastic surrounds that say "Bose" on them.  That reveals a T30 torx on either side.  Remove it.  Pull the subwoofer forward and unclip the wiring harness on the drivers side by pinching the plug together and pulling it towards the passenger side.

Pull the carpet up and out from either side that covers the rear shock tops.  Remove the large piece of carpet in the middle.  Remove the silver brackets that hold the subwoofer into place with a 10mm rachet.  Now you should be looking at this...

Here's the subwoofer and carpet out of the car...

OK, time to get underneath the car.  Remove the wheel.  I bought this super cool plastic lined deep well socket, which I've used once and now it seems to be plugged up?  WTF!  Anyways....

Remove the swaybar endlink.  I have a larger H&R bar, it was an 8mm allen.

Now remove the bolt that holds the bottom of the shock in.  You'll want to get a jack underneath it, as the whole assembly will droop and you can't drive the bolt out.

Now remove the three 15mm nuts from the top of the shocks.  Using a prybar, pop the rear shock eyelet out and carefully remove the entire assembly out of the car.

OK, now use some spring compressors and take the stock rear shock mount off.  It's an 18mm nut and you need to hold the top of the shock shaft to keep it from turning.

Here's where the Bilstein instructions really suck.  They don't really show you what to reuse from the stock stuff, or how to put together the rear adjustment knob.  Which rather oddly, is on the top, where it's covered by carpet and the subwoofer.  Awesome.

Anyways, you want to use the entirety of the rear shock top mount with the exception of the rubber stock spring seat.  Go ahead and put them on and run down the one nut from bilstein.  Now put on the washer/spacer Bilstein gave you, then run down the silver shoulder nut.  On top of the shoulder nut goes the black washer with the dowel in it.  Have the dowel facing up and line it up with the notch in the top of the shock, after you turned the top of the shock counter clockwise.  This is important!  You need to start out with the shock set on full soft.

It should look like this...

Now index the adjuster knob.  Since these are PSS9's, that means 9 distinct clicks clockwise.  Tighten the set screw.  Time to install!  Research on Rennlist showed that I want to set these at "5", so I did.  Bilstein has very specific ride heights for these, they call for 205-210mm from the center of the bottom eyelet to the bottom of the top spring seat. 

So not a whole lot of adjustment.  I set them at 210mm, once I get the car on the ground I'll see what the ride height is.  Stock was basically 26.5" ground to fender lip all the way around.  I want to set it at 25.75", so lower the car 3/4".  Hopefully it'll be ok.

So I put the tops in and the nuts finger tight.  I then pushed down on the rear hub and popped the rear shock eyelet in.  Here's where a friend is really helpful.  I lined up the hub to the coilover eyelet and he pushed the bolt through.  Once that got done I torqued it to 81ft lbs.  Then I torqued the upper nuts to 34ft lbs. 

I attached the swaybar endlink to both the swaybar and the coilover body and torqued to the coilover body 31 ft lbs.  I did not torque the other end as that needs to be done when the car is on its wheels with weight on it.

I left the carpet etc out from inside the cabin until I drive the car some and figure out if I want to leave them set at "5" or not.  Access to the rear adjusters looks like removing the rear subwoofer and carpet every time, unless I can sneak out just the carpet over the rear shocks.  I'll have to look at that.

Next up is installing the Elephant Racing rear toe locking plates, then installing the front PSS9's.

docwyte UltraDork
5/10/19 7:22 p.m.

OK, let's get the rest of this done.  I first tried to install the Elephant Racing rear toe locking plates but those bolts were on there so damn tight I gave up.  I'll let the shop install them when I take the car in next Friday for the alignment and corner balance.

Ok, wheels off, this is what you start with.

Let's go through the things you need to unbolt.  First take off the stock swaybar endlinks, you need to use the ones from Bilstein, as they mount to the strut itself and not the spring seat like stock.

Ok, now you have to take off the 10mm bolt that holds the spring seat in place.

Now take off the one pinch bolt holding the strut into the housing.  It's a 16mm head and a 18mm nut.

Now take off the two 10mm allen bolts holding the front caliper in place and hang it out of the way.

Now take off the two harnesses that attach to the top of the front knuckle.  Mark one of them so you know where both go.

Now undo the three 15mm nuts holding the top of the strut in place, after you've taken off the beauty covers.  The side ones are held in with 1 T25 Torx.

Tape up the sides of your fender, be generous with the tape!  You're going to swing the strut housing/knuckle out through here and you don't want chip the paint.

Ok, now here's what I did and what I SHOULD'VE DONE.  I tried to get the axle nut off front of the axle but I couldn't break it free.  Neither my electric impact or my air impact could do it.  I had a choice, I could take off the 6 6mm allen heads that hold the axle in place, after putting the wheels back on and dropping the car back onto the lift deck, or I'd heard that the stub axle will pop right out of the diff when you lower the knuckle and the you just line it back up and it reseats.

So that's what I did.  DO NOT DO THAT!  It's basically impossible to get the stub axle to seat back into the diff, especially with the axle nut in place as you can't use the axle itself to slide the stub axle in.  Just break free the axle nut before you take the wheels off/raise the car off the deck, or have a butch enough impact to spin the nut off, which is torqued to 340 ft lbs.  It's on there like a mother F'er.

Initially I took the 6 6mm allen head bolts that hold the axle to the stub axle out, thinking I could lever the stub axle in place.  That doesn't work.  So then my friend came over and stood on the brakes and I used a 4 foot breaker bar to get the axle nut off.  I then hit the end of the axle with my dead blow hammer to seat the stub axle into the diff.  We put the 6mm bolts back in and did the same thing on the other side.

Here's where stuff went sideways.  Those bolts should be torqued to 60ft lbs and my friend was doing it.  Unfortunately my torque wrench doesn't give an audible "click" you have to "feel" it.  Since my friend didn't know that, he broke the bolt going into the stub axle.  Much angst!  Luckily since the head of the bolt was broken off, it wasn't under tension and we were able to turn it out completely, then run to the hardware store and replace it.  It's an M8x1.50x50mm.

One neat trick is that once you've popped off the 10mm bolt holding the spring seat in place you rotate it around until you see the detent.  Now use a large screwdriver or prybar and pop the spring out of the seat and wind it down.  It's not under tension anymore and no need for spring compressors.

OK, now it's time to remove the strut.  Grab the strut hat from underneath and compress the strut.  Now pull out on the strut housing and maneuver it outside of the fender.  This is why you put all the tape onto the fender lip.  I used a dead blow hammer to pound the strut out of the housing.

Once out, use a 7mm allen key and a 22mm wrench to separate the stock upper hat.  You need the torrington bearing the rubber bushing, both cup washers and the upper hat.  Reassemble on the Bilstein, using a 6mm allen and a 21mm wrench.  Research on Rennlist showed to set the compression/rebound on "4".

Now you get to put it back into the knuckle.  I used some antiseize to help lube it and my dead blow hammer to get it into place.  The strut hats are marked right and left and there's an arrow stamped on them that needs to point to the front of the car.  Mark the underside of that bolt because you can't see it from the top. 

Now compress the entire housing (much harder than stock!) and get it into place.  I used a bottle jack underneath the knuckle to push the top of the housing up.  Note that the upper holes are slotted for camber adjustment.  I did mark them before I started and saw that they were basically in the middle.  Since this is a track/street car I maxed out my negative camber when I reassembled.

Ok, top nuts torqued to 24 ft lbs.  Strut pinch bolt torqued to 100ft lbs.  Tighten the new bilstein swaybar endlink onto the strut housing.  Leave the other end loose, torque it when the wheels are on and the suspension is under load.

Put it all together.  Bilstein specifies a certain range to set everything height wise, I have it at the top right now.  It lowered the front 3/4"-1" and the back around 1/2".  I'll let the shop play with the ride height a bit when they corner balance the car but I'm close to where I want to be.  I could mess with it now but without it being on the scales it'd take me awhile to dial it in.  Looks good tho!

Ride quality is very supple, better than stock!  Handling is immediate and sharp, I'm very pleased with the way it's turned out!

OjaiM5 New Reader
5/10/19 7:38 p.m.

Ah man, that is a bucket list car right there. You are making it even better!

docwyte UltraDork
5/10/19 7:59 p.m.

In reply to OjaiM5 :

Thanks!  Next up is replacing the factory radio with a double din Apple Car Play unit and when the brake rotors are worn out I'll upgrade to the larger 997 Turbo 350mm discs.

docwyte UltraDork
5/12/19 3:49 p.m.

Spent a little time today dialing in the ride height.  I wanted to get it as close as possible to where I want it before I take it in to 3R Racing for the alignment and corner balance.  That way they don't have to spend a ton of time messing with ride heights.  I'm taking it there this Friday am, so in 5 days.

My goal was to lower the car 3/4" all the way around and the car was basically 26.5" from fender lip to the ground all the way round, except the right rear, which was 26.75".  So I was shooting for 25.75".  Bilstein has a very specific adjustment range they want you to stay in.  You can go above it but definitely not below it, as then you'll ride on the internal bump stops.

I was also curious to see if my BBS wheels would clear on the front without the 15mm spacers I needed with the stock suspension due to the enormous size of the stock spring seat.

So onto the lift it went and I started with just the front.  When you play around with ride height messing with one corner affects all of them.  So I crept up on this, doing a few turns on the front, putting the wheels back on and the car down on the deck and re-measuring, then back/forth.  Within a few times playing with the front and back I got to the point of diminishing returns.

I'm within 1/8" of where I want to be in the front, one corner is 1/8" lower, the other 1/8" higher.  I'm close to the bottom of the Bilstein recommended range on the back and both the backs are basically at 26".  I'll let 3R play from here on the scales.

I did check the front BBS wheel fitment and it's close but it looks like I'll clear the Bilstein spring perches by 1/4-3/8" without the spacers, so win!

docwyte UltraDork
5/18/19 5:53 p.m.

Got the car back from 3R Racing at the end of the day yesterday.

the rear toe eccentric bolts kicked their butt too, so validation that it wasn’t just me.  I’ll upload the alignment and corner balance sheets later.

my eye and tape measure did a good job with the ride heights and corner balance, rear alignment was spot on, front alignment needed work.

today I did an autox and had a great time.  Weather sorta stunk, it was cloudy and cold.  Balance of the car was good, my 7 year old R888R’s are holding me back.

did a 45 flat, my friend in his gt3 did a 43.99.  I just couldn’t find enough traction to go faster.  Car is a hoot, pretty loose but very controllable.

i test fitted the bbs wheels again to make sure spacers aren’t needed.  It’s close, but they clear, so I bolted them on.

then I checked out the elephant racing  locking toe plates.  See the bronze color?

Pic of the car with the BBS wheels after I lowered it.  Lowered it 3/4" like I wanted, so it looks nice but its not slammed.  Still plenty of bump travel.

next up, boost leak testing and fixing.

docwyte UltraDork
5/24/19 3:37 p.m.

Did pretty well at the auto-x, did a 45 flat.  My friend in his GT3 with much newer race rubber and $$$ triple way adjustable coilovers did a 43.9.  Car is lots of fun, power oversteer on boost, woohoo!  I may back the rear swaybar down from it's current middle setting to full soft and see what happens.

My 7 year old Toyo R888R tires aren't doing me any favors.  I'm on a mission to annihilate them this season, lol!  I've figured out how to wire in a tach signal for my Traqmate that's removable.  Everyone was saying to tap a wire off the DME harness and I don't want any part of that! 

Instead I can grab pin 9 off the OBD2 port, so I'll buy an empty ODB2 plug off eBay and wire in only pin 9, then I can just plug that into the OBD2 port and then into the Traqmate when I need to.  Totally removable and no tapping into wire harnesses.  Slick! 


I want to wire in my garage door opener, somehow my $120k 911 didn't come with Homelink as an option (none of them did back then!) while my Audi's of the same era did, which cost 1/2 as much.  So I popped open my remote to see how I can solder in wires only to discover that my remote won't really work.

Argh!  Gotta spend another $40 for a different remote, then $50 for the OEM switch.  Almost $100 for this seems excessive...

docwyte UltraDork
6/14/19 2:57 p.m.

Well, sold the GX470 so the 911 is now my DD while I wait to get something new, probably a Golf R.  Had a free day today so I started to work down the list I have for the 911.

When I bought the car it came with a new drivers side rocker panel as the one on the car was damaged when it got lifted at a shop.  I hadn't put it on yet, but todays the day!

Let's get the car on the rack, then lifted up off the rack.

The rocker panel is held in by 2 T25 bolts in the front, 4 T25 bolts underneath and 3 T25 bolts on the back.  I found it easier to remove the wheels to get at the front/rear bolts in the fender wells.

Here's the new rocker panel

And installed.  There are plastic clips that snap into the body, I found the back 4 of them broken on the old rocker

Crack in the old rocker panel

Ok, job done!  Next up was pulling out the airbox and replacing the serpentine belt.  The belt looked good still but I have no records of when it was changed and given the low mileage on the this car and the fact it sat around so much, I suspect its the original 16 year old belt.  Since it runs every single accessory, including the water pump, I thought it'd be a good idea to replace it.

A new continental 6PK 2285 belt was under $25 from RM European.  Using a 15mm socket on a breaker bar I released the tension on the old belt.  Getting it off of the water pump took some doing but the new belt routed on surprisingly easily.  I didn't take off the power steering pump pulley like some people recommend, found I didn't have to.  A friend popped the belt back on the last pulley with me detensioning it.

Last up was a bit of fun.  A friend gave me an EvoMS intake to try.  These, and all intakes for this car, are kinda lambasted as being "hot air" intakes.  However this does seal up to the stock air box feed vent and uses weather stripping to mold to the decklid, so I'm not sure how much worse compared to the stock airbox it really is.  Since it was free, I figured I'd play with it.

My friend said he saw + 0.1 bar of boost with it, which makes sense when compared to EvoMS's claims of +15hp/torque.  That's not a lot on a ~500hp car, so I kinda doubt I'll be able to feel a difference but, well, it was free.  I had to run to the hardware store to get some bolts to hold the MAF sensor into the EvoMS intake tube as you don't reuse the stock ones and my friend hadn't given me the bolts.  However a little over a dollar later and its installed.  I haven't taken it for a drive yet but have started the car and confirmed it runs.  Pics and impressions later...


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