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A winter brake As with most projects, this started with an off-the-cuff remark at our monthly, tyre kicking, TIPEC club meeting, this time about the drum/disc brakes on my 1980 924. There was nothing wrong with current set up unless I was trying to outbrake a 944 Turbo that I’d got a little too close to, I just felt that a beefier four wheel disc arrangement would deliver that extra ‘bite’. It would also mean moving from the four stud mounting to the more flexible five stud hubs. Fortunately a club member had sourced all the necessary parts for a similar project but hadn’t done the conversion (I soon realised why). The parts had come from a 1986 924S and comprised front hub/ brake assemblies, the assembled rear end with torque tube, swinging arms, plus hub and brake assembly for the rear, complete with drive shafts and handbrake cables. A deal was struck and since the job was planned to keep me occupied over the winter, I decided to photograph everything from every angle I could think of. That, and labelling or keeping parts in containers marked O/S and N/S was an absolute godsend when it came time for reassembly. Work on the front assembly went reasonably well. The usual problems with dismantling rusted pins, springs and callipers were encountered. One pin refused to budge and even releasing oil, diesel, heat and brute force refused to move it. A small angle grinder was employed to cut through the pin then I drilled out the remains from the calliper, very carefully. A bugger of a job but it had to be done. I cut a new pin from a piece of similar diameter steel, went to work with a ballpeen hammer to form a domed end, then drilled a small hole to accept the sprung retaining clip. The parts were sandblasted, painted and reassembled with the bearings cleaned and repacked and discs and pads fitted. Luckily the pistons on both front callipers moved smoothly and the seals were in good condition. Second-hand discs were obtained from another club member, with barely a couple of thousand miles of wear, which only needed the surface rust taken off with a sander. As with the rest of the assembly, a coat of heat resistant enamel brought them up a treat.

With the two fronts finished and lying gleaming on the bench, I turned to the rear telling myself it was all downhill from here. WRONG! What faced me was the complete rear suspension, trailing arms, hubs, brakes and drive shafts, all assembled. It had taken two very strong men to just lift it. Remember, this unit had been removed from a 1986 924S and had languished in a barn for a long time. I had thought that I would only need the trailing arms and hub/brake parts. Very wrong! As investigations and discussions went on, it became clear that the entire rusting pile that lay before me would have to go on. As anyone will tell you, disassembling parts that are old and have not moved for a long period takes time and patience. Front hubs refurbished and ready to fit Corrosion eats away at all the parts, seemingly welding everything to its neighbour. Porsches are made of stern stuff though and with releasing fluid and persuasion all things are possible. Except those large nuts which secure the hub to the end of the driveshafts. A breaker bar of ridiculous length was employed. These nuts are torqued up to an amazing level with the car on its wheels, but this assembly was already removed from the donor car, so there was no vehicle weight to balance the force required. Luck was on my side for one nut. The brakes were seized on (for once thank God for rust!) and the nut loosened. Unfortunately the other side was free to turn and no amount of wedging, bracing or ingenuity could move it. Back to the small angle grinder, and with breath held and biting through my bottom lip I started to slice through the nut, parallel to the drive shaft, on a course that would just miss the threads of the driveshaft. Success, but a sticky moment!

All Torque 67  

The magazine of The Independent Porsche Enthusiasts Club (TIPEC) in the UK. Issue 67, December 2007.