aluminum 944 arms--- what shocks? Brakes?

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aluminum 944 arms--- what shocks? Brakes?

Post by Piledriver » Fri May 06, 2016 3:17 am

I have an early offset 944T rear suspension inbound (aluminum arms complete w stubs, spring plates, axles, with all misc hardware down to the shock bolts)

What shocks or at least shock length did you end up with?
(extended/compressed length if possible)
Seems to never get mentioned, so probably std t1/t3 or 944T?

I spent the last 90 minutes (off and on) trying to find this info via Google-fu, and finally realized the STF has likely the strongest tech forums on the subject.

If the std T1/T3 shocks can be made to work with just changing the lower bushing to uniballs, even better.

Car is sitting on 944 et52.5 (late) 7 slots, 6s and 8s, 205/55 and 245/50-16s, (tubbed the outside of inner fenders to ~air intakes on the t3) the 15mm rear spacers and existing 914 discs make it ~21-22mm/side wider than stock already, so the early 951 setup will be really close to same width as now, I'm guessing identical.
Fenders not flared, just lips rolled, pushed out a little by the new fender seal setup (not pictured)

I suspect the forum is randomizing picture orientation.
rear-inner-fender-1.JPG
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Re: aluminum 944 arms--- what shocks?

Post by Jadewombat » Fri May 06, 2016 5:37 pm

It's pretty tight for coil overs it looks like:

http://germanlook.net/forums/showthread ... 20&page=24

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Re: aluminum 944 arms--- what shocks?

Post by Piledriver » Fri May 06, 2016 9:03 pm

Jadewombat wrote:It's pretty tight for coil overs it looks like:

http://germanlook.net/forums/showthread ... 20&page=24
He simply boned the upper shock mount location, custom subframe etc.
... that's nowhere near stock T1/T3 or even 944 shock top mount location.

I like on the over the trans subframe tho, headed that way, but I plan is to hang trans/engine from it.
Mine will be integrated with the std rubber mounted T3 rear subframe/torsion setup.

I'll figure it out next week and post up if all else fails.
Once the arms are on (no bars) I cycle the suspension to the stops to get the measurement.

Just wanted to get `em ordered (or know I had it already) if it was a standard item.
There are `86 arms so have bump stop bosses cast in.
The later wider offset hub setups used bump stops on the shock shafts.
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Re: aluminum 944 arms--- what shocks?

Post by Marc » Fri May 06, 2016 10:03 pm

The `86 uses conventional rubber-bushed rear shocks, doesn't it? I see KYB KG4544 listed for them.

Once upon a time I had a document that showed the extended/compressed lengths of various shocks - need to search a few harddrives to see if I can find it.

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Re: aluminum 944 arms--- what shocks?

Post by Marc » Fri May 06, 2016 10:17 pm

Found it. It's a 263 KB .pdf file, too large to attach here.

KG4544 is 16.54/11.14". Eyerings top & bottom, top is 12x42, bottom is 14x35. Internal stop.
IRS Beetle takes KG5529, 16.3/10.59" top & bottom eyerings both 12x32 (spacers used on lower). No stop.
Didn't find ANY other KYB monotube with 12mm top/14mm bottom eyerings (of any sleeve length), but there are some velocity-sensitive gas twin-tube OEM replacements ("Excel-G"):

343308 is 15.94/10.59" 12x48/14x40. Internal stop.
349043 is 16.0/10.59" 12x48/14x40.     "
343454 is 17.71/11.38" 12x48/14x40.     "

If you need me to look for a specific mount style/length other than these let me know...

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Re: aluminum 944 arms--- what shocks?

Post by Piledriver » Fri May 06, 2016 11:31 pm

Marc wrote:The `86 uses conventional rubber-bushed rear shocks, doesn't it? I see KYB KG4544 listed for them.
The 86 has dimensionally the same aluminum arms as all the later ones and takes the same shocks dimension-wise, but narrower hubs/rotors using same year 928 rear rotors at least on the turbo.

The 993 TT rears are handy, and I can fab up adapters for the radial mounts.
They clear the 16" 7 slots bore by ~19mm on 298mm rotors with the big red rears, and ~15mm with Wilwood superlites.
I could theoretically do ~320mm front rotors.... 330s are a no go in even the forged 16s.

Still pondering rear caliper options, have several reasonable choices because packrat.
The finned aluminum RX7 Turbo fronts look awesome but they are surprisingly as heavy as all hell.

I'll hopefully be running 11.75"/298mm front rotors on Speedway steel hats tomorrow, with Wilwood superlites (1.25" bores) the front setup almost looks like it will bolt on, same caliper mount spacing/offset... hats sit over a 1" hubcentric wheel spacer (can be trimmed if needed and will also center hat)
The new caliper bores are about identical to the 2002Tii calipers I have on there now, but with ~5X the pad area, much better pad choices (like PFC 20s, 1s or 14s), and very vented $35 rotors.
The whole setup will be ~5 lbs less per wheel than stock, ignoring the wheel, which is probably half what a stock steel wheel/tire weighs, even with the 205/55-16 on the 6" 7 slot.
(looking for ET52,5 16x7s to allow more front tire, but the Cooper Zeon RS3-As are pretty sticky)

IIRC all of them are "normal" bushed shocks but the 944 factory upper shock mount is in a slightly different locale, and I remember them being much longer than T1/T3 shocks. (plus the ones I left when we raided a 944 for my sons car were KYBs so they stayed)

The 14mm ID uniballs seem to have all disappeared so I'll be running bushings for now.
I can easily spin up a adapter bushing for the common 17mm ID ones i suppose.
Can drill out a rubber bush center and do same for now, so not strictly limited to 14mm lower bushing shocks.

Hoping to be able to use the SG series Bilsteins as they are A) cheap, single tube (but low pressure), available in pretty much any valving combo, also linear or digressive valving, coil over ready via a ~cheap kit, and 36mm so I can bolt the 4 ways on them now. (Either setup works with 2 1/4" ID springs so they'll fit)

They have 6/7/8" stroke versions and can take extensions.
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Re: aluminum 944 arms--- what shocks?

Post by Marc » Sat May 07, 2016 12:43 am

Piledriver wrote:The 86 has dimensionally the same aluminum arms as all the later ones and takes the same shocks dimension-wise, but narrower hubs/rotors using same year 928 rear rotors at least on the turbo...
So all of the aluminum arms are the same dimension and it's just the brakes which give the later ones a wider track? I'm using 944T brakes (I believe - they have aluminum backing plates) on Type I control arms, curious what would change if I went to aluminum.

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Re: aluminum 944 arms--- what shocks?

Post by Piledriver » Sat May 07, 2016 1:17 am

Marc wrote:
Piledriver wrote:The 86 has dimensionally the same aluminum arms as all the later ones and takes the same shocks dimension-wise, but narrower hubs/rotors using same year 928 rear rotors at least on the turbo...
So all of the aluminum arms are the same dimension and it's just the brakes which give the later ones a wider track? I'm using 944T brakes (I believe - they have aluminum backing plates) on Type I control arms, curious what would change if I went to aluminum.

Probably not enough gain to be worth it from a handling standpoint, but I needed to fully "do" brakes RSN so the cost vs replacing current rotor/caliper setup and such offsets the upgrade costs in a major way.
I also hosed my brake bias with the ~stock height rear tires, so some upgrade was in order regardless.
I also cannot lock the sticky tires, even when I really mean it.. That will not do.

If your rotors have deep "hats" sort of like a 914, they are late.
Early setup uses a shallow "hat" offset rotor off a 928 and a shorter hub.(and maybe stub axle, not sure)
The late setup has room for an ABS ring, I think they all had them.

All turbos supposedly had the aluminum arms, 85.5-86 the first and narrow offset with phone dials AFAIK.
The 944T rear rotors are 24mm wide and are 4 piston Brembos as std.
If no 4 piston aluminum brembos with 24mmx 298mm rotors, non-turbo.(still work great)


Width: Supposedly 22mm wider than std T1 without the std aluminum spacers, 44mm/side with them.
I'm ~exactly the same +22mm with the 914 rotors and 15mm wheel spacers over T3 hubs now.
.
The late ones are 73mm/side wider, or thereabouts and take much deeper hat offset rotors.

I'm using the late offset 944 turbos wheels so I'm a lot closer in than std, ~12mm from the (single) spring plate.
I'll probably be altering the springplates some, with bolt adjusters like Elephant makes where the current clamp bolt lives, and omitting the existing adjuster eccentric (or perhaps just moving it) for tire sidewall clearance.

The shipping weight is about the same.
The unsprung weight is (probably) much less, offset by the 24mm vented rotor and offset lighter via Brembos.

The aluminum units are likely much stiffer and seem far less massive at the wheel end, esp given the much smaller stub axle setup and press-in sealed bearing ala 911/914 etc//smaller bearing housing in aluminum.
The longer Vanagon axles make up for some of that.

We shall see.
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Re: aluminum 944 arms--- what shocks?

Post by Marc » Sat May 07, 2016 1:48 am

My 100mm stub axles came off of the donor car (I never saw it, my son brought all this stuff home) and are the same length as Type I/III. Calipers aren't 4-piston so they must be 944 NA or some form of 924 I guess. Since I just have `66-`71 Type III calipers in front I wouldn't want more rear anyway, as it is the F-R balance is nice (rear tires are wider than fronts). I'm using bolt-on spacers (approx 1") front & rear with 17" Boxter rims (8½" in back), sounds like if I used the aluminum arms my rear track would remain about the same if I left the spacers off.
This isn't a priority for me by any means, but if I happen to come across some at a good price I'll do it.

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Re: aluminum 944 arms--- what shocks?

Post by Piledriver » Sat May 07, 2016 2:00 pm

Well, UPS and USPS shipping have been on Turbo mode, with a possible shot of nitrous.

Ordered a set of new Lobro/GKN CV boot kits ($15 ea, with spring, clip and grease) from NJ Thursday early AM.
Free std shipping. Seller shipped Thursday.
They were on my doorstep Friday AM, in my tiny burg 40 miles from Dallas. Texas.

The 2 boxes (one very heavy) from CT containing the arms and axles that also shipped Thursday Priority Mail were at the PO this AM.

The seller put all the bolts that go in the arms down to the screws that hold the rotors and the rotor backing plates on into the arms to make sure I had ALL the right hardware, as well as almost as good a price as u-pull-it but without the sweat and time and ~100 mile drive.(as well as possible infinite wait time for an intact 86 944 turbo to actually show up)

So mad props to 944reanimation on ebay, USPS, and even UPS, who were the my absolute bane for many years.

Ah, technical stuff:
The car currently has redrilled/studded 5x130 T3 hubs with 914 rotors and 15mm wheel spacers, with 38mm MK4 iron 38mm floating parking brake calipers... The 914 rotor hub face is ~6-7mm, many newer rotors are thinner.

Did the quick measurement from the spring plate to the wheel adapter face (with construction square)
Current setup:
Tape measure read 8 7/8".

Early offset aluminum arm setup spring plate to hub:
(no rotor, no spacers) 8 5/8"

So depending on the thickness of the rotor face,(rotors which VERY annoyingly may not ship for weeks, and the seller will not respond to cancel or clarify) hub to hub width it will end up well within measurement noise vs my not-quite std steel arm T3 hub setup with 15mm spacer.

The 993 TT rear rotors damn near fit, a few mm too much offset.
I suspect Boxters S rear rotors may work. About same size and price, just far more common.

The total area of the calipers 4 pistons is about the same a the singles, so brake bias will be about the same stock to stock.
The 4 piston pads have 2-3X more area and can be had in more compounds and manufacturers than you can count on all your appendages, even if you have extra toes.

There's a pair of 928 rear Brembos going cheap right now on ebay, they are the same as the 944T, trying to resist the "buy it now!" buttons siren song. The fact that they bolt on is greatly in their favor.

I'm may yet do the 993 rear calipers, as its the worlds easiest caliper adapter to make, short of just spacer washers.
(square bar stock or very thick angle stock (possibly welded steel if true) with 4 offset holes, could probably drill it by hand)

The alloy arms are hollow, BTW, and it has the 911 style parking brake setup, so I will no longer have issues with the brake bias changing or getting uneven side to side due to parking brake self-adjustment progression issues.
"Normal" (not integrated parking brake) disc brake calipers are inherently self adjusting.

It's going to be very hard to resist polishing the arms.
They'd look awesome on the trike like that.
The later arms were used on a lot more cars, and far more available...on your trike the extra 3" would probbly be NBD.

I actually have a good used set of 911 parking brake cables I'm going to try for giggles.
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Re: aluminum 944 arms--- what shocks?

Post by Piledriver » Sun May 08, 2016 4:05 am

I have hijacked my own thread...
I'm going to trim this a bit and move the brake stuff into another thread...
...That or rename the thread, perhaps into a build thread.

Today I popped the L front off, still got some water into the outer bearing, must have a cut housing on the speedo cable.
played with some rotor/caliper options...

Goal is try to build a low budget but effective BBK use the 8x7 Wilwood etc rotors and the 3" offset stamped steel hats IMCA specs, as they are sturdy and dirt cheap.

This specific setup is dependent on using high offset rims,(very common and the only thing Porsche has used in 20 years) and a 1" spacer. The actual track width is still within the realm of ~stock.

Wilwood Dynalites can be made bolt on with early calipers and a $7 steel mount, and probably drilling out an existing hole and bolting the mount down.

For Superlites, bolt holes need a little welding, I'm thinking welding a couple nuts on with a good fillet.
The original caliper mounting surface is the perfect plane, just too narrow.

The late calipers didn't seem to line up quite as well, but the original caliper mounts interfere a bit more as they are much wider.

Its late but heres a few pics I hope illustrate where i'm headed, setup shown is an early T3 spindle in a vise not the car.

A narrower rotor of same type and mactching caliper will have the same mount offset, so as long as you stayed with the same type of caliper and rotor you can use different caliper sizes/roroe width combos for desired braking results w/o further mods to the car..
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Re: aluminum 944 arms--- what shocks?

Post by Piledriver » Thu May 12, 2016 6:16 am

The original questions definitive answer hasn't been found, but I suspects its "late 944 shocks"..

I'm about to do something different anyway unless someone with more sense can talk me out of it.

Thee Bilstein SG series (S6G prefix) are ~the correct compressed length, ~1/2" long extended (but I have external bump stops unlike late 944s) and available in a pretty huge range of off the shelf valvings, either linear or digressive valving.
(latter is preferred?)

17.00" Extended Length, 11.00" Compressed Length, 5.49" Stoke, 14.8" Static Ride Height

They need an off the shelf $45/ea coil over kit and springs to become real coil overs.
(Coil over ready design from Bilstein, not a generic kit)

They also work for the T3 front end, converting to 1/2" bolts or making steels shell spacers or some such.

Based on Baja bug "prerun" valvings, (probably way too stiff) that works out to
180/75 front, closest would be the S6G-4010
550/240 rear closest would be S6G-6035 (Squareback rear is relatively heavy)

Some sites have them listed as 1-9 I have no idea how that translates to a 6035.(edit---6/3.5, and 7035 is closer)

Have hit up eshocks and another place we'll see what they think.

I need 36mm shocks to work with the 4-Ways, which work awesome with preload either way.
Set at neutral as MFR suggests they suck, but with preload they transition nicely, even on Monroe-matics.
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Re: aluminum 944 arms--- what shocks?

Post by Piledriver » Fri May 13, 2016 5:23 am

Finally had time to play with SACO rear suspension bushings... are just very hard durometer urethane, and don't fit worth a darn, ID too large due to molding flaws/shrinkage (laterally curved ID, large in ceneter). Cheap tho... may end up centering bronze bushes.

Go Prothane/Energy Suspension black moly/graphite filled.
(Note: Prothane/Energy are usually the Same Parts, at least for us... the latter resells Prothane for ACVWS and most foreign cars--not a secret, is advertised if you look hard)
Fit ~perfect, or with very little effort.
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Re: aluminum 944 arms--- what shocks?

Post by 681tonburb » Thu May 19, 2016 11:52 pm

Are you going to use wilwood calipers on the 944 arms ? Or original brembos ?

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Re: aluminum 944 arms--- what shocks?

Post by Piledriver » Fri May 20, 2016 2:36 am

Out back original type 944T/928 Brembos, as they are a ~perfect piston size for the F/R balance and bolt on.
12x35mm flanged grade 10.9 bolts are oddly <$2 at your local VW/Audi dealer parts counter.
Hard to find cheaper, or better, anywhere.
38mm is actually "correct" but much harder to find, and sticks through 3mm....

The Wilwoods I have fit a little TOO well out back, and the 24mm rotor would require a .810 caliper with 16mm pads, screws the offset up a bit in the right direction, but not enough for an easy adapter, as the holes/bolts would still overlap.
Radial mounts would be easy to adapt, as the radial caliper bolt spread is typically much wider.
It almost got a pair of 993 TT radial mount rears I had handy, given a hunk of 1" square aluminum bar stock and 4 holes/side.

I scored a set of the factory 944/late 928 30x2/28x2s for $160, decent shape, Meyle e-coat rotors are about the same cost as the 9mm solid 914 ones (less, actually), and have shoe type 911-ish parking brakes, so the actual calipers aren't all weird with parking brake mechanical bits mixed in, so inherently self adjusting.

Biggest issue I've had with them is getting the multiple fugly layers of peeling clear powder (?) coat off the black anodization. (seems to be hard anodize, brown <=medium scotchbrite won't touch it at hand pressures, medium and down scotchbrite uses aluminum oxide abrasive, except for the white which used feldspar (think "Bon-Ami") above medium its all SiC or zircon and will take hard anodize off, as it is only formed-in-place aluminum oxide)

You can actually get a F&R set of 944T or 928S Brembos for <$400, but beware the cost of the OE rebuild kits, aftermarket kits exist for $25 and fit, but you want LATE calipers if you desire dust boots, earlier Brembos have scraper rings which are NLA, but may actually still work fine if you do not remove them.
(Piston seals in the kits still fit and can be had individually from Brembo dealers and perhaps even Porsche)

Set of Mintex 930 pads incoming for the Brembos, $35 shipped.

Need to find something similar for the Wilwoods, also need to hit up the local industrial brake lining places and see if I can get some Superlite pad backing plates redone in Mintex or Velvetouch F1/F2 Carbon Metallic or some other suitable compound.
Probably a fraction of the cost, too.

I have some existing used pads for up front, which should be interesting, as I have ~no clue what compound.
(Performance Friction pads, came with the calipers, probably 97 or 1 compound, by far most common)
If all else fails, Speedway has Wilwood BP10 (equivalent) pads available in eaches for ~$13, which should work OK on the street..

Speedway likely has them made by a local industrial brake pad place. :lol:
(Google "brake lining manufacturers and distributors" for your locale.. Want a Velvetouch clutch disc reline? They can do it, and usually for far less than a new stock disc, even vs Chinese EMPI)

As I still don't have the rear shocks purchased yet, I''ll probably only work the front brakes this weekend, and do the rear suspension over Memorial Day weekend...

The S6G Bilsteins I want to use, while "stocked" part#s, and come in 21 std valvings (custom available for a bit more, and all are coil-over ready) , are apparently long leadtime at the moment Because Dirt/Oval Track Racing Season.

I may just use/mod what i have for now, losing an inch of length won't be much of an issue as it barely makes it to the hard stop now on extension. (I have weird double acting (push/pull) coil overs over the std T3 fitment Monroes... Work much better than I could have hoped, but not quite enough damping, plus they are starting to seep at the seals after 80K miles)
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