Suspension & Steering

Ball Joint Replacement

Ball Joint Replacement

Important note:
The post, below, was made in 1999. Since then, other 928 owners have been unsuccessful at getting no-cost replacement of their aluminum ball joints. So, don't be surprised if you are unable to receive the level of service that Tim describes.
+Greg N.

Having lurked on the list(s) for a couple of years before purchasing my 1980 928, I wiled away much of the time making a checklist of work to be performed once I became a shark owner. Knowing that I would most likely end up with a 78-84 model, one of the "top ten" items I had on the list to be repaired/replaced was an update from the "aluminum cased" lower ball joints to the newer steel type. Though I ended up purchasing my car with what I believe are fairly complete service records [no receipts for the newer type ball joints :-( ], I called PCNA anyway to doublecheck on these and any other outstanding warranty items or service actions. PCNA reported back that there was no record of the ball joint update or the steering column universal joint replacement ever having been performed on my car. Drats!! Armed with this information, I opened up my wallet to that imagined giant sucking sound and made an appointment at one of the Boston area dealers to have these updates performed.

Upon meeting with the service advisor, I was not suprised to learn that he knew nothing about these updates. I was very suprised however, to learn that after I provided him with the "codes" for the updates (supplied by PCNA) as well as the part numbers for the required updated items (garnered from my copy of the factory parts book), he said all this would be covered by Porsche, i.e. at no cost to me!! I hid my suprise and asked for a written estimate (totalled $0). After a weeks' wait for the parts to arrive, the dealer spent close to 9 hours labor performing the updates and necessary alignment (they drove the car a few miles to settle the suspension, then did not raise the car again). I closed my eyes in fear when I was handed the bill, still anticipating a total of hundreds of dollars despite my written estimate. To my relief, the invoice came to $0.00. How many times have you left a dealer that kind of bill, especially when your car is 19 years old??

Tim Harris
1980 U.S. 5-spd. silver/black 91K

Due to the overwhelming number of responses to my post re: dealer replacement of lower ball joints and steering universal joint, I am posting to the list(s) the parts and part numbers that were used for the update on my car. Sorry I couldn't answer everyone individually, but I'll try to touch on all of your questions.

- --Unfortunately, I couldn't locate the Post-it note on which I wrote down the codes from PCNA but you can call the owner services number (1.800.545.8039) and they should be able to provide you with the codes if you have your VIN number handy. I 'think' one of the codes was "0JY", which may be for the steering universal joint, but please double check me on this!

- --The way I approached this was to meet face to face with a service advisorto discuss the scope of work to be performed, the parts needed and their availability (all were special order items) and to schedule a mutually convenient time for me to bring in the car. I had typed up a list of the parts and part numbers, along with the codes from PCNA for the updates and asked the s.a. to please double check my information before ordering the parts. I truthfully explained during the meeting that I had recently purchased the car after a year long search, had all the service records and would most likely bring the car in for periodic work that I was not willing/able to tackle on my own.

- --A 4 wheel alignment was performed after the ball joint replacement. If you are considering this update make sure you are comfortable with the procedure your dealer uses to align a 928. There have been numerous great posts on the list over the last year outlining the correct method, so you might want to take some time to review this before talking with the service advisor. I asked as many relevant questions as I could think of, discovering that I knew much more about the car than the s.a. did. Kinda' scary, but the s.a. made a point to get answers to all my questions before the work started.

- --I suspect this work was performed as a recall, given my car is WAY out of warranty. To be honest, I didn't question this part of process very thoroughly.

- --OK, here's what everyone really wants to know:

Steering Joint Quantity: 1
P#928-347-021-04 **Note that Porsche Parts and Technical Reference Catalog (c1996), pg. 76 references part number 928-347-021-03

Ball Joint Quantity: 2
P#928-341-049-12 **Information in above referenced catalog is on pg. 72-73

Bracket - Left Quantity: 2

Bracket - Right Quantity: 2 P#928-341-092-05

Eccentric - Caster & Camber Quantity: 8 P#928-341-466-00

SS to N Quantity: 4 P#900-910-085-02
**I don't know what this part is, and it isn't listed on pg. 72-73

12MM Nut Quantity: 2

Most of the items for the ball joint update are detailed (along with pictures) in Tech Bulletin #7, pg. 159 of the catalog. I would highly recommend the purchase of this book to anyone owning or considering a 928, I purchased mine before buying the car (OK, so I'm a little anal about doing my homework!). The cost is only ~$9.00 and has over 160 pages of parts, diagrams and tech bulletins. I believe I purchased mine from 928 Intl. , but I would imagine DEVEK and 928 Specialists might also carry it. Drawback for you lucky GT & GTS owners is that it only covers through MY 1988 :-(.

Hope this information is helpful.

Tim Harris
1980 U.S. 5-spd. Production date 01/80 #0918
Silver/black 91K miles

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