First, congratulations on being alive. Take a look at what could have happened at: [scroll down past Tuna and Zonkers ;)]

Then take a look at this site for needed parts:

Parts: "You will need two each 928.341.049.12 ball joint supports; four each 928.341.466.00 adjusting eccentrics; one 928.341.091.05 left bracket; and one 928.341.092.05 right bracket." [from Wally Plumley email, posted at Nichols Tips site]. Dave Roberts at 928 Specialists helped me reduce the number of parts I needed to purchase-- by eliminating the purchase of two eccentrics, which don't quite fit in the new carrier, and the two brackets, which have slightly longer studs than the newer version. The longer studs do not give me the heebie jeebies.

Tools: If you are doing the job yourself, I suggest you get yourself something akin the VW 267a tool-- a ball joint separator that more closely approximates a scissors than a C-clamp. The JC Whitney separator did NOT work for me because the shape of the steering knuckle makes it impossible to get the claw on squarely. See the factory manual in chassis volume on suspension. You will need an appropriate ball joint separator tool to separate the lower ball joint carrier at the stud from the steering knuckle.
There are many write-ups on various other methods-- however I highly discourage the use of a pickle fork tool as, combined with my inexperience, it produced disastrous results. Others have been more successful. You will need an open ended 19mm wrench for most of the nuts and the caliper bolts.
Use plenty of penetrating oil or WD-40 but try to avoid getting it on the rotors if you plan to reuse them. Screw the nuts on top of the threads of any exposed studs if you plan on whacking anything-- you will save yourself headaches later. See Wally Plumley email of September 6, 2001 on other methods to remove the carrier:

"Another way that usually works is the two-hammer method.
Loosen the nut on the tapered stud, so that there is space between the nut and the arm. Put the largest chunk of steel (such as a sledgehammer) against the spindle where the stud goes thru. Whack the spindle as hard as you can with a big hammer on the opposite side.
What you are trying to do is to slightly and temporarily distort the tapered seat in the top of the spindle, so that the stud will be spit out. This method will work on most tapered joints."

[Plumley, Pirtle site ].

My motoring always varies (MMAV) so this Wally-Whack method did not work for me and I had to take the steering knuckle and the ball joint carrier to the farm, grind the stud off, and punch the rest of the stud out with a metal
punch and sledge hammer. Believe me, you will not have this much trouble.
For most people, a friendly tap suffices, I am told. That was true for my tie rods and one of my upper ball joints.

WYAIT: "While you are in there, you might consider replacing the rubber boots
for the upper ball joints. The upper ball joints are not replaceable - you have to replace the entire upper a-frame ($$$). New boots will help prevent dirt from entering the upper joints." [Wally Plumley email, Pirtle site].

There is a trick to the upper-a boots which I have not figured out yet.
Still working on it. My take is, if they look fine, don't mess with them because its a royal PIA to put new ones on. If they are dry and cakey, you might consider it, however. I am replacing the tie rod ends because they were torn before I started the work and needed to be replaced. I bought the whole assembly, but after I failed to administer the appropriate removal torque, I decided it was a job for another day-- btw, DR's method of pushing the stop in slightly on the rack is far superior to shopping for a bicycle wrench tool.

If that's too much to digest, consider calling DR or JB at either 928 Specialists or 928 Intl, respectively. They will walk you through the necessary parts. Others have suggested taking it in the shop and having it done for you. I learned more doing it myself. There are some things I wouldn't repeat. We'll see if it falls apart on the freeway.

David Cmelik


I reused the two that fit and replaced the two that didn't fit. Hope that makes more sense. Yup, clear as mud. My apologies.

"by eliminating the purchase of two eccentrics, which don't quite fit in the new carrier"

David A. Cmelik
81 5sp "grünes metallisches des Mooses"



The main test is to move the carrier up and down veritically on the ball joint stud axis. This is done by prying down and then using a large channel lock plier to squish it back together. The uppers are spring loaded (early model) or not (later model). I have only seen a failed aluminum carrier lower so I am not sure about the construction of the steel carrier version but the early version lower was not spring loaded internally.

I feel that it is better to have the suspension loaded to do the test so a drive on lift is best. This can also be done by jacking the car onto stands and then using a floor jack to load the hub from underneath. The reason for this is the hanging position of the suspension tends to take play out of the system because of the extreme angle of the lower control arm.

Most times the way these things go bad is vertical clearance internally.
So you won't feel it shaking the wheel even when it is really far gone.
The only way to know is to try to get the parts to move with respect to one another. Any play means you are on the slippery slope to disaster.
How far is hard to ascertain so it is better to just change them out if you find play. A good ball joint has about .001 inches of play when it is new so you can't feel it. Spring loaded ones hide the clearance but it doesn't mean they aren't bad. All 928 ball joints that I have dissected so far have had a molded Delrin or hybrid Nylon liner. This is common in street cars. The plastic takes the shock to extend life in a non-greaseable design as well as acting as a lubricating surface.

I had a lower ball joint probably more than 5 years ago when I replaced it that had 3/8" vertical play!!!!! but it hadn't come apart and the boot was still in tact mostly until you disassembled it. It was hard while the car was jacked up and the suspension was hanging to assess this play and there was no vague feel driving normally because the weight of the car was holding it all in place. You could shake and pry the wheel all you wanted and it felt solid and didn't click or anything.
But it was TRASHED. I got lucky.

Hope that all made sense?