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Old 04-20-2005, 06:36 PM   #1
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Lowering the Box...

So right now I have the 996 turbo front on my car. It sits a lot lower than the stock front bumper. I'll be damned if I don't have to drive the thing like it's a lowered Honda...sideways and slow out of driveways. Not my thing, the stock front is going back on. It looks great, but I am more of a believer that form follows function.

With that in mind, how does the Box perform with a set of lowering springs? I currently have a wholesale account with a performance company. I don't have much time to run the business these days, so I am closing it down. I may just order up some products for my Box before I close down...namely some H&R sport springs, along with H&R front and rear sway bars.

They are a 1" drop, and with the rounded front bumper, I will still be able to drive it like it's normal...it'll just have a bit more of an aggressive stance and should handle a lot nicer. I will also be replacing my tires soon, probably some P-Zero's.

Anyone here lower their Box? Impressions? Gracias...

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Old 04-20-2005, 07:24 PM   #2
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What is wrong with the handling now?
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Old 04-20-2005, 07:36 PM   #3
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Nothing whatsoever...but it could be better. Actually, it handles better than the NSX I drive half of the time...FAR better...hah. But I figure since I am going to close out this account, I may as well capitalize.
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Old 04-20-2005, 07:46 PM   #4
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Morelli, on other threads you'll see that lowering the boxster is hell on your tires. It wears them out quickly. Now this could be an isolated incident from the guys on this forum who posted rapid tire wear, but it sure does make sense.

Hopefully, other boxster owners who have lowered their cars can chime in on this thread and give you better input. I'm a strong believer in leaving my Boxster stock as modifications seem to make the car a very high maintenance driving experience.

Anyone want to chime in for Morelli who has lowered their box and has had no ill side effects?
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Old 04-20-2005, 07:46 PM   #5
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My two cents is that the car handles great as is. There is no guarantee that it will handle better if it is lower. In fact, you are already concerned about ground clearance, ie the issue with the bumper.

Perhaps you should spend the money on a short shift kit?

IMHO!

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Old 04-20-2005, 08:41 PM   #6
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I think tinkering with the suspension is not something you want to skimp on. I mean its ok with an inexpensive car like the Miata or a Civic but this a Porsche man! It deserves the best set up you can afford. Go with a full coilover system.
like the Billstein PSS 9. Its $1900 delivered from the link below. The psosibilities in finding the right balance between comfort and performance are enless. I only wish I had a lift because I could spend the whole day charting heghts with compresions. When a car is dialed in perfectly the carving sensation is fantastic. I spent at least $2000 on my Miata's suspension until I found the perfect set up and it was the best thing I did to enjoy the driving experience. Adjusting that little knob for different settings was my favourite thing about the car. Soft in the City hard on the highway.

Billstein PSS9

The thing is if you go with just lowering springs its a crap shoot. Will your $50,000 car like the new stance? I played this gamble several times and like me you will learn that it can be a disaster. There are many factors that can affect the way your car will take to certain springs unrelated to just the spring rates. How heavy are your wheels and tires? What sways are you running? How worn are your shocks? Suspensions are very sensitive and tinkering with it without the ability to adjust ride height/center of gravity is not something I would want to gamble a $400-$600 mechanic's fee on. With the coilovers you can return the car to the stock height and set teh shocks to full soft. and gradually lower it until you hit the sweetspot in looks and comfort.
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Old 04-20-2005, 11:02 PM   #7
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Both H&R and Eibach make quality products and I believe both are TUV approved. The Boxster runs a basic Macpherson suspension...not magic fairy dust. Throwing on a different set of springs will change the dynamics but it isn't going to be too much of a crapshoot.

If you do a lot of roadracing (track), then the PSS9 would be a good choice allowing you to adjust ride heights, valving characteristics, and corner balance the car. If you do a little track/autocross, want a lowered stance yet want some compliance on the street, then the lowering springs fit that description quite nicely and a coilover system is somewhat overkill. What's "the best" for the track is not always "the best" for an all around application IMHO.

I use to run H&R springs with Bilstein Sports on my M3 while a buddy ran PSS9 on his M3. Even at full soft the ride of the coilover system was much more harsh on the street.

Interestingly, the Boxster supposedly comes with linear rate springs whereas the aftermarket springs (e.g. Eibach and H&R) are progressive rate.

Check the Boxster racing board. Those guys have tried it all as far as suspension is concerned...


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Old 04-20-2005, 11:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RandallNeighbour
Morelli, on other threads you'll see that lowering the boxster is hell on your tires. It wears them out quickly. ...
When you lower the car without touching the toe/camber settings, you will be running more negative camber. Hence, the insides of the tires will wear faster than the outside. I experienced this with my M Coupe which did not have camber adjustments in the rear. I had to install (ie. weld on) camber and toe kits (toe vary with camber changes) to compensate for this.

For the Boxster, I'm sure the rear camber can be adjusted to suit the lowered ride. The concern is how much can it be adjusted. Same goes for the toe.

My personal opinion is if you're not going to track the car often, a set of aftermarket shocks and springs would suffice. I will only go for coilovers like PSS9 if I frequent the track every month. For my M Coupe, I made do with a set of Koni shocks and H&R springs since I track about twice a year only.

Having said that, I would not recommend just changing the springs alone and using it with the stock shocks. Read somewhere that aftermarket springs are best matched with similar shocks because of the need for increased damping effect.
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Old 04-21-2005, 07:06 AM   #9
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By the way if you do plan to Autocross with your new suspsension PSS9 will bump you up a whole class with most racing clubs and you'll be competing against much more powerful cars. So from a competitive stand point its not really suited for Autocross unless you are doing it just to improve as a driver and not so concerned with placing. But around here, the guys in the more powerful cars are also the much more experienced drivers.
By the way Coilvovers are not overkill for a road car that never sees a track. Its a far better method of fine tunning ride height. When you lower that car on your new H&R or Eibach springs you are effectively stuck with that height like it or not. And if down the line you start to grow weary of the new lower height and miss the old more comfortable height, with colivovers you can return it to stock height in an hour. Reinstalling your old springs will take much longer and more $$$.

The best thing to do is go to a Porsche Club event either Autocross or Rallye (now that the season is back) and find a Boxster owner with a lowered suspension and similar wheels and tires. Ask for a ride along and you'll have a far better idea than just ordering from a catalog and crossing your fingers.
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Old 04-21-2005, 07:35 AM   #10
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I don't auto-x, this is just my daily driver. I come from a loooooooooooong line of lowered cars...five Hondas, one Lexus...I just wanted some personal impressions because each car is slightly different. I really don't have any use for coilovers, as I will never even adjust them. I have too short of a fuse to even bother touching my car myself...the first thing that doesn't go absolutely correct, I'll ignite and break something. Hehe.

As for tire wear, the stock camber on the Boxster is horrible anyway...or...at least it is on mine. My inner tires are already worn and in need of change. Does anyone make a camber kit for these cars? That is what it needs...badly.
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Old 04-21-2005, 07:42 AM   #11
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The car is designed to have negative camber in the back. Elaborate on what you have in mind regarding this camber kit you mentioned.

I am interested where you are going with this?

BTW-if all you want do is to make an appearance statement, why not wheels and tires vs. lowering.

Why look like every other honda out there?

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Old 04-21-2005, 07:51 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brucelee
The car is designed to have negative camber in the back. Elaborate on what you have in mind regarding this camber kit you mentioned.

I am interested where you are going with this?

BTW-if all you want do is to make an appearance statement, why not wheels and tires vs. lowering.

Why look like every other honda out there?

A camber kit to correct some of the camber. I don't know why the car would be designed to have negative camber in the ass end. Granted, I'm no suspension genius and if Porsche engineers designed it that way...obviously they're the authority...but I just don't understand it. In every other car I have had, camber is the devil. Less contact patch = less grip...at least that is how I understand it. I'd rather have the entire tire on the ground...???
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Old 04-21-2005, 10:24 AM   #13
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mine's dropped

1 inch via techart springs (I believe they're made by h&R).
I bought the car this way. I like the look and I believe it could only improve, not hurt, the handling. And I have no problems with it being too low to drive as my daily driver here in norther california. the set up is comparable to a factory-offered (r030?) suspension package, so I don't understand why some people here think it's tweaking the car so much.
My car does go through rear tires fast though...the car has gotten 9-10k miles per set on michelin pilot sports.
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Old 04-21-2005, 11:01 AM   #14
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Negative camber is your friend for cornering. You get maximum contact patch in corners. But if you do a lot of straight line driving, then obviously you're gonna pay the price with the inside tires wearing more rapidly. This isn't entirely due to the negative camber though. The Boxster has a bit of weight over the rear tires and this will also affect tire wear. Go see how fast a 911 burns thru tires!

I believe there are camber kits out there. Usually it's to get more camber so I don't know if they allow a lowered car to get less. Keep in mind that the camber change is a trait of the Macpherson design.

Like I mentioned in another thread, I wasted my rear tires at 10K miles and I'm on stock height. What I should have done was rotate the tires at 5K to get more mileage. I will definitely be doing this from now on...but 15K miles on performance tires is about normal for me.

BTW, keep in mind that the Euro version of our cars (along with BMW's, etc). are all lower than the US counterpart. This is because of bumper height requirements. So lowering it 1" is more akin to the original design...in a sense.


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Old 04-21-2005, 01:18 PM   #15
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yep...

Lux - agreed on the 'rest of world' spec being about an inch lower than stock US setup (that's what I was referring to with the R030 option).
I'm going to try rotating my rears next time too...but I've just sort of got used to the idea that tires are expendable, and having them go in 10-12k miles vs. 15k miles is just not a big deal in the long term scheme of things. Mind you, my front pilot sports have the same 10k miles on them and they look like they'll go another 10k.
and besides, nothing looks meaner from the rear than fat tires tucked barely inside the rear wheel wells with a bunch of negative camber...I ust love looking at the ass of my boxster.

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