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Old 12-25-2011, 03:40 PM   #1
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Boxster Suspention Question???

My 97 boxster with 70k miles was a REALLY REALLY REALLY rough ride on semi-bumpy roads ...... I know something was wrong/worn out considering my other car Lexus IS300 was not rough ride at all on same road/roads.

The shocks were all original so assumed it would be good time to replace them.

I bought 4 Brand New regular Bilstein shocks and installed them with the help of my mechanic buddy. They are the regulars ones and NOT the stiffer sport ones Bilstein offers. Wanted a smoother ride and had no problem sacrificing handling performance for this.

After the Install my car still Rides extremely rough on pretty much any road that isnt brand new. :-( Really doesnt feel much better than the original shocks.

Looked at the control arms and all the rubber bushings seemed to look and be ok still.....

Car does have the 16 rims so it should ride pretty darn smooth if nothing is wrong....right??

Replaced all 4 shocks, all drop links, both front Tie-rods also.

Questions:

1.) Do brand new shocks need some time to soften up or break in??

2.) Anything I may have done wrong during install??...car rides straight on highway and no shaking or anything like that .... Just handles aged roads very horribly still.

3.) What other suspension parts can cause extremely rough ride on a boxster?


Any Help is appreciated Guys???

Took a girl out to movie in the Box 2 weeks ago and even she was like "this car rides really really rough/bumpy".......all I could say was "uggghhhh"!!!

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Old 12-25-2011, 04:17 PM   #2
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36 PSI rear, 29 PSI front?
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Old 12-25-2011, 04:20 PM   #3
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Both tires are at like 30 psi...... wish it were that easy of a solution.
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Old 12-25-2011, 04:29 PM   #4
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Before trying anything else, get a ride in someone elses Boxster for comparison.
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Old 12-25-2011, 04:30 PM   #5
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Where do you live Paul....let me take a spin?? haha

do you know of any independent Porsche shops in WI??
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Old 12-25-2011, 04:35 PM   #6
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Near Milwaukee, and yes I know of several good shops.
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Old 12-25-2011, 04:51 PM   #7
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I live in the 3rd ward in milwaukee .... assuming yours is put away for the winter? I dont need to drive it or anything but maybe just get taken for a spin to see how stiff yours is compared to mine....Mines pretty bad and can only assume has some issues
beyond shocks....
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Old 12-25-2011, 04:58 PM   #8
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My 01 is away for the winter, but my 3.6 is a daily all year driver but it has the sport suspension so it's "bumpier" than the stock 01.
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Old 12-25-2011, 06:16 PM   #9
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Sports cars have a stiff ride. If it's working right, it should never fell like a Lexus sedan.
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Old 12-25-2011, 07:21 PM   #10
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Dirk - Mine was pretty rough too when I got it in Nov 2010 (I have a 2000 'S'), I remember the day I got it I drove it from the bank where I picked it up to work and the road i drove on had a lot of man hole covers...I was like errrrr this is a rough ride. I replace the front with Bilstein HD and rear Bilstein sport. It firmed up the ride but the bumps were more muted, imho it did take a little bit of driving to get them to soften up but that could just be my imagination. I ended up selling the original shocks since they were still ok.

Observations:

- Empty fuel tank, lighter car rougher ride
- I'm a little guy 165lb and when I add a person to the car I lose power but ride feels better.
- Cold cold cold, car rides so much better over 50 degrees.

I can relate to the feeling your having, if you get a warm day...HA!...see if it is any better. I assume you have had the ride for some time now...if so is this only a recent thing?
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Old 12-25-2011, 07:57 PM   #11
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It seems super duper stiff and I couldn't imagine anyone wanting to drive one of these cars as a daily driver on anything but brand new pavement if mine is normal. Something has got to be wrong
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Old 12-25-2011, 08:02 PM   #12
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I was able to drive it this past summer before it got cold out and not much of a difference regarding the ruff ride from warm to cold.

The new shocks/drop links/tie rods did help with the shaky loose feeling when hitting bumps but its still so darn bumpy.

It feels like driving a older motorcycle with no rear suspension or a older Snowmobile with very little travel in the rear ..... best way I can describe it.
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Old 12-25-2011, 09:17 PM   #13
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Check if the springs are factory, maybe someone added stiffer ones.
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Old 12-25-2011, 11:26 PM   #14
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My thoughts...

1. Yes, get a ride in another Boxster for comparison.
2. Try adjusting tire pressures. Try 27F and 33R. Depending on the tire, the fronts can be harsh even at the stock 29psi.
3. Tires - what make/model tires do you have? Some ride very hard. My Michelin PS2's rode very comfortably as did the Kumho Ecsta XS's but the Hankook R-S3's that I have now ride like a truck (but they stick like glue - everything is a tradeoff).
4. Your Boxster is never going to ride like a Lexus. My Boxster (competely stock) rides much harder than my 325i. In fact, the 325i feels like an old 70's Caddy floating all over the road in comparision.
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Old 12-26-2011, 05:10 PM   #15
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Hi Guys. I too have a 2004 325i and a '99 boxster. Last year at 90k I put new shocks on the 325. this year I put lower control arms. The car rides great. The Porsche rides ALOT rougher. I was also thinking about putting new shocks on it as well. (it has 71k on it) I may not if it doesn't smooth out the ride. It is very bouncy.
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Old 12-26-2011, 08:54 PM   #16
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Hi - Bouncy would mean new shocks are due I would think. New ones should 'mute' (as Consumers would say) the bumps a lot more, it did on mine. It sounds like what dirk is having is a harsh jarring ride, almost like it has stiff springs or things are frozen in place.
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Old 12-27-2011, 02:16 AM   #17
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I have a '01 base boxster and a '09 BMW E90 323i.

On my boxster, totally everything in the suspension department is new (< 1yr old), I had everything replaced... So I presume mine should ride pretty much like when it was new.. But I'm currently on the ROW M030 suspension. The ride is less than ideal on bumpy/broken roads. But it does "mute" the imperfections but definitely the car reacts to every single imperfection on the road. It's not crashy or jarring though...

My 323i recently became crashy (can hear a loud crash over manholes) and jarring over broken road. It turned out to be the strut tower mounts (the part the shocks mount to on top).

Could your strut tower mounts be the problem ? But I presume you would have inspected them when replacing your shocks.
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Old 12-27-2011, 03:27 PM   #18
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Actually I DID NOT replace the strut tower mounts. They looked to be in ok shape.....the rubber around them had some cracks but still stayed on during the install.

would bad strut tower mounts cause really rough ride??
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Old 12-28-2011, 11:38 PM   #19
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Not sure how much it makes a difference on a boxster but on the bmw, it was quite a big difference - both in sound, crashiness of the suspension... It also corners much neater now.

Anything with cracks can't be good...

I'm not sure if you are expecting too much in terms of comfort on the boxster though... it's totally different on the boxster vs the bmw, let alone an IS300. On the boxster, there is a much rawer feel, with much less damping of every imperfection on the road. With minimal body roll.

I do slow down on rough roads and try to avoid manholes/potholes (maybe I'm more sympathetic on the car). I guess I'm mindful that the previous owner drove only 29k km in 9 years and managed to get all 4 shock shafts wobbly and play in practically every rubber bushing in the suspension arms ...
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Old 12-29-2011, 07:17 PM   #20
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What you describe is not a usual Boxster ride. I've owned two, a base and an S. Both rode very nice for sports cars. The S is stiffer but certainly not "rough". Otherwise you're very sensitive. I, obviously, don't know which would be the case.

To determine which it is, I would take the car to a Porsche dealership or someone EXTREMELY knowledgeable on Boxster suspensions. Let them inspect the components and let you know if the part numbers match for your vehicle. They, as mentioned earlier, may have been replaced by a previous owner. No one can accurately diagnose your ride or components without driving and inspecting your vehicle. Good luck with the ride.

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