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Old 04-14-2014, 05:16 AM   #1
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Question 2003 Boxster doesn't corner as good as 2011 Golf TDI?

Ever since I purchased my 2003 base 986 a year ago, I've noticed whenever I cornered hard I feel the car is "floaty". I know the shocks/springs are good and I need to replace the trailing arm (track arm) due to clicking noise on rough road at low speed, but does anyone know if trailing arm, control arm, drop link, other bushings... etc will cause this "floatiness" during hard corning?

I feel my 986 corners worst than my wife's 2011 Golf TDI, which I know it shouldn't be and something needs to be replaced. Thanks for any input
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Old 04-14-2014, 05:53 AM   #2
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Could also be the alignment. Perhaps more toe-in and camber is required.

Check tire pressures as well, around 30 psi is good and most importantly make sure both sides are equal.

Many folks including myself regularly Auto-X and with high speed, tight cornering like that, the car feels very solid and sure footed, nothing vague or floaty about it.

Definitely something wrong that you need to sort out.

I always start with the least expensive things and work toward the most expensive for resolution of unknown issues.
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Old 04-14-2014, 06:01 AM   #3
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My wheel alignment was done last fall with the latest Hunter HawkEye alignment equipment.

Winter: 17" - 31psi front 37psi rear

Summer: 19" - 33psi front 38psi rear
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Old 04-14-2014, 06:02 AM   #4
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jb92563 makes some great points but the 11-year old shocks likely need replacement.

Floatiness is usually shocks/springs. Worn bushings typically add a vagueness to the steering and suspension because of the added movement of the components.
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Old 04-14-2014, 07:58 AM   #5
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Replace your sway bar bushings - I had same issue, easy cheap fix with new sway bar bushings. Also make sure everything is tight... Good luck
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Old 04-14-2014, 08:11 AM   #6
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are those front tire pressures hot or cold? if hot then you should be around 36 psi front - you might be rolling onto your sidewalks - chalk your tires and see what happens.

if cold then perhaps too hard; oem is 29 for the front I think - check front tire wear and see if you are wearing the middle of the tires more than this sides.
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Old 04-14-2014, 08:50 AM   #7
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Bottom line: there's something wrong with your Boxster. My wife has a BMW 325 xi, and cornering in my Boxster makes the BMW, which handles really well, feel like a pig in comparison. Of course, the Boxster has new ROW MO30 suspension, but it feels like it's on rails!
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Old 04-14-2014, 09:07 AM   #8
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Why do you say 'you know your springs and shocks are good'? What's the mileage on both cars?
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Old 04-14-2014, 09:17 AM   #9
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Quote:
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Why do you say 'you know your springs and shocks are good'? What's the mileage on both cars?
Based from what I've observed, no leak on struts Boxster: 81k miles, TDI: 31k miles

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are those front tire pressures hot or cold? if hot then you should be around 36 psi front - you might be rolling onto your sidewalks - chalk your tires and see what happens.

if cold then perhaps too hard; oem is 29 for the front I think - check front tire wear and see if you are wearing the middle of the tires more than this sides.
Cold pressure and I bumpped up the front because my new front tires are 225 vs stock 205.

I'll need to have a good look at all the bushings.
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Old 04-14-2014, 09:27 AM   #10
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I think the bumpy East coast roads have wore out your struts. And bushings. Your spring rates have dropped and the shock's ability to control body motions has diminished.
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Old 04-14-2014, 09:28 AM   #11
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Worn front control arm bushings will cause vaugeness in the steering (floating).

You put on new front tires? How about the rears? Do your tires match?

Has the car been in a collision? Any front end damage?

===

Car needs:

- Front control arm bushings, struts, springs (lower it), matching tires, proper alignment.


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Old 04-14-2014, 09:34 AM   #12
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All 4 tires were replaced with brand new Conti DWS a year ago. I'll look closer at all my bushings and struts.
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Old 04-14-2014, 11:49 AM   #13
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This is going to be an expensive repair once you start replacing suspension parts. I changed out my struts and decided to do the rest of the suspension bits since it was all apart anyway and hey, let's get the wheel bearings done too because they're a little noisy and $3200 later...
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Old 04-14-2014, 12:11 PM   #14
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Conti DWS's are a snow tire.


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Old 04-14-2014, 12:17 PM   #15
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My shocks were toast before 70K miles. Ditto for the CA's and wheel bearings. And by toast I mean it was embarrassing how shredded they were. Mind you my car was always garage kept and driven only on weekends. These cars may be reliable, but in the North East they are not at all durable.

RandallNeighbohr is spot on cost. This was easily my most expensive suspension overhaul of any previous car. I usually flip to my copy of "101 Projects for Your Porsche Boxster" to guestimate the cost of a big job. Between parts and labor I think we were well over $7K and my indy's rate is a very sensible $85 an hour. Most of the cost were the pricey Porsche parts.

if you're getting out-handled by a top heavy Golf, then I'm guessing you're due for a lift inspection.
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Old 04-14-2014, 05:21 PM   #16
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I guess I was exaggerating and used the wrong term "floaty". I'm sure at its current condition it can still out corner the TDI. I'm mainly annoy of the rear clatter noise when going over rough roads at low speed due to the need for some new track/trailing arms. In any case, I'll inspect all the bushings and suspension components when I change the oil in the coming weeks. Thanks again guys for all your inputs
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Old 04-15-2014, 09:19 AM   #17
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Honestly the 986 strut suspension, dinky front tires, and lack of negative camber never handle all that great. They all understeer from the factory.

Before you start swapping parts drive another and see it feels the same. The Conti DWS are good tires, but they are very hard, favoring long wear over grip.

As a long time autoxer, racer, and instructor you can try 2 more psi in the front see it that helps make the front feel better. In reality unless you are autoxing or doing track days, you are nowhere close to the limits on the street.
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Old 04-15-2014, 09:37 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evo-r View Post
All 4 tires were replaced with brand new Conti DWS a year ago. I'll look closer at all my bushings and struts.
What size are the new tires ? are they taller?
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Old 04-15-2014, 10:06 AM   #19
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Quote:
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What size are the new tires ? are they taller?
New front tire size has lower profile to keep the diameter the same as stock;

New size: Front 225/45-17, Rear 255/40-17
Stock size: Front 205/50-17, Rear 255/40-17

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...As a long time autoxer, racer, and instructor you can try 2 more psi in the front see it that helps make the front feel better. In reality unless you are autoxing or doing track days, you are nowhere close to the limits on the street.
I'll try adding 2 more psi to the front or soon I'll just put on my summer 19" wheels.
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Old 04-15-2014, 10:39 AM   #20
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Its likely just the tires.
Tirerack summed these up:

Continental ExtremeContact DWS (Ultra High Performance All-Season 245/40R18 97Y)

What We Liked: Comfort out on the road
What We'd Improve: Handling precision and steering response
Conclusion: Delivering a good blend of road manners and handling, with a reputation for very good winter traction

Since you have summer wheels and tires (hopefully not all weather), swap to those then report back on how it feels.

If it's still bad, its either alignment or suspension is worn.

BTW, 19" wheels are not recommended on early Boxsters due to handling and suspension wear issues.
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