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Old 02-01-2020, 08:57 AM   #1
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Boxster 986 Autocross/Track Setup

I just bought a 1998 Boxster Base model to be used as an autocross/track toy. Im trying to get the setup squared away for the upcoming racing season and was wanting opinions or suggestions on what I have planned. So here it is:

Car
1998 Boxster Base Model (2.5L)
Manual
Right now, everything is stock with Factory Aero Package

SCCA Autocross STR Class Setup/Additions:

Stock 17"x 7" fronts and 17"x 8.5" rear wheels
Bridgestone RE71Rs (225/45-17 front & 255/40-17 rear)
Wheel Spacers as Needed (up to 7mm allowed by SCCA STR)
Tarett Front Camber Plates
Tarett Front GT adjustable sway bar and drop links
Carbotech Xp8 Brake Pads
Race Exhaust with CATs
Deep Sump Oil Pan Kit
Underdrive Pulley Kit
Brey Krauss Roll Bar Extension

Track Setup (same as above with following additions/changes):
OZ 18"x8.5" fronts and 18"x10" rear wheels
Toyo R888Rs (235/45-18 front & 265/35-18 Rear)
For Wet Track: Back to stock wheels and RE71Rs

How does this look to everyone?

Should I go with front LCA instead of plates (cant do both LCA and camber plates in SCCA STR)? With the limited camber provided by plates will R-compound tires cord prematurely on outside at the track?

Should I go with Nitto NT01s (my favorite track tire) instead of the Toyos? The NT01 rear in 265 width (265/40-18) is an inch taller than stock.

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Old 02-03-2020, 05:11 PM   #2
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Adjustable GT3 Arms cost more than camber plates but you get what you pay for with a wider trac and better tuneability. Worth it to me.

If you don't plan to change the struts, the stock sways are ok. Changing to a M030 on the rear allows the car to rotate more easily without generating wheelspin.

RE-71R is the ideal AX tire for setting quick single laps.

I would probably stick with 17" stock wheels for track days and run NT01 in 225/255. I ran 20 sets of these on my 986 and they are just about the ideal tire for affordable continuous lapping. They hold up to heat much better than 888s.
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Old 02-03-2020, 05:53 PM   #3
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Tires in the 17" sizes are much less expensive than 18" sizes, so I'd just stick with the 17".
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Old 02-03-2020, 06:09 PM   #4
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If any thing, the 18's could be your wet setup, as they'd soften the delivery a bit. But I'd personally stick to the 17's for all setups.

I agree too that the LCA's give you the advantage of wider track, compared to the plates.

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Old 02-04-2020, 07:23 PM   #5
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Thank you for all of your input.

I already have the stock 17 wheels for the RE71Rs for autocross. I also already own the 18 OZ wheels that I had from when I tracked my 997. Based on my research, another set of 17 wheels will cost me between $500 and $1000. The difference in cost between the 17 NT01s and the wider 18 R888Rs is about $250.

Does that change any of the recommendations? Will the limited number of runs that I get out of the R888Rs versus the NT01s quickly eat up the cost savings realized by using the 18 wheels versus buying new 17 wheels?

Im a big fan of the NT01s, so I wont need a whole lot of convincing. And, if you tell me the 17 NT01 setup is faster I have some 18 OZs for sale.
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Old 02-04-2020, 11:41 PM   #6
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Thank you for all of your input.

I already have the stock 17 wheels for the RE71Rs for autocross. I also already own the 18 OZ wheels that I had from when I tracked my 997. Based on my research, another set of 17 wheels will cost me between $500 and $1000. The difference in cost between the 17 NT01s and the wider 18 R888Rs is about $250.

Does that change any of the recommendations? Will the limited number of runs that I get out of the R888Rs versus the NT01s quickly eat up the cost savings realized by using the 18 wheels versus buying new 17 wheels?

Im a big fan of the NT01s, so I wont need a whole lot of convincing. And, if you tell me the 17 NT01 setup is faster I have some 18 OZs for sale.
Definitely run the 17s, not the 18s. it didnt always used to be the case but now track tires and autocross tires are very different. Autocross tires will not last long at all on the track and most will over heat after a single lap (there are some exceptions like the Rival S) and track tires will not be sticky enough for an autocross if youre trying to be competitive. Its all what you want to do.

I didnt think you could add lower control arms in SCCA? If you can do that over a front sway bar, Boxsters understeer and a front bar doesnt help. Finally can you go wider on that front tire (I believe you can within scca rules). Id go as wide as you can for track or autocross. Good luck!
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Old 02-05-2020, 07:13 AM   #7
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my 2 cents:

An absolute must is adjustable front lower control arms. I'd suggest tarret because they have a beefier ball joint or maybe elephant racing.

I'd stay away from the underdrive pulley because it may or will limit the ability to change the IMS down the road and I'm not sure the hassle is worth it.

Remove the side intake tube. It doesn't make a big difference but you'll get a slightly better airflow & sound.

Lastly, try to reduce the car's weight as much as possible. Not sure what the aero package entails but its likely additional weight that is not needed.

Its a great autocross car in stock-ish form so enjoy.
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Last edited by BrantyB; 02-05-2020 at 07:16 AM.
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Old 02-05-2020, 07:20 AM   #8
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I'd stay away from the underdrive pulley because it may or will limit the ability to change the IMS down the road and I'm not sure the hassle is worth it.
Explain? Ya lost me.

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Old 02-05-2020, 07:30 AM   #9
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Explain? Ya lost me.

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Old 02-05-2020, 09:05 AM   #10
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Be aware that what you choose to do depends on what organization(s) you decide to autocross with. Also understand that the class rules may differ from region to region with some national organizations.

For example, if you choose to autocross with PCA you need to check the class rules at the regional, zone and national level. In my region (NER Northeast), you have street classes that require that you don't modify anything that may affect performance. This includes adjustable coilovers, camber plates, any engine modification between the throttle body and exhaust manifold, both included, etc. etc. Then there is the modified class where you can make those change. For these two you cannot use tires with under 200 tread wear, which the RE71-R complies with. And finally there is the class where you drive on R rated tires.

Understand that the non-street classes is where the big boys drive. You will be crushed!

So, here's my advice: Read the rules, drive in street class until you are one of the top drivers. It is less expensive and more fun. Once you have the experience and the $, go for it in the other classes.

Enjoy/Anker
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Old 02-05-2020, 09:08 AM   #11
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Oh, I forgot.

Change your alignment.

Maximize the front camber with the stock camber slots. Set your front end toe-in to 0 degrees. Set a small amount of toe-in on the rears and set the camber to as much as you can with the selected toe-in (they interact). Use RE71-Rs on 17" rims. You will run 225 wide tires in front instead of the standard 205s. That's all Bridgestone supplies. That's what you want anyway because it increases front end grip.
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Old 02-05-2020, 12:17 PM   #12
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Based on the responses below, I plan to change alignment as recommended and use LCAs in the front to get the camber needed so that i don't wear the outside of the track tires so fast. I'm also now convinced that i need to sell my 18" OZ wheel set and get another set of 17" wheels as my dedicated track wheel set [with NT01s - 225 (or 235?) in front and 255 in rear]. The original stock wheels will have the RE71R autocross/rain tires mounted (225 in front and 255 in rear). I also plan to install roll bar extension, race seats, harnesses, underdrive pulley and deep sump pan kit - all recommendations for track use.

Some of the track mods listed above are not allowed in SCCA C Street class but are allowed in the Street Touring Roadster (STR) class - at least based on my interpretation/understanding of the rules. STR is the class i plan to run in autocross.

Another round of questions based on suggestions below:
1. Front or rear adjustable sway bar? Neither? Both?
2. Will 235 fit on front with LCAs and stock struts?
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Old 02-05-2020, 01:39 PM   #13
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Explain? Ya lost me.

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To fit the 4" pulley you'll have to shave off part of the TDC (top dead centre) boss which is a hollow alloy protrusion cast into the crankcase. It is used to fit a TDC rod when locking the camshafts as part of the IMS replacement procedure.

That is my understanding.
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Old 02-05-2020, 02:32 PM   #14
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To fit the 4" pulley you'll have to shave off part of the TDC (top dead centre) boss which is a hollow alloy protrusion cast into the crankcase. It is used to fit a TDC rod when locking the camshafts as part of the IMS replacement procedure.

That is my understanding.
aaah, yes, this is true. Thanks for helping me connect the dots, hehe.

However, at least in my case, enough remains of the 'boss to still use the pin. Regardless; there are other means of finding TDC, and locking the crank, if IMS replacement is desired. But a "fancy-pants" shop may not be willing to work outside-the-box like that. So consideration might be appropriate.
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Old 02-10-2020, 04:35 PM   #15
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Still hoping to get an answer to the following questions:

1. Should i do a front or rear adjustable sway bar with stock shocks/struts? Or should i do both? Or should i do neither?
2. Will 235 fit on front or is 225 the max with LCAs and stock struts?
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Old 02-10-2020, 09:30 PM   #16
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Still hoping to get an answer to the following questions:

1. Should i do a front or rear adjustable sway bar with stock shocks/struts? Or should i do both? Or should i do neither?
Do both. The staggered tire setup's will definitely tend towards understeer. The adj sways will help you balance the handling by dialing out some of that understeer.

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2. Will 235 fit on front or is 225 the max with LCAs and stock struts?
235 should fit on the front with both the 7" and the 8.5" wheel.
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Old 02-20-2020, 12:32 PM   #17
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The previous owner did really well with my car in autocross; but is autocross all i can do with my Boxster without adding the Brey Krauss Roll Bar Extension? Or do some tracks allow Boxster without it?
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Old 02-20-2020, 12:43 PM   #18
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The previous owner did really well with my car in autocross; but is autocross all i can do with my Boxster without adding the Brey Krauss Roll Bar Extension? Or do some tracks allow Boxster without it?
Any PCA Event should allow you to run as-is (pass the rest of the tech inspection, of course). The Boxster is on their list of approved convertibles.

In my experience, many other organizations have deferred to PCA for that determination and will also allow them to run as-is.

Where I think you're most-likely to run into a problem is at tracks which aren't frequented by PCA, and at tracks who are promoting their own track days independent of another organization. In those instances you're more likely to run into someone who is unfamiliar with (or simply doesn't care about) what other organizations allow, and they'll want to apply some variation of the "Broomstick Rule".

Tell us what your home track would be, and maybe there are people here with some experience who can help.
It's always best to ask your event organizer, and please post what you find.


Edit: for clarification, I'm talking about track days, HPDE's, time trials, etc. You will not be allowed wheel to wheel racing without a full roll cage.

Last edited by maytag; 02-20-2020 at 01:48 PM.
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Old 02-20-2020, 12:54 PM   #19
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hey, actually the event i found via PCA website was at Virginia Int'l Raceway but they require roll bar extensions on all cabriolets/boxsters, guess i'll autocross for now
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Old 02-20-2020, 12:59 PM   #20
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Any PCA Event should allow you to run as-is (pass the rest of the tech inspection, of course). The Boxster is on their list of approved convertibles.

In my experience, many other organizations have deferred to PCA for that determination and will also allow them to run as-is.

Where I think you're most-likely to run into a problem is at tracks which aren't frequented by PCA, and at tracks who are promoting their own track days independent of another organization. In those instances you're more likely to run into someone who is unfamiliar with (or simply doesn't care about) what other organizations allow, and they'll want to apply some variation of the "Broomstick Rule".

Tell us what your home track would be, and maybe there are people here with some experience who can help.
It's always best to ask your event organizer, and please post what you find.
hey thanks for the reply...the race i found is a PCA event at VIR (Virginia Int'l raceway) but registration says it requires rollbar extensions on all cabriolets/boxsters

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