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Old 04-28-2022, 07:32 AM   #1
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Upgrading suspension before new tires?

I have a 2.7 that is stock except for GT3 brake ducts, a roll bar extension, and short shifter kit. I also got a performance alignment from a reputable shop, but was only able to achieve like -0.7 camber on the front.

It is not a DD and I primarily use it for autox/hpde/canyons. I do a handful of autox events per year and maybe 1 HPDE. I don't care about getting a trophy or anything, mostly just racing against myself.

Currently running Bridgestone Potenza S-04 PP. Front tires have some life left, but rear tires have almost no tread left. The outer parts of the tires are pretty worn down on both front and rear.

I wanted to replace the rears only, but can't find the same tire in stock for my 17" wheels. Thinking of getting RS4s all around, but I was considering upgrading the suspension so that I could prolong the life of the tires (especially the outer edges).

My autox times are somewhere in the 70th percentile, so I certainly still need a lot more seat time. I've been trying my hardest to follow the mantra of seat time > mods, but it sucks that my tires go to **************** due to the outer edges wearing out so fast.

Plans for suspension upgrade were:
B8 shocks/struts
H&R Springs
Tarret camber plates
Rear toe arms

While I was down there, I kind of wanted to change out the sways and drop links as well, but maybe I'm getting ahead of myself? Should I go for shocks, springs, plates, then tires, and then sway bars/drop links down the road when I need to fine tune the handling? Or just do it all at once?

Second option is to just replace the tires again, ruin another set while I get more seat time, and upgrade the suspension later?

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Old 04-28-2022, 07:49 AM   #2
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Well, tire wear is tire wear. Increasing camber will get you a little more life, but it's not going to be as much as you think. It'll take you many, many sets of tires to make up for the cost of all the suspension mods.

Upgrading from the old S04 to the RS4 will be a big improvement you'll notice right away. That particular tire also has a rep for wearing like iron, they should fare better both at HPDE and AX than the S04. If you're super concerned about outside shoulder wear, you can run a few extra psi. You sacrifice a touch of ultimate grip to better support the tire.

tl;dr, try the better tire first with the car as-is, adding mods to the car under the pretense of saving money is going to be a losing battle.
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Old 04-29-2022, 04:41 AM   #3
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If you want more camber, there are a couple of ways to do that

Elongate the shock holes on the towers
Camber plates
adjustable LCA
Lower the car

Of those, IMHO for your driving I would get adjustable camber plates. They will add about 1 deg.
Lowering with M030 springs and struts will add about .5 deg
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Old 04-29-2022, 05:46 AM   #4
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I would suggest GT3 lower front control arms, they will HELP with tire wear, not cure it. They are not cheap but offer the biggest bang for your buck. And I would not do lowering springs, they are not necessary. Then drive the car...alot. Then see if it needs anything else to fit you. Probably sway bars and wider wheels down the road. Its real easy to dump money into an autocross car that doesn't pay off.

Also, your tires are not good for autocross, but they will teach you how to control the car with their limited grip. Again, you'll learn more and when you do eventually get ax tires you'll already have a good base.

Resist the temptation for immediate satisfaction and think of it as a learning timeline that will eventually reward you.
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Old 04-29-2022, 02:15 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by SCCA_AX View Post
Well, tire wear is tire wear. Increasing camber will get you a little more life, but it's not going to be as much as you think. It'll take you many, many sets of tires to make up for the cost of all the suspension mods.

Upgrading from the old S04 to the RS4 will be a big improvement you'll notice right away. That particular tire also has a rep for wearing like iron, they should fare better both at HPDE and AX than the S04. If you're super concerned about outside shoulder wear, you can run a few extra psi. You sacrifice a touch of ultimate grip to better support the tire.

tl;dr, try the better tire first with the car as-is, adding mods to the car under the pretense of saving money is going to be a losing battle.
Thanks for the response. You are likely right that it won't save me that much money. I've thought about it, and these tires did last me about 3 years haha I may just go this route if I don't end up upgrading.
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Old 04-29-2022, 02:17 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by JayG View Post
If you want more camber, there are a couple of ways to do that

Elongate the shock holes on the towers
Camber plates
adjustable LCA
Lower the car

Of those, IMHO for your driving I would get adjustable camber plates. They will add about 1 deg.
Lowering with M030 springs and struts will add about .5 deg
Thanks. I've honestly considered all of these options. As much as I'd like the LCAs, they take up quite a bit of the budget. That's why I thought I'd start with camber plates + springs/shocks.

I wanted to avoid drilling out the stock holes if I could.
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Old 04-29-2022, 02:23 PM   #7
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I would suggest GT3 lower front control arms, they will HELP with tire wear, not cure it. They are not cheap but offer the biggest bang for your buck. And I would not do lowering springs, they are not necessary. Then drive the car...alot. Then see if it needs anything else to fit you. Probably sway bars and wider wheels down the road. Its real easy to dump money into an autocross car that doesn't pay off.

Also, your tires are not good for autocross, but they will teach you how to control the car with their limited grip. Again, you'll learn more and when you do eventually get ax tires you'll already have a good base.

Resist the temptation for immediate satisfaction and think of it as a learning timeline that will eventually reward you.
I would like some GT3 lower control arms, but the costs definitely deters me from this option.

I was considering upgrading the front sway bar if I didn't do anything else to the suspension.

The "paying off" part doesn't really apply to me too much. I autox for fun and driving improvement and can care less about trying to trophy. The money spent on the car is for enjoyment as I also take it to HPDE and to the canyons a lot.

I am also aware that the Potenza S04 aren't the best AX tires. I got them at the time because they were a good price (installed) from Costco. I was new to AX at the time and figured they would be my learning tires before I upgraded to something more serious.

I'm now at the point where my tires have almost no thread left and I have at least 2 handfuls of events under my belt. I just didn't want to upgrade to something like RE71s (I know they aren't available anymore - haven't kept up with what 200tw are the rage these days) and then have them wear out on me too quickly.
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Old 04-29-2022, 06:43 PM   #8
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RT660 is probably the best choice for AX only on a Boxster right now. They're like the re71 but a little more forgiving at the limit. Horrible in the wet though.

The A052 is a little faster on cars with decent camber but likely not worth trying on a stock Boxster. Fast fast wear.

RS4 is slower than those two but still a good AX tire, great HPDE tire, and better wear then with of the two above.

New Bridgestone RE71RS just came out, nobody has run them yet afaik. Supposedly more track focused than AX.
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Old 04-29-2022, 07:47 PM   #9
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My knowledge of tires is marginal so I can't comment there. I will say though that when I purchased my car it was in excellent condition - no track history, only 27k miles, mechanically sound. I put pilot sport 4s.on shortly after purchase and went with 225s up front and I thought that made a world of difference in terms of understeer. What I didn't realize at the time though was that my OEM suspension was completely shot! After a year of driving my front struts were regularly contacting the bump stops on fast hills (this is my first sports car and I still have a ton to learn) so I started tearing into the suspension. My project budgets are always proportional to the value of the car (don't judge me lol) so I installed godspeed coilovers, replaced rear LCAs, and installed poly sway bar bushings. I dropped the car to minimum ROW height and had a local shop align to max OEM spec camber values, no toe front, tiny toe rear. HO+LEE+****************! This completely transformed what I now realize was a tired 20 year old suspension into one that could seriously handle winding back roads - all for a little over $1k. That was 2 years and 20k miles ago and those modifications have held up flawlessly. I'm sure there are better setups out there but I couldn't be happier with what I got it of the investment.

FWIW I've progressed to the point where I'm going much larger on tire sizes (245/40/18 front. 295/35/18 rear) and then will start dialing in the sway bar options.

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Old 04-30-2022, 12:49 PM   #10
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Does anybody worry about oil starvation with a 200tw tire?
Somewhere L&N says donít use anything under 300tw
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Old 04-30-2022, 05:04 PM   #11
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Does anybody worry about oil starvation with a 200tw tire?

Somewhere L&N says donít use anything under 300tw
If you look at the location of the oil scavenge pumps on the m96 motor, and realize that each valve cover can hold nearly the entire oil capacity of the motor, you'll understand the reason that oil starvation can occur on long right hand (986) and left hand (996) turns. It's the prolonged g forces that are the issue. Slicks help you achieve the g forces needed to accomplish this.

The owners manual actually says to not run racing tyres on these cars. This is the reason why. Porsche knew about this issue from the get go - It's a byproduct of cutting costs to produce the m96 motor during a financially difficult time for the brand (2 scavenge pumps are half the price of 4 lol). They actually offered an oiling mod to remedy this on early 996s sold exclusively in Europe, but that's a different topic.

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Old 05-10-2022, 04:25 PM   #12
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Does anybody worry about oil starvation with a 200tw tire?
Somewhere L&N says donít use anything under 300tw

If your worried about oil starvation in a 986 well sell it and move on. Seriously.
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Old 05-10-2022, 04:39 PM   #13
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If your worried about oil starvation in a 986 well sell it and move on. Seriously.
Why did you take offense to his question? It's a valid one...

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Old 05-20-2022, 10:34 AM   #14
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Why did you take offense to his question? It's a valid one...

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I didn't take offense. It's a simple fact that these engines require a LOT of work to address oil starvation. The deep sump and baffle help but don't solve the problem. It's a design flaw of the engine and you live with it and if the engine goes it goes.
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Old 05-20-2022, 06:22 PM   #15
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I didn't take offense. It's a simple fact that these engines require a LOT of work to address oil starvation. The deep sump and baffle help but don't solve the problem. It's a design flaw of the engine and you live with it and if the engine goes it goes.
Ahhh I get your point. You are absolutely correct. I wish someone would make the 2 stage scavenge pump for bank 2, I would think every racer would install one and all of this accusump / deep pan nonsense would go away.

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Old 05-20-2022, 06:53 PM   #16
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Does anybody worry about oil starvation with a 200tw tire?
Somewhere L&N says don’t use anything under 300tw
Not really an issue for AX events because you don't have sustained hi G corners leading to a deep braking zone. Tracks like AAA Speedway Fontana were famous for taking out 986/996 motors due to the banked Roval followed by turn 3 which was a 90* Left. A perfect storm although I ran about 1000 laps there in my 986 without a starvation issue. There are mitigating techniques.

As to the OP, camber plates and Ohlins RT coilovers are probably the best bang for the buck to control ride height, camber, maximize contact patch and tire wear. I agree that Falken Azenis 660 or RE71RS are probably the top choice for a great street/AX tire. With these mods I suspect you will be super happy with the car. If you are in greater LA and need an experienced tech to get you sorted, I know a guy.

FWIW I have GT3 Arms and Ohlins RT suspension on my car and it is tits. I recently relocated to the PNW and ran my 1st AX with the local PCA for fun. As I lined up for tech I surveyed a field of GT3s, GT4s, Turbos, Turbo S and figured I brought a knife to a gunfight with my lil 2.9L Cayman on Super Sports.

As it turned out, we got quite a bit of rain and even a bit of snow in the AM. This was a great HP equalizer and my tires were decent for conditions. In the end I managed 1st in class, 1st on corrected time, and 1st overall with TTOD Sunday. Sometimes you just get lucky but the right tires and suspension helped a lot.
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Old 09-06-2022, 11:23 AM   #17
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Not really an issue for AX events because you don't have sustained hi G corners leading to a deep braking zone. Tracks like AAA Speedway Fontana were famous for taking out 986/996 motors due to the banked Roval followed by turn 3 which was a 90* Left. A perfect storm although I ran about 1000 laps there in my 986 without a starvation issue. There are mitigating techniques.

As to the OP, camber plates and Ohlins RT coilovers are probably the best bang for the buck to control ride height, camber, maximize contact patch and tire wear. I agree that Falken Azenis 660 or RE71RS are probably the top choice for a great street/AX tire. With these mods I suspect you will be super happy with the car. If you are in greater LA and need an experienced tech to get you sorted, I know a guy.

FWIW I have GT3 Arms and Ohlins RT suspension on my car and it is tits. I recently relocated to the PNW and ran my 1st AX with the local PCA for fun. As I lined up for tech I surveyed a field of GT3s, GT4s, Turbos, Turbo S and figured I brought a knife to a gunfight with my lil 2.9L Cayman on Super Sports.

As it turned out, we got quite a bit of rain and even a bit of snow in the AM. This was a great HP equalizer and my tires were decent for conditions. In the end I managed 1st in class, 1st on corrected time, and 1st overall with TTOD Sunday. Sometimes you just get lucky but the right tires and suspension helped a lot.

I can verify that's a good combo, I also have the GT3-LCA/÷hlins R/T set on 5-7, all solid bushings. CUP2 tires. Sorry for maybe deviating in the thread but may I ask what anti roll bars you run & what settings on the ÷hlins? I run factory anti roll bars (986s)
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Old 09-16-2022, 10:57 AM   #18
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As it turned out, we got quite a bit of rain and even a bit of snow in the AM. This was a great HP equalizer and my tires were decent for conditions. In the end I managed 1st in class, 1st on corrected time, and 1st overall with TTOD Sunday. Sometimes you just get lucky but the right tires and suspension helped a lot.
This is an amazing story, congratulations!
How do you like the PNW..?

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