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Old 07-26-2010, 05:22 PM   #1
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Question Replacing shocks/struts???

Have you done it? What did you buy? What did it cost? How does it perform now?

My car is really starting to feel sloppy. I've been loosing confidence in the car at expressway speeds, and on curves at 65-75 mph I find minivans and pickup cruising by while I feel threatened by the speed and handling. An expert took a drive in it with me and said that I likely need a set of shocks considering 9+ yrs wear (43,000 mi), and realignment.

Your thoughts?
Bob
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Old 07-26-2010, 08:45 PM   #2
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Yes, upgrading your struts/suspension can be a very nice improvement if your current struts are worn.

Should feel much more "tight" in handling, bumps and road imperfections will be taken much better.

You could go with many many options, everything from oem replacement struts, M030 porsche sports struts, numerous coilover setups, and much more. Depends what you are looking to do with your suspension, and how much $ you're willing to invest.

43k miles doesn't seem too horrible, although I guess that really depends on how those previous 43k miles were driven. Some say that the struts are good for 30k miles, but I think that is just a very generalized statement, and really does depend on driving style, conditions of roads, what type of wheels/tires used, and too many factors to really give a number based of lifespan compared to mileage.

When was the last time your car had an alignment? If your alignment now is out of spec, a fresh alignment could make your car feel vastly different.

In case you want to go with the Porsche sports M030 (bilstein) struts, I've got a new set available as well.
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Old 07-27-2010, 04:04 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chaudanova
Yes, upgrading your struts/suspension can be a very nice improvement if your current struts are worn.

Should feel much more "tight" in handling, bumps and road imperfections will be taken much better.

You could go with many many options, everything from oem replacement struts, M030 porsche sports struts, numerous coilover setups, and much more. Depends what you are looking to do with your suspension, and how much $ you're willing to invest.

43k miles doesn't seem too horrible, although I guess that really depends on how those previous 43k miles were driven. Some say that the struts are good for 30k miles, but I think that is just a very generalized statement, and really does depend on driving style, conditions of roads, what type of wheels/tires used, and too many factors to really give a number based of lifespan compared to mileage.

When was the last time your car had an alignment? If your alignment now is out of spec, a fresh alignment could make your car feel vastly different.

In case you want to go with the Porsche sports M030 (bilstein) struts, I've got a new set available as well.
Actually, I don't think the car was EVER aligned. Certainly not while I've had it (3 yrs) or for the a few yrs before that. I don't plan on ever racing. I just want the car to drive like Porche intended, and give me confidence in its roadworthyness. I take it that the M030s are porsche's firmer struts??? Have they ever been on a car, etc? $??? If I have to buy 4, maybe 2 of them can be yours.

Bob
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Old 07-27-2010, 04:34 AM   #4
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Have you done an inspection and bounce test? If they're not leaking or bouncing you might want to just try an alignment first and see if that does the trick. A good alignment shop should be able to tell you if any of the suspension links are damaged while they are under the car. Ask them to do it.

That is, unless you want to replace your struts. Because some people like to do it as an upgrade. Usually they will replace springs and maybe sway bars at the same time. Replacing just the struts doesn't make a huge difference in the car's handling (unless they are worn out). 43000 miles isn't a lot for a set of gently driven struts. But as always, your mileage may vary.

Last edited by blue2000s; 07-27-2010 at 06:24 AM.
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Old 07-27-2010, 07:42 AM   #5
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I concur that 43K miles does not seem like much to have your struts go bad. I would take it into a shop that does alignments, wheels, tires, etc. and ask them to do an inspection. Just a simple bounce test should tell you a lot. The struts would have to be REALLY bad to be getting passed by minivans in turns!

Handling is really the beauty of the Boxster. I've got full race coilovers on mine and it will out handle my 911 (also with coilovers) any day. The Boxster's handling is something you should revel in, not fear. So I'd definitely get it looked at more thoroughly. If you align it and then find out the struts are bad, you'll just need to get it aligned again after new struts are installed. The cheap route would be to have the struts checked first. Also check the tires and tire wear. Bad tires can make the car squirm.

Probably the cheapest and best upgrade you can do is the RoW M030 kit. It's a complete, quality engineered setup from Porsche.

Kirk
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Old 07-27-2010, 08:31 AM   #6
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Something is seriously wrong. Find a good local indy shop that PCA members in your area recommend and have your car tested. Maybe alignment, maybe struts, maybe rotted bushings, maybe something is just loose. If you live in snow country and drive in winter the road salt is murder on all undercarriage components and rubber bushings.

For reference my car has 88k miles, stock shocks/struts, 30+ track days and still feels rock solid at 135 mph in turn 2 at Fontana Speedway. I inspect all suspension components before every track weekend and everything is still very tight underneath. It has always lived in SoCal but it's first 5 years were near the beach so there was minor salt exposure.
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Old 07-27-2010, 03:34 PM   #7
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You might want to start with a strut brace before you replace the shocks. Adding the front brace made a world of difference in the way the car handles, it's relatively inexpensive and you can put one on in about 15 minutes. You should definitely do an alignment 1st if it's been a while since one has been done.
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Old 07-29-2010, 02:59 AM   #8
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I agree, it sounds like something else is wrong. I have a '94 Integra with blown-out original 193K Mile struts that still handles quite well, certainly well above pick-ups and minivans!
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Old 07-29-2010, 11:15 AM   #9
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These cars are pretty darn sensitive to alignment changes... They can transform the car's handling characteristics. Might wanna give that a try...
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Some stuff for sale: M030 S 24mm front sway bar, M030 base 19.6mm rear sway bar, 996 GT3 OEM Porsche Motorsport front strut mounts monoball "camber plates"

WTB: looking for some 5-7mm spacers with extended bolts
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Old 09-20-2010, 07:41 AM   #10
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Well......I just had an M030 RoW suspension kit installed and it now feels like a sports car should. I haven't had the opportunity to take it on twisty-turny country roads yet, but the car is certainly more stable feeling and more rigid. Doesn't dip on hard stops. Took it on the expressway to 85 mph and it definitely feels better, although those tractor trailers that I'm passing still look might large within a few feet of a Boxster!!!!

I also had the front motor mount replaced and I'm thrilled with that. At 10 yrs and 46,000 miles I wasn't sure it was shot, but replaced it anyway.......incredible difference.........clutch now engages smoothly form a stop, car really shifts nicer, no more 3000 rpm shutter. That was really money well spent. The original mount dis have major rubber cracks but didn't look as bad as some shown on this forum. I used the Porsche 987 mount rather than aftermarket models. If you have a 986 with more than 50K miles, just do it!!!!!!

Thanks for all the input above........Bob
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Old 09-21-2010, 12:55 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobiam
Well......I just had an M030 RoW suspension kit installed and it now feels like a sports car should. I haven't had the opportunity to take it on twisty-turny country roads yet, but the car is certainly more stable feeling and more rigid. Doesn't dip on hard stops. Took it on the expressway to 85 mph and it definitely feels better, although those tractor trailers that I'm passing still look might large within a few feet of a Boxster!!!!

I also had the front motor mount replaced and I'm thrilled with that. At 10 yrs and 46,000 miles I wasn't sure it was shot, but replaced it anyway.......incredible difference.........clutch now engages smoothly form a stop, car really shifts nicer, no more 3000 rpm shutter. That was really money well spent. The original mount dis have major rubber cracks but didn't look as bad as some shown on this forum. I used the Porsche 987 mount rather than aftermarket models. If you have a 986 with more than 50K miles, just do it!!!!!!

Thanks for all the input above........Bob
Bob, glad to hear that it all worked out for you and that the suspension refresh was able to transform your car! Sounds like you're enjoying the "new" ride... Enjoy in good health.
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Some stuff for sale: M030 S 24mm front sway bar, M030 base 19.6mm rear sway bar, 996 GT3 OEM Porsche Motorsport front strut mounts monoball "camber plates"

WTB: looking for some 5-7mm spacers with extended bolts
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Old 10-01-2010, 03:38 AM   #12
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Your Thread's been "Spam-jacked" (below). I don't know who has time for this crap but I hope the administrators are pulling their accounts.
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