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Old 11-13-2010, 10:10 AM   #1
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boxster and gravel roads

hiya. it's looking like i might be moving to the nether regions of canada where gravel roads abound. before i give up on speed and german engineering altogether (no cayennes here, please) i was wondering about a mild rally treatment for my 2000 S.

i have a zeintop with soft top delete, so am thinking a heigo full cage with pedro bar and front strut brace for stiffness.

re wheels, can 16" rims fit over my S brakes? i figure heavier, 'base' wheels are probably stronger, and 16" wheels get a bit more rubber between me and the ruts.

how about suspension? in a perfect world i would like stronger, higher and more travel. are aluminum arms and links going to eat themselves and what are the options (most aftermarket stuff is lighter, not heavier)? can i get more distance between me and the road with longer struts or custom camber plates? what struts give the most travel? i presume i should stay with stock sways?

thanks for any advice you may have. i did find one site where a guy built a full-on rally car, but i'm not prepared to get into a full custom suspension setup (yet).

cheers, trk.

Last edited by The Radium King; 11-13-2010 at 10:18 AM.
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Old 11-13-2010, 10:23 AM   #2
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four letters .....J.....E.....E....P
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Old 11-13-2010, 10:49 AM   #3
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ha - everywhere else in the world, 'jeep' is spelled .....N.....I.....S......S.....A....N, which is what i've got for the real work (fronty crew 4x4).

the town i'm returning to has 100 miles of relatively good gravel road, followed by 750 miles of unpoliced rough pavement to the closest city. great fun for a properly prepared vehicle. probably more 911 territory (964 or 993 C4S ... drool ...) but i love my boxster and was wondering if i could make it work for the application.

trk.

Last edited by The Radium King; 11-13-2010 at 10:52 AM.
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Old 11-13-2010, 11:28 AM   #4
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No 16" rims don't fit over S brakes

so that option is out.

From your description, I'd want whatever 4WD was most repairable/maintainable in the area you are moving to. Subaru?
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Old 11-13-2010, 12:12 PM   #5
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that should do the trick!
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Old 11-13-2010, 12:27 PM   #6
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OH side note. your boxster will have a tough time off-road without some kind of differential seeing as yours is probably open this is a big no no off-road.
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Old 11-13-2010, 01:36 PM   #7
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When I was living back home on Maui there was a guy who had a 914 with a Chevy 327 in it and it was set up like a rally car. He used to drive it on the beach all the time and never got stuck. A Boxster might be able to be setup like that too. You'll propably have to do alot of custom work though.
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Old 11-13-2010, 01:46 PM   #8
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Anything can be done with enough $$ but do you really want to?? There are a lot of tender spots on the underside that will need protection, the engine bay cooling comes from underneath bringing up all the dust and dirt. You will want to raise the car 6" or so for better clearance. The air intake is behind the front wheels so it should be relocated for clean air. Take a look at some of the Targa Newfoundland builds to get ideas:
http://www.targanewfoundland.com/drivers/cars/

Before you break out the cutting torch and diamond plate:

Drive a Cayenne. Amazing car on and off road.
Drive a Toureg. Down market Cayenne with VW badge.
Drive a Subaru. A lot of car hidden in that vanilla sled exterior.
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Old 11-14-2010, 04:16 AM   #9
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Now this looks like fun! Seems like there's more Boxster/Cayman rally cars than I originally thought. Quite a few GT3 rally cup cars too.

But Topless has a point, do you really want to do this to YOUR car? If I had disposable income I definitely would but I'm that fortunate.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D3U_NNnNAJ4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8vX6VHKvxM&feature=related

Here's the guy's car, interestingly the car weights 986 kgs.:
http://homepage.virgin.net/shalco.com/boxster_rally_car.htm

Last edited by JTP; 11-14-2010 at 04:24 AM. Reason: added link
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Old 11-14-2010, 07:43 AM   #10
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How rough is rough? Many "simple" things can be done: stregthened skid plates, large mud-flaps to protect the body, fine wire screens on all inlets, taller profile tires. Be carefull of gravel getting stuck in the brake clipers.If the roads aren't deeply rutted, you don't need to increase the ride height too much. I'm not sure about suspension durability. I'd seek a rally website to look for more information.
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Old 11-14-2010, 07:55 AM   #11
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It's cheaper to get a subaru.

Boxster chassis is a bit much for gravel IMO.


Last edited by ekam; 11-14-2010 at 08:12 AM.
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Old 11-14-2010, 09:20 AM   #12
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thanks for the replies, folks. while the roads are not that rough where i'm going, the boxster doesn't leave a lot of room for error. i was basing my thinking on 911 rally development, where not a lot of extra height was required. the boxsters, however, have all those unprotected cooling and clutch lines under the car. i remember when some pals and i rented a vw 'city golf' in windhoek and put 5000 namibian kms on it in a week. while it was all gravel and pavement (ie, no offroad driving) by the time we were done we'd torn off a fuel line, the doors were packed full of dust and wouldn't operate, and the stereo had rattled itself into a complete state of panic.

sounds like more of a job than just stiffening the chassis (cage, strut braces) and tweaking the suspension for an additional 1" of clearance. i guess the wife is getting the xc70 after all (... but i've heard good things about the 928 suspension, and 928's got big guns and are cheap like borscht; mebbe there's room for a toy for me in this equation ...).
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Old 11-14-2010, 09:49 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Radium King
i remember when some pals and i rented a vw 'city golf' in windhoek and put 5000 namibian kms on it in a week.
Reminds me of my trips to Namibia and the last time I was there I also rented a CitiGolf and seeing that most of the roads in the country are gravel the car got pretty dusty like you described your rental. Avis had the nerve to charge me to 'valet' clean the car!
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Old 11-14-2010, 12:46 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by extanker
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Sorry but, Nissans suck! Get a jeep wrangler in 4 door or 2 door and it will take you anywhere you need to go.

You can leave it stock or ad mods, I only wish are boxsters were as reliable as my jeep wrangler is.
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Old 11-14-2010, 03:13 PM   #15
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Jeep wranglers are one of the few SUV models that retain value quite well.
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Old 11-16-2010, 04:58 AM   #16
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Radium

where are you moving to???
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Old 11-16-2010, 06:47 AM   #17
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Fort Smith, NT from Ucluelet, BC.
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Old 11-16-2010, 08:40 AM   #18
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do you own a shot gun?

i'd be tempted to suck on the barrel before heading north again (to fort smith)... how long are you planning on staying ?

fort smith is probably not a great choice if driving the boxster is important to ya, but you already know that.

i spent enough time in northern SASK, that i know the beauty of the north and the sacrifices needed in life style to survive. my family stayed in saskatoon. i commuted to site by air (points north landing)

we beat the everlovin snot out of every truck they handed to us at Mxxxxxn lake, 3 years was a good life for a vehicle in the north.

sell the boxster or store it, no sense in even thinking about anything nice or fancy north of 60. i've got a bmw f650 dakar for roads like that

post pictures when you get there, safe travel
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Old 11-16-2010, 04:07 PM   #19
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too cool - you a uranium miner? i did my stint at diavik mining diamonds. i was in yellowknife for 10 years, followed by 10 years in fort smith. tried to get out and live the good life on the coast (bought a porsche for the twisty mountain roads and the whole bit) but i'm going back. once the north gets in your blood ...

ran a saab 900 turbo up north for a while - the roads blew a shock right through the mount once. had my muffler knocked off early one trip (where trips are 1000kms); by the time i got to a mechanic the lack of back pressure caused the engine to blow a dime-sized piece of valve right through the turbo.

got 250k kms and 10 years on my nissan frontier and it's still going strong. clean air, clean oil, clean fuel and you can't go wrong.
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Old 11-17-2010, 08:32 AM   #20
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constructor

actually mech eng, but spent my career r in projects, site eng and const mgr to build Mxxxxxn for Cogema/Areva, and spend time U/G in cigar lake too. enjoy the U/G more then the open pit, also split another 25 yr between engineering and operation & construction in potash, zinc, gold, tarsand

the roads are not impassable ,but speed (higher) and impact with oversized rocks etc will do exactly as you described.

i worked with manager who's motto was "build it as tough as a brick ****************house"

in the north the vehicles need to be that tough. when i was younger, one summer job was with Ford leasing, and we found that the inline 6 cyl trucks stood up way better than the v8, (give me a 300ci ford 6 inline over any v8)

that was then don't know if it would still apply today...

So looking at the map, theres no road direct to Ft smith via ft Mcmurray, so you must be going up through hay river?
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Last edited by litteng; 11-17-2010 at 08:34 AM.
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