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Old 04-14-2013, 04:07 AM   #1
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Struts on a budget

Hi all,

I need to replace the original, leaking, rear struts on my 98 boxter. The most bang for the buck seems to be the row M030 which runs about 1100.00, includes 4 struts, 4 springs, and two stabilizer bars. I haven't found any combination of products that cost any less, so I have set this as the max that I will pay. It is important to note that I am interested in a comfortable ride as opposed to increased performance, and, I am satisfied with the stock appearance, so lowering the car isn't important to me; although I am not opposed to it.

My 1st question is, will the row m030 suspension be close to stock in ride and appearance? Is it well suited for a daily driver?

Another option is to simply replace the individual struts with a "heavy duty" bilstein. These would average about $200 per corner. (Without springs). From what I have read
these might offer the most comfortable ride. If I were to choose this option, would it be ok to keep the original springs. I know the stock springs are compatable with the bilstein heavy duties. I just wonder if the car's 65,000 miles have worn them out. If I do need to replace the springs, what would be a good choice. All the aftermarket springs that I have have seen are designed to lower the car which would not be ideal for the bilstein heavy dutys.

Any comments from those who have the row m030 would be appreciated, as well as any opinions or advice....Thanks!

Last edited by rah rah 986; 04-14-2013 at 04:43 AM.
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Old 04-14-2013, 06:29 AM   #2
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I am almost considering these. They are made in Germany, not orient, but I am still concerned about the quality. Can't beat the price.

Adjustable coilover Kit for Porsche Boxster 986 986s 1996 2004 | eBay
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Old 04-15-2013, 01:31 AM   #3
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Yes I also saw them. Great price. But, even if they are of decent quality, I wonder if they would provide too stiff a ride for my use. As I have read, coil overs are most often used by people that track their cars. This usually equates in a much stiffer suspension.
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Old 04-15-2013, 05:46 AM   #4
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Bilstein HDs will give very similar damping to OEM. AT 65k miles, your springs should not be anywhere near worn out, unless the car has been driven over a LOT of severely rutted roads. Given your requirements (stock ride/handling/appearance), the HDs are more than likely your best option.
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Old 04-15-2013, 06:56 AM   #5
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coilovers of any brand will not be comfortable in a DD.
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Old 04-15-2013, 09:13 AM   #6
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The best bang for the buck on the street is ROW M030 especially because of the upgraded anti-sway bars. M030 is fine for a daily driver and will lower the car just a bit.

The next step is coilovers and they are going to ride quite a bit stiffer. PSS9's are liveable for the street on the softest setting but will rattle your dental work on full hard.
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Old 04-15-2013, 03:44 PM   #7
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Dollars to donuts those coil overs are chinese. Remember deutch parts on eBay? Their boxes were even written in German. I have one of their water pumps from hamburg technik. They got popped by the FTC for this crap. If you can't get Chinese coilovers for 695, do you really think these are German? They may be fine, but let's not kid ourselves.

I agree w/ thstone. Get the m030.
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Old 04-16-2013, 11:15 PM   #8
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Has anyone used the eBay coilovers? Haven't seen that set before the cheapest that I have seen are D2 coilovers for right under $1k
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Old 04-17-2013, 02:52 AM   #9
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i run ksport. they are okay. street ride sucks (dampers are way stiff), but track performance is decent.
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Old 04-17-2013, 09:30 AM   #10
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I would send your stock units to Bilstein USA for rebuild. much cheaper than new units and they will revalve them for you if you want for a reasonable fee.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rah rah 986 View Post
Hi all,

I need to replace the original, leaking, rear struts on my 98 boxter. The most bang for the buck seems to be the row M030 which runs about 1100.00, includes 4 struts, 4 springs, and two stabilizer bars. I haven't found any combination of products that cost any less, so I have set this as the max that I will pay. It is important to note that I am interested in a comfortable ride as opposed to increased performance, and, I am satisfied with the stock appearance, so lowering the car isn't important to me; although I am not opposed to it.

My 1st question is, will the row m030 suspension be close to stock in ride and appearance? Is it well suited for a daily driver?

Another option is to simply replace the individual struts with a "heavy duty" bilstein. These would average about $200 per corner. (Without springs). From what I have read
these might offer the most comfortable ride. If I were to choose this option, would it be ok to keep the original springs. I know the stock springs are compatable with the bilstein heavy duties. I just wonder if the car's 65,000 miles have worn them out. If I do need to replace the springs, what would be a good choice. All the aftermarket springs that I have have seen are designed to lower the car which would not be ideal for the bilstein heavy dutys.

Any comments from those who have the row m030 would be appreciated, as well as any opinions or advice....Thanks!
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Old 04-18-2013, 09:16 PM   #11
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I'm interested in this strut rebuild, $300 for refreshed struts and another $300 on lowering springs. who needs coilovers for that price
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Old 04-18-2013, 09:59 PM   #12
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To the OP, I recommend the US M030 for your purpose. Stock ride height, good street performance, crisp handling package, low price. A strut rebuild will work too with no change in performance. 8/10 cars I have been in that chose lowering springs gave up a great deal in handling and ride comfort. It might be ok on a 56 Nomad but on a fine German sports car it is just really sad.
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Old 04-18-2013, 11:49 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kodabear View Post
I would send your stock units to Bilstein USA for rebuild. much cheaper than new units and they will revalve them for you if you want for a reasonable fee.
I inquired last week about rebuilding my struts. Bilstein told me that some struts are not serviceable. If the top cap is crimped, it is not rebuildable. If the rod is 22mm as opposed to 40mm., it is not rebuildable. Beyond that, it is dependent on a case by case basis. The Bilstein rep referenced the numbers that I provided from the stamping on the strut itself, and concurred that my struts are not rebuildable. And yes, the top cap is crimped. And yes, the rod is 22mm. Too bad, because a rebuild really is a great, economical choice when possible. Especially when all other options cost AT LEAST $200 per corner. Having researched my replacement options, it amazes me at the lack of aftermarket options. If you exclude coil overs of which there are several manufacturers, I have not found even one replacement option other than Bilstein for regular struts. This car is fifteen years old. How is it that other manufacturers haven't joined in with an aftermarket strut? Bilstein is the OE manufacturer, and is the only aftermarket provider.
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Old 04-19-2013, 01:34 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Topless View Post
To the OP, I recommend the US M030 for your purpose. Stock ride height, good street performance, crisp handling package, low price. A strut rebuild will work too with no change in performance. 8/10 cars I have been in that chose lowering springs gave up a great deal in handling and ride comfort. It might be ok on a 56 Nomad but on a fine German sports car it is just really sad.
Thanks one and all for your input.

Topless,

From the reading that I have done, the US M030 is different from the ROW M030. Am I correct in that the US is a more street friendly version? Also, it seems that for now the ROW version is available as a kit for that great $1100 price. You mentioned the US being a good choice for my purposes at a low price. Can you suggest where I might source the US M030 struts? Do you know if they are available as a kit such as the ROW kit?

Thanks
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Old 04-19-2013, 03:26 AM   #15
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rah rah -

the ONLY difference between U.S. and RoW is ride height. strut valving & spring rates are identical. RoW is roughly half an inch lower. that is all.
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Old 04-19-2013, 08:21 AM   #16
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as insite said, the US version simply kept the ride height the same. From what I'm told, the M030 setup makes for a slightly stiffer ride, but is still daily driveable compared to any of the other options out there, and at what's a good price today as opposed to the several thousand dollars it was as a new option on the car 15 years ago. I intend to go this route, but I'm settling on getting the RoW version. I'm ok with the slight lowering, as it's less than an inch, and I called Suncoast about it a while back. They can get you a US version, but they'd have to do it in pieces because the US version is no longer sold as a kit like the RoW is. If they had to do that, it was easily going to surpass the RoW kit price to the tune of $1500+, so I decided to abandon the US spec venture. Your only other option is to get lucky and find someone selling a used US spec M030, and it's not really worth it to buy someone's tired suspension setup just because you don't want to lower the car 3/4 of an inch.

As others have recommended, go with the M030. It's what I plan to do for my car, and right now it really is the best bang for the buck that won't collapse your spine.
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Last edited by Overdrive; 04-19-2013 at 08:25 AM.
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Old 04-19-2013, 08:22 AM   #17
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get the RoW kit. it's awesome; you will not have any complaints.
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Old 04-19-2013, 10:40 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by insite View Post
get the RoW kit. it's awesome; you will not have any complaints.
+1
I was unaware the US M030 has been discontinued.
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Old 04-19-2013, 11:56 AM   #19
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Is the ROW lowering just done thru the springs, or is the strut different? If so, can you swap the existing US springs to the new ROW kit?
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Old 04-19-2013, 12:15 PM   #20
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springs & struts. the springs are shorter & the strut pistons are shorter (valving is identical to us).

you can use a U.S. strut on a RoW spring, but it will increase the effective spring rate slightly since these springs are progressive in rate.

you can also use a RoW spring on a U.S. strut, but they may rattle at full droop (like if the car is almost airborne).
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