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Old 03-20-2006, 03:02 PM   #1
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Springs with Factory Shocks?!

hi all, been lurking and posting sporatically on this forum. really appreciate all the help i got from members on this forum when my top got stuck in the open position this past summer, so thanks again.

anyways, i'm just wondering what ppl's thoughts are about installing lowering springs w/o changing the factory shocks. i've heard that it's not the best route to go and would appreciate whatever feedback anyone has to offer.

if this route is do-able and doesn't cause damage to the car, what kind of springs do you folks recommend (e.g. H&R, Eibach, etc.).

thanks again for you input
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Old 03-20-2006, 03:22 PM   #2
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TK, when I first got my car that is exactly what I did. I had H&R lowering springs with my stock shocks. Contrary to what people may tell you, the car drove absolutely wonder. It was smoother than ever. No bumps, yet still stiff. Most people wont recommend it but, I’ve been there, done that and can tell you it rides, drives and handles GREAT. If your strapped for $$$ I think its fine, but don’t forget ultimately you will want to get sport shocks at one time or another. Try it out and see how it goes.

When you’re ready for shocks, I personally loved the H&R Springs with Bilstein Shock combination….
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Old 03-21-2006, 08:18 AM   #3
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thanks

trigem, thanks for your input. i did the same thing with my accord (H&R and stock shocks) and i agree that the ride/handling is a lot better and have not experienced any problems so far. but then again, an accord is no porsche so just wanted to make sure there isn't going to be any major issues if i decide to lower it. thanks again.
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Old 03-21-2006, 11:13 AM   #4
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Yeah you'll be fine..
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Old 03-21-2006, 01:14 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TriGem2k

When you’re ready for shocks, I personally loved the H&R Springs with Bilstein Shock combination….
quality combination on any vehicle
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Old 03-21-2006, 04:07 PM   #6
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No problems at all on the track with my 987S with OEM shocks and H&R springs. Car was perfectly predictable and spring were nicely damped.
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Old 03-22-2006, 01:17 AM   #7
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Has anyone thought about whether or not the PSM/PASM have to be re-configured after the addition of strut braces, lower springs, sway bars, etc? My thought is that PSM/PASM are most likely computer balanced to respond to the factory set up of the vehicle. Adding components that change the height, rigidity or response to the road should alter the computer's reaction to stability/instability issues during hard driving.

Porschedoc, if you're out there (or anyone else who's looked into this), any thoughts?
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Old 03-22-2006, 05:20 AM   #8
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Just stick with a spring that is no lower than 1" additional. Eibach Pro-Kit and H&R sport are good choices. They are not that low and will not blow out the stock shock. The ride should stay nice and smooth, but will look nicer from the outside.

Eventually the stock shock will fail because your making it operate outside its normal range, but it will take some 20k miles for that to happen, by then you can buy some shocks and redo it.
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Old 03-22-2006, 10:25 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 986Jim
Just stick with a spring that is no lower than 1" additional. Eibach Pro-Kit and H&R sport are good choices. They are not that low and will not blow out the stock shock. The ride should stay nice and smooth, but will look nicer from the outside.

Eventually the stock shock will fail because your making it operate outside its normal range, but it will take some 20k miles for that to happen, by then you can buy some shocks and redo it.

Eventually all shocks will fail...however, to say 20k miles is a bit bold. I ran my car on Gemballa aka H&R springs with stock shocks for almost 35k with no problems at all. The stock shocks can take far more abuse than you think. Even nearing 35k my shocks showed no signs of wear.
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Old 03-22-2006, 12:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TriGem2k
Eventually all shocks will fail...however, to say 20k miles is a bit bold. I ran my car on Gemballa aka H&R springs with stock shocks for almost 35k with no problems at all. The stock shocks can take far more abuse than you think. Even nearing 35k my shocks showed no signs of wear.
That depends largly on the condition of your roads. I'm under promising and hopefully the shocks will over deliver. If you got 35k from them, thats excellent. I just was not going to build somebody's hopes of the shocks lasting forever on lowering springs.

I install a lot of spring kits on different cars with stock shocks and eventually they all show up for aftermarket shocks eventually cause the lowering springs blew them out. I have done everything from Audi, Mercedes, Honda, Ferrari, Porsche, and regulars like Honda/Acura, Toyota etc.. Supra's are really bad cause they squat so bad in the rear, the shocks die quickly on lowering springs... Any car 500+whp with lowering springs on stock shocks are back in weeks lol.. I tell them but they don't listen.
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Old 04-06-2006, 06:14 PM   #11
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Lower Springs vs Bilstein PSS9

Just got a Euro spec RHD 2001 S and am going to do a few mods.
I want to improve the suspension as I do 6 or 7 club events each year to keep my had in.
I'm tossing up between 1) just adding lower H & R springs to the stock (Euro) shocks ; 2) going to Bilstein PSS 9's or 3) a full H & R coilover set? I think I prefer the Bilsteins but, as I drive the car daily, am concerned that it might be a bit stiff? Anyone have an opinion ?

I want to buy the suspension , '03 clear light upgrade etc from USA as its cheaper that way vs buying direct here in Australia. Can anyone suggest a reliable supplier?
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Old 04-07-2006, 07:20 PM   #12
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Two things here.

1. Stock shocks are worth maybe 20K before they start to lose effectiveness. You will not feel them go since it's so gradual but trust me, they are going. Add the effects of a sharper spring (higher rate) and you will wear them out faster as they aren't valved to handle the higher frequency.

2. The costs. Replacing the shocks is not a trivial matter in the Boxster. The labor alone will typically be more than the cost of the replacement shocks. Take that into account when you decide to do the springs without the shocks. Double the cost of installation because you will need new shocks sooner rather than latter.
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Old 04-08-2006, 06:55 PM   #13
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Thanks for your thoughts mjw. The cars on done 13000 miles so the shocks are still in pretty good shape but I take your point on the installation costs.

I'm tempted to go the whole way now with the Bilsteins but dont want to be travelling around with rock hard suspension ?

Cheers
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Old 04-12-2006, 02:44 PM   #14
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This may be a dumb question, but when replacing shocks, is it necessary to replace the springs?
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Old 04-12-2006, 09:43 PM   #15
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Gee, from the way you guys talk, my shocks should be shot now. I've got 43,000 miles on my 01 Boxster. I've only had it for a year and a bit and to me it handles fines.

What would I get back from replacing the shocks? And as Ralegen asks, should I replace the springs too?
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Old 04-13-2006, 04:53 AM   #16
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Springs and shocks are seperated when they are pulled out together. You use a spring compressor to take some of the tension off and you can unbolt the shock as it runs through the center of the spring. You can then replace whatever piece you need, spring only or shock only whatever. Then you compress the spring again and put the shock through and bolt it all together again and re-install.

The stock shocks will last depending on your driving habits and road conditions. Eventually they will fail prematurly because they are operating in a zone now 1" or 1.5" less than they were originally designed to do. That put additional strain on the shock operating in a shortened travel distance and causes them to fail early. Who knows how long you will get you may get a long time like stock, you may not. Just watch the shocks for signs of scaring on the rod or leaking oil.
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Old 04-15-2006, 07:06 PM   #17
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I think there are 2 trains of thought going on in this thread. One about using aftermarket springs with stock shocks and another about whether you need to change springs along with shocks and yet another about the life expectancy of shocks in general.

Most points have been touched on but here goes for the ones that haven't

1. No, you don't need to change springs when you change shocks. Springs, for the most part don't wear out. They may sag a few MM over their lifetime but that's about it.

2. Shocks wear out, they always have and always will. The shocks we have in the struts on our cars are not that far removed from the shocks used in the cars of the 70's. Over time their performance degrades due to fluid breakdown, valve wear and seal wear. It's typically a gradual process so even though everything feels fine to you if you were to get into a brand new car of your vintage you would immediately feel the difference. 40,000 miles is getting to the point where I would consider replacement but I'm a picky SOB when it comes to my P-Cars. You don't "need" new shocks but you would be better off with them IMHO.

3. Another issue with short spings and stock shocks is the potential to "bottom out" the shock. On some cars if you don't replace the struts with ones that have a shorter shaft they will bottom out (VW's are this way). I don't think this is an issue with the Boxster unless you decide to go crazy with the lowering.
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Old 04-20-2006, 07:38 AM   #18
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don't do it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

i lowered the car with h&r springs, and stock shocks.....don't do it....................

yes on a track with no bumps and holes works great.....but when u hit the street, the cluncking noise in the back is the shocks when you ride over a hole in the street. i hate it soooo much. i have lowered my honda prelude also, with stock shocks and hated it, so we put on new shocks and wow noise gone. i soo messed up in just putting lowering springs and sooo regret it. the car drives really bad on bent up streets. on smooth roads you will never notice how bad it really is.
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Old 04-21-2006, 05:15 PM   #19
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I know I have bad shocks. I have a 98 2.5 and I have replaced shocks on an older altima before. I know the symptoms of worn out shocks, and I literally "feel" them when I drive my box. With the altima, driving over a speed bump at about 5 mph (when the tire meets the other end), felt like driving over a pot hole at 55mph. Major "clunck" feeling, as if your frame hit the floor.

Another test to see if your shocks are worn out is to push down on the body above the tire. If the car springs Up and stays there, then your shocks are good. However, if you see a bit of bouncing of your body, then your shocks are bad. Caution when you do this, as you dont want to leave any dents in your fender!

I have yet to do the test on mine because I KNOW I need some new ones.

I rented a truck over the weekend recently; it was a brand new dodge ram. Drove it to Vegas, and I could feeeel the newness of the suspension. Even though it was a different class of vehicles, trust me, it felt good. I know my box can feel the same way. Why don't we start a BULK buy for shocks?!
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Old 04-21-2006, 07:07 PM   #20
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hey guys,i just lowered my car with eibach springs on my factory shocks (no problem here)and i run 19's. rides like a sports car.and believe me i lve in montreal canada and your worst road is my best road.eventually when my shocks go ill put bilstein's.but for now its perfect.
later guys
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