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Old 08-12-2016, 07:08 AM   #1
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Suspension Refresh -- help me spend my $$$

I bought my 2000 Boxster Base back in January and immediately checked-off a long list of upgrades (IMS, RMS, clutch, etc., etc.,). I've been driving the car for about 4 months and now, with the hot weather and the car warmed-up, I have that nasty clatter over bumps coming from the right rear...most likely the trailing arm. So now I'm considering doing a partial suspension refresh.

Considering what I just spent on the car this past winter, I need to watch the budget. I'd love to do the Pelican complete suspension refresh, but $3k is way more than I want to spend. I'll likely refresh the entire suspension eventually...just not all at once. For right now, I can scrape together around $1k for parts. I'm thinking I'll do the front and rear trailing arms and drop links, front and rear sway bar bushings, and the inner and outer tie rods. That adds-up pretty close to a grand. Let me know what you guys think. Are these the parts with the highest wear?

I wish I could do the coffin arms, but damn...that's a grand right there for a set of four.

I'd love to do the Tarrett drop links, but that would wipe out half my budget, and I'm not sure it's worth it for me. I will probably do a DE day or two in the near future, but most of my driving is street.
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Old 08-12-2016, 07:36 AM   #2
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Coffin arms - use this Meyle part, the price fluctuates but I got them for <$100 each with free shipping, ECS often has this one on sale for <$100 as well. I think I got them for $86, I am running these on the back right now, been very happy with them so far.

https://www.****************************.com/products/porsche-control-arm-rear-lower-911-boxster-cayman-4160500000

Rear track arms - TRW from Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/TRW-Automotive-JTC1186-Premium-Control/dp/B00T9YHFCE/ref=sr_1_1?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1471016083&vehicle=2000-2-18-87--8-6-7-1140-40-1-1---1-0&sr=1-1&ymm=2000%3Aporsche%3Aboxster

Front caster control/track arms - this is the right part, it is the rear track arm from a 997 - I believe this is why the TRW version for the Boxster Front and 996 all 4 corners is so hard to find, it has been superseded by this part, and the cross references haven't picked it up. I am running this on my car right now, it is an exact match, if you look it up on the Meyle website is shows this part as fitting 986 front, 996 all 4 corners, 997 rear.
https://www.****************************.com/products/clone-porsche-suspension-control-arm-911-37143017001

I ordered this part and what came was the TRW version, no complaints from me

TRW and I believe Meyle also have the tie rods, and anti-roll bar drop links are another creaky part that might be worth replacing if you are doing a complete refresh.

For most of these parts, TRW makes the Porsche part and if you buy TRW you get the exact same part with the Porsche marking ground off.
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Old 08-12-2016, 08:14 AM   #3
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Great price research Steve ! Thanks for sharing. And best of all relevant Links for the sources.
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Old 08-12-2016, 08:26 AM   #4
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+1 Steve! Thanks for the links. I've never shopped FCP Euro. Great prices!
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Old 08-12-2016, 09:01 AM   #5
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I'm just finishing up my suspension refresh. I got all four coffin arms for just under $400. I also did the front control arms and I did Fabspeed adjustable rear track arms (cheaper than stock). I also did inner and outer tie rod ends up front.

Can't put all this crap back together without also doing secondary cat delete and aftermarket exhaust, now can I?
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Old 08-12-2016, 09:25 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by flaps10 View Post
I'm just finishing up my suspension refresh. I got all four coffin arms for just under $400. I also did the front control arms and I did Fabspeed adjustable rear track arms (cheaper than stock). I also did inner and outer tie rod ends up front.

Can't put all this crap back together without also doing secondary cat delete and aftermarket exhaust, now can I?
I think you meant TopSpeed? I did see those and you're right, $200 for the pair is a considerable savings. Great suggestion! The only concern I have is fitment. The OE track arms are curved, for wheel fitment, I think. Did you have any issues?
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Old 08-12-2016, 09:31 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Need_for_speed View Post
+1 Steve! Thanks for the links. I've never shopped FCP Euro. Great prices!
Lifetime warranty too, and free shipping over a fairly low threshold, $49.99 I think.
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Old 08-12-2016, 11:33 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Need_for_speed View Post
I think you meant TopSpeed? I did see those and you're right, $200 for the pair is a considerable savings. Great suggestion! The only concern I have is fitment. The OE track arms are curved, for wheel fitment, I think. Did you have any issues?
Yeah I'm sure it was TopSpeed, sorry (I'm old and forgetful). They're actually beautifully made.

I found they do run close to the tire as you point out, so I'm throwing on some 12mm spacers. Here it is with no spacers:


Oh and I also did sway bar end links and bushings, a kit I picked up from an inmate here on 986 way back when I had my engine apart.
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Old 08-12-2016, 03:14 PM   #9
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FCP is lifetime warranty. Think about that
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Old 08-12-2016, 06:04 PM   #10
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How many miles on the car?

At 105k miles, the front shocks and front bump stops in my 2001 were completely gone. The front end would readily bottom out - it was horrible, I tell you! And the car would become very badly upset in the most common of driving situations, such as simply trying to shift in the middle of a turn.

The rear shocks could be serviceable a little while longer, but still not ideal with notable differences in damping resistance throughout their travel. Upper strut mounts were OK, both front and back. No problems with the tie rod ends, ball joints, rubber bushings on the a-arms, but I serviced the ball joints and tie rod ends by removing the upper clips and packing inside fresh grease. Rear track arm bushings did get loose and are making noise - I haven't addressed yet and am planning to soon. There is a procedure to repair them by peeling the metal around the spherical bearing I'm planning to do, rather than outright replace. Fronts OK. I believe previous owner replaced the swaybars end links, as they seem perfect. I installed US-spec M030 springs during my shock replacement project while I was at it. Love!! You can clean and re-pack (with silicone grease) the upper strut bearings. Mine were not perfect (one dust seal had an ever so slight tear in one spot), but seemed serviceable. I doubt the fresh grease is going away anytime soon.

Konis are good aftermarket shock option now for 986. They offer "sports" if you like a traditional firm sport shock feel, and "FSD" if you want a softer feel without a whole lot of compromise. Factory shocks are bilstein twin-tube and also of good quality, just lacking the desirable rebound-adjustability of the Koni sport or the also desirable, extreme digressive rebound characteristic of the FSD. Obviously, if you've done any research, replacing the shocks is a lot more work than just servicing some rattling track arms. Firestone offers lifetime alignment deals, which if you don't plan to do everything all at once, but may need to potentially upset the alignment on multiple occcasions, can make sense.
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Last edited by jakeru; 08-12-2016 at 06:10 PM.
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Old 08-13-2016, 04:50 AM   #11
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68,000 miles on the car. Sorry, should've mentioned that.

Thanks to all the great info here, I'm leaning now towards doing a complete refresh on the rear suspension only for now, since that's what's making the noise. It looks like I could do the rear trailing arms, control arms, toe control arms, drop links, and sway bar bushings and come in pretty close to $1k for the parts.

Then, maybe next year, I can auction off one of my kidneys on ebay and do the front!
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Old 08-13-2016, 08:09 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Need_for_speed View Post
68,000 miles on the car. Sorry, should've mentioned that.

Thanks to all the great info here, I'm leaning now towards doing a complete refresh on the rear suspension only for now, since that's what's making the noise. It looks like I could do the rear trailing arms, control arms, toe control arms, drop links, and sway bar bushings and come in pretty close to $1k for the parts.

Then, maybe next year, I can auction off one of my kidneys on ebay and do the front!
Any part you replace requires disconnecting another part, so you save alot of labor doing a complete replacement end once you start. Always do the rear 1st to minimize snap oversteer. Struts being the most important part unless you have a seriously dangerous suspension part.
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