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Old 11-16-2017, 06:49 AM   #1
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2000 986S for HPDE suggestions

Just picked up a 2000 986S last weekend. Long time owner of Porsche cars. Bought the Boxster after owning 70-911T, 84-911 Cab, 81-930, 96-993, 87-944 project for my daughter. Traded the 993 on a Gallardo, which I love, but Lambo is too expensive for me to want to track, so picked up the 2000 Boxster S with 96,000 miles.

Got a great deal, but no service records, which I don't really care about since I planned to completely go through any car I bought and do all fluid flushes, street-able track brake pads, extra wheels for track tires, plugs/coil packs, IMS/RMS/Clutch, X51 or equivalent oil pan, polyrib belt, and alignment. This car sounded fine, no engine noises, engine ran stong, suspension is tight, brakes work like a Porsche should. Cosmetically I think the car got hurt by some sun damage to the paint, and some worn seats, and of course the no service records. Dealer was looking to sell heading into winter, so from a cost standpoint, I got the car cheap enough I am not worried about most things I may need to do, and can do most everything myself.

So I have a few questions/looking for feedback on the following:
1. throw on the shifter seems pretty long, so thinking of going short shifter - any feedback? I've also read some threads about shift cables/linkages anything I should do there?
2. seats are tired and drivers reline function not working (switch feels broken), any suggestions on recline-able track seats that fit car. It looks like there are lots of options out there that are actually cheaper to buy new than buying a used set of Porsche seats which likely are tired too, but the head rest fits inside the roll bar, so don't want to buy something that won't fit.
3. car seems pretty low, so how can I tell if suspension has been changed? Looks to be Porsche parts, but can't tell if it is ROW M030. Car option tag does not show 030 code. My 993 looked like an SUV with the US spring kit, this Boxster doesn't look like it needs to be dropped, so thinking someone may have replaced suspension. The plan was to install the ROW or PSS9 suspension kit in anything I got, but just looking for some way to confirm what is in the car now.
4. lots of threads about using Porsche transmission oil. I use Redline MT90 in Gallardo, wife's Miata, daughters 944, and seems to be real good. What is best option for Boxster, stay with the Porsche fluid? I've read it does matter, but Pelican lists Porsche plus 4-5 different brands of 75W90, then also Redline MTL. In the Lambo most of the opinions were split between MT90 and MTL, so I went MT90 since it seemed recommended in the Miata and 944 forums. Would love to stay common with all the cars, but no issues using what should be used.
5. car is currently running 17s. Since I want to get a separate set of wheels for track vs street so I can run appropriate tires for each what is the better size for the track? I have read where there are more tires available for the 17's but better tires for the 18's.

Any other feedback for prepping the car for some track time. Just getting started, and planning to still drive the car on the street a bit, so not looking for full race car prep. If I decided to go more heavily into track driving I will likely get a newer Cayman a couple years from now (for the IMS-less motor and hardtop). This Boxster S was to balance the cost of tracking something with what the wife was willing to let me spend right now I got a great deal on the car, so I have some room to do upgrades, just don't need to go too nuts with it.

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Old 11-16-2017, 04:54 PM   #2
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For the track an underdrive pulley will help preserve your power steering pump and it won't have any negative effects on the street. You'll also get a couple extra horsepower through lower parasitic losses. If the flexible brake lines are original to the car you should consider stainless steel braided lines. If you are tall you may need the Brey-Krause rollbar extension. Ben006 makes a great modified short shifter using the eBay Chinese B&M knockoff and incorporating ball bearings, check out this thread in the DIY Project section. Also, some tracks require them regardless of the broomstick test. If you can find any part numbers on your suspension, you may be able to tell if they are ROW M030 pieces. I had the ROW M030 kit added to my 2003 S, and these were the part numbers in the kit I bought from Suncoast-


Last edited by PaulE; 11-16-2017 at 04:58 PM.
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Old 11-16-2017, 08:09 PM   #3
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brake fluid - motul rbf600. gt3 front brake ducts. alignment (notch top of front strut towers for more camber).
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Old 11-16-2017, 10:16 PM   #4
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1. throw on the shifter seems pretty long, so thinking of going short shifter - any feedback? I've also read some threads about shift cables/linkages anything I should do there?
There are a couple of options: (1) short shifter (with or without bearing upgrade); (2) 997 shifter which is in-between the Boxster stock shifter and a short shifter. My only comment would be to get something that is high quality as the last thing you want at the track is a hard to shift transmission. I have the 997 shifter in my Spec Boxster.

The stock cables and linkages generally work fine except the linkage will occasionally pop off in the rear at the transmission. Its an easy fix to snap it back on and/or zip tie it keep it on.


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2. seats are tired and drivers reline function not working (switch feels broken), any suggestions on recline-able track seats that fit car. It looks like there are lots of options out there that are actually cheaper to buy new than buying a used set of Porsche seats which likely are tired too, but the head rest fits inside the roll bar, so don't want to buy something that won't fit.
Lots of options here and it really comes down to finding something that you like. Deeper seats will hold you in more but they can also be a bit of work to get in/out of. Try to sit in as many seats as possible to get an idea of how they will feel. The somewhat more complicated part is installation - depending on the seat, you'll have to figure out the mount and slider combination.


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3. car seems pretty low, so how can I tell if suspension has been changed? Looks to be Porsche parts, but can't tell if it is ROW M030. Car option tag does not show 030 code. My 993 looked like an SUV with the US spring kit, this Boxster doesn't look like it needs to be dropped, so thinking someone may have replaced suspension. The plan was to install the ROW or PSS9 suspension kit in anything I got, but just looking for some way to confirm what is in the car now.
As Paul indicated, check the part numbers for the springs and shocks. If the car is lower than other stock Boxster's (you should be able to tell from photos), then the car likely has H&R lowering springs on stock shocks or an M030 upgrade (I am assuming that you already looked and there aren't any coilovers under there!).


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4. lots of threads about using Porsche transmission oil. I use Redline MT90 in Gallardo, wife's Miata, daughters 944, and seems to be real good. What is best option for Boxster, stay with the Porsche fluid? I've read it does matter, but Pelican lists Porsche plus 4-5 different brands of 75W90, then also Redline MTL. In the Lambo most of the opinions were split between MT90 and MTL, so I went MT90 since it seemed recommended in the Miata and 944 forums. Would love to stay common with all the cars, but no issues using what should be used.
There are a lot of posts on this subject and the general consensus is to use the somewhat expensive factory fill. You can try whatever you like but most of us come back to the factory fluid. I'm not sure if its the unicorn tear additive or something else, but the factory fluid seems to result in fewer issues.


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5. car is currently running 17s. Since I want to get a separate set of wheels for track vs street so I can run appropriate tires for each what is the better size for the track? I have read where there are more tires available for the 17's but better tires for the 18's.
17s are what almost everyone who regularly tracks their car uses. They are readily available, tires for 17s are cheaper than 18s, and there is a much wider tire selection.

Quote:
Originally Posted by since95 View Post
Any other feedback for prepping the car for some track time. Just getting started, and planning to still drive the car on the street a bit, so not looking for full race car prep. If I decided to go more heavily into track driving I will likely get a newer Cayman a couple years from now (for the IMS-less motor and hardtop). This Boxster S was to balance the cost of tracking something with what the wife was willing to let me spend right now I got a great deal on the car, so I have some room to do upgrades, just don't need to go too nuts with it.
Just the usual track prep - brake fluid, brake pads, and good tires. A stock Boxster has an incredible amount of performance so you can drive it pretty much stock for quite a while before you'll be better than the car.

You'll also want to max out the negative camber in the front. With the stock suspension you'll be limited to around -1.0 deg which probably won't be sufficient for very long. You'll know you're at this point when you see extreme tire wear on the outside 1/3 of the tire. Then you'll need to get -2.0 to -2.5 deg camber via slotting the shock towers, adj camber plates, or adj lower control arms. When you get really good, you'll need -3.0 to -3.8 deg camber but by then you're likely to already have adj lower control arms which adjust via shims so that should be easy.

When you reach the point where you need more car, install a racing seat + harnesses along with the Spec Boxster suspension (PSS9's, adj lower control arms, adj sway bars, adj drop links, and adj rear toe) and a set of sticky R-compound tires. Then you'll have a track car that will handle as well as most GT-3's for a fraction of the cost and you'll still be able to drive it on the street fairly comfortably. Beyond this, you'll have to start trading comfort for more performance (and vice versa).
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Last edited by thstone; 11-16-2017 at 10:30 PM.
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Old 11-17-2017, 08:28 AM   #5
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Thanks for the input! I wouldn't have realized to do the pulley, and knowing I need some modification for additional camber is great info as well. I think the GT3 brake ducts are also good advice, I have some damage to the ductwork under the bumper, so something needed doing there anyway! A huge thanks on the part numbers for the suspension. They are definitely not coil-overs, look like OEM parts, but the car is lower than my Gallardo. I put coil-overs on the wife's Miata and dropped it down 25mm, to the point where I can just get my lift arms under and the Boxster is roughly in the same place, so I definitely think she has been lowered. I think I am going to buy 18" wheels for the second set, that way I have both to try. Plus the 18's would be something I might like the looks of better which would work on the street. I love the short-shifter Ben006 came up with! Just put that on my list.
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Old 11-17-2017, 04:20 PM   #6
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The sticker under the hood lists the original options the car came with. Not saying it couldn't have been modified since then but it is an easy check.
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Old 11-17-2017, 04:40 PM   #7
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If you are looking for like new stock seats, I have a pair in Southeast MA for $600. Pulled from a 2001 S model,with 22k miles.
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Old 11-17-2017, 05:05 PM   #8
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Sorry, I thought I put that I checked the option sticker, 030 is not an option on the car when new.

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since planning to track I'm leaning to track seats so they will hold me in place better, but if I change my mind I will PM you, thanks


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Old 12-01-2017, 12:04 PM   #9
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Timely thread.... I will pick up my new to me 99 Boxster in a week or so (the Driven Oil test car on the PCA website). I plan on doing about 3 track days a year. I have been doing HPDEs for about 15 years and raced about a year in the middle of that.

Is going square an appreciable performance gain? Performance loss (I hear possible brake overheating)? Not really worth it for street/HPDE? I had a S2000 setup for the track and going square helped balance the car out immensely (with other suspension changes).

If going square, is it recommended to get a stiffer front sway bar to dial out some of the possible oversteer?

I just sold a 996 that was on PSS10s that I was ok with the stiffness for the street. Also, the lowering gave a good compromise of camber for street/HPDE. Is there a preferred street/HPDE setup for the Boxster (maybe just get used Spec Boxster PSS9's?)

Thanks
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Old 12-01-2017, 06:55 PM   #10
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I went from the stock 986 shifter (6 speed) to Ben’s SSK. In my car, I found it too short and precise for my taste. I was often searching for third! I changed to the 987 shifter and am very happy! I don’t know whether the problem was with the ssk, my shift cables, the 986 cradle, or me. Try to find a track buddy who has the ssk to try before doing the install. No biggie, none of the above cost me very much.
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Old 12-01-2017, 06:57 PM   #11
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Is going square an appreciable performance gain?
Generally yes, because the 255's up front provide huge front end grip at corner turn in. There are a few tracks where staggered might be faster down long, sustained straights but the improved cornering prowess usually more than makes up for this. Almost everyone in Spec Boxster runs the square setup.

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Performance loss (I hear possible brake overheating)?
No brake cooling issues (get the 996 GT-3 cooling ducts which are much larger than the 986 ducts and you'll be fine).

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Not really worth it for street/HPDE?
A square setup probably isn't really needed on the street but it will make HPDE's a lot more fun.

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If going square, is it recommended to get a stiffer front sway bar to dial out some of the possible oversteer?
Yes, an adjustable front sway bar (like the 996 GT-3 bar) will allow you to re-balance the car (by dailing out some of the oversteer which is created when the front grip is increased by going square).


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I just sold a 996 that was on PSS10s that I was ok with the stiffness for the street. Also, the lowering gave a good compromise of camber for street/HPDE. Is there a preferred street/HPDE setup for the Boxster (maybe just get used Spec Boxster PSS9's?)
A cheaper route than PSS9's is the Porsche M030 sport suspension set up. It lowers the car a bit and firms up the suspension but its not adjustable like the Spec setup.

If you want a street/track car that will really handle on the track, get the Spec suspension but keep the Bilstein springs that come with the PSS9's. The car will handle very well on the track and still be livable on the street.
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Old 12-02-2017, 01:10 PM   #12
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Thanks!!

I’ll get the car next week and slowly upgrade. I am expecting something performance wise between a Miata and S2000.
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Old 12-26-2017, 03:30 PM   #13
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I have the car. It is fun.

I had PFC brake pads on my 911. Loved the bite, hated the squeal and cost. For the Boxster, is there a preferred streetable track pad?
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Old 12-26-2017, 04:57 PM   #14
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997 shifter... cheap easy upgrade, or go big and do the gt3 shifter for an even shorter throw
Motor mount, 997 stock if you want good street manners or semi solid for even tighter on the track. Good vibrations!
Porsche fluid in the Trans...

I also did the UDP, just be sure you use one from a reputable company, the belt needs to be a bit shorter as well, some come as kits. Be prepared for minor surgery on your motor. While you are at it, check the top of the engine for some seriously nasty power steering fluid mess. The PS pump is notorious for puking in track conditions, also the lower o-ring on the lower reservoir is prone to leaks. Cheap to fix, but a ******************** to do. I am seriously considering an electric PS pump "upgrade" even though my car is primarily street.

Wheels/tires. 18's might be a tight squeeze if lowered, just have to mess with offsets etc. I run 19's on mine. Some don't like the 19's but I love the big, fat rubber underneath.

Seats, probably the weakest link for serious track use IMO. The seats are great for moderate track and street driving, but a bigger bolstered seat would be very helpful. I also bagged my steering wheel for the MUCH lighter and smaller Cup steering wheel. Looses the airbag, but a reasonable trade-off and its easier to get in and out of the car.
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Old 12-27-2017, 02:09 PM   #15
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I have the car. It is fun.

I had PFC brake pads on my 911. Loved the bite, hated the squeal and cost. For the Boxster, is there a preferred streetable track pad?
I've had success with EBC YellowStuff pads for track and street.
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Old 12-28-2017, 07:18 AM   #16
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A lot of what you want to do may be adjusted depending on what organisation and class you want to run in.

PCA, POC and SCCA all have slightly different rules. Many are the same, but a small change in equipment setup could put you in a different class that you may want to be in. Even going up a single tire size could do it.

I do a fair bit of tracking and AX with my 04 S and run a M030 ROW suspension with camber plates. It give me much more camber, the car rotates and handles well and does not knock out any fillings on the street. Other than the suspension, I am basically stock
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Old 12-28-2017, 02:37 PM   #17
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I put a Function 1st Shift Right Solution in my CSS (my DE car) and don't have issues anymore with "surprise" shifts. Very solid feel.

FUNCTION-FIRST > Shift-Right Solution
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Old 12-28-2017, 08:37 PM   #18
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Some day, THIS will go into my car!

CAE Ultra Shifter - Porsche 996, 997, Cayman, and Boxster

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