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Old 09-16-2009, 08:59 AM   #1
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Feedback wanted on test drive impressions

So I've been patiently looking for the right boxster now for a few months, and have decided to get a base 987. I test drove one the other day, with the base 17" wheels, and good pilot sports. I waited to evaluate the cornering behavior until about 20 mins in when the tires had warmed. What I noticed was that on freeway cloverleafs (particularly uphill ones) the cornering grip felt surprisingly low. Lower even than base 986's I remember driving with with their optional 17" wheels. At about 45 mph I could feel and hear tire slip developing, with a hint of understeer. I didn't push any harder or try to put in a touch of oversteer, as it was a test drive. I'd like your reaction to this, and weather you think this is what should be expected with the narrow tires on the base 17" wheels, or if you think something unusual was happening. I would normally guess tire pressure too high, but the car seemed to wallow a bit and not quite take a set as quick as I'd like after mid corner bumps and joints. Is this just the 205/55 and 235/50 giving all they've got?

Thanks in advance.

Jim

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Old 09-16-2009, 10:49 AM   #2
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Tires are too narrow or too much tire pressure.

986 comes with 255 wide rear tires on 17" wheels, they reduced this on the 987 to show better fuel economy figures (my guess).
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Old 09-17-2009, 07:16 PM   #3
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Thaanks for your opinion, Ekam, that's kind of what I suspeted, but then I haven't seen too many complaints about this set-up, so I wasn't sure.
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Old 09-17-2009, 07:37 PM   #4
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Dang, the base 987 came with 235's on the back? I didn't know that. Pretty skinny for a sports car, especially one from Porsche. I've noticed understeer is more pronounced in the rear heavy boxster while carring speed through uphill turns which is to be expected.
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Old 09-18-2009, 08:03 PM   #5
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My 987 came with the 17's with 205's and 235 conti's. They were terrible grip wise and the traction control kicked in all the time. With those tires good on-ramp cornering rewards smoothness. Now I do have PASM which helps immensely, but I also put HTRZIII's on a set of Einkei 18's and the car handles well enough to carry serious speed on street corners. I could even keep up with much faster cars on the track.

I drove a 986 base recently and thought that it felt unsure and a little less planted than the 987. But that could be wear and the fact it was a 98.

Also if you are serious, get the alignment checked as part of a PPI. Mine has drifted in the last 25,000 miles and it needs to be re-aligned. I noticed it wanders a little bit more than before.

Shocks and bushings could be shot if it has a lot of miles. That being said mine has 75K and things are still tight.

If it doesn't feel right, keep looking.
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Old 09-19-2009, 02:19 AM   #6
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I felt I was getting too much body roll on my 986 when it had about 45k on the clock. May have been worn shocks or just me. I put on coilovers and all got better

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Old 09-20-2009, 04:43 PM   #7
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The car in question was an '05 and only had 20k miles. I think I'll chalk it up to the narrow tires and make 18's a required option in my search.

Thanks for the input.
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Old 09-20-2009, 05:32 PM   #8
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I wouldn't rule out 17" based on one driving experience. I have the factory 17 inch with Pilot sports and it feels glued to the pavement. I thought most of the newer year models were 18 inch after they beefed up components to make the switch.
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Old 09-20-2009, 05:40 PM   #9
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18" rims are the way to go.

The 17" rims are narrow and limited the size of tires you can put on those wheels. You should be able to get a set of 987 18" rims for $1000-1500. You won't regret it.

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