Go Back   986 Forum - for Porsche Boxster & Cayman Owners > Porsche Boxster & Cayman Forums > Boxster General Discussions

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-07-2011, 05:43 PM   #1
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Singapore
Posts: 228
Steering Shake yet again... help

Hi, I've been trying to fix the wayward ways on my 2001 boxster 2.7 Tip, pretty much since the day I bought it 5 months ago.

So far, all the front control arms, links, all tie rods, new M030 suspension has been put in. Front tires hunter road force balanced, wheel alignment done.

The car has dramatically improved, however I still cannot get rid of the last bit of steering shake/loose feeling that the car gives me whenever I do a very high speed run or when the road gets bad. It is not that bad and driven at legal speeds, I hardly notice it but at high speeds, it does reduce my confidence in the car that I have to back down on the speed.

There is almost nothing else in the front suspension that I haven't changed, so I'm leaning towards a deteriorating rack or tie rods.... Those have been checked by my mechanic for free play by shaking on it....

Question is, is there a better way of checking the tie rods or steering rack or do I have to take the tie rod out ?? I'm wondering if it's the ball joint on the outer tie rod. Frankly, I'm tempted to just change the tie rod ends.

Any suggestions ??

shlim8 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2011, 07:11 PM   #2
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 7,240
There's one thing you should try if you can, and it won't cost you a dime. Find another boxster owner in your local PCA chapter, get to know them, let them get to know you, and ask them to help you isolate your issue by loaning you their front rims/tires for a half hour on a Saturday.

You may just find that it's your rims or tires. This was the issue with my car. I swapped rims and tires and voila! No high speed steering wheel shake.

The other thing you have not mentioned is wheel bearings. This might just be an issue considering you're driving on 10 year old bearings. Even though they may have no back and forth (side to side) play in them, they may be the culprit.

Changing out the tie rod ends will be cheaper than wheel bearings because the labor is far less involved. Not a bad move if swapping rims/tires with someone doesn't remedy the problem.

I really understand your frustration. This kind of crap is really difficult to live with. It made me want to sell my car at a loss and walk away.
__________________
'97 Boxster (Black Hole for 42,000 Dead Presidents and counting) - 122k
New motor, transmission, suspension, and on and on and on it goes...
RandallNeighbour is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2011, 07:17 PM   #3
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 7,240
Wait a minute. I lived in Spore. You can't drive that car fast or you'll be fined until you're as poor as a hawker looks! (Yeah, I know they're all rich, but they look poor!)
__________________
'97 Boxster (Black Hole for 42,000 Dead Presidents and counting) - 122k
New motor, transmission, suspension, and on and on and on it goes...
RandallNeighbour is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2011, 07:48 PM   #4
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Santa Ynez Valley
Posts: 32
Garage
Don't forget to check power steering fluid. I had a bad shake and my fluid was low. Topped it off and the shake went away.
bmcuscgr94 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2011, 03:21 AM   #5
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Singapore
Posts: 228
Hmm, power steering fluid, the thought had crossed my mind, but I forgot to check it the last time I had the engine exposed.... will have a look at that.

Yes, I'm from Singapore but currently living and working across the border in Malaysia. I travel up and down the highway hence I'm seeing all these shakes... The car is a perfect angel in Singapore with the smooth roads and 90kmh speed limits.

I've already bought the wheel bearings, in fact the last time the whole wheel hub was almost out (fixing suspension), regretted not getting the wheel bearings changed ! My mechanic claims the bearing are fine and not to waste money changing them.

Sigh.... now I've got an extra problem to deal with... I'm beginning to lose alittle more coolant. Had the cooling system checked (rather quickly) before the chinese new year (as my mechanic was trying to clear their cars before the chinese new year holidays) and no leaks spotted.

BUT I've noticed that there is coolant loss from the area of the coolant expansion tank and it's seems to be in the form of condensation - wet on the rear trunk lid, right above the coolant cap. The coolant cap has just been replaced with the latest revision. In fact just 2 days ago, I probably lost about a cup of coolant as I made the mistake of doing a high speed run just before reaching home and turning the engine off and the engine was still really hot (red line the engine) without letting the engine cool down.

Suspected that it might be the bleeder valve, will have to look at it this weekend...

Toughest part is that it's difficult to get ready spare parts as there are very few boxsters around here.

Yes, it's frustrating sometimes, sometimes to the point of being tempted to just sell the car, but then, lower the convertible top, enjoy the drive and the feeling just goes off...
shlim8 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2011, 03:12 AM   #6
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Singapore
Posts: 228
I checked, the power steering fluid is at the "o" alphabet of the word "cold" on the dipstick when cold. Which is actually above the lower arrow mark. According to the manual the fluid level should be "below the arrow mark". I guess I can rule out low fluid.

I realize that the steering has a bit of free play... not sure if its normal or not... while driving even at high speeds, I can rock the steering wheel maybe a inch left and right, back and forth without the car reacting (with change of direction).

The vibration seems worse when steering is turned.

Bad tie rods or rack ??
shlim8 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2011, 04:38 AM   #7
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Singapore
Posts: 228
Finally got the outer tie rods changed. Also did the 3 (on each side) rear control arms changed, got the front wheels balanced.

AT LAST - no more vibrations....

Sigh, over the last 5 months, have changed all suspension control arms on all 4 sides, complete M030 suspension upgrade, 2 tie rods, mulitple wheel balancing and wheel alignment + making sure the tire pressures are right...

Phew, the car now is vibration free... it's been a long journey. Only thing left is some adjustment left on the camber... I've got -1.5 degrees, front and back now... didn't have time to get the front reduced..

I still don't know what was the exact cause of the last bit of vibration, as the tie rods seem fine, but the steering feel is completely changed... tight and responsive now.

Also added 7mm spacers to the front as the rims are cayman's and the rears are offset 40 instead of the original 48 (front 55 same as before). Was afraid this might worsen the vibration, but all is fine.

Time to enjoy the car !

Last edited by shlim8; 03-06-2011 at 04:44 AM.
shlim8 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2011, 06:50 PM   #8
Autobahn Glanz
 
WhipE350's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 1,282
Garage
Great! Did you notice any difference with all the work in the back. That is a lot to do, I would think something wasn't quite right with the tie rods. It's a nice feeling t know the rear of the car is pretty much new now.
WhipE350 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2011, 07:55 PM   #9
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Aspen, CO
Posts: 131
Congratulations.

I know the frustration when the steering feel isn't perfect...like when the local yokels balance my tires except they are not balanced at high speeds. Drives me nuts.
PhilNotHill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2011, 05:03 AM   #10
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Singapore
Posts: 228
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhipE350
Great! Did you notice any difference with all the work in the back. That is a lot to do, I would think something wasn't quite right with the tie rods. It's a nice feeling t know the rear of the car is pretty much new now.
Actually ALL the suspension components front and back are new now ... ha ha.. it's a good feeling knowing that I don't have to worry about them for awhile.

I changed the rear control arms/links as I already had them. I had ordered both front and rear control arms/links together to save on shipping cost (but 2 of the rears were out of stock hence separate front and rear install). I figured that 10 yr old rubber bushings can't be in that great condition anyway. It turned out that the rear control arms and links were in fairly good condition, possibly 2 of the bushings (mounting close to the firewall) might be suspect but not all that bad. And the control arm seem rather stiff in the upward/downward movement though, unlike the front.

The rear suspension feels more fluid now and takes rough roads better now. But it's marginal and could be my imagination.

Come and think about it, my mechanic did tell me that one of the tie rods just came off by itself when he undid the bolt to the ball joint. That might be the cause of the vibration - either it wasn't tighted properly or not snapped in place... not sure if that's possible though. Or maybe the tapered part of the ball joint was just worn ??

Now, it's the breather valve that I need to tackle.... my parts have arrived !
shlim8 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2011, 06:19 PM   #11
Autobahn Glanz
 
WhipE350's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 1,282
Garage
Don't you just love how these cars get our credit cards out so easy...

Really though it sounds like the problem was in the front. You probably are noticing a little difference in the rear, it's like new now!. I replaced all four shocks (and was sore for 3 days, not easy for a novice) and put sport in the rear...feels the same up to 60 degrees above that I really notice a difference, probably my imagination but it's almost like the springs soften up and the shocks can do their thing. Car feels great. My car is 11 years old and not a lot of wear at 54k, think a lot has to do with driving conditions.
WhipE350 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2011, 07:27 AM   #12
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 7,240
schlim8, you're doing exactly what I did. I got so tired of wondering about my suspension and the associated rattles and squeaks and vibrations that I bit the bullet and replaced all four wheel bearings, upper and lower control arms and drop links all the way around and trailing arms in the back... plus I swapped out the struts and springs for coilovers.

The only thing I didn't do was replace the tie rods.

Made the car feel a lot more solid and I sleep a lot better now because I know it's all replaced and good for a while.

The front lower control arms are really problematic though. The design of the front suspension leads to premature wear of this particular piece. I should buy a half dozen of them and keep them in my garage and just change them out every couple of years whether I think they need it or not.
__________________
'97 Boxster (Black Hole for 42,000 Dead Presidents and counting) - 122k
New motor, transmission, suspension, and on and on and on it goes...
RandallNeighbour is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2011, 06:55 PM   #13
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Singapore
Posts: 228
Quote:
Originally Posted by RandallNeighbour
schlim8, you're doing exactly what I did. I got so tired of wondering about my suspension and the associated rattles and squeaks and vibrations that I bit the bullet and replaced all four wheel bearings, upper and lower control arms and drop links all the way around and trailing arms in the back... plus I swapped out the struts and springs for coilovers.

The only thing I didn't do was replace the tie rods.

Made the car feel a lot more solid and I sleep a lot better now because I know it's all replaced and good for a while.

The front lower control arms are really problematic though. The design of the front suspension leads to premature wear of this particular piece. I should buy a half dozen of them and keep them in my garage and just change them out every couple of years whether I think they need it or not.
Ha ha... yeah it's good to know I'm not the only one who feels this way ! Actually I regretted not changing the wheel bearings as well .... the wheel hubs were practically out of the car at one point in time... and I actually have the 4 new wheel bearings !! But due to time constraints couldn't do it... I actually keep 2 wheel bearing at home and 2 at my office in the neighbouring country... just in case I get a failure while outstation !! ha ha... makes me wonder why I'm driving a 10 yr old car between the 2 locations which are 300km apart !! (that is until I start the engine and enjoy !)
shlim8 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2011, 10:04 AM   #14
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Marion, AR
Posts: 1
As a mechanic who does a lot of suspension work for a living, find out for sure what is wrong with your car instead of throwing parts at it. If you don't have a lift at least get it on 4 jackstands and start looking for the slack in joints and condition of rubber boots, and also spin the wheels to find bearing/rotational issues. Almost any issue (tie rod, ball joint, warped rim, bad tires, bad wheel bearings) can be visually/audibly diagnosed and pinpointed to the exact component. You have to pull around a little bit to find things, but worn ball joints and tie rods will reward you with an audible clunk and you can see the lost motion.
Lance White is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2011, 01:07 PM   #15
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 7,240
Shlim, now you got me into an overly critical mode with my car. One minute, I experience no wheel shake, then I get steering wheel shake. It's intermittent!

I have replaced most everything except the tie rods.
__________________
'97 Boxster (Black Hole for 42,000 Dead Presidents and counting) - 122k
New motor, transmission, suspension, and on and on and on it goes...
RandallNeighbour is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2011, 07:09 PM   #16
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Singapore
Posts: 228
Quote:
Originally Posted by RandallNeighbour View Post
Shlim, now you got me into an overly critical mode with my car. One minute, I experience no wheel shake, then I get steering wheel shake. It's intermittent!

I have replaced most everything except the tie rods.
Ha ha... sorry about that... btw, I also replaced the tie rods... it still looks ok and it did not reduce the vibration, but the steering is alittle sharper.

I wish I had another 986 to test, wonder if the vibrations are "normal". I (and the mechanics) were surprised that there is no rubber gasket or bushing on the steering wheel to the chassis. That would certainly have dampen some of the vibrations..

BTW, the car went into a big pothole and now I've got a wooden plank noise whenever I go through road speed strips... darn... I think it's the plastic undertray though... I've got 2 clamps loose now and one edge is broken. Hitting on the undertray produced a similar sound. Just didn't have time to work on it yet.
shlim8 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-2012, 09:36 AM   #17
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Saline, MI
Posts: 2
I had significant problems with vibration when driving my 2003 Boxter S after I put 15mm spacers in the front and 23mm spacers in the rear with NEW chrome Victor Equipment Turismo wheels.

Here's what I initially discovered: The tires were not balanced correctly on the wheels. Once I had the tires balanced correctly, the car was vibration free up to 80mph. Faster than 80mph, vibrations would return again, big time, the faster you would accelerate or just cruise. This was very annoying!

After reading for several hours on the internet about spacers, vibration, tire inflation pressure, etc., I decided to try a few more techniques that I learned before either giving up or investing in more exotic remedies.

The first thing I did was to remove all four wheels and make sure there was no debri on either the wheels or the mounting surfaces. I actually used steel wool to clean the mounting surfaces on both the wheels and hubs, bringing them to a nice shine.

Next, I followed the advice I had read about mounting the wheels and the spacers. More specifically, what was recommended was as follows: While the car is on the jack and completely off the floor, tighten the wheels and spacers to the hubs in a "STAR" pattern. (Do NOT mount them in an arbitrary or random manner!) Next, lower the car partially, or just enough so that the wheels don't turn when you tighten the bolts a bit more. Once that's done, go ahead and lower the car completely and finish up tightening the bolts to specs (I tightened my bolts to 96 foot pounds). Maintain tightening the bolts in a "STAR" pattern throughout the mounting process.

Lastly, I inflated my front tires to 35lbs and rear to 45lbs. (I realize there are many opinions of tire inflation levels, however, this worked great for me!) When I went on my test drive, I was ecstatic! No more vibrations, AT ALL!!! There were no vibrations at low or very high speeds. No vibrations cornering, braking or accelerating. It was as if I were one with my car again. That was a great feeling! I hope sharing my experience will prove useful to someone else who, like me, felt helpless and hopeless with unwanted vibrations after adding spacers to their Porsche.

vpernell2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On




All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:18 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2018 Pelican Parts, LLC - Posts may be archived for display on the Pelican Parts Website -    DMCA Registered Agent Contact Page