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Old 07-23-2015, 05:21 PM   #1
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leaking strut, what to do...

One of my rear struts is seeping and I need to do a repair. The car is a '99 and has 144k km (89k miles) and, as far as I know, the suspension is all original.

ROW M030 kit is not an option I'm considering. The last thing I need to do is lower the car and I'm sure anyone who has experienced Winnipeg roads will agree. Further, this would make the cost of the repair unacceptably high as the kit and installatio would be around $4k by the time I was done.

The car was recently inspected at the dealership prior to a track day and the rest of the suspension was deemed good. I may or may not ever do another track day, but I corner quickly. I have always been quite happy with the handling of the car and I'm not looking to "upgrade". Stock handling is plenty good enough for me.

At minimum I will replace all four struts. My question is, given the above statements, should I also replace the springs or should they still be ok? Are there other parts that, at this mileage and age, should be replaced with said replacement resulting in a significant and noticeable difference?

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Old 07-23-2015, 07:16 PM   #2
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I think springs normally don't need to be replaced unless they are rusted or broken. My Honda and Boxster, both have passed 140k miles, but the springs on both cars are quite good, no sign of wear or anything weird.

I would check all the sway bar bushings and sway bar links for play and looseness, since they're there, not very expensive, and new ones will give you tighter suspension feel.

EDIT: In fact, I just got a box from ECSTuning with four stabilizer links and four bushings. I got those because I'll replace them "while I'm in there" replacing the rear trailing arms.

Last edited by hancock1701; 07-24-2015 at 05:44 AM.
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Old 07-23-2015, 08:11 PM   #3
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I think springs normally don't need to be replaced unless they are rusted or broken. My Honda and Boxster, both have passed 140k miles, but the springs on both cars are quite good, no sign of wear or anything weird.

I would check all the sway bar bushings and sway bar links for play and looseness, since they're there, not very expensive, and new ones will give you tighter suspension feel.
^^^ What he said. Good advice.
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Old 07-23-2015, 11:06 PM   #4
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with 4K ... I was able to do the entire suspension component overhaul (pretty much the boxster 101 overhaul pkg).
The only original thing i re-used was the springs.
I changed to bilstein struts and changed everything else ... arms / rods / bushings / wheel bearings
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Old 07-24-2015, 05:56 AM   #5
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Shocks and sway bar bushings it is then (did the drop links recently). That's really what I was hoping to hear. Thank you, gentlemen!

I gather standard Bilsteins is the way to go?
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Old 07-24-2015, 06:37 AM   #6
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Buy yourself some low mileage used ones from Ebay and change them yourself or have them changed. Made a world of difference for me and was pretty easy. And at $150 a pair I saved a ton of money.
And you get the whole assembly, springs and everything already assembled!
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Old 07-24-2015, 06:53 AM   #7
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That's not a bad thought. Perhaps someone is doing the M030 upgrade and has a low mileage stock set for sale.

I don't think I would buy them through ebay as I would have no idea what I was actually getting. Perhaps a trusted forum member though.
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Old 07-24-2015, 07:21 AM   #8
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I don't think I would buy them through ebay as I would have no idea what I was actually getting. Perhaps a trusted forum member though.
That's my biggest fear when buying used parts online. Sometimes the seller doesn't even list how many miles are on the part (if it matters).
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Old 07-24-2015, 07:27 AM   #9
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That's my biggest fear when buying used parts online. Sometimes the seller doesn't even list how many miles are on the part (if it matters).
There is an Ebay Porsche salvager out there called Qualityporscheparts I believe. He always lists mileages from the parts, includes photos of the actual parts and a link to the whole salvaged car. I have purchased struts and gauge clusters from him and have had great luck. I have also returned a couple of clusters because I was dumb and ordered the right ones and he took them back no questions asked and returned my shipping fees.
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Old 07-24-2015, 07:53 AM   #10
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Shocks and sway bar bushings it is then (did the drop links recently). That's really what I was hoping to hear. Thank you, gentlemen!

I gather standard Bilsteins is the way to go?
Yes get Bilsteins with the lifetime warranty, you should get all new mounts etc also. Springs need to be inspected for excessive corrosion.
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Old 07-24-2015, 07:06 PM   #11
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When I recently did some work refreshing my 2001 boxster base suspension with 110k miles, I found the front bump stops were totally obliterated (big missing chunks). My suspension was frequently bottoming out as a result! I would closely look at your front bump stops when doing suspension work. Aftermarket OEM bump stops for the front are available for cheap, so consider just lining those up for changing out. My rear bump stops, on the other hand, seemed to be in very good shape (although I changed them out anyway, it was not really necessary). All my strut mounts seemed to be in good shape (and although I changed my front strut mounts out anyway, it was not really necessary). My front strut bearings were in good shape - I cleaned and rebuilt them with fresh silicone grease. My ball joints and tie rod end were in pretty good shape, but with 110k miles, I popped off the top clips, rotated them 90 degrees, and added some fresh grease to keep them happy and noise free. My rear "track arms" are making noise so I'm considering whether to remove them and peen the ball joint (to rebuild), or replace with new.

Of aftermarket Bilsteins, be aware that they are monotube which can make more roughness and noise than twin-tube (based on my observation using them on other cars). My factory 2001 base struts were Bilstein twin-tubes, FYI. Konis, now available for the 986 in two different styles (sport and "FSD"), makes a top-quality twin tube that probably cost about the same as a Bilstein, and if you're in the market for new set of struts, I would recommend seriously considering a set of Konis of some sort.
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Old 07-24-2015, 07:36 PM   #12
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Of aftermarket Bilsteins, be aware that they are monotube which can make more roughness and noise than twin-tube (based on my observation using them on other cars). My factory 2001 base struts were Bilstein twin-tubes, FYI. Konis, now available for the 986 in two different styles (sport and "FSD"), makes a top-quality twin tube that probably cost about the same as a Bilstein, and if you're in the market for new set of struts, I would recommend seriously considering a set of Konis of some sort.
I thought the Boxster came with monotube struts? So the currently available Bilstein HD and Sport struts aren't OEM equivalent?
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Old 07-24-2015, 09:54 PM   #13
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I thought the Boxster came with monotube struts? So the currently available Bilstein HD and Sport struts aren't OEM equivalent?
Factory shocks are twin-tube, according to any specs I've seen from Porsche. ( Example from: http://press.porsche.com/archive/products/press_kits/press_kits_2001/PDF/24-29_RELEASE.pdf )

"dual-tube gas-charged shock absorbers provide flat cornering." (emphasis added)

Bilstein aftermarket products should be easy to find out whether they are twin-tube or monotube. (They may offer more than one option).

Actually, I just looked up some specs on bilsteinus's site and it does see that most aftermarket Bilstein options are indeed twin-tube (not mono tube as I initially would have guessed).
Bilstein, Innovation and High Quality Since 1873
Lists three shock replacement options (B4 OE equivalent, B6 HD, and B8 Sport) all indicated as "twin tube strut assembly".

So I guess I stand corrected and actually the aftermarket Bilstein struts for this application are actually twin tubes, just like OE shocks.
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Old 07-24-2015, 10:16 PM   #14
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Now this is strange... Bilstein Europe is indicating mono tube shocks for their 986 aftermarket struts


Parts catalogue

They are advertising "B6 Sport" and a "B8 sprint" aftermarket options on the Bilstein Europe catalog.

(If you actually get to looking at a Bilstein strut, usually whether it's twin tube or mono tube is pretty obvious as the monotone is usually mounted "upside down" with huge-looking shaft exposed (because that's actually the tubular part of the mono tube).

Might just be a case of the U.S. Bilstein catalog being transcribed incorrectly. I'd think a call to Bilstein tech support should be able to clear up what the design of their aftermarket product actually is.

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