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Coaster

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About Coaster

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    Contributing Member

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    Male

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  • From
    Austin, TX
  • Porsche Club
    PCA (Porsche Club of America)
  • Present cars
    2003 996 C2 Cabriolet

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  1. Thank you very much for this DIY. I have a 2003 996 C2 Cab and my ignition problem began with the ignition key springing back clockwise about a quarter of an inch after turning off the car. I had to twist and jiggle the key to remove it and sometimes the car would complain "key still in ignition". Also, the steering column would rarely lock. No electrical problems like others have reported but I'm sure that was coming. I picked up the Audi switch from a dealer, part number 4A0-905-849-B, and paid on the high end ($35). I see the same part on Amazon for $11: Ignition Switch. Not complaining though. I took it slow and the whole process took me just under an hour. I have large hands so it was helpful for me to also remove the short elbow duct behind the driver side vent - there is only a single philips-head screw holding it. I used an eyeglass screwdriver to loosen the set screws; they're not so tight you need a lot of torque to loosen them. Also, you only need to loosen the set screws a small amount to remove the switch. Do not loosen the set screws too much or they might fall out and you will burn time finding them and getting them back in (speaking from experience). The ignition works beautifully now and I wouldn't hesitate to do this replacement again. Thanks scb71!
  2. I have Tarrett adjustable links as well. With the car up on jacks (i.e. no load on springs) the links are adjusted to connect to the sways on each side easily, without force. As soon as the car is on the ground any difference in weight side-to-side exerts pressure through the sways that results in preload on one side or the other. At least that's how the shop tech explained it to me.
  3. My final corner weights, showing a 50.4% RL+FR cross weight: FL: 674 FR: 630 RL: 1149 RR: 1077 My final ride height, as measured from the factory reference points on the chassis: FL: 105.5 FR: 107.5 RL: 127.0 RR: 129.0 I'm assuming the shop adjusted all four corners in order to set a 20mm rake and achieve a cross weight close to 50%. My work gave them a reasonable starting point only. AFA number of turns, when I did the adjustment I found it more manageable to use a reference point. In my case I used a caliper and kept track of distance from the bottom of the locking nut to the start of the adjusting threads on the damper barrel. I would use the same approach if I had scales. It's so easy to lose track of "number of turns" and have a big unaccounted error after a lot of adjustments (and boy, did I make a lot of adjustments!). Toward the end I was moving height in 1mm increments to produce a change in height. When I did the ride height adjustment I used factory recommendations: a full tank of gas, tire pressures set to 36psi front and 44psi rear, top up, nothing in the trunk except the spare tire and stock tools, and nothing else in the car. When the shop did the corner balancing they used 1/2 tank of gas, my weight in the driver's seat, and the rest the same as my work. Sometimes it takes doing something myself and doing it wrong in order to learn. Notice how the final ride height numbers aren't by-the-book exact matches? In the end, height had only a close relationship to balance. I also neglected to disconnect the drop links from the sway bars before measuring. The drop link / sway bar connection results in preload on the springs and has an effect on height and balance. No two ways about it, find a shop that does corner balancing. When you have adjustable height dampers, corner balancing is not just for racing, it's about setting up your car for proper handling and tire wear. My car felt so good after this recent work that I just took it on a 6,000 mile cross country road trip. It handles better and is more enjoyable to drive than it has been since installing the PSS9's 10 years ago.
  4. I'm running 18" wheels. The distance from the ground to the top of the front wheel arch is about 25 1/8". Visually, the stance doesn't look different than the x74 height I set. No problems at all with driveway transitions or speed bumps. Handling wise? I'm a very happy boy! Pushing it in the twisties, the car has a beautifully linear feeling turn-in and is flat and sure-footed in the corners even with bumps. No bobbling when switching directions. At high speeds it has straight-line stability that is so effortless and confident you might be tempted to engage cruise control and take a nap.
  5. I only have about 30 miles on it so far but it feels like a much improved car. Since I was in for the corner balance and alignment I went ahead and installed adjustable sway bars front and rear - something I've been thinking about doing for years. With the PSS9's, new sway bars, and new ride height, it's kind of like having an adjustable x74 suspension. The sway bars probably had the most impact on feel and handling but the ride height and alignment made the whole package. The shop I trust far more than any other I've used so I went with their setup recommendations for how I drive. They lowered the car another 5mm then dropped the front another 5mm for a 20mm rake, bringing it to 108 front and 128 rear. The front camber is at -0.8 with some "extreme" toe at +1.0, and the rear is at -1.7 with +2.0 toe. Not at all factory settings but a rake and alignment they say will reduce the 996 tendency to push through corners. They do lots of race cars as well as street drivers like me and they think I will be pleased. On the drive home it did feel like the bump steer problem I had is almost gone. Heading out in a few minutes to drive the local twisties (Ortega Canyon) then loop around to the local Autobahn (I-5 through Camp Pendleton). That should give me a good feel for the changes and put a grin on my face.
  6. Thought I would circle back with information from the corner balancing. The car went in with the ride height set exactly to Porsche spec for an x74 suspension but without the use of scales. The alignment was also set dead-on to x74 specs. Everything looked as correct as it could be but the car had a tendency to pull to the right. Once on the scales the reason became apparent: FL: 752 FR: 544 RL: 1066 RR: 1147 So, once again, you can do everything to set the ride height according to spec but still be WAY off on the balance and the handling of the car will suffer. Lesson learned. :rolleyes:
  7. That's an easy misinterpretation to make. In my copy of the instructions, it's half German and half English with translations interwoven in the text. The excerpt in the 6speedonline post was taken from the German Technical Inspection Association (TÜV) approval letter included in the installation instructions. Heading up the section where that excerpt was taken is this verbiage: It seems to be more of a "department of transportation" issue than a technical issue with the shock. Maybe all-English instructions have US DOT verbiage, which of course would prevent lowering the car much at all.
  8. Ahsai, had I been faced with any more adjustments to make I might have twisted the car into a German pretzel.
  9. Although embarrassing to air my mistake, I thought I would post this in hopes I might save someone else from the same problem: If you have adjustable coilover shocks, do not attempt to change your car's ride height unless you are doing it while corner balancing with scales. I rationalized that if I set the ride height using the factory measuring method (documented in multiple places on this site) I would get "close enough" to a balanced car for a 996 that isn't tracked. Wrong. I worked on a level floor, with a full tank of gas (per spec), new tires with factory-recommended tire pressures, using the factory-recommended ride height measurement points, drove the car a few yards after each change to settle the suspension, and after a lot of hard work I was dead on with each of the four measurements. A local indie shop, not really performance oriented, vetted my approach and said it should be fine, it's what they would do. Even after a perfect-to-the-spec alignment this morning the car pulls to the right, enough at 40 mph with hands off the wheel to change lanes in less than 50 yards. My effort was wasted and I'm out the cost of that alignment. The car goes in for a pro corner balance to correct the issue and I'll end up paying for another alignment. Lesson learned. In truth, the effort wasn't entirely wasted because I learned about the stiffness of the chassis, how even a minute change of 1mm in shock adjustment can affect all four wheels, and how each of the wheels is affected. Dialing in the ride height was a PITA but a learning experience that I believe transfers to doing a corner balance. If you install height-adjustable shocks, you must corner balance for optimal handling even if your car is a daily driver and not tracked. Bless you suspension techs who do corner balancing for a living!
  10. Thanks for the feedback Ahsai. I went ahead and set the ride height to x74 specs and I'll get an x74 alignment this week. I'm looking forward to seeing how the handling changes. The shops that did the two previous ride height adjustments set up the car low but always maintained that 5mm difference front to rear. I'm wondering why. Lowering the front shifts weight forward doesn't it? With front-engine rear-drive cars, moving weight forward is supposed to increase understeer. Is that rule flipped for rear-engine cars where most of the weight is aft?
  11. Like the topic title says, I have questions about front/rear weight distribution and what to expect when shifting weight one direction or the other. Some background info first... I have Bilstein PSS9 coilovers on my 2003 996 C2 Cab. The ride height was set twice by indie performance shops, the last time eight years ago. Springs have settled more since then and the latest measurements with new tires suggest it is time to adjust the height again. The car is mostly a weekend driver and has never been on a track or in an autocross event. It sees a lot of freeways, on/off ramps, and a regrettably small amount of canyon driving. My driving style is spirited but not as aggressive as you might see on a track. Ride height has been set low since installing the PSS9's and now I'm thinking of using factory X74 specs as a starting point for the new ride height and alignment. Looking at Porsche's ride height specs, I see different front/rear distribution between different C2 models: USA Standard and Sport - 5mm lower in front RoW Standard and Sport, and X74 - 15mm lower in front The indie shops I mentioned kept the height low but always set the front/rear difference close to the 5mm USA spec. I always assumed the USA spec was a variant from the Porsche design ideal, something Porsche had to do to meet DOT bumper height requirements. I'm leaning toward trying the lower front of the non-USA specs. Questions: What difference in handling should I expect by lowering the front an additional 10mm? If I keep the front height 10mm above X74 spec, shouldn't I also use less front negative camber than called for in the X74 spec? Are these differences inconsequential for the type of driving I do? Comments, opinions, and personal experience appreciated. Educate me please!
  12. Maurice and Loren - thank you! Where my search did not yield any results before, searching on "window regulator cable" got quite a few hits. I can see that this topic has been discussed before. For the benefit of anyone else reading this thread, here are links to related topics: Window regulator or something else? Help with Diagnosis: Window Drop-Down not working; regulator issue? Window lowering function Window adjustment? Window Drop Down Issue Window will not move when door opens/closes Passenger window won't dip when opening the door... Passenger side door Window won't drop 1/2 inches Door "comfort open" question Reading those posts it does not sound like my window regulator cable for two reasons: 1) I cannot force the window down with my hand, and 2) The window will intermittently lower as it is supposed to but late (i.e. only after the door handle is all the way up and door is opening). Normally, the window will lower as soon as you hear the microswitch click. I'm in a quiet garage and I can hear the microswitch click and there is no motor activation. I'll look at the other possible causes you mentioned.
  13. I am assuming there are two microswitches: one on the interior door handle and another on the exterior door handle. I can hear the switch clicking on both handles but neither activates the window. Before I dive into removing the door panel for more testing there is some more information I just discovered. Could a fault in the central locking system cause this issue? Locking and unlocking the car with the remote works as expected except I hear a double beep of the horn on unlocking. The owner's manual says that a double beep on locking indicates a fault in the central locking or alarm system. First confusion: What does a double beep on unlocking indicate? After starting the car with the doors closed, the central locking switch on the dashboard is illuminated red, indicating that the doors are locked. My car is/was not programmed this way - automatic door locking is/was turned off. Besides that, the doors do not act like they are locked. A single pull on the door handle will open the door. Pressing on the red light of the switch to unlock results in clicking noise at the doors, a double beep of the horn, interior light illuminating, and the red light stays on. Pressing repeatedly results in the red light going out without a double beep. If you use the central locking switch to lock the doors the doors do lock and only open with a double pull on the handle as expected. After the second pull (full unlock) you hear the double beep of the horn again. [Edit] I don't have a Durametric so I'm diagnosing in the dark somewhat.
  14. A search on the forum didn't yield any results - I'm hoping someone else has encountered this and has a solution. I have a 2003 C2 Cabriolet. The car was recently in storage with the battery out of the car. When I put the car back in service the passenger side door window no longer auto-adjusts when you open and close. Previously, when opening the door with a fully closed window, the window would jog down about 1/4" - 1/2" when you lift the door handle and jog back to a fully closed position when the door shuts. The driver side door works fine. I reset the one-touch full up/down feature by going through a manual down-up-down-up cycle, and that is working fine on both doors. Is there a reset I need to do for the auto-adjust feature?
  15. I had exactly this same issue after lowering with PSS9s. While in a sweeper at high speed if I hit uneven pavement the car would start to bounce in response to the pavement and once unsettled would feel like it was wiggling in the rear. It was very scary and it felt like I was on the verge of being out of control. My problem was corrected by changing the damping in the rear to make it stiffer and having the alignment checked and adjusted. There were no loose parts or leaking dampers. My car's ride height is set to X74 specs. <opinion> It is my impression is that the 996 ride-height, suspension, wheel, and tire setup from the factory is very well engineered and balanced if not as high performing as some would like. Once you alter that combo you throw things out of balance (and tolerance) to the point that it's noticeable. It's a fine line and don't think it takes much to get out of whack and it takes some work to get it back in line. It ain't a Chevy. Mind you, I'm not chastising -- I changed all of these things myself. </opinion> When I was going through this problem there was a guy on 6speedonline with a Turbo who was experiencing the same problem after lowering and he was convinced that the damper was hitting its bump stop and that was causing the wiggle. I called Bilstein and talked with a tech who didn't think this was the cause. Lowering changes suspension geometry and I had a hard time getting the rear camber set within specs. And... the car is more prone to bump steer. Both the camber change and the tendency to bump steer can unsettle the car in a rough sweeper. The car is much more responsive to steering input but I'm paying a price for that. It requires more concentration and smoothness at speed. I don't know if any of this helps. A Porsche racing shop near home helped me a lot in sorting out my problems.
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