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ROW M030 my review

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I just finished the install of the ROW M030 sport suspension kit (springs, struts, swaybars) on my 99 Boxster with 18" rims, 5 speed. The install is not difficult, it just takes time and some mechanical apptitude. I found the front was easier than the rear. I first changed out the rear passenger unit where my original strut had lost its fluid. Took a little over 3 hours to figure it out. The other rear took about 2 hours (learning curve). The first side also included the new larger swaybar ( tad larger) install. Last weekend, I changed out the 2 fronts and swaybar (I think the swaybar is marginally larger at best than the original stock unit, maybe not). The fronts took 2 and 1.5 hours respectively. I was getting faster with each side and used only hand tools. Did not have any issues with breaking the joints apart and no special separator was needed. I used the 3mm rubber spacer (compensators) and marked all the alignment points to get it back to a reasonable alignment after the install. Also installed new front bearings, even though the originals didn't seem to have any slop.

The Bad:

The ride height (fender to tire) seems to be about 0.5" lower in the front. The back actually seems to be a tad greater than original suspension (non-sport USA original). Thought that was strange. Maybe it just needs to settle or something.

The Good:

The ride quality is about the same as the stock non-sport suspension.

The handling is definitely better! :lol: The car carves thru ramps with ease. Not that it was an SUV previosuly, but it is more solid. Boxsters handle pretty well from the factory anyways!


If you want a Porsche sport suspension for cheap money, and don't want a slammed tuner car look, but want better handling compatible with New England potholes, I would recommend this setup to you.

Once the snow melts, I will be driving it daily and will report back.

I will also be installing the OBX aluminum strut ties bars this weekend. Not sure if this will make a difference, but will report on that also.

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Bought the parts from Suncoast Porsche for $1088 plus UPS. They had it in stock and I received it in a few days (Florida to Mass).

By the way, installed the OBX strut tie bars. Easy install with 13mm socket. Very nice quality bar, excellent packaging. Kind of surprised me for the low price.

Didn't notice a difference at lower speeds, but at higher speeds, cornering (S turns), the car seems like it is carved out of a solid block of titanium!jump.gif

Maybe it will snap in half in a month, but for now works great.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 2 months later...

Thanks for the report and glad you are enjoying the new ride. I just ordered the system for my '99 Boxster from the local dealer who actually beat Suncoast's price by $20 after CA tax and I didn't have to pay shipping. Looking forward to having it installed next week.

As a follow up I've been driving with my ROW suspension now for a few weeks and what I would add is the first thing I noticed is how new the car felt. It really tightens things up and reduces the body roll the old suspension was experiencing. It is a mod I'm very glad I made.

Edited by infocusf8
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  • 3 months later...

I've been driving with my RoW sport suspension for about 6 months (car garaged during Feb, Mar etc during snow time) and wanted to follow up. I must say the suspension has settled nicely and there is a little less than 1.5 inches of space between the rear wheels and fender. The fronts are a tad over 1.5 inches. The car is very tight, a little firm, but I would not go back to the stock suspension. Let me clarify "firm". It does not jump or bounce around like those lowered Hondas. You feel the bump a bit more than stock, but it does not upset the direction of the car. It definitely rides like it is on rails.

I also think the upper front and rear strut bars are helping pull things together. For the price and genuine Porsche parts, don't think you can go wrong here, especially if you are in the market to replace your worn struts.

Hope this helps,


  • Upvote 1
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  • 5 months later...

Just got news from Sunset that my ROW M030 kit is on the way! I'm excited. jump.gif

I'm wondering if I should change the suspension related busings (in the control arms) while we are in there. (there appears to be some play in the steering wheel/response that I'm hoping is bushing related and not rack&pinion) I think I'd like to replace as much as possible with urethane. Any recommendations? What is a good source for urethane bushings? For those of you who have done this, are there other parts that might need to be replaced while this is apart? I did order new fasteners for the kit related parts. The car has 85,500 miles now.

thanks for your thoughts,


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Does anyone know how much negative camber you can get on the front and rear using the ROW M030?

I'll let you know when mine is installed. I'm shooting for -2 in the rear and -1.25 in the front. I had it at -2 and -.7. My tire wear indicated I could still go more in the front. The rear had worn evenly across the tread.

The parts have been ordered. Some have been delivered and some are still in a holding patter somewhere between manufacturer and my place. I was able to get a ROW M030 kit from Sunset - I thought it might be too late. The kit was back-ordered and some of the parts weren't even available individually. I started to wonder if I was going to go for after-market parts. I hope to have it done before the middle of May.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Does anyone know how much negative camber you can get on the front and rear using the ROW M030?

It does vary somewhat from car to car but -1.5 deg. front, and - 2.0 deg rear are pretty typical. Bent cars are anybody's guess.

Thanks for the information. I'm currently using front camber plates with -1.5 deg and -2.0 deg rear. This set-up has been great with Dunlap Star Spec tires for Autocrossing, where I'm getting good tire wear. The problem is the noise upfront with the top of shock hitting inside the top of shock well on rough roads.

The Boxster was set-up with me inside the car and I weight about 140 lbs with 1/4 tank of gas and stock battery. I'm just wondering, if I would be able to get 1.5 deg with the ROW M030 with me inside and fuel load?

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  • 1 year later...

Oh ROW M030 suspension that's been sitting on my garage floor for the past six months... almost time to dust you off and install you! :)

About the time I was going to start my install, a CEL problem plagued me for the next several months. Now that it appears my problem is fixed, it's finally time to get back to what I was doing!

So far, ordering what appears to be wear items on the struts. Pretty much anything rubber. This is what I have so far:

996-343-301-02 rubber bump stop front strut

996-343-505-00 protection boot for front shock

996-343-515-05 front shock absorber mount

900-380-012-01 front/rear shock absorber mounting nut

987-333-059-00 rear shock absorber mount

900-380-005-01 rear shock absorber mounting nut

999-084-447-01 front shock absorber mounting nut

997-343-018-01 shock mount flange for front shock absorber

986-333-285-01 rear shock mount seal

986-333-301-01 rear shock rubber buffer

986-333-505-01 rear shock bellows

I also added the nuts, but, since they don't stretch like bolts do, should I just skip them?

Not looking at replacing the control arms at this time. But, anything else I should be looking at under there?



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  • 7 months later...

This is an interesting thread - I have a 99 (95kmiles) with ROW 030 that was installed at about 11k. Since others have established the ROW 030's handling supremacy, I will concentrate on the more superficial:

For the O.P.- scbodnar: My experience with 'settling' etc. is that the suspension settled an additional 1/2 inch or so after 20k miles and has remained at that height since. That the rear is a bit higher than the front is beneficial (IMHO) in a number of ways- it changes how the car presents itself to the air which at higher speeds allows the rear to assert more downforce (can't prove it - don't ask). It also looks more aggressive.

There is another 99 Boxster and 2 99 911s in my garage at work (all black - go figure) the owners of one of the 911s and the other Boxster have both asked me: "What's different - why does your car just look better sitting there?" Parked side by side, the difference in height is noticeable but the 'stance' of the car is much more obvious. The gap betwen the tops of the wheels on the other cars remind me of the 'high-water' khakis I wore when I was 14 and growing and had no fashion sense :-) .

So, back to the meat of the conversation - I need to rebuild the suspension. 84 thousand miles on LA's mean streets has taken a toll on the formerly wonderful ride. The ride is not terrible but, it IS time to start rebuilding the suspension. So, do I man-up and do it myself?

First of all - the bushings all need replacement. No question about that. How do I assess the springs and shocks - honestly, just from 'feel' - I think they are both well within tolerance. For the cost of the suspension parts - this may be a no-brainer. Just replace EVERYTHING?

The shocks still offer a considerable amount of resistance and show no signs of leakage. The springs? How do I assess their fitness? This car is a keeper - I have no intention of selling it (for Pete's sake - what kind of a car could I get for the meager $$s I'd get for it?) and at it's age - it's just time to start refreshing the underpinnings before I drop a 3.4 into it. :-)

Forgive me for not 'googling' more - I just saw this thread and since it was about ROW030, I just jumped-in.

(NOTE -I think I found my answer - just replace everything - maybe not the springs - AND the tires. I haven't driven that much in the last couple of years. The Michelin Pilot Sprorts are approaching 4 years old and have lost their resiliency>)

Edited by LemmyCaution
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