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Boxster S vs. Boxster Suspension Differences?


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I have a 03 Boxster S which is a great car. However, I'm very old and might like to soften the ride a little. Would I accomplish this by moving to a non-S Boxster? I don't hot rod or autocross so at the limit handling is not so important. Also, would the 5 speed give me a little taller last gear so as to slightly lower the revs at 70 mph? I find the 6 speed requires a little too much shifting in normal driving conditions. And, please do not recommend switching to an automatic.

Edit: I found the gear ration in the owners manual. The S sixth gear gives a lower RPM at 70 mph.Could not find anything about the suspension differences in the manual.

Edited by jborchel
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"Degrading" the performance of your car is not the way to go (in my opinion). Plus it would reduce it's value. I would recommend replacing the tires with lower performance tires that should slightly improve the ride. I'm the wrong guy to make a recommendation on this since I am always going to the other extreme. Perhaps someone else on this forum has a suggestion.

Regarding the many shifts with the 6 speed transmission, in commuter driving I usually shift 1-2-4-6 to reduce shifts. When going for performance I use all 6 speeds.

Alan

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Thank you Alan for your reply. I have tried similar shift patterns to reduce shifting. As I said in the edit above, the charts in the User Manual eliminated the 5 speed option.

I would not modify the suspension to soften the ride. My original thought was selling and buying down.

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Unless you have the stock size wheels (17" on a Boxster S), dropping down from 18" to 17" wheels should soften the ride somewhat without changing your suspension. You'll have more sidewall rubber to take up the bumps. If someone put non-stock 19" wheels on your car, you'll really notice a difference

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I purchased my stock '99 Boxster two years ago at the age of 62. The OEM suspension is different than yours the "S" cars have a suspension much like the ROW M030 Sport suspension, it might actually be the same. After a year of driving I was having serious doubts as to whether I could keep the car as the suspension was transmitting every bump in the road up through the seat and into my back. As a last ditch effort to keep the car I decided to invest in the ROW M030 suspension and have it installed on my car. I can't begin to tell you how much the car improved in all areas one of the primary one's being that the bumps are now absorbed by the suspension and no longer transmitted up through the seats. I realize installing a stiffer suspension sounds contrary to what you would think but my Boxster is now a pleasure to drive even for long distances. I'm not certain that a softer suspension is always the best way to go as there are trade offs there as well. Perhaps you need to have your suspension inspected for wear by someone who specializes in Porsche suspensions to see if new components might not make a difference. Just my thoughts.

Edited by infocusf8
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I purchased my stock '99 Boxster two years ago at the age of 62. The OEM suspension is different than yours the "S" cars have a suspension much like the ROW M030 Sport suspension, it might actually be the same. After a year of driving I was having serious doubts as to whether I could keep the car as the suspension was transmitting every bump in the road up through the seat and into my back. As a last ditch effort to keep the car I decided to invest in the ROW M030 suspension and have it installed on my car. I can't begin to tell you how much the car improved in all areas one of the primary one's being that the bumps are now absorbed by the suspension and no longer transmitted up through the seats. I realize installing a stiffer suspension sounds contrary to what you would think but my Boxster is now a pleasure to drive even for long distances. I'm not certain that a softer suspension is always the best way to go as there are trade offs there as well. Perhaps you need to have your suspension inspected for wear by someone who specializes in Porsche suspensions to see if new components might not make a difference. Just my thoughts.

Those are very good points! Got you by quite a few years though. Back in the early 80's I put firmer springs and shocks on a 530i and the ride improved, just as you say. I had actually given some thought to that for this situation. That's why we come to this board for ideas and suggestions. We also have a Volvo V70 and occasionally I feel the same bang in the suspension. For some reason it usually happens after 20K+ miles are on the tires and new ones seem to soften the bang. Since the car has 153K miles on it I have gone through that experience a few times.

Thanks for the words. I will keep them in the safe as I progress.

Edited by jborchel
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Get new struts.

After 80k miles my brother changed the struts on his 99 Box. We spent some time going over his old ones and they were in terrible shape. Very little consistent dampening in either compression or rebound. The car is transformed to a much more comfortable and predictable ride. I followed suit and changed my struts at 93K. Mine were in better shape but still a long way from ideal.

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Get new struts.

After 80k miles my brother changed the struts on his 99 Box. We spent some time going over his old ones and they were in terrible shape. Very little consistent dampening in either compression or rebound. The car is transformed to a much more comfortable and predictable ride. I followed suit and changed my struts at 93K. Mine were in better shape but still a long way from ideal.

My S only has 29K+ miles on it so changing struts won't make any difference, I would think.

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Get new struts.

After 80k miles my brother changed the struts on his 99 Box. We spent some time going over his old ones and they were in terrible shape. Very little consistent dampening in either compression or rebound. The car is transformed to a much more comfortable and predictable ride. I followed suit and changed my struts at 93K. Mine were in better shape but still a long way from ideal.

My S only has 29K+ miles on it so changing struts won't make any difference, I would think.

No probably not, unless the car lives in snow country and sees a lot of winter road salt. 8 years of road salt would take it's toll on the struts. All good info to include in your OP to get the most relevant responses: (yr, model, mileage, tire sizes & model, location, typical driving ) All of these may affect your ride comfort.

FYI : I just pulled a set of base Boxster springs off last week. If you want em I'll pull em out of the recycle bin.

Edited by Topless
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