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I think I'm blind!

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Is there a difference between the shocks used in a 2000 Boxster and an S of the same year? I know there are suspension differences between the two and was wondering how much is interchangable.

The question arises because my 00 Boxster has developed a fairly loud knocking noise in the front suspension when going over things like potholes or expansion joints on the road. Over more mild changes in pavement elevation I hear no strange noises at all. I was thinking this may be due to worn shocks? Or are there any other common things in the front suspension that wear out/come loose over time? My boxster has 42000 miles on it currently.

Thanks in advance!

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Before you trying replacing your shocks I would suggest tightening the connecting your swaybar endlinks. This is by far the most common cause of a knocking noise in the suspension. Have you had an alignment done recently? If so check your strut tops on both sides. Lugs tight?

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  • Moderators

Knocking noises can come from a multitude of places. Some cheap and easy to fix, some not so...

Easy things to try.

Check your swaybar endlink bolts. Are they tight?

Check the nuts that attach the strut to the body. Use a torque wrench to make sure they are torqued to 27ftlbs.

Check the nut that attaches the strut shaft to the top mount. If this comes even a little loose, it sounds like the suspension is about to fall off the car. This can be a little tricky with the strut in the car if you don't have an impact wrench.

If all of the above check out, the you may have a balljoint going bad. Suspension noises can be tricky to diagnose. Best suggestion I can make is take it to an good Porsche shop and get the tech to find out where your clunk is coming from.

Good Luck,


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Oops, I totally ignored your first question - Sorry.

Struts are physically interchangeable between non-S and S Boxsters. In fact, as far as I'm aware, all 986 struts are interchangeable between any vehicle. However, Each year/model strut is carefully matched to the weight of the car, the power it delivers and the springs that are used. By mixing assemblies, you will end up with non-optimal handling. I don't think it will be dangerously bad, but it may take awaythe fantastic balance of ride and performance the factory manages to supply us with.

Using "S" struts on a non-S car - assuming you retain the non-S springs - will result in the fornt end being overdamped. This will make the car less compliant over bumps and will increase understeer a little.

Good Luck,


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  • 2 weeks later...

Well I finally had a chance to look at it today. Sure enough the lower endlink bolt for the sway bar on the driver side was movable by hand :eek:

tightened that up and everything else I could get my hands on around there on both sides and she's totally silent now. Thanks much guys!

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