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Products for your Boxster, Cayman and Carrera.
Hi folks - I posted about a problem w/ my 2000 Boxster few wks back

After taking it to a dealer they diagnosed the problem as being to do w/ worn:
-front lower control arms
-rear track rods

And wanted approx $5k (total for parts/labor) to fix it which seemed stratospheric to me. Probably if I took my car to Carmax that's what they'd offer me for the whole car sad smiley

Anyway, was looking around and found a comprehensive looking kit (w/ more parts than aforementioned, and called a "Suspension Overhaul Kit"winking smiley from Pelican that is "only" $2k parts -

I would love to go w/ this but just have no idea who to trust to get it done other than a dealer in my area, and not the capability to do it myself. Are there any boarders in Houston who can help me out in finding a good shop to use?
It appears to refer to 'control arm link', as contrasted with 'control arm', the latter of which is what the dealer said you need.
I agree reading close is important. This kit though, if you click the 'more info' then the 'notes' tab - or just go there [www.pelicanparts.com] you can see it mentions the control arms and the control arm links in the kit
The Pelican Parts kit doesn't include the lower control arms, which your dealer said you need.

If you're looking at the kit to avoid having to deal with this for a while you should know that some other important pieces of the suspension not included in this kit wear out so after installing this kit you still won't be back to "new".


Fundamentally, there are 3 control arms and 1 drop link on each corner, each of which wears over time. It's a bit confusing since the terminology is not always consistent:

(front/rear terminology)
1) The tie rods/toe link controls toe in/out
2) The control arm link/track arm controls camber and caster
3) The lower control arm/lower control arm allows up/down movement
4) Drop links control sway by transferring energy (through the sway bar) from the outside of the car on a turn to the inside

The dealer said you need (3) in the front and (2) in the rear.
The kit includes (1), (2), and (4), all front and rear.

Additionally, there are rubber bushings in the strut mount that wear. And arguably you could include the wheel bearings as suspension wear items.
Unless you enjoy this sort of thing on a DIY basis and are happy to be on the receiving end of learning experiences, then the only alternative to a licensed dealer is finding a good independent. I am very happy with auto engineering in Lexington, MA. The parts prices are similar to dealer but the labor is a lot lower.
1 a control arm from a dealer (986) is something like $475. I bought mine for $185.

2. shocks from a dealer (struts) are like $500/ea. A set of Bilstein HDs are about $700/4

Oddly, many of the specialty parts are very similar, assuming you demand quality aftermarket like Lemfordrer or TRW.


Grant gee-lenahan-at-vee-eff-email-dot-net
Let's define the control arms as the things with two bushings and a ball joint which are probably the most important wear part of the suspension, aside from shocks.

I think the key things are:

1. shocks (4, or better yet, get a matched strut/spring kit like M030. PSS9, )
2, control arms (4)
3. Strut mounts, with bonded rubber bushings (2F, 2R)
4. front strut top bearing (ball races in rubber carrier) (2)

The other links, including Tie Rod ends, i think you do "as needed". Most can be replaced without alignment and without major dis-assembly. Not so the stuff i mentioned.

For the record i have some low-miles (2 years?) OEM 986S struts (Bilstein yellow HD) and springs (factory) that will soon be for sale. I just ran the beast at Pocono and can tell you for sure they are in terrific shape. Better than i imagined (Bruce put them in).

While you are doing control arms you might spring for the $5/ea and do CV boots too.


Grant gee-lenahan-at-vee-eff-email-dot-net
I think the question here is: what is needed?
1. The parts i listed are the ones that are the most certain to deteriorate with age, and, due to proximity, benefit from being done together. This addresses his desire to get some kind of kit that fixes everything for a period of years. I am doing all those (plus some more) in my overhaul.

2. Yes, other parts wear too, but many can be done piecemeal without alignment, or spring compressors, etc. They are also less predictable. finally, they are fairly easy for an experienced mechanic to identify, with a pry bar. When a really good alignment is done, have all those checked and noted.

The only real way to know what is needed is to test it. As i recall, he does have a starter list. I'd get out a pry bar and see if i agree. I admit that there is a lot of "feel" and experience - it helps to have pried on hundreds of them so as to know what "right" feels like.


Grant gee-lenahan-at-vee-eff-email-dot-net
Hey folks
The stock/original struts on my 2000 Boxster are of course black/grey-ish.

1) Is it true that any replacement strut (like from Bilstein) is going to be yellow? Or that yellow equates to some sort of "performance" (i.e. stiffer) type shock? (I actually don't want that- want the standard shock/strut - but just from my research it looks like all the yellow ones are the sportier/stiffer ones)

2) And can you see that yellow when the car is in normal use? I assume one can't see that unless they are underneath the car or have the wheels off, otherwise I wouldn't like the aesthetics of something yellow showing thru.
Pedro (Weston, FL) - 9 months ago
The OEM replacements from Bilstein are all yellow.
They have 3 types of damping: A4, A6 or A8.
If you want the standard, get the A4.
The A6 is Sport and A8 is performance.

You can see the yellow if you crouch down and look into the wheel well, otherwise it's not visible.

Happy Boxstering,

Pedro Bonilla 1998 Boxster 986 - 287,000+ miles: http://www.PedrosGarage.com
PCA National Club Racing Scrutineer - PCA National HPDE Instructor - PCA Technical Committee (Boxster/Cayman)

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