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987.1S Suspension refresh


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I have just replaced all the brakes, major service,4 wheel alignment and PS4's all round so next on my list is a suspension refresh, but I am not sure what to go for, I don't want to drop the car too much and make it look too modified, but equally I would like to reduce the gap in the arches. H&R, Eibach and OEM R Springs are what I have been looking at. Whilst I am at it, I also want to change the shocks, either Bilstein B4,B6 or B8 shocks, but undecided. A few questions.....
Has anyone got any real world experience in any of the spring or damper options?
Also anyone know the Porsche part numbers for the OEM R springs ?
Any other upgrades whilst I am at it ?

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16 hours ago, rethw said:

"I have just replaced all the brakes, major service,4 wheel alignment and PS4's all round"

If you fit upgraded shocks/lowering springs you'll also need to do another 4 wheel geo... One of the best mods I've done is upgrading the brake master cylinder to a GT3 type! ... much better feel and reduced pedal travel imo.

 

Again, I did myself & well within an owners scope to do with fairly basic tools if you're confident spannering.

Edited by Mavrik
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2 hours ago, Mavrik said:

If you fit upgraded shocks/lowering springs you'll also need to do another 4 wheel geo... One of the best mods I've done is upgrading the brake master cylinder to a GT3 type! ... much better feel and reduced pedal travel imo.

 

Again, I did myself & well within an owners scope to do with fairly basic tools if you're confident spannering.

 

You pretty much just need a T10 (I think) torx along with 14mm & 10mm spanners to do the master cylinder.  Worth it.

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On 10/06/2022 at 20:57, Mavrik said:

I recently fitted H & R springs myself (previous owner had already fitted Bilston B4's inc new top hats etc)

 

Gives the Cayman the stance it should've had from the factory imo.

 

Ride quality is virtually the same but a tad firmer over bumps tbh...zero issues with grounding out on speed bumps though!

 

Upgrading your shocks really depends on how deep your pockets are... B4's are reasonably priced and work fine with lowering springs but the B6 or B8 are more suited apparently when lowered due to different valveing.

 

It's false economy imo not to also fit new top hat bearings & bump stops etc

 

Took me all day to do mine myself on my drive with fairly basic tools...

 

Thanks for the tips. I think I will go down the B4 route rather than the B6 & B8, given I won’t track the car I probably wouldn’t see the benefit or the more expensive shock. H&R do get a good rep and appears a lot more people have installed them over the Eibach, just undecided if the 35mm is too much.

RE: GT3 MC, again heard good things about the change and improvement, and I must say in comparison to my M2 I didn’t think the brakes on the Cayman needed work, but now kinda got used to their way. 
I’m handy with the spanner’s but I don’t think it would stretch to the GT3 MC !

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I removed my bilstein shocks and H&R springs they were incredibly harsh. 

Went for a set of BC coilovers. Lots of adjustment whilst maintaining preset spring loading, I have my dampers set to softest and the ride is just perfect 👌 can't brate them enough. 

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On 12/06/2022 at 01:20, trialsstar3 said:

I removed my bilstein shocks and H&R springs they were incredibly harsh. 

Went for a set of BC coilovers. Lots of adjustment whilst maintaining preset spring loading, I have my dampers set to softest and the ride is just perfect 👌 can't brate them enough. 

Interesting, I never thought of coilovers, always associate them with overly modified cars, however did a bit of research on the BC’s, quite reasonable and about the same price as a H&R B4 setup. I don’t suppose you have any pictures side on showing the drop ?

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The reason why the B8 and H&R were incredibly harsh is because the springs are too low, especially at the front, and you run out of effective travel.

 

Neither the springs nor the dampers themselves are too harsh. You can remedy this to a point by inserting some spring pads at the front to raise the ride height and regain some travel. A better solution would be R springs, which are as low as you can go with the standard 987 suspension arms without running into problems with travel and geometry.

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On 13/06/2022 at 12:52, MartinF6 said:

The reason why the B8 and H&R were incredibly harsh is because the springs are too low, especially at the front, and you run out of effective travel.

 

Neither the springs nor the dampers themselves are too harsh. You can remedy this to a point by inserting some spring pads at the front to raise the ride height and regain some travel. A better solution would be R springs, which are as low as you can go with the standard 987 suspension arms without running into problems with travel and geometry.

It never bottomed out the travel. The spring rate is just too stiff. They usually stiffen lowering sprigs to avoid the suspension bottoming out. 

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On 13/06/2022 at 12:15, rethw said:

Interesting, I never thought of coilovers, always associate them with overly modified cars, however did a bit of research on the BC’s, quite reasonable and about the same price as a H&R B4 setup. I don’t suppose you have any pictures side on showing the drop ?

Yes but I've lowered mine a fair bit. Ill be raising the back up slightly from this image.

20220614_214700.jpg.845aee070fb84b89c1897bc8b9035a9b.jpg

Again with BC coilovers you can adjust up and down without changing the spring loading. I really wanted something comfortable for the road but fully adjustable to get it sitting just right. 

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11 minutes ago, trialsstar3 said:

It never bottomed out the travel. The spring rate is just too stiff. They usually stiffen lowering sprigs to avoid the suspension bottoming out. 

 

The spring rate on the H&R lowering springs is not at all stiff. Your problem was the ride height.

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1 minute ago, MartinF6 said:

 

The spring rate on the H&R lowering springs is not at all stiff. Your problem was the ride height.

My cars lower now and its much softer ride. I had standard springs, I went H&R 30mm lower and they were just too stiff. Like I said the suspension never bottomed out. (You know when you bottom out a shock!!) Anyway removed them and went coilovers, gone lower nice subtle spring rate and as soft as the dampers will let me set them. It's perfect I can't fault it now. 

We fit them to most road cars we do now, they cope well with the odd track day too. 

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On 13/06/2022 at 12:15, rethw said:

Interesting, I never thought of coilovers, always associate them with overly modified cars, however did a bit of research on the BC’s, quite reasonable and about the same price as a H&R B4 setup. I don’t suppose you have any pictures side on showing the drop ?

What I would say os don't go for the 'pillow ball' (spherical bearing) adjustable top mount. It's not needed, and is a little noisy. Stick with the Porsche top mount 👍 you'll have a beautiful ride! 

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The H&R springs absolutely are not stiff. They are pretty soft. Your problem absolutely was not the spring stiffness. They were likely going coil bound, which you can fix up to a point by adding thicker spring pads.

 

I've had them on a 987 myself. Awful when fitted with the standard spring pad. Use a couple of spring pads to raise it all up a bit and the spring can actually work. It's not a stiff spring, certainly no stiffer than the factory PASM spring.

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8 hours ago, MartinF6 said:

The H&R springs absolutely are not stiff. They are pretty soft. Your problem absolutely was not the spring stiffness. They were likely going coil bound, which you can fix up to a point by adding thicker spring pads.

 

I've had them on a 987 myself. Awful when fitted with the standard spring pad. Use a couple of spring pads to raise it all up a bit and the spring can actually work. It's not a stiff spring, certainly no stiffer than the factory PASM spring.

Adding thicker spring pads certainly wont stop a spring going coil bound... 🙃

Lets just agree to disagree. 

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It fixed the awful front end. It's a widely documented issue on Planet9 with both the H&R and Eibach springs on the front axle of the 987 as is the spring pad fix. Both are too low. Neither are high rate springs. 

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There's three things that can be said as objective facts. One, the H&R springs rates are barely any higher than the factory springs. They are not firm springs. Two, the front axle with them them fitted to an otherwise standard car is harsh and is not operating correctly as you indeed found. Three, if you raise the ride height a bit that is largely resolved.

 

Exactly what causes the harshness is the bit that would need to the nailed down - running out of travel, coil bound, the way the strut and geometry works with the bushes and various loadings when lowered that far etc - but it's related to the ride height. Fitting a totally different strut as per aftermarket coilovers may allow a 987 to go lower up front without running into the same issue.

Edited by MartinF6
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Wow so much to think about.

excuse my ignorance, what are spring pads?

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Rubber rings that sit between the top of the spring and the top mount.

 

There is a lot of variability in reported results using both the H&R and Eibach springs. Some cars seem OK-ish, others far too low up front. Not sure what causes the variability. My suspicion is it might involve the top mount - maybe the difference between OEM and pattern part top mounts, but that's a guess.

 

Anyway, personally re lowering springs I would go Cayman R. Safer option with less chance of issues. Spring rate is comparable to the other options. None of the springs, be that PASM, H&R, Eibach or Cayman R are very stiff. 

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