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Post ViperBob Bilstein-HD-sways and 30,000 mile fandgano upgrade - FIRST IMPRESSIONS

 
Old 04-02-2007, 12:20 PM
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g_murray
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Default Post ViperBob Bilstein-HD-sways and 30,000 mile fandgano upgrade - FIRST IMPRESSIONS

OK guyz n' galz ...I got my car back this morning. As some of you know - from my other postings - she's been 'away' at camp :-) getting the 'VB'-supplied suspension upgrade and new tires (PS2's) and a new windscreen and a 30K mile 'elite' service.

Oh friggin' cripes ...is it LOW now or what. But nicely LOW! We all love the shapes of our cars and, I think, throw a blind eye to that 'suv' look-- but it's only when it's been lowered do you realize how much better that look could be!

As I drove her home -- my impressions of the new suspension -- and I gotta say this from my heart --- is that it is night and day from what was in there originally. Yes, it's true, our suspensions are shot at around the 30,000 mile mark - even if we don't know it or want to admit to it. It's only when you're riding in your car with a new suspension that you realize the diff.

The mechanics lowered it down to a smidge over RS (so like Jeff - InTheAir - I'm now at approx. RS+5mm). The camber etc. was set to 'street'.

As I'm driving along the Meadowbrook pkwy and then the Southern Ste -- it was like I was in a whole new car. She drove like she was on rails - yet the ride was not harsh and no bump steer. She just takes the road-bumps - in her stride - with absolutely no 'twitchiness' whatsoever. And, what with the new rubber - oh geez - what confidence inspiring threads they are!

My new windscreen was done perfectly. I have to take my hat off to Bill (Rudtner of Rudtner racing) for an outstanding job - on the WHOLE car! (The 30K 'elite' service, the windscreen-install, the suspension upgrade and yes, spending four hours alone on the SAI valve (even having to fashion his own crows-foot tool.))

Other notes: My old SAI valve was CLEAR! (So putting in a new one was kinda moot -- but I'm glad I did.) My lower HEI-ignition wires were fine. Nothing in the car gave them 'additional' concern or needed to be fixed/repaired - whilst they were in there.

With the new plugs, rotors, filters, etc. etc. etc. -- jeebers the engine is so freakin' smooth and is so 'free revving' I am kinda stunned that I had become so accustomed (numbed/lulled?) into thinking that the way the 'old' engine sounded was 'fine'. Naaah, it's just that I didn't have anything to compare it to.

Fellas, I gotta extend a cyber-hand out there to those of u who recommended this suspension upgrade. It's friggin' fab. It DOES literally transform the car.

I now have -- what certainly feels like -- a whole new car and, what with all the 'new' parts that I had them install -- one that will maintain this feeling of newness for a long time to come.

:-)

Gerry

P.S. Oh yeah, I'll take some pix in due time. Cripes is it low! (Did I mention how LOW it is?)

Last edited by g_murray; 04-02-2007 at 01:03 PM.
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Old 04-02-2007, 12:53 PM
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LuisGT3
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Bob is the man. Congrats on the "new" car.
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Old 04-02-2007, 01:07 PM
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Congrats. Not surprised to read what you wrote in your post
PICTURES please!

Dave
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Old 04-02-2007, 01:48 PM
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SC2993
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Gerry,

Nice write-up regarding the differences in the shock/spring impressions. What you have done is next up for me on my way down the slope. I can understand that the handling will be more crisp as the center of gravity has been lowered, I too am looking forward to that feeling.

Your car does not have many miles on it, did you have any indication that the suspension was "shot"?
My car seems OK with 45k on the clock, but I have not heard any noises or squeaks in the suspension. My old SC pulled to the right while braking when I purchased it and that was an indication that the front strut was gone.


John
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Old 04-02-2007, 03:15 PM
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Hi John,
'Conventional wisdom' seems to point to the 'fact' that the OEM (Monroe-based) suspension doesn't last more than 20 to 30 thousand miles -- or 'n' number of years. This may be hard to swallow -- after all, it's a Porsche, it's supposed to last a life-time, as delivered :-O. I'll admit, I too found this hard to swallow, however, I did a LOT of reading up on this AND together with the 'you're going to need a new suspension soon' comment from the PPI-guy AND from the seller -- I found myself convinced that it was 'on the cards' at some point.
Now, mind u, I don't track the car nor do I beat up on it. I do 90% highway driving.
*I* felt that the suspension was OK, but I really didn't have anything (other than 'free rides') in new 997's, courtesy of friends, to compare with.
Nonetheless, when the ViperBob Bilstein-HD 'group buy' reared its head (2 years ago?) I decided to 'fall in' and accept the (good) advice that seemed to permeate this Rennlist group - of which at that time - I was a newbie.
I gotta say -- (yet again) -- having this new Bilstein-HD+swaybar upgrade has made me realize that the old suspension, was indeed, pretty much shot.
If you can go for a test-drive in a '911' that has had this upgrade - then immediately go for a drive in your car -- you'll be convinced, IMHO. The difference is, literally, night and day. (And for bonus points -- you get rid of that SUV-look, forever!)
Gerry

Last edited by g_murray; 04-02-2007 at 03:30 PM.
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Old 04-02-2007, 03:28 PM
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I wish the OEM suspension issue was simply a matter of miles on the vehicle but it is not. Time is also a factor.... with most 993's having 10 or more years on them. I swapped mine out on my car at 16k miles on the clock. Do some research on the issue, or better yet, contact ViperBob regarding the issues with the original Monroes. One of the best upgrades you can do on these cars.

Dave
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Old 04-02-2007, 05:07 PM
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Gerry,

I took the wife to a dinner engagement a week or so ago and the trip on the IL highways around here were enough to get me a headache.

I am considering the same upgrades, but my question is twofold. One, does it make for a firmer ride which accentuates a rough road? Two - does it make it a nightmare for the car to get over driveway entrances and other low obstacles? I can't have the wife having trouble getting into supermarkets, etc.

I'd appreciate your input.

Thanks.
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Old 04-02-2007, 06:14 PM
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Hi,
From my 30 min. or so 'initial impression' ride this morning (remember, I was just bringing the car home from the shop - then immediately headin' off to work) -- the ride was about the same as before -- but a lot more "sure-footed". I won't use the word 'firm' coz that might give the impression that it was the type that would loosen your tooth-fillings -- which it's not.
The set-up also seemed to be able to take the road-bumps etc. "more in its stride" and "deal with them" - quickly and without fuss. BEFORE this, the old Monroe's would cause the car to bump and squirrel around somewhat. So much so that I spent half my time GRIPPING the steering column tightly so as to be ready to 'counter-steer' if need be. I guess, looking back at this mularky, I was just in denial and just dealing with the uncertainty and harshness of the 'Monroe ride'.
However, now that I've seen the light -- I gotta admit - on the same types (severity) of bumps that I encountered this morning - I could - and did - merely just *lightly* grip the steering column -- the car seemed to be able to deal with the undulations and road-bumps just fine -- *without* me having to be on constant guard.
All this adds up to a much nicer ride and, yes, less stress for you the driver.
The car seemed to be also on rails. Gawd the friggin' roadholding was fab. Because she's lowered (down to RS height) there was absolutely no roll. Cripes it was almost as if I was in a UFO just moving sideways from lane to lane.
We all know that this susp. upgrade is big bucks - and often there's the subconscious need to 'justify' the $ spent and thus let the accolades flow.
But I gotta admit -- there's no need to 'kid oneself' that this upgrade is anything other than what everyone else has said / says it is -- and that is -- that this should be the FIRST (serious) upgrade that you should consider.
All those who have gone before me - were right -- and now, I too realize that this is $ well spent.
If I were you, I'd seriously put this on your to-do list.
In the meantime, try and find someone who has had this upgrade performed. You might even hook up with them at a local Porsche Club meeting. See if you can go for a 'test-drive' in THEIR car. Then go for a run in YOUR car - shortly thereafter. The difference will amaze you.
On the 'front bump' aspect -- I did NOT find that I was scraping the front in any way - and I did NOT deliberately approach any sidewalks or kerbs 'at an angle'. I went up my driveway as normal and exited Bill Rudtner's parking lot (onto St. John's Place road) 'head on'. Now mind u, others DO advise to get e.g. a Gert FPB (front protection bar) -- but their driving style may be different from mine and maybe where they drive may be different to where I find myself -- but, as said, so far I am not scraping the front. (If I start to - I'll letcha know.)

Gerry
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Old 04-02-2007, 06:47 PM
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Nice write up Gerry... Glad you finally got them installed and you are enjoying the car even more now....
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Old 04-02-2007, 08:00 PM
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I would add just one thing here. My late '95 C4 came with Boge shocks which lasted until the front left recently expired at about 95k miles. Of course, I could have benefitted from replacing the shocks and springs sooner but the job wasn't "necessary" until one of the shocks actually failed. My point is that you shouldn't assume that your car has the Monroes. "Make certain" as they say.
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Old 04-02-2007, 08:54 PM
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This thread is worthless without pictures!!

It is an incredible difference, isn't it Gerry!
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Old 04-03-2007, 12:43 AM
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Nice write up Gerry. Lowering these cars IMHO is the most "bang for the buck" in both looks and handeling...what more could you ask for. They really show their "True colors" when they are sitting nice and low! Post pictures....!
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Old 04-03-2007, 01:36 AM
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An important point to remember is that when these cars originally left the factory for delivery to the Germans themselves....Monroes were not part of the manufacturing. That says a heck of alot about what they thought of them from the get-go.

Dave
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Old 04-03-2007, 10:02 AM
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Thanks Gerry. Your insight is very helpful on this matter. I will be doing this mod soon and using VB for all the parts.

When are you going to post some photos?
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Old 04-03-2007, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by 993James993
Gerry, what wheels do you have and what year is your car? How much of the new ride do you credit to the suspension and how much to the new tires?

Did I read correctly that you've had the parts for two years now? Why did you wait? How much was the labor for just the suspension?

Sorry to bombard you with so many questions. Your description makes me want to do this.

A few more.... why not go to RS ride height? And why not get Gert's FPB? It seems like cheap insurance.

Congratulations! Enjoy your car!
Hi,
Stock 17" wheels.
Car is a 1996 C2.
The improved ride is definitely the suspension. Last nite I was 'playing' with the old shocks -and eek!- I was able to hand-compress all four - very easily. Geez the 'Bullworker' that I used when I was a teenager in the 70's had more 'resistance'.
I've had the car 2 years but have had the susp. parts 'laying around' for approx. a year. I was trying to time everything so that I could 'do everything' at the 30K-mile service point. Also, remember, I didn't know that my Monroe's were 'on the way out'. I got the car with only 19K miles on it - so to me - it was practically new. It's only when I read all the relevant posts, here, that I got clued in that I'd be needing a new suspension kinda soon.
The initial quote to swop out the suspension and do a corner balance and kinematic toe etc. etc. was $700. (Which is a 'good' quote, IMHO).
I left the car in with 1/2--3/4 tank of gas and they set it to 'just a smidge over' RS height. If I now fill her up completely with gas and put wifey and I in there too then she'll be 'lower'. I'd read that setting her to below RS can induce bump-steer and cause problems in trying to set the kinematic toe, amongst others. In asking for RS 'plus a little bit' I was trying to make the install+alignment 'go well' and also give me a height-buffer for when I add weight (fuel, baggage, occupants, etc.).
Believe me, if I find that I start scraping - where I have not been scraping before - then Gert's gittin' a call!
Gerry
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