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Question Front suspension is too stiff! Looking for input.

So, many years ago I upgraded to Bilstein front struts and A/S spindles on my base model that had boges to support the Big Brake upgrade. Ever since then, the front has been way too stiff, lots of understeer, generally an unpleasant ride, etc..

I'd like to find a solution that doesn't involve $1500 in parts, and gets me closer to that smooth boge feeling, without sacrificing the spindle swap. Adjustable would be nice, but I'll settle for just a consistent ride. I'm not looking at ever putting the car on the track, I just want it to be a nice cruiser.

Thoughts?
Old 10-09-2018, 10:33 PM
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Assuming you donít have big torsion bars, you should be able to get your inserts revalved. Bilstein in California should be able to offer this.
Old 10-10-2018, 01:58 AM
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did you lower it.
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Old 10-10-2018, 02:50 AM
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I get the stiffer feeling, that is what bilsteins do in general. The understeer is a bit surprising. How are your tires?
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Old 10-10-2018, 03:00 AM
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probably stiff from the cobwebs... meaning, it appears you don't drive it all that much.
Your suspension naturally stiffens up when it isn't used that much. parts start to harden and get 'stuck' when they are in a stationary position.

You should probably drive it few a few hours longer and you might find that it starts to loosen up near the end.
You could also spray some WD40 or other lubricant around all the connected points to free them up some.
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Old 10-10-2018, 05:36 AM
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Maybe sport inserts in there. HD B6 seems to have a decent ride that nobody complains about.
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Old 10-10-2018, 05:49 AM
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Thanks for the input, all.

Nope, car is definitely not lowered, and stock torsion bars all the way around.

@da vinci dan: Regarding understeer, I can't pinpoint that the shocks are the cause of it, but here's the sensation I get; going into a turn, the front feels like it chatters across the road, rather than grabbing and turning.

Generally speaking, the car feels like the front is constantly skipping across the surface of the while going in a straight line. I know this isn't the case, but it definitely *feels* like the front tires want to come off the ground if the surface is anything but perfectly smooth.

I very distinctly remember what it was like to drive the car with Boges on the front, and it felt very stable, albeit a little soft, but in-control. When I drive it with the Bilsteins, it definitely does NOT give me the feeling I'm in control.

The tires are definitely starting to get old, but this has been going on for some years, and I'm finally in a position where I'm able to do something about this.

@Trakrat: As for the cobwebs, the car's been sitting all summer in my Texas mancave - 100+ degree days and no A/C makes for a pretty uncomfortable ride. I appreciate the idea for the bushings/joints, and will take you up on it, regardless the condition of the struts.

I will have to give Bilstein in CA a try.

Are there not Koni/other front struts available that have the large caliper A/S mounts with interchanging shock absorbers?
Old 10-11-2018, 07:26 PM
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Maybe the snubber has come apart and been reduced to small bits that have bound the inserts in their bushings. Happens when the inserts leak and soften the rubber bushings. Seen that quite a bit. Pull them out and see. They ride like a rock when that happens.
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Old 10-11-2018, 07:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john walker's workshop View Post
Maybe the snubber has come apart and been reduced to small bits that have bound the inserts in their bushings. Happens when the inserts leak and soften the rubber bushings. Seen that quite a bit. Pull them out and see. They ride like a rock when that happens.
Since I've never heard them called snubbers before, I'm assuming you are talking about the rubber stops on the rod? I'll check those out - at least that doesn't (hopefully) end up costing me anything to diagnose.
Old 10-11-2018, 09:12 PM
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Just curious, what is the date code on your tires? Also Make and model.
https://www.tirebuyer.com/education/how-to-determine-the-age-of-your-tires
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Old 10-11-2018, 09:28 PM
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did you put new shocks on the rear. if not you have stiffened up the front increasing under steer.

did you lower it.
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Old 10-12-2018, 02:55 AM
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An alignment might be the solution.
Old 10-12-2018, 03:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryD View Post
Just curious, what is the date code on your tires? Also Make and model.
https://www.tirebuyer.com/education/how-to-determine-the-age-of-your-tires
Right here!!!!!!

If your tires are more than 5 years old, you will suffer lousy ride quality and terminal understeer (something a stock 911 is set up to do by the factory).
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Old 10-12-2018, 07:27 AM
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At this point, the tires are definitely old. When I first started experiencing this, TBH it's hard to recall how long ago it was, but I don't think the tires were old. I have a new set coming in a week because I won't drive on these anymore, regardless of ride quality.

Had 2 alignments done since I first started experiencing this. The first was done REALLY wrong. The second was much better

Not lowered at all.

Yes, the rears are adjustable Konis, though I don't remember how firm they are set to. I know I have adjusted them on several occasions trying to resolve this.
Old 10-12-2018, 07:57 AM
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my first recommendation would be to replace your tires. Sounds like you have two hard rocks for wheels. There's no point in troubleshooting anything else until you have fresh and soft rubber meeting the road.
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Old 10-12-2018, 09:02 AM
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It might be worth it to pull everything apart and examine each piece rather than just throwing parts on the car. Tires are a no brainer but see what shock inserts you really have. See if the bushings are toast, ect ect. It’s not cheap to do a suspension refresh but it sounds like the car has been sitting because you don’t enjoy driving it. A 911 should be a joy to drive. We did a light suspension refresh on a wide body Carrera and everyone said it drove sublime. It wasn’t big money or exotic parts. It was just back to basics on every part and proper setup. I would also take a look at the rear of the car. It can affect the way the front behaves.
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Old 10-12-2018, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mepstein View Post
It might be worth it to pull everything apart and examine each piece rather than just throwing parts on the car. Tires are a no brainer but see what shock inserts you really have. See if the bushings are toast, ect ect. Itís not cheap to do a suspension refresh but it sounds like the car has been sitting because you donít enjoy driving it. A 911 should be a joy to drive. We did a light suspension refresh on a wide body Carrera and everyone said it drove sublime. It wasnít big money or exotic parts. It was just back to basics on every part and proper setup. I would also take a look at the rear of the car. It can affect the way the front behaves.
I can't disagree with you there. Too many variables = an ever moving target. Tonight I'm going to get the front struts back off the car and check them out. Hopefully nothing disintegrates while I'm taking it apart...
Old 10-12-2018, 11:16 AM
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You can remove the inserts without complete strut removal ya know. Top nut off, brake line U clip off and feed the metal line thru the bracket so it doesn't get pulled, pull shock down out of the upper bushing and angle the strut out of the wheel opening, drive pin out and pull insert out. Start and finish one side at a time so you don't fight the sway bar.
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Old 10-12-2018, 01:04 PM
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TBH, I wondered if it would work, but didn't really want to screw it up. I'll do that. Thanks.
Old 10-12-2018, 01:10 PM
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Quick update: Here's what front right looks like inside in a handful of pics.

When I first pulled the top off the tube


Removed the metal cap ring



Doesn't seem like it's screwed up from an external view


Ditto

ID numbers


More ID numbers


On top of the upper tube, between the tube and the soft mount where the absorber bolts to the body, there was this spacer.

Old 10-12-2018, 02:46 PM
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