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    PSM3 is offline Porsche Activist
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    Can Cayman Take Pounding of Bay Area Roads?

    I have had my 2007 Cayman S for less than two months, and love the car, except for the pounding ride with 19" wheels (non-PASM) is the San Francisco bay area. I begin to wonder if the car can take what the roads around here can dish out. I avoid bad roads where I can, but most roads are just horrible. Tires are not over inflated. My Moroso tire gauge has tire pressures at 33/38, 1 lb high, but only because two other gauges read 1.5 lbs. less than the Moroso, so I averaged the readings. Short of going to 18" wheels, softer riding tires (Conti Contact 3 on it now), seems the car will have to tolerate the brutality of the roads. Can it take this, or am I asking for long term trouble, such as premature wear of suspension components, or...? My 1998 BMW M3 had a downright cushy ride compared to the Cayman hopping over bumps and damn near launching me out of my seat.

    - Phil


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    Re: Can Cayman Take Pounding of Bay Area Roads?

    Quote Originally Posted by PSM3 View Post
    I have had my 2007 Cayman S for less than two months, and love the car, except for the pounding ride with 19" wheels (non-PASM) is the San Francisco bay area. I begin to wonder if the car can take what the roads around here can dish out. I avoid bad roads where I can, but most roads are just horrible. Tires are not over inflated. My Moroso tire gauge has tire pressures at 33/38, 1 lb high, but only because two other gauges read 1.5 lbs. less than the Moroso, so I averaged the readings. Short of going to 18" wheels, softer riding tires (Conti Contact 3 on it now), seems the car will have to tolerate the brutality of the roads. Can it take this, or am I asking for long term trouble, such as premature wear of suspension components, or...? My 1998 BMW M3 had a downright cushy ride compared to the Cayman hopping over bumps and damn near launching me out of my seat.

    - Phil
    Phil,
    You can either get a set of 18" Porsche wheels ( there were some advertised in the classified section ) or get 18" aftermarket ( check with Wheel Enhancements a site sponser )with the correct offsets. I believe that Wheel Enhancements also has the OEM Porsche Wheels at a discount. Combine the 18" wheels with a good driving tire and you will have a great ride improvement.

    If you do not want hang on to the 19" Wheels and tires you could sell them and recoup some cash towards the 18" Wheel/Tire package. Good luck.

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    Re: Can Cayman Take Pounding of Bay Area Roads?

    You may find some relief using tires with a larger sidewall than what you have now.

    Edited to add: meaning on existing 19" wheels.
    Last edited by JamesThomas; 04-10-2010 at 06:00 PM.

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    Re: Can Cayman Take Pounding of Bay Area Roads?

    I just came back from a 114 mile drive today, over roads that would be considered mostly "average" for the bay area. I feel beat up and am quite exhausted. I will look into 18s.

    - Phil

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    Re: Can Cayman Take Pounding of Bay Area Roads?

    Not sure what sort of answers you're looking for since it's so subjective. Here's a vote for "yes" for what it's worth. 19" non-PASM ride was cushy enough for me.

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    Re: Can Cayman Take Pounding of Bay Area Roads?

    Yes, your car can take it. I've been pounding over Bay Area roads now for over 4 years and nearly 40,000 miles on 19" tires, with PASM.

    Yellow Bird has no rattles now, and it never has had any. In fact, after a giant pot hole nearly swallowed the car yesterday, I was thinking how solid all the suspension parts are. The car tracks straight, and the steering is spot on.

    It's been great over the term of ownership, even on crappy roads.
    Cayman S A Six Cylinder Symphony

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    Re: Can Cayman Take Pounding of Bay Area Roads?

    You are fortunate to have PASM. My car does not.

    I noticed the car has a dull clanking from the rear (infamous hatch "clunk"?), and just did not want a rattle trap in a few years. Since you are in the bay area, perhaps you have driven some of the same roads as I. Today, I found Highway 35 from Alice's Restaurant in Woodside to Highway 92 pretty bad. Highway 84 from Highway 280 area to Alice's was OK, albeit slow. Niles Canyon Road from 680 to Fremont is fine. Can you tell me what roads or areas in the Bay area you frequent and find OK (or not)? Maybe my rear end is just too sensitive.

    - Phil
    Last edited by PSM3; 04-10-2010 at 08:30 PM.

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    Re: Can Cayman Take Pounding of Bay Area Roads?

    Quote Originally Posted by PSM3 View Post
    I noticed the car has a dull clanking from the rear (infamous hatch "clunk"?), and just did not want a rattle trap in a few years. Since you are in the bay area, perhaps you have driven some of the same roads as I. Today, I found Highway 35 from Alice's Restaurant in Woodside to Highway 92 pretty bad. Highway 84 from Highway 280 area to Alice's was OK, albeit slow. Niles Canyon Road from 680 to Fremont is fine. Can you tell me what roads or areas in the Bay area you frequent and find OK (or not)? Maybe my rear end is just too sensitive.

    - Phil
    San Francisco city streets; Berkeley, Oakland (especially the hill areas), and Emeryville. There are pot holes that swallow cars; I swear. LOL.

    None of the Bay Area freeways are that bad. It's the city streets that will pound out your fillings.
    Cayman S A Six Cylinder Symphony

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    Re: Can Cayman Take Pounding of Bay Area Roads?

    Quote Originally Posted by YellowBirdII View Post
    San Francisco city streets; Berkeley, Oakland (especially the hill areas), and Emeryville. There are pot holes that swallow cars; I swear. LOL.

    None of the Bay Area freeways are that bad. It's the city streets that will pound out your fillings.
    San Francisco city streets are awful! Berkeley and Oakland are not good either, but the hills above Oakland (Grizzly Peak, etc.) can be OK. I used to work in Emerville, and that has nothing to recommend it. Still, you have PASM, which I imagine you drive in the standard setting.

    - Phil

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    Re: Can Cayman Take Pounding of Bay Area Roads?

    Quote Originally Posted by PSM3 View Post
    You are fortunate to have PASM. My car does not.

    I noticed the car has a dull clanking from the rear (infamous hatch "clunk"?), and just did not want a rattle trap in a few years. Since you are in the bay area, perhaps you have driven some of the same roads as I. Today, I found Highway 35 from Alice's Restaurant in Woodside to Highway 92 pretty bad. Highway 84 from Highway 280 area to Alice's was OK, albeit slow. Niles Canyon Road from 680 to Fremont is fine. Can you tell me what roads or areas in the Bay area you frequent and find OK (or not)? Maybe my rear end is just too sensitive.

    - Phil
    Been driving here in the Bay area since 1981 and I never felt my body beaten up just by driving around here.I don't think roads here are that bad at all. I don't even felt beat up driving the croc from SF to Las Vegas. Its true that the croc suspension is much firmer/stiffer than an average car ( I have 2001 BMW 325 CI with a sport package as a DD ).Take highway 1 to monterey and beyond..this is one of the best.

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    Re: Can Cayman Take Pounding of Bay Area Roads?

    In my opinion, the CS needs:
    1) 18" wheels (as deemed standard by the engineering dept.).
    2) PASM (as not deemed standard by the marketing dept.).
    3) Good roads.

    It simply is not ideal for harsh metro roads. I would seriously consider getting a daily driver for the Bay Area and save the Cayman for exhilarating weekend rides in the hills.
    "I never felt like I wanted a pony more [...just enough to] outrun your daily concerns." - Arthur St. Antoine, Motor Trend

    '10 CS - Aqua Blue/Beige, PDK, PASM, LSD, SC, NAV, plus a bunch of creature comforts

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    Re: Can Cayman Take Pounding of Bay Area Roads?

    Quote Originally Posted by PAC-CREEPER View Post
    Been driving here in the Bay area since 1981 and I never felt my body beaten up just by driving around here.I don't think roads here are that bad at all. I don't even felt beat up driving the croc from SF to Las Vegas. Its true that the croc suspension is much firmer/stiffer than an average car ( I have 2001 BMW 325 CI with a sport package as a DD ).Take highway 1 to monterey and beyond..this is one of the best.
    Some roads in the bay area are quite good, but others are unbelievably awful. On my way to work, there are potholes that are over 12" in diameter, and measure a full 2-1/2"+ from top to bottom with straight sides. This is in the San Leandro area. California has very poorly rated roads, and the bay area is particularly bad. I agree Highway 1 is nice, and from my experience, ANYTHING not in the bay area is an improvement. The roads for instance between Fortuna and Redding CA are amazing. I drove that in my 1998 M3 and had a blast. That M3, like your 325, rode MUCH better than the Cayman...but doesn't handle as well!

    - Phil
    Last edited by PSM3; 04-10-2010 at 10:37 PM.

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    Re: Can Cayman Take Pounding of Bay Area Roads?

    Quote Originally Posted by PSM3 View Post
    Some roads in the bay area are quite good, but others are unbelievably awful. On my way to work, there are potholes that are over 12" in diameter, and measure a full 2-1/2"+ from top to bottom with straight sides. This is in the San Leandro area. California has very poorly rated roads, and the bay area is particularly bad. I agree Highway 1 is nice, and from my experience, ANYTHING not in the bay area is an improvement. The roads for instance between Fortuna and Redding CA are amazing. I drove that in my 1998 M3 and had a blast. That M3, like your 325, rode MUCH better than the Cayman...but doesn't handle as well!

    - Phil
    880 is bad particularly from oakland to the I 92 exit ( construction area until now and its not really a big project as compared to others ). lots of freight trucks also travel on that corridor. seldom drive that route unless necessary.

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    Re: Can Cayman Take Pounding of Bay Area Roads?

    Flatted out three times in my life hitting potholes but never in San Fran...only there once by car. Where I live in central BC roads are generally good, and 19" on normal PASM is just fine. So,are all those wild car movie scenes shot in SF from the hills or the potholes?
    Croctor

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    Re: Can Cayman Take Pounding of Bay Area Roads?

    Quote Originally Posted by Croctor View Post
    Flatted out three times in my life hitting potholes but never in San Fran...only there once by car. Where I live in central BC roads are generally good, and 19" on normal PASM is just fine. So,are all those wild car movie scenes shot in SF from the hills or the potholes?
    Definitely the hills !!! and alive with the sound of low profile tires running over potholes... lol

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    Re: Can Cayman Take Pounding of Bay Area Roads?

    I vote for Yes it can. You wouldnt believe some of the roads I have to drive on around here. And the car still is handling them well, too bad I cant say the same about my nerves


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    Re: Can Cayman Take Pounding of Bay Area Roads?

    I have never had problems driving up around La Honda in my 886 or
    the new Cayman.If you want a wild ride try Livermore to San Jose.
    That road is fifty miles of twists and turns and I saw about ten other cars the whole way.

  18. #18
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    Re: Can Cayman Take Pounding of Bay Area Roads?

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesThomas View Post
    You may find some relief using tires with a larger sidewall than what you have now.

    Edited to add: meaning on existing 19" wheels.
    I wouldn't recommend this. Increasing the sidewall height just by changing the tire size will throw off your speedo and could also result in clearance problems.

  19. #19
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    Re: Can Cayman Take Pounding of Bay Area Roads?

    Quote Originally Posted by PAC-CREEPER View Post
    Definitely the hills !!! and alive with the sound of low profile tires running over potholes... lol

    Let me just say that you California people don't no nuthin about bad roads. Chicago area gets pelted with sub zero temps combined with snow and ice for 3 months every year. We have a very large amount of over the road truck traffic because we're the big rail hub of the interior of the country, so lots of rail freight getting moved by truck from here. The combination makes for a lot of construction jobs all summer...combined with delays.

    California is broker than Illinois, which is really saying something. Because the busy half of CA doesn't really have winter to deal with, they don't have a regular routine of rebuilding. Some of the freeways are really old. I'm sure there are some underfunded areas that really see a lot of truck traffic in SF and are bad.

    I have PASM and I bought my car specifically because it had that option. Even with PASM, I'm considering going to 18" wheels for my summer tires. I have a set of 18" winters and they're really nice. Also have track tires, so I don't have to push my summer street tires much.

    I would get 18" wheels definitely if I didn't have PASM. Get some good looking ones. There was just a group buy on ForgeStars, which are very attractive if you ask me. I got them for the track, but may get another set for summer use and sell my 19s.

    I don't think you need to worry about the Cayman falling apart under the potholes. The body can take this beating. The rims are the big danger.

    You can buy "take off" wheels in the classified ads here. Help someone clean their garage.

    For the record, I really like the Gen II CaymanSII and BoxsterSII wheels...both designs, better than the Gen 1 wheels for either model. All 4 designs will fit. If you can score a set of Cayman SII or Boxster SII wheels for a decent price, I wouldn't hesitate, especially if they come with some good tires and pressure sensors.

    Note that the recommended pressure for 18" is lower in front than 19s. This is because of the bigger sidewall on the 18s...less chance of rim damage hitting the same bump. 18s really help.
    -Sixisenuff
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    Re: Can Cayman Take Pounding of Bay Area Roads?

    A thought or two from a guy with a sensitive butt....
    My 2008 C non-S non-PASM came with 18 inch wheels and OE Michelin tires. I also got a set of 17 inch wheels with OE Contis. I expected the 17s to ride a bit nicer than the 18s but they don't. I haven't compared back to back, but with the Contis, hitting a worn expansion joint gives a loud bang from the rear, like the car is being hit with a sledge hammer. I don't remember any loud bangs with the 18s and Michelins and I test drove it a lot in the same area, so I suspect the 17 inch Contis have stiffer sidewalls than 18 inch Michelins.
    At Tirerack.com you can often find tests and comparisons of tires, might be worth looking there to find best riding tires if that's what you're looking for.
    At any rate, FWIW, switching to 18s should help as many others have said, and shop carefully for tires.

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