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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a lifelong car freak, with some track/racing experience and a general love for driving, looking to step up to a nicer dd than my current turbo NB Miata (which is a great driver's car, for sure). I just think that I owe myself a Cayman S for my upcoming 40th, seeing as that age means I'm all wise and dignified and stuff:banana:

This site has been hugely helpful in my quest for knowledge and continues to assist me to get ever closer to finding the right CS. Selling some of my toys will help, too, like my E36 M3 track car that is currently a garage queen, the aforementioned Miata, and my Chevy 3/4 ton truck. The 1st gen 4Runner that I got in high school, though, that gets to stay :)

I've driven a few Cayman S/R so far, but none with PASM, yet. I'm fairly certain I want to go with PASM, plus Sport Chrono. I don't need nav or special interior detail; black or grey is my bag. I'm thinking a 987.1 is the better value for me. Black, grey, blue, or possibly white (for the right car, I'd go white or maybe silver). The Caymans I've driven have not had the OEM short shifter and their throws seemed way long, so the short shifter is hoped for. The car won't really do track duty as my days of the dual purpose car are behind me--I found that for me, one car can't do both street and track because one or the other ends up significantly compromised. I'm actually thinking of a season or two of kart racing to scratch the itch but that's another story. The car will see low mileage commuting and occasional canyon blasts and "spirited" fun.

I love to drive, & a Cayman S with some performance upgrades just might be the ideal car for me. I'm excited to find out! Thank you to all of the active P9 members for making this a big ol' knowledge base!

-Shannon
 

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Do it - you won't regret it. My 07 CS has PASM and Sport Chrono among other things and I find they add to the car's already high levels of drivability. Options are not really deal-breakers though imo. Condition and maintanance history are the most important with cars like these.
 

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My Cayman has PASM, my Boxster does not. I've found the suspension feel to be at 3 levels - PASM-off the softest, non-PASM in the middle, and PASM-on the harshest. However, on the street there is very little difference between PASM-off and non-PASM. Slight, but hardly noticeable. If you like the ride of a non-PASM car, there's no need to spend the extra time and bucks getting a PASM car. On the track is where the difference comes into play. PASM-on is the best track setting. Non-PASM is good. PASM-off is a wallowing hand full. I do not track my Boxster but had a previous 07 CS with std suspension that I did track. Since you do not plan to track your Cayman, I would recommend you scratch PASM off your option list which will expland your possibilities.

SC - on the 987.1 it is mostly a track tool. You don't mention if you're also looking at the Tiptronic trans but it could use SC smoothly on the street. I've found it hard to be smooth with a manual on the street with SC on. It's great for the track but that's not what you're going to be using it for. SC is a great option on the 987.2 with PDK, but that's not what you're looking for either. For your needs, I don't think you need to have SC and that would open up your options again.

You won't find many with factory short shifters, but it's not an impossible DIY job.
 
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Agree with all above. I looked for a 987.2 with PASM and SC (not black) for months and never found one. I bought a fairly basic S with only heated seats and advanced HVAC and the mp3 input. I'm fine with the suspension and the absence of SC. I DO wish I had Zenon lighting however. Again--- look for a well maintained pampered car. Mileage is not critical IMHO unless YOU are going to put lots of miles on it. I bought at 36000 miles and now it is at 64000 miles 18 months later. I AM beginning to realize that if I keep up this pace I'm going to be at 100000 miles before I know it. I do track my car 3 or 4 times per year and I don't like the worry of a 100000 mile engine on the track. (BTDT and it can bite you) Good luck in your search and resist the temptation to compromise. Inevitable after you do buy one you will see another one that you wish you had waited on.
 

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Hi Shannon,

We're close to the same age and it sounds like we came up through much of the same cars. Though my Miata was an NA and I went for the FD RX-7 instead of the E36 M3. I also race karts, so I totally feel you.

First off, the Cayman is a wonderful car for sure. I think you will enjoy it. I bought a base 987.1 then within a year bough a 987.2 CS with PASM. I didn't know what PASM was and personally I prefer a stock suspension myself. I'm going to try upgrading to a TPC DSC to see if that feels better but PASM has a tendency to feel floaty (underdamped) if you aren't picking up the pace. It's clearly a personal preference, but its not to my liking in stock form.

The 987.1s do have some engine internal issues that seem more likely to get exposed on the track than the street, you said its a street car so that may not be an issue, but ultimately the 987.2 will likely hold their value better due to those issues and the general sorting out of minor items like the loose trunk rattle and small mirrors on the 987.1. Though personally I think the 987.1 is the prettiest of all Caymans with the body style slowly worsening over time, again clearly a personal preference.

I installed the 997 OEM SSK as I 100% agree on the stock shifter feels oddly long throw, the SSK is the shifter the car should have come with IMHO. I think this is a bit of a Japanese car thing. The Japanese really have this zen like perfection they shoot for in shifter feel so I think you're more likely to want the SSK if you've come from Japanese sports cars (S2000, Miata, FD, etc). So that issue is totally solvable if you should so choose.

As for kart racing I cannot endorse karting enough. Before having kids I was going to the track every week, racing once a month, I put on fresh tires for every race, had an entire track prep (alignment, replacing every nut and bolt, brake bleed, etc) every race, had a dedicated mechanic to sort my problems on race day and my entire budget (not including the kart) was $6-8k year. I got to be on track with future F1 driver Scott Speed as well as professional racers like Benny Moon and Memo Gidley (though please don't take that as a suggestion I can drive with any of those guys, I can't).

I thought I'd do karting for a couple of years and return to cars then started to wonder why I'd want to pay so much money to go so slow when I could just keep karting :)
 

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... I've found the suspension feel to be at 3 levels - PASM-off the softest, non-PASM in the middle, and PASM-on the harshest. ...
I don't understand, PASM is either on or off, just two settings, no?
 

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Before I bought my low mile 06 987.1 CS, I read a lot of internet postings about that car and PASM. I got the picture that PASM was a "must" with 19" wheels (ride otherwise too harsh), but not necessary with 18" wheels. I ended up with standard suspension riding on 18". Per door plate the car had been delivered with 19"s, so I guess prior owner had found them too harsh for our New England roads. I loved the suspension / wheel combo / road feel I had with my 06. The only time I didn't was on broken pavement / frost heaved roads we have to deal with here.

My current C-GTS has PASM, and it does allow higher speed more aggressive driving on poor pavement with PASM engaged, since it responds quickly to the changing road surface. I still would have preferred the simplicity and predictability of a fixed suspension, but I didn't want to worry about clearance issues with the sport suspension.

I woudn't ignore the non PASM 987.1 -- unless you want 19" wheels.
 

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I don't understand, PASM is either on or off, just two settings, no?
I'm comparing my Cayman and Boxster, which is non-PASM and 19" wheels.
 

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I don't understand, PASM is either on or off, just two settings, no?
PASM is always on. It has a sport setting which substantially stiffens the shocks, but even outside of the sport mode its still adjusting the shocks all the time. I think it must because the PASM springs are rather soft as compared with a traditional suspension and the tuning of the shocks is needed to keep the ride firm-ish.
 

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PASM is always on. It has a sport setting which substantially stiffens the shocks, but even outside of the sport mode its still adjusting the shocks all the time. I think it must because the PASM springs are rather soft as compared with a traditional suspension and the tuning of the shocks is needed to keep the ride firm-ish.
Yes, poor choice of words on my part. When I hit the PASM button, and red light shows, I feel like I am turning it on, but you are right, it is a different mode, sport vs comfort says manual.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
I forgot to mention that 3 pedals are a requirement for me.

I hear the varied reactions about PASM and I know I need to drive a PASM equipped CS before I determine it's necessary. I'm very accustomed to firm/harsh suspensions and am frankly trying to get away from that harshness, now that I'm about to be an old lady :cool: In seriousness, being able to switch the damping characteristics between comfort & agility sounds fantastic. How it's executed on the CS, is something I'm interested in experiencing. There is a car with PSS9's & PASM that is currently for sale in SoCal and I have yet to email the seller, but that sounds like a good setup.

There are a few SC & PASM CS cars for sale right now, including a sweet CS Sport 40 miles away, with all of the Sport goodies, + short shifter, PSE, intake/plenum/Softronic, and, the doozy, a Quaife ATB. It's got a price tag to match, though...

Anyway, seems like most cars I've seen for sale are on 19's. The aforementioned PSS9 equipped car is on 20's (gasp). I'm sure I'd prefer 18's for the better rubber selections & lighter weight. All of us Miata drivers (at least those of us with modified performance Miatas) "downgrade" to 15's bc Miatas are so unsprung mass sensitive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
How exciting to go from a "Newbie" to a "Porsche Person" in 2 posts!

@BryantH, you endorse karting with the kind of joy & enthusiasm everyone I've talked to about it does! I've been involved with my brother's SCCA club & national racing campaigns for a few years now and while I'd love to club race, too, I just can't afford it. Even Spec Miata ends up costing a lot, at least compared to karting, and I don't want to race that slow of a car ;) His best race car (he has a couple) is a FD with a LS3, 2400 lbs & a detuned 475 rwhp. Dead sexy. And expensive as hell to run, $2k in Hoosiers every race wkd.

image.jpg
 

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srogers - there's some incorrect information about PASM above. You should really search and read several of the many threads that have fully (and correctly) answered your PASM questions, and more, including:

Changing PASM
from Normal to Sport quite noticeably reduces body roll. I can feel within a 1/2 lap on the track with cold tires when I've forgotten to engage Sport. There is clearly less body roll in Sport, I presume because there's less compression. Also PASM spring rates are higher than non-PASM cars:

987 Cayman Spring Rates:
CS Standard: F-154# R-228#
CS PASM: F-174# R-297#

PASM is a valve based system and is not a faster reacting fluid based system as used by some other makes (e.g., Corvette). PASM's control module utilizes a number of inputs to continuously vary shock valving on each individual shock on the fly. It is NOT an on/off system. Although Normal is the softer of the 2 settings, the default setting within Normal is not the softest. The suspension will soften further as needed by road conditions, e.g., driving over railroad tracks. However, it is not predictive, but rather reactive so changes are not instantaneous. See the often posted PASM map attached which "shows how the PASM shock absorber with its variable stiffness control can expand the response envelope of the shock beyond that of the standard chassis shock. The Normal mode provides a substantially softer ride, particularly on bad road surfaces with 30 profile tires [i.e., 19"]. The sport mode is considerably stiffer across the whole range of shock motion. However, because of the wide range of adjustment in both normal and sport modes, there is considerable overlap in the center as indicated with the vertically-lined area where either mode can operate. (emphasis added)." Electronic Driving Aids, Caldwell, Porsche Panorama, January 2007, p. 84

And this excellent summary from Brad/beez:
I don't think describing the "normal" setting of PASM
is softer is correct. I think "more compliant to prevailing road conditions" is more like it... if you're driving a PASM-equipped car in a normal, drive around town manner, then some of the sensors that it uses to read how aggressively the car is being driven (pitch, yaw, g-forces, etc.) are reporting nothing unusual. The system is primarily using the senors that read road conditions (ride height, suspension travel, etc.), and thus the system is being more compliant over the bumps in the road - thus the reason PASM cars are less likely to have the big "clunk." When the driver gets more aggressive, the other sensors do come into play, those readings are mixed in with the now more aggressive ride-height differentials and suspension travel readings which in turn then signals a corresponding raising of the stiffness of the shocks (dampers) to a higher rate automatically, but within the stiffness range of the "normal" computer map. In sport mode, the same things happen except the "map" range is much more stiff to begin with, and gets even more stiff with more aggressive driving.

What's interesting, is that I don't think many of the people here understand the point of a truly adaptive suspension, the basic aim of which is to keep the car level, with no body roll, at all costs (including comfort) under all circumstances. The shock stiffness is actually variable between the shocks as well - depending on cornering forces, the two front shocks will have different damping rates in order to keep the car level through a turn - or in a situation where you encounter a bump in the road on only one side of the car. what Paul at Brumos says is going "backwards" is ridiculous. To the contrary, the PASM system is probably one of the most advanced high-performance suspension systems delivered on a stock, factory-produced automobile in mass production today.


I've driven PASM Caymans for the past 9 years. It's a simply magical suspension. My present CS has TPC's DSC which is a re-programmed 3 mode PASM control module kicking up the "sport" setting to a third, even stiffer setting for the track.

http://www.planet-9.com/987-cayman-boxster-chat/15920-pasm-worth.html

As for SC, it's software settings can be retrofitted to a 987 Cayman so even if you want it, don't pass up otherwise desirable cars lacking SC. In the 987 it's primary attributes (setting aside the useless stopwatch) are elevated hard rev limiter, reduced PSM (stability control) intervention, and more responsive throttle mapping. Here too there are many detailed threads so I won't repeat that information. Suffice it to say, I have had it since 2006 and find it generally useless. I have no trouble with heel/toe shifting and find the sport map too responsive to finely modulate throttle on the track or on slippery surfaces, especially with my 3.8l turbo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
As for SC, it's software settings can be retrofitted to a 987 Cayman so even if you want it, don't pass up otherwise desirable cars lacking SC. In the 987 it's primary attributes (setting aside the useless stopwatch) are elevated hard rev limiter, reduced PSM (stability control) intervention, and more responsive throttle mapping. Here too there are many detailed threads so I won't repeat that information. Suffice it to say, I have had it since 2006 and find it generally useless. I have no trouble with heel/toe shifting and find the sport map too responsive to finely modulate throttle on the track or on slippery surfaces, especially with my 3.8l turbo.
Dan, thanks for the info & links re: PASM. I will keep reading & will drive a PASM car as soon as I can (Fri, hopefully). As for SC, I have yet to see a PASM car without SC for sale, so it seems like the SC will come as a bonus with most PASM equipped cars, if that's the route I go.
 

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Hey srogers,

Good luck with your new purchase! Personally, I love the PASM. Some find it unnatural (which is the case on some roads with ripples), but most of the time the system is far better than a passive setup. I went with an aftermarket module that's a bit more "active" than the OEM setup on the 987.1 cars, but I would say the stock unit for street use is totally fine and really does its job well.

As for short shifter, most cars don't have it as standard equipment except for the Cayman S Sport models or those who ticked the box when new. I think it's a much needed option. The standard shifter's throw is just way too much.

Sport Chrono I never really cared to be frank. Not a fan of it on a manual car.

If this ain't seeing the track, 987.1 cars are really great value for money. Half the reason why they are so cheap is cuz of tiptronic, which doesn't really concern you. The other half is IMS (unsolvable) + cooling/oil (relatively solvable) issues. Given that you won't track, you won't even need to sort out the oil starvation issue, and IMS would really be such a low risk in the long run. For me, I run the IMS risk and did most of the cooling/oil mods already ... so it's really a great value car IMO
 

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To the OP. Based on the description I telieve that 2008 Cayman S Sport was sold last month. New owner is a member here on planet-9 from Sacramento IIRC.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
To the OP. Based on the description I telieve that 2008 Cayman S Sport was sold last month. New owner is a member here on planet-9 from Sacramento IIRC.
If the white one in Saratoga is the one you're referring to, they should take the AutoTrader ad down so I can stop lusting ;)
 

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Having just returned from a 2950 mile road trip in my CS with 19's .. I can highly recommend PASM.
In addition to making my journey much more comfortable, after many hours behind the wheel should you ever find yourself dozing, just hit the switch and both you and your car are suddenly awake :)
 
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