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Old 01-25-2018, 12:18 PM
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Widerstandsfahig
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Default Pointers in 996 search

Hello all,
I'm going to be getting into the 996 arena and would like some hints to use while shopping this model.
Areas prone to failure? or corrosion?
Recall band-aids to inquire about?
Engine mods to stay away from?
Any electrical gremlins to know about?

Thanks in advance everyone!
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Old 01-25-2018, 12:24 PM
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HawkFan#12
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Why worry about all that stuff when you can just buy mine 😜

https://lasvegas.craigslist.org/cto/...?lang=en&cc=us
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Old 01-25-2018, 12:47 PM
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Engines aren't the best.

-listen for ticking/knocking noise - indication of scored cylinders
-IMSB's need to be looked at
-cracked heads causing intermix in earlier models
-plastic timing chain guides brake apart and will clog oil pick up
-Plastic IMS chain guide is prone to snapping

There's more but the 1st 3 we hear about pretty often on the forums. Weekly.

as for things outside of the engine...yeah...tons of stuff to look out for here also.

-Bad Y-Cable for starter/alternator - can cause warm/hot start issues
-Voltage regulators on the Alternator
-aging Air oil seperators (AOS)
-old brittle coolant tanks will leak coolant
-front heat exchanger leaks (you'll smell coolant)

Last edited by AWDGuy; 01-25-2018 at 06:22 PM.
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Old 01-25-2018, 05:01 PM
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Do lots of reading on here and the other Porsche forums and evaluate based on your own analysis. Lots of opinions and data points, no hard truth. A lot of it boils down to your own passion for the car, risk tolerance, financial position, etc. You'll get lots of opinions on the infamous IMS bearing, but again, you will need to derive your own opinion.

The best advice I can pass along is not original:
  • Buy the newest 911 you can afford
  • Have plenty of cash set aside for maintenance and repairs
  • Get a pre purchase inspection (PPI)
  • Full documentation is invaluable
  • Don't buy on emotional attraction - they made a ton of these cars, there are probably 20 of the same car available somewhere in the country or will be soon
  • To make the TCO reasonable, find a good independent mechanic, or be prepared to do a lot of DIY
  • Be prepared for the typical maintenance items (time or wear) - rear main seal, air oil separator, plugs/coils/tubes, belt, hoses, coolant overflow, brakes, tires, suspension, clutch, flywheel, fluids, etc.
  • Don't waste time on a car with engine issues. The engines are expensive to buy used ($6-12k), rebuild ($10-20K), or enhance ($20+++).
  • Drive the car and pay attention to synchros and issues like popping out of gear. These transmissions aren't ones you can take to the local Amco shop.
I was looking at a cosmetically nice 03 C4S recently, and the inspection identified 13K of work needed, ~$9K in parts, the rest labor. Nearly half of the asking price of the car ($25k). The car wasn't priced well enough to make it worthwhile, given these potential costs. This kind of situation explains why the PPI is worth a few hundred $$.
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Old 01-25-2018, 05:28 PM
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i know im going to get blasted into the ground for this, but my advice is to stay away from the M96 motor. I see so many motor failures and people getting their dream crushed and left with roller. IMO, the reason these cars are so damn cheap is due to the motor liability.
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Old 01-25-2018, 05:39 PM
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being someone who has had his dreams (and wallet) crushed, i would agree with that assessment.
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Old 01-25-2018, 05:43 PM
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^ Not disagreeing with the posters above, but my take is, be realistic about the fact that the cheap Porsche isn't really cheap. They are very fulfilling cars to own, and after looking at your website, (cool 944 widebodies, btw!), looks like you're not scared of your toolbox. DIY will take you a lot further with these cars than most will get paying a mechanic.
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Old 01-25-2018, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by AWDGuy View Post
Engines aren't the best.

-listen for ticking/knocking noise - indication of scored cylinders
-IMSB's need to be looked at
-cracked heads causing intermix in earlier models
-plastic timing chain guides brake apart and will clog oil pick up
-Plastic IMS shaft is prone to snapping

There's more but the 1st 3 we hear about pretty often on the forums.

as for things outside of the engine...yeah...tons of stuff to look out for here also. Weekly.

-Bad Y-Cable for starter/alternator - can cause warm/hot start issues
-Voltage regulators on the Alternator
-aging Air oil seperators (AOS)
-old brittle coolant tanks will leak coolant
-front heat exchanger leaks (you'll smell coolant)
The IMS is not plastic?
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Old 01-25-2018, 06:21 PM
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Sorry, meant IMS chain guide. fixed in OP.
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Old 01-26-2018, 02:06 AM
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I have only been here since breakfast so no tech advice but my two cents.... be patient. It took me 1.5yrs to find what I hope is the right car. It took one of my friends 3yrs. Won't take that long if you are willing to either fly/drive far or buy sight unseen, or maybe if you live in Cali. That is, if you are looking for a c4s or a Turbo below $40k. Regular c2s and cabs are plentiful from as low as 13k up to 24 from what I have seen in the northwest.
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Old 01-26-2018, 04:19 PM
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Everyone, thank you for the responses!
Had a look at two convertibles yesterday. Mileage around 60K on both. One with receipts for unspecified "machine shop" work to the tune of $2000.? Yikes.
Also one of the two included the hardtop, a nice option.
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Old 01-26-2018, 08:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Widerstandsfahig View Post
Everyone, thank you for the responses!
Had a look at two convertibles yesterday. Mileage around 60K on both. One with receipts for unspecified "machine shop" work to the tune of $2000.? Yikes.
Also one of the two included the hardtop, a nice option.
One nice thing about buying a car with 60k is that's a big service and it should have been done. If it hasn't, factor that in to your negotiations.

My '99 had 62k miles when I bought it and I had the maintenance history, which helped me sleep at night.
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