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New guy looking to buy a 996. Be nice...

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Old 07-21-2018, 12:28 AM
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1st 911
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Default New guy looking to buy a 996. Be nice...

Good evening. I am somewhat new to Porsche but looking at a 996 Tipronic.I had back in 06 leased a silver cayman s from Suncoast Porsche here in Sarasota, FL. It was a awful car. Way too many issues to even list and was not happy. I want back into Porsche but not to rent but to own. I really do not have a budget but it will be a car that gets driven maybe 5,000 miles per year so need to buy anything new. Also, I love the 996 and people think I am crazy for it. I have not driven one yet but I have my eye set on a 2001 with 60,000 miles. Everyone tells me stay away because of the IMS but honestly is it that big of a deal? Other then that what should I be looking for? Any links to a buyers guide? Are these cars DIY friendly? What tunes are out there while keeping it sane and reliable?
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Old 07-21-2018, 01:20 AM
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TexSquirrel
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996 are great cars.
Theyre one of 5he best car deals available!
They are easy to DIY.
IMS is overblown.
Just find a good example and then replace the IMS with an improved design.
Get a PPI before buying.
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Old 07-21-2018, 06:51 AM
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If you’re inclined to DYI these are great cars to do it on, and you’ll get lots of great advice on this site. IMS is not overblown IMO , but fixable now with a reasonable level of risk at the price points now available. good luck!
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Old 07-21-2018, 09:10 AM
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These are fine cars, but...

Like any car that is 15 to 20 years old, you will be doing maintenance.

Have a pre-purchase inspection on anything you buy by an independent shop or a reputable dealer.

Be prepared for the worst! Engines have a number of known issues that can range from no issues at all, simple leaks, or in some instances—catastrophic failure.

You need to have reserve cash in the bank that can cover the unexpected. Ideally, I would recommend about 50% of the purchase price, but expect at least $5K for the first year of ownership.

If that makes you nervous, you should reconsider your desires or buy a much newer car with a Porsche CPO warranty, or even a new car.

There are independent insurance companies that offer warranties, but you need to be mindful of what they actually cover and to what degree. In my opinion it is not worth it for such an old car.
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Old 07-21-2018, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by 1st 911 View Post
Good evening. I am somewhat new to Porsche but looking at a 996 Tipronic.I had back in 06 leased a silver cayman s from Suncoast Porsche here in Sarasota, FL. It was a awful car. Way too many issues to even list and was not happy. I want back into Porsche but not to rent but to own. I really do not have a budget but it will be a car that gets driven maybe 5,000 miles per year so need to buy anything new. Also, I love the 996 and people think I am crazy for it. I have not driven one yet but I have my eye set on a 2001 with 60,000 miles. Everyone tells me stay away because of the IMS but honestly is it that big of a deal? Other then that what should I be looking for? Any links to a buyers guide? Are these cars DIY friendly? What tunes are out there while keeping it sane and reliable?
IMSB - it's a big deal if it fails, probably less than 4% chance these days. Most people who have replaced the IMSB replaced a perfectly functioning part. Anyway if it bothers you spend $2,500 and replace it. If spending $2,500 bothers you then any Porsche 911 is not a wise purchase, none of them. You're looking at a car that is 17 years old, it will need things over the next few years.

DIY friendly - no, not compared to any car where the engine is located in the front. Except for the braking system all other DIY projects are a bit more of a pain in the back side than a mass market car. Special tools, very very tight space, etc.

Tunes? - if you're looking at a base C2 996, tunes aren't really worth it. If 320 HP isn't enough buy a turbo.

If you want a tiptronic, purchase 2002 or newer, the transmission mapping is significantly better.
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Old 07-21-2018, 11:32 AM
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So, pretty much everything that's been said above. They're great cars if you plan on keeping them and are realistic on cost of maintenance, and understanding that if the engine winds up sh*tting the bed, you could be well into $15-25k for a new one or a full re-build. IMSB? If you plan on keeping for the long haul, do "The Solution" and rest easy. If you're able to do some or all of the work yourself you can save a bundle of money. Good Luck
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Old 07-22-2018, 01:02 AM
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New to Porsche world myself. Appreciate the vast amount of info available on these forums. Potentially interested in 996 C4S but wondering if amount of ongoing maintenance needed on these vehicles is solely a function of their age - in other words I realize that a newer car will require less work but is it the case that 911 reliability/build quality improves with each newer generation (and therefore requires less)?
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Old 07-22-2018, 02:49 AM
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If you didn't like your Cayman because you felt like it had too many issues, I'm not sure a 17 year old 911 is going to help you sleep at night.
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Old 07-22-2018, 04:01 AM
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A year ago I bought myself my first Porsche for my 50th bday. I have wanted a 911 since I was 7yrs old. I bought a 2003 996 Turbo coupe. I just love this car. The engine in a 911 Turbo is pretty bomb proof, water cooled. I searched for 7 months, found mine with 22k miles on it and paid a hefty 58K for it. It's worth every penny. Pristine condition, had it inspected by a legit Porsche mechanic, found nothing wrong. LA traffic sucks but I dont care, I love driving it. So my 3 cents is.... pay the extra for the turbo engine, which weans out alot of the engine problems, and learn to drive a manual which is free and the most fun you will ever have. There's

nothing better then my ponytail flying in the wind, as I watch my rear spoiler rise at 75, then I shift my flat 6 from 2nd to 3rd gear. (Yep.... I'm a chick)
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Old 07-22-2018, 08:28 AM
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Agree with Marv--->You need to have reserve cash in the bank that can cover the unexpected. Ideally, I would recommend about 50% of the purchase price, but expect at least $5K for the first year of ownership.

FYI: I just bought my 2nd 996, an '02 Cabriolet Tiptronic. Agreed that the 02 TIP mapping is much improved, this thing is faster than I expected. I bought from a P dealer and we identified $4000 that they would fix and the car was perfect to both of us. After having it for a week, I have found a few other things that need to be fixed. I am totally OK with this, since the Engine/Trans maintenance life is fully documented. Be patient and make sure you see the car in advance and get a PPI!
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Old 07-22-2018, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by ejdoherty911 View Post
IMSB - it's a big deal if it fails, probably less than 4% chance these days. Most people who have replaced the IMSB replaced a perfectly functioning part. Anyway if it bothers you spend $2,500 and replace it. If spending $2,500 bothers you then any Porsche 911 is not a wise purchase, none of them. You're looking at a car that is 17 years old, it will need things over the next few years.

DIY friendly - no, not compared to any car where the engine is located in the front. Except for the braking system all other DIY projects are a bit more of a pain in the back side than a mass market car. Special tools, very very tight space, etc.
I would agree that getting the IMS replaced is simple peace of mind, having sold a 996 a few years back I can attest that without replacement makes them tough to sell. Negotiate the replacement into the deal, or get a decent discount.

I dont agree with the comment that these cars are not DIY friendly, very few electronic controllers on the car very mechanical which for the average DIYer is easy. No trick suspension to deal with, no FSI carbon build up needing the intake ports cleaning ever 30k. Take most DIY work:
1. Oil and filter change - probably the easiest car to change, no difficult to get at sump drain under engine cover, same for the filter. Easier by far than any other car I own.
2. Air filter & pollen filter - again very easy to get to, 5 minute job.
3. Plugs - agree that space it tight on this one and needs a few components removing to get to, but this is only every 40-50k, so a few hrs frustration every 5+yrs for most people.
4. Brakes - same as any other car.
5. Tranny fluid change - very easy to access and change + no rear diff to mess with like most RWD cars

Other than fixes/repairs what else is there to do?

I work on all my cars, and have owned many brands and models. I think the 996 is a very simple car to work on, I agree that in some jobs space is tight, but with a decent tool kit and a Durametric lead there isnt much you cannot do yourself and this forum has people that have completed and often documented most jobs.
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Old 07-22-2018, 01:09 PM
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I'd suggest to figure out which flavor of the 996 really turns you on. Each of the variants has it's own different character:
  • an Aero coupe
  • a Targa
  • a C4S
  • Cab
  • Turbo
  • an early '99 "lightweight"
  • the Millennium Edition and the Anniversary Edition
  • study the differences between the MK1 and MK2
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Old 07-22-2018, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by 1st 911 View Post
Everyone tells me stay away because of the IMS but honestly is it that big of a deal?

Other then that what should I be looking for?

Any links to a buyers guide?

Are these cars DIY friendly?

What tunes are out there while keeping it sane and reliable?
The IMS is a big deal. So, either buy one with the fix already done, or budget to have it replaced. Cost at a good shop is ~$2400, have the RMS seal done too. It's worth the piece of mind.

Look for an early car with build date before the fire in Stuttgart. Early cars are better cars. Look for a car from a dedicated owner, not a small car lot. Receipts are good. Unusual colors will hold value better than silver, gray, black. Get the options you want, even if it takes a while to find it.

Pelican.com has a buyers guide. There's also a ton of info at the top of this heading. You can also search for specifics.

Moderately DIY friendly. There are a lot of them out there, and the prices are so low that a large DIY culture has sprung up. Here and Pelican are most of the info you will need to do common jobs yourself like, water pump and belt. Rad cleaning. Axle boots. Motor mounts. Brakes. Window motor. Ign switch, Y cable, etc.

If you are talking about re-mapping the fuel and ign maps for more power, I will opine that the 996 does not lend itself to adding HP unless one spends $$$$ on the other parts of the engine to handle the power. There are rebuilders who specialize in this, but it is not cheap, or easy, or fast like a Camaro.
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Old 07-26-2018, 08:51 PM
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So basically I passed on the 2001 996. It was total junk. Not because the 996 is a bad car but talking condition and mechanical. No record of the IMS being done. One key and no owners manuals. The search continues. I know what you guys mean about finding the right one.
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Old 07-26-2018, 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by 911Syncro View Post
I'd suggest to figure out which flavor of the 996 really turns you on. Each of the variants has it's own different character:
  • an Aero coupe
  • a Targa
  • a C4S
  • Cab
  • Turbo
  • an early '99 "lightweight"
  • the Millennium Edition and the Anniversary Edition
  • study the differences between the MK1 and MK2
996 with tiptronic(for the wife) . Cab or coupe. No targa and it can be any drivetrain.
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