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First Porsche advice

 
Old 01-30-2019, 04:11 AM
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Mib44
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Question First Porsche advice

Hi,

I plan to purchase a 996 for around $15-20k. Never had a Porsche before and I have lots of questions. Will really appreciate if someone would go over in details.
I want to use it as a fun car, take it to the track a few times a year.

- would you recommend 3.2L (1999-2001) or 3.6L (2002+)?
- how expensive is maintenance, what should I expect?
- are the engines still reliable after 100K+ miles or better to look with less miles?

Thanks!
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Old 01-30-2019, 10:04 AM
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cds72911
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Welcome.

They are great cars, youíll enjoy it once you get one.

I donít think youíll find better bang for your buck in used sportscars than a 996.

There isnít concensus on better or worse - lots of people on this forum like the early cars more than the later cars and vice versa.

Maintenance costs vary. If you buy one that has good records and was well maintained, you are likely to have lower expenses. Then again, theyíre old cars, and time takes itís toll on rubber and other items, so you never know.

A few often repeated pieces of advice here are: buy the nicest one you can find, try to get one with full maintenance records, and plan to spend another $5k on deferred maintenance (things like brakes, tires, suspension, fluids, filters) after buying (especially if a shop does the work - if you DIY, youíll save tons).

Almost forgot the biggest one many people recommend - pay for a pre purchase inspection (PPI) prior to buying. It is money well spent on these cars.

I personally donít shy away from 100k+ miles cars, but I donít daily drive mine, and have several other options if one of my 996 is being worked on. And I do all of my own work other that tires and alignments, so that is a factor.

You should be able to get a decent car for your price range. There are many less expensive ones out there that may be fine, but the top end of your range should get you a good one (likely higher mileage if I had to guess).

Iíd recommend doing a ton of reading here (starting with the FAQ section at the top of this forum) around the web and in books/magazines. Adrian Streatherís 996 Essential Companion is the best source in my mind - tons of great information.

Most of what you wonder has been hashed out and rehashed over and over. Friendly advice - do lots of reading before asking too many basic questions, itíll save you from people giving you a hard time when you ask something that has been answered 1000 times and the answer is readily available with a quick google search. Not everyone is friendly about it.

ps. The early 996 was 3.4 liters (not 3.2) and the later was 3.6. I have one of each and prefer the 3.6 (mine is a 2002 MY).

Last edited by cds72911; 01-30-2019 at 10:23 AM.
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Old 01-30-2019, 10:07 AM
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michaelo
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I have owned two 996's and here is my advice. Many will disagree but here goes....
First the don'ts:
Do not get a manual, When the pinion gears go bad it will not be easy or cheap to fix or replace.
Do not get the all wheel drive as it has a front differential and when it needs to be fix or repaired it won't be easy or cheap.
Do not get a year with the single row IMS bearing
Do not get Litronic headlights, when they fail it will be expensive to fix
Do not get headlight washers
Do not get all leather interior - unless it is perfect
Now the do's:
Do get a Tiptronic. Much easier and less expensive to fix or replace
Do get rear wheel drive only
Do get a 1999 year. It has dual row IMS bearing
Do get a 1999 year , the hood and rear decklid are opened via cables and not with stupid electric switches that fail
Do get regular headlights
Do get non leather dash - the material of the non leather dash is solid and holds up very well
Do get a 1999 with the 3.4 engine. It works really well

and finally...take an NA lightweight Miata to the track, not a 996 Porsche.

Flame on.
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Old 01-30-2019, 10:19 AM
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To give you an idea of the diverse perspectives - I disagree with much of what was posted by michaelo. Personally, Iíd find the nicest 996.2 manual transmission carerra 4S (with a full leather interior and litronics) that I could afford and drive the snot out of it, road and track.
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Old 01-30-2019, 10:48 AM
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e90steve
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Originally Posted by michaelo View Post
I have owned two 996's and here is my advice. Many will disagree but here goes....
First the don'ts:
Do not get a manual, When the pinion gears go bad it will not be easy or cheap to fix or replace.
Do not get the all wheel drive as it has a front differential and when it needs to be fix or repaired it won't be easy or cheap.
Do not get a year with the single row IMS bearing
Do not get Litronic headlights, when they fail it will be expensive to fix
Do not get headlight washers
Do not get all leather interior - unless it is perfect
Now the do's:
Do get a Tiptronic. Much easier and less expensive to fix or replace
Do get rear wheel drive only
Do get a 1999 year. It has dual row IMS bearing
Do get a 1999 year , the hood and rear decklid are opened via cables and not with stupid electric switches that fail
Do get regular headlights
Do get non leather dash - the material of the non leather dash is solid and holds up very well
Do get a 1999 with the 3.4 engine. It works really well

and finally...take an NA lightweight Miata to the track, not a 996 Porsche.

Flame on.
I can see your reasoning behind some of these, but I respectfully and personally disagree with just about every one of them. The car you spec is very different than any 911 I would consider purchasing.

What I say:
Buy a manual 99 or 02+.
02+ upgrade the IMS immediately
Avoid 2000-2001. Failure prone IMS bearing with no larger engine benefit
Avoid C4 models. (More parts to fail and heavier)
Full leather is a worthwhile upgrade and provides much better quality experience
Litronic is all good IMO.
Avoid the tufted comfort leather.
Avoid gray or beige interiors (I like them, but they wear much more quickly).

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Old 01-30-2019, 10:57 AM
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I agree with all of above to some degree.
Below are my opinions:

My suggestion for a track car would be a Miata.
They're cheaper and easier to rebuild the engines.
All the parts are going to be cheaper as well.

If you decide you still want a 996 for a fun/track car
I would suggest a manual, especially for a track car.
The Tiptronic is a very good almost bullet-proof transmission, but manual always rules!

I also recommend early 1999(built in EARLY 1998) or 2002+.
But I wouldn't turn down a good deal on ANY year 996!
Make it a C2. (RWD)
All-leather is good if in good condition.
Replacement Litronic is not expensive if you watch eBay.
I bought a spare set for my car for $400.
Headlight washers? meh.
Expect to replace some suspension components.
Have $2-5K (at least) ready to get it back into shape, if you're doing your own work.
Have $2-3K more to get it ready for the track.
Buy a Durametric cable BEFORE you start looking at cars, you'll want to check them over well.
(over-rev, camshaft deviation, trims, DTC)
http://www.durametric.com/usedporschebuyersguide.aspx
Or pay someone to do a PPI for you.

Regardless of which IMS the 996 you find has, install the IMS Solution.
You will never have to worry about the IMS again.

Install the 2qt deep sump from LN Engineering.
It will prevent any oil starvation issues.

Install a center radiator.
You can find used parts for the mounts, which will save you money.
Then buy new hoses and bolts.
The radiator you can go either used or new.
I went used and saved a ton of money.
I pressure tested the used radiator before installing.

Replace your water pump.
Install the LN 160F thermostat when you do that.

Run the correct oil for the track and for the street.

Read the LN Engineering "Tracking You Car And The M96 Engine."
This will repeat most of what I've suggested.
https://lnengineering.com/education/...96-engine.html

It is available from LN Engineering's website.
https://lnengineering.com/education/...96-engine.html

Those were just my opinions and there will be some who will disagree with me too.
Buy a 996! <--That opinion will probably not be disputed...at least not by many people here.
They are awesome cars!!!

Last edited by TexSquirrel; 01-30-2019 at 11:17 AM.
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Old 01-30-2019, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by michaelo View Post
Do not get a manual,
Flame on.
Do not follow this advice (unless you donít know how to drive manuals). Rowing through the gears at 6k + rpms is epic. I canít imagine how dull itíd be with an automatic.

I agree with getting a Miata for the track. Or at the very least make sure you upgrade the 996 for track days. Do a search on track days/oil starvation...
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Old 01-30-2019, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by e90steve View Post
Avoid 2000-2001. Failure prone IMS bearing...
Thia is the thing about opinions and statements that seem like absolutes. The problem according to every source Iíve read is that nobody knows the cutoff for dual to single row IMS bearing - sometime in 2000, but it is unclear if there was a cutover, or they just used whatever they had in inventory.

To wit: I have a 2000 with a dual row imsb.

My personal *opinion* is that one need not completely avoid the 2000 MY - especially if there is evidence of the dual row, say for example proof of a LN dual row replacement (like my car), or reciepts showing other mitigating information (reciepts with R&R and p/n for a dual row replacement). Like all opinions, itís worth exaclty what you paid for it.

Oh, and donít drive your 996 on the track if you ever hope to enjoy that miata youíre getting to replace it for track use. There is no comparison. Yes, a miata is cheap fun, but to paraphrase and twist a phrase from a politician ďIíve driven a miata on the track sir, and the miata is no 996Ē. Lol
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Old 01-30-2019, 11:14 AM
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e90steve
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Originally Posted by cds72911 View Post


Thia is the thing about opinions and statements that seem like absolutes. The problem according to every source Iíve read is that nobody knows the cutoff for dual to single row IMS bearing - sometime in 2000, but it is unclear if there was a cutover, or they just used whatever they had in inventory.
That's exactly why I say avoid... because you don't know unless you do some serious digging. Take the element of it being even a possibility out of the equation.

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Old 01-30-2019, 11:18 AM
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I would have assumed TIP, especially in the early days would be way more expensive to fix if something goes wrong. They are generally more expensive as a factory option than a manual. I have only been an owner a short time but ownership does not seem any worse than other high-performance German sports cars or sedans of the era. The big-ticket repair items are going to be your IMS bearing, air oil seperator, clutch, and rear main seal. You can find a car that has these items fixed or just budget it into your price negotiation.
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Old 01-30-2019, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by e90steve View Post
That's exactly why I say avoid... because you don't know unless you do some serious digging. Take the element of it being even a possibility out of the equation.
They all have a high possibility, even of the probability is low. By that kind of logic, people would be wise to avoid all 996 and 997 before the 997.2, because there is a known risk (ďpossibilityĒ). Doesnít make sense to me, but that may just be me. Leaves more 2000ís for the rest of us, I guess.
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Old 01-30-2019, 11:23 AM
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What wrong with driving your 996 on a track. He is saying 2-3 times a year. Probably novice level not race car driver level. Stay of the high banked oval Nascar tracks.

Get the most well maintained 996 you can afford. 3.4 - 3.6 is not much of a big difference. 3.4 will be less expensive to purchase.
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Old 01-30-2019, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by michaelo View Post
I have owned two 996's and here is my advice. Many will disagree but here goes....
First the don'ts:
Do not get a manual, When the pinion gears go bad it will not be easy or cheap to fix or replace.
Do not get the all wheel drive as it has a front differential and when it needs to be fix or repaired it won't be easy or cheap.
Do not get a year with the single row IMS bearing
Do not get Litronic headlights, when they fail it will be expensive to fix
Do not get headlight washers
Do not get all leather interior - unless it is perfect


Good thing I didn't see this before my purchase.

Oh - wait. It wouldn't have mattered.....and still doesn't.
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Old 01-30-2019, 11:33 AM
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I spent a month researching all the info I could about the 996 and it's problems before I committed to jumping in. If you're not mechanically inclined it can get expensive.
Get a higher mileage car that has documentation of all the wear items replaced.

Get two!
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Old 01-30-2019, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Scott at Team Harco View Post


Good thing I didn't see this before my purchase.

Oh - wait. It wouldn't have mattered.....and still doesn't.
Scott at Team Harco, you need to update your signature.
There's no mention of your 996.
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