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Carrera or Cayman?

 
Old 05-13-2019, 10:56 AM
  #1  
mrfeh
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Default Carrera or Cayman?

Hello folks.

I realize this is the 911 forum, but hoping some here are also familiar w/ the Cayman...I'm considering spending $25-30K on a sports car. I've been looking at the 986 models (99-04), which could be had for that price.

I've also had the Cayman recommended to me. What years could be had in that price range? Other than the lack of a rear seat, could somebody please point out the differences between the cars?

Thanks!
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Old 05-13-2019, 12:04 PM
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808Bill
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Go drive one of each.
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Old 05-13-2019, 12:13 PM
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PFran42
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I was in this same situation before recently picking up my 996.

I was considering

~<$25k:

2006-2007 Cayman S ~50k miles
1999 996 ~50K miles

I test drove 5+ examples of each.

- Cayman S felt much more modern (interior, ergonomics, options, etc.)
- Cayman S had way fewer creaks and rattles
- Both felt very close re: HP/Torque
- Cayman S felt much more balanced

Science and logic told me to go with the much newer Cayman S.

I went with the 996 b/c everyone says, "You have to own a 911 at least once in your lifetime".

I can definitely see myself getting a Cayman S a little down the road.
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Old 05-13-2019, 01:08 PM
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NuttyProfessor
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Rear engine vs. Mid engine = unique driving characteristics. Both will equally rape your bank account but make up for it when driving. Like 808Bill says, go drive one and see.
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Old 05-13-2019, 01:09 PM
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mrfeh
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Originally Posted by PFran42 View Post
I was in this same situation before recently picking up my 996.

I was considering

~<$25k:

2006-2007 Cayman S ~50k miles
1999 996 ~50K miles

I test drove 5+ examples of each.

- Cayman S felt much more modern (interior, ergonomics, options, etc.)
- Cayman S had way fewer creaks and rattles
- Both felt very close re: HP/Torque
- Cayman S felt much more balanced

Science and logic told me to go with the much newer Cayman S.

I went with the 996 b/c everyone says, "You have to own a 911 at least once in your lifetime".

I can definitely see myself getting a Cayman S a little down the road.
I lean toward the 996 myself, but all the comments about the RMS and intermediate shaft bearing have me concerned. The absolute last thing I would want with a "fun" car would be a 5 figure repair if the engine blew up.
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Old 05-13-2019, 01:19 PM
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Porschetech3
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If your over 6ft tall, get a Carrera. 986/7c roof is about 1.5in lower.
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Old 05-13-2019, 01:20 PM
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Rdrcr
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Originally Posted by PFran42 View Post
I was in this same situation before recently picking up my 996.

I was considering

~<$25k:

2006-2007 Cayman S ~50k miles
1999 996 ~50K miles

I test drove 5+ examples of each.

- Cayman S felt much more modern (interior, ergonomics, options, etc.)
- Cayman S had way fewer creaks and rattles
- Both felt very close re: HP/Torque
- Cayman S felt much more balanced

Science and logic told me to go with the much newer Cayman S.

I went with the 996 b/c everyone says, "You have to own a 911 at least once in your lifetime".

I can definitely see myself getting a Cayman S a little down the road.
Yep, pretty much my experience before purchasing my 996 (though, I drove several Boxters for kicks too).

I'm very happy with my decision going with the 996.

Mike
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Old 05-13-2019, 02:01 PM
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NuttyProfessor
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Originally Posted by mrfeh View Post
I lean toward the 996 myself, but all the comments about the RMS and intermediate shaft bearing have me concerned. The absolute last thing I would want with a "fun" car would be a 5 figure repair if the engine blew up.
Bear in mind, (no pun intended) all M96/M97 based Carreras, Boxsters, and Caymans of this era have IMS bearings and failure can be catastrophic. All have pros and cons, but the worst offender is the single row bearing on the M96 platform. If you don't want to worry about it at all, then you need to get the P-cars after 2009 that have the 9A1 engine.
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Old 05-13-2019, 02:09 PM
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mrfeh
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Originally Posted by NuttyProfessor View Post
Bear in mind, (no pun intended) all M96/M97 based Carreras, Boxsters, and Caymans of this era have IMS bearings and failure can be catastrophic. All have pros and cons, but the worst offender is the single row bearing on the M96 platform. If you don't want to worry about it at all, then you need to get the P-cars after 2009 that have the 9A1 engine.
Thanks for the info.

Which cars use the M96 platform?
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Old 05-13-2019, 02:49 PM
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dporto
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Originally Posted by mrfeh View Post
Thanks for the info.

Which cars use the M96 platform?
They all (911,Boxter, Caman) do up to '08 or '09. Sometime in '05 Porsche went to the larger single row bearing that can't extracted without splitting the engine case halves - but had/has a very low rate of failure (arguably the lowest of all the ball bearings used). The thing to remember about the sealed IMSB is that they'll all fail eventually. Ball bearings are service items if you want to mitigate the potential failure, you'll need to replace with an oil fed plain bearing.
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Old 05-13-2019, 03:38 PM
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CW987
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I was in a similar situation a few years ago. I wanted to spend about 25k on a Porsche, l looked at a few 996 and 987 Caymans. I ultimately chose a low mileage 987 Cayman base. I was sold on the mid engine layout, classic design, and go cart like handling. I know design preferences are subjective but I felt the 987 was a better looking design, especially from the front and interior of the car. I still really like the 996 though. No matter which car you choose, you're going to love it. Good luck!
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Old 05-13-2019, 04:52 PM
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cds72911
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I'm with the "drive them all, buy what you like" crowd.

I'm more of a coupe fan, so the Cayman works for me. I'll seriously consider one (the S model) the next time I'm in the market for an affordable sportscar. I came close to buying one a while ago, but couldn't get to a price that worked for me (serious supply shortage around me, so it is a seller's market).

On the other hand, the 996 seems like the best bang for the buck right now, and they're are lots to choose from, so you don't have to settle. They are phenomeal cars no matter which flavor you get. There is good aftermarket support, and parts are readily available.

I took both my 2000 and my 2002 for long drives back to back today, and as different as they are set up, they both bring a constant smile to my face. So much fun!

The Cayman GT4 is awesome, but not in the price range you mention (or I am likely to afford).
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Old 05-13-2019, 07:07 PM
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Even the single row is a 10% chance of failure, depending on who you believe.

With these cars selling as low as they are, I like those odds.
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Old 05-13-2019, 07:25 PM
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fast1
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Originally Posted by dporto View Post
They all (911,Boxter, Caman) do up to '08 or '09. Sometime in '05 Porsche went to the larger single row bearing that can't extracted without splitting the engine case halves - but had/has a very low rate of failure (arguably the lowest of all the ball bearings used). The thing to remember about the sealed IMSB is that they'll all fail eventually. Ball bearings are service items if you want to mitigate the potential failure, you'll need to replace with an oil fed plain bearing.
Excellent advice, and that's why I'd recommend a 2010 - 2012 Cayman S.
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Old 05-14-2019, 08:16 AM
  #15  
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I've been down this path (mentally) for the past 20 years or so LOL

I LOVE the 986 Boxster S. Front and rear trunk, convertible so you can hear the engine sing, classic proportions, etc.

The ****-ster (as Jeremy Clarkson called the Cayman) has its merits also (mainly the hard top and more interior storage space) but I'm not sure its worthy of its premium over a clean 986S (for me).

What did I end up with?

1999 996 C2. I did get a really nice purchase price for mine even though I spent plenty more to bring it up to date with maintenance, etc but its the car I always wanted. I still want a 986S at some point and may end up with one sooner than later but i'm 6'6" and fitting in one may be a chore even with aftermarket seats.

As others have mentioned, they can all blow up and cost you $$$. My biggest reason for questioning how long I'll be hanging on to my 996 but you cant go wrong with it as "You have to own a 911 at least once in your lifetime"

Buy a clean 996.1 (early cars have the dual row IMS that is "less likely" to blow up) and put the extra $$$ away for maintenance, fun parts, track time, etc.

I have a list 30 cars long of cars I need to own at least once in my life and while I really really enjoy my 911, time will tell how long it sticks around.
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