'98 boxster consideration (ims of course, red...) - Rennlist - Porsche Discussion Forums


'98 boxster consideration (ims of course, red...)

Old 02-28-2018, 12:01 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Greer, SC
Posts: 200
Default '98 boxster consideration (ims of course, red...)

Looking potentially at a '98 Boxster with only about 50k miles. (Have yet to see/drive it since it's not local). Some questions and would welcome any and all feedback. (Have a 944 as a hobby car.)

-Have done a fair amount of research, and it's my understanding that a '98 has a more robust IMS bearing. Should i be worried about a '98 with 'only' 50k miles?
-Red interior... what is it like in person? More red, more orange, more muted than the photos suggest?
-Comfort & noise level as a daily driver? (Have driven a '07 Cayman previously)

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Old 02-28-2018, 08:53 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: NJ
Posts: 151

I am the original owner of a '97 with 56K miles and Boxster Red interior. I am not, nor ever have been worried about my IMS bearing, if that helps. The red interior indicates it has the special, full leather interior ($2450 option in '97), a must IMO on early Boxsters. Everything that is red but the carpet is leather, as is the black map pockets behind the seats. It looks fantastic - more muted with a tomato soup look. I ordered mine with Black floor mats which, in conjunction with the black interior bits, makes a great contrast. As a daily driver, it's very noisy, and breezy. Of course, this is with the top down! With the top up (not a condition I put a lot of miles on), I suppose it is OK, perhaps a bit noisy, and the radio sucks, if that matters. However, it is a 20 year old car now...
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Old 03-02-2018, 10:28 AM
Bill in VA
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 13

I am a fan of the 986. I am the original owner of a 1999 Arctic Silver/Boxster Red leather that was basically a daily driver...except in snow or when I needed to take other people around for work or pleasure. I am 6'2" 240. Once settled in I have always found the car very comfortable, but I admit getting in and out is easier with the top down. While I did have the car on a track twice for some spirited driving in the early days just to get a feel for its capabilities, it was never a "track" car. Spirited driving did and does continue to this day...just not on a track. All service on this car was done by a Porsche dealer since new. I would not use the Cayman to compare noise levels. The Boxster as you know is a convertible so it will be a bit noisier. But, as convertibles go it is a quiet car.

Very early Boxsters had issues with cylinder liners. In fact production of Boxsters was halted in the spring off 1998 (while my car was in the queue to be built) until Porsche sorted it out. When production resumed mid 1998, the balance of the cars in the queue were designated 1999 models with a better warranty (irrelevant now). I would imagine that any car still on the road either doesn't have the cylinder liner problem or it has already been addressed.

You are right about the IMS. Through 1999 there was a more robust version of the IMS. I think it was the 2000-2005 Boxsters that this is more of a concern. I did have mine replaced sort of as a prophylactic measure since I finally had to do the clutch at 97,000 in January 2017. Figured since they were in there, just do it. All the hard work was done to get at the clutch so the incremental cost was less than $200. Other things that needed replaced included the alternator in February 2014 at 81,500 miles, the water pump in September of 2014 at 86,700 miles the airbag restraint control unit and passenger seat belt buckle in December 2016 at 96,600 miles. The drivers seat belt buckle was replaced 2 1/2 years earlier. You know you have an issue with the buckles/restraint when airbag warning light comes and stays on. The only other things replaced were the headlights (discussed a bit more below) and the front (2018) and rear (2014) hood gas struts. Other than that it was normal maintenance.

There can be two issues with the headlights. One is the plastic cover may not appear as clear as when new. This is an easy fix with some polishing if needed (I didn't have to). The other deals with the face of the lease. They can crack as mine did when the car was about 12-13 years old. I am pretty sure this is a mileage item in the sense it is tied to how much you use the car...and the lights. It is the heat from the lights that cause the problem. You can see this as a small brown spot forming at the crack, likely approximately at the center of the lense. You basically have to get the whole assembly, an expensive proposition. In Virginia, technically the car will not pass the safety inspection. My dealer told me to simply take it to a local service station because they don't know the issue, likely won't notice it and will pass it. They did pass it. So I just used the local service station for safety inspections until November 2013 when someone hit me so their insurance replaced one light. I sprung for the other because it is the face of the car and it would have been noticeable if I didn't.

Good luck in your quest.

Last edited by Bill in VA; 03-02-2018 at 11:06 AM.
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Old 03-06-2018, 01:33 PM
Brian in Tucson
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 124

IMS bearing? I don't think I'd worry too much about it. Change your 'synthetic' oil very regularly with a new filter everytime, Get a magnetic drain plug. Watch your oil and coolant levels very carefully--I check mine everytime I drive it.

I have an 01 with the 2.7, if I had it to do over I'd get the 'S' model with the 3.2 liter engine. "No replacement for displacement." And the S models are way more tarted up than the base models. Mine is the Tiptronic model which for a city mouse like me is really the best answer. Gives me a sensation of shifting if I want, but can leave it to the computer if I like.

Hope you drive more than one year and model in your search. And even with one so old, be sure to spring for a prepurchase inspection. Can safe you a bundle (don't ask me how I know.)
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Old 03-18-2018, 01:14 PM
Richard Jenkins
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Rochester NY
Posts: 22

I have a 98 and so far my car has been bullet proof. If you check the VIN, youĺll find some of these cars were made in Finland. I remember reading these cars had a lower failure rate than their German made counterparts.

I always felt my Boxster needed more power until I picked up a 996. Now I love my Boxster. I think the power is very nicely balanced with cornering and breaking ability of the car. I never feel out of control no matter how hard I push it. I spun my 996 the first time I tried autocrossing it. Even now, I am faster in my 986 than my 996.

My 986 is my daily driver in Rochester NY. I drive it through snow with no problems. A very good all around car.
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Old 03-18-2018, 02:25 PM
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 141

If you haven't spun your car autocrossing you haven't pushed it hard enough! When you have spun your car a few times you develop a fell for how hard you can push it,
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