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What to buy? 986S or 987S

 
Old 04-20-2009, 05:50 PM
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Niels Jørgensen
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Default What to buy? 986S or 987S

It's been a while since I sold my beloved 928 and I haven't been much on Rennlist since, but now It's time to get a Porsche again. It was always my plan to get a Boxster, and I had my mind securely set on a 987, but now I'm not so sure...

I've driven both the 986S and the 987S, though not back to back, and I would probably have to, to tell the difference, so to me it's probably the look more than anything (yes, I said it). Inside as well as outside the 987 is, to me, a major update over the 986.

While the 05S is certainly within my budget, there's some really big savings to be made on an 02S in comparison - enough to get me a nice Audi TT for winter driving and still have money left over for the dreaded IMS (ok, maybe not quite that much, but still).

And this is the real issue: It would hurt financially to have to fix a blown engine in a 987S, while a 986S would be less of an issue (in particular since I could afford an additional vehicle), but at the same time I'd like to think that Porsche improved the cars over the years (making it less likely), and that maybe getting some kind of coverage from Porsche is more likely on a newer car.

The cars I'm looking at are in the range from 20KKm (05) to 50KKm(00), and I have excluded the base 987 from my search because they cost almost the same as the S's.

Anyone who lived with both the 986S and 987S (or TT ) have any comments on why they'd pick one over the other?
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Old 04-20-2009, 09:45 PM
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I've got a 986S and here are my impressions of the 987:

987s is quieter in the cabin yet better sounding on the outside, 987 has better headroom & legroom,
987 has more power, but 987 is heavier so while it has more power it isn't really any faster, the 987 also has a stiffer chassis so it's better handling

a blown engine in either car would cost you about the same, but if the option really is a 986 and a TT or a 987 I'd go with the 986 and TT, the 987 is a better car but it's not so much better that it'd outweigh the benefit of a TT and a 986
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Old 04-20-2009, 10:41 PM
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If you're looking at 986's, the glass window was first introduced in the '03's. One other thing to consider, the 986 has a spare tire while the 987 does not.
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Old 04-21-2009, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by stumpjumper View Post
987s is quieter in the cabin yet better sounding on the outside, 987 has better headroom & legroom,
987 has more power, but 987 is heavier so while it has more power it isn't really any faster, the 987 also has a stiffer chassis so it's better handling
This is a pretty good summary. I have a well-kept 986S with some tasteful mods, and people are surprised to find it is nearly 10 years old. Even after all these years, I still look at it and am amazed at what a good-looking car it is. Personally, I would go with the 986S (skip the non-S). You will have enough left over for a few treats like some good tires and/or customizations and with the savings, psychologically at least, not worry so much about IMS, etc., or enough for your TT.

P.S. I am paying attention to some of the work done by L.N. Engineering regarding IMS upgrades. One of them is a retrofit bearing which may be able to be done during a clutch replacement. With age, if the RMS doesn't leak, it won't.
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Old 04-21-2009, 03:59 PM
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Thanks for the feedback guys... It's been a while since I drove a 986 and it was with the top down. I'm 1m 96cm tall, so with the top up, the 987 may be my only real practical choice? I definately need to test that. Does any of you know if sports seats are lower or the same as standard seats in terms of head-room (I never had a chance to test one with sports seats yet, though that's what I'd like to get, eventually)?

The 03's are not really an option around here - they cost right between the 00/01 and 05's at which point I'd choose the 987 without hesitation. (Half a TT isn't going to do me much good )

I'll probably hit one of the local P-car dealers and see if I can get a back to back test drive of both cars; see if that'll settle things ...

Have anyone here had dealings with Swedish dealerships in terms of IMS? I know a couple down the street from us blew the engine in their early Boxster (non S) last year and had to pay for it themselves - got nothing from Porsche.
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Old 04-21-2009, 04:21 PM
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oh yes, I think you may be too tall for a 986 without putting in GT3 console delete option and GT3 seats (or similar)

I'm 1m 82cm (had to look that up) and while I have plenty of headroom I needed the GT3 console delete kit to be comfortable as my leg would rub against the console and hurt over time

a friend whose 1m 93cm can't sit in my car with the top down, it just isn't an option for him

the GT3 console delete removes the lower center console, giving more leg room, while the seats sit much lower in the car, the console delete kit is cheap, but the seats are not
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Old 04-21-2009, 08:34 PM
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Buddy of mine I carpool with is 1.96m and he fits just fine in the passenger seat of my 986S, top up and down. I think he'd be rather uncomfortable driving, though. But then again, people my height (1.85m) drive S2000s and claim to "fit" since they can physically close the door even though they can't move their knees and can kinda flip their feet back and forth for the pedals, so I suppose it's all a matter of perspective!
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Old 04-22-2009, 04:14 AM
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".. so I suppose it's all a matter of perspective! "

lol, yes, Or how much of a sacrifice you're prepared to make to get the car you want . I'll be doing 120+ km/day so I need to be comfortable driving it.

"a friend whose 1m 93cm can't sit in my car with the top down"

I guess you mean with the top up, right?

Does anyone know if IMS is covered on a Certified Boxster (within the warranty period, obviously), from the Swedish Porsche site it seems as if you can buy the warranty on any Porsche if it passes their tests, even if the car is not bought directly from a dealer, but I guess I should call them and ask
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Old 04-22-2009, 09:29 AM
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oops yes, I meant top up, sorry about that!
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Old 04-22-2009, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Niels Jørgensen View Post
I'm 1m 96cm tall, so with the top up, the 987 may be my only real practical choice?
I would recommend skipping the 986. I'm 6'1, so you're roughly 4" taller. In mine, stock, I fit OK, but I would say not great. For example, a lot of crouching to see under the visors to see much above street level like signs and street lights. I put in the 996 GT3 seats, and I picked up maybe an inch of headroom and maybe a little more than that legroom, so now I am quite comfortable. Brey Krause also makes brackets that lower the seats further by I think 2", but I was happy with mine as it was. The 987 has more head/leg room, but I don't recall how much. Also, the 996 GT3 seats and brackets will bolt right into a 987, but you will have to disable the side air bags which might be an issue for you. In short, you might be able to fit in a 986 with seat modifications, but if you're on the fence, starting with a 987 will be less hassle. Note that "fit" is very personal. I know taller people fit, but they must have the seats reclined a lot. I drive with a very upright driving position.
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Old 04-22-2009, 05:45 PM
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Thanks for all the feedback guys. I think I need to do a shortlist of a 986S, a 987S and maybe a Z4M to test on the same day. I put the BMW in there mostly for comparison - most tests I've seen seem to rate the Z4M and the 987S fairly equal, with better handling of the S and more power in the Z.

I don't expect it to be better but at least it doesn't have a reputation for blowing up engines. If I can't get a decent warranty from Porsche on a 987 I don't think I have the guts to drive one, and if the 986 turns out not to be an option there is simply no Porsche left within my price range that currently interrests me, sad as it is.

So that's my plan:

1) Find out if Porsche offers a decent warranty on an 05 987S
2) Find out if I even fit in a 986
3) Test drive the Z4M to see if it's an alternative to the Boxster
4) Test drive the new AudiTT 3.2 roadster

If none of these leads to a viable roadster option for me this summer I'll give up
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Old 04-22-2009, 07:09 PM
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Have you considered a Corvette? They're one car that is actually designed for large people! I can 100% guarantee you that you will fit with room to spare You might want to at least give it a test drive. The convertible isn't really a roadster, but the rear seats are uselessly small, so it may as well be, right?
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Old 04-22-2009, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by sjfehr View Post
Have you considered a Corvette? They're one car that is actually designed for large people! I can 100% guarantee you that you will fit with room to spare You might want to at least give it a test drive. The convertible isn't really a roadster, but the rear seats are uselessly small, so it may as well be, right?
He's in Sweden so I don't think Corvettes would be that available.
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Old 04-22-2009, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Charlie C View Post
He's in Sweden so I don't think Corvettes would be that available.
Sure they are! Japan and Germany aren't the only nations in the world who export cars, you know

http://www.clubcorvette.se/start.html
http://www.corvette-europe.com/se/en/DealerLocator.aspx
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Old 04-22-2009, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by sjfehr View Post
Sure they are! Japan and Germany aren't the only nations in the world who export cars, you know

http://www.clubcorvette.se/start.html
http://www.corvette-europe.com/se/en/DealerLocator.aspx
I wonder if they're in the same price range as a Boxster. My guess is that they would cost more.
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