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Are boxters really all that?

 
Old 08-20-2012, 02:10 PM
  #31  
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Yes, thank you very much ep3, the LN retrofit does look like the best option. Sorry, did not mean to derail the thread!

I guess what I mean is "yes, Boxsters are reallly all that!"
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Old 08-20-2012, 02:38 PM
  #32  
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Ep3...maybe I should have said "the south of France"? I have this ongoing fantasy to buy a Porsche in Germany and tour Europe for a month or so! I want to drive around the Mediterranean and stop in Monaco for a F1 weekend! Then on to Spain and back to Germany in one big loop! Sounds good to me!
500...let us know if you buy that '04 S! My wife is from Toronto; you'll have to take your new Boxster out to Mosport!
I3m...I don't know if the '04 was modified. Thanks for the upgrade list!
Chuck...what is it about the Boxster that satisfies you over the 993?
I'm still a little freaked out about all this talk regarding the IMS issue!? This issue might be the only deal breaker I can think of! I really want a Boxster S! I would hate to go from a bulletproof 964 that has been sorted and feels like a new car and sell it for a car that could cost me thousands and lots of down time...! Also, where are we at with depreciation regarding the market...have we hit the bottom yet? 964's hit the bottom about three years ago and are now on the rise. Are Boxsters disposable cars or are they built to go 300k miles with proper maintenance? Sorry for all the questions! I really want one, but don't want to give up my near perfect 964 just to have to spend a lot of money again!? My wife has a hard time understanding my Porsche obsession!, so, I'm trying to be a little sensible! Thanks for all of the kind help!!
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Old 08-20-2012, 06:23 PM
  #33  
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The question you pose about the IMS is very relevant for me, as I have gone through quite a bit of pondering on it myself.

There is no “right” answer, and the internet always has more of the negative stories about anything. Heck, if I had perused Subaru forums BEFORE I purchased my WRX, I never would have bought it! That said, my WRX has been just fine (over ten years) and has not suffered an exploding transmission, which almost looked like a certainty based on some of what I had read!

That said, IMS is a problem that does happen. There is no clear information that I can find that states the percentage of cars afflicted, but regardless, it does happen to some people. It is just one bearing, but unfortunately the collateral damage is very expensive if it does go.

Porsche revised the design of that part of the engine several times, which means they were not satisfied either, and ultimately eliminated the IMS all-together in the new 9A1 motors for 2009.

I have come to the conclusion that if one has a pre-2006 car, the best strategy is simply to treat the IMS as a wear item (that is what I intend to do). Replace it with the LN ceramic bearing (which is itself a better bearing) and then replace it periodically. That is not cheap, but it must surely help a lot.

The second thing that can be done is the IMS Guardian, which essentially monitors the build-up of ferromagnetic material on a magnetic drain plug and sounds a buzzer when a certain level is detected. The purpose of this system is to give you warning ahead of a total bearing failure, 2006 to 2008 cars have an IMS that can’t be changed without splitting the case, so the Guardian is all you can do without getting into very large costs. However, the last IMS is probably the best, so although IMS is still a possibility, it should be the lowest for this group of cars.

Aside from that, changing the oil & filter more frequently (and other relatively simple preventative maintenance measures) will stack the odds more in your favor.

I have two Porsches that I have completely disassembled and am rebuilding in a very detailed way, a 1985 Carrera and a 1987 944. As such, I feel I have developed a very good feel for the details of the cars. When I looked at that Boxster, I scrutinized it with a very critical eye. My conclusion was that the car was very well built with a lot of design features that were not “cheap”. However, the car was designed to be cost efficient too (and at a time when Porsche was fighting back from the brink of extinction), and Porsche staked its future on those cars. I would say that the IMS was a “miss”, but there were a lot of hits too. In the Jim Pasha article on the M96 motors a couple of years back when the main issues were thoroughly discussed, there were also quotes from the experts consulted pointing out that the engine did also possess a lot of advanced features and well-designed parts.

Like most Porsche engines it is imperfect (your solid 964 was once considered a Porsche to avoid by many... incorrectly IMO). However, more and more is being learnt and there are ways to mitigate the potential pit falls and have a great car to enjoy for a long time. (I personally know of one Boxster that has gone over 240,000 miles, it is a 2.7 I think… No serious problems or major work ever.)

Finally, I think an interesting measure to examine is what good extended warranties cost for these cars. I went ahead a sought a quotation from a well-known U.S. warranty provider that has a good reputation for fulfilling claims. The quote I received was for five years of coverage for all powertrain and running gear up to an additional 100,000 miles from the current mileage. This warranty would cover IMS failure (I specifically checked). The quote was very reasonable and I can only infer that the insurance provider expects a very small number of these cars to ever need the $10 to $20K engine repair that an IMS failure would precipitate. And you KNOW that insurance companies will have the best data and make certain their bases are covered.

So, what does it mean?

IMS is real? Yes.

IMS can be mitigated significantly? Yes especially for pre-2006 cars.

IMS is relatively rare? Yes, but if you are the victim, the pain will be BAD.

IMS can be warrantied against (if you want to go that route)? Yes, and for reasonable money compared to other cars.
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Old 08-20-2012, 09:42 PM
  #34  
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500 19B...you most certainly did not derail the thread! You are very kind too have offered your time to help answer some concerns that I think most of us who are considering a Boxster have! Your input is invaluable and I appreciate it very very much! I'm wondering now if I should purchase a very nice and expensive one or keep the 964 and just buy a cheaper one and take my chances!? Either way...I want one! I just don't want to enter into a money pit! Not in this economy! I do well financially, but am not a rich man! So, It does matter! Thank you again for your insight!
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Old 08-20-2012, 10:50 PM
  #35  
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500, what warranty company are you talking about? Never thought about purchasing a warranty on mine, but it may be worth it.

Laguna, the prices have definitely not bottomed out. The supply continues to grow as more are made. With no real significant differences between old and new Boxsters like you see between the 993 and 996, I'd expect their values to trend similarly to the 944s'. In my search a year ago, I found 986s ranging from 20k miles and $25,000 to 160k miles and $7,000. The high end will come down as the 987s come down, and thus the lower end will come down as well.
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Old 08-21-2012, 12:18 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Porschephile 924 View Post
One other thing that makes them all that and a bag of potato chips... The sound of the intake right by your left ear.... Chills every time I push the loud pedal....
Mine is desnorkled and resonator box removed ... sounds great when the happy pedel is stroked along with NPH sport exhaust.
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Old 08-21-2012, 12:36 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Jaak Lepson View Post
Mine is desnorkled and resonator box removed ... sounds great when the happy pedel is stroked along with NPH sport exhaust.
Been considering this. Worth it?
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Old 08-21-2012, 02:29 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by ep3_lol View Post
500, what warranty company are you talking about? Never thought about purchasing a warranty on mine, but it may be worth it.

Laguna, the prices have definitely not bottomed out. The supply continues to grow as more are made. With no real significant differences between old and new Boxsters like you see between the 993 and 996, I'd expect their values to trend similarly to the 944s'. In my search a year ago, I found 986s ranging from 20k miles and $25,000 to 160k miles and $7,000. The high end will come down as the 987s come down, and thus the lower end will come down as well.
I got the quote from PDS, going through CarChex as a broker. If you are in the market for a warranty, I would definitely do more research and comparison shopping than I have done.

Generally speaking, the great majority oif people lose money on extended warranties, but that is true of all types of "insurance". (Strictly speaking, extended warranties are a service contract, not insurance). However, for many, the peace of mind is worth the price. It is an individual decision.

Actually this evening, we decided to buy that Boxster (we were waiting on the fully service records, whcih show that the car has been trouble free thus far, and has had all the proper maintenance at good intervals).

My personal plan is to over-maintain the car, replace the IMS regularly with the LN unit etc. The car has 22 months CPO too, and after that I will just keep maintaining it. I think it will work out well.

It is a 550 anniversary car...

Last edited by 500; 07-29-2014 at 01:15 PM.
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Old 08-21-2012, 05:12 AM
  #39  
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Yes, it's that good. So good, I traded my 98 (after 3 yrs) on an NSX. 2 months later I went back to the dealership and bought the Boxster back! Kept the NSX of course. An 05-07S would be even better. So if you liked the 04, just wait! But they are all great. I kept the Boxster for 6 more years and just in June I traded it (for good I'm afraid) for a 348 spider. I miss my Boxster.
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Old 08-21-2012, 02:18 PM
  #40  
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It's good.. but not all that. Handling is dialed in nicely.
Component quality is marginal at best.

I use my Boxster as a DD, to which it functions well. It's just training for much better things, like my 360 on the weekends.
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Old 08-21-2012, 03:40 PM
  #41  
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How's the 360 better? I think comparing it to the Boxster is a bit unfair. Part of what makes the Boxster special is that it's accessible for most people, even while retaining fantastic sports car attributes that you don't find in many cars. I'm sure the 360 is fantastic as well, but it's not really attainable for most, and is disposable to even fewer. If it weren't for the Boxster, I'd probably be stuck with two Hondas (Civic and S2000) rather than getting a chance to own one of the automotive industry's most historical marques, something I can't really get out of a prancing horse. Not for their lack of history, from my lack of cash for anything that's not a Mondial
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Old 08-21-2012, 06:14 PM
  #42  
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Curt...thanks for your honesty! I do think it is difficult to compare a Boxster to a high end Ferrari. I would compare a Porsche GT to a Ferrari (excluding their F1 car; lol)! I would like to know how the Boxster compares to other Porsches. Also, how do the components on a Boxster compare to other Porsches? I understand that the 2013 is a different car than the earlier Boxsters?! It sounds like the quality has gone way up?
Question...from 1997-2008, which Boxster would you guys/gals recommend!
500...I absolutely love your new acquisition! Does your car have the "brownish" interior?
Very nice indeed! Thanks all...this has been a very informative thread that is helping my decision making process regarding my purchase of a Boxster!
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Old 08-21-2012, 07:34 PM
  #43  
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The comparison to a Ferrari 360 made me laugh. I am not rich enough to move in those circles!

Thanks Laguna, yes, it does have the Cocoa interior, which to my eye is a nice color combo with the GT silver. We will be picking the car up on Saturday.

Your question of which from 1997 to 2008 is a tough one, as the cars obviously improved quite a bit, but of course, the prices will be very different in proportion. In terms of fit and finish quality I noticed a big difference between a low mile '97 I rode in, and the 2004 I'm buying. And I think the later you go, the better it gets. Porsche has made a lot of effort in the quality area over the past decade which is reflected in their climb to near the top in both the J.D. Power IQS and 3-year dependability study.

Having said that, the biggest quality criticism levelled at the earlier cars seems to be the interior plastics etc. They are still fundamentally good cars. The one very-specific thing to watch on the earlier cars (I think pre-2000) is Porsche went through a spate of blocks that were sleeved, where the the sleeve subsequently slipped in some cases. Higher mileage earlier cars will have either had this taken care of, or were not one of the problem ones. IF you look at a low-mileage early car though, it could be one of these.

Generally speaking, the consistent advice with Porsches is to buy a good condition example with a complete service history. Once you have fixed your budget, see how new you can go and still meet those criteria. I'd rather buy a very well kept and documented 2000 than a 2004 (for example) with unknown history and looking rough around the edges.

Some thoughts you may want to keep in mind that I considered:

1) Pre-2006 cars have a (relatively) easily retrofitted IMS design. The later cars (and this may include some late 2005s) require splitting the case for IMS replacement (if you want to go the route of periodically changing it). As I said before, the later design (M97) was likely the best and least likely to fail, but some still can.

2) The 987 is a significant style change over the 986. I like the 986 well-enough, but all things equal, I think the 987 looks better and had more defined curves (and I think the 981 trumps them both! That's progress!)

3) At the same time, the interior design changed even more drastically. 2005+ cars have (IMO) great looking interiors, even in basic specification. The 986 interiors could look great when optioned up (leather etc.) but did look spartan (dare we say cheap-ish) in base trim...

4) Glass rear windows appeared in 2003. A carefully-kept plastic window can still be nice, and it is larger to boot. However, if you are going to drive in conditions where you need it to defrost, then it is not ideal (many people substitute a hard top at these times).

5) A good PPI from a knowledgable, independent expert is always a worthwhile investment.
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Old 08-21-2012, 07:58 PM
  #44  
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Looking to pickup a 99' this was a good read.
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Old 08-21-2012, 09:06 PM
  #45  
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500 My complements. You presented a well balanced and to the best of my knowledge quite factual post.
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