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Which one?

 
Old 05-02-2016, 10:51 PM
  #1  
2002sheds
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Default Which one?

Hi All,
Having finally joined the "family" 3 months ago with the purchase of our New to Us Cayenne, I am now smitten... and spending way too much time looking at Boxsters on Craigslist.
This would be yet another car, so a previously owned Boxster may fit the bill. But which one? I cannot afford anything newer than 2004, but even then the selection is quite broad here in the SF Bay Area, with many choices under $15k/75k miles...
Thoughts? Are some years considered to be more desired than others? Troublesome or less trouble? I am so new at this that I cannot see if there are differences in body style over the range of 199x through 2003 -- or maybe they are all the same generation?
Any help will be greatly appreciated !


Thanks,
David
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Old 05-02-2016, 11:05 PM
  #2  
grrrmonster
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Default Which one?

Personally, I'd go for an "s"

History of the car is important to me. One or two owners much more desirable than a plethora of owners. Documented service history. Self evident the owner was knowledgeable, proactive, and diligent in maintaining it.

Then the options you like. And the color you like.

Risk is in missing information and gaps in data about the cars background.

Avoid surprises get a prepurchase inspection by a well respected independent shop. Get plugged into the local PCA folks they can be a huge help
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Old 05-03-2016, 12:50 AM
  #3  
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Hi Grrrr,
Thanks! I'm assuming the S is like in the Cayenne -- more horsepower, other performance upgrades. I definitely agree with the other advice too, about the number of owners and available history.
Is there a lot of difference in the body style over the years, or years that should be avoided? I am digging the blue...

Thanks,
David
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Old 05-03-2016, 12:02 PM
  #4  
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Originally Posted by 2002sheds View Post
Hi All,
Having finally joined the "family" 3 months ago with the purchase of our New to Us Cayenne, I am now smitten... and spending way too much time looking at Boxsters on Craigslist.
This would be yet another car, so a previously owned Boxster may fit the bill. But which one? I cannot afford anything newer than 2004, but even then the selection is quite broad here in the SF Bay Area, with many choices under $15k/75k miles...
Thoughts? Are some years considered to be more desired than others? Troublesome or less trouble? I am so new at this that I cannot see if there are differences in body style over the range of 199x through 2003 -- or maybe they are all the same generation?
Any help will be greatly appreciated !


Thanks,
David
There are considerable differences between the 199x through 2003/2004 MY's.

The engine size went from 2.5l to 2.7l (base) and 3.2l (S). The 2.7l 5-speed gearing was revised to better take advantage of the extra torque the 2.7l engine offered.

Various interior upgrades were made some which initially showed up in the S but then were migrated to the base.

For instance my 2002 came with the better top interior lining that heretofore been reserved for the S.

In 2003 the plastic rear window was replaced by a glass window. To accomodate this the top's shape/silouette was revised some.

For all of the changes over the MY's you will have to seek out a better reference than I. Maybe you can search out the pages Mike Focke assembled that IIRC covered all this in much better detail?

Here's a link:

https://sites.google.com/site/mikefo...oxsterwebpages

All other things being equal newer is better.

Can't help you regarding which years are better or worse. Each MY or span of MY's have some issues that can show up.

Most just arise from wear and tear like the infamous AOS (air/oil separator) which can fail at about any time. In my experience with my 2002 I can get between 80K and 120K miles of driving before one goes bad. Other owners do not get even to 80K miles.

But if the thing fails and is promptly dealt with the car/engine is fine and no worse for the experience. My 2002 is on its 3rd replacement AOS and getting a new AOS fitted is about on par with getting a new set of tires fitted.

As miles (and to some extent) time go by other things, besides the normal wear items like oil/filter, plugs, filters, brakes, tires; can require attention. Things like the water pump, fuel pump, O2 sensors, spark plug tube o-rings.

There is too the concern about the IMSB (intermediate shaft bearing). This is too complex a subject to cover here. All I can do is suggest you search out more info on this. The Pelican site might be a place to start. I have not read half the stuff there so I can't comment on it.

Here's a link:

http://www.pelicanparts.com/boxster/boxster_tech.htm

When you have found a candidate Boxster be sure you give the car a thorough road test.

Briefly, well for me at any rate, visit the car cold. When you turn on the key be sure the warning lights including the CEL come on then go off when you start the engine. Let the engine idle. It should be rather smooth though the idle speed will be elevated. You should not hear any distinct ticking, knockes, groans, rummblings, or other odd noises.

Let the engine idle while you walk around looking at the body but keep an ear tuned to the engine.

After some idling time -- to the point the engine is near operating temperature -- have the seller take you on a test drive. The route wants to be around 15 miles long and chosen to give the driver a chance to demo the car as you intend to use it. This distance should give the DME time to run through its readiness tests and set all the readiness monitors to their complete state. If any fail to reach this state the CEL will be turned on and one or more error codes stored.

Back at the starting point then you take the car out as the driver and drive the same route, drive the same way.

You must experience the car in its natural state: Engine running and on the road. The worst piece of you know what can look just fine on the driveway with its engine not running.

If after the test ride/drive you still like the car give it a thorough used car checkout. The CPO check list is a good check list to work from. While you can do all the checks you can do a number of them.

Check everything. From the top operation to the A/C. From the head lights to the tail lights.

With the engine hot from the road testing walk around the car sniffing for any antifreeze odor. If smell any there's a coolant leak.

A 1mm lip on the rotor suggests a rotor that is close to its minimum thickness.

Tires should show even wear. Excessive wear on inner (or outer) edges is a sign of at least improper alignment.

A build up of trash in the radiator ducts is not a show stopper but budget to have the bumper cover removed and this trash cleaned out. But if you smell anti-freeze at the front almost certainly there's a radiator leak, possibly due to corrosion arising from the accumulation of trash.

Check along the door bottoms and under the seats for any signs of dampness.

When you are testing the top check the rear body water drains, one on each side of the back window under the clamshell arm.

The front drains are under the plastic panels that are on either side of the battery box. To view these you need to remove the panels but these require a Torx (security Torx?) bit tool kit.

If a manual equipped car clutch engagement should be smooth. Pedal effort should not be that much. Experience is required to know though how much is ok and how much is too much effort.

With a Tip do a k-turn or two to shift the Tip from Drive to Reverse several times to make sure the Tip can keep up that it switches with no signs of any trouble.

If after your check out if you still like the car arrange for a PPI. Among other things this gets the car in the air so a check can be made for any leak sign. This is another reason for the extended road test. The engine runs for around an hour and advances from cold to fully up to temperature and this gives any leaks a chance to manifest themselves.

Every gasket, seal, o-ring, hose, hose connection, hydraulic line, line fitting, dust boot is checked for leak sign. The RMS, water pump, cam shaft covers, spark plug tubes, CV boots, transmission axle flange seals, and shifter shaft seals are some of the biggies.

A general rule regarding used car buying is to have set aside 10% of the used car's purchase price for "just in case". Even though a thorough used car check out/road test/PPI can turn up no issues this is not to say that an issue can't arise shortly after you buy the car. My Boxster's water pump was fine for 172K miles until one morning I started the engine and heard a rumble noise that was the water pump. The fuel pump was fine right up until one morning right after starting the engine the engine died. Just like that the fuel pump went from fine to dead. No warning.

This 10% emergency fund then has you with hopefully enough money to get the car repaired and back on the road.

My only additional comment is given these cars can be a bit expensive to service/repair a 15% or even 20% sum might be more in line with the car's servicing/repair costs. Sure you can do some things yourself and if you do that's great and you save some money.

Last but not least remember that if (when if you look at a number of cars) you find a car with issues, that doesn't feel right, walk away. There is always another car.
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Old 05-03-2016, 12:35 PM
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The best page on the IMS I know of is http://imsretrofit.com/ims-101/.

Few owner cars can be neglected in the later years of their ownership or maintained fanatically. A Boxster is often a "time in your life" item, For example there were 35 years between Porsches for me. Owned 3, averaged 3 years each. So what I'm saying here is the records are more important than the number of owners though an original owner car might give the best chance for the best set of records. Both my Boxster were 2 owners before me averaging 2-3 years each.

I like to understand why the car is being sold. Both my Boxsters I understood the reason and even had independent confirmation of the reason.

Good luck. Great cars.

Last edited by mikefocke; 05-14-2016 at 09:39 PM.
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Old 05-03-2016, 12:47 PM
  #6  
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Hi Mike, Mac, All,
Wow! Some great info -- thanks! I will read and re-read these entire posts. They are excellent.
I can't afford a 911, not even the dread late 90's-early 2000s. The price of a pre-owned Boxster is low enough to warrant consideration. When I recently visited the nearest Porsche dealer (Sonnen in Mill Valley, CA), I asked one of the service technicians which cars he most enjoyed driving. I expected him to say "911", but instead named the Boxster as his favorite. He said he loves the pep of the car and the tuning of the exhaust. And he gets to drive ALL of them on a regular basis
I am very encouraged by this thread. Now I need to get enough done around our house to take my wife up on her comment that I need a garage just for the Porsche. What she doesn't know is that I plan to build a TWO car garage...

Thanks Again,
David
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Old 05-03-2016, 06:52 PM
  #7  
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After 30 years of 911, I did quit (for a Panamera), but later, felt that I missed big time the open roof and the stick shift, so, I decided to buy a Boxster.
I went for an S, and an old one ! (2001), btw, yes, I kept the Panamera, I love it, big time.. (and I did also wrote about it, ..under the Panamera chapter, see" Good bye 911 (after 30 year non stop), hello Panamera !")
The car had 60k miles, and had a very phony carfax report, and also had a lot of "R1" (I strongly recommend that you get a "PIWIS" reading before pulling the trigger !)
Also, it did not had the ISB "redone", so, in the price negotiation, I did removed 2k out of the offered price for this reason, and then, after getting the car, ..I did spend these 2k and had a LN "Double Row Pro" installed.
Since that, such a GREAT car. Since I bought it, I spent more than 30% of the miles on track (Sonoma and Laguna Seca), just a GREAT experience. It is a better car than a 911. It just lack some juice, but the handling so so much better, than no problem, it forces you into a driving that is "easier".
The only good points of the 911 are the rear seats space, (for me the 911 was a great compromise car) ..and more power. Beside that, the Boxster is a super great car.
I would not worry to go for an old one, and for sure, I would get an "S". And for sure, ..a manual 6 !
If you are interested about my Boxster, take a look at here at "PIWIS reading, lots of R+, and then.."

Last edited by GVA-SFO; 05-04-2016 at 01:45 AM.
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Old 05-03-2016, 08:21 PM
  #8  
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Hi GVA,
Fantastic info -- thanks! I need to figure out what the acronyms mean, so I can see more of that Boxster...

Thanks,
David
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Old 05-04-2016, 01:10 AM
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Trying to help on the acronyms, very sorry for that !
. PIWIS : It is not a fruit, it is Porsche Integrated Workshop Information System, or the computer/software that Porsche dealer have, to connect to the car in order to read the memory (records) of the computers of the car ! (At Volkswagen, they use it to read how many milligrams of NOx have been ejected !)

A lot of info is stored in the memory of the car's computers.
For example :
. R1 these are the number of the revolution of the engine, just above the red line. Quite easy to make some, like a late shift, touching the redline, and then the limiter (computer) cuts the gasoline injected, so, the engine cannot over rev too much, ..just a little bit ! (Mine are at the maximum that a 16 bit computer can count, i.e.: 65535 !!! I'm not very proud of that, ..but that the way it is !
. R2 the are the number of engine revolution "well above the Red line". Not good at all, as to make those, one of the way is to misshift, and then Porsche having also great gearboxes, the gear could engage, ..and the engine takes it. A good way to seriously damage it.
(I.e.: mine has 4, and this, since I bought it, and frankly nobody ever was able to give me an explanation about how these 4 engine revolutions were made a these very high RPM ! May be a "close encounter into a misshift" !!!)

So, just for these two parameters, are in my opinion (..imo !! ) critical, and it is a must to know these values BEFORE deciding to buy a given Porsche. Note that on newer models, you do not have only "R1" and "R2", but many "R" (I think up to 7 levels) !
Yes, if you over rev a Porsche, i.e.: under warranty, and then go to your dealer to claim that your engine is dead, the car memory has the "R2" all recorded, and : "good bye" for the warranty !

By the way, "ISB" stand for Intermediate Shaft Bearing, (in most of the Porsche engines, the overhead cams are driven by chains), and from the main shaft of the engine, there is a chain going to turn an intermediate shaft, and from this intermediate shaft, one chain goes to the left cam and another goes to the right cam.
The design idea of having such intermediate shaft is to have chain development such that the two "long" chains that goes to the cams are traveling at the lowest possible speed, to try to gain reliability. ..At least, this is what I understand, I hope I'm right on such explanation !!

But: one of the weakest point of these engines generation (code named "M96") is that the bearing at one end of this shaft (the end that is next to the clutch) are prone to "burn out", i.e.: to makes a good "steel preserve", that then goes all over the engine oil and give a definitive stop to the engine.
This bearing do not get enough oil, and being pre-lubricated, and also being not sealed, "many" of these are know to go wrong, soon or later.
The "Sport Driving Voices" said sometime that the ISB of the cars that are driven hard ..are less prone to go wrong, as these gets more (oil) splashes that the ones that are driven like Grand Ma !

Different "after market" companies have created different designs that replaces the original "ISB", and here, it is hard to say "which one is the best" !
In my side, I decided to replace my ISB against one made by "LN Industries" and as they do different models, I went for what I felt was the most "technically logical one", i.e.: the one called by -LN : "Double Row Pro" !
Double because, in my engine, the original bearing was a "single row", but that given kit is specifically designed to replace a single row bearing by a double row bearing. Note that some "M96" engines have been originally equipped, at the factory, ..by double row bearings, but here, according to what I heard, even by knowing the serial number of your "M96" engine, it is not sure to know if it is equipped with a single or a double row bearing !!! (the double row are much rarer than the single ones !!)
Yes, it is complicated, ..it is an engine. A very nice engine, but like all of these, with some weakness, that we have to deal with !

Well, I started to write, with the idea to decode some acronyms, ..and then, ..it become a long text !
Sorry for that, I hope it will help, ..to like the Boxster even more ! (By the way, the 911 of the same years ..have the same problem, ..as it is the same M96 engine, just with different displacement !!)

Last edited by GVA-SFO; 05-04-2016 at 01:35 AM.
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Old 05-04-2016, 01:38 AM
  #10  
2002sheds
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Hi GVA,
Man, I think I have now met someone who has probably forgotten more about these cars than I will ever know! Thanks so much for the explanation(s). I am learning a ton, thanks to the generosity of people like you. This forum is great.
As of this writing, I am leaning towards a 2003 or newer, S version. I have several obstacles to overcome before laying out cash (starting with the justification of such a purchase That hasn't stopped me from checking the SF Bay Area Craigslist daily to see what is available...


Thanks,
David
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Old 05-05-2016, 12:49 PM
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You don't need a PWIS to check the over revs, a Durametric reads them just fine
Type 1 overevs are hitting the revlimiter at redline, not over
Type 2 are anything over redline. It could be a few RPM or 100's. They are caused by mechanically over revving the motor by downshifting

If you look at the type 1 & 2 numbers, they are ignitions, not rpms or time, so you need to divide the number of ignitions by 6 to get number of revolutions, then divide by 7200 to see the approx number of seconds

I would not worry too much about type 1 unless the number is really large and the revlimiter didi its job and protected the motor

A few type 2 is probably not a big issue, but a high number here indicates someone not knowing how to drive the car properly and possible overrev damage

A S model comes with a bigger engine and stronger suspension and bigger brakes as well as a 6 speed.The brakes are the same that come on a 996 for the most part as some 996's have even bigger brakes

The general rule of thumb is buy the newest, lowest mileage , and best condition car you can afford.
That being said, be wary of garage queens with really low mileage as these cars like to be driven and driven hard. IMHO, there are more problems like IMSB issues on cars that have not been driven and maintained

A good maintenance history is something you definitely want to look for, especially regular oil changes., 3-5k miles is a good interval. Cars that have longer intervals and especially ones that sit in a garage for long periods often have more problems.

Spend some time going through threads on this forum, the 996 forum here (you will need a thick skin if you post) and especially 986forum.com, it is far and away the best Boxster forum around.

YMMV

Last edited by JayG; 05-05-2016 at 03:07 PM.
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Old 05-05-2016, 01:11 PM
  #12  
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Hi Jay,
Wow. Even more great advice! I am going to spend a bit of time absorbing all of the different posts in order to narrow the field, but based on what I have read from several of you, it seems as if my search is pointing towards a 2003 or newer S, based on the larger motor, six speed and glass window for the top. Economics will be the other factor, as the 2005 and newer models may be out of my reach, particularly as a third car
I had no idea that you could get a readout showing how often the car has been sent over the redline. That will help tremendously, as will the PPI that so many have suggested.


Thanks,
David
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Old 05-06-2016, 01:18 PM
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David For what it's worth, I have owned 3 986 Boxster's over the past 10 years. 2003, 2000S and currently a 1999. All great cars, something about the 99 makes it my personal favorite. Less of everything seems to me, to be more. The smaller 2.5 engine loves to rev, less weight, less electronic assist, fewer gears, makes the car a blast to drive. The double row IMS which rarely fails and the much larger plastic window are a plus.
As everyone here has said the smart money is on a well cared for car which checks out on PPI. Then get into the car and drive away!
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Old 05-06-2016, 04:15 PM
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Just a few small (but not so small for me) additions to the differences between 986.2 (MY 2003-2004) and earlier cars 986.1:

Clear front and rear turn indicators (no amber)
Glove box
Slightly different front and rear bumpers

All the other advice here is good. Research, research, research.

Also, the post 99 cars have the single row IMSB which has shown to have a higher failure rate than the earlier double row cars. You'll want to make sure you know if the IMSB has been replaced or upgraded.

These are wonderful old cars. Mine drives like a much newer car, but they can easily cost you a lot more than the purchase price. Find one that has been loved by its previous owner(s), and you'll be happy.
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Old 05-06-2016, 07:38 PM
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Hi Kurt, GRC,
More great advice! I am only just beginning to learn about the issues with the IMS(B), and had no idea that the 1999 and prior years did not present these issues as much as later years.
Kurt, I also appreciate your comment about the early series, in regards to "less can be more"... I have been a bit hesitant to look at the early years because I prefer the look of the much later headlights and glass back window, but you both make a great point about the benefits of the 1999 era vehicles. Since a 2005 model is still a bit out of the ball park, purchase-price wise (not to mention the additional funds that it may need for updates/repair), a 1999S may be the solution.
Of the three headlight styles that I can recognize as different from each other, I prefer the 2005 (as an example) first, but actually like the amber of the earlier series (1999 as an example) over the 2003 and 2004 headlight.
Those are just style preferences. The more important aspects were covered above. Thanks again for providing your perspective -- it is very much valued!


David
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