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Old 08-26-2008, 06:56 AM   #17
Jake Raby
Engine Surgeon
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Cleveland GA USA
Posts: 2,425
From Silver Arrow
I really appreciate your comments in this thread. Thank you for the real information, something that can be lacking when dealing with Porsche when discussing their engines. Your web site is very interesting and it is shocking to see the shoddy work that Porsche puts into its remanufactured engines.
We were also shocked to see some of the practices within the engines, things like welded blocks and areas that were marked as problematic, yet engines were still assembled with these parts. One 30K mile engine has several modes of failure that haven't been mainstream, but we are now starting to get complaints of simil;ar symproms from some people inquiring about our engines.

I look forward to seeing your 2.9 results. I hope I don't need it anytime soon, and so does my 401k, but it is nice to have an option.
Yhe 2.9 is the engine that I look most forward to developing as I feel it will offer the best bang for the buck. Since it is based from the 2.7 core we are trying to source more of those as they are the hardest to come by.

I hope to have results from the first 2.9 sometime in early 09.

My wife and I were talking about a quality engine rebuild vs engine swap today and she brought up an interesting point. Swapping in a 3.4 may increase the value of the car for resale and have some ROI for the cost, but you will be right back where you started if it goes pop, and some $30,000 in the hole. It's a pretty big risk to take unless you sell the thing after the swap right away. I plan on keeping this car as a toy and ax/de car and this seems like it will be a great option.
And thats a real possibility, especially since the 3.4 has so many issues that are similar to the 986, but generally end with more catastrophic failures.

From Lil Bastard
My question is about cost of your engines, especially for the early 2.5's. As you say this is where you have concentrated to-date and feel this is a major market for you.
Yes, the 2.5s are the oldest, most problematic and experience the highest rate of failures.

Given these cars low current market value, will the cost of your engine make it a viable alternative, or one which is too rich for many's blood?
Thats really according to the intent of the car and what you are looking for. When one looks at a stock engine the cost is in line with the Porsche offering at todays rate. When one looks at the 2.7 (2.5 based big bore) engine the prices start to be easier to appreciate as there are power gains. When one looks at the 2.9 Performance engine the gains show up pretty clearly in cost Vs output. These 2.9 engines based from a 2.5 case with a 2.7 carrier and crankshaft are more than likely going to be our best offerings in cost Vs output.

If you have a MY '97 or '98, how much sense does it make to put a $10k or higher motor into such a car as opposed to just going out and buying another car? Many of the 2.5 owners are 2nd or 3rd owners and have the 2.5 because they are the only cars in their price range.
That was me.. my test car is a '98. Porsches have cost associated with their ownershop and the proble with the "Porsche master plan" behind the Boxster was it led to huge depreciation in a short time, due in part to the high quantity of them on prodiuced as well as the higher cost of repairing the engines.

As I have stated before, it is not our master plan to rebuild tons and tons of these engines! What we want to do is provide procedures, components, upgrades, specialty tools and specific training to those who would like to work on their own engine.

This means that ultimately local shops will be able to repair engines, source parts and tools to do the job without having to buy a complete engine from us. I want to provide enough complete upgraded engines to apply our procedures, but its not smething that we wish to do in a full scale, long term plan.

By the end of 2009 we will have a plan in action that will allow shops to be representatives of what we do and one price will buy them the opporunity to sourece parts at wholesale levels, and the same will go for our procedures and we will include training here at our education facility as well as DVDs on the topic. This will allow shops to do the work that they have had to turn down for so many years and possibly offer a lower cost option to the public.

I also plan to offer DVDs on these topics to the novice that will illustrate how to do the procedures and step by step how to rebuild the engine. I have an in house instructional video division that will make this a possibility for us and will increase awareness to the novice and make it possible for an engine to be "rebuilt and upgraded" at home. I have extensive experience with DVDs like this for the aircooled engine, and those have been great tools to assist the novice with their project.

Porsche never intended for the Owner to maintain or repair the engine/ car and we want to counter their plan.

If the car's value drops any further, as it may well do because of high fuel prices, shifting demographics, etc., these cars may be in danger of becoming 'disposable' as opposed to throwing a big bucks repair at it.
They already are.. In the past month I know of two cars that were parted out because the owners could not afford to repair them. Blame Porsche for that.

I think we will see these cars being used more and more for competition and perhaps that will keep them alive.

How will your motor compare on a cost basis with a factory reman?
At the current price from Porsche we are within 750.00 of the Porsche price for a bone stock 2.5 engine. What Porsche won't offer is a performance engine, so thats sure to be our biggest seller as it doesn't cost much more at all to get much bigger output.

From Grant
You can also go direct to source of the key component of these rebuilt motors. I'd like to see a few builders using these Nickie 986 cases.
Yes, LN Engineering and my company have teamed up to create these developments and procedures. They do block work for anyone who wants to tackle the job themselves.. But thats the easy part because it only takes one phone call and one opening of the wallet.

You can look at the cost of their service and see where a huge portion of our costs somes from with the upgraded engines, because its a 4K investment for the Nickies upgrade and JE pistons and EVERY engine we build will get this, because otherwise a repeat of a D chunk failure could occur in short order.

Anyone using the LN Engineering services to recondition a block will end up having to charge the same or MORE that we do. More than likely they won't be able to source the rest of the pieces as we have had to literally make main bearings and a ton of smaller pieces because they could not be sourced from Porsche.

Anyone know much about the place in the UK that has done inserts for cases as well? Looks like free market is driving some solutions.
Thats AutoFarm. Their practice is much like the factory and their cylinders aren't Nikisil. The cost experienced with their method is more than ours and they even use "used" pistons. It may be a viable solution for European clients, but not for those in the states with the dollar Vs the pound exchange rate today.

Raby tends to be high end.
In my Aircooled business we certainly go toward the higher echelon, but thats a totally different world than the Boxster engines and thats for several reasons. The Boxster program is being standardized because we have to universally be concerned with Motronic compatability, emissions and other constraints that we do not have to consider with aircooled engines, due to their age.

In the aircooled world EVERY engine I design and build is different and thats made possible by their simplicity and the vast array of components available. This is not the case with the Boxster and 996, so standardization is the key.

I'm looking for Toyota of engine builders - solid quality at reasonable price.
As always, you will get exactly what you pay for. The Boxster engine is ot simple to assemble and not fun to work on internally. It takes as long to assemble a stock Boxster engine as it does to assemble a 250 HP aircooled engine, because of that labor costs will be a consideration for anyone, even a mass rebuilder. Historically mass rebuilders of Porsche engines have been failures waiting to occur.

With any engine there is certainly a required amount of labor to reach an acceptable goal. In this case the labor and practices to upgrade the cylinders to Nickies, upgrade the IMS as well as the additional upgrades cost a significant amount of money. These are the things that are required for future issues to be avoided, and those corners can't be cut.

If we did a simple "rebuild" of an engine without the upgrades the cost would be 5K less, but the labor would still be the same and I don't believe that clients would find it acceptable to experience the same failure again in less then 5K miles, and thats a possibility without upgrades being applied.

Jake is more of a one off specialty engine builder -
I tend to be comprehensive, doing what is required to attain an acceptable result. I will be that way no matter what we work with, be it a 40 year old 914 engine, or a 2008 Boxster. Thats is what makes us effective.

As I stated several times in the past, the program we have created is totally different than it's aircooled counterpart. We realize the differences in Boxster owners and the owners of earlier cars. We also realize that the amount of Boxsters on the road and the demand for these services will warrant more standadrization and solid solutions for common problems. Due to this, we started from scratch and are ready to meet any demand necessary for stock UPGRADED rebuilt engines, class specific rebuilt engines and larger displacement, dual purpose performance packages.

he does a great job but his prices tend to be out relm of most who get into a sub $18K 2.5 986 Boxster like most of us.
Grany, you are assuming this, and you are not correct. The prices for our engines are now posted on our online store that is under construction, bt can be accessed from our website

There you will see that the prices we post rival that of a stock factory remanufactured engine and certainly don't cost much more to add significant HP and torque increases. The price we have for a stock Nickies upgraded engine is just a few dollars more than the current (recently revised) price for a Porsche reman engine without the Nickies upgrades, etc, etc. As the dollar vs the euro continues to increase prices for the Porsche reman units, our engines will remain at standardized pricing as most all parts we are working with are made in the USA.

I'd like to see a higher volume engine builder take on these motors to drive cost effeciency.
Take a Boxster engine apart and re-assemble it and you'll see why this can't ever really occur effectively. The engines are labor intensive and were not built to be "worked on" easily. Anyone who completes a cheap rebuild of the engines will be taking their chances on future cylinder failures and the same BS that takes a fair chunk of Boxsters off the road every week. Thats not something I intend to be associated with.

Now, sorry to be so long winded, but al the comments and questions have been great and the deserve detailed responses from me.

For those of you who don't follow the aircooled boards...

Grant is a prior 914 guy.. In the aircooled workld he has always been a critic of my work and especially what we charge for components and engines. It was ironic when he recently traded his 914/6 race car for a Boxster...

I'll close by saying that everything in life has a cost of admission and you will always get exactly what you pay for. The Boxster has engine issues and the cost associated with a true resolution of these issues isn't ever going to be "cheap".

Once again, our goal is to make the engine more easily repaired and updated by empowering local shops and enthusiasts to do the work themselves.

(why?? Because thats exactly what Porsche didn't want to occur!)
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