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Old 06-07-2004, 06:58 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Maine
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Rookie w/ many questions...

I'm new to the forum - still looking around for my 1st Porsche. Just got the green light from the Mrs, so...
I won't bog the forum down w/ 1k questions, but...!

1) I've got easy access to both types of lifts - the type that raises the entire car by lifting the wheels - like a muffler shop would use, and the second type of lift which raises the car from the frame (wheels are free/hang). Any special items to take into consideration when raising a 986, especially when it's lifted by its chasis/frame? I've never crawled under a car on jack stands or ramps and I refuse to. It's so much easier to walk underneath and do the work!

2) Had some trouble w/ the SEARCH feature. I'm looking for a good comprehensive list to go by and print out when I'm inspecting a prospective 986. If anyone can point me in the right direction or post a link would be great.

3) Same as # 2 but looking for the top 10 list (or hopefully its shorter!!!) of things that might go wrong on a 986 and that need fixin'. I'm not "Mr Good Wrench" but I know some basic stuff like fluids, brakes, timming belts, valve clearences adj., etc... Also on the same note, is Porsche anal about special tools? I try to do my own maint.

4) How are 986 factory/shop manuals? Are they worth it? I'm looking for a quality product w/ details.

5) Thanks in advance for all your assistance. I will be checking in frequently lookign for advice when I come accross a prospective buy.
-Da haole!
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Old 06-08-2004, 08:18 PM   #2
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I'll throw in my $.02, and probably expose my ignorance in the process.
1.) Porsche is extremely loathe to recommend anything but the 4 jack points, one behind each front wheel and one in front of each rear wheel, for raising the vehicle. This makes it interesting when you try to place the car on jack stands, since placing the jack stands requires that both the jack stand and the jack occupy the same physical position simultaneously. Since you apparently have no intention of crawling under the vehicle anyway, this is not a problem. Using the type of lift than engages the frame should work OK on the jacking points. Some folks recommend putting a hockey puck between the jack and the jacking point to prevent metal to metal contact and possible damage to the car. The August '04 issue of Excellence magazine has a lengthy article about Porsche jacking points, but has no other recommendations for the Boxster than the four factory authorized jack points.
2.)I have never seen any specific list of things to check out on a Boxster prior to purchase. I suspect it would be basically the same as any other used car. Body damage, frame damage, interior/exterior condition, etc. Does it sound funny, run funny, clutch slip, and on and on. There is a book by Zimmerman called "The Used 911 Story" that might be of some use, but the large part of the info is highly 911-specific.
Since the whole car is basically at the mercy of the electrical system, it would be prudent to make sure that all of the warning lights work as they should. This would presume that you know how they should work, which in turn, unless you have already owned a Boxster, would mean that it would be a good idea to be familiar with all of the operational data contained in the owner's manual.
I would make sure that any prospective purchase HAD an owner's manual, and the maintenance manual, and the warranty manual, or had a damn good reason why they were not available.
The maintenance manual should have entries for all of the maintenace performed on the car and who did it, and when. This is critical to the warranty, although most of the '99 and earlier cars are now out of warranty. My experience has been that many Boxster owners have been shall we say less religious about maintenance than is true of 911 owners. In the 911 world the maintenance history of the car is considered to be a part of the determination of the value and salability of the car, and a premium on the price is due for a car that has a complete documented maintenance history. Would that this were true in the Boxster world. I have seen Boxster owners ******************** mercilessly about the cost of a major maintenance ($800+), and point out that all the dealer did was change the oil, plugs and brake fluid and check a bunch of stuff. Nobody said owning a Porsche is cheap. Maintaining it properly is part of the contract assumed when you buy the car. Or should be.
3.) See above. Also refer to the Aug '04 Excellence magazine, Tech Forum section, for an item about problems with early '97 and some '98 cars that had to have engine replacement due to cylinder block problems. Apparently this problem shows up before 35,000 miles if it shows up at all, so it shouldn't be a problem unless you run into a very low-mileage car. Also, as I recall from reading posts on other discussion groups just after the Boxster was introduced in '97, there were some early problems with the top mechanism. This might be something to look out for, i.e., proper operation of the top. I would think you might be interested in a good top (and heater) since you are in Maine. Or maybe you only want to drive it from June to Sept?
4.) It sounds like you are intending on maintaining the car yourself. See my comments in #2 about documented maintenance. I personally would not touch a used Porsche that was owner-maintained, unless it was a 356 or an early 911 maybe. I assume you might want to sell the car at some point, so it is something to consider.
5.) Finally, don't be in a hurry to buy one. There are lots of them out there, and some very low mileage ones at that. If one doesn't feel right, pass on it because there will be another one along tomorrow.
Regards, and good luck in your search.
'99 Boxster
Speed Yellow/Black
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Old 06-10-2004, 06:14 PM   #3
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thanks ronzi

Great advice Ronzi. I agree w/ your assessment on inspecting a used 986.
Looks like an í00 and newer is the way to go (glitches w/ earlier models and mileage/use/wear).
My intentions are to only use it during the 2 weeks of summer that we get!

Youíre right about not rushing into a purchase. As with every vehicle Iíve purchased, it will feel right when the time comes.

Thanks again for all the help.

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