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Old 07-29-2009, 10:49 PM   #1
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Poll: DIY vs Mechanic

Well not really a poll...I don't know how to that anyway if it's even possible on this forum

But want to see how many of you work on your boxster and how many leave it to a mechanic. I'm talking about anything involving a wrench, not wiper blades or something......Basically those tasks that have high potential to draw blood and/or profanity.

If you do your own work, do you use a car lift? or ramps or what?


I don't have my first Boxster yet but seems they're not as easy to work on as "normal" cars (esp engine bay) but not beyond the DIYer either.

CRCGuy

P.S. I did a search but couldn't find previous thread if there is one. maybe this has already been discussed...

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Old 07-30-2009, 04:40 AM   #2
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I change my oil and perform basic maintenance on my car, but it only has 15k miles. Recent tasks include installing LN filter adapter, low temp thermostat with coolant renewal and brake/clutch fluid flush.

Previously, I've installed an Evo Hi-Flow intake, Fabspeed secondary cat bypass pipes, a modified muffler and a B&M short shift. I did pay a friend to install my H&R sport springs, however, and align the car.

I use a combination of jack stands and hydraulic jacks.

These cars are pretty simple to do basic work, but I'll leave the tough stuff to the experts.
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Old 07-30-2009, 05:09 AM   #3
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Done myself: Starter, belt, oil change, filters, cleaned radiator, climate control display, visor mirrors.

Future jobs: horns, spark plugs, brakes and rotors

Tools needed: floor jack and jack stands, full set of metrics, torx, torque wrench, beer, hammer, luck

Dealer: DS key latch
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Old 07-30-2009, 05:36 AM   #4
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Let us know what you think about the t-stat change.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jmatta
I change my oil and perform basic maintenance on my car, but it only has 15k miles. Recent tasks include installing LN filter adapter, low temp thermostat with coolant renewal and brake/clutch fluid flush.

Previously, I've installed an Evo Hi-Flow intake, Fabspeed secondary cat bypass pipes and a modified muffler.

I use a combination of jack stands and hydraulic jacks.

These cars are pretty simple to do basic work, but I'll leave the tough stuff to the experts.
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Old 07-30-2009, 06:02 AM   #5
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Let us know what you think about the t-stat change.

I can already tell the car runs cooler by the "gauge". I don't have a Durametric, so I can't plug into the OBDII, but I trust Jake and Charles' word on the issues and it's cheap insurance to lower the coolant temp, thereby, lowering the oil temp.

If it's good enough for GT3s, it's got to be good for my Box; and it doesn't break the bank to purchase and install.
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Old 07-30-2009, 07:15 AM   #6
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I hear you man. I was just curious as to your results.


as an aside..
My letter to Excellance was published the month after yours. (kinda cool)



Quote:
Originally Posted by jmatta
Let us know what you think about the t-stat change.

I can already tell the car runs cooler by the "gauge". I don't have a Durametric, so I can't plug into the OBDII, but I trust Jake and Charles' word on the issues and it's cheap insurance to lower the coolant temp, thereby, lowering the oil temp.

If it's good enough for GT3s, it's got to be good for my Box; and it doesn't break the bank to purchase and install.
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Old 07-30-2009, 07:21 AM   #7
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I am by no means a mechanic, but I am mechanically inclined. I have never really performed any type of extensive work on a car before, but since ownership I have done:

3 oil/filter changes
serpentine belt
new brake pads on all four corners and brake fluid flush
air filters/cabin filters
removed and cleaned throttle body
remove and replace rear upper track arms
r&r drop links
r&r ignition switch
installed 996 six channel amp and rear speaker kit
installed infiniti speakers in the dash
installed a cable that plays and charges the ipod through the factory head unit
probably a few other small things that escape me right now

These were all done with regular hand tools, with the exception of a power bleeder for the brakes and a large and small torque wrench. I just used this site and renntech for the DIYs. There really is no reason to take your car to a shop (especially the dealer) for general maintenance unless you don't have the time or inclination.
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Old 07-30-2009, 07:46 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shaman1204
installed a cable that plays and charges the ipod through the factory head unit
Did you do a writeup on how to do that?

Jon
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Old 07-30-2009, 07:52 AM   #9
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I've done all my own work thus far, which isn't much more than just regular maintence because the car has been very reliable since new. Have a few small mods I installed myself like the 997/987 shifter, smoked side markers, BMC air filter, non-smoker tray but nothing major yet.
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Old 07-30-2009, 08:20 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oaktown 986
Did you do a writeup on how to do that?

Jon
Read this thread. There is a ton of info about the cable here.
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Old 07-30-2009, 08:42 AM   #11
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Hands down DIY!! Only way I would have someone else do it, is if The money didn't matter, I didn't realistically have the time, and if I didn't have any mechanical skills.


DIY Pro's
You get to know your car
Sense of accomplishment
Save Big $$$
Make sure its done right (no cutting corners)
It's easier the second time!!
You Amass a whole new tool collection
You can make a lot of new friends, like on here



DIY Con's
You get dirty
You can get frustrated
You could screw something bigger up
You could injure yourself
Could be a mess on your garage floor
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Old 07-30-2009, 09:02 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oaktown 986
Did you do a writeup on how to do that?
i used an ipod connector i purchased from jeremy ( http://986forum.com/forums/members/raisedonporsches.html ) which was a breeze to install.

becker has a cable as well. i don't know what the difference is ( besides $ ).

other than that, i've done a serpentine belt, cleaned radiators and replaced the coolant cap. mechanic replaced front strut mount.

i have coolant, spark plugs, cv boot kits and fuel filter sitting in the basement waiting for install. will leave the cv boots to the same mechanic that did the strut mount. rest will be done by me.
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Old 07-30-2009, 09:50 AM   #13
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I'm a DIYer and have been for many years.

Haven't come across many things I couldn't do incl. engine assembly, valve work, etc. I pretty much do everything except machining (don't have the apparatus). After many years, I've accumulated all the necessary tools - 4 cabinets worth.

Working on the car myself is a very big part of the hobby for me.

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Old 07-30-2009, 11:21 AM   #14
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All DIY so far. Living in San Francisco, I share my garage with my upstairs neighbors, so I can't get too crazy. If I did a clutch job, I'd probably have to borrow my business partner's garage.

My biggest reason for doing it myself: For most jobs, I'm going to do it with more care and time than a shop can afford to spend. For example, I can let my oil drain for two days and a shop has to do it in 20 minutes to get the lift cleared for the next job.
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Old 07-30-2009, 11:32 AM   #15
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I've owned my S for two years and have done the following work...


DIY: ROW M030 suspension, PSE muffler, oil/filter (3 times), air filter, spark plugs, cabin air filter, fuel filter, tranny fluid, battery (Optima), aftermarket sway bar drop links, iPod cable for CDR220


Shop (dealer, actually): alignment


Near future DIY: engine mount, rear wheel bearings (left side is rumbling), Schnell short shift; clean radiators


For me part of the fun of a "toy" car is working on it and making it better. I've found the Boxster quite easy to work on. Suspension work is much, much easier than my previous Porsche -- a torsion bar 911. And being able to change the clutch (or whole tranny) without engine removal is a nice change from the 911.

BTW, I have a lift and air tools at home, so I can have the car up in the air with wheels off in less than 10 minutes.
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Old 07-30-2009, 08:45 PM   #16
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I've done everything so far except mount up the new tires. The Boxster makes some tasks, like changing out the brake pads, amazingly easy. Wheel lugs instead of lug nuts made pulling the rotors off a snap.

Not a lot of engine-bay time - I've got a year of warranty left before I need to start worrying about that.

The header install (and subsequent uninstall - too LOUD!) was a really nice surprise, too. Exhaust manifolds on the bottom of the engine in the middle of the car is worlds better than under the hood, on the side of the motor, an inch from the firewall or radiator.
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Old 07-31-2009, 03:31 AM   #17
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The responses here have been great! and surprising. I really never would have thought that a mid-engine car with no hood to pop open would have been so relatively easy to work on (albeit, maybe tougher than normal cars in some areas).
But I guess you do need the right tools and some more important for a Boxster than other cars (e.g. lift).

That really helps me in my decision to get a Boxster as I too have always done some work on my cars. My Miata was a piece of cake for most jobs.
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Old 07-31-2009, 07:56 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CRCGuy
The responses here have been great! and surprising. I really never would have thought that a mid-engine car with no hood to pop open would have been so relatively easy to work on (albeit, maybe tougher than normal cars in some areas).
But I guess you do need the right tools and some more important for a Boxster than other cars (e.g. lift).

That really helps me in my decision to get a Boxster as I too have always done some work on my cars. My Miata was a piece of cake for most jobs.
You don't really need a lift, but it would make some jobs much easier, like the front engine mount replacement. That would be MUCH easier with a lift of some form or another.

I don't have a lift, and here's my list of stuff I've done by myself:

Rear Struts
Front Engine Mount
All 4 rotors and pads
Convertible top Microswitch

So far, the only thing I have had to "outsource" to my local Firestone shop was the alignment after I replaced the rear struts.

In a couple weeks, I'm going to try my hand at spooning on a new set of rear tires, since I always do the tires on my motorcycles. Should be exactly the same as the rear wheel on my Ducati 848.

BC.
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Old 07-31-2009, 08:31 AM   #19
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I am not comfortable working on most of the major mechanical aspects of my car like the engine, brakes, etc. Mostly because I do not have the experience and would rather have my mechanic do it, so I don't than mess anything up. However I would not hesitate to do things like changing the air filter, changing the oil (with ramps), serpentine belt, etc.

Since getting my Boxster I have taken most of the dash apart for upgrades, and would not hesitate to replace anything in the interior. The seats, radio, instrument cluster, and lower dash are all very easy to work on. Right now I have my front bumper off and most of the front trunk apart to clean my radiators, add an air horn, and change the cabin filter.

The Boxster is very easy to work on for two reasons:
1 - The car is designed so well it is easy to take apart.
2 - You have great Boxster community that can help you if you have a problem.

Most of the maintenance a Boxster requires can be done very easily by most people that aren't afraid to get a little dirty. I don't find a Boxster to be any harder to work on because of the engine placement.
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Old 07-31-2009, 09:38 AM   #20
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I do both. I used to do a lot of wrenching on hot rods, airplanes and motorcycles and then spent 6 years as a fleet mechanic for my company. The fleet work gave me lots of daily experience but also sucked some of the joy out of wrenching as a hobby. I now happily refer out jobs I don't want to do.

On the Boxster I have changed the oil, wheels, brakes and rotors, cleaned/replaced the MAF, changed filters, and diagnosed CEL issues. Jobs I have referred to a qualified mechanic: Performance alignment, tires, oil change and brake fluid flush, pre-tech inspection prior to track days, cracked coolant tank.

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