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Old 05-27-2010, 09:19 PM   #1
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Need a little guidance if available

Well, I'll cut straight to the point. I'm looking at dropping in a new(er) engine over the winter when I buy a new car. My 2.5 with 148k is at the end of its life, the head gasket is leaking oil, it sounds rough, fluctuating idle, as a cylinder bank 1 misfire every so often, you know... falling apart.

In my opinion, the engine needs a rebuild so I was just going to pull it and and drop a 3.4, 3.6, or 3.8 in it and swap out the tip tranny for a 6spd manual. As I said, the WHOLE winter.

I can go one of two options, I found a 3.6 short block, complete but only the block, pistons, and rods for $1000. The block and cylinders are completely undamaged but it will need a complete rebuild and the addition of parts.

Or I can buy a used 3.4 engine for around $4,000.

Which route would you go and why?
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Old 05-28-2010, 02:39 AM   #2
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IMO, if you plan on changing the transmission too you are going to approach some sobering numbers on the finished product. First thing to consider might be selling your car as is if it runs decently and purchasing a newer low mile unit. If you're set on having the experience of building an engine (something I can totally relate to) then I would build one. A used engine is just placing another unknown into the mix, a rebuilt (at substantially higher cost) should be freshened to the point of dependability, frankly I'd keep the 5 speed and put the $ in the engine, especially given what comments I've read about the six speed..

Last edited by eightsandaces; 05-28-2010 at 02:44 AM.
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Old 05-28-2010, 04:24 AM   #3
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I would also skip the 6 speed...no big difference, just another gear to shift. I would lean to a low mileage used engine from a salvage Boxster. Check with the Porsche dismantler's around the country and make the best deal you can. You can negotiate a better price for there is a glut of Boxster parts available.
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Old 05-28-2010, 05:29 AM   #4
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As I see it

I'd sell the car for what I could get...probably part-out value of ~$4k.

I see no reason to put the kind of serious money you will need to swap an engine and transmission and ECU and .....into a 148k mile car unless it is pristine and the rest of the cat has been maintained to the max...and it has all the options and mods you want. Too many other lower mileage Boxsters out there with improvements over your era car can be had for prices that make it seem uneconomical to repair to me.

Boxsters aren't 356s, they have an economic life cycle and then they die and you move on to another. I doubt in 17 years we'll see many article on the $100k restoration of a 986.

IMHO, YMMV
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Old 05-28-2010, 10:08 AM   #5
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Hmmm... everyone makes a valid point. To be honest I have a sentimental value attached to the car because I worked 3 long summers doing construction during high school to save up for it, and my parents did chip in a few thousand too as a birthday present to pay for the taxes, plates, new tires, insurance, etc. when i first bought the car 4 years ago.

4 years ago the car had 89k miles on it and KBB'd at 17k. Since it was a family friend, and elder Alderman of Cincinnati who sold us the car, for a modest price of 11.1k. It was by far the cheapest boxster around 4 years ago with the best mileage and taken care of properly.

4 years, 2 minor accidents, and almost 59k miles later... the car is in no means show room condition. Rock chips in the paint on the hood, my clear coat has many scratches from a shop using a rubbing compound, and just typical wear and tear on the outside and in.

Just a couple weeks ago after my bose stereo system blew out I had it replaced to the tune of almost a few grand.

Admittedly I would be lucky to get 8k on the car if I sold it Private, probably closer to 6.5k-7k and with just investing $3500 in a new stereo system and new tires.... you catch my drift. I would rather not part the car out because of the time hassle of dismantling, selling the parts, and it would take up garage space that I'd rather use for a working car.


Simply put, my dilemma is if I want to keep the car as is until the engine goes, sell the car which I have attachment to, or drop another 8-15k in the car over the next year and a half with a new(er) engine, redo the interior to match the new sound system, body kit, a repaint, and of course new rims, and a new suspension.

I have a lot of thinking to do. I love the car, both sentimentally and for the wonderful piece of machinery it is.
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Old 05-28-2010, 11:20 AM   #6
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You realize you just described

The cost of a lots newer perfect used Boxster.

I know the emotion, I totaled my first Boxster and my first thought was "oh golly, I ruined a Porsche".

Stereo $3k plus fixing whatever caused it to blow

Paint $8k

Engine $12k

Interior $2k

Tires $1k

Hassle...immeasurable. And you'd have a 2 accident car when you are finished with lots of other really really old parts that could fail any time.

A Boxster is a Porsche...very much. But unless you have a bag of gold you have to treat it as an investment decision.

Maybe sell to someone who wants to make a spec racer out of it and so the paint and interior matter little and the engine would have to be gone over for their uses anyway. They will pull the stereo. And be using special tires.
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Old 05-28-2010, 01:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PlayersExpress

Just a couple weeks ago after my bose stereo system blew out I had it replaced to the tune of almost a few grand.



Personally, I'd drive it until it died. Then I'd eBay the stereo system and the tires (and anything else of value like windscreens, etc.).

I would avoid spending money on things like stereos and engines...

If you prefer -- eBay the stereo and tires now -- and sell the car now. But either way, I wouldn't be putting big money into a boxster with 150K miles on the clock.
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Old 06-01-2010, 07:05 PM   #8
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You do know that the 3.4 engines have the most widespread modes of failure of all M96 engines, right?
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Old 06-02-2010, 12:51 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake Raby
You do know that the 3.4 engines have the most widespread modes of failure of all M96 engines, right?
Honestly, I did not know that Jake. I was under the impression that the 2.5 had more problems/higher rate of failure per capita than the 3.4. I've read much about the different failures, but never have I heard it that clean cut from the someone with knowledge I am not privy too. I must remark that I think you probably know more about the M96 engines than the guys who originally designed them.

On that note, my project is on hold... see my other thread. My car was vandalized and I'm waiting on my insurance company who is sending out an adjuster on thursday to determine if it is totaled or not.
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