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Old 07-23-2010, 08:50 AM   #1
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Introduction & ?s on getting my boxster tip-top

Hi all,

I've been on the forums for a few days now, but want to introduce myself. I'll take pictures this weekend, after my first full detail

My father has owned a '99 Lapis Blue 5-speed Boxster since ~2003, when he returned from a 2-year tour in Sicily. He had a brand new '69 911 Targa, bought with some inheritance money, and then chose to become a social worker and subsequently drove Toyotas for 30 years. He kept the 911 shift knob, and I grew up hearing stories.

The boxster was a return to that as he neared retirement. Similar in displacement & size, he loved it. However, the past few years it's been a garage queen with less than 2000 miles a year being put on it. He no longer enjoyed it, and he became extremely frustrated with the horn honking problem and the battery going dead, as well as a coolant tank that exploded not too long ago.

So, he decided to pass it on to me with 56k miles on it, in amazing shape, and with (in the last 3 years/6k miles):

1. All new bilstein dampers
2. Performance sways front and rear
3. Front strut tower brace
4. New brakes all around
5. New coolant expansion tank ~1 year ago, done by Porsche (ouch!), and the coolant appears new and pink. The coolant tank cap ends in -002 though...

6. A lapis blue hard-top (perfect shape), a set of 18" turbo twist wheels with brand new Pilot Sports, and a set of 17" twist wheels with a new set of blizzaks.

Yes, I'm extremely fortunate.

As each day passes, I'm learning to love it a little more. It's not a powerhouse, but it handles unbelievably when tossed sideways. The brakes are ridiculously firm and confident at any speed.

Problem areas:

1. Front bumper was damaged by flying debris on my 2nd day of ownership. It's being repaired/replaced....if possible, with a boxster S bumper.

2. Steering wheel is shimmying at almost every speed. It's very minor. Could be a balance issue, could be a slightly bent rim. Are there any known problem suspension areas that lead to this? I'll check them out....

3. Oil & Brake fluids need to be done by me so I can be sure of their providence.

4. Rear trunk smells like coolant....could possible still be leaking. I'm going to pull the black plastic cover over the coolant air-bleed point and see if coolant is escaping from a bad o-ring?

5. The convertible top opens and closes quickly, but it "judders" a bit and sounds like some parts need to be lubed. Unfortunately, I've seen threads that say "don't lube the top" so I'm not sure what to do here. Plastic is faded, but not cracking. Needs to be buffed up.

6. I'm not driving it right now.

...

I'm going to garage it from December 1-March 1 as part of my insurance. During that time, I'm going to tune the car up and inspect it fully. I've been searching, but I'd still like to hear the latest thinking around some issues....

So here are my questions around that:

1. Spark plugs - Going to buy original plugs or NGKs from ********************************AZ (cheapest). Any preference for one or the other? Do I need to replace spark plug tubes, or is that a nice-to-do?

2. Oil - I read somewhere that a canister style screw-on filter is thought to be ideal. I like the concept of being able to inspect the open cartridge filter though. Is there a preferred brand and any reasoning? I have the drain-plug removal tool & cartridge filter socket.

3. Brake fluid - A quick inspection makes this look like every other car. Anything unique here? I'm going to suck the reservoir dry, re-fill it, and then bleed from each brake caliper. Just making sure Porsche didn't insert any extra steps

4. Serpentine Belt - I like Gates brand and saw it for inexpensive. Any comments on that?

5. Trans/Rear Diff Fluid - Going to replace with Porsche-brand just because. Any recommendations, special tools, etc.?

6. Shifter bushings - I'm going to replace these, and inspect the engine mounts. The shifter feels decent, but aged. And sometimes weird resistance as it's engaging the gear. No other words to describe it. Are there upgraded bushings, or just use stock?

All filters, fluids, spark plugs, and the serp belt will be replaced (except coolant and power steering). Any other recommendations for inspection? The car operates great.

My goal at the end of the day is to do as much as possible myself and keep this a glorious, low-cost-to-own, fun car my wife and I enjoy for 8500 miles a year and garage 3-months a year. I look forward to using this forum to that end

Joe
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Old 07-23-2010, 09:59 AM   #2
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So here are my questions around that:

1. Spark plugs - Going to buy original plugs or NGKs from ********************************AZ (cheapest). Any preference for one or the other? Do I need to replace spark plug tubes, or is that a nice-to-do? NGKs are OK. If the tubes are leaking replace the o-rings.

2. Oil - I read somewhere that a canister style screw-on filter is thought to be ideal. I like the concept of being able to inspect the open cartridge filter though. Is there a preferred brand and any reasoning? I have the drain-plug removal tool & cartridge filter socket. Standard Porsche Filter is fine, be sure to use 0-40 or 10-40 synthetic. My choice is Castrol.

3. Brake fluid - A quick inspection makes this look like every other car. Anything unique here? I'm going to suck the reservoir dry, re-fill it, and then bleed from each brake caliper. Just making sure Porsche didn't insert any extra steps. Do not suck it dry, bad mistake. Look at the color, if its golden buy the blue, so when you bleed each caliper yo can see the color change and know you flushed the line. You need 2 people for this or get a tool for to do it by yourself.

4. Serpentine Belt - I like Gates brand and saw it for inexpensive. Any comments on that? Use the Porsche OEM.

5. Trans/Rear Diff Fluid - Going to replace with Porsche-brand just because. Any recommendations, special tools, etc.? It's a 90 weight gear lube...have fun on this.

6. Shifter bushings - I'm going to replace these, and inspect the engine mounts. The shifter feels decent, but aged. And sometimes weird resistance as it's engaging the gear. No other words to describe it. Are there upgraded bushings, or just use stock? I have a TIP so no help here. Motor mounts usually are worn out around 60K....yes, inspect it.

All filters, fluids, spark plugs, and the serp belt will be replaced (except coolant and power steering). Any other recommendations for inspection? The car operates great. Air filter, cabin filter and fuel filter.

My goal at the end of the day is to do as much as possible myself and keep this a glorious, low-cost-to-own, fun car my wife and I enjoy for 8500 miles a year and garage 3-months a year. I look forward to using this forum to that end

Go to Pelican Parts they have very prices and carry OEM and what they think is suitable non OEM part. The also have a Tech section so you will know what you need to have and do while performing your maintenance, also go to Pedro's Garage, nice FYI section there.
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Old 07-23-2010, 11:19 AM   #3
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Completely agree with the above, except my own preference is for the Bosch spark plugs.

Bleed the clutch slave when you do the brakes. It's a common reservoir.

Do yourself a big favor and buy a Motive Black Label power bleeder. Awesome tool - makes flushing the brakes almost fun. The brakes and clutch should be flushed every two years, so it will soon pay for itself.



++1 on using a different color brake fluid. Takes all the guess work out of the job. Have 2 litres on hand.
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Old 07-23-2010, 12:43 PM   #4
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+1 on the Motive.

My only comments are to be sure you know what fluids you're putting in / replacing - pwr steering, antifreeze, brake, etc. The garden variety stuff at the local auto store may harm your Box. Don't assume - know precisely what you need. Local parts stores may carry the fluids you need, but chances are your Porsche needs a non-std fluid. A mistake will be expensive. And buy a Bentley manual - it will help you navigate thru many of these jobs.
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Old 07-23-2010, 04:08 PM   #5
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Thanks for the responses all!

Is the clutch slave in a conveniently accessed location? I haven't fully poked around yet, so forgive the newbie questions....

I will be using some non-standard oils that probably aren't commonly talked about on this forum. I'm going to start with Rotella T 5w40 synthetic and see what floats my boat. Once a year changes, so not alot of rotation!

I'll definitely swap back and forth between ATE Super Blue and Gold. Just makes things easy.

I may go with motive instead of the 2 person bleeder. On my other cars, if I push the brake cylinder too far and damage the seals, I buy a $100 part. On the Porsche, I don't even want to know....

I'll post more later....thanks all!

P.s. Supposedly my dad has a bentley manual he hasn't found yet....so I should get one of those one day
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Old 07-23-2010, 06:22 PM   #6
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Is the clutch slave in a conveniently accessed location?

LOL! Absolutely not! But if you're doing the brakes you pretty much hafta do the clutch. There's some good tutorials on it at Pelican and Pedro's.

Mark
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