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Old 09-23-2010, 09:12 AM   #1
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03-04 S or 05-06 base boxster?

Hello,

I have been reading and studing as much as I can and need some advise from you all. I have had many cars, all types gas and diesel. I do most of my own work just because I like to and it gets done right (OCD for sure). I currently have a BMW Z4 and a MB ML320 CDI. But I drove one of my partners 02 Boxster S and I can't get that feeling out of my mind. It is now a must have.

So I like buying used since I turn cars over when I get bored with them (may not happen with a Porsche)
The question is spending low to upper 20's will get me a nice lower miles 03-04 S or a 05-06 base model. If you all had that choice which way would you lean assuming both are clean, great maintance records, low miles etc????


Thanks
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Old 09-23-2010, 09:36 AM   #2
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Search this forum and others and you'll find lots of debate on this subject.

In short, each generation has it's pluses and minuses. Many swear the S is the only way to go. I like my base. To each his own is the bottom line. The best thing to do is to drive one of each and see which you like better.

One caveat, as you do your research, you'll find ad nauseum discussion on the intermediate shaft bearing issue. On '06 and up (IIRC), the "cheap" retrofit IMS bearing can't happen, as the engine has to be rebuilt entirely.

Good luck!
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Old 09-23-2010, 09:42 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clickman
Search this forum and others and you'll find lots of debate on this subject.

In short, each generation has it's pluses and minuses. Many swear the S is the only way to go. I like my base. To each his own is the bottom line. The best thing to do is to drive one of each and see which you like better.

One caveat, as you do your research, you'll find ad nauseum discussion on the intermediate shaft bearing issue. On '06 and up (IIRC), the "cheap" retrofit IMS bearing can't happen, as the engine has to be rebuilt entirely.

Good luck!
Excellent tip! May have to limit my search to 03-05 models.
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Old 09-23-2010, 10:30 AM   #4
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I would say it depend on your maintenance budget..
P-car don't break often, but when they break it can cost alot..

maybe your better with a more recent non-s than with an older S model ?

also if you like a luxuery interior look, you may enjoyr the 987 (05+ boxster)..
if you prefer the more classic look you may enjoy more the 986..


I personally had a 99 non-s, and a 06 S..


Take your time of thinking of what option you want.. alot of thing had been enhenced in the 987.. for a quick example the traction control is now include in the base, and is not alot more smooth than in the 986 boxster..

take your time youll find 'the one' ..

good luck in your buying..
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Old 09-23-2010, 10:54 AM   #5
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Lightbulb Personal preference

Hi,
I recently got my 2006 Boxster base, mid 20s.
Before I found this awesome ride, I was in exactly the same mind set as you and here is what I found. I took the time to test drive several 2000-2002-S. Then I found out that they did a major model update in 2005. I couldn't wait to test drive one of those and when I did the only one I could find was a 5-speed. I prefer the automatic with tiptronic, but that is my preference. I was so impressed with the feature updates as in the gauge cluster, switches, glove compartment, etc. For me there was no way I would get anything but 2005 or newer. So I found this 2006 and I kid you not, the engine performance of this 06 base is better than the 02-S, I drove. So I'd recommend drive one of each and see what you like better.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jditom
Hello,

I have been reading and studing as much as I can and need some advise from you all. I have had many cars, all types gas and diesel. I do most of my own work just because I like to and it gets done right (OCD for sure). I currently have a BMW Z4 and a MB ML320 CDI. But I drove one of my partners 02 Boxster S and I can't get that feeling out of my mind. It is now a must have.

So I like buying used since I turn cars over when I get bored with them (may not happen with a Porsche)
The question is spending low to upper 20's will get me a nice lower miles 03-04 S or a 05-06 base model. If you all had that choice which way would you lean assuming both are clean, great maintance records, low miles etc????


Thanks
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Old 09-23-2010, 11:40 PM   #6
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I would get the more powerful and torquier 2003 Boxster S. No need to get the more expensive 2004 model year which is exactly the same as the 2003...

260HP, 2855 pounds, same 911 brakes. What else do you need?

Even though the 2005 base has 240HP, you feel a pretty big difference with the extra .5L of displacement and the extra torque.

I've owned a 2000 Boxster S as well as a 2006 Boxster S, driven many base Boxsters and recommend the 2003 S.
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Old 09-24-2010, 11:02 AM   #7
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the 03 04 3.2 is still a much better engine than the 05 and up 2.7 if it comes down to power. if your looking for a more modern refined car the 987 is the way to go. the dealer down the street from me has an 06 with the rare 6 speed , PASM and sports seat with 20 k on the clock also certified asking 27 grand.
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Old 09-24-2010, 01:34 PM   #8
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and the base 2.5L '99 was more fun than the 3.2L '01S simply because I could put my foot to the floor longer.

I'd buy the '05 base and change the IMS immediately with the LN kit as part of the budget.

But this is you so ask yourself if handing is what you are after or are you always gonna want more oomph in which case the S makes sense for you.

http://sites.google.com/site/mikefocke2/modelyeardifferences
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Old 09-24-2010, 02:26 PM   #9
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I think the 03-04's were heaviest Boxsters ever built. I don't think that will result in too big a difference in the throttle dept but something to consider.

As a general rule they say to avoid the first run fo a re-design until its had a proper shake down. Those 04 and 05's haven't seen big miles in big numbers but they're getting there. I'd say wait until your budget gets a little bigger and go for an 06-07 987 S. Unless someone on here can point you towards a flaw. Definitely swap out the IMS with LN unit before you spend a dime on anything else.

But on looks I still prefer the fried egg headlights which were actually raced right from the Boxster/Carrera parts bin.
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Old 09-24-2010, 07:07 PM   #10
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All I can really say is this:

Drive both and make your decision.

The 987(new model) is much much much more refined than the older 986 model. The 987 is a luxury sports car while the 986 is a straight sports car, its rough, relatively fast, sexy, and is a pure drivers car.

It should be noted however that I have only driven a 987 PDK and a 986 6-speed, so that is where my comparison comes from.
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Old 09-25-2010, 11:07 AM   #11
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i would skip 05 and 06 S models and try and get the 07 08 S with the 3.4 i am also seeing 09 base models with the 2.9 255 h.p. and PDK in the low 40k range , still up there but something to consider . no I.M.S to deal with.
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Old 09-26-2010, 06:45 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perfectlap
I think the 03-04's were heaviest Boxsters ever built.
... Source?
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Old 09-26-2010, 07:40 AM   #13
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I am partial to the "S" model when it comes to any iteration of the boxster. Putting IMS issues aside, I think that any low mileage, well kept 986 or 987 "S" would prove to be an exciting vehicle for anyone to own. If your the type who likes to modify/upgrade their vehicle, then there are plenty of early "S" models going for shy money out there that can easily be "tuned" to meet or exceed their counterparts.
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Old 10-03-2010, 08:00 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clickman
Search this forum and others and you'll find lots of debate on this subject.

In short, each generation has it's pluses and minuses. Many swear the S is the only way to go. I like my base. To each his own is the bottom line. The best thing to do is to drive one of each and see which you like better.

One caveat, as you do your research, you'll find ad nauseum discussion on the intermediate shaft bearing issue. On '06 and up (IIRC), the "cheap" retrofit IMS bearing can't happen, as the engine has to be rebuilt entirely.

Good luck!
It looks like the engine was changed in 07 on the S, so maybe that is the year that a IMS retrofit kit cannot be none?

2005 S model
3.2Litre 280 HP
New 6 speed manual transmission, Tiptronic 5 speed optional
Bigger brakes even than prior S models (Ceramic brakes CBBS option)
PSM Standard (PASM active suspension optional)
18” wheels standard, 19” optional
Sports chrono package option

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2006 Base and S
Optional TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System)
Optional 19” Carrera Sport wheel design
Optional improved navigation system
Electronic logbook function has been integrated with the optional communication management system.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2007 Base
2.7Litre 240HP
TPMS Standard (Tire Pressure Monitoring System)
Updated Tiptronic transmission with faster shifts when ordered with Sports Chrono
19" two-tone wheels available
Revised access to oil/coolant caps
Slightly better MPG

2007 S model
3.4Litre 295HP
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Old 10-03-2010, 11:04 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikefocke
and the base 2.5L '99 was more fun than the 3.2L '01S simply because I could put my foot to the floor longer.

I'd buy the '05 base and change the IMS immediately with the LN kit as part of the budget.

But this is you so ask yourself if handing is what you are after or are you always gonna want more oomph in which case the S makes sense for you.

http://sites.google.com/site/mikefocke2/modelyeardifferences
Can't update the larger IMS bearing used from 05-up as the bearing OD is larger than the hole you would pull it out through.

As to the cars, you'll find that there are two camps- one camp who loves the 986 cars, and one for the 987s. I fall into the 986 camp. They're more of a purist (if that word can really be used on a modern car, excluding true exotics) car than the 987s. The 987 is certainly more refined, but somehow not all in a good way. I guess the best way I can describe is that getting into a 986 or 996 (I'm looking for a Turbo at the moment) feels like getting into a "different" or "special" car, while getting into a 9X7 feels more like getting in a "normal" car, almost like a Honda. The interior, in particular, though of better materials, is much more mainstream than the 9X6 cars were.

Between the two, if you decided that you wanted a 987 S, they are great cars, but I would hold out for a 3.4 car, and then really, with the 987s, I'd want a Series II car, but those have not dropped into affordability yet (at least by my definition).
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Old 10-03-2010, 03:49 PM   #16
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Similar model groupings

986

'97-'99 original base only 2.5
'00-'02 updated with 2.7 base and 3.2 S
'03-'04 updated with many changes but basically same engines as '00-'02

987

'05 2.7 and 3.2 S pretty much same engines as '03-'04 but new body
'06-'08 2.7/3.2 introduced IMS design that requires case cracking and replacement of entire $$$$ IMS assembly rather than just the bearing
'09-'10 IMS-less design with 2.9 in base, 3.4 S IMS-less DFI

To quote Charles directly when I asked him what 987 to buy if you were planning an LN IMS bearing change:

"It would definitely be the MY05, as it can be replaced. Most MY05 cars should be single row, but we’ve had a handful (maybe two) that had double row bearings, much to our surprise!

The MY06-08 cars cannot have their IMS bearings serviced unless you tear down the engine completely and, as we’re starting to hear of MY06-08 failures more commonly now, I think it’s best to stick to something you can service. Unless… a car was purchased with the intention of purposefully going in and building up a larger engine, and in that case, it doesn’t matter. We have an upgrade for the MY06-08 IMS, but engine has to be split like previously mentioned."

Last edited by mikefocke; 10-03-2010 at 03:57 PM.
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Old 10-05-2010, 10:49 AM   #17
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Great information!
Do you know when in 06 the change happened? All 06-08 can't be serviced normaly or late 06? Is there a way to tell when looking at a 06 car to buy?
Thanks



Quote:
Originally Posted by mikefocke
986

'97-'99 original base only 2.5
'00-'02 updated with 2.7 base and 3.2 S
'03-'04 updated with many changes but basically same engines as '00-'02

987

'05 2.7 and 3.2 S pretty much same engines as '03-'04 but new body
'06-'08 2.7/3.2 introduced IMS design that requires case cracking and replacement of entire $$$$ IMS assembly rather than just the bearing
'09-'10 IMS-less design with 2.9 in base, 3.4 S IMS-less DFI

To quote Charles directly when I asked him what 987 to buy if you were planning an LN IMS bearing change:

"It would definitely be the MY05, as it can be replaced. Most MY05 cars should be single row, but we’ve had a handful (maybe two) that had double row bearings, much to our surprise!

The MY06-08 cars cannot have their IMS bearings serviced unless you tear down the engine completely and, as we’re starting to hear of MY06-08 failures more commonly now, I think it’s best to stick to something you can service. Unless… a car was purchased with the intention of purposefully going in and building up a larger engine, and in that case, it doesn’t matter. We have an upgrade for the MY06-08 IMS, but engine has to be split like previously mentioned."
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Old 10-05-2010, 02:38 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jditom
Great information!
Do you know when in 06 the change happened? All 06-08 can't be serviced normaly or late 06? Is there a way to tell when looking at a 06 car to buy?
Thanks
If I were you I would assume all '06's require a total rebuild to upgrade the IMS. I.e. limit your search to '05 max. If I were you I would buy a well-maintained 03 or 04. Just my opinion.
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Old 10-06-2010, 02:37 PM   #19
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I much preferred the 987 base over the 986 S but ended up with a good deal on a certified 987 S, sooooo got the best of all worlds, in MY opinion. That's just like.. well, you know what I mean.
A VERY serious consideration for me was getting into a certified car. With the current economic climate, you should be able to find a certified 06/07 base for a price that is really best, once you figure in the TRUE value of that certification.
You may also want to watch for the Sport Edition base that has the 2.7 engine with the S model 6 speed and PASM. Someone above mentioned one. I was looking seriously at one in Dallas, until my local dealer figured out how few cars they had sold in Nov. '08 and gave me a call, with an offer I couldn't refuse on mine.
Then they economy took a nose dive and I had paid too much, anyway!
I think this entire eco melt-down was my fault....because I finally decided to jump off that Boxser cliff!!

The best advice is still, research your ass off, see if you can get both for weekend test drives and take your time making sure you get the best car for YOU.

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Old 10-07-2010, 10:57 AM   #20
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Drive a handful of Boxsters. Your stomach will tell you what feels right. I drove a few before picking my tuned '04 (gasp) base. I love it. It has more guts than a stock base, honestly looked like new condition, the exact color scheme I wanted, the exact upgrades I wanted and a price point lower than the S and lower than the 987. It was exactly what I wanted and it was obvious when I saw it.


At some point, if you look long enough the car will choose you.

The price, color, year, model, options, condition will all come together.
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