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Old 01-14-2011, 07:57 PM   #1
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"Somebody Stop Me!!"

I'm getting ready to pull the trigger on an 04 S manual, triple black, with 44k miles for $22599 at Carmax. Ok, I don't think I want to be stopped, unless you think I'm making a mistake.

The car has:
-NO cruise control or PSM or Litronics
-heated seats
-stereo with dash speakers and a 6 CD disc changer in the front trunk
It is a local one owner car.

So here's my talking points:

1. I'm mid 50's and have owned a lightly modded Miata for the last 12 years. So Iím not new to good handling cars. I test drove two bases and two S's. I don't want to take a lot of time or go out of my area to find the perfect combination. The year, model, tranny, and miles are the most important.

2. This car is about $4k to $5k more than I originally thought I would spend, But I decided I wanted an 03 or 04 S with 40k to 60k miles. I can probably pay off the loan in a few months.

3.Cruise would be nice but I don't plan on much freeway driving. I'll probably do about 2500 to 5000 miles/year of local commute and weekend twisties, etc.

4. PSM would be nice if I felt like driving at 10/10ths of my ability in the twisties, but I scared myself one too many times doing that in my Miata. So I think I'll slow down to 9/10ths . I enjoy occasionally breaking the rears loose. So I don't know how important it is to have PSM.

5. For about $200, I should be able to install a HID kit. I did that to my Explorer 8 years ago and they're still as good as the best factory xenons I've seen for light output.

6. The radio doesn't sound great but I don't listen to music much with the top down. The engine sounds way too nice to mask it. I could always do aftermarket upgrades if I wanted.

7. Carmax has a 5 day 100% refund to give me time for a PPI and research dealers or indies that may have performed service on it for the original owner.

8. I might get Carmax's 6 year service contract. I can get one to take me for another 30k miles (a total of 75k on the odo) for $1369. My clutch should be toast by then and I'll do the IMS upgrade at that time, with or without the warranty. I'm just thinking the warranty should cover things like CV's, wheel bearings, water pump, alternator, etc, and god forbid I would have to fight for a new engine in that time. A fighting chance might be better than no chance though.

So I just wanted to bounce this off your wall to see what you think before I become one of the few.
d


Last edited by baxster; 01-14-2011 at 08:15 PM.
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Old 01-14-2011, 09:13 PM   #2
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Pull the trigger on this thing! On long trips I wish I had cruise, but no cruise makes it more "pure" right? PSM isn't necessary if you know how to drive. Coming off of a Miata I'm sure you know a couple things about driving.
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Last edited by Adam; 01-14-2011 at 09:16 PM.
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Old 01-14-2011, 09:23 PM   #3
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I forgot. The S is red on the back lid. I haven't seen that before. That must give it more hp, right?
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Old 01-14-2011, 10:39 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baxster
I forgot. The S is red on the back lid. I haven't seen that before. That must give it more hp, right?
You actually drop 10 hp due to the extra weight.
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Old 01-15-2011, 04:38 AM   #5
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Sounds like a nice car...I wouldn't worry about cruise or PSM; I have cruise and never use it and didn't want PSM to interrupt with my driving style. Who needs a radio when the cars sound so good? Sounds like Carmax has some pretty nice policies and warranties, from what I've been reading lately...that may influence my next DD purchase, as I never buy brand new.

Oh, the red "S" definitely makes it faster!
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Old 01-15-2011, 04:58 AM   #6
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Find a car with CC.

Resale value. Many (including me) would not buy a car without CC.

IMHO.
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Old 01-15-2011, 05:44 AM   #7
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Sounds good!

To compare, mine is an '04 S, bought last year for 23,000, litronics, heated seats, sideskirts, triple black, nothing else. 47,000 mls, 1 owner, fully documented.

From Porsche dealer with full Porsche warranty (CPO).

Cruise control would be nice but I drive seldom the freeway and can be retrofitted if need be.

Let us know!
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Old 01-15-2011, 05:50 AM   #8
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Even though it didn't come equipped with a sunroof, I wouldn't let it deter you. It sounds like a nice vehicle - get it !
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Old 01-15-2011, 06:54 AM   #9
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HID retrofit kit is nothing like the real litronics. And PSM is really useful if you want to explore the limit of the car safely.
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Old 01-15-2011, 07:03 AM   #10
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Resale value. Many (including me) would not buy a car without CC.

It's odd that an '04 and an "S", nonetheless, wouldn't have cruise automatically optioned?

The Boxster is not a grand touring car, so I wouldn't let that stand in the way. I purchased my Boxster from a dealer in Dallas and drove it home to northern Illinois...didn't use the cruise once, as I always wish to be connected with the car.

As stated earlier, if it's a "must have", it is very easy to retrofit.
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Old 01-15-2011, 07:09 AM   #11
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Sounds like a good deal IF it's really an S. They didn't come from the factory with a red S, so someone has added it. Is it really an S or did someone stick the S on a base? Better check that out before pulling the trigger.
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Old 01-15-2011, 08:54 AM   #12
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cruise control

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyA6
Sounds good!

To compare, mine is an '04 S, bought last year for 23,000, litronics, heated seats, sideskirts, triple black, nothing else. 47,000 mls, 1 owner, fully documented.

From Porsche dealer with full Porsche warranty (CPO).

Cruise control would be nice but I drive seldom the freeway and can be retrofitted if need be.

Let us know!
I'm ok as a DIY'er, so as long as the engine doesn't have to be dropped or the parts cost more than a few hundred, then this is a possible future project.

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Old 01-15-2011, 09:02 AM   #13
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Litronics

Quote:
Originally Posted by ekam
HID retrofit kit is nothing like the real litronics. And PSM is really useful if you want to explore the limit of the car safely.
I understand that Litronics has the leveling feature and projector lens. Other than that, is the light output (lumens) superior to a HID kit?
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Old 01-15-2011, 09:36 AM   #14
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Is it really an S or did someone stick the S on a base?

Good point...doesn't take much to stick an S emblem on a car...is it a five or six speed? What color are the brake calipers? Does it have a central radiator in the front bumper? Not completely conclusive, but should be in the right direction.
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Old 01-15-2011, 09:56 AM   #15
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I checked Carmax and couldn't find the car. Is it sold? It sounds like a sweetie though at a fair retail price for excellent cond. I miss cruise control 2-3 times a year when on long trips, otherwise I never need it.
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Old 01-15-2011, 10:00 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmatta
Is it really an S or did someone stick the S on a base?

Good point...doesn't take much to stick an S emblem on a car...is it a five or six speed? What color are the brake calipers? Does it have a central radiator in the front bumper? Not completely conclusive, but should be in the right direction.
That would be too funny if it wasn't, but I'll check the central rad to make sure. It has a six speed with the S dash badge and red brake calipers and cross drilled rotors (see attachment).
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Old 01-15-2011, 10:05 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Topless
I checked Carmax and couldn't find the car. Is it sold? It sounds like a sweetie though at a fair retail price for excellent cond. I miss cruise control 2-3 times a year when on long trips, otherwise I never need it.
I put the car on hold. They take the listing down when it's on hold. So go find your own sweetie!
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Old 01-15-2011, 10:39 AM   #18
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No CC = No Deal for me...just my 2 cents...good luck...
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Old 01-15-2011, 10:40 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baxster
I put the car on hold. They take the listing down when it's on hold. So go find your own sweetie!
Very wise! I bought my car from Carmax 6 years ago and it has been pretty flawless. I don't plan on changing horses any time soon so your car is safe for now. 2003-2004 are my favorite years for a 986 and a lot of car for $22k. Enjoy!

When you get it, come out to the track and play.
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Old 01-15-2011, 10:54 AM   #20
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Active Brake Differential

I was looking at a dealer listing for a 06 base box that has Active Brake Differential. I think this would be more important than PSM. Does anyone know if the 04 S comes with an Active Brake Differential as standard equipement or an option? I did a quick but couldn't find anything.

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