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Old 09-07-2011, 11:59 AM   #1
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May I please pick your collective brains?[/

[B]May I please pick your collective brains?[/B] I am 60 years old worked hard and did the children thing and the sizable car (VAN) thing for far too long, now it is my time! I have been surfing the classifieds for Boxters and found them to be quit reasonably priced, I need to know the quirks to look for and which years are best to buy! Can you help? I also would like to state that I have had several British sports cars in my youth an am quite handy with a wrench!

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Old 09-07-2011, 12:47 PM   #2
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I'm in the boat you want to get on (60, kids gone, my time......).

The great divide in Boxsters is

986 (inception to 2004)
987(2005 to present)

I'm a big guy and found I fit better in the 986. YMMV.

In the 986's 2003 and 2004 had some notable improvements especially the glass rear window. So my search was for a 2003 or 2004 S version. S or non S is the other big divide, S has bigger engine, more power, bigger brakes, etc.

I ended up with a low mileage excellent condition 2003 S this spring for just north of $20k, a pretty standard price.

If I had fit in the 987, I would have been looking at newer years, but still the S for the performance.

I'm sure there are many more knowledgeable people on this forum who will add to/correct the above.

Am I glad I did it? You bet.
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Old 09-07-2011, 01:06 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saultydog
[B]May I please pick your collective brains?[/B] I am 60 years old worked hard and did the children thing and the sizable car (VAN) thing for far too long, now it is my time! I have been surfing the classifieds for Boxters and found them to be quit reasonably priced, I need to know the quirks to look for and which years are best to buy! Can you help? I also would like to state that I have had several British sports cars in my youth an am quite handy with a wrench!
Regardless of what year boxster or iteration that you're looking at, make sure that you have a thorough PPI done before making a purchase . The greatest concern with the M96 (1997-2004) and the M97 (2005-present) engines is failure of the IMS bearing . This concern is legion amongst Boxster and Carrera owners, and contrary to mileage or condition it does not discriminate between vehicles. There's a preemptive measure that one can take to prevent this . I suggest searching the Forum and reading up on the topic .
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Old 09-07-2011, 01:50 PM   #4
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Been there done it twice

Had Alfas and a 914 before I was married. 2 Boxsters after all the bills were paid and retirement secure. Love em.

Loved both...a '99 and an '01S. Only had two because I totaled the first...and jumped right back into the same car. Mine were very very reliable over 5-6 year time span and cheaper to maintain than a Honda and Acura I had of the same approximate vintage and miles over the same period.

Both I was 3rd owner.

Yes, I suggest getting to know a well recommended Porsche specialist for the Pre-Purchase Inspection. You want someone who knows the quirks of the car to let you know what it needs so you can make a fair offer.

The car is fairly easy to wrench on and there are lots of folks who help you with write-ups, diagnosis and on-line suggestions. Parts are no problem even going back to the '97.

You'll find about a dozen articles on buying a Boxster here http://sites.google.com/site/mikefocke2/mikesporscheboxsterwebpages

Would I do it again...in a heartbeat.
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Old 09-07-2011, 02:56 PM   #5
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One thing you can do is..

AVOID the earlier models that have the dreaded Intermediate Shaft altogether.

That may make the purchase of a later model more expensive initially, but you won't be wondering when and if the IMS failure will occur.

In case you don't know about it, it trashes the engine when it fails.

Good luck and welcome!

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Old 09-07-2011, 03:27 PM   #6
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Uh huh, every time someone asks about buying a Boxster all the Chicken Littles start running around with their hands in the air screaming "IMS Bearing, IMS bearing!"

In reality. very few of these cars experience that issue, which is why there are so many of them still on the road. I'm starting to think that much of this paranoia is the result of fear-mongering by a few people that have figured out how to profit greatly from it. I'm just not buying it anymore, especially after changing out a perfectly good water pump after allowing myself to be convinced that it would detonate and take the engine with it if I didn't.

Like the poster above said, these are extremely reliable cars if looked after properly. If you're handy with a wrench then you will have no problems doing the maintenance. I'm into my third season of owning a 1999 model. It now has 122000km and I have had zero failures. I have never had that kind of reliability out of any other car I've owned (dozens!) and I've never had a car this much fun to drive.

Go for it!
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Old 09-07-2011, 03:46 PM   #7
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62 years old

I'm 62 and at the age of 60 I purchase a 99 boxster with 52,000 miles I love the car. I had the ims rms and a clutch done this year and it,s just a great car to drive good luck.
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Old 09-07-2011, 04:12 PM   #8
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I'm 60 with all the same bills paid and kids off, blah, blah, ain't it great?
I have a gorgeous 2006S I need to sell because of business opportunity and I DESPISE debt.
It has 49k on the clock, had 11k when I bought it and it hasn't so much as hic-cupped in the time I've had it.
You can see it here - http://www.premierautosource.com/boxster.php
Price is negotiable.

But to answer your questions I preferred the 987 (2005 and on) for several reasons - convenience, comfort, style and room were most important. The S is so damned fast, I would think I may have been as happy with a base model (who am I trying to kid??) There is also a huge difference in the operation of the power top
from the 986s I tested to my 987.
Watch ones loaded with options as they are not necessary to really, really enjoy the car and are also more crap to need fixed as well as adding weight to the car.
Try to carry a power adjustable seat acroos the garage.
One option I would not buy one without are either the Lightronics on 986 or ()even superior) BiZenon on 987. These lights are like having daylight for 1/4 mile in front of the car.
IMS is a factor, but just like the RX8 forum I used to belong to, owners with problems tend to take over the site and make problems seem far worse than they really are.
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Old 09-07-2011, 04:13 PM   #9
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If you have a little extra $$$ I would look for a CPO from a Porsche dealer. Mine is ('04 S), 2nd owner, 45,000 mls and I bought this one last year for $23,000. Totally flawless and warranty from Porsche for a long time.

Just a thought.

BTW, my wife love s this car... "open top driving makes me happy!"

Good luck and we all hope to hear back from you!!

Later,
Andy
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Old 09-07-2011, 05:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J Tinsby
AVOID the earlier models that have the dreaded Intermediate Shaft altogether.

That may make the purchase of a later model more expensive initially, but you won't be wondering when and if the IMS failure will occur.

In case you don't know about it, it trashes the engine when it fails.

Good luck and welcome!

I was under the impression that ALL M96 engines were susceptible to IMS failure and only the M96 (early, not the "M97") engines can be retrofitted with the upgraded bearing. If anything, this would mean you would WANT the earlier models and avoid the later models.

and FWIW, the IMS can fail in any year model so that's not a very strong argument that you "wont have to wonder when it will fail".
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Old 09-07-2011, 05:40 PM   #11
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Some quick buying advice:

1. Drive several Boxsters to find the model (986 or 987) you like best.
2. Be sure to drive both a base model and an S model. Only you can decide if the extra power is worth the add'l money.
3. Wait for the right deal. Its a buyers market in this economy. No reason to overpay.
4. Yes, its a pain to get a PPI but it will be the best $300 you'll ever spend.
5. Full service and repair history is a nice plus but shouldn't be a deal breaker.
6. In the case of no service history, assume that the last major service was skipped and negotiate the price of the service off the car so you have money to have it done yourself. This way you have a good starting point for future maintanence.
7. IMS - read up and make your own decision.
8. There are no cheap Porsche's. Plan on keeping $1K-2K in reserve for unexpected repairs like a starter, brakes, water pump, and/or clutch.
9. Tires can wear fast if you drive it like you should. 15K miles is pretty good for a set of rear tires.

And 10. Plan on becoming happier than you've been in 10 years and wondering why you waited so long to reward yourself with a Porsche. Pat yourself on the back, you're living the dream.
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Old 09-07-2011, 06:02 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark_T
Uh huh, every time someone asks about buying a Boxster all the Chicken Littles start running around with their hands in the air screaming "IMS Bearing, IMS bearing!"

In reality. very few of these cars experience that issue, which is why there are so many of them still on the road. I'm starting to think that much of this paranoia is the result of fear-mongering by a few people that have figured out how to profit greatly from it. I'm just not buying it anymore, especially after changing out a perfectly good water pump after allowing myself to be convinced that it would detonate and take the engine with it if I didn't.

Like the poster above said, these are extremely reliable cars if looked after properly. If you're handy with a wrench then you will have no problems doing the maintenance. I'm into my third season of owning a 1999 model. It now has 122000km and I have had zero failures. I have never had that kind of reliability out of any other car I've owned (dozens!) and I've never had a car this much fun to drive.

Go for it!
I can commiserate with you in so far as the issue of IMS failure often casts a pall over what might otherwise be a positive discussion on this forum . Often to the extent, that visiting a burn center for children would somehow seem less depressing by comparison. However, make no mistake about it, IMS failure is a real and important concern regarding the M96 and early M97 engines. And, as I previously mentioned, it can plague any vehicle regardless of mileage or condition . It's like the disease or illness that no one thinks will effect them until it occurs. And, there are steps a person can take to prevent it .
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Last edited by Johnny Danger; 09-07-2011 at 06:04 PM.
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Old 09-07-2011, 08:22 PM   #13
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what part of NJ are you located?



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Old 09-07-2011, 08:40 PM   #14
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Are you ready to add major excitement in your life? To increase your heart rate permanently? If you have not test driven one of these cars you are in for a treat. It will put a permanent smile on your face because it will perform unlike anything you have experienced before. It might be difficult but take your time shopping, get a feel of the market (use the web - autotrader and cars.com), determine the color combinations and wheels you want before you touch one because the first Boxster you test drive is the one you will want to buy! Continue asking members of this forum questions, it has some of the most knowledgeable guys in the world when it comes to Porsches and Boxsters. As for IMS issues there are a couple things you need to do… Drive the car hard, change the oil frequently and inspect the oil filter for particles. If you are up to the challenge (and feel the need) go ahead and replace/upgrade the bearing assembly yourself, there are a lot of guys here to help you through it. If you have someone else do it, it will cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $4000 because you will want to replace the clutch, rear main seal and possibly the flywheel since you are in there. I have 220,000 miles on my Boxster (original motor); I replaced my IMS bearing at 210,000 miles only because members of this forum convinced me that I was pushing my luck (we will never know now!).

A final note… Photos are a must… We need to see what you are writing about!
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Old 09-08-2011, 06:04 AM   #15
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I like driving my 2000 S but I'm not sure I would recommend a Boxster to someone. If you just want a nice small 2 seat convertible maybe a Miata would be a good choice. My Boxster has been a troublesome car. It's running great at the moment but I find myselft glancing at the check engine light every few minutes and while it's off now I expect to see it lit up again eventually. Sometimes a Miata with a manual roof and a manual transmission seems like such a pleasant idea. I'm 6'3" and my head hits the roof, though.

If you do get a Boxster this forum is a great place for info and tips on how to fix the stuff that goes wrong.
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Old 09-08-2011, 07:42 AM   #16
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I am the same age vintage as you. Waited way to long to buy my first Porsche. I got a LOT of good information from this forum so when I went shopping for my car I felt no pressure to buy the first car that I drove. For me, after weighing all the pros and cons, I spent a little more money than I had planned to and I purchased a 2007 base model CPO car with super low miles. I know it still has the IMS issue BUT I don't have to worry about it for a couple more years. Bottom line---every time I get into that car it puts a huge smile on my face. NO REGRETS.
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Old 09-08-2011, 08:17 AM   #17
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Simply stated it is " The funnest device ever created by man!" It makes you feel like a dog feels when the leash comes off!
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Old 09-08-2011, 08:38 AM   #18
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I hate to get into this again but

The '97-'05 Boxster has a ~$600 in parts IMS upgrade available of better design and materials and the replacement has had zero failures over 3+ years and 3500+ cars. The ideal time to do the upgrade is when the clutch is replaced. Cheaper to do with the stick shift car than with the auto-manual TIP cars.

The '06-'08 Boxster (and potentially any Boxster with an engine replaced after about mid '05) has (or probebly has) another IMS design which appears to fail even less frequently but whose upgrade is about 3 times more expensive in parts and labor to upgrade.

The '09- Boxster has no IMS in its engine. Thus no IMS problems.

The Porsche IMS does fail sometimes, no one totally knows why. Frequent oil (3k miles) changes with good oil seem to reduce the probability as well as frequent exercise. But even following Porsche's ridiculous oil change recommendations, the failure rate is nothing like reading these forums would have you believe. Which is not to say there isn't a big financial impact if yours should be the one.

Wonderful cars.

As for the Miata, drive one and if your size fits and you feel comfortable driving it for a multi-hour drive...do it. I was quite comfortable in my Boxsters for hundreds of miles at a clip...and around cones and corners. I'm 6' and was as heavy as 220.

The '05 and later Boxsters have larger cockpits than the ''97-'04 models.
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Old 09-08-2011, 11:06 AM   #19
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Same basic boat, recently purchased a 2000 Boxster S. Here's my opinion:

There are a ton of these cars available. Many have had extensive repairs and upgrades. The year/mileage of the car was less important than the repairs and upgrades.

I found a high mileage car, but with a rebuilt engine, LN IMS bearing upgrade, new clutch, new lower control arms, new rear bearings and a new top with a glass back window w/defog. Make sure you get the records for the maintenance, upgrades and repairs. I got a 12 month/12K mile warranty on the engine. I passed on a bunch of cars because they had NO records. Don't take a car salesman's word for anything...

I have driven the car almost 5K miles since I got it in July and so far, so good. It needs a few details, but I don't mind my 90 mile commute nearly as much. Looking forward to cooler weather so I can drop the top more.

$10-15K will get you a very nice example. Less than that and you are probably taking a chance. There are plenty of Boxsters that are less than $10K, but you will be hard pressed to find any maintenance records and they usually have obvious problems like a CEL, or the top not working.

Beware of buying a "bargain" Boxster with a problem. There are few "bargain" repairs when your car has PORSCHE on the front...
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Old 09-08-2011, 12:11 PM   #20
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You are missing the point

Quote:
Originally Posted by stateofidleness
I was under the impression that ALL M96 engines were susceptible to IMS failure and only the M96 (early, not the "M97") engines can be retrofitted with the upgraded bearing. If anything, this would mean you would WANT the earlier models and avoid the later models.

and FWIW, the IMS can fail in any year model so that's not a very strong argument that you "wont have to wonder when it will fail".
As I said in my posting "look for a later model that has no IMS"

After 2009 the cams are driven off the crankshaft..... therefore NO IMS.

So your point that "and FWIW, the IMS can fail in any year model so that's not a very strong argument " doesn't hold water. Something can't fail if it isn't present.

Not having one is a good enough argument for me at least.

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