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Old 12-08-2011, 01:52 PM   #1
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119k Mile Boxster S purchase

I used to have a 99 Boxster, bought at 54k miles and sold at 80k, and missing it dearly. I've read and (hopefully) understand what I'm getting with a high mileage Boxster. I don't need a car, often, so this would be a weekend getaway vehicle.

Looking at a 2002 Boxster S with 119k miles.... oil changed every 14k ( ), full leather, heated seats, xenon, etc.
Car needs:
New brakes (owner says rear, but I presume all)
Coolant reservoir
Blinker stalk replacement
Paint cracking on front bumper

Owner was quite tricky to speak with as he is sick, so I wasn't able to grill him completely. Chances are it's going to need tires and a once over, but one thing that stood out to me was that he said it's never had a clutch changed; my Boxster with 80k had never had a clutch change (none of my cars have), but 119k seems like a long time to go.

My questions are-
What''s the longest you have gone without replacing the clutch?

At $5,500-$6,000, please tell me this is a good idea.

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Old 12-08-2011, 02:33 PM   #2
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You can't really judge a clutch based on mileage. Sit cruising on a highway / motorway and you can empty the tank without wearing the clutch at all. Spend all you time in traffic with lots of steep gradients and you'll hose the clutch very quickly.

I've heard of 986 clutches wearing in 40k miles, other lasting over 200k miles.

Easiest way to check is weight, but even then, it's not conclusive. My clutch has been heavy for over 20k miles but hasn't started slipping yet.
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Old 12-08-2011, 04:11 PM   #3
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That's a pretty small list even if you need a new clutch. Get the PPI and see what you got. Remember most Boxsters are very reliable and if this guy maintained it you could be driving 2002 'S' for NOTHING!
Do you wrench at all? Where is the car, I might be interested, I would love to track it. My car had the oil changed ever 10 to 15k miles by the previous owner and I got a gem, not issues at all. Does the guy have service records?
Good luck!
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Old 12-08-2011, 05:02 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mookarma View Post
I used to have a 99 Boxster, bought at 54k miles and sold at 80k, and missing it dearly. I've read and (hopefully) understand what I'm getting with a high mileage Boxster. I don't need a car, often, so this would be a weekend getaway vehicle.

Looking at a 2002 Boxster S with 119k miles.... oil changed every 14k ( ), full leather, heated seats, xenon, etc.
Car needs:
New brakes (owner says rear, but I presume all)
Coolant reservoir
Blinker stalk replacement
Paint cracking on front bumper

Owner was quite tricky to speak with as he is sick, so I wasn't able to grill him completely. Chances are it's going to need tires and a once over, but one thing that stood out to me was that he said it's never had a clutch changed; my Boxster with 80k had never had a clutch change (none of my cars have), but 119k seems like a long time to go.

My questions are-
What''s the longest you have gone without replacing the clutch?

At $5,500-$6,000, please tell me this is a good idea.
$6,000 for a '02 S ?!? That's a hellva deal! Long as you have $3,000+ laying around for repairs I think you'll do fine, and I'd set aside another $400/mo for future repairs since it sounds like this car was rode hard (paint cracking? coolant reservoir?)

I paid more for my 98 2.5 with 99k! But then it was a dealer, and it's in *perfect* condition, with copies of every maintenance receipt. Even the paint and leather is perfect! And Porsches are rather rare in the midwest, I *might* see one once a month.
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Old 12-08-2011, 05:31 PM   #5
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6k is the price for one with a blown engine.....the S holds its value really well, around here that car would be an easy 12k

my clutch was replaced at 60k miles
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Old 12-08-2011, 09:23 PM   #6
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Kelly Blue Book is right around $11K. Even with high mileage the S models keep their value fairly well.

Be sure to get a PPI so you know what you're getting into and that there aren't any other repairs needed.

The clutch in my car was replaced at 92,000 miles. Your mileage may vary.

I'd say this car a good idea if you have some money in reserve for the initial ($2-3,000) and on-going repairs and maintenance.
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Old 12-09-2011, 03:48 AM   #7
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Over 100K it needs a new clutch, I don't care if an Andretti has been rowing it, the clutch needs replacing, count on it.
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Old 12-09-2011, 04:53 AM   #8
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I did my last oil change at 5K (instead of 6.2K miles which is 10k in km) and the oil was so dark that I'm convinced to keep doing oil change at 5K now.

I'd suggest you do some oil analysis on it if you decide to pick it up.
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Old 12-09-2011, 05:36 AM   #9
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I did my oil with new filters at 2,500 and made a collar of strong magnets from a dollar store dog collar and fitted it on the oil housing. Result? dead engine 32,000. In general I still believe in frequent oil changes but the m96 seems to be like a pull on a slot machine, how many miles are in her? Only the oddsmakers and fate can say. One of my friends said it blew because I drove it on occasion to red line, yet in these blogs there are people who have tracked their cars and never had a problem..Besides I drove all my sports cars over 30 years to redline on occasion, only one engine blew.vegas baby, it's like vegas.

Last edited by Ghostrider 310; 12-09-2011 at 05:38 AM.
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Old 12-09-2011, 06:34 AM   #10
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I did my oil with new filters at 2,500 and made a collar of strong magnets from a dollar store dog collar and fitted it on the oil housing. Result? dead engine 32,000. In general I still believe in frequent oil changes but the m96 seems to be like a pull on a slot machine, how many miles are in her? Only the oddsmakers and fate can say. One of my friends said it blew because I drove it on occasion to red line, yet in these blogs there are people who have tracked their cars and never had a problem..Besides I drove all my sports cars over 30 years to redline on occasion, only one engine blew.vegas baby, it's like vegas.

32k? let me guess, stored all winter?
low mileage, older boxsters seem more likely for engine failure, higher mileage boxsters seem to have a LOWER failure rate (still failures but at a lower rate)
just my observation

I would say that @119k miles it is probably a healthy one, throw a new clutch and IMS in there when you get it and drive the wheels off it

Last edited by fivepointnine; 12-09-2011 at 06:36 AM.
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Old 12-09-2011, 07:36 AM   #11
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For what it's worth, I recently purchased a 2000 2.7 for $7,500 with 115,000 miles on it and the original clutch. The clutch is a little scratchy when taking off from first at low RPMs, 1200 or less, but if I launch at over 2000, the clutch is perfectly smooth. I'm going to wait until the clutch starts to fail before I replace it, and the IMSB. It could be tomorrow, or hopefully in five years.

The high miles on the car were definitely not a concern for me. I love the car and I haven't looked back.

But as others have said, be sure to get a thorough prepurchase inspection.
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Old 12-09-2011, 07:59 AM   #12
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On this subject, trying to eek every shift from a clutch disc is like waiting on a needed root canal, nothing but more pain will come. If you start to push it to the wear limit you can damage the flywheel which happens to be more than five bucks. Worse yet, if the synchros get damaged now you have real money coming out of pocket. Change the clutch when it needs one, it's the cheapest way to add longevity, dependability and enjoyable performance to an older manual gearbox.

Last edited by Ghostrider 310; 12-09-2011 at 08:05 AM.
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Old 12-09-2011, 09:25 AM   #13
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On this subject, trying to eek every shift from a clutch disc is like waiting on a needed root canal, nothing but more pain will come. If you start to push it to the wear limit you can damage the flywheel which happens to be more than five bucks. Worse yet, if the synchros get damaged now you have real money coming out of pocket. Change the clutch when it needs one, it's the cheapest way to add longevity, dependability and enjoyable performance to an older manual gearbox.
+1 on the clutch, repair it before it fails
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Old 12-09-2011, 10:46 AM   #14
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Let me clarify. I'm not going to wait until it completely fails, but until I notice the first signs of slipping or get a very stiff pedal.
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Old 12-09-2011, 11:12 AM   #15
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What''s the longest you have gone without replacing the clutch? ... At $5,500-$6,000, please tell me this is a good idea.
As other posters have told you, get a pre-purchase inspection so you know what you're about to wade into, even with that amazingly low price.

The cheapest Porsche you buy may quickly turn into the most expensive car you've owned to date. Trust me on this.

Now to clutches... if a clutch is treated properly, it can last a very long time. Well over a hundred thousand miles, especially if the owner did a lot of highway driving, didn't downshift hard to enable engine braking, and didn't depress the clutch unless a gear was actively being changed. So the question, "how long does a clutch last" has a LOT to do with how often it's used and can't be easily answered.

The way to look at this car is to figure out its wholesale value at auction, deduct this sale price, and you'll have the amount you should be willing to drop into it that first year to make it dependable and safe. If that amount is greater than the wholesale auction price, you're putting more into the car than it's worth...

Which is what I've done with my car year after year. Now I've got 3x the car's value in repairs and mods.



If I were you, I'd pass on this one and find a well-cared for 03 S, which has two important things: a glove box and a glass rear window in the top. If you've not owned a Boxster before, you've no idea how important these things are to have. Plus, the car will have lower mileage on it and records and well, I can assure you that you won't regret waiting, buying a younger model with fewer miles on it, etc.
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Last edited by RandallNeighbour; 12-09-2011 at 11:16 AM.
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Old 12-09-2011, 02:43 PM   #16
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I'm surprised people care so much about the glove box. For my money, it's a thoroughly trivial item. I don't miss it for a moment. All the glove boxes in my cars have ever served as is garbage receptacles. Move over, there's lockable bin in the arm rest, two big pockets in the door and lots of space in the zip thing behind the head rests (assuming you don't have Bose). It's a total non issue if you ask me.

The glass window does offer tangible benefits, but it too doesn't come close to being enough to push me in the direction of a facelift car.
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Old 12-09-2011, 03:13 PM   #17
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Thanks for all the responses. One thing that prevented me from fully enjoying my '99 Boxster was the lingering fear of engine failure. My line of thought on this car is that at this price, even if the IMS fails, the parts are still worth more than I paid for it! I might do an IMS upgrade, but if the clutch doesn't need replacing until 150k, an IMS upgrade might not even be worth it.

For me, a glovebox is just an excuse to have things I don't need in a car. I'd like a glass window, but the plastic window on my 99 split and I wasn't bothered enough to fix that for at least a year... no rain came through, and I didn't really care how it looked. Hell, I didn't even need a cupholder in that car.

I'm hoping to go check out the car tomorrow, and looking for somewhere to get a Saturday PPI... main problem is, as it's so hard to speak to the owner, I can't confirm anything until tomorrow morning. Oh well, I bought the last one without a PPI and that worked out fine, right?

Thanks again for all your clutch responses, I'll let you know what I discover!
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Old 12-09-2011, 03:28 PM   #18
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I'm surprised people care so much about the glove box. For my money, it's a thoroughly trivial item. I don't miss it for a moment.
+1 I've never missed the glovebox either. Or cupholders.

mookarma - good luck with the car tomorrow. Let us know what you find and what you decide.
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Old 12-09-2011, 03:46 PM   #19
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+1 I've never missed the glovebox either. Or cupholders.

mookarma - good luck with the car tomorrow. Let us know what you find and what you decide.
Will do! If it's not for me, I'll pass on the details to others that have expressed interest
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Old 12-09-2011, 05:14 PM   #20
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I look forward to your report! Seems like a screaming deal unless it is a totally neglected POS.

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