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Old 06-14-2012, 03:35 PM   #1
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The perfect 986...

A discussion in Another Plaice got me thinking about the perfect 986, spec wise. Which mine ain't. I'm talking real world, reasonable money, not money no object, drop in a Mezger lump fantasy.

Mine would be an early 2.7 with a little weight taken out and a five-speed box with the final drive from the 2.5 dropped in. Oh, and an IMS upgrade. I choose that because I'm not a mad power freak, but I would like a bit more go and I like revvy engines. Also, the 3.2s strike me as slightly flakier in the cracked heads / snapped chains department and the 2.7s seems pretty solid. Upgrade the IMS and I don't think you have much to worry about.

It would also need to be an early car with amber lights and the orginal 17-inch twist alloy wheels. Colour is a toughie. I love the Boxster Red cabin, but it doesn't go with Guards Red paint. So either Guards and Savanah or Silver and Box Red.

I'd probably also want a suspension upgrade and proper single-piece buckets, but that begins to blow the real-world remit.

With prices on 986s in the UK crazy low, maybe I shoudl try to save up a couple of thou and make it happen!

What's your perfect real-world 986?!

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Old 06-14-2012, 03:53 PM   #2
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I went thru a simular process prior to purchasing my 1st Porsche in 2003 including extensive test drives of everything Porsche made 2000-2003. 2000 Boxster S 6-speed, NO PSM or traction control, cruise control, optional stereo, 2003 18" carrera liteweight wheels & Mich SuperSports. add 40ft/lbs torque by increasing original engine size to 3.6l & add LN triple ceramic bearing. Speed Yellow with black top & interior.
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Old 06-14-2012, 03:59 PM   #3
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Very nice. But I think blows my real-world rule apart, somewhat. Especially the 3.6l upgrade. Ouch!
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Old 06-14-2012, 04:42 PM   #4
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Yes Pothole I think that I have the perfect one. Being originally from the UK I like the smaller motor namely the 2.7l in my 2001 Boxster base, black, 5 speed, no psm. I have the IMS Guardian and I have low mileage - 61K kms or about 40K miles. I try to drive it daily. I have no interest in the 3.2l engine. Don't need any more hp and greater fuel consumption. Drove it last winter in our cold weather - good heated seats and the air cond. is good for the summer. For me at my stage of life, this is perfect. Reliable so far.Even my wife likes it!

I am the 3rd owner. The original owner won it in a lottery. I really don't expect to get another Porsche for the rest of my life unless I win the Lottery.
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Old 06-14-2012, 07:24 PM   #5
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Hell, I could go on all day about what I would do to the car given the money and time. Would love to take out as much weight as possible, and install lightweight seats, batteries, etc. Rework and throw in a new exhaust and intake system for better performance/weight/efficiency. Throw in a 3.6 turbocharged flat-6.

In a nutshell: Roughly 2500lb car with 400+ horsepower. Man, that would be a dream!

Drive off a ramp and it would be the first boxster on the moon!
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Old 06-14-2012, 09:13 PM   #6
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Well, my car is getting close after 7 yrs of tinkering. Rock solid 2.5L with all reliability mods, freshened trans and clutch, 5lb battery, 18lb FIA seats, PSS9s & comp sways that are pretty dialed in, 3 sets of wheels with various and sundry tire choices, about 2600 lbs on fumes, minimal stereo, roll bar ext, permanent transponder. Now... about that 3.6L
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Old 06-14-2012, 11:07 PM   #7
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Wouldn't change a thing.
2.5 is plenty for me and I'm a fan of stock, for the most part. Any more engine or performance would just get me into trouble.
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Old 06-15-2012, 01:57 AM   #8
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My car with a 3.8L DFI engine massaged to 415HP.
GT3 power with drivabilility in a 2600# car. I bet I'd get close to 40mpg driving to and from AX events! And those pesky vettes and Subi STI's wouldn't know what hit 'em!
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Old 06-15-2012, 02:25 AM   #9
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Wouldn't change a thing.
2.5 is plenty for me and I'm a fan of stock, for the most part. Any more engine or performance would just get me into trouble.
Particle, Me too !!! All original ALL records SWEET !!!
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Old 06-15-2012, 04:07 AM   #10
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I too am happy with my 2000 2.7 and have no desire for (and on the street, no use for) additional power. Frankly, for me it was a toss-up between a 2000 base and a 2003/2004 base. 2000 was the first year for the 2.7, but also the last year for the mechanical front trunk release and properly positioned HVAC controls (I despise the relocation behind the shifter that came in 2001 to permit flimsy cupholders). The 2003 does have more power, a glove box (which I seldom use in any car) and a glass rear window, but the latter added weight up high where it isn't needed, and had re-designed bumpers that IMO detract from the clean, flowing lines of the original design.

Having said that, all 986's are incredible cars and it is somewhat akin to talking about the perfect wife - the perfect 986 is the one you already have. The one that you still love looking at, and which still excites you even after all these years. The one that brings a smile to your face each and every day. The one that you were and are still in love with, flaws and all.

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Old 06-15-2012, 05:18 AM   #11
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For me the ideal Boxster was the 2003 Boxster S. Color: Seal Grey exterior, light grey interior. Manual Transmission, Heated seats, wind deflector.

The 2003 because it had a glass rear window and my last few converibles had plastic which was always a pain to keep clean without scratching. I liked that it also had a glove box and a little more power,and since it was the first year that had those things, it had the lowest initial purchase cost, sales tax and insurance rate for the car that met those requirements. I wanted heated seats since my last sportscar, which was built in 1980, didn't have them and many of our summer drives take us to high elevations where the temperatures could be in the 30's. I didn't care about the stereo after reading on how disappointed everyone was with the factory set up because I knew I would replace anything it came with. And I didn't want a black car exterior or interior because the hot Colorado sun can burn you when you sit on a black seat after parking the car with the top down and I live on a gravel road so the car is nearly always dirty and it looks terrible on black. The first time I saw the Seal Grey car I knew it was the color for me. And of course it had to have a manual transmission to connect the driver more with the total experience of driving it. The wind deflector was for my wife who appreciates a quieter cabin when driving with the top down.

I looked for a year to find the ideal car for me and luckily I was able to get it.
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Old 06-15-2012, 11:18 AM   #12
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I too am happy with my 2000 2.7 and have no desire for (and on the street, no use for) additional power. Frankly, for me it was a toss-up between a 2000 base and a 2003/2004 base. 2000 was the first year for the 2.7, but also the last year for the mechanical front trunk release and properly positioned HVAC controls (I despise the relocation behind the shifter that came in 2001 to permit flimsy cupholders). The 2003 does have more power, a glove box (which I seldom use in any car) and a glass rear window, but the latter added weight up high where it isn't needed, and had re-designed bumpers that IMO detract from the clean, flowing lines of the original design.

Having said that, all 986's are incredible cars and it is somewhat akin to talking about the perfect wife - the perfect 986 is the one you already have. The one that you still love looking at, and which still excites you even after all these years. The one that brings a smile to your face each and every day. The one that you were and are still in love with, flaws and all.

B
To keep my post shorter I did not elaborate on my reasons for choosing a 2000 S, but the bold quotes above are some but maybe the most important is the best position for the digital speed readout with is crucial for me since the analog speedo is useless in LA traffic. Lightest weight is always good too!
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Old 06-15-2012, 11:44 AM   #13
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Boxster Spyder.

Get in. Turn the key. All done.

No IMS garbage to deal with. on the right tires and suspension you've got enough power to outlap a 997 GT3 at Laguna Seca (with zero engine mods).
No 981 electronic steering and that other crap nobody asked for.
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Old 06-15-2012, 01:14 PM   #14
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I would have loved to build a stripped out 2000 S but mine was too nice to mess with. Starting with the lightest S Porsche made. Take out the unnecessary sound deadening like the 8" thick stuff in the engine bay so it sounds like a real Porsche, remove the power mechanism for the top and use it manually, like a real sports car, replace all the stereo parafinalia with a simple powered head unit and 2 door speakers for the rare occasion when it's used. Convert the steering to manual.

Put in the RoW M030 suspension, 997 shift lever, chassis bracing, much lower seats so you actually sit in the car (there's at least 3" there that Porsche is wasting) and make the roll hoops useful. Put in a thicker grip steering wheel. I'd also replace the speed-o gauge with one that uses 10 mph incriments that are actually readable at a glance and cover up the digital read out, which is annoying.

I wouldn't touch the 3.2 except (1) IMS bearing (2) lighter muffler (3) headers because the manifolds are horrible. It's a great engine for mountain roads and track driving. Loves to rev to redline.

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Old 06-15-2012, 02:14 PM   #15
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Particle, Me too !!! All original ALL records SWEET !!!
Don't mess with perfection!
Also have full records AND original sticker. Very clean!
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Old 06-15-2012, 04:54 PM   #16
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Don't mess with perfection!
Also have full records AND original sticker. Very clean!
Original sticker ? WOW !!! " Now you are TALKING " !!!!!!! Nice package to pass on when your are ready. "Pass on" not just sell..... Mine is just like yours, Would you or any family member like another one ???? I am looking at a Fiat 500 l 1972 mint. Maybe I will be left alone when go on an errand. It only has 2 cylinders and 2 horsepower.

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Old 06-15-2012, 05:38 PM   #17
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Mine's getting there:

Looks 100% original Boxster S inside and out, but now includes:

AST coilovers custom valved and dyno tested to my specs
GT3 control arms
GT3 sway bar
Near "square" wheel set up
Wheels spaced out to the max without modifying fenders
Quaife type LSD
Under drive pulley
Accusump
X51 type oil pan baffles
Fabspeed headers and full exhaust

It's still a work in progress though...
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Old 06-15-2012, 07:54 PM   #18
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Original sticker ? WOW !!! " Now you are TALKING " !!!!!!! Nice package to pass on when your are ready. "Pass on" not just sell..... Mine is just like yours, Would you or any family member like another one ???? I am looking at a Fiat 500 l 1972 mint. Maybe I will be left alone when go on an errand. It only has 2 cylinders and 2 horsepower.
I wish I could afford to! I'm really loving my Box lately!
My daily driver has been out of commission for a while. Put about 800 miles on the Boxster in the last month and love it more everyday!
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Old 06-16-2012, 07:18 AM   #19
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I'm rather enjoying my 03 with 3.8L power

One thing I will say though, is that adding an LSD to these cars is a MASSIVE improvement, all by itself.
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Old 06-18-2012, 04:06 AM   #20
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BYprodriver, I forgot that 2000 was also the last year before they moved the digitial speed readout from the tach to the window under the unreadable analogue speedometer; as you say, its a far more practical arrangment as one glance at one gauge gives accurate speed and rpm readings.

Brad

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