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Old 09-26-2012, 12:32 AM   #1
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90's boxster question

Looking for a smaller coupe/roadster type car to do track days and autocross with. Friend has a 07 cayman and I think its a great car but I already bought a '12 WRX for DD. Only thing is I have an 80 mile per day commute so i'm looking for a 2nd car to drive to work maybe 2 days a week as well as use it for fun.

I've seen a lot of sub $10k >100k mile boxsters around and I was wondering. Is this the case of the $30k Ferrari where you buy a car, thinking it is cheaper, but you end up spending so much money you might of well have bought a new one with what you will end up spending? Or are these cars on the otherhand fairly reliable at higher milage? I can do most work myself and if you see the list of cars i'm looking at I do not fear working on my car:

Triumph TR8, Alfa GTV6, Z3 M, Toyota MR2 turbo....

Coming from previously owning a 350z I want a car that the 350z promised to be but failed at basically. Which is being a light driving quick good handling out of the box 2 seat car. The Z handled like **************** and was heavy as a Camaro SS with anemic power.

Mostly been looking for lightweight cars, a 200hp or so car at 2700 pounds or so is fun to drive and I used to own a GTV6 in the past that only had IIRC 150hp and it was much more fun than a 350z despite the trans syncros always failing. Boxter and the Z3 might be heavier than that but i've actually been in these cars, or their brothers, and like the way they feel.

If these higher milage seemingly cheap boxsters I see around are to be avoided when I have other options that is basically what I would like to know.

edit: damn can't edit topic title typos...

edit: would a 2.5l have the issues in this thread:
http://986forum.com/forums/general-discussions/16822-shortlived-boxster-engines-survey-2.html

Last edited by Kanaric; 09-26-2012 at 12:48 AM.
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Old 09-26-2012, 03:54 AM   #2
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IMS failure can happen on any vehicle prior to 2009 (when the IMS was eliminated). prior to 2007, the IMS can be replaced with an updated version from LN Engineering (or put a new porsche one in) without opening the engine. 2005 (some)-2009 require the engine case to be opened. if the IMS is going to fail, it "tends" happens before 100k miles, but that's no guarantee that it won't happen eventually.

in general, the engine should last a while as long as it has been well maintained. there is a post from an owner in FL who has over 300k miles on his original engine with nothing more than standard oil changes and a few wear items like the water pump and alternator. again, if it's been well cared for it should last a while. if it's been neglected then you can be sure something will happen, but that's true of any engine.

the best thing you can do is get a PPI before buying and see what's up. ask to see service records as well.

i purchased mine at 65k miles and am currently close to 105k miles. items i've done are the water pump, alternator, oil changes, tires, ignition switch and spark plugs.

but the old adage still applies - "there are no cheap porsches"
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Old 09-26-2012, 04:19 AM   #3
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My advise to anyone looking at a $10K-20K Boxster is just be aware that it is almost impossible to predict if it's about to cost you another $5K+. They are unlikely to nickel and dime you if they show up well in a PPI as they are well designed and well built but there are known potentials for failure. If you are spending your last penny in just purchasing the car then you may be about to have your heart broken.
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Old 09-26-2012, 06:00 AM   #4
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Treat the IMS bearing as a wear part and replace it with an upgraded unit after purchase. That will lower the chance of failure. If it does fail, there are used 2.5 & 2.7 engines for about $3k on eBay.

For a budget track day vehicle, I would go for a Miata, BMW 2002, BMW e30, BMW e36, '84-90 911, etc.

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Old 09-26-2012, 06:20 AM   #5
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From what I've read it will cost you about $2000/yr to own an older Boxster.

- 9L of premium synthetic oil at each change
- Sticky tires that dont last 20k miles
- IMS replacement to avoid the 5% IMS bearing failure rate
- Driven hard is good however and depending on how you treat your clutch that may be on the 5year recuring plan
- Brakes dont last as long when tracking.
- Flush Brakes every 2 years...cheap as it only takes 1l of oil
- replace water pump every 3-4 years just to be safe as they have their faults with plastic impellers.
- washing the car every week +-

It all adds up but the fun and wow level is totally worth it.....Buy an S 3.2L if you can.

Another approach is to find an IMS failed car cheap and put the 3.4L or 3.6L in it and go like a bat out of hell on the track.
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