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Old 11-15-2005, 02:34 PM   #1
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Question 1997 suggested upgrades?

Hello. Pretty much a total newbie here and looking at buying a 1997 Boxster from a car-fanatic family member. Only about 30K miles on it and it's been mostly garage sitting lately since he has a 911/4 and other cars too.

I'm sure I'll be getting a very good price on it, but are there any suggested mechanical upgrades or accessories you'd recommend on this year model?
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Old 11-15-2005, 08:35 PM   #2
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Yeah, first things first. Take care of that goofy looking shifter/knob. It looks like a door-knob from the 70's wrapped in plasticy leather! Then you're set (depending on which rims you've got).
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Old 11-16-2005, 12:28 AM   #3
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Get rid of any amber lights if has any.
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Old 11-16-2005, 05:36 AM   #4
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Talking

First things first.

Before you buy it, take it to the local Porsche dealer and get a complete pre-purchase inspection. Make sure they do a top to bottom job complete with paint meter inspection and a focus on the frame and suspension. RMS and other leaks are of course, a must for this inspection.

Also have the seller provide a complete maint history.

Lastly, run a car fax.

Then we can help you with mods galore.

Good luck.
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Old 11-16-2005, 05:45 AM   #5
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Hi,

My suggestion is to get a proper purchase as BL suggests. Then drive the Car As Is for several months. This will familiarize you with the Car and give you a better understanding of which Mods will be the most important to You.

This will also give you some time to recover from the Purchase Shock and to Shake Down the Car and correct those Mundane, Non-Sexy, things which may require your $$. No point in doing a bunch of Mods and then find out you need Plugs, Oil Change, Alignment, Clutch, Window Adjustment, Top Adjustment, etc, only to find out that you've already busted the Bank on non-essential items.

Happy Motoring!... Jim'99
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Old 11-16-2005, 09:22 AM   #6
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As the owner of a 1997 myself, I'd say these are the things you should do to the car, in the order of importance, after you get your Pre Purchase Inspection (as these things are often overlooked in a PPI)...

1. The plastic coolant resovoir cracks with age. Get this replaced if it has not been done yet. Best PM you can do. I'm going to do mine soon, even though it's not leaking... why risk it?

2. Convertible top transmission cables. If they're not the reinforced ones replaced under warranty in 1999, replace these immediately to avoid the $2000+ damage the old ones cause when they heat up in the summer and stretch, disengaging one side of the top transmission while the other torques up your clamshell and top.

3. Check to see that both your radiators are functioning. Get the car up to temp, run the AC on high, and walk to the front of the car to insure you can feel hot air blowing downward in front of both front tires. Replace if needed. (Sometimes, a PPI mechanic will not check this the way they should).

Then comes the fun stuff...

4. Replace the nasty shift knob with a newer style. Takes 30 seconds to swap out and makes you instantly feel like you're driving a far newer car. $150 or less.

5. Trash the CDR-210 and buy a good aftermarket stereo head unit for the car. I put in an Alpine head unit that was only $225 and it sounds a million times better than any Becker unit you could buy.

6. Get the rear speaker kit and a rear storage compartment in which to install it. Watch ebay for these and as far as the storage compartment, bid very high in the last seconds to snag it... they are $550 at the parts counter new. This upgrade makes top down driving far more enjoyable when talking about listening to tunes.

6. Buy new tail lamps and side markers that have no amber in them. $180.00 plus s/h from Suncoast Motorsports. This will make your car look like a 2002 and far better.

7. Buy the litronic replacement headlamps and clear corners. $1300 when they go on sale. And get the wiring done instead of just installing them because seeing those blue beams tilt up and down is so cool you won't believe how pleased you will be with them over your old halogen headlamps!

8. Replace your top with an aftermarket glass one. Chopping the plastic every time you drop the top is a total pain in the ass. I'm saving up for this next!

Here's my 02 cents' worth of opinions on power upgrades (aftermarket intakes and exhaust systems or air filters): Don't bother. They're expensive and don't do what the sellers claim they will do. I'd desnorkel your intake though as it makes for a nice growl when you punch it. Basically, enjoy the 2.5 liter engine for what it is... a nice engine for the car that propels it just fine, and takes you to twisty roads where the car is simply in a league of its own, regardless of engine size.
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Old 11-16-2005, 03:10 PM   #7
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Question Need some clarifications...

Since I don't own one yet, I'm not clear on these.
1. How much does it cost to replace the plastic coolant resovoir?

2. How much to replace the convertible top transmission cables with reinforced ones?

3. What is the problem with the amber lights?

4. What does this mean and what's the cost?
"Replace your top with an aftermarket glass one. Chopping the plastic every time you drop the top is a total pain in the ass. I'm saving up for this next!"

Thanks!
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Old 11-16-2005, 03:20 PM   #8
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3. What is the problem with the amber lights?

4. What does this mean and what's the cost?
"Replace your top with an aftermarket glass one. Chopping the plastic every time you drop the top is a total pain in the ass. I'm saving up for this next!"

Thanks!
Hey Hoser, welcome to the forum!

People replace the amber lights to give their cars a more "fresh" and "updated" look. The newer Boxsters have the non-amber lights. Yours are fine, just that they can be updated if you select.

You can find these on E-bay.
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Old 11-16-2005, 03:26 PM   #9
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Ok,

it's the "Replace your top with an aftermarket glass one. Chopping the plastic every time you drop the top is a total pain in the ass. I'm saving up for this next!" that scares me cost-wise!

Does this mean that the rear window of the 1997 is plastic and that the new ones are glass that still folds up the same, but without having to mess with the plastic one?
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Old 11-16-2005, 03:28 PM   #10
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I do not know much of the first two you mentioned,so I wont give you false information. I know of the other two so here is my two cents.

The amber tail lights may look nice now, but wait until you see what the updated clear taillights can do for the car. The clear side markers also give it a nice touch as well. Suncoast is a great place to buy those($199 shipped to you,Brand New),unless someone on this board is willing to sell theirs. Installation is simple and I will gladly help you through it if you need any. I attached a picture of my Boxster with clear taillights and matching side markers so you have a idea of how much better it looks.

By chopping the top he means this;when you go to "drop the top" the plastic bends and the middle part hangs out,now if you continue to close it without pushing it in yourself(you have to get out push it in) it marks it up pretty bad. There is also a "blanket" that came with my 99' Boxster that you can apply while "dropping the top" to help prevent the plastic from scratching. This is why my top either stays up or down for several days in a row. The updated glass convertibles go into place on the older style convertibles perfectly and fold down as if it were from the factory.
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Last edited by blinkwatt; 11-16-2005 at 03:32 PM.
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Old 11-16-2005, 04:32 PM   #11
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The coolant resovoir is about $400 plus installation. Replace it if it's leaking or has cracks. Keep an eye on it if it hasn't gone out if you're broke. That's what I'm doing.

John Schilling here on this forum did his own coolant resovoir replacement and said it was time consuming, but not all that hard.

The transmission cables are not expensive... probably under a hundred bucks each, and I think you could DIY if you take your time and give it a go and do some internet based research. Pix are out there as to what they look like and how to change them out, IF they need to be replaced.
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Last edited by RandallNeighbour; 11-16-2005 at 04:34 PM.
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Old 11-16-2005, 07:19 PM   #12
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Another nice little upgrade would be the short shift kit. They have the advertised banner on the forum for $159. Or you can spend a few more bucks for the B&M one. Makes shifting shorter and sportier.

I'm fine with the amber lights in the back, but I did change the side markers lights for about $50.

Replacing the top with the glass would be nice, but it's big bucks as you have to change the entire roof with the 03 one. I asked the dealer when I first got the car, and they said "you don't want to know how much"
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Old 11-16-2005, 08:08 PM   #13
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A nice little touch you could do that I do not see many other Boxster owners are "Boxster" license plate frame in black stainless steel.
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Old 11-17-2005, 06:23 AM   #14
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I've done lots of mods so far, but none performance really.
in terms of styling The best way to update the look of the Boxster or to make it look like a far more expensive car is to Upgrade the Wheels to 18" Carrera 5 spokes or Turbo Twists (more of an agressive 911-like look) and add side skirting. This will cost about $3,000 but make it look like $15,000 more.

here's one with only a wheel upgrade and it looks great.

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Old 11-17-2005, 06:30 AM   #15
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Perfectlap has my favorite wheels on his car. These are classics.

Way to go!

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Old 11-17-2005, 10:28 AM   #16
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and vs. other 18" Porsche wheels, the Carrera's are 10 pounds lighter at each corner!
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Old 11-17-2005, 12:02 PM   #17
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The clear lights don't do a damn thing for the car.
If the early cars were clear and the later ones amber, everybody would want to switch to the amber, claiming the amber ones added a touch of color in place of the drab old clear ones.
It's the same reason I had a drawer full of neckties ranging from 1" wide to 4" wide ... style.
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Old 11-18-2005, 09:26 AM   #18
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I see the amber lights more like buying a nice Cannondale bike and coming home to immediately remove the amber reflectors from the wheels that the law requires. Amber on a Porsche seems like DOT mandated training wheels.
But to be Honest no one noticed I had removed all the amber from my car except for other German sports car guys. It might be more psychological than visual.
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Old 11-18-2005, 09:30 AM   #19
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It's the same reason I had a drawer full of neckties ranging from 1" wide to 4" wide ... style.

Dude...1 inch wide...you gotta clean out that drawer!
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Old 11-18-2005, 10:41 AM   #20
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I did clean it out.
I now have two ties. A red one for parties, and a black one for funerals.
The black one gets the most use, unfortunately.
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