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Old 03-24-2013, 07:20 PM   #1
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I bought a 1998 Boxster 2.5, did I make a huge mistake???

Hello, I just purchased a 1998 arena red Porsche Boxster with the 2.5 engine and 5 speed transmission. I couldn't pass it up. It has 26k miles, has always been garaged and basically in mint condition. I owned a Porsche 944 years ago so I understand a little about their ownership. Are these cars the ticking time bomb that seems everyone is saying or has their problems been over hyped due to forums (negative always gets more exposure)??? Please be honest with me.

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Old 03-24-2013, 07:36 PM   #2
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I've had a 99 for four years now and I'm thrilled with it, so it wouldn't be a mistake in my mind. Are you enjoying driving it?
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Old 03-24-2013, 07:36 PM   #3
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I don't think they are ticking time bombs, but they will cost a bit to maintain. The 2.5 has a dual row imsb that is less likely to fail than the later single row bearing. The only thing I would worry about with your car is the low mileage. A small number of the older cars had porous engine blocks that would show problems before 50k miles. You are probably ok though due to age and mileage. Enjoy the car. Did you get a good deal?
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Old 03-24-2013, 07:40 PM   #4
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Old 03-24-2013, 07:57 PM   #5
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I have a 1998 and as long as it's been kept in good shape you shouldn't have a problem.
I've had to change the rotors and the brake pads no biggie.
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Old 03-24-2013, 11:10 PM   #6
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Yes horrible mistake. I should probably take it off your hands for $1000 to save you from all the pain and anguish.
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Old 03-25-2013, 03:29 AM   #7
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I LOVE THE CAR! Its beautiful, handles great and is just a blast to drive! It's hard to really enjoy the car though when in the back of your mind you think it could blow up any moment!

I can handle high repair costs (as long as there not frequent). I can perform many maintenance repairs myself (oil changes, brakes). What scares the **************** out of me is the total engine failures I keep hearing about! I can't afford that! That makes the car a total loss! The total loss of an investment of this size would be financially devastating!


I can't find any real statistics on the likelihood of failure or what years have the worst record and should be avoided. I would just like to find some good news about these cars that would make me rest a little easier.

I just want to be able to enjoy my new sports car without having to be paranoid.
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Old 03-25-2013, 03:59 AM   #8
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No, you didn't make a huge mistake. Virtually all 986 and early 987 Boxsters are selling very cheaply in relation to the design, handling, performance and status they provide and one of the reasons for that is the issue with respect to the IMS bearing. Porsche, of course, will not provide numbers but a glance at the poll on this site shows that about 92% of respondents have not had an IMS faliure. Admitttedly, this is a relatively small sample size, still.....

If you are not a gambler, upgrade the bearing and replace the clutch at the same time. The $3000.00 or so invested will not only provide peace of mind, but should add significantly to resale value for an educated buyer. And even when you add 3K to the purchase price, I can virtually guarantee that you would be hard pressed to find any other car that can provide as much bang for the buck!

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Old 03-25-2013, 05:03 AM   #9
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Great car. Mine has 78K and is very strong...no drips, very few rattles (all related to top)and as mentioned, the 1998 has the more robust double row IMS. Don't be easy on her. The harder you drive, the higher the oil pressure and that will make sure oil gets to the bearing. Since I did all the "catch up" maintenance, I have only had to do oil changes. That is 2 years, about 8000 miles.
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Old 03-25-2013, 05:15 AM   #10
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Yes horrible mistake. I should probably take it off your hands for $1000 to save you from all the pain and anguish.
Topless is a prime example of the wonderful, caring people on this forum that will even dig into their own pockets to prevent another's anguish. And to prove that I am even more wonderful and caring, I will give you $1500.
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Old 03-25-2013, 06:24 AM   #11
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Congrats...

The IMS issue gets a lot of airplay because the consequences of a failure are very costly. If you want peace of mind, replace the original IMS bearing.The thinking is that older low mileage cars tend to see these failures because the IMS bearing seals develop small leaks that diminish the bearings lubrication.

You have two options: ship the car to Flat 6 Innovations for the IMS Solution at about $3500 plus transport. They make it really easy to do this. Or, have a local, experienced dealer or independent shop, install a IMS Retrofit for about $1800 assuming you keep don't replace the clutch or rear main seal at the same time. Alternatively, you can install the IMS Guardian, which is a device that will tell you ahead of time if the IMS bearing is about to fail.

Other than that item, expect $1500 to $2000 per year maintenance depending on whether you drive a lot or do the labor yourself. Make sure you change the oil more frequently than the factory recommends. People tend to change oil between 3000 and 7500 miles.

Enjoy...
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Old 03-25-2013, 06:39 AM   #12
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No, you didn't make a huge mistake. Virtually all 986 and early 987 Boxsters are selling very cheaply in relation to the design, handling, performance and status they provide and one of the reasons for that is the issue with respect to the IMS bearing.
I think that may be overstating that a bit. The supply of second hand Boxsters and Carreras is big relative to the what Porsche has traditionally seen. Even if there were no IMS issue at all, the average buyer would avoid an out of warranty German car that requires specialized labor and expensive parts. Porsches have a huge reputation for being expensive to maintain. That imbalance between huge supply and limited potential buyers is going to put the advantage towards the buyer and not the seller on an indefinite basis. For the IMS to be a reason for depreciation, enough of the buying public would need to know what an IMS is in the first place. A first time buyer of Porsche will by and large only become aware of the IMS by doing online research. Once they've actually done that BEFORE the purchase (unlike our OP it seems), which I'm guessing only a fraction will actually take the time to do -- and even fewer will pony up for an actual Prepurchase Inspection (also unlike our OP) -- they will also learn in short order that the IMS issue is simply a matter of doing some preventative parts swapping. For nearly every reference to IMS there is a reference to LNE or Flat6 on all these forums. So you get the warning with the solution in virtually every thread.

Frankly I have to wonder if air-cooled Porsches were manufactured in the large numbers that Boxsters/Caymans/996/997 were if they would be holding value like they do. There simply aren't enough buyers with the means or nerve to buy an out of warranty Porsche to absorb the huge prodution numbers no matter how over or under-engineered the engines might be.
Rebuilding an air-cooled engine is just as big a case of wallett shock and awe for a buyer on a limited budget as the threat of an IMS implosion. As my mechanic said about antique 911's, "you just have to be ready to drop $10K". Most with modest means don't have a $10K emergency cash fund for real life emergencies let alone such a sum for a man toy budget.

p.s.
Meat Head, loved you on All In the Family by the way, if a blown engine is going to put you in the poor house then you should probably try to flip the Boxster for a tidy profit. Porsche ownership is inherently stressful and inherently expensive. Labor really sin't the big expense it's the parts. I had my Boxster in for repais a couple years back, it took weeks to get it back and the repair bill was over $5K. You could easily have back to back repairs in this car that can equal a third of the car's purchase price.
The best thing to do is to buy a certified pre-owned Porsche if you are the paranoid type or can't afford to lose your whole investment.
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Old 03-25-2013, 06:48 AM   #13
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Old 03-25-2013, 06:49 AM   #14
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Toplees is a prime example of the wonderful, caring people on this forum that will even dig into their own pockets to prevent another's anguish. And to prove that I am even more wonderful and caring, I will give you $1500.
Don't listen to those cheapskates. I live right next door in Ohio and I'll give you $1501 any day.
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Old 03-25-2013, 07:07 AM   #15
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Welcome to the club!!!

I don't think you made a mistake. Remember everyone has an opinion.

I have a 1999 Boxter that I purchased 3.5 years ago with 104,000 on the clock.

I now have 183,000 miles. I am quite happy with it. I've had to take it to the dealer for the cam adjusters on both sides, the AOS and a water pumps.

I do my own oil changes, spark plug changes and full break jobs. If I can, you can too. And save alot of money. I change my oil & filter every 10,000 miles and use Mobil 1 15W50.

After reading this Forum, Excellence Magazine and Renn Tech's Forum, I would purchase the IMS Guardian, change the water pump every 60,000 miles and enjoy my new Boxster.

I now want a 1999-2002 911, attached is the link to the 911 a Dallas Dealer who is offering me a 2001 with about 75,000 miles since it did not sell during his Ebay auction. I just need to figure out where to store it while I determine how to break the good news to my wife:

I didn't sell the #290876270500 - 2001 PORSCHE 911 SUNROOF KEYLESS ENTRY POWER WINDOWS AFTE... . You can still purchase it for the price you've offered, US $9,500.00. If you are still interested please reply with your full name and your address.

Enjoy the Boxster!!

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Old 03-25-2013, 07:18 AM   #16
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Sorry, I forgot the web address:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=290876270500>

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Old 03-25-2013, 07:31 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Meat Head View Post
I LOVE THE CAR! Its beautiful, handles great and is just a blast to drive! It's hard to really enjoy the car though when in the back of your mind you think it could blow up any moment!

I can handle high repair costs (as long as there not frequent). I can perform many maintenance repairs myself (oil changes, brakes). What scares the **************** out of me is the total engine failures I keep hearing about! I can't afford that! That makes the car a total loss! The total loss of an investment of this size would be financially devastating!


I can't find any real statistics on the likelihood of failure or what years have the worst record and should be avoided. I would just like to find some good news about these cars that would make me rest a little easier.

I just want to be able to enjoy my new sports car without having to be paranoid.
Welcome to the best of the Boxster forums! You are handy with a wrench so don't worry too much. Get the Pelican Parts.com - 101 Projects for Your Porsche Boxster and the Bentley manual. There are lots of great DIY projects on this forum as well as Pedro's Garage. DIY Projects: Do-it-Yourself Repair and Maintenance for your Porsche If you get stuck, there are plenty of people here that will help out. If you don't want to spend the money on the replacement IMS, get the IMS Guardian or even cheaper, a magnetic drain plug. Cut open your oil filter after a change to check for metal. Like others have said, drive it hard. Remember, those with a problem are the ones who post, most owners are oblivious and just out enjoying the great car that is a Boxster
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Old 03-25-2013, 07:38 AM   #18
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Sorry, I forgot the web address:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=290876270500>

MNC-I
If you don't take it, I might have too! Seriously, you have to at that price If you need some help with it, I'm close by.
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Old 03-25-2013, 07:53 AM   #19
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^ that 101 Boxster Projects book is also available digitally on Google Books for your smartphone or tablet. Handy. Didn't see it on Kindle.
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Old 03-25-2013, 08:44 AM   #20
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I have a 98 and love it..don't listen to the hype, I believe if you delve into it a little further the percentage of cars that fail are less than 3% (from what I've read myself) I'm 95,000 kms strong on mine and the thought of IMS never crosses my mind. Get behind the wheel and enjoy the ride!
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