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Old 05-24-2013, 06:03 PM   #1
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Used Engines?

I am new to the forum and have done lots of reading and studying thus far. Great group with lots of knowledge and savvy.

I started looking into these cars and weighing the feasibility of using one for my commute. I live in the country with 22 miles to town over curvy, hilly, lightly traveled road. A car like this would make driving to and from work a fun part of the day.

I am learning about RMS and IMS problem potential and the consequences. I am trying to look ahead at the possible alternatives in the event of an engine failure.

I grew up in my Dads independent auto shop and have done lots of car work for many years. I have a very complete home shop with 2 post lift and about any equipment I would ever need.

Where I'm going with this is that it appears that there are lots of used engines available in the three to four thousand dollar price range. Should the engine fail, it would seem that buying a good used engine and doing the IMS mod before putting it in could be a good approach.

Has anyone ever tried this approach?

Thanks in advance for your feedback.

Doc

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Old 05-24-2013, 06:55 PM   #2
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Here's a great story.. The "seller" was a forum member here.

Buyer Beware: Used "Low Mileage" engine nightmare

Today most used engines are not that at all.. They are repaired engines that had a failure. Once the salvage yards learned how to "fix" these engines the entire breed of "used engines" was compromised.

Unless you pull it out of the crashed car yourself, don't trust it.. All the "good used" engines have 50K miles and came from a car hit in the front. Yeah. Right.
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Old 05-24-2013, 06:58 PM   #3
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Well some more research led me to an interesting story at flatsixinnovations.com. It seems that many used engines are actually poorly repaired as opposed to used, untouched.

I would still appreciate whatever feedback you might be able to offer.

Doc
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Old 05-24-2013, 07:05 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake Raby View Post
Here's a great story.. The "seller" was a forum member here.

Buyer Beware: Used "Low Mileage" engine nightmare

Today most used engines are not that at all.. They are repaired engines that had a failure. Once the salvage yards learned how to "fix" these engines the entire breed of "used engines" was compromised.

Unless you pull it out of the crashed car yourself, don't trust it.. All the "good used" engines have 50K miles and came from a car hit in the front. Yeah. Right.

Thanks Jake! Coincidentally I just finished reading the sad story on your website. I too grew up in my Dads Indy shop, so I have an understanding about customers and vendors. I was very impressed at your handling of the situation. You know how to treat your customers. Too bad that some of your vendors do not do the same.

Thanks for answering my neophyte question.

Doc
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Old 05-24-2013, 07:05 PM   #5
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I don't know enough about used engines to comment directly.

That said, I would suggest the following. There are a number of relatively cheap used Boxsters available for sale these days. Find a car you like. Get a PPI inspection done before buying. If you're concerned about the IMS question, replace it with an LN Retrofit. While you're at it, replace the clutch and RMS. It will cost $2K to $3K total. Then you'll have 60,000 plus worry free miles with an engine you know far better than some used one from a wrecking yard.

BTW: Maybe you'll get lucky in find a used car with a LN Retrofit already installed.

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Old 05-24-2013, 07:16 PM   #6
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Ditto to Thom's post! This is exactly what I did on my new to me 60,000 mile 2000 Box S. Same things and price.

My indie did the work. I watched. Peace of mind and running great.
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Old 05-24-2013, 08:12 PM   #7
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Treating a used engine just like a used Porsche, to include a "PPI"is a VERY good measure. Its pretty clear when repairs are made or parts swapped if someone knows these engines well.
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Old 05-24-2013, 09:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MBDiagMan View Post

Where I'm going with this is that it appears that there are lots of used engines available in the three to four thousand dollar price range. Should the engine fail, it would seem that buying a good used engine and doing the IMS mod before putting it in could be a good approach.

Has anyone ever tried this approach?

Thanks in advance for your feedback.

Doc
I did this when my 01 failed, still running fine. As always Jake's advice is spot on regarding how to find a good used motor. Know the car it came out of.
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Old 05-24-2013, 11:02 PM   #9
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Two of my friends bought dismantler/eBay engines for $4K and swapped them in. Everyone lived happily ever after. Of course, eventually the engines will fail and then they'll swap in another used engine.

Boxster engines are becoming disposable - its not worth putting $12K-$15K into an engine rebuild for a car that will be worth $10K when you're done.

Of course, its your money, spend it however you like, but you'll be hard pressed to recover a majority of the cost of a rebuild upon resale.
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Old 05-25-2013, 11:27 AM   #10
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Thanks everyone for the responses.

I coincidentally read Jakes used engine story and posted right after his post suggesting it. Great and informative read.

I like the engine PPI idea. It would seem feasible to buy an engine and drop ship it to Jake for a PPI. Then if it fails return it, or if it looks good maybe have him do the IMS before he ships it on. This sounds like a plausible fall back position for the event of engine failure.

Jake, could you confirm if this sounds like a reasonable approach? I have several vehicles, so the downtime could be easily managed in such a situation.

If this Sounds reasonable then I will be starting my search. I have located a 52,000 mile 99 base model that I am going to look at soon.
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Old 05-25-2013, 02:19 PM   #11
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You can spend $4k or $30K. Buy the $4k one and you have not only the risk of the unknown but also the known deficiencies. But think of the car you could buy for the $30k. It all comes down to personal choice, risk tolerance, how much cash you have, how much you like the earlier Boxster versus the later ones, the love you have for your car.

Somewhere there is my first engine, 42k miles, perfect, and came out of a car hit in the front and running fine after the crash. Wasn't worth the $26k and counting to the insurance company to repair the body so they scrapped the car. I'm sure someone bought the engine and I hope they are happy with it.

The issue to me has always been how much you will spend on upgrades and preventative parts replacements while the engine is out of the car. It is easy to get carried away just doing the obvious things like IMS, RMS, clutch, water pump, AOS, etc.
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Old 05-25-2013, 03:00 PM   #12
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Lots of people have found that the Boxster/ 996 are great cars that live forever with their only weakness being the engine.
Most of the engines on my build board now are destined for cars with long time owners and most cars are not worth as much as the engine thats being installed. Thats nothing new with Porsches, hell I was doing that 20 years ago with 914s that were getting 10K buck engines into 4,000.00 cars.

The first thing I tell a potential purchase is the only way that my engine makes sense is if they have no intention of selling the car. To date I know of ZERO cars that have been sold with my engine installed; never seen the first one.

As long as the expectations for a used engine are real, you'll not be disappointed and you will get what you paid for.
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Old 05-25-2013, 03:16 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake Raby View Post
Here's a great story.. The "seller" was a forum member here.

Buyer Beware: Used "Low Mileage" engine nightmare

Today most used engines are not that at all.. They are repaired engines that had a failure. Once the salvage yards learned how to "fix" these engines the entire breed of "used engines" was compromised.

Unless you pull it out of the crashed car yourself, don't trust it.. All the "good used" engines have 50K miles and came from a car hit in the front. Yeah. Right.
Sorry. What?

I don't buy that this is a widespread or common problem. I'm sure people often lie about mileage. But most used engines are just that. Engines pulled from written off cars. There are plenty of those these days. It takes almost nothing to write these cars off. Any kind of light tap will have them written off, the values are so low.

The engine in your link apparently stated in the eBay listing that it had been messed with, so it was clear enough that it wasn't a straight pull. Moreover, where ever you live, there are typically some reliable sources for used engines (perhaps at a bit of premium). Just as I'm sure you don't lie to customers, believe it or not there are other businesses who do not lie to customers and if they say it's just a straight used engine, it's just a straight used engine.

Really, would have to describe this as scare mongering.
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Old 05-25-2013, 03:28 PM   #14
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It's easy enough to run a carfax on the VIN of the donor car to determine the mileage. It's even possible to get the VIN with the motor's serial number. And if you have a PST-2 and the motor is still in the car, you can pull the over revs and hours elasped.
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Old 05-27-2013, 09:54 AM   #15
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Jack, here's a 996 in Canada with one of your engines that is for sale - albeit not sold.

Show Ad - UCR Porsches for Sale/Wanted - 2001 911 Carrera 2 with New Raby Engine
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Old 05-27-2013, 10:18 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MBDiagMan View Post
I am new to the forum and have done lots of reading and studying thus far. Great group with lots of knowledge and savvy.

I started looking into these cars and weighing the feasibility of using one for my commute. I live in the country with 22 miles to town over curvy, hilly, lightly traveled road. A car like this would make driving to and from work a fun part of the day.

I am learning about RMS and IMS problem potential and the consequences. I am trying to look ahead at the possible alternatives in the event of an engine failure.

I grew up in my Dads independent auto shop and have done lots of car work for many years. I have a very complete home shop with 2 post lift and about any equipment I would ever need.

Where I'm going with this is that it appears that there are lots of used engines available in the three to four thousand dollar price range. Should the engine fail, it would seem that buying a good used engine and doing the IMS mod before putting it in could be a good approach.

Has anyone ever tried this approach?

Thanks in advance for your feedback.

Doc
I feel most of the eBay motors out there are way overpriced and it a waste of money to install a stock motor, I find it better to get a solid car then have jake build a bomb proof engine for, it will last longer and perform like a porsche should.
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Old 05-27-2013, 11:52 AM   #17
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I considered a lot of options when my 01 failed (took me the better part of a year to make up my mind). A used motor with a 90 day warranty from a local and trusted salvage yard was my choice. Besides I like to swap motors.

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