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Old 07-11-2013, 01:42 PM   #1
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my new used boxster, what to do?

Hello all. I am new here as I just purchased an 02 Boxster base model. It has 100,000 miles on it. I was looking to get some opinions.
1. It has the loud clunking noise from the rear left at low speeds over bumpy roads and also when i push in on the clutch shifting out of 1st gear. I assume the track arms need replaced. It is hard to tell from under the car. I can't seem to duplicate the noise from underneath. If anyone has a good way to diagnose this, I will appreciate it. It has new trans and motor mounts. sway bar fittings are tight. The driver side lower control arm ball joint boot is cracked but not split. Both passenger side drop links have split boots as do both front tie rod ends. I can't really determine the wheel bearing status. The wheels turn pretty smoothly with the only noticeable friction being from the brake pads sliding across the rotors

Having this many miles on it, would it be recommended that I go ahead and replace the lower control arms with some vertex units while I am replacing the track arms? How about the wheel bearings?

I have heard that the water pump should be changed at 50K. Since I don't know if it has been replaced before, and I am about to flush the coolant (for the same reason), and I wouldn't really mind putting in a 160 thermostat, should I be safe and go ahead and replace the water pump as well?

Any help will be appreciated as I hope to order parts tomorrow.
Darrin

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Old 07-11-2013, 08:43 PM   #2
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The clunking noise at low speed over bumpy roads is probably your trail arm not the track arm.

Wheel bearings start making a grinding noise when they fail and the noise will change with speed.

As for the water pump I got over 200,000 miles out of mine but I have seen others have to replace them sooner. I recommend buying a Porsche water pump and not an aftermarket or Laso pump.
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Old 07-11-2013, 09:41 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info. I think we are talking about the same thing. I have seen the track arm called the trail arm and vice versa. It is the forked one that runs parallel with the car and connects to the middle of the lower control arm, right?

I have been doing a lot of reading about this car and now am wondering if I made a bad judgement. There is a lot of angst about the rate of engine failures out there. The car is 11 years old with just over 100k miles, should I be worried or am I being a little paranoid? I knew about the RMS problems so I had the dealer put it on a lift for me so I could inspect it. I didn't know about the rate of IMS failures though. Oh well, guess i'm stuck with it for now. But I'll probably start planning in the back of my head what I would do should I lose the engine.
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Old 07-11-2013, 10:27 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darrin View Post
Thanks for the info. I think we are talking about the same thing. I have seen the track arm called the trail arm and vice versa. It is the forked one that runs parallel with the car and connects to the middle of the lower control arm, right?

I have been doing a lot of reading about this car and now am wondering if I made a bad judgement. There is a lot of angst about the rate of engine failures out there. The car is 11 years old with just over 100k miles, should I be worried or am I being a little paranoid? I knew about the RMS problems so I had the dealer put it on a lift for me so I could inspect it. I didn't know about the rate of IMS failures though. Oh well, guess i'm stuck with it for now. But I'll probably start planning in the back of my head what I would do should I lose the engine.
The chances of an IMS failure happening to you is in the low %2 to %5.
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Old 07-12-2013, 04:41 AM   #5
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Oh well, guess i'm stuck with it for now. But I'll probably start planning in the back of my head what I would do should I lose the engine.


Stuck with the Boxster??? It could be a lot worse.



Relax on the RMS. RMS is just a slow leak in the seal between the engine and gear box. You can look under the car and see the telltale drip. For the most part, if you are diligent about checking your oil, this really isn't a big deal.

The IMS is a different animal. Its the bearing deep in the engine. If it fails, the engine will be a total loss. The results of a class action lawsuit were recently published. They detail whether the engines of this era have a "single row" or "dual row" IMS. The failure rate varies dramatically between the design (from "less than 1%" to something like "10%"). Do some research and make a rational decision on how to treat the IMS.

I have elected to take no action on my IMS. I feel the cost of upgrading it is not worth the value of the car. Others have done an upgrade (along with a clutch and RMS). I've already gotten 65K miles from my car and if it died tomorrow it wouldn't effect my lifestyle.

Good luck with your car. Once I got mine sorted, I have found my Boxster to be a reliable daily driver for the past 6 years.



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Old 07-12-2013, 04:42 AM   #6
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The failure rate on an 02 single-row IMS bearing is a little higher than that. On the figures released by Porsche during the class-action suit, they reported claims on 8-10 % of the cars so equipped and, of course, we can assume that there were a number where no one contacted a Porsche dealership. That still means that the vast majority will not fail. And of course, rather than planning for the engine to fail, you can always bite the bullet and replace the clutch and upgrade the IMS bearing for a lot less money! Either way, welcome to the forum. Enjoy your car and don't obsess over a potential, but unlikely problem. As someone much wiser than myself once said, if it doesn't happen, there will have been no sense worrying about it; if it does happen, worrying won't have changed it.

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Old 07-12-2013, 05:37 AM   #7
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[QUOTE=Jager;351541]The clunking noise at low speed over bumpy roads is probably your trail arm not the track arm.

I think that I have this problem. Is it a safety issue? What happens if I let it go for a while? Cost to fix?
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Old 07-12-2013, 07:37 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darrin View Post
Thanks for the info. I think we are talking about the same thing. I have seen the track arm called the trail arm and vice versa. It is the forked one that runs parallel with the car and connects to the middle of the lower control arm, right?

I have been doing a lot of reading about this car and now am wondering if I made a bad judgement. There is a lot of angst about the rate of engine failures out there. The car is 11 years old with just over 100k miles, should I be worried or am I being a little paranoid? I knew about the RMS problems so I had the dealer put it on a lift for me so I could inspect it. I didn't know about the rate of IMS failures though. Oh well, guess i'm stuck with it for now. But I'll probably start planning in the back of my head what I would do should I lose the engine.
Yes, the control arms that connect under the driver (and one under the passenger side) and to the lower control arm.

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Old 07-12-2013, 07:45 AM   #9
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[QUOTE=recycledsixtie;351591]
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Originally Posted by Jager View Post
The clunking noise at low speed over bumpy roads is probably your trail arm not the track arm.

I think that I have this problem. Is it a safety issue? What happens if I let it go for a while? Cost to fix?
They cost ~$180 each. plus labor to install. It's just bushings wearing-out, no need to worry about things falling apart but the noise can get annoying.
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Old 07-12-2013, 07:48 AM   #10
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[QUOTE=Jager;351610]
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Originally Posted by recycledsixtie View Post

They cost ~$180 each. plus labor to install. It's just bushings wearing-out, no need to worry about things falling apart but the noise can get annoying.
Thanks Jager - I really do appreciate that. That is reassuring!
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Old 07-12-2013, 09:45 AM   #11
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Hey everybody, thanks for the info and the comments. I'm not going to stress over the engine. It has already made it to 100k and I don't plan on racing it. I'll just keep up with the oil changes and try not to abuse it. I'll probably go ahead and upgrade the IMS when I do a clutch job. For now, I'll just focus on the suspension and the other little things that need some tlc, like the passenger side latch switch. Overall, the wife and I love the car. I think I just got a little paranoid reading so many negative comments on 1 forum.
Thanks again.
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Old 07-12-2013, 09:53 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darrin View Post
Hey everybody, thanks for the info and the comments. I'm not going to stress over the engine. It has already made it to 100k and I don't plan on racing it. I'll just keep up with the oil changes and try not to abuse it. I'll probably go ahead and upgrade the IMS when I do a clutch job. For now, I'll just focus on the suspension and the other little things that need some tlc, like the passenger side latch switch. Overall, the wife and I love the car. I think I just got a little paranoid reading so many negative comments on 1 forum.
Thanks again.

It's okay Darrin about the paranoia . It is understandable. I have had my Box for 2 years now and the pucker factor is reducing. The problem now is my right foot is too heavy still.....
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Old 07-12-2013, 12:59 PM   #13
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I'd say that clunking needs to be addressed promptly. 'Play' severe enough to produce noise will also allow a lot of unwanted travel beyond what the engineers deemed acceptable. I'm no suspension expert but it seems to me that that particular arm will allow toe changes which will cause unwanted 'rear wheel steering'- at the extreme, it becomes 'erratic behaviour'. You don't want this occurring at highway speeds or in slippery conditions!

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