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Old 05-27-2014, 09:25 AM   #1
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New owner needs advice on upgrades

Hi all, first time Porsche owner. Recently purchased a used 2002 base Boxster, 17" rims.

In the near future I will be looking at upgrades and preventive maintenance and I need advice on the best places for the best prices on quality parts. Im fine with OEM, used and refurb stuff. Dont have a mechanic yet but thought Id ask owners for advice first. Ill be needing things like a new shifter and boot (want the stock look), new "Boxster" trunk emblem, new aftermarket rims, passenger side wind guard (the honeycomb looking plastic insert). Plus, eventually, a new stock clutch, aftermarket air breather (or is it called a cold air intake?), new filters obviously....stuff like that. So, where do you get your parts? Do you insist on Porsche or do you do OEM? Thanks, any advice for a new owner is welcomed. I accepted higher maintenance costs is the price you pay for such a fun car but then I also like to ask around to see if Im spending too much before I start replacing things. Thanks.



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Old 05-27-2014, 09:31 AM   #2
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New owner needs advice on upgrades

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Originally Posted by TypeA View Post
Hi all, first time Porsche owner. Recently purchased a used 2002 base Boxster, 17" rims.

In the near future I will be looking at upgrades and preventive maintenance and I need advice on the best places for the best prices on quality parts. Im fine with OEM, used and refurb stuff. Dont have a mechanic yet but thought Id ask owners for advice first. Ill be needing things like a new shifter and boot (want the stock look), new "Boxster" trunk emblem, new aftermarket rims, passenger side wind guard (the honeycomb looking plastic insert). Plus, eventually, a new stock clutch, aftermarket air breather (or is it called a cold air intake?), new filters obviously....stuff like that. So, where do you get your parts? Do you insist on Porsche or do you do OEM? Thanks, any advice for a new owner is welcomed. I accepted higher maintenance costs is the price you pay for such a fun car but then I also like to ask around to see if Im spending too much before I start replacing things. Thanks.

Pelican parts. Congrats on the car it looks great!
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Old 05-27-2014, 09:42 AM   #3
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As Jake said ^^^, Pelican Parts (who also owns the 986Forum) is a great resource.

Parts can be found here:Pelican Parts - Porsche Boxster (1997-2004) Parts and Accessories

The DIY instructions for just about anything can be found here: Porsche Boxster 986 (1997-2004) / 987 (2005-2008) Technical Articles | Pelican Parts

Also, buy Wayne Dempey's book, 101 Projects for Your Boxster.
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Old 05-27-2014, 08:49 PM   #4
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Thanks for the info thus far. Heres a couple of specifics to my situation, followed by a few questions.

Picked this up with no maintenance history besides a clean Car Fax, runs very well and its got a brand new clutch. 99k miles so Im assuming a full tune up is in order. Thanks for the step by step instructions btw, will make DIY much easier Im sure. A couple of questions...

How can I tell if the previous owner put synthetic motor oil or Dino oil? I read the entire guide on oil changing and the advice for the scenarios but, unless maybe I missed it, Im not seeing what to fill with if you dont KNOW what type oil is in it now. I had read that this car tells on itself if things fail (or is beginning to fail), like lights on the dash and such, is that true and is it standard equipment on even the most basic model? I have no fault lights of any kind on my dash now.

The "B" in the Boxster logo on the trunk is partially broken and Im a Type A personality really bad so that whole logo must be replaced. Do I just peel off this old logo with my fingers? Should I use anything to loosen the existing adhesive? What do I use to clean the old adhesive off the paint and what adhesive do I use to attach the new one?

Also what auto wax does everyone use? Do you wax your boxster by hand or by machine? Concerned about swirls and wasnt sure if I should stick to hand waxing it myself.

Thanks again.

Last edited by TypeA; 05-27-2014 at 09:42 PM.
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Old 05-28-2014, 04:11 AM   #5
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You really need to spend some time reading and searching the forum. There are lots threads that answer these questions. Another idea is to google your questions. That will send you to a couple other good forums. Great resources.

Nice car, too!
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Old 05-28-2014, 07:08 AM   #6
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You may want to do a search and then re-think the cold air intake. There is really nothing to be gained and you may even compromise your performance.

I'd suggest you spend a few evenings reading back through the forum, primarily the "general" and "performance" sections. You will gain much insight and guidance on where and where not to spend money. Using the search button will help you to avoid asking common questions that have already been asked and answered countless times.

For instance, please don't ask what kind of oil or tires to buy, why your right rear fog light doesn't work, or what that pointy probe-like thing is in your right front intake grill, otherwise we will know that you haven't done your homework.

The emblem question is a good example. A search would have told you that you use dental floss to work the old emblem off and you clear up the residue with rubbing alcohol or brake cleaner. The new emblem is self-adhesive. Consider the cleaner de-badged look. Sure makes polishing the trunk lid easier!

Welcome to the forum!
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Old 05-28-2014, 07:19 AM   #7
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Oh, yeah, you asked about wax - this is what most of us are using:

Best wax for Boxsters

Although, some of us prefer this one:

Mitchell King car wax

It really comes down to personal preference. Check out Johnny Danger's reviews.
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Last edited by Mark_T; 05-28-2014 at 07:47 AM.
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Old 05-28-2014, 07:54 AM   #8
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You may want to do a search and then re-think the cold air intake. There is really nothing to be gained and you may even compromise your performance.
Will do. Ill do much more research. Thanks to everyone for the patience and I guess my questions are a little premature, sorry about that.

Quote:

For instance, please don't ask what kind of oil...
Yeah actually I was asking for advice on how to determine what oil is in it now. I found this on another forum but Im not sure how accurate it is... "take one drop from dipstick and burn it if it smells like popcorn or soybeans its synthetic."

And I realize the engine is older but Im also going by this I found in the oil changing guide, "if synthetic oil was the only type of oil that your engine has seen, I usually recommend sticking with it." But Ill research a lot more...
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Old 05-28-2014, 08:20 AM   #9
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I guess my questions are a little premature, sorry about that.
Not at all - gotta start somewhere! I was just using oil as an example, btw. I did see that your question was about what type you have and not what type to buy. Wasn't meant to be a shot.
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Old 05-28-2014, 08:47 AM   #10
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Skip the performance upgrades. Costly and very little gain.
Install the IMS Guardian for your dash. And try to find out who did the clutch maybe they were wise enough to replace the IMS bearing. If they didn't find another independent Porsche specialist. I would take the car in for a full diagnostic to check out the cooling system. It would be good insurance to replace the water pump if the car is still on the original and mileage is over 60k. Replace all the caps, coolant, oil and fuel.
Take a sample of your oil and send it in to Blackstone Labs (since you have no records).
Start putting some cash into a maintenance and repair fund.

As far as wax. Give it a once over with a clay bar, I usually do this while washing the car. Follow up with a paint polish to strip away any
thing the clay bar didn't pick up, it also has mild abrasives to round out the edges on swirls. Follow up with a sealant to fill the swirl channels and protect the paint. Wait six hours for it to cure and top with either natural carnauba wax like S100 for a wet shine(but only lasts a couple of weks) or try a synthetic liquid wax that will last over a month. I clay bar and seal with each season. I like the Griots Garage product line because its available in store at Advanced Auto. Their green and blue tiwels have a long nap weave which is the least likely to marr the paint. But if you order online try autogeek.net and get 1Z for leather, it's the best of I've tried.
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Old 05-28-2014, 09:16 AM   #11
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It is not an option on synthetic or not synthetic. The only answer is synthetic. So assume it has synthetic already in it. Now you need to decide which synthetic to use when you change the oil. Plenty of threads on personal preferences in oil - they usually end up in holy wars.

When you change your oil, be sure you have a LARGE pan to collect the oil as these hold 8 qts. And be aware if you have the large pan with the 1" diameter hole in the middle, get a different pan. That hole is too small for the volume of oil coming out and very quickly oil is spilling over the side of the pan and onto your garage floor vs going into the pan. I went to my favorite home improvement store and bought a 3'x4' pan used for mixing home batches of concrete.

Welcome to the forum and enjoy your new car.
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Old 05-28-2014, 09:45 AM   #12
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Given the age, mileage, and largely unknown history, I would not recommend ANY mods until you live with the car for awhile and better identify what it needs. At a minimal you should determine the status of, and address as needed the following:
- Tires
- Brakes
- Water pump
- Coolant Tank
- Colant cap (latest version)
- AOS
- Plugs
- Coils packs
- Air filter
- Serp belt
- Cabin filter
- ALL fluids (transaxle, brake, clutch, coolant, etc..)
- Bonus (front end component inspection)

The above alone can set you back many thousands. As mentioned, knowing whether the IMS has been replaced is important, BUT if you have a new clutch you missed the opportunity to cost effectively address the IMS and given the milage replacing the IMS is a questionable investment and secondary to the above.
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Old 05-28-2014, 12:03 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thstone View Post
As Jake said ^^^, Pelican Parts (who also owns the 986Forum) is a great resource.

Parts can be found here:Pelican Parts - Porsche Boxster (1997-2004) Parts and Accessories

The DIY instructions for just about anything can be found here: Porsche Boxster 986 (1997-2004) / 987 (2005-2008) Technical Articles | Pelican Parts

Also, buy Wayne Dempey's book, 101 Projects for Your Boxster.
^ Ditto on those links. I was too a new Box owner last fall. This board is a huge resource of info. If you're mechanically inclined then a Bentley manual and a Durametric cable would be a smart investment.

Congrats with the new ride.
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Old 05-28-2014, 12:16 PM   #14
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If I may.....

I have never wasted as much time, money, and mental energy on anything other than trying to re-fix some hastily made decision on this car.

Time and time again I have asked for advise, gotten a general consensus, found something different on the shelf that I can get today without having to order and wait, and without doing any research as to why this is not the best option, spent cash to do this now.

When it comes to parts, OEM or name brand only, ever, period. There is a reason those rotors are $95 each cheaper than OEM. There is a reason the Porsche water pump is more. (I went name brand on that) In the parts world, name brand or OEM gets you more for that extra cash and when working with a high performance car, you need that quality the extra cash gets you.

Then there's tools. There is a reason guys recommend a $60 brake bleeder over the $180 that doesn't fit your needs but is on the shelf. Read the Bently manual AND the Pelican 101 book. Each is worth it's weight in gold. Takes these folk's advise!!!

Slow down. Don't rush anything. Don't scratch your newly painted rims (you fool!!!) or skip using a torque wrench on everything. Adjust the rear E brake pads right before reassembly. Do it all one time.
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Old 05-28-2014, 03:21 PM   #15
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You guys are great and your time and input is greatly appreciated.

There have been several surprises in this thread and as a result many of my initial ideas have gone out the window. The biggest is cosmetics and any performance upgrades, of any kind. Beyond a clay and wax job all expenditures will go for parts, tools and books for the foreseeable future.

Spoke to the mechanic and sadly it doesnt sound like the IMS bearing was done. Just a clutch kit installed. Prices I got from another mechanic for an total inspection is $155. IMS bearing was $3000 and a water pump about $2200, both prices include part and labor. Only other mech in my area, that Im aware of, is Sunset in Beaverton. With those kind of prices Im better off learning the books and internet guides and replacing stuff myself as funds for parts and tools permit. I have insurance that covers me for most mechanical failures in the next 36k miles but with a $3000 limit it sounds like one failure would toast that coverage. Off I go to research OEM parts prices and Ill get the initial inspection done in the next week or two and report back.
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Old 05-28-2014, 03:40 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TypeA View Post
You guys are great and your time and input is greatly appreciated.

There have been several surprises in this thread and as a result many of my initial ideas have gone out the window. The biggest is cosmetics and any performance upgrades, of any kind. Beyond a clay and wax job all expenditures will go for parts, tools and books for the foreseeable future.

Spoke to the mechanic and sadly it doesnt sound like the IMS bearing was done. Just a clutch kit installed. Prices I got from another mechanic for an total inspection is $155. IMS bearing was $3000 and a water pump about $2200, both prices include part and labor. Only other mech in my area, that Im aware of, is Sunset in Beaverton. With those kind of prices Im better off learning the books and internet guides and replacing stuff myself as funds for parts and tools permit. I have insurance that covers me for most mechanical failures in the next 36k miles but with a $3000 limit it sounds like one failure would toast that coverage. Off I go to research OEM parts prices and Ill get the initial inspection done in the next week or two and report back.
A Porsche waterpump was about $450 with gasket and Pentofrost. Took 4 hours. One odd socket helped.
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Old 05-28-2014, 04:17 PM   #17
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No disrespect to the forum owner, but if you're in Portland, I'd just go to Sunset Imports for parts. Great service and prices has been my experience with them.
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Old 05-28-2014, 06:00 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TypeA View Post
You guys are great and your time and input is greatly appreciated.

There have been several surprises in this thread and as a result many of my initial ideas have gone out the window. The biggest is cosmetics and any performance upgrades, of any kind. Beyond a clay and wax job all expenditures will go for parts, tools and books for the foreseeable future.

Spoke to the mechanic and sadly it doesnt sound like the IMS bearing was done. Just a clutch kit installed. Prices I got from another mechanic for an total inspection is $155. IMS bearing was $3000 and a water pump about $2200, both prices include part and labor. Only other mech in my area, that Im aware of, is Sunset in Beaverton. With those kind of prices Im better off learning the books and internet guides and replacing stuff myself as funds for parts and tools permit. I have insurance that covers me for most mechanical failures in the next 36k miles but with a $3000 limit it sounds like one failure would toast that coverage. Off I go to research OEM parts prices and Ill get the initial inspection done in the next week or two and report back.
Both quotes sound high to me. I had my IMS, clutch, and flywheel replaced then added a coolant flush and radiator cleaning for $2400 last year. I had the water pump and thermostat changed (and, yes, the coolant flushed again (remember when people said not to do things too quickly)) for $1200 this year.

Also, if you're doing coolant work, be sure to address the radiator cleaning. They trap an amazing amount of debris over the years.
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Old 05-28-2014, 06:20 PM   #19
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as for the trunk emblem, it costs about $60 to replace with an aftermarket one, and since there was a "no emblem" option for the Boxster, you will not hurt anyone if you decide to just remove it. I removed mine and found it actually seemed to widen the view, an optical illusion of course but I like the look.

As for removing it, take a length of 12-15# fishing line and walk it under the emblem, it should come up fine. I have been told that dental floss will work too. If you have a heat gun, that will work too, just don't burn the paint. The residual glue is a ******************** to get off, naptha, mineral spirits, reducer, none of them worked. Do not use acetone or lacquer thinner, it will eat the paint. When I removed mine I used a head gun and a hard plastic scraper to get most of it off, then rubbing compound and a good polish to get it all off. Be careful, or you might end up getting a trunk lid repainting.
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Old 05-28-2014, 06:27 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Mark_T View Post
Oh, yeah, you asked about wax - this is what most of us are using:

Best wax for Boxsters

Although, some of us prefer this one:

Mitchell King car wax

It really comes down to personal preference. Check out Johnny Danger's reviews.
Yeah... Right. Lol...

I can offer this advice, stay away from Mothers Detail spray, it's crap. The SoCal Wax Shop has a Signature and Venom line that I use on both the 986 and the 530i, both black and they look amazing when done.

And no, they aren't $37,000

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