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Old 07-31-2014, 08:41 PM   #1
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Are Boxsters Suitable for a 'Hobby' Mechanic?

Hi, I'm new to the forum. I've been tinkering with cars most of my life from a 71 VW in high school, 80s BMWs, to a current 'collection' of 90s Hondas. I plan to purchase a 97-03 Boxster in the following months. I am at a level now where I am comfortable doing anything short of machine shop work on the Hondas.

I have yet to open the engine cover of a Boxster and see what's inside. Given a shop manual and a good set of mechanic's tools, is it much different from working on any other car?

I have seen some 'rollers' listed for 3.5k to 5k. I'd love to pull one apart. Is there a healthy enough used parts market to where I could easily break even parting one out?

Thanks

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Old 07-31-2014, 08:45 PM   #2
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I'm fairly new to Boxsters, 14 months now. LIke you I have done the same sort of things in the past to other cars ...BMW , Audi , Toyota, Honda's etc. While the uniqueness of Mid engine offers special challenges I would say no...not that hard to work on ....take you time.

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Old 07-31-2014, 08:47 PM   #3
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I almost forgot

PS Welcome to the forum
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Old 07-31-2014, 08:54 PM   #4
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Welcome.

Same boat. These are great cars for the hobby mechanic, barring major engine / tranny. Most do their own clutches. I do mine.

Roller? That's a step beyond where I'm at......
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Old 07-31-2014, 09:09 PM   #5
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Welcome! Almost everything on the Boxster can be handled by a good home mechanic.

I'd have to say that I'd be a bit wary of buying a roller with the intent to part it out and break even. Unless you value your time at zero or very, very little, I think that the professional dismantlers might have better economies of scale.

What I mean is that the time required for you to pull a part, clean it up, take pic's, post it online, track all of those online listings, get paid for each part, package each part, and ship them will probably not pay much for all of the effort.

Some parts, like engine, trans, wheels, seats, etc. will sell fast and for a decent price. But the remainder will take a long time to sell. Also, remember that a lot of Porsche owners take EXCELLENT care of their cars and so they are typically not the types to buy a used part with no warranty.

I'm not saying that it can't be done, but .....

Of course, I could be wrong and you might become the Bill Gates of Boxster home recycling. Just suggesting that you think it through.
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Old 07-31-2014, 10:44 PM   #6
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Thanks for the replies. This seems like a great community and I look forward to learning and sharing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thstone View Post
... But the remainder will take a long time to sell. Also, remember that a lot of Porsche owners take EXCELLENT care of their cars and so they are typically not the types to buy a used part with no warranty.
I appreciate the advice about parting a roller. My time taking it apart would be recreational. (I had a great time with a Sawzall and a rusty Toyota MR2.) The tiresome part would definitely be finding a home for all the parts. Reading your post I realized that I won't have much of a local market like I've had for the Hondas. Kids love to buy that stuff.
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Old 07-31-2014, 11:00 PM   #7
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Welcome!

Like yourself, I have started tinkering with cars a number of years ago. My "lab rat" was my own daily driver '99 Honda Prelude, and all the repairs I did went well on that car. From my personal experience, the main difference is that you would spend much more time under the car than on top. The only thing that I have fixed that I was able to do from the top was the intake. Given your experience and tools, I'm sure you should be able to tackle most of the work on the Boxster. I hope you will find working on your (future) Boxster as fun (and frustrating, sometimes) as I do.
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Old 08-01-2014, 03:55 AM   #8
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I bought a roller and rebuilt the engine from the crank out. Check the price of parts before diving in. A set of rings is $1200. The engineering is fascinating and the quality is high, but parts cost is very high.
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Old 08-01-2014, 04:54 AM   #9
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I bought a 99 feb 2013 with the promise to myself I would do as much work as possible on it. My car runs has bought it with 75k on it. Between the Pelican and Pedro I have been doing my own mechanical work and haven't found it overly difficult. You may want to research the differences between the years. While minor they make a difference. for instance, pre-2000 cars suffer from waterlogged brake boosters. I found this out in September did the work myself. I can tell you from experience there is no way to fix this and install the update kit unless you have the Porsche TSB! I have also found this and other forums to be a great resource, for parts, knowledge, encouragement, and friendship. I got acquainted with a local group that meet every other Sunday, great bunch of enthusiasts via this forum. Good luck with your purchase! Keep us up to date!
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Old 08-01-2014, 08:13 AM   #10
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If you have small hands and bookmark this forum, yes.
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Old 08-01-2014, 08:44 AM   #11
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Its not much different at all.

I went from a full 79 MGB teardown and restore, only thing we didnt do ourselves is re-hone the block because we dont have CNC machines . Definitely a weekend hobby project car

to a 1990 supercharged miata, also weekend hobby car/DD

to thew 99 boxster which is my current weekend hobby car/DD.

The boxster is EASIER to work on. The miata had stupidly designed frames and parts that had to be removed just to remove the oil filter..not a lot of attention to detail.

Boxster is 10x easier to do general maintenance on (once you get under the car, thats the only part that is more laborious than the miata) as well as hobby type stuff.

I have a garage full of every tool under the sun, so naturally I was covered for the miata, yet the boxster forced me to get a few new tools.
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Old 08-01-2014, 11:44 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 78F350 View Post
Hi, I'm new to the forum. I've been tinkering with cars most of my life from a 71 VW in high school, 80s BMWs, to a current 'collection' of 90s Hondas. I plan to purchase a 97-03 Boxster in the following months. I am at a level now where I am comfortable doing anything short of machine shop work on the Hondas.

I have yet to open the engine cover of a Boxster and see what's inside. Given a shop manual and a good set of mechanic's tools, is it much different from working on any other car?

I have seen some 'rollers' listed for 3.5k to 5k. I'd love to pull one apart. Is there a healthy enough used parts market to where I could easily break even parting one out?

Thanks
Quick story here. Before owning a Boxster I had never worked on anything, on any sort of engine powered thing, be it a lawn mower or a car. Last year got no compression on Cylinder 5. Took the engine out, rebuilt it and put it back in the car expecting a massive explosion and all sorts of metal grinding noises. Damn thing fired up and car has never been better than what it is today. It is a dream to drive and sounds amazing.
If I did (sure, the great 19-year old son helped a LOT on the rebuild, more like 90% of it...) anyone can do it. GO FOR IT.

CR
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Old 08-01-2014, 09:55 PM   #13
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Again, thanks for all the replies and the welcome. My plan now is to clear a few Hondas (currently 4 Del Sols, a CRV, Element, & nearly scrapped Integra) out of the way and make room to add a 986. If the right deal comes along on a 'roller' I'm in with caution. I always like to have spares handy.

Crod, I read your repair thread. Inspiring work.

The videos from 986fix.com were great too, but I'm a little saddened by how PCNA treated the author.

I was all excited about a Silver 2000 S with a red interior under $8K, only to find it had already sold. Back to Lurking and searching now.

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