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Old 01-21-2015, 05:26 PM   #1
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Worth it to have used/rebuilt engine installed?

Seeking opinions about value of having used/rebuilt engine installed in 02 Boxster with 98K miles v selling car as is. Just had transmission replaced with used model, and there was metal in the oil, now engine is siezed up. What's a reasonable price for an installed used/rebuilt engine? What are good sources for used/rebuilt engines? I had a 2.7L, would a 3.2L fit without a lot of extra modifications/expense? Also has a small rip in convertible top at side of rear window but everything else seems in good shape. I love driving the car but am thinking it may be time to call it quits on this one. Any and all inputs much appreciated. Thanks for your time and consideration
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Old 01-21-2015, 05:32 PM   #2
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Starting to think this should be a sticky.

There's a tech section of the Pelican Parts web site, and Wayne's book: "101 things you can do with your boxster" discussing the upgrade of engines. Short answer, yes you can put a 3.2 in a 2.7 car. Read up before buying anything though.

Engines available from various wrecking yards and ebay. I weighed buying someone else's unknown engine which might just start making metal on the next oil change with tearing into it myself.

I've learned a ton and I'm starting to reassemble. Should be driving in 3-4 weeks.
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Old 01-22-2015, 12:56 AM   #3
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There's probably no need to clarify that from an investment standpoint, dumping money on a big repair on any used car is a bad idea.
However, if the engine goes in mine I will replace it. I enjoy the car, and I know the car well. I know all the maintenance is up-to-date. If I dumped it and went out and bought another used car to replace it (I hold this feeling for any used car, not just Porsches) then I would be starting over again, taking a gamble on a car with which I'm unfamiliar.
The only time I'd think differently is if I don't like the car, am tired of it, or it has like 200,000+ miles on it and is a tired piece of junk.
If you like the car, I'd find a reputable Indy Porsche shop. They can source good low mileage used engines, check the chains and tensioners, and replace (and upgrade) the water pump and IMS bearing upon installation.

This is just personal opinion based on my experience with driving used cars over the years.
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Old 01-22-2015, 12:03 PM   #4
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Recently another forum member was in the same boat and had his rebuilt for about $14000. As already mentioned installing a used one is a real crapshoot. If I were you I'd look for a good 987 S or an S2000.
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Old 01-22-2015, 12:16 PM   #5
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After going through 3 engine failures in the past year and paying $16,000+ for a high end rebuild that also failed, I have decided that a used factory engine is the most cost effective way to keep a Boxster running.

I bought my current 90K mile donor engine for $1,800 and after paying for install and a major tuneup, I was out the door for under $4,000.
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Old 01-22-2015, 06:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thstone View Post
After going through 3 engine failures in the past year and paying $16,000+ for a high end rebuild that also failed, I have decided that a used factory engine is the most cost effective way to keep a Boxster running.

I bought my current 90K mile donor engine for $1,800 and after paying for install and a major tuneup, I was out the door for under $4,000.
Wow, what a story. Interested in the places that you got your 3 engines from. Who did your rebuild? How much did each engine cost you? Please share so everyone will know...
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Old 01-22-2015, 07:45 PM   #7
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Wow, what a story. Interested in the places that you got your 3 engines from. Who did your rebuild? How much did each engine cost you? Please share so everyone will know...
Easy - everything is already here on the 986Forum:

http://986forum.com/forums/general-discussions/52494-aos-more.html

http://986forum.com/forums/general-discussions/52798-engine-failure-pics.html

And then continue the engine action starting at Post #142 (on page 4) in this ongoing thread: Spec Boxster Build
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Last edited by thstone; 01-22-2015 at 07:49 PM.
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Old 01-22-2015, 07:57 PM   #8
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Here is a summary of engine replacement options;

Option 1: Used Donor (eBay or equivalent) Engine. This is the cheapest route - simply replace the engine you have with another used engine and do a 60K service to get the car back on the road. Future reliability is unknown and you may be right back where you are now (needing an engine replacement) in anywhere from 10K-100K miles. Obviously 10K miles would be a bummer and 100K miles would be awesome - but no one can say for sure which it will be. $4K-$7K.

Option 2: Refreshed Engine. Some shops call them "refreshed" or even "certified pre-owned" and some sellers will even call them "rebuilt" even though they are not really rebuilt. This option will generally consist of a used engine that has good compression as-is with maybe new timing chain/guides, a new water pump and/or alternator, new thermostat, and a 60K service. Be sure to check which exact parts are new/replaced because it varies. Again, you may be right back where you are now in anywhere from 10K-100K miles. $4K-$10K with higher priced engines having fewer original miles and/or add'l components replaced and/or coming from better known shops.

Option 3: Rebuilt/Remanufactured Engine. A remanufactured engine where the engine is rebuilt to meet the original spec's, mostly using OEM parts. This is a classic rebuilt engine. Some engines may have updates like IMS/RMS but you'll need to specifically check. This option should give you ~100K miles of service but the reliability is (again) completely dependent on the engine builder and the extent and quality of the updates installed to address reliability issues. Likely to have a warranty of some kind so be sure to check the warranty details. $8K-$12K. Higher priced engines have more high quality parts/updates and/or come from better known shops.

Option 4: High End Fully Rebuilt. The engine is rebuilt from the ground up with lots of new parts and all upgrades. Buyer may be able to specify some build details as desired. Engine is probably better than anything coming straight out of the factory brand new. Shops that do this work are top-end and their business relies on a good reputation. Should expect ~100K+ miles but check the warranty details. $12K-$20K. This will give you the most peace of mind (and maybe the highest performance) but it comes at a (high) price. Be aware that you may not get 100% of the engine cost back in resale value but that really depends on the buyer.

In summary, only you can decide which path is right for you and depends on how long you expect to keep the car, how much you love the car, how much money you are willing to spend, etc, etc.
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Last edited by thstone; 01-22-2015 at 07:59 PM.
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Old 01-23-2015, 07:30 AM   #9
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You can buy an '02 base for what? Probably the same as the engine install with someone else doing the work and some reasonable "while you have it out" replacements like water pump, AOS, belts, hoses, plugs, coil packs, IMS, RMS, etc.

Sell the car as a roller to someone who wants to do the work them self.

Options I've seen over the years are written up here ....

On that site on another page (see index) is also a list of known NOVA p-car mechanics.
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Old 01-23-2015, 09:23 AM   #10
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Pete, I was recently in the same situation. Dead cylinder, metal debris and a dead engine. Took the car to Chapman Autowerks in Sterling. It took a while, but he did a great job. They replaced the engine with a rebuilt one, replaced the clutch, and did a bunch of other things. My car now runs great, and I'm not scared of it imploding on me again. The engine has a 2 year 24k and warranty and 1 year on all the work they did on the car. I was and still am very pleased. However, it's not at all cost effective. It cost me more then I paid for the car. The only reason I did it was because I finaced it and still owed in it. Either have bad credit and let it go, or fix it and keep the car a long time. I chose the latter.

Here's my car being finalized




And here's the dead engine
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Old 11-18-2015, 04:38 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thstone View Post
After going through 3 engine failures in the past year and paying $16,000+ for a high end rebuild that also failed, I have decided that a used factory engine is the most cost effective way to keep a Boxster running.

I bought my current 90K mile donor engine for $1,800 and after paying for install and a major tuneup, I was out the door for under $4,000.
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Where did you find the donor engine?
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Old 11-18-2015, 07:49 PM   #12
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Thstone
Where did you find the donor engine?
I found it at a local salvage yard - who specialized in Saab parts.

Great stuff at great prices is out there, you just have to go off the beaten path to find it. So while every other Porsche owner in LA goes to LA Dismantler because they advertise in Excellence/Panorama, I go to the Saab salvage yard right next door and get the same thing for 60% less.
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Last edited by thstone; 11-18-2015 at 07:54 PM.
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Old 11-19-2015, 07:32 AM   #13
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Your options and some links listed here.

To me it depends on your emotional attachment. The car is worth $3-4k as a roller. Maybe $7-8k running. You don't have much to spend between those figures to put in even a used motor. It might depend if you have to pay labor or are doing the swap yourself. The need for a new top might make it uneconomical. The need to do some reliability improvements to even a used engine before it is installed (RMS, IMS, AOS, Water Pump, etc) introduce another set of costs.

Sources of used motors here.

A rebuilt Porsche motor isn't something that costs like a Chevy. One rebuilt by a reputable rebuilder with some of the weaknesses addressed will cost well more than your car is worth now in NOVA.

A list of Porsche mechanics in NOVA is also at that web site.

Sorry.
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