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Old 09-01-2015, 05:44 PM   #1
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Need Valued Opinion on Possible Car Purchase

Found this car 3.5hrs away from me. Its a 2001 base, dark blue with grey leather interior, 17 inch wheels. I tried to get the option codes read from the frunk, but for some reason, most of it is missing - according to the owner, it looks scraped off. Some of it is there, but not enough to get the whole story. I've asked for a photo of the remaining option codes label. Is there another way to determine how the car is optioned?

This is a two owner vehicle. Original Cali car. 2nd owner bought 4 years ago with 118K on the clock and took to Mississippi. 153K miles are currently on car. Replaced clutch and IMS 27K miles ago. Owner has all receipts for work. Also, AOS recently replaced.

Owner wants $8K but will take $7.5K. Tires are good. No suspension work done. Owner says there are no suspension noises. Top was replaced a couple of years ago. Not an OEM top, but aftermarket and is insulated.

Car doesn't have heated seats, which is what I would have preferred and there is a small rip in the driver's side seat back bolster. Awaiting pictures of the rip. Owner mentions it is about an inch long.

Regular oil changes and all documented receipts including receipts from the original owner. A plus for me - is a non smoking car. Sounds to me like it may be a decent deal with a documented history and the IMS/clutch replaced recently.

Owner has two keys. Apparently one of the door locks failed and he had to get a new lock and two new keys. Something about ordering from Porsche and new blades cut and put in the original fobs, but the fobs haven't been programmed.

What do you guys think? I'm seriously contemplating making the drive next week to go look at the car but I wanted to ask the 986 forums members 1st for your inputs.

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Last edited by My_Name_is_Dan; 09-01-2015 at 05:54 PM.
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Old 09-01-2015, 06:46 PM   #2
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Looks decent...but pictures alway do! Go ahead and make the drive, but do it with no expectations so you won't be dissapointed (not dissing the car).

Being unable to read option codes from sticker in the trunk is not unusual. It is a 14 year old car and its a paper sticker.

I think the car is priced fair. No giving it away but a realistic price for a car if it presents as advertised.
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Old 09-01-2015, 06:51 PM   #3
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No matter what, get a PPI (pre-purchase inspection). It may be the best money you ever spend!
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Old 09-01-2015, 07:19 PM   #4
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If the service book is there, it has a option label in it. You can also take the vin to a Porsche dealer and they should be able to print you a build sheet which has all the options and original price

If you go on Rennlist, you may be able to find someone local to the car to do a Rennfax, which is someone taking a good look and test drive the carand give yo their opinion before you make the joiurney.

As an FYI, just because the IMSB was replaced, does not mean it will be problem free. Even the LN bearing has had failures. Yes, that is documented by statements from none othere than Charles Navarro, owner of LN

Now in fairness, often those after replacement failures are due to improper installation or failure to properly inspect and clean an engine that had an IMS failure or other crap in the engine that caused the replacement bearing to fail. But in any case, replacement IMSB have and will fail. The only one that claims ZERO failures is Jake Raby @ Flat 6 Innovations and he does a very extensive pre-qualification of an engine BEFORE he will do a replacement and has stated he rejects a lot of engines. He only will do a replacement if it meets his strict standards no matter how much money you try to throw at him. Most others don't come close to his level of inspection. Just because a shop can buy the bearing and slam it into your engine does not mean you wont have problems

Hopefully your thread will not be hijacked by those that think the LN or other bearings are infallible.
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Old 09-01-2015, 07:27 PM   #5
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If the service book is there, it has a option label in it. You can also take the vin to a Porsche dealer and they should be able to print you a build sheet which has all the options and original price

If you go on Rennlist, you may be able to find someone local to the car to do a Rennfax, which is someone taking a good look and test drive the carand give yo their opinion before you make the joiurney.

As an FYI, just because the IMSB was replaced, does not mean it will be problem free. Even the LN bearing has had failures. Yes, that is documented by statements from none othere than Charles Navarro, owner of LN

Now in fairness, often those after replacement failures are due to improper installation or failure to properly inspect and clean an engine that had an IMS failure or other crap in the engine that caused the replacement bearing to fail. But in any case, replacement IMSB have and will fail
Thanks. I forgot about asking about the service book. I believe he has it so I'll ask for a copy of the label in the book.

I am no longer a paying member of Rennlist. I let it lapse when I sold my 928 years ago. That would have been an excellent avenue to pursue had I maintained my membership.

Understand about the IMS replacement not being 100% safe, but its better than not doing it at all. I appreciate the info...
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Old 09-01-2015, 07:32 PM   #6
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Thanks. I forgot about asking about the service book. I believe he has it so I'll ask for a copy of the label in the book.

I am no longer a paying member of Rennlist. I let it lapse when I sold my 928 years ago. That would have been an excellent avenue to pursue had I maintained my membership.

Understand about the IMS replacement not being 100% safe, but its better than not doing it at all. I appreciate the info...
You still might fine someone to do a Rennfax
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Old 09-02-2015, 08:20 AM   #7
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Dan, since this car has had no suspension work done on it, you should expect that some of the control arm bushings are cracked or even missing now, and at that age and mileage, it will need new struts. A PPI should reveal this, as well as wheel bearings, which rarely make it to 150,000 miles unless it was all super smooth highway miles...

I'd also search repair records for Oxygen sensors and the MAF replacement. Those go out around 100k miles or less and are expensive to replace. And the front motor mount usually doesn't last to 100k miles and when it's swapped out, the water pump is usually replaced since you're right there. Not terribly expensive, but sure worth finding out if it's been done or not and the condition of the front motor mount.

Just know that buying any high mileage Boxster is not going to be like buying a higher mileage Toyota... they're expensive cars to own, especially when they're bought cheap with high mileage on them.
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Old 09-02-2015, 10:08 AM   #8
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Dan, since this car has had no suspension work done on it, you should expect that some of the control arm bushings are cracked or even missing now, and at that age and mileage, it will need new struts. A PPI should reveal this, as well as wheel bearings, which rarely make it to 150,000 miles unless it was all super smooth highway miles...

I'd also search repair records for Oxygen sensors and the MAF replacement. Those go out around 100k miles or less and are expensive to replace. And the front motor mount usually doesn't last to 100k miles and when it's swapped out, the water pump is usually replaced since you're right there. Not terribly expensive, but sure worth finding out if it's been done or not and the condition of the front motor mount.

Just know that buying any high mileage Boxster is not going to be like buying a higher mileage Toyota... they're expensive cars to own, especially when they're bought cheap with high mileage on them.
All good points. A PPI is probably out of the question due to the location of the car. It is out in the middle of nowhere and I doubt I can find a specialist to PPI the car. Even if I could, I don't know if it would serve to impress the owner enough to lower the price anymore than he probably has, should something be revealed in the PPI. He has a local mechanic that does all his work - but I can't use him as there would probably be bias.

Fully understand the car would need struts and suspension bits and I am more than capable of handling this on my own. I have a dedicated detached shop with a lift I built 3 years ago for "project" cars. Besides, I need something to do this winter.

I have no idea if this "is" the car for me at this point as I haven't yet seen/driven it. I will check to see if the MAF and the O2 sensors have been replaced.

Thanks.
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Old 09-02-2015, 11:42 AM   #9
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Dan, it's nice to hear you've got a shop and time to wrench this winter (double jealous). I didn't share what I shared above for the sake of negotiation on this car.

I shared it because if you keep hunting you'll probably find a boxster with similar miles on it that has a very consciences owner like me who has done all the suspension work etc. and the price won't be that far off the price of this one.
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Old 09-02-2015, 12:24 PM   #10
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Randall - Just saw your weblink in your signature line. I have heard nothing but great things about your website - I plan on looking at it this evening. They have it blocked here at work for some reason...

I've been looking at used 986s for about a couple of months now. Really hard to find examples in the immediate area that have been properly maintained, which is a shame. I can't tell you how many times I have asked owners about IMS/RMS/AOS, clutch, etc. and I either get a blank stare or silence on the phone. The one I found for $7.5K is probably the best current example of someone that has actually been somewhat pro-active in maintenance.

At this price point, I can afford to tackle the suspension/maintenance items without too much financial damage. We'll see....

If it doesn't pan out, I'll keep looking.
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Old 09-02-2015, 12:29 PM   #11
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Web site blocked? That's weird. Here at my firm they block facebook and youtube and all the other naughty sites.

Do start shopping for parts prices and you'll find that a Porsche OEM suspension parts swap ain't cheap. Parts start at around $2800 and the car will still be worth the same amount you paid.

Just sayin'
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Old 09-02-2015, 01:34 PM   #12
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Every week I come into work, they end up blocking something new. I can't even get to my personal email with Comcast. I'm just waiting for them to block drudgereport….

With regard to Porsche insane parts prices - I hear the price of cool these days ain't cheap...
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Old 09-02-2015, 05:53 PM   #13
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Pay for an oil change and have the oil pan removed and checked for debris. Given the 27k miles since the last imsb was replaced it was probably installed ok. They usually go in less than 20k miles if improperly installed. Although their service life is 50k miles when properly installed. If the car runs with no lights I'm sure it's been serviced. At that age and mileage almost all of the accessories would have failed. I would check to see when these were done. You're not paying a lot but it can easily turn into a money pit. I had an 02 986 that I bought new and loved it. Good luck


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Old 09-03-2015, 06:24 PM   #14
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The only one that claims ZERO failures is Jake Raby @ Flat 6 Innovations and he does a very extensive pre-qualification of an engine BEFORE he will do a replacement and has stated he rejects a lot of engines. He only will do a replacement if it meets his strict standards no matter how much money you try to throw at him. Most others don't come close to his level of inspection. Just because a shop can buy the bearing and slam it into your engine does not mean you wont have problems
Because we charge real money to do the job, and because every install is a liability for my reputation.

If any other shop installs a product, and they have a failure, they just say "not my problem, call the Mfr".

In my case, you are dealing with the guy that invented the technology, and holds the Patent. The guy that developed the procedure, so we have ZERO excuse for anything less than perfection- every time.

With over 500 retrofit units put into service here, including the very first one, we still have a 100% rating. That means we've never had a retrofitted bearing fail after our work was done.

Today more than 1/3 of the engines we inspect do NOT pass the IMSR pre- qualification. I take zero risks, and every engine is guilty until proven innocent.
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Old 09-03-2015, 06:54 PM   #15
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IIRC Charles Navarro wrote a great PPI article for these cars. You need to adhere to that you want to cover al the bases you can up front..

Does anyone have a PDF of this to post up
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Old 09-03-2015, 07:00 PM   #16
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IIRC Charles Navarro wrote a great PPI article for these cars. You need to adhere to that you want to cover al the bases you can up front..

Does anyone have a PDF of this to post up
I have just revised this, last week. Here it is, before its released.
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