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Old 08-13-2016, 08:22 AM   #1
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Hammerhead2501.. What Happened?

I read this forum everyday and every now and then there are some postings that make me cringe. Hammerhead2501 posted some that did just that. He bought his Boxster last year and owned it for less than a year. It was an expensive and unpleasant experience for him. I am not sure what happened after the engine rebuild that caused him to sell.

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Originally Posted by Hammerhead2501 View Post
I am another guy that have had several Miata's over the last 15 years, used for both dd and tracking, that decided to make the move to Porsche. After talking to current and previous owners on my local Miata site, and tons of research on this forum, Pelican Parts, and other web based sites, I decided on a 2004S. I found the one I wanted in the PCA classifieds. A 2004S garage queen, 27K miles, all service records including documentation of the RM and LN IMS install at 18K as preventative maintenance.
I flew to PA and drove the car back to Atlanta and could not have been happier. I drove the car for one week and 1200 miles when it happen to stall at a red light. Upon trying to restart the car it sounded like belts and big metal parts had been thrown in a dryer and someone hit the start button. After 3 tows, one being to the local Porsche place (idiots), it is now resting at Jake Raby's shop in Cleveland, GA. Had I of found his website in my initial research, Home I probably would have never taken the Boxster yellow brick road. Jake sent me a video of what they discovered when they removed the oil filter canister and it made me sick to my stomach. The canister and filter were totally contaminated with main and rod bearing particles. Engine is shot! Now the cost to install a built Raby engine with all of the upgrades to correct the known weak spots in the 986-24 Porsche engine is the same price I paid for the car. I can't say enough about Flat 6 Innovations, their expertise, and their customer service. What I can say is buying a car with this engine in it is a total crap shoot. Buyer beware. I had a great 1200 miles and 7 days in this car but it costs me about $16K.
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Originally Posted by Hammerhead2501 View Post
OK finally getting around to an update, but I've been busy DRIVING! Almost 2000 miles on the car since I picked it up at Flat 6. First I have to say I am really glad I didn't let this car go when it seemed like a total loss. Jake and the guys at Flat 6 resurrected this baby and I just have to say DAMN!! I absolutely love this car. Having daily driven and tracked Miata's for the past 10 years I feel like I have entered a new realm. Actually I guess I have. This car, since being resurrected has surpassed all of my expectations. What else can I say? Just a huge shout out for Jake and the team at Flat 6 Innovations. Top notch work and incredible customer service through the whole experience.
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Originally Posted by Hammerhead2501 View Post
Gone baby gone. SOLD. 2004 Boxster S

34000 Miles
Exterior Seal Grey Metallic
Interior Graphite Grey
6 Speed Manual
3rd Owner
Clean CarFax
Recently installed 2 rear tires, fronts are 80%.
Nicely optioned with PSM, Hi-Fi Audio, heated sport seats,& windstop package.
Aftermarket options include Dansk muffler with rear cat deletes. Still have original.
This setup gives the car a nice growl, especially under acceleration, without being obnoxious, and no drone at cruising speeds.
Ashtray delete. Still have original.
30% Professionally installed window tint.
At 28,400 miles engine was completely disassembled by Jake Raby of Flat Six Innovations,
Home , due to IMS bearing failure. The oil filter had done its job so no
internal collateral damage was done. FSI rebuilt the engine installing their patented IMS Solution.
I have an extensive list of new parts, that were installed in the rebuild including a new OEM clutch.
Also have photo documentation of rebuild.
I have driven the car over 5000 flawless miles since the rebuild. Incredibly smooth and fast.
Oil and filter change just performed.

$ 20,500.
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Originally Posted by Hammerhead2501 View Post

My car spent more time in the shop than on the road or in my garage.
In under 9 months I spent as much in repairs as I spent on the whole car.
Got tired of dumping money in it, so finally dumped the car.
Now I'm dumping all the spare parts I'm discovering in my garage in hopes
that I can put my Porsche experience/nightmare behind me.
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Originally Posted by Hammerhead2501 View Post
SOLD is correct and, good riddance. Like a boat, 2 best days of ownership were the day I bought it and the day I sold it.


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Old 08-13-2016, 09:32 AM   #2
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I'm surprised he sold it after going to the trouble of getting a quality rebuild done, but I can understand why. He was very unlucky to buy a car that instantly had major issues. It does seem very unusual that a car that supposedly had an LN IMS installed at 18k would then experience an IMS failure.

My comments are not specific to Hammerhead, but I have noticed that as 986 prices have dropped more people are buying them very cheaply, often without a PPI, and having a lot of issues. If it cost less than $10k, you are going to spend at least $10k by the time you get it running properly. Anyone who buys a Porsche and expects the parts and repairs to be cheap is dreaming. I wish more people (again not specific to Hammerhead) knew what they where getting into when they bought a 986, because a lot of them are getting destroyed by owners that doesn't want to spend the time/money to maintain them properly.
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Old 08-13-2016, 09:45 AM   #3
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He took the most expensive and time consuming path to address the engine failure and then wasn't happy with the cost or the duration.

These engines are disposable and don't let anyone (usually someone in a position to make a bunch of money off you) convince you otherwise. I am currently on my 4th engine. Engine #2 and #3 were $16K professional rebuilds. Engine #4 was an $1800 long block from a salvage car. After doing it both ways, I'll never pay someone to rebuild a Boxster engine ever again. In fact, I already have engine #5 sitting in my workshop - a salvage engine that cost $2750 - ready to swap in whenever engine #4 fails.

The easy, quick, and affordable answer to an engine failure is to buy a salvage engine for $3K, swap in an LN bearing for $1K, and have a shop install it into the car for $2K. For $6K (or less if you're good at managing costs) you can be back on the road in less than a couple of weeks.
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Old 08-13-2016, 10:35 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by rick3000 View Post
I'm surprised he sold it after going to the trouble of getting a quality rebuild done, but I can understand why. He was very unlucky to buy a car that instantly had major issues. It does seem very unusual that a car that supposedly had an LN IMS installed at 18k would then experience an IMS failure.

My comments are not specific to Hammerhead, but I have noticed that as 986 prices have dropped more people are buying them very cheaply, often without a PPI, and having a lot of issues. If it cost less than $10k, you are going to spend at least $10k by the time you get it running properly. Anyone who buys a Porsche and expects the parts and repairs to be cheap is dreaming. I wish more people (again not specific to Hammerhead) knew what they where getting into when they bought a 986, because a lot of them are getting destroyed by owners that doesn't want to spend the time/money to maintain them properly.
You have to be circumspect of IMS retrofit claims on cars up for sale. We have seen more than one car that was "supposed" to have an LN bearing in it that actually did not, including one that later suffered an IMS failure and was found to actually had the factory bearing in it even though it was advertised as having had the retrofit. This kind of thing can cause nightmares for the new owners, and billable hours for the lawyers.

We regularly warn potential buyers to be very careful about retrofit claims other than the Solution, which you can clearly see with the car on a lift. Any car claiming a retrofit should be traceable; could be from service records or receipts, or even contacting the shop which supposedly did it for confirmation. Our rule of thumb on a PPI is that if you cannot independently confirm the retrofit, it never happened.
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Old 08-15-2016, 10:11 AM   #5
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Yes indeed, a $20K hit. The main reason for selling was I never was able to gain any confidence in the car. The engine failure was 2 weeks after buying the car. I was glad to find Flat6Innovations. High priced indeed but I was willing to spend the money because I was convinced the guys up there had more experience with this engine than anyone. They were very professional and did the rebuild within weeks. There were a couple of disappointments. When I went to pick the car up they told me my right front fan was not working and I could go to Reenlist for a easy fix. Seems after spending $14K they could have at least diagnosed the problem. Turns out it, after taking it to another shop closer to home, the fan was unplugged. The other thing was the dreaded CEL came on after having the car back a week. Call them and they said oh you probably didn't tighten the gas cap. Nothing to worry about. Then on a road trip halfway to Savannah I lost 1st, 3rd, and 5th gears. I hobbled the car back home, abandoning the trip, and someone on this site actually helped me find the problem. One of the lineage cables had come off. Birthday was coming up so I had to address the CEL. $1500. for 2 evaporative emission valves. One more week passes, CEL wonderfully reappears. Back to the shop, another $500. for a third evaporative emissions valve. Quick get the emissions done!!! Another week passes and the car starts overheating. Final straw.
I was at the point where I didn't even want to drive the car anymore. I didn't even like seeing it in my garage when the door raised. Thus, my Porsche ownership experience was a painful experience. Glad it's behind me.
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Old 08-15-2016, 11:43 AM   #6
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Not that I plan on selling my 03 S but if I do I have the IMS retrofit job invoice with date, mileage and all that was done spelled out and also the LN Engineering serial number label affixed to the rear trunk inner lip plus the old bearing and flange as a paper weight.

After spending all that money on a the IMS bearing, RMS, clutch, flywheel, and clutch/brake fluid change, I'll make sure I have proof it was all done.
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Old 08-15-2016, 12:03 PM   #7
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Wow!

A $14k repair bill and they hand you back a barely operable vehicle that quickly circles the drain? Yikes...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammerhead2501 View Post
Yes indeed, a $20K hit. The main reason for selling was I never was able to gain any confidence in the car. The engine failure was 2 weeks after buying the car. I was glad to find Flat6Innovations. High priced indeed but I was willing to spend the money because I was convinced the guys up there had more experience with this engine than anyone. They were very professional and did the rebuild within weeks. There were a couple of disappointments. When I went to pick the car up they told me my right front fan was not working and I could go to Reenlist for a easy fix. Seems after spending $14K they could have at least diagnosed the problem. Turns out it, after taking it to another shop closer to home, the fan was unplugged. The other thing was the dreaded CEL came on after having the car back a week. Call them and they said oh you probably didn't tighten the gas cap. Nothing to worry about. Then on a road trip halfway to Savannah I lost 1st, 3rd, and 5th gears. I hobbled the car back home, abandoning the trip, and someone on this site actually helped me find the problem. One of the lineage cables had come off. Birthday was coming up so I had to address the CEL. $1500. for 2 evaporative emission valves. One more week passes, CEL wonderfully reappears. Back to the shop, another $500. for a third evaporative emissions valve. Quick get the emissions done!!! Another week passes and the car starts overheating. Final straw.
I was at the point where I didn't even want to drive the car anymore. I didn't even like seeing it in my garage when the door raised. Thus, my Porsche ownership experience was a painful experience. Glad it's behind me.
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Old 08-15-2016, 03:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammerhead2501 View Post
Yes indeed, a $20K hit. The main reason for selling was I never was able to gain any confidence in the car. The engine failure was 2 weeks after buying the car. I was glad to find Flat6Innovations. High priced indeed but I was willing to spend the money because I was convinced the guys up there had more experience with this engine than anyone. They were very professional and did the rebuild within weeks. There were a couple of disappointments. When I went to pick the car up they told me my right front fan was not working and I could go to Reenlist for a easy fix. Seems after spending $14K they could have at least diagnosed the problem. Turns out it, after taking it to another shop closer to home, the fan was unplugged. The other thing was the dreaded CEL came on after having the car back a week. Call them and they said oh you probably didn't tighten the gas cap. Nothing to worry about. Then on a road trip halfway to Savannah I lost 1st, 3rd, and 5th gears. I hobbled the car back home, abandoning the trip, and someone on this site actually helped me find the problem. One of the lineage cables had come off. Birthday was coming up so I had to address the CEL. $1500. for 2 evaporative emission valves. One more week passes, CEL wonderfully reappears. Back to the shop, another $500. for a third evaporative emissions valve. Quick get the emissions done!!! Another week passes and the car starts overheating. Final straw.
I was at the point where I didn't even want to drive the car anymore. I didn't even like seeing it in my garage when the door raised. Thus, my Porsche ownership experience was a painful experience. Glad it's behind me.
And so far no response or reaction from flat 6 inno?
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Old 08-15-2016, 04:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammerhead2501 View Post
Yes indeed, a $20K hit. The main reason for selling was I never was able to gain any confidence in the car. The engine failure was 2 weeks after buying the car. I was glad to find Flat6Innovations. High priced indeed but I was willing to spend the money because I was convinced the guys up there had more experience with this engine than anyone. They were very professional and did the rebuild within weeks. There were a couple of disappointments. When I went to pick the car up they told me my right front fan was not working and I could go to Reenlist for a easy fix. Seems after spending $14K they could have at least diagnosed the problem. Turns out it, after taking it to another shop closer to home, the fan was unplugged. The other thing was the dreaded CEL came on after having the car back a week. Call them and they said oh you probably didn't tighten the gas cap. Nothing to worry about. Then on a road trip halfway to Savannah I lost 1st, 3rd, and 5th gears. I hobbled the car back home, abandoning the trip, and someone on this site actually helped me find the problem. One of the lineage cables had come off. Birthday was coming up so I had to address the CEL. $1500. for 2 evaporative emission valves. One more week passes, CEL wonderfully reappears. Back to the shop, another $500. for a third evaporative emissions valve. Quick get the emissions done!!! Another week passes and the car starts overheating. Final straw.
I was at the point where I didn't even want to drive the car anymore. I didn't even like seeing it in my garage when the door raised. Thus, my Porsche ownership experience was a painful experience. Glad it's behind me.
I am unfortunately falling down a similar part sir. Overpaid for a 01 with 90K miles on it ($11,000)...now after investing another $6000-7000 into it I'm STILL not about to drive it. It's at the shop now...immobilizer board. Won't start...not sure how much THAT'S going to cost but I'm done. I have it for sell now. Getting calls but can't even show it because it won't start. I'm ready to move on too
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Old 08-15-2016, 05:16 PM   #10
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I listed the reasons why I eventually cut my loses. This is not, nor is it meant to be, anything against Flat 6 Innovations. I hired them to do a job and they did it. I put about 5K miles on the car after the rebuild. There were plenty of smiles during those miles but in the end the aggravation of things going wrong on this particular car coupled with the repair bills just became too much.
Flat 6 Innovations, in my opinion, is a very reputable establishment, and has spent years on R&D to improve the problems with these engines. They have many loyal customers worldwide and are, in my book, completely justified for charging whatever they want to to provide the service they do. After researching, I decided to take my car there and I am not unhappy that I did.
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Old 08-15-2016, 06:40 PM   #11
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I listed the reasons why I eventually cut my loses.
Wow.... that is a hell of an ordeal to go through. I can't blame you for bailing.

What did you replace it with?
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Old 08-15-2016, 06:52 PM   #12
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And this is a good lesson in buying the newest Porsche you can afford.....might cost more upfront, but you give yourself more piece of mind and worry free driving. Instead of dumping 20k into the car, you could have bought an 06 or so and not had IMS and much newer ride. Unless you car really wrench them yourself, Porsches can be very expensive.

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