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Old 10-25-2016, 08:31 AM   #1
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$10,916.83 Later

Today, after 2 years and 2 months, I heard the most glorious sound ever. That of course was the sound of a 3.2 liter flat six Porsche engine barking to life after being installed in my 2003 S.

Two years ago my AOS went out suddenly with 105,000 miles on my car, causing excess oil to enter my number 3 cylinder and since oil doesn't compress, my engine was totally destroyed. I took the car to my local mechanic, Mark at Mark's Autowerks in Ft. Walton Beach, FL. Mark told me the estimate could be as much as $7,500.00 for a replacement engine and the installation.

I talked it over with my girlfriend and we both agreed that, although that was a lot of money, I loved the car, had customized it to my liking over the previous 6 years and where could I buy another with that level of personal customization for that price. After all was said and done, I would have an almost new car and if I got another 105,000 miles out of it I would be happy.

I told Mark to go ahead with the repairs and he located a 2003 S replacement engine with 30,000 miles in south Florida for $4,500.00. I told him not to hurry doing the install because I would need to save the money for the engine and the labor. So there the car sat on the lot, covered while Mark worked on other Porsche's of all eras. After quite some time, I managed to save enough money to pay for the engine and the installation began. I would stop by from time to time to shoot the breeze and check on my car. It would be on the rack with the old engine out one week, a few weeks later the new engine would be on a lift under the car, then the engine installed a few weeks later...slowly progressing. I was really in no hurry because I knew the install would cost lots more money, which I was saving for. Just a few days before the catastrophe, I had heard something pop while my convertible top was being stowed, whick rendered my top inoperable. My AC had also been blowing hot air all summer before the fateful disaster. My rear wheel bearings had been humming for about a year also so I asked Mark to look at each problem and diagnose.

I also purchased an underdrive pulley and secondary cat delete pipes to have installed while the engine work was being done. Mark told me he discovered that my clutch was in need of replacement and also found that I needed a new clutch fork. Mark replaced my torn axle boots and repacked my axle joints. Because my car had been sitting for so long, it needed a new battery.

Finally, the day came when I got the call that my car was completed. Imagine my shock when Mark told me the remaining balance on my car! When I saw the invoice though, I realized that a tremendous amount of work had been done to my car. I also saw some things missing from the invoice...Mark told me that my AC was blowing hot because some heat levers were stuck to the open position under my dash, however I saw no charge for troubleshooting the AC system, only charges for 3 cans of Freon. I didn't mention that for a year prior to the destruction, my radio had been working sporadically (which I didn't really mind because a 3.2 liter flat 6 sounds sweeter than my Bose). Mark diagnosed the problem to be a faulty amplifier. He bought a used amp from eBay and replaced my bad one. He charged me the $200.00 for the amplifier but I can see no charge for the troubleshooting and repair/installation of the amp! He also told me that he replaced my dual mass flywheel because he noticed that my original one had too much play in it, and that it would cause too much driveline lash when I engaged the clutch. He didn't charge me for the new flywheel, or for the installation. Mark said to me "I have gone over everything and there is nothing broken on this car now, the driver's side window regulator may need replaced in the future, but it clears the top when you pull the handle, so I didn't replace it." I think I can live with that.

I handed Mark $3,500.00 cash which left my remaining balance $2,916.83, to which he said to me, "Bring me $2,000.00 when you can and I'll forget about the rest of the balance."

Who does work like this and treats customers this well? Thank you for all you have done, Mark. You will be my mechanic for life!!!

Last edited by heliguy; 10-25-2016 at 06:49 PM.
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Old 10-25-2016, 10:11 AM   #2
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Great story with a happy ending. Sounds like your indy is a real stand up guy. Now go out and enjoy your new car!!
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Old 10-25-2016, 10:16 AM   #3
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There are a few out there, sounds like a good dude.
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Old 10-25-2016, 10:27 AM   #4
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That's a great happy ending for you and sounds like Mark is a good guy. I was a little concerned where it was going when you said you told him to not hurry doing the install.
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Old 10-25-2016, 11:54 AM   #5
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I'm moving to Florida good guys get good Karma
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Old 10-25-2016, 12:08 PM   #6
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Love hearing about positive outcomes!
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Old 10-25-2016, 12:26 PM   #7
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Nice story, awesome indie, and money well spent if you love the car.


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Old 10-25-2016, 03:13 PM   #8
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Great story and a happy ending! Enjoy your now new to you again car!
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Old 10-25-2016, 04:28 PM   #9
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What an amazing journey, Iím not in to the karma thing. It was good people working hard and not giving up and support of another good person your girlfriend. And letís not forget another good person Mark. Good people have good people around them. I canít imagine knowing where my Boxster was and not driving it. I feelís good to hear a good ending.

Thanks for saying your good news.
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Old 10-25-2016, 04:56 PM   #10
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Thanks for sharing a great story-hope you enjoy having your car again!
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Old 10-25-2016, 06:39 PM   #11
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I'm in PC Beach and hear nothing but good things about Mark. Glad your getting to enjoy your car...weather is perfect!
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Old 10-25-2016, 06:44 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by dghii View Post
I'm in PC Beach and hear nothing but good things about Mark. Glad your getting to enjoy your car...weather is perfect!
Love the open roads and lack of tourists! and this cooler weather! People speak of Mark in PCB?
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Old 10-25-2016, 07:54 PM   #13
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Glad to hear that it all worked out! Congratulations!
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Old 10-25-2016, 08:05 PM   #14
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Wow, what a great guy. Glad to here your Boxster is back on the road.
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Old 10-25-2016, 08:12 PM   #15
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Love the open roads and lack of tourists! and this cooler weather! People speak of Mark in PCB?
Yes! I actually met Mark years ago in Ft. Walton when I bought a 98 from someone over that direction, He'd maintained the car for the seller and answered a few questions for me.

One of my neighbors still drives over to have Mark work on is cars. A couple of other folks I've talked to have used Marks as well. We do have an excellent P car shop here as well...Smith Motorworks.

So far, in 8 plus years, I've yet to have to take my car to a shop but I wouldn't hesitate to use either shop.
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Old 10-26-2016, 11:02 AM   #16
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For people dealing with engine failure for the first time this is a really useful reality check Post. Thank you OP.
If you have to pay for all the engine work and the while-you-have-it-apart work ,the total cost far exceeds $12,000. No mention of the cost of a replacement car in the interim !Plus upgrades to prevent some of the potential future failures ?
Important(unfortunately) to compare that $12K cost to the real world value of a Boxster. No, not the dreamy asking prices, the actual selling price. Get a trade in price from CarMax before you decide on a rebuild?
I did a diy rebuild with lots of upgrades but it certainly was not a smart financial decision.
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Old 10-26-2016, 06:32 PM   #17
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Very well put, Gelbster. I also didn't mention in my story that Mike installed a Pelican Parts IMS bearing which is guaranteed for 40,000 miles. Mike and I could not determine if that guarantee would cover the cost of a replacement engine if that IMS bearing was to fail prior to 40,000 miles but he did say that it is recommended that I change that bearing before the car hits the next 40,000 mile mark.
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Old 11-06-2016, 02:55 AM   #18
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I didn't mention that Mike also replaced my dual mass flywheel. He showed me my old one and explained that there was entirely too much play in it which would transmit my engine forces to my drive train and make for a horrible driving experience. The best part is that, again, there was no charge for the flywheel or the installation.
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Old 11-06-2016, 05:15 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gelbster View Post
For people dealing with engine failure for the first time this is a really useful reality check Post. Thank you OP.
If you have to pay for all the engine work and the while-you-have-it-apart work ,the total cost far exceeds $12,000. No mention of the cost of a replacement car in the interim !Plus upgrades to prevent some of the potential future failures ?
Important(unfortunately) to compare that $12K cost to the real world value of a Boxster. No, not the dreamy asking prices, the actual selling price. Get a trade in price from CarMax before you decide on a rebuild?
I did a diy rebuild with lots of upgrades but it certainly was not a smart financial decision.
I agree that you have to make a coldhearted decision based on dollars and cents. In my case I found a good used engine for $5k, my shop offered to install it for 2,800 + IMS bearing, so it was (slightly) less than the cost of buying a comparable car. That car would come with unknown problems and I had put a fair amout of $ into maintenance and service just a year ago. Hard decision, but one that I ultimately made in favor of an engine replacement. As the engine is in transit from California, and hasn't been installed yet, only time will tell if it was the right decision
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Old 11-07-2016, 11:18 AM   #20
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Heliguy - Congrats, that's great news. This garage guy seems like a top of the line kind of guy.... Im sure the guy is happy you brought him the business and gave him lots of time to work on it and he did a great job at a very fair price it seems. Well done my friend and now its time to enough every moment of it... don't even think twice about the bill anymore as you will get that back one day when you sell it. Think of it that way !
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