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Old 04-15-2017, 06:30 PM   #1
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97 986 with 118K miles. Part out or get a new key?

Yea, this is a bit of a strange question I'm asking...and in doing some online searching, seems to be rather unique. I'm either considering parting the car or I'm considering getting a key. Let me explain.

The car is a '97 with 118K miles. It runs well, given the mileage, but you can tell it's had 20 years of use on it. Driver's seat is ripped. At some point in its life, it was resprayed. Whoever did that decided to remove the Porsche emblem and Boxster emblem and then bondo over the holes. So even if I want to replace them, there are no holes to put them in.

I picked it up to be my wife's autocross car a few years back. It's got less power than the 997. So it made it a bit easier on her to get it around the track without the rear end suddenly becoming the front end. Now we've moved to the 2001S for the future season and don't need it anymore. I have a friend who offered me 5K...but his plan is to part it out--with my help. So I'd get a bit of a kickback out of that. However, I told him if I could find someone locally who wanted it as a driver car, I'd rather do that. I just don't like seeing them parted.

In the process of getting it ready to sell (e.g. washing it), I managed to snap the only key I have. It broke off just at the place where the tines enter into the head of the key fob. It's not a remote key -- it's the smaller solid plastic one. So, now I need to order a new key and get it programmed. The nearest dealer is 2 hours away. I think a new key is something like $100 and reprogramming is another $100-200. That's quite an investment on a car that is worth only 5K.

I was wanting to keep it together until I snapped the key. Now I'm thinking part it out is a better option. But, before I did that, I sorta wanted to get a general feel from other 986 enthusiasts. Is there a point in saving a sorta tired '97 or is there more of a demand and need of parts to keep the other ones out there going?
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Old 04-15-2017, 06:40 PM   #2
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You don't need a new transmitter, just a new blade? This company made a new blade for me from a picture of my old key via email. https://keysinthepost.com/

I agree with you, try not to part it out.
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Old 04-15-2017, 07:31 PM   #3
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I have bought blank HAA keys and had them cut at a local locksmith for about $30 ea.


I put the transponder from the original key in the car rather than the key. It has to be very close to the pick-up coil round the ignition switch.
DIY: Making cheap spare keys

Parting a car can be a lot of work, but personally, I enjoy it. Either way, the money may work out about the same and if you are not 'saving' that car you are keeping others on the road with its parts.

So, my advice: Don't stress about it either way, do what seems best to you.
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Old 04-15-2017, 08:08 PM   #4
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Part it out.
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Last edited by thstone; 04-15-2017 at 08:11 PM.
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Old 04-15-2017, 11:11 PM   #5
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Wait...you said it's not a remote key, so what needs to be programmed?

Get a replacement remote key head (empty, no electronics) from eBay for $5, order a new blade from keysinthepost.com for $25-30, cut the transponder pill out of the old plastic head, then put it all together.

New key for $35...why part a car over that?
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Old 04-16-2017, 05:39 AM   #6
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Yea, I agree. Seems a silly reason to part a car. Doesn't matter if it's a '97 or a '04, I feel compelled to care and steward these great cars.

A '97 for $5,000 would be a great 1st sports car for a young driver.
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Old 04-16-2017, 07:03 AM   #7
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Thanks for all the suggestions. When faced with the prospect of dropping possibly $500 on a new key for a car worth only $5K, I was more inclined to part it. A significant portion of the value of the car would be spent on a key.

With some of the options listed above, I think I can maybe get the key going again for under $50 and not incur a 2 hour trip to the dealer. So, I think I'm going to try to get a new blade and then try to reuse the original transponder portion. If I can get the old bits of the original key out, I can glue in the new blade. I figue heating the metal a bit with a solder iron should loosen the glue enough to get it out.

Thanks for all the replies!
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