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Old 03-06-2018, 08:44 PM   #1
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Planning to join the 986 Club

I am planning to join the 986 owners club here in San Diego. I've only just started looking at cars in-person. So far I've only driven a 1998 Boxster and that felt so organic.

I realise that it is worth replacing the IMS bearing (and clutch) if I purchase the car. Is the LN Engineering IMS solution the best one to go for, and what other items would you recommend replacing at the same time.

Lastly, if anyone in San Diego is looking to sell their car let me know :-)

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Old 03-06-2018, 10:02 PM   #2
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Recommendation is normally the other way around, a 98 will have the more robust dual row IMS, if it's lasted this long it's 'probably' not going to explode tomorrow (touch wood), but you may as well upgrade it for peace of mind when you have to do the clutch, as you expose the IMS as part of the clutch work anyway. LN is the de-facto standard, and the 'Solution' is their 'lifetime' product... but searching will bring up lots of alternatives if you want to be different.

There's some pretty standard servicing you can do quite easily... clean the front radiators, check the AOS, clean the throttle body, bleed the brakes, replace the belt, replace the water pump & fluids etc... searching and reading on here will give you ideas of the normal issues, and things like the Burners Cars YT channel covers most of these also @ https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIocrQqlYRWYPh7d9GmRbDQ/videos

Other than that just make sure everything is up to date on the service schedule (Maintenance Schedule - Porsche Boxster (986) FAQ) and fix stuff as it goes bad.
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Old 03-07-2018, 07:51 AM   #3
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Many will jump to say use the search here.
I won't
BUT!!!! if you did use the search (I'm not saying use the Search), you will get many topics already covering your questions.
Also do the research on what the different years of the 986 both Base and S have to offer. Drive them to feel those differences.

Hopefully you'll join the ownership club soon

Not knowing your budget, the 987 is now at a price level that I paid for my 986 S 6 years ago with 52k miles on the clock
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Old 03-07-2018, 08:29 AM   #4
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Low mileage cars of that vintage might have the cylinder bore failure lurking
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Old 03-07-2018, 07:11 PM   #5
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Thank you everyone for your responses. I've been following the Burners cars on youtube channel and also reading many of the forum posts on this 986forum. It's great to have such a trove of useful information.

Once I find a car I will plan to replace the IMS with the LN Engineering IMS solution, and will do the other items including clutch, AOS, brakes, belts, water pump, etc. I'll hold off on a suspension refresh for a little while.

My understanding of the market is as follows:

1997-1998 - dual row IMS, but porous blocks & cylinder bore scoring maybe issues
1999-2000 - dual row IMS, though these will be 2.5 cars
2000-2004 - single row IMS (with associated liabilities), but you can get a 2.7 base or a 3.2 S
2005-2005 - 987 upgrade though this is the first year of production :-o
2006-2009 - single row large IMS which is not serviceable - best avoided

I prefer the 986 to the 987 as I had a base 987 some years ago, and I prefer the 986 look (yes, even the fried egg lights)
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Old 03-07-2018, 09:54 PM   #6
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Honestly, if it were me, I would be patient and find a well sorted car that had that stuff done already. You will pay a bit of a premium, but overall much less than what you would pay to have all of that done. IMS, clutch, main seal if not DIY is about 4Kish alone.

And, no... 2006-2009 failure rate is very low. Definitely worth a look. Depends on budget.
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Old 03-08-2018, 10:32 AM   #7
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1. Be careful in the crossover years as there could be any of two versions of the IMS with differing characteristics of longevity.
2.Be aware that some cars have replacement engines in them which means a given car could actually have any of 3 Porsche sourced bearings. You don't know for sure until the transmission is off.
3, Late build '99 motors have the slipped sleeve fix and the dual row IMS.
4. Bore scoring is not an issue in the 2.5, 2.7, 3.2 engines.

More on buying a 986 including model year differences here.

My preference would be the 2004 with Litronics and lightweight 18" wheels and 60k+ miles and "The Solution" budgeted for (because of the exterior styling, the glass window top and glovebox. It wouldn't have to even be an S.)

Find a great mechanic first.

(owned a '99 and a '01S, both wonderful and reliable if maintained fanatically)
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Old 03-08-2018, 11:55 AM   #8
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My .02....

.....Buy the best 2003, 2004 "S" you can find.

Make sure the wind blockers are there, and install the "IMS Solution", R&R the RMS, Clutch, Flywheel, AOS, and inspect the heck outta her.

Good luck.

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Old 03-08-2018, 10:23 PM   #9
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Thanks again for all the input :-) I've been going through Mike Fokkes page and also the "Thinking of buying a Boxster" and "Short-lived Boxster Engines" threads

Looks like it is a tradeoff depending on the year, and the 986.2 cars are going to be more attractive while being more expensive, whereas the 99-00 cars are going to have the most reliable IMS

I did see the option LN Engineering to rebuild an engine with Nickies (and increase the capacity) during the process. Does anyone have experience of these engines? I did a web search but there was limited information online
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Old 03-09-2018, 01:49 AM   #10
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If you check the performance section, there's a thread there called "Anyone have a Raby rebuild yet" or something to that effect. There should be some good info in there about that...
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Old 03-09-2018, 05:49 AM   #11
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Look, just buy the newest and nicest one you can find. Spend more up front and it will spare you heartache later.
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Old 03-09-2018, 06:33 AM   #12
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fugetaboutit! Just buy and drive!
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Old 03-09-2018, 08:11 AM   #13
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Maybe he enjoys tinkering and wants to do this stuff? It's a good way to get to know your 'new' car. The things I listed are all cheap and easy half day jobs you'd mostly want to do in the first year or two even if you bought it fully sorted.

Agreed though if you're worried about the IMS find one that's already been done, or just forget about it and do it whenever you need to do the clutch in the next X years.
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Old 03-09-2018, 10:40 PM   #14
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I wish I did know how to do this stuff and was able to tinker. Would potentially save me a lot of money if I could, and I am sure it would be fun. Something tells me a Boxster isn't an ideal car to learn on, though
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Old 03-09-2018, 11:37 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by my1997golf View Post
I wish I did know how to do this stuff and was able to tinker. Would potentially save me a lot of money if I could, and I am sure it would be fun. Something tells me a Boxster isn't an ideal car to learn on, though
If you arenít a DIY guy then definitely buy one that is well sorted.
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Old 03-10-2018, 06:05 AM   #16
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Just buy an S2000.
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Old 03-10-2018, 06:23 AM   #17
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Just buy an S2000.
Just get a Miata and be done with it.
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Old 03-10-2018, 06:52 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Starter986 View Post
Just get a Miata and be done with it.
Get a well maintained ~100k mile '98 - '99 986, keep up on oil changes and drive it 'till the wheels fall off.
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Old 03-10-2018, 11:23 AM   #19
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Thanks - a number of people have recommended a Miata or S2000, but I donít have the enthusiasm for them that I have for an old Boxster. Itís mostly the (problematic) flat-6 engine which is the big draw, and thereís something timeless about an old Porsche (no disrespect to the Miata intended as itís a classic too)

The car will not be my daily driver, it will be something Iíd plan to drive just for fun, and in some ways Iím trying to provide an old Porsche with a good home. Thereís something just unbelievably organic about them thatís missing in the 981/991 and later cars

Iíll continue to search online for cars and these pages for useful information
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Old 03-10-2018, 04:29 PM   #20
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I've owned two "NA" Miatas (Miatae?)and my Boxster. The NA is the original with the pop up headlights. I drove my Miatas and drive my Boxster frequently including commuting to work. The Boxster is a better quality car and I think it will be much safer if someone runs into you than an NA or NB Miata. Unfortunately, there are a lot of bad drivers out there.

I had to change the clutch in my 2000 Boxster with the 2.7 engine. It has a dual row IMS, so I decided to delay changing the bearing until I need another clutch. The build date on mine was 9/11/1999, so Porsche may have had some remaining dual row bearings when my car was built.

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