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View Poll Results: What will you do
Sell It and move on 10 76.92%
Fix it 3 23.08%
Fix it and re-style 0 0%
Stick a match in the fuel tank 0 0%
Voters: 13. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-03-2018, 08:41 AM   #1
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Sensible advice needed - Sell it OR Fix It and restyle ...

Hi All. I really need some advice here. Just try not the insult me too much

I am the recent proud owner of my first Porsche, a 2000 model 986 2.7 Automatic Boxster with 180k KM on the clock.

Unlike most sensible car guys, I took the idiot approach of buying a used car without proper inspection whilst on an emotional high from a good test drive. The fact that it had a file full of invoices without a service book should have been a clear deterrent, but this did not seem to bother me. But the body is perfect. Not a scratch. Cabrio top is perfect, leather interior pristine and clean. I paid a handsome price of EUR 5900 for this diamond in the rough. It is a RHD model which is of course much cheaper in the Netherlands that a normal LHD model as it is not really sought after.

The previous owner had the car put through APK/MOT a few months back and it had a clean bill of health. No even a mention of any potential challenges. Even the last "major service" he had done had no comments only an invoice of 800 EUR.

Like a good boy I took it to my local Porsche specialist in Hilversum who specializes in repair, rebuilds etc. After a painstaking 1.5 hour on and off the ramp inspecting the verdict was in.

It will probably take another 5k - 6k to get her properly sorted out. And this is no guarantee the engine will not blow up the day after I get it back. Seeing as there is no history. I could see in the Garage owner’s eyes he was trying to be nice and put me down humanely

For starters being a UK car, it probably was parked inside the ocean at some point. The brake lines are rusted needing repair. Surface rust all over the place below the car. The center protective cover below the car is missing, the control arms around the car are done and need replacement, the shock absorbers are perfectly working not even weeping but rusted almost with holes in them and the boots are so perished it looks like the first set that came with the car. All radiators and condensers are leaking and need replacement. Probably all hoses while you are at it. Apparently, someone could not get a rusted bolt out of the branches leaving the manifold and decided to weld the seam going into the exhaust shut. The engine and gearbox is leaking oil and need a major service probably to be safe. The cooling system needs a proper flush as it looks like some wally put window washing liquid in the wrong end. the engine also idles badly and the oil warning lamp pops on when the revs drop below 500 .. but this is intermittent. So probably AOS and Air regulator etc. need replacement. Bottom line is the list of distinguished issues goes on and on and my baby is very sick.

Now my open question to all of you is simple. Do I put her down or do I invest ...?

Having it repaired means I will need to invest 5k argumentatively. Which means I then have a good working Porsche for +-12k. Nut still no guarantee the engine won’t blow up still.

At this point getting my money back will never materialize unless I sell it to a blind person. So, either way I am down the hole. Re-selling it now with the long list of painful items means I will be minus a Porsche a headache and of course a few grand less than I paid.

I am able to do a lot of the work myself but clearly, I am no specialized mechanic and should rather stick to my day job.

What do you recon the sensible thing to do is.

Is this a car where you throw in the towel and make it someone else's project sharing with them the whole list of things to do, or is this a car you repair, change up the body kit and styling perhaps and turn it into something unique for 25k ...

What will the wise suggest here without giving me too much of a ribbing.



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Old 04-03-2018, 09:16 AM   #2
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Honestly, if you were simply talking about replacing those wear items as would be expected, that would be one discussion. When rust enters the picture that changes the game entirely. If there are visible holes that is a problem. Usually "surface rust" particularly if the paint is bubbled, isn't surface rust at all, it is rusted through from the back. The costs associated with repairing rust are quite high, and might be worth some down and dirty repairs for a track car, assuming all suspension points/frame is/are sound. Best bet is to dig in and see just how significant the rust is. If you can see it, then the places you can't can be much worse. Usually rust repair, unless very minor, is a cascading problem as you dig deeper.

Of course fenders, hoods, etc can easily be replaced. What you want to find out is if the chassis is effected by rust and to what degree. If solid, might then be worth doing the other repairs. If you are looking at it from a value/repair cost perspective... give up now. You will be upside down fast. You just need to decide how deep. Frankly, most of the stuff you mentioned is maint, and the reality of an 18yr old car and 180k on the clock. They require updating usually. So, kind of a given. Hope it turns out well!

Last edited by Geof3; 04-03-2018 at 09:21 AM.
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Old 04-03-2018, 09:33 AM   #3
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Thanks for the note. When I referred to rust I was talking about parts like the exhaust etc. From what we saw there was no body rust damage. However I did not ask about the suspension mounts etc. Only some parts had rust on them. This is however a good tip and I can investigate this further.
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Old 04-03-2018, 09:34 AM   #4
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I have repaired several Boxsters myself and this one I would probably just use as a parts car.
My choices in order:
#1 Sell it at a loss. More money into it is just more money lost. For all the money that you would put into making this one right, it probably would not significantly raise the value above what you paid to buy it.
#2 Fix the absolute minimum needed and enjoy it while it lasts. Is it safe and legal to drive now? Can a small investment and a few hours of you time keep it roadworthy for another year or two?
#3 Arrange to have it stolen. Many years ago, I had a friend who owed a lot of money for his car and could not keep up payments. First he tried parking it near the ocean when a storm was coming. The storm arrived at low tide and the car was fine. A week later he parked the car in a bad part of the city and forgot to lock it. Two days later they found it stripped out and burned. His insurance paid him the 'book' value of the car.

***Just saw your reply that it is not rust on the body, only exhaust etc... I agree with Geof3 that most of that is just maintenance that needs to be caught up.
Check out this thread: Bad news from the mechanic - any insight greatly appreciated!
Original estimate for repairs was $15,000! speedyspaghetti is now fixing the car mostly himself and seems like it's working out well.
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Last edited by 78F350; 04-03-2018 at 09:46 AM.
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Old 04-03-2018, 09:46 AM   #5
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thanks. Well it is roadworth and driving etc. Should be ok for the next MOT as well probably. That said the brake lines and full engine service is needed plus full coolant flush. But then the radiators are shod as well. So if I dont look at the suspension, shocks etc. it should be ok for a while as I wont be driving it like i Stole it You make an interesting point ... it will probably take 2-3k to get it safe. But this is till no guarantee the engine wont blow up.
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Old 04-03-2018, 10:37 AM   #6
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This question wll evoke many responses, but it really comes down to who the person is and how they view a car; is it just a machine, or is it family? Some would say a car is only a means to an end and nothing more than a collection of parts while others (myself included) form an emotional attachment. I suppose the best way for you to answer your question of how you should proceed is to place yourself in a hypothetical situation where the car was destroyed beyond all hope of repair...how would you feel? Happy to receive a check in the mail, or heartbroken to see an empty parking spot? Draw a line on paper and place the two options at the extremes then decide and make a mark where you fall on this spectrum...you will have your decision.

Best wishes.
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Old 04-03-2018, 11:36 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 78F350 View Post
I have repaired several Boxsters myself and this one I would probably just use as a parts car.
My choices in order:
#1 Sell it at a loss. More money into it is just more money lost. For all the money that you would put into making this one right, it probably would not significantly raise the value above what you paid to buy it.
#2 Fix the absolute minimum needed and enjoy it while it lasts. Is it safe and legal to drive now? Can a small investment and a few hours of you time keep it roadworthy for another year or two?
#3 Arrange to have it stolen. Many years ago, I had a friend who owed a lot of money for his car and could not keep up payments. First he tried parking it near the ocean when a storm was coming. The storm arrived at low tide and the car was fine. A week later he parked the car in a bad part of the city and forgot to lock it. Two days later they found it stripped out and burned. His insurance paid him the 'book' value of the car.

***Just saw your reply that it is not rust on the body, only exhaust etc... I agree with Geof3 that most of that is just maintenance that needs to be caught up.
Check out this thread: Bad news from the mechanic - any insight greatly appreciated!
Original estimate for repairs was $15,000! speedyspaghetti is now fixing the car mostly himself and seems like it's working out well.
I've been wrenching like a mad man! New struts, mounts, track arms, trailing arms done! Brake and clutch flush - done! Transmission fluid changed! Just need to do the front control arms and then get an alignment and I should (fingers crossed) be done. I'll have someone do clutch/IMS probably, but part of me wants to do it myself... I do miss driving her though.
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Old 04-03-2018, 12:31 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by gouldar View Post
thanks. Well it is roadworth and driving etc. Should be ok for the next MOT as well probably. That said the brake lines and full engine service is needed plus full coolant flush. But then the radiators are shod as well. So if I dont look at the suspension, shocks etc. it should be ok for a while as I wont be driving it like i Stole it You make an interesting point ... it will probably take 2-3k to get it safe. But this is till no guarantee the engine wont blow up.
Why are the radiators shot? Rust? If all of those components are as rusty as you mention, it would be pretty unusual not to have more rust where you might not be able to see it. Rust can be fixed, but you are so far behind the curve if that is the case, IMO wouldn't be worth the headache.

As mentioned, and I agree with the above regarding personal perspective on "worth" and "value". Even though currently these cars are pretty low priced, they have bottomed and are great, relatively special cars IMO. So "worth" is in the eye of the beholder. For the most part, keeping any old car on the road is a loosing proposition. At least these cars have SOME hope of making a comeback one day. So there may be a bit more incentive to spend. In the case of your car though, that might not be the best option.
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Old 04-03-2018, 01:13 PM   #9
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I recommend you get a second opinion from a independent Porsche shop.
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Old 04-03-2018, 01:56 PM   #10
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Thanks all. I will ask someone to look at the chasis for rust. Also potentially a second opinion. I guess i am a tad emotionally iinvolved.
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Old 04-03-2018, 02:18 PM   #11
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Things like exhaust bolts do rust. Big blanking deal.

But for the car to be in the condition cosmetically that it appears to be in says someone took car of it.

So the mechanic who told you that stuff could be just listing all the things that could go wrong or will go wrong. It is an older car. It didn't cost you what a new one would. You are going to have to put some repair and maintenance costs into it just as with any older car.

My last Boxster purchase was lots younger than this car and I needed new brakes, tires, alignment, major service and a few other minor odds and ends and it was a delight for the next 5 years. Could it fail tomorrow? Yes. Accident tomorrow? Yes.

It will come down to an emotional decision and your willingness to accept risk. The only way to avoid the risk is to pay 10 times more for new.
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Old 04-03-2018, 06:20 PM   #12
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Gouldar, I think you mentioned the best course of action in your original post.... but it's been largely overlooked: find a blind buyer.


Seriously though.... I agree with MikeFocke: you see a used car of this age and mileage looking that clean, it suggests at some point someone took special care of it. It's not typical "neglect". I'd suggest you get another professional opinion. Then, from there, divide up the nut: what do you need to do to enjoy the car for a year? Do that list now. At the end of the year, decide how much you love it. Then do the next part of the list. Do the same thing at the end of the 2nd year: how much do you love it?

If you set aside $1500 /yr (Or whatever it may be) for 3 or even 4 years, and end up with a great car that you love... I see no better choice. If, on the other hand, at the end of the first year you say "meh..." then unload it and call the loss the simple price of admission for the fun you DID have.

JUST an idea.

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Old 04-03-2018, 06:35 PM   #13
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I have a hard time the car could have a severe rust issue just because it lives by the sea. I live within a mile of the gulf of Mexico. My 2000 Boxster shows no signs of corrosion, nor do I see it a being prevalent on any cars I look at around here.

Either your car experienced some sort of flooding or perhaps the issue explained to you has been exaggerated.
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Old 04-04-2018, 04:35 AM   #14
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The body should not rust since it is galvanized. If there is body rust it must be because the car has been in an accident and the replacement parts were not galvanized.
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Old 04-04-2018, 05:13 AM   #15
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in my view only parts are rusted and bolts etc. I will double check this. I have decided to invest in some ramps so i can at home take my time to get below the car and inspect as far as the eye can see. Also downloaded a nice manual breaking down the components to part numbers which gives me an idea where is what on the car so I can look properly. I need to spend a lot more time investigating this subject to not make rash decisions.

I am now just struggling with the fact that I seem to be clearly emotionally attached to my first Porsche ... something I did not expect .... plus the lack of sleep last night should be a clear signal where my intentions are going

keep the posts coming guys thank you for sharing
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Old 04-04-2018, 05:44 AM   #16
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Just speaking for myself, no offense to our British/Irish friends, but a RHD car is not worth "investing" in.
Only acceptable RHD cars would be British/Japanese classics or track toys.
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Old 04-04-2018, 06:35 AM   #17
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I did the same as you, except mine was cheaper and wasn't nearly as nice as yours.

Learning from experience, I'd take whatever loss and sell it for whatever you can get for it.

Maybe fix the brake lines and give it a decent service and try to sell iit in Britain before Brexit takes full effect? And then take whatever you can get out of it and put it with the cash you would have put into repairing it and buy something in better shape (that you have a detailed PPI on.)

I bought a cheap Boxster, fixed the sun ravaged interior, the busted window regulators, put a new top on, repaired the top transmissions and replaced ALLthe top linkage, had it painted, and a replacement motor (I put it in.) I admit to be a little frustrated and discouraged this morning, I crawled under to try to install new, new plugs and new coils and found signs of oil leaks. The gremlins keep coming!

Wishing I'd never bought it, or when it started to look sour I'd bailed on it. Just put collision and comprehensive insurance on it Monday. I wonder what the book value on an 01 base is?
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Last edited by Brian in Tucson; 04-04-2018 at 06:38 AM.
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Old 04-04-2018, 07:36 AM   #18
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Old 04-04-2018, 07:47 AM   #19
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We all know that there is no cheap Porsche. You are in the Netherlands with a rusty RHD needy car. It's a tiptronic. It's a base model. If it were me, I would not consider putting money into it. My car is in much better shape and I already put way too much money into it!
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Old 04-04-2018, 07:57 AM   #20
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Sensible advice: SELL!
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