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Old 04-18-2018, 10:12 AM   #1
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Lightbulb What Can I fit inside the '99 Boxster Shell

Hey Everyone,

I'm new to this forum have very little hands on mechanical experience besides very basic maintenance stuff (brakes, oil change, change a tire), so anything I have done to this car will be handled by professionals.

I came across a 99 Boxster rolling shell. it already has the engine/tranny removed according to the post. Seller wants 900 for it, he's holding it for me until tomorrow.

It's always been a dream of mine that for my next car I'd invest in building a car from basically the ground up. Right now I'm wondering if I could fit a supercharged Nissan Vq35DE in the 986. I'm sure that involves a ton of other work and that shouldn't be an issue as my current car is more than capable for a few more years. The reason I'm looking at this engine is because you can get a remanufactured VQ for about 2,000. As far as cosmetics, electronics, and upholstery I think I've got a place in mind for that already.

Is this worth tackling? Are there easier engine swaps that will result in an equal amount of power output? Don't need a rocketship really just something to. have some fun driving to and from work. I currently drive a G35 with an SC installed so I'd have to imagine that kind of power with a smaller, better handling boxster would be tons of fun.
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Old 04-18-2018, 10:23 AM   #2
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Over the years people have tried stuffing the following into a Boxster:

various 911 engines
turbo Subaru engines
an Audi V8
several yrs ago someone tried a turbo Buick V6
several electric conversions

I don't think anyone has attempted an LS1. Basically you're only held back by your creativity and budget.
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Old 04-18-2018, 10:24 AM   #3
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Why shove a nissan motor into a porsche, if you arent trying to go for more power. Part of the essence of the boxster and porsche is the sounds of the flat 6 engine. Starting with a shell you could put in a 3.4 or evem a big bore engine get plenty of hp and maintain the cars heritage.

If you want a nissan you should build a nissan.

But Truthfully if you start with a shell you will have way more invested in the car than it will ever be worth.

Sorry if you think I am being harsh!

BTW there is a company makes a kit to retrofit a LS engine, saw the youtube videos and went to the site.
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Old 04-18-2018, 10:46 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mannyd7 View Post
Hey Everyone,

... very little hands on mechanical experience besides very basic maintenance stuff (brakes, oil change, change a tire), so anything I have done to this car will be handled by professionals. ...
The closest thing to a engine swap kit for this car is Renegade's LS swap. Even that leaves a lot up to the builder to figure out. If you are not planning on doing the work and research on your own, your best bet would be to call the shop that you plan to have the work done at and see if they think they are capable. Next ask the price. I expect that you can buy a nice, complete Boxster S for less than what you will invest in a project like this even with the shell costing under 1000.

Check out Vlad's build thread here: V8 Conversion

and here: Boxster V8 Project

I don't know anyone that's working a Nissan engine in. If I were you, I'd look for info on Nissan Vq35DE swaps (to other non-Nissans) that other people have done to get an idea of what the challenges and costs are.

Some Audi V8 discussion here: Any progress on V8 engine swap options?
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Old 04-18-2018, 10:46 AM   #5
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BoxsterLS376 introduction - LS3 conversion :)
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Old 04-18-2018, 10:52 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Cunningr View Post
Why shove a nissan motor into a porsche, if you arent trying to go for more power. Part of the essence of the boxster and porsche is the sounds of the flat 6 engine. Starting with a shell you could put in a 3.4 or evem a big bore engine get plenty of hp and maintain the cars heritage.
Probably because it's a '99 Boxster worth $7k in good running condition, not a '53 550 or '86 959.
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Old 04-18-2018, 11:50 AM   #7
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I've searched around quite a bit to see what other non-nissans people have swapped the VQ into but haven't found much. The LS definitely seems to be the most popular engine to swap into random cars. Is the LS a tank? I know my uncle had a silverado with the 4.8l v8 that he ran for almost 400k miles. May just be easier to look into doing that and bite the bullet with the Gas... That being said would I be able to pass emissions here in california? I know I'm gonna spend a ton in the end but this isnt going to be a show car, I'm driving this ******************** everywhere when it's done.
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Old 04-18-2018, 12:39 PM   #8
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The further you get away from Porsche components, the more expensive the proposition becomes. While 911 engines aren't exactly plug and play, they're close enough that the expense of the engine is worth the 100 extra hp. An Audi V8 works because it will bolt to the Porsche transaxle but you have to figure out motor mounts. An LS1 swap may work because they'll have the trans part figured out, but you may have less room in a Boxster than a 911 for the swap, so that complicates things. Once you get away from those options, everything else is an engineering exercise. You have transaxle, motor mounts, and computer issues to work out. If you're planning to have someone do the work for you, you'll need a big, open-ended budget. No way someone can estimate the cost because they don't know what they don't know. Costs will quickly escalate as they run into problem after problem. Some will just take extra time (which = more $$$) while some will require special machining (costing $$$ for the part + time for the extra labor). If you were doing the work yourself, you could get by by not counting your labor.

If you want to experience the joy of owning a Boxster, find a nicely cared for, running example for $7-9K and sell your Nissan engine. Your wallet will be miles ahead.
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Old 04-18-2018, 01:13 PM   #9
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Hi Manny,

that plan would not work for me. Such major changes will turn it into a money pit. Especially if you have to pay professionals. 100% not an Investment, as no one will be willing to pay anthing near what you have invested in it. And it will not be considered a real Porsche anymore.

If I had to swap the engine, it would only be another Porsche engine or electric right away, as there is not power match for that.
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Old 04-18-2018, 03:05 PM   #10
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I'm 100% conscious of the fact that no one else would pay anything close to the money i'd invest in any engine swap. Ultimately, I'd want to get this all the mechanical/electrical done for under 20-25K. The way I look at it, I could go out and buy a brand new 3 Series or something similar but that will likely end up around 40k and still probably won't be as fun as something like this.

And you guys are absolutely right. This would no longer be a Porche, and it isn't supposed to be, I just thought this was a nice shell to start off with for 900 bucks
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Old 04-18-2018, 03:11 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by mannyd7 View Post
Is this worth tackling?
No.

But the forum insists that I post more words so I'll say no, again.
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Old 04-18-2018, 03:19 PM   #12
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Imagine getting this smog checked in CA. Not the state you want to do this in.

The $900 for what is called a roller is a good price. But doing an engine swap by paying someone else to do it is asking for a big bill, big wait and big troubles. Shops go out of business. Mechanics die. How then does it get maintained?
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Old 04-18-2018, 04:41 PM   #13
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If your budget is $20K, you could get a nice 911 engine, have it installed, and have a few bucks left in your pocket. And have a fun Porsche that you wouldn't have any trouble selling when you're done having fun with it (not for what you have invested but WAY more than trying to sell a Frankenstein Porsche).
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Old 04-18-2018, 06:59 PM   #14
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When I did my 1uz swap to the 986, the most challenging part is to custom the adaptor plate, flywheel and clutch. The rest are relatively same same for swap like this. Fun times
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Old 04-18-2018, 07:16 PM   #15
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One man's opinion. None of the non Porsche engine swap projects, I looked at, ever seemed to make sense to me. Unless you have the shop, tools, skill set to do most of the work yourself. And or you just want a really serious engineering project as a personal challenge.

My fear would be, I get 95% completed mechanically and you can't get the electrical systems to merge. Mating those two disparate systems together, I think, will be the toughest challenge. I would work out as much of that on the front end before you commit. Then CA emission testing/registration compounds the issues even more. Unless you know somebody who can back door that process, I can't imagine how that works practically.

Like others have suggested, this may turn into a huge money hole. Proceed with extreme caution.
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Old 04-18-2018, 10:05 PM   #16
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“Worth” is a reletive question. For a who-knows-what budget, just to see if you can do it... it might be “worth” it. Buying a roller and having a shop dump a non-Porsche motor in will get very $$$ very quickly. To me the only way a project like that could be worth the $$$ is if it were a DIY project and apporoached as a hobby. In terms of investment, given the current market for these cars $ wise, not a chance would it be “worth” it. It ultimately boils down to what you want from the car, and what it means to you, then judge the value proposition from there. Honestly, to some degree all of us that own these cars, and spend the $$$ to keep them up are in a similar boat. The good thing is, there are many that believe these cars are “not worth it” anymore and that means the inventory drops one day, and those of us that chose to keep these things running, might just luck out... the 356 was considered a throw away at one point... as was the 914...
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Old 04-19-2018, 03:05 AM   #17
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Worth is a relative term. Not that I don't get the modding idea/mindset, but if it come down to you willing to invest $20K to $25K, with that kind of budget you can find a running Boxster S and do a hell of a lot of mods with less headache.

IE: exhaust, intake, suspension, audio, and wheels, could probably even do a 3.4L swap which I think someone said cost in the $11K range.

You will still probably never see a return on that investment either, but you would have much less headache doing them instead of trying to reengineer.

I am with Geof on values, you never know 944 prices are trending up also. I think if the value ever rises on boxsters it will be way out, but I do think prices are about as low as they will drop also. A genuine Porsche in good condition can be found in the $10K range.
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Old 04-19-2018, 03:59 AM   #18
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For $20-$25k just buy a 996 - DONE. Turn the key and drive
Sell the roller for parts and probably turn a bit of profit

But if you must do it to the Boxster, seems that a 3.4 would be the ticket, at least in my mind.
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Old 04-19-2018, 06:19 AM   #19
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+1 I paid $27k for an 09S with 25k ODO a year ago. Can't imagine going to all of that effort for a lessor car.

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For $20-$25k just buy a 996 - DONE. Turn the key and drive
Sell the roller for parts and probably turn a bit of profit
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Old 04-19-2018, 06:25 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by kk2002s View Post
For $20-$25k just buy a 996 - DONE. Turn the key and drive
Sell the roller for parts and probably turn a bit of profit

But if you must do it to the Boxster, seems that a 3.4 would be the ticket, at least in my mind.
That's CDN $ 25K USD is like 100,000 CDN (or some such crap conversion)

still, for 9-10 CDN he could secure a used boxster powertrain and pay someone 3-5K in labour to put it together .... a boxster 986 used price averages (around the GTA) about 17K for a base and up to 20+ for an S (all very clean condition) ....
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