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Old 07-18-2018, 11:46 AM   #1
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Intro to Porsche

Soon I'll be purchasing a Boxster on a budget that my bride limits me to, likely $7,000. Is there one item I should focus on? i.e.: Certain year models, under 100K miles, base or S, IMS already completed? Any ideas from the wisdom of this forum is greatly appreciated.

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Old 07-18-2018, 12:34 PM   #2
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That is an open ended question that can go in many directions. If you haven't read thru this link already, it's a good place to start.

Thinking of buying a Boxster ? - MUST READ !

There are several YouTube videos (Boxster specific) that might also help.

The common answer is to buy the car with the best documented maintenance records you can find. Then have a trained Porsche mechanic give it a thorough inspection, +/-$400.

For $7,000 in LA, you are going to get a middle of the range car that is going to need work to catch up on the maintenance probably. Parts can be very expensive and Porsche mechanics earn their keep. How much of the work can you do yourself? Consider reaching out to a local PCA chapter. They can be a great source for advice, cars and mechanics. PCA Owners tend to take decent care of their cars also.

Take your time and leave your heart at home. Welcome to the group and good luck with your search.
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Old 07-19-2018, 10:38 PM   #3
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Good luck, prices are rising a bit and a 7k car is going to need a few extra K to get it up to snuff. Better bet is to spend more up front, get a car that has been brought to current, suspension, poss AOS, clutch if manual, excellent maint records etc. and go from there. These are awesome cars, but can get expensive VERY fast.
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Old 07-20-2018, 04:58 AM   #4
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First get into the mindset that you buy these cars and you maintain these cars so you can drive these cars.
Any older German sports car is going to need an ebb and flow of maintenance done on them to keep them somewhat reliable on the road.
So budgeting your purchase price is fine but that is not where that train stops

As mentioned, good previous maintenance routine is very important. You don't want to buy someone's "... need to get to... " items list car
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Old 07-20-2018, 10:54 AM   #5
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You'll be at $15k before you know it.

Have you considered an early Gen 1 or 2? Awesome cars, really fun to drive. Parts are 1/2 the cost too and I think pretty high up on the reliability chain too.
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Old 07-20-2018, 11:37 AM   #6
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You'll be at $15k before you know it.
Yes but there are many examples of "weekend cars" that the 4th and 5th owner neglect maintenance and don't bother to do any repair. They just want to say they own a Porsche.

Many examples on local autotrader that don't have working parking brake or broken top, etc.
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Old 07-20-2018, 11:50 AM   #7
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Soon I'll be purchasing a Boxster on a budget that my bride limits me to, likely $7,000.
Your budget will be $7k..?

I am sorry if I may sound rude but you are going to regret it for the rest of your life..
and no, I am Not talking about the Boxter...

..I am talking about your wife (to be)
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Old 07-20-2018, 12:18 PM   #8
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What do you mean by Gen 1 or 2? Just referring to 986 and 987? It will definitely be a weekend car driven, likely, every other. Can't fit the bride and four kids in it so it will sit but not be neglected mechanically.
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Old 07-20-2018, 12:48 PM   #9
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Looking at the Texas market on Craigslist, I see several cars in the price range that could be good buys. 1999 models are fairly plentiful and can be a good reliable car at an affordable price, but all 986s will require a maintenance budget to keep them in good shape.
If you have tools, a little experience, and a place to work you can save a lot of money. If you don't, you will need to spend $100/hr or more for a good mechanic to keep it in shape. What you can afford to buy and what you can afford to keep and drive could be two different things.
If you are willing to spend your money on a car that will have lots of minor electrical issues, worn out suspension, and an engine that is about to fail, then don't worry about having a knowledgeable Porsche mechanic look at the car before you buy it. Otherwise plan to have a PPI (prepurchase inspection) done.

That and much more is covered in the: Thinking of buying a Boxster ? - MUST READ !

So... what oil is the best and which replacement IMSB should you get?
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Old 07-20-2018, 12:59 PM   #10
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...So... what oil is the best and which replacement IMSB should you get?
LOL! Was that a preemptive strike? To the OP, these two questions always elicit a bizillion comments; it's best just to do a forum search on these topics rather than ask. Additionally many posts have asked the same question as yours "what should I buy?" Do some looking around the forum and you'll find many people who have ben in your situation and lots of good advice.

Best wishes, and let us know what you find.
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Old 07-20-2018, 02:01 PM   #11
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I owned 2. wonderful cars. But that was 10 years ago. The cars you might look at are 20 year old cars. Will your financial situation allow for the maintenance on a 20 year old car whose parts are maybe twice what you are used to and for which labor changes are high? What if I told you 10 years ago a major service cost $1k, a brake job cost another $1k and tires cost $1.2k. Doing it yourself, half that. But that will give you an idea that a Porsche is not a cheap car. Oil change for $29.95? Nope. Maybe double that. Premium gas. I'm toying with buying my third despite all that but without any funding limits. A $10-30k engine wouldn't scare me, for example.

Years ago I wrote up this on buying a Boxster. Read it and the other maybe 10 articles to get as honest a picture as I could convey understanding it was written with a ten year old car in mind, not a 20 year old one.

Last edited by mikefocke; 07-22-2018 at 06:47 AM.
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Old 07-21-2018, 04:03 PM   #12
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Look for a 2003-2004 986. Many nice upgrades and you can find them relativity cheap.
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Old 07-21-2018, 04:51 PM   #13
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$7,000should buy you a very presentable Boxster. I would suggest a very early car, 97 or 98 model year, a 2.5 L model years before the troublesome intermediate shaft bearing of the later 2.7 L engines. Although parts prices from dealerships are stiff, so they are for any other make; don't buy parts from the dealership except as a last resort.
I have not found Boxsters any more difficult to maintain than any other make or model of car. Check my garage list for more background.
The 986 series represent the best value on the used car market, bar none.
Do your homework; read the forum here, the 101 Projects book, the Pelican tech series, and watch Craigslist like a hawk.
If you can't find a great value in a used 986, you just can't find a good used car!
Good luck!
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Old 07-21-2018, 10:21 PM   #14
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I have not found Boxsters any more difficult to maintain than any other make or model of car.

Ya know, every time I hear one of y'all say this, I laugh out loud just a little bit. And then I say (to anyone who'll listen) "I think it's been too long since you've worked on anything else", haha.

Look, you think I'm wrong? Just think through what happened the first time someone asked you if they could see the motor? Or checking the air filter? Power steering fluid?

For context, this (my first porsche) is car #74 in my life. I've owned a lot of cars of various domestic, Japanese and European brands.
Nearly EVERYTHING you'd do (maintenance and repair) to this car takes longer than it would on most other cars.

But Worth it? Yup.


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Old 07-21-2018, 11:10 PM   #15
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$7,000should buy you a very presentable Boxster. I would suggest a very early car, 97 or 98 model year, a 2.5 L model years before the troublesome intermediate shaft bearing of the later 2.7 L engines. Although parts prices from dealerships are stiff, so they are for any other make; don't buy parts from the dealership except as a last resort.
I have not found Boxsters any more difficult to maintain than any other make or model of car. Check my garage list for more background.
The 986 series represent the best value on the used car market, bar none.
Do your homework; read the forum here, the 101 Projects book, the Pelican tech series, and watch Craigslist like a hawk.
If you can't find a great value in a used 986, you just can't find a good used car!
Good luck!
I think if you are talking in terms of cost, parts etc. I would tend to agree, to a point. My Jeep is more expensive to maintain than my Boxster (so far) However, due to the electronics configuration, general German over engineering etc, these cars are not great entry level learners. Consequently, the costs go up. Overall, due to the mid engine configuration, pulling things like the alternator, PS pump etc, aren’t any more technically difficult (remove appropriate bolts etc.) However, the access is a major PITA for these items.

And, while I agree 7k can buy a decent looking car, at that age, there will be significant deferred maint costs at that price point most likely.
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Old 07-22-2018, 04:18 PM   #16
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Nearly EVERYTHING you'd do (maintenance and repair) to this car takes longer than it would on most other cars.
Brakes are damn easy. Exhaust came off easily, no rusted bolts!

Oil change... have you done one on a car with dry-sump?
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Old 07-27-2018, 05:36 AM   #17
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Hi I am the proof you CAN buy a cracking Porsche for that money, mine cost me £5100 over 2 years ago.

Id go as far to say that although there are a few rough ones most have been look after well and ones that haven't wont be able to fake it. Rough body / interiors / sketchy service history will give it away.

At the end of the day they are just a car and due to their original build quality will probably has lasted better than most cars of that era.

Just check it like you would any other 2nd hand car.

I think there is too much emphasis put on the idea that these cars need to be looked after by specialists. Repairs and servicing I never take it to Porsche or even a Porsche specialist. I take it to my mechanic wizard who has looked after all my cars. Some of which cost me double the Porsche
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Old 07-27-2018, 06:36 AM   #18
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Donít buy any $7,000 Porsche......

......if you canít afford another $10,000 a year in care and feeding.

Just buy a Miata.
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Old 07-27-2018, 07:55 AM   #19
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Soon I'll be purchasing a Boxster on a budget that my bride limits me to, likely $7,000. Is there one item I should focus on? i.e.: Certain year models, under 100K miles, base or S, IMS already completed? Any ideas from the wisdom of this forum is greatly appreciated.
Every car is different. Mine at 75,000 had been severely abused and required a lot of work to set right. But there are lots of Boxsters with around 100k that are just fine--the difference being that they were well kept and maintained.

$7k should buy you a pretty nice car that's 2003 or so. Maybe with a bit higher mileage, pay for a prepurchase inspection so that you'll know what you're getting into. Yes some parts are pretty spendy. But the Boxster isn't impossible to work on, sometimes a bit of a puzzle, but very approachable.
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Old 07-27-2018, 08:02 AM   #20
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......if you canít afford another $10,000 a year in care and feeding.

Just buy a Miata.
Are you being serious right now? Or did you add too many zeros? $10k a YEAR!?!?

Sorry.... I think that's silly. And I question the sanity of spending $10k a year, on a car worth.... less than $10k.

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