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Old 08-03-2018, 04:21 AM   #1
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Low mileage boxster find

I am looking at a 2001 boxster with 25k miles. The car has been sitting for a while. The car is in good shape with a few door dings ,but other wise the top and interior look great. The car runs and all controls work as they should including the power top.

I was not able to drive the car because the brakes are out. It appears to be a master cylinder is my best assessment.

Anything else I should look at. Sale price is $6k. Of course I always have the concern of the ims bearing and rear seal but for this price itís is difficult to not look.
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Old 08-03-2018, 05:42 AM   #2
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There's nothing especially desirable about a low-mile 986. These cars like to be driven and I believe that - up to a point - more miles are better than fewer, especially if there's regular maintenance.

That being said: I don't think that's an unreasonable price; but it's nothing special either.

With a car at that mileage you're just assuming a different set of risks. Namely the IMS, which seems to generally fail at 40k-80k.

Unless the Boxsters are hard to find in your area, or this one has some special appeal, I'd continue to comparison shop. I paid a bit more than I should have for a 100k Boxster that needs a suspension refresh because I wanted a Tiptronic car in an interesting color (Speed Yellow). But, these cars are not difficult to wrench, the parts are plentiful and reasonably priced, and there is a ton of DIY on the internet, so buying a car with a problem or two shouldn't be a show-stopper if the price is right.

The biggest problem you're going to run into down there is sun damage. It's definitely a consideration if this one was garage kept.

Good luck with your search.
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Old 08-03-2018, 06:25 AM   #3
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Thank you for the feedback. The only sun damage is to the tops of he headlights and the paint protectant film.
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Old 08-03-2018, 01:00 PM   #4
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For $2k more you can get a way better car than the one you are describing, like this one for example:

https://bringatrailer.com/listing/2001-porsche-boxster-s-16/

Remember that you cannot afford a cheap Porsche (or any car for that manner) :-)
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Old 08-03-2018, 02:10 PM   #5
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I was told, In by 30k, out by 60k. ymmv..
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Old 08-03-2018, 03:48 PM   #6
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Inspect for flood damage. Was it sitting outside?
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Old 08-03-2018, 05:24 PM   #7
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I was told, In by 30k, out by 60k. ymmv..
LOLz. I don't own a Porsche with under 150k miles on the clock.
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Old 08-03-2018, 06:40 PM   #8
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if you were to bet on a horse, would you bet on the one that has been in the barn and only run 2 races.... or the one that never is in the barn and races all the time? Oh and the one in the barn already doesnt stop.Not being a smart a** that is pretty much what the Brumos salesman said to me when
i asked about my S with 88k. My suggestion is to find one that has been owned by a Porsche person with documentation if possible, also find a mechanic now because best case is local purchase and get a PPI. Good luck!
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Old 08-03-2018, 07:43 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Sundevil64 View Post
... Anything else I should look at. Sale price is $6k. Of course I always have the concern of the ims bearing and rear seal but for this price itís is difficult to not look.
I see in your profile that you have a 911, so I assume you have some familiarity with Porsches. If the money is significant to you, get a PPI. In cases like this it is often pointed out that the paint and major cosmetics are more expensive to make right than a lot of minor mechanical issues.

Does it look like a car with 25k miles? Can the door dings be fixed with PDR? At 25K miles does the interior look like a 2-3 year old car, or an 18 year old car? Sit in it and close your eyes; Are you in a fine leather carriage? ...or back at the fraternity the morning after a party?

Why the low mileage? 25k could mean that it has had no maintenance done. Original tires - probably dangerous from aging. Was it 'stored' or just left and parked?

Do you do your own work or have a mechanic that you like to pay? I'd consider buying it, but plan to replace tires, AOS, water pump, all fluids, then get the IMS/RMS done fairly soon.

After it's been driven a few months I'd expect to find a few problems such as vacuum leaks, bad coolant cap, and a window regulator failure. These things are time consuming and annoying if you DIY. They can add up to a lot of money if you pay a shop.

By the time you get past 30K miles, if you did it right, you can have a great car with all the bugs worked out and probably no needs for a long time. Do it wrong and you could have a roller worth about $3k.

A few things I check: Oil filter cup, date code on tires (cracks?), moisture in the carpet padding behind the seats, belly panels and hoses, oil leaks: (under AOS, spark plug tubes, junction of transmission), correct window/lock/door function, clogged drains (around the battery & around the top), locking lugs and tool (I HATE locking lug bolts), smooth lines and gap of frunk-bumper-fenders-doors-clamshell-trunk-bumper, make sure that all the instrument panel advisory lights work (Check engine not on because it's burned out?), how many keys?, .... I could go on for pages.

Lastly, there will always be another great deal next week.
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Old 08-04-2018, 04:23 AM   #10
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All good points and some funny ones. Thanks for the reality check in the link “Gilles”.

To answer a few questions. Yes I have a 911. I have more than one all air cooled to include a 930, I have felt the wrath a Porsche can have on a budget. I do work on my own cars except engine rebuild albeit one co-rebuild with a friend. The majority of the stuff I can do on these so not too scary. I also have access to a diagnostic machine in the event I need one.

It does look like the car has sat. No indication of flooding which is one of the first things I looked for. It does bother me too about how low this mileage is. To answer another question that was asked, I would pick the horse with experience most times.

The car is exceptionally clean excluding the sun damage. All things considered, I may pass on this or perhaps a more motivating price as I know once the car starts driving again many repairs and attention will be needed.

Thank you all.

John
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Old 08-04-2018, 04:47 AM   #11
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The brakes not working is a red flag to me. That doesn't make since to me on a car with only 25k. The brake pads might be rusted onto the rotors is the only thing I can think of happening to a car that sits for long in a very humid climate. I don't see the master cylinder going bad from sitting or age. I can't say what's wrong with the braking system without looking at it in person,, but something's fishy there. The braking system would be the last thing I would think that would be bad on a 17 year old car with only 25K. My main concern would be anything rubber exposed to oil, fuel or sunlight. The green O-rings inside the vario-cam adjusters and the seals on the IMS would be my biggest concern. If it's manual then you're good to go but if it's a tip then you'll have more things to worry about.

Edit; maybe the one of the boots on the caliper pistons cracked? That should be easy to check with the wheel off
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Old 08-04-2018, 05:44 AM   #12
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Cheap Porsches are the most expensive.
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Old 08-04-2018, 07:22 AM   #13
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Quote:
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Cheap Porsches are the most expensive.
I hear that a lot, but it's not backed up my experience. OLD Porsches can be expensive, but old CARS can be expensive. Poorly maintained Porsches can be expensive, but poorly maintained CARS can be expensive.

Porsches are no more expensive or difficult to maintain than other cars of their era, mileage, and age, and are usually far less expensive to maintain than comparable niche cars of the same age.

Try to maintain an early 80s Ferrari with over 150k miles on it in your garage. It's impossible. But I have an '82 928 that I keep running, and I'm not a great wrench.
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Old 08-04-2018, 10:12 AM   #14
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There is no such thing as a cheap Porsche , In the end they always get you!
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Old 08-04-2018, 10:23 AM   #15
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If the car sits and the brake fluid doesn't get changed it absorbs more and more water that corrodes the insides of the cylinders, lines and calipers. That's a big red flag for me. Indicates that it just sat with no maintenance. Given that the oil could have been full of acid from short runs.
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Old 08-04-2018, 01:53 PM   #16
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I was told, In by 30k, out by 60k. ymmv..
That's interesting advice. Can you elaborate on the rationale behind it?

I would have said something like get in at 60K and get out by 130K.
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Old 08-05-2018, 06:42 AM   #17
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All of the cautions are reasonable.

Still the car is practically new in mileage. If mileage is a factor, wear should be practically non existent. Things do deteriorate with age, but it's worth throwing $400 for a PPI to get an idea about the car's health and find out what the deal is with the brakes. Most of the brakes are quite suitable for DIY.

And in our local market, the price is quite good. The headlights can be polished. The clearcoat?--oh well stuff happens.

If I were looking for a Boxster, I'd probably buy it. $6 grand means small or nonexistent car payments.
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Old 08-09-2018, 07:48 AM   #18
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am I correct in thinking that if a boxster sits a long time without being driven the engine oil drains completely out of the engine and leaves it open to corrosion inside the engine?
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