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Old 12-23-2018, 09:27 PM   #1
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Would You Be Concerned If . . .

I'm pretty new here. Looking for an early (probably 2001 - 2004 S) Boxster. Have seen and test drove a few. Have also done a lot of reading up and I think I'm somewhat well aware of the common issues facing these cars.

I'm now seriously looking at a 2003 S with about 52k miles. The car has been pretty well maintained. However, the following items have not been addressed/replaced and I wonder -- if you were looking for a used Boxster, would these things concern you:

1 - Water pump
2 - Drive belt
3 - Coolant tank
4 - AOS
5 - MAF Sensor
6 - Ignition switch
7- Cam cover oil leak
8 - IMSB was replaced about 15 months ago (at 46k miles), but the clutch and RMS were not replaced at the time. (I was told that the Porsche dealer that did the IMSB said that the RMS was not leaking and the clutch is fine.)

Which of these should have been replaced preemptively, and which should only have been replaced if they failed (and therefore should not be viewed as a negative by me)?

Also, a Blackstone Oil Analysis was done about a year ago, after the IMSB was replaced, and it passed with flying colors. However, the analysis was done only about 100 miles after the oil was changed. Does that mean that the analysis doesn't carry a lot of weight? Is an oil analysis supposed to be done after the oil has been in the engine for a few thousand miles?

And I should also add that I fully intend on doing a PPI on it before going much further.

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Old 12-23-2018, 09:36 PM   #2
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I purchased a 2004 Boxster S. It came in on a trade and had little to no maintenance history. Did a ppl and afterwards replaced the tires because of road noise. Since I didn’t have any maintence history did the 60k maintenance at 30k. And a few months later did the transmission fluid as I had two codes from the durametric on the tranny. The tranny codes didn’t come back after the fluid change. The serpintine belt was included in the 60k maintenance. Other than that it is a solid driver. As a novice Porsche owner do the pre purchase inspection. Have them check the cam deviations with the durametric tool to see if they are steady or move around (could indicate a IMS issue) and be ready for the 60k service bill.
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Old 12-23-2018, 09:42 PM   #3
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It only has 52k miles, most major parts should have only been replaced if they broke due to age. WP and belt preventative at 60k, rest as they fail. Clearly the owner cared about the car if they are doing oil analysis on it.
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Old 12-23-2018, 10:15 PM   #4
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Cam cover oil leak is not always what it seems. Probably a plug tube, very common and much easier to deal with. As mentioned, I’d consider the WP/coolant but I would monitor for leaks before simply replacing. As far as the other items, replace as necessary. If you buy the car, get the cam cover situation nailed down, do plugs and tubes anyway and drive it till the rubber falls off.
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Old 12-24-2018, 07:31 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoxMann View Post
I'm pretty new here. Looking for an early (probably 2001 - 2004 S) Boxster. Have seen and test drove a few. Have also done a lot of reading up and I think I'm somewhat well aware of the common issues facing these cars.

I'm now seriously looking at a 2003 S with about 52k miles. The car has been pretty well maintained. However, the following items have not been addressed/replaced and I wonder if you were looking for a used Boxster if these things would concern you:

1 - Water pump
2 - Drive belt
3 - Coolant tank
4 - AOS
5 - MAF Sensor
6 - Ignition switch
7- Cam cover oil leak
8 - IMSB was replaced about 15 months ago (at 46k miles), but the clutch and RMS were not replaced at the time. (I was told that the Porsche dealer that did the IMSB said that the RMS was not leaking and the clutch is fine.)

Which of these should have been replaced preemptively, and which should only have been replaced if they failed (and therefore should not be viewed as a negative by me)?

Also, a Blackstone Oil Analysis was done about a year ago, after the IMSB was replaced, and it passed with flying colors. However, the analysis was done only about 100 miles after the oil was changed. Does that mean that the analysis doesn't carry a lot of weight? Is an oil analysis supposed to be done after the oil has been in the engine for a few thousand miles?

And I should also add that I fully intend on doing a PPI on it before going much further.
I bought a 2003 S just like that no PPI no IMSB about 500 KM from my place no records and it's still running. Just buy it if the price is right and forget about all that BS.
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Old 12-24-2018, 07:40 AM   #6
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Do the water pump preemptively.
Then keep an eye on the oil leak, coolant tank and AOS. These items are pretty easy to watch for.
The other stuff isn’t overly critical, at least as I see it.
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Old 12-24-2018, 07:43 AM   #7
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Cam cover oil leak is not always what it seems. Probably a plug tube, very common and much easier to deal with.
A Porsche dealer did the prior PPI and noted the cam cover oil leak. Do you think they could have misdiagnosed it and it was only the plug tube?
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Old 12-24-2018, 08:17 AM   #8
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No. Focus on what has been done.

You could look at Jake Raby's parts list for a total rebuild of a motor and you could get truly paranoid.

You aren't buying a new car with a new car's price. Every used car comes with some degree of risk. (Even new cars do. Ask the new CRV owner who has gas in their oil.)

Have some cash reserve for what could happen, address the items the PPI shows need to be done now. I did and 5 years later I had had one unscheduled maintenance trip. My Accord had 3 times that and twice the expense.
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Old 12-24-2018, 08:33 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoxMann View Post
... if you were looking for a used Boxster, would these things concern you:

1 - Water pump
2 - Drive belt
3 - Coolant tank
4 - AOS
5 - MAF Sensor
6 - Ignition switch
7- Cam cover oil leak
8 - IMSB was replaced about 15 months ago (at 46k miles), but the clutch and RMS were not replaced at the time. (I was told that the Porsche dealer that did the IMSB said that the RMS was not leaking and the clutch is fine.)
Nothing on that list would concern me.

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Which of these should have been replaced preemptively, and which should only have been replaced if they failed (and therefore should not be viewed as a negative by me)?
Call me old school, but I wouldn't do anything except a major service when I get the car home and see what happens from there. You can work items off that list (and others that you discover after owning the car for a bit) over the next couple of years as they come up or as you have time/money.
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Old 12-24-2018, 08:36 AM   #10
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A Porsche dealer did the prior PPI and noted the cam cover oil leak. Do you think they could have misdiagnosed it and it was only the plug tube?
Yes. I had two indie shops and one dealer all say that my oil leak was the cam cover but it turned out to be the plug tubes.

That doesn't mean that its not the cam covers, it just means that oil leaks can often be difficult to accurately diagnose and the shops will tend to give you the worst case scenario.
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Old 12-24-2018, 08:50 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by thstone View Post
Call me old school, but I wouldn't do anything except a major service when I get the car home and see what happens from there. You can work items off that list (and others that you discover after owning the car for a bit) over the next couple of years as they come up or as you have time/money.
I'm with Stone on this. If you were to do everything on that list preemptively, as you suggested, you'll spend a ton, and then become very, very frustrated, because you'll still have a decades-old car that will still give you things that need attention and will cost you some cash.
Enjoy the car, and do these items as they're needed. If you find you're deep into it for a project, see what other things you could save some time and cash on if you do them at that same time. But otherwise: just enjoy the car.

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Old 12-24-2018, 12:39 PM   #12
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Also, if the clutch wasn't replaced and it feels fine when you drive it, it's fine. Depending on how these cars are driven the clutch can last well over 100,000 miles. My transmission has been out 3 times now - IMSB replaced at 42,000 miles, rear main seal at 48,000 miles and now for an engine rebuild at 68,000 miles. The clutch disc, pressure plate and flywheel surface are still in great shape and were both reused the first two times everything came apart. This time the clutch, pressure plate and throwout bearing will all be replaced since the dual mass flywheel has stopped returning, and I figured I might as well start out with everything else new with a rebuilt engine and new flywheel.
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Old 12-24-2018, 01:22 PM   #13
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Also, if the clutch wasn't replaced and it feels fine when you drive it, it's fine. Depending on how these cars are driven the clutch can last well over 100,000 miles.
Well yes, but it could feel fine and then need replacing in 10k miles. My only thought was that since he had everything apart anyway doing the IMSB, why not do the clutch while you're at it, and start with a fresh new clutch. How much does a new clutch replacement cost incrementally if you're already paying for the labor for the IMSB? $600?

BTW, why did you need an engine rebuild?
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Old 12-24-2018, 01:37 PM   #14
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Cam cover oil leak is not always what it seems. Probably a plug tube, very common and much easier to deal with. As mentioned, Id consider the WP/coolant but I would monitor for leaks before simply replacing. As far as the other items, replace as necessary. If you buy the car, get the cam cover situation nailed down, do plugs and tubes anyway and drive it till the rubber falls off.
Note: For model year 2003 and newer, the plastic spark plug tubes were replaced with the metal tubes that only get serviced during engine disassembly.
From the 2003 Boxster Service Information Book - under engine changes:
"The oil protection tubes are now a component part of the valve lifter housing and sealed to the cylinder head cover with formed oil seal rings." (from Pedro's site)
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Old 12-24-2018, 01:48 PM   #15
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Yes. I had two indie shops and one dealer all say that my oil leak was the cam cover but it turned out to be the plug tubes.

That doesn't mean that its not the cam covers, it just means that oil leaks can often be difficult to accurately diagnose and the shops will tend to give you the worst case scenario.
OK, thank you, I was hoping you might say that.
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Old 12-24-2018, 01:51 PM   #16
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Note: For model year 2003 and newer, the plastic spark plug tubes were replaced with the metal tubes that only get serviced during engine disassembly.
From the 2003 Boxster Service Information Book - under engine changes:
"The oil protection tubes are now a component part of the valve lifter housing and sealed to the cylinder head cover with formed oil seal rings." (from Pedro's site)
So, in terms of the reported "cam cover oil leak" on the 2017 PPI, how does that affect things for me? I realize that the new tubes can't be easily replaced on an '03, but does this make it any more or less likely that it's the tubes rather than the cam cover?
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Old 12-24-2018, 02:25 PM   #17
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I just did this in May - additional labor was $350. The dealer let me ship the parts to them which cost ~1,100 including the flywheel, which was worn unevenly iirc. The parts from Porsche would have been ~2,500. So, I agree - if you are 52K (I was at 49K) and you are already in for the labor taking the engine out, it seems prudent to replace them now.
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Old 12-24-2018, 02:30 PM   #18
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I just did this in May - additional labor was $350. The dealer let me ship the parts to them which cost ~1,100 including the flywheel, which was worn unevenly iirc. The parts from Porsche would have been ~2,500. So, I agree - if you are 52K (I was at 49K) and you are already in for the labor taking the engine out, it seems prudent to replace them now.
Gee, I didn't think the clutch parts were that much. My local indy shop with a stellar reputation and in a high cost of living area, quoted me $3,000 for IMSB, RMS and clutch, parts & labor. What you're telling me is that the clutch alone would be close to that. Is a new flywheel part of a normal clutch replacement job?
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Old 12-24-2018, 02:40 PM   #19
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By me, Union Line Garage quoted $3,000 for the RMS and IMS (no clutch) and that was with the LN part at ~900. The cost in my last post was at the Porsche dealer since they were covering the RMS and associated labor. I think the flywheel is an every other clutch item so take out about $650 and you are more like $800 for the clutch if the engine is coming out. Porsche labor rate was $175/hr
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Old 12-24-2018, 02:45 PM   #20
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By me, Union Line Garage quoted $3,000 for the RMS and IMS (no clutch) and that was with the LN part at ~900. The cost in my last post was at the Porsche dealer since they were covering the RMS and associated labor. I think the flywheel is an every other clutch item so take out about $650 and you are more like $800 for the clutch if the engine is coming out. Porsche labor rate was $175/hr
That's more in line with what I thought.

BTW, beautiful SE you have there !!

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