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Old 05-23-2014, 06:11 PM   #1
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Buying a 986 - Advice Needed

I have been reading these forums and finally decided to join. For years I've been wanting to experience the thrill of driving and owning a Porsche. Luckily for me, I am the position to buy.
My budget is 10K (11K if it's absolutely necessary)

I wanted your opinion on the route I should take. The way I see it, I can take two routes:
1. I can buy a base model at a very low price of about 6-7K and spend the rest of the money on upgrades. This would include taking preventative action and replacing the IMS, RMS, and Oil Seperators... Maybe even some aesthetic ones such as the CGT Headlight Retrofit done by ParticleWave. I have my eye on a few 97 & 98's to be exact. Two of them are one owner vehicles in arctic silver with the red leather interior and 65K miles. The other is in guards red with a tan interior and 130K miles(I can get this one for about $5,750).
2. I can get an "S" model or a very very clean base. I've seen a couple 2000's in this price range however none of them have had the IMS replaced. Specifically there is a 2002 Boxster S in arctic silver with 110K miles going for 10K, and another in guards red with 117K miles for 12K(If I can get him down to 10-11K it would be the ideal one for me as it is configured exactly how I want it).

I know the IMS failure only affected about 5% of these cars, and that a car over 40K is most likely fine at this point. This is not going to scare me away from purchasing a boxster. That being said, having those fixes done would give me peace of mind, as I'm sure most of you will agree.

PS. The reason why I'm stressing a little too much over this decision is that I live in El Paso, TX. There are no boxsters for sale within a 100mi. radius. Therefore whatever I buy, I will be driving it 400+ miles home or have to ship it(If it's below my 10-11K budget). I would hate to purchase my first Porsche and have something go wrong on the drive home... I would love to hear ya'lls thoughts.

Thank you, I appreciate the help.

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Old 05-23-2014, 07:13 PM   #2
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Buy an AZ or CA car. little or no rust or suspension rubber deterioration compared with everywhere else. Find a car that has been well cared for, preferably with a folder full of maintenance receipts. At 100k miles, clutch, shocks, and IMS are probably due.

I drive a 98 2.5 car and over 9 years of ownership, it has been well maintained and very reliable. In your shoes I would buy one again, or an S model if it was a well cared for sweetie. Car condition is more important to me than features or price at 100k miles.
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Old 05-26-2014, 05:07 PM   #3
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The one owners with 65k sound interesting, and the silver/red combo looks amazing. A lot of them seem to have the hardtop too which is a huge plus.

With one owner there is a chance of good service records (after all they could afford the new $$$$ price) and could be less likely to defer maintenance. Also the earlier ones have the dual row ims.

A thorough PPI is a must, and from a reputable shop. Ask here for recommendations for local shops. Optional: (and more optional with a 1 owner with full service history) In my opinion you should strongly consider paying a little extra for compression and leak down test, and to inspect the oil filter and maybe even drop the sump. It is the best few hundred you can spend.

Good luck! Road trip!

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Old 05-26-2014, 05:39 PM   #4
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I want to thank you both for your quick responses.
Pulling useful bits from both posts, I am happy to say that I think I have found my car.
It is in Austin, Tx. 2001 Base in Arctic Silver on a Black interior. It has 100K miles but it was purchased as Porsche CPO vehicle and has been with the same owner since then(PCA member).
The owner has a whole binder full of records and the car appears to be in pristine condition.

On top of this vehicle being mechanically perfect it comes with some very nice aesthetic options/upgrades:
Full Leather Interior
18" Sport Design Wheels
OEM Tail light upgrade (2004 Look)
OEM Headlight upgrade (2004 Look)
And much much more... No option was un checked when the first owner ordered this vehicle.

The vehicle is on the upper end of my budget but I am more than happy to pay a small premium for such an amazing machine!
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Old 05-26-2014, 08:47 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reddy Head View Post
I want to thank you both for your quick responses.
Pulling useful bits from both posts, I am happy to say that I think I have found my car.
It is in Austin, Tx. 2001 Base in Arctic Silver on a Black interior. It has 100K miles but it was purchased as Porsche CPO vehicle and has been with the same owner since then(PCA member).
The owner has a whole binder full of records and the car appears to be in pristine condition.

On top of this vehicle being mechanically perfect it comes with some very nice aesthetic options/upgrades:
Full Leather Interior
18" Sport Design Wheels
OEM Tail light upgrade (2004 Look)
OEM Headlight upgrade (2004 Look)
And much much more... No option was un checked when the first owner ordered this vehicle.
.
The vehicle is on the upper end of my budget but I am more than happy to pay a small premium for such an amazing machine!
Sounds pretty good - but don't skip the PPI- by someone who knows boxsters.
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Old 05-27-2014, 04:36 AM   #6
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Sounds pretty good - but don't skip the PPI- by someone who knows boxsters.
Agreed. You mentioned you were looking out of town, go to pcarshops.com and see who is in that area, and/or post here with the name of the town; somebody here will know a good shop.
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Old 05-27-2014, 10:13 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reddy Head View Post
I have been reading these forums and finally decided to join. For years I've been wanting to experience the thrill of driving and owning a Porsche. Luckily for me, I am the position to buy.
My budget is 10K (11K if it's absolutely necessary)

I wanted your opinion on the route I should take. The way I see it, I can take two routes:
1. I can buy a base model at a very low price of about 6-7K and spend the rest of the money on upgrades. This would include taking preventative action and replacing the IMS, RMS, and Oil Seperators... Maybe even some aesthetic ones such as the CGT Headlight Retrofit done by ParticleWave. I have my eye on a few 97 & 98's to be exact. Two of them are one owner vehicles in arctic silver with the red leather interior and 65K miles. The other is in guards red with a tan interior and 130K miles(I can get this one for about $5,750).
2. I can get an "S" model or a very very clean base. I've seen a couple 2000's in this price range however none of them have had the IMS replaced. Specifically there is a 2002 Boxster S in arctic silver with 110K miles going for 10K, and another in guards red with 117K miles for 12K(If I can get him down to 10-11K it would be the ideal one for me as it is configured exactly how I want it).

I know the IMS failure only affected about 5% of these cars, and that a car over 40K is most likely fine at this point. This is not going to scare me away from purchasing a boxster. That being said, having those fixes done would give me peace of mind, as I'm sure most of you will agree.

PS. The reason why I'm stressing a little too much over this decision is that I live in El Paso, TX. There are no boxsters for sale within a 100mi. radius. Therefore whatever I buy, I will be driving it 400+ miles home or have to ship it(If it's below my 10-11K budget). I would hate to purchase my first Porsche and have something go wrong on the drive home... I would love to hear ya'lls thoughts.

Thank you, I appreciate the help.
If you are going to get a PPI in Austin, TPWS is a good one. I have talked to them numerous times. They are very knowledgable and friendly. I hear good things about them. I have not had them do any work yet since I do lots of my own work. But, for the big things they will get the nod.
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Old 05-29-2014, 12:56 PM   #8
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I was on pcarshop.com today and the closest service center to the vehicle is "Eurotech Car Care Center". Does anyone have any experience with them or know anyone who has?

Or would it be a worthy endeavor to try and convince the owner to let me, or have him, take the car a further distance to TPWS? As always, thank you for the advice.
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Old 05-30-2014, 05:52 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Reddy Head View Post
I was on pcarshop.com today and the closest service center to the vehicle is "Eurotech Car Care Center". Does anyone have any experience with them or know anyone who has?

Or would it be a worthy endeavor to try and convince the owner to let me, or have him, take the car a further distance to TPWS? As always, thank you for the advice.
Eurotech Car Care Center is in Killeen, not really close to Austin. Killeen is not likely to have many Boxster owners either. I thought the car was in Austin?
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Old 05-30-2014, 06:50 AM   #10
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Reddy, I was in the same situation in 2004 when I bought mine. Buy a base and fix it up or wait and save up and buy a newer S model. I bought the base 97...

I so wish I had waited 3-4 years to purchase a pre-owned 2003 S model (bigger motor, glass rear window, glove box, better interior, better overall quality of car, lower miles)

I would have enjoyed it a LOT more and it took me nearly 3 years to get all the crap sorted out on the older base model and I'm still not satisfied with the straight line performance of the base motor, which is just about all you'll be using the car for in flat hot humid El Paso Texas.

Think about it.
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Old 05-30-2014, 06:54 AM   #11
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What had happened was that a few hours after posting when I was ready to confirm with the owner, it had been sold... Just my luck.

Now I'm going up to take a look at a 2002 Boxster S in Killeen, and at a quick glance of the map I honestly thought it was still the Austin area. From my understanding it is just north of Round Rock.
I apologize for not being more specific.

Along with this Boxster I plan on taking a look at a 2002 base in San Antonio. I figured I would have already driven 6-7 hours anyway so might as well take a look at others within a close radius around Austin. There are a few others in the area that I would look at but those two are first on my list.

It's amazing me how quick these cars get sold in the summer, so far I have had 3 I had been watching get sold within a week of entering the market. My approach has shifted a little from only considering the ones with all the options I wanted, to just being willing to pounce on a good example without everything I wanted.

Last edited by Reddy Head; 05-30-2014 at 08:23 AM.
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Old 05-30-2014, 07:08 AM   #12
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Thank you for sharing your experience.

Ideally, I would love to get an S model, for the same reason that you mentioned. El Paso, Texas does have long flat roads with exception of one mountain road with all the fun corners and twists.

However, as this would be my first car I don't really have much to compare it to, so I think even a base model will be little quicker than most things I've driven with exception of my brother's Lexus 350is. (I'm 17)

^^ I know some of the people here will be saying I have no business getting a Porsche as my first car... but lets just say I got an early start in the IT Sector and I will be paying for the car, not my parents. In addition, I know how to operate a manual transmission, so no worries about me beating the car to death.
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Old 05-30-2014, 07:39 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Muzzle of Bees View Post
If you are going to get a PPI in Austin, TPWS is a good one. I have talked to them numerous times. They are very knowledgable and friendly. I hear good things about them. I have not had them do any work yet since I do lots of my own work. But, for the big things they will get the nod.
Make sure one of their "real" mechanics does the PPI.

When I sold my S last year -- the buyer took it to TPWS and frankly they did a crap job of things.

I had a SACH's stage 1 clutch in there, which means great for performance but
a heavy pedal.

They claimed it needed a new clutch. When I asked them how they inspected it,
they main mechanic said the owner's son did the PPI and that he typically just
presses the clutch in and if it doesn't feel right that they claim it is bad. Had they known
it had an aftermarket clutch they wouldn't have reported it bad.

Note the "mechanic" that did the PPI never drove it -- this head mechanic had
driven it back to the lift and back.

I asked that since they now know that the test was flawed would they update the report. They refused to do it.

That buyer backed out (understandably) and another snatched it up the next day,
having the opportunity to actually drive it themselves (and paid asking price).

Unless you get a compression check and leak down -- the PPI from TPWS appeared
to be little more than cosmetic/externally obvious issues. They did find a cracked coolant reservoir,
which I already knew about and had disclosed.

Fortunately, I do all my own work -- or have a friend/mechanic who does it when I don't have time. Based on this limited experience -- I wasn't impressed with TPWS.

However, I have other Porsche friends that have been pleased, but they had "work" done, not just a PPI.

YMMV,

Mike
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Last edited by seningen; 05-30-2014 at 07:45 AM.
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Old 05-30-2014, 08:22 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RandallNeighbour View Post
Reddy, I was in the same situation in 2004 when I bought mine. Buy a base and fix it up or wait and save up and buy a newer S model. I bought the base 97...

I so wish I had waited 3-4 years to purchase a pre-owned 2003 S model (bigger motor, glass rear window, glove box, better interior, better overall quality of car, lower miles)

I would have enjoyed it a LOT more and it took me nearly 3 years to get all the crap sorted out on the older base model and I'm still not satisfied with the straight line performance of the base motor, which is just about all you'll be using the car for in flat hot humid El Paso Texas.

Think about it.
Did another search right now and came across this Boxster:
1999 Guards Red 48K going for $10,944

Used 1999 Porsche Boxster For Sale in Houston, TX | Stock: TXU624166

It is in Houston, I was wondering if you have seen the car before?

Maybe I am being too cautious but for such low mileage the gear shift lever seems to be significantly more worn than some cars that I have seen with 100K miles... Let me know what you think.

P.S. Sorry for posting so much, I am heading out this sunday to see the cars and I want to have a solid plan of action. I will be staying in the Austin area from Sunday - Wednesday.
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Old 05-30-2014, 08:58 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Reddy Head View Post
Did another search right now and came across this Boxster:
1999 Guards Red 48K going for $10,944

Used 1999 Porsche Boxster For Sale in Houston, TX | Stock: TXU624166

It is in Houston, I was wondering if you have seen the car before?

Maybe I am being too cautious but for such low mileage the gear shift lever seems to be significantly more worn than some cars that I have seen with 100K miles... Let me know what you think.

P.S. Sorry for posting so much, I am heading out this sunday to see the cars and I want to have a solid plan of action. I will be staying in the Austin area from Sunday - Wednesday.

There's a white on grey 2000 w/75K asking $10k in Dripping Springs on CL

no affiliation.

BTW, I may have said it before -- I don't like the 99's due to block/heads casting issues. Doesn't make other years immune, but the 99's seem to have a higher propensity to this
issue since the aluminum castings were outsourced.

Mike
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Last edited by seningen; 05-30-2014 at 09:01 AM.
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Old 05-30-2014, 09:00 AM   #16
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There's a white on grey 2000 w/75K miles in Dripping Springs on CL
no affiliation.
Mike
"Honey... I bought a dripping springs car..."
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Old 05-30-2014, 09:12 AM   #17
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"Honey... I bought a dripping springs car..."
This 1 in Radiator Springs looks nice, & I think it likes me!


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Old 05-30-2014, 09:13 AM   #18
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"Honey... I bought a dripping springs car..."
Hahaha, I'm assuming I should avoid that area? :P

White is definitely not my first choice of color. Also I don't think the grey interior adds enough contrast TBH... But nonetheless the car appears to be well taken care of.
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Old 05-30-2014, 09:19 AM   #19
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I live in Houston.

If that car was left top down in our heat and humidity all the time the interior could indeed look that shabby.

I would not buy the Houston car on the assumption that if someone cared that little about the interior, they probably cared just as little about maintenance, preventative maintenance, and needed repairs (worn suspension parts, etc.).
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Old 05-30-2014, 02:53 PM   #20
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Hahaha, I'm assuming I should avoid that area? :P

White is definitely not my first choice of color. Also I don't think the grey interior adds enough contrast TBH... But nonetheless the car appears to be well taken care of.
You want contrast -- should have bought mine last year :-)



Midnight blue exterior.

My wife had a really nice White over Deep Green full leather -- I liked it.

Mike

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