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Old 07-18-2008, 09:44 AM   #1
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3.6 motor swap into 986 base or only S?

I am shopping for a boxster. I am NOT looking to do a motor swap - NOW.

but I am considering buying a newer car that is CPO - and AVOIDING any motor issues out of MY pocket...but I'll spend more money.

Another option is to find a 986 car that I like - get it CHEAP, and drive it like I stole it - for as long as the car holds together....and just KNOW that if/when it blows up, I will get a big nasty bill for a new motor - BUT when I do have to do the motor, I can spend the money to install a bigger more powerful engine.

My question is this: what kind of motors are you all putting into the 986 cars? Is it a 911 engine? does it essentially drop right in within minimal problems or is it a major nightmare install that has to go to some custom shop? or the dealer could do it?

ALso - are there different choices as to what motor to put INTO the car and does it make a difference WHAT kind of car I have as to WHAT motor I can put in down the road when I upgrade?

Like if I have a 986 BASE vs a 986 S - does it affect what engine I can or cannot put into the car? one will have a 5 speed, one a 6 speed - does it then affect it?

essentially - if I can find a 986 that I like - I might be able to get it pretty cheap, and then just bank the money I save into an account and figure whenever the motor grenads - then i'll pay and get a mch more powerful engine..

I"m assuming a 986 wiht a 3.6 must scream. but I honestly don't know how much hp that engine has - and my bigger questio - is should I be focusing on a certain YEAR or MODEL of 986 so I have MORE or BETTER options open to me if/when I ever have to upgrade the engine???

thanks.
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Old 07-18-2008, 04:57 PM   #2
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A 911 engine can be swapped in and that's what most people do that swap. The 911 engine is essentially the same engine as the boxster just bigger internally , meaning just a bigger bore or longer stroke or both. Externally they are the same size so swapping one in isn't a space issue. As long as you keep the ECM or engine computer consistent then the swap is pretty straight forward. The boxster and 911 went through a few ECM changes and variocam changes over the years. A 3.6L engine has 320ish hp btw. Here is a quick breakdown on what boxster goes with what 911 engine in general, but you can make any combo work with the right ECM swap and enough $$$.

Bosch motronic 5.2 ECM 97-99 boxster = 1999 3.4 911 engine
Bosch Motronic 7.2 2000-2002 base boxster and S swap in 2000-2001 3.4L e-gas 911 engine
Bosch 7.8 motronic 2003- to present boxster base or S swap in either 3.6L or 3.8L engine.

This is a basic breakdown, and I'm no expert, but this is what I've learned on here.
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Last edited by Adam; 07-18-2008 at 05:18 PM.
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Old 07-18-2008, 08:44 PM   #3
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Horsepower - Man's best friend!

Mr. VC,

Adam is right, up to the 987 platform, in which it is most practical to put a 997 motor-ie. the 3.8L, due to variocam and wiring harness issues (that can be hacked according to some members).

If you want to add more horsepower in the future, I would suggest getting the S model to start with. You get better brakes and better handling, which will definitely complement the added power. While the boxsters are quick by most standards, I get the biggest kick out of the G-force performance of its balance and responsiveness.

I had a 3.6L X51 "Power Kit option" motor dropped into my 2003 S by the folks at RUF. The motor, shipped from the Porsche factory, has output of 355 hp. With RUF's intake, headers, sport cats, muffler, and GT3 ecu the output is higher, but the RUF folks are modest and do not give an estimate for the increased output.

I can tell you this, The )$(*&% is FAAST! I just use the beast for canyon and pass runs here in the rockies. Mostly before the bears wake up. I am glad I started with an S, it is a fantastic sportscar.

Good Luck,
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Old 07-18-2008, 10:50 PM   #4
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Ike that is an amazing automobile. I only wish I could afford one...
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Old 07-19-2008, 06:44 AM   #5
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Possibilities

FDude,

I took me 'til I was 50 to afford this car and upgrade. I've lived in a singlewide, driven a Civic, eaten beans, ....and socked away the sheckles until I could retire.

You can do it too. Watch Dave Ramsey on FBN, and take his personal finance message to heart. You too can do it.

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Old 07-19-2008, 08:31 AM   #6
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Ike that is incredible!! Pictures are great. My lil bro lives in Tellurude and I just got back from there. Absolutely love the rockies....

In all seriousness, what does something like that run? please pm me. Thx, Jon
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Old 07-21-2008, 10:29 AM   #7
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thanks for the info.

part of why i ask - is that *IF* I do get a used boxster, and I just "accept" that i might get an IMS failure and need a new motor - I can know what my options will be.

what is the general cost - to get one of these large motors put in?

lets say I don't go crazy and get a RUF motor - but just go to the dealer and say "put in the newer engine from the 911".

is it going to cost me a lot more than what it would cost to put in the same boxster engine? my dad is offering to sell me his 2000 base. it has the 2.7 motor with 73k miles. i coudl pick it up pretty cheap - like 13-14k. if i drove that around for a year or two, and it made it that far - i'd either get my "money's worth out of it" and eventually sell it - or I'd wind up another victim of IMS failure and have to put in a motor.

if I were to take that car, walk into the porsche dealer and get a quote for either the same 2.7 motor OR the larger 911 egnine - is it basically the same cost? can the dealer put in the larger 911 engine? or do I pay big time through the nose to "upgrade" to the larger engine and do I have to find custom shops to do it?

do you get any kind of warranty on these porsche motors? are they truly NEW or are they rebuilds?

i can imagine a boxster that weighs around 2900-3000 lbs would be a frickin rocket with a 300+ hp motor.

from my quick research, it looks like the 3.4L 911 motor that would go into a 2000 base Boxster - is rated at 300 hp, 258lb torque. that's pretty powerful...but any more so than a new boxster S? i don't think so...so I"m guessing that for tha tminey, essentially my 2000 boxster would perform similarly to a new boxster S....in terms of raw acceleration... excpet my car would have a 5 speed, not a 6.

is that good or bad - to have a 5 speed that was meant to go with a 2.7 mated up to a large rmore powerful motor vs having the S's 6 speed??


does all that power upset the balance of the car? like others have said - the balance of the car is what is so fun. when I drive my dad's car, it's only rated at 217 hp. it feels quick, but by no means is it "FAST". but when an onramp comes up, or a set of twisties - OMFG. the combo of 18s, M030, and balance - the thing is FLAT, and just goes through the turns like nothign I"ve ever driven before. it is literally glued to the road...i love it. i'd hate to make the car into some spin out prone type of car because the power overwhelmed the car..

or does the car drive just the same, only way faster.

Last edited by 23109VC; 07-21-2008 at 10:42 AM.
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Old 07-21-2008, 10:39 AM   #8
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I think that you expecting an IMS or RMS faliure at 100%. I hope you're not too dissapointed if you run into a good model, drive the heck out of it only to find that the motor holds up fine. There are many members here that have very reliable engines as well. At that point you might be stuck with the question, do I go ahead and do engine swap anyway since my engine looks like it won't blow up. whatever engine you get, you should still have a big grin on your face.
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Old 07-21-2008, 03:35 PM   #9
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i think you misread the intent of my thread.

I am actually hoping that I find a boxster that DOES NOT blow up. I want to find a nice clean car and drive it - and enjoy it - stock.

I was just wondering - since i have read of failures - if there was some year/model that would prevent someone from upgrading to a better motor - if when it failed. just so I wouldn't have a choice between say a 2000 and 2001 that I liked equally - only to later find out that the 2000 can't get upgrded but 2001 models were great for swapping in a larger engine..

what I have found out is that it doesn't really matter.

so I can shop for any 986 and know that IF I buy one - and IF I was unfortuante enough to have an engine problem and I had to replace it - I could buy a bigger/faster engine if I wanted to.

i honestly would love nothig more than to spend a modest sum, get a nice clean base 986 and just enjoy it. I'd be happy with that..don't even need an S.

the sound of that engine is musical.
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Old 07-21-2008, 05:00 PM   #10
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Just a rough guess, but i'd say if you did want to swap in a 911 engine instead of just another 2.7L the difference in price would probbaly be 5-10k. Remember the newer boxsters have gained some weight too, so a 2000 boxster with a 3.4L should be a tad faster than a new 2008 S with a 3.4L as well.
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Old 07-25-2008, 04:27 AM   #11
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Hey Ike, can you give a rough estimate in $ how much RUF charged to put the x51 into your car?

I caught the power bug .. bad .. and I need help.
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Old 07-25-2008, 06:22 AM   #12
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I will let you know next week!

Further details to follow but let us just say that 500 is a good sounding number.
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Old 07-25-2008, 06:38 AM   #13
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I think someone on the board has a roller they might be willing to part with, then you can go ahead and dump whatever you want in it now and still walk away pretty cheap.

I don't remember who, but you could find it easy enough with a quick search.
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Old 07-25-2008, 07:11 AM   #14
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Here is a good deal on a 3.4

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/PORSCHE-911-3-4-MOTOR-NO-RESERVE_W0QQitemZ270258926568QQcmdZViewItem?hash=i tem270258926568&_trksid=p3286.m14.l1318
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Old 07-28-2008, 06:16 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 23109VC
thanks for the info.

part of why i ask - is that *IF* I do get a used boxster, and I just "accept" that i might get an IMS failure and need a new motor - I can know what my options will be.

what is the general cost - to get one of these large motors put in?

you are looking at anywhere from 3-10K for the engine, with the low end being a used 2.7 to the 10K being a pristine rebuilt 3.6... then you can add anywhere from 20-50+ hours of shop time depending on the engine and what has to be done to make it work... you can then add another 2K for misc. stuff if you are doing a 911 swap....


lets say I don't go crazy and get a RUF motor - but just go to the dealer and say "put in the newer engine from the 911". Ruf swaps are VERY expensive... A simple 3.4 swap into a 986 will probably run you 20+K

is it going to cost me a lot more than what it would cost to put in the same boxster engine? my dad is offering to sell me his 2000 base. it has the 2.7 motor with 73k miles. i coudl pick it up pretty cheap - like 13-14k. if i drove that around for a year or two, and it made it that far - i'd either get my "money's worth out of it" and eventually sell it - or I'd wind up another victim of IMS failure and have to put in a motor. Any 911 swap is going to cost you much more... a 3.4 swap into any 986 up to 01 will not be that much more, but you can count on having to buy headers and other misc on top of the rest... if you go the 3.6 route into a 02+ it would be the same... the reason for this is electronics... if you try to mix those engines and years (e.g. 3.6 into a 99) then you are looking at switching from a 7.2 to a 7.8 Motronic... thats not an easy task, and many shops will not even try.

if I were to take that car, walk into the porsche dealer and get a quote for either the same 2.7 motor OR the larger 911 egnine - is it basically the same cost? can the dealer put in the larger 911 engine? or do I pay big time through the nose to "upgrade" to the larger engine and do I have to find custom shops to do it? big time through the nose at a custom shop... and odds are that shop wont be that close to you..... I wouldn't even start to pay dealer price anyways.... you could always try to do the swap yourself....... like i have

do you get any kind of warranty on these porsche motors? are they truly NEW or are they rebuilds? the 3.4 and 3.6 you find are rebuilt by porsche... others are just pulled from junkers.... the rebuilt engines have some kind of warranty, but Ive never bought one

i can imagine a boxster that weighs around 2900-3000 lbs would be a frickin rocket with a 300+ hp motor.

from my quick research, it looks like the 3.4L 911 motor that would go into a 2000 base Boxster - is rated at 300 hp, 258lb torque. that's pretty powerful...but any more so than a new boxster S? i don't think so...so I"m guessing that for tha tminey, essentially my 2000 boxster would perform similarly to a new boxster S....in terms of raw acceleration... excpet my car would have a 5 speed, not a 6. Actually the older boxster would be considerably quicker given it weighs a few hundred pounds less and the close ratio of the 5 speed when compared to that of the 6 speed

is that good or bad - to have a 5 speed that was meant to go with a 2.7 mated up to a large rmore powerful motor vs having the S's 6 speed?? Thats debatable, but Ive never heard of a 5-speed going out after a swap... but the 6speed is more powerful... a guy in australia is running the same unit mated to a MKI GT3 engine... and Tholyoak is running a 5-speed mated to a 3.6x51


does all that power upset the balance of the car? like others have said - the balance of the car is what is so fun. when I drive my dad's car, it's only rated at 217 hp. it feels quick, but by no means is it "FAST". but when an onramp comes up, or a set of twisties - OMFG. the combo of 18s, M030, and balance - the thing is FLAT, and just goes through the turns like nothign I"ve ever driven before. it is literally glued to the road...i love it. i'd hate to make the car into some spin out prone type of car because the power overwhelmed the car..

or does the car drive just the same, only way faster. Of course its going to change how the car drives... it emphasizes the boxster;s need for a LSD, but the cars balance, turn in, and grip will not change.... its only putting more power down that matters... also if you are seriously going to run a early boxster at the track with a big 911 swap, you should upgrade to 986S brakes

Hope that helps
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Old 07-28-2008, 10:30 AM   #16
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Question Big Power & Fine Balance?

Hey Sportsfans,

My opinion as to your question of Boxster Balance (mightyfine) after my power upgrade to 355+HP:

Balance

The nice static balance is hardly changed at all. The new engine is very close to the same weight. The low center of gravity mid engine configuration is intact. The Boxster S drive train is able to put the extra power to the ground strong and smoothly, no hop, chatter, or twist. This is not adding a 327 to a Vega Adding a girlfriend can upset the balance more.

Driver Input

There is the matter of Driver Input though. With more power available, the course of the car can be altered around the apex by exceeding the rear tires' ability to grip the road surface. The rear tires have to grip under both the forward (hammerdown) and lateral (oh $*# guardrail) forces. Crudely, the butt can step out if you mash it in a hard turn. Again, this is not a balance issue to me, but a driver input. This is a skill that is so fun to learn, potentially disasterous if in error.

Better Balance under Power

Better tires can increase the overall balance under power. I have a suspension upgrade that lowers the center of gravity, supresses body roll and tends to keep the inside tires with stronger contact, improving the "balance" under power and lateral loads. For the same reasons, the stock S model is better than the base model under these conditions.

The addition of a Limited Slip Differential &/or Traction Control can keep the rear tires in better contact under power, hence better balance. I will defer to the true gearheads of this forum as to the availability of these options on the 986-7. A great illustration of this interaction between balance and power could be seen when F1 eliminated traction control this year!

My power lunch is up, its back to the shed for me.

Hasta,
Ike
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Old 07-28-2008, 12:44 PM   #17
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Will the Boxster tranny stand up to a 3.8L upgrade?
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Old 07-28-2008, 04:57 PM   #18
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Will the Boxster tranny stand up to a 3.8L upgrade?
I know the 6spd boxster S tranny will. I think the 5 spd tranny will to, but I don't know that for a fact.
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Old 08-10-2008, 07:20 PM   #19
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The 6-speed is a stouter box, but plenty of guys are running around on 5-speeds with bigger motors. Adding an LSD would certainly be nice, though.

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Old 08-12-2008, 07:13 PM   #20
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I have a 1998 Boxster with a 3.6 with a 2.5 liter tranny. The gearing is too low for my tastes so I usually start out in second.
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