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Old 06-09-2013, 06:13 PM   #1
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2nd engine failure 2500miles later.

Hi guys, I have a 2003 base Boxster with 39,000 miles. Last summer I had a valve-train failure. The top end was rebuilt with new oil pumps lifters, lifter body, camshaft. After diag, repair, re and re it came to $13k after tax. Other things were done like clutch, RMS and imsb.

I put 1000 miles on it last fall after the repair. Pulled it out this spring an have been enjoying the car with no problems. A few weeks ago I was on a spirited drive with my local shop. Was driving pretty enthusiastically to keep up to the higher Hp cars but nothing excessive. In 3rd gear under full throttle at about 5000 rpm the was a clunk and stutter, clutch in and by the time I got to a stop the engine was dead and smoking.

I went to get it checked out locally and read p1341 inlet camshaft bank 1 fault. I was thinking it was something in the last rebuild that failed. I loaded it onto the trailer and towed it 4+hours down to the shop that rebuilt it. They dropped the oil pan and saw that I had two broken connecting rods.

He thinks it may be a D chunk failure but do not know until or if we disassemble. Any other ideas?

No warranty since it was not on the parts they replaced. They do have a Cayman S engine with 60,000 miles on it. They pulled it out to build a race car and now have it laying around the shop.

I have spent lots of time researching for prices of used Cayman engines but have come up pretty dry. Also is there much in the way of modifications needed for the swap or is it pretty straightforward? What do you think I should be paying for a 60k engine?

I think it would be really cool to have 70hp bump, but will I just be looking at more headaches and bills down the road?

Would the newer and more powerful engine increase the value of my car? Or decrease it because it has higher miles?

What would the car be worth with the broken engine. 2003 40k mi in awesome condition in and out?

Lots of questions, but if people can help me out with any of them, it would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Brad

The last picture of her intact.

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Old 06-09-2013, 07:47 PM   #2
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Oh man that is a sad story. I am truly sorry about your circumstances. There is a guy near you I believe who is the guru of engine swaps. Tod Holyoke is his name and if you search around on te forum you will be able to find him. He can answer all of your questions. Fwiw perfect lap has a 3.6 rebuild that he was selling for 14 k. It is complete and should make 300hp. That's the way I would go. Good luck.
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Old 06-10-2013, 09:51 AM   #3
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I think I may have seen your car around town this spring. Looks really good. Really unfortunate that such a mint car has had such engine problems. Hope you can get it back on the road soon.

Did this happen on the MW spring run? I wanted to attend with my 986S but had other commitments that day.
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Old 06-10-2013, 10:57 AM   #4
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Thanks guys. The 3.6 would be pretty awesome, I will try to contact Tod.

It did happen on the MW drive. Too bad you couldn't make it out, but I hope to see you at the next one July 14!
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Old 06-10-2013, 11:43 AM   #5
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That is a truly sickening story.

I'd say that your car, as nice as it is, is worth no more than about $5K US in a non running state.

Ouch.
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Old 06-10-2013, 11:59 AM   #6
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Thumbs up

I feel your pain- I've also had some unusual problems with my car but they were the mechanics fault and not Porsches and weren't as severe as yours. There's been a base engine for sale on CR-VAN lately. I think a long-time Porsche mech. from N Van has it and it has rebuilt heads-$3600) I think it's a 2.7. The ad said he could install. Maybe all you need is a short block? than again a 3.6 sure might turn 2 negatives into a positive! It doesn't sound like you want out of the car yet.
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Old 06-10-2013, 12:09 PM   #7
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oops, not perfectlap, but PROdriver has the rebuild. i did a quick search...

http://986forum.com/forums/boxster-parts-sale-wanted/33609-boxster-3-6-rebuilt-engine.html

might be easier to talk to PROdriver as i think todd holyoak is hit or miss on the forum these days.

fwiw, 14k for a rebuild by a raby trained technician is a good deal. a 3.6 has got to pull like a train. i think PROdriver has one in his dd. maybe you can fly in and try one out first before pulling the trigger.

good luck...

brad
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Old 06-10-2013, 12:16 PM   #8
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of course RABY builds 4.0's for something like $20-22 000. Now that would be something REAL special and represents one extreme.
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Old 06-10-2013, 01:31 PM   #9
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Well, I like my Boxster, but have to admit that if my engine had a meltdown I'd probably put the 13K in to a replacement Boxster. Or if I were seriously attached to it - has never happened on any car I've owned in the past - that I'd bit the bullet and send it off to Jake for the best street engine (not track) I could afford. I might even ask about some additional balancing options for higher RPM/longevity reasons rather than power.
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Old 06-10-2013, 01:58 PM   #10
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well, I've driven a box with a 3.6 and a box with a 3.2 and the 3.6 does have more power but uncertain if it has $10k more power.

your car is a 2003 which means it has a Bosch 7.8 computer in it. this gives you a lot of versatility and options as per this page:

http://www.pelicanparts.com/techarticles/Boxster_Tech/11-ENGINE-911_Engine_Swap/11-ENGINE-911_Engine_Swap.htm

this gets you a 3.4 cayman (no sense going to anything smaller) or a 3.6/3.8 911. the cayman engine is hard to price as there are not a lot out there. a quick trip to ebay doesn't show any:

http://www.ebay.com/sch/Complete-Engines-/33615/i.html?_from=R40&_vxp=mtr&_nkw=porsche+3.4

a 911 engine is anywhere from $7.5k to $15k. so, find out what the shop is asking for their motor; $5 would be a deal, $7.5k is more likely, and anything more is a rip-off. ps, prices in Canada tend to be higher as porsches cost more up here.

otherwise, a cayman engine should be relatively plug and play. I *think* the intake on the cayman sits a bit higher (the cayman has a taller engine cover) but the shop can address this with spacers and different motor mounts that lower the whole assembly. you should also install the 's' third radiator, which means a new front bumper cover and paint (or hack your existing cover). regardless, I don't think you are adding any value to the car by doing this, so think: $5k roller + $7.5k engine + $2.5k third rad + $5k install = $20k; is a 2003 base boxster hotrod worth $20k? just about in our market, but if anything costs more than what I've listed you might want to think about selling your roller and getting into a 987.

Last edited by The Radium King; 06-10-2013 at 02:14 PM.
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Old 06-10-2013, 09:17 PM   #11
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You guys are all awesome thanks for the great advice.

dghii $5k is what I was thinking.

woodsman Thanks for the CL find, I just sent him an email to find out more, the location could not be much better as the car is in Van right now.

Don't get me dreaming about a 4.0 or the built 3.6. I now wish I did that last time around!

You are right not quite ready to let the car go but maybe... I am only 20 but have owned 8 different cars and dont usually get attached. Most cars kept 6months max with no attachment but this is my third summer with this Boxster, it keeps beating me but I keep coming back.

sgt brad Thanks for the link, that looks like a really impressive build and looks like it would haul and hold together. I think it might be a little over budget for me. I do like the idea of the test drive though.

AKnowles I am thinking of selling the shell and moving on, but a built motor would make me fall in love with the car again and want to keep it forever. I need to do some number crunching and also decide what I want.

The Radium King I have not had a chance to drive any boxster but my own but on numbers alone I agree with the 3.2,3.4 vs 3.6.

Thanks for the links, I was told that the newer management system allowed more options.

I liked the idea of the cayman engine as it is more plug and play like you say.

I talked to the mechanic today and he said $10k for the engine and that was giving me a "deal". My local mechanic was thinking $15+ so I was happyish. But I will need to see if there is some more room in there as I thought it was a little high.

Install $2200 ish

Custom tune $1200ish

Total $13k+

That was better news then I was expecting.

I agree with your numbers and calculations, install ended up being bit cheaper but engine more. I thought about the 3rd radiator but did not discuss, that would be another expense.

The mechanic is going to look into it some more, I want to make sure we don't come across any surprises or modifications needed and blow the budget or I would have just sold the roller.

I would love to have a hotrod Boxster and it would be a bit of a sleeper.

I need to hear back more from the mechanic and go from there.

I am right on the fence with this one. 3.4 Boxster or C5 Corvette, 987 is out of the budget.

Thanks for the help!
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Old 06-10-2013, 09:30 PM   #12
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well, you are in the game at $10k for the engine. it was sitting around and it appears he has no other takers for it, so barter him down to $7.5k - he'll do it, he probably got it for a song from the original owner anyway - $10k is just his starting price. regarding the $1200 custom tune: totally not required. if he has a pst2 or a piwis he can push a standard cayman/987 tune onto the car for free and you will be fine.
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Old 06-11-2013, 06:34 AM   #13
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A few years ago I had a catastrophic engine failure on my 02 S. There might still be the thread with photos on the forum. Talking with Raby, it was determined the engine was toast (even sold him some of the spare parts).

I found an 3.4L engine from a dealer that had just been taken out of a 06 Cayman. The owner was having a 4.0L installed in that car! The engine had been looked over, ran perfectly, tested well, had the deep sump kit installed, and was mine that day for $4000 for everything minus the wiring harness (since the Cayman owner still needed it).

So there are deals to be found. I was lucky though. I completed the swap mechanically pretty easily (spacers to lower the engine because of the taller intake) and figured out the wiring with some help of a few others on this board.

The engine stock has 295hp, but has most of the available performance mods and a custom tune on it so power is higher and the car is definitively quick.

To me it was worth it. In the future, I might go another route for more power (Audi 4.2L?). Unfortunately, all choices for you now involve a lot of money.
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Old 06-11-2013, 06:43 AM   #14
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of course RABY builds 4.0's for something like $20-22 000. Now that would be something REAL special and represents one extreme.
Really, only $21,000ish? Gawd, I hope my 2006 987S blows up Friday for my next planned drive. I thought it was much more than that. I'll have her on a covered carrier heading southeast by Monday morning.
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Old 06-11-2013, 08:54 AM   #15
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D-chunks were common on much earlier cars, not on later ones like yours. I'd suspect debris from the first failure got into the lubrication system. Really too bad and another example of how tough it is to make the right call on how much to put into an older car "while you are in there".
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Old 06-11-2013, 10:11 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Flavor 987S View Post
Really, only $21,000ish? Gawd, I hope my 2006 987S blows up Friday for my next planned drive. I thought it was much more than that. I'll have her on a covered carrier heading southeast by Monday morning.
Just finished a 4.0 for a 987. The first pull on the dyno before any tuning was done was 305HP and the torque was 285. Thats with everything stock except the mufflers. Now comes the optimization.

Beware updating to a OEM larger engine has conversion complications and the 3.6 996 spec engines are among the most failure prone that we see. Losing cylinders due to scoring is real, even at 27K miles like this one. Its worse with the later engines that have OEM forged pistons due to expansion differences that someone forgot to account for.




All those engines are also of the era of the single row IMSB which is the worst of the worst. The 996 spec engine is not special, it shares most every problem that the Boxster has and even has a few of it's own. Make sure that you spend the required money to dodge the issues as much as possible. As you have learned, this game can be a hard one to play.
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Old 06-11-2013, 01:23 PM   #17
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Just finished a 4.0 for a 987. The first pull on the dyno before any tuning was done was 305HP and the torque was 285. Thats with everything stock except the mufflers. Now comes the optimization.
Jake, were do you expect final HP numbers to shake out? With all due respect, 305 is not much over the 280 HP of my current 3.2 motor, and Porsche is always conservative with their numbers. What is the ballpark costs? Thank you.
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Old 06-11-2013, 02:01 PM   #18
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not to speak for jake, but I think he is talking 'rear wheel' hp (rwhp) whereas you are talking hp at the crank. assuming 15% loss through the drivetrain, he is making 350 to your 280.

also, these are peak numbers at 7000 rpm; his torque and hp curves are probably a lot fatter at all rpms - ie, more power sooner - as I presume he started with a 3.8 which are known for their grunt at lower rpms. of course, I have read that stock heads with bore increase tend to make for peaky performance, so expect some gains in the lower rpms as he optimises the output.
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Old 06-11-2013, 02:19 PM   #19
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not to speak for jake, but I think he is talking 'rear wheel' hp (rwhp) whereas you are talking hp at the crank. assuming 15% loss through the drivetrain, he is making 350 to your 280.

also, these are peak numbers at 7000 rpm; his torque and hp curves are probably a lot fatter at all rpms - ie, more power sooner - as I presume he started with a 3.8 which are known for their grunt at lower rpms. of course, I have read that stock heads with bore increase tend to make for peaky performance, so expect some gains in the lower rpms as he optimises the output.
Interesting. So, you can't make my 3.2 into a 4.0? You need to start with a 3.8??

But I gotta believe a stock 3.8 motor is putting down over 380 crank HP.

Regardless, I appreciate your comments and look forward to Jake's reply.
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Old 06-11-2013, 04:16 PM   #20
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My figures are RWHP figures. The car has a diff and race alignment, both of which are hurting the performance on the chassis dyno. It also has break in oil.

Remember, zero tuning has been done at this point. We generally leave ECUs stock and prefer all stock ancillaries. This particular engine had huge head flow figures due to some new findings and developments we have applied on the flow bench. This one was a good one to optimize.

That said, we kept a very modest compression ratio for a long lived engine.

We can make a 3.2 into a 4.0, and the technology to do so is proprietary and only provided from us by LN Engineering. I don't advertise this combination and save it for "special occasions". Just like we do our 4.2 based on the DFI platform.
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