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Old 06-28-2013, 11:25 AM   #1
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upgrade or trade?

Trying to figure out if my car is worth repairing/upgrading or not. It is a 2004 Carrera White Boxster 2.7 that is cosmetically in good condition, but now it needs exhaust work as one of the catalytic converters (bank 2) is bad. CE light has been on for some time and I can hear it rattling under the car. Had it checked at a locally well known, respected & reputable Porsche performance shop and was advised that stock cats sell for around $1000 each and the car has 4 (2 primary, 2 secondary) and that it is best to replace all 4 at once as the others may not be far from failing as well. From what I have heard, they are probably right. But the car is my daily driver and has 98k miles on it now and is only worth about $14k at best (stock in good condition). I owe $13k. So do I sink $4k into a stock exhaust system? Shop tells me they can install the Fabspeed performance exhaust package (sport headers, secondary cat bypass pipes, primary cats & maxflo sport muffler) for $4500. Not sure that makes sense either since the car is 9 years old & has 98k miles on it. If I'm going to have to spend around $4k either way on an exhaust system, I might as well get the performance exhaust & get a boost in HP/performance and a much better sound in the process, right? Seems like better bang for the buck than stock exhaust... but again... is it worth it? It has 98k miles on it and I drive it every day. What if the intermediate shaft bearing goes up & I need a new engine? I just spent $900 to replace the water pump and now there is a new whirring noise when the engine runs/warms up. Not sure it will last long enough for me to enjoy the $4500 exhaust system upgrade. Thoughts? If it was your car, what would you do?
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Old 06-28-2013, 11:51 AM   #2
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Time for a new repair shop? I call BS on pouring $4k into your exhaust. Spend $200 on a good used cat from a dismantler and replace only the bad one. Have the car thoroughly checked out to make sure it is running well so the other cats don't get fouled.

Add fuel, drive fast, repeat.
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Old 06-28-2013, 12:02 PM   #3
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I have to think that unless you are somewhat mechanically savvy a 10 year old Porsche is not the vehicle to have.

If I had to pay for all the repairs and maintainance that are needed on these cars, I would have gotten rid of it long ago.

You can do your exhaust yourself for a lot cheaper and its not that difficult.
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Old 06-28-2013, 12:26 PM   #4
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I am definitely somewhat mechanically inclined. I have changed the plugs in that car myself twice (which is no small feat), changed the brake pads, etc but I've never messed with exhaust. Most of that cost is the performance exhaust system itself. It sells for about $4200 on Fabspeed's site but they are giving it to me for $3900. The rest is shop fees/labor. It's a very good shop that does great work for cheap. They have bailed me out of jams when things went up in the past quickly & as economically as possible, so I'm not worried that they are screwing me on the price of the exhaust system or the installation. But like you said... the car is almost 10 years old and has 98k miles on it and I've already had to replace the water pump, & headlight switch (neither were cheap) and now the catalytic converters & the whirring sound (which is most likely a pulley wheel/bearing or belt). I also can't get the back trunk to open now and my driver's seat cushion has been collapsing & killing my back for well over a year now... and I am a small guy. When I bought the car in January 2010, it only had 30k miles on it and was like new. I just have driven it every day since then and put 68k miles on it and things are wearing out. I park it in a garage at work and at home, so it's still very pretty inside & out... just trying to decide if it's mechanically worth putting more $$ into with the miles/years on it. Not sure how long those 2.7 engines usually last when well maintained.
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Old 06-28-2013, 12:35 PM   #5
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I've upgraded cats and muffler. Not even 1k
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Old 06-28-2013, 12:38 PM   #6
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Here is what I am looking at:

https://www.fabspeed.com/Boxster.html

Would be sport headers, secondary cat bypass pipes, maxflo exhaust/mufflers, etc. Everything except ECU upgrade & intake upgrade.
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Old 06-28-2013, 12:42 PM   #7
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Depending on which cat is supposedly defective why not just try installing secondary cat bypass pipes? That would be the cheapest route.

If you need a new muffler do a search on the che muffler off ebay.
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Old 06-28-2013, 12:46 PM   #8
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Think of all the wrecks that had perfectly good exhaust systems in them. Got to be some around you could get to. Wrecking Yards list for Porsches
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Old 06-28-2013, 12:48 PM   #9
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if it is throwing a code then you are dealing with the cats on the headers. replacement header is $150 on ebay (or free here if you ask around; lots of folks running aftermarket exhaust that might give you their old headers). removing the header requires 6 bolts at the head and 3 at the flange with the mid-pipe. and remove/reinstall the two o2 sensors. the caveat is that the bolts have a reputation for corroding and breaking off in the head, which required drilling them out and re-threading. kinda at the upper limit of shade tree mechanic work if it gets to that (mine came out easy with some pb blaster; no broken bolts).
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Old 06-28-2013, 12:52 PM   #10
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Ultimately it is your car and your dough. If you have put 68K on it in 3 years you are certainly getting your monies worth. Cars do require maintenance and a 10 yr old with 98K will continue to do so.

If it were mine and I wanted to keep it I'd:

* Thank the helpful shop for their advice and fix the exhaust myself for $200. Put the other $4K in a college fund for my 1st born.
* Repair all other minor issues to keep it in good condition for another $200-300.
* Consider a clutch/IMS job if it has not been done yet.

And then drive it for another 100K miles.

If this just sounds like too much trouble, it's time to sell it now.
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Last edited by Topless; 06-28-2013 at 01:21 PM.
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Old 06-28-2013, 12:52 PM   #11
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If you want new. These are a lot cheaper than your quote

NHP Porformance Headers w High Flow Cats for Porsche Boxster 2 7L and 3 2L S | eBay
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Old 06-28-2013, 12:53 PM   #12
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Friend, you (or your mechanic) are making a mountain of a molehill!

I believe this is the cat you need. It's $208.25 used.

Make sure the rear cat does not have any debris from the front cat blocking flow.

BTW, if your getting a CEL, that points to the primary cat as the secondary is unmonitored and will not generate a CEL.

It sounds like you mechanic recognizes that this is not your area of expertise and is not going out of his way to educate you...

This is a 2.5 hour DIY at best. This is a situation where you apologize to your significant other for because you have to blow a Sat morning turning wrenches...not a "I guess I'll just sell it" situation.
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Old 07-01-2013, 08:21 PM   #13
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you paid 900 bones for a water pump?

wow.... mine was $140 plus two hours of my precious time.
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Old 07-02-2013, 05:35 AM   #14
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If a bad pre-cat is in fact the culprit, you can easily source one from either eBay or a reputable dismantler for cheap. If the problem stems from a bad secondary cat, the issue can be remedied by simply deleting them and installing a set of by-pass pipes in place of them. Unless you're interested in doing a bunch of costly exhaust mods, the rest is bull********************.




01 Porsche Boxster Right Passenger Side Exhaust Header Manifold Downpipe | eBay
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Last edited by Johnny Danger; 07-02-2013 at 05:40 AM.
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Old 07-02-2013, 06:21 AM   #15
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I will agree with the above and add.....it is a really good looking car!
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Old 07-02-2013, 06:42 AM   #16
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As many have said, ultimately it is your money, and easy for us to spend

However, there seem to be A LOT of ways to get the work you need done for a lot less than what you have been quoted. Even if you were to spend the extra money, unless you get into another Boxster you will always be regretting the day you parted with her. I get upset when I go a day with out driving Sancha, I can't imagine never driving her again.
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Old 07-02-2013, 04:33 PM   #17
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Your asset to payoff ratio is to low. Fix what is broken only. The stock exhaust is good enough. Find out what that whirring is before spending a fortune on an aftermarket exhaust that you may or may not like. Check it out. And find another shop to look at so you can see if the old standby shop is "really" so good.
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