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Old 07-05-2014, 09:41 AM   #1
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Pictorial differences between a base and S model Boxster

As some of you might or not might know, I have a small business parting out Boxsters. This gives me access to view the differences between the base and S model Boxsters. I'm not sure if anyone has had a thread like this yet, but I thought it would be informative to anyone who had a curiosity about what really is different between the two. I don't claim to be an expert, so if you know something I don't. Don't be afraid to say something! Also let me know if there's something else between the two you would like me to take a picture of.

Let me start off by saying, I don't have any pictures of the outside differences. I'm assuming we're all up to speed and know the S has a opening in the middle of the front bumper that the base doesn't have. The S also has a few places on it where it says "Boxster S" where the base just has "Boxster". This thread is the mechanical differences.
As we all know, the S has a third radiator. It also has thicker coolant tubes that run from the back to the front. Base are painted black and the S is left bare aluminum


The upper metal tubes are thicker on the S too. In the picture below you can also see that the S has a "T" hose between the upper metal hose and the radiator that the base doesn't have. The small hose coming out of that "T" connects to the middle radiator.


The brakes are the next big difference between the two. The biggest difference is between the front brakes. As you can see the S has much larger rotors.

The calipers are wider too

The back rotors are larger too

But when it comes to the rear calipers, they look almost similar. They even had the same part number on mine. The only difference I could tell was when I put the ends of them together. The S is slightly bigger.


Last edited by itsnotanova; 07-29-2017 at 08:06 AM.
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Old 07-05-2014, 09:43 AM   #2
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The hubs on the S

Base hubs

The aluminum plate underneath is different. Top is 6 speed, middle is 5 speed and the bottom is I think from a tiptronic.


6 speed

Tiptronic from a S
URL]
Don't think there's a visual difference but here's a 2.5 tiptronic

5 speed (don't have a pic right now but will add one next time I get one in)

Here's the trans mount. From top to bottom. S tiptronic, 5 speed and 6 speed

Here's a difference between the 2.5 and 2.7/3.2 U-pipes. The 2.5 has a better curve

Last edited by itsnotanova; 07-29-2017 at 07:27 AM.
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Old 07-05-2014, 11:06 AM   #3
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Great shots and info.
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Old 07-05-2014, 06:48 PM   #4
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Website? Link? Parts list?
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Old 07-05-2014, 07:33 PM   #5
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http://986forum.com/forums/boxster-parts-sale-wanted/52469-parting-out-whole-lot-boxsters.html
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Old 07-05-2014, 07:57 PM   #6
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Enjoyed reading your thread and appreciate the time you took to lay out the parts.
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Old 07-05-2014, 08:03 PM   #7
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Nice info, thanks!
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Old 08-14-2014, 07:25 PM   #8
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I just had another opportunity arise to show some more differences between the two. Unfortunately I don't have the oil coolers out and next to each other so you can compare them side by side. Here's a 3.2/6 speed I just pulled and it has a larger oil cooler than the 2.5/tip in the other picture. The oil cooler is the rectangle box on top of the motor but under the black intake

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Old 08-14-2014, 09:44 PM   #9
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Nice work, Thanks!
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Old 12-10-2014, 03:26 PM   #10
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Here's the difference between the rear uprights. See how the track bar mount is longer on the S. The opening for the axle is bigger too.

S has bigger CV joints
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Old 12-10-2014, 06:22 PM   #11
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Great pics! Very informative thread. I truly appreciate your efforts. Thank you!
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Old 12-11-2014, 04:17 AM   #12
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Am i right in thinking that the later 986 2.7L cars had alot of "S" parts as standard...? My 2003 2.7 has the red S calipres and it appears quite a few suspension parts from an S....?
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Old 12-11-2014, 04:26 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SKOOSH1970 View Post
Am i right in thinking that the later 986 2.7L cars had alot of "S" parts as standard...? My 2003 2.7 has the red S calipres and it appears quite a few suspension parts from an S....?
https://sites.google.com/site/mikefocke2/modelyeardifferences

very interesting read, especially the 2003 2.7 getting the 2002 S suspension setup...
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Old 12-11-2014, 10:15 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by litespeedp View Post
Great shots and info.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Davev View Post
Enjoyed reading your thread and appreciate the time you took to lay out the parts.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceH View Post
Nice info, thanks!
Quote:
Originally Posted by djpepe View Post
Nice work, Thanks!
Quote:
Originally Posted by dghii View Post
Great pics! Very informative thread. I truly appreciate your efforts. Thank you!
Thanks guys

Quote:
Originally Posted by SKOOSH1970 View Post
https://sites.google.com/site/mikefocke2/modelyeardifferences

very interesting read, especially the 2003 2.7 getting the 2002 S suspension setup...
I think they're talking about the springs and struts when they say the 2.7 has the upgraded S suspension, not the brakes too. I have seen a few base boxsters with red calipers but they're not the S calipers. If you have the S brakes on your car. The front rotors would be significantly larger than the rears. The rotors would more than likely be drilled too. There might be someone out there that makes non-drilled rotors for the S, but I don't know of any. I hope I'm wrong and you do have S brakes because that would be cool. Who doesn't want bigger brakes?!
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Old 12-11-2014, 10:17 AM   #15
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5 speed vs 6 speed manuals
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Old 12-11-2014, 01:11 PM   #16
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excellent info and picks. You have a rare opportunity to see and show all of this. Thanks for your effort!
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Old 12-11-2014, 04:12 PM   #17
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Very good literature and pictures. Thanks for the pics.
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Old 12-16-2014, 11:11 AM   #18
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I have a request. Could you show pics of the bare floor inside the car? I'm contemplating adding beef to the front and rear corners by bracing the cowl and rear bulkhead to the floor.
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Old 12-18-2014, 11:58 AM   #19
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I have a request. Could you show pics of the bare floor inside the car? I'm contemplating adding beef to the front and rear corners by bracing the cowl and rear bulkhead to the floor.
I can do that, but it will have to be after the holidays.
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Old 07-15-2015, 06:52 PM   #20
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I have a request. Could you show pics of the bare floor inside the car? I'm contemplating adding beef to the front and rear corners by bracing the cowl and rear bulkhead to the floor.
Sorry it took 7 months, but I finally got a picture of a base and a S with all the carpet missing. They look the same to me.
Here's a 2000 Base

Here's a 2002 S (the sill says Boxster, but it's an S)

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