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Old 08-14-2016, 09:23 AM   #1
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Coolant tank upgrade? What are the track guys running?

My 2001 Boxster S was purchased in March and had a leaking original coolant tank. It didn't seem that hard to replace till I got to it and after replacing I assumed that it would last at least 10 years.

Well, today I smelled the smell and thought I had a leak as I replaced the pump when I replaced the tank. I don't know why I pulled my carpeting first, but for some reason I just wanted to make sure and boy was I shocked when I realized the 4 month old tank was leaking in the same spot my original tank failed.

I'm looking for a permanent solution. Where are you guys buying almuinum tanks or are you running stock or home made tanks? Need input. I can't justify paying $400 for the porsche part and since paying $190 for a non-porsche part hasn't gone my way, I'm just ready to fix this once and for all.

Thanks for looking.

Chaiyz
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Old 08-14-2016, 10:02 AM   #2
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You just discovered why the aftermarket tank is no bargain. We have replaced many short lived aftermarket tanks with new factory units, all of which have done very well.
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Old 08-14-2016, 10:15 AM   #3
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JFP - While we are on this topic...

I have a 2000 base and I'm approaching 110,000 miles. The build date is 9/11/1999. I check the coolant tank regularly for leaks, and haven't found any. I bought the car about 10 years ago and I have not replaced the tank. The previous owner gave me all of his records which look complete and I don't have a receipt showing he replaced it either.

Do you think it would be wise to replace the tank even though it is not leaking? I usually don't like to fix things that are not broken, but this sounds like a part that should be considered a maintenance item.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 08-14-2016, 10:42 AM   #4
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We leave them alone until they act up. We have a couple customer's with 200K on their factory tanks.
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Old 08-14-2016, 01:25 PM   #5
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To be honest, I've never seen an aluminum coolant tank on a Boxster. Anyone seen something like this?
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Old 08-14-2016, 03:03 PM   #6
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Wow, if that's the case, I might just repair my original tank. I'm not paying $400 for a piece of plastic. Even if it is for a Porsche.
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Old 08-14-2016, 03:57 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by JFP in PA View Post
We leave them alone until they act up. We have a couple customer's with 200K on their factory tanks.
Thanks - I'll keep an eye on it and wait until it acts up. I've read the DIY on it and it is a job that may challenge my skills. It seems more difficult than replacing the water pump which is the most difficult repair I have carried out.

Whenever I consider performing some preventive maintenance that is not on the list from Porsche, I think of a co-worker who had a 2004 Boxster. His mechanic was advising him to either change the IMSB or install the IMS solution. He decided to wait and make a decision when he needed a clutch. A few months later he lent the car to his son. His son had an accident which totaled the car. Fortunately, no one was injured.

He took the incident well, but I wonder how he would have felt if he had just invested in an IMSB upgrade.
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Old 08-14-2016, 06:57 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by chaiyz View Post
Wow, if that's the case, I might just repair my original tank. I'm not paying $400 for a piece of plastic. Even if it is for a Porsche.
I realize the OEM tanks are expensive (cheapest I found was $365 at ECS), but you just proved why the higher quality OEM tanks are worth the price. In addition to buying yet another tank, you now have to pay to get it installed again. By the time you get a second tank installed you will have spent the same or more as getting an OEM tank installed the first time.

I have never seen any 986 with a metal tank, likely because it would cost too much.
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Old 08-14-2016, 07:27 PM   #9
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Some time ago I wrote up with photos an example of an aftermarket tank and it's many problems.Fortunately I caught them before running the engine. If the tank fails catastrophically when you are on the Freeway it could be a really na$ty day for you and your car.
Pelican has one from an "OE Supplier". That may be worth investigating?Maybe JFP knows about it ?
2001 Porsche Boxster S Convertible - Radiators - Page 4

Last edited by Gelbster; 08-16-2016 at 01:36 PM.
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Old 08-14-2016, 10:55 PM   #10
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Cool Coolant tank

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Originally Posted by chaiyz View Post
Wow, if that's the case, I might just repair my original tank. I'm not paying $400 for a piece of plastic. Even if it is for a Porsche.
Same here, I have done many a repair on plastic with a soldering iron. If I ever need to do it on my car I would get an old OEM Porsche tank first and see how the plastic welds. There are a few plastics out there that will not weld.
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Old 08-15-2016, 01:44 AM   #11
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Wow, if that's the case, I might just repair my original tank. I'm not paying $400 for a piece of plastic. Even if it is for a Porsche.
The tank retails for $300 @ Sunset Porsche.
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Old 08-15-2016, 01:46 AM   #12
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Some time ago I wrote up with photos an example of an aftermarket tank and it's many problems.Fortunately I caught them before running the engine. If the tank fails catastrophically when you are on the Freeway it could be a really na$ty day for you and your car.
Pelican has one from an "OE Supplier". That may be worth investigating?Maybe JFP knows about it ?
2001 Porsche Boxster S Convertible - Radiators - Page 4
That is an aftermarket tank that is made by someone that supplies other parts to Porsche, but not the tanks.
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Old 08-15-2016, 01:47 AM   #13
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Same here, I have done many a repair on plastic with a soldering iron. If I ever need to do it on my car I would get an old OEM Porsche tank first and see how the plastic welds. There are a few plastics out there that will not weld.
And this is one of them. I have never seen one that was "welded" and survived. Simply not worth the time and effort; replace it.
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Old 08-15-2016, 02:28 AM   #14
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Whenever I consider performing some preventive maintenance that is not on the list from Porsche, I think of a co-worker who had a 2004 Boxster. His mechanic was advising him to either change the IMSB or install the IMS solution. He decided to wait and make a decision when he needed a clutch. A few months later he lent the car to his son. His son had an accident which totaled the car. Fortunately, no one was injured.

He took the incident well, but I wonder how he would have felt if he had just invested in an IMSB upgrade.
I'm sorry, but that analogy makes no sense. You might as well say you decided not to replace your IMS because you might die before getting the car back.
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Old 08-15-2016, 07:06 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by JFP in PA View Post
The tank retails for $300 @ Sunset Porsche.
Part number is 996-106-147-08. This issue has come up so many times I'll bite the bullet and pay Sunset Porsche for an OEM one.
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Old 08-15-2016, 08:25 AM   #16
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Contacted local radiator shop. They're going to quote me on a building the tank on Wed when I can drop off original tank and car for them to look at. I'll keep everyone informed. These tanks shouldn't cost more than Aluminum. But they do.
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Old 08-15-2016, 09:23 AM   #17
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I fabricate aluminum and brass. I have had one Boxster plastic tank failure and a junk generic replacement.I thought about making a replacement for a nano second because I am slow .My limited skills tell me this is not a practical project. The tank is easy.The fittings would be very,very difficult.They are not generic so the fabricator can not just braze on a stock fitting to a custom tank - that is the usual method. If you are thinking about cutting off the existing plastic fittings and gluing them on to a custom aluminum or brass tank ..... cough, that won't last very long.
Some other manufacturers have the same problem and their tanks are similar price e.g. Land Rover.

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Old 08-15-2016, 04:51 PM   #18
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I'm sorry, but that analogy makes no sense. You might as well say you decided not to replace your IMS because you might die before getting the car back.
I understand your point.

I usually follow the manufacturer's recommendations on maintenance issues with the exception that I change the oil more frequently than recommended on all my cars.

Porsche does not provide a recommendation on the IMSB or the coolant tank, so I'm always interested in other people's experience with these items. Your posts are very helpful since you've worked on many more cars than the average owner.
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Old 08-16-2016, 01:25 PM   #19
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There's loads of stuff that doesn't have a service replacement schedule. Water pump, AC condenser, radiator, brake lines, coolant cap, window regulator, engine mount etc. User experience allows us to build up a picture of when and under what conditions these might fail.
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