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Old 09-15-2017, 08:27 PM   #1
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Bad week...

Looking for opinions and past experience.

I have an '06 Cayman 101,000 miles. (Easy miles)- she has been mine since 20k miles with nothing but typical maintenance. (Just replaced flywheel, clutch, water pump last year)

Notice white smoke as soon as it drifted up during a red light stop. No dash lights, no noises, vibrations, strange idles etc. Knew from previous boxster experience probably oil separator so I puffed out the smoke like a mosquito truck for abt 1/2 mile till I turned into a lot to call for a tow. (Engine died as I turned into lot)

Shop now tells me engine is hydro-locked. Oil aspiration, can't crank it even when trying to manually pull with wrench. Shop is taking off plugs next to look for oil or other fluid. ...it can't be good. I see these posts about rollers bringing $4k, I've already spoken to a company in Florida that will give me 4k but car is immaculate (um, other than not having a currently running engine)


Is that it? 4k??? ....i knew it would be low but in thought it least 6500-6k. What about indie shops? Do they buy to have a parts car on hand? I'm sick over this.

If they pull the plugs and are able to put a wrench on it and get it to crank what does that mean? Can bad plugs cause an engine to Just seize up? I may be going though denial ....but is there anything else that could be going on??? Any thoughts? I'm prepared to put $2500 in a fix but at 100k miles, even though she is real pretty, I just can't justify more.

Ugh....
Rena

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Old 09-15-2017, 08:46 PM   #2
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Sorry to hear about this. Very possible the oil separator could have caused this issue then once it was shut down allowed a cylinder to fill with enough oil to lock it. Assumably and probably best case oil will come out when they pull the plugs. If coolant comes out then you may have bigger problems.

If it is oil hopefully you can replace the separator, suck as much oil out of the cylinders as possible and hope for the best. It will smoke for a bit and worst case maybe throw in some new plugs once it burns off, hopefully they get most of the oil out and it won't do any damage to the catalytic converters.

If you have coolant in the motor then likely you have a cracked cylinder or cylinder head, in that case it is pretty much a boat anchor So like I said, hope for oil.

Answering your value question is a bit harder, unfortunately even with good motors they aren't worth that much yet alone with bad ones. Mostly due to repair costs and in most cases engine replacement will cost more then the car is worth. If the car is unique/exceptional i.e. an S model with rare options it may be worth saving or worth more to someone who will fix it, but if it is a run of the mill base model then yeah $4K with a bad motor is good money, heck you can buy 911's with bad motors for $5k.

Hope it turns out well for ya~
J
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Old 09-15-2017, 09:57 PM   #3
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Bad plugs will not cause a engine to seize. Remove all the plugs & try to turn the engine over CLOCKWISE ONLY,Iif it spins easily, turning over with the starter should clearout most of the oil. Install new plugs & try to start it after checking oil level in pan.
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Old 09-16-2017, 06:42 AM   #4
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Thanks so much for the input. These replies at least make me feel better (I'm trying not to think about all weekend but that's impossible). I'll cross the fingers for oil. She's never had any coolant issues and hasn't been running hot. I think I've just started to prepare myself for bent rods and cracked cylinders. I'm single but all my friend's husbands are muscle car guys and they just roll their eyes at my German car issues so this forum is my best way to get opinions. The shop is pretty backed up so it may be mid week next week before I know. I'll be sure to post the verdict. Thanks again. -rena





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Originally Posted by BoxsterLS376 View Post
Sorry to hear about this. Very possible the oil separator could have caused this issue then once it was shut down allowed a cylinder to fill with enough oil to lock it. Assumably and probably best case oil will come out when they pull the plugs. If coolant comes out then you may have bigger problems.

If it is oil hopefully you can replace the separator, suck as much oil out of the cylinders as possible and hope for the best. It will smoke for a bit and worst case maybe throw in some new plugs once it burns off, hopefully they get most of the oil out and it won't do any damage to the catalytic converters.

If you have coolant in the motor then likely you have a cracked cylinder or cylinder head, in that case it is pretty much a boat anchor So like I said, hope for oil.

Answering your value question is a bit harder, unfortunately even with good motors they aren't worth that much yet alone with bad ones. Mostly due to repair costs and in most cases engine replacement will cost more then the car is worth. If the car is unique/exceptional i.e. an S model with rare options it may be worth saving or worth more to someone who will fix it, but if it is a run of the mill base model then yeah $4K with a bad motor is good money, heck you can buy 911's with bad motors for $5k.

Hope it turns out well for ya~
J
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Old 09-16-2017, 07:40 AM   #5
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Thanks so much for the input. These replies at least make me feel better (I'm trying not to think about all weekend but that's impossible). I'll cross the fingers for oil. She's never had any coolant issues and hasn't been running hot. I think I've just started to prepare myself for bent rods and cracked cylinders. I'm single but all my friend's husbands are muscle car guys and they just roll their eyes at my German car issues so this forum is my best way to get opinions. The shop is pretty backed up so it may be mid week next week before I know. I'll be sure to post the verdict. Thanks again. -rena
Yeah I drive a German car with an American motor so pretty much everyone just rolls their eyes at me

Best of luck~
J
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Old 09-17-2017, 06:59 AM   #6
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I hope they didn't try too hard to start the motor. Hopefully nothing is bent.
My AOS failed in the exact same way. Clouds of smoke - I turned the motor off immediately - and car would not turn over. I flatbedded it back home, and pulled the plugs out. I had a cup of oil in my #1 cylinder. The engine turned over with no resistance when all the plugs were out.

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Old 09-17-2017, 09:17 AM   #7
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Yeah I drive a German car with an American motor so pretty much everyone just rolls their eyes at me

Best of luck~
J
Just had a buddy lose a 5.0 coyote engine with just 70k in it. Stuff happens. Repairing the orginal engine or dropping an American motor into a Boxster are both a significant investments with both having merit.
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Old 09-17-2017, 10:02 AM   #8
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I feel your pain. Same thing happened to me 10 years ago, similar anyway. Regarding fix or sell as roller. I had the same issue. 10+ years ago there were no reconditioned motor options but Boxsters also had higher resale values. Was either $15k+ for a new factory motor or sell as roller. I did the latter for $9k.

My knee jerk reaction is to take the $4k and find another car. The values for these cars are depressed so you can find a pretty nice one for less than even a few years ago.

Good luck. Hell, your engine might even be ok and all this is for naught. Who knows?
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Old 09-17-2017, 10:10 AM   #9
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Ooooh yes please

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heck you can buy 911's with bad motors for $5k.
Where can I find these $5k 911s?
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Old 09-17-2017, 10:51 AM   #10
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Sorry to hear about your situation. If it was hydro-lock, it comes down to how much damage occurred. Think rods usually take a beating in these situations.

A couple of options in case the worst scenario prevails.

1. A friend of mine has an 02 Boxster with a Cayman engine in it. Not sure if it's 2.7 or 3.4, but assumed 3.4. He was cleaning his MAF and evidently excess MAF cleaner leaked out of the air cleaner onto the exhaust and started a small fire. Did some damage to some of the plastic parts on the driver's side of the engine. He said it also fried his computer and the cost was going to be too much for him. He wants to sell his engine. Combining parts from your engine with the ones he needs (intake manifold, etc) might be a good soln. I can check with him if you're interested.

2. Try selling as a roller on ebay or on PCA.org. Someone may need a roller for a race car. There was an ad on Planet-9 for someone looking for a Cayman roller, but that was a while back.

Best of luck.
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Old 09-18-2017, 03:41 AM   #11
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Bad plugs will not cause a engine to seize. Remove all the plugs & try to turn the engine over CLOCKWISE ONLY,Iif it spins easily, turning over with the starter should clearout most of the oil. Install new plugs & try to start it after checking oil level in pan.
Bad plugs aren't the concern, hydraulic lock is. It can bend connecting rods.

However, given the description of the break down, it seems unlikely that permenant damage occurred.

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Old 09-18-2017, 11:52 AM   #12
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Where can I find these $5k 911s?
See them pop up from time to time on Craigslist and various forums, Ebay as well, heck spend a bit more and you can get a nice convertible or targa for a good price - From current Ebay search:

No motor or trans, but went for $4500
2002 Porsche 911 | eBay

Complete with engine "tick" for $8200
Porsche: 911 all wheel drive | eBay

Targa with a "tick" that went for $10K
2002 Porsche 911 Targa 2D | eBay

99 coupe with a bad motor - $8k
1999 Porsche 911 | eBay

They are out there but you have to be quick.
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Old 09-18-2017, 06:03 PM   #13
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Bad plugs aren't the concern, hydraulic lock is. It can bend connecting rods.

However, given the description of the break down, it seems unlikely that permenant damage occurred.
Thus my correct answer to her direct question!
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Old 09-19-2017, 08:17 AM   #14
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fingers crossed

Thanks for the replies. I'm feeling a little better. The shop is super backed up so I'm giving them their space and hopefully they'll call me later in the week with the breakdown. I did tell them if they suspect coolant in the cylinders I'm not willing to pay for an engine rebuild so if anything is cracked just close it up. (i'll roll it) I'm able to handle the cost for oil cleanup if nothing else is hosed. I guess i'm just having a hard time getting my head around what they 'think' it is because I've never had an issue with over heating or coolant leaking. The ground in my garage and the area where it was towed from is spotless. So I'm prepared for the worst.... I'll follow up to this post with details once I have those. Thanks again for your input, it's been great for my mental health!!! -rena
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Old 09-21-2017, 02:53 PM   #15
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Try and have the engine turned over by hand (using a wrench on the front pulley bolt) with the plugs out. If it rolls over then life is getting good. Disconnect the AOS line to the intake, plug the vacuum lines and have them crank the crap out of it with using the starter with the sparkplugs out. A lot of cranking as there is oil in the intake you want to clear. After that, it's spark plugs back in and try to start it. With the best of luck, it fires up and you are on your way.

If it does not turn over by hand with the spark plugs out, that's a bad sign, but there is no harm in trying to break it free by rocking the crank back and forth. I've never understood the don't turn the engine backwards advice. When I rebuilt my engine after an IMS failure I innocently rotated the crank both ways with wild abandon during assembly with seemingly no ill effects. If the engine is "stuck", and it can be freed by working it back and forth, and getting it started using the strategy above works, the best case is the long term reliability and life of the engine is suspect. The worst case is it won't restart, or runs for a short period of time then fails.

The up side is that you were pulling into a parking lot when it failed, so the RPMs and load on the engine were likely to be low. That makes bending or breaking something less likely.

my recommendation is to disconnect the AOS, have the mechanics get it to turn over with the plugs out, crank it with the plugs out to remove as much oil as possible from the intake system, then reassemble and fire it up and hope for the best!

I hope this was helpful, and I hope your car is fine.
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Old 09-30-2017, 02:06 PM   #16
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I agree with all of the above advice about removing plugs and turning over by hand to get the oil out. Then it should re-start and hopefully everything will be ok.

In regards to value, $3K-$4K is about the most you can hope for. One of the primary reasons that Boxster/Cayman's with failed engines sell for so little is that the buyer is taking a HUGE risk that there are might be other problems with the car that can't be checked since the engine won't run or drive, e.g., air conditioning, heater, engine cooling, power steering, etc, etc. If the battery is dead and the car can't be powered on, then the list gets incredibly long to include lights, ECU, wiring, stereo, wipers, sensors, cluster/gauges, etc. You get the idea.

I bought my current Boxster as a rolling chassis for $3100 and the seller *promised* over and over the only problem with the car was that the engine wouldn't run. Everything else was in "great" condition, he said. After replacing the engine, it still cost me $2,000 to fix all of the problems that he "forgot" to mention. Thanks, pal.

The buyer takes a HUGE risk in buying a non-running car and the price reflects that risk.
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Old 10-01-2017, 08:49 PM   #17
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So I finally have my car back. It did take 3 full weeks but the cost came in under what I was expecting and I don't have to sell It off for parts. It was the oil separator as I had thought but the oil that slid down into the cylinders is what threw my new mechanic off. He was sure what was causing the engine to lock was radiator fluid. Alas, after they pulled the plugs cylinder 1 & 2 had oil (due to a sharp turn I made as I turned the corner to park it) once the oil was out she started up just fine. (Smokie but fine) so bottom line I got oil separator, air filter, cylinders cleaned out, oil and filter change, smoke burnt out and cleaned out of exhaust and a lovely hand wash for $980. I went on a quick 90 mile trip this weekend and things were great, no smoke, no hesitation or strange idle, looks like I'm back in action. Thanks for everyone's input...it helped my stress levels immensely! -Rena
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Old 10-01-2017, 09:13 PM   #18
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Glad to hear that it all worked out!
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Old 10-02-2017, 07:38 PM   #19
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I love being right Glad it was a minor issue and that you're back on the road!
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Old 10-21-2017, 07:52 AM   #20
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I'm glad it worked out for you, and it really confirms my belief that changing the AOS as P/M (in my case at under 90K miles) makes really good sense. It will save some inconvenience and clean up expense, and avert a potential disaster.
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