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Old 09-10-2019, 04:02 AM   #1
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My New Favorite Obsession . . .

Greetings!

Thanks to all who contribute to this forum; it's a wealth of knowledge, and it enabled my latest obsession.

I live and work in the NYC area, and recently moved from a cramped apartment and a parking space in a great neighborhood with lousy schools to a suburb that is boring AF but has a world class high school for my newly high-school aged son. This necessitated that we increase our fleet of vehicles from 1 to 2, and it opened the possibility of a house with a garage, which is something that haven't had for a long time . . . but the trade off is a 50 mile round trip daily commute so whatever I ended up with had to be both fun and practical.

Thought a lot about what kind of second car I wanted; I like older, more analog cars with engines that growl, manual transmissions that need be shifted and tops that go down, and I've been a sports car guy since my first car, a 1965 MGB with a 3 main bearing engine. Been mostly a BMW guy for the last 35 years and have owned a bunch of 'em. I had my sights set on a Z3 3.0 and found one at a cool used car dealer, and liked it a lot until I asked if I could drive a base Boxster they had on their lot.

Game over, knew right there and then I needed a Boxster. After a couple of months of searching I found a 2001 Boxster S with 44,700 miles in virtually unmolested, mechanically pristine condition. It was owned by a sweet guy in upstate NY, the second owner who had it for 14 years. It was his third Porsche, the first water cooled, and he bought it when it came off lease after three years and 24k miles and used it as a summer car. He didn't do much to it except change the oil every year and repair anything that needed it, and during the winter it lived under a cover in his garage safe from rain and snow and salt and such.

When I drove it home it felt like a really young car that was asleep, sort of Rip Van Winkle like. This was in late April, and over the summer I've been slowly bringing the old girl back to life and setting her up as a daily driver -- and man, it she feels like she's making up for lost time.

The car hasn't had the IMS replaced, and as a garage queen that was a real concern for me -- everything I read told me that the 2001 S's are the leading candidates for IMS failure and even more so if they're rarely driven, ao I priced that into my purchase. I took the car to Jay at The Popular Mechanic near where I live, and he checked the car over and changed out the oil with Motul. He pulled the filter apart and couldn't find any evidence of pending IMS failure, and Blackstone Labs confirmed that the engine is clean inside. I'm gonna keep a close eye on it by having the oil analyzed at every change, but so far, so good.

I like Jay a lot, and I had him do some work on the car, too. In addition to the engine oil I had him change the gearbox oil with Motul, flush the brake system, replace the AOS and clean out the accumulated debris from the radiators. He is generous with his time and knowledge; my first visit with him was on July 4th, and he gave me a mechanic's eye tour of the car from bottom to top. The car is in remarkably good condition; don't think it's ever seen snow and it's never been in a shunt or otherwise taken apart, but it was great to have Jay confirm that with his experienced eyes while he shared his knowledge along the way.

I owe a shout out to the folks on this forum; the posts here helped me find the right tires for my needs, and I ended up with an excellent set of Firestone Indy 500's that are almost impossibly cheap compared to other contenders. They're great tires, sticky and quiet, and while I only have 3k miles on them they seem to be wearing nicely. Using information I found here I changed the accessory belt with an OEM replacement from Pelican, replaced the engine and cabin air filters, replaced the passenger side air duct grill, replaced the fuel cap, solved for a noise in the drivers door by replacing the door striker latch, and maybe most importantly, rebuilt the key electronics so that all the buttons work and the key doesn't fall apart when I push on it. None of it was particularly hard given how much knowledge has been shared on this site, and I thank all those who have shared their knowledge here.

The prior owner kept the car cleaned and waxed, and, as he told me with pride, he only used genuine Porsche cleaning products. After 18 years the paint was full of swirls, though, and there is a rough patch on the passenger side inner fender that I can't quite figure out what happen to it. Oh, yeah, there is a circular beauty mark from where a golf ball landed on the hood when it was parked in the lot when the owner was playing a round. I fooled around a little and finally decided to use some Chemical Guys products to get the paint and interior back in shape, and the divot on the hood? We'll, I've decided, for now, that that is what makes this car my car.

Won't bore you with the details, but I bought a rotary buffer, clayed the car, and then went over it with Chemical guys VSS scratch and swirl remover before sealing it with Jet Seal. It's not perfect and a professional detailer would be embarrassed if it was their work, but the finished result is way more than I would expect from an 18 year old car. The swirls and scratches are pretty much gone and the paint is mostly corrected, and from 3 feet away it looks amazing. I used Chemical Guys interior products to get the inside back in shape, and other than the expected wear from the rubberized material on the interior parts the car looks just great.

My boy and I did some father/son bonding and figured out how to change the accessory belt ourselves, and over Labor Day weekend we replaced the stock Becker CD-220 with a new Kenwood double-din media player from Rod at CAI. The car has the M490 HI FI option and finding the damn grey and pink VSS wire to enable wireless CarPlay wasn't obvious, but overall the installation went well and it makes the car so much more useable as a daily commuter.

My kid just started high school and I expect that I'm gonna be driving it almost daily for the next 3.75 years, and I figure I'm gonna put 30k-40k miles on it in that time. I get to drive the moveable feast of horrors that is Route 78 in New Jersey; the good news is that out where I live the roads are fast and smooth, but once I'm past Newark traffic really sucks and road quality drops quite a bit. I figure I'm gonna do the clutch and IMS at the same time, so I'm guessing that sometime in the next 10k-20k miles -- more towards 20k if I'm lucky -- it will be time. I'm also thinking about preemptively changing the water pump and radiator hoses and flushing out the cooling system before next summer, and one thing I know I need to do but haven't found the courage yet is to have the CV boots replaced as the are starting to split -- I feel like I'm pushing my luck a little there, though and I'll probably get that done before the hardest part of winter arrives.

Overall, I couldn't be more pleased with this car. I've owned a lot of fun cars, but this is my first Porsche and I get it. I love the way it takes a corner; the steering is taut and communicative, and I love the way the weight down low in the rear helps it slingshot out of a turn. The engine is magnificent; it pulls beautifully and makes a wonderful growl. In a car as light as the Boxster 250hp feels just right to me, and the six-speed manual transmission is a joy, especially with the short shift kit the prior owner had installed. My other car is a sweet but kind of dull late model BMW 330ix, and whenever I drive it it feels like an SUV in comparison. To me, the Boxster is everything a sports car should be, and I gotta agree with those who said these early cars were brilliant in most every way. The car has an undeniable mechanical presence like a fine watch or a purpose built machine, and I'm proud to own and operate it.

So enough of that, again, thanks to all who share their knowledge and enthusiasm here, and cause a post like this is worthless without pictures, here you go . . .

~j



















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Old 09-10-2019, 05:38 AM   #2
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Wow, that has to be the best, most detailed introductory post I have ever seen. Congratulations on your purchase! I think you went into this with your eyes wide open and fully prepared.

BTW, the car looks great. Now drive, drive, drive!!!!
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Old 09-10-2019, 05:55 AM   #3
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Welcome! You chose wisely!

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Old 09-10-2019, 06:45 AM   #4
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AWESOME! CONGRATULATIONS. WELCOME!

Beautiful car, and a great story. That you've a garage is great... you'll enjoy wrenching on it from time to time.

Cheers!
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Old 09-10-2019, 06:47 AM   #5
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Very nice story! I love seeing red Boxsters, most (like mine) are grey or silver.

Your son looks thrilled beyond belief to be helping you. I understand, that is a normal teenaged boy expression (there is currently a 17 year old in my house, and his default expression when talking to the people that feed and clothe him is one of pain).

Enjoy your Boxster!
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Old 09-10-2019, 12:53 PM   #6
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Wow great read, and congrates on finding such a nice ride! Like the boxster poster on the garage wall too! Be safe i drove in that NJ traffic couple years back, glad to be back in Europe!
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Old 09-10-2019, 06:27 PM   #7
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You could try one of those 'dent wizard' or paintless dent repair places for the golf ball dent.
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Old 09-11-2019, 07:04 AM   #8
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Welcome and beautiful Boxster I am sure you did already, but to make sure, check the age of your tires. A lot of garage queens have plenty of tread but the tires are old. You donít want to find out the age in a curve
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Old 09-11-2019, 11:15 AM   #9
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WELCOME.
Lovely color, looks very clean still (mine did too, for the first 10 years...then I started modding...it's like a Virus )
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