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Old 07-23-2010, 08:50 AM   #1
Registered User
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: West Chester, PA
Posts: 211
Introduction & ?s on getting my boxster tip-top

Hi all,

I've been on the forums for a few days now, but want to introduce myself. I'll take pictures this weekend, after my first full detail

My father has owned a '99 Lapis Blue 5-speed Boxster since ~2003, when he returned from a 2-year tour in Sicily. He had a brand new '69 911 Targa, bought with some inheritance money, and then chose to become a social worker and subsequently drove Toyotas for 30 years. He kept the 911 shift knob, and I grew up hearing stories.

The boxster was a return to that as he neared retirement. Similar in displacement & size, he loved it. However, the past few years it's been a garage queen with less than 2000 miles a year being put on it. He no longer enjoyed it, and he became extremely frustrated with the horn honking problem and the battery going dead, as well as a coolant tank that exploded not too long ago.

So, he decided to pass it on to me with 56k miles on it, in amazing shape, and with (in the last 3 years/6k miles):

1. All new bilstein dampers
2. Performance sways front and rear
3. Front strut tower brace
4. New brakes all around
5. New coolant expansion tank ~1 year ago, done by Porsche (ouch!), and the coolant appears new and pink. The coolant tank cap ends in -002 though...

6. A lapis blue hard-top (perfect shape), a set of 18" turbo twist wheels with brand new Pilot Sports, and a set of 17" twist wheels with a new set of blizzaks.

Yes, I'm extremely fortunate.

As each day passes, I'm learning to love it a little more. It's not a powerhouse, but it handles unbelievably when tossed sideways. The brakes are ridiculously firm and confident at any speed.

Problem areas:

1. Front bumper was damaged by flying debris on my 2nd day of ownership. It's being repaired/replaced....if possible, with a boxster S bumper.

2. Steering wheel is shimmying at almost every speed. It's very minor. Could be a balance issue, could be a slightly bent rim. Are there any known problem suspension areas that lead to this? I'll check them out....

3. Oil & Brake fluids need to be done by me so I can be sure of their providence.

4. Rear trunk smells like coolant....could possible still be leaking. I'm going to pull the black plastic cover over the coolant air-bleed point and see if coolant is escaping from a bad o-ring?

5. The convertible top opens and closes quickly, but it "judders" a bit and sounds like some parts need to be lubed. Unfortunately, I've seen threads that say "don't lube the top" so I'm not sure what to do here. Plastic is faded, but not cracking. Needs to be buffed up.

6. I'm not driving it right now.


I'm going to garage it from December 1-March 1 as part of my insurance. During that time, I'm going to tune the car up and inspect it fully. I've been searching, but I'd still like to hear the latest thinking around some issues....

So here are my questions around that:

1. Spark plugs - Going to buy original plugs or NGKs from ********************************AZ (cheapest). Any preference for one or the other? Do I need to replace spark plug tubes, or is that a nice-to-do?

2. Oil - I read somewhere that a canister style screw-on filter is thought to be ideal. I like the concept of being able to inspect the open cartridge filter though. Is there a preferred brand and any reasoning? I have the drain-plug removal tool & cartridge filter socket.

3. Brake fluid - A quick inspection makes this look like every other car. Anything unique here? I'm going to suck the reservoir dry, re-fill it, and then bleed from each brake caliper. Just making sure Porsche didn't insert any extra steps

4. Serpentine Belt - I like Gates brand and saw it for inexpensive. Any comments on that?

5. Trans/Rear Diff Fluid - Going to replace with Porsche-brand just because. Any recommendations, special tools, etc.?

6. Shifter bushings - I'm going to replace these, and inspect the engine mounts. The shifter feels decent, but aged. And sometimes weird resistance as it's engaging the gear. No other words to describe it. Are there upgraded bushings, or just use stock?

All filters, fluids, spark plugs, and the serp belt will be replaced (except coolant and power steering). Any other recommendations for inspection? The car operates great.

My goal at the end of the day is to do as much as possible myself and keep this a glorious, low-cost-to-own, fun car my wife and I enjoy for 8500 miles a year and garage 3-months a year. I look forward to using this forum to that end

JoeFromPA is offline   Reply With Quote