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Old 03-20-2008, 09:42 PM   #1
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newbie looking for some advice..

i am about to jump on a 97 boxster with 88k miles, guy is asking around $9000!
going to check it out tomorrow afternoon.

i have a carfax and it is clean (no accidents), but he is the 5th owner and only owned it for 8 months. says clutch was replaced few thousand miles ago. And will need brakes pretty soon.

what kind of things should i be worried about?

it is a california car for life of ownership, and is a 5spd with the convertable top.

Also regarding maintenece is there any timing belt or chain that needs to be changed ASAP?

I have a feeling the owner is in a rush to sell it... makes me think WHY?

are there any problems i need to check on and be aware of with this year boxster?

I currently have an Audi S4 and want to make a step up :-) very excited!

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Old 03-21-2008, 03:53 AM   #2
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Do a search and you'll find hundreds of posts like yours. The first response is always like this one, make sure you get a PPI! Good luck with the purchase. If everything checks out, you're in for a fun ride!
Silver 2002 S
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Old 03-21-2008, 09:33 AM   #3
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I have a '97 and had a PPI. Still, the car snapped the transmission cables for the convertible top ($1500). These cables should have been replaced by the original owner. Ask if that's already been done on this one. Also see if the coolant tank has ever been replaced, if not it will be at some point. If the car has 88k on it and the engine is original that is a good thing. My '97 has about 26K on the ODO and since the roof issue was resolved has been great. You might also want to check to see if the airbag warning light is on, very common as the seatbelt receptacle contacts tend to corrode on this model year. If it is, replacement is an easy DIY but the dealer will have to reset the light. A PPI should find this if it's there. I am absolutely happy with my '97 but I advise you to research condition of the car extensively.
Good luck!
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Old 03-21-2008, 10:27 AM   #4
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Check this site for tips:


Also RandallNeighbor on this forum has great tips/links in his signature.
04 Boxster S - Basalt/Savanna, 6sp, Carrera lites, hardtop
70 914-6 - Black over tan, original/stock
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Old 03-21-2008, 10:45 AM   #5
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I bought a 97 with 82k on it in 2004 for "just" $15k, which was 7k under blue book value. I am the fourth owner.

Apart from the spare tire and toolkit, I have replaced most everything on the car, easily costing me the $7k I would have spent on a MUCH younger, nicer S model had I waited two years and saved the money I pissed away on repairs.

Thank God it had a new engine in it, which I discovered a week after purchase.

I replaced the horn pad, O-rings on the AC hoses, the tranny $$$$, instrument cluster $$$, fuel sending unit $$$, a couple of top assembly pieces that were worn, the coolant overflow tank $$$, oil filler tube $$$, front driver's side lower control arm (2 times) $$$, worn out original brake discs $$$, bulging brake lines, rear struts $$$, the e-brake handle (cracked), the center console (falling apart at the screw holes), the head unit of the stereo (CD stopped working) $$$, the seats (really worn out and ratty looking) $$$$, and I'm sure a couple of forum members could mention stuff I have forgotten.

97's with original parts become maintenance nightmares now that the cars are 11 years old. For example, when I did my brake job, the steel caliper bolts were heat and rust welded to the all aluminum wheel carrier and I had to spend another 8 hours and $200 reaming out the hole and inserting a sleeve so I could get the car back on the road.

... and I have not yet experienced an RMS leak or an intermediate shaft failure. Oh joy, I have one or both to look forward to in the next few years.

My advice is that if you don't have a 2 inch thick pile of repair receipts and a mechanic who does the PPI and says, "If you don't buy this car, I will!" I'd walk away from it.

The cheapest Porsche is ALWAYS the most expensive one to own. I didn't make that up, but I sure have lived it.

Save your money and buy a 2003 S. It has a heated rear glass window (no getting out of the car half way through the drop top process to "chop" the window so it doesn't crack on you) and a 3.2 motor that won't leave you whining that the thing looks fast but isn't fast enough.

Oh my friend, please learn from my mistake and take my advice. Shelf any emotion in this purchase and let the logic and sound advice from one who did what you're about to do overwrite that giddy feeling you might have right now.

If you do decide to buy it, you better find a good independent mechanic BEFORE you take possession of the car. The dealership repair bills start at $200 for piddly stuff and always cost me between $500 and $1000 when I had to take it in.

And that's all I have to say about this
'97 Boxster (Black Hole for 42,000 Dead Presidents and counting) - 122k
New motor, transmission, suspension, and on and on and on it goes...
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Old 03-21-2008, 12:13 PM   #6
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Listen to RandallNeighbour (and your own concerns)

I hate to respond to your apparent excitement with negativity, but listen carefully to what RandallNeighbour had to say. Also, I can tell just by reading your post that you seem a bit skeptical - go with that instinct.

Rather than buy an older, base model sooner, I bided my time until I found something really nice and a bit newer, and recently purchased a 2003 S, and I am thrilled.

If you are going to go from an S4 to a '97 2.5, you might feel that you have taken a step 'back' rather than a step up. Be very careful .....

(And to all of those with the older 986's and/or 2.5's & 2.7's, I assure you I mean no offense or disrespect, and I recognize that many are excellent, but it seems a significant risk here ...)
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Old 03-21-2008, 11:37 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by kanahoot
i am about to jump on a 97 boxster ...I have a feeling the owner is in a rush to sell it... makes me think WHY?...

Ask him, straight out & straight in the eye.

Good luck,


P.S. 5 owners is kinda weird...ask him. Pry.
99 Supercharged 2.5L
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