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Old 03-15-2009, 01:02 PM   #1
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HELP! Opportunity for an '04 X51 engine in my boxster

Hi guys,

I am at a crossroads. I have a nice little 1981 911Sc with a 964 cosmetic upgrade. The engine has 167,000 miles but still runs great. The car needs a few thosand dollars in cosmetics and small things to make it ideal...maybe more.

On the other hand, I have a great Boxster with a Zeintop which is really in mint condition. The little 2.5 engine has almost 100k miles and still running strong but I am craving more power.

To the crisis - a local West Palm Beach high-end auto broker (with a good rep locally) has a 2004 X51 engine with 12k miles for sale. He is willing to trade the engine and the following hardware:

Engine X51 2004, verifyable miles.
DME
wiring harness part connecting DME
Pedal assembly with wiring harness complete
Front center radiator
6 speed Boxster S transmission
clutch
pressure plate
throughout bearing

plus anything else I may need for my little tired 1981 911SC. His friend, the carrera GT tech at the local Porsche dealership will do the difficult install for $5k -- including all the computer programming, which is a ********************.

This was done by european car magazine and a few others with great results and being I have so much tied up in my Box, I feel it is a kickass option -- what does the crowd thing...do it or don't?

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Old 03-15-2009, 01:20 PM   #2
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Garage
Do it!!
The 911 SC is a great car, but there are plenty out there and the value is certainly less than that engine package.
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Old 03-15-2009, 02:57 PM   #3
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my poss. engine swap

Thanks for the enthusiastic response I am so wanting too but my bud in atlanta who is fortuntate enough to own a 997 and a few other toys keeps saying it's still a "boxster" -- now, in my opinion, the little Boxster is one of the sexiest porsches ever built..oh so true to the 550, so he can kiss my ass...plus, I am hoping if this Carrera GT tech does it right, it'll kill his 997 on the track lol,

Boxsters...they just do not get the respect they deserve....Porsche's initial marketing efforts maybe?

I digress...thanks again. That's the answer I am hoping for I will post pics or vid when it is done, er, if it gets done


Rob
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Old 03-15-2009, 03:11 PM   #4
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Trying to get help with your decision from this board is only gonna confuse you more.

Personally, if you're gonna outlay $5k, I'd put it in the '81 SC. They're turning around on the depreciation curve and are already classics in their own right. It's worth investing in whereas the Boxster is not. Just go to the library and look at the prices in a 5 y.o. Hemmings compared to today.

And... your high-end broker (probably knowledgeable about market trends) obviously feels he's getting the best of the deal or else why would he offer it? He can sell the X-51 engine anywhere and get his money, I suspect he believes he's gonna make more in the end doing this swap.
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Old 03-15-2009, 04:13 PM   #5
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The swap sounds exciting! BUT, what about the Boxster suspension and brakes - do you plan to upgrade those to match the power of the new engine?


You might want to read all of Tholyoaks posts on engine swaps before taking any action on this offer.

Personally , I would put the money in the SC -- IMHO of course...

Take care
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Old 03-15-2009, 04:37 PM   #6
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I appreciate the responses. As for the suspension, I will look into that...he has said he will work with me on the other parts.

As for the appreciation/depreciation, my little SC is a frankenporsche and it's true value will never be seen unless I take the 964 bumpers off and return it to stock. The original fuchs are long gone and replaced with black CUP II wheels, the seats are aftermarket. When it was on Fleabay, it had many a watcher but nay a taker ($yk was the highest bid)

My Boxster is somewhat of a project in itself as I have the zeintop on it, the carbon hood, the interior is like new as is virtually everything on the car -- except the motor -- 98k on a 2.5liter. It has been maintained well but to be honest, I didn't ever foresee ever selling the Boxster or 911 but I am moving to my home in ATL soon and only have enough room for 4 cars (the wife's being one of them)

Sadly, I thought it made sense to let the SC go to someone who could finish her up and enjoy her as opposed to it rotting in my garage.

I do value all comments and am guessing you guys are against the idea.

Just a parting thought - there is a great article about how Porsche factory driver and Lemans & Daytona champ Cort Wagner chose a Boxster as his daily car, dropped a x51 in it and said it was what Porsche should have done.

That got me thinking...
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Old 03-15-2009, 04:39 PM   #7
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Agree with sboxin, Sounds like an awesome package but the rest of the chassis and needs to be sorted to complete a project of that magnitude. Since you said "whatever you need" see how much more to throw the big reds off the S into the package.
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Old 03-15-2009, 05:25 PM   #8
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EightsandAces, my thoughts exactly lol
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Old 03-15-2009, 07:59 PM   #9
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Be mindful that the X-51 is just a bunch of add-ons to the M96 motor and in no way insulates it from RMS or IMS issues.

Viewing your responses, it doesn't seem as if you're seeking help with your decision as much as you're seeking affirmation for a decision you've already made .

That's OK, but you'll be out-of-pocket more like $8k once done with your spring and binder work... but your car won't be worth $8k more, more like $4k on the used market.

You said:"... I thought it made sense to let the SC go to someone who could finish her up and enjoy her as opposed to it rotting in my garage..." The way I see it, why can't that guy be you?

It's your car(s) and your money, so good luck whatever you do. I'd just do it differently is all.

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Old 03-15-2009, 08:28 PM   #10
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I would sell them both and include the 5k more you were going to spend and get a C4s... One with decent mileage ended on the fleabay the other day for 29 with no reserve!

Or toss another 10 at it and get a 996 turbo.

I love the boxster too, but at the end of the day, you still have a boxster. It may be awesome to own, but not to sell. You will get raped at re-sale.

If you plan to keep the car for a long time/forever, then your plan is pretty awesome. It would be a blast of a car.
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Old 03-16-2009, 04:58 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxferran
I would sell them both and include the 5k more you were going to spend and get a C4s... One with decent mileage ended on the fleabay the other day for 29 with no reserve!

Or toss another 10 at it and get a 996 turbo.

I love the boxster too, but at the end of the day, you still have a boxster. It may be awesome to own, but not to sell. You will get raped at re-sale.

If you plan to keep the car for a long time/forever, then your plan is pretty awesome. It would be a blast of a car.

Just my opinion but I would sooner buy a Cayman or Boxster S, I can't see going back to the chassis limitations of the 911. My belief is someday the torch will be passed and the new generation Porsche designs will eclipse the older technology. If and when that happens, having an older SC might be sweet...
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Old 03-16-2009, 05:14 AM   #12
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Well, I did try selling the SC, both on fleabay and locally -- it's interior, though complete is far from finished or stock -- as is the outside. with the 964 kit, many shy away from it, instead going for cleaner more original versions that are out there by the boatload.

Additionally, I do need to trim down the offerings before my move -- and the little SC has sat...and sat...and sat and I do not have the mechanical fortitude nor the financial resources to keep up all of 'em.

Maybe I am just seeking affirmation as I already put a zeintop on the Box and put mucho dollars in her cosmetically and figured in this soft market with a car needing to be gone, this was a viable option for the next few years, where in time, I can afford a newer 911...

But at the end of the day, I am not sure I want to blend in Atlanta's cosmo scene with just another "late model"911...on my end, I'd rather have something a bit original that one similar to another 50 in the parking lot at lenox square mall.

I have received more compliments on my little Boxster with the zeintop and all the cosmetic enhancements than any car I have ever owned.

Again, I appreciate all of thos answering for and against. I just am attached to both cars and that is the reason for the difficulty -- if I wasnt attached to the old SC, there'd be no question as it is not stock, not close to original, has a bit of rust (just a bit that I know of) 167k on the mill with no rebuild in the past or one planned for the future, cheap ricer seats...I would need the 5k just to sort out cosmetics
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Old 03-16-2009, 06:32 AM   #13
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I am not sure you are looking for opinions or ideas .Genenerally speaking there is always a price at which something will sell(SC) -don't know that # for an SC .
Since you will be moving to Atlanta you won't be too far from Jake Raby who appears to really doing Engine Development right and with good results .One thought would be to price the SC agressively and talk to Jake about options for more HP and reliability.
I would bet that as his engine volume increases and the word gets out there will be a real value placed on his engines .This would suggest you could recover some money .If the need arose .
Reading between the lines -if you are not driving the SC today -probably won't drive it tommorrow either ............doesn't sound like throwing more money at it is a viable option.
Dave
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Old 03-16-2009, 08:54 AM   #14
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DC,

Thanks for the insight. Yeah, the SC was batting around $7 in the offer ranges. With the swap, I am getting everything...EVERYTHING I need to do this conversion right. Everything is at my disposal along with the Porsche Carrera tech who is doing the job.

I understand peoples feelings and love for the SC, that's why I am torn...but I also love the Boxster and think if Porsche would have given the little car a set of hairy nuts in the first place, it wouldn't have the stigma it has (of course it would have cannabaized the 911 Cabrio sales but...)

I know the history of my boxster and the X51 has all documentation from Chariots of Palm Beaches... Being that I only have this one shot (financially) for another 5 years or so to do something on this scale, I feel this feel in my lap at the right time. If I chose the SC, it would be an ongoing project I cannot tackle right now -- if I can in the future, there will be an affordable one to piucxk up that hasn't been "frankensteined"

I love my SC but I love my Boxster too. As it stands, I will be getting horsepower that is close to what both cars have combined...

Here is a pic of the SC and the Boxster, I am sure I will get hate mail on the top and two-tone treatment too lol

Thanks for all your comments, both for and against.
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Old 03-16-2009, 09:31 AM   #15
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1) If you do this make sure you get it in writing upfront.
2) There are a lot of parts missing on your list to do this swap correctly. Heck, there are a lot of parts missing to simply put a 6-speed in a 5-speed car.
3) Make sure your tech has done this before. There is no replacement for experience in this. Trust me, I have bailed out a few shops that have committed to these projects and then found themselves over their heads. Guess who is left with the bill for all those extra hours learning how to get it to work (see point 1)
4)Iif they are going to mickey mouse it and not update to the 7.8 DME but simply use an rpm switch and reprogrammed DME to make it work I personally would walk away.

-Todd
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Old 03-16-2009, 09:37 AM   #16
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$7 seems low.But,it is what is .So-all in $12 -doesn't sound too bad -considering the dismantlers are quoting north of $6 for a vanilla 996 engine .You can probably recover some $ on the 2.5 -still runs so it's a good core .
Two other points -center radiator ? Also LN Engineering has a new bearing arangement foir the intermediate shaft -since it will be an easy acess -probably worth looking into ..........
Can't wait to hear how it turns out !
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Old 03-16-2009, 10:03 AM   #17
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DC, yeah I plan to unload the 2.5 -- it is a solid little engine that has escaped RMS issues, so I am hoping to get $2-2.5k for it.

tholyoak, are there anythings off the top of your head you can tell me is missing? He and the Tech know each other and he has given said tech the right to grab whatever we need from several donor cars on his premises...but knowing what I am missing might help, if you could. If not I undersatand.

Do you mind if I ask why you are selling or have sold your converted Boxsters? You got $25k for the last one right?
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Old 03-17-2009, 09:56 AM   #18
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Well, I was on the fence about it...didn't really know what to do. I really took everything everyone here said to heart...and couldn't deny the fact that the SC, is and will always be a crowd favorite...

Then I went and met the guy and the Porsche tech...the porsche tech immediately told me the engine wasn't the X51, which was easily noticable due to the "missing" aluminum intake. It was a standard 3.6 but was dusty and dirty and didn't appear in my humble opinion to have only 12.3k miles on it.

So, I went home, still struggling with whether I wanted to do it. At around 11pm, I got a call from the tech, Mike. He said that with all good faith, he could not let me go through with it -- that there was a grave difference in value here.

He said for the money of the install, he can get my SC running tight and add some power/performance to the Boxster, all wrenched by a certified Porsche mechanic in his personal shop
.

So the decision is an easy one now Thanks for p;utting the doubt in my head in the first place everybody...and to those who stood by it, thanks again

I'll keep you guys updated on what mods he does to the boxster, as I know there isn't much that can be done with the exception of a supercharger or turbo

Thanks again,

Rob
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Old 03-17-2009, 12:41 PM   #19
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Obviously, I agree with your choice ('course the deal did change when you found out it wasn't really an X-51 - something about the original deal didn't sing true to me). I think it makes the most sense.

But, you still have a storage issue right?

If so, don't do anything to the Boxster - you won't get your money back. Instead put it in the 911SC. That money's much more likely to 'grow'.

Plus, you don't have to do it all at once, put it on a 3 yr. plan. In the end, I think you'll be happy with that approach plus, it'll give you something to do and you'll become reacquainted and re-enthused with the SC.

Any parts you need are still available and also do a standing search on ebay, contact LA Porsche, Parts Haven and Okla. Foreign to see if you can save a buck too. Good Luck!

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Old 03-18-2009, 01:17 PM   #20
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LB,

Well, if the SC is road worthy, I can keep her outside on a paved area off the garage in ATL if necessary or better yet, move the wife's car outside

Thanks for all the comments and support all.

Rob

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