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Old 12-02-2010, 04:15 PM   #1
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Mods and resale value ?


I am considering a few mods, none of them permanent, but it might be labor-intensive to remove them when it comes time to sell.

How do you feel about buying a car with mods ? The ones I have in mind particularly are suspension (lowering and sway bars) and exhaust. I don't expect it to increase the resale value, but does it lower it, or make it more difficult to sell ?

many thanks

2002 Boxster S - Meridian Metallic
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Old 12-02-2010, 05:01 PM   #2
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If I'm a buyer, those mods are a definite + for the car.

I expect to do the same things in the not too distant future to mine. I expect that coilovers will improve the ride.

I apologize in advance for stating the obvious ... just don't expect to get your money back on the mods. If you get 50%, you've won.

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Old 12-02-2010, 05:04 PM   #3
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When I'm shopping for a car I usually look for an unmodified car. If I see a modified/altered car I pass over it and go to the next one.
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Old 12-02-2010, 05:51 PM   #4
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I wouldn't touch a modified car.
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Old 12-02-2010, 06:01 PM   #5
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I used to feel like you schnellman but now I realize for me it depends on what mods and how well they have been executed. We have all seen the Lambox but on the other end of the spectrum, the techart kit for the 986 was pretty sweet, I would not automatically discount it. I have never driven my car with anything but respect for it, it's only been overnight outside about five times since I owned it. The point is I would be swayed by the car's keeper more than the mods unless said mods were hideous I saw a GT3 without it's factory wheels for sale, now unless he put HRE's on there after an accident, I don't see that mod as anything but gravy for the next purchaser.

Last edited by eightsandaces; 12-02-2010 at 06:04 PM.
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Old 12-02-2010, 06:28 PM   #6
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Interesting responses, thank you.

I guess more than the mods themselves, it gives the buyer a glimpse into how the previous owner looked at the car. On one hand, it shows that the previous owner enjoyed his/her car. However, it may also show that he/she pushed the limits of the car, perhaps by autocrossing, track racing, or even underground racing...

Personally, I'd prefer to buy a car with fewer mods, if any. I'd be ok with small cosmetic ones (side markers, clear light assemblies), perhaps wheels.

I am just trying to make sure that I have a plan when I want to sell this car, and also when deciding what mods are worth, given that some will need to be removed....

2002 Boxster S - Meridian Metallic
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Old 12-02-2010, 08:16 PM   #7
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A nearly stock car is usually the easiest to sell because it appeals to the most buyers. Well executed mods of highly sought after parts may add some value to some buyers. 50% max. Mickey moused mods will make a car very difficult to sell. Examples:

*Knockoff GT3 seats added, now airbag light is always on.

*Swapped dash instruments for a Boxster S and now some of the gauges or ODO doesn't work.

*Added aftermarket intake and now CEL is always on.

*Added headers and car won't pass smog test.

*Added lowering springs or coilovers and created serious bump steer issues.

* Shoddy looking "aero enhancements" of any kind.
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Old 12-02-2010, 08:24 PM   #8
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I'd walk away from a car that had performance engine mods done to it, but I would consider it a big bonus if the IMS upgrade had been done by a reputable shop. That, in my mind, would add value to the car. I wouldn't care one way or the other about non-permanent cosmetic mods, nor would I pay extra for them unless it was something really cool like a Zeintop.
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Old 12-02-2010, 09:18 PM   #9
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I just bought my 1999 Boxster and I wanted a car that was totally stock in regards to the engine, suspension, interior, etc. A few cosmetic mods are fine like painted brake calipers and drilled brake disks, a new top, a nice wheel/tire setup or something like that.

Engine and suspension mods are a clear indication that the previous owner drove the car very hard or even raced it - definitely not a car I'd want to buy. Also, there is the total unknowns regarding the quality of the work and the parts used.

So from my perspective, mods greatly reduce the value of the car.
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Old 12-03-2010, 04:26 AM   #10
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I'm with topless on any mods like that, however, if someone were to challenge me about say the underpulley mod, or correlate it's existence to the car being whipped, I'd say they were off base. Let us not forget boys that there is an expansive contrast in shifting ability out there. At the dealership, one customer would get 60K from a clutch another might get 30K, same vehicle. Someone who thinks they are not mistreating the car might be using the clutch like a sanding wheel, holding a hill with it instead of the brake or worse yet occasionally doing the "if you can't find em', grind em' to the gearbox". I didn't mod my car for future investment, it came to me with a spider crack on the bumper cover, now it wears a GT3 cover, I made those changes to enjoy the car myself. For most of us on here these cars are our hobby not just our rides, when the time comes to sell it, I won't worry about the residual value. AND if I ever buy a GT3 or a Boxster Spyder and I feel like modding either one, I will! Remember you spend a long time in the dirt boys...

Hell even the '71 Fiat has an oversize webber carb and a taller gear differential, like father like son. I'm sure the Fiat is still worth considerably more than what is in it as it sits.

Last edited by eightsandaces; 12-03-2010 at 04:31 AM.
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Old 12-03-2010, 05:55 AM   #11
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Anyone who modifies their vehicle for reasons other than their own personal satisfaction and enjoyment, I suggest is a fool. Anyone who thinks that a vehicle that has been modified by means of a thorough and well executed plan has somehow been compromised, I suggest is an even bigger fool.
Don't worry … I've got the microfilm.

Last edited by Johnny Danger; 12-03-2010 at 06:56 PM.
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Old 12-03-2010, 06:01 AM   #12
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You asked

Tasteful low key mods like pulling post-'03 lighting into a '01, a plus. Deambering a plus.

Litronics and glass window top well fitted a big pluses worth perhaps $500 and $250 to me if I'm buying

Aero kit, spoilers, zeintop all minuses to me.

Engine mods...it all depends who did them and are they for reliability (IMS, RMS, spin-on oil filter, drain plug, etc) or for "speed". The former would be pluses and could total $6-800 in added value to me.

Headers, mufflers would be a big question mark for me. Did they add or detract from the driving experience? Help or hurt the MPG? Can you live with the sound for hours? Hear the radio? Talk with your friend in the other seat? Not too loud if you value your ears for later life. Zero value to me.

Suspension mods I'd have to try them and see what my ride impression was. Do they go over speed bumps? Probably wouldn't pay extra.

Wheels...nice 17s or 18s could be a plus if to my taste, if not a big minus. 19s would have me not even look at the car. Great new tires could be a $500-600 plus.

My personal car is not exactly stock but there are no mods that would not appeal to someone who wanted the classic 986 look. None but the most knowledgeable would know they were even done.

Note that in no case would I value the mod when buying a car at what the mod cost to do. I've seen 10% cited as the typical return on investment. And some mods detract from the saleability or received-price of the car! Just as some colors are more desired than others.

Each persons opinion will be different.

Last edited by mikefocke; 12-03-2010 at 06:17 AM.
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Old 12-03-2010, 06:13 AM   #13
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Wouldn't touch a heavily modified car with a stick. There's usually a reason why they're selling it.

Mods add no value to the price of the car, in fact it takes away values in most cases.

I bought the car, I'll mod it to way I like it. It's MY car, not something I'm preserving for the next owner if that day comes.

But this is all a moot point as our cars are not worth much in today's market anyway.

Last edited by ekam; 12-03-2010 at 06:16 AM.
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Old 12-03-2010, 06:37 AM   #14
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Depends upon the modifications, and often more importantly, who did them. We often do a “pre-purchase” inspection on cars coming from third parties, and some of the things we see are truly amazing. Often, the new owner ends up having to fix some of the problematic mods, so we dial those facts into our recommendations.

Things that potentially improve engine life (IMS, larger oil cooler and/or third radiator on a base, 160F stat, spin on filter, Accusump, etc.) would be a plus. “Brand X” exhaust systems (we have had to redo several that droned so bad they were actually shaking the car apart), systems that require defeating the O2 sensors, weird DME re-flashes, any wiring that looks like it was done by “Sydney the Wood Butcher”, most non-Porsche suspension mods and lowering (you would be amazed at how badly some of these cars ride), and any car that seems poorly maintained (oil/coolant leaks, MIL’s or codes, no service records, etc.) would be either “deducts” from the price, or “avoids”.

We have “green lighted” cars with significant mods done by shops or individuals known for the quality of their work, and the buyer’s have generally been very pleased. We have also had customers buy cars we suggested they pass on, and they have ultimately paid the price for their decision. It is always a good move to have an indie you know well look over a car beforehand, they will usually provide an accurate, and more importantly, a dispassionate review of the vehicle…..
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Old 12-03-2010, 07:35 AM   #15
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Nobody's mentioned stereo mods yet...as long as it didn't include obviously inappropriate door speakers or a space-robbing subwoofer, I'd have to say that almost any stereo mod would have to be a positive.
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Old 12-03-2010, 08:09 AM   #16
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See my “Sydney the Wood Butcher” comment above.............
Anything really new is invented only in one’s youth. Later, one becomes more experienced, more famous – and more stupid.” - Albert Einstein
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Old 12-03-2010, 09:32 AM   #17
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I thought headers would be too loud for years, now I find if anything a bit louder would be cool. On the other hand, it's nice though not to have the car "bark" unless you're really in it. Mine was already a used car, perhaps I'd have been less likely to mod one I bought right from the good folks in Germany. One thing is certain, many in my family and circle of friends know the car has been dawdled on, if I was going to give it away at give away prices, I'd rather see one of them grin. It's far more likely I'll be seen next near down in Florida near the beach, retired, driving my 1998 Boxster that people still ask about being a new car, it's comfortable, like a broken inpair of Chuck Taylors... As ekam correctly stated, a car as old as mine isn't worth to anyone what its worth to me anyway, modded or not...

Last edited by eightsandaces; 12-03-2010 at 09:35 AM.
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Old 12-03-2010, 10:29 AM   #18
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As someone who is currently looking for a 2001-2003 S. I can say that if it has mods, I am walking away. unless it is

Nice wheels and tires
decent aftermarket stereo
drop in replacement K&N filter
Glass window replacement in the older ones

I will never buy a car with suspension mods, short throw shift kit, headers and exhaust, supercharger added
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Old 12-03-2010, 12:28 PM   #19
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I've done a bunch of mods. But these all in the realm of factory options that weren't standard when the car was first sold.

1-GT3 front bumper $1400 painted
2-GT3 Seats $2000
3-Factory 18" Carrera wheels $1,000
4-Litronics $1400
5-painted center console and ashtray $400
6-Tequipment carbon shifter knob with horshoe ring $200
7-racing pedals $150
8-colored center caps for wheels
9-LNE IMS bearing upgrade $1,200
10- GT3 MKII side skirts (not available factory for 986) $1,000 painted

That's about $9K in mods that aren't available on a standard Boxster S for the model year. I'm inclined to think that I would be able to sell it for slightly more than an S model on 17" wheels, no aero, factory IMS, bare interior with halogen lights. Lesson being buy your car with the mods already on the car. But I have no plans of ever selling this car. What I could fetch the car for in this lousy lousy lousy economy would not come close to getting me into a car that would deliver the same experience. On summer and spring days there really is not a day that the car is driven without some sort of compliment. Which is nice but the point is that even down 50+% from what I paid it is still a huge value.
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Old 12-03-2010, 03:03 PM   #20
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Mods that lie outside the realm of oem I would be suspect of, unless they are Techart, RUF, FVD or some other genuine german tuner that really has the quality control under wraps and specifically works with Porsche during their design development program for any aftermarket part.

For what it's worth, mods listed below make my car fantastic to drive and I would not go without. The only real item that is not oem is are the turbowerx headers, which only get crazy loud when you stand on the gas and push the car past the 5000 rpm range....normal cruising is stock in sound and so is highway. no problems at all with them either.

However, that being said, the sound with the pse's butterfly valves wide open are just incredible and the R0W M030 package is simply something I should have done a long time ago.

Very impressed with the setup of my car now and plan on owning it a long time as it's paid for. I cannot stomach the thought of having a new '10 or '11 S with about the same setup I currently have and have to pay crazy money per month for ownership...And quite frankly, I think the 986S could still stand it's own with a new 987.2S...Don't get me wrong, the new ones are nice, but I still see too many parts on them that seemingly look 986....

The only thing I do worry about is if the IMS grenades my engine....and if that happens, it will go to Jake for a 3.6 swap out or I will go new and forget it. I will have to look at my options when and if that occurs.

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