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Old 12-28-2010, 03:57 AM   #1
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Where are all the blown up boxsters ?

I've been lurking around for several months studying up on the Boxster. I am absolutely convinced there will be one in my garage in the near future. However, I am set back in deciding how to go about my future ownership. My personal budget has been set at 15,000. There are obviously alot of boxsters to be had in this range. But I am very leery of the engine history along with the typical mechanicals that come along with owning a porsche.

So I thought I would investigate the option of buying a rolling boxster and getting in line for one of these Raby rebuilds. I like the idea of more horsepower and reliability. Not to mention starting from scratch in the engine and transmission dept. Trouble is I have yet to find much in the way of blown up boxsters for sale. Any help out there in that regards?

As well, my searching has led me to think that there is a distinct possibility there arent as many blown up cars out there as one would think and I may be knee jerking myself into a very in depth rebuild project when I could just find a nice 15000 drivable car and forge ahead. Thoughts?

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Old 12-28-2010, 06:39 AM   #2
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welcome!

...and for 15k you should be able to get a fairly nice Boxster with a good history. I had all the same concerns a few years ago when I bought my '00S. I did as much homework as I could and bought one anyway. I did get mine from a P-Dealer. I probably paid a little more than I would have from an individual, but it came with 4 pages of maint. work they had done on it and a year wtty. (which I used)

Not sure on finding a roller but here would be a good place to start.

http://www.oklahomaforeign.com/

good luck!
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Old 12-28-2010, 07:34 AM   #3
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Why don't you talk to Jake? He probably sees more rollers than just about anyone. Would save you the shipping if he already had the car there.

I think your budget might be a bit shy for that project, and talking with Jake would also give you a realistic estimate of the total cost of a project like that.

I'd find a nice '99 with at least 70K on it and drive it till it pukes (if it ever does) and then get the 3.4 swap done. That's kinda my plan actually.
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Old 12-28-2010, 08:56 AM   #4
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After reading tons of post and anything else I can find on the net about these cars, I am starting to think along the lines of some who say,"you dont hear from all the happy boxster owners who's cars are 100K plus with no issues". But luck doesnt run in my blood, if anyone is going to buy one that will blow in 1000 miles it will be me.

I guess what I am looking for is some input from those that have taken on the challenge of starting from blown up to Raby improved. Costs involved and was the extended time worth the end result? My preferred end result would be an improved and reliable engine in a low milage chassis. That to me would justify the added cost if not simply for the piece of mind and performance desires I have.
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Old 12-28-2010, 09:27 AM   #5
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Like some others have said...

putting a raby rebuilt/upgraded engine in a rolling chassis is probably going to exceed your 15k budget. Some people say you can pick up a boxster with a blown engine for 3-4k but I have not seen them myself and I would rather part mine out than sell it like that. You can find 97-99 models pretty frequently in the 80-120k mile range from 7k on up. I would possibly take my chances with one of these and save the extra money for what happens down the road. The raby engines I am sure are very, very good but the warranty I think is only 1 year or two at the most. I am sure you would probably not have any problems with a set up from him but I would not expect it to be like buying a new car with a 4yr 60k mile warranty or something like that.
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Old 12-28-2010, 10:38 AM   #6
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I can see $15k this way

Rolling car $5k
Raby 'cpo' $8k
Installation $2k

At the end you have a 10 year old car with a tested engine that has perhaps 5 of the major failure causes addressed but not the other 16 or so. And little or no warranty...though I'll bet Jake would try and work out something to try and help you. But since the engine isn't one of his total rebuilds, he isn't warrantying it like one, or pricing it like one.

There can be other failures that take down the car. You haven't done anything to the clutch in this scenario and the trans and suspension are old.

The more assurance/warranty you want, the more you pay. The more risk you assume yourself, the less you pay initially. And sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.
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Old 12-28-2010, 12:14 PM   #7
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[QUOTE=jcoit]After reading tons of post and anything else I can find on the net about these cars, I am starting to think along the lines of some who say,"you dont hear from all the happy boxster owners who's cars are 100K plus with no issues". But luck doesnt run in my blood, if anyone is going to buy one that will blow in 1000 miles it will be me.

I totally agree. I don't think the number nor the percentage of Boxsters with blown engines is nearly as great as those who make money from rebuilds would have us believe.
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Old 12-28-2010, 01:12 PM   #8
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I would purchase the nicest Boxster you can find in the $12k range and have the LN IMS update done and drive it.
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Old 12-28-2010, 07:38 PM   #9
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[QUOTE=Boxster101]
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcoit
After reading tons of post and anything else I can find on the net about these cars, I am starting to think along the lines of some who say,"you dont hear from all the happy boxster owners who's cars are 100K plus with no issues". But luck doesnt run in my blood, if anyone is going to buy one that will blow in 1000 miles it will be me.

I totally agree. I don't think the number nor the percentage of Boxsters with blown engines is nearly as great as those who make money from rebuilds would have us believe.
Keep that attitude.. If you ever end up a statistic, you'll understand that a certain reality exists. That happened to at least 3 people that I know this year, to include one of our most vocal critics..

I simply state what we experience as a reality, we do see a higher concentration of failed engines, because that is our specialty and we see them from all over the country.

Not taking some sort of a preventive measure, even if its just a change in driving style, simply isn't wise.

FWIW- We'd much rather carry out preventive measures, instruct classes, provide resource materials and develop the engines instead of creating updated engines.. We provided more updated engines in 2010 than I wanted, and 2011 already has a jump start thats twice as heavy as we entered into 2010 with..

BTW- We are closed this week, but that didn't mean that the problems took the week off.. When I logged into the phone system today we had three failure calls since Thursday.
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Old 12-29-2010, 03:19 AM   #10
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Thanks for responding Jake. As I said in my post if its going to blow up on anyone it will be me. Ive been lurking on your pages as well and trying to figure a decent plan that will end with me owning a boxster I have confidence in. I have no doubt even normally powered I will love the car. Power is not the issue reliability and piece of mind is. I would gladly extend my budget 3-5 grand and wait patiently 6-12 months to get that.

All that said it has already been suggested I contact you to discuss a starting point for such a project. So theres the next step..what do you have available or where do I need to look to find a suitable start on this project?

BTW I spent several hours searching the country for 13,000 dollar boxsters. Not a single one screamed out to me "you can buy me with confidence" LOL
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Old 12-29-2010, 10:32 AM   #11
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If you have to worry about it...you'd better not buy

And your budget can't afford absolute surety. (Mine won't either.)

Lets just for discussions sake say there are 21 modes of failure you have to prevent against to have the utmost assurance that the as-Porsche-designed engine faults are avoided. Lets say there are 50 different parts involved. 50 different processes to install them. And all the parts and processes are 99.99 percent perfect...failure proof. That still leaves some failures. And we haven't factored in the unimproved parts like the suspension, brakes, ECU, transmission, clutch, security, Radio, HVAC, etc.

I guess what I'm getting to in this ramble is you can't get to absolute certainty of no failures ... stuff happens even with the best design and intentions. And oh does it cost to try to get as near to problem-free as is currently possible.

So you try to get to a degree of uncertainty and risk can YOU live with. And doesn't your perception of that risk change over time...remember all those smug Toyota owners who were suddenly scared to drive their cars...think their concern for their car's reliability went from zero to off the chart.

Also remember how much you know about Boxsters thanks to forums like these. Other makes have similar problem areas that you don't know about. We just care more about our cars so we learn more about them and talk more about them.

Jake is being straight up. He sees failures, hears daily cries of woe and people's shock at what a fix to do it right will cost because he doesn't do it half-way. But not all Boxster engines fail...not by a long shot.

Some of those people in shock paid too much relative to what they could afford and relative to the risk entailed in owning such a car. Some are just not accepting of risk.

You want no financial risk in a Porsche, stay under warranty..with all the expense that entails. (Of course get in an accident and your car's value plummets and that isn't covered by insurance or the manufacturer's warranty.) Can't afford that approach, you buy a cheaper to purchase car and stay under that warranty. Can't afford that you buy the cheapest used car that you perceive to be a probable high reliability car. But of course in any of those approaches you could be wrong.

Been there, done that many times over the probably 30+ cars I've bought. Been wrong in the new cars I've bought about as often as I've been wrong with the used ones. One bad against 2 good for Porsches...both the good ones being Boxsters. I accept that there is some reward to accepting risk because everyone isn't equipped to accept risk the same way and some overvalue perceived safety and thus overpay for it. Both my Boxsters were 5+ years old and had been owned by 2 prior owners before me. On my second I declined an extended warranty. I saved about $2k doing that I now know. Could have worked out differently but I played the odds.

As one who has been saving and investing since 1967, my advice would be don't use all your credit on a car. Don't even use all your spare cash. Don't put your serious money in depreciating assets. Because stuff happens.

Boy do I enjoy my Boxster...and it will be 66 on Saturday and the snow will be gone. Think I'll go for a pointless romp through winding country roads.
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Old 12-29-2010, 01:39 PM   #12
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[QUOTE=Boxster101]
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcoit
After reading tons of post and anything else I can find on the net about these cars, I am starting to think along the lines of some who say,"you dont hear from all the happy boxster owners who's cars are 100K plus with no issues". But luck doesnt run in my blood, if anyone is going to buy one that will blow in 1000 miles it will be me.

I totally agree. I don't think the number nor the percentage of Boxsters with blown engines is nearly as great as those who make money from rebuilds would have us believe.
But it really sucks when yours is the one to go. 50% of the Porsches I have owned (100% of the Boxsters) have experienced an engine failure.....statististically speaking that makes me....
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Old 12-29-2010, 06:38 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by mts
But it really sucks when yours is the one to go. 50% of the Porsches I have owned (100% of the Boxsters) have experienced an engine failure.....statististically speaking that makes me....
+ 1, It is a lot cheeper to upgrade IMS,RMS & water pump then to replace a motor.
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Old 12-30-2010, 04:27 AM   #14
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Thanks for all the replies and suggestions. I am continuing my trek better educated. Kudos to the forum for being the best resource I have come across to date in making an educated step back into sports cars. Its been three kids and 20 long years since I had two sports cars and three high performance road racing motorcycles in my garage. I havent forgot the cost or long hours spent in the garage maintaining my hobbies early in life.

Mike Focke. The first resource I utilized was your pages. Thanks for taking the time to put that together. I definitely finished that study with a smarter consumer feeling. At the very least I was well aware of the development of the boxster and where my likes and desires fit in the model years. Just reading that section of your page saved me 10-15 grand. Thank you sir.

In regards to your financial advise I guess I should clarify my stance. I am in knee jerk phase at the moment. I have been overwhelmed with sad stories about massive engine failures. Everything from I just paid 18000 and 300 miles from the dealership a big puff of smoke came out and there I was needing a 12000 motor replacement, to "But it really sucks when yours is the one to go. 50% of the Porsches I have owned (100% of the Boxsters) have experienced an engine failure.....statististically speaking that makes me.... Bottom line if one only read that far no one in their right mind would buy one of these cars. Fortunately I read on.

I realize that pre purchase I have some amount of control in how reliable my boxster will be. I am simply looking into different options that may solve some core issues and get me closer to the perfect fit. All that said I am well aware that there is no cure all to any situation. That amount of risk I am more than willing to take to own and drive one of these cars. I have set a very conservative purchase budget that allows for regular costs and worst case scenarios yet allows me to own the car I want with the features I want. In other words i cant buy an 05 or 06 s and have a parachute but I sure can buy 00-02 and have a parachute. My final investigation is along the lines of this thread...maybe a 98 with a new raby motor is even a better idea than an 02s Your pages led me to this sensibility and willingness to consider many options before purchase, thank you again.

I look forward to the day mid summer when I can say ok here she is, and thank the many folks who helped me along in making a wise purchase.
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Old 12-30-2010, 05:02 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcoit

I realize that pre purchase I have some amount of control in how reliable my boxster will be. I am simply looking into different options that may solve some core issues and get me closer to the perfect fit. All that said I am well aware that there is no cure all to any situation. That amount of risk I am more than willing to take to own and drive one of these cars. I have set a very conservative purchase budget that allows for regular costs and worst case scenarios yet allows me to own the car I want with the features I want. In other words i cant buy an 05 or 06 s and have a parachute but I sure can buy 00-02 and have a parachute. My final investigation is along the lines of this thread...maybe a 98 with a new raby motor is even a better idea than an 02s Your pages led me to this sensibility and willingness to consider many options before purchase, thank you again.

I look forward to the day mid summer when I can say ok here she is, and thank the many folks who helped me along in making a wise purchase.

I didn't mean to scare you off, but it's good you are doing your research and are informed about what you are getting into. If I were looking today, I would find a well taken care of 2003-2004 S model (obviously I'm partial to the 04 S Special Edition) and immediately get the basic engine upgrades done. You live realtively close to Jake Raby so getting the upgrades done would be easy.

The market on these cars (and most all sports cars for that matter) is really soft right now so some very good deals can be had. Put the engine upgrades into your purchase budget upfront, get it done, then go have a blast and sleep like a baby without this stuff to worry about......aside from the engine issues (which is a big deal, but can be fixed), these really are great cars in almost every way.

Good luck.
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Old 12-30-2010, 06:01 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mts
I didn't mean to scare you off, but it's good you are doing your research and are informed about what you are getting into. If I were looking today, I would find a well taken care of 2003-2004 S model (obviously I'm partial to the 04 S Special Edition) and immediately get the basic engine upgrades done. You live realtively close to Jake Raby so getting the upgrades done would be easy.

The market on these cars (and most all sports cars for that matter) is really soft right now so some very good deals can be had. Put the engine upgrades into your purchase budget upfront, get it done, then go have a blast and sleep like a baby without this stuff to worry about......aside from the engine issues (which is a big deal, but can be fixed), these really are great cars in almost every way.

Good luck.
I'm looking for 986 or 987 and in searching the usual sites the prices on the 03/04 S are insane to me. Most 03 S are $22K with an occasional $24K and the 04 S are mostly $25K to $28K. Prices are way out of line. It's winter here in Philly and the prices for these cars are not coming down...yet. Hopefully they will soon.
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Old 12-30-2010, 06:12 AM   #17
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Don't forget those are likely ask prices, not sale prices and given that they don't look too far out of line to me. What are you thinking is fair for a nice 03-04 S?
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Old 12-30-2010, 06:22 AM   #18
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Don't forget those are likely ask prices, not sale prices and given that they don't look too far out of line to me. What are you thinking is fair for a nice 03-04 S?
My gut says under $19K for 01/02 S, maybe $20K for an 03 S and about $21-22 for the 04 S. There are plenty of 03 S cars advertised for $22k and the 04 S are mid to upper $20's. I base this off of what I think an 05 S should sell for which is under $30K. There has to be a decent difference between an 986 and 987 to me and having an 04 S in the upper $20K's doesn't seem right to me. You can find some of these 986 cars priced right but they have 70K miles on them....

Hopefully this search link works. There is an 02 S for $28K!!!

http://www.cars.com/for-sale/searchresults.action?prMx=35000&sf1Dir=DESC&prMn=0&mkId=20081&mdId=20705&crSrtFlds=stkTypId-feedSegId-mkId-mdId-pseudoPrice-pseudoYear-transTypeId-trId&rd=500&zc=19317&PMmt=1-1-0&stkTypId=28881&sf2Dir=ASC&sf1Nm=price&yrMn=2002&sf2Nm=miles&transTypeId=28112&rpp=100&feedSegId=28705&trId=24752&searchSource=GN_REFINEMENT&pgId=2102

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Old 12-30-2010, 06:58 AM   #19
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I think that last set of prices are high

I have a 58K miles needs nothing '01S and I don't think I could get $16.5k for it and that would be spring time selling. I see real selling prices like that all the time. Mostly private sellers. You don't get the convenience of the dealers and the seller isn't as adept at giving you the warm fuzzies as the salesman is. But keep in mind CarMax made $2100 on every car they sold this year in a tough market so there has to be a gap between private seller and reseller. Maybe to get a better car, or a better price, or both.
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Old 12-30-2010, 06:59 AM   #20
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SeaNile31,

Look at this post http://986forum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=27314

Your market is even worse then mine! Dang those are high prices you list...looks like South Fl is the place to be...or come to NC, at least we can beat yours.

Cheers

Mike, I would have giving you 16.5 for yours, that would have been a good price for a great car when i was looking in oct/nov...I paid less for an 00 'S' but I'm sure yours was better maintained, I had to put a lot into mine...well a lot of it I wanted to put into it


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