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Old 12-22-2013, 09:19 AM   #1
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Thoughts on an 01 turbo and 99 996

I have been test driving 996's and turbo's, and although I'm not yet sure what I will end up with yet, I really liked the way the 99 996 drove. I love that the motor is high strung like the boxster and likes to be revved. Where as the turbo is effortless to drive, there is always power. In the turbo you hear the exhaust note, in the 99 you hear the motor which I prefer. What do you think of a 3.4 with 80k miles that has been maintained? I have net driven a 3.6 yet, but do you guys think its a big improvement?

I am considering the noted 3.4, and currently an extremely low mileage turbo. I like the 3.4 as it allows me to keep my boxster and keep a lot of funds in my bank account. My only concern with the 3.4 is cracks forming in the cylinder walls and killing the motor. Do you think this is an over reaction?

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Old 12-22-2013, 09:54 AM   #2
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I have a Boxster and a 996.

My understanding is that the M96 engine issues with cylinder walls were early failures and pretty much sorted out by 1999. Even less concern if the car is still running well today.

Of course, the 3.4 M96 engine has all of the same concerns as the 2.5/2.7 Boxster engines in terms of intermediate shaft bearing, timing chains tensioners, etc. The Turbo engine doesn't share these same concerns.

My 99 996 has 132,000 miles (original IMS bearing). It runs great and I use it as a daily driver. Of course, your mileage may vary.

The Turbo is, as you note, a completely different engine that changes the dynamics of the 996. The 01 Turbo 3.6 isn't just an enlarged version of the 996 3.4, its a version of the GT-3 racing-based engine and is considered to be the "real deal". To some, that alone is worth the price of entry into Porsche Turboland.

Most people would love to have your problem (986 + 996 3.4 OR 996 Turbo)!
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Old 12-22-2013, 10:43 AM   #3
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I am over the imsb. I think it's an overblown issue so long as one is aware of it and examines their oil/ filter during changes. I may replace the imsb in the 99, if I were to buy it, but not sure. The 3.4 had a few motor problems and just want to make sure I am not missing anything.

If I kept both I would sell my hardtop and turn the boxster back into a convertible.
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Old 12-22-2013, 11:21 AM   #4
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I've been browsing through 996 and 996 turbos as well with slightly less serious intent to buy. The 996 and 996tt are totally different beasts as far as engine mechanics go. It seems most regard the later 996 with 3.6l much more highly than the 3.4l siting the latter as lacking torque.

Personally I'd give the 40th Anniversary model a look if you aren't planning to mod/mess with your next Porsche. These have the 3.6L with x51 package bumping it up to 345hp (from 320hp). I've read the performance gain is less significant due to the x51 than the 3.4->3.6 transition, but why not aim for something less common and higher performance?

Also, it goes without saying that if you dislike the turbo-feel, but want performance the 996 GT3 is where it is at. Same engine block as the turbo without the turbo. I still cannot believe I saw one of these sell locally for $40k.
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Old 12-22-2013, 11:40 AM   #5
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I would take a gt3 for 40$. That's a steal. I'm either going to get a low priced m96 or low mileage mid priced turbo. I'm not interested in paying much for an m96. It would be more of a toy to get me by wanting a new car, but it lets me keep my 986. Compared to my 2.7 the 3.4 felt great. The turbo on the other hand is obscenely fast.
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Old 12-22-2013, 02:28 PM   #6
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The differenced between the 3.4 Carrera and the 3.6 Turbo is chalk & cheese and its not just the engine - the whole chassis is wider, the brakes are bigger, the cooling system upgraded, wheels are special, etc, etc.
What you are getting is a completely different car which is reflected by the difference in prices between the two vehicles.
I suspect the turbo is a bit of a steal at the moment with the depressed economy - a good example may even retain its purchase price over the next few years & it would be a lot easier to sell when trade in time comes around too.
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Old 12-22-2013, 02:59 PM   #7
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Your money, your choice. Me, go Turbo or don't bother making a change. 2 Cars = 2 insurance policies, 2 sets of tires to buy, 2 oil changes to deal with, 2 gas tanks to fill, 2 cars you gotta wash and detail, 2 garage spots to occupy, etc. Not to mention 2 cars that will likely have an accelerated depreciation rate vs. the Turbo, which is by the way being noticed lately by many for the performance bargain it is, my 2 cents.........
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Old 12-22-2013, 03:06 PM   #8
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Your money, your choice. Me, go Turbo or don't bother making a change. 2 Cars = 2 insurance policies, 2 sets of tires to buy, 2 oil changes to deal with, 2 gas tanks to fill, 2 cars you gotta wash and detail, 2 garage spots to occupy, etc. Not to mention 2 cars that will likely have an accelerated depreciation rate vs. the Turbo, which is by the way being noticed lately by many for the performance bargain it is, my 2 cents.........
Couldn't agree more. You only have so much time to enjoy them. Unless of course you are Jay Leno and have a huge garage in Burbank.
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Old 12-22-2013, 03:14 PM   #9
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I agree about the depreciation, I think the turbo as long as it's well kept will retain much of its value in the future as only about 8k were sold in the US. I'm going to check out a turbo with 15k miles tomorrow. My worry is I like to tweak my cars slightly spending money on them, that I will never see again with the 996 as that is what I am experiencing with the 986.
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Old 12-22-2013, 06:03 PM   #10
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Unless the tweaks are bolt-on and easy take-off, like upgrading to litronics, I doubt you'll ever get your money back out.

Regarding depreciation, I suspect everything post 993 is going to face much greater depreciation. There will be the exceptions like GT2s and GT3s (possibly Boxster Spyders and Cayman Rs for their Club Sport-like design) that will hold their value pretty well.

The 996tt are kind of on that cusp between mass production and something special. They are very popular to mod so the unmolested ones will hold their value better in the long haul as fewer and fewer examples remain stock, but time will tell on how badly they depreciate or hold value.

Just my thoughts.
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Old 12-22-2013, 06:42 PM   #11
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If you're seriously worried about value, get an air cooled 911.

All of the water pumpers are going to lose value. Yes, the TT's and GT-3's are losing value slower than the 3.4's, but significant value loss is why they are currently such great buys and its hard to imagine them going up significantly.
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Old 12-22-2013, 08:39 PM   #12
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3.4 d-chunk failure possible. 3.6 d-chunk failure rare, ditto for 3.2 S. Boxster. Although I'm not sure if a 3.4 averaging 5K miles is low enough mileage to be the typical example of this failure. Still that's on the low end of mileage for a 14 year old car.

Turbo too much understeer. tail steps out... even more understeer. Don't see how gobs of understeer is an 'upgrade'.

One is fully a grand touring. The C2 is only taking first steps toward that eventuality.

I would look for 996 C2S from 2002-2004 with the IMS already addressed.

If you can swing it, a CPO 997.2 is better.

A guy I know of who has more Porsches than there are days of the week once told me, "I never buy Turbos from Porsche out of warranty."

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Old 12-22-2013, 08:46 PM   #13
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If you're seriously worried about value, get an air cooled 911..
good advice. But if he wants a car he can actually drive -- without checking the weather report before each drive or freaking out over the $10K in lost value as the odometer heads north... then water-pumper is the anytime and anywhere Porsche.
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Old 12-23-2013, 08:22 AM   #14
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The 996TT is an incredible all around car - very fast on the track, civilized on the street and unbelievable in the winter with a set of true snow tires and AWD. Good heat and A/C, great engine with no IMS/RMS/Dchunk issues. Has it's share of maint items, but relatively minor.
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Old 12-23-2013, 09:26 AM   #15
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I think an early 996 is a good choice if you want to keep your boxster. Thats what I did . I decided against selling the Boxster because it would not be worth nearly as much as i put into it and I still like to drive it . I would have gone with an updated 3.6 996 but a decent one will still cost you about 30K . 996 3.4 cars are hovering just above 20k and i do not see them dropping a whole lot at this point. Also , if you know your boxster well , most of that knowledge will transfer over to the 996 . The early 996 in my opinion is a highly underrated car. The 3.4 makes good power , much more than my 3.2 and sounds fantastic. I would try and look at 2000 , 01 cars as a lot of problems are found on 99 cars but some out there tend to disagree.

my neighbor has a 997 turbo and he agrees that he can never use the power it has under normal everyday driving . I would look at A C4S instead of a turbo , it's a little bit of both cars . most likely my next P-car .
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Old 12-23-2013, 10:00 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Ckrikos View Post
I have been test driving 996's and turbo's, and although I'm not yet sure what I will end up with yet, I really liked the way the 99 996 drove. I love that the motor is high strung like the boxster and likes to be revved. Where as the turbo is effortless to drive, there is always power. In the turbo you hear the exhaust note, in the 99 you hear the motor which I prefer. What do you think of a 3.4 with 80k miles that has been maintained? I have net driven a 3.6 yet, but do you guys think its a big improvement?

I am considering the noted 3.4, and currently an extremely low mileage turbo. I like the 3.4 as it allows me to keep my boxster and keep a lot of funds in my bank account. My only concern with the 3.4 is cracks forming in the cylinder walls and killing the motor. Do you think this is an over reaction?
I have been where you are before. Yes 3.4s have the thinest & weakest cylinder walls of any watercooled flat6, so compression & leakdown test with borescopeing is good idea during PPI. Yes I prefer the 3.6 cars & love the Turbos. (hate awd) Good reason to go with the 99 is the cable throttle & generous emissions levels for pre-2000 cars. I would like to have a Turbo as my luxury driver maybe a Tip for LA traffic but can't afford it now & rarely need the back seat.
My solution keep the funnest chassis & transplant the 3.4-3.6 into what you have.
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Old 12-23-2013, 10:16 AM   #17
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my neighbor has a 997 turbo and he agrees that he can never use the power it has under normal everyday driving . I would look at A C4S instead of a turbo , it's a little bit of both cars . most likely my next P-car .
If I were in the market this is exactly what I would do also, a 2003 - 2004 C4S. Before buying the 993 I figured I would take the funds from selling the Boxster and add $10k for a 996 C4s or $15k for a nice 993, ended up going with a 993 but I still like the C4S's. The turbos are cool and all but save for entrance ramp bursts I can't imagine much opportunity to really use their power, a C4S would have plenty IMO.

As others have stated, you have a great "problem".......
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Old 12-23-2013, 11:10 AM   #18
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The 996TT is an incredible all around car - very fast on the track, civilized on the street and unbelievable in the winter with a set of true snow tires and AWD..
Yes I watched a 996 Turbo plow up a hill once while every other car was drifting backwards. But driving a Turbo in winter comes with its own long-term costs...
This was my thinking in testing out a few 996.2 C4S's, figured it would be (somewhat) cheaper to run. But I couldn't get over how much less nimble the car was. Heavy. And so many were Cabs...
My conclusion was that it was better to have an actual winter car for that utility. In retrospect I should have picked up a Wrangler to tool around in from Dec. to March. Keep the Boxster and mid-engine fun on sticky tires.
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Old 12-23-2013, 11:21 AM   #19
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anyone who thinks an awd 911 is good in the snow is dreaming . Porsche 911 C4S - Fun in the Snow - YouTube
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Old 12-23-2013, 11:26 AM   #20
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anyone who thinks an awd 911 is good in the snow is dreaming . Porsche 911 C4S - Fun in the Snow - YouTube

When you wakeup checkout Porsche winter driving courses

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