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Old 04-12-2006, 10:25 PM   #1
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Upgrade 01 2.7L to 03 S? What do you guys think?

So I've had my 01 2.7L for a bit over a year. Love the little guy. I drive it whenever I can so long as it isn't raining (for rainy days I drive my SUV).

The 01 2.7L is fine. It was my first experience in a Boxster and I don't regret buying just the 2.7 (versus the S) back a year ago. But after driving it for a year and a bit, I think I just need a refresh that maybe an 03 S would provide.

The biggest benefit to upgrading to an 03 S would be more power and a glass rear window. I actually prefer the 986 styling versus 987 so it's not about having the latest and greatest. I'm thinking that there should be some 03 cars coming off of leases now since they're 3 years old. Possibly with the ability to pick one up with the a Porsche extended warranty (is this right, not sure about that, can it be added after purchase?)

With my 2.7L, I'm facing some maintenance items coming up as I've hit 43,000 miles. Things like shocks, likely a new clutch soon, and possibly an RMS seal (to be done at the same time as the clutch).

So Option 1 is to put $12,000 to $17,000 (not sure how much) into upgrading to a low-mileage 03 S and have the 3.2L engine, the excellent Brembo brakes and drilled rotors, glass window and the cachet of having an S.

Option 2, I could spend about the same as the upgrade and put in a supercharger ($8000 but then as fast as a 996/997), replace the shocks and springs ($2500 - just a guess for Bilstein shocks and H&R springs, but then better than new handling), clutch and RMS ($1700?), 18-inch tires and wheels ($2000, but very nice looking), replace the top with a GAHH (when the plastic window breaks - $1600?) So about $16,000 and I'd have a WICKED car.

I don't track the car and don't drive like an idiot but do drive spiritedly.

Of course, there is option 3: enjoy the 01 2.7L as is, do the minimum maintenace and repairs as required (say about $4000 worth for the forseeable future for clutch/RMS/GAHH top) and keep about $8000 to $13,000 in the bank!

What do you guys think?

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Old 04-13-2006, 05:05 AM   #2
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From a fun perspective, upgrade your existing car. A 2.7 with a supercharger will be a lot more fun and cooler than a stock S.

From a money perspective the S is worth more and will hold the value better than a modified 2.7L will, also when you want to sell it will take the right buyer, tho I don't think it will be a hard sell regardless.

If you have the cash and want to spend it go for it, you only live once, just dont be diping into your retirement plan or borrowing the money for stuff like this. If it's cash then have at it.

Personally I would modify the 2.7L but that has always been my nature. Have what others don't have, which is a supercharged boxster, everybody and their dog has a S model with nothing done to it. Plus you could do what your looking at cheaper than 17k really...
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Old 04-13-2006, 06:20 AM   #3
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Option 1 = Alot of bucks for very little bang
Option 2 = Most fun
Option 3 = Most sensible

An S would be really nice to have but for $10,000 to $20,000 more, I don't think it's worth it. Totally upgrading the 2.7 would make for the sickest machine but it's alot of money for very little return on investment. Option 3 is the most financially sensible choice but if that was the only thing driving our choices then we wouldn't have a Porsche in the first place.
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Old 04-13-2006, 06:56 AM   #4
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...and upgrading the 2.7 is fairly easy to undo when you want to sell it, and you can Ebay the supercharger and mods and get some cash out of them beyond what someone would pay you for them on the car.

Also, insurance on a modded 2.7 will be less than an S because your insurance company won't know you SC'd your box. However, a 3.2 in a newer box will certainly make your premiums rise.
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Old 04-13-2006, 07:29 AM   #5
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don't tinker with the engine. It will make reselling harder.
SC'ing is hard on the engine(Porsche prefer Turbos) and with this brand that scares people. Allot of work to get the same thing you will get by simply getting
an S.

Get the 03 and call warranty direct and get an extended warranty.
If you don't drive much or intend to Autocross/Track then maybe stick with
what you have. But if you want to get some money back to get something
nicer now is the time to sell because of all the off-lease Boxsters.

I agree I'm not going to upgrade to the 987s. If I'm going to swap the 986S for another roadster, its going to have to be for a much bigger performance jump. I don't think I will ever get used to those new side intakes!
anyhoo WHen space becomes available I'm thinking a 2002 C4S for year round use (silver and red of course). My 'practical' car.
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Old 04-13-2006, 08:10 AM   #6
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Hi,

Given your description of how you use the Car, go with Option #3. As mentioned, pumping up the 2.7 will have minimal gains and work the engine harder (read greater maintenance costs and potential problems). Stepping up to an 'S' simply isn't that great a step and will likely leave you wanting in another year or so. If you want the Glass window, get the GAHH Top and sensibly, keep the rest of your $$ in the Bank where it's working for you. To quote Stephen Stills - "Love the One you're with"!...

Happy Motoring!... Jim'99
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Old 04-13-2006, 09:18 AM   #7
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This is interesting from your perspective. I think you'll appreciate the S a bit more coming from the 2.7 vs. someone who just got into the S to begin with.
I already had very excellent handling but modestly powered Miata before getting into the S. My first reaction when I floored the S was


I've driven the 2.7 and from my perspective it is a big difference. A bigger differnece then I noticed driving a 3.4 vs. 3.6 911 (2002+).

I remember reading an interesting Excellence (late 2004) article "Best Porsche Convertibles" and a regular contributor wrote (pre-Cayman/987)
"The Carrera GT and BoxsterS are the best handling cars Porsches has on offer...The BoxsterS delivers everything the Boxster promises". Strong words.

At local autocross events I've regularly matched the 996's and I'm always quicker than the 993's. Sometimes those 996 and 993's are driven by very good drivers so I'm thinking the extra displacement helps for sure.

IMHO, The six speed gear box is much nicer/sportier, the brakes are better, two radiators, more torque, upgraded suspension, it all adds up. And when you merge onto the highway or overtake a slow poke you'll really appreciate the 258 HP. I think at this weight, a sports car should have at least 240 HP. To me it seems to come 'alive' at that power to weight ratio. At 330 it would be a dream.

Also does the S your considering look newer? That might be another reason to go for it. Interior wear counts for allot to me.

p.s.
aftermarket glass tops are available for all Boxster model years.
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Last edited by Perfectlap; 04-13-2006 at 09:54 AM.
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Old 04-13-2006, 10:05 AM   #8
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I was in the same boat as you last year. I had an 00 2.7 and went to 00 3.2S. after 1 year with the 2.7. However, it only cost me $6K Cdn for the difference because I didn't go up in years. If you want to go up in performance without spending a lot of money, then option 4 would be to move up to low mile S in the same year.

Biggest benefit of the 03 is the glass window, which doesn't affect me all that much since I don't drive much in the rain.
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Old 04-13-2006, 05:10 PM   #9
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You guys are GREAT. Wonderful feedback from across the spectrum of choices. And frankly you are ALL correct in your respective perspectives

It is a tough choice.

I found out today that it's a bit expensive to go from an an 00 2.7 to an 03 S due to the increase to go from a 2.7 to a 3.2 within a model year and then to increase 2 model years. It got a quote of about $16,000 (just a rough figure) to make the jump. The dealer (not a Porsche dealer) was commenting that I should consider going all the way to a used 2005, which should be very close in performance he said for "only" another $7000 (that is a total of $23,000). He was saying that there aren't a lot of off-lease 03 S models, which contradicts some of what I have read off of this forum by those like BruceLee who know. [I'm under the impression there are lots of off-lease 03 S models available].

A couple of more thoughts:

The biggest cost of the modifications in Option 2 is the Supercharger. If I skip that, I'd cut $8000 off of Option 2. But sadly the supercharger's additional oomph would be the most thrilling part too!

Another factor is that 95% of the time I would not notice or use the difference between the 2.7 and the 3.2 because I drive the Boxster as my everyday car (except when it rains). So that means 95% of the time it's normal commuting, stop and go traffic, going to work, going to the supermarket, etc. Whereas for some of you where it's your "fun" car or track car, and thus everytime you take it out you're really enjoying the extra power. So why not stick with my 01 2.7 [this is the MNBoxster recommendation].

NastyBoxster's plan (simply go to an S in the same model year) is quite appealing, especially if I can score one like his (low miles, Litronics). Some things I would miss (versus going 03) are the glass rear window and a glove compartment. But the biggest thing I would miss would be no warranty and no option to add an extended warranty. My 01 has been quite good so far. The only wierdo thing was the combo of worn out serpentine belt pulleys and a worn shaft on the alternator (both now fixed). There is also the threat of an RMS leak due to observed wetness near the RMS seal but so far no oil drips after the oil change on the white plastic I laid out underneath the car. After some research I'm no longer worried about the RMS issue. Since I'm at 43,000 miles, I'm probably due for a clutch at some point and I'll just pop in a new RMS when the clutch is done. So the worry of buying an out-of-warranty 01 S is that I'm buying someone else's problems whereas I've gotten a year and bit's history on my car and know that it's fine (knock wood).
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Old 04-13-2006, 07:21 PM   #10
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A TPC supercharger is good for what..around 60hp gain max? That barely more than a 258hp 03 S. Plus, you get a reliable 258hp with the S compared to a not as reliable 265ish hp 2.7L. I think the logical decision is the 03 S or stick with what you have. You have some expensive maintance coming your way with a MY 2000 S so I don't think that would be the better choice over an 03. Also, you don't get the features on the 00 like vario plus and glass window.
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Old 04-13-2006, 08:28 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by socratic
Another factor is that 95% of the time I would not notice or use the difference between the 2.7 and the 3.2 because I drive the Boxster as my everyday car (except when it rains). So that means 95% of the time it's normal commuting, stop and go traffic, going to work, going to the supermarket, etc. Whereas for some of you where it's your "fun" car or track car, and thus everytime you take it out you're really enjoying the extra power. So why not stick with my 01 2.7 [this is the MNBoxster recommendation].

Actually I think you would notice the difference. In stop and go or slow moving traffic the extra torque of the 3.2 could mean less shifting back and forth between gears.

just a thought
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Old 04-14-2006, 05:51 AM   #12
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There were 14 2003 S models sold at auction last week just through the Manheim auctions. Assume maybe double that for the nation. As the Spring and Summer progress, more will flow.

Moreover, on Auto Trader.com, there are about 268 2003 Boxsters for sale across the country.

I think the supply is there if you really want a 2003. Expect to pay around $35-40 depending on the car.

Good luck.
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Old 04-15-2006, 07:27 AM   #13
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I've got the hots for a Boxster, and having driven my Dad's 986 many times, I thought, a nice few year old CPO would be perfect for me, however dealers are selling '03 an '04s for in the high 30s and 40s...at that point why bother? Pick up a new one for a bit more.

To me, an '01 or '02 is great deal while the '03 and '04 seem over priced when compared to the value of owning a never driven '05, '06 or '07.

Aesthetically, the 987 is far superior. It's a cleaner design outside and the interior really puts to shame the 986 which looked like it was made with 70's technology.

I would go lease a new Boxster since you seem to like change. If you were going to keep the car for 7-10 years I'd say buy the '03 or '04 and love it. Other than that, save your money and feel blessed to own such a great car.

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