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Old 01-05-2016, 11:43 AM   #1
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How many of you work on your own cars?

I am still kind of new here. I have spent a lot of time researching the Boxster. I will admit that I never really cared for them until now. I had no idea there were quite a few modifications you can do to them. Audi transmission swaps, 3.4L-3.6L engine upgrade, many 911 OEM upgrades. Since 2002, I have gotten into cars so much that I enjoy buying older cars and fixing them up myself. Most of my cars I own didn't run when I bought them. In fact, I am looking for a Boxster with a blown engine to buy.

Anyway, I am still kind of confused about the people who own Boxsters. The three cars makes I am used to have a huge following of DIY'ers. Threads about rebuilding engines in the basement or garage are common. That doesn't seem to be the case with the 986. I'm not really sure why. The Boxster engine doesn't seem that complicated compared to other engines. Am I missing something?

Do many of you do your own work or do you take them to a shop? If so, do you tackle major jobs like clutch installs, suspension component upgrades/replacement yourself? What do you take your car in for service at the dealership/independent Porsche service center?

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Old 01-05-2016, 12:04 PM   #2
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I think you'll find many boxster owners aren't afraid to turn a wrench. At least a majority of us on this forum have done some jobs on the car ourselves. That said, I know where my knowledge, garage space and tools on hand will require me to farm a job out. I have a great indy mechanic that gets that I'm an enthusiast and is helpful in understanding I enjoy doing some of the work myself.

I've done brakes, the starter, spark plugs and tubes, motor mount, all oil changes. I took the car in for an aos change because I didn't have a garage (job is a real pain anyway) and another time to have a nagging code figured out. Ended up being an o2 sensors which I could've done myself, but I couldn't figure out the cause, he did. If I took it to a dealer or even my indy for every job, I couldn't own this car.
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Old 01-05-2016, 12:06 PM   #3
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I do my own work. This has only gone so far as AOS and plugs and coils so far on this car, but I've gone deeper on other cars, and I'm not [too] scared.

Timing belts, cam seals, turbo swaps, suspension swaps on 2.7t Audi S4s, clutches and timing on subarus, various other work to Jeeps. I'm no professional, but I'm not totally incompetent.
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Old 01-05-2016, 12:07 PM   #4
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No one touches my vehicles with a wrench but me.

You will find a large number of enthusiastic Porsche owners who whip out the checkbook because they can, a small percentage like myself who do all their own work, and the remainder are those who dabble in some of the maintenance items. That said there is no shortage of keyboard commandos who profess to know all and aren't afraid to say so.

There really aren't that many mods you can make without huge money, but enough cross compatible components from other cars of the same ilk to give you some room to make your car your own.

Get Wayne's book (101 projects for your boxster) and the Bentley Manual. Neither will get you through an engine build but will solve many of your day to day tasks. Use a torque wrench on everything and don't assume it's like your other cars.
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Old 01-05-2016, 12:10 PM   #5
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Personally I do all my own work. This car won't really work for me unless I do. I haven't had to do major stuff yet, clutch, IMSB, engine internals but it's just a matter of time and when it's time, I'll just figure it out, buy the right tools and getter done.
There is a large disparity on this forum of varying levels of DIYer to those who only have shops fix these cars.

These cars are pretty complex then again what modern car isn't

I would say that a 986 S with a 3.6 motor would be the ticket
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Old 01-05-2016, 12:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kk2002s View Post
snip

These cars are pretty complex then again what modern car isn't
Compared to our V10 TDI Touareg the Boxster is a shopping cart. Outside of the M96 engine my year of boxster is as simple a car as I could possibly hope for.
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Old 01-05-2016, 12:25 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prelude Guy View Post
I am still kind of new here. I have spent a lot of time researching the Boxster. I will admit that I never really cared for them until now. I had no idea there were quite a few modifications you can do to them. Audi transmission swaps, 3.4L-3.6L engine upgrade, many 911 OEM upgrades. Since 2002, I have gotten into cars so much that I enjoy buying older cars and fixing them up myself. Most of my cars I own didn't run when I bought them. In fact, I am looking for a Boxster with a blown engine to buy.

Anyway, I am still kind of confused about the people who own Boxsters. The three cars makes I am used to have a huge following of DIY'ers. Threads about rebuilding engines in the basement or garage are common. That doesn't seem to be the case with the 986. I'm not really sure why. The Boxster engine doesn't seem that complicated compared to other engines. Am I missing something?

Do many of you do your own work or do you take them to a shop? If so, do you tackle major jobs like clutch installs, suspension component upgrades/replacement yourself? What do you take your car in for service at the dealership/independent Porsche service center?
I rebuilt my last 2.7 boxster engine and put it on here with photos. Search on threads I've started and you will find it!
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Old 01-05-2016, 12:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flaps10 View Post
Compared to our V10 TDI Touareg the Boxster is a shopping cart. Outside of the M96 engine my year of boxster is as simple a car as I could possibly hope for.
Lol! I was gonna say they are complex but at the same time they aren't.
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Old 01-05-2016, 01:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
...Anyway, I am still kind of confused about the people who own Boxsters. The three cars makes I am used to have a huge following of DIY'ers. Threads about rebuilding engines in the basement or garage are common. That doesn't seem to be the case with the 986. I'm not really sure why. The Boxster engine doesn't seem that complicated compared to other engines. Am I missing something? ...
There is probably a lot more inexpensive aftermarket support for the other cars that you have worked on. People do rebuild and upgrade the M96s, but for most of us the economy of doing it does not make sense. Have you priced new rings or rods?

Plenty of DIY stuff going on. It's just a smaller family than Honda-tech.com and has never been moderated and set up in a way to make it easy to see it all.

As the others have said, many of us do maintenance such as brakes and suspension work. Fewer, but still many have changed our own IMS bearing and RMS. The ones that have done a full splitting-the-case rebuild in the home garage are few.

Flaps10 kept us all entertained and informed last year:
http://986forum.com/forums/diy-project-guides/54170-my-diy-engine-rebuild.html

Many of us will long remember the triumph of Gonzojive over the dropped set screw:
http://986forum.com/forums/performance-technical-chat/55481-dropped-set-screw-into-ims-bearing-flange-hole.html

There's been some good V8/LSX threads and posts...

and keeping up with the story of Jcslocum and family is a good DIY journey:
http://986forum.com/forums/general-discussions/59015-1st-boxster-7th-porsche-we-now-have-4-family.html
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Old 01-05-2016, 02:58 PM   #10
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[QUOTE=Prelude Guy;478835]I am still kind of new here.

Anyway, I am still kind of confused about the people who own Boxsters. The three cars makes I am used to have a huge following of DIY'ers. Threads about rebuilding engines in the basement or garage are common. That doesn't seem to be the case with the 986. I'm not really sure why. The Boxster engine doesn't seem that complicated compared to other engines. Am I missing something?

/QUOTE]

Engine is very complicated, many Porsche specialist shops will not consider trying to rebuild one.
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Old 01-05-2016, 04:47 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flaps10 View Post
No one touches my vehicles with a wrench but me.

You will find a large number of enthusiastic Porsche owners who whip out the checkbook because they can, a small percentage like myself who do all their own work, and the remainder are those who dabble in some of the maintenance items. That said there is no shortage of keyboard commandos who profess to know all and aren't afraid to say so.

There really aren't that many mods you can make without huge money, but enough cross compatible components from other cars of the same ilk to give you some room to make your car your own.

Get Wayne's book (101 projects for your boxster) and the Bentley Manual. Neither will get you through an engine build but will solve many of your day to day tasks. Use a torque wrench on everything and don't assume it's like your other cars.
HaHa - I'd say this guy nailed it. Most P-car owners around here take their car to the latest trendy Indi mechanic. But, more importantly than what others do is what you want to do with the car, and how easy or difficult that is:

Surprisingly, I would say these cars are layed out fairly well for working access once you get under them or inside the engine covers. Easier than some things on my BMW's by far.

The Bentley manual together with the 101 book will give you pretty much all the information you need for everything but an internal engine rebuild. Porsche regarded the engines as a replaceable unit, so no shop manual type info is readily available. If you want to do engine work, I would suggest first taking Mr. Raby's 101 and 102 engine rebuild courses.

Good luck
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Old 01-05-2016, 05:00 PM   #12
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Here is a pic of my Boxster up on my lift last weekend - you get the idea...

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Old 01-05-2016, 06:21 PM   #13
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and my latest project:

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Old 01-05-2016, 06:26 PM   #14
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I do all the work on all my cars except for transmission, alignment and a few things that I don't have tools for
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Old 01-05-2016, 07:02 PM   #15
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I do too. I really got into it more when my new (to me) 2007 Cayman S had a slipping clutch. I had to decide between giving the work to a shop or investing in a lift and doing the work myself.

I ended up buying a mid-rise MaxJax lift. It's been put to good use; 5 clutches, an engine swap, and an engine rebuild (not all Porsches).

Don't get a lift!! You'll never leave the garage again. ;-)
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Old 01-06-2016, 05:59 AM   #16
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Since my 986 is a Hobby and a 2nd vehicle I do the work myself when ever possible. When its not possible its only because of lack of time or tools, and sometimes I weigh the savings of DIY and invest in the tools instead.

I was always a tinkerer so taking things apart, fixing and customizing have always been in my genes.

So far its only been a few things, AOS, ECM replacement, Underdrive pulley, fuel filter etc but I'm always surprised that its fairly easy to work on despite the mid engine location.

I think there are folks that are interested in the driving and then those that are interested in tinkering DIY. All are enjoying it in their own way.

One BIG bonus is this forum, the wealth of knowledge, willingness to help each other, share info, ideas, opinions and assistance.
It makes owning and maintaining these older cars much easier and perhaps inspires those on the fence to try some DIY as well.

Can't say enough on how great all the folks here have been.
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Old 01-06-2016, 07:54 AM   #17
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Did my clutch and rear end. And the shift lever leak.
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Old 01-06-2016, 08:39 AM   #18
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I do, I am cheap and I am as good as a mechanic as any I have encountered so far. I have also done some improvements based on the experience of others on this forum.
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Old 01-06-2016, 10:26 AM   #19
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Am I the only one to admit it?

I never do any work on mine. I spent eleven years working on two VW buses using the Idiot's Guide. Did everything but the trans (x1) and the short bloc (x4!). When I got a new Ford van for my new business I swore that if the biz didn't make enough to pay someone else to do that dirty, uncertain, irritating work it was a failure. Thankfully the Ford didn't have any problems for the first seven years.

I don't mind getting my hands dirty - with sawdust, glue & stain. But the dirt that falls into my eyes as I'm trapped under the damn thing with my arm in a stupid position and the wrench falling off the nut continually... I'm very happy to be rich enough to pay someone else to do it.

But working on the bus was the first useful thing I ever learned without going to a class. It gave me confidence to learn furniture-making with only Fine Woodworking as a guide.
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Old 01-06-2016, 12:20 PM   #20
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When I got this car, I assumed that I would do most of my own work. I put in a coolant tank, and a water pump. Put in a new stereo and tablet. But I took it to my indie, for the clutch and ims. That job scared me a little. So I guess I do some minor stuff, but leave the big stuff to the pros.

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