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Old 12-01-2020, 05:32 PM   #1
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Rebuilt engine options?

Hello all,

I have a 2001 Boxster S (6 speed) that I bought on July 23 this year. It had no records, so I had a local specialist do a PPI and after I bought the car, I had them replace the IMS, RMS, and the flywheel. I replaced other items (brakes, fluids, sway bar links, etc). 576 miles after the IMS, RMS was done, the car died, and the shop said the engine is done (copper in the oil & filter and a really ugly screeching noise).

I am trying to decide between getting a used engine, getting a rebuilt engine or just selling the car as is.

The local Porsche dealers sell the bock and heads separate ($9K and $7K respectively) and said labor would be about $9K.

Flat 6 sells engines for $20K (but at least they are complete, and I can probably handle the remove & replace part).

Vertex Auto sells rebuilds for $11K, but I don’t know much about them (again, I would do the install).

Are there other options for rebuilds? The car is a decent car, but is more of a driver and has other needs besides the engine.

I am shying away from a used engine at the moment because after reading up on things, it seems like the IMS bearing is just the tip of the iceberg with the M96/97 engines. Bore scoring, main bearings, chain guides, tensioners, the chains themselves, porous cases. I don’t know how much sense it makes going the used route. It seems like once these engines approach 100K miles there are enough issues lurking that every turn of the key could be it’s last. Am I wrong in this conclusion? Is a used engine a reasonable path?

I saw a Post by Jake Raby where he said that his prices were based on his work being the best and if you loved your car, you would pay. That makes complete sense to me if you have a custom ordered car you want to keep forever (I ordered my 99' Corvette new and would absolutely put a new engine in it if it died). It seems like a more difficult decision on a used $4500 “stepping stone” Boxster. I hate to give up on the car, but I don’t see much point in being $30K+ deep in a “driver grade” 986.


I appreciate all of your thoughts and insights.

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Old 12-02-2020, 06:32 AM   #2
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I'm very early in my research on the topic so I'll be interested to see what others suggest. But one of the vendors you list doesn't use aluminum cylinder liners. The liners they use won't dissipate heat as well as aluminum, making it harder to cool the engine. I'm not going to mention the vendors name, but it won't be hard to figure out who. I was really considering them but now not so much.
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Old 12-02-2020, 10:59 AM   #3
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Contact Robert he's a good guy and very fair . He trained at Jakes facility and knows his stuff . Robert has opened a new shop in VA. and does great work . If nothing else he's another data point for advice and it only costs you a phone call .

https://www.imswerks.com/
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Old 12-02-2020, 11:19 AM   #4
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Sounds like your car has one or more melted rod and/or main bearings and requires a complete overhaul. I would rebuild the engine myself, but I would not recommend that to anyone who has no experience on engine rebuilds and does not have the required tools. IMHO, it makes no sense to spend ~20k on a 2001 Porsche. So that leaves you two options: get a used engine or just sell it as a roller. Used engines are available from 2k pulled from a working car. If you buy one, you can do a minimal work on it, swap the new parts from your dead engine, like flywheel and clutch, I would inspect the IMS and leave it as is if looks fine, I would definitely replace the chain pads in the head and put the engine back on. You`ll have some risk that it will fail in the future, but it`s way more likely that it won`t, and it will cost a fraction of a professionally reuilt engine.
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Old 12-02-2020, 02:03 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by FredinVa View Post
Vertex Auto sells rebuilds for $11K, but I don’t know much about them (again, I would do the install).
Fred, I have nothing personal against Vertex, but one time while attending an MRO show in Miami I visit their facilities and based on what I saw at that shop, I would Not consider getting one of those engines regardless of the cost.. (if you want more details please send me a PM)

Note: I had (limited) experience assembling air cooled VW, Fiat 4, and Alfa 6 cyl engines and I attended to the Flat6 engine assembly class in GA and would feel comfortable assembling an M96/97 engine, Flat6 also offers their assembly course on CD's.
.
PS: before having a chance to build my M97 engine my car got totaled..
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Old 12-02-2020, 02:30 PM   #6
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Re-built motor . Bummer .Been there done that 12k for an RND MOTOR 3 years and 28 thousand miles and a head cracked . Just take all your money through it in the trunk and light the thing on fire .They say a boat is a money pit .Nah a 20 year old Porsche will drive you insane parts are way to overpriced .You do everything right a a drive key for the oil pump shears and motor goes KA-BOOM..! oR IMS fails motor goes Ka-Boom.Head cracks motor goes Ka-boom.I sent the heads to Hoffman machine on the cheap small crack $1350.00 plus gaskets looking at 2k minimum .And thats me doing the work .Way to many ways for these motors to explode .This will be the 4 motor for this cars history. Original motor suffered Ims Porsche replaced motor under warranty. That motor developed low oil pressure .Replaced that motor with the RDN re-build .or Now that motor is waiting to be put back together .20k to rebuild a motor with nickies and have someone do the work.
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Old 12-02-2020, 03:35 PM   #7
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FredinVA I feel your pain. My IMSB went in July 2018 and I had my shop rebuild my engine. I elected to have the block sent to LN Engineering for the 3.6 LN Nickies, even though my cylinder bores were fine as they were, I figured as long as I'm doing this, might as well have more power. The Nickies added 6 months to the process, after they are installed by LN they send them out to a plater who has a tremendous backlog of car, motorcycle and snowmobile engines and there are very few platers in the country that can do this work. At least that's what I was told, the 6 month wait was real. It was not a good financial decision, I did it because I've owned the car since it was new and I'm just getting started with HPDE. I don't want a more expensive car to learn how to drive on the track. When I was looking at my options, my shop told me that they have seen some terrible rebuilds from other places like Vertex. RND was one place they thought was good and I had just missed out on RND's clearance sale of M96 engines that would have worked in my car. Flat 6 Innovations and Jake Raby are great but they have a long wait list you'd have to get on.
There is a member here who has had a 3.2 engine rebuilt to 3.6 liters for sale for quite a while. If that engine would have worked in my car I would have talked to him. But my car is a 2003 with a 3 chain engine and his is an earlier 5 chain engine that would work for you. I don't know him but maybe you should reach out to BYProdriver. His asking price seems very fair compared to what I paid, but I can't break out the labor cost of my rebuild between rebuild and removal and installation. If you go ahead with a rebuild, do it expecting to keep and enjoy your car for a long time, not as an investment.
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Old 12-02-2020, 06:19 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Homeoboxter View Post
... IMHO, it makes no sense to spend ~20k on a 2001 Porsche. So that leaves you two options: get a used engine or just sell it as a roller. Used engines are available from 2k pulled from a working car. If you buy one, you can do a minimal work on it, swap the new parts from your dead engine, like flywheel and clutch, I would inspect the IMS and leave it as is if looks fine, I would definitely replace the chain pads in the head and put the engine back on. You'll have some risk that it will fail in the future, but it's way more likely that it won't, and it will cost a fraction of a professionally rebuilt engine.
I agree.

The original poster wrote:
Quote:
... it seems like the IMS bearing is just the tip of the iceberg with the M96/97 engines. Bore scoring, main bearings, chain guides, tensioners, the chains themselves, porous cases. I don’t know how much sense it makes going the used route. It seems like once these engines approach 100K miles there are enough issues lurking that every turn of the key could be it’s last. Am I wrong in this conclusion? Is a used engine a reasonable path?
As others have said before me, reading automotive forums gives a skewed picture of reality. Most people don't post when their car is running fine. It seems to me the porous cases were in the early cars and the problem was resolved before the year 2000. Other things mentioned are not that common on an engine that has been properly cared for or are maintenance parts like chain guides and tensioners... things to check before installing a used engine. If I bought a used engine with a single row IMSB I would likely change it before installation, but a dual row I would inspect and leave it if there was no problem, which is what I did on the blue 2000 Boxster that I owned briefly and sold to a friend.
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Old 12-03-2020, 04:55 AM   #9
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If you are looking at a lower budget and consider a used engine there are two vendors on eBay that I would feel comfortable buying an engine from:
In general I would not trust an eBay Boxster engine, but I have always been impressed with the quality and service from these two sellers.
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Old 12-03-2020, 10:35 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by FredinVa View Post
Hello all,

I have a 2001 Boxster S (6 speed) that I bought on July 23 this year. It had no records, so I had a local specialist do a PPI and after I bought the car, I had them replace the IMS, RMS, and the flywheel. I replaced other items (brakes, fluids, sway bar links, etc). 576 miles after the IMS, RMS was done, the car died, and the shop said the engine is done (copper in the oil & filter and a really ugly screeching noise).

I am trying to decide between getting a used engine, getting a rebuilt engine or just selling the car as is.

The local Porsche dealers sell the bock and heads separate ($9K and $7K respectively) and said labor would be about $9K.

Flat 6 sells engines for $20K (but at least they are complete, and I can probably handle the remove & replace part).

Vertex Auto sells rebuilds for $11K, but I don’t know much about them (again, I would do the install).

Are there other options for rebuilds? The car is a decent car, but is more of a driver and has other needs besides the engine.

I am shying away from a used engine at the moment because after reading up on things, it seems like the IMS bearing is just the tip of the iceberg with the M96/97 engines. Bore scoring, main bearings, chain guides, tensioners, the chains themselves, porous cases. I don’t know how much sense it makes going the used route. It seems like once these engines approach 100K miles there are enough issues lurking that every turn of the key could be it’s last. Am I wrong in this conclusion? Is a used engine a reasonable path?

I saw a Post by Jake Raby where he said that his prices were based on his work being the best and if you loved your car, you would pay. That makes complete sense to me if you have a custom ordered car you want to keep forever (I ordered my 99' Corvette new and would absolutely put a new engine in it if it died). It seems like a more difficult decision on a used $4500 “stepping stone” Boxster. I hate to give up on the car, but I don’t see much point in being $30K+ deep in a “driver grade” 986.


I appreciate all of your thoughts and insights.


I have a 2001 Boxster S 3.6L engine I rebuilt after tacking Jakes 1st engine rebuild class for sale in the classified section.
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Old 12-03-2020, 03:59 PM   #11
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I have a 2001 Boxster S 3.6L engine I rebuilt after tacking Jakes 1st engine rebuild class for sale in the classified section.
FWIW, and even though you don't like me, I suggested this very thing to FredinVa in a private message conversation that he and I were having. I think Fred's main concern with any rebuilt motor (or used motor) is the possibility of something going wrong with it and he's in worse shape than where he started. So he's looking for something with some sort of warranty.

I would think if the two of you were creative enough, you could probably come to some sort of arrangement that would satisfy his concern that way. I told him i thought he'd be very happy with your build, and that I have every reason to think it's built correctly / well.

FWIW and with you not liking me very much. (it's okay, I'm not looking for a commission, haha)
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Old 12-03-2020, 04:13 PM   #12
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Hi everybody,

First off, THANK YOU for all your advice and pointers! I really appreciate it.

I did contact IMSWorks and he clued me into the Porsche recycler DC Automotive (which is only 2.5 hours from my house). He was a very nice guy.

If I were to go the used engine route, you guys have mentioned changing the IMS bearing, and several other items. Chain guides were mentioned, can that be done without major disassembly?

What other parts would you recommend a used engine get before installation?

Thanks again!
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Old 12-03-2020, 07:28 PM   #13
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if you got the car for $4500, sell the shell to someone for a couple of grand and buy another. These cars are plentiful and cheap these days and unlikely to appreciate meaningfully. No point in getting 20-30k deep into a non-unique 986 when you could get a well cared for example for 10k.
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Old 12-03-2020, 08:02 PM   #14
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Kennedy makes a hell of an adaptor plate for around $1000. Then the sky is the limit for your next engine. Just sayin

But yeah, totally toss that thing in the trash for $3k. Someone will buy it.

If you do all the work yourself to bring the car up to great standing you'll be in $3k in parts alone from suspension, brakes, and other odds'n's. Not to mention sinking oodles of money in another H6 power plant.
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Old 12-04-2020, 10:06 AM   #15
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if you got the car for $4500, sell the shell to someone for a couple of grand and buy another. These cars are plentiful and cheap these days and unlikely to appreciate meaningfully. No point in getting 20-30k deep into a non-unique 986 when you could get a well cared for example for 10k.
Well...... I was $4500 in, when I bought it (purchase price), but after having a professional shop do the IMS, RMS, Flywheel, axle boots, and fix an air bag light, that almost doubled the cost. After that, I thought I was in the clear, so I started dumping parts in it. Rear brakes, all 4 sway bar links, new rubber floor mats, I bought a second key ($), and had the rear bumper painted because the paint had popped from a light impact. I figure I am 12-13K deep in it at this point. If I could get a used engine, add a few parts and get a few years of use out of it, I would feel better than selling it for 2K, taking the loss and giving up.

I just have to figure out the cost of the used engine route, and decide if my pride is stronger than my financial wisdom.....

Last edited by FredinVa; 12-04-2020 at 10:21 AM.
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Old 12-04-2020, 02:40 PM   #16
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Hi everybody,

Chain guides were mentioned, can that be done without major disassembly?

What other parts would you recommend a used engine get before installation?

Thanks again!
I`d only replace the small chain pads in the head, 4 pieces in total. If the engine is out it`s a fairly easy job, you just need to lock the cams and crank at TDC with some special tools and pull the head covers then remove the actuator-camshaft asssembly, replace the pads, then put everything back on and set the timing. Check my build thread, there`s some info about this job. I`d check the water pump and all the components of the SAI system, that`s also a common failure point and it`s much easier to get access to it when the engine is out.
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Old 12-04-2020, 04:45 PM   #17
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It would be Great to build a bulletproof engine for these cars ,I think it could be done with the collective knowledge of this board very easily, its the technical know how and tooling I think is a big issue,then its the,which parts are the best for long term use,Jake seems to have the answer,If you could ever get them to mass produce and then sell them,.I think he could make 2 fortunes by selling to the Porsche masses..but of course not at 20K ea,..8-12 K would seem fair enough..to me volume is the money maker.
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Old 12-05-2020, 10:09 AM   #18
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It would be Great to build a bulletproof engine for these cars ,I think it could be done with the collective knowledge of this board very easily, its the technical know how and tooling I think is a big issue,then its the,which parts are the best for long term use,Jake seems to have the answer,If you could ever get them to mass produce and then sell them,.I think he could make 2 fortunes by selling to the Porsche masses..but of course not at 20K ea,..8-12 K would seem fair enough..to me volume is the money maker.
I agree.

I am actually surprised Porsche does not sell crate engines, given the number of cars that need them.

If my Corvette motor dies, I can go to Chevy:

https://www.chevrolet.com/performance-parts/crate-engines/ls/ls3

If my Fox Body Mustang dies, I can go to Ford:

https://performanceparts.ford.com/engines/#302


It seems like Porsche would see the market for crate engines. I understand there would be a price difference from Ford & Chevy, but the skill level difference between pulling an engine and building an engine is big enough to warrant the market for crate engines IMHO.
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Old 12-05-2020, 10:55 AM   #19
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Not to hijack the original thread but since it´s being discussed..

How hard is it really.. to rebuild a M96 on your own? I have rebuilt one engine and fixed and serviced a lot of others, but never opened up a Porsche engine, certainly not the M96. Sometimes it sound like it really is rocket science and you need to pay a super premium to get it rebuilt.

I have a very vague fantasy about one day rebuilding a M96 myself with the specs and improvements I want..

Can it be done by a "normal" car-guy just taking it slow an paying attention to details?
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Old 12-05-2020, 11:01 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by flmont View Post
It would be Great to build a bulletproof engine for these cars ,I think it could be done with the collective knowledge of this board very easily, its the technical know how and tooling I think is a big issue,then its the,which parts are the best for long term use,Jake seems to have the answer,If you could ever get them to mass produce and then sell them,.I think he could make 2 fortunes by selling to the Porsche masses..but of course not at 20K ea,..8-12 K would seem fair enough..to me volume is the money maker.
You can see on LN Engineering's website what it costs to build a reliable M96 engine that will last.

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