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Old 10-13-2015, 09:20 PM   #1
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'02 Boxster S TLC.

Hi fellow 986ers, I've bought my first Porsche as a non-starting project car sight unseen via an online auction. I just couldn't ignore a lady in distress and when I first spotted it the auction was going to end within 60 seconds so I placed a bid just to extend it a further 10 minutes while I check out the listing. Naturally, all other bidders immediately disappeared without a trace and I win it! What could possibly go wrong eh???

It's done only 78,500 kms and is a TipTronic in Seal Grey and black trim. It has the rear wind deflector and clear indicators.

No service history at all. I'm hoping to find a dealer that recognises the VIN and can fill me in. Probably a long shot.

There are lots of small parts that seem to be missing (I've yet to look in every nook and cranny), which is more of an annoyance than anything else. The frunk latch has been removed, presumably due to the battery alway sgoing flat because of the ignition switch, so that will need attention prior to me driving the car anwyhere.

It needs a new roof as the rear window is split and I really don't fancy stiching in a new one as it may look like rubbish and not have tension. I wonder if a burgundy roof would look good against Seal Grey?

The car has clearly been neglected for some time and my intention is to go right over it mechanically and evaluate where it's at (I'm a qualified mechanic, though I left the industry in '00). I'm also something of an amateur detailer and like a challenge so I'll be tackling the cosmetics as well which will include an attempt at paintless dent repair (my first) as well as scratch repairs and of course paint correction and leather rejuvination.

At this point I'm intending on turning the car over at hopefully a modest profit, but I've not yet driven it and I suspect that may all change very quickly once I get to know her a little better. Or I'll find it's a basket case and I'll be lucky not to lose money :-/

Number one challenge was to confirm why the battery was flat - I'd pre-diagnosed the ignition switch. This guess was on the money. In my eagerness to evaluate the car, I bought one from a Volkswagen dealer near work instead of online so I paid AU$100 too much it seems. At least I know it's not a Chinese knock-off I suppose.

Fully expecting it to now start and run, I was somewhat deflated to find that it cranks ok and almost starts, but not quite.

I also hear an alarming rattling noise from under the engine but thankfully that was some loose and missing exhaust nuts. Relief!!!

I check for spark which is ok and bridge the fuel pump relay and find that there's no change. I try some Aerostart - slight improvement but still no start.

I just spoke to Ivor in the service department at Porsche Centre Melbourne and was blown away at how willing he was to advise me. If that was a Ford dealer they'd have offered no help at all other than suggesting a tow operator to get the car to them.

Ivor has confirmed that the dash light won't come on at all if the key is not recognised and I would have trouble getting the key out again(!).

So it seems that we're ok there. He likes my plan to replace the plugs (AU$100 for NGK double platinums) and also suggested that I drain the tank and put in fresh fuel as I have no idea how long it's been stationary.

He warned me against using Aerostart again.

My gut feeling is good on pursuing the the bad-fuel angle so I'll be taking his advice ASAP.

What it's doing...
https://www.youtube.com/embed/muGvW7ziiZI

Pictures of what I've bought into...













Hopefully good news soon and plenty more updates to come!

Last edited by TrumpyAl; 10-13-2015 at 09:22 PM.
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Old 10-13-2015, 11:41 PM   #2
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Welcome to the Forum. That looks like quite a project, but you seem up to the task. At least it sounds promising when you crank it. Fresh fuel is a good start, also it won't hurt to give the MAF a cleaning. Have you checked it for DTC codes?

With the rear window split, you should probably make sure that the Central Locking Unit under the driver's seat has not been exposed to moisture. If you get to it before any major corrosion sets in, a good/careful cleaning can preserve it.

I have bought about a dozen cars from insurance/salvage auctions, three of them Boxsters. I have sold or traded all of the other cars and kept the Boxsters. Once you get it sorted out, it may be hard to part with.
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Old 10-14-2015, 06:53 AM   #3
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Man you really got screwed, the steering wheel and pedals were installed on the wrong side. That will be very expensive to move

All seriousness aside

Welcome and it looks like it will be a great car
Tons of info and help here. You also should checkout boxa.net, its a similar forum, but UK based and may be helpful for cars with the wrong side drive.

At very least, change the oil before doing anything else. You change all the fluids, Oil, Trans, brake flush, etc

Do a 60k mile service as well.
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Old 10-14-2015, 06:59 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 78F350 View Post
Welcome to the Forum. That looks like quite a project, but you seem up to the task. At least it sounds promising when you crank it. Fresh fuel is a good start, also it won't hurt to give the MAF a cleaning. Have you checked it for DTC codes?

With the rear window split, you should probably make sure that the Central Locking Unit under the driver's seat has not been exposed to moisture. If you get to it before any major corrosion sets in, a good/careful cleaning can preserve it.

I have bought about a dozen cars from insurance/salvage auctions, three of them Boxsters. I have sold or traded all of the other cars and kept the Boxsters. Once you get it sorted out, it may be hard to part with.
Hi 78', thanks for the interest.

No codes in it as it had a flat battery when I got it. I've checked a few times, and nothing's come up - yet. I'll clean the MAF tomorrow and try again. I'll also check the unit under the seat for moisture, it looked fine with a cursory glance, but I do need to delve deeper now...

...because, even with the fresh fuel and new platinum plugs that I just lavished on the poor thing, it's still not starting

It's 2am so I'm calling it a day and will regroup tomorrow. Thanks again for the ideas.
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Old 10-14-2015, 07:03 AM   #5
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Man you really got screwed, the steering wheel and pedals were installed on the wrong side. That will be very expensive to move

All seriousness aside

Welcome and it looks like it will be a great car
Tons of info and help here. You also should checkout boxa.net, its a similar forum, but UK based and may be helpful for cars with the wrong side drive.

At very least, change the oil before doing anything else. You change all the fluids, Oil, Trans, brake flush, etc

Do a 60k mile service as well.
Hah! I'm not at all sure that I didn't get royally screwed!

You know - the oil smells so strongly of fuel it just may be contributing. Good thinking 99. Besides, I don't want that IMS bearing sitting in oil of unknown vintage any longer than it already has

Last edited by TrumpyAl; 06-10-2016 at 06:19 AM.
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Old 10-14-2015, 07:09 AM   #6
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Welcome to the forum, looks like a small project, hopefully! Seal Gray is great color, and the dents don't look too bad. A new top is an easy fix. Take a look at Auto Tops Direct, they are the same company as GAHH. You can buy from their site or eBay. I listened to your video, and I am not a mechanic by any stretch of the imagination, but my guess is either no spark or no/bad fuel. New plugs and a fresh tank of gas sounds like a good start to me
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Old 10-14-2015, 05:03 PM   #7
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Upon reflection, and with significantly less petrol fumes in my lungs, it seems to be much more willing to skip along with semi-ignition compared to how it was with the old fuel and plugs. So for now I'm going to go with the theory that the amount of fuel left in the tank after I drained it, coupled with that remaining in the fuel lines/rail means that the 10 litres of fresh fuel that I put in is not quite enough to overcome the stale fuel.

So another 10 litres tonight and we'll see how that goes. After that, if it's still not firing, I'll be taking a close look at the alarm/central locking module under the seat.
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Old 10-15-2015, 07:07 AM   #8
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Well my Boxster is now referred to as The Cheeky Imp - the additional fresh fuel made no difference!

So it's was time to get back to basics, but I'm not in the mood tonight.

So I inspected the under-seat Central Locking unit instead and it all looked 100% clean to me. As did the adjacent wiring. Carpet was dry so it appears that the horrid tape that was covering the splits in the rear window was doing the job.







Bonus pic of the double Platinum NGK plugs that I put in.


As I mentioned, I wasn't in the mood tonight for problem solving so I started on the leather. Soaked the steering wheel and seats in Leatherique. LOVE this stuff.

Sorry for the bad quality pic, but you can see where the 'oil' has already soaked into the crevices in the background. This is verrrry thirsty leather so I'm hoping for an amazing transformation once it's nourished and clean.



Back to the main game tomorrow!

Last edited by TrumpyAl; 10-15-2015 at 07:09 AM.
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Old 10-18-2015, 07:01 AM   #9
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'02 Boxster S TLC.

I removed the throttle body to check that it's opening slightly while cranking and it is.



I need to double check these plugs but got distracted over the weekend. I've ordered a Durametric unit in the hope that it pull out something worthwhile logged by the car's brains.



What distracted me - I began my dabbling in the art of paintless dent removal. I have to say, it's very rewarding! I've not really attempted the final painstaking part of completely levelling out the lumps and bumps, but I'm greatly encouraged by what I've managed to do so far.



Feature dent progress pics below. I had to stop at this point as I was running out of daylight and I've decided that I prefer having daylight to use for this job. But you can perhaps get the gist of how satisfying it is to gradually pull something back to where it's meant to be.



Before the first pull...





After the first pull.





I then switched from a pops-a-dent type screw puller, to a slide hammer approach, hence the different hardware glued to the panel, ready for pulling.









Getting there!

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Old 10-18-2015, 11:28 AM   #10
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Looking good!
Where did you get the PDR tools?

Also what jack stands are you using? I see one in the pic and it looks different than ones I have seen
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Old 10-18-2015, 05:16 PM   #11
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Thanks, the real test is to see if I can keep my cool during the final detail work. Time will tell... worse case scenario I've made the panel beaters job a little easier as they can go straight to filling any little defects that may be left. The objective is to not need paint though.

I just picked what looked like the best option off eBay - cheap chinese stuff. AU$205. Ideally I'd have a thousand dollars worth of rods to be able to push the creases out with greater accuracy. That way I'd need to do a whole lot less tapping back, if that makes sense.



I've had those jack stands for years, they're not exactly heavy duty, but their rating is more than enough for use with a car. Wouldn't recommend them on a truck though!

Last edited by TrumpyAl; 10-19-2015 at 04:52 AM.
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Old 10-28-2015, 04:52 AM   #12
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I'm still waiting on that Durametric to try and get on top of the non-start issue.

In the meantime, fresh air and cabin filters have gone into the car, along with engine oil and filter. It's good to get that nasty oil out of the engine - it's been sitting in that long enough!

No more dent pulling as yet, though plenty of massaging oil into the worn sections of the seats.

Last edited by TrumpyAl; 10-28-2015 at 05:49 AM.
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Old 11-04-2015, 04:37 AM   #13
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Finally pulled my finger out and sorted this out - the spoiler hard up against the bootlid and at a weird angle rather than flush with the lines of the bootlid and bumper.


At first I assumed it was something amiss with the retracting mechanism, but soon spotted that it didn't seem to be mounted at the rear - it was just sitting on top of it as you can see in the below pic.


So I drill out the three plastic rivets holding the front edge


I re-mount it by clipping it onto the rear edge first, then re-rivet it at the front, using standard metal pop-rivets for now.


Voila! Thoroughly satisfying
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Old 11-07-2015, 07:40 PM   #14
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Great post, I have a resurrection post going to in the general section.

If you jump the fuel pump relay you must hear the pump run. If not you have a bad fuel pump.

You have spark, so the crank position sensor is good.

Mess with the fuel pump and see if it's just seized from sitting, s few gentle taps with a rubber hammer.

Plus, as has been pointed out, the steering wheel is on the wrong side. That may be the root of your problems...��
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Old 11-07-2015, 11:39 PM   #15
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'02 Boxster S TLC.

Thanks re "great post", much appreciated

Fuel pump is definitely doing it's thing, I used it to drain the tank, though I have no gauge to confirm what pressure it's capable of. Still, seems unlikely to me that it's the cause as the plugs get plenty wet.

I received what turns out to be a counterfeit Durametric so am returning that and sourcing a genuine unit now. AU$500 is rather a lot, so I hope it helps!!! The local(ish) dealer service guy suspects that one of the cars brains has lost the plot due to a negative polarity or the like from the last owner. He want me to get it towed their so they can spend a couple of hours diagnosing the problem for me. May be a better option, still undecided, as I'll likely want a Durametric at some stage down the track anyway and if it helps me diagnose it then it will have paid for itself.

Did some more dent removal and started on an attempt at a (major) scratch repair.

I knocked off half a dozen small dings well enough that I can't find them again now, and I almost finished the large one on the drivers front guard - I've decided it doesn't pay to spend too long on a single section as a fresh look another day seems to be a wise approach.

Still, a before and after on that large one;


Before;


After;


I'm further encouraged by my results thus far.

I'll be sure to check out your thread when I can get to my PC jcslocum 🏼
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Old 11-08-2015, 05:09 AM   #16
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You certain you have spark???

Check the CPS and does the tach needle move when you turn it on and crank it??
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Old 11-08-2015, 05:18 AM   #17
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I'm also very tempted to buy one of those dent puller kits. CAn a complete dumb-ass learn to use it?? Our car polished up really nicely but id let down be dents and dings:







We have a few like that all over....
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Old 11-08-2015, 01:10 PM   #18
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'02 Boxster S TLC.

If you have an affinity with metal, you'll get 90% repairs in no time. Just watch as many YouTube vids as you can, collectively they give enough away that you can fumble through a couple of dings and learn quickly - the key is to stop and consider the unwanted tension within the panel and soften that with some taps prior to the pull. The last 10 percent is half time & patience and half experience. If I was smart I would have first practiced on a discarded panel! There's one ding in the drivers door that I'm not sure I'll ever get the waves out of as I got it wrong.
In the pull by pull pics in my earlier post, my second pull should have been my first one as it effectively released the tension.
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Old 11-08-2015, 01:11 PM   #19
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P.s. What a rewarding colour you have! The improvement is amazing...
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Old 11-09-2015, 08:06 PM   #20
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'02 Boxster S TLC.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcslocum View Post
You certain you have spark???



Check the CPS and does the tach needle move when you turn it on and crank it??


Yep, tacho needle moves when cranking. It had spark though I do remember thinking that the spark was coming and going a bit when cranking - I put that down to the setup of my test.



Sorry, but what's the CPS, and how do I check it???
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