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Old 08-09-2016, 09:51 PM   #1
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Oh no, another...

Here it is, a journal to help me keep track of what I have done and what I was thinking. Read and comment if you like. No telling how it's going to turn out at this point. This could take a while....



The Ad
One day I figured out that five 986 Boxsters is too many. I can't drive them all enough, they take up a lot of space, there is always some maintenance that has to be done, there is no way to keep them all fresh on the inside and polished on the outside without additional staff. Four was doable, five was just too many.
About the time I was paying a shop to fix a leaking RMS & IMS because I just didn't have time to do it myself, I saw a Craiglist add for a 99 with a bad engine. I think the price was $2,650. Not a bad price, but nothing to jump at. I forgot about it and didn't even look at Craigslist for a couple weeks. Then a slow night at work, I saw it again. Same car, now $2,295. Hmmm. Looks like someone might get a good deal. Even if the engine isn't salvageable, there's a lot of car still there. I printed up the listing, just to remind myself to check on it later curiosity.

Next day, my wife is clearing the table where I had emptied my pockets.
"What's this?" She holds the ad I printed up.
I explain to her that it looks like it might be a good deal, but there is no way we should get it. No room, no time, too much going on and too many projects. ...but it is an Arctic Silver 99 and we have a few Arctic Silver 99s. Maybe we should get it. Parts car, you know? Or maybe put the 2.5L from the S model into it and sell it.
"Call, and check it out. You'll know if it's worth it." (My enabler)

I call on Thursday evening. It's privately owned, but it's at a shop. I can see it any time during business hours. I plan to see it late Friday afternoon, but just get too busy. Good, I really don't need it anyway. Let someone else have it.

Monday, noon, I check the ad to see if it sold. It's now $2000 "bottom dollar". It's an hour drive. I call to make sure it will still be there, grab some cash and head out. I drive an Arctic Silver 99 Boxster.
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Old 08-09-2016, 10:05 PM   #2
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The Buy

The car is at a small independent Porsche specialty shop. Easy to spot by the cars in the lot.


The shop's owner is busy tinkering, so he keeps the story short. The car had overheated. There's no coolant and it's leaking oil. Not likely the engine is worth repairing and will have to come out anyway. Everything else on the car is good except for the horn. Looking at the potential repair bill, the owner just wants it gone. He handed me the key and got back to his work.

Time for my PPI, this is a $2,000 parts car I'm planning to strip, not something I'm worried about driving.

Exterior walk-around:



Paint looks good.
Bumperettes are nicely painted.
Painted intake grills.
Left side wheels have bad rash.
All 4 wheels have OE metal crest center caps -some fade.
All tires are old and worn.
996 front bumper -some minor defects, but pretty nice.
Headlights, very slight haze and mild lens burn.
Small chip in windshield, looks repaired.
Top is good other than a small scuff.
Rear window is good, flexible and fairly clear, just needs cleaning.
Right wheels look very nice.

Interior:




Wow, this smells bad. ..oh never mind that's me. Worked last night and haven't showered since yesterday morning.
Leather needs some conditioner, but is in good shape.
All electronics and lights look good.
132,xxx miles.
Rear speakers!
Complete wind deflector set.
Generally all clean and cared for.
I decide not to try to crank it.
The top and windows work.

Frunk:
Clean
Tools and locking lug key.
No spare tire.
A little water pooled by the battery.

Trunk:

Liner is pulled out around the tank.
Coolant cap is .00 part number.
Empty gallon jug of drinking water.
I pull the dipstick and it is dry. No trace of oil on it. It's difficult to slide back in.

Underneath:

Typical of a 100,000+ mile 1999 other than the oil leakage.

I make a deal slightly below the $2,000 bottom dollar price and make arrangements to have the car towed. The tow shop owner finds out it's a Porsche and says he better pick it up himself. His other driver gets all flustered when she is around 'high end cars'. I started to tell him not to worry about it being 'high end', then looked at some of the cars around me, "Never mind."
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Old 08-09-2016, 10:46 PM   #3
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Delivery and First Impression


The driver dropped it off Tuesday afternoon. As he was unloading it he mentioned that they had started it up and drove it to his truck at the shop.
I was thrilled that it had run and horrified that they had run it without coolant or oil. Oh well, the assumption was that the engine was not salvageable...

I put it in the garage, jacked it up. I have a couple hours before I have to work.

The plan:
>Find out what is left of the engine.
-Get a look from the top and bottom.
-Read the DTCs
-Check the filter
-Add fluids and see what happens if I crank it???

Top looks decent.


Bottom looks pretty nasty. RMS? IMS? Could be ugly...


Here's the codes from a generic reader:


Yep, that looks pretty sparkly.


...Hold on a minute. None of that is sticking to my magnet. Most of it is black sealant? plastic? chain ramp?


I put a filter on and went to the store to get the cheapest oil I could find. This is mostly for a flush and to see if anything catastrophic happens when I crank it. I got 2 gallons of "Lubriguard" 15W-40 for under $20 and poured some in the engine. Checked the dipstick. Still totally dry. I remembered that the oil level on the instrument panel had actually read full when I was checking the DTCs. I checked again to verify. Yes, oil level is maxed out on the gauge. Suddenly I put it all together.... Dipstick tube is broken and the stick is not going into the engine! It's had plenty of oil the whole time.



That was all I had time for. Cleaned up a bit, closed it up and put a cat-resistant cover over the top.
More tomorrow. Will I crank it? Is it going to run? Will everything be sunshine if I just replace the dipstick tube and coolant cap????
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Old 08-10-2016, 02:27 AM   #4
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Good story!

There seems to be a lot a debris in the filter :/ But for the price, I think you still got a good deal!

Good luck !
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Old 08-10-2016, 06:51 AM   #5
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WoW!
An exciting story, I can't wait for the update.
I live in the Tulsa area also.
Good Luck!
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Old 08-10-2016, 02:26 PM   #6
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Looks like a great candidate for a spec boxster build
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Old 08-10-2016, 10:03 PM   #7
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Starting it up

A fresh start the next day. I bought this car expecting that the engine would not run. I was told that it had overheated and lost most of the coolant. That can be very serious; cracked head, seized engine kind of stuff. 90% sure that the engine was going to be pulled and scrapped. Now that 10% chance of 'not quite so bad' is my focus. Yes, I am thinking of how cool it would be if I can take this $2,000 car, poke it in a few places, level up the fluids, and drive it off to the sunset. It's a happy dream, don't wake me yet....

Today's agenda:
Don't rush. I break expensive things when I rush.
Get a better idea of what the DTC codes mean.
Make sure the battery has a good charge.
Correct Oil and Coolant levels.
Crank the engine.
Assess.

Codes:
1121, 1171, 0160 - Likely bad connection to an o2 sensor.
http://986forum.com/forums/performance-technical-chat/51845-obd-ii-codes-p0160-p1117-p1121.html
1124, 1126 running lean, most often big vacuum leak.
Looking for the last word on P1124 & P1126 fault codes - Rennlist Discussion Forums
1411 SAI problem, again, likely a vacuum leak.
P0410 and P1411 - Running Out of Ideas - 986 Series (Boxster, Boxster S) - RennTech.org Community
0300, 0301, 0302 Misfires bank 1 (1-3), not surprising with the previous codes.
0341 Cam position sensor. I'm not going to worry about this one just yet other than checking the connection.

Battery:
I had run a battery maintainer all night. I checked and found that the connection was bad and it did nothing. Sitting at about 11.5 volts, I put a 10 Amp charger on for about an hour to get it in the solid 12v range.


Looking at the battery I remembered the water pooling in that area. This can lead to water seeping into the brake booster and corroding it on the inside. I soaked it up with a rag, then blew compressed air from the wheel well end of the drain to clear any blockage.


Oil: I had added about two quarts when I thought the level was low. Now I drained about a gallon and checked the level. Still reading high, off the scale. Drained more. Finally got the level at the middle of the range, draining almost SEVEN quarts. I won't be surprised if the extra oil has blown the AOS, but that should be replaced anyway if I keep this engine. There was no sign of intermix. The oil that came out all looked clean and fresh.

Coolant: Judging by the empty gallon jug of 'drinking water' in the trunk, I am not too concerned about what coolant goes in for now. I thought of using some old coolant that I hadn't disposed of yet. Not a good idea more contamination and mess. I gathered up two 1/2 jugs of distilled water from the trunks of other cars along with a fresh gallon and poured it in. That got it initially leveled up.

I put a piece of tubing over the missing dipstick tube as a temporary fix. While doing that, I saw that the vacuum line leading to the SAI valve was cut. No sense in trying to piecemeal the vacuum tubes. When I replace them, I will get it all.


Time to see what happens....

(Looks like the embedded video link didn't work, so click the link for the video)
https://youtu.be/r7GrhPwlnT0
It started right up and initially ran smooth. Cool. As it started to misfire, I revved it. Probably not a good idea, more of a reaction. Time to shut it down, I have seen enough.

After the run, I visually checked for anything disastrous. No new puddles, no chunks of metal on the floor, nothing burning.

https://youtu.be/2pUvldk6FmQ
Clear the codes, top the coolant and do it again. Rough start at first, but idle isn't bad at initially. Coolant ran low and idle started to degrade, so shut down again.

Now I am really thinking this is a rescue mission rather than a recovery; we have a live engine and I can still save it. (Again, this is my happy dream, don't wake me yet....) I am not ready to commit much money to it yet, I know it could all go bad quickly. I don't know the extent of overheating that it had. It looks like it still retained some coolant, but this engine could be a time bomb. If I can make it work well by replacing some peripherals: AOS, tubes, sensors and wiring, this could go well. I have a few boxes of stuff, some new parts and some salvaged from a bad 2.7L, that is just taking up shelf space....

What next? Check all the tubing and wiring. Fix the obvious. Do not attempt to run it again until known vacuum leaks are fixed. Clean or replace the MAF. Eventually run it again and diagnose it further.
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Old 08-11-2016, 03:46 AM   #8
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OMG, it werks. The most impressive $2000 Boxster ever

Good fun, nice thread/pics/vids. This forum could do with more of that very same. Thanks!!!
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Old 08-11-2016, 06:08 AM   #9
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I would pressure test the cooling system or get the vacuum setup and see if it pulls a vacuum. Overheating is bad but it could be a bar pump or coolant tank. Clean those front radiators and check for leaks up there too.

Every time I clear codes, I get a rough idle like the battery has been disconnected and the ECU reset. I do this with the Durametric not a regular code reader.
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Old 08-11-2016, 12:01 PM   #10
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Old 08-11-2016, 02:00 PM   #11
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I am enjoying the opportunity to share this here. I wouldn't have bought this, or probably any of my Boxsters without the influence of the people on this forum. It's informative, entertaining write-ups of your experiences that make this forum great and ownership of these cars special. There are so many I have enjoyed reading, often without leaving a comment: John(s), Jon, James, Fred, Charles, Alex, Rick, Tim, Vlad, Ben, Neil, and many more. Seriously, thanks!

It's a hot day today. I have a window air conditioner in my garage, but it starts to struggle in the afternoon. Today, I didn't turn it on in the morning and when I went to the garage mid-day, the battle was already lost. Still, I want to continue with some progress. Yesterday I had left my notepad on the carpet. When I picked it up, it felt a little damp. I had already checked to make sure that the immobilizer box and floor under the seat were dry, but the carpet was a little damp.


Now, I slid the seat forward and pulled up the carpet behind it. The padding was a saturated sponge.


Today's goal:
>Remove the seats and treat the leather.
>Raise the carpet and start drying out the floor.

Seat removal:
Public Service Announcement: Be careful what you leave in your car. I have purchased about a dozen salvage auction vehicles. When you are in a bad wreck and being hauled off to the hospital, there is often no chance to go and clean up those personal items you left under the seat or stashed in the trim. I have found full tax returns and banking documents, medications, 'home-made cigarettes', and some potentially incriminating video on a memory stick that I wish I could un-see. Keep your personal stuff personal.This car wasn't too bad.


I thought that I remembered how to get the seats out, but when it came time to disconnect the wire harness, I was stumped. This DIY on Rennlist came in handy:
Rennlist Member Gallery :: DIY GT3 Seats Install

The seats came out easily and I took them inside, to work in air conditioned comfort. There was a pretty good stash of coins down there. The car now owes me about $10 less. After I get a better handle on my plans for this car, I'm probably going to sell off a few items such as the rear speakers to get a little money back. At this point I'm pretty certain that I'm going to rebuild it rather than part it out. Even if that means putting another engine in.
My initial treatment for the leather? Mink Oil Paste. Caesar had other ideas:


Carpet:
The foam padding under the carpet was saturated. If you are reading this and aren't sure about your own carpet, go and check it now: Slide the seat forward and pull up the carpet from the back. You may be surprised.

I remembered a quote from Woody:
Quote:
...You might ask "Does the foam really weigh that much?" Yes and no. If it's completely dry, then it probably doesn't weigh that much. But that foam soaks in moisture and it's nearly impossible to get out. I've tried vacuuming wet carpet with a very powerful shop vac and couldn't get it out. Once you get your carpet really wet, about the only way to get it out is to drive over it with a steam roller. My box got wet in May and sat the whole dry/hot Texas summer protected from getting wet again. It still had some water I could squeeze out of the foam. ...
I have a technique that worked on my flood salvage Boxster, but took a few days. First, pull up the carpet and block it with a piece of 2x4 or 2x6. Then I use a 'Boot Dryer' and fan to circulate air under it for a few days. The temperature in my garage is over 100 today, so that will help.


Maybe tomorrow I'll get to work closing up all the vacuum leaks.
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Old 08-11-2016, 07:34 PM   #12
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I see an interior sensor cover lurking by the immobilizer. It's funny that you mentioned finding peoples personal papers. I just got in a car last night and found the previous owner's W2 for the last three years. Fyi, I know someone who has a 2.5 with 75k for sale for $1400 and he lives over in Arkansas. He regularly travels to Dallas and might be willing to meet you somewhere.
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Old 08-11-2016, 08:44 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itsnotanova View Post
I see an interior sensor cover lurking by the immobilizer. It's funny that you mentioned finding peoples personal papers. I just got in a car last night and found the previous owner's W2 for the last three years. Fyi, I know someone who has a 2.5 with 75k for sale for $1400 and he lives over in Arkansas. He regularly travels to Dallas and might be willing to meet you somewhere.
Yes! both of the sensor covers were missing. I'm hoping the other one is around somewhere. I might be interested in that engine - sounds like a good price, but first I have to see how this one plays out. If I can get it running smooth without throwing more codes, I'm going to put a couple hundred miles on it and recheck the oil and filter.
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Old 08-12-2016, 05:33 AM   #14
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I'm jealous!

How did I miss this for sale - looks like a Spec Car candidate to me.
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Old 08-12-2016, 10:26 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedTele58 View Post
I'm jealous!

How did I miss this for sale - looks like a Spec Car candidate to me.
Yes, it is a good Spec Car candidate. Still jealous?

I've got a slight change of mission now and a lot of work to do. ...more on that later.

The top and clamshell are off now to make it a lot easier to work on. I like the clean topless look.


Almost done with lunch and getting back to it. I got the AC going early enough today that with the overcast, the garage shouldn't max out above 90 F.

Feel free to comment more if you want Rick, but I'll probably detail the progress late this evening.
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Old 08-12-2016, 11:57 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by 78F350 View Post
Yes, it is a good Spec Car candidate. Still jealous?

I've got a slight change of mission now and a lot of work to do. ...more on that later.

Feel free to comment more if you want Rick, but I'll probably detail the progress late this evening.
You have the aircraft - go ahead with the update and progress report...
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Old 08-12-2016, 09:01 PM   #17
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I replaced the vacuum tubing today. I made a couple short videos that I'll put together and post here later.
Really it's not that complicated, but it can be difficult to access on these cars.
First, let me explain, there are a few separate systems that use vacuum from the intake. The most common one to fail is the secondary air injection system. That is the one I replaced. The other vacuum users are the brake booster and the fuel pressure regulator. Both of these looked good, so I left them alone. ***Tiptronics have a vacuum line that goes to a valve on the transmission. 2.7L and 3.2L engines have a vacuum line that goes to an actuator for the flapper valve on the front cross tube.***


SAI vacuum system:
-Remove the throttle body and cross tube for access to the rear part of the system.
-Remove the alternator for access to the front part of the system.
-Pull out all the old tubing.
-I replaced all the tubing, but reused the check valve and Y.
-Put it back in connecting to: 1) Electric change-over valve. 2) Vacuum source at cross-tube. 3) Vacuum resevoir. (2.5L 5 speed models have the simplest system)
***recommended: Also replace the small tube that connects the electric change-over valve to the vacuum powered change-over valve.
-Reassemble everything else that was taken out.
Old:

New:


During the process I saw that there was some ugly oil in the intake. I had expected this from the over-filled oil level and I'm 90% sure that it's from a ruptured membrane in the AOS. I had actually expected it to be a bit worse. I'll probably replace the AOS on tomorrow if I have one. I need to dig through some boxes in storage. The job itself really isn't that bad.


Lots of other stuff was done today too... It started with a conversation with RedTele58. He is ready to get started on a Spec Car and somehow out of the dozen or so Boxsters in his secret Porsche warehouse, none of them are quite right for the project. This one however is a great platform to start from. I'm still a bit aimless here, and not anywhere near ready to start on a Spec build of my own. He has gathered parts and wants the car. (Bad.) The end result is that he is getting the car for a great price and I am going to strip all the stuff that he doesn't need. (Don't tell him, but I'm tracking my hours and I'm going to add it to his final bill.) Some of the parts are going to be swapped on to my other cars, some will be listed here or on eBay later.


I completely removed the top today to make my work easier. Also removed the radio and started to strip the interior. This is actually what I do for fun in my spare time.
I have removed tops before, so I went without instructions, but the first time I used Mike Fockes directions: Starting on page 11 of this: https://sites.google.com/site/mikefocke2/BOXSTERConvtopconversionPARTIformatt.pdf?
I disconnected the battery before taking the alternator out and couldn't find the CDR-220 radio code marked anywhere in the car, so I added the serial number and info to the thread where Heiko looks up radio codes. Great to have him take care of that for free for so many of us!

I'm not done with this car yet, and RedTele58 (Rick) hasn't even started. I'm sure there will be plenty more to read.


Oh, ...one last thing. I found a (the?) coolant leak. I pulled off the coolant cap to get a picture and as I was putting it on, I noticed a drip. The coolant expansion tank seems to have a crack that only leaks when there is pressure, or when the cap is off. Maybe just slap a little JB weld on there and hope Rick doesn't notice.
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Old 08-13-2016, 06:55 AM   #18
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SAI Vacuum Hose Replacement

Here's the video I made showing the replacement of the vacuum lines for the secondary air injection system. ***This is for U.S. cars, the SAI was not used in R.O.W.***
The SAI is an emissions system that pumps fresh air into the exhaust for the first minute or two after a cold start. Common DTC codes when there is a vacuum leak in the system are p0410 and p1411. A failure of the SAI system will not damage your car, but a vacuum leak may cause the engine to run lean and lead to other problems.

The video:
https://youtu.be/A731OcZVGTI
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Old 08-13-2016, 09:16 PM   #19
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Out of the garage and running

First, a note to anyone who reads this and gets the idea that if you find a cheap Porsche with a bad engine, you can just bolt on a few cheap parts and drive it away: No. No. No. With this one I got lucky so far, and it ain't done. Another Boxster that I bought, thinking that it would be easy and cheap to repair ended up needing an engine, a few months of work, and thousands more dollars in parts. I am not skilled, but I am persistent and enjoy learning.

Today I replaced the AOS and drove the car out of the garage. The AOS on the 97-02 models has a clamp on the bottom rubber boot that can be difficult to put back in place. For me, the rest of the job is a simple matter of laying on the floor with my head under the right catalytic converter, working by feel to get everything in place. Easy, and once that clamp magically tightens down with the boot in place, there's no sense in reliving memory of all the times it didn't quite go on right.


First run after I replaced the AOS was smokey at first, but it quickly cleared up. I ran the car until it got up to temperature and the check engine light came on. It needed a little throttle to hold idle. This time it was just two codes p0341 and p1397 Camshft position sensors. I checked the wires, then sprayed the connectors with contact cleaner. Restarting the engine, everything looked much better.


The video:
https://youtu.be/WknBv2WUHVM

The next important issue with the car is the leak in the coolant tank. I am not going to worry much about that other than my curiosity of exactly where it is coming from. Rick is planning to put a new tank in. Since the soft-top has been removed and the car is going to be out of the garage more often, I set a hardtop on to keep it covered. Looking pretty good.
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Old 08-14-2016, 12:20 AM   #20
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Nice write up. Too bad it has to go.

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