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986 or 987

 
  #1  
Old 01-13-2019, 06:26 AM
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986 or 987

Hi.
Im new to this forum. I am looking to buy Boxster 986 or 987. Ive done some research, and interested to hear what members have to say. Here are some of the questions running in my mind:
2.5 or 2.7 or the S
what to look for in a used car to avoid a lemon
986 or 987?
looking forward to hear your thoughts.
thanks.
Avi.
 
  #2  
Old 01-13-2019, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by AShelemay View Post
Hi.
Im new to this forum. I am looking to buy Boxster 986 or 987. I’ve done some research, and interested to hear what members have to say. Here are some of the questions running in my mind:
2.5 or 2.7 or the “S”
what to look for in a used car to avoid a lemon
986 or 987?
looking forward to hear your thoughts.
thanks.
Avi.
A general rule for used car buying is to buy the best example of what you want and can afford.

Generally the best example is a newer model. Low(er) miles. Better sorted. And less time and with a used car after a while time begins to take a toll on the car.

Thus between a 986 vs. a 987 the 987 is the choice.

'course, if you can't stand the looks of the 987 or have some other reason for wanting a 986 over a 987 -- perhaps you want the 2.5l engine experience -- then well, look for a 986.

As for engine sizes they all have their pros and cons. Generally a larger capacity engine is the same model car is the "better" car. The larger engine doesn't work as hard and gas mileage is about the same.

But a larger more powerful engine means other parts of the car need to be bigger, heavier, so the car gains weight.

Best advice I can offer is decide if you want a 986 or a 987, or if engine size is more important, decide if you want a 2.5l, 2.7l or a 3.2l (or in the 987 a 3.4l) engine and then shop for the best example of car you can find with the engine you want.

I'm biased because of my experience with my 2002 Boxster with a 2.7l engine and 5-speed transmission but that was one very sweet car. The car was one of the best balanced cars around. By this I mean the engine size, transmission, wheel/tire size, brakes, cargo capacity, performance, fuel economy, handling, everything, was Goldilocks (aka just right).

I got 317K miles of enjoyment out of that car and still miss it. But back in early 2009 I bought a new 2008 Cayman S and "987". Unfortunately my time with that car was cut short when 4 weeks later it was hit and totaled. But I still hung on to the Boxster and even after I replaced the Cayman S with a used 996 Turbo.

For what to look for in a used Boxster the answer is everything. Any (used) Boxster you look at is (obviously) just a used car so a thorough used car check out is paramount.

I prefer to shop used cars that are near enough that I can check them out in person.

Below is my guide to checking out a Boxster. It is not the best or only guide but a starting point for you.

Used Boxster Checkout:

The Boxster is just a used car so you should inspect/check everything.

My general advice is to visit the car cold. If you can check the engine oil level with the engine cold then do so. (With my Boxster I could. With my Turbo the engine had to be running and up to temperature.) In the car start the engine. Be sure all warning lights come on and then go off once the engine has started. Pay particular attention to the CEL. Be sure the A/C is off. You test the A/C later.

Let the engine idle from cold. You want to listen for any signs of ticking/noises or any other signs the engine may not be healthy. A rough idle, backfires, spitting back, anything out of the ordinary.

Get out of the car and walk around the car checking body panel finish, alignment, and gaps. Note the condition of the wheels, looking for any curb rash. Check the tires.

Check the hood and trunk hinges for any signs the fasteners have had wrenches on them. Check the bolts that hold the front fenders to the car for any signs they have had a wrench on them.

Headlights and condensers — visible by getting down and peering inside the radiator ducts using a bright flash light — should have the same patina. A new headlight or new condenser could be a sign of accident damage repair.

If you spot trash in the radiator ducts budget to have the bumper cover removed and the trash cleaned out. While the trash build up won't affect cooling it can/does retain moisture which can lead to A/C condenser or radiator leaks due to corrosion.

Check the brake rotors for any signs of overheating, heavy scoring, cracking. If the lip around the outer edge of the rotor is about 1mm tall that’s a sign the rotor is about worn out and budget for at least an axle’s worth of brake job. Pads. Rotors. Other hardware, A brake (and if manual clutch) fluid flush and bleed.

Tires should be in reasonable condition, factory sanctioned — N numbered — and all the same brand, model of tire with the same N number.

Before the test ride check the cabin floor under the seats for dampness. Check along the door bottoms for dampness. If any dampness the membrane inside the door that keeps the water out of the dry side of the door has failed -- more likely with an older car -- and the membrane needs to be replaced.

Check the body water drains. The front ones are under the front trunk lid and under the plastic covers on either side of the battery box. You probably need a Torx tool bit and handle to remove the screws that hold these panels on place. If the body water drain basins are full of trash -- even if the trash is dry -- the risk is they have backed up water at some point in the past and water has flowed into the cabin even if the cabin is currently dry.

The concern is the car's security module is located on the cabin floor under the driver's seat and any water in the cabin ends up right at the security module and this ruins the module.

The rear body water drains are located on either side of the back window under the clam shell arrms. The top will have to be put into its service condition to expose the drains.

After some few minutes -- the longer the better -- and with the engine still running ok and sounding ok have the seller take you on a test ride. The route should be around 15 miles long and chosen to give the driver a chance to demo the car as you intend to use it. What is wanted is a mix of city driving with stop and go, steady moderate speed cruising on like a boulevard, and some highway/freeway driving. Ideally there should be some opportunities -- once the engine is up to temperature -- for some rather hard acceleration with the driver starting out from a standstill or a slow roll and accelerating hard up through at least a couple of gears. No need to smoke the tires or try to duplicate the factory's 0 to 60mph time but you want to experience the engine under hard acceleration to verify it pulls good, runs right, and afterwards shows no ill effects from the hard acceleration.

As passenger of course pay attention to how the transmission shifts, how the car rides, feels. The car should not want to pull to one side or the other and the hard acceleration should give the driver a chance to perform a hard braking. No tire lock up but you want to verify the brakes have plenty of bite and the car tracks straight under hard braking.

With a Tip equipped car early on have the driver do a k-turn. You get to see how the cold Tip reacts to rapid changes in direction. Then towards the end of the test drive with the Tip warmed up have the driver repeat the k-turn maneuver.

After the 15 mile test ride then back at the starting point -- leaving the engine running -- get behind the wheel and drive the car over the same 15 mile test route and drive it pretty much the same way although since the car is unknown to you you can dial back on the hard acceleration test. You don't want to let the car get away from you and wrap it around a telephone pole.

With a Tip you do a k-turn.

Before you shut off the engine after the 15 mile test ride and 15 mile test drive it is not a bad idea to check if the readiness monitors are all set to complete. I have an OBD2 code reader/data viewer/logger than I can use to connect to the car and confirm all readiness monitor are set to complete. These being set to complete is a good sign the engine and its sensors are healthy.

After your 15 mile test drive then at the starting point if you still like the car confirm all systems work. From the head lights to the tail lights. From the horn to the brake lights. The A/C. Check all the controls. The wipers. Everything.

At this point if you still like the car and believe you can buy it for a good price -- based on your market research -- it is good idea to arrange to have the car given a pre-purchase inspection (PPI) by a tech who is qualified to evaluate the car. A Porsche dealer tech can be used. These guys evaluate trade ins all the time.

This gets the car in the air so a check can be made for any leak sign. At the same time a check can be made for any signs of damage or damage repair.

You want to really experience the car in its natural state: engine running and on the road. All cars look good on the dealer’s lot. But it is how they look and run and feel and sound and smell on the road, or after being on the road, that really matters.

Be aware and adjust your price accordingly that the car probably needs some attention: Brake fluid flush/bleed is due every 2 years. engine oil/filter might be due. Tires at least rear ones with 15K miles could be close to needing replacement. I could get 20K miles out of a set of rear tires on both my Boxster and Turbo.

Remember these things: Price is not fact only an opinion. And there is always another car. If you find something negative about this car don't feel you have to buy it. There is another car out there you'll like just as much if not more than this one and it won't have any negatives.
 

Last edited by Macster; 01-13-2019 at 10:29 AM.
  #3  
Old 01-22-2019, 08:25 PM
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Thanks for the help.
I just waled away from a 1999 Japanese import. The car was missing some North American standards like running lights and clutch/ignition link.
What are your though about the IMS? Should I budget to have it replaced if wasn't done, and for what years?
a lot of what I read said that this can be differed if oil changed even 6 months, but very hard to fine complete service history to 15 plus year old cars with multiple owners.
 
  #4  
Old 01-23-2019, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by AShelemay View Post
Thanks for the help.
I just waled away from a 1999 Japanese import. The car was missing some North American standards like running lights and clutch/ignition link.
What are your though about the IMS? Should I budget to have it replaced if wasn't done, and for what years?
a lot of what I read said that this can be differed if oil changed even 6 months, but very hard to fine complete service history to 15 plus year old cars with multiple owners.
My thoughts on the iMS... Mixed.

My ownership/experience with my Boxster started before the IMSB became a known issue. Early on -- just a few years after I bought the car new in 2002 when the car was coming off warranty due to miles I decided to keep the car, maintain it as I had been, and drive it. If it broke I'd either fix it, sell it, or scrap it.

When the IMSB issue became known I had enough miles on the car that I felt the odds were quite in my favor the IMSB would not be an issue so I elected to not do anything. This decision was made a bit easier as there were a number of solutions but none had the installed base, history to know which one was the best way to go. I certainly didn't want one that required periodic replacement. The advice to do the IMSB at clutch time and then replace/renew it whenever the clutch was done again just didn't work for me. When I sold my Boxster it had 317K miles and the clutch was original. ('course, I realized the clutch was due to be replaced -- the effort necessary to work the clutch pedal made it clear the clutch was worn out -- but I sold the car and the buyer was well aware of the car's condition.)

Not too many months before I decided to sell the car I learned Porsche had come out with its own IMSB solution. I talked to the tech about this and the kit sounded like a good kit and I decided to when I had the car in for a new clutch to have this installed at the same time. I was not so much concerned about the original IMSB failing but more curious about what it looked like.

'course, things changed and I ended up selling the car.

My thoughts then are I guess had I kept the car I would have had the Porsche IMSB solution installed. I say this without having kept up any reports of any issues arising from the kit either news from the techs or reports from the field. If the reports had been unfavorable I of course would probably not go with the kit. But at the time I would have been one of the first to have it installed so my car would have been a test bed of sorts.

What would I do now? I would probably either buy a 2008 model car or a newer model car with the IMSB less engine.

I note -- maybe I mentioned this before -- back in early 2009 I bought a new 2008 Cayman S with a 3.4l engine. In spite of all the IMSB talk/concern I felt the 2008 engine offered the best odds of not manifesting any IMSB issue (or any other issue) being Porsche had several years to roll out improvements to the engine. That is generally the best engine/the best car is the model that is very near the end or at the end of the model's run. The 2008 MY of course represented the end of the 986/987 era.

Were I wanting to get a 986 Boxster -- which while I loved my 2002 I have no desire to repeat the Boxster experience, though I could be tempted to buy a Cayman -- I'd probably touch base with the local Porsche dealer techs and get up to date info on the Porsche IMSB kit and how it has fared and would the techs recommend having that fitted as a precautionary measure, or would they recommend something else or possibly even advise me to skip the 986 and seek a newer example.

I have not kept up on all the other IMSB solutions and really am not qualified to make any recommendation of any of these.
 

Last edited by Macster; 01-23-2019 at 09:23 AM.
 
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