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AMiataCalledSteve
AMiataCalledSteve Reader
2/3/23 7:48 a.m.

I've been looking for a cheap-ish Boxster to daily, and this one popped up near me: Marketplace - 1998 Porsche Boxster · Cabriolet 2D | Facebook. The interior isn't perfect, but it looks good enough, and the exterior appears pretty clean. The info in the ad is non-existent, but the seller says it has no known issues in our messages. Beyond that I know nothing and I'll have to ask him when I get there. I've researched these cars a good bit, but I thought I'd ask y'all - is there anything beyond "ask if the IMS bearing has been done" that I should keep my eye out for?

Slippery
Slippery GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
2/3/23 7:51 a.m.

I dont know much about these cars, but given the tail lights, look for rear end hits. 

AMiataCalledSteve
AMiataCalledSteve Reader
2/3/23 8:04 a.m.

In reply to Slippery :

The headlights are aftermarket too, I expect that that was an intentional visual modification but I'll keep an eye out for any collision damage.

classicJackets (FS)
classicJackets (FS) SuperDork
2/3/23 8:44 a.m.

I don't know anything about Boxsters, so I'm sorry I can't help - but that looks like a great price for that car.

dps214
dps214 Dork
2/3/23 8:50 a.m.

I would guess that car hasn't had the ims done, but for an early 2.5 with that many miles for a reasonable price I wouldn't be concerned about it. I'd be more interested in just general maintenance history and how it drives. Make sure there aren't any obvious bad noises or anything that feels weird. Given the awful taillights I'd be on the lookout for other questionable modifications, but in the photos it looks like everything else is untouched.

Fueled by Caffeine
Fueled by Caffeine MegaDork
2/3/23 8:57 a.m.

At a certain point it's more about the previous owner and maintenance history than it is about th actual car.  
 

id say I'd be more worried about the maint history and general care rather than the other stuff. 

MyMiatas
MyMiatas Reader
2/3/23 9:09 a.m.

I agree with looking for accident damage

 Look for overspray in the jambs, sand scratches in the pant, masking lines on the panels, excess dirt in paint etc. It is a 25 year old car.

At least it should be rust free in South Carolina.

dps214
dps214 Dork
2/3/23 9:39 a.m.

It's a modern Porsche, in any part of the country I'd be very concerned if anything other than the exhaust is rusty.

ChrisTropea
ChrisTropea Associate Editor
2/3/23 9:44 a.m.

We did a Boxster Buyers Guide on GRM Live a few years back that could be helpful: https://www.youtube.com/live/D3h6bYyl7Z4?feature=share

Javelin
Javelin GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/3/23 9:46 a.m.

If you hate the aftermarket lights, I have a full set of OEM front and rear lights I'd sell you cheap. 

At that age and mileage I wouldn't worry about the IMS anymore. Listen for any metallic rattles from the engine, make sure the clutch isn't slipping, and give the underside of the rear a good look over for damage, missing parts, and signs of maintenance. 

Tyler H
Tyler H GRM+ Memberand UberDork
2/3/23 10:51 a.m.

I don't do FB, so I can't see the ad.  Agree with the posts above - the early cars had a more robust IMS bearing.  I wouldn't give it a second thought unless I had the transmission out for clutch service anyway.  It would be nice to have some documentation that the AOS and vacuum hoses have been replaced, or any other preventative maintenance.  

If I were buying a more expensive 996/986 for a private party, I might ask for a contingency on a satisfactory PPI that I would pay for and arrange.  Drop the pan and look for chunks and run some tests with Durametric.  Look for range 1,2 ignitions (over revs) and how long ago they occurred and camshaft deviation. Should cost a few hundred bucks for an oil change and an hour or so of labor.

At the lower end of the price range, you pays your money and takes your chances.

AMiataCalledSteve
AMiataCalledSteve Reader
2/3/23 11:45 a.m.

I should have posted photos originally for anyone who doesn't have FB, my bad. He's asking $6,500.

 

 

Billy_Bottle_Caps
Billy_Bottle_Caps SuperDork
2/3/23 12:25 p.m.

That looks nice! Hope it works out for you

 

 

BBC

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
2/3/23 12:41 p.m.

A 98 will have the original dual tow IMS bearing.  It's  far less worrisome.  

Tyler H
Tyler H GRM+ Memberand UberDork
2/3/23 12:53 p.m.

That looks like a nice one for $6500.  I'd revert the lights to stock.  I doubt they went aftermarket to cheap out on repairs -- if it was hit hard enough to need front and rear lights, it probably would have been totalled.

AMiataCalledSteve
AMiataCalledSteve Reader
2/3/23 1:51 p.m.

Honestly one of my biggest concerns is that I won't fit well enough to be comfortable - I'm a slim 6'3 and tall in the torso. I sat in one for about 30 seconds in a dealer lot once and I think I fit, but it will probably be a bit tight.

RacerBoy75
RacerBoy75 New Reader
2/3/23 8:12 p.m.

The FB said that the posting had been removed, so I also couldn't see it. How many miles on it? As far as the IMS goes, the lower the miles, the more likely the bearing will fail.

It seems like a pretty good price, so I'm guessing it's got high miles and probably has a lot of maintenance deferred. I had a 2002 2.7 Boxster with 150 K on it, but it was in excellent shape. I got it cheap because of the miles and the worn out suspension. I put around $2500 into rebuilding the suspension, and it transformed the car.

They are great cars, but Porsches are weird and really different from other cars, so if it's been worked on by someone that is unfamiliar with those cars, it can cause problems. Also be aware that Boxsters can be a challenge to work on, because everything is accessed from underneath the car. It's actually really well designed for service other than that one small detail. I got a set of QuickJacks and it made life much easier, but if you are old like me (61), it may be an issue.

If it were me, I would pay for a PPI at an independent Porsche specialist. They will identify any issues that these cars can have that you are probably unaware of. Common issues are top motors, window regulators and micro switches, water pumps, and air-oil separators. That sounds scary, but remember, it's a 25 year-old car.

The saying is this - the most expensive Porsche is a cheap one. The rule of thumb is to budget $1K annually on maintenance and repairs on an older Porsche. Parts can be pricey, but if you shop carefully, you can get the parts much cheaper than from Porsche. If you get the car, for sure join the 986Forum, there's tons of great info and tips on that site.

That said, my '02 was very reliable other than needing a steering rack (the seals blew), and my '10 Cayman has been trouble free. Let us know if you get the car or not!

AMiataCalledSteve
AMiataCalledSteve Reader
2/4/23 11:13 a.m.

I can tell you the reason the FB listing was removed :)

 

163,000 miles, but it's in pretty OK shape. It's been repainted and the clear coat is blistering on one of the fenders, it has an oil leak, and the tires are 11 years old. The suspension might be a little tired too. But it runs great and I talked the guy down to $5,800 and he threw in a brand new battery on top of it, so I feel like I got out pretty well!

AMiataCalledSteve
AMiataCalledSteve Reader
2/4/23 11:14 a.m.

I appreciate all the help everyone, I felt more confident going in with the extra knowledge behind me lol

 

Slippery
Slippery GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
2/4/23 11:16 a.m.

In reply to AMiataCalledSteve :

Awesome!!

RacerBoy75
RacerBoy75 New Reader
2/4/23 2:35 p.m.

That's a great deal. Now that you have bought it, I still recommend getting a PPI so that you know what you are in for. The shop can identify where the oil leak is from (many possible sources).

Enjoy your Brand New (to you) Porsche! Be sure and join PCA, it's pretty cheap and you get a fantastic monthly magazine, along with numerous discounts. Pelican Parts is a great source for parts and info (ECS Tuning is also good), and you get a one-time 10% discount annually with your PCA membership. Figure out what all you need for the car, and the discount will more than pay for the PCA membership. My local PCA chapter also puts out a decent little monthly magazine, and they have all kinds of activities like group drives, social events, car shows, and "tech events" where they bring a famous Porsche race driver to give a talk, along with having a car that they drove back in the day. The last one was Brian Redman and they had a 917 (they actually drove it from the shop where it's kept to where the event was held, a few blocks away. You could hear it coming, it was extremely cool!). Pretty much every person I've met at a PCA event has been very nice and down-to-earth (although most of them have a lot more money than me).

My local PCA chapter has autocrosses, and they are great. Everyone there is a gear-head, and many have the attitude that they can't believe they have such a cool car (myself included). It's a cool group of like-minded people who appreciate their cars for what they are, and aren't into it because the car is a status symbol or the equivalent of automotive jewelry. The best part is that when someone asks how you did at the autocross, you can tell them that the only cars that beat you were Porsches.

If you have to rebuild the suspension, you might consider going the ROW (rest of world) sport suspension. I put Bilstein B6 shocks and the Porsche ROW sports springs on it, and it drove great. It was a little stiff on the street, but the handling is terrific. Even with the stock sway bars, it worked great on track with very neutral, balanced handling. You'll probably have to replace all the other suspension parts, too. When I got my Boxster, it rattled, creaked, and groaned so much it was difficult to have a conversation in the car while driving, even though I thought it drove great. The transformation was unreal, suddenly it was like a regular, quiet car that was fantastic to drive.

One of the best things about the Boxster is that they sound really cool, the flat six howl is wonderful. You can remove the intake snout on the driver's side of the car (instructions on YouTube) and you will get the intake howl to enjoy. My Cayman is much quieter with the engine noise, and I miss that part of the Boxster.

 

AMiataCalledSteve
AMiataCalledSteve Reader
2/4/23 3:19 p.m.

In reply to RacerBoy75 :

These are some great tips, thanks! This is likely going to be my daily driver, and I cover a lot of highway miles, so I probably won't stiffen the car over stock. The other things I definitely need are tires - it will be hard to diagnose any handling defects with ancient rubber. Once I get a handle on what the car needs I'll definitely look into PCA membership, that's a great idea!

Javelin
Javelin GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/5/23 12:32 a.m.

In reply to AMiataCalledSteve :

Awesome!! I'm serious about those lights. I hope you love it!

dps214
dps214 Dork
2/5/23 2:49 a.m.

Shop around for parts, there's a bunch of options. The last couple of times fcp euro was the cheapest and pelican and ecs (both the same company now) were way expensive. For common stuff rockauto actually has a pretty good selection sometimes.

The oil leak is hopefully just the spark plug tubes which are a pretty simple and cheap-ish fix, do the spark plugs while you're in there and maybe coils if you're feeling spendy and they've never been replaced.

Tyler H
Tyler H GRM+ Memberand UberDork
2/5/23 10:24 a.m.

Congrats!  Since you'll have it in constant use, I'd just drive it for a while as-is so that you have a good baseline for reliability and what it needs.  Then, once you know that it's a solid place to start, do a major maintenance:  AOS, vacuum hoses, water pump, belt, plugs, etc.

As long as you buy the OE supplier option, there's nothing wrong with Rock Auto for all your parts.  

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