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Question Best year and why for Boxster

Thinking of getting the wifey a boxster with tip, whats the best year, can't go much newer than 03 or so cause of the budget. Any thing I should be looking for? With normal usage what kinda miles should the top end be ready for freshining? What years did they change displacment and are the "S" model just better brakes. Is there any good books as a buyers guide for the earlier cars?
Thanks for the help.
Finn
Old 10-16-2010, 04:32 AM
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Mike is a usual here and on a couple of other Boxster boards...take a look at his website; it will give you most the information you need to know.

mikesporscheboxsterwebpages - mikefocke2
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Old 10-16-2010, 04:57 AM
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Here's PCA's tutorial.
Buying a Boxster
Old 10-16-2010, 06:06 AM
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'03 is a good place to start.
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Old 10-16-2010, 01:12 PM
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Buying a boxster is a bit different

Overall, the motors and tranmissions etc in these cars are VERY durable. Unlike most earlier porsches, there is no imminent "top end refresh" - they will go 200k miles with near-new performance.

Unfortunately, they lay also blow up at an moment.

Early 2.5l cars had issues with re-sleeved motors that self destructed. The good news is that by now, those 97-99 cars are old enough that they are either perfectly fine, or have replaced motors. Being cheap, i like those.

Later cars - 2000-2009 had serious IMS (intermediate shaft) issues. Its too long to go into here, but that bearing can fail any time, motor history. Its more common than you think. There is a fix - about $600 for the part and another, oh, $600 for the labor (pull tranny and clutch, install). Available from LN engineering.

Due to the failure mode, it appears that hard-driven and tracked cars have far fewer failures than babied cars (oil pressure, splash lubrication of otherwise failed and no-longer-sealed bearing)

By and large newer is better.

Read mike Fokke's article (references above) for the running blow by blow. But to me, that's a side-show to understanding durability and value.

knowing what i know today, i'd buy an old, high mileage, well-cared for car. I'd give a trusted wrench, or me, a few $1000 to make it perfect, and i'd enjoy it. The biggest running change for day-to-day driving is the better interior and glass window in 2003+ cars. For track, different story. No car has enough power, so i don't even play that game. I track my 2004 2.7 5-sp. yep, its slow. and tons of fun.

My point is that normal incremental wear on these motors seems very small if cared for. What you watch for are the catastrophic design faults. So i'd buy old, proven and cheap.

2010+ cars have no IMS. Porsche got the memo.

Grant
Old 10-17-2010, 06:00 AM
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Good info here...just have one opinion to add...

I like the interior finishes of the MY 2000 + better than the MY 1997 - 1999 cars. (Plus, if so optioned, the Porsche Stability Management is true four wheel stability control, not the more simple "Traction Control" of the earlier cars which only cuts power to the rear wheels if there's sliding.) I would look into one of those, but budget the IMS fix Grant spoke of above. I would say budget for a clutch at the same time, but you're looking at a Tip, so not necessary.
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Old 10-17-2010, 07:26 AM
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ahh a tip.....

i didnt read that.

note that for some reason tips seem to have a lower incidence of IMS issues. No one, of course, knows for sure.

Plus with a tip you want torque. SO the later, bigger, motors are marginally better.

Grant
Old 10-17-2010, 07:46 AM
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great points guys , keep'em coming. The wifey doesn't drive the manual so it has to be a tip, don't wanna teach here either cause then she'll want to drive my other cars, and that would be inviting disaster
Old 10-17-2010, 09:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grant Lenahan View Post
2010+ cars have no IMS. Porsche got the memo.

Grant
13 years later.
Old 10-17-2010, 11:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s_morrison57 View Post
great points guys , keep'em coming. The wifey doesn't drive the manual so it has to be a tip, don't wanna teach here either cause then she'll want to drive my other cars, and that would be inviting disaster
I bought my '99 used with a Tip and love it. In traffic and on hills it is a blessing. If I want to feel like a stick I put it in manual and shift myself. After owning a Tip I don't think I'd buy a stick Porsche if I ever buy another one, I love my '99 Tip that much.
Old 10-17-2010, 12:17 PM
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I thought the MY 2006 cars had the larger bearing? ..coinciding with the introduction of the Cayman model line?

I, too, have become fond of Tip cars. Mostly because my life is mostly stop and go traffic and long highway drives. I've never owned a Tip Porsche (driven them a little and liked them), but my DD is a "sport shift" and I use the manual portion a lot. Not as thrilling as a well placed heel-n-toe downshift, but still fun.
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Old 10-17-2010, 12:56 PM
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It is hard to generalize what IMS setup what model year has because of replacement engines and because Porsche has a habit of using whatever is in the parts bin sometimes. There are reports of 3 different bearings on the original engines in the same model year.
Old 10-17-2010, 03:48 PM
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Starting with model year 2009, the engines no longer have the IMS. If you have the means, I would recommend a 2009+ Boxster S with PDK (the new version of Tiptronic). If you can't swing that, 03+ Boxster S would be a good choice.
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Old 10-18-2010, 04:26 AM
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"note that for some reason tips seem to have a lower incidence of IMS issues. No one, of course, knows for sure."


Not according to Jake Raby at Flat6...just the opposite, since the tip tends to keep the engine in lower rpm stressing the IMS greater than a manual in higher revs. These cars don't like to drag along at 2000 or 2500 rpms...I always drive mine above 3200 regardless of speed or gear.
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Old 10-19-2010, 03:43 PM
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yea, there is so much confusion over IMS vs RMS vs slipped sleeves. Some guy on youtube (comments on sharkattack's IMS replacement video) was lamenting that all 97-99 boxsters have the IMS problem. those years, of course, were the slipped sleeve fiascos. All M96 motors, now, old, tip, manual, can suffer from IMS.

Grant
Old 10-20-2010, 04:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grant Lenahan View Post
those years, of course, were the slipped sleeve fiascos.
See I had read that slipped sleeves were limited to a "batch" of motors installed in cars built between late 1998 and early 1999. My second Boxster was built 3/99. Sleeve slipped at 29k miles.

But otherwise I'd heard the 2.5 motors had larger bearings and were stronger for that reason.

And the best year to buy is the 1998 because they had side airbags and reinforced chassis to handle larger than 17" wheels.

Kinda wish there was a definitive answer to all of these "facts"!
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Old 10-20-2010, 02:25 PM
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i think i said way up top ( long ago) i'd go with like a 98 or 99. By now the sleeves are broken, fixed, or irrelevant. And they are cheap.

Grant
Old 10-20-2010, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug&Julie View Post
See I had read that slipped sleeves were limited to a "batch" of motors installed in cars built between late 1998 and early 1999. My second Boxster was built 3/99. Sleeve slipped at 29k miles.

But otherwise I'd heard the 2.5 motors had larger bearings and were stronger for that reason.

And the best year to buy is the 1998 because they had side airbags and reinforced chassis to handle larger than 17" wheels.

Kinda wish there was a definitive answer to all of these "facts"!
1. Yes to your first para, source Excellence Mag article by Jim Pasha Oct 2005

2. No to your second para, source a training manual from Porsche.

3. Best brand, year and model is really determined by the priorities of the buyer. You tell me what you want to spend, what kind of driving you do, what kind of driver you are, what your priorities are and maybe we can converge on a best for you. My best might be different. You want the best...it is always next year's model. You want something less than that, then we need to discuss where you are willing to compromise.
Old 10-20-2010, 04:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s_morrison57 View Post
Thinking of getting the wifey a boxster with tip, whats the best year, can't go much newer than 03 or so cause of the budget. Any thing I should be looking for? With normal usage what kinda miles should the top end be ready for freshining? What years did they change displacment and are the "S" model just better brakes. Is there any good books as a buyers guide for the earlier cars?
Thanks for the help.
Finn
Mileage? Can be anywhere from 30K miles to 200K miles

Displacement changes:
1) '97-99 = 2.5 201 hp
2) '00-'02 = 2.7 Base motor.. 217hp 3.2l S had 252hp
3) '03-04 = 2.7 Base motor.. 228 hp 3.2l S had 258hp.. The "550" version 262hp

S has 1) Larger brakes 2) 6spd manual trans 3) 3rd front radiator --- all of which are great on the track, but around town may not matter much.

'00 had a host of interior touches that made them nicer than the '97-99s.

The next big change was '03 - which included revised bumpers, small hp bumps and the GLASS rear window.
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Old 10-20-2010, 06:45 PM
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Quote:
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The next big change was '03 - which included revised bumpers, small hp bumps and the GLASS rear window.
And a proper glove box!
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Old 10-21-2010, 03:51 AM
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