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enginenerd
enginenerd Reader
10/7/19 8:21 a.m.

You've likely seen the initial panic post regarding this car in the main forum but I've decided to make a dedicated build thread. Like several others, I got sucked into the hype of cheap 986 cars and bought probably the worst one I could find:

So, I've had pretty good luck with this auction in the past but was very disappointed this time.

Issue #1: No key. When I previewed the car, it had a key. Sometime between the time I previewed the car and the auction, some chump stole the key (very likely the guy I was bidding against.) They did update the listing to say the key was missing but cannot provide a history of when they made that edit. Frustrating because it was on my watch list and some kind of notice would have been nice. No help from the people at the auction yard.

Issue #2: Loader damage. The forklift operator was very aggressive the morning I picked up the car and damaged the front bumper cover. It was usable but is now cracked in multiple spots. Again, no help from the people at the auction yard. I was told I could leave the car there but I had no way of getting the car off the trailer at that point. You can see the damage here:

Anyway, venting complete. So I got the car home and immediately tore into it to figure out how bad things really were. It became immediately obvious that the strut was damaged and causing the mad camber (yo!) on the FR wheel. 

I also started tearing down the body work. Unfortunately, the headlight looked good but was damaged. I tore out the mangled fender liner and eventually was able to find all the fender bolts. Underneath, things look pretty good!

You can see some of the stuff (I say stuff because I know almost nothing about fuel tank emissions equipment) is damaged. The little box in the top right corner of that photo and several hoses were damaged. However, the frame rail is virtually untouched, apart from one small flange that was slightly bent. Even the fender mounts appear to have held rigid. 

So that was a relief. I'm about 90% sure that nothing structural shifted. I will have a lot of little odds & ends to track down though and being a Porsche (despite its overall crap-tacularness) I'm sure costs will add up. 

First order of business it getting a key made. Apparently, this is a Porsche dealer only shenanigan. The local dealer wanted $390 just for cutting the key...this doesn't include programming. I think I can source a somewhat cheaper cut key & transmitter online but will still need to tow the car to a dealership for programming. (Or an independent if they have PIWIS or other Porsche software.) 

In summary, on the buyer's remorse scale I think I'm around a 6/10 so far. That will drop significantly if I can confirm it actually runs. 

 

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
10/7/19 9:20 a.m.

For my rebuilds I shop a lot on car-part.com  It is an internet listing site for inependent junk yard.    The listings typically state the color and sometimes show pictures.  

As an example, through that site I see that there is a silver Boxter R fender available in Southfiled, MI for $150 (reasonable price) but I have found the yards can be cheaper if you call them and speak nicely to them or buy multiple pieces.  

A yard in Pontiac Mi is showing a bumper cover assembly in silver but priced at $650 !!

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
10/7/19 9:21 a.m.

I'd still be all over that auction house like sticky on rice...

enginenerd
enginenerd Reader
10/7/19 9:27 a.m.
John Welsh said:

 

A yard in Pontiac Mi is showing a bumper cover assembly in silver but priced at $650 !!

I know! I actually went and checked this out but it was in similar condition to the one I have. I did buy a silver fender from them for $70 in reasonable condition as well as a strut.

enginenerd
enginenerd Reader
10/7/19 9:27 a.m.
Javelin said:

I'd still be all over that auction house like sticky on rice...

Yeah, been attempting to speak with the branch manager but no luck so far. Called buyer services and they redirected me back to the manager. We'll see how they handle it. 

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
10/7/19 9:35 a.m.

I buy a lot out of IAA.  My guards at the Cleveland lot tell me that there is a huge problem in the Detroit lot with stolen keys.  I had heard at one point that non of the Detroit keys had keys inside and that the guards had them all for the viewing hours.  

Here in Cleveland, high dollar cars have a designation on the window of KIO (keys in office.)  You have to drop a driver's license at the office to check out the keys.  

Stay on the branch manager.  Their name and email is listed right on the website

Detroit

Flint

 

Personally, I have not had any key problems but I'm not shopping the high end stuff.  To hear my guards speak, it seems like the branch has to eat the price of the key.  I say this because if they were not being affected by the stolen keys, why would they be putting so much effort into protecting the keys.  My guards (who are really nice guys) seem like they take a lot of grief from the office over stolen keys. 

enginenerd
enginenerd Reader
10/7/19 9:40 a.m.

In reply to John Welsh :

I wish they took this approach. No, keys at the Detroit yard are in the cars. Just about anything that can be easily stolen is, despite if it has any market value. The BRZ I bought there was missing the shift knob and SD card from the nav unit. IAA claims no responsibility for lost or stolen parts (including keys) of vehicles despite how they were advertised. 

I did email the branch manager when I picked up the car last week but no response to that or calls so far. 

enginenerd
enginenerd Reader
10/7/19 10:29 a.m.

Well word is back from the branch manager. I was told they would be open to reselling the vehicle for no charge but would not be assisting with the keys or bumper as that is expected and normal according to their policy. Unfortunately, as the vehicle is in worse shape now (and has another owner on its history) I'm pretty sure I'd take a loss. So, I'm moving forward (and really hoping the powertrain is good) with this car. 

I ordered a key blade cut to the VIN as well as the FOB/transmitter that will allow the car to run once programed. Cost for both is ~$250 which isn't nearly as bad as the $391 the local dealership quoted me. Hopefully they are able to get that blade cut soon and shipped off.

I went through a moment of irrational panic last night wondering if there was actually an engine in the car. I tore the access panels apart to confirm there was indeed something sitting there:

I did confirm that it at least turns over by hand. You can see that the FEAD belt is on its last leg. It doesn't appear that anybody has serviced the engine recently due to all the dust:

A few of you may have noticed the strut was replaced in the previous posts. I grabbed a fender, fender liner, strut assembly, and fuel door assembly from a local junkyard. I probably should wait until I have a key before dumping money into this but they totaled around $200 so I thought it was worth it. I'm a bit frustrated with the junkyard; while it was a great price and the fender was in good condition, somebody took a pry bar to the area behind the wheel and bent it up. I think I can reshape it without damaging the paint.

Less unintentional camber:

I also discovered somebody has disconnected all the linkage for the convertible top. The top itself is in pretty nice shape (may have been replaced...has a glass rear window w/ a defroster) but maybe the motor is bad? They definitely did a hack job though as these cables were cut even though they are easily removable:

 

Hasbro
Hasbro SuperDork
10/7/19 11:09 a.m.

Good progress, glad you started a build thread. What are you going to do with it?

enginenerd
enginenerd Reader
10/7/19 11:20 a.m.
Hasbro said:

Good progress, glad you started a build thread. What are you going to do with it?

Not sure yet. I guess the outcome is highly dependent on if it runs. Assuming it does, winter is coming fast here in Michigan. I'm not sure I want to drive it in the salt as it doesn't appear to have been before. 

Hasbro
Hasbro SuperDork
10/7/19 11:40 a.m.

I'm also thankful for no rust, except for things like muffler bolts, of course.

Does anyone have an economical parts source? I don't need an exhaust tip but I think it was Pelican that has one available for $500. It was very nice...

dps214
dps214 Reader
10/7/19 12:45 p.m.
enginenerd said:
Hasbro said:

Good progress, glad you started a build thread. What are you going to do with it?

Not sure yet. I guess the outcome is highly dependent on if it runs. Assuming it does, winter is coming fast here in Michigan. I'm not sure I want to drive it in the salt as it doesn't appear to have been before. 

The chassis is galvanized and basically everything else except the exhaust is aluminum. Salt won't do much of anything to it, put winter tires on it and it'll be unstoppable and super fun in any conditions.

Given the engine bay location it gets dirty/dusty super easily, all things considered yours looks pretty good in there.

enginenerd
enginenerd Reader
10/7/19 3:07 p.m.

In reply to dps214 :

Interesting. I had recently bought a beater E39 for winter abuse but I'm liking this idea. 

Agent98
Agent98 Reader
10/7/19 3:21 p.m.

You did very well! If that car had zero issues --it wouldn't have been at the auction. At least you can see an(one) obvious reason why it wound up there. Wonder if this is an IMS bearing car, or what the status of that is?

enginenerd
enginenerd Reader
10/7/19 4:59 p.m.

In reply to Agent98 :

I don't know enough about these cars to answer. It was an early build '00 so it may have the dual row IMS but I'm not sure. 

irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
10/7/19 6:18 p.m.

may have been the JY that cut the cables to allow the top to be put up/down with the car not running/no battery. 

enginenerd
enginenerd Reader
10/8/19 8:50 a.m.

A few small updates. I "fixed" a few of the broken plastic bits related to the evap system. Unfortunately, most of these were polypropylene which JB weld and similar products can't bond well. I used an old solder iron to melt the broken pieces back together and then reinforced with a plastic filler and epoxy. This likely won't be a permanent fix but it seems to hold well.

Some of the hard plastic lines that were kinked reshaped well under a heat gun. Again, not a permanent fix but good enough until I can confirm that I want to spend money on this car. 

So the $70 fender isn't so great after all. I tried to fit it to the car and it was nowhere close. I realized that whoever removed it from the car actually reshaped the fender with all their enthusiasm. I started by trying to fix the pry bar bends along the wheel arch:

I then fit it onto the car. The door-fender gap was like a 1/2" which was disappointing. The brackets on the fender itself were bent. The integrated headlight shelf was also bent up. I was able to get it reasonably close before I ran out of light. 

The door gap looks pretty good. The hood gap is also pretty close but the fender is slightly higher than the hood. I still need to play around with the headlight area to get it perfect. It was some extra work but I think with some more time it will look pretty good! 

 

enginenerd
enginenerd Reader
10/10/19 8:14 a.m.

No real updates as I'm holding off until I get a key but I had a question. What could cause both rear end links to fail this way? At first I thought it may be loader damage but I don't think it's possible the forks could have rotated or bent the sway bar enough to cause this:

I also started investigating the headlamp a little closer. The bucket is cracked and probably should be replaced, not repaired. When I was moving the headlamp around the inner lens fell off. It's ugly and burnt. At a minimum, I'll need to seperate the outer lens from the body now. I'm hoping I can find a somewhat inexpensive replacement because I don't feel great about bodging this all together.

I fiddled with the fender a little more. The door gap now almost perfectly matches the driver side:

The hood gap is pretty good too! 

I need to find a way to raise the front RH side of the hood a bit to make things level. I might start working on the bumper repair this weekend.

Man I want that key to show up!

dps214
dps214 Reader
10/10/19 10:21 a.m.
enginenerd said:

No real updates as I'm holding off until I get a key but I had a question. What could cause both rear end links to fail this way?

I don't know, but I'd guess it was the same thing that bent those lower control arms.

enginenerd
enginenerd Reader
10/10/19 11:08 a.m.

In reply to dps214 :

Crap. And here I am thinking those are normal because it's so symmetrical. 

Edit: Looking at other photos of Boxters I think this may normal. I think the camera angle on the photos I posted makes it look a little more severe. 

TED_fiestaHP
TED_fiestaHP Reader
10/10/19 11:43 a.m.

   I bet a tie down strap went thru there.  Flat bead with strap connections along the edge of the flat bed.

    The control arms might be OK, but might want to check them somehow.

AAZCD
AAZCD HalfDork
10/10/19 12:03 p.m.

My guess is that it's from forklift handling at the lot. My flood car from Copart had the same damage and I haven't seen it on any other car.

The arms are probably safe for normal street driving, but should be replaced along with the links. I have a few used ones around as well as a lot of guys parting cars on the 986Forum, but new ones aren't too expensive ~ $40 to $140 ea on Rock. I think I got a pair on Amazon for around $150.

dps214
dps214 Reader
10/10/19 12:04 p.m.

I'd believe the right side is okay, but either the left side is bent or you seriously need a better camera. The arm should be flat, at least from the inner end to the trailing arm mount. This is the best comparison photo I could come up with:

enginenerd
enginenerd Reader
10/10/19 12:13 p.m.

Yeah you guys are right. I'll have to take a closer look when I get it off the trailer and up in the air. They really tore this car up at the yard. 

The good news is that the key shipped today. I still have to haul the car over to a Porsche dealer for them to push a button and charge $150...but hopefully this car will be running early next week. 

enginenerd
enginenerd Reader
10/16/19 9:06 a.m.

Ok, not a lot of progress but some minor updates. This showed up yesterday:

It was a relief that the key physically fit the door, ignition, and center console storage compartment. I was fretting that somebody had changed the locks at some point. All the electronics apart from the top appear to be working without issue. I know all the linkages for the top are disconnected but didn't hear any noise from the motor. I'll have to investigate further and see what's going on. 

I found an independent that will program the key for $100. The local dealer will charge $150. Either way, Porsche has to supply the IPAS codes (specifically the learning code used to program the key transmitter) and that's a bit annoying. No amount of calls to dealerships in the area have been helpful in trying to obtain that code on my own. The first available appointment is like two weeks away so I might die of anxiety before then. 

I realized that the coolant reservoir was empty. Not a great sign when one is questioning if the car they bought even runs. I filled it back up and quickly discovered the obvious reason it was empty:

The end tank of the RH radiator looked untouched at first glance but had a decent sized crack in it. For now, I will bypass the RH radiator until I can confirm this thing runs. Another part added to the ever growing list of parts to track down. 

I really wish I could just program this key myself. The procedure appears so simple using PST2/PIWIS or an Autologic but every shop I've called makes it sound like such a big deal. 

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