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Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson UltimaDork
5/3/16 10:44 a.m.

So, I bored everyone with my what car thread where I was looking at all sorts of cars but had basically narrowed it down to either a nice low mileage Z4M Roadster (circa $20-25K) Or the best 986 S Boxster on the planet (Circa $20K). What did I do? I’ve bought the least desirable Porsche in existence, except it’s the most desirable Porsche in existence as it’s mine.

It’s an early (2.5L not 2.7L) base Boxster with just about the only option being the tiptronic, yes the anathema of a sports car a slush box. But trust me; it has a lot going for it.

We all know the issues of early M96 Porsche engines with cylinder chucking and IMS bearing failures. Well this car had a brand new engine fitted under warranty in September 05 at 56,325 miles. Piecing things together from receipts and Carfax it had 72,104 miles on it when it last changed hands in 08 and only has 76,858 when I bought it, so it’s only done 20K on the new engine and less than 5k miles in the last eight years or about 600 miles a year. I will soon fix that.

Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson UltimaDork
5/3/16 10:45 a.m.

So why this car and why did I get it? Well it belonged to the husband of my next door neighbor’s wife’s business partner. Sounds complicated, but I’ve met the guy and his wife on several occasions over the years. The original owner was his step father, he actually thought his step father was the 2nd owner having bought it as a young used cars. CarFax and the fact that Porsche replaced the engine for free (I have the documentation showing warranty) after six years suggests the step dad was the original owner. It was bought in Connecticut but spent most of its time down in South Carolina. The engine replacement paper work comes from Porsche of Fairfield CT, but the guys address at the time was in SC. Once he got it in 08 the PO has just used it as a weekend toy, but it did have a lot of sentimental value to him. I don’t think it was overly popular with his wife and apparently when he came in the house last week ranting that it was a POS and he was done with it because the electric seat height adjuster was broken, his wife seized upon that to strongly agree with his urge to sell it. It’s spent a lot of time sitting so it’s got various scratches and a few dents plus it’s generally filthy, I mean really dirty inside with a heavily worn seat bolster and a few damaged parts. He put the word out to friends he was thinking of selling and was talking to my neighbor about cleaning it up to sell. A few locals have met my neighbor Dan, he’s a super nice guy who had a 1955 356 and now has a 78 911SC. He loves cars and is a demon at cleaning cars up to look great, he has far more patience than I do for scrubbing out little corners and nooks and crannies inside. He told the seller he might know someone interested in the car as is and he let me know about it. He knew I wanted an S not an auto base car, but figured the guy wanted shot of it without hassle of cleaning it up and wasting weeks on dead beat Craiglisters or offered $2K to trade it in. So I went to check it out, hopeful but skeptical. I looked it over and drove it. First impressions were it’s tatty and I wasn’t super excited but I test drove it anyway.

First surprise. I don’t hate the tiptronic auto. It’s got to be in the top three best auto’s I’ve driven (along with an auto L98 C4 Corvette and an E39 540i) It holds gears well and actually has good engine braking. Yes it’s slow with only circa 200hp, bit it felt faster than I thought. All the time looking around it I was texting Jeff (Gearheadotaku) who works at the local Porsche dealer and Tom Spangler on here. Given the history, the mileage and the new engine I decided it was worth skipping a PPI (N I mean, what could possibly go wrong with a Porsche!!!) As long as I could get it for a good price. After a few mins haggling I got it for what I think is an excellent price.

The last service I have a receipt for is at Fred Lavery Porsche here in Birmingham in 08 for a service and oil change at 73,235 miles which is only 3,600 miles ago. There is another visit to Fred Lavery listed in CarFax Sep 14 at 76,775 but it doesn’t list what was done. So at best I can assume just over 100 miles on the oil and at worst 3,500. Either way due to the age I’ll be changing it relatively soon. I don’t’ see anything about flushing the trans, so I’ll probably do that soon as well. IT really endeared itself to the family by the battery going flat at the local pet shop 45 mins after I picked it up on Saturday so I called my wife to send Dan, the neighbor, down to give me a jump. The irony is my new Porsche was rescued by the most unreliable car in the universe a Land Rover Discovery! Even better as we were jumping it a guy next to us laughed at a Landy jumping a Porsche and it turns out he works with Jeff at the dealer above! The Next night Dan the star that he is dropped this lot on my. An R&T two pack of a 986 and a 550, plus the Porsche option catalogue and ‘lifestyle accessories’ book both from 1999, the year of the car.

Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson UltimaDork
5/3/16 10:51 a.m.

So, lets asses the car.

Here it is at the seller’s house with the Disco mentioned above in the pic.

The interior needs some work

Various scratches to work on

And the actual headlamp lens is damaged although the outer plastic only shows the merest hint of yellowing. The internal lens is broken. Not be Xenon it should be cheap to fix

Last off the top is OK with just one tiny nick in it, but not all the way through. Inevitably the window is well past its prime. I watched a YouTube vid where a guy picked out the old stiches, made a new window and sewed it back in again by hand. HE had well over 20 hours of hand stitching. Screw that I’ll find another way that doesn’t involve replacing the whole top.

Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson UltimaDork
5/3/16 10:53 a.m.

And a couple more just because I can

Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson UltimaDork
5/3/16 10:53 a.m.

So plans. Well first off was a new battery last night. Then look at the seat. Remember I said the guy told me the electric seat height adjust was buggered, well I believed him as the switch was just loose and flopping around and while I’ve read an absolute ton on the mechanics of later model Porsches, I’ve never read much about the rest of the hardware so I had no idea until I started Googling that it’s actually a mechanical system. I figured I could get to the back of what I thought was a switch and jump it to lower the seat to a better position. But Google taught me that it’s a hydraulic ram with a cable attached to one end which connects to a lever on the side of the seat. Apparently it’s not uncommon for the pin to slide out of the lever mechanism leaving it inoperable. To fix it properly I need to take the seat out, but in the interim I got Dan to jump up and down on the seat (in socks obviously) while I reached under the seat to operate the cable to the hydraulic ram manually. Voila, 30 seconds later the seat it down and I’ve fixed what was the final straw making the guy sell the car.

Next up. This car has instantly saved me $600-700 or more. Due to time I was going to take the Volvo and pay for the timing belt, and all the front end engine accessories to be replaced. But now I can take it off the road and do it myself for the cost of parts rather than paying parts (plus markup) and labor. The last quote I got was over $1,100. For now the Volvo is on storage insurance and the Volvo is in use (although I have a company car). I need to get some hide food on the leather bolster to stop it deteriorating more, then when I take it off the road for the winter I will look at 'Leatherique' products to restore them, I’ve seen and heard of amazing results browsing FerrariChat and Pelican so it seems good stuff. If I have too I’ll get a new panel sewn into the driver bolster.

I need a couple of interior bits from Evilbay. The mesh insert behind the drivers roll hoop is missing. The hinge on the center cubby is broken and the far left driver’s side dash vent is falling to bits. Possibly the strangest thing about the interior is bits of foam keep falling out of the heater vents and both at face level and under the dash, I guess I’ll have to investigate that.

Next I figured tires. What’s on there has plenty of tread on but I had no idea how old they were. I’ve found a receipt and it’s from July 2003 when it had 43K miles on it!!! So yeah, I figure before any trips I need tires. I started off thinking I’d go for Star Specs, but then realized, who am I kidding? This is 99% a road car with possibly 1 or 2 autocrosses thrown in if I feel like it. So right now I’m thinking regular Direzza DZ102’s which as it’s only got 16” wheels happen to be dirt cheap at $329 a set and I have a friend who can get them mounted and match balanced for free.

I even found the radio code so when I changed the battery I could punch it in and still have the radio work.

So far I can’t believe my luck. I love the car, it rides amazingly well yet is fun to throw around at sane speeds. IT”s not fast, but OMG does it sound good when you rev it to the red line. The auto works well and is really good in manual mode with a surprising amount of engine braking which is usually an issue with autos. In fact it’s so good that I’ve already decided that my next Porsche will be a PDK. Next Porsche? Yeah, I figure I’ll keep this 2-3 years then either sell it for a bigger better Porsche or pass it down to the minor offspring as her first car (daughter, no back seat )

Tom_Spangler
Tom_Spangler UltraDork
5/3/16 10:57 a.m.

Honestly, the interior doesn't look that bad. Couple hours of cleaning will shape it up nicely.

What are your plans? Just drive it for now while cleaning it up? Keep it long term? Swap in a real engine and trans?

Edit: Never mind, just saw your latest post.

Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson UltimaDork
5/3/16 11:02 a.m.

P.S. When the spousal unit saw it in the garage she thought it looked like a smushed bug so she (it's definitely a she) has been named SMSHBUG which is the plate I'm getting.

Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson UltimaDork
5/3/16 11:02 a.m.
Tom_Spangler wrote: Honestly, the interior doesn't look that bad. Couple hours of cleaning will shape it up nicely. What are your plans? Just drive it for now while cleaning it up? Keep it long term? Swap in a real engine and trans? Edit: Never mind, just saw your latest post.

I'm trying to get a booking at 'Tom's Detail Shop'

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
5/3/16 11:08 a.m.
Adrian_Thompson wrote:

You may send your royalty check to:

Javelin House with all the cars WA State

Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson UltimaDork
5/3/16 11:12 a.m.
Javelin wrote: You may send your royalty check to: Javelin House with all the cars WA State

Hey, your're reposting my pic so you send the royalty check to me!

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
5/3/16 11:22 a.m.
Adrian_Thompson wrote:
Javelin wrote: You may send your royalty check to: Javelin House with all the cars WA State

Hey, your're reposting my pic so you send the royalty check to me!

Ahem.

https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/reader-rides/5446/

Including:

From February 28th, 2011.

So, about that check...

Seriously though, good buy on the Boxster and I'm following with baited breath as I really want to do one of these next instead of yet another Miata.

Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson UltimaDork
5/3/16 11:26 a.m.

In reply to Javelin:

Curses Javelin, you win this time. Wow, that's an amazingly similar color. Do you miss the 944?

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
5/3/16 11:31 a.m.

In reply to Adrian_Thompson:

Javelin almost always wins. My 944 was Zermatt Silver, it looked a little gold in certain light, but not all the time. One of the silvers used in the 986/996 generation is very close. I do miss the 944, but not enough to buy another (944). I'd like to try a different flavor of Porsche, most likely early Boxster. I've autocrossed a couple of 951's and a 914 and driven a 911 and a Boxster. Secretly though I want to find a late 928 to really screw with people.

Woody
Woody MegaDork
5/3/16 12:25 p.m.

Well bought! I think that you're going to love this car.

FYI: Seats...

Look in the For Sale section of the Pelican forum for local guys who are building track cars. Seats take up a lot of garage space and are impossible to ship. Prices start high, but eventually guys just want to get rid of them. All modern Porsche seats will fit and even the lowliest seats are still made by Recaro.

Mad_Ratel
Mad_Ratel HalfDork
5/3/16 1:48 p.m.

Dad had some Corbeau Carrera's in his 911. Highly recommend them in wide. (now the a4 model since porsche got their panties in a bunch about the naming.)

so yeah. Super comfortable reclining seat for long rides and still held you in the mtns.

chandlerGTi
chandlerGTi UberDork
5/3/16 8:46 p.m.

See, I told you it wasn't bad! I only sold mine to get my Rabbit back to streetable. Good luck!

Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson UltimaDork
5/4/16 8:17 a.m.

Not going to swap to non Porsche seats, they are really nice. Good call on the race car cast offs though.

Yeah, I was that guy and wore this jacket driving my new car to work yesterday.

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
5/4/16 12:01 p.m.

In reply to Adrian_Thompson:

Which, of course, made 20hp more, dropped 10 seconds at Waterford, and have all of the women swooning at you.

Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson UltimaDork
5/12/16 8:16 a.m.

Ok, Mea Culpa. I’m ‘that guy’. Worse than ‘that guy’ who wore his Gulf Porsche jacket to work, I’m ‘that guy’ who was looking at his GPS in the Home Depot parking lot and drove his Porsche into a tree, yes I really did. Yes it’s my fault, yes it was distracted driving, no there is no excuse. This was last week and I’ve only just calmed down enough to open myself up to the teasing I deserve. Some of you who know me off forum already know about this.

Do your worst. But know that Eric (Bastomatic) has already let me know that he wants to be in the loop if I trade it in for a Mustang so he can film me leaving Cars and Coffee so that avenue is off limits.

Also yes I have photo’s, but no I’m not stupid enough to share them online or via txt as they would come back to haunt me forever more.

Now the good news. As you know I got a screaming deal on the car. After I hit the tree it was close to the line on being totaled. Worse case is I would have come out ahead. I talked to the adjuster and emailed him the paper work showing the new engine fitted by Porsche under warranty 20K miles ago. They gave me such a bump in value that they say the car is worth more than double what I paid for it so it’s going to be repaired. They’ve approved new from Porsche bumper cover and fender with the only small caveat being they have specified a remanufactured headlight and an aftermarket radiator. I’m concerned what a reman headlight would be and may be happier with a good used piece. Ditto on the rad, I may cough up the difference for a new Porsche one myself. Going up after work tomorrow to see the tear down and will turn up early sometime next week with gourmet donuts and coffee for the guys in the shop.

Huckleberry
Huckleberry MegaDork
5/12/16 8:20 a.m.

Just kidding. Seems like it's going to work out. You have to wear a Ferrari jacket. When things like this happen you can pretend it's your daughter's car and you just showed up to have it towed because she was so upset. Leave hair scrunchies on the rear view to sell it even more.

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
5/12/16 8:23 a.m.

Coming from the guy that rear-ended a 3/4 ton Chevy truck while looking right at it, you have my deepest sympathies.

bastomatic
bastomatic UltraDork
5/12/16 8:40 a.m.

I feel your pain. Ruined a perfect 87 CRX Si myself doing something similar.

Looks like the interior was damaged too - might need new seats.

Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson UltimaDork
5/12/16 8:53 a.m.
Huckleberry wrote: Just kidding. Seems like it's going to work out. You have to wear a Ferrari jacket. When things like this happen you can pretend it's your daughter's car and you just showed up to have it towed because she was so upset. Leave hair scrunchies on the rear view to sell it even more.

The funny thing is that may be it's long term fate, being passed to the youngest!

Tom_Spangler
Tom_Spangler UltraDork
5/12/16 9:11 a.m.
Huckleberry wrote: Just kidding. Seems like it's going to work out. You have to wear a Ferrari jacket. When things like this happen you can pretend it's your daughter's car and you just showed up to have it towed because she was so upset. Leave hair scrunchies on the rear view to sell it even more.

It's an automatic Boxster. Scrunchies will not be necessary.

Anyhow, glad it looks like the insurance situation will work out for you, Maldonado.

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
5/12/16 9:49 a.m.
Tom_Spangler wrote: Anyhow, glad it looks like the insurance situation will work out for you, Maldonado.

Bwaaahhahahahahahahahaaa!!!!

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