David S. Wallens Editorial Director
April 14, 2017 3:51 p.m.
feature_image

For the past two years, forum regular BoxheadTim has been chronicling his life with a Porsche 996. Has it been happiness and rainbows, or pain and suffering? Click here to follow his odyssey.

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Vigo UltimaDork
April 14, 2017 5:50 p.m.

I've put about 6k miles on my cheap 996 without spending any money so far (aside from a $90 oil change). Does it have issues i should spend money on? Sure. Am I planning to take it apart and spend money on it in the near future? Yes. But do i need to spend money on it? Is it stopping me from cruising a functional 300hp rear engine luxury sports machine around whenever i feel like it? Nope!

mw Dork
April 14, 2017 7:55 p.m.

I've put 35000 km on my cheap 99 and other than oil changes and brake pads, the only thing I've had to replace was a plastic coolant hose connector for $12.

I did choose to upgrade the shocks and tires too.

Knurled MegaDork
April 15, 2017 7:12 a.m.

I'm going to be 40 next year. My forehead is getting taller. Leon is getting larger. And you guys are not helping.

Harvey Dork
April 15, 2017 7:53 p.m.

I've put 4 yards on my Hot Wheels Porsche 911 and nothing has blown up yet!

HapDL
HapDL New Reader
April 16, 2017 12:06 p.m.

That is a really odd looking car with that hardtop on it. Guy across the street from me had an '03 convert, sans hardtop, and it looks much better and I'm not a convertible guy at all. The proportions of the car as pictured are just not very 911 like from the windshield back. Maybe it's the perspective of the photo, I dunno.

My neighbour just sold his for $28K Canadian (that's about 6 bucks US isn't it?) It was low mileage, about 40K Kms and had a complete rebuild of the engine about 15K Kms ago.

BoxheadTim MegaDork
April 16, 2017 12:12 p.m.

Some of it is the perspective and the fact that it's a not-so-great cellphone picture. Some of it is that it does look a little awkward with the hardtop on it. It definitely does look better with the hardtop off.

The photo David linked to reminded me that after the initial two photos I actually never put up any new and better photos. I should rectify that pretty soon.

Thanks for the shout out, David.

David S. Wallens Editorial Director
April 16, 2017 8:37 p.m.

Happy to give the shoutout. Thanks for sharing the experience with the rest of the class.

markwemple
markwemple UltraDork
April 16, 2017 8:50 p.m.
HapDL wrote: That is a really odd looking car with that hardtop on it. Guy across the street from me had an '03 convert, sans hardtop, and it looks much better and I'm not a convertible guy at all. The proportions of the car as pictured are just not very 911 like from the windshield back. Maybe it's the perspective of the photo, I dunno. My neighbour just sold his for $28K Canadian (that's about 6 bucks US isn't it?) It was low mileage, about 40K Kms and had a complete rebuild of the engine about 15K Kms ago.

Low mileage and needing a rebuild seems about right. These need to be driven regularly and hard. Air cooled 911s can be DDs, my 76 was my DD for a few years, but the 996 is the first 911 that is a true DD.

Ricky Spanish Reader
April 17, 2017 12:28 p.m.

I've had two 996s, a 986 and a 986S - all trouble free.

Wish I could say the same about my 944s.

dean1484 MegaDork
April 17, 2017 12:36 p.m.

This thread is not helping me to not own one of these.

Devilsolsi Reader
April 17, 2017 2:49 p.m.

My 996 experience has been a little different. Bought it last year knowing it needed a little love. Found out it needed a lot more love than I originally thought. It hasn't been started since Sept. Eventually someone will offer enough to payoff my loan and make it go away. Or I will find the time to fix things and actually get it on the road.

Ricky Spanish Reader
April 18, 2017 10:27 a.m.
dean1484 wrote: This thread is not helping me to not own one of these.

You can find an automatic cab for $12,000 - do it.

markwemple
markwemple UltraDork
April 18, 2017 12:43 p.m.

In reply to Devilsolsi:

What does it need?

markwemple
markwemple UltraDork
April 18, 2017 12:44 p.m.

In reply to Ricky Spanish:

Yeah, a tired 1st gen.

SEADave HalfDork
April 18, 2017 1:47 p.m.

I looked into these pretty thoroughly, including joining a well-known Porsche forum and spending some time on the 996 page. Some say a "tired first gen" is exactly what you want, if that means a '99 with 100k+ miles. They say that sitting is bad for the cars, and that the early dual-row IMSB is stronger and generally would have broken by 100k if it was gonna go.

In the end I was a little put off by both the cost of regular upkeep and the potential cost of total engine replacement/rebuild. I'd still like one some day, maybe a 2009+ once they depreciate a little (lot) more.

Devilsolsi Reader
April 18, 2017 1:50 p.m.
markwemple wrote: In reply to Devilsolsi: What does it need?

See here: https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/open-classifieds/1999-porsche-911-c2-coupe-20k/121414/page1/

The big thing is a drivers side chain tensioner. Then a bunch of little things..

WilD Dork
April 18, 2017 3:12 p.m.

I read the first couple of pages of BoxHeadTim's experience and feel I can go a while without seriously considering a 996 again.

TR8owner HalfDork
April 18, 2017 4:50 p.m.

In reply to Harvey:

"It was low mileage, about 40K Kms and had a complete rebuild of the engine about 15K Kms ago."

An engine rebuild after only 25K kms?

markwemple
markwemple UltraDork
April 18, 2017 5:10 p.m.

Or you could be me, 116k, oil, filters, trans fluid, coolant, brakes, etc, you know maintenance parts. Only 2 real otherwise issues, a/c condensor(stone) and alternator. As reliable as any car I've owned.

Vigo UltimaDork
April 18, 2017 6:55 p.m.

To be fair, mine 'needs' front swaybar endlinks, a starter/alternator battery cable section, both front window regulators (still working but not properly), some kind of work on 2nd gear (mostly my fault, don't drive angry!), valve cover gaskets, a rear main seal..maybe some other stuff i don't remember. In other words, not much for a 1999. Pretty normal. And nothing that keeps me from starting it up or enjoying it or thinking of it as a 'nice' car. But, if I had to pay someone else to do all of it, it would cost me a small fortune. Just like any other car. There really isn't any car where paying $100+/hr labor on all the stuff that's broken after 18 years wouldn't be expensive.

Lugnut Dork
April 18, 2017 7:12 p.m.

I still think they're wonderful. And I can't understand all of the "fried egg" and "droopy" headlight hate. I think the 996 is one of the best-looking 911s. I have a 997, and I think the 996 is better looking.

pres589 PowerDork
April 18, 2017 7:32 p.m.
Lugnut wrote: I have a 997, and I think the 996 is better looking.

You weird.

markwemple
markwemple UltraDork
April 18, 2017 7:45 p.m.

Personal taste. I like the exterior of the 997 better, but the interior of the 996 better.

April 19, 2017 3:35 a.m.

It's a Porsche thing. If it was a Hyundai, everyone would be screaming about how crap that was. With a Porsche, you make excuses like: "yeah, that doesn't surprise me, they need to be driven hard."

CLEARLY, the owners fault, and not bad engineering.

TR8owner wrote: In reply to Harvey: "It was low mileage, about 40K Kms and had a complete rebuild of the engine about 15K Kms ago." An engine rebuild after only 25K kms?
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