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MazdaFace HalfDork
1/30/18 6:47 p.m.

Well done sir. 

TexSquirrel New Reader
1/31/18 8:44 a.m.

Looking forward too seeing the "finished" project.

I'm down in the Houston area, and have seen firsthand some of the flood vehicles.

You're either brave or a bit crazy to purchase one sight unseen. smiley

Some look fine, and some look toxic!! 

rico750sxi_2 New Reader
1/31/18 8:29 p.m.

Great job getting the car started!! Very impressed with the progress. 

AAZCD New Reader
1/31/18 9:24 p.m.

I have started a week of day shifts now, 7 am to 7 pm, so not planning to do much work on the car. I will post a good write-up of Tuesday's activity, but I haven't had time. I drove the car on my lawn yesterday and parked it in the garage. I have a lot of electrical issues to track down (as expected) such as the passenger side window and spoiler. I also had the low oil pressure warning come on. It could be serious, or it could be simple. I suspect that it was from residual water causing foam in the oil, or impeding the filter. Don't worry - I shut the car off immediately when the warning light came on. I ran the car this evening after work. No low oil pressure. Still lots of slop blowing out the exhaust. I think that everything is progressing well, but that low oil pressure was a reminder; things can go ugly fast on this type of project.

Almost ready to drive to the garage:

ssswitch Dork
1/31/18 9:37 p.m.

This is really, really cool.

Do you have a parts Boxster or are they all runners? You seem to be just flying through this without the panic and confusion that I would be feeling staring at a few miles of poop-smeared German harness.

AAZCD New Reader
1/31/18 9:55 p.m.

In reply to ssswitch :

This is my second flooded Boxster. I bought my first one in 2014. The waterline was only a couple inches above the bottom of the doors, but that one needed a replacement engine. I learned a lot. I bought a parts car (engine donor) which I later completely stripped. You can learn a lot by cutting a car up into little pieces.

For a short time, I had six running. Six is too many. Right now I have four others including my V8 project (which is currently inop). Once I get this car figured out, one will probably have to go.

August 2016:


midniteson Reader
2/1/18 2:38 a.m.

Awesome build. thank you for sharing. 

nderwater UltimaDork
2/1/18 7:02 a.m.

"Six is too many."


Billy_Bottle_Caps Dork
2/1/18 1:14 p.m.

Congrats on getting it running, that had to be a huge relief. Love the pic of all the boxsters lined up.

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
2/1/18 1:23 p.m.

I'm deeply impressed. I'm also going to show my wife the picture just so I can say "I don't have a problem, this guy right here has a problem". 

B13Birk Reader
2/1/18 1:32 p.m.

In reply to mazdeuce - Seth :

I was thinking the exact same thing haha. 

AAZCD New Reader
2/2/18 8:49 p.m.

This post is a little bit 'TLDR', but Tuesday was a long and painful day...

It's all going to be easy now, Right?

Tuesday was going to be a big day. The car had run on Monday and I was pretty sure that I could finish putting it back together enough to drive to the Tag Agency (DMV) and file for a rebuilt title. What did I have to do?

  • Finish replacing a radiator.
  • Put the front bumper cover on.
  • Bolt the exhaust back together, or just replace it.
  • Flush engine the oil and refill.
  • Add coolant.
  • Put wheels on.
  • Install headlights.
  • Put the seats and some interior trim back in.
  • Organize paperwork showing the purchase of repair parts.

I had most of the day available, and until 4:30 to get in the door. If all the work went smoothly it would be easy.

I started with the radiator. After removing the original radiator I saw that it looked better than my replacement (note to self: dispose of the replacement). It just had a broken stub, leaving a small hole. I decided to do a JB Weld patch and work on other stuff while it set. A brand new radiator was already ordered.



Next, replace the muffler. The old muffler was still ½ full (or ½ empty) of oily water. Working in a small puddle under the car, on my back with the sun in my eyes and oily goo on my gloves, I removed the last few nuts and bolts. I tried to pull the muffler out. It would not fit between the bumper and rear of the transmission. Rocked it, rolled it, tipped it, it was not coming out. The rear bumper cover would have to come off.

To remove the rear bumper, the spoiler has to be raised to get access to screws. There is a switch on the fuse panel to raise the spoiler, but it didn't work. I ohmed out the switch and connector. They were good. Next, I looked at the relay in the trunk. I had originally thought that the (rear) trunk electronics didn't get flooded. I was wrong. Opening the relay, I saw rust. I replaced all the relays. Still no spoiler movement. Must be a problem in the mechanism itself. ...Okay, the bumper was not going to come off that day. Instead, I'd bolt the original exhaust back together.

Where did I put those nuts and bolts? I like to put nuts, bolts, and small parts in zip lock bags as I remove them. I label the bags with a marker, so I know where they all came from. The “Exhaust” baggie was nowhere to be found.

Stop. Walk away. Wife makes lunch.

'All day' isn't so long anymore.

Back to the radiator. The JB Weld repair looks good. I used “KwikWeld”, not for a permanent fix, but good enough for a few days. The radiator is pretty easy to install. The hardest part is getting the hoses in place and clamped. It can be hard to reach with the radiator in place, so I just put one bolt part way in while I got everything set. To tighten the lower hose, I put my head underneath and looked up. Perfect position to have the radiator fall off the one loose bolt and smack me in the face. I'd have a black eye, or worse, but fortunately I was wearing safety glasses. With the radiator installed, I topped the car off with distilled water, then noticed a slight leak from the radiator on the other side. No big deal, just a slow drip. Woody (https://www.facebook.com/Woodys-Parts-LLC-866155110110548/posts?) is sending me a good used replacement and a spare.

With coolant, I could finally run the engine enough to warm it up and burn some of the moisture out of the engine. It started easily and ran smooth. Lots of white smoke as it warmed up. About 10 minutes in, the Low Oil Pressure light came on. Not good. These engines die catastrophically without good oil flow. I shut it down immediately and hoped for the best.

Time for an oil change. The oil that came out still had a lot more moisture in it than I expected. It was a milky caramel color rather than translucent maple syrup I had hoped it would be. At least the filter looked good. I refilled with about 9 quarts of cheap synthetic, had a cup of coffee and thought about what to do next.

Nope, not today

It was nearing 3 pm and I was not likely to have it ready to drive by 4:30. Rather than get in a rush and start breaking expensive things, I decided to just keep going and get as far as daylight would take me. Driving, or pushing the car into my garage at the end of the day would be good enough.

I finally found my baggie of exhaust hardware underneath my fuse diagrams on the passenger side and got to work reassembling. It all went together well except for the “C- pipe” on the right side. That took some prying and convincing, but eventually went on.

I ran the car again. This time, with the full exhaust on. It was a smokey mess, pushing the water – oil mix out the tail pipe. It ran smooth, but again the low oil pressure light came on after about 10 minutes. I was glad that it ran that long, but still troubled by this. I tried a couple re-starts and the warning light came back on quickly. I thought of my contingency plans: Pull the engine and start a tear-down. Make this into another Audi V8 swap. Strip all the good parts and sell the ones I don't have use for.... Not so fast. Keep faith. It's probably just a minor issue caused by water still in the system. I did another oil change This car takes about 9 quarts of oil per change and I ran out of buckets to put it in. The guys at Autozone were not too happy when they saw me dumping all that intermix into their waste oil tank, but glad to sell another 10 quarts.

I was resigned to putting it back together and rolling it to my garage. Before dark, I had the lawn cleaned up and the car back together with wheels, bumper, and a seat from an Audi A4. I decided to start it and check for the warning light. There was a brief flicker, then it went out and stayed out. I put it in gear and drove a couple circles on my lawn, then parked it in the garage. Another victory. Another small step towards completion.


Agent98 Reader
2/2/18 9:23 p.m.

Woo hoo, big milestones achieved! (If it was me, it would have taken a month. Or three months.)

It's a Wise man who knows when to implement: "Stop. Walk away."

With six boxsters in the stable,  are any in a position to donate their radiator temporarily, rather than trust a JB Weld patch? 

If that thing keeps sucking down oil, maybe it's time for a compression check, if that's OK, then you can always do the trans fluid/Marvel Mystery oil trick to unstick the oil control rings. Or maybe there's a crawdad in your PCV system. Can't wait to read the next installment.

Cousin_Eddie Reader
2/3/18 6:13 a.m.

I'm really enjoying this thread.

Sine_Qua_Non SuperDork
2/3/18 6:25 a.m.

Told my wife what you did. Congrats, she hates you now for putting such possibilities in my head. 

Dirtydog Reader
2/3/18 10:35 a.m.

Great progress so far.  Is there any way you can temp hook up a oil pressure gauge?  That should tell you what's going on.   Going with Marvel may help with sticky  rings.

grover Reader
2/3/18 9:30 p.m.

awesome result on the oil...and the saved eyeball. 

AAZCD New Reader
2/4/18 3:50 p.m.
Agent98 said: ... With six boxsters in the stable,  are any in a position to donate their radiator temporarily, rather than trust a JB Weld patch? ...

Currently only four other Boxsters and it would have been hours more work to swap a radiator from one of them. The replacement radiators have already arrived and the temporary repair is still holding up well.

AAZCD New Reader
2/4/18 4:17 p.m.

Okay, No Snake Oil...

Marvel Mystery oil is good stuff. I used it years ago in a seized 1971 Moto Guzzi engine. In this case I don't think it's needed and I was advised by several knowledgeable Porsche owners not to use it. I don't think the rings are a problem.

The engine does not put out smoke until after it has warmed up. I'm pretty sure that its from the oil-water mix in the exhaust heating up on the cats rather than a problem with the engine. I am still not happy with my oil samples. The oil on the dipstick looks clean and clear now, but samples from the filter are cloudy with water and fine debris.

I took the oil from the filter and strained it in a coffee filter, then spread the residue on white paper. There is nothing metallic or gritty. What I found is more like a flaking varnish. I have seen similar stuff in the carburetor of a lawn mower that sat with water in the gas tank. It is soft and can easily be broken up with the tip of a probe. The largest pieces are smaller than a millimeter in diameter. That is still more contamination than I had hoped to see after four oil changes.

Next I'm going to pull off the sump plate and give the bottom of the engine a good cleaning. I'll spray it with fogging oil, brush it, and wipe down the internal parts that I can reach. I would have dropped the pan earlier, but I was in a hurry to get it running and flushed. Now it seems like a good precaution before I run the engine under more of a load.

I did some diagnostics with my Autel MD802. Just some minor codes that are probably related to having an '01 instrument cluster installed instead of the '04. It also sometimes shows a secondary O2 sensor code. No worries there. The ABS/PSM shows code 4276 “Valve relay”. No idea about that yet, but the connector was wet for a long time.

759NRNG Dork
2/4/18 5:18 p.m.

I'm having a hard time envisioning your 'crib' .......six boxsters......chain link fence........concrete knee wall.....semi circular drive (concrete)......in a sub division???? Either  there is no HOA where you are or all your neighbors are down with your 'P' car shenanigans.......I happen to approve whole heartedly and would welcome you next door in a heart beat!!!  

AAZCD New Reader
2/7/18 11:56 p.m.
759NRNG said:

... Either  there is no HOA where you are or all your neighbors are down with your 'P' car shenanigans...

Most of my neighbors are really great and I try to keep things as orderly and quiet as I can. I think they all breathed a sigh of relief when I gave up on the motor home project in 2011...

AAZCD New Reader
2/8/18 12:08 a.m.

Sump thing is dirty.

Engine oil flushes could not get all the crud out, so I dropped the sump plate today. The bottom of the pan looked terrible with soft cloudy sediment and small water droplets. There was no way that the stuff outside the baffles could make it to the drain.

With the pan dropped it was easy to clean. One of the oil return outlets had broken tabs. Fortunately I had a pair of them available from a scrapped engine and didn't have to wait for delivery of a new one.

The engine itself looked great. No sign of internal corrosion. I'm glad I didn't disturb the sediment any further by driving the car around or running it hard. If I ever buy another flood car, cleaning the sump will be my first step.

It's all back together now. A very thin coat of gray sealant, then bolts tightened to finger tight. After setting for an hour I torqued them all to 10 Nm (7 Ft). Now it sits over night before I fill with oil and run it.

While waiting for the sealant to set, I removed the spoiler and rear bumper. The motor for the spoiler was bad, so I replaced it with one from my parts car. With the bumper off, I got a good look at the damage from transport. It looks pretty superficial. Tomorrow, I'll take it to a body shop for an estimate.

Also today I went to the Tag Agency (DMV). It's the 30th day since I bought the car, so if I didn't transfer the title, I'd start accruing fines. I explained that I planned to file for a rebuilt title soon, but the car wasn't ready yet. The clerk replied that she could take my application and fee, then hold it for me until the car is ready. That way there is no rush and no fine. Awesome deal.

Oh... and I cleaned up and inspected the instrument cluster on Sunday. Up until now, I've been using a spare from my parts car. Now I know the actual mileage: 44, 608


hvoxi New Reader
2/8/18 2:30 a.m.

I really enjoy the videos, thanks for taking the time to document your work & share it. I am learning a lot about approaching a challenge from this story. I'm impressed by the speed & scheduling

AxeHealey Reader
2/8/18 8:45 a.m.

Fantastic progress! 


2/8/18 9:02 a.m.
AAZCD said:

In reply to ssswitch :

Six is too many. 

BLASPHEMER!  I kid, I kid.  Six is a good start!  Although, my record is 10, but I only had 4 batteries, so I had to swap those around depending on which car I was driving lol.

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