1st generation boxster question

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Chris Mann
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1st generation boxster question

#1 Post by Chris Mann » Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:33 am

Good morning:

I'm looking for some non-356 advise. I'm sniffing around several low mileage Boxsters (under 50K) and am a bit wary of the propensity of the intermediate shaft bearing(s) to fail, destroying the engine. Has anyone paid to have the bearing(s) inspected, prior to purchase? I think its about a $2,000 tab, even if no replacement is made. Or, should I just roll the dice and assume the one I buy won't have this problem?

I know metal fragments will often show up in the oil, if failure is imminent. Any words of caution?

Thanks.

Chris
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John Ward
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Re: 1st generation boxster question

#2 Post by John Ward » Fri Mar 02, 2018 2:38 pm

If your paying someone to inspect the bearing, you might as well replace it. Same labor involved.
Figure anywhere between $2500-$3500. depending on if its an automatic or clutch car.
If its a clutch car, you might as well replace the clutch.
1997-2000 will have a double race bearing. 2001- some 2006 will have a single race bearing.
Also think of replacing the water pump at around 70,000 miles, and the Air/Oil separator.
Also, another common issue is the motor for the top, and the rear plastic window hazing over.
I have bought two Boxsters, one was made into a race car, so these issues were taken care of.
The second, I bought REALLY cheap ($2000.00) so I could fix all the issues, and still made a couple of bucks when I sold it.
Hopefully this helps.
 

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Bob Forman
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Re: 1st generation boxster question

#3 Post by Bob Forman » Fri Mar 02, 2018 3:14 pm

A friend who is a (non-Porsche) mechanic had an itch for a 97 Boxster (made in Germany). He eventually found a low-mileage example but tested the oil prior to buying. (I believe the early Boxsters had dip sticks. Porsche eliminated them at some point in production.) Good news for him there was no metal in the oil so he bought it and immediately changed the IMS bearing. He's had happy motoring ever since. The moral of this shaggy dog story is that there are good ones out there. Good luck.
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Sebastian Gaeta
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Re: 1st generation boxster question

#4 Post by Sebastian Gaeta » Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:29 pm

Chris,

I have owned my '98 for over ten years and have put about 110,000 miles on it. They are great cars and the advice that John Ward gave is spot on. Oftentimes you can find them with the bearing upgrade already done and the sale includes receipts for the work and the old factory bearing. I had mine done and never worry about it, I just drive it.

If you find a nice one without the bearing done just factor in the upgrade into the price you will pay. Word of advice, if you have it done be sure to use one of the aftermarket retrofits and not the factory bearing.
Sebastian Gaeta
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Re: 1st generation boxster question

#5 Post by Charles H Jacobus » Sat Mar 03, 2018 7:42 am

We bought a 2004 Boxster S 550 Spyder Edition with 80,000 miles from the original owner and replaced the bearing with an IMS kit. With the clutch it was about $3500 which brought the cost of the car to $17,500. It looks and drives like a new car. We had (and have) the oil analyzed each oil change. The short shift and slightly more HP makes it a great car to drive and they are beginning to appreciate. In my opinion, this is the one to get.

Chuck
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Re: 1st generation boxster question

#6 Post by Ashley James » Sun Mar 04, 2018 8:13 am

FWIW I have a 2005 Boxster with 66k on it, Porsche maintained and no IMS issues yet. From what I gather bore scoring on the bigger engine 3.2/4 is more common.

They’re an absolutely superb car IMO.

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Re: 1st generation boxster question

#7 Post by Chris Mann » Mon Mar 05, 2018 8:22 am

Thanks for the responses.

I suppose the cost of replacing the bearing(s) (and the clutch) is a modest amount to pay for peace of mind. (I can't fathom why anyone would own a p-car without a stick.)

Cold in Maine, but the available daylight is increasing.....

Thanks.
Chris Mann

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Re: 1st generation boxster question

#8 Post by Steve Proctor » Mon Mar 05, 2018 11:32 am

I talked with Charles Navarro of LN at the Lit Meet. I had installed his ceramic ball bearing IMS bearing several years ago. I asked him how they were holding up and he told me they consider them to have a 50K mile life. I believe they have updated their product a couple of times with different approaches. Vertex in Florida also has a solution.

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Sebastian Gaeta
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Re: 1st generation boxster question

#9 Post by Sebastian Gaeta » Mon Mar 05, 2018 12:55 pm

Steve Proctor wrote:... he told me they consider them to have a 50K mile life...
They advertise as having had Zero failures for their ceramic bearing and Zero failures for their more expensive oil fed solution. Either way, they are infinitely better than the factory bearing.
Sebastian Gaeta
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'65 C coupe
'64 C cab
--------
2005 997 C2 Cab
2001 996 C4
1998 Boxster
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1966 Ducati Cafe Racer
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1963 Beetle

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Steve Proctor
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Re: 1st generation boxster question

#10 Post by Steve Proctor » Mon Mar 05, 2018 1:07 pm

Yes, in retrospect, a bad design by the boys in Germany with little to no recourse if your engine blows.

http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/0 ... boxster-s/

However, on the plus side....
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Jim Alton
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Re: 1st generation boxster question

#11 Post by Jim Alton » Sat Mar 10, 2018 9:25 pm

John Ward wrote:If your paying someone to inspect the bearing, you might as well replace it. Same labor involved.
Figure anywhere between $2500-$3500. depending on if its an automatic or clutch car.

Also think of replacing the water pump at around 70,000 miles, and the Air/Oil separator.
My water pump didn't make it to 70,000 miles. The seal goes bad, heats the shaft, and then the pulley falls off. Lucky for me it failed 100 feet from home.

I heard labor charges for replacing the pump run something like $ 750. Access is not good. It can be a do-it-yourself job but not an enjoyable one. In retrospect, it might ave been easier if I'd gotten all the water hoses out of the way instead of the bare minimum of clearance.
 
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Re: 1st generation boxster question

#12 Post by Ashley James » Sun Mar 11, 2018 6:13 am

My early 987 had a water pump at 30,000 miles.

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Steve Proctor
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Re: 1st generation boxster question

#13 Post by Steve Proctor » Sun Mar 11, 2018 8:02 pm

May be heresy to the Porsche faithful, but these kinds of design fails and equipment failures should not exist on $50 - $100+K Porsches. Can't they get water pumps from Toyota or something??

My 4 liter Toyota Tacoma TRD Off Road with towing package just went over 110K miles with NO FAILURES at all, no repairs, just oil changes and routine maintenance despite ~ 25-30K miles of towing to Santa Fe, Washington State, Iowa, Phoenix, etc.

My Boxster S with similar miles has had the water pump, rear main seal, IMS bearing, two oxygen sensors, and all three chain tensioners replaced. It still rattles humiliatingly loud until the oil pressure comes up in a second or so. Bad hydraulic cam followers? Porsche says this is normal and nothing to worry about. WTH????? Even Chevys don't rattle like that, so not happy with the announcement that Porsche is enjoying record profits. That's why I drive 356
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Re: 1st generation boxster question

#14 Post by John Ward » Sun Mar 11, 2018 8:31 pm

Steve,
Re; cam followers....kinda.
The pads for cam timing sounds like they`ve worn.
They will be noisey, but more importantly they will effect cam timing, effecting performance (misspelled)
I don`t have a Boxster anymore, but I did have to replace the pads on the second Boxster that I had.
I have a Cayman now, and living in the mountains of So. Cal. I look for any reason to drive it, as well as the 356.
You can find 1st. Gen Boxsters all day long for $6000 and under on Craigslist.
Even though you might have to spend some $$$ at first, there worth it. They are alot of fun !
 

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Re: 1st generation boxster question

#15 Post by Steve Proctor » Sun Mar 11, 2018 9:00 pm

John, email sent.
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