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About cj225

  • Birthday 01/31/1985

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    Maverick V6

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    Daan Sarf

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  1. I always just did mine FT. Just noticed some dead images - refer to here for filling in the blanks http://www.pelicanparts.com/techarticles/Porsche-996-997-Carrera/102-BODY-Replacing_Your_Carpet/102-BODY-Replacing_Your_Carpet_stTest.htm
  2. Beauty is only skin deepIdentifying cover ups and fresh paint It's quite common to be 'blinded' when you view a car - it's a common thing (or so I've read) in Psychology to be overwhelmed by all the visual stimulae of something new - your brain is so busy taking in this unfamiliar thing you're looking at, that you won't spot the detail.... unless you know what to look for. Some repairs are normal Don't necessarily be put off by the signs of some repairs - but be wear of the quality. It's absolutely normal to expect that a Boxster has had some paint repair in it's life - scrapes happen, stone chips happen. You do need to be aware of the quality of any repair, though, and be sure that you can work with what is there. Remember - It's absolutely value-for-money to pay for a finance/accident/mileage check, like a HPI report or similar, prior to buying. Do your research, as per the first post, prior to viewing. There is nothing wrong with buying a previously damaged car so long as you know what you are buying. Areas and Signs to look out for I've labelled this diagram based on some of the common areas you'll be able to quickly spot some common issues: A If the rear, or rear quarter has been previously sprayed, check in the shut lines for the hood. The worst paint jobs are normally the laziest, so you might be able to see signs of overspray in this area. Re-using the picture from above, you'll see an area you could check. The white stuff, in this instance, was excess polishing compound from when I machine polished the rear wing - this could easily be primer or paint, so be sure to check for anything like this. It's useful to have a damp cloth on hand to wipe away any dirt/dry polish. B Similarly, check the arch liners/shock absorber/spring for signs of overspray. Not many bodyshops will remove or mask this whole area, so it can be easy to spot any excess paint that has made its way in this area, if it has had repairs/paint. C The grilles on the rear quarter are also an area to check. They can be a pain to remove, if you don't know how to do so, which means that it's an area that will be ripe for tide marks/runs/lacquer peel (from poor prep in this area). A good paint job, or unpainted grille, should look faultless. A pre-facelift 986 should also have black plastic grill fins - some people like to paint these body-coloured, but it could also be a sign of a lazy paint job. If you can see in the engine bay, there's a chance that bad overspray (if these are painted) could have made it's way through. D When a panel is painted, a painter (or smart repairer) will normally look for a place to hide a 'blend line'. This is a point where the paint can stop without leaving a noticeable line for where it has been blended. A common area for this is the swage line on the sill. Check that there are no signs of broken lacquer, steps or other joins hidden in this area. Again, it's not an issue if there is, as some paint is normal, but signs of paint repair on the rear quarters may prompt further questions. E & G The front wings are removable, but check again in the recessed areas for 'dry' (i.e. not smooth and/or reflective) paint, overspray etc. The wings themselves are bolted along the bonnet shut lines with torx headed bolts. These are practically made of cheese, making it hard to remove them without chipping the paint or damaging the head. Check these are still present, painted body colour and with no signs of tampering (else, ask questions/make further checks). I replaced my wing with a good used spare due to marks and scraches - sometimes it's far more economical (and better, long term) to get a factory-painted used panel in good condition, than have the existing one repaired/repainted. F If you can, look under the front lip of the bumper. It's quite common for stonechip (or similar) repairs to be done with the bumper in-situ. This means you may be able to see overspray on the underside of the bumper. You can see it peeling here (bumper off the car) H The front grilles are also supposed to be black unpainted plastic on a pre-facelift 986, too. Due to the position of them, they normally appear 'sun bleached', and a lighter grey. This is especially visible on this example: Again, it's not unusual for these to be removed and re-painted - when an owner puts protective grilles (like the Zunsport ones) on, for example. It is purely something you can be aware of, which prompts for a further look. Number Plates Another quick check would be the number plates. Around September 2001 (for the 'new' style registration prefix), it became a requirement for new number plates to display the supplier, post code and BSAU 145d. This isn't actually a perfect system, as people still use non-standard plates, but where correct it can help to show some history. Firstly, check the supplier at the bottom of the plate. In theory, if a car is supposed to have been OPC serviced it's whole lift, you might expect this to be reflected on the plate. It's certainly a good sign (of sorts) if the plates front and rear look to be the originals (from when the car was new). You definitely don't want them to be marked in such a way that suggests they came from a bodyshop/accident repairer, again without asking further questions or perhaps expecting it. Whilst many people (including myself) see fresh plates as a cheap way to 'lift' the look of the car (nothing worse than old, faded or cracked sets), many non-enthusiast drivers will overlook them, replacing them only when necessary. You would, therefore, perhaps be able to see this in an MOT history check, where they were an advisory or fail point. They are often the first thing to be damaged in the event of an accident, so non-matching plates (or even cracked plates) should draw your attention. Paint Quality One of the more important things to be aware of when studying car paintwork, is 'Orange Peel'. This is when the surface of the paint is not completely smooth, and looks similar to the surface of an Orange's peel. This is best visualised in the photo below: Orange peel can be normal - it is traditionally though of as being the result of poor paint handling - sometimes through laying paint on too heavily, or by incorrect paint flow (gun) setup. Due to modern manufacturing methods, it's thought of as completely normal to see some degree of orange peel on a brand new car (even more so, as time goes by). Not as much as in the picture above, mind. Each manufacturer will have it's own level of quality when it comes to orange peel, but it would at least be consistent over the whole car - if one panel stands out as being different that the next, it could mean that is has seen some work before. Here's an extreme example - this is acrylic aerosol lacquer from the can, showing bad orange peel. Notice how the paint looks 'drier' (as mentioned earlier) as the new paint fades out. Factory orange peel should look like slight marbling in the reflection, but not necessarily visible from looking straight on at the paint - you should see this in the reflection of the car in the door below: Paint Depth Another area not to overlook (especially on metallics and pearlescents) is the paint depth. The paint on a modern car is mostly made up of several layers. Beyond the protective initial coats (for priming, weatherproofing and guarding against corrosion), you will have a base coat (above as "color coat") and a clear coat. The base coat will consist of the colour of the vehicle, with metallic flakes in for non-solid colours. This is then finished with several layers of "clear coat", or "lacquer". Paint comes in different mediums, from water-based (air dry) modern tree-hugging varieties (which can include spray cans), to 2k paints (which consist of two parts - the paint, and a hardener which usually contains isocyanate). The latter is more durable and tougher paint, but there are more stricter controls over the availability of it, and how you are supposed to spray it. 2K paints are hazardous (due to the ISO content), so outside of a spray booth you'd expect 1K (air dry) paint to be used. Why does this matter? Well, it means that a cheaper paint job (or one done by a smart repairer outside), will often have a thinner or less durable clear coat. This can represent itself by a 'shallow' finish on metallics. You can see this here: You should not only notice the slight 'peeling' of the clear coat near the window seal, but also the speckled appearance of the metal flakes. This should only really be seen on very clean paint and/or in direct sunlight. The quality of the paint depth has a direct impact on it's appearance, and can appear to be duller and lighter. The panel in the picture above should be the same colour as that of the other photos. It's not a trick of the lighting or angle - you'll see that it looks far too metallic, and has no depth. Last, but not least Look down the body. By looking down the length of the side of the car, any dings or paint issues should be prominent. You can also use a reference point in the reflection, something straight, to see if there are any distortions in the paintwork. Take this picture for example. I had spent hours on this paintwork, but there is still a very noticeable defect... Give up? Click here. You should be able to notice it more clearly when viewed against the reference point, as the reflection distorts in the particular area... Any bubbling, or rust, on the bodywork isn't a good sign either - Boxsters don't do this unless there's something bad hiding underneath, like bodyfiller and/or accident damage. The not so small print This isn't a detailed and thorough guide - there are a lot more things to look out for - but I hope it will help you to notice things that you might otherwise miss. Porsche had a very thorough paint process from the factory, so you should expect better paint than that of a cheaper car - bear this in mind when inspecting; a little 'orange peel' is normal, but you should expect the paint (if original) to be of good quality. Apologies if I upset/annoy anyone with this - I'm not a bodywork expert and any older car will have some signs of cosmetic repair, so don't use any of this as a reason to discount a car - just weigh it up alongside the rest of my advice, and the price you want to pay.
  3. No One Likes a Roofless Buyer (see what I did there?) When buying, or planning to buy, any sort of cabrio/convertible, the immediate issue becomes the roof. Everyone will lose their minds worrying about it. It's not really a problem area on the Boxster, but it doesn't mean you shouldn't be vigilant. Always check the roof operates normally and fully. What should happen You should check the roof operation without the engine on when viewing. Why? Because it will help rule out a few things, and also allow you to listen for any noises. With the ignition on, handbrake on and engine not running, unclip the front of the hood. Both front windows should immediately drop a couple of inches. If they don't: Possible Microswitch failure If the weather is cold, and the Boxster you're viewing has a plastic rear screen, you'll need to do the roof chop. This is essentially a term used to describe manually folding in the middle of the screen to prevent any damage as it folds with the roof. The seller should be aware of this, unless you're buying at a clueless dealer. When ready, press the roof button (located next to the radio). If nothing happens: Check the handbrake is on (including the light on the dash - unless modified, the roof won't work unless the car knows the handbrake is on. Additionally, check the roof latch is clear of the windscreen frame and retry. The roof on the 986 is fully electric, and it isn't quite the same as the one on a Phantom Drophead - it will whine a little. The roof should go down reasonably smoothly, with no unusual clunks or knocks. A light should illuminate - 'P' on the diagram below: If it struggles: it's possible the battery is weak or unsuitable, or the roof may be out of alignment If there are odd noises: It may suggest wear or damage to the mechanism. It could require alignment or further parts, so budget for a few hundred pounds minimum. As the roof lowers, the roof bin (cover) should raise. When the roof is tucked away, the bin should then lower. Keep the button held until the light on the dash extinguishes. If it doesn't: Again, possibly a microswitch. It's a good idea at this point to check that the rear bin cover sits nicely flush with the surrounding bodywork If the edges (near the thinner sections the meet the roll hoops) don't quite sit right, there is adjustment for this - each side should have a black plastic block (marked with a '+') that can be slide towards the front or rear to adjust how it seats. Saggy Flaps No one likes saggy flaps. Luckily, if the roof hangs over the side of the trim, as per below, this can be adjusted via a 'belt' (like the pants type) inside the roof. Others have replaced these straps using their manly sewing skills and some elastic strapping. You can use the 'roof down' position to examine the roll hoops and wind deflectors (if fitted) for any damage, otherwise they're quite difficult to get a look at. I'd advise checking the roof goes up and down without any unusual signs/symptoms. You might need to turn the engine on after the first couple of cycles, as it may drain the battery quite a bit - just make sure the exhaust/talkative seller don't drown out any noises you might be listening for. With the roof half way up You can check some bits with the roof in 'service mode'. This is essentially how you access the engine, but it's also useful for having a quick check of the roof. There's a few guides on this in the How To section, including this video by Vroomba... The roof parts on each side will comprise the following parts: Part 'H' in the picture above is a small rubber bushing - mine didn't have these fitted, god knows why, and it caused all sorts of little rattles. You can see it fitted in the picture below. These costs around £5 each - a lot for a little bit of rubber, but not a lot for a Porsche little bit of rubber. It's also worth checking the weakest link whilst you're there. These are the other end of the bushes above.. These plastic parts, not necessarily red in colour, are designed to snap if the roof becomes obstructed. They screw onto the end of the tierods (above), and have a ball-joint type end which attaches to the roof frame (above, but with white plastic). If these snap, they can look like this: It's not unusual for people to tire of this, and instead of simply fixing the issue, they fit stronger ends, and bad things can happen... This can also happen as a rarity, but it's always worth checking for signs of a bodged repair or damage in this area too. Don't be a Drain... Lastly, have a quick check of the drain holes. This is me cleaning them with a trombone cleaner. Check the black foam/plastic isn't split, and the hole (where the rod is going into, left pic) doesn't look blocked. There are also drain holes on the upper sill where the cover sits (again, with the rod going in the hole). To be continued....
  4. Ok, so I have a bit of time to cover the next section: Separating Fiction from Reality: Common issues and costs So the most common thing I've seen on adverts, not just Boxsters, is the "there's a problem, but don't worry - it's a cheap fix". If it was a cheap fix, it would be fixed, surely? Would you want to buy a Porsche if the owner won't even fix the cheap stuff? If you're not mechanically minded, and don't know your dipstick from your oil cap, then you might be swayed by this - keep your eyes open, though. If you're mechanically minded, and think you can snip up a bargain, then fair play. I'll cover a few common issues. Don't be Fobbed off (budget for around £200 per broken key fob) I once bought a Rover cabriolet for £120 because it wouldn't start. 5 mins later, I had resynchronised the remote fob, and sold it on for 5 times the price, so I've been there. That's not likely to happen on a Boxster though. Here's one I saw earlier: Sounds genuine, right? Key fobs break, and maybe you do need to get it sent off. But if that's the case (no pun intended) why wouldn't you spent that £50 extra - it's going to make you more than £50 back on top of a £7k asking price, surely? "But eBay is full of these services, surely it works?" I hear you say.. Yes, this is true - but there is more than one mode of failure. Mode 1: Genuine Desyncronisation (sleep) When a Porka is left unused, after around day 5, the alarm system will go into a power-saving hibernation mode. The car won't be actively looking for a remote signal, so the remote won't work. As soon as you unlock the car with the key, it should then 'wake up' and start working again. Some members have reported having to press a button as they turn the key in the door or ignition, but generally you should find that after a short drive, things work as per norm. If they/it doesn't, then it's possibly borked. Mode 2: Fob issues OK, so fobs do eventually run out of juice, so you'd have to check and see if the battery genuinely does need changing. There is a small red light on the key fob which should illuminate when pressed. If it doesn't, maybe it's batteries, maybe it's not. The PCB (Circuit Board) could be damaged, as the buttons do become unsoldered, which is possibly where the eBay service might work for you. Definitely check that there is a circuit board inside the fob, and it's not just an empty case though! Mode 3: They all do that, sir (no, really!) Ok, so here's the not-so-beautiful synopsis - Porsche do love a good bit of designed obsolescence. It is widely accepted that the 996/986 (maybe others!) have a limited use on the fobs. I read somewhere that it's 10,000 presses, somewhere else that it's x number of presses without the car responding, and somewhere else that it's just pot luck. Either way, don't be put off by a non-working remote locking system - it's unfortunately common. The key may well look like it works, and you can get an auto locksmith (like I did) to confirm it's working and sending out a signal, but the car just doesn't want to know. No keys can be reprogrammed without the original barcode, which you (almost definitely) won't have. If it's important to you.... Given a second chance, if someone said that the remote locking didn't work, I'd mentally set aside £200 to have it fixed. You may get lucky and resolve it for less, you may not be lucky and, if you try the eBay fix first, you might end up shelling out more. Keyblades are extra too (see below). Only some Independents or an Official Porsche Centre (OPC) can reprogram remotes, as they require unlock codes from Germany. You should expect to pay around £130 or so for a fob, plus half an hour's labour - leaving you to pay around £200 all-in. Shop around, it varies. What if I need a key blade too? An OPC/Independent have told me before that they need to order a blade from Germany, at a cost of around £90. I didn't bother, and used keysinthepost.com. You can send them a photo of your existing key blade, and they'll post you out a spare copy for less than £30 (at time of writing). My key fob case is ruined - do I need to buy a new fob? No, you don't need to. You can get decent new copies for less than £5 from eBay (I ordered item number 131510070806). These look the part, and work well, but the fit/finish is (if you're pedantic) every so slightly off. You wouldn't notice unless you studied the gap lines, mind. I used my old key body with the new blade, and thus had myself an emergency key. What about a used eBay key? Don't waste your money - they are useless except for scavenging the buttons/case. What other things could this be linked to? The Control Unit which controls the Alarm and Central Locking lives under the left seat (passenger side on RHD cars). This wouldn't be an issue if the Boxster didn't have a few leaking issues (which we'll cover). These can cause the Alarm Unit to become water damaged, and thus stop working. This, in extreme cases, would cause the car to not start at all, and things can get really expensive. Remember the tip from before? Check the central locking button The alarm system can indicate faults via this red light, so check it, then make sure it works. The button should only really work with all the doors closed, and it should lock and unlock all the doors, plus the frunk/trunk levers (on cable types at least) and fuel flap. Check the carpet is also dry behind the seat - tilt the seat forwards, then pull the carpet up from behind the seat. If the foam is wet, it could indicate further (and very expensive damage).
  5. Thanks - still plenty to go. Worth also adding that "UKVehicle" (as mentioned in the first post) has now become "Carzana" as of today https://cazana.com/uk
  6. What were the differences? The 986 went through a multitude of changes in its 8 to 9 year production cycle, including an MCA around 2002 (Industry term for 'Mid-Cycle Action', which essentially tries to rejuvenate a model that has been on sale for a while). Engines came, and went, spec too. Here's the jist: Engines The Boxster came with M96 VarioCam engines, which are arranged in a flat-6 design. The Boxster apparently was named as an amalgamation of 'Roadster' and 'Boxer' (the engine configuration). The Flat-6 is part of the character of the 986, and also represented the beginning of the first production water-cooled engines that Porsche provided. By now, you might have been swayed by the "bloke at the end of the bar" telling you that "they have this RMS problem that makes the engines blow up", or something similar and fictional. It's worth doing further research into this (there are some lengthly topics on the forum) before you worry too much about what the RMS (Rear Main Seal) is, and why/when the IMS (Intermediate Main Shaft) bearing might cause problems. Only briefly in 1999 might you have been able to see all three engines for sale in the showroom, but the summary is: There are many quoted engine power figures, partially due to the natural variance of 'no two Porsche engines are the same', so these are estimates: 2.5 Engine - Approx. 201 bhp - In production from launch (1997) until 1999 2.7 Engine - Approx. 223 bhp - In production from 1999 until 2002 3.2 Engine - Approx 250 bhp - In production from 1999 until 2002 Post facelift 2.7 Engine - Approx. 228 bhp - In production from 2003 until 2004 3.2 Engine - Approx 260 bhp - In production from 2003 until 2004 3.2 Engine - Approx 266 bhp - Only for the 550 Anniversary, around 2004 All the engines are very similar in architecture, but the 2.5 is the only one (to my knowledge) that had a cable operated throttle, rather than fly-by-wire on the 2.7 and 3.2. Due to European Emissions laws, Cars manufactured prior to 2000MY should have snuck through before Euro 3 emissions came into force, meaning they only had pre-catalyst lamba probes (2 in total), and also do not require type-approved catalytic converters. It is also suggested that it was around this time that Porsche started manufacturing the M96 with a single-row IMS bearing (and Euro 3 Emissions, meaning 4 Lambda probes and more expensive Catalysers), which lends much weight to a bargain-boxster sweet spot of around 1999-2000 for the pick of the litter I'll brace for impact from the 2001-onwards registered owners now! Gearboxes (or 'Transaxles', if you want to be politically correct) The Boxster came with the Tiptronic automatic (noticeable by the buttons on the steering wheel), a 5 speed manual, or 6 speed manual (only available on the 'S'). G86/00 - 5 Speed Manual fitted to the 2.5 G86/01 - 5 Speed Manual fitted to the 2.7 (Not sure what the amendment was, ratios appear to be the same) Both of these were Audi-sourced FWD gearboxes, mated to the transaxle with different ratios G86/20 - 6 Speed Manual fitted to the 3.2 This was a Getrag sourced gearbox, with stronger internals for the increased torque output of the 3.2 A86/00 - Tiptronic Gearbox 1997-1999 A86/05 - TipTronic 2000 onwards When is an 'S' not an 'S'? This seems like a good place to clear something up. Generally, you'll hear different versions of what Boxsters were available. These are generally referred to as: - the 2.5 - the 2.7 - the 'S' (3.2) - the 'Annie' (550 Anniversary) You may come across some confusion when buying though, as there is a red herring. What Herring is this that you speak of? Well, the earlier 2.5/2.7 was available with a Tiptronic automatic gearbox, which was confusingly named the 'Tiptronic S'. Inevitably, you will find that the word 'Tiptronic' goes walkabouts, and you end up with someone trying to sell their Boxster as a "2.5 S" or "2.7 S". A previous owner might even have found an 'S' to stick on the back. To skip the pedantry, it's best to remember that the only Boxster 'S' was the 3.2. This is due to standard trim variations and, also, the engine.
  7. @Araf, can you shoehorn this one into the colours post (it's alphabetical) - my source info was missing the 550 GT Silver GT Silver Metallic (550 Anniversary Only)
  8. Additional Value Sometimes you can get a car that's out of budget, back into budget by proxy. What do I mean by this? Well, essentially offsetting the purchase cost against planned costs, or recoverable costs. I'll give some specifics... Hardtop You may want one, or plan to buy one. You could decide that it's not something you'll ever need, as you plan to garage the car and only use it on summer weekends. All fair game. Will it add any rigidity or performance benefit? No. Is the standard roof good enough to negate the need? Yes. If you live in the type of area that some scrote might decide to use a knife on the roof, then it'll pay for itself I'm sure. Either way, a hard top can be worth £300+ (depending on condition, demand and colour, perhaps more like £700+) whether you plan to buy or sell, so a Boxster that is £200 above budget, but comes with a hard-top, may turn out to be a much better deal - if you can be bothered with the faff. A badly handled and fitted hard top can mark the paint, so that's something to bear in mind. The value can also be significantly less if it has had a half-bothered paint job. Glass Rear Screen Again, if you are planning on this upgrade in future, consider whether one out (or in) budget already has one. These can cost £500 upwards even second hand and fitted, so you might want to consider this in your budget, especially when paying more for a car that already has one. Speedster Humps Who doesn't want a hump on the back of their Boxster? How about two? They were an official accessory, but there's always going to be some aftermarket copies out there. The value and appeal of these varies once again, but it's worth doing the research to see if you can gain some of the purchase price back (or save the cost of buying), should you find a Boxster than comes with them. Aero Kit As mentioned earlier, the Aerokit was an extra on the Boxster. Because of this, I'd expect that a genuine Aerokitted boxster would be worth a fair amount more than one that is not, due to the fact that it would easily fetch another £1000-£2000 in parts alone as a breaker. Genuine Aerokit front bumpers can sell even in tatty condition for north of £500, so the possible additional skirts, rear bumper, bootlid and spoiler can easily pay for themselves. If you think you'll get swayed by that look eventually, you might need to consider the value of buying a Boxster that comes with this spec as standard - but bear in mind that there are GRP copies out here. Once again, judge all of this based on the current value of the parts by checking eBay, and weigh this against your own personal tastes/plans. If you're planning on buying a budget Boxster, always keep one eye on what you could recover if you sold it in parts.
  9. What to look out for before viewing (continued) Modifications Some are good, some are bad....maybe all are good - it depends what camp you are in. If you're after some originality, though, you may want to think carefully about how fettled the potential new chariot will be. First and foremost, you might want to check insurance - the last thing you want is for your insurer to make things harder for you, should the worst happen. Don't necessarily be put off a modified Boxster if it fits right in all other areas, just judge how much it may cost to 'undo' some of the work. Wraps and Paint Jobs First of all, are they hiding anything - secondly, what about repairs? The last thing you would want is to find that you can't match up the same vinyl wrap after a ding. Additionally, where paint jobs are concerned, you need to be confident of the job that's been done. Again, it could be hiding faults, but more importantly you don't want to find it starts peeling off one day when you're giving her a good wash. I wouldn't expect a non-standard finish to add any value, and it's more likely to reduce it - unless you attract a specific buyer who finds the finish desirable. Check the post above to ensure they did actually make on in that colour - we'll cover the "In person" stuff later. Wheels There are always going to be a variety of wheels that fit the Boxster, even from factory, but there are some considerations to be made around these. - Are the wheels the correct size (Porsche wheels are 'staggered', in such that the wheels are the rear are wider than those at the front). - Do they foul on the bodywork or cause ride issues? - Are the tyres an unusual or expensive size? (factoring in additional costs to maintain) - Are they readily available new or used All of these things should be considered, as you wouldn't want to be left with a 3-wheeled Boxster should you get a puncture (and the tyre size is uncommon, and thus unavailable), or left with an odd wheel (should one become damaged beyond repair, and a replacement cannot be sourced). Generally, Porsche wheels as a set would cost anywhere from £200 upwards, depending on tyres and condition, but I'd expect to pay anywhere north of £400 for a set of 17" Carrera style wheels with useable tyres. Wheels really will come down to your personal tastes - there are plenty of forum members who run non-standard wheels, including aftermarket and OE types. Additional thought should be budgeted towards refurbishment and/or the availability of centre caps, as they can go walkabouts. Remember, as discussed earlier, that wheel damage may indicate accident damage, or indications that the components behind the wheel may have taken some undesigned force (i.e. hitting a stone or kerb at speed). Steering Wheels Although an aftermarket wheel may look good (or better), but remain fully aware of the implications. You must tell your insurance, as they would prefer to know if you are removing and disabling the airbag safety systems on the car. It may also affect the steering lock. It's common, and quite effective, to get steering wheels re-trimmed as the leather fades (or through personal choice), so sometimes a wheel can be factory fitted, but appear none-standard. Used/replacement standard wheels can cost around £200 (even in the 4 spoke style) without an airbag, so again you might need to budget for replacement. Bodystyling Modifications Again, each to their own on this one. You may choose a specific Boxster because it has a bodykit, rather than despite it. The principle here is similar to wheels - check for any existing damage, and consider the impact of impact! Standard PU bumpers tend to be just that - bumpers. They are more forgiving if a Pheasant decides to end it all by jumping in front of you - a GRP bodykit, not so much. There's also the impact on insurance, and potential that a bodykit was fitted as a cheaper option when the car previously met a hedge. Keep an open mind, but also consider that there may be issues under the skin. I've had cars before that had bodykits attached with self-tapping screws (which are often peirced straight into bodywork, which then attracts and accelerates rust) and also bonding substances (grip fill, even!) which again could have damaged the bodywork. Additionally, a car may have been resprayed after the kit was put on, meaning if you decided to remove those sideskirts, you could find a tide mark (or other blatant signs that it used to be there!). A bodykit can be a mixed bag - some are done very tastefully (replica Aerokit, for example) and others can be bodged onto previously accident damaged cars, so take it all on board before you commit to purchase. Interior Modifications Our own Loz knows a bit about this one! You can get cars which may have had thousands spent re-trimming none-standard leather into a range of styles and colours. Alternatively, you could have a max power style gear knob, or other painted/trimmed items. Always consider whether it's likely to be an issue in future (whether personally, or come MOT time) and research how much it would cost to reverse. Some members have retrofitted 996 (911) clocks into the dash, which is a well received modification - bear in mind that it's not likely to be the Boxster's original mileage shown, and more like 996 + miles since it went in. This could be an issue when confirming or validating the true mileage. (996 clocks left, with oil/battery gauges, factory facelift 986S dials middle, factory pre-facelift non-'S' dials right) Exhausts Again, quite a common area to change, as the standard exhaust can be quite subtle - with the PSE quite pricey too! Not generally a major issue, but take into account whether you're going to love a loud exhaust, or find it tiresome. There are a variety of exhaust that can be found on eBay, but some tend to 'drone'. This generally is a spot in the rev range (normally 2k-3k rpm) where the exhaust will produce a constant deep hum. It may be great on a Sunday around the country lanes and tunnels, but on a trip down the M1 you might find it becomes simply unbearable. If you see a boxster which states, or looks to have a loud exhaust, and you prefer the understated look/sound, then budget for replacement. Not hard to fit generally, but you'll need to budget an estimated minimum of £300-£400 to cover the cost of a standard used exhaust, u-pipes, hangar and bracket, clamps gaskets and fitting, should they not be available with the sale.
  10. What to look out for before viewing (continued) Interior One of the key things I look out for on photos is, again, the cleanliness. Granted, people lead busy lives and so they don't always get time to clean the car - unfortunately, rather than excuse this point, it just adds weight to it. I tend to think that people display the respect they have for their possession in the manner in which they keep them. If it is dirty, and you love to clean (not everyone will), it can make things fun. I personally quite like rejuvenating things, but this was more an optimistic view of how I bought mine. Does this mean it's a no go? Not at all. With simple household products (mostly fairy liquid on a sponge, then a vacuum) you can work some magic on these areas. Taking my photos above, I spent a couple of hours that weekend and got some decent results. Eventually I replaced the worn gaiter for a ~£6 one (marked as being for a Boxster) from eBay. So, is it the end of the world? No, but know your limits. If you have a dicky hip and arthritic hands, then perhaps you should think about how much you'd want to get into. Granted, you could take her down to the local valeter and have them clean the carpets, but bear in mind they are unlikely to be Porsche savvy! Would I want a young kid with a wet vac near the Alarm ECU (under pass seat)? Nerrrpp. The whole point of this, however, is not only to get yourself adjusted to the size of the task in hand, but also to give you a potential hint as to how the car has been used before you turn up. Air Fresheners Nothing wrong with loving the smell of Vanilla in the cabin, or a bubblegum fresh aroma to mask the smell of leather, should it not be your thing. Be wary of the air freshener, though - it may not be your friend! One of the most common Boxster issues would be water entry, causing a wet carpet. This can give issues with the Alarm ECU being water damaged (as above, not a cheap repair and will prevent the car from starting in most cases), or condensation issues. So what does this have to do with an air freshener? Well, long term water ingress will soak into the foam under the carpet, and it'll start to pong. This smell could be just standing water, but it may also be a mix of bacteria and other nasties. Either way, it would prompt you to think about why it's there - especially in a trader's yard, as they normally don't have that kind of thing in them. If I saw a trade car at a cheap price, with an air freshener, I'd most definitely be planning to check the carpets. Is it a huge issue? Possibly, but maybe not. It's quite common, and a £10 trombone cleaner from Amazon can help to unblock the drain holes, potentially fixing the issue. Alternatively, it could be an old soggy cabin filter, but we'll cover this stuff later on. If all else fails, I bought a used replacement carpet for about £40 from another Boxster being broken for spares on eBay, which made it much easier to sort the job (again, covered later on). You can read an awful lot from an interior, so if you're after a low mileage example, make sure the interior reflects it. This is a Porsche, not a Citroen, so expect a well cared for and seldom used example to reflect this on the seats and steering wheel. Another top tip - and this isn't foolproof - but you can possibly tell if the remote locking isn't working by paying attention to the centre console on photos: If the car is opened by the key in the door, only the driver's door will unlock. This will also show as an illuminated central locking button. Once the driver's door is closed, a second press will extinguish the light and unlock all the doors (which may be the case if all the doors are unlocked and open in the photos). So it's not definitive, but again it may arouse suspicion if it is present. Alternatively, a constantly red lid button can also suggest an alarm system fault - this could be as simple as a £20 door locking module change, or a damaged Alarm ECU. Use the specification guide to judge the expected options that the car may have against the information provided. Here are some examples of what I'd judge based on the above info. It's subjective whether it's good or bad, but use it as an example of how much you can judge using the aforementioned information:
  11. No problems, glad to help. It's all just subjective, but I've bought quite a few cars in my time and and happy to both share my learnt experiences, and also 'upload' my BoXa knowledge whilst it's still up there! I'll be adding more as I go along.
  12. What to look out for before viewing There have been many examples of people posting up ads for cars they are interested in, but have failed to see the stand out warning signs, so I thought I'd go over them here. Remember, buying a Porsche can be expensive if done wrong - don't think of it like any other car. This information is just my personal opinion, designed to bring your attention/curiosity to thing - always use your own judgement before discounting a car Bodywork It's always worth being weary of any wrapped or painted cars - they can be done for genuine reasons, but a wrap or cheap paint job could also be hiding some horrors. On personal opinion, I'd suggest that a wrap devalues a car, and surely would make resale more challenging. You would have to weigh other damage against some researched costs - both doors, front wings and bumpers are easy to change, and the going rate on eBay (for Douglas Valley, for example) would be around £100 for a wing, £200 for a bumper, and £100 per door. Double check the availability of parts before committing to such an idea, as some colours are rare (and thus parts might be difficult to source). Some colours also age differently, and might be more of a challenge to match (silver, for example, can be a nightmare). Any damage to the rear wings isn't necessarily so easily resolved, and could involve a localised repair. Some forum members have paid £500+ for a rear wing repair before now. A good sign of a well cared for car would be a nicely cleaned bodywork in photos - you can read this well from photos if you know what to look for. Granted, you're not always going to get photos of a car in an ad when it's wet or raining, but it's useful if it does: Mine was sat at a carwash for months, and they washed it at sale, but it still had tell tale signs of untreated paintwork: Hopefully you can see, but you get areas of the paintwork where moisture/water "clings". it almost looks like wet plastic. It also looks like road grime has already 'stuck' to the doors, and the reflections are dull. This isn't a good sign, as it suggests that the surface is unprotected. It's not necessarily a walk-away moment, but it took me months to get the colour to return to the correct shade, with a lot of work with compounds and an orbital buffer. To compare, this is the same paintwork after months of work, but not having been washed for around 6 weeks. Notice how the paint has the 'wet look'? Ironic isn't it. Although the beading isn't brilliant, it's as good as you'd expect to see from an unwashed car that has been rained on. Not all of the water drops will be equally sized, but you'd want conformity in the shape (as round as possible). Round water drops indicate a level of hydrophobia from the bodywork. Yes, that's how much you can read into a wet car photo. That same bodywork, on the same day, with a quick wash with Autosmart Autowash (shampoo) came out like this, with no additional wax or products: Again, not every owner is a detailer, and not every car wash knows much more than a bucket and sponge, so don't hold it against the owner - just use it as a yardstick for what you might have to do to bring the paint up to a decent standard (in appearance and protection). Tyres & Wheels Don't be too put off if the car isn't running Goodyears or Pirellis - they can be outperformed by a variety of brands, like Falken, Kumho and Vredestein. I would personally be put off, and concerned, if I saw a car had Three-A or Accelera tyres - they are the epitome of ditch finders, and suggest a thrifty approach to maintenance. There could well be better examples out there, so tread carefully (no pun intended). You ideally want to see matching tyres on each axle, but not necessarily all four corners. The front and rear wheels are different sizes, and the rears can wear out quicker than the fronts, with availability of tyres not always there to ensure all corners match. Having odd tyres on an axle can be a symptom of unexpected punctures on a motorway, for example, but it may affect the handling, so you'd have to budget for cost to correct. Also, check for signs of heavy kerbing. Heavily kerbed wheels can be innocent parking scars, but they could also suggest a bit of a knock. The suspension components can be expensive, with an alignment costing £100 on it's own, so the last thing you want is to walk into £500+ worth of trouble because the car handles badly, or eats tyres. I would additionally say to steer clear of any 'multi-fit' non-standard wheels. These can be recognised by multiple bolt holes, and are unlikely to be staggered (perhaps even completely bodged fitment. Watch out for the wheel bolts - they corrode quite badly on the boxster, especially the alloy collars, and will start to go rusty. These can be used to judge whether you might need to think about new wheel bolts.
  13. Colours We can pretend that the paint colour doesn't matter, but we all know deep down that it does. The 986 came in a variety of shades, from the common to the outright rare. You can find the paint code under the bonnet, as per the first post. I've attempted to find one of each shade, but I'm at the mercy of the owners here (and google). I don't know if all these colours were available in the UK, but are certainly the worldwide options for the Boxster 986. Many will look very similar on photos, and I expect the differences are subtle, possibly in the flake. Artic Silver Metallic (1997 >) Arena Red Metallic (1997 - 2000) Atlas Grey Metallic (for final year only, I believe) Black (1997 >) Black Metallic (1997 > 2001) Basalt Black Metallic (2002 onwards) (one picture, as they will all look the same on a photo!) Carrera White (2002 onwards) Glacier White (1999-2000) Biarritz White (2000-2001) Blue Turquoise Metallic (1997-1998) Carmon Red Metallic (last year of production) Cobalt Blue Metallic (1997 >) Dark Blue (1997 >). Photo is a guesstimate. Forest Green Metallic (1997 >) GT Silver Metallic (550 Anniversary only) Guards Red (1997 >) Iris Blue Metallic (1999-2000) Lapis Blue Metallic (2000 onwards) Meridian Metallic (2000 onwards) Midnight Blue Metallic (1999 onwards) Oak Green Metallic (1997-1998) So rare I couldn't find an accurate photo of one, but here's a 911 Ocean Blue Metallic (1997-2000) Ocean Jade Metallic (1997-1999) Orient Red Metallic (2000-2003) Pastel Yellow (1997-1999) Polar Silver Rainforest Green Metallic (2000-2003) Riviera Blue Seal Grey Metallic (2001 onwards) Slate Grey Metallic (1997 onwards) Speed Yellow (1997 onwards) Viola Metallic (1997-2001) Violet Blue Metallic (1997-1998) Too rare for a Boxster image, but here's a 968 Wimbledon Green Metallic (1997-2001) Zanzibar Red (2001-2003) Zenith Blue (1997-2000)
  14. Wheels There were a variety of wheels available during the Boxster's production run, and again I'm not 100% au fait with these, but I'll try and do my best. The standard, smaller size on the earlier models were the 16" M395 option 'Boxster' Wheel Next up, were two options of 17" wheel - the "Boxster" (M394) and the "Carrera-style" (M396) 18 inch "Carrera" (M411), 18 inch 'Turbo Look' (M413), with M414 'High Gloss' (which were sort of Chrome), and the M415 There was an abundance of wheel options, many of which are beyond my info and googling, but a selection of multispokes (Sport Classics) were also found on the options list, especially for the 'S'
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