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Opinions on 986 Porsche Boxsters?

 
Old 05-13-2013, 11:22 PM
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VeryUnoriginal
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Default Opinions on 986 Porsche Boxsters?

How many of you have ever driven/owned an early (Pre-2000) Porsche Boxster? My Grandfather and I have been seriously considering adding one to the stable that we've amassed over the past few years. I test drove one that we weren't going to buy (auction car, wrecked and badly repainted, seller admitted to beating the hell out of the car when he drove it) but good lord did I love that car. Smooth ride, smooth engine, and it handled better than any car I've ever driven. We're seriously considering an early first gen Boxster or a 2000-2001 Boxster S. Thoughts?
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Old 05-14-2013, 09:52 AM
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It is a very fun car to drive. However, these early watercooled engines are known to have problems so make sure the car you buy is inspected to rule out ongoing engine problems and then budged $5-10K for engine replacement in the future.
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Old 05-15-2013, 04:40 PM
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A far more reliable fun car (the Mazda MX-5) can be had for less money, even with suspension upgrades. My $10K 2008 MX-5 PRHT 6-speed/CAI/Exhaust will soon have new springs/shocks/anti-sways for another $1500 but after that, it'll be a better handling car than a much older Boxster.
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Old 05-17-2013, 12:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Dave68 View Post
A far more reliable fun car (the Mazda MX-5) can be had for less money, even with suspension upgrades. My $10K 2008 MX-5 PRHT 6-speed/CAI/Exhaust will soon have new springs/shocks/anti-sways for another $1500 but after that, it'll be a better handling car than a much older Boxster.
We're considering the Miata as well. I've always loved and wanted a Miata but I haven't had the chance to drive one yet. We'll make our decision when we drive both, but just from the test drive I'm in love with the Boxsters and how they feel. I've never driven a car like it before.
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Old 05-17-2013, 12:38 AM
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Originally Posted by VeryUnoriginal View Post
I've never driven a car like it before.
Is this the first mid-engine car you've driven?
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Old 05-17-2013, 12:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Notch View Post
Is this the first mid-engine car you've driven?
Indeed it is!
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Old 05-17-2013, 12:58 AM
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Originally Posted by VeryUnoriginal View Post
Indeed it is!
Well built mid-engine sports cars (Porsche, Ferrari, Lamborghini) deliver a driving experience that no front or rear engine platform can equal. In a mid-engine car, the driver feels as if it is his own center of mass that is carving the corner, with very little (to no) delay in either the front or rear of the car on turn-in. No other engine placement can deliver on the turn-in and cornering experience like a mid-engine placement; they are way fun to drive.
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Old 05-17-2013, 01:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Notch View Post
Well built mid-engine sports cars (Porsche, Ferrari, Lamborghini) deliver a driving experience that no front or rear engine platform can equal. In a mid-engine car, the driver feels as if it is his own center of mass that is carving the corner, with very little (to no) delay in either the front or rear of the car on turn-in. No other engine placement can deliver on the turn-in and cornering experience like a mid-engine placement; they are way fun to drive.
I completely agree. I'd really love to take it out on a mountain road and really have fun. I thought the 'Vettes were fun in the twisties, but there's just something about a mid-engined car. I'm hooked!
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Old 05-18-2013, 01:15 AM
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I owned a 99 Boxster

The engine issue is the IMS bearing goes out. It is a ball bearing that serves as an idler for the camshaft chain. The fix for this is under 1K if you can pull the tranny yourself.

Get a S - you can pick one up for about 12-18K with less than 70K miles.

The handling is world class - the most precise car you will ever drive.
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Old 05-18-2013, 02:37 AM
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Between the Boxster and the Miata I'd pick the Boxster every time. But I'm 6'2.

Miatas are fun when driven on very tight roads but for me completely untenable as a daily driver.

The Boxster has MUCH more interior space, more trunk space (front AND rear), more power, about equivalent fuel economy, and much better handling and grip stock.

I actually am more comfortable in Boxsters (head/leg/shoulder/hip room) than in C5s/6s.
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Old 05-18-2013, 02:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Shark Racer View Post
Between the Boxster and the Miata I'd pick the Boxster every time. But I'm 6'2.

Miatas are fun when driven on very tight roads but for me completely untenable as a daily driver.

The Boxster has MUCH more interior space, more trunk space (front AND rear), more power, about equivalent fuel economy, and much better handling and grip stock.

I actually am more comfortable in Boxsters (head/leg/shoulder/hip room) than in C5s/6s.


Shark Racer has owned all of the cars he mentioned (Buttsters, Miatas, C5/C6) so he should know. A used Buttster/Gayman has to be one of the best deals going in an affordable sports car short of a clean C5Z. As long as you're not a victim of IMS failure upkeep isn't too bad either.

Miatas can be a lot of fun to drive, particularly the first gens. But they are horrible DDs for anything other than a very small person with no real need to move things. The mid-engine driving experience of the Buttster/Gayman is unique and it is amazing you can get it for the price of a 986.

-TJ

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Old 05-18-2013, 02:49 AM
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Not to mention that I installed custom seat brackets in the Miata to get the headroom up. Which took it from intolerable after 20 minutes to intolerable after an hour. I did drive it to and from an autox in Marina once (~1h15 one way from my house). It was OK but the Boxster and C6Z were far more enjoyable. I definitely enjoyed it though.

I could fit in my Boxster with the top up and a helmet on. Helmet off I was OK in the Miata but would hit the crossbeams in the roof from time to time. Hip and shoulder room were atrocious.
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Old 05-18-2013, 07:48 PM
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Funny thing OP, is that the Box you drove was crap (badly damaged/repaired, neglected, etc), imagine driving one that drives like it should intended from the factory, or better yet, one that is well sorted out.

I have been telling people for years (original owner of 02 base Boxster) how the Boxster "just feels right" (sorry Mazda for taking your slogan). And I have owned one of the other great mid-engine cars--->NSX-T (04), the Boxster is my favorite car thus far out of ALL the cars I have owned, including my stable of 7 cars right now (Maser QP, Maser Coupe, C6Z06, S197 Saleen 281SC, Mini Clubman, Ram Quad cab).

Not to mention a lot of much pricier cars that I have driven that I prefer the 986 over.

Buy a 986! It is so damn cheap now anyway, big deal with the ims problems, if it fails, then $5-6k for a used S engine, or $8k for a 3.4.

Btw, 11 year old car with 78k miles, and some ~20k hard tracking miles...no issues at all (need to knock on wood now).

GL with your search
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Old 05-18-2013, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by tjZ06 View Post


Shark Racer has owned all of the cars he mentioned (Buttsters, Miatas, C5/C6) so he should know. A used Buttster/Gayman has to be one of the best deals going in an affordable sports car short of a clean C5Z. As long as you're not a victim of IMS failure upkeep isn't too bad either.

Miatas can be a lot of fun to drive, particularly the first gens. But they are horrible DDs for anything other than a very small person with no real need to move things. The mid-engine driving experience of the Buttster/Gayman is unique and it is amazing you can get it for the price of a 986.

-TJ
LOL TJ. So, it sounds like you have never owned a Buttster, but is an authoritative figure on experiencing it.

That is original btw...I like it (Buttster actually makes it sound tougher and meaner )
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Old 05-18-2013, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Millenium 04 View Post
The handling is world class - the most precise car you will ever drive.


Not to mention it looks damn awesome when fitted with certain tasteful pieces...I still get thumbs up and inquiries all the time, and the car is 11 years old.

You can tell I am pretty passionate when talking about my Box! Just look at my username.
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Old 05-19-2013, 03:45 AM
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Originally Posted by tjZ06 View Post


Shark Racer has owned all of the cars he mentioned (Buttsters, Miatas, C5/C6) so he should know. A used Buttster/Gayman has to be one of the best deals going in an affordable sports car short of a clean C5Z. As long as you're not a victim of IMS failure upkeep isn't too bad either.

Miatas can be a lot of fun to drive, particularly the first gens. But they are horrible DDs for anything other than a very small person with no real need to move things. The mid-engine driving experience of the Buttster/Gayman is unique and it is amazing you can get it for the price of a 986.

-TJ
Not according to a recent poll in the MX-5 forum. A huge majority of NA, NB, and NC owners are over 5'10 and 200 lbs with many over 6'. There's one guy who is 6'5" with a daily MX5.

I've had mine for a couple of months, now and even with a glass pack exhaust, it is a great daily driver. I have driven a Boxter as well and while it handles well and has more power, there's no escaping the extra 500 lbs that it carries over the MX5. Throw Ohlin coilovers and sways on an NC and the gap betwee the two is much closer - far closer than you would think when comparing costs, especially maintenance costs.
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Old 05-19-2013, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave68 View Post
Throw Ohlin coilovers and sways on an NC and the gap betwee the two is much closer - far closer than you would think when comparing costs, especially maintenance costs.
And if the Boxster is equipped with PSS10s and sways?
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Old 05-19-2013, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Notch View Post
And if the Boxster is equipped with PSS10s and sways?
Then I'd add a Flying Miata turbo or supercharger kit to raise the wt/hp ratio. Even then I'd be spending half - kinda like comparing a C7 Corvette to the base 911, except that the MX5 has steering feedback that rivals almost any.
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Old 05-19-2013, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave68 View Post
Then I'd add a Flying Miata turbo or supercharger kit to raise the wt/hp ratio. Even then I'd be spending half - kinda like comparing a C7 Corvette to the base 911, except that the MX5 has steering feedback that rivals almost any.
And adding a turbo to the Boxster?

There isn't any front engine car that is going to deliver the SOTP experience that a well sorted out mid-engine does.
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Old 05-19-2013, 05:49 PM
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All depends upon how closely and how often you can push each car to its limit. For most folks using cars like these to drive to work or for weekend cruises, there will be little, if any increased fun factor when comparing the MX-5 to a Boxster.
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