AFAIK Porsches are generally pretty bombproof but parts prices are
loaded up, presumably due to the relatively small market.
I've read the early Boxsters were blindingly slow even given the
2500cc'ish engine size (Wiki says 6.9 manual/7.6 auto 0-60) to avoid
treading on the toes of the "proper" Porkers. Though looks like your
budget stretches to the newer model 2004-on cars. Though the 2.7 is
still 6.2/7.1 sec 0 to 60 which seems a bit hopeless for a sporty car.
<more reading> Ah, I see why. It says the curb weight is 1420kg which
seems crazy for a 2 seater car - that's the same as my 3 series Touring.
Mind you, apparently it puts it on a par with the Z4. The Z3 is nearer
the tonne so, in conclusion, erm... MX5? :-)
Where are we going and why am I in this handbasket?
So, I have a Boxster. A pre-facelift 3.2S Tiptronic. I've had a paddle
conversion done, and disabled the rockers.
They're quick in 3.2S form, but the 2.5 is lighter and many fans say
it's a more 'pure' experience.
The flat 6 howl is addictive.
Costs. I've done over 10k miles in mine in the last 20 months.
It has been serviced twice by my local man. No point in paying for a
specialist to do routine stuff. Cost, maybe £300 - but he's only 30 quid
I needed a new alternator. Again, local man fitted and I had change from
£250, including the exchange alternator. I did, however, strip most of
the engine access bits to make it easier for him. But I can get into the
bay in half an hour these days.
Just replaced a window regulator - that'll be another 90 quid. But I did
the job myself.
Tyres can be pricey - Continentals or similar are over 600 quid a set
for an S, but I run mine on Hankooks at 100 quid a corner.
Just be aware that they have a known issue with the intermediate main
shaft bearing - Porsche under specified it and some cars have gone bang
in a big way. It's around 1500 quid for preventative replacement with a
better part - early cars are less prone to issues than later cars. Early
987 shaped cars are possibly the biggest risk, as I believe you can't
easily do a bearing swap. Failure rates are under 1% for early cars with
a dual row bearing and up to 5% for cars with the single row bearing -
which mine has...
You can't really predict if the bearing will go, garage queens appear to
be most prone, and there's a school of thought that anything approaching
100k miles is probably going to be fine. Depending on my bonus this
year, I may send mine in to be looked at.
One thing to note is that the OEM audio system in 986 shape cars is
shocking - dash speakers only. You can get 2 upgrades - a Porsche system
with amp. in the front boot and door speakers, and a Bose system which
adds speakers in the parcel shelf behind the seats. I have the Porsche
system and it's adequate. Wouldn't want a standard car, though.
I think that's all I can think of right now.
Personally, I'd get the nicest 986 3.2S I could find. With a £10k budget
you should be able to get a really nice one - mine was £8k from a
One thing to note, post facelift cars have a glovebox and better roof,
with glass screen.
On 31/12/2015 23:39, SteveH wrote:
[snipped, too many lines for my news server
There is more to an engine than just the nominal power. What I like in
the Saab 2.3 is the incredible smoothess of this big 4 cyl engine. This
B234 is really something to savoir. From Wikipedia:
"Saab has further refined the balance shaft principle to overcome
second harmonic sideways vibrations (due to the same basic asymmetry in
engine design, but much smaller in magnitude) by locating the balance
shafts with lateral symmetry, but at different heights above the
crankshaft. This introduces a torque that counteracts the sideways
vibrations at double engine RPM, resulting in the exceptionally smooth
Then of course you also get the turbo shove at mid range. For this
reason I'm now conditioned to loath diesel engines or harsh petrol
engines or unduly loud engines (Subaru). I'm simply spolied by the 20
year old B234.
You've obviously never driven anything with a decent multi-cylinder
Turbos fool you into thinking they're stronger than they are with the
boost - big capacity, high revving multis don't have that big surge, but
just have more power and torque throughout the range.
The Porsche flat-6 is unbelievably smooth.
Why not just do the job properly with a decent sized 6 cylinder? Then no
need for expensive and troublesome turbos or balance shafts.
SAAB simply didn't have the budget to design their own decent engines so
had to make do. ;-)
*When the chips are down, the buffalo is empty*
Dave Plowman firstname.lastname@example.org London SW
Clever = Bodging someone else's design because you can't afford to desgn
a new lump yourself... and they're definitely not fuel efficient if you
use the performance. Even the later Ecotec based turbos are thirsty
things - I was seeing mid 20s mpg from our 9-3 Aero. That's pretty much
on par with the Boxster.
B234 was one of Ward's 10 best enginesfor 1995-1995, far removed and
far more advanced than the ancestor Triumph 1709cc engine. Saab did
everything their own way. Tuners get 700+ bhp out of B234 if you're in
Americans, like everybody else, have embraced the smaller turbo engines.
See e.e Buick Regal Luxury Sports Sedan, 2L Ecotech 259 bhp.
But you can still get some outrageous US cars, like the 6.2L 707 bhp
Dodge Hellcat. Would pull the skin off anything.
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