Twenty Year Old 986 as a Daily

Twenty Year Old 986 as a Daily

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Discussion

Johnny5hoods

Original Poster:

359 posts

86 months

Friday 11th June
quotequote all
Is it doable?

Could I buy and (daily) run a 2000 - 2004 986 2.7 or 3.2, 10K a year 52 weeks a year in all weather, and not regret it?

I'm fully aware of the bills these cars can throw up, the coffin arms and drop links, front & rear brake hoses, clutch and rads/pipework/pump/stat being the usual bigger ones. But if I bought one that'd had at least most of the above done, could I run it as a functional daily without having to have half the car rebuilt in short order?

What about rust? I know these cars were well rust proofed in their time. But how is a typical twenty year old example fairing underneath now?

I could also rephrase my question like this: would I, all things being equal, be likely to shell out less in total by daily running a cheaper (to buy) 2000 - 2004 986 and swallowing the maintenance bills, or an early 2004 - 2006ish 987 boxster and shell out more to buy but hopefully save some on maintenance? Would there even be any difference?

Any wisdom and experience highly appreciated.

F6C

161 posts

5 months

Friday 11th June
quotequote all
Yes, you could. Or it could wrong. With due diligence, likely somewhere in between. You'll have niggles but nothing utterly ruinous.

You'd need to go in being aware that you might have things like rads, coolant tank, AOS etc attended to at some point, plus suspension arms, roof niggles and so on. They're pretty good re major corrosion, so that's not a significant concern. You could easily go a few years without really needing to do anything major.

A 987 2.7 with lowish miles would on balance likely be a bit more straight forward, it's younger and a little more sorted in some ways. Rust should not be an issue at all bar leading edges of sills. But there are still things on 987s like coolant crosspipes that pretty much all of them need doing if not already done. And rads. And AOS. And suspension arms. Etc. To a degree.

But I'd get the model you prefer rather than choosing based on reliability. There are no guarantees and it's always a bit easier putting money into a car you love. If you're going 986, go 3.2. It's a lot torquier, no real downsides (slightly less reliable gearbox, at a push). 987s are looking a little toppy in current frothy market.

Rotary Potato

81 posts

63 months

Friday 11th June
quotequote all
Yes - I do exactly that right now, and have done for the past 2 years.

Full disclosure - my girlfriend has a 5-door hatchback that's used for shopping trips, days out with the dog, etc. ... but for getting me to work and back each day, and wherever in the country I need to go, the Boxster is my only choice.

I bought a 100k miles 2001 986 3.2 S for £5.1k back in July 2019. It had a few choice options that I specifically sought out. Firstly, it has the 17" wheels to give a better ride. Secondly, it has the xenon headlights to actually allow me to see stuff in the dark. Handy in December when it's pitch black by the time I get out of work. Finally, it has heated seats. This allows me to drop the roof in pretty much any dry weather (note - the manual does recommend you don't drop the roof below about 1 degree in temperature) and stay reasonably warm. It also has an upgraded stereo (most have some form of upgrade over absolute base model) which wasn't on my 'must have' list, but is nice.

In terms of maintenance, I gave it an oil service and gearbox oil change when I bought it, and stayed on top of the oil services myself since then.

It did get an advisory for a drop link at the last MOT, which I'll sort over the summer and give the rest of the suspension a review while I'm under there.

A couple of winters on salted roads have set off some cosmetic rust (the fronts of the rear arches, and the backs of the front arches) which I will probably have sorted this year, but nothing structural (yet! Famous last words & all that).

In summary, provided you have no need for back seats and a big boot, the right Boxster can absolutely be a comfortable and reliable daily driver that completely rewards you when you stumble across the right road.

KPB1973

613 posts

66 months

Friday 11th June
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Check you fit in one first. Not everyone can get comfy in them, especially taller drivers given the clearance under the steering wheel.

Cars with heavy clutches can also be wearisome.

That aside, I can see no reason why not, assuming the roof doesn't leak!

ChrisW.

4,078 posts

222 months

Friday 11th June
quotequote all
I never had a leak in a roof but tent waterproofer does a great job at keeping it clean and proofed.

supersport

3,334 posts

194 months

Friday 11th June
quotequote all
Yep definitely. We ran 20 year old 944 with 187,000 miles on the clock as a daily/family car for 2 years.

It was only when my son outgrew the rear seats that we relegated it to weekend status.

Christmas family visits were interestingrofl But other than it was great. Had a good blast down to Cornwall for a holiday, it was great.

Pope

2,505 posts

214 months

Saturday 12th June
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Start with a good one and you're set; if you are mechanically sympathetic and competent.........

Running an expensive car properly always carries expensive bills - if you use it more, you'll pay more to keep it in A1 condition.

As soon as you get it, get the wheels and arch liners off; clean all the drain points and get the muck and crud out with a good clean. Lift the roof, make sure the drain membranes are intact and ensure the roof drains are clear - they aren't sealed from inside>outside as such; the inner membrane fits into the outer tube (like putting a loose fitting funnel into a pipe), if the outer tube blocks, it backs up and water spills between the tube and membrane - straight into the body/cabin. If a 987 is the one, it should have grilles in place over the inner drain points - a service item that should be fitted and cleaned regularly; if removed, bigger leaves and such go into the tube and.......
Check under the bonnet, lift the battery cover and clear/clean front panel drains. Keep rad and condenser ducts clean.

When the car is dry, get all the undertrays off- a mate with a two post lift is helpful! Check the coolant hoses and if they in good nick spray some anti corrosion wax on them - the alloy pipes and their connections (on 9x7's) corrode.

Keep an eye/hand out for door carpets getting wet - the inner door panels can leak - rubberised sheet on 986; metal panel with neoprene seal on 987. Fix it right first time and no reason they will fail in the next ?yrs (I replaced a window regulator on a 987 with inner panels that had been grip-filled on once.......seriously, the bodge quotient was high on that one!!)

Do the above preventative maintenance properly, once , and check the drain ports under the roof once a month when you clean it and it won't cause issues - lack of maintenance is the killer; not design issues........

Consider more frequent oil changes - 986 are 12k; 987 20k - Great for accountants illustrating 'maintenance costs' when comparing running a 964 against a 987 in 2004 but less so for the mechanical bits involved.

Consider your use of the car - if you motorway cruise a lot, bits will last a fair while; if your commute is 35 miles of B roads each way - it'll be fun - but you'll wear suspension bits out quicker. Listen for knocks/rattles after 15-20 minutes of driving - hollow jiggly noises are usually trailing arm balljoints; louder knocks, coffin arms as the bushes allow contact between the fork of the trailing arm and the lower arm itself. Knocks and rattles don't stop you using the car - but it's not as enjoyable. If you consider the original parts usually last 60k+, replacing them all once should cover years of future driving. IMO don't chase a noise by replacing bits one by one - it'll feel like you are always working on it....... turn the radio up and drive it then replace it all during its scheduled maintenance.

Concerned I sound like the 30k refresh thread from a few years ago - it might be a 3k (really?) -15k? car now; but it will always have 35-50k car costs and will hold its value if looked after right.



Edited by Pope on Saturday 12th June 08:13

kev b

2,493 posts

133 months

Saturday 12th June
quotequote all
I second the above advice, removing every under tray panel and wheel-arch liner will probably release a couple of bucketfuls of mud and grit.

A good dose of waxoyl or similar is a very good idea especially on the awkward to remove and very pricey front alloy coolant pipes. I’ve just replaced them on a 2008 car and was very surprised how bad the corrosion was. IMO a squirt of wax from new would have prevented this but I suppose Porsche are raking it in selling new piping at £500 a set.

A more charitable mate says its probably because the factory isn't allowed to spray wax due to VOC regulations.

mywifeshusband

540 posts

165 months

Saturday 12th June
quotequote all
2 years ago I bought a 97 2.5 Boxster which my wife drives every day. Start with a good one and bring all the servicing up to date.
As preventative work I changed oil, plugs, coils, water pump etc. Oil change every six months which is about 5k miles. New clutch at a specialist was the only big bill.
Hardtop for the winter.
Another car needed a battery so the Boxster got a new one and the other car got a hand me down.
Michelin Pilot Sports fitted all round make a difference.
She remains standard except for a Cargraphic stainless exhaust.
Very easy to use as a daily drive and I feel benefits from regular use.

Johnny5hoods

Original Poster:

359 posts

86 months

Sunday 13th June
quotequote all
Appreciate the comments, everyone.

Maybe I'll do it. It's either that or a Z4 3.0 Si Coupe. Much as I like the Z, I can't help feeling I'd be forever wondering what a Boxster would be like instead, and whether it'd be better.

OpulentBob

11,780 posts

147 months

Monday 14th June
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I do that in a 1998 996 with 147k miles. It's just a car. smile

CarlosSainz100

108 posts

87 months

Monday 14th June
quotequote all
Hello. I've just bought a 2000 boxster s with 97k on it from a guy on boxanet. It won't be my daily but a weekend car. Would I use it daily though?

I'm tall, 6ft 4 with long legs. And although I fit in the seat ok the steering wheel does rub my left leg when I use the clutch pedal. It doesn't bother me too much but it would if I was using it every day.
The car I bought was looked after and cherished. But it still needs new brake lines fitting and handbrake cables which will be about 600 quid fitted at my local indie. If you have a good local Porsche independent then you might be ok but I would think you'd be looking at least a grand a year maintenance costs as a minimum, but you might get lucky.

It's quite a raw driving experience and not very refined. Which is fine that's what I was after. But I'm not sure I'd enjoy driving it in the snow and rain, you might consider getting a spare set of winter tyres if you wanted to use it daily. And heated seats!

JonnyWhitters

540 posts

49 months

Tuesday 15th June
quotequote all
CarlosSainz100 said:
Hello. I've just bought a 2000 boxster s with 97k on it from a guy on boxanet. It won't be my daily but a weekend car. Would I use it daily though?

I'm tall, 6ft 4 with long legs. And although I fit in the seat ok the steering wheel does rub my left leg when I use the clutch pedal. It doesn't bother me too much but it would if I was using it every day.
The car I bought was looked after and cherished. But it still needs new brake lines fitting and handbrake cables which will be about 600 quid fitted at my local indie. If you have a good local Porsche independent then you might be ok but I would think you'd be looking at least a grand a year maintenance costs as a minimum, but you might get lucky.

It's quite a raw driving experience and not very refined. Which is fine that's what I was after. But I'm not sure I'd enjoy driving it in the snow and rain, you might consider getting a spare set of winter tyres if you wanted to use it daily. And heated seats!
I’m 6’2” and found by switching from my usual trainers to a pair of Toms or school type plimsolls I have less of an issue with the left leg and the centre console. I know you can remove it but I like the additional storage there so just use different shoes to solve the problem.