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Questions from possible 996 buyer

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Just wanted to start off by saying you guys have a great forum here. I wandered over after searching ebay for a 911. I currently have a 94 mazda rx7. I have built several of these ranging from 400 hp single turbo cars to stock. I was looking to get away from the rx7s for a while, but not much interested me except for the porsche. I cannot decide between a 996 or a 993. I have also found a very clean 964. I was leaning towards the 996, but all I seem to read about is engine failure and problems. Is this a common problem w/ these vehicles? I can see a turbo motor lasting short of 100K, but not a N/A motor.

Please treat me like a 5yr old and give me all the info you can.

I was hoping to find a daily driver that I could occasionally track and not worry about it. Sorry if there is a FAQ I missed.

Thanks in advance.


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From what I've read and heard, it's the 99's that have had some problems, although rare, with catastrophic engine failure. I have owned a 2000 996 and a 2002 C4S, and both have been relatively trouble free. The C4S needed a RMS at about 30k miles, which was covered under warranty. I think it's common in that car. Other than that, I've done nothing but regular scheduled maintenance. The 996 is a solid car.

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My 02 996 purchased new with 35k miles has been very reliable - the only issue was RMS leaks(multiple). Finally, the dealer replaced the engine. The leak was not bad - only a minor problem and I wouldn't have had fixed if the car was out of warranty.

If you are looking for a daily driver , I would chose the 996 over a 993 or 964. Its much more comfortable to me. Both the 993 and 964 had their problems too - primarily early valve guide wearout requiring top end rebuild. Also - the 993s have problems with the secondary air injection system which results in CEL light and failure of emission test. 964s are known for distributor belt failure(if not replaced) causing detonation and eventual major engine problems.

Read the article on the 996 engine by Jim Pasha on this site. Excellence magazine has good overview articles on the various Porsche models too.

Good luck.

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Thanks for all the responses guys. I think I am going to wait about 6 months and learn more about the vehicles and which I would prefer to purchase. I currently have 2 turbo vehicles and not sure if I want the turbo model or not on the porsche.

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