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poor man's porsche


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I'm so close to becoming a Boxster S owner. Dealership is overnighting the documents tomorrow for me to sign, and I'm getting some USD funds ready for a bankdraft.

I'm planning to do some of the maintenance myself, and am open to using non-OEM / rebuilt parts to help the operating budget. What are your thoughts on the subject.

I have no real allegiance to Porsche. The closest dealerships are 60-70 miles away.

I've researched the forums and found the following to be suitable alternatives to Pcar parts....

- revised GIAHH tops for the pre-02 cars -due to glass window

- ebay LCD replacement module for the Climate Control

- non N-rated tires from Tire Rack / local supplier / Costco

My car may have a future rear axle issue.... My PPI revealed that the outer CV joint on the rear outer was torn, and after some haggling the dealership is going to fix it and subsidize half the labor, but if the outer joint fails in a year or 2, I'm thinking about getting a non-OEM rear axle to replace it with.. doing a search on the 'internets' reveals some can axle assemblies can be had for less than $100.

Looking for suggestions on reduced dust brake pads, rotors , other maintenance parts etc.

Edited by petee c
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You won't have a problem using non-OEM parts, but you don't to buy anything too cheap. Will your really trust your Porsche to a $100 axle?

... I might.... non-OEM axles for other cars are about that price..... plus it comes assembled and lubed with the CV joints already done up..... hmm.......

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With that subject header you likely just annoyed half the 986 owners. It's not a poor mans porsche. It's the only mid engine cab that porsche currently makes.

Only the misinformed would make such a statement.

Since you're asking, using discount china build parts is up to you, it's your car. Seriously, 100 dollar half shafts?. I guess you won't like to spend 80+ dollars to do your own oil changes every 5k.

This car is not your hyndai, doing a proper job of your maintinance/repairs is going to cost money.

You bought the wrong car to try and nickel and dime it.

My overall sense of your post is that you bought the car just to claim "I own a Porsche"

Good luck man.

I'm so close to becoming a Boxster S owner. Dealership is overnighting the documents tomorrow for me to sign, and I'm getting some USD funds ready for a bankdraft.

I'm planning to do some of the maintenance myself, and am open to using non-OEM / rebuilt parts to help the operating budget. What are your thoughts on the subject.

I have no real allegiance to Porsche. The closest dealerships are 60-70 miles away.

I've researched the forums and found the following to be suitable alternatives to Pcar parts....

- revised GIAHH tops for the pre-02 cars -due to glass window

- ebay LCD replacement module for the Climate Control

- non N-rated tires from Tire Rack / local supplier / Costco

My car may have a future rear axle issue.... My PPI revealed that the outer CV joint on the rear outer was torn, and after some haggling the dealership is going to fix it and subsidize half the labor, but if the outer joint fails in a year or 2, I'm thinking about getting a non-OEM rear axle to replace it with.. doing a search on the 'internets' reveals some can axle assemblies can be had for less than $100.

Looking for suggestions on reduced dust brake pads, rotors , other maintenance parts etc.

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With that subject header you likely just annoyed half the 986 owners. It's not a poor mans porsche. It's the only mid engine cab that porsche currently makes.

Only the misinformed would make such a statement.

Sputter et. al.,

I did not mean to offend with that title post, however, I have heard the boxster referred to as the "PMP". It is the only one that's in my price range. It however is a nice car, and I believe it is the most affordable (modern) model out there. Still, in (Ontario) Canada, especially away from the GTA and Muskoka, it is a rarity to see a Boxster or any other Pcar. That definitely has some appeal to me.

I would like to enjoy this car, but can't justify spending more than $1-2000 / year ( 7 months really of driving time) keeping it on the road. I do my own maintenance on my other vehicles, and this one will likely be the most expensive. If saving money sourcing out parts won't affect the driving experience, then I'd like to pursue that route. I only make a modest income, and taking it to an expensive shop is not an appealing option. I'm already setting aside $500/month to cover a 3% car loan (2-3 yrs) and insurance.

I've done most of the service and repairs on our other vehicles, and would like to do the same with the boxster. For example, the current stable:

2000 Honda VFR800 - motorcycle : forks serviced, ohlins shock installed, new Clip ons, heated grips, coolant change, brake fluid change and pads have all been done by myself

2000 Honda CBR600f4 - trackbike : forks serviced, brakes changed and bled, track prepped were all done by myself; soon up for sale, as I don't use it enough

2002 Jetta 1.8T chipped - brakes all around, ignition coils, throttle body repair, strut mounts replaced -again all by myself

2003 Honda CRV - brakes all around, DRL relay refurbed, sway bar end links replaced - again, free labour

2004 Polaris Touring Snowmobile, - summerized, lubed, by myself

If OEM parts fail, I usually shop around for a replacement. I mean, the OEM part wasn't that great to begin with - n'est pas? That is my thinking at least.

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This site and a couple of others are great resources for DIYers. So far i've been able to do all my own stuff, mainly maintence stuff. In 3 years of ownership of my 02 S i've only had to do the dust boots on the half shafts and replace an alternator aside from regular maint.

With proper homework on the Car you're considering buying it's not too bad.

There are some good online places for ordering parts rather than having to pay dealership prices.

If you are considering non oem parts do your homework. Ebay etc is full of chinese parts. Prices might be attractive but you are getting what you pay for.

I don't want to turn you off but on the other hand you asked. ;)

With that subject header you likely just annoyed half the 986 owners. It's not a poor mans porsche. It's the only mid engine cab that porsche currently makes.

Only the misinformed would make such a statement.

Sputter et. al.,

I did not mean to offend with that title post, however, I have heard the boxster referred to as the "PMP". It is the only one that's in my price range. It however is a nice car, and I believe it is the most affordable (modern) model out there. Still, in (Ontario) Canada, especially away from the GTA and Muskoka, it is a rarity to see a Boxster or any other Pcar. That definitely has some appeal to me.

I would like to enjoy this car, but can't justify spending more than $1-2000 / year ( 7 months really of driving time) keeping it on the road. I do my own maintenance on my other vehicles, and this one will likely be the most expensive. If saving money sourcing out parts won't affect the driving experience, then I'd like to pursue that route. I only make a modest income, and taking it to an expensive shop is not an appealing option. I'm already setting aside $500/month to cover a 3% car loan (2-3 yrs) and insurance.

I've done most of the service and repairs on our other vehicles, and would like to do the same with the boxster. For example, the current stable:

2000 Honda VFR800 - motorcycle : forks serviced, ohlins shock installed, new Clip ons, heated grips, coolant change, brake fluid change and pads have all been done by myself

2000 Honda CBR600f4 - trackbike : forks serviced, brakes changed and bled, track prepped were all done by myself; soon up for sale, as I don't use it enough

2002 Jetta 1.8T chipped - brakes all around, ignition coils, throttle body repair, strut mounts replaced -again all by myself

2003 Honda CRV - brakes all around, DRL relay refurbed, sway bar end links replaced - again, free labour

2004 Polaris Touring Snowmobile, - summerized, lubed, by myself

If OEM parts fail, I usually shop around for a replacement. I mean, the OEM part wasn't that great to begin with - n'est pas? That is my thinking at least.

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petee c:

I just bought my first Porsche in February and imported it to Canada as well. I have done quite a bit of repairs to it and now have a car that gets "nice Car" wherever I go. I live in a suburb of Vancouver and although there are many Porsches in Vancouver, where I live they are very rare.

A couple things I have learned here and other sites:

Sunset imports in Oregon has the best prices I have found on Porsche parts...65% less than other shops in BC...including freight and exchange. Parts guys are top notch.

Oklahoma foreign has excellent prices on all Porsche parts. They are a Porsche recycler. Call them as e-mail is slow from them.

There is a huge amount of knowledge on this site...if you use it right...and there is no such thing as a "poor man's Porsche..." good luck..

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I think if you intend to own any Porsche, you have to be 100% prepared to spend a fair amount of money in keeping the car as original as possible and therefore keep its resale value up. It's a Porsche, you don't want to put anything cheap and nasty near it! Fair enough if it was a Honda or a Toyota or something like that, and I don't want to come across as a snob, but personally I have a rule that if it's a cheap knock-off part, it ain't going near my car.

Being a Porsche owner is a labour of love and can occasionaly hurt your bank balance, but its worth it :-)

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I've had my Boxster since 2001, and the longer I have it and more I drive it, the more I realize what an engineering and driving marvel it is :) . I've noticed in the past year or so, aftermarket parts are starting to become available for the 986 Boxster and 996 Carrera models, probably due to a combination of age and number sold.

Yes, there are less expensive options out there for a number of parts, replacement bushings for suspension components, and alternatives you can use. From the posts I've read here and elsewhere, some of the parts are better if you are building a competitive track car (and you will lose some driving comfort), some of the parts don't hold up as well as OEM, and some add dubious value at best. The big ticket item is whether and when your engine will decide to self destruct, at which point you can either scrap the car (at which point non-OEM parts are worth less than $0), put in a used engine from a wrecking yard, trade your dead engine core for a Porsche remanufactured one, or get a more bulletproof Raby rebuild (approx. the same price as the Porsche remanufactured). All the other costs pale by comparison.

If your motive for buying the Boxster is for a gourmet driving experience, and you can live with the cost risk, you will be ecstatic with the Boxster. If you are looking for a fashion accessory / ego statement, in the long run you'll find the Boxster expensive, uncomfortably, scary to drive and unsatisfying, and would probably be happier in an AMG something or BMW M. Porsches are designed and built lighter than most other cars, because they don't have humongous engines, and light parts tend to wear out and break more often. Replacing the parts with heavier aftermarket items could start having a noticeable effect on performance as you add more and more weight. You have to understand the tradeoffs and decide your priorities

As you have probably figured out by now, renntech is a fantastic resource and you can save considerably on maintenance costs. No matter how much you save, your Boxster will still cost quite a bit more to maintain than a Camry

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I think if you intend to own any Porsche, you have to be 100% prepared to spend a fair amount of money in keeping the car as original as possible and therefore keep its resale value up. It's a Porsche, you don't want to put anything cheap and nasty near it!

Just trying to justify my toys to myself (and ulitmately to my wife:) .....

Taking a look at Randall website http://www.iwantaporsche.net/repairs_mods.htm , it makes now sense to spend $12,000 on repairs on a car worth $12000. Who cares about resale value when u're in the hole more than the cost of the car, just in terms of operating expense?.

Resale value on a soon to be 3rd owner vehicle can't be all that high to begin with....

Can't wait to drive it.

P

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...Who cares about resale value when u're in the hole more than the cost of the car, just in terms of operating expense?...

A lot of 928s cost more to maintain than the car is worth in terms of resale, but people love their cars.

A great read is "The Gold-Plated Porsche: How I Sank a Small Fortune into a Used Car, and Other Misadventures" by Stephan Wilkinson. You can buy it from the renntech Amazon store

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I sympathize with your situation. In the opinion of some [including me] Porsches get better with age; Porsches never were limited to the rich and there are many happy owners who could/would never spring for a showroom Porsche.

I'm house poor but found a Boxster that is giving me a lot of fun. I've seen some affordable 996 series 911s out there too, but I much prefer the mid-engine configuration.

A huge part of the expense of Porsche repairs is the labor cost; the $80-120/hour specialist mechanics. If you DIY, you not only save those costs, but also will learn a lot. And if you purchase an aftermarket part that is unsatisfactory, it is not a big deal to replace it, because you already know how.

Porsches are relatively easy to work on, especially with RennTech and other helpful sites. Once you download a service manual, and save the tech sites in your "favorites" Porsches are not much more difficult to work on than Hondas.

Used parts. There are numerous Porsche dismantlers in the US, and a couple in Canada. Look on ebay occassionally for cars being parted out. There are many parts being taken off low-mileage cars, so for some repairs, you can do great.

That said, to minimize the risk of Boxster engine failure [a catastrophe for the budget minded], I would only use OEM or equivalent quality on the engine. And the highest quality oil and gasoline.

Aftermarket lights, tires, brake pads & rotors, even wheels all can be OK. I did a post here on an ebay MAF sensor that seems to be working, knock on wood. Of course there is some garbage on ebay, but in my experience, most of the ebay stuff is OK; read the seller's feedback carefully. Most Porsche parts are not magical and can be copied. Unless you are racing, track or street, I really think there is no or minimal risk.

Edited by Nurvus
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I've researched the forums and found the following to be suitable alternatives to Pcar parts....

- ebay LCD replacement module for the Climate Control

- non N-rated tires from Tire Rack / local supplier / Costco

Looking for suggestions on reduced dust brake pads, rotors , other maintenance parts etc.

I did the LCD replacement from the eBay vendor. It takes about a 1/2 hour sitting at your kitchen table or work bench. Super easy and really cheap as compared with a new Porsche ventilation control. The fonts and display graphics are different from the factory display, but it shows the exact same information and is amost a bit more legible to my eyes. This one is a no brainer if you don't care about having the exact same symbols on your ventilation display.

There are plenty of good non N rated tires that fit Boxsters. It's usually a safe bet to go with N rated tires, but you can find decent sets for quite a bit less if you shop wisely.

I found a like new headlight at the Hershey swap meet for $40 (go price one at a dealership and see how much I saved). I paid just over $500 for a very straight set of 16" Boxster rims for my winter tires at a Porsche dismantler. Even my local Auto Zone has the OEM brand Hengst oil filters on the shelf boxed up in their STP brand boxes for about 1/2 of what the dealer wants. So, it pays to shop around if you are on a budget.

As others have said, I refuse to skimp on oil, oil change intervals, tires, internal engine parts and other very critical components.

There is a reason that these relatively simple cars cost $50k when new and not $23k like Honda Civic Si's or VW GTIs and all the other cheaper cars that have similar times on paper, but don't compare well when you drive them or keep them a long time. The components specified by Porsche that make up these cars are of much higher quality and are built to much high tolerances than most aftermarket parts or the parts found on lesser brands. You can never go wrong with OEM parts from the dealer other than maybe on pricing. After 12 years of Porsche ownership, I learned that the hard way...

Hope this helps,

Jay

02 986

90 911

84 911

Edited by Jay H
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As another Canadian that became a US import Boxster S owner last summer, all I can say is you will enjoy your car..............but more importantly you will be thankful you found Renntech before you took ownership of the car - If I had found this site a year ago I would have tackled my own brakes and rotor replacement and saved a considerable amount of money.

Don't forget that your RIV and provincial inspection will fail the car if brakes, rotors, and tires are not up to spec your axle problem may give you some grief at those inspections.

Enjoy!!

Edited by haggis
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From reading about the experiences of others on this board, it seems you must ALWAYS use real OEM Mass Airflow Sensors and Oxygen Sensors. Avoid the ones on eBay because even if they work, you'll still have a check engine light.

Other than that, look for the deals.

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I think if you intend to own any Porsche, you have to be 100% prepared to spend a fair amount of money in keeping the car as original as possible and therefore keep its resale value up. It's a Porsche, you don't want to put anything cheap and nasty near it!

Just trying to justify my toys to myself (and ulitmately to my wife:) .....

Taking a look at Randall website http://www.iwantaporsche.net/repairs_mods.htm , it makes now sense to spend $12,000 on repairs on a car worth $12000. Who cares about resale value when u're in the hole more than the cost of the car, just in terms of operating expense?.

Resale value on a soon to be 3rd owner vehicle can't be all that high to begin with....

Can't wait to drive it.

P

No offense, but at the moment at least, you couldn't sound LESS like a Porsche kind of guy. :eek:

This isn't a Honda Civic or Pontiac G5 you are talking about here, it is a PORSCHE. Whole different animal. As someone stated in a previous post, there is a REASON why these cars cost 2x as much as those other cars new. My bet is you'll either be singing a whole different tune by the end of your first year of ownership, or you'll no longer be driving a Pcar. Everyone I know that owns a Porsche, myself included, would take a second job, sell anything that wasn't tied down, and do just about any other reasonable thing to get the money they need to fix their baby....and wouldn't give a crap how that amount would relate to resale value either.....and operating expenses aren't ever even a thought. Whatever it costs to drive it and upkeep it are worth it. Do you really want to trust your *** to some cheap, Chinese made, half shaft at the speeds and g loads that these cars can corner at ? Not me, buddy.

:soapbox:

....and a Boxster is a Porsche. Period. I chose mine OVER a 911, because it is Porsche's only mid-engine cabrio as someone stated already. It's not a "poor man's" anything, it is a true blood Porsche....in fact, it SAVED Porsche. So let's have a little more respect for the Boxster here. :P

Good luck with yours.... :thumbup:

Edited by Andy_M
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I personally feel that if you nickle and dime your porsche, you will be a poor man. Porsche's parts are built to a particular standard and not to say there are not some good aftermarket parts out there, ebay stuff and chinesse stuff is not that. If you want a cheap car, buy a honda or a toyota. If you buy a car that you can not afford, you will be very sorry and it will be the worst experience you will ever have. Otherwise said. DO NOT!!! buy a porsche to impress your friends, buy one because you love them and will take care of them. AND BE PREPARED TO SPEND MONEY ON IT.

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No offense, but at the moment at least, you couldn't sound LESS like a Porsche kind of guy. :eek:

This isn't a Honda Civic or Pontiac G5 you are talking about here, it is a PORSCHE. Whole different animal. As someone stated in a previous post, there is a REASON why these cars cost 2x as much as those other cars new. My bet is you'll either be singing a whole different tune by the end of your first year of ownership, or you'll no longer be driving a Pcar. Everyone I know that owns a Porsche, myself included, would take a second job, sell anything that wasn't tied down, and do just about any other reasonable thing to get the money they need to fix their baby....and wouldn't give a crap how that amount would relate to resale value either.....and operating expenses aren't ever even a thought. Whatever it costs to drive it and upkeep it are worth it. Do you really want to trust your *** to some cheap, Chinese made, half shaft at the speeds and g loads that these cars can corner at ? Not me, buddy.

:soapbox:

....and a Boxster is a Porsche. Period. I chose mine OVER a 911, because it is Porsche's only mid-engine cabrio as someone stated already. It's not a "poor man's" anything, it is a true blood Porsche....in fact, it SAVED Porsche. So let's have a little more respect for the Boxster here. :P

Good luck with yours.... :thumbup:

Andy,

Don't get me wrong, I understand that there will be higher than normal costs associated with driving the Boxster. I would just like to minimize those costs on my wallet.

re: half shaft example

My worry is that the outer CV joint on the car has been exposed to grit for ?? period of time. There are no symptoms of it right now, but I've got the dealer to fix the problem before I pick up the car. They likely aren't going to put a new half shaft in it for me. They are likely just going to clean and regrease it. My guess is if it fails, it'll likely be toast (grinding or knocking sound).

My half shaft won't fail because of 'excessive g -forces or speed or torque on it', it will likely fail because it was exposed to the elements, and just have wear. In general, it's my speculation that angle of which the shaft 'bends' puts too much flexion (is that a word ?) on the boots, causing them to fatigue. I'm sure that the chinese made Half shaft is just copying the Porsche design. ....Now in terms of quality control, China is still a crapshoot, but from my limited knowledge in the area, it is improving, - proved by the amount of outsourcing that is still taking place to the Far East.

P

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No offense, but at the moment at least, you couldn't sound LESS like a Porsche kind of guy. :eek:

This isn't a Honda Civic or Pontiac G5 you are talking about here, it is a PORSCHE. Whole different animal. As someone stated in a previous post, there is a REASON why these cars cost 2x as much as those other cars new. My bet is you'll either be singing a whole different tune by the end of your first year of ownership, or you'll no longer be driving a Pcar. Everyone I know that owns a Porsche, myself included, would take a second job, sell anything that wasn't tied down, and do just about any other reasonable thing to get the money they need to fix their baby....and wouldn't give a crap how that amount would relate to resale value either.....and operating expenses aren't ever even a thought. Whatever it costs to drive it and upkeep it are worth it. Do you really want to trust your *** to some cheap, Chinese made, half shaft at the speeds and g loads that these cars can corner at ? Not me, buddy.

:soapbox:

....and a Boxster is a Porsche. Period. I chose mine OVER a 911, because it is Porsche's only mid-engine cabrio as someone stated already. It's not a "poor man's" anything, it is a true blood Porsche....in fact, it SAVED Porsche. So let's have a little more respect for the Boxster here. :P

Good luck with yours.... :thumbup:

Andy,

Don't get me wrong, I understand that there will be higher than normal costs associated with driving the Boxster. I would just like to minimize those costs on my wallet.

re: half shaft example

My worry is that the outer CV joint on the car has been exposed to grit for ?? period of time. There are no symptoms of it right now, but I've got the dealer to fix the problem before I pick up the car. They likely aren't going to put a new half shaft in it for me. They are likely just going to clean and regrease it. My guess is if it fails, it'll likely be toast (grinding or knocking sound).

My half shaft won't fail because of 'excessive g -forces or speed or torque on it', it will likely fail because it was exposed to the elements, and just have wear. In general, it's my speculation that angle of which the shaft 'bends' puts too much flexion (is that a word ?) on the boots, causing them to fatigue. I'm sure that the chinese made Half shaft is just copying the Porsche design. ....Now in terms of quality control, China is still a crapshoot, but from my limited knowledge in the area, it is improving, - proved by the amount of outsourcing that is still taking place to the Far East.

P

Asian stuff is cheaper mostly because their labor costs are a small fraction of those of Western or European companies are. That is least true with Japan and most true with Malaysia and China. However there is another very important difference that most people are not aware of, their steel is crap. I have worked for two companies that have both found this out the hard way. Asian steel <> American steel, not by a l-o-n-g shot. Also, when it comes to Asian product, it has been my experience that you truly "Get what you pay for." Companies like Sony, Toshiba, or Honda make a quality product and charge for it accordingly. For the most part, the dirt cheap stuff is just what you'd think it is - cheap knock off's and inferior product. You get what you pay for. I want quality parts on there that I have confidence in, especially considering the performance level of the car and the fact that I use that capability frequently.

Of course, you can put whatever you like on your car, that’s your prerogative. I just hope that your not on these or other discussion boards a year or two from now bad mouthing Porsches. Brought about by your negative experiences, which you likely brought upon yourself by skimping on parts, oil quality, change intervals, maintenance, etc., to "minimize the costs."

Edited by Andy_M
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Asian stuff is cheaper mostly because their labor costs are a small fraction of those of Western or European companies are. That is least true with Japan and most true with Malaysia and China. However there is another very important difference that most people are not aware of, their steel is crap. I have worked for two companies that have both found this out the hard way. Asian steel <> American steel, not by a l-o-n-g shot. Also, when it comes to Asian product, it has been my experience that you truly "Get what you pay for." Companies like Sony, Toshiba, or Honda make a quality product and charge for it accordingly. For the most part, the dirt cheap stuff is just what you'd think it is - cheap knock off's and inferior product. You get what you pay for. I want quality parts on there that I have confidence in, especially considering the performance level of the car and the fact that I use that capability frequently.

Actually, most of the steel used by everyone -- at least in the engineering/construction industry -- is from Malaysia. It all has to pass ISO/quality inspections to ship as whatever grade steel they're labeling it. There's a good chance it's the same raw material in a half-shaft from Germany versus one from the east. However, the Chinese tend to ignore things like IP rights, human rights, etc., which is why they can produce a half shaft so much cheaper.

When you buy real Porsche parts, you may be paying a bit more than you should have to, but you're also paying off the development costs of that part and future designs.

Now things like alternators and waterpumps can be had through Autozone, NAPA, etc., but I'm pretty sure those are rebuilt from what were Porsche cores. I put a NAPA waterpump on my car because it was $100 less than ordering a new one from Sunset ($200 less than what my local dealership was asking), it had a lifetime warranty, and it was in stock and available versus a week away from a dealership.

What I HATE is paying the ridiculous dealership premiums. It's not like my local dealerships keep any parts in stock, so I can't even have instant gratification from that premium price. Thank goodness for Sunset. I buy everything I can from them.

Note to self: Don't ever call a Boxster driver poor. Slow, maybe .. but not poor. JK!

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Sunset imports in Oregon has the best prices I have found on Porsche parts...65% less than other shops in BC...including freight and exchange. Parts guys are top notch.

Can you now get parts from them north of the border without having to give them enough personal information to make the privacy gurus blush?

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