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Joefrompa

New Member - Inheriting A 99 Boxster 5-Speed

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Hi all,

New member here; hopefully a long-time member :)

I'm buying my first house with a 2-car garage, which is the "trigger" for my father to pass on his Lapis Blue 5-speed 99 Boxster to me. He's not really driving it anymore, and has wanted to pass it on.

It has 56k miles on it and has only gotten about 4k miles in the past few years. It's fairly well taken care of, in that the only known immediate repair needed is the horn beeping issue (which it seems I can do myself with one or two unique tools and a home depot run).

I'm writing today to prepare for the upcoming ownership and some immediate things I'd like to address. Some questions, in no particular order:

1. The gearbox feels super stiff. What is the enthusiast community recommended gearbox fluid?

1a. Is the trans a typical drain from a bottom bolt and pump new fluid into a top bolt? Will I be able to easily see these when I jack up the car?

2. The convertible top "judders" when opening/closing for about 3/4s of it's movement. This is accompanied by some sounds like metal on metal. Any tips? Can I simply grease the mechanisms with a suitable chassis grease?

3. I'll be removing the intake silencer. Any other "free" tips to make it a more enjoyable experience? I'm very much so into cutting the weight down on this car and otherwise making it a better car without spending alot.

4. Best source for replacement parts like spark plugs?

5. Anyone know the going rate for a set of good condition 18" Porsche turbo wheels wrapped in either Michelin Pilot Sports or Winter tires? I'd like to downsize to a set of 17" running a set of square tires (Maybe 225/45/17?)....tips on that welcome too...

6. The original convertible top (black) is of course fairly fogged in the rear. I'm willing to polish the hell out of it to try to clean it up. Any non-expensive chemicals for that job? I have klasse all-in-one, which seems to do a good job removing fog on most surfaces given sufficient elbow grease.

7. Shift knob/Shift lever feels very plasticky and worn out. Recommendations?

8. The wind-screen behind the seats rattles like crazy when the top is down. Not sure if it's the clear plastic between the seats or the black grill sections. Remove, or tighten somehow?

That'll get me started :) Any and all thoughts welcome. Once it's mine, I'll post some pictures.

Thanks all!

Joe

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Hi all,

New member here; hopefully a long-time member smile.gif

I'm buying my first house with a 2-car garage, which is the "trigger" for my father to pass on his Lapis Blue 5-speed 99 Boxster to me. He's not really driving it anymore, and has wanted to pass it on.

It has 56k miles on it and has only gotten about 4k miles in the past few years. It's fairly well taken care of, in that the only known immediate repair needed is the horn beeping issue (which it seems I can do myself with one or two unique tools and a home depot run).

I'm writing today to prepare for the upcoming ownership and some immediate things I'd like to address. Some questions, in no particular order:

1. The gearbox feels super stiff. What is the enthusiast community recommended gearbox fluid?

1a. Is the trans a typical drain from a bottom bolt and pump new fluid into a top bolt? Will I be able to easily see these when I jack up the car?

2. The convertible top "judders" when opening/closing for about 3/4s of it's movement. This is accompanied by some sounds like metal on metal. Any tips? Can I simply grease the mechanisms with a suitable chassis grease?

3. I'll be removing the intake silencer. Any other "free" tips to make it a more enjoyable experience? I'm very much so into cutting the weight down on this car and otherwise making it a better car without spending alot.

4. Best source for replacement parts like spark plugs?

5. Anyone know the going rate for a set of good condition 18" Porsche turbo wheels wrapped in either Michelin Pilot Sports or Winter tires? I'd like to downsize to a set of 17" running a set of square tires (Maybe 225/45/17?)....tips on that welcome too...

6. The original convertible top (black) is of course fairly fogged in the rear. I'm willing to polish the hell out of it to try to clean it up. Any non-expensive chemicals for that job? I have klasse all-in-one, which seems to do a good job removing fog on most surfaces given sufficient elbow grease.

7. Shift knob/Shift lever feels very plasticky and worn out. Recommendations?

8. The wind-screen behind the seats rattles like crazy when the top is down. Not sure if it's the clear plastic between the seats or the black grill sections. Remove, or tighten somehow?

That'll get me started smile.gif Any and all thoughts welcome. Once it's mine, I'll post some pictures.

Thanks all!

Joe

Hi Joe,

Congrats on a free Porsche, and a nice one at that. Every one of your questions has been addressed on this forum, and it's possible that you're not getting answers because of this. The Search function at top right leads to a wealth of information, and you should check out the 986 forum and DIY subforum for interesting topics.

I'll bite on some of the questions you have:

1. Use only transmission fluid recommended by Porsche. They publish a list for trans fluid, oil, tires, and a host of other maintenance items on your car. These can be found via the TSBs available for Contributing Members, or via searches of the forum. BEFORE you spend the time and money changing your fluid (which I believe is a 90k service item on your car), you should check out the bearings in your shift housing. Here's a link: http://www.renntech....ft-difficulties

2. Top issues are covered in their own sub-forum here. You can learn how to check for wear to the servicable parts, how to adjust your top, common failures, and how to put it into "service position" so you can see what's going on. Before you use the top too many more times you should check out the results of some other noisy tops: http://www.renntech....st=0entry1024, or http://www.renntech....le-top-problem/

3. "De-snorkeling" your car is good if you like additional noise for no good reason at all, and the risk of fouling up your air filter (however small this may be). I'll go the unpopular route and say that if you want to improve the car's handling and speed, then do something about the nut between the steering wheel and the seat first. smile.gif Porsche Club of America ( PCA) hosts High-Performance Driver Education (HPDE or just DE) events that don't cost much and are tons of fun. Out on the track with your car you'll quickly realize the yawning gap between your skills and the capabilities of your "lowly" 200-hp, purpose-built sports car. My rule of thumb: If I learn to out-drive my car, then I'm allowed to modify it, or sell it and buy more car. In the meantime, if you want to lose weight, buy smaller, lighter wheels and hit the gym.

4. The internet has a number of options for replacement parts and maintenance items, all of which are cheaper than your dealer. The popular choice (and site supporter) here is via the "Porsche Parts at Dealer Cost" link above, which will save you some coin on OEM parts. They stock maintenance items too. Wherever you shop, make sure you're buying the right part for your car by coming here and reading up first.

5. You might have a look at 6speedonline.com's classifieds forum, a lot of folks on that board mod their cars and sell wheels and tires as take-offs. Hopefully you'll find some "comps" for what you're selling. 17" wheels are great on the Boxster, my wife has Boxster-offset MY02 996-style 10-spokes and loves the look (although she isn't the one cleaning them biggrin.gif ). The tires are cheaper, the car handles just as well and it rides better than my old 986S with 18" did.

6. I hear good things about Plexus. My wife's vinyl top window has some light fogging at the corners and fold point, and requires a "karate chop" to avoid creasing when closed. I've used some Meg's fine cut cleaner on the fog and followed up with PlastX and the results are good, but fade over time.

7. There are dozens of options to replace your "mushroom" shifter with something else from the Porsche parts cabinet; the later 986 models have a different shift knob that matches the 996 knob. If you want to go a little less conventional, you could get your shifter re-done in leather by someone like Paul Champagne (http://www.designpau...cheLeather.html) and spray the gate pattern top any color you like.

8. The windstop clips that hold the lexan windblocker between the rollbar hoops are failing. See here: http://www.renntech....windstop-clips/ You can fix by replacing, or use the "poor man's method" of stuffing some 1/8" foam double-stick tape between the clip and the blocker frame. I did the latter on my wife's 99 Boxster and it's been rattle-free for a year now. Remove yours until you fix, or you may find that it removes itself at speed. wink.gif

At your car's age, it may make sense for you to spend a few bucks getting a PPI (pre-purchase inspection, even though you already own the car) at your local mechanic. That way, you can identify and fix problems before they become expensive failures. Congrats on your "new" car, enjoy it in good health.beer.gif

Mark

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Welcome to the neighborhood! This is not a hopping place, but more of an incredible source of info. You'll find lots of links to other sites (Pete's) as well as parts suppliers ( Sunset).

For parts I use Sunset, see the "Porsche parts at dealer cost" link above.

I would check, or, just go ahead and replace the front engine mount, at that millage and age I'd bet money it's bad. It can cause a buzz or vibration at around 3k rpm, and can cause stiff shifting. It wears and allows the front of the engine to drop down causing binding on the shifter cables.

You are due for the 60k service, might also flush/replace the brake fluid, after sitting might not be letting the clutch fully disengage acting like it's hard to shift. I'd drain and replace the antifreeze (porsche pink).

Find a durametric cable near you, or buy your own. Computers make working on computer cars much easier.

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Congrats on the new ride. I also inherited my dads '99 Boxster a little over a year ago with ~72k miles.

He replaced the plastic rear window due to fogging right before I got it. A local convertible top shop did a great job for less than $200. They used the orginal top just replaced the plastic window. I use Plexus to clean it, dont know if you can polish the fog out or not with it.

I did replace the cracked OEM shift boot (vinyl) with a full leather, it was tough to install but in the end well worth it. I also replaced the clips on the windstop, they have been redesigned and cost about $3 each.

I have done basic oil change and had GREAT luck using Sunset for parts.

Other things I have done, ipod aux in connector to Becker radio, new knobs for radio, new Summitomo tires all around, installed porsche rear deck speakers, replaced right rear lens assembly due to crack/hole, replaced burnt out bulbs in rear.

Plans to: install new front engine mount, flush brake fluid (need to get a Motive power bleeder), remove front bumper and clean radiators. May replace coolant although its supposed to be good for life of car. I also need to degrease the engine and see if there is still oil seepage. Engine is oily probably from the previously failed and replaced AOS. Need to fix heater blend door have foam coming regularly from vent.

Edited by Lumpy05

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Hi all,

Thanks so much for the responses. I'll respond to all individually, but I have been using this site as a great resource (and one other). Some of my searches have come up very blank, but then I stumble upon answers. So my apologies if I asked anything that seems fairly obvious to long-time members....with the exception of asking information that changes over time, since I always like to ask for what the 'latest' is...

Number9ine - I did find out about using only Porsche trans fluid after posting. However, thanks for the tip. I'll check out the bushings first and foremost. Honestly though, I can't believe the MTF is rated for 90k miles and how many years? I would think the condensation build-up and therefore growing acidity would be reason alone to change it out...

I would be de-snorkeling for the noise only. No performance gain. I have no intention of using this as a platform to try to accelerate faster...it'd be too expensive for the perceived gain :) And de-snorkeling is easy enough to re-install. Nonetheless, I'll take your advice as it was given.

I'll try the foam insert into the wind stop...I'm 100% about easy fixes :)

I'm not a Porsche expert and my funds will need to be saved. I'll skip the PPI for now, though I may throw an extra $50 at Porsche when I get a yearly emissions/inspection to examine a few things. I can examine 95% of parts myself though, so I figure I'll save the cash :)

....

N41EF - The front engine mount is that common a failure? I don't know of any buzzing/vibration, but I'll keep my eyes open for it. Good to know that it cancan tension on the shifter cables.

The coolant and several other fluids were changed already. I don't have a full list unfortunately, though I should be getting something more comprehensive. I'll replace any fluid that looks suspiciously old or darkened.

....

Lumpy - I've read about a few people doing the $200 plastic replacement now. Anyway to get a glass insert on these cars without replacing the frame and such?

My dad's got it in pretty decent shape overall, but I'm a maintenance **** in terms of keeping things mechanically sound.

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...I'm not a Porsche expert and my funds will need to be saved. I'll skip the PPI for now, though I may throw an extra $50 at Porsche when I get a yearly emissions/inspection to examine a few things. I can examine 95% of parts myself though, so I figure I'll save the cash smile.gif

...My dad's got it in pretty decent shape overall, but I'm a maintenance **** in terms of keeping things mechanically sound.

These two statements are incongruous. $50 isn't going to buy you much of anything from your local Porsche dealer, and the $250 or so that a proper PPI at an indy mechanic will buy you is a fraction of the cheapest maintenance item on your car. Being a "maintenance ****" is a great thing on these cars, because the relative cost of failures on your car could eclipse its market value at a stroke. PPI is cheap insurance, and it gives you a complete laundry list of things that will need your attention.

Good luck and enjoy!

Mark

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That's a good one. The smallest note my dealer will take has a picture of Ben Franklin and it takes lots of those. Listen to Mark get the PPI and you may sleep a little more sound.

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Well, I always knew Dad liked you better, but I never thought he'd just give you his Boxster. Sheesh!

1. Join the PCA (Porsche Club of America. Find out what region you are in and attend a local meeting. Aske for help, car people will help you if you need it. When I mentioned a bad window regulator and pending replacement I had two people offer to drive over and help ( 60 miles). I also helped a local soldier who's ignition switch broke that I met on this board. Please update your profile with your location, ask for help if you need it.

2. Spend some time reading what I call carporn. You could spend thousand of hours doing research:

http://www.986faq.com/

http://sites.google.com/site/mikefocke2/mikesporscheboxsterwebpages

http://www.pedrosgarage.com/Site_3/Install_Front_Engine_Mount.html

3. If dad's giving you the car, I don't know that I'd worry about a PPI, but that I would buy a Bently's manual, and a durametric cable. Both are available on eBay, or again you may find someone close who will loan you one.

4. This board is a good source, but is not overly active, PLay with the search function to see how it works, you'll find links here to amaizing places. My hard thing was learning what to search for. Figuring out what parts are called, or what the official name is, can be tough.

5. Start reading with all of the common failures. Window regulators, front engine mount, coolant cap, coolant expansion tank, ignition switch, top drain lines, how to access engine, etc.

Again, welcome to the family!

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Hey Mark,

Let me clarify and reiterate a few things. I'm not a Porsche expert, but alot of what a PPI does is inspect things that are non-Porsche specific. I can perform those things myself (conditions of suspension/visible bushings/leaks/brake pads/lighting/seals/exhaust system/outside ends of steering system/wheel bearings/belt/etc.)

If they haven't been recently, I can change the spark plugs and examine them for even wear and lack of problem signs.

I can also learn a tremendous amount on here about common problem areas, and inspect those (coolant cap, for example).

My point is: I own the car and I can do alot of the inspections myself, and am knowledgable enough to cover almost everything.

Maybe I'm very wrong or foolish about that, but my experiences with cars is that a knowledgeable eye can identify almost anything a mechanic can during an inspection. And the things that go wrong without warning won't be caught anyway.

Regarding being a maintenance ****...I simply meant that I will strive to keep everything up to date and well taken care of, and if I'm not sure about something I'll replace it or service it to be safe.

I hope that makes sense. I don't feel it's incongruous. Porsche mechanics are highly trained experts in these cars who charge an arm and a leg. Unfortunately, I'm taking this car with the hope of only paying out toes and fingers to keep it running. If a clutch goes, I'll tackle it myself. If the crank walks, it'll be a parts car or sold whole to someone wanting a project.

When I have the car in my possession, it'll spend some time on jack stands in the garage with the wheels off getting a very thorough go-through as well as some significant items like takign the front bumper off to clean out the radiators....because I'm not sure when they were last cleaned :)

Joe

...I'm not a Porsche expert and my funds will need to be saved. I'll skip the PPI for now, though I may throw an extra $50 at Porsche when I get a yearly emissions/inspection to examine a few things. I can examine 95% of parts myself though, so I figure I'll save the cash smile.gif

...My dad's got it in pretty decent shape overall, but I'm a maintenance **** in terms of keeping things mechanically sound.

These two statements are incongruous. $50 isn't going to buy you much of anything from your local Porsche dealer, and the $250 or so that a proper PPI at an indy mechanic will buy you is a fraction of the cheapest maintenance item on your car. Being a "maintenance ****" is a great thing on these cars, because the relative cost of failures on your car could eclipse its market value at a stroke. PPI is cheap insurance, and it gives you a complete laundry list of things that will need your attention.

Good luck and enjoy!

Mark

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Lumpy - I've read about a few people doing the $200 plastic replacement now. Anyway to get a glass insert on these cars without replacing the frame and such?

My dad's got it in pretty decent shape overall, but I'm a maintenance **** in terms of keeping things mechanically sound.

My understanding is that a glass window isnt a good idea with a '99 due to the design of the frame with 3 cross bars. If you put a glass window in you will limit the access to the engine bay. Later models have a redesigned frame with 4 cross bars that allows for the glass to work properly. I am perfectly happy with the plastic window, just takes a little cautious care to ensure 8-10 years of service. It can then be easily replaced. There is good information somewhere on this site that a poster laid out the specifics of the tops, you can change the frame over to the newer style but its a bunch of work (and expense).

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Hey Mark,

Let me clarify and reiterate a few things. I'm not a Porsche expert, but alot of what a PPI does is inspect things that are non-Porsche specific. I can perform those things myself (conditions of suspension/visible bushings/leaks/brake pads/lighting/seals/exhaust system/outside ends of steering system/wheel bearings/belt/etc.)

If they haven't been recently, I can change the spark plugs and examine them for even wear and lack of problem signs.

I can also learn a tremendous amount on here about common problem areas, and inspect those (coolant cap, for example).

My point is: I own the car and I can do alot of the inspections myself, and am knowledgable enough to cover almost everything.

Maybe I'm very wrong or foolish about that, but my experiences with cars is that a knowledgeable eye can identify almost anything a mechanic can during an inspection. And

the things that go wrong without warning won't be caught anyway.

Joe, if you would rather invest the time than money for inspection then by all means, do so. Just keep in mind that isn't equal to a knowledgeable eye examining your car because as you admit, you're no Porsche expert. And that goes for the typical things you may look at, like suspension bits, leaks, bushings, etc. Sometimes knowing where to look or what to look for is worth a penny. Yes the car has a suspension. Is it in an unusual configuration for a production car? Yes. Yes the car has an engine. Is it a flat-six--extremely rare for a modern engine--with its own set of maintenance gotchas and failure modes? Yes. My point is you'll be learning along the way, instead of spending a little cash to benefit from someone else's knowledge early on. You may benefit financially in the long run, but if something goes wrong that a Porsche tech would've caught and you didn't, please believe me when I say it's likely to cost far more than a PPI.

Regarding being a maintenance ****....I simply meant that I will strive to keep everything up to date and well taken care of, and if I'm not sure about something I'll replace it or service it to be safe.

No doubt you will. I do very little of my own mechanical work and would love to do more, but my time at home is very limited. I follow the same mantra as you and agree that it's better safe than sorry, regardless of whether someone else is doing it or I am. If you can DIY and achieve the same result, that's a good thing. Seems this is your bottom line:

I'm taking this car with the hope of only paying out toes and fingers to keep it running. If a clutch goes, I'll tackle it myself. If the crank walks, it'll be a parts car or sold whole to someone wanting a project.

Since this means you'll be your own mechanic on the car, then PM porschelibrarian and get yourself the technical manual for your car. One day when I catch up on sleep dry.gif I hope to find a nice older P-car (maybe an early 912) to wrench on myself. Until then, post about what you do to and with your car so we can all live vicariously through you. Take pictures too, we want to see your car! cheers.gif

Mark

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