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Looking to buy used.

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Hello everybody. I'm new to the forums and new to Porsche so I'm trying to learn more.

My question was regarding the 996 in general as a project car. I've noticed many 996's for sale and they are generally pretty fairly priced compared to 993's. I also read an article called Porsche's deadly sin #1 that slammed the build quality of the 996.

I wanted to see what owners of these cars felt about their reliability and cost of ownership and whether or not the 996 is a great car.

As far as the water cooled engine goes it doesn't bother me as far as a design concept. I'm used to the ins and outs of water cooled engines.

Also I'm a big time DIY'er (up to and including full engine and suspension replacement), but generally how hard are the 996's to work on with the proper tools and manual?

Thanks for the help.

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Pre 2002's had lesser interior than later 996, but the bigger issues are the IMS bearing and a rear main seal that is prone to leaks.

Many used 996 have already had these 2 issues addressed, and some would say that higher mileage cars that haven't had these addressed may never experience a problem. Many owners have the IMS issue addressed with an aftermarket bearing for piece of mind. Cost before a failure for the bearing is about $2000 give or take and many replace the clutch while this is done as it is accessible.

You seem quite mechanically inclined and many do their own maintanence. Oil change very simple as is manual transmission fluid, brakes easy, plugs a bit more.

Lots of these on the market so look around and insist on a PPI.

I am sure others with much more specific knowledge will chime in. Great folks here.

Good luck

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Hey thanks a lot. I'm looking to buy anywhere from the next year to next two years. I'm just getting my foot in the door as far as Porsches are concerned so I appreciate any help. Ill look around through my options. My main concerns are the engine and transmission. Are there any engines to avoid or some that are better than others? Thanks.

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993s, in general, are significantly more expensive than 996s.

Some would say I'm biased owning a 996 TT now, but I did own a 996 4S previously. The 4S was a great car but, in my opinion, I would opt for a 996 TT. It's twice the car for 50% additional cost when contrast to the 996. The fact that you can pickup a really nice low mileage 996 TT for under $45K right now is incredible. In my opinion it's highly under valued and I would dare to say the best value performance car out there -- period.

The IMS aftermarket fix is a wear item, not a one-time fix... so if you buy a car with an M96 engine keep that in mind. If you opt for a 996 TT you won't have to worry about the slew of potentially fatal flaws that can affect non-Mezger engines (IMS, cylinder scoring, etc). While I think the failure rate of the M96 is probably overstated on the Internet, these issues are in fact very real.

Edited by Silver_TT
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Hey thanks a lot. I'm looking to buy anywhere from the next year to next two years. I'm just getting my foot in the door as far as Porsches are concerned so I appreciate any help. Ill look around through my options. My main concerns are the engine and transmission. Are there any engines to avoid or some that are better than others? Thanks.

The MK1s came with engines (pre-2002ish) that were 3.4L and with a double row IMS bearing which many would say is less prone to failure. However, these engines are more prone to issues like D-chunks. The MK2 engines were a larger 3.6L version and I believe was the first year VarioCam Plus was introduced. The 3.6L engine was less prone to issues with the cylinder walls but has a single row IMS bearing which is more prone to failure. I believe 2001 was the year the IMS bearing changed, but I'm sure other members of this forum will chime in to correct me if I'm wrong. There was also another change later in the 997s (some of which can't be retrofitted without a complete teardown of the engine), however all IMS of this design are potentially vulnerable to this type of failure.

Edited by Silver_TT
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I can’t say much but like you I just got into Porsches. I was looking for something fun and different to work on so I bought a 2000 996 hardtop for a little under $20000 with 61000 miles on it. So far this is what I have seen it’s a car that needs to be taken of and has problems. But most can be fixed and the big problems avoided. I’m not going to say they are as reliable as a Toyota or Honda so far I have not seen anything that will lead me to believe this. I have owned my car now for a month and so and so far this is what has broken since I bought mine. Driver’s side window regulator, and water pump, and the driver’s side window regulator is making noise so it will go soon. I’m not sure if they are the original parts or they have been replaced before but if I can get 60000 miles without another window regulator, or water pump going bad I guess I can live with that. I bought a new IMS bearing kit that I was told will fix the problem for good and I have a new RMS to go in soon. I will tell you parts are not cheap and I have read to always buy OEM parts I’m ok with that’s as long as they last. Good luck and enjoy your new distraction.

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I have had my 2001 996 C4 for a little over a year (about 10K miles). RMS went two weeks after I bought it (warranty covered replacement). Since then no issues at all other than a loose screw causing a rattle in the passenger door panel. Great car, fun to drive, easy to work on for routine maintenance. Finding a nice one is half the fun. Drive several before you decide to buy, and as others have mentioned, get a PPI.

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I own a 2000 996 and have had zero problems with it. It currently has 47500 miles on it. I did change out the IMS just for piece of mind one and a half years ago. When my Indy removed the IMS it did not show any signs of excessive wear or damage. My IMS is a Dual Row Bearing. When the IMS was replaced (45000 miles) I decided to replace the Clutch, Pressure Plate, Throw Out Bearing, change the Transmission fluid and RMS. I was able to purchase the IMS kit directly from L&N. The total cost of the above work was $1650, that included labor and parts, now granted the Indy is a friend of mine who is a certified Porsche Mechanic and a Master ASI Mechanic who owns his own shop so his labor is alot better then the average Porsche Dealer. The only other things i have done to my 996 is to put a new tires on it and replace all 4 speakers with Pioneer three way speakers as the originals sounded very tinty and scratchy.

I do keep my 996 in the garage when not driven and i adhere to the prescribed Porsche maintenance program. I own two Porsches,

the second Porsche is a 1992 928 GTS which also has given me zero problems and it currently has 87000 miles on it and is taken care of like the 996 is.

I purchased both of my Porsches in Germany while i was stationed there with the Military.

I firmly believe that if you take proper care of your vehicle it will take care of you. Yes Porsche has had some engineering faults over the years but what car maker hasn't. Porsche does take care of it's customers and i can not complain at all on how my Porsches have been over the years.

Goof luck in your search for your Porsche and enjoy it!


Edited by Rob357
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Look at the engine number and this is something I discovered on my 2003 C2 996 after advice from this board. Although my car is 2003 the engine dates from 2005/2006 and is a Porsche replacement. You can tell if it's a replacement if it has the letters AT in the number.

I am also new to Porsche so decided to go for a basic car with tiptronic to avoid possible over rev problems from previous owners. If you do your own stuff a lot of service work is easy and there are lots of tutorials to help. A plug change takes time and I haven't done one yet, but these are infrequent.

Although many of the TT and Turbo models are much faster than the basic C2 Tip, it is still a great car and faster than most things on the road due to its excellent handling qualities.

Also pay for an independent inspection. It costs a few pounds, but it might point up something that you can't see.

Good luck with both your search and choice.

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