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996TT Maintenance Difficulty


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Hi I'm pretty new to this forum. I've been considering purchasing a 996 or 997 Porsche for some time and have recently become interested the in 996TT. It seems there are enough of them around that you can find a good one for a decent price. I also often read the "value" that forum members stress about the cars. That and I've always wanted a 911! Plus I love to do my own maintenance.

 

My question is how much harder to maintain is a 996TT vs a 996 or 997? I'm familiar with the procedures for dropping the engine and transmissions from those cars on paper. Mainly to cover IMS bearing replacement, clutch, flywheel, ect. I have owned BMW's for years and always done my own maintenance up to engine replacement/rebuild, transmission, rear ends, ect.. I'm by no means super tuner or anything like that, but I have a fair amount of experience working on German sports cars, but not Porsche. That being said, I have read on this forum about the 996TT being very complicated and wondered how difficult these cars truly are.

 

Also if anyone knows how much repair and technical information there is available for these cars that would be great. I'm familiar with Bentley manuals for BMW's, and they usually do a very good job of explaining repairs. It seems IMHO that Porsche keeps their repair experience and information more in-house compared with other companies. That had me a bit worried as well. Thanks for any feedback I get.

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I was like you, afraid of maintenance but it is not so difficult….First of all you can get the Porsche 996 turbo repair manual (pdf) here: http://www.6speedonline.com/forums/996-turbo-gt2/228714-ok-guys-here-link-shop-manuals.html. To work on a TT one of the best tool to get (other than wrenches etc) is a Durametric http://www.durametric.com. It is important to get the fault code to troubleshoot properly...I also got a BMW (always broken)  and if you can work on these cars you can work on your Porsche. The access is a lot more difficult but there are ways to lower the engine about 4 inches to access some components on top of the engine. Finally the ultimate tool is the forums, the Renntech forum is one of the best and got a section with the DIY!!! Lots of valuable informations and lots of people to help you if in need. After a while you will discover who you thrust LOL!!!! Good luck and please don't be afraid! 

Edited by jpflip
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Oh another question I forgot to ask was what are some good online sources for parts for these cars. I'd assume I'd be buying a lot of seals and gaskets, I usually like to do gasket replacement and seals on most used cars I buy. That way I don't find as many mystery leaks.

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Humm, being from Montreal I don't have any choices, I order from States LOL!!! When I took my engine out two years ago I had close to $1000.00 of parts to order and here's what I've found: I was always using "Pelican parts" in the past but prices went up in the last years ???http://www.pelicanparts.com  Some people use Suncoast and are happy about them but expensive delivery to Canada. http://www.suncoastparts.com. I really like Sonnen in California. Lots of parts in stock, very nice customer service, they use Fedex, and the prices are really good. http://sonnenporscheoemparts.com/partlocator/index.cfm?siteid=215405. I forgot to mention, a very good online parts catalog is AutoAtlanta. Exactly like the Porsche cats. Very useful: http://www.autoatlanta.com/porsche-parts/996t-99-05/porsche_911_parts.php….This is from my own personal experience but I'm sure someone else will come with more suggestions.  I hope someone more knowledgeable will chime in about your questions ;-)

 

I got three german cars, BMW, Mercedes and the Porsche , and sometimes it is useful for me to use ECS tuning, because they got parts for all these brands but you have to be careful with the prices….http://www.ecstuning.com

Edited by jpflip
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Don't be afraid of the TT.  Yes, it's a more complicated car than a Carrera but it's also much more reliable (not to mention mind blowing to drive).  The TT is hands down the best car I have ever owned.  For the prices they go for, I really think the buyer market out there has it wrong -- they shouldn't be so cheap.  The engineering is way too cleaver and sophisticated to pick a 50K mile car up for $40K.  It's not priced correctly but that's what they go for.  Budget for maintenance.  Many parts/jobs on the TT are the same as a Carrera (so a Bentley manual is still handy) but others can be more expensive.  While you would be hard pressed to find a true Achilles heel on the TT, there are a few things to lookout for.  Coolant lines come to mind, for example.... but there's really nothing common that's catastrophic like on the Carrera (cylinder scouring, D-chunks, IMS, the list goes on).

 

There is less info out there on the TT as far as DIY compared to the Carrera.  But, in general, the folks that have TT's are usually knowledgeable.  Jpflip for example is one of those people (the guy has experience as an aircraft engine mechanic).  Before I bought my car I knew if there were other active people like that with a TT then I would never feel lost.  I also have an honest mechanic with 30 yrs working on Porsche for the jobs that are too big or too time-consuming for me.  If you know the TT well, there are tons of shortcuts when doing work on the car.

 

I would also definitely get a Durametric.  You can pick one up for under $300 and they hold their value so it's the best investment by far on any Porsche.  I order parts from Sunset Porsche out of Oregon.  They are a dealer but they are the only one I know that operates on a cost-plus structure so their parts are all OEM and the price is hard to beat because they're just selling at a thin margin over cost to a dealer.  They are also very good about shipping immediately, correctly identifying parts, etc.  I use them exclusively and almost never find the price cheaper elsewhere.  I highly recommend them.

 

Be sure to get a PPI and, more importantly, spend as much time driving the car and looking it over with someone you trust.  PPI is a good idea, but is certainly not a catch all.  Good luck with your purchase!

Edited by Silver_TT
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I'll becoming back to this thread in the future for sure to check those part references. I am starting my search early for a TT so I figure at the least I will have about 6 months of searching before I make a purchase. I'll probably be looking in the Los Angeles area, as I live in California, and it seems there are quite a few TT's around. Thanks for the reply's on the maintenance difficulty on these. I enjoy working on my cars as a hobby, as I always have a second vehicle, so as long as the information is out there I'm sure I can figure out the repairs. For some reason being able to take your time on a weekend, and truly repair something yourself, has always been a truly rewarding experience for me. I'm sure I'll post back here as I find cars and ask for advice on what you guys think about price/options/issues/ect. Thanks again for putting my mind at ease, as I was fearful these cars were much harder to work on then you guys have explained.

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Yessss I'm happy to see somebody else coming with good informations about TT maintenance. Thanks Silver_TT ! Loren, JFP, RFM, Wross and Silver_TT are active members and are names to look for. Many of them have lot more experience than I have!!!! After you will get the modding addiction, first exhaust and after a tune, you will be amazed like I am!!!! Lots of power hidden in these cars without affecting the reliability and longevity!!!

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You have the right idea about looking over a long period of time.  LA is a major city for sure but if it were me I would look in some other major cities though too.  Plane ticket and shipping/driving the car back is pretty cheap if you can find one at a significantly better price..it obviously just expands the market to give you a lot more cars to choose from.  Who knows though, you might find the best one right in your own back yard.

 

And to that point, if you do buy one out of state be mindful of one that was modded.  Jpflip is right that there's a lot of extra HP and torque that can be unlocked from the Mezger.  But this can come at a price.  Many states in the USA are now getting very smart about being able to detect mods and flashes.  And I see you're in California to boot, which has a notorious reputation for being difficult on emissions and certification (aka harder to pass with mods and tunes).  I got burned by this on buying a car that wasn't even modded, just had a flash on it.  Car wouldn't pass emissions until I took it off.  The tune came with a ODB2 device that was apparently supposed to switch the DME between stock and the tune......however it didn't work.  Clearly some tuners are much better than others.  Folks like Kevin @ UMW have a good reputation and I'm sure there are some others, but the list quickly falls off from there.  For this reason I always stuck OEM... just something to consider, but that was my daily driver so I don't have time to mess around with a car that can't get me around on a daily basis.  When I have owned a car I have always had just one and only one....so when I need something fixed, I need it in a jiffy or I'm riding the train to work every day  :)

Edited by Silver_TT
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Very true!  But it's good for them to know that a lot of these issues aren't specific to only the TT and, more importantly, many of them really aren't that hard or expensive to fix.  I have literally saved thousands of dollars over the years because of the information from other TT owners.  They often know just as much or more than an OPC would.  Great list, though I agree.  Probably experienced about half of those problems during my time as a Porsche owner, so it's incredibly handy.  Thanks for putting that together!

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+Many for JPFlip as a great reference source. I have not found the turbo to be any more difficult to do maintenance on they any other vehicle I have owned. It has been very reliable for me.  Some of the limitations is much of the work is done from the underside, so good ramps, a lift or some other way to get below the car helps much. 

 

Pelican parts is a good reliable supplier and they have a wharehouse in the SF Bay area so you usually get your stuff quickly.  But you do have to pay Cali sales tax too.

 

BTW, it looks like you live in the Sacto area.  I'm on the SF Peninsula and have a Durametric Professional with unlimited vins if you want to take a look at your vehicle with it.  Anyone else who lives nearby this offer is available as well.

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With this many knowledgeable people willing to lend a hand, I would say you'll be in pretty good shape ;)

Great community! RangerDick and Loren you rock!!! Too bad I live so far from Roseville California   :notworthy:

Edited by jpflip
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