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Pretty sure the 996 is right for me

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You guys might think I'm crazzy.  


I'm a full time college student with two part time jobs.  I've saved 10k but I don't want a poor example, unless it's all repairs I can do myself.  


I deffinately have a particular style and the 996 fits those requirements.  There was a boxster for sale locally for 1500 with body damage perfectly concelable with fender flares/wide body kit, but I'd rather spend 10k or more on the car I really really want.  The boxster seems mostly cheap, and for people who want to say "look at my porsche".  I'm sure this is an overgeneralization amd some are passionate about them but I found them to be slow and not so aestherically pleasing especially if the top is not down.  


So onto the 996.  I was a mechanic for years, and I got to drive the old air cooled Porsches, good stuff.  Sure the boxster was faster but just not my cup of tea.  


I have two toolboxes overflowing with metric tools and my old place of employment where I cam go and use a lift, tire changer, etc.  


I think I'm well equipped to change ims bearings, ball joints, put in an underdrive pulley, you name it.  


Mostly I'm interested in opinions and facts about high mileage and turbo vs. Non turbo.  I had the opportunity to buy a pretty bear up turbo 996 where most of the damage would be concealable with a wide body kit (i know, I think that alot).  


If I drive it a lot, would it be prudent to just buy one (non turbo 996) already over 150k miles?  These are the ones I see at or slightly above 10k.  


I won't discard the the insight just yet.  Being the only manual hybrid I actually enjoy it.  But it's time will come.  


Am I setting myself up for nightmares with a cheap higher mileage example or, at this age, soming up on 20 years old now, are the 1999's and 2000's still a car I can depend on every day?


I love wrenching on cars and don't feel luke I really iwn something until I've fixed it myself.  


I don't want the attention though amd want an inconspicuous color.  I want to enjoy the car and I'm a very shy guy.  I actually get more attention then I'd like with the insight.  


Is a 996 manageable with a drab color?  Say, gold, silver, white, or black?  The last thing I want is red or purple.  Or a gold wrap.  

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Welcome to the world of Porsche. It sounds like you can do most of the repairs so that's good. I am an amateur and have been able to do most of the repairs on my car, though I haven't had the imsb done.

I live in Los Angeles, but I had the car in college in a small college town in NorCal. The 911 got a fair amount of attention there. In LA, no one looks at all. So it a depends on where you live. Mine is also a midnight blue.

As for reliability mine has 45k miles on it. I've had some small problems(rats eating wires, air oil separator) and the alarm is acting up (door switches I think). Overall it has been a reliable car. I have a 2003, so some of the previous Gremlins in earlier years were fixed.

If you think the 996 is for you then go for it. I'd be looking for a 996.2 because it is facelifted a bit from the previous years.

As for turbo vs non turbo, well that's a tough one. I have a base C2 and it's quick, but I wouldn't call it fast. So I have wanted to get a turbo because it's much faster, but you have to think about your use. For me, the slower car means hopefully less tickets, the non turbo is less complicated and is cheaper. But the non turbo has the imsb issue, harder to get more power, and it doesn't look like a turbo.

Unless I find a great deal on a turbo, I'm sticking with the C2.

I'm a bad influence with too many cars, so I say go for it

Sent from my GM1917 using Tapatalk

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Silver C4$.  
I smiled each and every time I drove my 2003 C4S.  Make that C4$.  It costs to own and operate.  It’s not cheap.  If you can DIY that’s even better.  Be sure to do the IMS “solution” etc right away for piece of mind.  

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OP, dissing the Boxster, heinous!!! Just kidding, everyone is entitled to their opinion. I have a 1999 996 cab and a 1999 Boxster, and every time I drive the Boxster I find myself thinking that I love that car. It is somewhat underpowered, but the perfect balance makes up for it. I can take a highway on/offramp much harder in my Boxster than in the 996 which vaguely feels like the rear end wants to swing around due to the uneven weight distribution. For me, the Boxster is a different flavor of ice cream: the 996 is chocolate which is my favorite, however, every once in a while I feel like some vanilla which is the Boxster, and just as enjoyable but in a different way. If you are mechanically inclined, the 996 is a lot of car for the $ and the turbo even more so. If you can find a high mileage example with extensive maintenance records I would say jump on it with both feet! Both of these cars a an engineering miracle of packaging, cramming mucho technology into a limited space and, consequently, somewhat of a pain in the rear to wrench on. Seems like no matter what you're trying to do, there are three things in your way or an extremely difficult angle. But they are doable, and remember: extensive service records, particularly for high mileage examples, are a big plus for your search. Good luck and always keep the shiny side up!

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One thing that comes to mind, engines seem to have ovaling of the bores and perhaps other issues.  Is this something I should anticipate with a higher mileage car?  I saw the reliability thread and it sounds good, but it may be beneficial to have a new block (1.2k plus machining/sleeves/pistons)  or a good used engine (dont think i saw one lower than 5k)

Ready to go if the engines tend to fail.  


One thing is I love to buy things with the intention of keeping them forever.  If bore ovaling is something I will encounter no matter what I'd like to be ready, and there's no better way than to have a nice porsche flat 6 on display, ready to hop in the car 🙂


Oh are there different long blocks based on electronic throttoe vs not?

Edited by Michael Woodcock
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I would not count on a 996 as a daily driver (or really any other high-mileage German car from the last ~20 years). Always have something else to drive just in case. Just this year alone I had two potentially stranding failures (ignition switch and voltage regulator) within a couple hundred miles of each other, and my car only has 37K. Also, being able to DIY is great but that won't save you from high priced replacement parts. And I don't think any non-front engined Porsche is inconspicuous. Mine is silver and someone is always trying to either race or keep me from passing them. 

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+1 RatboneRanch, other drivers seem to get very competitive when they see you're driving a Porsche, a lot of tailgating, engine revving and hard accelerating from traffic lights! I've even had guys (always the guys, never the girls!) ask me to race! I always say, "this is a 20 year old car, no thanks." 

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Yup, me too.  Esp on curvy highways over the mountains.  Oh yeah.  In the C4$ torque tremendous in all gears.  “Every now and then” when you drive a Porsche you just yield to the temptation.  And, you get a valentine 1 and hard wire it in. 

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I bought my first 911 just this past June. I had a list of what I wanted- 996, exterior color, interior color, well maintained, IMS bearing replaced would be good, Cabrio. And I had a max price.

Beyond that, if I found a C4, great. A turbo, excellent. It took me 3 months to find my 02 C2 with 80,000 miles on it. I absolutely love it. The only money I've spen on it was to replace the AOS.

My advice is to make a list of what you have to have, then search. Get the things you really want and you won't be dissapointed.

I also have mechanical skills and a friend with a lift in his garage at home. It's a good time when we get together to do some maintenance ( cleaning out the rediators when I first got it), so to me it brings down the cost of ownership. So, you're in good shape there. Best of luck.


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