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Advise for moving from GT86 to 986 Boxster?


rufmichan
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Hi everyone, 

I'm new to the forum and Porsche in general. I'm currently driving a MY14 GT86 for quite a while now and while it's a really good and fun car, I've been very much tempted to try out the 986 Boxster just to try out something different. Funny thing is the price differential mean I won't need to add much if I do decide to sell the 86. (Excluding future potential maintenance of course) 

However, based on my very limited reading, I've been lead to understand that there are quite few potential issues with 986, IMS bearing being the one, and a lot of other issues like valve cover gasket leak, 2nd gear going out and others. 

Because of those reasons, I'd just like to hear your advise whether this would be a good decision to make.

Even though I don't find power is an issue for me with the GT86, I do wonder if the 2.7 base Boxster is adequate, or do you always need to go to Boxster S for most case?

Does the driving experience worth moving from a relatively new MY14 GT86 to something like the 986? Or do I better wait and just save up to get the newer 987 or even Cayman? (Given my present budget I don't think I can even consider 911 in any shape) 

Say I do start looking for 986, is it always the rule to assume that the IMS is going to break in the future, and thus aftermarket replacement is necessary? 

Thanks for your help :)

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11 minutes ago, rufmichan said:

Because of those reasons, I'd just like to hear your advise whether this would be a good decision to make.

You are on a Porsche forum ..... of course its a good decision!!

It's like walking into a church and asking the priest ... is it a good idea to convert to Christianity?? :Chuckle2:

Welcome to the world of Porsche!! :cool07:

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Hey, thanks for the welcome!

Tbh I'm just intimidated with the fact that brand new even the 986 Boxsters cost upward of 100k.. Surely they couldn't just depreciate to the point that even GT86 are more expensive in some instances, unless there are reasons behind it?

I'm just afraid of buying one and ended up not liking it in comparison with the GT86.. 

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For 986, buy the base car, its more rudimentary, which is the ethos of Porsche... We have a 2.5 Tiptronic (of all things)... believe me, on a country B road, you will not wish you were in another car! Even better when its a nice day and you can drop the top, and hear that 2.5 scream! 

I am at the point now, I prefer to take the Boxster on drives than the GT3... that should tell you something about how good of a car they are for the $$ 

As for IMS bearing, yes its always wise to do this, or if you're patient enough, find one that has had ALL the big $$ maintenance done including the IMS... that's exactly what I did.

Good cars are out there, but there is plenty of junk! 

As for the S, I had looked at buying one early, thought is was ok, but really found that I gravitated to the early more simple car more... 

 

 

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1 hour ago, edgy said:

For 986, buy the base car, its more rudimentary, which is the ethos of Porsche...

All the cools kids are doing it apparently 😉

Bottomline; good ones have reached there lowest prices, they'll likely stay there a long time before/if they start going back up, but doubtful they'll go much lower. Buy now and enjoy!

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2 hours ago, edgy said:

For 986, buy the base car, its more rudimentary, which is the ethos of Porsche... We have a 2.5 Tiptronic (of all things)... believe me, on a country B road, you will not wish you were in another car! Even better when its a nice day and you can drop the top, and hear that 2.5 scream! 

I am at the point now, I prefer to take the Boxster on drives than the GT3... that should tell you something about how good of a car they are for the $$ 

As for IMS bearing, yes its always wise to do this, or if you're patient enough, find one that has had ALL the big $$ maintenance done including the IMS... that's exactly what I did.

Good cars are out there, but there is plenty of junk! 

As for the S, I had looked at buying one early, thought is was ok, but really found that I gravitated to the early more simple car more... 

 

 

My only worry is the power in the base Boxster with 2.7 might not feel that different compared to GT86. But I guess after hearing your perspective as an owner of yet even faster car such as the GT3, power doesn't seem like a problem even in the 2.7.

Do you usually look over the car first before doing PPI, or should I do PPI before looking or making offer at the car?

Is there any easy way to identify that the car has been neglected / has bad service history at a glance? When I was looking for the 86, I was vehement that I wanted to get a stock one even with the Prius tyres. I avoided any signs of mods or custom wheels. The 86 that I got also has full Toyota service history. 

P.S: I'll be looking for MT one too.

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46 minutes ago, rufmichan said:

My only worry is the power in the base Boxster with 2.7 might not feel that different compared to GT86. But I guess after hearing your perspective as an owner of yet even faster car such as the GT3, power doesn't seem like a problem even in the 2.7.

Do you usually look over the car first before doing PPI, or should I do PPI before looking or making offer at the car?

Is there any easy way to identify that the car has been neglected / has bad service history at a glance? When I was looking for the 86, I was vehement that I wanted to get a stock one even with the Prius tyres. I avoided any signs of mods or custom wheels. The 86 that I got also has full Toyota service history. 

P.S: I'll be looking for MT one too.

 

If you wanted outright speed, you wouldn't look at Boxster... but I am not telling you anything you don't already know.

FYI the early cars are 2.5L, the later (MY 2000+) are 2.7L (in base) its perfectly fine power... they have a nice linear power band/torque being a 6 pot, if anything I'd say you're not keeping the RPM up as much as you do in the 86.. its a momentum car, whatever engine is in it... and trust me, I have seen some well driven ones keep good pace in supersprints. 

As always its gotta have a good service history, being a cheap Porsche now, too many cheapskates have owned and neglected them, there is a saying "buy the owner" most will attest to this, and when you know you have a good owner, you just know. 

But good note on the tyres, I always look for cars that have correct or good brand tyres on them... non matched who flung dungs on the front, with bob jane outarounders on the back is usually a big red flag. 

Definitely make a personal inspection if the car is local, then follow it up with a PPI if you are going to go for it! 

 

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Total agree with the other comments that for 90%+ of the time a base model will be fine.

I have a 2004 base manual and love it. Drop it into second and you can pull easily from 40 km/hr to 110 km/hr which for most of the twisties in the Adelaide hills is a great range to work. It really comes on song above 3000. 

They are not the quickest to accelerate but they are just a ball to drive and you can throw them around like a go kart.

Usual advice drive a few and pick the one you like.

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You'll be fine with a 2.7, especially if the 86 is good for you.

2.7 Boxster: 168kW and 265Nm for 133 w/ kg power to weight

Toyota 86: 158kW and 212Nm for 126 w/kg power to weight

So a 6% increase in kW and 25% increase in torques and 5% greater power to weight.

This doesn't tell the whole story of course, but it's a start. You might miss the lack of bluetooth and decent sound system but hey, you buy these things to drive, not listen to the latest Jonas Brothers album.

 

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Great sounds good! Thanks for the advise everyone (esp @edgy), and thus the search starts. 

I'll report if there's any interesting development coming in. 

(If anyone reading this happens to be selling their Boxster and located in Vic don't hesitate to PM me) :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Welcome to the forums and potentially to P-car ownership! :)

 

Depending on your goals with ownership, I think one thing to consider is that you may need a bigger yearly budget for maintenance items given the age of the car. The GT86 is more modern and in the first 5yrs of ownership would have a much lower probability of requiring fixing.  Not sure if you're the type of person who'll miss the creature comforts eg. blue tooth stereo etc so the cost can start to add up.

I attribute much of my  "cost of ownership" to the hours of labour required to fix things, especially compared to a Japanese car. Cost of maintenance on Porsches is pretty reasonable for the type of car you're getting if you are willing to DIY. 

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rufmichan where abouts in VIC are you? You could always come along to a meet up at Dak Dak or similar and get a good look and taste of a wide range of cars - maybe even a ride! Plus you get to meet a great bunch of people with a passion for Porsche.

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I own both a 86 and a 986S. I've had the 86 since it was launched and the 986S for over a year. The 86 is my daily drifter and the 986S is more of a weekender.

Here's my take on comparing the driving experience of the 2 cars:

  • Engine. 986S wins by a mile. This was one of the main reasons I got the 986. The flat 6 is just so nice, especially in this age of bland turbo cars. The soundtrack is awesome and the power delivery is so smooth and creamy. A 2.7 will already feel faster than a modded NA 86.
  • Steering. 86 wins. Both cars have great steering feel. The 86 has a faster more modern ratio so I personally prefer it. Even though it has electric pws, the feel is still there.
  • Handling. 86 wins. The 986 MR layout make it a great grip car. It feels great driving it up to the limit but not over it. The FR 86 is equally good at grip and drift driving. The party starts at the limit on the 86 :)
  • Ride. 86 wins. Being 15 years newer, the 86 chassis feels a lot more rigid than the 986 and this makes it ride bumps a lot better.
  • Shift. Even. The 86 shifter is a bit more mechanical and notchy but it feels pretty good as long as you don't rush it. The 986 cable throw action feels very long, but with a 987 shifter upgrade, it feels pretty slick
  • Brakes. 986 wins. Both cars have very similar brake feel and feels better than most other cars out there. The mid engine layout of the 986 really helps with stability on hard braking.

The 86 was benchmarked against a 987 cayman during development. So it's no surprise how similar the cars are to drive and for the 86 to come out on top in a few areas. Something I didn't mention above is the cost of ownership. If you drive a lot, the 86 is going to be a lot cheaper to maintain.. 

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Service an 86 every 10000 ks or 1 year? Cost? Service the Boxster every 2 years or 20000ks ... minor service $700 independant leapfrogs Major service every four years $1400 independant.

 I've got a semi racing manual 986 S which I drive as hard as I can and a daily manual 986 S which has it's fast moments - owned them both for a couple of years and done around 20000 ks in each and only paid for servicing so far, no repairs. Maybe I've got some $$$$ spending coming up hahhhaha......Get the Boxster S!

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86 have fixed price servicing for ~$180/service every 9 months in the first 3 years. After that, you can take it to anywhere or just service it yourself. The only difficult part is changing spark plugs.

986 on the other hand should be serviced by a specialist who will always charge 'specialist' rates.  I have yet to see the engine on my car actually! The car takes more oil, coffin arms wears out, tyres cost more and has big $$ items like IMS and RMS. But I've been pleasantly surprised by the cost of some of the parts. Not as much Porsche tax as I would have expected..

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Hi everyone thanks for the replies and insight! 

On 24/05/2019 at 11:35, Euge said:

Welcome to the forums and potentially to P-car ownership! :)

Depending on your goals with ownership, I think one thing to consider is that you may need a bigger yearly budget for maintenance items given the age of the car. The GT86 is more modern and in the first 5yrs of ownership would have a much lower probability of requiring fixing.  Not sure if you're the type of person who'll miss the creature comforts eg. blue tooth stereo etc so the cost can start to add up.

 I attribute much of my  "cost of ownership" to the hours of labour required to fix things, especially compared to a Japanese car. Cost of maintenance on Porsches is pretty reasonable for the type of car you're getting if you are willing to DIY. 

Hi thanks for the welcome! Yeah I think I kind of expected larger cost of ownership e.g service, tyres and breaks, especially if compared to Toyota (Subaru). In regards to creature comforts, I don't really mind. Besides, if I do want to get bluetooth audio I think I can just use the FM streamer. I've tried this before in older cars with tape, but I'm not sure how it will interact with Porsche infotainment. 

On 24/05/2019 at 13:58, Barks said:

rufmichan where abouts in VIC are you? You could always come along to a meet up at Dak Dak or similar and get a good look and taste of a wide range of cars - maybe even a ride! Plus you get to meet a great bunch of people with a passion for Porsche.

I'm around the northern suburbs, not really that far from CBD distance wise. Is there any calendar for the meets? Definitely would welcome a ride in a Porsche. :D

I haven't even sat in one!  

@86driver kudos for the detailed comparison. It seems like the two cars have the same purpose i.e to bring joy to drivers but completely different way of achieving it with their own characteristics. I'm just wondering when you compare GT86 handling with 986, do you have OEM tyres fitted to the 86? Because for me, I still do as the Michelin Primacy HP it comes with are still relatively new. It seems like they make the tail quite naughty in wet and cold weather..

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On 29/05/2019 at 15:12, rufmichan said:

 

@86driver kudos for the detailed comparison. It seems like the two cars have the same purpose i.e to bring joy to drivers but completely different way of achieving it with their own characteristics. I'm just wondering when you compare GT86 handling with 986, do you have OEM tyres fitted to the 86? Because for me, I still do as the Michelin Primacy HP it comes with are still relatively new. It seems like they make the tail quite naughty in wet and cold weather..

I've tried the GT86 with all sorts of tyres. 16s, 17s, grippy tyres, OEM tyres. 

My favourite combination is to have sports tyres on the front and OEM tyres on the rear. I can drive it daily, take it drifting or take it to the track on that setup. It may not be the fastest, but it's certainly the most exciting setup and really hones your RWD skills :)

I find with grippy rubber on the 86, the car starts to feel underpowered. 

My boxster has grippy rubber and I will actually prefer a bit less grip so I can explore the limits on the road. Everyone's different, but I personally prefer driving involvement over speed and grip.

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I sold my 86 GTS Manual after advertising for 8 months. 2013 and 97km on it for $18k to a mid-20s JDM car enthusiast.

Service cost me $190 and during the 6 years the car was bullet proof. Paint is a weak point on all Subaru's compared to Porsche, even though all cars get highway stone chips so easily. Agree on the OEM Primacy tyres- easy to modulate especially on wet asphalt which makes it very very fun.  Remember back in 2012 when the 86 launched, I think it was Robbo from Wheels magazine rated it higher in a two car comparison against the Cayman?

Glad I am not selling anything on carsales- so many low ball offers, swaps, "subject to x and y", etc etc.

Anyways, both great cars.

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15 hours ago, HWY said:

I sold my 86 GTS Manual after advertising for 8 months.

Wow 8 months? I thought it's a pretty popular car and could be sold easily. 

Tbh, I'm starting to dread the moment I have to sell it. I've got a forum member PM me for a potential Boxster, and I don't want to miss the chance. 

 

Maybe I'll just advertise it in the Sales section here in case someone is willing to move to Subaru from a Porsche (awkward laugh). 

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Manuals just do not get much love in the big cities anymore.  Most of the low bids were at $14k which is below what carsales was willing to buy the car as a trade in price. Nuts.

Sold an auto Mazda CX3 for a family member in 2 days at asking price in the past 5 months as comparison.

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6 hours ago, HWY said:

Manuals just do not get much love in the big cities anymore.  Most of the low bids were at $14k which is below what carsales was willing to buy the car as a trade in price. Nuts.

Sold an auto Mazda CX3 for a family member in 2 days at asking price in the past 5 months as comparison.

Wow at 14k and it's even a fully loaded GTS model not the ordinary GT.  

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  • 2 weeks later...

In my view there are two sweet spots in the range of Boxsters.  The first series 2.5's in manual are becoming sought after as delightful, balanced true sports (not GT) cars.  Then, for me the 987.2 with its new (no intermediate shaft), direct injection, sports chrono 3.4L motor and PDK. Both will be value holders over time in my opinion. 

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On 14/06/2019 at 08:13, Merv said:

In my view there are two sweet spots in the range of Boxsters.  The first series 2.5's in manual are becoming sought after as delightful, balanced true sports (not GT) cars.  Then, for me the 987.2 with its new (no intermediate shaft), direct injection, sports chrono 3.4L motor and PDK. Both will be value holders over time in my opinion. 

What are the 987.2 DFI motors like? Do the intake valves need periodic cleaning or special maintenance to keep them clean? There are some DFI cars that loses power if the intake valves are not kept clean using special treatments like walnut blasting.

The 86 D4S has both port and direct injectors for this reason. At lower revs/load the port injectors are in use to help keep the intake valves clean.

 

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