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996.1 v 996.2 v 997.1

Section 31

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Joined
28 Apr 2021
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16
Hi All

I have seen the 3 above cars over the past few weeks all different mileages and similar prices, the 996.2 and 997.1 have the most miles but all have similar history and all are at dealers. Crazy question i know but the stories of bore scoring and engine re builds are doing my head in, i know you cant avoid it but which is the least likely out of the above to potentially bore score. Know that its probably the 996.1 3.4 but dont they suffer with cracked heads etc? Trying to buy one is driving me around the bend.
Also if i had a ppi on these and they were all clear that dosent mean that it cant happen in the future right?

thanks all
 
I was in a similar predicament when I bought a 986 a couple of years ago. Worrying over the IMS and all manner of other things that 'could' possibly go wrong with the car in the future. I ended up buying the Boxster and had 2 years of trouble free driving. Now that I'm just about to buy a 996 with 78k on the clock I've decided that life really is too short to worry about things that might, or might not happen. I did plenty of due diligence by looking through all the receipts, checking for excessive white smoke on cold starts, checking the tail pipes for blackening on one pipe, listening for a tapping/knocking sound from the engine, looking for the dreaded mayonnaise in the oil cap etc etc etc. I'm hoping to pick the car up at the weekend.

Like you say even if you have a PPI on all cars and they come back clear that's no guarantee thing won't go wrong I the future, but isn't that the case with any car you buy? Isn't that also the case with life in general? You never really known what's around the corner. After 48 years on this spinning rock I've decided I'm going to enjoy it as much as possible and that includes tear-arsing about in a nice 996 :thumb: :thumb:
 
Anecdotally the 3.4 is the least likely to bore score.
Historically they had problems with D chunking but those engines prone to it seem to have died long ago.
However any of the engines you refer to can give sudden and serious trouble. They're also quite different in character. The 3.6 is torquier and more powerful and the 3.4 has a shorter stroke and needs to be revved more.
If they all pass your due diligence then like for like I'd pick the one you simply prefer. Personally I preferred the 3.4 when I was shopping.
 
i was in discussion with a very reputable Porsche specialist earlier this year when I was looking to buy. Re bore score their comments were.. 996.2 3.6 do your checks as bore score can be an issue, 997.1 beware as it's not a case of if but when. They had actually stopped selling 997.1's if they hadn't had an engine rebuild as it was too risky.

Mark
 
Uniquely I actually find myself owing all of the above at the same time,but not for long according to my wife, so I can speak with a modicum of experience on the subject.

The problem is a paradox you want to own one because you like the car but dont want to own one in case the engine pops.

These cars are now around the 20 year old mark. If you think of them in terms of being a new reliable vehicle then you have started from the wrong place.

They are all old and previous service history is just that, history. What is important is what it is like now.

I will give you an example: I own what must be one of the very best 996.2 cabriolets I have ever seen. The service history is faultless, it was owned by a true enthusiast and the car is a credit to his and the previuos owners endeavours. But as he drove home one eveing from a day out the engine gave out without any warning whatsoever. If that car was for sale prior to that moment there would have been a queue of people lining up to buy it on "service history" and condition.

Obviously bad luck if bought privately but as far as i am aware the only dealer warrenty that would cover an engine rebuild is from Porsche themselves and they wont cover a 20 year old car. So bad luck buying from a dealer.

The weak link then is the engine as it is the biggest cost to fix, everything else is really DIY with the odd bit of help from someone with a diagnostic tool.

Therefore treat a 20 year old car as a classic car not a 3 year old car which "has to have the full service history to retain it's percieved value" and by that I mean it is a car that will frequently need bits done to it, and those bits can be done by a DIY er or any back street mechanic because at the end of the day a Porsche is a series of metal bits held together by nuts and bolts like any other car :lol:

So in my case two of my cars have has replacement Porsche engines (from Porsche) and my next project will have a freshly rebuilt engine or even a Hartech engine if I do not have time to do it myself.

A bit long winded but I have been restoring classic cars as a hobby for 40+ years and have a different perspective towards motor vehicles.

BTW any of the above will be good fun so don't get too bogged down just find the car you like and buy it.
 
Section 31 said:
...... Also if i had a ppi on these and they were all clear that dosent mean that it cant happen in the future right?

You are correct BUT if that's your mindset I doubt that you'll ever buy a 911.

I don't mean to be glib as your 'due diligence' is admirable but there comes a time that there's nothing more you can do.

There will always be a risk associated with buying a car that is at least 15 years old, it's just with 911s the amount of £££s you're risking is higher.
 
All very wise words. As has been said already, buy the one you like best. Get a PPI done before hand and budget to spend money each year. There are loads of threads on this forum that show how to get stuff done. My experience hasn't been different. I spent 5K in the first year getting the car back to a good mechanical condition. But to be honest that's part of the pleasure. These cars are well engineered and thus a pleasure (most of the time) to work on. Happy hunting!
 
Section 31 said:
Trying to buy one is driving me around the bend.
Also if i had a ppi on these and they were all clear that dosent mean that it cant happen in the future right?

Correct - all the horrible things that can happen to this engine can happen at any point in time. Could be PPI'd now and in 5 years / 15,000 miles time be scrap.

Trying to buy one is driving you around the bend, I'd say, because you're looking at it the wrong way.

To buy one you have to accept that it might be a costly ownership prospect because something might go wrong. However, it might not - everything might just be hunky dory with the car forever more.

Take the right precautions to protect yourself at the point of diving in - buy on condition, make the right checks and ensure you don't feel like you've overpaid / been cheated with a shiny car masking its hidden issues.

Once you're through that - think of it this way. You're going to spend ~£15k on a car that's that's likely always going to be worth that £15k, is special to drive and doesn't have outright supercar running costs. If you then have to chuck another £10k at it for an engine build and you keep the car another ten years - you're no worse off than if you'd have bought a nice BMW, really, in terms of depreciation / overall cost of ownership.

If you can buy one with the surety of having a spare ten large sat in the bank, which you could happily say 'oh well' to if it happens, then it's not a scary ownership prospect at all. The tricky bit is finding the right car so that you don't feel cheated on initial purchase as that tends to stick with you.
 
I had a similar situation 6 years ago I new I wanted a 911 but didn't know much about them wouldn't have known the difference between a 993 or a 991 they were all 911s some older than others. So I test drove three cars a high mileage 997.1 a beautiful 996 C4S and a 996.1 C2 I back to back drove them all great cars the 997.1 was great but the nav and radio look old hat 6 years ago and the mileage put me of the C4S was a amazing but the 4 wheel drive system made her feel heavy and very planted I wanted more side ways fun then came the 996.1 it felt alive agile plus I really lived her looks even the lights!!!! and the interior felt so last century so gave her more of a classic car feel. So I am now the owner of a 996.1 only to find I bought the wrong car the ugly 911 also a car that was about to explode at any moment 😐 but 6 years latter I have no regrets I still look forward to driving her she is a keeper
My forever 911. I don't regret buying the 997.1 but sometimes I think if I bought the C4S it would have made more money but that's not the point screaming my 3.4 flat 6 still makes me smile but the car that makes you smile
 
arry said:
Section 31 said:
Trying to buy one is driving me around the bend.
Also if i had a ppi on these and they were all clear that dosent mean that it cant happen in the future right?

Correct - all the horrible things that can happen to this engine can happen at any point in time. Could be PPI'd now and in 5 years / 15,000 miles time be scrap.

Trying to buy one is driving you around the bend, I'd say, because you're looking at it the wrong way.

To buy one you have to accept that it might be a costly ownership prospect because something might go wrong. However, it might not - everything might just be hunky dory with the car forever more.

Take the right precautions to protect yourself at the point of diving in - buy on condition, make the right checks and ensure you don't feel like you've overpaid / been cheated with a shiny car masking its hidden issues.

Once you're through that - think of it this way. You're going to spend ~£15k on a car that's that's likely always going to be worth that £15k, is special to drive and doesn't have outright supercar running costs. If you then have to chuck another £10k at it for an engine build and you keep the car another ten years - you're no worse off than if you'd have bought a nice BMW, really, in terms of depreciation / overall cost of ownership.

If you can buy one with the surety of having a spare ten large sat in the bank, which you could happily say 'oh well' to if it happens, then it's not a scary ownership prospect at all. The tricky bit is finding the right car so that you don't feel cheated on initial purchase as that tends to stick with you.

Agree with this. Try a few, buy on condition, always a PPI for me (pay for themselves usually), and make sure you're happy with your purchase. Be prepared for big bills if you get unlucky. Condition & PPI reduce that risk, not eliminate it. Don't be afraid of higher miles, it's often the lower miles that have greater risks. Or buy one which has already had a rebuild from a reputable place like Hartech (although you will likely spend longer looking for one).
 
For any of these, if they are getting anywhere near to 100k miles I'd be thinking of having a rebuild if keeping it for a long time. If done ahead of when it is needed it is a lot cheaper!! Other than that I'd buy on condition. That said, if you have the tools and the space / time to work on these they are generally very easy to work on and well designed.

MC
 
I can only echo what others have said.

You can do all the due diligence you want with any of those cars and it could go "pop" for any number of reasons 5 miles later.

It takes an alteration in the car ownership mindset to own one of these. I had bottled out of buying a 996 back when they were plentiful at or just below £10k around 2012 due to the potential cost of a rebuild. I revisited the idea in 2019 when I realised that between 2012 and 2019 I had been through 3 new cars which had cost me £18,000 in depreciation and maybe another £2000 in servicing and maintenance.

If I'd bought the 996 I had looked at back in 2012 for £10k instead. The worst case scenario would be that it would have cost me around the same in maintenance with a full engine rebuild thrown in. However, that 996 would probably be worth £15k now so in reality even with a full engine rebuild I'd have been a few thousand £s better off.
 
What everyone else said.

I had no idea what I was doing/buying when I got my 996 7 years ago (£10.5k). Engine light came on after a few hundred miles and I got a £2.5k bill...and that was the start! It isn't a money pit, just routine stuff that needed doing (coffin arms, bushes, exhaust, suspension blah blah blah). I have spent less than I paid for it sorting it out in the near 7 years of ownership.

I learnt no car of this age/marque is going to be without it's bills....buy as wisely as you can and defo have a few quid set aside just in case (include that pot in your purchase price).
 

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