This evenings conversation whilst watching watching Netflix;
Me (on AutoTrader, bored):
Think we need to swap the A3 for something a bit quicker. Do you like this swish TDI Quattro version?
I am not paying 20 grand just to have another black bloody A3. Just get a 911…
If I’m honest, I didn’t hear the rest of what she said after ‘911’, I was too busy reconfiguring my search.
Green light. Budget sub 25k, and being a shallow design type I only like the post 2005 oval headlight models.
Can any of you mild mannered gents offer some pointers? Big items to check/avoid?
Christ, yet another midlife crisis
In the One True Spirit of AA I suggest you go for a Corsa Mk 2.
997 Gen 1 (2004-2008, round headlight model) is doable in that price range. Carrera (3.6) is 320BHP or Carrera S (3.8) is 360BHP. TBH, you might struggle to get a manual S with sensible miles for £25k, though you might find a Tiptronic.
The biggest issue with those is the risk of bore scoring. 3.8 model is worse than 3.6. You’ll read lots of horror stories, but in truth it only affects a small number of cars. That said, if you’re unlucky it’s a ~£10k engine rebuild. Tell-tale signs are tapping noises and a sooty left exhaust tip - it always seems to be bank 2 that scores. Hartech rebuilt cars will be bulletproof and may even command a premium. If you’re lucky, you might find one.
Early 997s can also suffer from IMS failure which was more prevalent in the 996. Later (2006 onwards have a larger IMS and don’t seem to have issues). You can check by engine number whether it has the larger IMS (Mine is a Jan 2006 car and has the later, larger bearing, so looks to have been introduced sometime in 2005).
Those are the two biggest potential issues, The Gen 2 (2008-2012) has a different engine and doesn’t suffer these issues, but will probably be £10k over your budget.
Some other things to be aware of: rear main seal can leak, but not a massive issue, it’s just a pain to fix (gearbox out). The cooling system is complex and can develop leaks in the popework, some of which is very hard to get to and makes it expensive to rectify. Exhausts can crack and heat shields and brackets are made from monkey metal so corrode like buggery. Tyres cost ~£900 a set. Clutches seem to last £60k miles or so, so might be worth trying to find one that’s been done recently. Air-con condensers are also made of monkey metal and are right in the line of crud and road dirt, so make sure the air-con works. That said, they’re not that expensive to replace. Engine mounts can sag (make sure exhausts are at an even height) but easy to replace (and a brilliant upgrade if you go to semi-solid mounts).
Make sure it has a good service history. Porsche specify 2yr/20k mile intervals which is too long, really. As with any old car, buy on condition.
At the end of the day, it’ll be an old Porsche, so you’ll need to spend money on it to keep it going (maybe £2k/yr).
Good luck! They’re an absolute hoot to drive, but will probably lose you your licence.
I know, I told her that she should just accept her age, but she insists
Manual or auto?
Manual 3.8 with 64k for £22.5k
Looks good, but who rebuilt the engine?
I think Phil @PapaLazarou is selling his (convertible) soon. Could be worth asking him how much he wants?
The S is meant to suffer from bore scoring more than the non S.I have a 2006 S though. Clutches last maybe 50k (less on a car used around town a lot).
The oil sender pump casing rusts and the unit then has to be replaced (had mine done last year and it cost £650). I had the water pump replaced at the recommendation of my Porsche Indy (£650).
The lower front coffin/support arms wear and suffer from play and creaking and then need replacing. Had mine done last year and it cost £600.
Window mechanisms and keys seem to be designed to fail and need replacing periodically. Check the window moves freely and without creaking. Drivers side is more prone due to heavier use.
Get a good local Indy Porsche specialist lined up to look after it. I now use Millers nanotec oil which I do find better than Mobil 1. I have the parts catalogue which gives all the parts numbers. Shop around for parts as you can save a lot.
As Pete says I had to have the exhaust shields replaced and one exhaust section (£650).
The oil sender on mine is flaky, was going to have a go myself, but it’s in a fucking awkward spot.
I use Motul 300V in mine.
Biggest bill on mine so far was alternator. Also did the clutch recently.
Blimey, just what I was after. Thank you @coco
There are a couple of ‘specialist’ suppliers local to me in Stratford upon Avon, but most of the decent ones I have seen recently have been private sales.
Only thing putting me off is one of my bosses has a GT3, and awaiting a better (?!) version as a replacement. Don’t want to appear like the uppity middle-management muppet. Probably do already.
Small world, I grew up in Stratford-upon-Avon!
Just do it, they’re amazing cars. People will think you’re a cunt anyway, despite it costing less than their Mondeo/320d/Volvo/whatever dull-o-matic.
To buy, not to run.
When your dull-o-matic breaks, it will also be expensive to fix.
Most importantly should have said that I would like it to be my daily driver, only 30 minutes round trip. Fuel bill might increase a little, but having owned a 3 litre Z4 ( I know, I was young…) and a life-threatening early Honda S2000 (even younger) I could suffer the tyre/fuel costs for the enjoyment.
Who knows, it’s not gone wrong and the 944S2 keeps on going with some small bits needed for MoT.
Quite impressed with how solidly built the Volvo is actually.
Stick with the A3. I used to own an old A3 that would give a 911 a good spanking, well I did for 10 or 11 days, anyway
TBH, they’re better being used, shouldn’t be a problem. Mine isn’t a daily, though. You’ll get 20-25mpg in mixed driving, 30 on a motorway run. Super unleaded is mandatory, however.
is was all going so well!