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Thread: need an engine for 2005 boxster s (a tale of woe and warning)

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    need an engine for 2005 boxster s (a tale of woe and warning)

    well, i'm still in shock and grieving a bit. my 05 boxster s went into self-destruct mode a few days ago. Intermediate Shafticon failure - bearing shredded and sent metal all through the lubrication system and the pistons made contact with the valves (only 44k miles by the way). what i did not know was that the 987 kept using the M96 engine block for some of all 2005 models. even the porsche part number for the engine is designated as M97 (according to my mechanic) even though it's still an M96 block.

    let's just says it sucks to be me. i'm big on preventative fixing especially when catastrophic engine failure is the likely result. but i never knew that was a problem i needed to prevent. anyway, an installed crate engine from porsche comes with an estimate of $17,000.

    so my wife and i are weighing the options of repair versus selling for parts. i looked around online a bit already, but finding an 05 3.2 has been hard. l.a. dismantlers doesn't have one available. does anyone knew of good engine rebuilder who has modern porsche engine in stock?

    if hadn't just move california, i could probably get a 996 motor in, but with all the inspections here, i doubt the car would be legal. darn you state of california.

    any suggestions or guidance or hard-gained wisdom would greatly appreciated.

    thanks,
    scott.
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    Re: need an engine for 2005 boxster s (a tale of woe and warning)

    Huge bummer. True, Porsche quietly improved the issue at some point during the 2005 model year on both the 987 and 997.

    Has PCNA been contacted by you or a dealer? Perhaps they can offer some goodwill since it is out of warranty based on time rather than mileage. A long shot, but it is a known defect...

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    Re: need an engine for 2005 boxster s (a tale of woe and warning)

    Doesn't hurt to add yourself to the list of members here for the NHTSA with a failed engine.

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    But the IMSicon issue is a separate, known issue that is different from the bearing problems that have been reported in the 3.4L engines.

    A NHTSA investigation may be appropriate for both, but the root causes are going to be different. I would keep these discussions (and any lists of engine failures) separate.

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    Re: need an engine for 2005 boxster s (a tale of woe and warning)

    Quote Originally Posted by justaddcoffee View Post
    if hadn't just move california, i could probably get a 996 motor in, but with all the inspections here, i doubt the car would be legal. darn you state of california.
    Very sorry to hear about your car. I escaped from Kalifornia some years ago but I think your biggest (and perhaps only) concern will be passing smog. Some of the CA-based members of this forum can probably point you in the right direction on what you can or cannot do.
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    Re: need an engine for 2005 boxster s (a tale of woe and warning)

    I don't think CA smog will know what engine you have, it will only want a visual and sniff test. I live in CA and also have a 05 BS. Sorry for your loss. 60K on mine, I will upgrade the bearing with a clutch replacement. BTW, did you track the car?

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    Re: need an engine for 2005 boxster s (a tale of woe and warning)

    This may be a stupid question but is there a reason why the IMSicon issue does not qualify or mandate itself as a product recall by Porsche? Seems to be a known issue???? Just curious ... It's terrible to hear about someone with a fairly new car with low mileage having to deal with such an issue.

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    Re: need an engine for 2005 boxster s (a tale of woe and warning)

    Quote Originally Posted by isst View Post
    This may be a stupid question but is there a reason why the IMS issue does not qualify or mandate itself as a product recall by Porsche? Seems to be a known issue????
    yeah, i thought the same thing.

    i talked to my mechanic more today, and he said it started with the bearing disintegration which led immediately to the Intermediate Shafticon failure. i looked at the oil filter - it had glitter on it than a stripper at the mons venus. anyway, it's just such a cascade effect. the bearing shreds, the intermediate shaft started flapping around, the timing chain goes out of sync, valves start hitting the piston heads. then it's good night, gracie.

    i chatted with the local porsche dealer, they might be willing to buy the car from me at a tragically low price so they can put a new engine in it and then resell it. since they can write off the labor and probably get a crate engine for way cheaper than i can, maybe that's the way to go.

    about the PCNA, that worth a try. i'll update as soon as i know something. and if anyone has a wrecked boxster with a working engine, tell them to get in touch with me. i'm in santa rosa, ca, about an hour and fifteen north of san francisco.

    thanks all, will keep you posted.
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    Re: need an engine for 2005 boxster s (a tale of woe and warning)

    update:

    we have a lead on an engine, waiting to find out if it's an m96 or m97 block from 2006. apparently, early 2006 boxsters got the remains of the m96 engines (though they were all stamped m97), but you need pics to tell the difference. if the engine is the right one and the price is okay, we may have the green light to bring the boxster back to life.

    and that will be a whole new thread with lots of pretty pics.
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    Re: need an engine for 2005 boxster s (a tale of woe and warning)

    Good luck, heartbreaking story.
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    Re: need an engine for 2005 boxster s (a tale of woe and warning)

    Wow... Best of luck on the new engine. Is there a sure fire way to tell the difference between the '06 M96 and M97? We have an '06 Boxster S. It would be good to know I suppose.

    Thanks, Franny

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    Re: need an engine for 2005 boxster s (a tale of woe and warning)

    '05 and '06 Boxster S have the M96 engine, the M97 started in '07

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    Right--My May 2006 production Boxster S says "M9626-626" on it's build sticker.

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    Re: need an engine for 2005 boxster s (a tale of woe and warning)

    Hopefully things are progressing for you with the replacement motor.

    Out of curiosity, how often did you change the oil? There is an opinion out in Internet land (and there are many concerning IMSicon failures) that changing oil at the recommended intervals (once a yr or 12K mi) is far too lax. The thought is the oil breaks down and doesn't properly lubricate the IMS bearing and then bad things happen. Most Boxster owners are now changing their oil in the 5 - 8K mi range.

    If you want to learn more about IMS, got to flat6innovations.com. Jake Raby has dug into this mess and knows more about it than anyone. Some feel Jake is just preaching "doom and gloom" so he can sell as many IMS upgrades as he can, whether the car needs it or not. You read and decide for yourself. He has at least figured out how to solve the problem, which is more than you can say for Porsche.

    Others ask why there's no class action suit and the consensus is there aren't valid numbers available on how many vehicles are affected (Porsche won't provide them) AND how do you convince a jury of morons that someone who can afford a fancy sports car deserves a judgement for this issue? That's no consolation to those with boat anchors for motors but so far no one has pursued legal action of any significance.

    Good luck and hopefully you'll be back on the road soon.

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    Re: need an engine for 2005 boxster s (a tale of woe and warning)

    A few thoughts:
    1. From past postings, Porsche will do little or nothing for owners with low-mileage cars that are out of warranty.
    2. There is no official pronouncement of any improvement in the engines between '05 and '06. Porsche has said nothing publicly about any of its mechanical defects, so we are left to take guesses as to what they are and are not doing to improve the product. In the other thread on this site, there's a batch of engine failures involving '06 cars and later. I can't say whether they're all due to the same defect, but since there are varying problems all the way through '09, how can one trust any Porsche engine these days when the company is silent about defects?
    3. Porsche will drain the plaintiffs dry in a lawsuit. The only way to hope for any change is for victims to go to the news media en masse. Since the company has decided to take little or no responsibility for its defects outside of the warranty period, then the only recourse is to see that it is thoroughly embarassed in a public forum. I have said before that this is a good story. I've been in PR for almost 40 years. I might know something about this.
    4. I sympathize with the poster and his problem of what to do with his car. From one day to the next, I don't know whether to sell my f**king car or keep it. Right now, it seems to be running fine. Next week? Who knows? Recently, I saw another incident -- apparently not reported here -- of an '05 S failing at 16K miles only a few months after the owner bought it at 11K. Yesterday, I saw an ad for a nice-looking base '05 with 104K miles on it. It's frustrating to get a grasp on this, especially when the manufacturer won't take responsibility or disclose the extent of the problem. Meanwhile, with my two Subarus, I seem to get recall notices for every little tweak. I know that company -- like other car makers -- isn't perfect, but at least they pay attention to even software adjustments that need to be made and they notify you right away. When was the last time you saw Porsche issue a recall? Are their cars that perfect?
    5. Perhaps most frustrating is trying to figure out how to drive the car, given the speculation as to whether driving style and use has an effect on the engine. I mean, do you pamper it or do you track it? If Porsche won't honor warranties on tracked cars, why do they boast about their race-bred engineering?

    OK, I'll shut up now (and I always appreciate the goodwill of other forum members in letting me rant). But the victims seriously need to take a look at #3 above if they want to get anywhere. Dateline NBC, 60 Minutes, Wall St. Journal, NY Times. There are lots of places to go.
    Last edited by longislander1; 08-09-2011 at 04:51 PM.

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    Re: need an engine for 2005 boxster s (a tale of woe and warning)

    Quote Originally Posted by longislander1 View Post
    A few thoughts:
    1. From past postings, Porsche will do little or nothing for owners with low-mileage cars that are out of warranty.
    2. There is no official pronouncement of any improvement in the engines between '05 and '06. Porsche has said nothing publicly about any of its mechanical defects, so we are left to take guesses as to what they are and are not doing to improve the product. In the other thread on this site, there's a batch of engine failures involving '06 cars and later. I can't say whether they're all due to the same defect, but since there are varying problems all the way through '09, how can one trust any Porsche engine these days when the company is silent about defects?
    3. Porsche will drain the plaintiffs dry in a lawsuit. The only way to hope for any change is for victims to go to the news media en masse. Since the company has decided to take little or no responsibility for its defects outside of the warranty period, then the only recourse is to see that it is thoroughly embarassed in a public forum. I have said before that this is a good story. I've been in PR for almost 40 years. I might know something about this.
    4. I sympathize with the poster and his problem of what to do with his car. From one day to the next, I don't know whether to sell my f**king car or keep it. Right now, it seems to be running fine. Next week? Who knows? Recently, I saw another incident -- apparently not reported here -- of an '05 S failing at 16K miles only a few months after the owner bought it at 11K. Yesterday, I saw an ad for a nice-looking base '05 with 104K miles on it. It's frustrating to get a grasp on this, especially when the manufacturer won't take responsibility or disclose the extent of the problem. Meanwhile, with my two Subarus, I seem to get recall notices for every little tweak. I know that company -- like other car makers -- isn't perfect, but at least they pay attention to even software adjustments that need to be made and they notify you right away. When was the last time you saw Porsche issue a recall? Are their cars that perfect?
    5. Perhaps most frustrating is trying to figure out how to drive the car, given the speculation as to whether driving style and use has an effect on the engine. I mean, do you pamper it or do you track it? If Porsche won't honor warranties on tracked cars, why do they boast about their race-bred engineering?

    OK, I'll shut up now (and I always appreciate the goodwill of other forum members in letting me rant). But the victims seriously need to take a look at #3 above if they want to get anywhere. Dateline NBC, 60 Minutes, Wall St. Journal, NY Times. There are lots of places to go.
    I agree generally that bringing media attention to the issue is helpful, but with respect to M96-equipped cars that have the IMSicon/RMS issues I think the cars are getting too old for anyone to take this seriously. Even if we know that a low mileage car suffering an IMS failure is an indication of a flaw that's prevalent and been there from the start, it's hard to get anyone worked up about an engine failure in a 6 year old used car.

    There's also the fact that the number of Porsche owners out there is pretty small, the stereotype is that they are wealthy and kind of douchy, and the problem does not result in FIERY DEATH--this isn't really a story that a mass market media outlet is going to be much interested in.

    There's a lot of noise when it comes to the data about engine failures. Track use, maintenance, missed shifts, and aftermarket modifications can all play a role, and sometimes these issues aren't openly discussed when people report about defects. But even with those confounding issues out there, it *appears* based on nothing more than my reading here and at other forums that a) there's a problem with M96 cars through mid-2005 or possibly even early 2006 that makes these engines vulnerable to IMS failures, but that something changed in the 2006 cars that made that issue less prevalent; b) there may be a separate and unrelated crankshaft bearing failure issue with 2006 M97 equipped Cayman Ss, but the comparatively low number of failures reported for 2007 and 2008 M97 equipped cars (Caymans and Boxsters) suggests that this may have been addressed at some point in the 2007 model year.

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    Re: need an engine for 2005 boxster s (a tale of woe and warning)

    Quote Originally Posted by JST View Post
    I agree generally that bringing media attention to the issue is helpful, but with respect to M96-equipped cars that have the IMSicon/RMS issues I think the cars are getting too old for anyone to take this seriously. Even if we know that a low mileage car suffering an IMS failure is an indication of a flaw that's prevalent and been there from the start, it's hard to get anyone worked up about an engine failure in a 6 year old used car.

    There's also the fact that the number of Porsche owners out there is pretty small, the stereotype is that they are wealthy and kind of douchy, and the problem does not result in FIERY DEATH--this isn't really a story that a mass market media outlet is going to be much interested in.

    There's a lot of noise when it comes to the data about engine failures. Track use, maintenance, missed shifts, and aftermarket modifications can all play a role, and sometimes these issues aren't openly discussed when people report about defects. But even with those confounding issues out there, it *appears* based on nothing more than my reading here and at other forums that a) there's a problem with M96 cars through mid-2005 or possibly even early 2006 that makes these engines vulnerable to IMS failures, but that something changed in the 2006 cars that made that issue less prevalent; b) there may be a separate and unrelated crankshaft bearing failure issue with 2006 M97 equipped Cayman Ss, but the comparatively low number of failures reported for 2007 and 2008 M97 equipped cars (Caymans and Boxsters) suggests that this may have been addressed at some point in the 2007 model year.
    First of all, thanks for calling us all "kind of douchy." Seriously, you make good points about the media issues. In framing the story, I still think there are a number of messages one could push, mainly the contrarian one that you're buying into a hallowed brand known for near-mythical engineering, you're paying a ton of money and yet you're getting a car/engine that might quit far earlier than the average Kia.

    I also agree with you about the noise. I think it would die down if Porsche would tell us the full extent of the problem and deal with it properly. But, of course, I'm dreaming. What else would you expect from a "douchy" Porsche owner!

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    Re: need an engine for 2005 boxster s (a tale of woe and warning)

    Quote Originally Posted by longislander1 View Post
    A few thoughts:
    1. From past postings, Porsche will do little or nothing for owners with low-mileage cars that are out of warranty.
    2. There is no official pronouncement of any improvement in the engines between '05 and '06. Porsche has said nothing publicly about any of its mechanical defects, so we are left to take guesses as to what they are and are not doing to improve the product. In the other thread on this site, there's a batch of engine failures involving '06 cars and later. I can't say whether they're all due to the same defect, but since there are varying problems all the way through '09, how can one trust any Porsche engine these days when the company is silent about defects?
    3. Porsche will drain the plaintiffs dry in a lawsuit. The only way to hope for any change is for victims to go to the news media en masse. Since the company has decided to take little or no responsibility for its defects outside of the warranty period, then the only recourse is to see that it is thoroughly embarassed in a public forum. I have said before that this is a good story. I've been in PR for almost 40 years. I might know something about this.
    4. I sympathize with the poster and his problem of what to do with his car. From one day to the next, I don't know whether to sell my f**king car or keep it. Right now, it seems to be running fine. Next week? Who knows? Recently, I saw another incident -- apparently not reported here -- of an '05 S failing at 16K miles only a few months after the owner bought it at 11K. Yesterday, I saw an ad for a nice-looking base '05 with 104K miles on it. It's frustrating to get a grasp on this, especially when the manufacturer won't take responsibility or disclose the extent of the problem. Meanwhile, with my two Subarus, I seem to get recall notices for every little tweak. I know that company -- like other car makers -- isn't perfect, but at least they pay attention to even software adjustments that need to be made and they notify you right away. When was the last time you saw Porsche issue a recall? Are their cars that perfect?
    5. Perhaps most frustrating is trying to figure out how to drive the car, given the speculation as to whether driving style and use has an effect on the engine. I mean, do you pamper it or do you track it? If Porsche won't honor warranties on tracked cars, why do they boast about their race-bred engineering?

    OK, I'll shut up now (and I always appreciate the goodwill of other forum members in letting me rant). But the victims seriously need to take a look at #3 above if they want to get anywhere. Dateline NBC, 60 Minutes, Wall St. Journal, NY Times. There are lots of places to go.
    +1,000,000,000!!!! I agree on everything but especially when you said should we track them or should we pamper them. As much as I think we all want to pamper our cars they are made for higher RPMS (at least we think) and higher speeds (when its legal). That is one point where I pamper it one day and then cant stop putting it in Tiptronic and really driving it hard the next.

    Thanks
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    Re: need an engine for 2005 boxster s (a tale of woe and warning)

    I agree with a lot of those points. And as much as I'd love to see Porsche stand behind the build quality their products, they have built their reputation on performance not reliability so attacking Porsche in the blogs and forums just seems so futile. Scandal would most certainly ensue if they pulled a Mazda and lied about the horsepower, but part breakage just doesn't cause uproar unless people are dying (thank you Ford and Firestone) or boring cars suddenly become wildly uncontrollable on public roads (thank you Toyota) or the promise of family safety miserably fails "the moose test" (thank you Mercedes). But we have none of that. Porsche has not put lives at risk in exchange for profit, and they have not besmirched their performance reputation.

    From a news story point of view, it won't sell. After twenty years in the news industry, you'll just have to trust me on that.

    But where does that put me now?

    Well, I've ordered my new slightly-used engine from L.A. Dismantlers (Caleb's a good guy to work with). The 05 3.2 S engine should be here in a few days. Yes, I'm putting the exact same engine back in the Boxster - with one note worthy upgrade: ceramic bearings and a new Intermediate Shafticon. I figure if the it'll be worth the upgrade cost whether we keep the car or sell it. If we keep the Boxster, we know it'll never happen again. And if we sell the Boxster, I can offer great assurances that the new owner will never have to fear catastrophic engine failure from Porsche's mediocre engineering and lackluster concern for their cars.
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    Re: need an engine for 2005 boxster s (a tale of woe and warning)

    justaddcoffee, you're a very charitable guy after the experience you've had with your car. I'm glad that you'll be back on the road soon, although I wish I could agree with much of what you say. For me, Porsche is not delivering on any of the expectations that it sets for itself in its marketing copy, including performance, reliability, safety, customer service or any other the other attributes of a good car maker. The sad thing is that, if you bought your car new, you've now paid well over MSRP to make it safe, reliable and up to normal standards -- something Porsche couldn't or didn't want to do. The good thing is that your engine didn't **** out while you were doing 80 in the fast lane of a crowded superhighway. That's always at the back of my mind when a three-ton SUV is hanging on my bumper. I've said before that if engine failure isn't a safety issue, I don't know what is.

    Porsche depends on people to throw up their hands in futility. Had owners of 986s not given up, you might have bought a higher quality 987 that didn't need a new engine at only 44,000 miles. Now, people are seeing engine oiling problems in the Cayman, they're meeting resistance at the dealerships and they're being told not to fight. Where does it end?

    As for whether Porsche's engineering reputation is besmirched, I'd like to know what other engine failure victims think about that. As for whether this is a story, I'll just say that I know it is and leave it at that.
    Last edited by longislander1; 08-12-2011 at 02:41 PM.

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