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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone, I'm new to the forum and I'm contemplating buying a so-called "mechanic's special" from a used car dealer. I haven't been able to have it inspected yet, but it's showing classic symptoms of bore scoring: an engine tick and smoke on startup, so I'm anticipating an engine rebuild. I'm only an hour and a half or so from Vision Motorsports, so I was thinking of either getting one of their crate engines or having them rebuild mine (is there a price difference between those options?) I've never worked on a Porsche, but I've done plenty of other work in the past, to include other engine rebuilds, and I've got a lift, so I'm confident I can get it knocked out, other than the tune that I'll need if I go 3.8. I've generally priced out what an engine will be from researching the forums, but I'm stuck on what I should be willing to pay for the car. Cosmetically, it seems great, paint is nice. The interior has the standard nasty peeling trim paint from the era, but that's easy enough to remedy. Covid problems have really made it difficult to figure out what these cars should actually be selling for, but I can easily see the price of this build getting into the price range of a decent 981. That alone doesn't bother me, because I just really like the 987, but I don't want to spend more money than necessary.

Oh, and did I mention it has only had about 40 miles put on it in the past 8 YEARS? So besides the engine, who knows what else the inspection will find.
Asking price is just under $16K
I know I could just buy something like a 987.2 for cheaper, if I wait for prices to hopefully settle down, but I'm kind of looking forward to a project, and I'll have a newly refreshed many things if I go this way. Speaking of, does anyone have any comments on the longevity of Vision Motorsports rebuilds when used as a daily driver? No track, maybe some autocross.
Thanks for reading my wall of text, and thanks for the help.
 

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If you want to stretch your budget a little you could buy my '05 Boxster S with a Vision 3.8 motor already installed. DM if you want to chat about it.
 

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You are going to spend $15K to $20K getting this car running and you can buy one that runs for $25K or less. And once you get the whole thing apart, you will want to upgrade everything else too.

Edit: I have worked on cars my entire life. Once I started working on Porsches, I became a philosopher.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If you want to stretch your budget a little you could buy my '05 Boxster S with a Vision 3.8 motor already installed. DM if you want to chat about it.
That is a great looking Boxster, we'll have to see what happens with this Cayman. If you don't mind, would you be willing to tell me what kind of price range you'd be asking for? It would help me determine what's reasonable to spend with this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You are going to spend $15K to $20K getting this car running and you can buy one that runs for $25K or less. And once you get the whole thing apart, you will want to upgrade everything else too.

Edit: I have worked on cars my entire life. Once I started working on Porsches, I became a philosopher.
I'm thinking $20K is the minimum I'll spend, and that's if I do a rebuild myself. I'm ok with that. Worse case scenario, this could be up to $30K. That's tougher to swallow. It's easily in the current range of a good 987.2 S or 981 at his asking price.
 

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Yea, that's kind of what I'm thinking. Problem is the guy is convinced it's probably just a valve tick or something, or he at least thinks he can sell it to someone convinced of that.
That's what led me to putting in my 3.8 from Vision. My original engine had a tick, a little smoke, and high oil consumption. Block and cylinders turned out fine but the valve guides were worn on 5 & 6 cylinders.

Once you pull apart the heads and do a valve job plus a bottom end rebuild you are 3/4 way to a new engine. Vision usually charges somewhere in the neighborhood of $5k -$6k to R&R the engine, plus the cost of the engine. I haven't looked lately but used 3.4L M97 engines were running anywhere from $8k to $15k depending on condition and mileage from a salvage yard. Similar costs for a M96 3.6L except you need to add in more parts plus some custom fabrication.

All that being said - I'll take $18.5k for my Vision 3.8L powered 987 Boxster.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
That's what led me to putting in my 3.8 from Vision. My original engine had a tick, a little smoke, and high oil consumption. Block and cylinders turned out fine but the valve guides were worn on 5 & 6 cylinders.

Once you pull apart the heads and do a valve job plus a bottom end rebuild you are 3/4 way to a new engine. Vision usually charges somewhere in the neighborhood of $5k -$6k to R&R the engine, plus the cost of the engine. I haven't looked lately but used 3.4L M97 engines were running anywhere from $8k to $15k depending on condition and mileage from a salvage yard. Similar costs for a M96 3.6L except you need to add in more parts plus some custom fabrication.

All that being said - I'll take $18.5k for my Vision 3.8L powered 987 Boxster.
How have you liked the Vision motor? I just got off the phone with Dwayne and was basically sold by the time we got off the phone. I was a little hesitant because the use the chomoly cylinders, and there's some naysayers on the internet. But he said they've been using them in street motors for some seven years, so if there were major problems I would imagine they would be all over the forums.
 

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How have you liked the Vision motor? I just got off the phone with Dwayne and was basically sold by the time we got off the phone. I was a little hesitant because the use the chomoly cylinders, and there's some naysayers on the internet. But he said they've been using them in street motors for some seven years, so if there were major problems I would imagine they would be all over the forums.
My engine came with L&N Nickies with stock pistons and rods so I can't comment on the chomoly cylinders. I've had my engine for a couple of years and have about 9,000 miles. It has lived up to all my expectations.

To be a little self-serving, you will spend around $20k - $25k all in with Vision plus the cost of the chassis. I'm offering mine for less than a Vision engine and install. And it comes with a full set of Bilstein Damptronic shocks ready to install on the car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I’ve already bought plane tickets to go see this car, so I’m going to at least look at it. That does sound like a very appealing proposition, though. Is it a six speed? The one in your profile pic, I presume?
 

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I’ve already bought plane tickets to go see this car, so I’m going to at least look at it. That does sound like a very appealing proposition, though. Is it a six speed? The one in your profile pic, I presume?
Yeah, no worries. My car is in the greater LA area.

Yes, it is a 2005 Boxster S with a 6 speed Cayman transmission (thanks to the 2nd gear synchro issue) as pictured in my profile.
 

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Curious how this story will end up.
My initial response was "I hope it is less than $9000...." No way would I buy a borked roller for $16. You can get running 987.1Bs for $18K.

My buddy has a 997.2 Carerra S with 3.8 and PSE and it is fine! Open the valves and it rocks out. Would love it if my Cayman had that motor.

Tha said, I got my Cayman S nearly new with 20,000 miles on it for $26,500. There's a lot you can do with that amount of money.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
So to close this out, I flew to WA and ended up buying the car for $14K. Yea, I know that's likely more than it's worth, but it was everything I wanted and getting it now was worth not waiting to see if another might pop up for cheaper that was also what I wanted. And sure, I probably fell into a little sunk cost fallacy with the plane tickets and such, but oh well. The point wasn't to end up with a running Cayman for the cheapest possible. What I decided I want is a Cayman that I can do some restoration/customization to and end up with a built 3.8, so starting with a running car would be an unneeded extra expense. I confirmed that the noise is bore scoring, which is good because it means the rest of the engine should make for a good core. Now I just need to figure out what route I want to go for the engine build. Vision? Flat 6? DIY with an LN short block? Decisions still to be made. I’ll make a thread about the rebuild once I get started.
 

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I refrained from replying until now. And mostly because I could actually see an argument either way.

But now? Well, you've made it easy for me to drop the actual debate on should/shouldn't, but instead go ALL IN on one side!

I hope you are up to sharing with us the story as it goes along. I admit that I am intrigued with your vision and strategy. It's easy to take the surer route and there's nothing wrong with the vast majority that do. But you DO now have an opportunity to end up with EXACTLY the car YOU want it to be. That's what I want to be a viewer of. If you don't mind, of course. :)

Life is short. Sometimes you just take the bull by the horns.

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So to close this out, I flew to WA and ended up buying the car for $14K. Yea, I know that's likely more than it's worth, but it was everything I wanted and getting it now was worth not waiting to see if another might pop up for cheaper that was also what I wanted. And sure, I probably fell into a little sunk cost fallacy with the plane tickets and such, but oh well. The point wasn't to end up with a running Cayman for the cheapest possible. What I decided I want is a Cayman that I can do some restoration/customization to and end up with a built 3.8, so starting with a running car would be an unneeded extra expense. I confirmed that the noise is bore scoring, which is good because it means the rest of the engine should make for a good core. Now I just need to figure out what route I want to go for the engine build. Vision? Flat 6? DIY with an LN short block? Decisions still to be made. I’ll make a thread about the rebuild once I get started.
I can't wait to see what you do, congrats on the purchase. Caymans are simply the best handling cars and I may be bias, but I think the first gen are the best looking.

275249
 

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Caymans are simply the best handling cars and I may be bias, but I think the first gen are the best looking.

View attachment 275249
My only argument, and you could be right, is that when my Boxster of the same Era rotates in a turn, I catch myself thinking the same thing. How can a oem car handle better than this? :)

And I do agree that the 987.1-2 is just plain classic beauty.

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For those still thinking about this kind of thing - for $4k more than the OP's purchase, you can have a Boxster S with a Vision-built 3.8.
 
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