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I've thought about buying a cayman for a while, specifically a cayman S (987). Any known issues to look out for? Is it a good idea to get a bore scoring inspection done before buying a car? What kind of prices should I expect to pay for a 987 cayman s? Do you think the 987 may be a future classic? I drove a 2007 cayman S a few days ago and I really liked it! I hope to test drive more.


I currently live in Las vegas. I have been searching there and in California. I am trying to buy one with less than 70,000 miles on it. Preferably under 50,000 miles. Is the 987.2 better than the 987.1?

I have so many questions! Any useful advice and/or leads on where to buy one would be very appreciated!
 

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Just picked up a Cayman S 2006 with 88,000 on it but it was clean as whistle. Just had a new clutch but on at 83.000. First question do you want an automatic or a stick. Automatics cost less. The 987S models will become a classic they are the best value for the money right now. They can make a good track car which is why I bought it. I suggest look in Autotrader. There is a real nice one in central California. I passed it up because this one was closer and had same milage plus it had all the maintenance records. Try to look for one owner or two owners. They generally keep maintenance records.
 

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I am definitely looking for a manual transmission!

wow 88000 miles with 2 owners from before? The one I test drove actually had around the same mileage, it seemed pretty clean but I felt a "thunk" in the rear every time I let off the gas so I didnt feel confident about buying it. However it had a long list of maintenance which was nice but it had been through 4 owners already! They were asking $21,000 for it.

Ill do some more searching in autotrader, thank you!

Also I saw there is a buying guide in the forums... probably should of looked there first before starting this thread....
 

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I only paid $18,000 for mine. You should not go above $20K for one over $80K. Good luck on your search. A 987.2 is going to be a difficult find so look carefully on the 987.1.
I am impressed with the car. I had a 981S Boxster it was a better car but really not suitable for the track.
 

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What made the boxster a better car?? When was first starting to research Porsches I initially wanted a boxster s because their prices are so low right now but then i looked into the cayman and became convinced thats the one to get. My reasoning was they would be more comfy and structurally stiffer compared to the convertible boxster. And of course a Cayman would have more track potential.
 

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Disclaimer: I've only owned mine for about six months. I am no expert, but I did a lot of paranoid research while quickly plotting my purchase :) Also, whatever you do, get a PPI from someone who specializes in euro cars, or ideally Porsches in particular.

The primary things to look out for on a 987.1 (especially an S car) are bore scoring and the IMS bearing. The former involves the linings on the cylinder walls and pistons wearing off and eventually causing the piston to scrape into the cylinder wall itself. This is fatal to the engine. See: Cylinder Bore (Scoring). A PPI can check for this with a borescope into the spark plug holes (it may also burn a decent amount of oil if advanced enough). The base engine is not as affected by this, for reasons I currently cannot remember.

The IMS bearing can fail on early 987.1 cars, with likelihood varying on exactly which revision of the engine you have. AFAIK this really only affects very early Caymans, after this they used an updated design which makes the failure rate practically negligible. The downside is this redesign cannot be replaced with a permanent fix without disassembling the motor, though it's not really as necessary a prophylactic as on the earlier cars. In short, most Caymans are probably fine, but you won't get the option to set up a permanent fix like on earlier cars (e.g. 996, 986).

Aside from those, there are a few smaller issues that can crop up:

The air/oil separator or AOS (basically a fancy PCV valve) will likely fail, causing oil to enter the air intake tract. This is a ~100 dollar part and can be fixed in the driveway with a couple hours and basic hand tools. Mine went like right after I bought the car, and I did the fix myself without any trouble. The hardest bit was getting the intake tube apart so I could clean the oil out :)

Water pumps aren't known for longevity, but on the bright side the parts aren't crazy expensive and they're external, belt-driven pumps rather than run off the timing chain. If you have access to a lift it looks to be doable by a decent shadetree mechanic, assuming you crimp the hoses down and keep all the coolant where it belongs. IIRC my local indie quoted like six or seven hundred for the job with a full coolant flush and fill.

If you have the mid-range stereo (sound package plus, not the Bose), the amplifier running the door woofers will probably fail. This is easily replaced with a small Class D amp (though there isn't a wiring harness kit available that I've found, so cut-n-splice is your option). I have yet to order an amp, as I really don't use the radio much in my car.

There may be more Things To Watch For that someone else can fill in, but that's what I know of. Beyond that you got normal used car problems like deferred maintenance or scuffed seats or whatever. Mine's been great for 4k miles, with the exception of that damn AOS and my tinny stereo :) All told these cars aren't that expensive to run if you can DIY enough of the maintenance items. Parts are expensive, but not that much more than what I was used to paying on my old Infiniti, and if you can get the car in the air most stuff isn't that hard to work on.

TL;DR: There are a couple issues to look out for engine-wise, but otherwise these are great cars, and surprisingly practical. Mine happily does everything I need it to, up to and including smaller hardware store runs. Fun fact: between the frunk, rear cargo area, and passenger footwell you can fit a surprising number of bags-o-gravel into one of these.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
SOLID info!!!

Thank you this is exactly the kind of insight i was looking for. I currently have a honda s2000 that I enjoy working on so doing maintenance and replacing parts on a Porsche is something I plan on doing where applicable. And I keep hearing it again and again... take the car to a shop and check for Bore scoring. But yeah thats good advice to take it to a place that specializes in euro cars and preferably Porsches.
 

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The IMS bearing is way overblown for the 987 Cayman. Its the final rendition of the IMS and it's pretty reliable. The bore scoring is an issue that needs to be addressed on a PPI. So have one done specifically looking at that issue, then anything else that the PPI uncoves. Yes, these cars 987.1, make great canyon drivers, moderate track cars due to oiling issues, although fixes are available. 9A1 is a better track engine, so if that is your goal, pony up now as they are priced accordingly.
 

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Ah ok, the 9A1 engine is for the 987.2 correct? Ive heard its better for track days and it has some other improvements. It would be cool to get that engine however I likely wont ever track my car. My intention is to drive it through canyons, twisties and on road trips.
 

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OK, then a 987.1 S is for you. Get a PPI done. What to look for as far as OEM options are, Sports Chrono, PASM, are the two most important. Then the milage and general shape of the car. I would look for one that has been well kept in a garage, polished and great interior in a color that suits you.
 

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I didnt even know those were available options, I looked them up and they seem pretty cool! I think it would be nice to have a limited slip differential as an option but Im not sure if they were offered for 987.1 caymans.
 

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I have not seen an OEM one on a used 987.1 either. Wavetrac does make a big difference, especially if you are using tires like Michelin P4Ss. Running wide R rated tires in competition they make a difference as well. Either way, a good investment.
 

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I have not seen an OEM one on a used 987.1 either. Wavetrac does make a big difference, especially if you are using tires like Michelin P4Ss. Running wide R rated tires in competition they make a difference as well. Either way, a good investment.
 

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I've thought about buying a cayman for a while, specifically a cayman S (987). Any known issues to look out for? Is it a good idea to get a bore scoring inspection done before buying a car? What kind of prices should I expect to pay for a 987 cayman s? Do you think the 987 may be a future classic? I drove a 2007 cayman S a few days ago and I really liked it! I hope to test drive more.


I currently live in Las vegas. I have been searching there and in California. I am trying to buy one with less than 70,000 miles on it. Preferably under 50,000 miles. Is the 987.2 better than the 987.1?

I have so many questions! Any useful advice and/or leads on where to buy one would be very appreciated!
Not mentioned are 2 important engine health indicators; Get an engine DME / Rev report (6 Ranges) which can be viewed with a Diagnostic tool such as Durametric, Foxwell etc.. Also a recent Used Oil Analysys sample (ie. Blackstone Labs) taken during a recent oil change. This will give u a picture into the health (wear points) of your engine!
 

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I didn't even consider a 987.1 - once I heard about the engine issues I knew I'd obsess over the possible failure and it would take a lot of the pleasure out of the car for me. So I set my search for 2009-2012 models. I was originally going to skip the Boxster since I grew to hate the noises my various BMW M3 convertibles made. Figured the hardtop would be quieter. Finally saw a Boxster base with PDK, where the owner was considering putting it up for sale (I believe on this forum) - and figured I had nothing to lose by doing a test ride.

The first test ride was in Staten Island - that was really the test for noise. The roads were horrendous... if it was going to flex and make noise - that ride would have revealed it. There was NO noise. The 2nd test drive with it was on my turf - part of NJ where I knew where the good roads are and where I knew a road where I could see what it was like at 100mph. That one sold it for me.. handling, as you know, is wonderful. It was what I was looking for - and with some new tires, I knew it would be perfect for me.

So - 6 months later - I've had no issues except the little compartment below the top - one sides sliding door doesn't close fully. That's going to be addressed while that compartment is removed during the extended 60k service I'm having done (hopefully next week.)

What did the '09 Boxster base/PDK cost? $21.5k, with records, spare exhaust, several covers including a bikini cover (rare), and a brand new OAS. It had about 51k on it when I got it. It now has about 58.5k on it and I remain quite happy with it. This was in NJ in November 2019.

PS - it doesn't keep me awake nights thinking about what could fail on it. Wonderful!
 

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I've thought about buying a cayman for a while, specifically a cayman S (987). Any known issues to look out for? Is it a good idea to get a bore scoring inspection done before buying a car? What kind of prices should I expect to pay for a 987 cayman s? Do you think the 987 may be a future classic? I drove a 2007 cayman S a few days ago and I really liked it! I hope to test drive more.


I currently live in Las vegas. I have been searching there and in California. I am trying to buy one with less than 70,000 miles on it. Preferably under 50,000 miles. Is the 987.2 better than the 987.1?

I have so many questions! Any useful advice and/or leads on where to buy one would be very appreciated!
 

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Wow, a lot of good info here.

Low mileage (less than 50k miles), well taken care of 987.1S should be worry free. You should be able to tell immediately what kind of a deal you're getting into after calling the seller. There should be no question about the condition of the car - engines that score bores are quite obvious. If there are any doubts from the seller or lack of basic knowledge about the car - a PPI is a must. That's my experience buying two 987ns so far.
 

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This was helpful to me. Lot's of good introductory info!

Good Luck
Bruce
 

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make sure you keep your S2k, that car's price will go up, Caymans will still drop but not that much more. I can't justify to sell my E46 M3 with 145k, I know I won't find one like it if I sell it, I still enjoy driving it. But after Cayman there is just no comparison. I think only the special models will hold their value and collector status. But around here is 987 are not very common, mostly newer 911s and 718s
 

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If you plan to track get the 987.2, the nice thing about the 987.2 is that the power of the base is not that much less than the 987.1 S, if you get a 987.1 I would only recommend the S, you get a 6speed trans instead of a 5 speed + a few other things for not a big difference in price, I drive a 987.2 S and have owned a 987.1 S, I really think all the 987 line is great, maintenance if very straight forward and not that expensive if you do it your self, the Porsche Dealership has insane service prices, $350 oil change, $1000 brake jobs.
 
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