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Discussion Starter #1
Howdy,

I've been looking to buy a 987 Cayman to use primarily for track days and some highway trips, anywhere from 2006 - 2012 or so with a < $40k budget. I found one I like and (thanks to the forum here) have a good idea of some things to look out for. I love the car but that said, I'm still a bit iffy on it and wondering about a few things:

  • Car is a 2006 with < 28k miles on it, concerned it might have sat a lot and not been driven enough. Is this a concern?
  • Don't see much on the carfax as far as oil changes, though I understand this info is often not recorded/reported. There are a few maintenance records.
  • Car has 4 owners and last two turned it over rather quickly, < 9 months each. Do y'all get concerned about cars with those sort of ownerships?
  • Car is being sold by a private dealer rather than a Porsche dealer - what do y'all usually look for as far as dealer rep? On the plus side they have great reviews.

Other things I thought about:
  • I read here about the Bore scoring issue, obviously a risk though sounds like affects < 5% of cars. This one started up and ran with no smoke.
  • Also read about RMS issues, seems not too expensive to fix so not terribly concerned on that.

Mostly curious if y'all would have any red flags in the above and how to think about them (or any other general tips in case I go with a different car). Ideally I'd like to buy and keep 5+ years. Thanks!
 

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It is worth the money to have a Porsche dealership do a PPI. They will look through all of the typical areas of concern. Since you have been on the forum I would guess you know plenty about the IMS concerns. While the IMS engine itself isn't a show stopper, having your specific budget I would recommend going up to a 2009 - 2012 where you get the newer engine platform without IMS and with direct injection and available PDK (if desired).
I was in your same position a few years ago. I too looked at the 987.1 options but ended up with a 2011 Cayman S with Sport Chrono, PASM and PDK for under $40K. It has been the perfect combination of track car and daily driver.
 

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2006 will have the unserviceable IMS bearing. That would be my concern with such a low mileage example. Also, and probably more likely, is that a lot of the rubber will have rotted out (as opposed to worn out). Have a mechanic go through all the suspension and check for play in the bushings. Also, check the date code on the tires.

The options that will make the car more desirable include - S model, PASM, Sport Chrono, sport bucket seats.

Personally, I would avoid one with Bose or with PCM (Porsche Communications Management). Those two sound options make it very difficult and costly to update the stereo system.

Also, I would avoid one that has been too heavily modified.
 

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I don't agree at all with low mileage concerns. Do you guys realize which used cars are more coveted? Forty six years in the business says low mileage examples. Mine has has very low mileage, it also has maintenance records from zero and runs like a Swiss watch. The way a car was treated and dauntless maintenance is way more important than a pile of miles upon it's odometer. Buy a used one with say 80K, everything on that car has 80K right down to the seat springs, also what's the projected mileage at payoff? Nervousness over buying and being stung with an expensive repair is normal, thinking it can be managed by PPI or the mileage guessing game is folly. Just my opinion nobody needs to agree, my car had 2,200 on it, I'm glad it did. My 986 had more than 10k annual miles, guess how that worked out? Made no difference when the M96 engine took a powder. In retrospect I have reason to believe my 986 lived hard in it's teen years, that was worse than it's mileage.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks, I think all of the thoughts posted here are valuable so appreciate the input:

  • IMS: Was not aware of this one actually, thank you for flagging. Will read.
  • PCM/Bose is also a good catch, I want to get some kind of aux input and I hear it is pricey with those configurations.
  • Agreed mileage is a bad heuristic and that maintenance is the thing to look for. In this case there are no maintenance records and spotty coverage on the carfax (I see only 1 oil change and ~3 services on there)

My take aligns with what haig_bill said, initially I set my search parameters as 2009-2012 only given the reliability improvements in that generation. However I am looking for 6-speed and have seen precisely 0 cars listed in that spec in the past two weeks, they seem exceedingly rare at this point. Given all of this input I may keep looking for 2009-2012 and expect the search to take longer or consider more investigation / PPI for the one I am looking at.

Much appreciated!
 

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If you are focusing on track duty, for sure get a 2009 or newer. The new engine (9A1 vs M97) is much better. The M97s need quite a few things done to them to make them live under track conditions, the 9A1s need nothing. The 9A1 engines are really bullet-proof.

I paid $38K for my 22K mile 2010 Cayman S (with PDK). These are rare cars, and the 6 speeds are even rarer, so you'll have to be patient.
 

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Two weeks of looking isn’t likely to find a 987.2. I looked for six months for a base model Boxster in a non-boring color. I ended up with a 2010 I bought through Bringatrailer and had it shipped. Sales numbers were abysmal in the wake of the Great Recession.


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You will notice that there are about 10X's as many 987.1 S's on the market as 987.2S. Not only that most of the 987.1S are 6 MT rather than tiptronic or PDK. So your budget for a 50% race 50% driver would be about $5000 for the additional engine protection and modification to the suspension needed.

Engine, starting with a LN deep sump/windage plate and X51 oil well, 987 Porsche Motorsports AOS, 3rd radiator, 996 oil/water heat exchanger, oil temperature and oil pressure gauges, Ohlin R&T coilovers, Tarett GT adjustable swaybars, RE71R tires. That should get you started down the slippery slope of racing.

Later, you can add the roll cage, race seats, racing harness, wider light weight wheels, Tarett down links, corner balance, big brake kits, better rotor cooling, Numeric short shifter and cables, light weight flywheel, ATB LSD (Wavetrac). Please use Joe Gibbs XP-9 oil for your race events to assure your rod bearings have the correct oil film protection for the temperature occurring during the event.

Good luck and keep up updated on your progress.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks all, really loving the amount of knowledge and community here. Going to settle in for the long haul on the 2009-2012 search.
 

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I bought my 2009 Boxster (base) from a seller on this forum that used to post cars for sale on a fairly frequent basis.
I think these days he is more frequently on the 986forum dot com website.

I'd suggest you look him up. He goes by "Husker".
If he doesn't currently have a car for you, he would make a most excellent resource/contact to help find a car - as he has a lot of Porsche contacts and is very respected in the Porsche community.

Wishing you success on your search.
#ThumbsUP

Tom
 

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How much tracking are you planning? Both P9 and Rennlist tend to bias towards the S. I would drive both the base and S to decide if the power delta is worth it for you or not.

The base 987.1 isn’t prone to bore scoring and the IMS has been upgraded in the 2007 and 2008 model years.
 

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In retrospect I have reason to believe my 986 lived hard in it's teen years, that was worse than it's mileage.
I kindly disagree, If you don't change proper oil, over-rev the engine (report), push without warming up - it will surely affect longevity of the engine, but - M9X engines are incomparable with the new architecture of engines such as the MA1.21. Different materials, closed deck design... I bet that you can sit an incompetent driver in a 987.2 and a great mechanic in the 986 and 986 will still crack cylinder heads, score and do other **** that is unheard of in MA1.21 engines.
 

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I didn't have the 986 from new, I think it had maybe 30K on it. No records, unknown service history. I also found damage years later suggesting some things were hidden with purpose by the selling dealer. Maybe a week after owning it I realized the wheels were bent, it was so slight I thought it was the tires, the wheels were swapped by the selling dealer too; it was supposed to have sport classics. I was naïve about the 986 but at that time there was nothing known about it's future issues. There are plenty of 986 cars that made it to triple digit odometer readings. Regardless of the car or what brand, excellent service performed on time always matters, period. Not beating the car is always a factor too, no matter what. It does not mean nothing can happen and you're right it cannot overcome a design flaw but it's the best insurance a car owner has. The true crucial error was trusting the selling dealer. If I understand you correctly you are saying with the 986 how it was treated is moot, I don't agree with that at all. Otherwise there would be no examples of longevity. When all is said and done I wouldn't ever buy another one because Porsche skated on their responsibility, frankly I was never going to buy another Porsche because of their arrogant stance. The car never saw 50K that left me with feelings you can't use the words to type on P9, haha. Having worked in the fortune 100, I would not be surprised one iota if Porsche knew they were shipping potential paper weights. I caught my company doing worse with medical products, I was shocked and lost a lot of respect that day.
 

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Not sure about a great mechanic bore scoring or cracking cylinder heads. The 986 has a 24 hour race that really beats the crap out of these cars. Some use dry sump to eliminate rod bearing scarring, but the engine is the same as standard in other respects. In other words, yes if you allow the coolant to leak out and run air in the system, then yes heads could crack. That why Porsche says to always check your coolant level. Use of race oil will help reduce the risk of rod bearing scarring from intense oil heat feeding rod bearing #6 and maybe low oil pressure during high G cornering. Deep sumps with x-51 baffles and windage tray help keep the oil in place, but a oil pressure and oil temperature gauge certainly would help here. Center radiator is a must as well. So some of the issue can be overcome, but still you could have a catastrophic engine bill due to some minute part failure. Say, rod bolts if the wrong gear was selected downshifting.

The real issue is there simply is not enough inventory of the 987.2's to satisfy the current demand, especially the manual version for a track car. That is what is making the older version more appealing with a larger inventory.
 

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Good points... And to be honest - first time around I had cash only for low miles gen 1 S and I didn't think twice. Not many people mention it but 3.4 M97 sounds better/has more character with RPM than gen 2 (maybe except near redline).
 

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To add a couple more whacks to this dead horse, I bought my 2005 Boxster S with 114k miles. I paid for a PPI but, being naive, it didn't uncover a bad valve seal. But otherwise, it was a decent engine, just ate oil pretty badly.

I swapped that engine for an older M96 3.8L with a serviceable IMS (already replaced with the L&N version) a deep sump, Nickies, and a race crank. I don't track my car but do some spirited canyon driving almost every weekend. I feel much better about this engine that the older one.
 

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Howdy,

I've been looking to buy a 987 Cayman to use primarily for track days and some highway trips, anywhere from 2006 - 2012 or so with a < $40k budget. I found one I like and (thanks to the forum here) have a good idea of some things to look out for. I love the car but that said, I'm still a bit iffy on it and wondering about a few things:

  • Car is a 2006 with < 28k miles on it, concerned it might have sat a lot and not been driven enough. Is this a concern?
  • Don't see much on the carfax as far as oil changes, though I understand this info is often not recorded/reported. There are a few maintenance records.
  • Car has 4 owners and last two turned it over rather quickly, < 9 months each. Do y'all get concerned about cars with those sort of ownerships?
  • Car is being sold by a private dealer rather than a Porsche dealer - what do y'all usually look for as far as dealer rep? On the plus side they have great reviews.

Other things I thought about:
  • I read here about the Bore scoring issue, obviously a risk though sounds like affects < 5% of cars. This one started up and ran with no smoke.
  • Also read about RMS issues, seems not too expensive to fix so not terribly concerned on that.

Mostly curious if y'all would have any red flags in the above and how to think about them (or any other general tips in case I go with a different car). Ideally I'd like to buy and keep 5+ years. Thanks!
I was looking for a Cayman S for about 4 years for DE purposes. Talking to a lot of PCA tech people, they recommended an S and 987.2. I wanted PDK and sport chrono. Needless to say, a car with these options is harder to find than you think and I was looking for something around $30k. Another problem. I came across 2 cars last February, an R with 99k that was being sold by a Porsche dealer. This car was extensively tracked. The 2nd car was an 11 S that had design package. Essentially, the R aero package. The car had 101k on it. I talked to my shop and they said if the car was maintained, no worries, better to be driven than standing. I had the car PPI at a Porsche Dealership. Excellent PPI. Bottomline, they told me there was nothing that they found that would stop them buying the car. I bought it and did DE in it. Flawless performance. Prior to putting it away for winter, changed the oil and sent it out for analysis. Came back perfect. If you are careful and proceed with the right steps, a high mileage car is not a problem. I think it makes sense for a track car. You have to be thorough and get lucky.
272655
 
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