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AAZCD
AAZCD New Reader
3/13/18 1:26 a.m.

Tagged.

The salvage title arrived in the mail today! I took that to the Tag Agency, quickly filed for my rebuilt title, and got the car registered. (Custom plates will take about 3 months to get in Oklahoma.) Now I can daily-drive the car around town for a while to get a better feel for it and sort out some of the minor issues.

Getting ready to drive, the first thing I noticed was that the PS pump was noisy. I checked the dipstick and it was dry. I expect there's a leak in the tubing, but for today, I just topped it off.

My first stop was a car wash. Up till now, I have just rinsed the car with a hose. It was good to give it a full wash. There's a long way to go still with a 'macro view' before I focus on detailing.

Driving felt good. Just a lap on the bypass around town, then a run through the undeveloped industrial area. At one point, as I was a little side-ways on dirt, the PSM and ABS warning lights came on. I tried to reset, but they came right back when I started the car. Quick analysis showed a bad fuse. I had put a 7.5 amp where a 25 amp should be (E9). ...I'm needing reading glasses more often than I admit.

It arrived with vinyl headlight covers installed, and I have them back on now. Until I get the car in shape, they are probably going to stay on. The covers aren't pretty, but underneath, the headlight lenses look new.

I've been looking at tires. The rears need to be replaced. I'm probably going to go with FFI500 and keep the Michelins on the front for a while still. I feel bad about mixing tires, but its purely a street car and I'm going to go with the Firestones all around when the Michelins start to get worn.

The SE muffler and tip should be shipped later this week. Shipping that kind of stuff affordably isn't easy. I've talked the seller through how to pack it and I'm emailing him a FedEx label from my account.

The video:

 

AAZCD
AAZCD New Reader
3/13/18 1:29 p.m.

I just saw this on another forum's Classified section: "2004 Boxster S 550 Edition Special Edition 4,800 miles" ($34,550)

http://986forum.com/forums/boxsters-cayman-cars-sale-wanted/71369-2004-boxster-s-550-edition-special-edition-4-800-miles.html

Very cool to see such a pristine Boxster, but it makes me sad. I don't want to E36 M3 in his for sale thread, so I'll comment here, away from view.

2004 with ~4,800 miles comes out to 343 miles a year. The ad says, " ...collector quality example. Driven and enjoyed on only nice days.". I grew up in New Hampshire, where the car is located. I guess that since climate change melted the Polar Ice caps, there's only a week or so of "nice days" every year in NH. ...and the roads; when I learned to drive in my dad's '71 Super Beetle convertible and '78 Celica GT, all the roads were glorious and twisty, beckoning to any driver with a stick shift to tame them. Yes, they widened and leveled much of NH 101, and the southern half of the state may be over-run with SUVs and Toyota Prii, but 343 miles a year on a 'driver's car'?

What to do? Coat it in Cosmoline, shrink-wrap it, and hide it in a barn? I'm guessing that future generations will have no idea of it's former purpose. I say, put some fresh tires on it and run the odometer up to 'normal'.

 

Toyman01
Toyman01 MegaDork
3/13/18 2:29 p.m.

All of the sudden, I feel sane for buying a 60 year old bus, 1100 miles from home. 

 

Good luck with the resurrection.

AAZCD
AAZCD New Reader
3/17/18 1:07 a.m.

In reply to Toyman01 : I've read about half way through the epic journey now. No... I'm afraid that my lack of touch with reality does not make you look sane by a long stretch (Great story).

Now that it's on the road, I can bring it in to work and focus on some of the details. I spent a couple hours this evening on basic cleaning of door jams, the rollbar, and leather. The brakes are still shedding enough rust/dust that the wheels don't stay clean long. The car is getting better, but it will need a good pull-apart cleaning to get it where I want it. With the soaking, dirt got everywhere. Current floor mats are just extras I had. I plan to get Coco Mats for it when I'm finished with the major work.

I've found that the car has a fairly significant leak from the power steering rack. After looking it up in the service manual, there are no procedures to repair the rack other than replace it. I'm glad that the parts car I picked up has a good rack. I'll probably keep topping it off and drive it for the next several days, then swap it out next week. I have about 100 miles on the car now and I'd like at least 200 (even better, 500) before I garage it again for more checks, and service.

Dammit
Dammit New Reader
3/17/18 3:23 a.m.

I expect you are already well aware of this - but just in case, the stainless steel door striker plates are bolted directly to the mild steel body of all 996/986 era cars, which pretty much guarantees galvanic corrosion will occur.

If you pull the door strikers and install a £0.72 VW parts-bin gasket then this problem is removed:

Well worth doing before the rot starts, rather than having to grind it back/paint/etc later on.

AAZCD
AAZCD New Reader
4/13/18 10:19 p.m.

I had planned to drive it with the leak in the power steering rack for a while. At first, it didn't look too bad. After a couple drives, it seemed like I was just pouring the fluid straight through to my driveway. A few drips of PS fluid on the under carriage, I thought was okay. A few pints, not so good.

I stopped driving the car.
I wanted to fix it quickly and get back to driving the car, but life got busy. I covered the car and it sat for a few weeks. Eventually everything aligned – decent weather, decent health, time off, and space in the garage.

  • Installed the steering rack from the '01 S parts car in the SE.
  • Replaced the rear drop links and control arms.
  • New rear tires (Firestone Firehawk Indy 500).
  • Repaired some plastic panels.
  • Rear spoiler was a little misaligned – fixed it.
  • Installed a custom dashboard cover as a temporary cosmetic fix. (Hate it, poor fit and cheap looking).
  • General cleaning.

Plastic repair. Plastic weld the cracks, but not worried about a smooth finish.
I used a Polyvance welding kit (Thanks to Oldcarguy)

Plastic welding video: https://youtu.be/3PsBPZAUZWE

I have the replacement SE muffler now, but I don't plan to install it until I take the rear bumper off for repair. No rush to get that done.
The cars needs an alignment after the work I did. Everything looks good and feels right when I drive. I was careful to mark everything and install the new parts to the same position, but I know that's not 'good enough' for long term. The shop in town is not comfortable doing a Porsche. I've learned that if a shop tells you that they are not comfortable working on your car, it's best to walk away rather than ask them to give it a try anyway. I'll probably have to drive an hour to Tulsa to get it done. That means setting up an appointment somewhere and using the better part of a day off to get it done.
Tomorrow there's a PCA event (Car Detailing Clinic) in Tulsa. I plan on going and driving the SE as it is. I drove it to work this evening and the check engine light came on. I have no way to check it until I get home in the morning. It's running smooth and sounds good, so hopefully it's a quick, easy fix.

JamesMcD
JamesMcD SuperDork
4/14/18 12:52 p.m.

I'm away from my family on a Saturday, here at work, and got distracted reading this thread instead of working. 

AAZCD
AAZCD New Reader
4/14/18 9:14 p.m.

I had a good drive today. Put over 150 miles on it. It felt good. My daughter and I went to the car detailing clinic with the Porsche club, then visited my son and grand daughter near Tulsa. The only problem with the car was that the heater was blowing cold air and the outside temperature was in the high 30s. The best remedy for that was closing the vents and turning on the heated seats. I think the mixing door for the heater is jammed.

The check engine light from last night was legit, but easy to fix. The bank 2 primary O2 sensor was failing. Maybe residual from the flooding – I don't think I ever cleaned that sensor. It took less than 15 minutes to jack up the car and replace with a 'gently used' one that I had on the shelf.

Refueling today, my daughter driving 'THAT' and me with the SE:

I am starting to feel that the basics of this car are sound now, but there is still a long way to go to consider it recovered. I still have lots of simple things to do, like replace the wheel center caps and reinstall the original steering wheel. As I continue to clean the car, areas I have not yet addressed really stand out. I also have some major things to take car of such as the dashboard and pulling the carpet out to completely dry the padding underneath.

AAZCD
AAZCD New Reader
4/29/18 10:58 a.m.

I've been daily driving the car for the last couple weeks. Today I did some minor cosmetic fixes. The 'S' badge on the trunk was damaged - cracked with the top of the S coming off. I replaced it today with a red S using some 3M tape and a repainted S from my track car.


I also replaced the center caps that were missing the Porsche crest with some silver ones. I don't like the result. I'm going to pull a faded set off one of my other cars and paint them Seal Gray including the crest and see how that looks. The center caps with a plastic crest have more relief than the metal ones, so it should stand out without the colored paint.

My garage is occupied by another car at the moment, but when I get that project done, the SE is going back in for some major work. I plan to fix the rear bumper, install the correct muffler, pull and completely dry the carpet padding, fix the heater, and replace the dashboard. I bought a dashboard from an '03 996 that is 'Natural Brown Leather'. I'm going to attempt to dye that darker to match the Cocoa Brown and install it.

AngryCorvair
AngryCorvair MegaDork
4/29/18 6:14 p.m.

In reply to AAZCD :

In your stash of parts, do you have a 5-speed transaxle and shifter you'd like to sell cheap for a Challenge build?  Asking for a friend.

AAZCD
AAZCD New Reader
4/30/18 12:00 p.m.

In reply to AngryCorvair :

I have a shifter ...somewhere, but I think it's for the 6-speed - I've ripped apart a couple for short shifter swaps. I'm not sure what the difference is, but they are different parts. I'll look for it tonight and see which it is.

Here's a reference for the part numbers (M481 is 5-speed, M480, 6 speed):

The only spare transaxle I have is a 6-speed (2000 S) and I'm holding onto it as a spare. I think you will find that a cheaper, easier alternative is the Audi/VW O1E transmission from the FWD B5 Passats, and A4s. There are a few minor differences, such as the axle stubs, but parts can be swapped between the Porsche and Audi/VW version. Here's a thread: https://986forum.com/forums/diy-project-guides/56663-audi-transmission-swap-diy-thread.html

AngryCorvair
AngryCorvair MegaDork
4/30/18 1:14 p.m.

In reply to AAZCD :

found a B5 FWD 5-speed for $100 on my local CL today.  it's worth a roll of the dice.  

AAZCD
AAZCD New Reader
4/30/18 10:24 p.m.

In reply to AngryCorvair :

That sounds like a great deal. I never find deals like that and end up buying a whole junk car just to get a odd few bolts.

I found my extra shifter. Its from a 6-speed, but looking over it, I really don't see what makes it different from the 5-speed. In the car, the 5-speed reverse it bottom right and 6-speed is top left. How that works when they both look the same must be some sort of magic. I'm going to ask on the 986 forum if anyone can explain it to me. Are they interchangeable? Probably not, but I expect that a GRM Challenge builder could make it work with a Dremel and a little epoxy. Figure out if you want it. Shipping cost will be under $20, so for $25 I could turn a shifter I won't ever use  into a 6-pack of cheap beer I will use.

AAZCD
AAZCD New Reader
5/1/18 7:50 a.m.

I'm going to ask on the 986 forum if anyone can explain it to me. Are they interchangeable?

So, the answer from the best used Boxster parts guy ever is:

"I always thought they were the same. I've sold shifters that came out of a 5 speed to someone who needed it for a 6 speed and vice versa. No one has ever had a problem."

http://986forum.com/forums/569233-post2.html

AngryCorvair
AngryCorvair MegaDork
5/1/18 11:13 a.m.

i will let you know, thanks!

AAZCD
AAZCD New Reader
5/2/18 12:28 p.m.

Trouble?

Driving to work yesterday and again on the way home, it felt like the engine shut off just for a moment. There was no check engine light, it didn't miss, or run rough. It was as though I had turned the ignition off, but only for a few seconds. I don't think that it fully stalled out, but there was no throttle response. Then it was normal again with smooth power through the full range, no hesitation.
Given that the car was submerged and left to rot for months with no care, I can't say that I'm surprised or worried. It's just part of the process of resurrecting a car like this. The first thought when it happened was a quick, "Oh E36 M3!", but when it quickly came back on and ran normal, my heart rate returned to normal as well.
What do I think is wrong? Umm... something electrical. Those pesky electrons can make all sorts of mischief. In this case electrical could be fuel, ignition, or engine control ($5 bet it's electrical-fuel). Bad ground, power, or signal. The thing that I don't like about troubleshooting intermittent problems is that they are hard to find when they are not occurring. I'm going to go for a few laps of the bypass around town and see if it happens again. Probably by this weekend, I'll 'pull the car offline for a few weeks' and put it in the garage for it's next major disassembly and servicing. In doing that I can trace through the systems and clean them up some more.

nderwater
nderwater UltimaDork
5/2/18 12:59 p.m.

Great photo!  Appreciate the updates.

Dammit
Dammit New Reader
5/2/18 1:34 p.m.

That is indeed a great photo.

Do you get into legal trouble if you remove the bumperettes in the US?

AAZCD
AAZCD New Reader
5/2/18 9:53 p.m.

In reply to Dammit :

I don't think there is any legal problem removing them. Most of the spec racing guys have removed the bumperettes (often most of the metal bumper too) and some of those car are still street legal in California. Here in Oklahoma I'm sure it's not a problem at all. As with most European import cars, the Euro-style bumpers are considered an improvement. The US bumpers have a significant cut-out to mount the bumperettes.

I took the car out for a long drive today. Before I went, I poked and re-seated all the relays and fuses. I could not get it to have the problem again. I tired everything; steady at 2,500 rpm and 5,000 rpm, hard acceleration and deceleration, turns, and driving over bumps. The only problem I had was when my phone flew out of the cubby and got lost under the passenger seat. ...I love this car. Still, I'm going to check and clean the connections during my next service.

Dammit
Dammit New Reader
5/3/18 2:08 a.m.

I’m getting the bodyshop to mount reversing sensors to my 996 rear bumper- final task before I get it back. I’m using very simple, flush little sensors which are barely visible- in stark contrast to the factory fit units which are vile carbuncles that afflict the aesthetic of any car to which they are fitted. 

The 911 is not an easy car to reverse without them, however, hence why I am fitting them- how’s the Boxster in that department?

AngryCorvair
AngryCorvair MegaDork
5/3/18 6:37 a.m.

In reply to AAZCD :

My buddy's 911 did that. It was either the ducting to the MAF came loose and intermittently allowed a giant unmetered air leak, or the electrical connector to the MAF was not seated correctly and occasionally dropped signal. I don't remember which.

AAZCD
AAZCD New Reader
5/3/18 9:31 a.m.
Dammit said:

I’m getting the bodyshop to mount reversing sensors to my 996 rear bumper- final task before I get it back. I’m using very simple, flush little sensors which are barely visible- in stark contrast to the factory fit units which are vile carbuncles that afflict the aesthetic of any car to which they are fitted. 

The 911 is not an easy car to reverse without them, however, hence why I am fitting them- how’s the Boxster in that department?

The Boxsters are a little better than the 996 for rear visibility, but it's still not great, One time I was backing out of parking and heard an old woman shriek behind me. There was no contact between my car and her, but the noise was quite unnerving. Until all pedestrians are equipped  to make that sound I will be much more cautious when backing.

I really enjoyed having the sensors on my Audi and some rental cars, but for me it is easier to install a rear facing camera than do a full retrofit of the reversing sensors. Here's a link to a Boxster owner who updated his to get rid of the carbuncles/warts: https://986forum.com/forums/diy-project-guides/62545-clean-look-parkassist.html

 

AAZCD
AAZCD New Reader
5/3/18 9:35 a.m.

In reply to AngryCorvair :

I had the MAF out when I was cleaning up before the first start and it is entirely possible that I got distracted and left it a little loose. I'll check on that, thanks.

white_fly
white_fly Reader
5/22/18 12:55 a.m.

Did the SE make it into the garage this month? If this turns out to be a perfectly good car, it is going to give me a very high (and unwarranted) level of confidence for my own projects.

AAZCD
AAZCD New Reader
5/22/18 10:30 a.m.

In reply to white_fly :

Well, it made it into the garage, then came back out with very little work done. Yesterday I replaced the brake rotors and pads on my wife's Honda. I can still drive it, but really want to get it all sorted out before I put a lot of miles on. For the next couple weeks, I'm not going to have much garage time, but I plan to bring the replacement dashboard to work with me and continue work on stripping and re-dying it.

The replacement dashboard color is 'Natural Leather', but when I started working with it I found that the 'Natural Leather' is a thick coat of paint. Now after doing some reading, I'm stripping the surface by lightly scrubbing/fine sanding with lacquer thinner. For the cocoa brown color, I experimented with an old pair of boots and found that Minwax ebony wood stain matches the color well. To get a good even color on the dash, is going to take a lot of effort and patience.

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