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If the engine was replaced ....


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I have read up on how Porsche sleeved engines in the late 90s to avoid scrap, and my brother even had one grenade on him at 55k which Porsche offered no help for (said car was too old). The shoulder at the top of one of his liners cracked off, the liner slid down into the block, and goodbye engine. Is there a way to tell externally which engines are sleeves, like a different letter in the engine number? Thinking of getting a low mile Boxster of that era but do not want one of those engines.
There’s no way to tell and Porsche doesn’t make serial number information public.
Sleeves engines were assembly-line engines that failed inspection for porous blocks.
These were then taken off-line, bored and sleeved and put back on the assembly line.
Most of the slipped sleeve issues happened around 20,000 miles, so if you look for a car with 35,000 or more miles you should be fine.
Happy Boxstering
Pedro

Pedro Bonilla 1998 Boxster 986 - 284,000+ miles: http://www.PedrosGarage.com
PCA National Club Racing Scrutineer - PCA National HPDE Instructor - PCA Technical Committee (Boxster/Cayman)

Racecar spelled backwards is Racecar
"Racing is life. Anything before or after is just waiting" ... Steve McQueen as Michael Delaney in "LeMans"
"If you wait, all that happens is that you get older"... Mario Andretti
"Being second is to be the first of the ones who lose" ... Ayrton Senna
My notes from maybe 10 years ago said:

1. Porous Block - Early '97 engines had a "porous block" problem that generally massively failed within the first 10k. All are thought to have been replaced by now. The best description of this problem I know of is here.

2. Slipped Sleeve - Mid '98 thru early '99 engines had major internal engine slipped sleeve problems that would cause total engine failure. Porsche replaced all the engines that experienced the slipped sleeve problem under warranty (and many after warranty). A replaced engine is a good thing as the replacement engines have actually been more thoroughly tested than the ones put directly into new cars. The best description of this problem I know of is here. I know of nowhere where it lists a manufactured-after date or an engine serial number after which the problem was corrected so that you could know the problem will not affect a specific car.


Unfortunately both references ("here"winking smiley have been removed or moved by PCA.
... what happened was that since the Boxster was such a big success, Porsche's assembly line was overwhelmed.
Prior to this they has inspected every single engine block before it was put on the line. They then started to inspect every fifth one.
Because of this a bunch of porous blocks were assembled and shipped, and eventually started failing. PROBLEM 1

But because they were getting so many orders, Porsche decided to still use those blocks and came up with the idea to bore and sleeve them to solve the porosity.
Doing this solved the porosity, but some eventually slipped the sleeves. PROBLEM 2

But, as you can see, one problem created the other.

Happy Boxstering,
Pedro

Pedro Bonilla 1998 Boxster 986 - 284,000+ miles: http://www.PedrosGarage.com
PCA National Club Racing Scrutineer - PCA National HPDE Instructor - PCA Technical Committee (Boxster/Cayman)

Racecar spelled backwards is Racecar
"Racing is life. Anything before or after is just waiting" ... Steve McQueen as Michael Delaney in "LeMans"
"If you wait, all that happens is that you get older"... Mario Andretti
"Being second is to be the first of the ones who lose" ... Ayrton Senna
D-Chunk - the failure of the cylinder liner sleeve which fractures and a D-shaped piece separates from the end of the sleeve. It is thought to be made more probable by not allowing the car to thoroughly warm up to operating temperature before driving off. Sharp increases in this problem are reported in the cold months. It is least common in 3.2 litre engines.
... their remanufactured engines.
Whenever an engine went through the assembly line a second time it was considered a remanufactured engine and a small dot of blue spray paint was put on the bottom of the engine.
Eventually they did away with this marking, but IIRC this was common through 2006.
Happy Boxstering,
Pedro

Pedro Bonilla 1998 Boxster 986 - 284,000+ miles: http://www.PedrosGarage.com
PCA National Club Racing Scrutineer - PCA National HPDE Instructor - PCA Technical Committee (Boxster/Cayman)

Racecar spelled backwards is Racecar
"Racing is life. Anything before or after is just waiting" ... Steve McQueen as Michael Delaney in "LeMans"
"If you wait, all that happens is that you get older"... Mario Andretti
"Being second is to be the first of the ones who lose" ... Ayrton Senna
When Porsche paid to have my engine replaced in 2004 due to repeated IMS issues. I thought that engine had an X in the serial number, but I had not heard whether it was remanufactured or that there might be another indicator.
I can't readily check this as I no longer have my 01, nor its service records, but your mention of the "X" rings a bell. It was either in the serial or "part" number of the factory remanufactured crate engine that replaced the original engine. (Eccentric crankshaft bore resulting in multiple instances of RMS leaks.)
... by Porsche it was definitely a remanufactured engine.
Keep in mind that remanufactured doesn’t mean refurbished, but actually and literally remanufactured (manufactured again) because of a quality issue in the assembly line the first time.
Happy Boxstering,
Pedro



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/03/2018 06:55PM by Pedro (Weston, FL). (view changes)

Pedro Bonilla 1998 Boxster 986 - 284,000+ miles: http://www.PedrosGarage.com
PCA National Club Racing Scrutineer - PCA National HPDE Instructor - PCA Technical Committee (Boxster/Cayman)

Racecar spelled backwards is Racecar
"Racing is life. Anything before or after is just waiting" ... Steve McQueen as Michael Delaney in "LeMans"
"If you wait, all that happens is that you get older"... Mario Andretti
"Being second is to be the first of the ones who lose" ... Ayrton Senna
I assume you want to avoid a sleeved engine because they are bad.... well, engines of this vintage had many different failure modes, a slipped sleeve was just one. How do I know? I had two engines fail in my 2000 Boxster S.

Regarding remanufactured engines, my replacement had an "X" in the number. It did not have a blue dot. There was a belief back then that remanufactured meant used... as Pedro notes, this was not true. One of the reasons folks may have thought this was that Porsche's procedure back then was to crate up a failed engine and ship it back to Germany along with a bottle of the oil. Porsche NEVER provided any feedback to dealerships on the failure of a particular engine.

The shop foreman at my local dealership made a few comments about remanufactured. First, he said they appeared perfectly new and it would be almost impossible to hide that it was used. Second, the engines were failing at such a high rate that there was most likely not enough "remanufactured" engines anyway. In building these engines, a small percentage will fail. If these are called remanufactured, and all replacement engines were truly manufactured, Porsche would have had to have really poor practices on the shop floor to produce so many redone engines. In other words, just because the catalog calls them remanufactured, doesn't mean it failed inspection/testing at some point. In short, it doesn't matter what it is called, you are getting a new engine.

My first engine failed at 47K miles. Tech in Atlanta said he didn't know what it was... didn't think it was the IMS. When it failed it started out sounding like marbles in a plastic box.. I was just slowly maneuvering around a parking lot. Then the sound got worse, the engine was down on power, then sounded like metal clanking away in a can... yikes. No oil spill. What was odd, was about a week prior, I was cruising down an interstate in South Carolina at around 75, and made a snappy lane change... never took my foot off of the gas... and my oil light came on. I immediatly pulled off at ramp exit right in front of me, coasted and shut down the engine. I checked the oil, looked under the car.. etc. etc. nothing ... All looked good. I started the car up and light was not on... I drove over to a gas station, sat there and called my dealership back home... they never heard of this happening and said it was a "fluke". A week later the engine blew. I never had a good explanation for this.

The second time it failed, was at 197K miles, 150K on the engine. For that, I was cruising along on an interstate at around 60 MPH... just cruising... the engine coughed, the car jerked, I threw in the clutch and the dash lit up... engine seized. Would not turn over.... seized solid. The new owner of my carcass put in a used engine and pulled the IMS out to check it out and it was fine. No known reason for this failure either.

Sorry to be a downer, but these are my real experiences. I have since purchased a 2009 C2S... this is the first year of the new DFI, IMS-less engine and it is showing to be a solid design. A bit quirky, as I have some wierd drop out at 27K RMP or thereabouts.... dealer said he "heard about, keep an eye on it".. great thanx... others have it most do not. Oh well.... I have 126K on the car and I am happy with it. BTW, the Boxster S was way more fun to drive and the suspension was way better tuned than my C2S.

Peace
Bruce in Philly



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/04/2018 06:32AM by Bruce In Philly (2000 S Boxster, now '09 C2S). (view changes)
:-) The bad ones grenaded long ago.

Get a well maintained car. If and when the clutch goes, check the IMS bearing.

Grant gee-lenahan-at-vee-eff-email-dot-net
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