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Hello everyone. I've been following and learning from this message board for some time. Greatly appreciate the advice and expertise. This is my first post and I hope you will be able to help!
I have an '01 Boxster S with about 168,000 km (104,000 miles) on it. Love the car - drives like nothing else - and since I bought it 5 years ago I have been gradually picking away at bringing it up to date with both needed and preventative maintenance. Much on my own, and I have a euro specialist mechanic who I highly value and trust for things beyond my capabilities.
The latest project concerns the timing chain. The car still runs well, and I've recently replaced the tensioners, but the chain rattle is definitely there on cold startup, and has gotten worse over the past couple seasons. My mechanic has looked into it in some depth and advises the chain needs to be replaced within the next year or two at most. Timing is off by about 5 degrees, and he sent me a photo showing this. Other than that, I have a nice dry engine, IMS etc. replaced, no signs of debris or disintegrated chain guides in the oil filter.
He has advised that once the engine is split, a new short block is the most sensible and reliable way to go, but considering the age of the car - Expensive. I've searched lots of forums but no one seems to be talking about this issue.
Is there any other sensible / less expensive alternative?
If I can run him for another few years at an average 8,000 km / year I might do it.
The timing chain does not stretch exactly. If it looses some of the rollers it can get a bit loose, but what generally creates the rattle is the chain guides that wear down over time.
If the rattle goes away after a few seconds of idling, you're OK.
My car is at almost 300K and I've never replaced the chain. It does rattle on cold startup a bit. I use 15W50 Mobil1 and always wait till it's properly oiled before I run off.
Happy Boxstering,
Pedro

Pedro Bonilla
1998 Boxster 986 - 299,000+ miles: [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 have heard various comments about chain guide issues/failures/wear.

I saw one video with blocks of plastic in the oil pan.

How difficult would prophylactic repair be?

I am thinking it is more like major surgery than not.
Thank you for your reply Pedro. I'm slightly less concerned now. However, with 300K on your car I'm guessing you must have replaced the guides at least once?? If so, do you not have to split the block? Or is there another way to get at them? If the engine is split then I'm back to my original question - is a new short block required or advisable?
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