It seems now days one of the most asked questions revolve round IMS and bore scoring issues on 996/997s , between selling and servicing we see in the region of 400 cars a year so I think I can safely say we are speaking from experience and not something we got of the internet chat rooms.
The internet is double edge sword that can educate and frighten in equal measure but unfortunately we all turn to Google for answers, I am guilty as the next man.
I will tackle the IMS question first as a fairly easy one.
It is grossly overdone on the internet and in the (very) small percentage of cars that we have seen with IMS failure it has only been on 3.6 996s the early 3.4 engines had a dual row bearing as standard and we have never had a failure on these engines the 997 from 2005 onwards has the larger bearing so again we have never had an IMS issue on a 997 even the ones registered in 2004.
We are now doing more and more IMS upgrades on 996s including a lot of the ones we sell as it does give customers total peace of mind and we understand the thinking behind this as although it only affected a small percentage of cars you don't want it to be yours.
We can replace an IMS bearing for circa £1000 on our sales cars.
Now for the more complicated issue of bore scoring.
This is mainly a 997 3.8 gen 1 problem affecting 80% of the cars we look at hence the amount of cars on our website with engine rebuilds.
Unfortunately there is no outward signs to look for when the scoring is in its early stages so only a Boroscope can deduce this we find if the bores are going to score they start when the car has covered as little as 10,000 miles.
Every body has an opinion on this but as I said we are talking from years of experience with these cars.
It does affect the later 2004 onwards 996s that went to 2 year servicing where people took it literally and didn't change the oil for 20,000 miles but to a far smaller degree than the 997 maybe 2 to 3% and we find if they haven't scored the bores at circa 40k miles then they wont hence we will not buy any 996 that has not had an oil change at least every 10,000 miles as these are usually safe.
We have got to the point where we are only buying 997 3.8 Gen 1 cars if we can do a bore check first or buy them in at a price that will allow us to remove the engine strip it and rebuild it with new modified liners usually from Hartech or Westwood who are the go to companies for engine liners , we usually have 3 or 4 engines on the go for rebuilds.
Once the work is done the 997 Gen 1 is a fabulous car to own and drive in fact a lot of our customers prefer them to the Gen 2 Cars and far cheaper to buy. (The Gen 2 cars do not suffer these issues and are more or less Bulletproof)
I obviously cannot cover all the questions that will arise regards this and I am sure this will elicit plenty of forum gossip.
The other very common question we get asked is should I buy a 996 or 997 and what is the best investment.
911s in general hold their value better than anything else on the road today however they are different animals in many respects.
The 997 is more refined in many ways but the 996 is still a fabulous driving car so really you need to drive both to establish which one is for you I personally am happy to use either short or long term.
As an investment the 996 will maintain its value better in my opinion and will probably appreciate over the years, we have seen a substantial rise in prices over the last two years especially the C4S and Turbo models with those lovely wide rear hunches and distinctive red rear reflector.
The earlier car like the 964 and 993 are now firmly in the realms of true classics with prices to match however I still maintain if you drive a 996 and a 993 back to back you will choose the 996 but fortunately we are all different and expect different things from a car.
Whatever car you end up buying I can guarantee a smile for every mile, I have been driving 911s for over 45 years and still look forward to my drive to work what ever one i am driving.
One of the most common questions we get asked is what should I be looking out for when I buy a Porsche.
There is no simple answer im afraid, we do for a living day in day out and do have an innate instinct of what is a good car when buying stock.
Most cars will have had some form of cosmetic paintwork especially the older cars and this should not be of concern if all the panels are original and there are no signs of accident damage again this where experience comes in.
Mileage again is not an issue as long as the car has a good service history as a high miles car will have had a lot of the common issues addressed and will be good value compared to a low miles car.
Amount of owners again is not a concern as most Porsche owners want to work their way up the ladder, a lot of these cars change hands every couple of years and the oldest 997 as an example is now 14 years old so 7 former owners is not unusual.
Of a more serious note is the bore scoring issues of the Gen 1 997s and 3.4 Caymans from experience is affects 80% of the cars on the market hence the lack of Gen 1 stock on our website and the amount of cars advertised with engine rebuilds so very important to make sure a car you are buying has had a boroscope check carried out .
A car with a rebuilt engine will be slightly more expensive but will offer major peace of mind motoring and a gen 1 car is truly a lovely driving car.
We constantly have 2/3 cars in the process of having the engines rebuilt.
This does not happen on the Gen 2 cars or the Turbo variants.
People also talk about the IMS bearings on the earlier cars however we have never found this a major problem as it only affects a very small percentage of cars and a simple IMS upgrade will fix this problem.
The 3.4 cars have a dual row bearing as standard so not affected, in fact the early 3.4 996s are a joy to own and drive with very of the issues suffered by the later cars and capable of reaching very high mileages with no issues whats over.
People are now waking up to this fact and prices have soared in the last year or so.
I hope this brief guide helps I obviously cant cover every eventuality but buy the right car and you will be a Porsche fan for life.