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Pondering a Change


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Hi Gang

 

I originally picked up the 981 because of a huge desire to try Porsche, a PDK and also the absence of a commute. In the next couple of months, my commute is going to go up from zero to quite a bit more. I absolutely love the 981, unless you've got a fridge to move or more than one passenger, it does everything in style; cruising motorway, smashing B roads and track play too. However, if I can't make it work with work, then I may have to switch to a two car setup. Something for the miles and something for the smiles. My brain says get a cheap MX5 and drive the wheels off it, for a very reasonable budget, but, having dipped my toe in Porsche ownership and falling in love with the 981, I really don't want to leave the marque. This means I'm thinking about 986 or 987 cayman (maybe even Boxster) or even a 996 - and making it a track toy.

 

  • Is it just a matter of finding the right 987.2 - the "safe" bet?
  • Or are the internet scare stories on 986/996/987.1 really not as bad as they make it sound - so I should be looking at them too? I read that the non-S's are better bets and they're more than quick enough for my talent.
  • Is it just a question of getting the right pre-purchase inspection? Or waiting for a rebuilt one to pop up for sale? 

 

Last of all, can anyone let me know what the vehicle running costs of regularly tracking (10 or so days a year) one of these models is likely to be? As well as the bits that need upgrade for the punishment (oil coolers etc) of track life.

 

Thanks in advance for any contributions or suggestions and HNY too.

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I’m not after a race licence (yet!) but want to be able to not worry about heat and failures. Thanks for the detailed response, much appreciated.

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My cost are a little higher than the above but the only difference really is the brake pad change intervals. 

 

I get about two days per set of front pads (~£150 quid for fast road/track pads) and about 4 days per set of rears (I just use road pads at £20 a pop). 

 

I change the oil every 4 days, so that's about £70 including a filter. 

 

Fuel usage on the day is about 1.5 tanks. 

 

Touch wood, repairs have cost me nothing so far but then I have voluntarily swapped out suspension, mounts, seats etc. 

 

Costs will really depend on how you want to approach it. The faster you get, the more you will probably spend on consumables and upgrades

 

 

 

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I didn't track my 987 and recently went the MX-5 route, so I can't actually offer first-hand experience.

 

However, a good point often raised with this question is the price difference of a gen 2 vs gen 1 987: currently, the cheapest gen 2 S's seem to be around £9000 more expensive than the cheapest gen 1 S's.

 

So there's a very real argument that you could/should buy a gen 1 and put the difference aside. That difference would cover a substantial Hartech rebuild and perhaps even an oversized build, both of which are track-proven. And, if the engine doesn't blow (which isn't a given), then you've potentially saved yourself a few grand.

 

Perhaps give the guys at Hartech a call: they're very friendly.

 

On the other hand, if you don't want the potential faff of waiting for a rebuild, then the .2 is still an option.

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3 hours ago, Hunter said:

I didn't track my 987 and recently went the MX-5 route, so I can't actually offer first-hand experience.

 

However, a good point often raised with this question is the price difference of a gen 2 vs gen 1 987: currently, the cheapest gen 2 S's seem to be around £9000 more expensive than the cheapest gen 1 S's.

 

So there's a very real argument that you could/should buy a gen 1 and put the difference aside. That difference would cover a substantial Hartech rebuild and perhaps even an oversized build, both of which are track-proven. And, if the engine doesn't blow (which isn't a given), then you've potentially saved yourself a few grand.

 

Perhaps give the guys at Hartech a call: they're very friendly.

 

On the other hand, if you don't want the potential faff of waiting for a rebuild, then the .2 is still an option.

 

Sound logic, thanks. How is MX5 life treating you? I have my eye on the Mk3.5 and a package from BBRGTI - though I much prefer the look of the NDs.

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2 hours ago, Stutopia said:

 

Sound logic, thanks. How is MX5 life treating you? I have my eye on the Mk3.5 and a package from BBRGTI - though I much prefer the look of the NDs.

 

I had a 205 HP mk3.5 NC before I got my R five years ago.  It was still kind of slow.

 

In comparison, I had an S2000 a few years ago with an ME221 standalone and it was far superior.

 

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4 hours ago, Windymiller said:

@Lennym1984 - when I read you change your oil every 4 days I thought, you meant as in basically every week 😲, then realised you meant every 4 TRACK days… 😆

 

what front pads are using on what discs to get through them in 2 track days?  You must be a demon on the track to be using brakes that hard 😈 - I need to up my game, I’m making mine last ‘too long’… 🤔😉

 

Ha ha every 4 days would get expensive! 

 

I've tried a lot of different pads with all lasting about the same time - Ds2500 (these set on fire), mintex m1144, EBC bluestuff... Etc. I've recently ordered a set of mintex m1155 so I'm see how I get on with those. If they end up being crap, I'll try ds1.11 (which are pricey!). 

 

I'd love to tell you that I'm a demon on the track but I think I'm just a late, hard braker. Bedford and Thruxton appear to have been the hardest on the pads but then both have quite fast, hard braking zones. Anglesey seemed okay but I destroyed a set of tyres there so swings and roundabouts! 

 

ETA: I've just remembered that I tapered a set of rear pads at castle combe (fronts were okay) so riddle me that (I had ESP turned off for most of the day) 

Edited by Lennym1984
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21 hours ago, Stutopia said:

 

Sound logic, thanks. How is MX5 life treating you? I have my eye on the Mk3.5 and a package from BBRGTI - though I much prefer the look of the NDs.

 

Well, 'recently' is so recently that I've bought the car, but it has yet to be delivered!

 

Hard not to miss the 987: I've tested a couple of MX5's now (including the one I've bought) and they're fantastic, but not quite as much of an event.

 

Mine is a 2009 Mk3(.5) 2.0L, just shy of 50,000 miles. It has imperfect bodywork: no dents, but a fair few scuffs to the paint together with rock chips galore. Also a rusty edge on the driver-side door where the owner hit a wall/other car while opening the door and removed the paint...

 

But I still can't wait to drive it more. Sure, it only has half the power of the Cayman S stock, but it's also a full 230kg lighter. With some (still naturally aspirated) performance modifications and a little weight removed, matching the Cayman S's power-to-weight is just about doable...

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4 hours ago, Hunter said:

 

Well, 'recently' is so recently that I've bought the car, but it has yet to be delivered!

 

Hard not to miss the 987: I've tested a couple of MX5's now (including the one I've bought) and they're fantastic, but not quite as much of an event.

 

Mine is a 2009 Mk3(.5) 2.0L, just shy of 50,000 miles. It has imperfect bodywork: no dents, but a fair few scuffs to the paint together with rock chips galore. Also a rusty edge on the driver-side door where the owner hit a wall/other car while opening the door and removed the paint...

 

But I still can't wait to drive it more. Sure, it only has half the power of the Cayman S stock, but it's also a full 230kg lighter. With some (still naturally aspirated) performance modifications and a little weight removed, matching the Cayman S's power-to-weight is just about doable...

 

Even with ITBs the 5 will never come close to a bolt-ons and mapped 987 in just straight line speed.  Cornering will be a different game altogether.

 

Sorry, not knocking your purchase.  Just sharing my experience.  I had a 2012 Sport Black in crystal pearl white and modded the s**t out of it (Skuzzle intake, Motoeast cams, 4-1 exhaust, etc.) - nothing was done by half. Rev limiter was 8300.  It had the most glorious gear shift feel and was a great car.  If it doesn't have them already, get the Eibach springs and a good geo dialled in.  It's an absolute game changer in the handling department!

 

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5 hours ago, Aaron said:

 

Even with ITBs the 5 will never come close to a bolt-ons and mapped 987 in just straight line speed.  Cornering will be a different game altogether.

 

Sorry, not knocking your purchase.  Just sharing my experience.  I had a 2012 Sport Black in crystal pearl white and modded the s**t out of it (Skuzzle intake, Motoeast cams, 4-1 exhaust, etc.) - nothing was done by half. Rev limiter was 8300.  It had the most glorious gear shift feel and was a great car.  If it doesn't have them already, get the Eibach springs and a good geo dialled in.  It's an absolute game changer in the handling department!

 

 

Oh, I'm not pretending the MX5 could ever beat anything but a stock 987S—and even then, it's a matter of margins. But it's compelling at its price point.

 

And we can remind ourselves that the MX5 is only within (modded) reach of stock 987S acceleration because the 987 doesn't have drag-race power numbers to begin with. That's not the point of it.

Edited by Hunter
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When it comes to the point of it, I’d like to not be too worried about the cost of bending it, should the worst happen. Also I want to really comfortable about what happens when it goes go past the limit of grip and how fast a mishap that is going to be. Which makes the MX5 all the more appealing. Not an easy choice this, but I’ve got a couple of months to mull it over.

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3 hours ago, Stutopia said:

When it comes to the point of it, I’d like to not be too worried about the cost of bending it, should the worst happen. Also I want to really comfortable about what happens when it goes go past the limit of grip and how fast a mishap that is going to be. Which makes the MX5 all the more appealing. Not an easy choice this, but I’ve got a couple of months to mull it over.

 

If you're concernerd about binning it or going beyond solid grip: I would recommend some track time and tuition rather than changing the car.  It will be much safer to push a higher powered car to/beyond its limit with a professional by your side in an appropriately safe environment rather than fettling the edge in a less powered car on the lovely British B roads.

 

Changing the car won't make you a better driver but tuition certainly will.  I'm not sure that changing the car to increase your confidence is the right approach.  Ironically, an MX-5 is actually a lot easier to oversteer into a bush than a Cayman.

 

3 hours ago, Hunter said:

 

Oh, I'm not pretending the MX5 could ever beat anything but a stock 987S—and even then, it's a matter of margins. But it's compelling at its price point.

 

And we can remind ourselves that the MX5 is only within (modded) reach of stock 987S acceleration because the 987 doesn't have drag-race power numbers to begin with. That's not the point of it.

 

Undoubtedly.  That was my point and why I mentioned straight-line speed, which is the 987's weakest element.  It's all about what fits your needs and if it does that, excellent.  I'm glad you've found the right car for yourself.  But this is the Cayman OC... a slightly biased audience, would you agree?

Edited by Aaron
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8 hours ago, Aaron said:

 

If you're concernerd about binning it or going beyond solid grip: I would recommend some track time and tuition rather than changing the car.  It will be much safer to push a higher powered car to/beyond its limit with a professional by your side in an appropriately safe environment rather than fettling the edge in a less powered car on the lovely British B roads.

 

Wise words indeed. I have done a number of excellent CAT tuition days and have one more lined up in the near future, likely more down the line too. It's the best money I've ever spent on "car" performance as well as being tremendous fun.

 

What I'm hoping the next toy is for, is being able to practice and explore the skills on my own, which I expect will not be incident free - which is why I'm looking at options.

 

8 hours ago, Aaron said:

Ironically, an MX-5 is actually a lot easier to oversteer into a bush than a Cayman.

 

 

True, the absolute limit of grip is incredible on the 981, but I'd sooner hit the bush (or tyres) at 40 than 80 and they are a lot cheaper to put back together :)

 

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8 hours ago, Aaron said:

Undoubtedly.  That was my point and why I mentioned straight-line speed, which is the 987's weakest element.  It's all about what fits your needs and if it does that, excellent.  I'm glad you've found the right car for yourself.  But this is the Cayman OC... a slightly biased audience, would you agree?

 

I'm sorry you had a bad experience with the MX5, but the OP mentioned MX5s and asked about my car, so I shared my logic. I'm not trying to convert anybody or play top trumps.

 

If I'd had the space for a second car, I might well have kept the Cayman for road use: yet I'd still have used the MX5 for the track. Not hard to imagine why, is it?

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1 hour ago, Hunter said:

 

I'm sorry you had a bad experience with the MX5, but the OP mentioned MX5s and asked about my car, so I shared my logic. I'm not trying to convert anybody or play top trumps.

 

If I'd had the space for a second car, I might well have kept the Cayman for road use: yet I'd still have used the MX5 for the track. Not hard to imagine why, is it?

 

Sorry, I was just sharing my own experience having owned both for long terms.  I realise I'm disagreeing with your decision but uncertain why that's come across offensively.  If you've become offended then you've taken my words the wrong way.

 

I never had a bad experience with my MX-5. Not sure where I've stated that?  Enjoy your MX-5 ownership.

 

2 hours ago, Stutopia said:

 

Wise words indeed. I have done a number of excellent CAT tuition days and have one more lined up in the near future, likely more down the line too. It's the best money I've ever spent on "car" performance as well as being tremendous fun.

 

What I'm hoping the next toy is for, is being able to practice and explore the skills on my own, which I expect will not be incident free - which is why I'm looking at options.

 

 

True, the absolute limit of grip is incredible on the 981, but I'd sooner hit the bush (or tyres) at 40 than 80 and they are a lot cheaper to put back together :)

 

 

Ah, I see.  Maybe an older NA/NB would be a better choice?  Admittedly lacking in the power department but extremely cheap to repair and reasonably disposable in comparison to repairing an NC or Cayman.

 

It's not the approach I would take but good luck whatever you decide!

 

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