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Light bore scoring cylinder six - fine or walk away?


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Hi all,

 

Started another thread a few weeks back as I’m on the lookout for my first 987 Cayman.

 

I since found pretty much my ideal 987.1 Cayman S, with new coolant radiators, hoses and crossover pipes, water pump brakes all round, AC condensers, and it’s sold by a Porsche specialist with a decent reputation.

 

Anyway, the experience has been pretty great, he’s had plenty of time for my questions and was happy to include a borescope for my piece of mind before selling the car.


The car has zero of the usual symptoms associated with bore scoring.

 

Basically, I’ve agreed to buy the car subject to a clean borescope, and I’ve just received images from the borescope carried out by the seller.

 

He tells me that if there is ever any scoring it usually would appear in cylinder six first, as it’s furthest from the water pump and therefore the hottest cylinder.

 

Anyway, he started in cylinder six and found a small area of light marks in one 10-15mm wide arc of the cylinder (at the top where forces are greatest).

 

The image is magnified quite a bit to show it clearer:

 

8-A70-A88-E-2-A6-C-40-FF-A88-C-7-AD3-A7-

 

The magnification probably makes it look a lot worse at first glance - it’s 10-15mm wide , and he tells me that this light amount of wear is typical for pretty much all these engines and does not affect operation or performance. He added that it’s a lot better than most he sees.


Cylinder five came back without any marking:

 

AAEB4-BAF-B5-E8-40-CF-BEA0-46468565-B71-

 

So due to that he tells me that will therefore be the case with all the other cylinders (as they are closer to the water pump).

 

Has anyone got any experience? Is a small, light bit of scoring like this just the usual? Is it something that you’d find in pretty much all 987.1’s?

 

Or is this something that shows the need for an engine rebuild is inevitable on this car?

 

I’m happy that the car is otherwise in great condition and the seller has been absolutely brilliant - couldn’t recommend him enough. But obviously concerned that, even if this is a minor bit of scoring, it could lead to a huge bill to rebuild the engine or seriously harm my chances of selling the car in the future…

 

Thanks for the help all. 

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Walk away, unless you have deep pockets!? How many miles on it? ... Have you seen the car start from stone cold??

 

I have a my2006 CS.1 and I have borescoring on 5 & 6... Bought it on 61k miles with no issues but within a couple thousand miles it started giving tell tale signs! (now on 71k)

Drinks oil and smokes like a mofo on cold start but clears once up to temp... No characteristic ticking and runs fine but obvs needs a rebuild.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Mavrik said:

How many miles on it? ... Have you seen the car start from stone cold??

 

Thanks Mavrik.

 

It's approx 75k miles.

 

Haven't seen the car start from cold and haven't actually seen the car in person yet. As the car isn't local to me, I thought it would be worth getting as much information as I could and finding out more about price etc before travelling down.

 

It's for sale at a fairly reputable Porsche specialist - I wouldn't be taking the same approach with a private sale. I really can't praise him enough, he's been completely open and honest throughout, so I was pretty confident in making an offer, then travelling down to see the car and drive away.

 

So I'm just trying to figure out how big an issue this really is, and understand if that means I'm basically on the road to needing an engine rebuild in a couple of years... Or if the reality is that this impacts a hell of a lot of cars that actually run perfectly fine and will stay that way. 

 

And the other worry is, even if the car does run fine for a number of years, if/when I come to sell, will I be able to? Or are people okay with a small bit of bore scoring?

 

It's a bummer because it's an otherwise perfect car, so I don't know if I'm being an idiot for worrying about a very small bit of scoring, or if I'm being an idiot for still considering the car. Either way I'm almost certainly being an idiot!

 

 

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I'd only be concerned if you were  conscious about reselling.  If resale value means little to you, get the car cheap because of the scoring and anticipate a possible rebuild down the line.  It may never need it.

 

Otherwise, I would find another car.  I would recommend the 987.2 if you want the 3.4.  The long-term ownership costs are significantly less than the .1 even though the upfront sum is larger.

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ALL engines will have some degree bore scoring, it is just a fact of an internal combustion engine. Every motor out there will have some amount of scoring in the bore, from race engines to lawnmowers. In most cases it has little affect on performance.

 

Compression tests combined with a leak down test would ascertain if this is an issue or not.

 

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5 hours ago, Aaron said:

I'd only be concerned if you were  conscious about reselling.  If resale value means little to you, get the car cheap because of the scoring and anticipate a possible rebuild down the line.  It may never need it.

 

Otherwise, I would find another car.  I would recommend the 987.2 if you want the 3.4.  The long-term ownership costs are significantly less than the .1 even though the upfront sum is larger.

 

Yeah... I'm genuinely going into this thinking I want to keep it for a long long LONG time. But I guess life happens and plans change, so I'm slightly terrified of being left in a position with a car that is hard to sell or I have to take a huge hit on.

 

 

2 hours ago, Julian987 said:

ALL engines will have some degree bore scoring, it is just a fact of an internal combustion engine. Every motor out there will have some amount of scoring in the bore, from race engines to lawnmowers. In most cases it has little affect on performance.

 

Compression tests combined with a leak down test would ascertain if this is an issue or not.

 

 

Definitely agree with all of that. I keep swinging between "ahhhh £10k plus engine rebuild" and "well, how many old cars are driving around without even knowing they have the issue?"

 

I think right now the car is in great condition, and runs absolutely without fault. I guess for me the worry is that it's inevitable that I will need an engine rebuild at some point.

 

I still really don't know which way is the right way. I really do love the car, and it's brilliant in every other regard. And there's definitely an element of "it's an old Porsche, it'll throw up big bills occasionally" - but a potential five figure bill is a tad scary. 

 

I knew there was a risk when looking at the car, and I was prepared to take that risk if the bore scope was clear. But it's not and that makes me think bore scoring is a hell of a lot more common than most people realise. Which probably shows that a lot of impacted cars have long lives without the owner ever knowing, or ever needing an engine rebuild.

 

 

 

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Sounds like a 987.2 would be a wiser investment if you're still on the fence, in all honesty.

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MY 987.1 3.4 had a borescope exam at about 70k by well respected Autofarm. Still used oil significantly. I beleive the bores had ovalised, so although they looked good, they allowed oil past.

 

Still went like stink though. Sold it for a song at just over 100k miles.

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I bought my old 987.1S 10 years ago on 45K miles with light scoring/scuffing on bank 2 cylinders.  It's now owned by a friend and on 90K and still going strong.  Oil consumption is still negligible at around 10K miles per litre and stable.

 

My son also had a 987.1S Cayman for a few years which had much higher oil consumption of around 2.5K miles per litre.  But it was stable and continued that way for the next owner who did about 20K miles in a couple of years before part exchanging it.

 

That said, I've seen lots of scored cars over the years and would be very wary buying a Gen 1S again.  I'd only buy from a long term private owner able to provide oil consumption data and trend, or from a reputable specialist who could provide a 12+ month warranty against scoring.  I think this would be difficult to find but a shorter warranty, especially if you are not doing many miles, may not be long enough to determine if oil consumption is getting worse.  

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1 hour ago, Woodhouse said:

I bought my old 987.1S 10 years ago on 45K miles with light scoring/scuffing on bank 2 cylinders.  It's now owned by a friend and on 90K and still going strong.  Oil consumption is still negligible at around 10K miles per litre and stable.

 

My son also had a 987.1S Cayman for a few years which had much higher oil consumption of around 2.5K miles per litre.  But it was stable and continued that way for the next owner who did about 20K miles in a couple of years before part exchanging it.

 

That said, I've seen lots of scored cars over the years and would be very wary buying a Gen 1S again.  I'd only buy from a long term private owner able to provide oil consumption data and trend, or from a reputable specialist who could provide a 12+ month warranty against scoring.  I think this would be difficult to find but a shorter warranty, especially if you are not doing many miles, may not be long enough to determine if oil consumption is getting worse.  

 

Thanks, interesting feedback! It's giving me slight hope...

 

Did yours have a similar amount of scoring as the car I'm looking at? 

 

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On 04/03/2022 at 10:42, kman said:

 

Thanks, interesting feedback! It's giving me slight hope...

 

Did yours have a similar amount of scoring as the car I'm looking at? 

 

 

Unfortunately I didn't get to see it myself or get pictures, just a written report from the dealer's head technician.  But whatever the borescope inspection reveals, I'd still want a decent warranty if buying from a dealer.  I've followed these cars closely for a long time and scoring is a significant concern. A few years ago I spoke with a local part time dealer who at that moment was having a 997 and 987S Cayman rebuilt for scoring.  He'd bought them at auction, only to discover both were suffering bore scoring.  

 

A friend recently bought a 997 and several of the cars he looked at from well known independent specialists had previously had scoring.  The car he ended up buying had previously been sold about 8 years ago by one of the most highly regarded Porsche specialists, only to need all 6 liners and pistons replacing under their in house warranty a month after they sold it to one of its previous owners.

 

 Even the best specialist dealers get caught out with these cars.

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I find it interesting this has gone on for so long.  There are limited options here, and the choices are obvious:

 

1) Take the risk and buy it - or generally buy any .1 3.4 and take the risk.

2) Don't take the risk and get a .2 3.4.

3) You don't have the budget for a .2 3.4, so get a .1 2.7.

 

What are you waiting for?  There won't be some holy grail post or tidbit of advice that will push you in the right direction - only you can decide.

 

 

 

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11 hours ago, Aaron said:

I find it interesting this has gone on for so long.  There are limited options here, and the choices are obvious:

 

1) Take the risk and buy it - or generally buy any .1 3.4 and take the risk.

2) Don't take the risk and get a .2 3.4.

3) You don't have the budget for a .2 3.4, so get a .1 2.7.

 

What are you waiting for?  There won't be some holy grail post or tidbit of advice that will push you in the right direction - only you can decide.

 

 

 

 

Blunt but fair 😂

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On 04/03/2022 at 10:42, kman said:

 

Thanks, interesting feedback! It's giving me slight hope...

 

Did yours have a similar amount of scoring as the car I'm looking at? 

 


For some info on what you could be in for, see the YouTube channel below (in case you haven't already). There's a whole series of videos on this guy's 987.1 S woes.

 

As ever, he is just one person who happens to have gotten a bad one. Many more will have had trouble free experiences. Getting even a ballpark figure of the proportion of cars affected is a difficult task, I don't think Porsche ever officially recognised it as a known issue.

 

https://www.youtube.com/c/JoeTalksCars/videos

 

You could always look for one that has already had a rebuild, such as the example below. Would be good to know exactly what was done, which cylinders had a lining replacement and what that lining was made from.

 

https://www.autotrader.co.uk/car-details/202203073272824

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