I decided to check the engine to see what kind of condition its in and if it would need a tear down. We built a leak down tester from some parts my dad had laying around and hollowed out a spark plug to make a fitting (I will do a full write-up on how to build one). Long story short, all the cylinders but one had zero compression. You could pretty much hear the air coming from all the valves, so I decided to take the heads off for a some cleaning.
At this point I had the engine, but I had no car. I posted several wanted posts on Kijiji, and signed up for notifications on eBay and every major city on Craigslist. A few things came up here and there in the States, but nothing really worth the drive and hassle of importing it to Canada. Eventually I made a post on the 986 forum parts classified section and within a few days I had my car. One of the members from Ottawa was in the process of parting it, and essentially was left with exactly what I was looking for: a rolling shell with a 6 speed tranny.
I found a low mileage (150,000 km) LM4 truck engine at a local scrap yard that was said to have great compression. The guys on the phone were very helpful and had the engine delivered to me in a couple of days. I spent the next week or so disassembling and cleaning every surface to bring it to a respectable condition.
Couple of the bolts snapped on the intake manifold which was a huge pain in the butt. I managed to pull a couple out using an extractor and a screwdriver, but the third one wouldn’t budge. We even tried dry ice to loosen it, but nothing worked. At the end I just decided to abandon it. Its located in the centre of the manifold, so its not crucial when using eBay headers.
For many months I contemplated cars like E30 325is, E36 M3 and Honday S2000, but in the end I decided to settle with a Boxster S. I rented one for a day during my trip to California and instantly fell in love with it. After doing some research on IMS failures, I decided to go the V8 conversion route. I got my inspiration from this Jalopnik article.