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2000 Boxster S Engine

Engine

Vehicle Information: Year: 2000; Engine (type, size, modifications): 3.2L; Total Mileage: 62000; Transmission: Manual;

Upon starting the engine up one day, it made a loud clatter like it was out of oil. I quickley shut it down and then discovered the oil level was 3-1/2 quarts low from the full line on the dipstick. This car has not had any exsesive oil consumtion problems in the past and the car ran fine the night before when we pulled it into the garage. Added a couple of quarts of oil, seemed to run fine. Before driving, I changed the oil and filter with 9.3 quarts of Mobil 1. Now we have some engine noises we are concerned with. Along with a ticking, lifter type noise there seems to be a very light rod knock. This knock cannot be heard in the passenger compartment with the windows rolled up but remains steady throughout the rpm range. We havn't driven the car. I put it up on stands to try to locate the noise which appeared to come from the middle drivers side cylinder (#5?) I would think that a rod bearing problem noise would be more central to the engine block. I pulled the #5 coil wire and the light knock Disappeared which is just what you would expect but when I pluged it back in the knock as well as the ticking noise remains absent.My question is can 3-1/2 to 4 quarts low on a level surface with a 9 quart capacity sump enough to cause oil starvation? I'm i being too cautious? Is the noise I'm hearing actually related to the lifter noise which would be relitively minor? Are you aware of any noises that I may be misinterpeting? I could see the lifter ticking just needing some time to pump back up if the Porsche uses anti pump-up lifters. I've worked on many engines but I have little experience with Porsches. It looks like in order to check the rod bearing would require the removal of the cylinder heads which could be done while in the car but it might be easier to pull the motor out.Maybe this is the time for a 3.4L upgrade. Do you have any advise for a cost effective exhaust system the match the 3.4 to the Boxter?ThanksI could use any advice you can give me.Total mileage: 62000

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