In late 2006 my passion for Porsche that had been kindled by owning a boxster lead me to search for a 911. In February 2007 I found a lovely, well used 964 carrera 2 coupe in GP white and embarked on a new adventure. This running report is about my 964 that would be used for high days, holidays and track days and be a 'project car'. It wouldn't matter if it spent time waiting for things to be fixed as it wouldn't be used as a daily driver.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Some Winter Jobs (Nov 2010)

The list of stuff I have to do only ever seems to get longer so with trackdays now finished it was time to start knocking some of them off. First up a few quick and easy ones.

The car has never had a gearbox undertray (obviously fell off and got lost a long time ago) and my indy (Unit 11) recommended that it was beneficial to have one for the aerodynamics and for how it channels cool air to the transmission. Ones that came up on Fleabay all appeared to be ropey so I bit the bullet and bought a new one for a smidge over 200 quid:

While I was in parts ordering mode I bought a couple of plastic door trims (£2.50 each) to replace the original ones that had split and looked unsightly:

Old one:

New one:

I also finally got round to ordering a new spoiler wall (£50). The photo below shows how the wall had split and daylight can be seen the two resulting halves:

It was a simple case of wrestling the the two pieces out, cleaning the underside of the spoiler while I was there and snapping a new one in place. Daylight now gone:

On Monday it goes into Unit 11 for a routine oil change. Although I can do the change myself I thought it best to have them do it while the engine rebuild is still under warranty. Besides which I want them to investigate a tiny weep of oil at the front of the engine which appeared a couple of months ago.

Two trackdays and brakes again (Nov 2010)

Prior to the trackday at Donington in October I did all my usual checks on the car and to be on the safe side did a full flush of the brake fluid. All in all it was a great trackday but I had to put up with very bad judder throughout the day. The short video below shows the judder - the video bounces up and down when I'm hard on the brakes:

All the discs and pads had been changed a few months ago and I'd done three trackdays without any judder issues. However, all of those trackdays had been on the wet side, so it's possible they hadn't been worked too hard. The Donington day was very dry so the brakes got a proper work out and that's when the judder came on strong. Some immediately say that brake judder is caused by warping the discs by overheating them. Others, much more knowledgeable about brakes than me, insist that a warped disc is very rare and that judder is caused by uneven pad deposition on the disc surface. I tend to side with the latter idea, especially since there was no sign of judder on the way home when the brakes were back to normal temperature.

The other factor to consider is that while I have continued to run Pagid greys on the front I'd switched the rears to standard pads - partly because my rear pagid greys had started to fall apart (lots of use) and I wanted to see if the rears really needed an agressive pad (because they do less braking) and partly because I was too tight to spend another £200 on a new set of greys.

On inspecting the brakes the rear discs looked fine:

While the fronts were loaded with pad deposits:

The front pagid grey pads looked glazed and had started to crumble at the edges (top of photo below) while the standard rear pads looked like they had been coping very well.

On closer inspection of the front discs after I had removed them....there were clear signs of pad material being stuck all over the place and possibly some tiny cracks appearing on the disc face:

I have no way of cleaning up the front discs (if they're still good) and with a trackday coming up I decided that the only wise thing to do was buy a couple of new discs (£130) and bang them on. New and old discs shown below:

While all this was going on I'd received some advice and suggestions that there was a good chance that the Pagid greys are a very fierce brake pad and would have been doing a lot of the braking work on their own because of the standard pads in the rear. This could have lead to excessive temperatures at the front and the pads braking down, depositing on the disc and causing the judder. To prevent this I should use the same compound front and rear and move away from the Pagid grey as it heats up discs too quickly. It was recommended that I try Hawk blues for a change. This sounded worth a try, especially since the Hawks come in at a price for two sets, including shipping from the States and tax, which is the same as one set of Pagids! So the Hawk blues were duly ordered and fitted:

While working on the brakes I took the photo below - the car is only jacked up at the front left ready to change discs and's so stiff that it lifts the front right at the same time ^_^

With the brakes all sorted again and bedded in, it was off to Oulton Park for my last trackday of the season.

Yet again it turned out to be a very wet day!

This was actually the first time (in about 7 goes) I'd ever driven Oulton in the wet. It was of course much slower than normal but no where near as daunting as I thought it would be and I ended up having a great time.

Another day at Silverstone but this time with a difference (Oct 2010)

A friend of mine who races a 964C2 in the PCGB championship wanted to get some last minute practice at Silverstone prior to the final races of the season. Especially, since he had the championship to win or lose. He wanted to get some instruction from a professional racer/instructor (Ian Flux) because he'd never done well at Silverstone in the past. The only trouble was, his own race car does not have a seat or harnesses for a passenger.

So, I agreed to meet Marcus at the trackday (run by Goldtrack last Wednesday) and loan him my car for the day....on the agreement that if he broke it, he fixed it. On arrival it was obvious that most of the other competitors racing at the weekend had also booked on for some last minute practice. This meant that my car was going to be mixing it with dedicated race cars. In particular, a lot of Britcars that were preparing for the 24 hr race. If I had booked on to drive myself, I think I would have simply turned round and gone home. To cap it all, Marcus had been booked in the 'Fast group'!

As usual at Silverstone, it was pi$$ing down at the start and since Marcus didn't have the instructor booked until later, I jumped in as passenger for the first session. Now, Marcus has driven my car before when I've had him instructing me and had only driven the car at about 70% (which is all that is needed while teaching someone). However, this time the driving was at another level. Not quite 100% because he knew he couldn't take liberties with someone else's car but from my seat, it was pretty damn close! I was astonished at the speed we were going round the corners and how much later he was on the brakes than I would have been. Even though the car was drifting a bit on the wet track, it still had way more grip than I had ever imagined it had. Owing to the wet conditions (and the road tyres that we left on because of this) we were overtaking just about everything on track including GT3s and Britcars.

For the rest of the day I just watched from the trackside. By lunchtime the track had dried sufficiently so that we could put a set of wheels with Michelin pilot sport cup tyres on. Soon my car was flying round the track and although Marcus wasn't overtaking as many cars he was keeping up with a lot of the midfield Britcars that would be racing at the weekend. In fact, I did a bit of sly timing and at one point he was lapping a full 15 seconds quicker than when I was there earlier in the year and only 10 seconds or so slower than he does in his own race car. So....over the day I got much more idea of how quick my car is on track and how much difference the driver can make.

I'm glad to say the car ran without a hitch. There were no incidents or damage (although he does owe me a set of brake pads now). However, I will admit to have resembled a nervous, expectant father waiting for his baby, every time the car left the pits. I never knew I was so attached to this car. :blush:

I'm also pleased to say that on the back of all this, Marcus performed well at the weekend (5th, 3rd and 2nd in the three races) and ended up as the Class 1 champion. :)

Some more restoration (Sep 2010)

I got back on the restoration path over the last couple of weekends. Initially I was just going to replace the rear bumper support tubes. The pic below shows that the one nearest the bumper had long since corroded through and fallen by the wayside at some point in the past:

New support tubes ready to go on:

and fitted to the car:

I then decided that while 'I was in there' that I couldn't ignore all that dirt that you can see in the first pic. Here's what the main wheel arch looked like:

First stage of the cleaning was to loosen the dirt with soapy water. I then attacked it with Swarfega cleaning solution and appropriate elbow grease. Not only did this restore the arch to its former glory but it unearthed the tell tale signs of a previous owner that must have once fitted wheels that were either too wide or had too small an offset.

Once it was all dry I gave it a good coating of 'cavity protection wax':

Just got to do the other three corners now!

Rockingham Trackday (Aug 2010)

Another successful trackday for the old girl and because it was our annual outing, a good chance to give some friends passenger rides to see how well the car is coming on. The comments I got back from passengers included; how pointy the car felt at turn in, there's hardly any understeer, the car is very stable under hard braking and that it feels like it has much more grunt. All very pleasing to hear and probably a reflection that I'm getting no where near its limits on track.

The point about the stability under braking was an interesting one for me because until recently I had been using Pagid greys on both front and rear. Under heavy braking I had been getting some locking of the rears making the car a bit slidey before turn in. However, when replacing all the discs recently, I put new greys on the front and new standard pads on the rear. Although this has taken a little bit of stopping power away, the bias between front and rear feels a lot better....hence peoples' comments about the nice stability the car has. No doubt the rears are not going to last as long but they also come with the benefit of being about a third of the price of the greys up front.

Also, it's about 18 months and 8 trackdays now since I got the Toyo R888s. There's easily another couple of trackdays left in the rears so I'm very impressed with the wear rate of them - probably another sign that I'm not driving the car fast enough! To be fair though the last couple of days have been mostly wet which means the wear rate would have been low. I can also say from the wet day experiences that the triple eights work very well on a wet track....I doubt if I had been able to go much quicker on normal road tyres.

Here's a few pictures of the car at Rockingham, courtesy of some of the other BoXa members there on the day:

Here's a link to Tony Daniel's video which has some nice footage of the car:

Tony's video

Here's a compilation in car video I put together in the last few days which includes a few little 'moments' in the corners:

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Silverstone Trackday (Jul 10)

I had the opportunity to weigh the car last week. While visitig Oulton Park I sneaked onto the weigh bridge in the scrutineering bay. This is an old fashioned balance beam where you slide along the weights until it balances. A bit like weighing a sack of potatoes!

Anyway, even with rear seats, undertray, footwell sound proofing and air con all removed and Recaro PPs in place of standard seats, with half a tank of fuel she came out at 1315 Kg. A standard 964C2 is supposed to weigh 1350Kg without options. Many (including mine) weighed a good deal more because of options like aircon and heavy sports seats. So all in all I'm pretty happy with the lighter weight.

For the record my friend's 964RS (complete with roll cage and a more fuel) came out at 1265 Kg.

This week (Tuesday) it was time to go to the PCGB trackday at Silverstone. The day started with some sighting laps. It was dry at the time and they were the fastest sighting laps I've been on! In each case an instructor would drive one of the participants cars and lead a group of six cars around the track. Ours seemed to get a bit carried away as we had to get up to nearly 120 mph down the Hangar straight to keep up with him!. This meant that it was almost impossible to learn any of his lines!

By the time we were ready to go open pitlane the rain came down and the track was soon very slippery....especially since a few days earlier the Silverstone Classic cars had left plenty of oil and rubber on the track! This was an ideal time to go and learn the lines that were too difficult to spot on the sighting laps. Even on the part worn toyo R888s the car had pretty good grip but it would break traction at the rear when I was a bit too keen on the throttle. Good fun and loads of track space owing to not many others venturing out. Brother Pete was there in his 997C4S cab - the traction he had in the wet due to the 4WD was astonishing and I would say that there were few quicker cars out there in the rain.

By the time lunch came the track was drying fast. By the afternoon session it was completely dry and we all got lots of laps in and consequently went faster and faster. The speedo was brushing against the 130 mph mark at the end of the Hangar straight before I braked (always early) for Stowe corner. The concerns over brake shudder I had at Oulton, I'm pleased to say have gone since fitting the new discs and pads. I managed just under 150 track miles on the day, used hardly any oil and the car ran without a hitch :) .

A few pics from the day:

Here's a video of me chasing Pete's 997:

Here's a fun video of some other people's antics on track:

Video of the last session....GT3s are pretty common in this one

According to the video timings the best laps I did were something like 2' 40. In the dry I never get anywhere near the limit of the grip of the tyres but I'm still pretty pleased with the pace I went round:

Hand brake shoes and new discs (Jul 10)

The new brake package which had been delayed owing to Pagid brake pads being out of stock, finally arrived. First up were the rears which I had changed once before just after I got the car. However this time I decided to also change the handbrake shoes. These look like they have done all 170,000 miles and although they still had plenty of lining left, were now rock hard:

The new shoes are exactly the same as the ones that are now supplied for the boxster and 996:

They were a bit fiddly to remove and refit - the retaining springs have to be compressed and pulled out and then the shoes levered out of the star adjuster. Everything then falls apart and you really need an extra hand to put everything back in the correct order. I gave the wheel carriers a good going over with a wire brush before fitting the new shoes:

Old discs with the classic corrosion eating into the inner faces:

Shiney new disc fitted:

This was the first time I'd changed the front discs which should have been easier. This was true until I tried to pull them off and found them to be siezed on. A rubber mallet made no impression so I used the M8 bolt trick:

The picture above also shows how I support the caliper on an axle stand once I've removed it. Then. a couple of turns on the bolts and the discs popped off with remarkable ease:

The disc shields didn't look like they were going to last much longer. So these were duly removed. Hopefully they'll help the discs cool better and the other plus is that they've saved me some more weight.......a whole 700 grams for the pair!

On re-fitting the calipers I used new caliper bolts (I also put new ones on the rear):

A shiny new disc and new Pagid RS15 greys fitted:

The job was finished off by going out and bedding the pads/discs in - sharp braking from about 70 mph to 10 mph without locking up with a couple of minutes in between to let the brakes cool before doing the same again another 5 or 6 times. At the end of it I can confirm that the brakes are now back to their best.

Nb. For the rear brakes I used normal Pagid road pads. This turned out to be a mistake as you will find out later in this blog.