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.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Added a strut brace (Apr 08)

I thought it was about time to add a front strut brace to the car so purchased one of the now popular carbon fibre jobbies. I got off Ebay from Cup Spirit who are a specialist in France that supplies parts and upgrades for Porsches. The all in price was £150 which saved me around £50 compared to similar braces supplied by UK Porsche specialists.

For those who doubt the effect of strut braces, I took the car for a test drive in the afternoon and wasn't really expecting to feel any difference under normal driving. The 911 has always had poor front end bite compared to the boxster. Yet on the first corner I could feel a difference. The turn-in is much sharper than it was before and really not that far behind the boxster's. Throughout the drive I felt a precision with the steering that had been previously lacking. This has already proved to be a very worthwhile upgrade.

Fixed the oil sender leak (Mar 08)

Today I tackled the suspected cause of the oil leak that has been dogging the car since I bought it. I removed the air cleaner box and intake manifold on the right side and found significant amounts of oil on top of the engine around the oil temperature sender unit:

Inside of the manifold was pretty oily too!

So I cleaned that up with brake cleaner:

Here's the oil sender unit just after removing it from the top of the engine:

The seal was clearly shagged and obviously Porsche realised that this was a weak point as the replacement part has clearly been upgraded (green O ring fitted to the unit).

Here's the oil sender unit back in position and I've cleaned away as much of the oil as I can. Fingers crossed now that the embaressing smoking when hot problem has been remedied.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Porsche RS Trackday, Oulton Park, 15 Mar 08

With the weather always likely to be dodgy I was glad the car was still wearing its normal road tyres which I'll keep until they're worn out. The track was extremely slippery in the morning. Allied to the fact that most of the Porsches there were more powerful than the bath tub and therefore I had to move off line a lot, I never pushed the car too far because I didn't want to end the day with anything bent. So really, it turned into a bit of shake down to see how the winter changes had affected the car.

The plus points were that the new brakes worked extremely well. No hint of fade at any point and plenty of pedal. I could have worked them harder if I wanted. There was perceptively less roll in the corners since putting on the new ARB bushes (seems also to be born out by the on track photos I've got). And it felt a tiny, tiny bit quicker out of the corners due to it losing a few pounds (no hard evidence to back this up though).

The only down side is that I've still got the 964 Achilles heel of minor oil leaks when the car gets hot which results in spots of oil dropping to the exhaust and causing some very embaressing smoking as you drive back into the pits. A quick checkover the car the following day showed the exact point it had got on the exhaust and I'm pretty sure I now know the region of the engine where it's originating from. I'm now getting to need to remove the airbox, AFM and part of the intake manifold to inspect further to see what oil seal or line I need to replace.

Photos from the day:

Headlight bulbs and door window (Mar 08)

This weekend consisted of some basic repairs and maintenance. A bit boring but I suppose that's what a running report is about.

First off was to put some of the Halfords brighter H4 bulbs in the headlamps. £14.99 for two bulbs since they were on a bogof offer. The headlamps haven't been off for quite some time by the looks of it. Although nice and dry inside the bowls were loose because a lot of the retaining wires had shaken loose. Of more concern was that one of the aim adjusters was completely disconnected. This is now remedied but I'll need to drop the car into a local MOT station to have the beam alignment re-set.

Since I've had the car the passenger window has not worked properly (as just about every passenger has told me). It would only drop a couple of inches. The switch and motor seemed to be OK so the only way to find out what was going on was to strip the door down. Like any old car you never know what you're going to find lurking behind a trim panel. Sure enough the membrane (the old polythene type) had been butchered in a previous life and the doors were full of cr@p inside:

The problem with the window turned out to be the alignment of the glass carrier. A few subtle adjustments with an allen key and some grease on the carrier runners soon had it working properly. Then it was a simple job of cleaning it all up and putting some fresh duck tape over all the holes in the membrane. I'll probably put a new membrane on in the future but since the edges of the membrane have never been lifted there's no problem with water leaking into the car at the moment.

Then I took it out for the obligatory test drive to check all was well.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Water under the carpets (Feb 08)

My carpet underlay/soundproofing was absolutely soaking and needed ripping out and binning. This has been caused by years of little leaks most often caused by blocked sunroof drains. It is a common problem on 964s. The question was what should I replace it with? I could have bought replacement underlay from Porsche for a few hundred pounds. But rather than do this I wanted to take the opportunity to shed a few pounds in weight. Here's what I did about this in pics.

First the state of the soundproofing underneath the carpet:

Very wet and very heavy

Cleaned it all up:

Filled the wells in the floor with Gardener's kneeling foam mats (very light):

Then used the old soundproofing as a template to cut out and put down a layer of sleeping bag foam (extremely light) to protect the wiring followed by some hard board to make sure it was firm underfoot.

Carpet mat back on and she's good to go:

I did the passenger footwell and rear footwells to. These weren't wet but as I said it all helps in the power to weight ratio stakes.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Brake upgrade (Jan 08)

With January being perhaps one of the worst months to drive a Porsche I decided it was time to do a major job on the car. The brakes.

At the end of 2007 I bought some used 4 pot rears off Ebay to replace the puny 2 pots that are standard on the C2. The aim here is not to give any greater stopping power but to reduce the potential for brake fade by having larger pads to dissipate the heat better. At the same time I get to have a larger choice in pads because the only ones available for 2 pots are OEM or textar (same really). The 4 pot rears take exactly the same pads as the front with the consequence that there is a wide range of Pagids available.

4 pot rears from a 964 C4 and the post 1991 C2 are difficult to find. However they are exactly the same calipers that are found on a variety of the older Porsche models. The ones I found were actually off 928 S4. They looked quite good in the Ebay ad. Once they arrived, they looked a little more battle scarred in the flesh:

Since 928 rear calipers fit to the trailing edge of the disc and 964 calipers sit on the leading edge of the first job was to remove the cross (feed) pipe and fit it where the bleed valves were, so that the fluid would feet into the bottom of the caliper and could be bled out at the top. The next job was to remove the spring plates that had been forced inwards by corrosion (known as plate lift) so that new pads would fit properly. The big problem here is removing the screws that become 'welded in' over time. I was advised to heat the screws but never managed to get them hot enough to make them budge. Use of a dremmel to cut a slot in the screw head and 10 mm cold chisel proved to be the successful method. Here's the mess that was the removed plates and mangled screws:

Behind the plates the corrosion that causes the 'plate lift' was clearly evident:

Use of a Dremmel again and a flat file to finish off, soon had them cleaned up:

I repainted the calipers and fitted new spring plates and screws. These come as a kit with green loctite already impregnated on the screws. It's possible to use any old M6 screw and the original plates but I found that the scew holes in the plates had worn and figured that since this wouldn't have to be done again for at least another 5 years, that it was worth the extra:

Here's the newly refurbished 4 pot rear caliper next to the old weedy 2 pot caliper:

Of course, since I was refurbing and painting the new (used) rear calipers, I took the front calipers off and did those too. One of these required the replacement of a bleed valve which was siezed (and therefore has not been bled for some time):

While the car was stationary all this time I decided to leave a reminder in there for myself and any would be car thieves:

It's worth noting that before I took any of the calipers off the car I clamped off the vent pipe to the reservoir and put clingfilm between the cap and reservoir. This creates a vacuum and stops the fluid spilling out everywhere. Also, before refitting the rear calipers I removed the rotten brake disc shields which were only just clinging on. This should help a little with brake cooling and saves a little bit of weight. I also took some of the old brake warning sensors and looped them out so that I don't have to worry about (or buy any more of) these in the future. They melt on the track so they're pretty useless anyway. Here are the calipers on the car, complete with new decals:



As this was always going to be a thorough job I also bought a set of BF Goodridge braided brake hoses. These were a real fight to get undone and resulted in me having to replace 3 of the copper/nickel brake lines that they attached to. Look good though:

The penultimate job to do was to change the proportioning valve that sits in the front boot to the upgraded version which allows more pressure to go to the bigger rear calipers.

The costs involved in this brake project were;

Used 928 S4 calipers £180
Spring plate kits for rear calipers £70
Spring plate kits for front calipers £70
New bleed valve for front caliper £8
Braided brake hoses £50
Caliper paint £15
Decals £11
Proportioning valve £55
2 litres of Castrol Super Dot4 fluid £20
1 x set of textar pads for road £50
1 x set of pagid pads for track £115
3 x new copper/nickel brake lines £75

Total cost = £719

Thank goodness I didn't have to pay for labour!

All that was left was to flush/bleed the system and go out for a test drive.

Red Wheels (Dec 07)

At the end of the month I got round to fitting the new cup style 16 inch wheels. Here's one next to the larger 17 inch cup 1 replica.

And here they are on the car:

Now the rear ARB bushes (Dec 07)

Having replaced the front ARB bushes a few weeks before I finally got round to changing the rear ones. These turned out to be much easier than the front ones. It was a simple case of undoing both retaining brackets, pulling out the old ones and putting on the new ones. In order to get the brackets back on I found that I could use the trolley jack on the ARB to hold the bushes in place.

You can easily spot one of the new purple bushes in the pic below:

Went in for a service (Dec 07)

For the first service under my watch I put it into JMH specialists in Holmes Chapel. It was for there for 2 and half weeks tongue. This might sound a little strange but since it's a weekend car, the arrangement was to drop if off on a nice day, leave it to be serviced as and when, and collect it on a nice day. So it's now got 21 stamps in the service book which is rapidly running out of space.

A full service on these cars is a big job as it's necessary to remove the heat exchangers in order to adjust the valve clearances and fit a new set of 12 spark plugs. With the diagnostic check and other bits and pieces, the labour time involved is 6 to 8 hours. Including a liberal amount of Mobil's finest and and a gearbox oil change (it hadn't been done for a while), I'm more than happy with the bill that came to £675. Probably half the price of what an OPC would charge (who are unlikely to have any staff these days that could service a 964).

It was great on the blast home after not having driven it for a while.

It's not often that the daily driver and the 964 are out at the same time. So here's a few pics of them together: