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Dammit New Reader
9/27/16 12:57 p.m.

In my mission to be a walking, talking cliche I decided to fulfil a boyhood ambition in this, my 40th year, and buy a Porsche.

For whatever reason the cars I really want are the ones which were new in the mid to late 90's - and as the 993 was out of reach financially that meant the unloved 996.

Luckily I've always liked this most unloved of the Porsche family, and specifically I wanted the most analogue one that I could find, so amber indicators, cable throttle and the 3.4 litre dual-row IMS bearing model was what I was after.

I wanted a manual coupe, preferably with the M030 suspension, an LSD and sports seats. This meant disappointment was to be my constant companion when perusing Autotrader, eBay and Car and Classic.

Whenever I did find such a car (or, to be honest, one with two out of three) the vendor either never bothered to reply to my call/email, or did - to tell me that they'd just sold the car.

In the end I clicked on an advert without reading it as the main picture showed a silver coupe with amber indicators, and the search I'd run was "manual 911". The car turned out to be a five minute walk from my office so I fired a message at the seller asking to view the car. Then I saw it was a cabriolet. Dilemma.

I decided to go to see the car anyway as it was in the Selfridges car park and my office was in Soho, so it was a pleasant stroll with a coffee. I met the seller in the shoe department - something of a first. It turned out that he worked in the purchasing department, and hence had free central-London parking in the Selfridges complex. Handy.

The seller was a lovely guy, a true car enthusiast - he was selling the 911 to fund the refurbishment of his Maserati.

Regents Park is close by so we went there and drove laps whilst discussing the car, stopping to swap seats and to retract the roof. The roof thing was good - I liked the theatre, and it was pure fun tooling around top-down.

I'd almost cancelled this viewing and now I was seriously considering the car - I bid the seller farewell and went back to the office to think about things.

I'd taken a photo of the build sheet under the bonnet, so to check out the spec I ran the codes:

C26 South African market vehicle
139 Seat heating, left
340 Seat heating, right
197 Stronger battery
220 LSD
222 Traction control ASR AntriebsSchlupfRegelung
224 Traction control ABD Automatic Braking Differential
288 Headlamp washer
326 Cassette-radio Becker Porsche CR-21 ROW
375 Two way electical sports seat, left
376 Two way electical sports seat, right
421 Front cassette compartment
426 Three spoke steering wheel
441 Radio preparation
446 Wheel caps with coloured Porsche crest
454 Automatic speed control
490 Sound system, MY2002-> Sound system Harmann analog
551 Wind deflector
563 Side airbags
567 Top tinted windscreen
573 Automatic air conditioning
692 6-disc CD changer Becker Porsche CDC-3
936 Leather rear seats
981 Leather dashboard and door panels
983 leather front seats

Dammit New Reader
9/27/16 1:03 p.m.

We had sports seats and an LSD - quite a surprise, the LSD was a very rare option on these cars.

I decided to buy the car, and arranged with the vendor to get a pre-purchase inspection done.

This revealed £4,000 worth of work that needed to be done - all service items, but quite a few of them.

We negotiated the price and I bought the car, drove it home via my girlfriends office with (literally) a dry mouth due to the excitement. It was a good moment.

The next morning (this morning) I left the house at just past six and drove to a local Porsche Specialist:

Which is where the car is now. Unfortunately as he came apart more work was found - total bill now (for a total replacement of all suspension, control arms, aircon rebuild, new rads and more) is ~£5,500, more than half what I paid for the car. So - an expensive first day of ownership, hopefully once this is past all that will be left is to enjoy the car.

cdowd HalfDork
9/27/16 1:05 p.m.

Alsays nice to get them right from the start. It makes the experience much more enjoyable.

cdowd HalfDork
9/27/16 1:05 p.m.

looks beautiful as well congratulations!

Dammit New Reader
9/27/16 1:12 p.m.

Thanks! I bought another of my childhood "hero" cars around 9 years ago and have been steadily catching up on maintenance and also (frankly) modifying it far beyond what Volvo ever expected:

The Volvo is faster (380 vs 295 bhp), stops harder (AP Racing brakes on the Volvo vs the Porsche Brambo) and spits flame on the over-run.

The Porsche is actually the mild mannered, OEM vehicle of the two.

Harvey Dork
9/27/16 2:14 p.m.

Like the hardtop on the Porsche, that has to be worth some extra dough. The Volvo is a nice one too.

Dammit New Reader
9/27/16 4:10 p.m.

My understanding is that all of this era of cab came with the hard-top, I would guess that quite a few have been lost over the years though.

A question for those of you with these cars - I'm 6'2" and would like to use the GT3 centre console delete to free up some room for my left leg.

Looking at the interior:

I have heated seat buttons on the lower part of the console - but I also have two blank buttons on the upper console.

Can anyone think of a reason why I could not move the heated seat buttons up to the upper console to replace the blanks?

mrap1000 New Reader
9/28/16 7:33 p.m.

I had that lower console out on my Boxster when I rebuilt the shifter. It should be fairly easy to relocate those buttons to the upper panel. The switches should be the same size and there's plenty of room to fish an extended wiring harness up there.

Dammit New Reader
10/5/16 6:23 p.m.

In what I think may be a strong candidate for "most boring post of 2016" I am pleased to announce that I've made use of a business trip to Colorado to get parts for my 911:

For some reason an American spec fag lighter is impossible to source in the UK, but trivial here in the US - which is handy as all charging devices known to man are US spec and rattle around in a Euro spec lighter socket.

Dammit New Reader
10/6/16 11:00 a.m.

Well, this is verging on "cautionary tale" status, I pick the car up tomorrow with the following done:

996 A/c condenser replacement Removed front bumper and replaced left air-conditioning condenser and o-ring seals. Removed and replaced receiver drier unit. Checked for leaks and operation after repair. Replaced pressure and return lines front to rear of car for the air conditioning system.

Air Conditioning Service Drain out R134a gas, carry out system evacuation. Refill with R134a, compressor lubricant and leak dye. Run system, check pressures and output temperature.

Replaced front shock absorbers,top mounts and bump stops. Replaced rear shock absorbers and inspect top mount and roadsprings. Refinished road springs and rear anti roll bar. Removed and replaced seized front anti roll bar drop link rods. Wax oiled under side of car.

Removed and replaced engine mounts 996 Exhaust gasket and fastener replacement Replaced exhaust 'triangle gaskets and fasteners. Checked for leaks after repair EML light on after road test. Rechecked fault memory and found bank 1 O2 sensor not switching. Replaced sensor and cleared fault memory. Carried out road test and re-checked O2 readings for both banks. Found car to be slow. Checked DME readings and air flow sensor, found air flow sensor pulling too high an air reading. Removed and replaced air flow sensor. Carried out road test and checked readings.

Removed and replaced near side front radiator. Reduced timedue to A/C work. Bled out coolant system after fitment. Checked for leaks after repair.

Replaced faulty clutch booster spring. Lubricated linkage.

Removed and replaced front and rear lower suspension arms.

Wheel Alignment: Four wheelChecked and adjust four wheel alignment. Checked steering wheel alignment after repair.

Replaced missing front number plate plinth,fitted new numberplates. Carried out power steering pipe modification.

Replaced hand brake retaining spring clips as incorrect ones fitted. Cleaned hand brake shoe and carried out shoe adjustment.

Replaced near side rear brake caliper bolts. Cleaned out threads. Drilled out broken front brake pipe fixing mounts to front hubs. Carried out time sert repair to front hubs to refix brake pipe holder. Replaced missing or damaged discs retaining screws.

Make: Porsche 996 Carrera Cabrio Description Amount Vatable Items 4,996.49 Mileage: 60539 VAT @ 20.00% 999.30 Total Invoice Value 5,995.79

At todays exchange rate (bearing in mind the downward plunge of our currency due to the current bunch of lunatics who are in charge of destroying the economy) that's $7,600

Crackers New Reader
10/6/16 1:10 p.m.

That really doesn't seem too bad for the amount of work they actually did, especially for a specialty shop.

chandlerGTi UberDork
10/6/16 5:06 p.m.
Dammit wrote: My understanding is that all of this era of cab came with the hard-top, I would guess that quite a few have been lost over the years though.

Oddly enough it was a special option to NOT get the roof, I looked at a blown up engine cab last year and it was listed on the option sheet.

Dammit New Reader
10/6/16 6:28 p.m.

I will admit that I am wondering where exactly to store it, it's a little beyond shelf sized.

Dammit New Reader
10/11/16 3:05 p.m.

16 hours of solid work later I have created enough room for the Porsche to get into the garage:

And when I discovered that this existed (a roof rack for a cabriolet) I had to get one:

Vigo PowerDork
10/11/16 5:59 p.m.

As a fellow recent 996 buyer, congrats! I'm following this with interest. Mine has needs as well but i've yet to address any of them..

Dammit New Reader
10/14/16 3:37 p.m.

Huge long shot - any members here familiar with the Porsche wall mount for the hardtop?

I picked one up second hand but it's missing the cryptically named "Intermediate pieces", identified in this image as "2":

They go between the hardtop locating pins and the lower bar, from what I can understand from the diagram - and the seller didn't include them.

Am I ok to go ahead without them or will this lead to the sort of smoking crater that B-movie greybeards stand next toosaying "and this used to be called Noo-Jok"?

Dammit New Reader
10/16/16 4:16 p.m.

Ok, question on the Volvo - I've got AP Racing CP5200 four piston calipers at the front, running on 328/28 floating rotors on alloy hats. This is very good.

At the rear I've got standard Volvo solid discs with (again) the standard Volvo single piston caliper. This is sub-optimal.

Could I cut the rotor section off the rear brake disc unit, leaving the hub, and then put an alloy hat over the top of it with a 280/28 rotor on it, in a similar fashion to this:

And then mount another AP caliper using a bracket that I'll fabricate/have fabricated?

Or would the world end?

Dammit New Reader
12/11/16 12:57 p.m.

I drove down to the Mrs's parents place in Eastbourne yesterday - around 50 miles of back country lanes, car was fine on the way down with great brake pedal feel (firm, high bite point, bags of confidence, all easily discernable even when driving like a Vicar who has a couple of elderly parishioners in the car).

The car sat outside overnight (it's normally garaged) and I drove it home this arvo.

The brake pedal now feels soft, there's no discernable bite point (you simply notice that the cars slowing down) and it's also very slow to return- to the point that when doing a three pointer the pedal got lower and lower at each of the three points (if that makes sense).

The car still stops, the pedal becomes firm after a deal of travel, but it's not what it was before - anyone got any insight they'd care to share?

I'm concerned that a brake pipe has burst, they had some surface corrosion but the Indy passed them as fine when they inspected the car.

GreenVWs New Reader
12/11/16 3:29 p.m.
  1. Open hood
  2. Check brake fluid level.
  3. If low, may be a leak in the system. If full, no leak.

Your description sounds like what happens when one circuit in the master cylinder has failed and all the fluid is being moved by the second circuit. A failed hose or line generally means pedal on the floor and no brakes at all. A low but firm pedal is either air in the system or a dying master cylinder. It's unlikely in your case that some air just got in the system so I'd lean towards master cylinder.

Dammit New Reader
12/11/16 4:37 p.m.

I'll check the fluid level tomorrow, regardless this sounds like the car needs a trip to the mechanic if I'm to use it for running errands over Christmas without ending up upside down on fire.

Dammit New Reader
12/13/16 9:20 a.m.

Fluid level was fine, checked under the car and no leaks, I'm going to call it the master cylinder until the mechanic to whom I have sent the car gets back to me.

Waved the 911 off on the transporter, popped out to run some errands, coming back up the hill I live on top of and "POP"!

All back together now and I've roughed up the pipe after cleaning it, but the car won't idle now.

I've taken the ECU out and will leave it overnight - hopefully it'll have cleared the values it learned when trying to breathe through an intercooler without a turbo feeding it in the morning.

Vigo PowerDork
12/13/16 10:16 a.m.

It took me a second to figure out that that was Volvo content..

Dammit New Reader
12/14/16 5:55 a.m.

911 - dead brake servo due to water contamination (text direct from garage).

Once this is fixed I'll be very close to parity between what I paid for the car and what I've spent fixing it.

Dammit New Reader
12/18/16 1:55 p.m.

I'm deeply sceptical of this new charge pipework - the place I bought it from maintain that this will ensure that the pipe doesn't come off in boost, I think that's extremely optimistic:

Who is correct?

Dammit New Reader
2/19/17 9:07 a.m.

You've just washed your car:

You're happy because you've done all the maintenance and got a few jobs done that have made a huge difference to how you fit in and interact with the car:

But wait!

This has been annoying since you got the car, it rattles over bumps and lets the interior down, so what should you do?

Remove the Torx T20 screws here and here:

And pop off the temp-sensor cover here to reveal the third and last one:

Then pull the vent assembly forward and to the left, some interior trim tools are handy here but not essential:

In that last photo you'll see two tabs, there are another two tabs on the other side, you'll definitely need a tool of some kind now in order to pry the tube section off the (visible) trim section. I was convinced I was going to break something, but steady pressure caused the two parts to pop apart with no cracking.

You'll be left with this:

And you'll need to locate this:

In my case it was still attached to the bottom-most slat, lying down inside the vent. You'll need to click it back onto all the slats:

Then you will, for the first time, see this sight:

Put the vent-tube back on, taking care to get it over the four tabs AND LINE UP THE PRONGS ON THE VENT CONTROL with the middle of the three vertical slats as you push it together, leaving you with this:

Pop it back into the car, do the other side (which on mine was possible simply by reaching through the slats with a pair of needle-nose pliers as only the top few had come away).

Then put the car away and drive the Volvo to Saino's:

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