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Woody MegaDork
8/13/19 2:09 p.m.

In reply to BoxheadTim :

I’ve had mine for a decade and pulled off the sound deadening pad shortly after I bought it. Not much difference from inside the car. Not worth pulling the engine for.  

BoxheadTim MegaDork
8/13/19 2:57 p.m.

In reply to Woody :

Good point, especially given how loud the current exhaust is. I said "GIVEN HOW LOUD", ah, nevermind .

octavious Dork
8/14/19 7:34 a.m.

Mine is out for a teardown due to broken head studs.  As well as undo some of the cheapo fixes I did 17 years ago as a dumb kid with no money who bought a cheap Porsche.  


For this drop I used a pallet jack.  I used an ATV jack in the past but it was just a little too wobbly for me.  I cut some 2x8s and laid them on the pallet jack as a little more cushion for the engine.  I then jacked the car up enough to take the weight of the motor and transmission onto the pallet jack, then removed the transmission and engine bolts, and lowered it back down to the floor with the pallet jack.  I then used two jacks to get the car up just high enough to get the engine out.  You really don't have to lift the car high at all if you already have the engine on the ground.  


My sound pad is also gone.  I have no idea what brand exhaust I have, it is stainless headers surrounded by stainless boxes for heat exchangers, and into a two out muffler.  I have a Steve Wong chip installed in mine.  

8/14/19 10:10 a.m.
Woody said:

In reply to NOT A TA :

I've only recently learned what a lanai is. Isn't there supposed to be a pool in there though?

Na, it's just a fancy word for porch. There was a heart shaped pool in my back yard, gone now. House was built in the early 70's and the first owner was George McCrae when he had the # single "Rock your baby". The word lanai gets used a lot on the Palm forum I'm on and without thinking I used it here surfing forums.

BoxheadTim MegaDork
8/14/19 12:19 p.m.

In reply to octavious :

Do you have the "two in" muffler? As in the headers/heat exchangers just going straight back into the muffer? If so, that's the same earlier setup I have on mine.

BoxheadTim MegaDork
8/19/19 7:32 p.m.

Finally had a bit of time yesterday and this evening to do a bit more work on the 911.

The plan was to pull the MAF and clean it, check the coil and while I'm in there, pull the sound deadening pad. I had found a scan of the install instructions over on the Pelican forum and noticed that it mentioned a potentiometer I didn't recall seeing. I pulled the horrible sticky mess that the electrical tape had turned into off the loom - well, partially at least - and found the potentiometer. Well, I *think* I found it. The electrical installation really isn't to my liking and I'm somewhat curious where the ECU should be getting its intake temperature signal from - as you can see in the photo there are only three wires going to the MAF, and the OEM AFM has the IAT sensor built in.

After pulling out the remains of the sound deadening pad, the nesting and leftover nuts someone had parked behind the pad I also noticed that someone had stuffed a filter on the breather tube that would normally go to the intake and just dropped it behind/in front of the engine. Nothing a dorifto-spec zip tie couldn't fix. Stuff like that annoys me, because it shows you how much care was taken when the car was put together.

I also pulled the coil out, cleaned the contacts and measured its resistance. It looks like the primary resistance (between + and -) is a bit high. My multimeter went down to about 0.8Ohm, Bentley says 0.4-0.6. Secondary coil resistance (the output side) is well in spec at 6.5kOhm.

One other thing I noticed is that at least in my non-automotive engineer mind, the MAF is a bit weird. I always thought that you had to have the air travel across the sensor the same way it flows into the engine. Have a look at this:

That hump on the right is the tube the sensor sits in. You see that tiny gap in the center of the picture? That appears where the air is supposed to come out. Better picture of the MAF - the sensor is at the bottom of the tube.

I'm beginning to understand why some of the comments I got on another forum about this conversion were also along the lines of "it barely adequate back then and hasn't got any better since".

Washed the air filter which stated that it was to be rinsed in water and not oiled. Let it dry and put it back on, then finally got everything back together and fired it up this evening. Not much of a change - again, I think it's running ever so slightly better, but the fault is still very much on display. It also developed a new one when I noticed that there was smoke coming out of the heater connector hose in the engine bay. Very noticeable smoke that then promptly gets sucked into the cabin, yay.

Not quite sure where that is coming from right now. It looks a bit like oil smoke, but I'm not 100% sure. Also, if it's oil smoke I'm not sure how the oil got into the stainless steel heat exchangers. Obviously getting oil or other smoke into the cabin is really bad news and will need to be investigated.

BoxheadTim MegaDork
8/20/19 8:11 a.m.

Forgot to mention - I think Woody is onto something re cleaning all the electrical contacts, which I've started doing already at the rear fusebox. Someone on Pelican pointed out that there is a relay that is supposed to turn off the electric windows after you turned off the ignition, then opened and closed the drivers or passenger door. Apparently the drain from leaving the windows live is enough to flatten the battery.

Guess what my car doesn't do?

I'll file that under minor annoyance for now.

Vigo MegaDork
8/20/19 9:29 a.m.

These look like problems i'd be ok having...

BoxheadTim MegaDork
9/2/19 7:56 p.m.

In between fixing up E36 M3 the local motorcycle dealer touched, trying to get out of the house for a bit and emergency repairs to the roof of my shop, not much has happened.

I did clean some more electrical contacts, rechecked the distributor cap and noticed the contacts in the cap look slightly "burned", but nothing similar on the rotor. Either way, no damage in there so I put everything back together. Then cleaned up the contacts in the front fusebox with some electrical contact cleaner, basically starting carefully before going to more abrasive methods of cleaning. Oh, and for E36 M3s and giggles I unplugged the NB O2 sensor.

Result - it still pops a bit at cold idle, but while the oil temperature is in the lower white zone and a bit above, it runs almost perfect. Pulls up our driveway in 2nd gear at 2k rpm with no fuss (which it has never done before). Looks like dumping in more fuel because it went to a safe map helped. Of course I had to explore this a bit more and took it for a longer drive. The more the engine bay heated up (keep in mind the cone filter is in exactly the wrong spot and the heater elbow in the engine bay isn't hooked up right now), the more it ran like it used to. This culminated in driving up towards our house and getting misfires again in third gear around 3k-ish. But even with that, it does run a lot better with the O2 disconnected. Nevertheless, heat is a definitive factor here, which also explains why it ran noticeably better when I originally got the car in January. I'm still wondering if the MAF conversion did away with the intake temp sensor and the ECU now just assumes a random temperature.

The plan for now is two swap out the plug leads as they are of an indeterminate age and I have a set already, even if I don't like the fitment. Oh, and hook up the heater elbow again to keep some hot air out of the engine bay. Depending on the outcome of that I may have to test the fuel pressure and also look at the battery voltage while driving.



BoxheadTim MegaDork
9/29/19 7:47 p.m.

Finally, some progress.

The new DME relay and a new replacement coil showed up in the mail and for once I didn't have to wander around the roof of my shop looking for holes for a whole weekend.

In typical debugging manner - you only change one parameter - I started with the spark plug wires. I had a spare set that I am not too fond of as the spark plug connectors don't fit very well (stand out too much), but I figured, what the heck. Still with the O2 sensor disconnected I "quickly"[1] put the new wires on, fired up the car and....

... drumroll ...

... it still politely popped in the exhaust at idle. Hmm. Great. Not what I hoped.

Decided to run it up the driveway and at least the judder/misfire/whatevertheberkitwas slightly above 2000 rpm is gone. Hmmm. Might be time to ghetto up some "wire mounts" because of course the aftermarket larger wires don't fit the OEM mounts. Proper dorifto spec cable ties and the new wires - yes, with the old ones still in place, I said I ghettoed this up - the spark plug wires are now less likely to be sucked into any moving parts:

OK, time to grab the wallet, lock the door and take the car out for a spin.

Warms up well, pulls past the critical 2000-2200 rpm range with no hiccup. As everything warms up, goes past 3k rpm with no hiccup. So I took the longer way to my prefered Shell station and topped up the tank. At this point everything's nice and hot so pulling out of the station it's time to see how it'll rev past 5000 - of course, to avoid traffic, officer.

It goes rrrrrooooooowwwwwwwl with no stutter, judder or anything. Hmm. I may have to try this again. Rrrrrooooooowwwwwl. OK. Still seems to work.

So it looks like between the O2 sensor and the plug wires, the problem is "fixed". For now. Of course the plug wires still don't fit well and don't fit into the OEM wire mounts, so I have to figure out that part. I should also replace the O2 sensor with the brand new one I just got to see if that changes anything when I plug it back in. But for now I think I can move on to some of the other issues like the steering bushing, the brakes and the distinctly oinking suspension.

Had to stop on the way home for a beauty shot, too:

[1] Who designed the a/c system such that you can get the dang plug wire on the plug without trying to wrestle a hose out of the way, ideally with a third hand? Took me at least half an hour to change the wires, and that's without routing them correctly.

Woody MegaDork
9/29/19 8:48 p.m.

I'm glad that you're on your way to straightening this car out.

I understand the quest to add horsepower (not directed at you), but I've never understood the quest to try and outsmart Porsche engineers (also not directed at you).

BoxheadTim MegaDork
9/30/19 1:59 p.m.

In reply to Woody :

Thanks - I'll get there eventually, fortunately I'm not in a rush. Right now I'm just glad that it's running a lot better than it used to.

I'm with you regarding the "outsmarting Porsche engineers". I get why people do these MAF conversions as the flappy AFMs are wearing out and are getting harder to find in good condition. But in my book that's no excuse for effectively a E36 M3ty fix.

We'll gloss over the bit about selling someone in CA a car that can't pass smog there (due to the MAF conversion and lack of cat), because there is already an old nastygram about that in the paperwork that came with the car.


BoxheadTim MegaDork
12/29/19 4:03 p.m.

I've not done a lot to the 911 - heck, not even drive it - as I was spending what little wrenching time I had between fixing up the house and catching up on servicing the S2000. Today we had proper British weather and I decided to wander off into the garage, pull the seats out of the 911 so I could get at the ECU and generally give me more room to clean it up. The PO had/has a dog, and I'm allergic to dogs. Not to mention that it needed a good clean anyway.

So out came the seats - passenger seat was easy, driver's seat not so much as someone had been in there before. Got both out and wasn't too happy with what I found. First - and it's not that easy to see in the photos - there's a nice layer of white powdery corrosion on the ECU. The ECU is also only held down with a single nut and two of the four studs it sits on are nicely corroded. We'll ignore the bit about the DME relay missing both the bracket and a distinct lack of nut to hold down said bracket.

Floorboard on the driver's side does look like someone's got their money's worth out of that one, too:

What bothers me most is that I noticed a lot of corrosion on fasteners etc near the floor of the car, plus it has a bit of a mold issue on some interior parts - not bad and nothing that won't clean off. But the car doesn't smell moldy, yet it almost looks like I've got a waterline on the passenger side floorboard:

The good news is that the corrosion on the ECU mainly seems to be on the surface, the connectors are nice and clean. I didn't have the nerve to pop it open yet although that's on the agenda for tomorrow. I do have to check that it does have an aftermarket chip in it. I am almost 100% certain it does given the MAF conversion, but I need to see what I have in there.

The other job for tomorrow is to pull out the driver's side door card as the lid for the map pocket is pulling away from the door card, and the door card itself feels like it's not in great condition anyway.

Oh, and after I got the seats out I pulled that silly aftermarket center console that likes to rattle a lot and that was bolted to the car with self tappers(!). Of course they had to cut the carpet to put it in, but then again I've been toying with the idea of replacing the whole carpet anyway, especially when I found that the driver's side carpet has a large orange stain on it.

BoxheadTim MegaDork
12/30/19 3:46 p.m.

Today I bit the bullet and opened up the ECU. Fortunately things weren't quite as bad as expected and the ECU only had a few corrosion spots on the inside cover:

It also has the proper Autothority chip fitted, which is kindasorta good news. There are some traces of liquid having made its way into the case if you look carefully on the top righthand of the upper board, but I suspect carefully cleaning it up with some rubbing alcohol before reassembly should take care of the issue.

BoxheadTim MegaDork
2/2/20 3:38 p.m.

Been mostly concentrating on the Jeep and the S2000, but I did notice that Costco had discount deal going for Michelin and BF Goodrich, so I figured it was about time to buy the 911 some new shoes. I also never liked the look of the Cup 2 wheels much and had already acquired a set of 16" Fuchs in the stock 1989 sizes. Yesterday it was time to have the tires mounted and hopefully will go from this:

To this pretty soon:

BoxheadTim MegaDork
2/2/20 3:39 p.m.

Fuchs wheels just look, errr, foxy on these things.

BoxheadTim MegaDork
3/22/20 4:58 p.m.

Finally had a little more time to work on this car, mainly to put the new old wheels on it. At some point I had to brave sticking it on the QuickJack and today was the day. Why "brave"? Well, the jacking points are designed for a two post lift so they're not in exactly the right place to have  the two sides of the QuickJack 100% parallel. Still, seems to have worked out OK and they're almost parallel.

And yes, I took the photo after I had replaced the wheels on the passenger side. It also looks like my suspicion that the car wasn't level left-to-right was correct. Once I put the lifting blocks on the QuickJack, it was pretty obvious that the passenger side was a tad lower than the driver's side.

The wheel nuts needs quite some persuasion to loosen, and I noticed that the front wheels also appear to have some play in the wheel bearings. I'll have to sort that out before the next inspection - hopefully it's just a matter of adjusting the wheel bearing. I also couldn't help but notice that one of the front shocks appears to be leaking ever so slightly.

More annoying was the fact that both front calipers appear to be at least partially seized. I can just about turn the brake disk on the driver's side by hand, on the passenger side, not so much. My previous '89 had the same problem and I ended up having to get the calipers looked at every spring. Let's hope this one doesn't quite require that level of attention.

With the rear wheels pulled off, I could check the kidney bowl area and it all looks and feels solid. There is some old dirt in there that needs to be cleaned out properly but an exploratory clean didn't reveal any unpleasant crunchiness.

You can see in the photo that the spring plate bushing has had it - it's the same on both sides, and it did do wonders for the rear camber, as you can see from the photo below. I suspect the whole rear alignment needs to be looked at, closely.

Both rears have that interesting wear pattern on the inside shoulder.

Either way, the car looks much better with the correct wheels on it.

While it was on the QuickJack, I also noticed that the passenger side door - which is a pain in the posterior to close at the best of times - required a lot of force to open and especially to close. Further investigation revealed that the door latch was hitting the metal cover on the striker plate. It's just about visible in the photo below, which I took after the car was back on its four wheels.

I suspect that someone's had the doors off the car at some point as the shut lines are off - the door gaps at the front of the doors are nice and tight (probably too tight given the age of the car) but the rears were always noticeably bigger. You, like someone didn't shim the door hinges correctly along the length of the car.

At the very minimum I need to shim out the striker plates on both sides so the latches slide into them better. Not sure if I have the nerve at some point in time to remove the door and shim out the hinges, though.

chandler PowerDork
3/22/20 6:03 p.m.

I'll hit you with a PM, I'd like those C2s for my car. Yours looks infinitely better with the Fuchs

Woody MegaDork
3/22/20 7:33 p.m.

Proper wheels look much better on this car.

Your center console looks like a factory original to me. Both of mine were just like that, and both were attached with self tappers and felt flimsy until I tightened them.

The corrosion that you are seeing is about what I would have expected from any Targa, so I suspect that a Cabrio would be similar.

The entire DME connector in my Targa had come apart, and I replaced the whole thing with spade connectors. I suspect that it's a common issue on any car that has ever been out in the rain. They just put all that stuff in a bad spot.

BoxheadTim MegaDork
3/23/20 5:45 p.m.

In reply to Woody :

Interesting regarding the center armrest. I've not seen that one before, which is why I assumed it was aftermarket. Maybe an accessory that's more popular in the US than in Europe.

Fortunately the wiring looms etc are all in good shape despite the "liable to flooding" location. But the interior does need a good clean before I put it back together, and I also need to find a good way to deal with some of the sun damage. The excuses for rear seats are banana shaped from the sun and the leather drying out.

mr2s2000elise Dork
3/23/20 5:48 p.m.

Love the new proper wheels. Any pics of the 911 and Giula together? 

BoxheadTim MegaDork
3/26/20 2:10 p.m.

In reply to chandler :

You should have a couple of replies to your PM by now.

In reply to mr2s2000elise :

Not yet, that would require the 911 to be mobile, which it isn't at the moment.

BoxheadTim MegaDork
4/6/20 7:27 p.m.

Got to spend a few minutes in the shop yesterday that didn't involve cleaning things as the swifts seem to have moved back in.

I managed to pull out the front brake pads (eventually) to take a closer look at the front calipers. Unsurprisingly the pistons have downed tools and none of my piston retractor tools work well with the ATE calipers on these, so I've bit the bullet and ordered the correct Hazet tool. I'm also going to order a couple of caliper overhaul kits anyway in case I can't free the calipers up in any other way. The brake fluid looks well past its lifespan so I wouldn't be surprised if there is corrosion on the pistons, too.

While I was in there I also checked the front wheel bearing on the passenger side. After mustering the courage to beat the dust cap into submission, it looks at least like the outer bearing is in decent shape. It wants to be repacked with grease though - when I tried to spin the bearing on my finger it pretty much wouldn't, so I tried to clean it off a bit to check with damage. I was too lazy to get up so I gave it a couple of squirts with PB Blaster as a cleaner and magically, that got the grease past the point where it was so sticky the bearing wouldn't turn. I don't think I've ever had that, so I better figure out a way to clean out the old grease first.

Time to put in another parts order to overhaul the front brakes and see if regreasing and adjusting the wheel bearings will get rid of the small amount of play I could feel when wiggling the front wheels, or if I have to dig into the suspension and/or steering to find the source of play.

BoxheadTim MegaDork
4/12/20 4:59 p.m.

Right, more boring stuff on the 911. The interior needed a clean, badly. The plan for today was to pull out the floorboard and the various covers in the front passenger footwell and go to town with the shop vac. Not much to worry about - the floorboards need replacing but I've already got an ABS replacements, just need to drill the two mounting holes for the additional electrics that were bolted to its underside of the passenger side floorboard. The OEM floorboard in there also looked a bit more mouldy and dirty on the back, which is beginning to worry me a bit. I'm finding too many indicators of water incursion to the interior for my liking.

I still need to pull out the centre console so I can remove the carpet and clean things up a bit more, but overall, things started looking up.

I also found some spare change, but not enough for a coffee, yet.

Well, things were looking up until I started having a go at the passenger side. First, I noticed that the sound deadening was loose. A bit of prodding showed that water had managed to get underneath it. Yay. The eagle eye readers may also notice that the floorboard has a bit of a painted look to it. As do the bolts for the loud pedal. We'll get to that in a bit. But first, time for some bodywork!

Either something got jammed under the car at some point, or some eejit managed to jack up the car right below where the ECU is supposed to sit. The floor was actually pushed up quite a bit, and we can't have that. So I used some "proper" tools - aka a BFH and a piece of wood - to tap down the area as much as I could to level it out.



The shiny part is a pretty big crease that's still left and it'll need some proper bodywork tools to work out. But the floor is mostly back to where it should be and the ECU is now sitting correctly as well. I'll have to inspect this area from underneath the car to see what the damage to the undercoat is and if there is any visible rust.

Back to taking the driver's side floorboard out. Theoretically it should be pretty simple, a matter of undoing the bottom nut and the gas pedal, then wiggling the carpet over the pedals, followed by the floor board.

Well, for starters somebody had painted over the bottom of the floorboard and also the fasteners on the gas pedal. I suspect to make the floorboard look better and the gas pedal bolts look less rusty if someone took out the carpet during something like a pre-purchase inspection. To be clear, this is not fresh paint and I'm pretty sure it wasn't done around the time when I bought the car, but I suspect someone did that some time before the PO bought the car. It's also barely visible unless you know what to look for and/or try to lift the top carpet.

Note to self, PB Blaster doesn't work well if the thread itself is painted over. No way to apply heat either, so the inevitable happened and the berkeleying bolt that holds the floorboard down sheared off. Great, colour me impressed.

The floorboard - well, there is "done for" and then there is this:

It literally delaminated in my hand so I didn't even have to unbolt the clutch stop to take it out. Yowza. Unfortunately it looks a bit iffy underneath the floorboard, too.

Notice the corrosion and the "blue goop" in the pedal mounting frame? I suspect I'll have to pull the pedals out and investigate further, hopefully without breaking any more parts.

Unfortunately none of this helps quell my suspicion that this car has had standing water in it at some point in time, likely on the driver's side. There isn't quite as much evidence on the passenger side, although the passenger side floorboard had some dirt/mud on the inside. That said, it looks like all of it had been cleaned up somewhat at some point, but it's left corrosion in places where it's a bit unusual. The other part is that it looks like the passenger seat at some point had a CD changer or similar mounted underneath it. The cable is still there, but corroded. I wouldn't be surprised if that CD changer fell victim to whatever water ended up in the car.

Oh, and it wouldn't be one of my aircooled 911s if I didn't find a badly fitted mystery electrical box with a non-blinken light under the dash.

BoxheadTim MegaDork
4/12/20 5:06 p.m.

So where does that leave me right now?

Well, the car isn't drivable right now, the lack of seats kinda gives that away. I have to get it inspected before the end of the month - although there is probably going to be a bit of a grace period with stay-at-home ordars and all that jazz - and while I think I could throw it back together, I'd rather do the work properly and only once. Which probably means taking the car off the road for a while and send the plate back in.

I obviously have to deal with the corrosion and the damaged sound deadening. A lot of it comes up easy but the rest may need some persuasion using either dry ice or a heat gun. I'm glad that Porsche galvanised those cars, at least I'm not looking at the garage floor from the inside of the car!

The carpets are pretty much done for, so I'm looking at replacing them. I have to figure out how to deal with the broken off mounting bolt for the floor board as the stub that's remaining is too short to be useful. I also need to figure out what the self-tapping screw is that is visible right above the broken off stud.  The clutch slave cylinder needs looking at as the boot is torn, but it doesn't look like it's leaking.

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