Changing the Brake Master Cylinder on a Porsche 930

Harken back… Remember that time I took my bay-bee onto the track?

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And afterwards I changed the oil and found particulate in my catch pan?

Not what I wanted to find at the bottom of my oil catch pan...

Not what I wanted to find at the bottom of my oil catch pan…

And then I went through and cleaned out the engine and didn’t find a single sign of that particulate? Well, I took a big piece of the particulate, stuck it in a jar of clear new mobile 1 and let it sit.
Its been sitting for 3 months now and… it’s still there, unchanged. Alone the mobile 1 will not remove that particulate. So sitting in a cold garage I now know that the oil didn’t magically dissolve the particulate. Yes, it could still be magic that made it go away. Jury still out I suppose.

So, damage #2:

After driving on the track I noticed the brake was spongy. Figured I better bleed them.

And I made a stupid and costly mistake.

See, I don’t have a pressure or vacuum bleeder, so I push the old fluid out of the calipers using the old “kid pushing the brake pedal” technique. And I bled the calipers and found some bubbles in the blackish fluid that came from fronts. So figured that was the ticket. And
then I found the pedals weren’t spongy any more, instead the pedal would slowly drop as I sat at a stop light, which indicates a leaking master cylinder. How is bleeding related to leaking master cylinder? Really, it never leaked before the bleed.

The mistake I made is this: the car is 35 years old. Brake fluid absorbs water from the air, you must flush it every 2 or 3 years. If you wait 6 or more years (like my previous owner must have) then the steel bore in the master cylinder will start to rust from the water in the fluid. The rust is hard and gritty. There will be no rust where the cylinder’s pump plunger moves, its being polished smooth all the time. But in areas where the plunger never travels the rust will grow tall and mighty, sort of like the great barrier reef.

When I instructed my son to depress the brake pedal further than usual it caused the plunger seal to pass over the rust and the seal was destroyed.

The lesson here is, for an old car you must bleed using a pressure or vacuum bleeder. If I’d done that I wouldn’t know there was rust and the master cylinder would have worked perfectly for another 35 years.

So.. if you are a manic type and can’t live with the possibility of rust in your MC you can bleed an old brake system with the pedal and destroy it, then buy a new one and it will be nice and shiny. Or, if you’re a more pragmatic type you can appreciate that there is probably rust there, assume there is, buy a pressure bleeder for $30-60, and you can bleed brakes without destroying the MC. Anyhoo.

I need to rebuild the master cylinder, but reading on the internet the rebuild is no good unless you can fix the corroded bore, and the bore can’t usually be fixed, it’s usually pitted so instead it must be re-sleeved. Resleeving means drilling out the master cylinder bore and putting in a stainless (or brass) sleeve. Since those materials won’t rust this fix is considered a “forever fix”.
Unfortunately most of the cool folks that do resleeving have left us. Moved to more profitable pastures. I did find a legend of the brake repair industry locally here in seattle: “Goldline Brakes”. I called him and had a wonderful discussion. He says
resleeving is quite time-intensive to do right and he would need to charge $450 or so to rebuild my master cylinder (with resleeve.) He said it wasn’t cost-effective unless you had a collector-class vintage american car where the parts were no longer available. As mine was still available new for $250 he strongly recommended I just buy a new one, and then pleaded that I flush the brake fluid every 3 years. There is another place online that you might try: White Post: http://www.whitepost.com/brake.html maybe cheaper. Maybe not.

So on advice of wonderful man at Goldline I ordered a new MC from pelican, it arrived in 2 days.

I have the 911 Projects Book by Wayne. It has a whole section on master cylinder replacement, and yet again there are a bunch of details and steps that are just left out. Pisses me off. Here is a link to the free online instructions, which also leave out steps but is better than the book.
http://www.pelicanparts.com/techarticles/911_master_cylinder/911_master_cylinder.htm
Now that I’ve done the swap, knowing the steps and what tools to use, I think I could do it again in 90 minutes, but the first time, unknown steps left out, it took me five hours, and that’s not including a trip to target for a turkey baster for draining the
reservoir.

My Steps:
Work in driver side foot well:
– Get your SUPER BRIGHT LED WORKLIGHT, plug-in, turn on and shine it towards the pedal area.

I got this at Costco and its fricken’ amazing. Mega bright and DOESN’T GET HOT!

My wonderful $20 LED work light (thanks Costco.)

My wonderful $20 LED work light (thanks Costco.)

-Remove the carpets on the driver’s side floor.
-Undo the two bolts at the base of the accelerator pedal.
-Pull accelerator pedal loose from ball fitting.
-Put the pedal and bolts into a bag or bin for when you put them together.
-Now you can remove the carpet that is under the brake and clutch pedal. Note how at
the top of the carpet there are two metal brackets which go through holes in the
carpet – the carpet is held in place with two plastic ribbons. Carefully slide the
carpet loose through the notches. Once top edge of carpet is free you can pull it
over the top of the pedals. No need to force it, be gentle, there is room if you do
one pedal at a time.
-Now remove the wooden pedal form. One bolt at base, then pull back and wood is
free. Plenty of room to take wood panel out over pedals. Admire the nice high
quality plywood.
-Look how brake pedal connects to a gold plated lever that comes through the top of the foot box. The pin that holds the two connected is itself held on with a spring clip through the end of the pin. Pull spring clip free with pliers, then push pin out.
-Now follow top of foot box back from brake pedal, you’ll see a bolt in the middle of the roof of the foot box, this bolt actually goes into the bottom of the master cylinder, holds the master cylinder in place. Remove it and put it somewhere safe.
At this point you are done with the driver’s side, rest of the disassembly will be in the front trunk space.
Front Trunk:
– Lay out garbage bags over the driver’s side fender. This is to protect the paint especially from any brake fluid you might leak. Have some shop towels and a little water around it wash up any spilled brake fluid.
– Move your SUPER BRIGHT LED WORKLIGHT and shine it towards the brake booster. You will really need light to see what you are doing here.
– Fold back the carpet from the top of the trunk, you don’t need to remove it, just fold it away from under the dashboard. You need to get it clear because you’ll be removing the panel that hides the ventilation.
– When you remove the carpet you’ll see the brake reservoir on top of the large black brake booster. The booster is bolted to an aluminum mount that is itself bolted to the floor of the trunk. The master cylinder is being the booster, you can’t really see it.

Brake fluid reservoir connects to bracket, connects to vacuum booster which attaches to the floor of the trunk. Master cylinder is behind, not visible. Black panel to left covers the ventilation stuff (and will be removed soon).

Brake fluid reservoir connects to bracket, connects to vacuum booster which attached to the floor of the trunk. Master cylinder is behind, not visible. Black panel to left covers the ventilation stuff (and will be removed soon).

– Remove the ventilation panel, there are 4 bolts with washers and lock nuts. Put away in a safe place.
Now you’re into it, remove some awkward ventilation stuff. You need to so don’t argue.

Another view of the brake booster and reservoir.

Another view of the brake booster and reservoir.

You can just make out the end of the master cylinder where it bolts to the brake booster.

You can just make out the end of the master cylinder where it bolts to the brake booster. Hidden under that damn vent control cabling. The flexible plastic hose in the background must be removed.

– There is a flexible black plastic hose, 1.5″ diameter that is behind and below and to the left of the brake booster. It connects on each side using large hose clamp. Undo and remove.
– There is a POS paper duct that runs behind the brake booster, actually right over the master cylinder. Undo one end (hose clamp) and gently feed it back under the dash. You can get it out of the way, you’ll need to in order to reach the top of the master cylinder. Careful, it is paper and seems fragile.

Here with the booster and master cylinder removed the paper duct can be seen (retracted up and to the right in this picture.)

Here with the booster and master cylinder removed the paper duct can be seen (retracted up and to the right in this picture.)

– Brake fluid time: put on your nitrile gloves, make sure the plastic bags are intact over the paint, go into the kitchen and steal your wife’s turkey baster. Drain the reservoir, I just sucked out fluid until it was empty. With the small baster it took me 10 or so sucks.
– Stuff some water-moistened shop towels underneath the brake vacuum booster. This will absorb and control the brake fluid that flows there.
– Reach back with 11mm FLARE WRENCH and one small turn at a time undo the metal brake lines that go into the top of the master cylinder. Once the lines are loose they will drip a little brake fluid. Don’t freak, just be sure and clean it all up and wash the area with water once the master cylinder is out. The nuts are quite hard to reach. There is room all around so find a comfy wrench position and go slowly.
– Undo the brake vacuum booster from its aluminum stand (4 bolts).
– On the side of the stand is a 17mm nut. This connects the stand to a gold-colored rod that goes to the base of the brake pedal. Undo the bolt and put it somewhere safe. The brake fluid reservoir is held by a bracket that is itself held by two of these bolts, so now reservoir is only held in place by two hoses that plug into the top of the master cylinder.

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– Remove reservoir, just twist and pull and the two hoses will pull free. The master cylinder has two rubber rings that the hoses plug into, just a press fit. Just pull them free, no drama. Reservoir and its bracket are now loose. Yes, the hoses will spill a little more brake fluid.
– Remove the 4 bolts at the base of the aluminum stand. The stand, the vacuum booster and the attached master cylinder should all be loose now. You’ll see there is a ventilation control cable that passes directly over the junction between the master cylinder and vacuum booster.
– Jiggle the assembly free (base, vacuum boost, master cylinder.) Work slowly, don’t let the brake lines get caught and bend. Take your time to get the master cylinder under that damn vent control cable. It’s not necessary to remove the cable (though tempting it looks difficult to reconnect correctly.)
– Hurrah! Horray! It is out! Now use a wet sponge and wipe up the brake fluid. Wipe it all down with clean water which will neutralize the brake fluid. Clean out the turkey baster with soap and water, let it air dry, then sneak it back into the kitchen drawer before she gets home, hide the evidence! (Kidding honey!)

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– Now separate the master cylinder from the vacuum booster, two bolts.
– Clean off all the parts. Sand and fix up the paint if there’s any corrosion. I just painted mine with fluid film, a non-toxic lanolin-based substance that prevents corrosion.

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Install is the reverse of above. Here are my notes:
– You will have a new o-ring between vacuum booster and your new master cylinder. Rub it down with a lubw, I used napa syn-glide.
– O-Ring onto master cylinder.
– The instructions say to bench bleed the master cylinder. I didn’t bother because I didn’t want the mess. The pump primed itself quickly, no drama.
– Bolt master cylinder onto vacuum booster. Use only 25NM of torque which is not much at all.
– Put everything back with extreme care to use correct torque settings. Brake lines to master cylinder use only 11NM of force! That is just a little bit snug, with a short wrench.
– Remember that bleed screws on calipers use almost no torque, TWO Newton Meters is just a bit more than 1 foot pound, so pretty much nothing.
– Nice opportunity to vacuum out behind the pedals.
– Only other thing that gave me grief was snapping the accelerator pedal back onto the ball, I held the metal ball rod with pliers, pushed really hard and the pedal clicked on. Wasn’t easy though.
– Bleeding: you should do the passenger rear caliper first, then the driver rear, then the passenger front, then the driver front. Each caliper has 2 bleed nipples. Take your time and don’t let the reservoir run dry! Quite a bit of fluid is needed, was easy to see when it was done because I’d previously used ATE Super Blue (since discontinued.)

Anyway, end of the day the brakes are now SOLID. No softness and no spooky slow pedal descent while waiting at red lights. Woo!

My Oil is Coked

Not what I wanted to find at the bottom of my oil catch pan...

Not what I wanted to find at the bottom of my oil catch pan…

After finding coked oil in my drain pan last night I called John walker the next morning. He said it wasn’t unusual to accumulate junk in the bottom of the oil tank in a 35 year old car, didn’t think it’d be a big deal. He’d never heard of this happening but “I don’t have anything to do with those hot shots that go on the track.” I asked about ways of checking for damage and after prompting he did agree that it might be ok to check the cam spray bars, there was a drain back there that could be used.

I stopped by Chris’ German on the way to work, told them what had happened. They thought it was a bad thing, had heard of clogged spray bars and thought if I had a problem that I was fortunate to have noticed it so soon and probably I have caught it in time.

They had an engine on a stand with the valve covers off and showed me the hard-to-reach drain plug and the cam spray bars. The “spray bar” is a tube that’s filled with pressurize oil that runs alongside the lifters under the upper valve covers. There’s a pin hole on top of the tube next to each lifter, and… another pair of holes underneath that would be impossible to see with the engine in the car (maybe with a dentist’s mirror… maybe.)

They said to first check the sump screen for stuff, sold me a pair of sump seals for $5 and encouraged me to go to town checking the spray holes. I thought that was nice of them. They were very helpful!

New pair of sump seals

New pair of sump seals

Outside of sump plate

Outside of sump plate

sump screen

sump screen

Inscription on sump screen

Inscription on sump screen

Inside of Sump plate and washers

Inside of Sump plate and washers

Sump screen

Sump screen

I also ordered a filter opener, this is like a big pipe cutter and can cut open an oil filter without making a mess of it so you can inspect the filter inside without contamination. The OC54 filter is very well made and I’ve had huge trouble getting them open before with tin snips.

Filter opener arrives and I don’t find much. A few small flakes of carbon but nothing like what I found in the drain pan.

The biggest piece of carbon I found. Was quite fragile.

The biggest piece of carbon I found. Was quite fragile.

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Looking at filter pleats, there isn't much there.

Looking at filter pleats, there isn’t much there.

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Success!

Success!

Filter cutter and filter wrench

Filter cutter and filter wrench

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Filter cutter cutting wheel

Filter cutter cutting wheel

Filter cutter, nicely made.

Filter cutter, nicely made.

Filter cutter

Filter cutter

Filter cutter box

Filter cutter box

Oil from turbo sump. No granules.

Oil from turbo sump. No granules.

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I happen to stop by Westco Auto Paint and they have the perfect thing for me, some 120 micron paint filters. I can use these to strain the oil and check for nasty. $10 for 100.

Drain the oil into a clean container, then filter and check for more nasty, there is none.

Filtered oil from oil tank after running engine for ~1 minute.

Filtered oil from oil tank after running engine for ~1 minute.

Open the sump and remove the oil sump filter screen, its clean too, nothing to see there…

Finally spend the weekend cleaning out my undercoating gun and wand, then spraying out the oil tank with motor oil. Spend a few hours at this, from the bottom, from the top and only accumulate a small amount of soft carbon debris, mostly very delicate flakes.

Oil grit from 2 hours of pressure washing oil tank with motor oil. This stuff is soft and very thin, not granules. It dissolves into soot with light finger pressure.

Oil grit from 2 hours of pressure washing oil tank with motor oil. This stuff is soft and very thin, not granules. It dissolves into soot with light finger pressure.

Spend several more hours cleaning motor oil out of that gear, cleaning the garage and myself and get ready for next weekend where I’ll clean out the cam spray bars.

Week passes without driving my baby, sitting on stands in the garage.

I read lots of instructions during the week on intercooler and airbox removal, stop by napa for Sil-Glyde for lubing the seal rings when I reinstall the intercooler, I also order silicon valve cover gaskets and a complete set of Nylock nuts (recommended that they are single use). I also try to guess the size of the hole that will be draining the cam spray bar. From looking at photos on the internet of the bolt I determine I need tubing that is about 9.75mm external diameter. I find tubing at napa that’s 9.8mm, I also get some 11mm tubing in case the first is just too small.

On Saturday morning I dig in. Intercooler indeed comes right off, takes about 15 minutes because I’m careful. Its so simple though that it’d be hard to screw up.

Vertical bolt to be removed on left side of intercooler (the one on the left end of the arm from ac compressor). Also Intercooler hoses on right side of intercooler

Vertical bolt to be removed on left side of intercooler (the one on the left end of the arm from ac compressor). Also Intercooler hoses on right side of intercooler

The 4 bolts that hold the intercooler on.

The 4 bolts that hold the intercooler on.

Large vertical bolt to be removed on left side of intercooler

Large vertical bolt to be removed on left side of intercooler

Pair of bolts to be undone at front of intercooler

Pair of bolts to be undone at front of intercooler

The inside of the intercooler is filthy with oil. Need to clean that out before reinstalling.
Airbox is a mess to remove, 2 bolts on the left, one horizontal nut underneath. Quite a few hoses in the front to be disconnected, then find more on the back. The biggest hose goes from the oil tank to the airbox, it goes through a bracket and the hose must be slide out its entire length. I take my time and find myself twisting the airbox upside down to get the hose out. That was inconvenient but simple enough I’ll get it back in without a problem.

930 airbox, area behind filter

930 airbox, area behind filter

930 airbox, the cap for the filter.

930 airbox, the cap for the filter.

93 airbox, inside

93 airbox, inside

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930 motor with airbox removed

930 motor with airbox removed

930 airbox

930 airbox

930 airbox

930 airbox

930 airbox

930 airbox

930 airbox

930 airbox

Next step is find the cam drain nut. My motor is very dirty so I spend time cleaning and wiping it clean. I don’t want anything falling into the motor once the valve covers are off. I do passenger side first and am glad I was showed where the drain bolt is because even then it was very hard to find. Bolt has a flattish black head, is 17mm, and theres not much room between it and the side of the engine compartment. I search through my tools but don’t have a 17mm socket that will fit.

View of passenger side location of cam spray bar access bolt. You're looking at the upper right spark plug cable. The light is a small hole in the engine tin that is right below the bolt. The bolt is on the far side of the valve cover, can be felt with fingers, but not seen.

View of passenger side location of cam spray bar access bolt. You’re looking at the upper right spark plug cable. The light is a small hole in the engine tin that is right below the bolt. The bolt is on the far side of the valve cover, can be felt with fingers, but not seen.

Trip to the store I score a new set of short metric sockets (black hardened for air gun) and a gallon of mineral spirits for cleaning the intercooler and engine.

Back home the bolt takes a bunch of torque to knock free. It has a washer, it has a spiky tip that is used to hold the cam spray bar at the right angle.

Cam spray bar positioning bolt (and oil access plug)

Cam spray bar positioning bolt (and oil access plug)

Cam spray positioning bolt and washer (and my new socket!)

Cam spray positioning bolt and washer (and my new socket!)

I attempt to insert the 9.8mm tubing but it is too small and will leak. The 11mm is too big, can’t get it in. I wrap the 9.8mm with electrical tape, two turns, and it fits snuggly. There is engine tin that splits the top and the bottom of the engine but there is a convenient hole just beneath the bolt. In fact that’s probably the best way to find the bolt.

I remove the fuel pump relays (remember that 930 has two relays, so in the line of relays on the driver’s side of the frunk the fuel pump relays are the two most rearward. They are supposed to be the only two red relays.

Finally the big moment I crank the ignition for several seconds to cause oil to be pumped from the cam spray bar, out the tubing and into my awaiting container. This oil is very clean. Hmm. I crank more until I’ve gathered about a pint but its still quite clean.

Oil grit from cam spray drain.

Oil grit from cam spray drain.

Next I undo the valve cover nuts and remove the valve cover but not the valve cover gasket since I’ll be putting the old cover back on briefly to ensure the spray pattern.

The spray bar is clearly visible, a tube that runs the length of the 3 galleries, the top pin spay hole is clearly visible (with strong headlamp!) I wiggle a pin into each spray hole but don’t get any resistance. I also wiggle a pin into the bottom two holes in each gallery. These are impossible to see but can be felt with your finger. I had a specially bent pin to clean these.

I rest the valve cover back onto the engine and crank the ignition a few more seconds. Still the oil is clean, there doesn’t appear to be any problem with the sprayer. Removing the valve cover the oil has sprayed just fine.

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Stock valve cover gasket (single use)

Stock valve cover gasket (single use)

Valve cover off

Valve cover off

I clean the engine surface with mineral spirits, also clean the valve cover. Once dry I lay down the new silicon valve cover seal and the valve cover. The silicon seals need very low torque, the instructions call for 5 newton meters of torque. I calibrate my arm with my torque wrench and get to appreciate how little force that is. Probably takes 3 newton meters to simply turn a new nylock onto the stud so 5nm means to stop when I can just barely perceive some turning resistance.

Shiny new nylocks!

Shiny new nylocks!

New silicon valve cover gaskets (multiple use, low torque!)

New silicon valve cover gaskets (multiple use, low torque!)

Driver’s side is a repeat of the passenger side except that everything is much much harder to see and reach, especially for the piston closest to the rear of the car. I’ve got the scrapes and scratches to prove it.
Driver side has a few pieces of grit initially but is otherwise clean, no debris or blockage.

One thing: the cam spray positioning bolt on the drivers side is right in front of a threaded bolt that comes out of the engine bulkhead. Probably for holding emissions equipment. That bolt makes it difficult to fit a socket. I had to position the socket by hand, putting bolt side of socket in first from the top. Once socket was on the bolt I used a small extension on the socket.
I clean out the airbox and intercooler with mineral spirits. Intercooler I let soak for a few hours with a quart of mineral spirits inside, periodically sloshing it around. I’m pleased with the amount of crap that came out of there, very dirty indeed.

Finally reinstall the airbox (takes several tries to figure out the order of everything, for example the bolts on top can’t be put into the airbox once the airbox is installed, but remember the airbox must be upside down when sliding on the oil tank vent hose…)

Intercooler seals are rubbed liberally with sil-glyde and it goes back in easily.

With everything sorted I change into clean clothes and take the car for a 15 minute drive. Home I drain and pour oil through a paint filter. Oil is clean. I don’t bother cutting open the filter as I’ve no evidence there is a problem.

Given the horrors that happen when spray bars are blocked I’m glad I went through this, and I’m glad I didn’t find a problem. At least the weekend days I spent doing this were rainy!

Root cause, I’ll say it hasn’t been determined. Certainly from heat but I’m not certain it came from the turbo given these granules have been found in non-turbo motors. Strong evidence that this issue comes from oil coked by turbo but lets be open minded.

Suggestion from many 930 owners who had this issue: INSTALL AN INLINE FILTER BETWEEN TURBO AND OIL TANK.

That’s definitely a good idea, at least it cuts down on a source of granules.

WRT oil: I was using VR1 20w50 as it was recommended by other turbo owners, but these granules are NOT ok, so will be going with synthetic from now on. I’ve decided on Mobile1 0W40. The synthetic can allegedly handle higher temperatures better without coking. Apparently synthetic will evaporate and leaves much less deposits behind. I’ll see I guess. The VR1 20w50 I was using had a flash point of 394f, the new mobile 1 has a flash point of 446f. 50 degrees is a lot! Maybe. Or maybe a 1000 degree turbo cooks everything it touches. Maybe real solution is to start cooling the turbo with a better coolant, for example: water?

Day at the Track

Got an email, last track day of the year is the upcoming weekend at Pacific Raceway. I’ve always wanted to do it, have a credit that I need to use… got new tires… why not? The day will consist of 4 runs on 30 minutes each. $220 seems steep, $110/hour, but I guess it’s the going rate and would be a shame to never drive the car on the track.

John Walker is too busy to inspect car so I take it to Chris’ German. They’re really nice guys, find time to fit me in at short notice, and wow do they have some amazing cars around their shop.

Soft window targa.

Soft window targa.

Car has no issues, clear to run.

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What a looker! And all set to drive on the track.

I leave my house at 6am to arrive at gate opening at 7am, I don’t get lost so arrive early and get to hang in the dark with the volunteers. Some very fancy new vehicles there but still surprisingly large interest in my car.

993 Turbo

993 Turbo

991 GT3

991 GT3

Bevy of FAST CARS, GT3s and a 993 c2s

Bevy of 997 GT3s

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Sweet Air Cooled

Sweet Air Cooled

A very fast 996.

A very fast 996.

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Nissan GTR

Nissan GTR

Awesome Turbocraft motor in a 930.

Awesome Turbocraft motor in a 930.

EFI Motor by turbocraft. Lots of room in that engine bay...

EFI Motor by turbocraft. Lots of room in that engine bay…

Lovely slant nose drove by in the afternoon.

Lovely slant nose drove by in the afternoon.

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Pass their inspection and park. And wait. Being in the novice group my first run is at 10:30. Fair bit of socializing but really there isn’t much to do. I wait and am thankful I brought a chair and the latest issue of the New Yorker.

My instructor is a carefully spoken guy, very slick and deliberate. He takes the car for 3 laps with me watching the line, then it is my turn.

I’m in the novice group and am surprised by the speeds of the other drivers. Most of them have been on the track before and are driving alone. The fast guys are in a pair of 991s… I need to point them by in the safe zones, hard to fit my arm out the window. At first I chug around the track in 3rd, just paying attention to turn in point and learning how to commit with one turn of the steering wheel. Slowly find the limits. Wow the tires are sticky.

In second session I start going faster, up to about 120mph on the straight, and finally start to pass people myself. At least some of the other new guys are having trouble with their lines so are slow in the corners, then at the end of the corner they stomp it and pull away. The 3.6L cayman is a problem, all his torque gets him up to speed quickly but he’s very slow in the corners.

Coming out of turn after finally passing that turbocrafted monster 930.

Coming out of turn after finally passing that turbocrafted monster 930.

The Cayman S pulling away at the start of the straightaway. I eventually got by him. Wow has he got torque!

The Cayman S pulling away at the start of the straightaway. I eventually got by him. Wow has he got torque!

 

My car feels wonderful in the corners, I’m able to accelerate out of turn 2 and drift out to a few feet of the exit cone. Would be bad to overcook that corner!

And mostly that is the goal for today, understand the corners enough to know you don’t want to go off the track. Maybe get checked off at the end of the day to drive solo.

Turns 2, 3a and 3b, the twin hairpins, are probably my best corners given that it is where I need to tailgate faster drivers. I’ve started to downshift into 2nd for turns 3a and 3b, which gets me better turn in by slight lift, and also full fast boost on exit down the back straight.

The cayman is quite annoying, doesn’t want to let me by even though he’s holding me up everywhere except the straightaway. I let the faster cars by, then go back to tailgating him. He’s really off-line.

Finally he lets me by and I zoom off.

At the end of the second session my car is quite hot, oil is between the middle and the red. I let car idle for a few minutes before shutting it off. Walking around the car I understand why you don’t set your ebrake, the wheels are very hot from the braking!

Third session goes well, I pass the cayman and the hot rod turbocraft 930. Having a fine time learning the line, delaying my turn in to turn 8 which precedes the long straight. I’m never able to “get” that turn though. I’m not carrying enough speed to be on boost in 3rd, probably I should downshift but instructor says I just need to carry more speed though in order to have boost. I sort of suspect he’s wrong there, my 3rd gear is quite high but I stick with it.

Turn 1 is at the end of the straight, a slight right kink leading to turn 2. As you pass turn 1 you exit the drag strip so there’s an elevation change. Car is not so settled there at 120+ mph so keep my speed a little lower.

In fourth session instructor says he’s just watching, will offer no advice. After 8 or so laps someone reported seeing oil puff from my car so I was black flagged to come off for a check. No oil found, probably it was a drip onto the headers but since session is almost over I decide to call it a day. Instructor signs me off for solo driving if I do this again.

Drive home on freeway car feels fine. I’m glad I did it but really not nearly the intense and abusive experience I was expecting. In contrast the driver skills class at Bremerton airfield was utterly exhausting since there was no down time. With the track day I felt like I was waiting around too much. Not nearly the value of driver skills.

Arriving home it is still light out and engine is nice and warm, figure it’s the best time ever to change the oil.

When pouring the oil from catch pan into travel container I notice a bunch of carbon granules in the bottom of the pan. I reach into the oil tank with my finger and find more granules there. What the heck? This sounds like the oil was coked by the turbo due to hot shutdown. Bummer! I guess I wasn’t careful enough about idling before shutdown…

Not what I wanted to find at the bottom of my oil catch pan...

Not what I wanted to find at the bottom of my oil catch pan…

I remember reading about this happening to others, except that they discovered the granules by finding their engine making awful sounds. On teardown they found the cam spray ports blocked by the coked oil, lack of lubrication meant destroyed lifters and maybe even cams. Full rebuild required.

I add the new oil – which I had just last week decided to change to mobile 1 0w40 – run engine for a minute or so to build pressure and then engine off until I can read and decide on next steps…

 

AC Belt and Air Filter Replacement

First, the correct AC belt for a usa 1979 Porsche 930 is a gates ultra 13×1200.

The correct air filter for a usa 1979 Porsche 930 is a Mahle LX237.

I’ve used them both, they work fine.

Looking at the engine the other day and noticed a big chunk missing from the AC belt. Shoot, better get that fixed. I cut the belt off so it wouldn’t break and go through the engine fan. Next I stopped at Napa and got a Gates belt, 12 x 1200. Unlike the factory and OEM belts this one is toothed, apparently the teeth draw in air and help keep the belt cooler. I trust gates. But… sucker cost $24! The oem part from pelican is only $9.75. What is it with local parts prices?

Belt was very simple to install but you do need to undo the ac pump in order to thread it onto the pulley. Took maybe 5 minutes, including the time to get my headlamp from my truck.

Recently replaced the air filter on my truck since it looked so grotty and machine was feeling sluggish. Changing the filter really spruced up its handling so figured I’d do the same for the Porch since I’ve never changed it.

Pelican sells the filter for $26 but I was in a hurry so bought it locally. The cheapest I could find was $45 at autozone. Sheesh! Local markup. Never realized what a great deal pelican is. No wonder Porsches seem inexpensive to maintain. And I’m learning to order stuff ahead of time from pelican.

For AC belt I figured it couldn’t be so hard. On the truck you undo a few clips, out with the old, in with the new. Less than a minute.

For the Porsche I’m at a disadvantage. That airbox is way in the back of the engine. How to get access to it?

Well, turns out it ain’t so easy. The airbox has two handy clips on the front… and a hinge on the back… and there’s no room to open the airbox when its in the engine bay. The ac is in the way so you can’t pull the filter straight out. I didn’t know what I know now so managed to pull that old filter out and put the new one in without removing the airbox, but never again…

View of engine with air filter out (barely visible empty airbox in the back)

View of engine with air filter out (barely visible empty airbox in the back)

The good news is that the filter was really dirty and due for a change.

 

 

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Backside of old filter.

Backside of old filter.

If you don’t believe me, are intimidated by removing intercooler and airbox, don’t be. It will take more time but you won’t need to bend the new filter to get it to fit, and you won’t need to worry about whether you got the big seal seated well into the back of the hinge. You can’t really get the air filter in without opening the airbox to 90 degrees, and you can’t do that with the airbox in the car.

Cheers!

 

 

New Tires – RE11A

New tires:

I got the car with some Dunlop sport tires. Stock sizes and plenty of tread. Figured I drive them until they wore out, then replace with something I liked.

Tires is a big deal for the 911, the weight over the back means they really prefer a stiff sidewall, otherwise that extra weight makes the tires wobble, makes the back end feel loose. On my old car I made bad choices several times, tried to get all season tires, or less eXtr3m3 tires. Fortunately the tires had “satisfaction warrantys” so I returned them the next day and went back to “extreme summer tires”.

A few months into my ownership I got a nail in the tire, took it to TireRack who repaired the hole but told me the tires were too old to service. If they removed a tire they weren’t allowed to put it back on. I guess they were made in 2002? A plug in a tire also makes in ineligible for the track…

Tires off-gas and lose their flexibility over time so my tires had the grip of a pvc pipe. That at least explained why the car was so squirrelly in the rain. I’ve driven that car as a daily driver for years now. Yes I need to be more careful in the rain, but it doesn’t feel so dangerous, the car has much more grip, control and braking ability than my old land cruiser.

The real danger comes from locking up a wheel, I believe that ABS would help my braking in slick conditions more than new tires.

I remember from my long ago suspension service with Fordahl he’s said to just get the RE11A, that there’s no need to look further. I did review that choice on the internet and it seems to be a terrific one for the 930.

Tire Rack and bridgestone were sporting a discount so along with a price match from Costco I was able to score 4 tires + hazard warranty + installation for $650 + tax – $70 rebate. Just about $150/tire. Lot of money compared to the old days but could do lots worse. Just hope they last.

Results? Just pulling out of the lot I knew they were terrific. Super supple but with good sidewall stiffness. Usually new tires with deep treads are all squishy in turns but these felt wonderful from the get go. Pretty much the best feel of new tires I’ve had on a 911.

They are supposed to wear fairly well but I’ll be surprised if they last 2 years given how much grip they sport.

End of Summer Wash

D7000_2014_08_31-13_36_49Lots of nice times with the car this summer. This last Saturday morning had some free time to give her a wash. Gosh that Mcguires soap is sweet stuff. I’d never imagine that there was any difference between car wash soaps.

Was hoping it would rain since it’d wash the mineralized water off the car but no such luck. At least I got to give it some wax.

The Collinite 915 is still lovely wax. Smells good and goes on easily, nice deep shine.

Well, enough product placement.

After the wash and wax the son and I went on a short victory tour on East Mercer Way. Man that car is fast! I’d love someday to drive that whole road in 1st, really boost out of the corners but I just zoomed around the corners in 2nd.

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New Frog Lamps

Previous owner got yellow fog lamps. Said he thought they looked cool. Car is supposed to have clear lenses on the fog lamps, the yellow looks sort of dumb to me. Car should be proud that is the usa edition.

A few years ago a rock shattered the passenger side lens. Looked up on Pelican a new lens is $57. The correct clear lenses are $27.

A few days ago I saw a post, the insurance value of the 930 has gone nuts. Think hockey stick. With my new found wealth I figure I can spurge and switch over to the clear lenses.

Just use a Phillips screwdriver, takes about 5 minutes to change out the pair.

Here is an after/before:

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And the steps in between:

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The cracked one goes in the trash, the yellow one I can sell for cash money!

 

Winter and Now Spring

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Uneventful winter. My driving tended to alternate between the Porsche and the truck.Truck when I had my bike but needed to be the Porsche when the forcast was sunny. Snow or really hard rain I tend to take the truck.

The turbo really likes cold air. Early winter morning I roll down the windows and listen to the motor. What a wonderful car.

With the kids now in 6th and 8th grades it is a bit more of a production to get them into the back seat, but usually they manage to make due. Maybe starting to dawn on them what a special experience it is?

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Took son to a soccer game one snowy weekend. Light was really nice!

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All Shined Up For Fall

Time to get the car looking spiffy for the rainy fall driving. Was a beautiful day and I had time to spend a little quality time getting it shiny. Little one was actually helpful earned the big bucks. First drying the car, then applying Vaseline to the rubber trim and wheels for $1 every 10 minutes.

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The Hot Wheels Shot (Roll of paper towels to hold the engine lid open)

The Hot Wheels Shot (Roll of paper towels to hold the engine lid open)

The faithful Rescue Dog is ready for action.

The faithful Rescue Dog is ready for action.

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1979 Porsche 930 Engine Bay

1979 Porsche 930 Engine Bay

Portait of a Tea Tray Spoiler

Close up of 1979 Porsche 930 Tea Tray Spoiler Grill.

Close up of 1979 Porsche 930 Tea Tray Spoiler Grill.

Took these while washing the car this morning. It was overcast when I went out but some unexpected light found its way through the trees.

Close up of 1979 Porsche 930 Tea Tray Spoiler Grill.

Close up of 1979 Porsche 930 Tea Tray Spoiler Grill.

Close up of 1979 Porsche 930 Tea Tray Spoiler

Close up of 1979 Porsche 930 Tea Tray Spoiler

Close up of 1979 Porsche 930 Tea Tray Spoiler Grill.

Close up of 1979 Porsche 930 Tea Tray Spoiler Grill.

 

Close up of 1979 Porsche 930 Tea Tray Spoiler Grill.

Close up of 1979 Porsche 930 Tea Tray Spoiler Grill.

 

Close up of 1979 Porsche 930 Steering wheel through window.

Close up of 1979 Porsche 930 Steering wheel through window.

Close up of 1979 Porsche 930 Wipers

Close up of 1979 Porsche 930 Wipers

 

1979 Porsche 930 waiting to be dried.

1979 Porsche 930 waiting to be dried.