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Porsche Restoration Thread - On Request from Smog.
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MrBlack




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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 12:07 am Post subject: No icon Porsche Restoration Thread - On Request from Smog. Reply with quote

Evening gents,

So I've been chatting away about it for a while and smogger asked me to put some info on the forum, so here I am and tonight and thought that I would start putting it down starting from the beginning.

The story of this car starts when I bought it in January 2012 as a replacement for a 3.2 986 Boxster S that met its demise against a tree followed by a wall shortly before christmas, so i sat down thought about it and decided that I needed a new weekend toy. It seemed like a natural time to step into a more grown up sports car and the 996 mk1 was in budget but that budget wouldn't buy me the best of the best. So as I always do, with my "whats the worst that can happen" head on I took the plunge and went and bought this car:



She is a 1999 996 C4 Cabriolet. Out over the back is a flat six, 3.4 litre power plant producing 300hp and 350 Nm of torque which can, according to the manual push the car from 0-60 in a touch over 5 seconds and on to a top speed of 171 mph in a touch under 40 seconds. On the road it's about all you need power wise, combined with the pin point precision you would expect from the Germans there really isn't a better fast point to point machine and when it comes to the country roads I can't think of many more cars that I would rather be in for the money. My one has some nice options ticked, Harman sound system which in later cars became bose which I have custom installed a double din nav system to, a 993 option paint Ocean Blue Metalic, 997 rims, lots of techart goodies including a carbon fiber gear knob (£600 option - why anybody ticked that is beyond me), techart carbon fiber hand brake leaver, techart exhaust tips, cruise control, climate control and some other stuff in there as well) it truly is one of my dream cars but With that said owning one of these is a little bit of a love hate thing and their propensity to clean you out when you least expect it has become a little bit of a reputation that the 996 has become well known for. Type any of the following quotes into google and you will soon see what I am talking about:

"996 Cracked Cylinder Head"
"996 Bore Scoring"
"996 IMS Failure"
"996 RMS Failure"
"996 D-Chunk"

Anyway you get the idea the engine is basically made out of cheese and around 15% of cars will fail in spectacular fashion and you as an owner have 3 options, firstly you can let Porsche put a new engine in, this engine will have some of the latest updates but is still prone to failure and will cost you approximately 15k for the privilege. Secondly you can consider a engine builders and designers such as hartech, these fellas know what they are doing with these engines and have manufactured and designed out many of the design issues, basically you send your car up north and they rip it apart and then rebuild it, I inquired about the service and prices fluctuate massively depending on the problem but expect to pay 5 - 10K+ for a rebuild. lastly if you refuse to pay that kind of money to put the thing right you can hustle, beg and borrow both help and equipment and attempt to put it right.  

For me the joy was short lived, I had owned the car for only a few months and when after a trip to Silverstone my worst fears came true and I returned home to engine oil in my cooling system things started to go down hill, and get expensive. After inspecting the oil it appeared to only be flowing one way and there was no water in the oil, this would point to the problem being at the top end, there are two obvious places that water and oil could meet and they are the oil cooler and cylinder heads.

So a few weeks later I sent the car to a trusted mechanic who dropped the engine out and replaced the oil cooler and also replaced a perforated metal pipe which had somehow been damaged but which lead from the expansion tank right through the middle of the car to where the gearbox meets the front drive shaft it is here where it meets another set of pipes that feed the front radiators, on top of that the manifold bolts were basically rotten away and every single one snapped in the heads as we were trying to get them off, every one needed drilling out and replacing. Anyway after a new oil cooler, pipe and shiney new captive nuts holding my manifolds in place the car was put back on the road. A few weeks later, same problem more oil in the water. Anyway after 4 or 5 months laid up I found somebody who was willing to help and work once again got underway on the engine.

First of all we got the car up on the ramp and removed the bumper and the manifolds, normally on an old Porsche this job would be a royal pain in the arse because the manifold bolts are notorious for rusting away, but on my car this was easy as I had them drilled out and refitted with captive nut alloy replacements. Good start… until you look up the manifold on the left hand side and see signs of water inside the cylinder head which is not so good and difficult to get pictures of. So I didn’t but here are a couple of the car up on the ramp.




Next up was getting the engine on a bench and stripping it down exposing all of the tasty bits while getting both heads sent to a specialist to be looked at, pressure tested for cracks, skimmed if they were good and sent back. So that’s what happened. The bad news is that my suspicions had been confirmed and the old left hand head was toast, it had a terminal crack that runs from a bolted face where it meets the hydraulic tappets across to a core plug, then right up the center of the head through valve seats and all kinds.

I needed a new head and had searched everywhere and explored all possibilities, I found a good head in Australia but at 2k + tax landed it was too rich, a month went past and still no head when all of a sudden I come across a company called bench sound down here in the south east, they are an engine builders who specialise in cylinder heads, taking on all kinds from custom race spec engines to secret development projects. Some time was spent on the phone and I later shipped them both heads, for just shy of £1400 I had the head welded and reinforced around the mounting bracket and both heads ported and polished.

The next thing to do while the engine was in pieces on the bench is to inspect some of the other parts of this engine to get an idea of what I’m in for in rebuild costs so let’s start with a few pictures of what we were looking at.  

Here is the block on a bench with the heads removed looking at it from the front.



All the pulleys were in great shape no groaning bearings, new oil cooler waiting to be fitted at the top right under the blue towel, this was replaced just a few months before but I put another new one on anyway, for the sake of £100 It had to be done.

My biggest fear was looking at the bores and seeing scores or worse cracks or D-chunking. But when you get up close and take a look they are in really great shape, no scores at all and no cracking, pistons also look in great shape. This is the left hand side where we have cylinder head issues:



While we are on the main block let’s take a look around the back of the block where the RMS (rear main seal) and IMS (Intermediate shaft)are located, these are the weak points in the block so it’s good to at least inspect them and decide what to do while the engine is in pieces.

First up the RMS which is normally hidden behind the dual mass flywheel, more on this later:




The RMS looked in good enough nick but is weeping a little so I had it replaced.

Next up down the bottom of the block we have the IMS:



Looks pretty nasty down there, so we take it off with a 10 mil and a screwdriver then remove the flange cover to expose the ims bearing:



Now if you know your Porsches you know that this little bugger is the bane of any 996 or 986 owners life and I’m sure it has been the cause of many sleepless nights, if it gives way the bottom end of these engines is normally toast. Now if there are issues you can feel play in the bearing while it is in situ, my one however is rock solid with no discernible play my car being an early 3.4 has a twin row bearing which has a slightly better rep than the single row affair in the later 996.2 car, so i decided to not replace this but to check it every service.

Next up its time to inspect the cams and variocam system, again the cams are showing little wear and the cam lobes are still in great condition. All of the sprockets also look good with no signs of cracks or damage.



Next up clutch and dual mass flywheel:



The flywheel is in great shape but the underside of the clutch is basically on metal I had a new clutch before it went back together:



The release bearing was also shot so needed replacing, it was grinding away up there.

So what were we left with? well this is a box of the good bits the rockers are fine, and will need new gaskets, the head bolts will need replacing, I almost fell off my chair when I was told the bolts are the best part of £10 each, seems reasonable until you realise you need 24 of them.



Which pretty much concludes the initial engine rebuild, I then hit problems with the fella that did some of the work. Basically he was getting parts through the garage he worked for, pocketed the money I was giving him and then proceeded to take the car on a joy ride while pissed damaging some of the paintwork. A few days pass and before I can get the back he got arrested, basically he went loopy, stabbed his Mrs several times killing her. As it turned out, me the garage, police and lawyers worked it out and I got called up to give evidence at the trial, great I had been dragged into a murder trial as a result of the car and to add insult I was substantially out of pocket with not a lot of chance of getting any of my cash back.

In the middle of buying a new property there was nothing more I could do, into the garage went the car and the wait to get her back on the road continued.

-- TBC
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 6:42 pm Post subject: No icon Re: Porsche Restoration Thread - On Request from Smog. Reply with quote

all this talk of rims and flanges has given me a proper Rocker Ron Haslam, if you know what I mean.
Unfortunately I am a firm believer that cars are wank. Do blue ones go faster than red ones?
Give me a Unimog any time....now that is a machine

...and why not?
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 7:00 pm Post subject: No icon Re: Porsche Restoration Thread - On Request from Smog. Reply with quote

cold wrote (View Post):
all this talk of rims and flanges has given me a proper Rocker Ron Haslam, if you know what I mean.
Unfortunately I am a firm believer that cars are wank. Do blue ones go faster than red ones?
Give me a Unimog any time....now that is a machine


Very Happy Of course blue ones are faster than red ones. Why do you think a red one wasn't ever considered? Gonna straight up admit that I had to google unimog to find out what it was. Does that make me less of a man?
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 7:06 pm Post subject: No icon Re: Porsche Restoration Thread - On Request from Smog. Reply with quote

Note from Smog:  You left this bit in pending Cold. "Yes I'm officially a botty lover for not liking cars.  There thats me out the closet."

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 7:10 pm Post subject: No icon Re: Porsche Restoration Thread - On Request from Smog. Reply with quote

Smoggy wrote (View Post):
Note from Smog:  You left this bit in pending Cold. "Yes I'm officially a botty lover for not liking cars.  There thats me out the closet."


Very Happy I will continue the story tonight, I went on a massive mission collating all of my photos of the work on the car so thought a little bit of a story with them all is better than just a shed load of pictures.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 7:13 pm Post subject: No icon Re: Porsche Restoration Thread - On Request from Smog. Reply with quote

Quite in depth there Black.....I await the next installment....and the result of the trial

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 7:14 pm Post subject: No icon Re: Porsche Restoration Thread - On Request from Smog. Reply with quote

Smoggy wrote (View Post):
Quite in depth there Black.....I await the next installment....and the result of the trial


Trial is all over mate, he got 26 years.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 7:23 pm Post subject: No icon Re: Porsche Restoration Thread - On Request from Smog. Reply with quote

I was going to comment about the superb car, then I read the last bit and now... I'm a bit speechless really... what a crazy turn of events, and how unlucky for you. That car's going to have quite a story to tell when it's back on the road!

"Trust me, I know what I'm doing"
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2014 6:37 pm Post subject: No icon Re: Porsche Restoration Thread - On Request from Smog. Reply with quote

Excellent write up if perhaps a little painful - I hope you had better luck buying your house!  Surprised

Away put your weapon, or I will help you not
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2014 8:04 pm Post subject: No icon Re: Porsche Restoration Thread - On Request from Smog. Reply with quote

Smoggy wrote (View Post):
Note from Smog:  You left this bit in pending Cold. "Yes I'm officially a botty lover for not liking cars.  There thats me out the closet."


the only thing u left in pending smog was ur manhood....for pending read farmyard animal. For legal reasons and for the sake of anonymity the name and make of the farmyard animal cannot be divulged at this stage.

...and why not?
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 10:00 am Post subject: No icon Re: Porsche Restoration Thread - On Request from Smog. Reply with quote

Do you call the car  "Christine" ?  

A good story though, you'll be dining out on that one for years.... Wink


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 6:23 pm Post subject: No icon Re: Porsche Restoration Thread - On Request from Smog. Reply with quote

ToGDMB wrote (View Post):
Do you call the car  "Christine" ?  

A good story though, you'll be dining out on that one for years.... Wink


DMB


Nope but I sometimes call it porky pig, for a few reasons, but mainly because you get to drive her just a few times and then

"That's all folks"

I will make sure i update with more recent stuff, no work tomorrow so may settle down for some more tonight.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2014 6:24 pm Post subject: No icon Re: Porsche Restoration Thread - On Request from Smog. Reply with quote

Ok so here we go, time for part two, with the car parked up in the garage we moved leaving the car in the garage at our flat while we got a few things in the house up to scratch, to be honest I pretty much forgot about it and it was almost two months before I decided to move it to it's new home. Best thing I ever did was to move from our old flat to the place that we are in now, so much more room and that all important garage with power and lights. This is our little place:



Anyway with the car in the new garage I have decided that I should basically sort out all the things that it needs before I get it on the road so the strip down started, first off I wanted to inspect and clean the cooling system so off with the front pu, lights and all the fiddly bits of air venting plastics before you finally expose the cooling system:



Then remove the cooling system:



More of the same... more disassembling trying to get the entire cooling system removed.



You can see my issues, plenty of oil in the water and a mountain to climb trying to get it all out.
So in the back room which has become a bit of a dumping ground for all things we now have parts:



New rads will be going on but for testing purposes these will be going back on the car for a few more flushes.



The front end looking sorry for itself. It's ok though, it's only a matter of time now :)



Starting to strip down some of the rear of the car, spoiler off, air box off.




Throttle Body Removed to give clearance to remove the right hand side inlet manifold
Pile of parts so far:



I then got around to removing the inlet manifold, let me tell you it's a royal pita and massive amounts of patience is required, there really is very little room in here:



Finally, right hand intake removed, we now have a clear shot at the oil cooler.



Filthy intakes.





This could be a few things causing this, my car and I believe bmw engines also use it, has something called an AOS (air oil separator). The separator is responsible for collecting residual gases and vapors contained inside the crankcase and funneling them back into the intake manifold where they can be burned in the combustion chamber. With a view to reducing emissions, basically it's a little plastic diaphragm and if it fails vacuum pressure in the crankcase increases forcing oil into the inlet manifolds.

Anyway that isn't why I was down here, I was here as the oil cooler seals went pop so off with that fella:



It turns out that the rubber O-rings that were put in there weren't the same size as the new ones that I ordered. They were slightly smaller in diameter and slightly thinner. I expected this or for one to be severely pinched so ordered some new ones in a while back.



While the cooler was out I gave it a quick clean:



Swapped the o-rings out with a little rubber grease and put the oil cooler back in the car. Next up I gave the throttle body a clean:





Almost as good as new...

Finally I started on removing the header tank as it's full of oily gunk.



The fuel filter is clamped to the header tank so need to remove the retaining clip. I have a new fuel filter so that will also be going on.



The bottom hose on the header tank was being a nightmare as the clamp release was around the back:



After a while she was ready to go back together or at least the inlet manifold and plennum can go back on. They will probably come back off in the not to distant future as I would like to increase the air intake by replacing the plennum and throttle body with GT3 jobbies.

Eventually she is back together with the old rads back on, ready to fire up again to start the flushing process:


Link


In the mean time some goodies arrived:



Here we have 2 new rads, 2 new air con rads & dessicator, oil, fuel and air filters, uprated low temp thermostat, uprated water pump, sparks, drive belt and all that kind of jazz.

Basically all the bits I need to sort out the appalling cooling system that my car has and what it needs to run cooler.

But first and while I have the car in the air I decided it was time to refurbish my wheels so in the next installment that's exactly what I am going to post up.

We are getting closer but for now... TBC...


Last edited by MrBlack on Sat Sep 13, 2014 1:14 am; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2014 6:31 pm Post subject: No icon Re: Porsche Restoration Thread - On Request from Smog. Reply with quote

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YnE4XCtuuzE

It appears I have no idea how to embed youtube vids on this here forum so here is the link from above.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2014 7:23 pm Post subject: No icon Re: Porsche Restoration Thread - On Request from Smog. Reply with quote

MrBlack wrote (View Post):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YnE4XCtuuzE

It appears I have no idea how to embed youtube vids on this here forum so here is the link from above.


You have to click on the icon with the globe and chain links.  Shall I edit it for you?

Did you change/check/service the injectors? Oh, wait ..throttle body...

Good article btw, I hope Porky Pig flies soon :)


DMB
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