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2K4Kcsq New Reader
3/11/13 10:24 a.m.

love it.

I also love that blank red canvas with one GRM per side. . . it's a good indication of whats to come I think

mazdeuce Dork
3/11/13 1:23 p.m.
2K4Kcsq wrote: love it. I also love that blank red canvas with one GRM per side. . . it's a good indication of whats to come I think

I just washed the car and found that one of them blew off sometime during the drive yesterday. Time to call the head office and get a few more.

mazdeuce Dork
3/11/13 1:35 p.m.

Saturday morning dawned clear, cold, and early. We needed to make some time if we wanted to drive the good roads. Up at 6:00, at breakfast at 6:15 and out to the car at 6:40.
This is very very not cool. I'm on my second day of ownership and the car won't start. To stem the rising panic of having a dead Porsche 1000 miles from home I dashed off a couple of e-mails and a message on the board. I also pulled out the Porsche 911 Enthusiast's Companion book that GPS had included with the car. Within about 20 minutes the internet and the book both suggested that a no-start condition was most likely caused by a misbehaving DME relay. That's when I remembered that GPS had shown me a small box and mentioned something about "if the car doesn't start" and "always carry one of these" and some other stuff that I didn't listen closely enough to. Pop the hood, replace the relay, turn the key, and we have ignition! I have very seldom been that happy about a car starting.
Back on the road and I'm a happy man.

Once we got moving we started discussing plans for the day. The eventual goal was to finish a loop around Smokey Mountain National Park including Highway 129, the dragon. I also wanted to drive at least part of the blue ridge parkway. My son convinced me that we should head over to the blue ridge parkway as soon as we could. We consulted the map and headed over.

Yay! We made it! Sure is a lot of snow up here.

Back to the freeway and on our way south.

mazdeuce Dork
3/11/13 1:51 p.m.

We drove farther south and found a way up to the road that was open. This time there was less snow. It was a great drive. Not in a sporting car way necessarily, but more in a really really nice Sunday drive sort of way. There were all sorts of pullouts to stop at and enjoy the scenery.

What I didn't know when we started is that the blue ridge parkway is basically a several hundred mile long park, and it's maintained as such. There are historical buildings and places of notice all along and the shoulders are mowed and it's all maintained to a very high level. Because is was still cold at night I was able to stop and show my son his first wall of ice.

He's very much a Texan so this was pretty foreign to him. He was fascinated.
Eventually we looked at the clock and realized that we were making terrible time. If we continued at this pace we'd never see the dragon in the light. We consulted the map and headed back to the freeway.

mazdeuce Dork
3/11/13 3:47 p.m.

While I'm waiting on killboy for some pictures I thought I'd share my first Porsche repair.
While my son and I were scratching our heads wondering why the car wouldn't start we did the classic move of popping the hood and looking and things. In this case the hood is the trunk, so we actually popped the engine cover. I'm not sure what I expected to see, but I saw nothing. While we were standing there we heard a pop and pieces of the car shot to the ground. The engine cover latch has a spring that pushes everything up when you pull the release. The spring is held in place by a little metal cup. The cup had chosen that moment to fail. This wasn't a huge issue other than the fact that opening the engine cover had now become a two man job. We threw the pieces in the back seat and ignored them until I got home.

This morning while ordering a few things I looked up the cost of a replacement part. All I really need is the little metal cup. All I can buy is the whole assembly for $185. Eventually I'll probably do that because I like things fixed properly, but for now I needed something else. I pulled the assembly off the car and took it all apart. The simple fix was to reverse the order of the broken pieces so that the cup part was sitting on top of it's old bottom on the shaft. This worked. Everything was reassembled and tested and I can open the lid by myself again.

Other than that, I washed the car and have started an aggressive underbody degreasing campaign. I really hate working on dirty greasy engines. This makes my choice of 911 a bit confusing, but theoretically a clean leak free 911 is possible. Theoretically.

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker MegaDork
3/11/13 3:56 p.m.
mazdeuce wrote: This makes my choice of 911 a bit confusing, but theoretically a clean leak free 911 is possible. Theoretically.

That particular car was drip free until "someone" ignored internet wisdom and put full synthetic mobil 1 in it. The slicker stuff started finding it's way past oil line fittings and hose clamps after a couple heat cycles. I snugged the ones I could reach but... when you change the oil - switch to Brad Penn. That is what I used to use prior to the last change.

bgkast Reader
3/11/13 4:07 p.m.

I swear I've seen that same latch on a vw beetle bonnet. Might be worth looking in to.

jpnovak New Reader
3/11/13 4:42 p.m.

the spring portion and locating/locking pin of the 911 latch has been used "forever". It is the same all the way back to the late 60s. Just call any parts recycler and they should be able to sell you any 911 hood latch where you can just buy the parts you need.

mazdeuce Dork
3/11/13 4:44 p.m.

I do have to think about oil. GPS says it's about due for a change and a valve adjustment. The million dollar question is whether or not it will pass emissions. If it does, then I have the green light to tackle everything myself. If it doesn't, then I may need to hire the necessary work out to a professional to get it legal. I'll have more to say about this later.
As to the latch. the Beetle ones look similar, but this one has deep cup on it. Since it works I'm not in a hurry to find another solution. Thanks for the heads up. I will be checking the recyclers as well.

mazdeuce Dork
3/11/13 5:00 p.m.

Back to our story.
We headed on down the freeway toward GSMNP and highway 129. The plan was to do a loop around the park. Because we were starting late, we decided to start by heading toward the dragon. It was worth it.

The pictures above were purchased from killboy.com. He was out shooting photos and did a good job of catching the car in action. I'm not sure I'd always pay $6.50 a photo for pictures of my car, but this one time it seems ok. The head on shot where you can see my son's head poking up above the dash is going to be printed out for him to put on the wall. I really enjoyed the road. I know it's a really hyped piece of asphalt and people always say there are better more hidden roads. While that might be the case, it was fun. I was held up only once and that person pulled off at the next pull out. I drove quickly enough for it to be fun but nowhere near the car's limits. I'm not sure I'd drive the 15 hours one way from my house to do it again, but if I was in the neighborhood, absolutely.
After the dragon it was just driving around the park more. Roads were gentler and traffic was more calm. We ended up high in the mountains and were unable to complete our loop due to our second road closure of the day.

After that last picture night closed in on us. It was well and truly dark by the time we retraced our steps and got back to town. With nothing left to do, we headed toward home, driving until the urge to sleep got strong. Two days of adventure behind us and we were still 800 miles from home.

crankwalk Reader
3/11/13 5:26 p.m.

Glad you enjoyed the roads on this side of the country. I did the dragon behind a plow new years Eve 2006 and countless other times but doing it with snow makes for great pictures and memories.

fornetti14 HalfDork
3/11/13 7:29 p.m.

This has been a great story.

So your Inlaws thought you were nuts?
I bet that was the deal clincher.

mazdeuce Dork
3/11/13 8:33 p.m.

In reply to crankwalk:

I grew up in Michigan and now live in southeast Texas. We don't really have the terrain in either location to justify road building like I saw around the Smokies. It was pretty spectacular to be honest.

gamby UltimaDork
3/12/13 12:18 a.m.

In reply to mazdeuce:

What a great adventure. A dream roadtrip in a fantastic car. Really beautiful example. Nice to know that it's from "the family", so it's sure to be a solid car.

mazdeuce UltraDork
3/12/13 9:11 a.m.

The trip ends.
The last day of our trip was not terribly exciting. It was 800 miles of freeway. This is the point where I cursed the little cruise control lever by my right hand. Why won't you work cruise control? Why? My right leg is still sore.
The only issue on the last day had to do with the speedometer. It went from rock steady, to bouncing a bit, to reading numbers who's only correlation to the car's speed was the fact that they were lower than we were traveling. Before things died I made a cheat sheet of speed vs. rpm which worked great.
3K rpm's in 5th is.........

We drove. We drove. We drove. We were tired. The car was dirty. I remembered that there are large parts of the country that are driven just to get to other parts of the country.

We made it home.
The car wasn't perfect on the trip, but GPS did everything he could to make sure that we made it back under our own power, and we did. The DME relay failed. These things happen and GPS had provided another one. This was a life saver. GPS is a good guy. The engine lid latch failed. It was metal fatigue after 23 years of closing. Just unlucky timing. The speedo failed, but not really. It seems like the needle just slipped. I've put it back together and will write more about it. The blower motor for the heat sounds like it has small rocks in it. It doesn't, because GPS worked very hard to make sure it worked, which it did. We stayed warm. It is on my ever growing list of things to replace though.
As with every car purchase, I learned things. With most cars I could care less if they have a tool kit. With the 911, there are actually quite a lot of things that you can, and might need to, fix with the factory tool kit. Not having it there isn't any sort of deal breaker, but it wasn't until I was staring into the abyss of a car that wouldn't start that it occurred to me that I might really want them. I also learned that I need more time when traveling with one kid. It's easier to manage getting out and seeing things when you have one instead of four. Because it's easier, we do it more. Doing it more, we lose time. We should have stopped more and looked at things more and gone for a hike. One day around the Smokies and the dragon wasn't enough. We could have used two at least. I also learned that my son is a different person when it's just the two of us. He's interesting and manageable in a way that he isn't when he's bouncing off his siblings all day. I need to do more one on one things with all of my kids.
This was a good trip. It was an adventure. It was everything that I hoped it would be. Thanks to GPS for holding the car for two months and losing a whole day waiting for my plane to land. Thanks to my wife for agreeing to let my son and I go. Thanks to you guys for following along.

jpnovak New Reader
3/12/13 9:31 a.m.

Great Story. Glad you are home.

Now, come enjoy some TX roads. Our 911 Rally is next weekend.


Winston HalfDork
3/12/13 9:44 a.m.

And thank you for sharing your adventure.

mazdeuce Dork
3/12/13 10:03 a.m.

In reply to jpnovak:

Aw man..... I would love that. I have a two day rallycross in college station on the 23rd and 24th. I need to get a calendar of Porsche stuff in Texas and start to coordinate that with my other car stuff.

2K4Kcsq New Reader
3/12/13 10:06 a.m.

you talked about passing the car bug down. . . I have a feeling he will remember small details about this trip for the rest of his life. my dad wasn't nearly the car guy I have become but just little things like letting me "help" when I was barely tall enough to see the bronco's air cleaner while standing on the bumper have left quite an impression on me. Now he's just beside himself when I fire up an engine running on a fuel injection computer that I hand soldered from a bag of components.

The roles have almost flipped 180 now, I go up to help him on maintanence stuff, not because I enjoy working on my moms 86 cierra supreme (no longer with us, thank god), but because I enjoy hanging with dad, wrenching on stuff. No matter how deep I get into this hobby, I feel like he still has one or two old timer tricks up his sleeve everytime we work on something.

sorry for the rant. lol. I think this trip will leave a bigger impression on him than you ever imagined. . . just remember that when he brings home a basket case mk5 GTI on his birthday in 2020.

Matt B
Matt B Dork
3/12/13 10:38 a.m.
2K4Kcsq wrote: The roles have almost flipped 180 now, I go up to help him on maintanence stuff, not because I enjoy working on my moms 86 cierra supreme (no longer with us, thank god)...

You shouldn't talk about your mom like that.

In all seriousness, I'll reiterate what crazy-alphanumeric-username-guy-above said. This could be one of the most memorable childhood experiences for your kid. My dad was/is awesome in many ways, but we've never shared the automotive stuff. Color me jealous and inspired.

2K4Kcsq New Reader
3/12/13 10:51 a.m.
Matt B wrote: You shouldn't talk about your mom like that. In all seriousness, I'll reiterate what crazy-alphanumeric-username-guy-above said. This could be one of the most memorable childhood experiences for your kid. My dad was/is awesome in many ways, but we've never shared the automotive stuff. Color me jealous and inspired.

I hate picking a username. . . just let me post already!! hahaha

Matt B
Matt B Dork
3/12/13 12:08 p.m.

In reply to 2K4Kcsq: Well I obviously got super creative with my handle. Took hours to write up.

mazdeuce Dork
3/12/13 3:43 p.m.

There is a list. A list of things to do on the car. Already I wonder if it will ever get done. Such is the life of an older car I suppose. One of the rules I'm trying to live by with this car is "no parts hoarding". It's much easier to buy the parts you need to fix something than to actually put them on. I had a Volvo 245 jump timing one time with a brand new timing belt. The new timing belt wasn't actually on the car of course, it was sitting in the garage where it had been for three months waiting.
With that in mind I decided to get to work on the parts that came with the car. GPS had included a box, and in the box were these.

GPS apologized a few times for how bad the shifter was and was sorry that he didn't get these in before he sent the car off. Having grown up with terrible cable shifters, I didn't think the shifting was too bad, but it was kinda bad. The project starts with taking the console off. The car keeps reminding me that it's old. Plastic is cracked and broken and breaking pretty much everywhere. Tabs like this are just lying around, not attached like they should be.

Once everything was opened up I saw the problem. That silver rod in the middle is supposed to be straight in the opening. It wasn't that the bushings were bad, they were gone. The tube that the shifter rides on had fallen all the way out of the mounts in the body.

In order to get the rod out of the way I had to take the tunnel panel of the bottom of the car to get to the underside of the shifter assembly. I'd like to note that I love the underside of the 911. It's smooth like a baby's bottom.
That picture is actually from after things were buttoned up again. I got out the scrub brush and made it all shiny before I bolted it back up. I hate putting dirty parts back on a car. The panel is held on with something like 20 nuts and 5 bolts. Amazingly only one nut was missing. I'm going to pick up a replacement at the hardware store the next time I go to try and do things right. Here's a picture of one end of the shift rod where it passes through the body and the new bushing, complete with snap ring in place. The other end looks the same.

That's all. Assembly is the reverse of disassembly and the whole project took maybe two and a half hours. I'll take the car out for a drive tonight and let you know how it goes. It already feels worlds nicer.

oldtin UltraDork
3/12/13 4:01 p.m.

Other handy to-dos - clean grounds and those pin connectors tend to oxidize over time - if you have a connector apart, a quick buzz with a dremel with a wire brush cleans them up nicely.

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker MegaDork
3/12/13 4:33 p.m.

In reply to mazdeuce:

Not wasting any time digging in ;)

Sorry I didn't have it done for you to run the Dragon with. I had ordered those bushings early enough the week before for them to make it to me (I thought) and had the car up on stands with the underside cover off waiting for them ... but they didn't come by Thursday so I ended up buttoning up all those little nuts underneath so I could run it around the block and put gas in it before the storm on Friday.

The UPS guy came with the bushings Friday, right after your first flight delay.

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