David S. Wallens Editorial Director
June 22, 2011 1:24 p.m.

The car is currently on the disabled list: http://grassrootsmotorsports.com/project-cars/1984-porsche-911-carrera/oh-snap/

On the plus side, this means you're going to hear what's involved in a top-end rebuild. So far, this hasn't been horrible.

Woody SuperDork
June 22, 2011 1:32 p.m.

This sounds a little familiar...

I PPI'd a car that was found to have two broken and missing studs. I thanked the shop, handed them $500 and returned the otherwise beautiful car to the stunned seller. It probably happened when a tech over-re-torqued the studs and was afraid to admit it to his boss and the owner.

When I bought my car, it came complete with a fairly recent receipt for a new top end (complete with new pistons, cylinders, cams, valves and a new clutch) for nearly ten grand.

David S. Wallens Editorial Director
June 22, 2011 3:12 p.m.

Fortunately we're not doing pistons and cylinders.

oldtin Dork
June 22, 2011 3:23 p.m.

I just sent my 911 on to its new home. It's about due for a top end rework and a clutch. The new owner can probably nurse it along for a couple of years if he wants. Prices are climbing even on the last of the air-cooled - especially if they can move under their own power. I was kinda surprised how well it sold.

Woody SuperDork
June 22, 2011 3:30 p.m.
oldtin wrote: Prices are climbing even on the last of the air-cooled - especially if they can move under their own power. I was kinda surprised how well it sold.

June 22, 2011 3:38 p.m.

DOH. Sorry to hear that. At least the engines are simple to remove and work on. I never did get why shops can charge so much for something more basic than almost anything on the road today (other than the P-car tax). It is really not nearly as bad a job as some of these dynamic cam timing heads and if you are doing it yourself... its not that expensive either.

DISCLAIMER: I haven't actually needed to open mine yet but I did spend a few hours helping someone pull a 2.7 apart and clean everything before sending out to the machine shop. It is very simple. Like an old air cooled bike motor.

David S. Wallens Editorial Director
June 22, 2011 3:44 p.m.
Woody wrote:
oldtin wrote: Prices are climbing even on the last of the air-cooled - especially if they can move under their own power. I was kinda surprised how well it sold.

Definitely. We're still ahead on this one. Plus when it's done it should be good for a few hundred-thousand miles.

Nashco
Nashco SuperDork
June 22, 2011 4:25 p.m.

Sounds like an expensive fix. The good news is, it didn't leave you stranded on a long drive.

David S. Wallens wrote: Plus when it's done it should be good for a few hundred-thousand miles.

Pretty ballsy comment from a guy in the middle of a surprise top end rebuild on his "inspected" Porsche that is rapidly approaching it's 30s! If I were you, I'd be knocking on some wood really loudly so Murphy hears it.

Bryce

DILYSI Dave SuperDork
June 22, 2011 4:46 p.m.

While you're probably not going to DIY this, if you did a step-by-step for the DIY-ers in the crowd, that would be cool.

David S. Wallens Editorial Director
June 22, 2011 5:34 p.m.

The stud has been broken the whole time we owned the car, so it held for at least 15k miles. Once we discovered the broken stud, that was it, though--the engine removal began. Now that it's apart, we see that some compression was escaping. We also found a few other minor things like a suspect O2 sensor.

So far our costs for the job are going to include ARP studs (about $560) and a gasket kit (about $300). While we're in there (famous last words) we're going to freshen the heads. That's going to be the big expense, but at least one cylinder was wet, meaning we had some tired guides. I think the guides themselves are like 5 bucks each. It's the labor to install them, though....

We're also spending a few bucks to make things pretty as the engine sheet metal is out for powder coating ($200 or so) and we had the oil cooler professionally cleaned ($70). We might also splurge for all new engine hardware (about $200). And true, we could have done the powder-coating ourselves, but a few of the pieces are pretty big. The clutch was starting to chatter, meaning that job was also looming.

The labor hasn't been too hard, but I have a friend helping. This won't be his first Porsche engine rebuild. The big thing, I admit, is some of the speciality tools.

Woody SuperDork
June 22, 2011 5:41 p.m.

Do something with the engine compartment sound deadening pad while the engine is out. Either remove the old one, make things pretty and go without, or replace it with something much better than the original. An original replacement will just start dropping again after a couple of years.

Does the car have A/C?

Woody SuperDork
June 22, 2011 6:25 p.m.

Please do a full story on the engine work!

David S. Wallens Editorial Director
June 22, 2011 6:29 p.m.

Yes, the car has a/c. Getting that redone is also on the to-do list, but that will be a separate job. I have a plan and just need the time to do it. The sound deadening pad looked okay but, yeah, we'll take a real good look at it.

tuna55 SuperDork
June 22, 2011 8:14 p.m.

Boo! I am super sorry for you guys. More than this, let me know when the story goes to print so I can hide it from my wife - she finally wants one and that might change her mind.

Seriously, I hope it works out for the best, that's too pretty of a car to be sitting there.

David S. Wallens Editorial Director
June 22, 2011 8:29 p.m.

While the car is sitting, the parts aren't. We should be back in the game shortly.

Maroon92 SuperDork
June 22, 2011 9:54 p.m.

I am glad that it's going to be back on the road soon. On the other hand, maybe some of your other gems could get driven while the attention whore is down for service.

neon4891 SuperDork
June 22, 2011 10:00 p.m.

Good luck. I hope it stays in the GRM fleet long enough that I can afford it when it goes to a new home.

Keith SuperDork
June 23, 2011 10:07 a.m.
DILYSI Dave wrote: While you're probably not going to DIY this, if you did a step-by-step for the DIY-ers in the crowd, that would be cool.

Check out "101 Projects for your Porsche 911". Pretty good book, lots of gory details on how to do just about everything on your 911.

Woody SuperDork
June 23, 2011 10:09 a.m.
Keith wrote:
DILYSI Dave wrote: While you're probably not going to DIY this, if you did a step-by-step for the DIY-ers in the crowd, that would be cool.

Check out "101 Projects for your Porsche 911". Pretty good book, lots of gory details on how to do just about everything on your 911.

Great, great book!

DWNSHFT Reader
June 23, 2011 4:18 p.m.

David,

Is that a plunger- or rotary-type A/C compressor? Last I heard the rotary was a lighter, smoother, more efficient and more robust upgrade.

David

David S. Wallens Editorial Director
June 23, 2011 11:10 p.m.

Honestly, I forget which compressor I have but I can check. In theory, I have a plan for a relatively inexpensive yet effective setup.

Woody SuperDork
June 24, 2011 5:31 a.m.

I'm getting ready to remove the (good) A/C from my 96 Miata track car and the useless system from my 87 911. I plan to lay the parts side by side and see if I can make something happen.

I'd like to hear more about your relatively inexpensive solution.

pinchvalve SuperDork
June 24, 2011 8:06 a.m.

Really? No turbo while it is out? What is this, Grassroots Cleaning and Polishing?

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