Dear God, what have I done. Owning an 80's icon, the Porsche 911 Turbo. Pt.2

(Originally written 1/10/2014)

Day Three (180miles)

On day three of 930 ownership I have to admit to a mild case of postpartum depression. I knew this feeling would come as I noted more things about the paint that annoy me and I grieve for my prior debt free status. I remind myself that I bought the best condition car I could afford and that in the big picture this car was still a deal. When that failed to ease my mind I simply put down the magnifying glass, shut the lights off and walked out of the garage waited 30 seconds and re-opened the garage door. Yep, there is a still a Porsche 930 sitting my garage, and that in of itself does not suck. Akin to realizing that the supermodel in your bed farts in her sleep and never refills the toilet paper roll. Is it really that big of a deal?

Its occurred to me that I have not had my head stuck in the engine bay of a car this much since owning my MK2 Scirocco, while all together not an entirely bad thing. When I finally got home Wednesday I checked the oil a few more times (yes, probably a bit paranoid) after learning that the common consensus is to treat the instructions in the manual as a loose guideline when it comes to "cold" levels . I am now only checking it when the engine is fully up to temperature (first hash on the temp gauge). Oil level is smack in the middle of the min/max marks on the dipstick. The manual suggests it should be near the max mark but I was warned about overfilling more than running low.

I also checked the tire pressures Wednesday night and discovered some of the root cause for the harsh ride. The rear tires were at 59psi, drivers side front was 32psi and pass was 21psi. I figured it was time to open the hood and check out that nifty Porsche tire pump and start the emergency kit building.

Pull hood release…hmm, nothing. Pull a little harder….nothing. Consult the manual to identify which orientation of the lock cylinder would indicate that I am making a fool of myself. Every indication suggests its unlocked. Pull a little harder….then a quick flashback to what a snapped hood release cable feels like, I decide to stop. After a quick ponder on whether it was possible that in the first 24hrs of ownership that I had been deemed unworthy by the Porsche gods via the dipstick adventure and now this I decide to give it one more shot. Yank hard, pop, the hood comes open with the hood release still intact, bonus! Thank you Deutschland. Added lubricate/replace hood release cable to the fix-it list.

Dear God, what have I done. Owning an 80's icon, the Porsche 911 Turbo. Pt.2

The stock Porsche air compressor (which is for some odd reason coveted among owners) was not there, in its place was a random cheap pump. No problem, well until I went to plug it in that is….no cigarette plug, just two bare wires. Confidently I went to emergency kit in the BMW and grabbed its compressor and plugged it into the cigarette jack…..no beuno. It was clear then why the cigarette lighter plug end had been removed. Plugged into the BMW and set all the tires are at 32psi. Additionally I sacrificed a CTEK trickle charger set of battery clamps to enable the pump that came with the car to be operated by a single person with 100% less sparking!

Also in the trunk (frunk?) I found a set of BBS wheel wrenches, adjustable hood prop, jumper cables, factory tool kit and what appears to be a brand new battery. I bagged up all the stuff and started building the emergency kit. I can says with 60% confidence I am now 80% more prepared.

That brings us to day four of daily driving a 930 by choice. Thus far the most surprising aspect of 930 ownership (besides the frankly alarming rate it can build speed) is how easy it is to just jump in and drive. Having driven a few hero cars of the 60s/70s/80s one always seems left with the question of "could I actually drive this thing on a whim and not immediately regret it?". Honestly this is what drew me to the 930 say over something rarer in same price range (F-car 308/328/400i, etc). I really had to have something very "accessible", I did not want something which was great in the garage and crap on the street. The Porsche 915 4spd continues to be excellent to the point where I feel like there is something seriously wrong with the 5spd box in the E24. Granted it has 140K more miles than the 930 but its a complete PITA by comparison. The 930 has plenty of usable torque off boost once warm and is exceedingly smooth and easy to putter along in traffic. When its cold it exhibits all the cranky CIS problems that I am used to from the VW world, nothing which isn't resolved once a little heat is in the motor.

Dear God, what have I done. Owning an 80's icon, the Porsche 911 Turbo. Pt.2

Another note which comes as a surprise. There are no oil drips on my garage floor. You heard that right, a 911 with oil in it that is not marking its territory. I spent about $3K sealing up the BMW to perform this same feat. Pretty cool 911, pretty cool. I am also starting to see some systems "come back to life". When I picked the car up the dome lights were completely inoperable, they seem to work flawlessly now. Additionally with no intervention on my part my windshield fogging problem seems have vanished as well. Seat heaters which would not work now get hot enough to feel like you have a sunburn (they may perhaps be still broken). I fell allot of this is due to the car being in a heated garage at night and a parking garage during the day but hey, whatever the reason I will take it.

To close out on the subject of fixes. We had some dry weather today (as dry as it ever gets here in Jan) so I was able to explore the car a bit more. I feel that there is likely a spark or fueling issue at WOT, which is strange because the test drive was fine and the car was perfect. Nothing surfaced during the PPI either. At 80% throttle it absolutely rips, but at WOT it struggles and if you stay in it you will get a complete cut out around 4k rpm. I figured better safe than sorry and swung by John Walkers Porsche Workshop and got his opinion which was that as the PPI said a tuneup was in order. He wasn't interested in bench racing the problem beyond checking the overboost circuit. I agreed with the approach, I need to get the car at good maintenance baseline so an appointment was made. In addition to the tune up he is going to check the right rear caliper for dragging and diagnose the e-brake light not shutting off. I also will have him pull the header and fix the exhaust leak, I am going to explore option on replacing the headers should the exhaust in the cabin not change after the leak is fixed. What others have mentioned about crack in the header tubing inside the heater boxes sounds entirely plausible, I'm really hoping its not the case however. I really enjoy how the B&B unit sounds and looks.

And there you have it, four days with a 930. Lesson learned? Shes a supermodel you idiot. Just blame it on the dog and move on with life.

Part 1 - Life with a legend, the Porsche 930.

Part 2 - Dear God, what have I done.

Part 3 - The choices we make.

Part 4 - Affix the supplemental oxygen mask to yourself first.