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931 (Woody) project
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Joined: 05 Apr 2022
Posts: 81
Location: Roberts, MT

PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2022 4:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jacob, you hit it right on when you said it's a masochist's car! I've finally got the turbo buttoned up on mine, and it occurs to me that if you own a 931 and love it, you either have a very competent and patient mechanic, or you've got masochistic streak in you somewhere. I've wondered about that in myself... It's very rare I need help with anything mechanical - bleeding brakes and clutch hydraulics are usually the only thing - but I couldn't get through the turbo job on my own. I've pulled the transfer case and transmission and changed the clutch on my truck by myself (using a transmission jack, of course, but still), and pulled the engine and transmission from my Mercedes. But I had to get a neighbor to thread in and snug up the manifold to turbine bolts while I held the turbo in place. Trying to do that with one hand holding the turbo and the other fumbling with the bolts only resulted in a lot of anguish and words I shouldn't be using... Then there's the oil lines you have to tweak or flex in just the right way to get threads started, the wastegate mount that you have to get positioned just right and the vent line that you have to position at just the right angle. I kept thinking of a line from The Big Bang Theory where somebody mentions a job for Tinkerbell's gynecologist.

But enough grousing on that. I need to change the shifter bushings on my car, and I'm curious if it's bad enough of a job that cutting an access would actually save time. If it's similar to the turbo, where it's a matter of getting a couple extensions and swivel sockets together (funny how my collection of extensions and swivel sockets has grown), then I can grin and bear it. Of course, there's a chance the transaxle will need to come out sooner or later, and it sounds like this helps there too. I suppose there's some penalty to pay in chassis integrity (but probably fairly small unless one were to go overboard on the size of the access), and resale could be affected. My car is a long way from being in good enough shape to gain collector value, but being a turbo and part of the introductory run, there will be value in keeping it original if I get far enough on a full-on restoration.

On the radiator, I'd agree that a cheap China chintz piece is often more trouble than it's worth. I put a pretty cheap parallel-flow condenser on my 560SEL a year and a half ago, and it did away with the problem of mounts that don't line up by simply not coming with most of them! I'm surprised that RockAuto would sell it, because the electric fans mount to brackets on the original (tube-and-fin, and highly inefficient) condenser, so short of just kind of hanging them in there, and probably having them get broken or break something else as a result, you have to do some fabrication. It's not a bad deal for what it is, but I wouldn't call it a replacement part. With that kind of thing, I'd rather get a core that'll fit and make my own mounts, or pony up for a well-made upgraded replacement. I'll have to take a look at the CSF piece in case I decide to upgrade down the road. I've spotted what I'm pretty sure is a '79 date stamp on my radiator; it would seem it's original to the car. That's pretty remarkable considering the crossmember, oil pan, and lower valiance or air dam or whatever you call it all have battle scars from who knows how many instances of being run over things. I should probably have it boiled out at least, but I've got at least six months before I should have any worries about cooling!
1980 931 diamond in the rough
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Joined: 18 Nov 2016
Posts: 500
Location: Belvidere, IL

PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2022 1:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beartooth, yeah. It's nice to have a helping hand on this car for sure. Sometimes I wonder why I do it to myself.

As far as bleeding brakes, I have found that a leakdown style setup works wonders. I got a pressure regulator with a gauge, set between 5-10psi -- but no more! -- and a Motive bleeder cap and I am able to do the brakes on my own just by applying some air pressure and ensuring I have enough fluid in the reservoir of course. It goes real quick so be careful! This works much better in my experience than the pull/suck style adapters that you pump. Bonus for me too, as it works on both 924s and my Vanagon.

So yesterday I buttoned up the radiator plumbing and got that filled (though not fully bled yet). Between the 924S and 924 hoses I was able to plumb everything securely. I also got the clips I was waiting on, for the shifter. Runs through the gears perfectly as I expected. So nice, and hopefully will stay that way!

I was not able to get the car started however, I believe due to old fuel. I am going to siphon out as much as I can store today and then add some fresh premium gas and a bottle of Techron and see where that leaves me.

Last thing is, as it's been sitting I have noticed some oil spots accumulate slowly over the last year. At the very least it appears I have a pan gasket to replace. I am hoping not more than that as it seems to be all located in that area roughly. Maybe front and rear main seals. Nothing in particular off to the side where the turbo oil lines are.. I may put it off as it does not look too bad, and just ensure there's a piece of cardboard underneath for now. But on a +40yr old car with unknown history, who knows if any of that's ever been changed.
1980 Porsche 931
1981 Porsche 924 Weissach
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