Monday, 10 June 2019

Porsche 911 First Month Costs

Having now owned my second 911 for a month I thought it worth giving an update on the costs incurred to date. Quite a lot of this is entirely optional and was my choice because I wanted the car to look a certain way. The actual required spend to keep the car on the road is actually a fairly small part of this.

I've needed to service the car as it was overdue a service despite having done very little mileage. I replaced the air filter, pollen/cabin filter and oil with oil filter. Total cost was £84.38

I also needed to replace the sunroof seal which cost £60 from my Porsche dealer. The original Becker CR22 radio wasn't working properly so I replaced that at a cost of £35.

Porsche 911 First Month Costs
Porsche 911 First Month Costs

Optional items I've bought are new front and rear bumpers (£240), new wheels for a total of £325.

Adding all of these together the total I've spent for the first month was £664 but the vast majority of that was for items I didn't desperately need and will also be offset by the sale of the current wheels and bumpers.

Sunday, 9 June 2019

Porsche 996 Air Con repair

One of the jobs I've needed to do on my Porsche 911 was to investigate and repair the air conditioning that wasn't working. It's a common issue on the 996 model and generally due to the air conditioning condensers becoming corroded and damaged by road debris.

On investigation that was indeed the case with my car with one condenser showing dark patches over half the surface indicating where the gas/oil mixture had leaked.

Porsche 911 996 air conditioning condenser failure
Porsche 911 996 air conditioning condenser failure
I took the car to my local garage to get the air con checked, I assumed it was empty but wanted to be sure that I wouldn't release any gas by opening the system. As expected there was no gas in there so it was safe to get started.

The first step is to remove the front bumper, a fairly easy job with the removal of various screws in different positions around the front area.
Once the bumper is off the job is straightforward, remove the plastic air scoop housings in front of the radiators by undoing five Torx T25 screws and you now have access to the condenser and radiators. This needs to be done on each side - there are 2 condensers and radiators on the 996 and Boxster.
Porsche 911 996 air conditioning condenser removal - 6mm allen key
Porsche 911 996 air conditioning condenser removal - 6mm allen key
REMEMBER - before you these steps ensure the system is degassed and has no pressure.
When you have access to the condenser it's just a 6mm bolt that attaches the pipes to the condenser. Make sure that you support the pipes as you undo them to avoid damage.

Once the pipes are removed it's a simple case of removing 2 more Torx T25 screws and the condenser comes off the car. Clean up the radiator of any debris and the new condenser can be fitted ensuring that you use new O rings for a good seal.

Photo below shows the new Air Con condenser fitted to my Porsche 996.

Porsche 911 996 air conditioning condenser replacement - new unit fitted
Porsche 911 996 air conditioning condenser replacement - new unit fitted
I've replaced both air conditioning condensers along with the receiver/dryer at a total cost of £92 thanks to Coolparts UK on Ebay

Since the pictures were taken I've had the car regassed and it's fixed the problem, the air con is now icy cold and definitely working!

Monday, 20 May 2019

Porsche 996 Option Codes

The option codes for a Porsche 911 (996 variant) are on a sticker underneath the bonnet. These take the form of a series of numbers as well as the paint code and model information. The previous owner didn't appear to have taken much notice of the various options fitted as none were mentioned in the advert and this is quite a highly specified car.

This shows my 996 details with paint code L3AX.

You can also see the various options listed below with their reference codes


This means that the car was supplied with traction control (222) and limited slip differential (220/224) as well as sports suspension (030) and sports seats (375/376). Other options shown are Cruise Control (454), sunroof (650) and on board computer (659)

You can see the full decoder here

Thursday, 16 May 2019

Porsche 996 Early & Late Model Differences

What are the differences between early and late model Porsche 911 996?

I've now got a 1998 model Porsche 911 and am finding a number of differences with the 2001 model that I owned previously. Some of the differences are quite subtle and others are much more obvious. There are also much bigger differences with the facelifted 911 model that was launched in late 2001 with the 3.6 litre engine and turbo style headlights.

1) Cable throttle vs eGas Electronic throttle system

2) Cable bonnet/engine bay release vs electronic release

3) Traction control vs PSM (Porsche Stability Management)

Porsche 996 Original Bumpers

When I bought my Porsche 911 the bumpers fitted were not standard and looked like they were from a GT2 model and very low at the front.

I've looked around at various places to purchase genuine 911 bumpers to get sprayed in the correct colour to replace them. The most helpful place I spoke to were Jasmine Porschalink who were able to supply both front and rear bumpers delivered for a very reasonable price.

Monday, 13 May 2019

1998 Porsche 911 Carrera (996 3.4) Restoration Project

This is a much more mild restoration that my Porsche 944 but there are still various jobs that need to be done to bring the car back up to standard, some easier than others.

The leather seats were showing signs of wear along the driver's bolster. Having recoloured the seats of my Porsche 944 the process wasn't too scary for me and I'd seen how good results could be previously. I'd also swapped the seats of my previous 911 so if all else failed that was also an option open to me.

Changing colour of Porsche seats
The side bolster was looking quite tatty where it gets rubbed as the driver gets into the car.

Fortunately it was just the surface of the leather and the actual material was not damaged so it was a fairly easy job to apply colourant dye to the seats to bring them back to looking good.

First job done, now to work through the rest of the list!

Bringing Northern Ireland Cars to Mainland UK - What Problems Can Occur?

What are the pitfalls and problems with Northern Ireland cars brought to the UK?

I've read various bits of info about buying a car from Northern Ireland and any differences compared to the rest of the UK. It's quite bizarre when the DUP are laying down lines in Brexit talks that they don't want any regulatory differences between NI and the rest of the UK when you find how many differences already exist.

The main issue I've discovered with cars brought from Northern Ireland to England (and Scotland or Wales) is that their MOT history cannot be checked online and more importantly their history is lost when they are given mainland UK registration plates. Any previous history from Northern Ireland seems to be lost so a car with 10 owners in NI that is brought to the UK can effectively lose them.

With GDPR now removing previous owner details from the V5 document it's very easy for unscrupulous dealers to make a car much more attractive than it would otherwise be. A car with many owners can become a 1 or 2 owner car with very little effort.