Friday, 27 December 2019

Porsche 996 Bonnet Release Locked Seized

I'd not used my 911 for a few weeks and when I went to open the boot I found that the release lever was seized and couldn't be moved. I already had the bolts removed so was able to lift the lever mechanism from the car but there was no obvious reason why it couldn't be opened.

I noticed an online guide that suggested it was due to the locks going into a dormant state so tried locking and unlocking the car which resolved the problem

The early Porsche Boxster and 911/996 models have a manual cable release for the trunk/bonnet/boot unlike the later ones that are purely electronic and can cause problems if the battery is flat. In order to fix it Make sure your battery is kept in good condition if you don't use the locks, otherwise the boot/trunk may get locked out and you will need to use a recovery procedure like this. Alternatively always leave the car with boot/trunk/engine compartments open when stored for a period of time in the garage so that you can easily access the battery to recharge.

Monday, 4 November 2019

Porsche 911 Running Costs for First 6 Months

I've now owned my 1998 Porsche 911 for 6 months and as of November have decided to take it off the road over the winter to replace the suspension which was identified as corroded at the recent MOT test. It's now been registered as SORN so that the car tax isn't due and will put it back on the road in March.

I've deliberated tried to reduce the spending over the last 6 weeks to bring down the average as I'd been spending very heavily since getting the car.

New air con condensers
  • Replaced both air conditioning condensers and underbody pipes so air con now works
  • Replaced non standard front bumper with factory version & resprayed it
  • Replaced both radiators, thermostat & some hoses as well as coolant replacement
  • Full service including fresh engine oil, oil filter, air filter, cabin filter
  • Gearbox oil change
  • New tyres all round
  • Original wheels obtained and refitted
  • Track rod ends & tie rods replaced
  • Sunroof seal replaced
  • Remote Central locking fixed
Engine oil service

Coolant hoses replaced
The total spend over this time was £2517.14 but I still have the set of wheels that came on the car and a spare rear bumper to sell which should give me £450 back so the total will be £2067.

Much of the spending was optional items that I wanted to do rather than being absolutely necessary but listed in one place it shows how much I've achieved over the last six months.

Friday, 16 August 2019

Porsche 996 Front Suspension Knocking When Warm

When my Porsche 996 had warmed up I found that there was a pronounced knocking sound from the front driver's side suspension when going over bumps. I also noticed that when driving at motorway speeds or on rough roads the steering was very disconcerting with the wheel being thrown from side to side.

From reading various forums and blog posts there were various suggestions for the knocking sound which could be the drop links, coffin arms or top mounts, all of which look to be the original 1998 vintage parts still in place.
Porsche 996 Front Suspension Knocking When Warm
Porsche 996 Front Suspension Knocking When Warm

During the free healthcheck at Porsche Centre Tonbridge it was noted that there was slight play in the Track rod ends/Tie Rods on one side so I decided that I would replace all both the track rod ends and inner tie rod joints to resolve the problem.
Worn track rod end Porsche 996
Worn track rod end Porsche 996

On removal from the car it was obvious why the steering had been so uneven and pulling side to side as one inner tie rod was completely corroded in place with the ball joint unable to move. The other was the one with play in it and showed slight movement. The rubber boots of track rod ends were both perished and the grease lost as well as the bearing being very loose.

I purchased brand new TRW parts to replace both track rod ends and inner tie rods which came to a total of £90. Compared to the £90 for one track rod end for my Porsche 944 this seemed a bargain!

After replacing the track rod ends and tie rods on both sides the transformation is amazing! The car no longer feels like it's wallowing all over the road, the steering is precise and untroubled by rough roads or bumps.

Overall it actually is pleasant to drive on the motorway again as it now feels reassuring and controlled rather than feeling unsure which direction the car could swerve without input. So if you are experiencing similar problems with the steering knocking, feeling very unstable over bumps and on rough roads then I'd suggest checking your track rod ends/tie rods as one culprit. Even if they show no sign of play then it may still mean that the joint is beyond repair and seized as that was the side that was making the knocking noise on my Porsche 911.

Sunday, 11 August 2019

Porsche 996/911 Sunroof seal Replacement procedure

My 911 is proving to be quite noisy at speed with the sound of wind that seems to be coming from the roof. On inspection it appears that the sunroof seal is well past its best and not giving a complete seal around the edge of the roof line hence causing the sound from air rushing through at speed.

Porsche 996 Sunroof seal replacement
Porsche 996 Sunroof seal replacement procedure

There seems to be little information online about the sunroof seal and how to remove it to replace and fit a new seal. There may be a difference in seals between models of 996 as some guides refer to removing the sunroof panel itself which appears unnecessary as the the seal is on the car side of the panel and can be accessed when the sunroof is retracted into the car.

Porsche 996 Sunroof seal removal
Porsche 996 Sunroof seal removal

To remove the seal from the car you need to push down so it detaches from the metal edge of the roof. It's not obvious from looking at the seal initially if it pulls off, down or up but having tested it works best using a thin trim removal tool between the edge of the paint and the seal to dislodge it first at the join. Once it has started to come away then it's easier to remove around the rest of the aperture.
Old seal removed

Once removed it's easy to see the difference from old and new

Old vs New - Porsche 996 Sunroof seal removal
Old vs New - Porsche 996 Sunroof seal removal
 Seal removed is dated July 1998 so is the original 21 year old one - well due to be replaced and the rubber is so much harder and less flexible than the new one.

Date code on Porsche sunroof seal
Date code on Porsche sunroof seal 
The roof was showing signs of rust when the seal had been removed so I decided to treat it with corrosion preventer before fitting the new seal. First job was to mask around the edge to prevent the roof being contaminated with wax.

I used Dynax S50 anti-corrosion spray to treat and coat the edge of the sunroof to protect it. Once the wax had dried I then started to fit the new sunroof seal.

To fit the seal I used a trim removal tool to push the seal into place.

The difference has been amazing, the car is so much quieter now without the wind noise at speed.

The video of the sunroof seal replacement is here:

Friday, 9 August 2019

Porsche 911 Monthly Running Costs - 3 Months Summary

As I've owned my Porsche 911 996 model for three months I though it would be worth doing an update on the costs that I've incurred over this time.

It's been a busy time since I've had the car with lots of maintenance jobs done and a mix of essential and optional spending as a result. Some things like the replacement bumpers and new wheels were entirely optional, cosmetic choices but others such as engine oil and gearbox oil changes were key maintenance items.

Other jobs such as coolant hose replacements were preventative maintenance that hopefully will keep the car running better over the long term. Things like tyre replacements are routine maintenance that will hopefully only need doing again in 20,000 miles or so.

The total spend to date has been just over £1500 which includes an allowance for the sale of the Techart wheels that the car came with and have now been switched back to the original Porsche style ones. I'm hoping the spend will reduce now that some key jobs have been done but am also aware that there are some other expensive tasks that I still want to do such as suspension component replacements.

Taking in to account the cost of the car I think I'm still breaking even as the fixes I've done should make it both easier to sell and increase the asking price.

Thursday, 8 August 2019

Porsche 911 Falken FK510 Tyres Review

I've now fitted my Porsche 911 with the original style wheels, Sport Design model. These came without tyres so I needed to purchase a full set.

My previous 911 was fitted with Falken tyres when I bought it so decided to go with the same brand again.

Porsche 911 996 Falken FK510 Tyres
Porsche 911 Falken FK510 Tyres with Sport Design wheels
First impressions are that the ride is harder than the old tyres but it's a tough comparison of brand new tyres with ones that were between 12 and 16 years old - the tyres on the old Techart wheels were dated 2003, 2007 and 2008! They had plenty of tread left but were definitely beyond their best.

It's early days but so far they seem to be pretty quiet and have decent grip. I found that the tyre fitters haven't set the tyre pressures to the recommended settings from Porsche so will get those set as 36 front and 44 rear over the weekend.

Monday, 29 July 2019

Porsche 996 Wheel arch liner fitting - Fixings replacement

I needed to remove the wheel arch liner to check radiators and on doing so found that they had previously been bodged with cable ties to attach them to the car.

I've got a selection of clips that I've bought from Porsche and keep to be able swap if existing ones are broken or rusted so used some from my supplies. These are also available on eBay for s small amounts and mean you can properly attach the liners.

It's very satisfying to be able to fix minor issues like this, they're not visible to anyone else but it's good to know that they've been done

I decided to use 10mm headed screws for these so that all the fixings in the wheel arch liner can be removed using the same socket. I did have some Torx T25 screws but realised that would be more of a pain to remove as another tool would be required.

I wonder why Porsche originally used plastic expansion fittings rather than screws when the car was originally built? I suspect it may be due to possible corrosion of the screws - or it could be a cost based decision.