Monday, April 6, 2020

911SC - Build Update #6

When I went to Speedsport Tuning 3 weeks ago to check on the car's progress, I didn't know that would be the last time in weeks that I'd be able to do so. The boys over there have been continuing to work and be busy on a number of projects including Scarlett. After they had re-assembled the transmission, they were not content with the tiny bit of play in the input shaft and took the it apart again to redo the shims and make sure it was perfect. This unfortunately delayed the project as we had to wait for new bearings to arrive. They finished getting everything together and today the engine and transmission were reinstalled into the car for the first time in 3 months.

Engine and Transmission Remarried - 4-6-2020
Engine and Transmission ready to go in - 4-6-2020
There was a bit of a clearance issue with the newer exhaust piping coming out of the Dansk sport muffler so a bit of "tweaking" needed to be done on the rear bumper. This isn't too surprising of course as this entire exhaust system was really made for an older mid-70s 911.

Exhaust pipe won't clear
Perfect fitment now
It feels really good to see all the mechanical bits come together.

Transmission
I also got some better pictures of the KW Classic suspension installation including the new, beefier, Turbo tie rods.

KW Classic front strut with raised spindles +
Turbo tie rod
Rears shock
Although the car's physically back together, there's still a number of things to do. Most importantly, the wiring for the EFI conversion needs to get finished and the engine needs to get running on the tune. There's also a number of electrical odds and ends that will get worked on once we know all the mechanicals are working as expected.

Monday, March 16, 2020

911SC - Build Update #5

As the build is soon coming to a close, I drove up to Speedsport Tuning to grab all the parts taken off the car to move into storage and snap some recent pictures of the build. Although the transmission housing came from the machine shop over a week ago, the transmission rebuild hit a snag when the new bolts for the differential arrived from Porsche with the wrong dimensions (a bit too short).
Scarlett - Speeedsport Tuning - 3/16/2020

Um, that new diff bolt is too short (left)
Well, at least the new, correctly sized bolts have finally arrived so they can finish the transmission build this week and it can rejoin the engine and the whole thing can be remarried to the chassis.

Transmission housing fresh from machine shop
Gears back together with fresh synchros
Wavetrac diff installed  -
everything fits nice and tight!
The DAS rollbar is all bolted in. Fitment is really good as expected. Rear seat backs and seatbelts deleted. The Rennline black aluminum pedals and billet adjustable decklid hinge is also in now.

DAS rollbar installed
Rennline black aluminum pedals
Rennline billet adjustable decklid hinge
Finally the KW Classic suspension is installed. The bushings were still good so those were left in. The upper strut mounts and ball joints were replaced. The tie rods were also replaced with new turbo tie rods which are beefier and recommended upgrade. Ride height still needs adjustment along with corner balance/alignment of course.

KW Classic shocks installed
KW Classic shocks installed
Although there isn't much left in the build, there's still a few details that need sorted. For instance, once the engine is back in the car, there's likely be more adjustments made to the EFI tune to make it run correctly. Wiring also needs to all be checked out including the installation of the new classic retrofit fuse box up front. The new radio also still needs to go in. Right now the focus is on getting the mechanicals sorted. Optimistically we're looking at the end of March before she'll be street ready then off the body shop to get her freshened up.

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Passed NYS Emissions Finally!!!

There is absolutely nothing emissions illegal in the Cayman but I haven't been able to get it inspected because ever since I modded the car for STU at the end of 2018, I've had on and off P2196 and P2198  (bank 1 or 2 pre-cat O2 sensor stuck rich) check engine lights. I made so many changes it was really hard to pinpoint the cause but for sure I had a variety of exhaust leaks from the generic gaskets provided with the Soul Performance street header. I eventually changed them all to OEM Porsche gaskets and I definitely don't have a leaks anymore but the CEL still came back...argh!!!

Reloading the Tune - 2-23-2020
Also, it seemed like no matter how many miles I'd drive the secondary air would never set readiness. Obviously between the recurring CEL that I'd have to reset and readiness not setting, I couldn't get the car to pass NYS emissions inspection despite nothing actually being wrong with the car. Well, I stumbled across one random post on Rennlist where someone had a similar issue and it was related to his tune and reloading it fixed the issue. Last week, before heading out to PCA Tech Tactics East, I loaded the stock tune back and then reloaded my FVD tune and lo and behold, within just 40 minutes of driving, no pending codes and all the readiness codes set.

Ready for Inspection - 2-23-2020
OBDLink with bluetooth OBD2 reader
I drove the car another 200 miles that day to PA and back and today drove the car to Camber Toe Performance in Lynbrook to get inspected today and passed with no issues. I don't think I've ever felt this relieved since we brought Bumblestook back to being street legal in early 2018. Anyway, the real point of this post isn't that I passed the annual emissions inspection but rather as a reference for anyone else that runs into this issue on their 987 Cayman. If everything else looks mechanically sound and you've done everything including changing your O2 sensors and put in new OEM gaskets, maybe you just need to reload your tune.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Bye Suspension Squeaks

I really loved the design of the 034 Motorsports Dynamic+ Camber Mounts for the GTi but I just couldn't stand the random squeaks you'd get when turning the wheel while stopped or at really low speeds (like driving around a garage, etc). The rest of the time while in motion they were flawless but these low speed squeaks eventually got me because it made the car sound really cheap so I eventually gave up and decided to replace them with a set of fresh OEM Sachs front strut mounts and bearings. Thankfully SJF Performance had some time today so we got it done.

New OEM strut mounts being installed - 2-15-2020
SJF Performance
New Strut Mount - 2-15-2020
New Strut Bearing - 2-15-2020
Of course this meant that I was going to lose a bit of the negative camber I gained with the 034 Motorsports mounts but since this is really just my fun "daily", then it wasn't the end of the world. What would a trip to SJF to do suspension work be without also getting an alignment and so I continue my trend of generally being the first car on the alignment rack for the season.

Everything re-installed and buttoned up - 2-15-2020
Getting aligned - 2-15-2020 - SJF Performance
The car had about an inch of toe out up front after going back to the OEM mounts so that had to be zeroed out and I was still happy that due to the car sitting lower on the Eiback ProKit springs, I still had a respectable -1.3 degrees of camber up front. I'm glad to report no more stupid squeaks. The car now sounds refined again like a proper German car should be.

I also figured that if the car was going to be in the lift, it was time to replace the last bit of fluid the previous owner had changed for me prior to selling it, the engine oil.

Time to get the oil changed - 2-15-2020
Liqui Moly 5W-40 
VW wins the "tiny" fill hole award? 2-15-2020 
I'm trying out this Liqui Moly 5W-40 "Molygen" oil. I'll probably send it in for oil analysis on my next oil change.

Maintenance Updates:

Mileage: 54,426

- New Mann oil filter
- 6 quarters Liqui Moly 5W-40 Molygen

Thursday, February 13, 2020

911SC - Build Update #4

I went up to Speedsport Tuning today to drop off some parts and check on the car's progress. They've been a joy to work with on this project and are true professionals. Kudos to Marc who's been communicating with me really well and being flexible with all the scope creep. Anyone that knows me understands how things tend to evolve a bit as I get into a "while we're in there" pattern. We're in a bit of a holding pattern right now as we're still waiting on the machine shop to work on the transmission housing, KW still hasn't shipped my shocks from Germany (8-weeks and counting...sigh) and the DAS rollbar is still being fabricated.

Engine work complete - 2-13-2020
Those things aside, they've continued to get all the other bits that can be done out of the way. The engine is all ready to be dropped in pending being mated to the transmission. The new flywheel and clutch kit is bolted on and the heater has been backdated to clear the EFI kit and also tidy up the look.

New clutch and flywheel bolted on - 2-13-2020
Heater hose backdate - 2-13-2020
Heater hose backdate - 2-13-2020
I decided that the old fan and fan shroud needs freshening up so it got bead blasted and powdercoated to make it as fresh as the rest of the engine. The band was brushed then re-cleared. Looks like new now!

Fan and shroud powder coated - 2-13-2020
Band brushed and cleared - 2-13-2020
Just a reminder of the "before" look
The Momo Prototipo Heritage wheel with Porsche horn is on as well. You'll notice that the WEVO short shifter assembly is all back together but missing a knob. That's one of the items I dropped off today. It's a Momo Targa Heritage wooden shift knob with tobacco leather top that'll complement the brown interior really well.

Momo Prototipo Heritage with Porshe Horn - 2-13-2020
Momo Target Heritage Shift knob 
The WEVO motor mounts are also now in place.That's going to hold everything nice and secure.

Wevo Motor Mounts - 2-13-2020
I also got back the spare tachometer I sent off to North Hollywood Speedometer to get customized and it looks outstanding. I can't wait to see this installed in the car. They did a matching red face and I had the dial rotated so redline would be at the 12 O'Clock position for easy visibility without having to physically rote the gauge 90 degrees. I also had them increase the number by 1000 RPMs to 8000 even though it doesn't rev that high mostly just to balance the gauge out. NHSpeedometer also installed a new bezel and glass. You can see how the OEM 911SC gauge looks unmodified in the steering wheel photo above.

Tachometer customized by North Hollywood Speedometer - 2-13-2020
It also felt great lifting the cover in the rear to see my plate that I've much had since my very first car continue on in this car and decorated with the vintage Porsche frame. It's really exciting that we're getting closer and closer to completion.


Friday, February 7, 2020

911SC - Build Update #3

The most labor intensive part of the build is up next. The engine was already rebuilt recently by Porsche but the transmission is still untouched since 1983 and with 160k+ miles on it, it didn't make much sense to leave it as is. Top on my list was to have the guys at Speedsport Tuning completely rebuild / refresh the 915 transmission.

Transmission getting torn down - 2/6/2020
Thankfully, for the most part, the transmission is in good shape so that's a very positive sign the car wasn't abused in its youth.

Gear set - 2/7/2020
The main areas of concern are the clutch release shaft and the dog teeth on the first gear, both of which are common wear items on the 915 transmission.

Clutch release shaft - 2-7-2020
Wear on the teeth
The diff housing needs be sent out to be machined to have new steel inserts installed for new bearing races that need to be pressed in. This is to prevent excess play in the shafts that can cause gear mesh issues.

diff housing 
diff housing
diff housing
It's going to take a few weeks before the machine shop can complete it which is fine as we're still waiting on some other parts to arrive for the rest of the build. These findings however justify my gut instinct to spend the money to get the trans rebuilt as a poor functioning transmission would take away some of the enjoyment of driving the car later. The OEM diff seems to be in good shape too but that's getting replaced with a Wavetrac LSD for extra traction.

Stock diff - To be replaced with Wavetrac Unit - 2-7-2020
Parallel to this, the work around the engine is moving forward. The SSI heat exchangers are on the car and it looks awesome. They've also cleaned up the engine some more so it's looking really fresh. The tired looking old fan and fan shroud is bothering me so they're going to bead blast and powder coat it. It really is the first thing you see when you pop the trunk open and it seems silly to spend all this effort only to be let down by a sad looking fan.

SSI heat exchangers installed - 2-5-2020
Engine looking really fresh - 2-5-2020
I also finally found time to go see a locksmith to have them cut the new key blank so I can use the newer style key head with built in flashlight. It looks right but I won't know if it all works until I go visit the car next week.

New key cut and installed on new keyhead - 2-6-2020
Built in light to help find the keyhole in the dark - 2-6-2020
Other items recommended for replacement are the axles and flywheel so new one are going in. Really great seeing the progress so far. The customized/refreshed tachometer is on its way here from North Hollywood Speedometer after almost 6 weeks so I'm excited to see how it's going to look.