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  • From
    Tempe, AZ
  • Porsche Club
  • Present cars
    1999 996 Convertible
  • Former cars
    1998 BMW M3 Convertible

ecgross1's Achievements


Member (1/1)



  1. Also, you might notice in the picture above that just behind and to the right of the idler pulley are two coolant hoses that join together with a plastic connector. You can see the upper hose and the plastic connector in this picture, with a little bit of brownish leakage/corrosion on top of the plastic connector. I very, very, very gently tapped this connector with my fingernail, and it disintigrated, with both plastic nipples (top and bottom) breaking off inside their respective hoses. Better now than out on the road in the middle of summer I guess. If your car is more than seven years old, I would suggest replacing this cheap little plastic connector before it leaves you stranded.
  2. One important piece of advice and one question. First, the advice - be careful of the oil filler tube when replacing the belt. Plastic tends to get hard and brittle with age, and I barely bumped that sucker with my shoulder or arm when pulling off the old belt and it cracked and popped clean off. Now I either have to pay for a new part and spend a few hours removing the alternator to replace it, or glue/epoxy/tape the stupid thing back together. The question - perhaps I was not getting proper leverage on the tensioner pulley, but I had a heck of a time getting enough slack in the belt to install it. I used on old trick that I have used on many prior vehicles - removing one of the pulleys and re-installing it with the belt in place. In this case it was the upper ilder pulley just to the right of the alternator - identified as number "3" on Loren's diagram. The bolt on which this pulley rests also appears to be one of the two bolts securing the alternator in place. It is a smooth bolt at least six inches long, with about an inch of threads at the end. Once through the pulley and the alternator, the bolt rests in a "U" shaped channel, which looks like it should have a section with a threaded hole at the end to mate with the threads on the bolt. Alas, it does not. Was there a nut on the back on this bolt that quietly disappeared into the depths of the engine when I removed the pulley? Is there something else I am missing? You can clearly see the bolt and threads in the attached pic - which is only possible because I was able to pull the stump of the broken oil filler tube up out of the way and wedge it over the dipstick. Thanks in advance for help on this one.
  3. I'd second removing the mufflers. Took me 15 minutes to drop both mufflers, which makes changing all six plugs so easy it is ridiculous. Finished the entire procedure and was terrorizing the neighborhood with my car sans mufflers in less than two hours. While the plugs can be changed without dropping the mufflers, I'll refer you to all those who spent 4 - 6 hours doing the work for an endorsement of that method. Almost makes me cry reading about all the suffering trying to reach those back plugs when the mufflers go off and back on so easily in less than 30 minutes. Mine has had an erratic idle at times. All of the coils showed superficial cracking after 80,000 miles in the Arizona heat, but I am pretty sure they are still good - and just a bit too expensive to replace for fun. I have oil leaking from a couple of the plug tubes that I suspect may be getting in the coils and could be the cause.
  4. 996 with 80,000 miles and my rotors still have minimum thickness left, with equal wear between the front and rear. If they want to sell you new rotors, just go into the shop with them and watch them measure the thickness of the rotors, or demonstrate too much lateral runout, or whatever the problem may be. I don't think I've ever taken a vehicle in for a brake inspection where the shop didn't want to put on new pads and rotors, whether they were needed or not.
  5. Don't be frightened by the folks who lost an engine and need to validate their loss by telling you that your car will suffer the same fate. Porsche is an expensive car to buy and to maintain. If you can't afford to maintain it or fix it if something does fail, don't buy it. Otherwise, there is no reason to lose any sleep worrying that something might go wrong.
  6. Goodness we like to make things more complicated than they need to be. Get a low-profile jack from Walmart, Sears, Checker, Costco, etc. Take the cup out and you will be left with a flat, square base on the jack that matches up nicely to the jacking points on your Porsche. Buy jack stands at the same store - mine are made by Mack. The span on the stands fit just fine with the jacking points on the car. No need for expensive after-maket adapters, or to take the time to attach hockey pucks to your stands.
  7. 80,000 miles on my 1999. OAS, two bad radiator fan resistors, window regulator, an occasional seal to stop an oil leak, lots of other little stuff, but no significant repairs. Just found a pinhole leak on my water pump indicating it is time to replace that. When talking about the reliability of these cars - keep in mind your driving style. If you essentially autocross you car everyday driving to work with your hair on fire, 100,000 miles before the engine dies is an incredible run. I had a 1998 M3, and that car just could not take it - after just 60,000 miles, literally every system was or had been obliterated. Given the way I drive, my 996 is holding up like a tank. For those of you who have suffered an expensive engine failure, I feel for you, but your bad luck does not represent the norm for the car. If you fail to inspect and make repairs as necessary on an older vehicle leading to a failure (water pump), that is your fault, not Porsche's.
  8. Any idea the diameter of the pipes? Instead of paying hundreds of dollars for what is essentially two pieces of bent pipe, I think I'll just drop $5 at Checker and do without the tips.
  9. Our Walmart in Arizona carries Mobil 1 15W50 racing oil, which nobody buys, so it was on sale for $22.00 for 5 quarts. Mixed with 5 quarts of 0W40, new oil cost me less than $50. 5W30 or 10W30 is not sufficient per the boys at Porsche.
  10. You don't have to drop the engine for the aos, but it still is a major pain in the butt. $600 is dirt cheap for that replacement.
  11. Most shops will always tell you that you need new pads and rotors - easy money. I just did my pads on my 80,000 mile 966. The rotors were all at 50% between new and minimum thickness - not even close to needing replacement.
  12. Funny how isolated bad experiences can be given the same weight as a statistically significant sample. This means you need to look at hundreds or thousands of these cars to determine reliability - not just the one car that died on you or your buddy. No car is perfect, and the same is true for the 966. For the track miles I've put on my car, the engine has been bullet-proof. As for the "ratttling" when it starts - it could be any number of items. Do not listen to all of the Chicken-Little, the sky is falling posters here. The noise you reference is most likely normal and nothing to worry about. Many older cars develop some noise on start-up - my E36 M3's valves and lifters make quite a bit of noise on start and then quiet down. This is not a sign of any pending failure. Of course, without hearing the noise your car makes for myself, I can only speculate. Final note - warranties are for suckers. By definition, the the time-value of the insurance premium you will pay will not only cover the cost of any repairs, it will provide a profit for the insurance company. Now, if you could not bear the loss of an engine failure (I don't know who is foolish enough to pay $20k for an engine rebuild when a new plant costs thousands less), and you would be left with a worthless car that you could not repair, then you should consider a warranty. If you have the resources to buy a new engine yourself, the rational move is to self-insure. If you are looking at car warranties, be aware that many companies are fraudulent - they will take your money and then declare bankruptcy in a year or two when the claims start.
  13. Do search first. The steering wheel has interior rubber stops that wear over time, allowing the horn button to make contact too easily. Mine was so bad that the horn would blow if you hit the brakes hard enough. You can open up the steering wheel and replace or rebuild the stops. Or, you can do an easier fix. I found a little piece of black weatherstripping that I had laying around that just happened to be the right size to fit in the gap between the horn button and the rest of the steering wheel at the top - the gap you see when looking directly down on the steering wheel from above. I worked a small piece of weather stripping - only about one inch long - into the gap with a screwdriver and this fix has worked for going on three years now. You can see the weatherstripping if you know it is there, but only the most psychotic perfectionists would have an issue with this fix. Nobody else has ever noticed my remedy. I suppose you could get a longer piece of weatherstripping and fill the whole gap for a cleaner appearance - although you do have to use a firm push to get the horn now, and filling the entire gap could make it difficult or impossible to use the horn.
  14. Any of those filters should be fine. All of those retailers regularly have excellent prices. There is no one source. I just had to replace a window regulator. Porsche wanted $350 for the part, Pelican had it for $240, and I ordered what was purportedly an OES part from .com for $160 - factory Porsche AG part arrived much to my delight. If you are cheap, you just have to shop around. One note on oil changes - please be aware that you probably not doing anything but wasting money, resources, and harming the environment by changing your oil every 5,000 miles or 6 months. There is a reason that Porsche has service intervals set at 10,000, 15,000, or 20,000 miles. Fully synthetic Mobil 1 will last for these intervals and properly lubricate and protect your engine absent extraordinary operating conditions or some other problem. If you are so fussy that you feel compelled to change your oil after 5,000 miles, send a sample to a lab for analysis first and let them tell you that your oil is good for another year and 10,000 miles.
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