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Maybe use spiral wire reinforced tube or similar ? But a replacement from the usuals would be easier- $30 . Be careful that when you are blundering around down there to replace it you don't disturb other things.Pelican have a diy on doing this and some 'while you are in there' hints
Is it possible the wiring harness has rodent damage ? The CPS is a know trouble maker and a replacement is not expensive. Did the rev counter needle bounce when you cranked? If the car was damp in storage maybe the ignition switch contacts corroded? Another trouble maker that is inexpensive. I know it is silly to throw parts at it but the diagnostics have filed to help you. BTW was your car assembled by Valmet in Uusikaupunki ?
Hint - don't go wild with the pressure because the coolant tank in the trunk can be a little fragile. If you pump up pressure to 13 psi, that should be plenty to find a leak. If the system will not hold that pressure and you can't find where the leak is .report back your results here and we'll try to help more. It is possible that someone put oil in the wrong 'hole' -easily dome by a novice.
If you haven't checked the Durametric site in a while ,I recommend it. The latest version for my 2001 Boxster S is 22.214.171.124. My previous update from 2017 was 126.96.36.199. Who knows what has changed/improved. It still seems the same to me but faster and more consistent.So thank you Durametric !
It is also possible to accidentally muddle adjacent connectors because the cable is long enough to connect to the wrong plug.
He also has a useful SAI diagnosis video. His video was made without referral to some of the Boxster/996 sites ,so he misses a few tricks but it is a better tutrial than any other I have seen.
Carbon on #1 piston - is it too late for a leakdown test ? Oval/taper is a theoretical cause?
I found M5 L.H. s/s thread rod on Ebay. You also need the matching deep nuts. Use washers and a little grease. It all requires patience and finesse. No, there is not enough material to drill out and re-thread to M6 or an Imperial equivalent. Be careful with the bike skewer alternative.It may overwork the few little threads in the part. It doesn't matter if you wear the threads on the M5 rod/nuts.It does matter if you wear the threads in the actuator ! Compress the part in a vise(gently!!) and then insert the rod.Try to avoid using the rod to do much compressing.Keeping the part compressed with the minimum length of thread is a challenge.Then figure out how/when you are going to remove the rod. Zip ties can break under strain .....So if you use them, use the very best quality oil-resistant ones you can find..
Suggest you inspect/test/upgrade the entire SAI system. It is prone to multiple failure points that are cheap and easy to deal with now but awful later. Jake sometimes suggested Knock sensors for the same reason.
I found it helpful to use M6 s/s studs +washer+nut to hold down the 'bridges'. I was paranoid about causing any avoidable wear on the aluminum threads with steel bolts. Yes. it is a chore to measure and source the correct size/length but imho ,worth it.
A small improvement to such a tool(I have the one Ahsai suggests) is to replace the cone with a barbed fitting that will thread into the spark plug hole. Just don't overtighten it or you'll have an extraction/removal problem.This makes solo testing possible. Better is to attach it to an extension tube that threads into the spark plug hole at one end and has a standard Amflo compressed air fitting at the other end. Innovative Products 7881 https://www.ebay.com/itm/Innovative-Products-of-America-7881-Compression-Test-Extension/352142872859?epid=658659526&hash=item51fd59d11b:g:A6QAAOSwXCNZlKvv Even better is a kit like this and adapt it. But be sure you get the extension tube, not just a hose. https://www.ebay.com/itm/Engine-Compression-Gauge-Tester-10mm-12mm-14mm-18mm-threads-with-extension-tube/352187634741?hash=item520004d435:g:uHUAAOSwTyZZeWon Then you can also do Leakdown and compression tests solo also.
It may help others to give a more competent opinion than mine if you : Look at the dwg in the FSM of the timing procedure. It is common(& O.K.) that the camshaft notch is not perfectly horizontal. Unfortunately , this is a bit vague. So maybe to help the discussion ,re-time the cams so the notch is perfectly horizontal and note how many CRANKshaft degrees it is 'off' . Assuming the notch on Bank 1 is slightly up(&outward) - just like the FSM dwg., I would continue and run the engine.Then asses with Durametric, re-asses after 100 miles and recheck the timing .
Thant is based on my experience and reports from others. I am sure it would be nice to have the pretensioners but they are very expensive. Be prepared for maybe having to adjust the valve timing after about 1000 miles - using the 4 bolts on the EX cam behind the scavenge pump