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The dreaded "oil in the coolant".

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After just shy of 10 great years and 150k fun miles in my 2000 Cab,  I opened my coolant reservoir recently to have a chocolate milkshake come spewing out. Knowing the news would be bad, I googled "996 oil in coolant", and the first page to come up was for Jake Raby's Flat 6 Inovations in the north Georgia mountains. His page spelled exactly what I would have cried to him on the phone. As it was, I simply had to say, "Scenario #1 on your website" ... and Jud Fink, Jake's #2 ... offered his condolences.


He also offered hope, and got Jake on the phone to make sure I understood the issue and the possible cure. He made sure I understood that at 150k miles, my engine may be too worn / out of spec to warrant the repair he has developed. I was certainly willing to foot the bill to get it to him for his opinion. His shop is just 80 miles from my garage, so his local wrecker service was at my garage door the next morning to pick up my car.


2 days later, after a cursory inspection, Jake called to say that things look promising. I had put only  few miles on the car with the intermix going on, and I guess that helped. On that basis, I accepted financial responsibility for the next step: engine removal and tear down to further determine for the potential for the repair he has developed for the M96 cracked head.


This past Friday, he called again to discuss his findings and his verdict that he felt my car to be a good candidate. I signed more authorization forms, and the job is underway. I'll keep you posted on how it turns out.


As an aside, Jake expressed his opinion that M96 water pumps should be changed every 3 years without waiting for a pump failure. He predicted on the phone that my pump (or a previous one) would be a factor in what happened. Upon opening it up, he found impeller parts in the coolant stream and already broken impellers in the pump currently installed.


If you would like to see Jake's explanation of the problem: click HERE

Or go to: http://www.flat6innovations.com/index.php/services/intermixed-oil-and-coolant-repairs



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Sorry to hear about your intermix.  Yes, this is a known issue (written up in Excellence Magazine as well) in both the M96 and M97.  The advice you were given to preemptively replace the water pump every 3 years even if it seems there's nothing wrong with it is prudent and sound.

Yes, please keep us updated of your progress.  In some sense you were very lucky... being only 80 miles away from Flat6 is a good start.

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At 150k mi why wouldn't you sell it as a roller and go with 02+?

 - Because I really like my car and am perfectly satisfied with what it offers.


Over the years I've installed the PSE, new top, upgrade headlights, brand new seats (with heat) less than a year ago (off of ebay for $100), permanent wiring for the Valentine, flash hi beams to open garage door, charging / aux input for iPad ... the list goes on.


It will cost me $12K to have my engine gone through by Flat 6, including many upgrades: seals, bearings, thermostat, Flat 6 timing chain, etc. A later model in comparable shape would cost much more ... and I would have no real idea of the real health of the engine / drive train. Having retired since I bought my Cab ... then seeing my former employer go bankrupt and renege on the retirement... its not quite as simple to just write a check and roll the dice the way I did with this car when it was 5 years old with 30K miles.

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I have tremendous respect for Jake Raby and all he has done for Porsche owners. That being said I am not sure about the statement about the repair that he has developed. I can only say that in 2008 when I had my intermix, that was caused by a cracked head, I talked to many including Jake. At that time he and all the others told me that my engine could not really be repaired, the heads could not be fixed, and that the intermix would have ruined the bearings, etc., and that I woud need a new engine.


Well I took it apart in my driveway and garage, sent the head to a shop in Costa Mesa that was quite familiar with the head cracks and had repaired many at that time, and they repaired the cradk in my head. I put it back together and It is still running strong 6 years later. So I am not sure what was developed. Just saying.

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Update from the Flat 6 folks (who are outstanding when it comes to keeping me informed) :


 - after an initial inspection, Jake advised that my car appeared to be a candidate for his repair method. I committed to pay for the removal / tear down for further inspection.


- tear down found no other problems with my engine. Jake had explained that the after tear down inspection might reveal wear issues on my 150,000 mile engine that would dictate against spending the amount necessary to complete the repair.


- I committed to pay for the cylinder head repair and subsequent rebuild which would include upgraded components including Jake's upgraded timing chain design and seals.


- projected total cost is within a couple of hundred dollars of the estimated amount I was told the repair was currently costing in my initial phone call on that fateful day.


- Jake has made it crystal clear that there is no warranty on this repair ... only his good name. Therefore, I was very happy to read in another post here, "Probably the best M96/97 engine shop in the world is in Georgia at Jake Raby's shop".


PS: if I knew how to post pictures, I would post the pic Jake sent of my cracked head.

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Kim, click on the "more reply options" button and then you will clearly see an option to attach pictures.  Please do, as these are always great to add to the discussion.


As far as Raby, yes, you would be hard pressed to find any sane person who doesn't think he's one of the best shop when it comes to that engine.  No dispute there.  However, his prices certainly aren't cheap.  That said though sometimes what seems expensive is actually really cheap when you consider what it does to the value of your vehicle if you don't perform the repair.  When you start thinking about it that way, which is the reality of the situation, it's actually quite inexpensive.

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At 150k mi why wouldn't you sell it as a roller and go with 02+?

 - Because I really like my car and am perfectly satisfied with what it offers.


Over the years I've installed the PSE, new top, upgrade headlights, brand new seats (with heat) less than a year ago (off of ebay for $100), permanent wiring for the Valentine, flash hi beams to open garage door, charging / aux input for iPad ... the list goes on.

Is there a DIY For "flash hi beams to open garage"

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Got the call from Raby Engineering Friday. Engine reinstalled and running smoothly. A few hours later came the call that the first (of several) cooling system flushes was completed without issue.


Looks like I may get the car back late next week.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Progress Report: 


My car is back and running great. I finally picked it up about 2 weeks after the first call stating that they were just about done. It seems that after increasing the normal number of post repair coolant system flushes ( from 5 - 6 to almost 20) my car continued to show oil in the coolant ... even after removing and thoroughly cleaning the radiators. Jake decided there must be an additional problem unrelated to the repair of my cracked head ... and he was correct. They found a small leak in the heat exchanger. After replacing that, every thing went as expected. The exchanger, installation labor, and extra flushes increased the cost by $2000 over the original estimate of $11.700. A lot of money to spend on a 14 year old car to be sure ... but far less than I would have to spend to replace my car with something comparable, especially when you consider the engine having just been rebuilt by Jake Raby.


In the future I will certainly heed Jake's advice to install a new water pump every 3 years ... and not wait for a pump failure, which was the root cause of my problems.


Because I am "local" to the shop (85 miles), I was able to pick the car up in person and receive an added bonus ... a guided tour of the Flat Six operation in north Georgia, conducted by Jud Fink, the manager / customer service guru. It was quite impressive. The car was freshly washed and waiting with a full tank. Jud gave me a thumb drive with a complete record, including pictures, of everything they did to the car, beginning with off loading from the wrecker.


My only regret is that I missed 5-6 weeks of great convertible weather here in Georgia, and the temp went to low 20s just a few days after I got home with the car.

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I'm glad you got it sorted.  Since you plan to keep the car you will definitely average out some of that cost by putting miles on the car, of course.  As you said, having a Raby engine when you sell it later will be a selling point to anyone in the know about these engines.  While they do have their weaknesses, a lot of folks have gotten high mileage out of the M96 when the proper precautions are taken so you should be able to get a lot of years left out of that car if you play your cards right.  Good luck and hopefully there's a few nice days left before the cold is here to stay........

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