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Pulse Sensor Mishap?


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Good Afternoon Boxster nuts. I've had a recent mishap with my beloved '01 2.7. I was driving home from an EVO autocross school yesterday afternoon, when the motor died, quite suddenly. Fortunately, I had been driving for over an hour and was at that point only 2 miles from home, and about 1 mile from the local dealership.

After fiddling with all the wires in the motor bay for a while, to no success, I called AAA and had it towed to the dealer. Unfortunately, I'm about 3.5 months out of warranty - but that's all it takes!

Today, the service manager called to say it was the "flywheel position sensor cable" that had come off. They tried to reconnect it, but the car still would not start. Now, he's saying to further diagnose the problem, the transmission and flywheel must come off, exposing the sensor. Also, he's suggesting that the clutch and main seal be replaced, to the tune of $2,900. The car has 17k miles, and about half of that was from driving to the BRBS for the last 4 years ;-) There's no sign of main seal leakage, and absolutely nothing else has ever been wrong with the car - except for a door ding ;)

I don't trust the dealer (not where I bought the car). I absolutely love my car and don't want it being dismantled for exploratory reasons. Does anyone know more about this sensor, and could offer a suggestion as to what could be wrong with this sensor behind the flywheel?? What about the cable? Any thoughts? I'm fairly mechanical and am thinking of tackling this one myself, but I just can't figure what could possibly be broken behind the flywheel. Isn't the sensor just sensing a missing tooth or something non-"breakable"?

Thanks in advance!!! :help:

-Chris

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Ok folks... since it may be that I've got you stumped on this one... Here's another report... I went back to the dealer this morning and had them put it back onto the lift and show me the evidence...

The "pulse sender" was evidently "forced" out of the engine casing, just behind the flywheel. The screw that holds the sensor was still solidly in-place, and the plastic sensor housing was broken away from the screw. The sensor itself did not appear physically damaged.

With a small flexible light, I could peak into the bell housing through the sensor hole (pass-side rear wheel removed) and see what looked like bent pieces of metal protruding from the flywheel, or something wedged against the flywheel, and protruding into the view from the small hole.

Our question is now... What the :censored: is mangled on the flywheel such to knock the sensor out of its hole? Any ideas? piece of clutch?, piece of flywheel? Plus, there is no signal coming from the sensor when it is put back and the motor turned.

To find this out, it will take removing the transmission. Now that I have seen the evidence, I think it makes sense to go at least to that point, and so have told them to proceed and let me know what they find.

I did not notice any strange noises before the motor stopped. Even when cranking it, there are no strange noises - it turns over just fine, except it does not start :(

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All right, you guys are gonna like this one...

Just got off the phone with the service manager, and he said that PCNA has never seen anything like this one. The flywheel had somehow separated, parts fell off, and pushed the pulse sender out, causing the motor to stop. The "flying" flywheel parts scraped up the back of the motor a little, but didn't do much harm.

Here's the good news... Porsche is paying for it ALL!!! I'm just going to pay for a new clutch disc while the thing's apart. I guess all the stories about "goodwill" are true for PCNA coming through when times are tough (and warranties have expired).

I'll post pics of the broken flywheel for your amusement when I pick up the car later this week.

Oh happy day!! :jump:

Good Afternoon Boxster nuts.  I've had a recent mishap with my beloved '01 2.7.  I was driving home from an EVO autocross school yesterday afternoon, when the motor died, quite suddenly.  Fortunately, I had been driving for over an hour and was at that point only 2 miles from home, and about 1 mile from the local dealership.

After fiddling with all the wires in the motor bay for a while, to no success, I called AAA and had it towed to the dealer.  Unfortunately, I'm about 3.5 months out of warranty - but that's all it takes!

Today, the service manager called to say it was the "flywheel position sensor cable" that had come off.  They tried to reconnect it, but the car still would not start.  Now, he's saying to further diagnose the problem, the transmission and flywheel must come off, exposing the sensor.  Also, he's suggesting that the clutch and main seal be replaced, to the tune of $2,900.  The car has 17k miles, and about half of that was from driving to the BRBS for the last 4 years ;-)  There's no sign of main seal leakage, and absolutely nothing else has ever been wrong with the car - except for a door ding  ;) 

I don't trust the dealer (not where I bought the car).  I absolutely love my car and don't want it being dismantled for exploratory reasons. Does anyone know more about this sensor, and could offer a suggestion as to what could be wrong with this sensor behind the flywheel??  What about the cable?  Any thoughts?  I'm fairly mechanical and am thinking of tackling this one myself, but I just can't figure what could possibly be broken behind the flywheel.  Isn't the sensor just sensing a missing tooth or something non-"breakable"?

Thanks in advance!!!  :help:

-Chris

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Thanks for keeping us updated Chris. That's great news.

Make sure you thank the guys at the dealership. PCNA may be picking up the bill, but if the dealership had not taken the effort to get the local PCNA rep involved, it would be a different situation. The easy route is for the dealer to say "out of waranty". It takes extra effort to get PCNA involved.

Graeme

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I agree completely... I very grateful to the service manager/dealership that worked with PCNA to help me out. :notworthy:

But it was first the suggestion of another dealership SM located two hours away, at the other end of the state (where I had purchased the car new before relocating due to job).

Thanks for keeping us updated Chris.  That's great news. 

Make sure you thank the guys at the dealership.  PCNA may be picking up the bill, but if the dealership had not taken the effort to get the local PCNA rep involved, it would be a different situation.  The easy route is for the dealer to say "out of waranty".  It takes extra effort to get PCNA involved.

Graeme

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Yes. That's it at 3 O'clock.

BTW: The car is ready... I'll pick it up this afternoon, and will try to get pics of the broken flywheel.

This is a new one.  I'll have to ask Peter if he has ever seen the dual-mass flywheel come apart.  I have seen a lot of flywheels out of the car and none of them were damaged.

is that the pulse sender at three o'clock?

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Here is a pic of the timing ring, laying on top of the flywheel. Normally it is welded to the flywheel. Overall, I'm pretty happy about the outcome - especially Porsche's committment to backing their cars and maintaining the perception of quality.

post-5050-1113584782_thumb.jpg

Ok folks... since it may be that I've got you stumped on this one...  Here's another report... I went back to the dealer this morning and had them put it back onto the lift and show me the evidence...

The "pulse sender" was evidently "forced" out of the engine casing, just behind the flywheel.  The screw that holds the sensor was still solidly in-place, and the plastic sensor housing was broken away from the screw.  The sensor itself did not appear physically damaged.

With a small flexible light, I could peak into the bell housing through the sensor hole (pass-side rear wheel removed) and see what looked like bent pieces of metal protruding from the flywheel, or something wedged against the flywheel, and protruding into the view from the small hole.

Our question is now... What the  :censored: is mangled on the flywheel such to knock the sensor out  of its hole?  Any ideas?  piece of clutch?, piece of flywheel?  Plus, there is no signal coming from the sensor when it is put back and the motor turned.

To find this out, it will take removing the transmission.  Now that I have seen the evidence, I think it makes sense to go at least to that point, and so have told them to proceed and let me know what they find.

I did not notice any strange noises before the motor stopped.  Even when cranking it, there are no strange noises - it turns over just fine, except it does not start  :(

Edited by Loren
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