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  #1  
Unread 05-23-2008, 05:52 PM
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ExitWound ExitWound is offline
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Project Exit's Porsche 944 Thread (w/pics!)

So I took me on some challenge today. If you can recall, the car is plagued by having a milky mousse substance in the intake. This is responsible for not only disintegrating my J-boot, but also a sticking throttle. I may have found the cause of all this frustration.

Let me first say that the people at Pelican Parts are some of the most knolwedgable folks when it comes to keeping the 944 (and sister) series alive. Immediately, their responses were that my air/oil separator seals were leaking. This would lead to excess air in the crankcase which caused more air (and subsequently oil vapors) to be passed back into the intake. This is how the car is designed, by the way. Instead of venting the crankcase pressure to atmosphere (eco-geeks love this), it's recycled back into the air intake to be reburned. When the AOS seals fail, there's a lot more air in there than should be.

This couldn't have been the problem, though, as I changed out my AOS seals when I ripped apart the intake the first time. The top and bottom were indeed shot, both old and crusty, and hard as a rock. I changed them out last year when we rebuilt the intake so I had no thoughts that indeed this could be the problem.

Turns out, I was wrong. I'll walk you through what I found.

Removal of the airbox

The airbox is the first thing to come out when working on most anything in the engine bay. Remove the 3 bolts on the radiator, and the two bolts on the rear of the box, release the J-boot from the air flow meter and that's it. It should slide out nicely.



Remove the J-boot

The J-boot I had on the car was old and crusty. In fact, from the years of leaky AOS seals, the J-boot had begun to crumble, passing small bits of rubber into the intake. This is the cause of my throttle sticking open at 50mph in the wintertime. Anyway, I had ordered a new J-boot from one of the guys at Pelican Parts and attemped to install it last week. It didn't go as planned.

First of all, the picture shows how much milkshake was in the intake. This is the result of oil mixing with water and condensing out as the car cools. All this gunk is going into the throttle and airtake, where only air should be. This has been a priority issue for a while now, only now with the weather breaking am I able to tackle it. This is a direct result of bad AOS seals (or one of the other seals on the crankcase).



Remove the Fuel Rail

In order to reach the AOS, you have to remove everything above it, including the fuel rail. The rail is very fragile and should be handled with care. Disconnect the battery as spark plus gasoline vapors is not a pretty combination under the hood. I suggest wearing goggles too.

Four bolts hold the rail on as well as the O-rings on the injectors. Be careful pulling these out! Nicking them will lead to a loss of pressure in the fuel rail and gasoline spraying everywhere.



Remove the Intake Manifold

There are numerous hoses and sensors and such holding the intake to the engine. Remove them all, including the eight hexhead bolts holding on the manifold and it should pop right off. Some are harder to get to than others. It's nice to have small hands sometimes.



With the intake removed you'd see something like this, only different on my car for the following reason. When we put the engine back together, we noticed we were missing the AOS breather hose that takes the vapor from the crankcase to the intake. It was either broken, or missing. I can't recall. In its absence, we crafted our own. It was supposed to be a short-lived experiment just to get the engine running. With time, it became permanent...until now.

Part of today's adventure was to replace this hose with the stock one. I was always hesitant about whether or not the one we crafted was functionally similar. There's a very distinct kink in the hose as it comes out of the AOS, over 90 degrees! From what I've read, this isn't just for show. The vapor actually condenses out back into oil at this kink and drips back down into the crankcase. We used a copper elbow and normal hose instead. Ideally, this might look the same, but who really knows whether or not it worked the way it should to reduce oil in the throttle.

Remove the Air/Oil Separator

Here's the meat of the problem. The AOS is held in by three bolts and two seals. They press in easily enough, but are very fragile. As I pulled out the AOS, I noticed that the entire thing was coated in the same milkshake that drowned the throttle body, but far more of it as can be seen the photo.



It's hard to see, but the bottom seal is torn. It looks like it split lengthwise the last time it was put in. I hadn't noticed it at the time or I would have gotten another one. The seals are not expensive, something like $14 for the two. However, if not fixed, this can lead to throttle problems, valve degredation, bad mixture in the combustion chamber. Basically, big bucks on repair if I don't do it soon.

The bottom port was loaded with milkshake but the top was rather clean, as that seal had not broken in any way. From the photos, you can see the oil had leaked out around the AOS and made its way into pools on the crankcase exterior. I knew this oil was coming from somewhere. Looks like I found the culprit.





Fuel Pressure Regulator

Another reason I tackled this today was that my package arrived! It contained a new fuel pump, fuel pressure regulator, and some other doodads for the interior. This was a good opportunity to change out the FPR. It was the car's original most likely and therefore ready to expire, if it hadn't already begun.

The car's been experiencing some fuel pressure problems, including stalling on inclines, running rough when warm, and other small nuisances. This fuel system rebuild will be a good start to making sure the car's in tip top shape for whatever journeys it shall take. The regulator adjusts the amount of pressure in the fuel rail so that it stays constant, returning unused gasoline back to the take, keeping the injectors happy.

The regulator is held in by two bolts and an O-ring. Do your best not to damage anything, including the fuel rail itself, as this is all very expensive to replace. The regulator pops off and a new one is put on. This is where fuel can escape, and most likely will. Use some catch rags to gather as much as you can. At the time of writing, a gallon of the stuff is $4.19 so don't waste any of it!

FPRs fail routinely on the 944. Fix it when you can if it's the original. The pump will be done another day.

New Oil Cap

I replaced the oil filler cap as well, as this is a common leak point for air to get into the crankcase. It's shiny yellow with a new O-ring on the inside. I inadvertantly ordered a second O-ring, not knowing it was already on the new cap. I have an extra.

What now??

I need to order a new seal for the AOS. I might buy two just in case. If I don't need the second, my roommate will be rebuilding his 944 engine and can probably use it. Hopefully, and with any luck, the AOS seal will fix the throttle goo problem. The new fuel pump will, again hopefully, fix the fuel pressure issues I'm seeing.

In addition to this, I have ordered a new vacuum line kit from Lindsey Racing to replace all of the vacuum lines in the engine bay. Some of the elbows are worn and hard and are most likely leaking some air into the system. The new kit will replace all the elbows and joints as well as the hose with newer, silicone tubing. Any leaks that the car has should be negated.
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  #2  
Unread 05-23-2008, 06:11 PM
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BeerBurner BeerBurner is offline
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It's amazing what you fix with these things just putting them back together.

After doing my water pump/intake prettifying, the reinstall had me tightening some clamps that may not have been touched since the car was built. When I was done, my idle had to be lowered by about 300 rpm. I must have done something right during all of that!

BB.
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'87 Porsche 944 (toy)
'90 Miata (daily driver)
'98 BMW 323is (her's)
"The first step towards gaining self confidence is not being afraid to suck."
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  #3  
Unread 05-27-2008, 02:59 PM
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ExitWound ExitWound is offline
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Location: Pennsylvania
  • Bought large AOS Seal: $6
  • Bought small AOS Seal: $9.75
  • Bought new shift lever package to fix the sloppy shifter. $54.
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  #4  
Unread 05-27-2008, 03:19 PM
Molson Molson is offline
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Location: Ontario
Eh, I thought most cars vented crankcase back into the intake, pcv etc.
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  #5  
Unread 05-30-2008, 07:53 PM
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Location: Pennsylvania
Lindsey Vacuum Kit Installed

I got my zip ties for the vacuum kit.

The installation was pretty straight forward. Remove the old vacuum lines and put the new ones in. The vacuum setup on the 944 isn't too daunting. There are numerous diagrams around the net, with each model 944 having its own distinct routing scheme. I chose to remove one leg at a time, replacing it with its new counterpart, and then move on to the next. This way, I knew I wouldn't screw anything up putting it back together and have the car stall out or explode or something. And after about and hour and a half, this is what I ended up with.


The kit came in blue, red and black, but I chose blue to give the engine a little flare. It's not a powerful engine by any means, but it's still gotta look good.

Few spots were troublesome. Remember, *any* time you're working around the intake manifold, you're working with cramped spacing. My little hands help me out though. There's the connections to the firewall that need to be made as well as to the idle stabilizer, all under and around the intake. A few scratched knuckles, though, and we're in the clear.

My zip ties were hard to get on in certain places, but necessary. This hose is definitely thicker and more flexible than the original set. And it likes to slide off some of the metal fittings, such as those mentioned on the idle stabilizer and the fuel vapor system. But with some finagling, I was in business.

The kit came with four brass Y-junctions to replace the rubber ones that came standard twenty two years ago. They fit nicely but not all that snug in the new tubing. They fasten very well with normal zip ties. Here's a closeup shot:


I took the car around the block to see if my replacements were a success and indeed, they were! I felt no aberrations and the car drove smoothly. The idle seemed much more stable than before, but it could have been in my mind. I'll judge again when the car has been sitting overnight and is cold.

Overall, I'm happy. Knowing my vacuum problems are *hopefully* behind me, I can move on to bigger things like replacing the fuel pump. The more I do, the closer I get to my goal - having a **reliable** car to go to and from wherever I may need to be. I'm 90% there. Still need to investigate a few more issues.

Until next time...
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  #6  
Unread 05-30-2008, 08:11 PM
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BeerBurner BeerBurner is offline
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Location: Sterling, Virginia
Is that their $32 kit? If so, I may have to get that just to replace all of my old, old lines. If nothing else, it'll make for a great excuse to spend a saturday afternoon tinkering on the car and drinking beer.

BTW, how are your fuel lines looking (in case you didn't mention it and I missed it)?

BB.
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'87 Porsche 944 (toy)
'90 Miata (daily driver)
'98 BMW 323is (her's)
"The first step towards gaining self confidence is not being afraid to suck."
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  #7  
Unread 05-30-2008, 09:08 PM
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ExitWound ExitWound is offline
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Location: Pennsylvania
Fuel lines are original, but looking okay. I *do* plan on changing those as well, eventually.

That is their $32 kit. You get 25ft of tubing and 4 Y-joints. I bet the turbo needs 4 Ys but I only needed 3 on my 944.
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  #8  
Unread 05-31-2008, 05:32 PM
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New Fuel Pump Installed

Took about an hour and a half, but it's done. The new fuel pump installation wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be. I didn't have to drain the tank and lost very little fuel in the process.


The new pump ran nearly $215. No one sold it cheaper than ~$180 so I stuck with my loyal parts haven Pelican Parts. Shipping is decent and they have virtually anything you might need for a 944. The new pump is blue, the old green as I found out. The new pump came with a preinstalled check valve, which are notorious for failing on these cars.

Removing the pump is done quite easily. The pump hangs beneath the tank and is totally independent of the tank itself, attached only by a metal strap and a few wires. Disconnect the battery whenever working with fuel. Remove fuse #34 and attempt to start the car. Without the fuse in, the pump is disabled. Any gasoline in the fuel rail might combust but ultimately you're looking for a stall. As it should, it failed, and purged most of the gasoline from the fuel lines.

Jack the car up from the rear and remove the metal strap which holds the pump cover on. It's pretty straight forward from there. Before removing the line from the tank, clamp it off with a pair of locking pliers. Be careful not to rupture the hose or pinch it off. Basically, all that's needed is enough force so that it doesn't leak out. Remove that hose from the pump, the banjo bolt from the check valve, and the wires and pull that baby out.




With it out, it might not be obvious how to remove the rubber case from the pump. It's a giant sleeve, fitting tighter than Oprah in a Mini Cooper. Eventually it'll come off. I used screwdrivers to work the rubber from around the top, carefully, and it came free. Putting the new one in is just as much fun.


I believe the following picture shows where the leak originated. One of the copper crush washers must have failed and gas leaked from around the banjo bolt. I bought two new copper washers at fifty cents each for the new pump. These are *not* included in the Pelican Parts pump though. Clean up the area and installation if the reverse of removal.


Removed the hose clamp, reinstalled the pump fuse and the battery, and used my DME jumper (a wire that turns on the pump without the need for the car to be on to flush the system with pressure and to test for leaks. Everything looked good. Solid pressure, no leaks at either the clamped hose or the banjo bolt or up at the fuel rail (since I just replaced the fuel pressure regulator). For information about creating a DME bypass, go here.

Took the car for a spin to get the pressure built up and going and all was well. Have a ticking fuel injector which will be inspected soon enough when they're cleaned and painted. Idle was smooth, pickup was solid, and no sign of anything foul. However, without actually driving the car on a good 10-15 mile trip, the length of time it would take to fail the prior setup into stalling, I cannot be sure it's a fixed scenario. When warm, inclines would cause stalling, with no amount of throttle stopping it from happening. I figured fuel pressure, but I'm still investigating it.
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Unread 07-01-2008, 03:32 PM
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Air/Oil Separator Fixed

A few weeks ago, I took the afternoon to replace the AOS seals that had torn to stop the oil seeping into the intake. I have yet to look into the throttle to see if there's a milkshake sludge forming. I'm scared to, actually. I haven't driven the car much since then due to a week's vacation in Tampa. More on this later.

E-brake Switch

The emergency brake switch is located beneath the emergency brake, conveniently. What is unfortunate is that the entire driver's seat has to be removed to get to it. What I was experiencing was no warning light at all on the dash that the E-brake was still locked. The only way to find out was to give it gas and have the car sit still. You've done it too and you know it!

Removing the seat is simple. Six 6mm hex bolts hold the seat to the rail. The best way I've gotten them out is with a hex socket set. There's ample room to do this without having to get too dirty.

From there, the E-brake switch should be visible.




The switch is just that, a simple switch which, under pressure, causes the light on the dash to come on, as well as the ACTUNG! light to illuminate. It has no bearing on whether or not the car starts, runs, or anything such. It's just a dash illuminator. But in order to feel better, I've attempted to fix it.

From years of use, the switch had become bent. In the first picture, the switch can be seen as a black post, suspended within a spring, with a connecting wire running to the dash. What's happened is the bending of the post due to excessive stress horizontally. Instead of pushing down on the post as the level is rotated towards the floor, the level was pushing the switch towards the front of the car.

The fix is to straighten out the post again. Wearing has occured on the post itself as it rubbed against the metal holster and the spring, and as a result, the switch often got stuck beneath its lowest position and would not spring back. I took a blade and shaved back some of the post itself, thinning out the plastic so it smoothly rode inside the holster. I also rebent the holster itself back into a perpendicular fashion, a little beyond even. Slapped the bolts back in and the level now correctly pushes the switch down instead of forward. I have a working E-brake light now!

To move my car for my roommate, I had to reverse out of the driveway. What do you know? I forgot, even with a dash light, to remove the E-brake before reversing. :tongue:

Trunk Latch Adjustment

The right hatch latch has been giving me some problems for a long while. The mechanisms which latch the hatch down are old, and slightly rusty, but are not easily removed from the car to fix. When tightened down, the latches refues to return to the locked position and the hatch pops off the latch. I've tried adjusting the mechanism, lubricating what I can see, but this design is a bad one. I've secured it for the moment. But with every opening, the latch moves slightly because I cannot tighten down the latch to the car. Until I can figure something out, I'll just have to not use the hatch as much as I'd like.

Fixing Sloppy Shifter Part II

The transmission's been plagued with sloppy shifting since I bought the car. I recently replaced the shifter to attempt to alleviate the slop.


I inadvertantly deleted all the of the images associated with the replacement. These images come from Clarks-Garage.com, one of the best 944 sites on the web.


This shift lever is subject to failing in nearly all 944s. The pin, as shown, connects to a linkage, a large rod that connects to the transmission in the rear of the car. After two decades of use, the pin often wears into an hourglass through friction. There's really nothing that can be done to avoid this. It's metal on metal and subject to wear.

The replacement is fairly simple. Remove the old shift knob from the lever, disconnect the linkage from the pin, and replace the pivot fulcrum. This kit can be bought from 944Online.com for ~$50.

Took about an hour to remove the bolts that hold the shifter and fulcrum in and replace the whole unit. Upon reinstallation, the slop has been reduced considerably, but still exists. The wear on the pin is nonexistant. However, the wear also can form on the inside of the linkage. This is a much much harder replacement. Dropping the clutch housing, the transmission, and the exhaust is needed. It's a car lift job. On the short term scale, I've fixed a little bit of the leftover slop with some electrical tape. There's only a wee bit of excess gap between the new shift pin and the worn linkage. One wrap of black electrical tape filled the gap enough to mate the two surfaces a little more snuggly. I don't expect it to last, however.

The shifting is a vast improvement over its initial state. It slides into all gears easily. There might be some adjustments necessary on the transmission itself. My ability to see under the car, above the exhaust and the transmission with only a car jack is limited, but all connections seem tight in the rear. The slop is most likely coming from the worn linkage bar. Not much I can do about that except replace it. The electrical tape seems to have made the shifting nearly perfect.
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  #10  
Unread 08-11-2008, 06:45 PM
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Rear PORSCHE Reflector Installed

Rear PORSCHE Reflector Installed

It was a heck of a project, and still needs a lot of work, but it's finally completed. The new rear end reflector has been installed.

I've always thought the rear of my 944 was a little dull. The plate sat really really high between the tail lights, and there was a blank space between the bumperettes. I didn't mind the bumperettes too much, but the plate so high made the car look like it had its pants pulled way up.

I found someone on the forums who had a giant PORSCHE reflector for little dough and so I snagged it. It should have been an easy installation. But once again, my car fooled me. The holes in the car to install such reflectors did not match with where the screws were on the reflector itself. Therefore, I had to rig up an attachment bar.

Headed out to Lowe's to get a 3-foot section of aluminum, about 1/16th of an inch thick. Not a big piece, but enough to go between the two mounting ridges on the back of the reflector. In this piece, I'd drill holes to line up with the car's holes. This was fairly easy stuff. But a small oversight on my own part led me down a little more diabolical path. With such a rigging, I had no way to hold the bolts in place as I nutted them up from inside the trunk. Oops. Just call me MacGuyver 'cuz I used pliers, wrenches, and eventually a paper clip to screw on the thing.

Because of the aluminum bars, the reflector doesn't fit flush with the tail lights. I eventually have to take it all apart and grind down the mounting plastic on the reflector itself so that the thickness of the aluminum bar doesn't add to its depth. And at that time, I'll have more pictures of the mounting plates.

Here's the before and after shots though.



What I currently don't like is the double PORSCHE announcement. Either the reflector should say Porsche, or the sticker below it, but not both. When the car gets painted, I will most likely either return the plate to where it was and remove the reflector, or take the sticker off. I haven't decided which I want to do yet though. I'll have to see which one grows on me.
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