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Unread 03-18-2009, 08:53 PM
ExitWound's Avatar
ExitWound ExitWound is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Pennsylvania
I will look for you tomorrow. I'm not sure off the top of my head because mine has never disconnected. I'm kinda learning as I fix things.
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Unread 03-18-2009, 09:02 PM
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ExitWound ExitWound is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Pennsylvania
Transmission Fluid Change

It had never been done, at least, not in the lifetime of my ownership of the car. I was experience a few small issues with the gearbox that I was hoping a simple transmission fluid change would alleviate. Simple, though, is never what a 944 delivers.

It's a simple procedure, in theory. You take the plug out to drain the old fluid and put the new fluid in. As with every repair procedure on the 944, there are always silly little things that keep your mission just out of reach. In this case, it's clearance. There's just no room to put the new fluid in. Clarks Garage suggests using a four foot hose to feed over the exhaust and left rear wheel to fill. I went with what appeared to be a simpler method.

But before that, here's what you'll need to do the job...from left to right:

1. **Car Jack** - The clearance under the car is just too low to adequately maneuver anything around, including your tools and the drain pan.
2. **Gear Oil** - I went with 75W-90 generic oil since I don't abuse the gearbox in any way. I chose a thinner oil than the 80W because in colder weather, the transmission has a tendency to not want to shift.
3. **The Suction Apparatus** - It's a giant hypodermic needle. The model in the picture is rubbish, though. STAY AWAY from this at Advance Auto. For $10 it's not expensive, but its construction is terrible. Took me a return on the first one and unscrewing the second one to actually fill it up properly.
4. **17mm Allen Socket** - Needed to undo both the fill plug and the drain plug.
5. **The Wrench** - To undo the plugs, duh.
6. **Drain Pan** - At least 3 quarts is necessary. The 944 uses 2.75 quarts of fluid in the case.
7. **Rags** - To catch the spillage, which will occur.

Undo the fill plug first! If you drain the oil first, and cannot undo the potentially stuck fill plug, you can't drive car anywhere. Then...undo the drain plug after putting the pan underneath. Let the oil drain. It's recommended to warm up the car for a few minutes to thin the oil out but when thick, it's not too bad, nothing like honey or mustard, but slightly thicker than engine oil. Cap it back up and refill the case.

To get the fluid in via a hose is fine. However, you're dealing with a potentially large spill if it comes out of the fill hole or if you accidentally put too much in. I chose to buy a hypodermic syringe made for cars. It's a simple device. Put it in the bottle, suck up the fluid, and put it back into the transmission case. Due to its design, it leaks. It just threads together at the top, meaning that air and fluid are free to ride the threads during suction and evacuation. It was a mess to work with. Ultimately, I took off the top of the syringe, poured in a pint of fluid, threaded it back up and slowly pumped it into the case. I did this numerous times until 2.75 quarts were in the car. It was cold, wet, and slimy. I *still* smell like gear oil.

Car shifts nicely though. I no longer have a hesitation going into second gear. The car shifts when it's cold easy enough too. To my surprise, the fluid that came out of the case was clean, and had no particulate matter in it. I was expecting far worse. This was a job that had to be done. Because of bad weather, it happened three to four months later than planned though.

Power Steering Bolt Stuck

I had a day of fairly decent weather and so the car came to light. The power steering failure is the primary area of concern at this point as it's just dangling from some speaker wire.

I got under the car with the hopes of reattaching the pump. I received the new (used) hardware from my online contacts and wanted to get the power steering pump back in place. It came to my attention, though, that the mounting bolt was sheered off to a point where the bolt wouldn't correctly fit. The bolt in the lower-right of the following image has sheared off, leaving a stub, not nearly enough to attach the bolt.

To get a better view of the pump, I had to remove it from the car. Working on my back not only hurts, but is extremely cramped. I took the necessary steps to eliminate any spillage, and undid the hoses.

At this point, I need a vice to remove the stuck bolt. I can't get enough torque on the wrench to remove it.

Engine Mounts Installed

Engine Mount Removal

What should have taken no more than four hours ended up taking nine. And it wasn't that I didn't know what I was doing. The car, yet again, is possessed and hates me. And it's nothing I did.

As you can see from the above image, the two new mounts are very different from the old. I believe they were the original mounts from 1986. I cant be sure, but then again, can't be sure of *anything* the previous owner did to this car.

You can see from the rightside mount that it's worn so much more than the left side. This is because it sits oh so close to the exhaust manifold which produces a lot of heat. Looking at it, I'd say it split open quite a while ago and leaked all its innards to the wind. Dead mounts equals vibrations. That's their point. They dampen any residual vibrations created by the engine to the chassis. That way, when you're in the car, you don't feel them. Bad mounts can lead to other problems.

I believe this is why my power steering pump fell off. The power steering pump is held on by two bolts, the unit dangling from the engine in only one direction. Excessive vibration would lead to the pump flopping more than any other part.

You can see that the left one was worn but not so bad. The driver's side appeared shorter than the original by 1/8" or so, the left not so much. It doesn't mean they're not worn out though. Any twenty two year old car should have new mounts installed.

Removal was a simple process in theory, but since it was my first time, took more than I expected. It's really simple. Lower the crossmembe (which the mounts sit in) and raise the engine (which the mounts support). It took a good two hours to get me enough room to do this. I ended up lifting the engine from below with a car jack, while lowering the crossmember as much as i could without it falling off. The crossmember impacts alignment on the car, which is why it should only be touched as sparsely as possible.

Engine Mount Installation

Installing the new mounts took more time than removing them. Far more time. That's because of two things.

Firstly, I'm attempting to squeeze a new uncompressed mount into the area where a compressed mount used to sit. The engine because used to its old height and therefore wanted to sit back at that height. The car lift and car jack were changed about forty dozen times to get enough lift on the engine. The crossmember was lowered, raised, and fell everywhere in between. Eventually I managed to get them in place.

Secondly, the previous owner hit something. Something big. Like a kid. Or Grandma. He ran over something and it's been plaguing my car since the day I bought it. Everything is out of alignment 1/4" to 1/2" on the right side. If you remember, my headlights won't close without hitting the hood and front fender. My radiator was bent in. My power steering pump was rubbing against the radiator hose, chewing a nice big hole in it. The front valence is cracked. And a recently discovered crack was found in the chassis. All these (and probably more) have made the repairs a lot harder to do.

The engine mounts are no exception either. When the mounts were in place, lowering the engine should cause them to sit pretty much on centre. Not in my car. Guess where they land...about 1/2" to the right of where they should be. Three hours of struggling to get the bolt holes atop the arms to fit into the engine mounts and I gave up. No amount of wiggling helped. The engine just wanted to sit half an inch to the right of where it should be.

I snagged help from two more people, one to hold a 2x4 between the engine bay and the engine and pulling on it, one to hold the light (me) and another to attempt to line them up with a steel pole. Eventually, we did get them in and the engine mounts secured. This should have been far far easier though.

The Result

The result is that I need more time to see how much this has helped. At low rpm (idle), there was some violent shaking on the steering wheel and engine bay. You could loosen a kidney stone just sitting in it. Last night's trip home felt much better. The weather has been significantly more temperate, too, no longer in the 20's in the morning. The 944 just doesn't like the cold weather. It does everything it can to fight to live in the winter. I hope with a few more trips, I'll be able to determine whether or not the mounts have solved most of the engine wobbling. The 944 engine consists of two belts, too, a timing belt and a balance belt that turns two counterweights that offset vibrations. If they're off one notch, the engine will also vibrate. I need to get into the timing system again and see how close they still are to perfect. But that's another nine hour job I won't be doing until I get another ten degrees on the highs.
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Unread 03-18-2009, 09:03 PM
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ExitWound ExitWound is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Pennsylvania
Windshield Wipers Aligned Properly

It's been a nagging little problem. But as we all know, little nags on this car end up being huge procedures to fix. Such was alignment of the windshield wipers.

If you look in the picture above, you can see that the windshield wipers do not fall to the down position completely. Actually, they go down all the way, but return up three or four inches during its revolution. The fix for this is to adjust the arms that attach to the motor. Easier said than done.

In fact, this is the procedure that cracked the windshield the first time we attempted it. The motor at that time wasn't functional and was stuck. It only needed some lubrication. We ended up needing a $400 windshield too. This time, I would be careful.

To get to the motor, there's a lot that has to be removed first, as always. The plastic cover that protects the blower motor comes off. Then the blower motor itself has twelve screws, many easy to get to, some crammed in under the windshield. Then, after pulling the motor off, the wiper motor is exposed. You can't adjust it while attached to the car, of course, and so it has to be removed. Two screws sounds easy, but one is mounted under the windshield in a nook. From there, the motor can be removed.

Or so you'd think. No, it's a nightmare of a procedure to remove the thing. There's just no room to maneuver it. It doesn't turn, or twist, or move very much before it runs into something else. Even undoing the arms that connect the motor to the blade arms doesn't help. It's the worst possible placed item on the car, I think.

Anyway, I did manage to get it out and adjusted the arms to what I thought were the proper positions. The following image shows where the adjustment had to have been made. The motor is attached to the arms by an offset. Its start position can be any of 360 degrees.

The motor spins one 360 degree revolution every time the wipers are set to "move". The best way to test this is to turn on the intermittent setting and see what happens. It's not an obvious system just by looking. As the motor turns, it pulls the arms left and right due to its offseting positioning. But just how they move, I couldn't grasp. I did my best to adjust and slapped it all back together.

And then I tested the wipers. Instead of going up first, then went down towards the hood. Yippee! Three hours of work for nothing. But at least I knew how to undo it all.

After doing some research online, I found a post on a forum who had the same issues I had. He couldn't figure out how to align them either. Only after a long few days on his part, he figured it out and posted up a picture of how they should be aligned. I had set the offset to the wrong position and the arms were pulling down on the wipers instead of pushing up.

Terrible design, if you ask me. There should be some sort of alignment marks if anything. Even the Haynes manual says, "Mark the positions of the arms before disassembly". Well, that didn't exactly help me since they weren't aligned properly *ever* in my ownership of the car.

They work now though, I think. I tried them out before I attached the wiper arms and they rotated correctly. Though, I might have the wiper arms connected one notch too low, in which they'd hit each other in the down position instead of resting slightly apart.

Sound complicated? It was. But it shoudln't have been. Such is the Porsche 944.
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Unread 03-18-2009, 10:03 PM
AchTTung's Avatar
AchTTung AchTTung is offline
The safety of quattro
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: WV
Better you than me.
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Unread 03-19-2009, 02:16 PM
ExitWound's Avatar
ExitWound ExitWound is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Pennsylvania
Originally Posted by rex00111 View Post
I just bought a 1986 944 and I have a really simple question for you. Right beside the battery I found a length of broken vac hose, and the vac canister. Do you know where that vac hose hooks into the system once it goes out from the battery area to the engine compartment??? Great site, thanks for all the detail of your efforts.....
I answered you at Pelican Parts, but here you go again:

Here are mine:

Vacuum lines are in blue on my car. The line comes out of the vacuum canister, through the firewall, into the engine bay and connects to a T-fitting. From there, the one going down head back into the firewall into the top plug of a 2-plug hose fitting behind the P in the PORSCHE head. The other path heads to what I believe is a fuel-vapor collector (?) over on the right side (in the photo) near the strut.

If you need more pictures, ask. There should be a diagram for the vacuum system of your car on the left side (looking at the engine bay) in front of the strut tower (it's silver in my picture, near the power steering fluid reservoir).

Other good references are Rennlist.com and ClarksGarage.com.
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Unread 03-22-2009, 06:02 PM
ExitWound's Avatar
ExitWound ExitWound is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Pennsylvania
Coolant Leak

I took a trip to the grocery store today and come out to a pretty good size leak from the bottom radiator hose. I believe it was a new hose from when we rebuilt the engine (bought a complete hose pack). I attempted to tighten the clamp a little bit but as soon as I did, the leak became faster. I loosened the clamp slightly and it stopped leaking.

You can see that the hose has some of its fibers exposed along its cut (in pic 2). This is how it came. We didn't have to cut any of it.

(yes I know I missing a fan mounting bolt. I'm missing three actually and have to replace those.)

Makes me angry!
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Unread 05-05-2009, 11:48 PM
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ExitWound ExitWound is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Pennsylvania
So after all of this, there was an engine timing failure and I have no compression in any cylinder. More to come on all of this as we open up the old engine.

Bought a new used engine from a fellow Porsche owner, and am attempting to put it in this week. Tonight, the engine came out!

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Unread 07-30-2009, 05:28 PM
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ExitWound ExitWound is offline
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Location: Pennsylvania
Engine Installed and the Key Turned...

If you'd be following, I had to snag a new engine at the Hershey Swap Meet and finally got to the point today where I could start the engine. I worked on it myself, for the most part, having no help. A second pair of hands could have shortened the swap by a week or so.


* Installed Air Conditioning compressor
* Installed Alternator
* Installed power steering belt
* Installed primary belt
* Installed Radiator (again). Had to correct the mounts. The original owner was an idiot.
* Installed hoses.
* Filled with coolant.
* Filled power steering.
* Looked over for anything missing.
* Looked it over again.
* And again...
* Nervous...
* And again...
* Turned the key....

And when we turned the key....it started right up! Took 10-15 revolutions as it needed to build fuel pressure but it started right up.

Problem #1:

It ran for 5-10 minutes without any issues. The idle was set to 1200 (from the last engine due to a low cold idle) so we knew it was high. But once the engine got warm, the engine RPM would dip to 500RPM, instantaneously as if something was turned ON, then it immediately revved back to 1200. Then approximately 20-30 seconds later, it did it again, as if something was kicking on (or off), and then immediately went back to normal. This continued over and over. I'll get a video of it tomorrow.

Problem #2:

There's an oil leak coming out the rear of the engine that wasn't happening when it was on the engine crane. GRR. This is frustrating. It's either the rear oil seal, or the rear of the oil pan gasket. But it's a pretty good liquid leak as opposed to a seep. Why couldn't it leak when we had it out of the car???

Problem #3:

We had to disconnect the front suspension to swap the engine, both from the car and from the engine itself. We installed a new tie rod end on the driver's side, but the passenger side is having issues. When the wheel is turned to the right, there's a LOUD rubbery squeal emanating from the strut tower. In fact, you can see the strut tower spinning from the engine bay as the wheel is turned to the right. As you turn back left, it returns with the wheel back to normal. From under the car, you can see the spring rotating slowly when the steering is turned to the right.

Dunno why it's doing this. Will look into it.

Gas Leak Fixed

It wasn't from the gas tank this time. I turned the car on to a geyser of 93 octane Exxon coming from the fuel rail. Turns out, the o-ring that seated the fuel regulator to the fuel rail had split nearly in half. Apparently, it's the same o-ring used by the fuel injectors so a quick stop at NAPA for a fuel injector reseal kit saved the day.

Car passes Inspection

Took the car in for its annual inspection today. No problems at all. They had some discussion on whether or not the license plate was legal by being where it was since it wasn't being lit by the under-the-trunk bulbs. But they put their heads together and saw the wires coming out of it and turned on the headlights. That put the end to that discussion.

However, on the way home I noticed that my odometer has stopped working sometime in the past week. I reset the tripmeter but that didn't free up whatever is binding it. I'll have to remove the steering wheel one of these weeks and take a look at it.

Fixed the Odometer (again)

Didn't take too long, other than finding a 24mm socket and extension long enough to get the steering wheel off. Instrument cluster came out in 5 minutes. I got to the odometer but it wasn't obvious what had gone wrong. The worm gear wouldn't turn though. I wound it back a little then pushed it forward and something snapped back into place. I wonder if the gears on the teeth were just rubbing or dirty. I don't know. But it's working now and has been for the last 30 miles.

Headlights Fixed

It's been one of the longest projects this car has had. It's been one of my pet peeves. It's probably cost me a few dollars in gasoline over the years due to higher air resistance. The headlights were rubbing and I couldn't close them. Today, however, I managed to finally fix them. Behold - working headlights.

YouTube Video
ERROR: If you can see this, then YouTube is down or you don't have Flash installed.

Since the previous owner of the 944 hit that small child, or granny, or cat, or whatever, the headlights haven't closed properly. The nose of the frame of the car has been shifted to the right by about 1/4". The left headlight rubbed on both the hood and the fender, causing not only noise and rubbing, but dings and rust. I finally got inside today and fixed it so that the headlight can close properly.

The left plastic bushing which holds the triangular mount of the headlight to the car was missing completely. My guess is the previous owner lost it when he tried to do the same fix I am. As a result, the headlight was sitting too far to the left, coupled with the bent frame, meant instant collision. I removed the remaining bushing from the right side of the left light and placed it on the left side of the left light, therefore shortening the mount distance on the right side by about 1/4" and enlarging it on the left by the same. So the headlight is now sitting in position, although in actuality, it's 1/4" to the right of where it should be due to the accident.
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Unread 07-30-2009, 11:09 PM
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Low-Tech Redneck Low-Tech Redneck is offline
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Location: Central Pennsyltucky
I'd still like to know exactly what the previous owner did hit with the car, whatever it was, it wasn't a love tap, it bent the radiator supports too.
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Unread 08-11-2009, 08:46 AM
ExitWound's Avatar
ExitWound ExitWound is offline
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Location: Pennsylvania
Headlight Covers Installed - Some Clearance Issues

I spent the good deal of yesterday taking apart the headlights once again to (re)install the headlight covers that are supposed to surround the enclosed beam, keeping dirt and debris out. They'd been missing since I bought the car. I secured a pair of them last year but never installed them due to the headlight clearance issues existing on the left side of the car that I fixed last week.

Jakob, my nephew, helped me during the procedure. He held the bolts and nuts and also helped me remove and put a few of them in.

What wasn't fun, though, was that the headlights are held in by a ridiculously positioned triangular bracket that sits inside the fender well of each side. Taking the wheel and fender well cover is easy, but not necessary, so they say. There's a little access flat that you can fit your hands through to get to the three bolts in the triangle, but even with my scrawny little limbs, I managed to cut myself up pretty good trying. It's easier to take it all apart. Then, at least, you can see what you're doing as well.

Since I had the headlights now operating pretty well, going up and down on most attempts (there are lubrication issues), I decided I'd try to put the covers on. There is a back cover that my car had that protects the rear of the lights from engine heat and the front covers that I didn't have that protect the front from debris, water, and the like. To install the fronts, however, the whole lights themselves have to come out because the nut that holds the bolt in isn't accessible otherwise.

Two hours later, the left headlight was out and the plastic trim was installed. It was a tight fit but I managed to get it secured. Before I connected it to the light motor, I lubricated up the arms and all seemed fine. The right headlight needed a little bit of help to get the plastic pieces to mate, but all was well after an hour or so.

With the light motor reattached we turned the dial and the headlights popped up with a little bit of a rubbing. I wasn't expecting perfection at this point so I turned the dial back and head a SNAP and BANG. The plastic cover on the left is binding against the car's nose probably as a result of the collision the previous owner had achieved. I say achieved because nearly every problem that this car has cosmetically is a result of his moronity.

At this point, the headlights have to stay up. I can't remove the front cover that is binding without taking off the headlight again which means tearing apart the fender well. I need to either grind down the offending nose piece or trim back the plastic, both of which will be hard to do with the headlight still in.

I'm about 90% through this fix. Hopefully the last 10% will be pretty straight forward and I'll be able to flip my headlights up again...something that hasn't been done in a new car since 2004.

Stay tuned...
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