March 22nd was my 38th birthday, as if 35 wasn't bad enough. As a surprise gift my GF had my mom to fly out to Seattle to spend a week with me. A little background as it becomes relevant later on, my mom is a small woman of few words but a distinctly Italian temperament. It's no secret that our blood runs a bit hotter than most, if you have any doubt on this, give it time. Trust me, you'll find out. When it comes to automotive conveyance my small, sweet, and unassuming mother drives with purpose. All the speeding tickets in the house, mom. All the accidents in the house, mom. Need to get there on time, mom. When dad went to get her a replacement for her aging fleet level Buick, an Old Cutlass SL with the 3200 V6 came home which then was replaced with a Sebring LXi. Her last car and first new car was a MK4 Jetta, red with a manual. Mostly dad just can't keep up. So owning the Porsche and showing my mom is kind of a big deal. I guess for me buying this car is like what buying your first house is for people who do that sort of thing. You are inevitably proud of the work and the long hours you put in to get you here. So yeah, felt pretty cool, moving on.
I had to run to the grocery (3 blocks away) store for something so I naturally I took the most practical car in the fleet, the 930. When I got home mom came out to the driveway where I was doing the whole reach into the buzz saw routine to check the oil. While my mom circled the 930 using words like "wow", "fancy" and "neat" I decided that it was time to take her around the block. Once we were in a reasonably clear section of town I looked over at my sweet tiny mom strapped into her sons Porsche 911 Turbo and asked if she was ready. "Oh sure I guess, be careful dear". A quick row down to 1st gear, wind the flat six to 3200rpm and let slip the dogs of war. The 930 buries the boost gauge needle and my mom's feet come off the floor. Clutch, grab 2nd and the 930 winds up for the next pitch, full boost comes on even harder and I just barely make out over the wastegate howling my mom saying to no one in particular "Jesus". By that point we were out of road and I was out of courage to inevitably have to get any deeper into the brakes. Both grinning like idiots. My sweet, gentle and loving mother reached over and put her hand on my arm, looked me in the eye and with a nod said "we really are sick aren't we". Yes mom, yes we are.
It was a good week with my mom, we ended up spending allot of time exercising the 930 on the back roads around Washington and if I am honest it was one of the better birthdays I have had in a long time. Predictably being the person I am, birthdays are usually a morose time of reflection on what I am not doing with my life and what I resolve to do differently. I would be lying if I said that buying this car at this time doesn't on occasion fall into the "wtf was I thinking" category. Its moments like that with my mom however that make it all seem worth it.
Enough with the introspection. In other 930 news I have been burning through monumental amounts of cash fixing problems I don't have. As you may have previously read I had a day where the oil temp got hot enough to make me a bit uncomfortable. After some research I was able to determine that the actual temp was around 245f max, the common perception being that you want to be in the 220f-240f range. My normal running temp had been up to this point 210f, so not even hot enough burn the water out hence all the white goo in the oil tank. But in typical Shannon style I was determined to fix something and I laid the blame for the temp spike not on sitting parked in traffic for 45mins but the crimped oil cooler lines. So I called Elephant Racing and while I intended on only replacing the worst of the two lines I ended up buying their replacement heavy duty finned lines for both and a auxiliary fan (930's didn't get factory cooler fans till '87). I also ponied up for all new mounting hardware because I can't stand the thought of putting all that new stuff in with rusty fasteners.
An expensive box arrives from Elephant Racing.
Replacement of the lines is straight forward enough but there is a pretty big risk that you will end up stripping out the thermostat housing in the process. I decided to have the shop do the work to be on the safe (lazy) side. Well you can guess what happened next. The old lines did end up coming off, taking the thermostat housing threads with them. The fan did not fit my application. Contrary to what Elephant Racing thinks for '86 cars with the Carrera style cooler you still need the upper bracket from a later car (another $112.00). The rear oil tank line to the thermo also has some sort of aftermarket spacer/thread saver in place that now leaks with the new thermo. /sigh. The shop was very accommodating and at the end of the day with parts and labor I am in about $2000.00 bucks fixing an oil temp problem which is debatable that I have/had to begin with. Without my frequent flier discount at the shop I would be well north of $2800.00. On the other side of the coin I feel pretty good about getting rid of some seriously compromised components and confident the car will be safer to run as summer heats up. The fan will have to wait till later.
High capacity finned oil lines in.
A new thermostat complete with new oil leak pre-installed.
I have also continued to invest in tools. I am bit ashamed to say this but until a few weeks ago I did not own a jack. I blame that on not finding the one I want but honestly I just always find something else to spend the car budget on. Well I am jackless no longer. I also picked up some jack stands and jack adapter plates for the 911 receiver slots. New impact sockets and a compressor rounded out the bill.
911 factory jack plate adapter.
Keeping it classy.
What does all that mean? Well the E24 which has been in hibernation for a little over a year with a broken strut mount is now back on the road and the 930 undercarriage is starting to get cleaned up among other things. The rest of the budget has just been misc crap. I ended up buying a new custom hood emblem (stripped and coated in black ceramic), new shorty air filter assembly and the wheel spacers for the new wheels. I also noticed that the stone guard stickers on the rear fenders were actually different (one small and one big) so I have a set of magnetic versions on the way. My OCD just couldn't let that stand once I noticed it.
Yeah, who ever cleans inner fenders. They never get dirty.
So in my 38th year I am resolving to stem the cash burn on this car and create an actual punch list by system of what needs to be done and in what priority. Its really crazy what I have been doing considering I am project manager by trade. There you have it folks, till next time.