Monday, October 24, 2022

Project-996: Overdue Introduction

I bought a 2002 Porsche 996 back in March, 2021.  Grabbed a friend, headed down to Orange County for a weekend road-trip to pick it up and drive it back.  I haven't post...uh...anything about it here which is honestly kind of a mistake on part. The experience of owning a higher-mileage Porsche has been interesting.

The important stats to know about this particular Porsche is that's about as base model as you could possibly buy in 2002 with practically every option box un-ticked.  I have a thing for low-option/stripper specials and this thing hit square in the middle of my happy little automotive zen garden.  It was a good quality driver with no significant issues that I got it for a really great price...with a bit of a catch.

At 113K miles on the clock it was carrying a LOT of deferred maintenance needs.

On the drive back from Orange County the brake light switch broke, kind of the first indication that it was going to need a small bit of sorting. I took it to my favorite local P-Car shop for an inspection, estimate, and work.

Round 0 of repairs was just me replacing the broken brake light switch, installing an aftermarket bluetooth stereo, and swapping the car back from the known horsepower losing K&N open cone filter to the factory airbox.

In Round 1 I had the shop install an LN Engineering IMS upgrade kit and a bunch of "while you're in there" tasks. Clutch, lightweight flywheel, transmission mount, plugs, wires, variocam solenoid seals, rear main seal, etc.  Round 1a was me doing some driveway wrenching to swap the collapsed motor mounts, shagged shifter cables, and install a 997 GT3 shifter.

Round 2 Happened about a year into my ownership when the water pump shit the bed. The pump and most of the old coolant hoses were replaced. The expansion tank had cracked, pretty common problem on older 996 and 997's.  The cooling was flushed few times to get all of the aluminum machined from the water pump housing out of the cooling system.  I'll replace the radiators next year as a cooling upgrade/precaution.

Round 3 is happening now, in slow motion.  These are basically driver-oriented modifications to the cockpit.  New carbon fibre bucket seats and sliders, rear-seat delete, rollbar, and harnesses.  This will enable Round 4 (suspension) to be a much more useful round of upgrades.

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