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Wayne 962 Wayne 962 is offline
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Project Car: 959 - The PPI...

So, the PPI was done last Wednesday. I was on vacation prior to that, so we had to put it off (imagine being on vacation with your family, while a deal for a project 959 was pending - made me a bit antsy at the very least). The previous owner of the car is the owner of Orange County Lamborghini (also owns Beverly Hills Lotus), and it had mostly sat for the past four years. Because this wasn't a "standard" car, they insisted that I bring Tony Callas and his former-Andial guy Grant to the car in their location at Beverly Hills. This was a huge PITA, but after discussing it at length with the guys there, it just wasn't going to happen any other way, and insisting on having the car brought down to Tony in Torrance might have derailed the deal. The previous owner of the car obviously has a lot of money, and was not terribly interested in hassles, as he didn't "need" to sell the car.

So, on Wednesday, Tony and Grant (formerly from Andial) went to go inspect and check out the car. Their overall impression was that the car was in very good condition, and the worst thing to happen to it in the past was the fact that it had been worked on by inferior mechanics who left evidence of sloppiness in the car (brake lines, not routed correctly and loose, etc.). These will be some of the things that I will be working on fixing in the future.

They didn't have the time or equipment to run a leakdown test on the car, so Tony suggested that I get a contingency clause from the dealership to have them run the test in Torrance after I bought the car (a very good suggestion, and one that I didn't immediately think of). Speaking of that, even though I've written books on engines, and cars, etc., and I continuously counsel people on what cars seem good and which ones seem to be in for trouble - it's different when you're buying a car for yourself. Particularly with this one, I was a little too close to the deal - bringing in Tony was a good idea, because he told me to "make sure of this, and make sure of that" - the same things that I have told other people over the years, but had forgotten to think of this time. Bottomline, even if you know the cars inside and out, it's wise to get a 2nd opinion before you commit.

Here's the text of the report that Tony repared on the car:


Callas Rennsport 10-03-07

Wayne Dempsey PPI (At Beverly Hills Lotus)
1987 Porsche 959
35,452 KM’s

Engine pulley area tin not 100%
VIN 8th digit on federal sticker in engine compartment incorrect?
Cooling fan air capillary tube hose not 100%
Battery age? (Interstate)
Engine fuel hoses cracked, recommended
Ignition distributor cap spark plug wire connector are cover gone
Rear brake rotors moderatly cracked
Right rear brake sensor broken
Engine to left coolant pump hose kinked
Note, car was converted by GK for DOT/EPA regulations
Right chain tensioner cover leaking oil
Left turbocharger scavenge pump leaking oil
Engine to chassis (both) coolant hoses old, recommended
Left rear suspension wiring harness routing not correct
Rear tail light grommet gone
Both tail light wiring harnesses taped up
LR leveling height shock/dampener sweating oil
RF leveling height shock/dampener leaking oil bad
Front brake rotors cracked severely
All wheel valve stems caps incorrect
Forward underbody panel cracked in 2 places
RF Forward wheelhouse liner cracked/broken
All hoses at nose of gearbox not routed properly
Previous engine/gearbox installation not 100% in various places
Undesirable aftermarket Clifford alarm system
Very slight Paint scuff damage on LF fender
LF side marker turn signal light boot torn
Both rear fender to bumper fasteners missing
LR tail light lens, screw missing
Front differential sweating oil
Gearbox side cover leaking oil
Both lower rocker panels paint not 100%
License plate light lenses cracked and fasteners missing
RR turbo oil scavenge pump hose heat shield bolt broken
Flexible exhaust crossover pipe rubbing motor mount
Right side exhaust crossover pipe clamp bolt rubbing through underbody panel
Front hood crest bent & damaged
Whole car previously repainted
Owners manual missing
Front hood shocks NG
Front hood fuel filler door gasket not 100%
Fuel cap seal missing
Both interior door pockets cracked/broken
Right interior door handle inoperative
Drivers seat forward switch inoperative
Drivers seat very loose, fasteners missing or something broken?
Very slight imperfections on inner windscreen surface
Left forward wind wing window interior surface damaged
Gas tank vent line fitting broken
Air conditioning warm, Freon low? Compressor OK?
Heater inoperative, Climate control electronics OK?
Center console has a hole in carpet on forward top section
Right exterior mirror up down inoperative
Mirror direction switch “mushroom knob” missing
Rear window exterior trim not 100%
Windscreen interior trim NG
Rear window exterior seal @ right lower C-Pillar incorrect (reason?)
C-pillars to roof areas paint rough
Slight cracking on both lower B-pillar to door sill areas
Windscreen washers inoperative, reservoir empty
Steering wheel severely off center (Bent suspension components?)
Wheel alignment recommended

Please note: We did not have the time to perform an engine leak down and compression test and recommend before you purchase this car for us to perform these tests.

Please note: The DME has a maximum of 1.5 Bar boost at this time which is default mode, this indicates that there is a problem with the turbocharger system, diagnosis due.

Please note: The central warning light is continuously illuminated indicating a problem with an associated system but we are not getting another warning light at this time to indicate the problem. All the warning lights must be inspected for correct operation.

Please note: The climate control system appears to have a substantial problem because the Air conditioning and heater system are inoperative.
The FCU, Adjustable dampeners & Level control systems appear to be operating properly with the exception of two leaking shocks/dampeners.

Please note: The FCU and various systems appear to be working properly at this time but we were notified via a previous repair invoice of an inherent problem with the FCU system that would show up only after the car was driven for at least 30-40 minutes. We were not able to drive the car for an extended period of time during our pre purchase inspection.

Please note: We are very confident in our findings, however the time we were allotted and with the circumstances of the inspection being less than ideal, we must say that there could be other areas and/or issues that might exist. As noted above there are certain areas that are related to the DME, Climate control, FCU, Leveling and Dampening systems where problems are known to exist with no clear understanding of the repair necessary and could represent substantial cost.

Now, reading this list, you'd think that this car was a piece of garbage, and not worth a second glance. Still, after sitting down with Tony, Grant and Tom at Callas Rennsport, it was determined that these were all "relatively minor" issues that were mostly caused by years of neglect and/or poor work by previous mechanics. Tony is very meticulous in his PPIs, and he will basically point out anything that is incorrect on the car from when it was new. After we took the car to Tony's shop for the leakdown (which it passed), Tony did say quote: "This car is *****in", so I'm fairly confident that he gave it the thumbs up despite the problems that we'll have to fix on it. The major problems were known to me and were indeed reflective in the overall price of the car.

The car runs and drives fine right now, with the exception of some computer faults. It was smogged and passed CA smog with flying colors on Thursday. The primary issues are with the 4-wheel drive control system, and the turbo boost controller. Currently, it's running in default mode, which limits boost to 1.5 bar (.5 boost). The car is still VERY FAST, but it's obvious that there is power that is still missing.

Here are some photos from Tony's shop:

Wayne R. Dempsey, Founder, Pelican Parts Inc., and Author of:
101 Projects for Your BMW 3-Series101 Projects for Your Porsche 911How to Rebuild & Modify Porsche 911 Engines101 Projects for Your Porsche Boxster & Cayman101 Projects for Your Porsche 996 / 997
Coming Soon:
• SPEED READ: Porsche 911 (October 2018)
Old 10-07-2007, 10:34 AM
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