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Turning Lemons into Twin Plugs

Won't bore everyone with all the details leading up to the lemons. Suffice to say I had a basket of lemons drop into my lap on a sunny June day while cruising my 911ST tribute.

While waiting for the tow truck I went through the Kubler Ross five stage of grief:

denial -- that ticking noise is nothing bad
anger -- that ticking noise is something bad
bargaining -- it will be an easy fix
depression -- it will not be an easy fix
acceptance -- I can get twin plugs!

This thread is dedicated to several people for different reasons. Over the years working with many people, for different reasons, in many fields; I've learned to keep my expectations 'low' for fear of disappointment. Maybe I'm cynical. Maybe I expect too much.

So when I meet and work with people who exceed my expectations, it's not only refreshing......but I feel an obligation to 'pay it forward'. Not for the people that helped me but for the people that need the help....people like me.

"Dan on 94". This was a complete stranger to me at the time who is a porsche-phile.
He saw my car in distress and pulled over to help. Who pulls over on a Saturday afternoon to help a stranger? In Chicago? On 94? Who does that anymore? He helped me troubleshoot the problem and gave me the name of someone who might be able to help.....

Tim Olsen of Olsen Motorsports in Chicago area Downers Grove. There are few people I've met and worked with that are the 'real deal'......he and his team are it.

Tim and his team have turned this basket of lemons into twin plug lemonade.

Will also be thanking Marc Zurlinden who was original architect of the build......Smyrna. Not only did he put together a great project he stood behind it. Another rare thing in today's world.


I wanted to post up the pictures of the process as I've enjoyed that myself. This forum has been such source of help and great information that I felt I needed to share hoping that someone can learn from this somehow or benefit in the future.

Hope you enjoy.




Last edited by gwag; 12-27-2018 at 07:01 PM..
Old 12-27-2018, 06:04 PM
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Tear down begins........







Old 12-27-2018, 06:08 PM
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Is this normal??? No. Spun bearing unfortunately. Caught relatively early so damage could have been worse. This needs complete takedown of everything including oil lines, oil cooler, oil tank, oil galleys, etc.......essentially starting with blank slate.










Last edited by gwag; 12-29-2018 at 03:08 PM..
Old 12-27-2018, 06:11 PM
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Did the bearing break apart?


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Old 12-27-2018, 06:14 PM
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Cleanup begins.......





















Last edited by gwag; 12-29-2018 at 03:08 PM..
Old 12-27-2018, 06:16 PM
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Starting the restoration........powdercoating tin, cadmium replating, etc















Last edited by gwag; 12-29-2018 at 03:09 PM..
Old 12-27-2018, 06:19 PM
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Starting to make lemonade.......might as well do some nice colors.












Last edited by gwag; 12-29-2018 at 03:10 PM..
Old 12-27-2018, 06:21 PM
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Crank was in good shape. This is original crank from 1987 carrera 3.2. Had some custom knife-edging done to decrease some weight. Had rod journals reground and everything ion nitrided and polished.







Last edited by gwag; 12-29-2018 at 03:09 PM..
Old 12-27-2018, 06:31 PM
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Rod bolts being measured for 'stretch' and bearing clearances being checked.







Last edited by gwag; 12-29-2018 at 03:09 PM..
Old 12-27-2018, 06:34 PM
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Oil pump is from 964. Nice upgrade for these engines without having to do any case work.


Old 12-27-2018, 06:35 PM
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Rod bolt stretch.







Last edited by gwag; 12-29-2018 at 03:10 PM..
Old 12-27-2018, 06:37 PM
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Measuring for 'volume' and figuring out true compression. Originally this was a 3.2 engine that was rebuilt to 3.4 using 930 cylinders. Pistons are JE 'wedge dome' design for 9.8:1 CR. This was originally single plug. Figured 'while we are in there' to convert to twin plug.

Cylinder heads are being filled to measure volume....... 89 cc for each one. The piston, head, and cylinder then reassembled and volume measured again at TDC and BDC to get true CR.......9.8! I may have been able to go up on the CR especially with the twin plugs but didn't feel the need. Reliable > performance here.












Last edited by gwag; 12-29-2018 at 03:10 PM..
Old 12-27-2018, 06:48 PM
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Did I mention twin plugs........
















Last edited by gwag; 12-29-2018 at 03:10 PM..
Old 12-27-2018, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Saadi996tt View Post
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Did the bearing break apart?


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It was a spun bearing.

Symptoms started as 'ticking'. Almost like vibrating sheet metal that is loose. Then ticking gets louder. Then power starts to cut out.

Then you call a tow truck.
Old 12-27-2018, 07:06 PM
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Did you determine a cause for the bearing failure ? Always something to learn here.
Old 12-27-2018, 08:23 PM
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Curious as to why you wanted to go twin plugging if the compression is staying at 9.8.. was it "just in case" the true compression worked out a bit higher?

Those photos are brilliant. Possible the best photos I have seen for an engine rebuild; very impressed!
Old 12-27-2018, 09:08 PM
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Unable to determine cause of failure for certain. Some theories. It was number 4 rod bearing. It was not oil starvation, bad oil, etc.

Engine was almost new. Engine was originally built by reputable builder (Not Marc Zurlinden but someone he utilized).

Wish there was more to learn to avoid in future.
Old 12-27-2018, 09:35 PM
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Originally Posted by mikedsilva View Post
Curious as to why you wanted to go twin plugging if the compression is staying at 9.8.. was it "just in case" the true compression worked out a bit higher?

Those photos are brilliant. Possible the best photos I have seen for an engine rebuild; very impressed!
This engine has ITB with plenum and EFI with AEM.....also using 964 euro cams. So twin-plugging by itself might not add much but my understanding is that with all the other upgrades it can add to low/mid torque.

Should also add some reliability and added insurance if bad gas used.

Seemed like a 'small' price to pay given circumstances. Originally the engine was single plug.

Photos are from Tim Olsen so he gets credit. This is part of why he's been great to work with......he is great communicator with phone, text, pictures. He uploads pictures to a shared site every time he works on it. This has made the process 'fun'.
Old 12-27-2018, 09:39 PM
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Beautiful work. Make sure he turns that head around 180 degrees!
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Old 12-28-2018, 04:57 AM
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breaking down on the Dan Ryan is the kind of thing nightmares are made of....let alone in a 911.
glad it's working out even if that lemonade is expensive.
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Old 12-28-2018, 05:08 AM
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