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Front air dam install on '81 SC - detailed

I just installed a front air dam on my '81 SC Targa. The PO had been in a fender bender and only replaced the valance, which did not have pre-drilled holes. The car has a Carrera tail which, as I understand, needs the front air dam for best stability. The air dam and attachment bolts were purchased from Pelican. Here's the procedure I followed.

Starting point:



Held the air dam up to the valance and checked for clearance with the a/c condensor guard bar. A bit tight.

Jacked up the car for some clearance. Used the front torsion bar mounting point (as per 101 Projects). Also did this so that I could have the valance drop onto a rolling stool.

Unplugged fog lights (record what color wire goes to what). Taped the wires to make it easier to thread through the grommets.



Later realized that the driver size wire would be too much of a pain to thread back and so disconnected it at the fog lamp instead.


The valance on my '81 is held on by a 13mm bolt and 2 screws in each fender, and two 10mm bolts in the trunk. The 13 mm bolts pass through two mating brackets. Strangely enough the driver side valance bracket was on the inside, but the passenger bracket was on the outside. I don't know which is proper.




Removed the driver side bolt with two 13mm wrenches (long reach), and the passenger side with one wrench and a 13mm socket driver. I had fairly easy access on the passenger side because of the trombone 'oil cooler'. There is a small rubber insert in-between the valance and the bumper and the two side screws.



continued...
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Terry R.

'81 911SC Targa
Old 11-26-2005, 12:43 AM
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Before removing the trunk bolts, I propped the valance up with a small stool.


Removed the trunk bolts and cleaned the mounting surface of the valance.

Using a paper template I created (as per the Burger article in Excellence - thanks for the pdf, timz!), I placed the template on the valance and marked the holes with a felt pen.




Put on safety glasses and then drilled the holes using a 1/4" drill bit. Check the holes for fit and placement with the air dam. Came out pretty cleanly and the fit was nice.



continued...
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Terry R.

'81 911SC Targa
Old 11-26-2005, 12:44 AM
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Marked the holes on the other side of the valance and drilled. Not quite so clean this time as the drill wandered a bit. Had to make the hole bigger to correct this. Fit the other side of the air dam and check for fit and placement. Once satisfied that the air dam was near flush with the valance ends and top, remove the air dam and coated the holes with a rust inhibitor. Reattach the air dam to both sides of the valance and loosely bolt them in place.



The next step was to mate the air dam bolting surface to the valance lip. This required stretching the air dam a little. This was easily accomplished by using vice-grips and some finger force.

Once clamped, the air-dam sat flush with the bottom lip of the valance. Be sure not to clamp too tightly, you can easily squish the air dam. Started at the middle, followed by the two corners.

Needed six vice-grips to get a nice flush mating around the entire area. The edge of the valance lip met the edge of the air dam, and the front side had a good seal.



Drilled the first top hole starting in the middle. Used 5/16" drill bit. 1/4" was just big enough for the bolts, but not enough for proper placement of Pelican's bolt brackets. Vacuumed and rubbed the metal shavings out of the hole. Coated the exposed metal with rust inhibitor, and just for the heck of it, coated the bracket bolt. Attached the bracket and loosely bolted it on. Followed this procedure for the other holes, working evenly out from the middle towards the sides. After all bolts were on, I returned to the middle and tightened all of them to a nice firm hand tightness.




Ready to reattach the valance. Jacked the car up another 2 inches so that I could place the valance on the stool. Put the stool under the valance near the passenger side fog light and move whole thing into place. Checked the 13mm bolt brackets to ensure these are mated on the correct sides. (Don't know which is correct because of my starting situation, however, I went with the valance bracket on the outside because it gave me a nicer fit.)

Hold the valance near the driver side fog light for leverage. While looking in the trunk (with a light), align the driver side bolt holes and insert the 10 mm bolt to light finger tightness. Next do the same for the passenger side. Once the valance is supported by these two bolts, remove the stool.

Reinstall the 13 mm side bolts and two support screws and rubber inserts. Threading these bolts can be a bit of a pain due to the tight spaces. On the passenger side, I did it by taping the nut and washer to the open end of a wrench and threading the bolt. Go back to the trunk bolts and tighten.

Thread the passenger side fog light wire through the trunk grommet and attach wires. Reattached driver side fog light wires and fog light. Turned the fog lights on to ensure the connections were good.



It took me four hours to do this and it's the most complicated sort of mechanical work I've ever done. Not Concours perfect, but functional. I think my next project is to lower the front end. :-)
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Terry R.

'81 911SC Targa

Last edited by Calgary944; 11-28-2005 at 09:43 AM..
Old 11-26-2005, 12:45 AM
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great job and great documentation! you will learn to do much more as well
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Old 11-26-2005, 02:06 AM
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First class "how to article". I to have a Carrera tail with no front dam. Passing thru 80 mph the front end begins to wander. I plan to do a complete rebush, strut replacement, front air dam install and lower this winter. Our weather has not turned nasty enough to take the car out of service yet. I will try to document my work as you have.... It's only fair to give the others on this BBS who share so much something back !! Thanks again.

Mark
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Old 11-26-2005, 07:08 AM
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Very nice write up !!! .....
As a note to others, the fog lite wires are bi-directional...a power source and a ground path. They can be switched around and the bulb still lights up...no problemo .....

Of course, for us "anal" types...its nice to have the wire color ( brown for ground)...continue as it's plugged back together, if there are the same wire colors on both sides of the connector.

Nice job !!

- Wil
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Old 11-26-2005, 07:21 AM
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Nice work!

I've got the front spoiler and install kit sitting on my workbench, your article may get me off my ass and get it on as well!!
Old 11-26-2005, 07:25 AM
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LOL I did the same thing but did it with the valance still on the car. Major PITA. Your way looks much easier
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Old 11-26-2005, 07:55 AM
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Very nice job. Good explanation as well
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Old 11-26-2005, 08:16 AM
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Terry,

All I can say is "WOW"! Nice job, great photography, great writeup. Absolutely Awesome.

regards,
Hans
Old 11-26-2005, 08:57 AM
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Terry: good write-up!
One of your pix shows the fan for the front A/C condenser. If you don't use A/C, get rid of the fan (And any other A/C stuff)
Area under the fan/blower (and battery) get's rusty.
Also, where the neg. battery cable meets the body gets rusty.
Lowering the front is good; what about the rear?
My set-up is 25"F/24.5"R floor to fender lip.
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Old 11-26-2005, 09:10 AM
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Pick another project and post it!! That was awesome!!!
Old 11-26-2005, 12:58 PM
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Excellent presentation!
Thanks from the other side of Canada. I'll be using your write-up to install mine when I take the car out of it's winter slumber next spring.
Regards,
Gary
Old 11-26-2005, 02:18 PM
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Next time you do a valve adjust please help us timid souls still contemplating that job with your greatness. Thanks in advance
Still gonna wait till spring for the 10K adjust. Just in case you wanted a time frame. Great job on the valance etc..
Old 11-26-2005, 03:27 PM
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Thanks everyone for your kind words. Pelican is a fantastic forum and its a real pleasure to be able to contribute to it.

Mark (Grezdlitn): Looking forward to your write-ups. ;-)

Wil: Thanks for the info about the fog lite wires!

Gunter: Thanks for the advice regarding the A/C. I am considering removing it in the spring, but in the meantime I'll look at those areas for rust (there is some at the battery holder clamp.) My rear is sitting at 24.5", and fronts are 26 3/4" !!! The front torsion bars need to be reindexed. This will be one of my winter projects.

Gary: I just garaged the car for the winter. We're getting our first major snow this week. (Salted roads soon to follow.)

bagpiper46: Haha, I do need to do a valve adjust. I'll keep your suggestion in mind when I do it. ;-)
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'81 911SC Targa
Old 11-26-2005, 09:18 PM
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Rear height sounds good.
Depending where your adjusters are, you may be able to reduce the height without reindexing. Use some oil on the adjuster screw before turning. Turn both screws equal amounts.
Reindexing is not difficult in the front. That way, you can clean/relube the torsion bars. Keep in mind that the toe will change more positive (Toe-in) as you come down.
On the next alignment, check the whole set-up.
For mildly aggressive street driving, I use 1/2 deg negative front, 3/4 deg rear with a 1/8" Toe-in front and 0 (Neutral) Toe in the rear.
Good tire wear and handling.
For valve adjust: Wayne's book and the Bentley manual explains it well.
Instead of trying to insert the blade, I prefer to back out the valve adjust screw and put the blade under, snug up the screw, tighten the nut and check the slide.
For the valve cover gaskets, I have used the same ones 3 times now. After cleaning the mating surfaces real well, I put anti-seize on both sides of the gaskets. That way, they don't stick to the metal and the covers come off easy. Works good and no leaks.
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1995 seafoam-green 993 C2, LSD, Sport seats.
Abstract Darwin Ipso Facto: "Life is evolutionary random and has no meaning as evidenced by 7 Billion paranoid talking monkeys with super-inflated egos and matching vanity worshipping illusionary Gods and Saviors ".

Last edited by Gunter; 11-27-2005 at 06:42 AM..
Old 11-27-2005, 06:05 AM
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Wait...don't our cars toe "out" as we drop ???

I also don't like 1/8" toe....because of interpretation problems with this type of measurement:
- total toe? ....or "per side" ?
- where do you measure? Edge of wheel? Edge of tire?. ( can be off by 80% if we mistake the assumption). Different wheel diameters yield different numbers too. Better....use minutes-of-angle or degrees !

Look at Smart Racing Products web page for tire dia vs. toe ( inches) vs. degrees. It's been posted here before with a search.

Also...if you twist the front adjusters...not only lube the contact surface of the "screw"...but it would be better to take a load off the wheels...jack the front of the car up...before you adjust.

- Wil
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85 Carrera ( gone, but not forgotten )

Last edited by Wil Ferch; 11-28-2005 at 09:11 AM..
Old 11-28-2005, 09:09 AM
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Good point, Wil: That would be total toe; somewhere between 1/16"-1/8"
Some machines show the toe in degrees, some in inches. My last one was in inches.
I seem to recall a post from JW that stated the toe will become a little more "in" when lowering. Maybe someone can comment on this?
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1980 Carrerarized SC with SS 3.2, LSD & Extras. SOLD!
1995 seafoam-green 993 C2, LSD, Sport seats.
Abstract Darwin Ipso Facto: "Life is evolutionary random and has no meaning as evidenced by 7 Billion paranoid talking monkeys with super-inflated egos and matching vanity worshipping illusionary Gods and Saviors ".
Old 11-29-2005, 07:45 AM
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my info says it goes toward more toe-out as you lower ......

Wil

EDIT- look what stlrj says here ---> Front suspension hight
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Wil Ferch
85 Carrera ( gone, but not forgotten )

Last edited by Wil Ferch; 11-29-2005 at 11:34 AM..
Old 11-29-2005, 10:07 AM
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It prolly depends on how low that car is to start with.
Take a look at the tie rods. If they are parallel to the ground and you lower or raise the car, it will change the angle of the toe rods which will make them effective shorter, which will increase toe out.
If the tie rods are not parallel to the ground but are angled downwards slightly towards the wheels (as is the case with my car) lowering the car more will increase toe in because it will effectively lengthen the tie rods.
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Old 11-29-2005, 10:44 AM
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