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Wayne at Pelican Parts's Avatar
Today's Progress on the Project 959 (Thursday, Oct 11th)

Okie, I took some time today to work on the 959 and get some things fixed in preparation for our Grady night out tomorrow. I started with the hood shocks on the car. Well, I should say "hood shock", as there appears to be only one, despite the parts diagrams showing two. There is a hole for one in the hood on the right side of the car, but there's no place for the shock to go - there's just a big plastic gas tank in the way (huge tank by the way). On the left side - my goodness, I have never seen a tighter spot to replace a hood shock - I thought my 911SC was difficult. I honestly didn't think I would be able to do it, but the DIY gods were smiling on me today as we kicked off the first project / fix.

The original shock has a 959 part number, but Porsche wanted $90 or so for it, so I guessed (correctly) that the 911 Carrera heavy-duty shocks would work just as well. They are a drop-in fit, and a direct replacement, and hold the aluminum hood up perfectly. Some tips, that are applicable to other cars:

- When removing the clip on the bottom of the shock, try to avoid having the pin fall out - leave it hanging out of one side of the tab on the bottom. That way, you won't have to insert it through the tab again with no space in there. I lucked out - the pin didn't fall out. I was also able to push it through the bottom of the shock with no room to spare. Then, for putting the clip on the end of the pin, John (in sales) gave me a great idea that worked. We went to the local hardware store (1 block away), and got a wooden dowel pin. Then I cut a slit in the end and stuck the clip on the end. Sure enough, I was able to manipulate the end in there and snap it into place. I didn't think it would be possible - I thought I would have had to remove the gas tank (not pretty), but somehow it all worked out!

The other project worked on was the driver's seat. I popped out the switch yesterday, and the little balls inside went flying everywhere. Found them later on with a magnet, although it appears that one of the springs in the switch was missing (odd). This was probably why it wasn't going forward at all (we ordered a new one for tomorrow). Taking out the seat was easy - the previous mechanics decided it wasn't important to attach the rear two bolts. Very amateurish considering a car of this caliper. Also, the main computer under the seat wasn't even fastened down (just lying there). Again, very sloppy. Oh, and to top it all off, there is a fiberglass panel that one previous mechanic decided was in his way, so he just RIPPED the dang thing off and tore the holes that mount it to the chassis. Very sloppy - I used some epoxy tonight to repair that piece. We'll get the new switch tomorrow and install it. The passenger side up / down isn't working, so maybe we'll use the old switch for parts for the other side.

The passenger side door handle is broken too, so I took off the door panel. The interior is all leather - odd how heavy all of that seems when you're removing it. From the factory, I found a VIN number marked on one of the interior pieces - it matched (*whew*). Very cool. There has been a question of whether this car was repainted from silver or not - take a look at the door photos, seems very, very black and very original in there to me. I would be very surprised if someone went through all of the effort to carefully paint all of the inside areas of the door. Just doesn't seem to add up.

I also discovered that the right side speaker was shot. I headed over to Best Buy tonight and got some Pioneer speakers that seem to fit very well, we'll put those back in tomorrow. I've used the Pioneer units before on other cars - they seem to generally be high quality units.

I checked out the door handle, the problem is caused by deterioration of one of those plastic clips that attach the various door lock rods - you guys with the later cars know what I'm talking about. I ordered a few of those, and will replace them tomorrow.

I'll probably replace the hood crest tomorrow too. I thought about using that last remaining silver one I have, but I think I'll stick with gold - it looks better on black. I'll save the silver one for the silver 996.

All easy stuff today (except for that hood shock). Shoot, I forgot to shoot a lot of photos of the front trunk (which is very cool with all of the carpet removed). I'll do that tomorrow!

-Wayne

Here's a shot of the interior. The tritone leather pattern was something found on all the 959s. I've disconnected the seat's remaing bolts, and it's loose now. All you need to do is pull the electrical connector and then lift it out. You might want to have a friend help you, or at least be on standby, as if your back tweaks over the door sill, you don't want to drop the seat on your paint.



Here's the inside of the seat switch. You really shouldn't do this unless the seat is out of the car and sideways. The little ball bearings came flying out when I took the cover off (didn't expect it to come off).



Here's another shot of removing the seat. That fuzzy thing under the dash is a carpet covering for the ABS computer.



Here are two computers under the seat. My manual is on my other desk, and I don't recall which ones these are off the top of my head. The one on the left is very big though and has two large connectors attached to it. This one was not even fastened down properly (see next photo). In the next photo, note the very large center tunnel, which houses the driveshaft that runs the front differential.




Here are those elusive balls from the inside of the switch. Make sure that you don't lose them if you open your switch up to clean the contacts out.



Here's what a blown speaker looks like. I don't expect to be listening to much music in this car (the engine sounds are all you need), but it's nice to have one that does work. These are standard speaker sizes - I've had good luck with Pioneers in the past.



Check this out, a hidden VIN tracking number, presumably for the "custom" interior pieces. They only made about 100 of these cars a year, or about two per week. I suspect this number was used to track the interior pieces with the car, just like they used to do when they marked the 356 bumpers and doors during painting.



Here's the door with the top part removed. Looks just like every other 911 door, except that this one is aluminum, and the door panel is all leather. Same hardware and mounting though...

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Wayne R. Dempsey, Founder, Pelican Parts Inc., and Author of:
101 Projects for Your BMW 3-Series 101 Projects for Your Porsche 911 How to Rebuild & Modify Porsche 911 Engines 101 Projects for Your Porsche Boxster & Cayman 101 Projects for Your Porsche 996 / 997
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Old 10-11-2007, 11:56 PM
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Daily engine shot. It's too cool not to shoot a pic of when you're standing there. Note the small fan - the heads were watercooled, so it doesn't need a lot of extra air.



Closeup of the door again.



These are photos I took of the window switch, so that I could figure out what went where when it's time to put it back together.




Closeup of the door. Very factory-looking in there. I don't think the car was repainted from silver - there would be plenty of evidence in the door, and it just isn't there. The doors are aluminum, so unpainted areas are light and silvery, but detailed areas like the tops of the doors are definitely flat black.

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Wayne R. Dempsey, Founder, Pelican Parts Inc., and Author of:
101 Projects for Your BMW 3-Series 101 Projects for Your Porsche 911 How to Rebuild & Modify Porsche 911 Engines 101 Projects for Your Porsche Boxster & Cayman 101 Projects for Your Porsche 996 / 997
Coming in 2014:
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Old 10-11-2007, 11:57 PM
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Here's another closeup of the door. Lots of black in there, and plenty of factory-looking glue residue.



Here's a shot of the edge of the door. This is black, although the photo makes it look non-black. It's quite unlikely that anyone would paint in here during a repaint. Also, the door has some very distinct "patina" which looks 10-years old, not 5-years old. If it was repainted recently, it would look a lot newer inside.



More shots of the interior of the door. Gosh, this car is going to be the most documented 959 in history! Again, this looks black, and looks like it always was black.



More door shots. There's that factory-looking glue again.







Pictures cannot do this justice. There is just *no* room in there, I have no idea how the replacement went so well today. Very luck.

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Wayne R. Dempsey, Founder, Pelican Parts Inc., and Author of:
101 Projects for Your BMW 3-Series 101 Projects for Your Porsche 911 How to Rebuild & Modify Porsche 911 Engines 101 Projects for Your Porsche Boxster & Cayman 101 Projects for Your Porsche 996 / 997
Coming in 2014:
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Old 10-11-2007, 11:58 PM
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Wayne, I'm driving in early for dinner tomorrow, I'll be at 'will call' sometime in the afternoon, shouting '959, 959 - I wanna see the 959'...

Dave
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Old 10-12-2007, 12:11 AM
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Coming soon:

- Removing the silicone from the top of the gas tank and replacing with some plastic epoxy (the silicone is coming off anyhow).
- Replacing the front trunk carpet which smells like a refinery spill.
- Inspection / replacement of rear speakers

Then we'll start investigating the errors with the boost controller.

-Wayne
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Wayne R. Dempsey, Founder, Pelican Parts Inc., and Author of:
101 Projects for Your BMW 3-Series 101 Projects for Your Porsche 911 How to Rebuild & Modify Porsche 911 Engines 101 Projects for Your Porsche Boxster & Cayman 101 Projects for Your Porsche 996 / 997
Coming in 2014:
101 Projects for Your MINI Cooper
Old 10-12-2007, 12:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slodave View Post
Wayne, I'm driving in early for dinner tomorrow, I'll be at 'will call' sometime in the afternoon, shouting '959, 959 - I wanna see the 959'...

Dave
The front rollup door should be open and I'll be working on it. Not an ideal area, but my "Project Boxster" is in my garage at home.

-Wayne
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Wayne R. Dempsey, Founder, Pelican Parts Inc., and Author of:
101 Projects for Your BMW 3-Series 101 Projects for Your Porsche 911 How to Rebuild & Modify Porsche 911 Engines 101 Projects for Your Porsche Boxster & Cayman 101 Projects for Your Porsche 996 / 997
Coming in 2014:
101 Projects for Your MINI Cooper
Old 10-12-2007, 12:37 AM
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Wayne, do you sleep? I get up at 6 or so east coast time to start my day and I keep seeing posts about this darn 959 at the top of the list.

Thanks for sharing this stuff with us.

Rich
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Old 10-12-2007, 03:43 AM
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Awesome car Wayne. Thanks for sharing it with us. Not that my opinion matters but I have to agree that the car was originally black. Not that it matters. The car is amazing either way.
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Old 10-12-2007, 04:26 AM
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Very cool - has combinations of pieces the center tunnel looks like the 964 - the doors and seats definitely looks like my 1987. I agree on the black issue - it's a black car
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Old 10-12-2007, 04:48 AM
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you must be having fun, because I am having fun watching this process and purchase, a dream come true I am sure.
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Old 10-12-2007, 04:59 AM
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Its hard to fathom that car getting no respect from the PO !
I did not know the doors were aluminum; whole structure or skins only?
Where else, besides front lid and doors did they use aluminum?
thanks
Bill K
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Old 10-12-2007, 05:08 AM
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Wayne Quote: "Gosh, this car is going to be the most documented 959 in history!"


The fun in this blog is watching you reverse engineer one of the most coveted automobile icons. Getting into the heads of Porsche and there approach is quite interesting.


BTW, Is there a common place where these blog installments are held? It would be easier to reference than paging through the busiest portion of your site.
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Old 10-12-2007, 05:59 AM
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I have to agree with all the others here. Its a treat to tune in the morning here back east and catch some great shots of this car and look and read about what you're working on. I would love to see it in person. Years ago I got a glimps of a warehouse filled with 959's up by Holbert's Porsche but not close enough to gawk.

Oh by the way IMHO we can put the repaint to rest just from inspecting this threads photos.

Thank you Wayne keep em coming!

The Blog idea is a good one. I dont want to make any more work for you Wayne and it sounds like we're all grateful for the front row seat but maybe a blog would be easier all around?
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Old 10-12-2007, 06:06 AM
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that's a crime

Wayne,
I'm glad that 959 is in your hands. I guess some people don't know how important a Porsche 959 is to automotive history. Thanks for the pictures and we'll be watching your progress. Have fun.
Chris
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Old 10-12-2007, 06:07 AM
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does this mean that Pelican will start handling more RoW parts? 964RS and 993RS parts specificially?
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Old 10-12-2007, 06:29 AM
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I see a "101 projects for your Porsche 959" book coming out soon.

Rich
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Old 10-12-2007, 06:30 AM
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Wayne, thanks for sharing - this is a real treat. I'm looking forward to the daily updates!!
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Old 10-12-2007, 06:33 AM
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Awesome! So cool that you're digging in. Thread(s) of the year!

(I agree this car was not repainted from another color).
Old 10-12-2007, 06:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Verburg View Post
does this mean that Pelican will start handling more RoW parts? 964RS and 993RS parts specificially?
I like where you are thinking!
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Old 10-12-2007, 06:45 AM
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I find it amazing that mechanics that worked on this car in the past, would pay such little attention to detail and what's right versus wrong. Not bolting things down and actually breaking items? Some people just don't give a flying %#@!

Must be nice to have a warehouse of parts in case you need something quick (though as Wayne pointed out, how many are really interchangable?)

Thanks for keeping our interest peaked.
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Old 10-12-2007, 07:01 AM
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