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Wayne at Pelican Parts's Avatar
Today's Progress on the Project 959 (Friday, Oct 12th)

Okay. In preparation for taking the car out to Grady's dinner here in El Segundo, I had to finish up a few projects that were started yesterday.

Firstly, the passenger side door panel needed to be finished. The door linkage rods are all held in together using these small plastic clips that tend to wear out over the years. Replacement of these is relatively easy (if you can get your fingers in there) and fixes most of the door-not-opening problems that exist. With the door panel removed, I replaced that door lock clip in there with a new one. I also swapped out the old Blaupunkt speaker with a distintigrated cone with a new Pioneer unit. I will keep the old speaker just in case there's any "restoration" value in it in the future.

I also installed an Appbiz door liner / moisture membrane inbetween the panel and the door. Although I'm not 100% sure if these cars came with one in there, installing it is a good idea. It basically keeps the door panel dry and helps protect it from water that may get in there from the rain and/or car washes.

While I was in there too, I replaced a missing plastic door clip (very common to find these things missing from time to time), and I also replace the door window switch holder with one of the newer style stainless-steel units also from Appbiz. We sell this and the moisture membrane in the catalog - I recommend their installation if you're doing any door panel work.

Buttoning up the door panel, I then moved to the driver's side seat switch, which was non-functional in the forward direction. After taking the switch apart and seeing that someone had "tried to fix it by breaking it", I decided a new one was probably the best bet. I'll save the parts from the old switch - the passenger side switch is faulty too, perhaps I can fix that with some of the spare parts. New switches are cool, but expensive at about $130 each. I installed the new switch, and then used my battery charger to test it to make sure it worked, and also to make sure that I had installed the connectors in the right direction. As it was, I made a mistake and had to swap connectors on the motors later on. I suggest that you test your switch wiring before you bolt down your seat.

Tonight at the Grady gathering, I went to lock the car, and the lock cylinder came out of the car! Then, the driver's side door wouldn't close, and I had to drive home holding it closed! Believe it or not, this has happened before, and the fix is to simply repair the door handle. I believe it's just missing the retaining screw on the back of the handle - I'll have to see if I have one of those lying around somewhere when I take the door panel apart. I wanted to replace the speaker on that side anyways with the new Pioneer unit. By the way, I went to the store looking for new speakers, but I was unsure if the new-style speakers would clear the old-style speaker grille. It seems that most all speakers in the stores these days have a center cone section that sticks out and up above the main speaker cone. Well, good news, the original 911 speaker grille is concave, and sticks out enough for the clearance of the center of the speaker.

Okay, here are some photos:

This photo shows me placing the moisture membrane on the door panel. The black plastic door clips are shown here - they are often broken or missing on older cars. You should replace them if you see that they are missing - there will be a large hole in the panel where they should go.



I removed the rear speaker enclosure so that I could easily mark and cut the membrane. Removing the enclosure makes the job easier and only takes about 2 minutes.



Here's the assembled door panel with the moisture membrane installed. Note the two large cutouts I made for the speaker and the door lock knob.



I tacked on the membrane with some thin double-sided tape. The membrane will be held in place by the fasteners that hold the door panel, but getting it in place is difficult if you don't have it taped to the panel itself. I suggest using some thin double-sided tape like is shown in the photo.



Here's a photo of the new white door clip that I installed into the passenger side door today. With not too much room to work inside of the door, this job can be more difficult than it appears.



To make it easier to install this clip, I stuck it on the end of a ball driver. This allowed me a lot of leverage and ease in placement of the clip inside the door. You can't see what you're doing in there, so you have to mainly feel around. I also disconnected the door latch by removing the three screws on the edge of the door - this allowed me to move the whole assembly over about an inch, which gave me more room to work.



Here are the old and new door window switch retaining clips. When Bob showed me these clips about 2 years ago, I thought "now there's a product just looking for an application". But, I used them today, and they look and work great. If you're spending this amount of time on your car, you might as well use the best products. These are made out of stainless steel, I think they are about $12 or so for the set of three.



Here is the stainless steel window switch retainer installed in the door panel.

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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, 11:13 PM
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Here we have the door panel back on. You can see the moisture membrane sticking out of the top. Next is the top door sill, speaker, and lower door pocket.



Close-up of the door panel, remember to stick your door window switch wires through, and make sure that you have your battery disconnected for this entire task!



Here are some of the connectors for the motors underneath the seat. On the new switch, the colors of the wires were slightly different, so it was easy to mix up the wires. Be sure to check for the proper operation of the seat before you bolt it down again.



Here's another shot of the motors on the other side. I recommend taking photos of these connections before you disconnect them. That way, if you have any questions, you can always refer back to the photos you took.



This is the main connector that powers the seat motors. The other missing pins are for features like seat heaters, etc. The new switch comes with new pins attached - you have to crack this connector open using a screwdriver, and swap out the pins. Pretty easy in general.



Here's the new switch installed (two shown here, the new one is the one on the left). Reinstall the retaining ring after the switch is in.



You need to route the wires along the bottom in a similar path to how they were before. Use about 3-4 zip ties to keep the wires contained and together. For the removal of the wires that connected to the front motor, I had to remove the black plastic cover that goes over the whole lower front part of the seat (shown on the blanket on the left in the background).



Back in the car, you can see where I cleaned up the computer area underneath the driver's seat. The big box is the Function Control Unit (FCU) for the drive control (I guess 4WD system and bias control), and the other box is the control unit for the shock leveling system. There is a problem with some type of system with the FCU - we'll be working on this at a later date.



New hardware! We just happened to have some on the shelf, and since this seat was missing a whole bunch of hardware anyways, I decided it was best to use brand new factory stuff. Can't cheap out on a 959!



-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, 11:15 PM
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Wayne, what's the deal with the windshield seal? Will that seal fit on an '84 -911? It looks really nice and blends right into the roof.

Dave
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Old 10-12-2007, 11:19 PM
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Coming in the next few days:

- Disassembly of the driver's side door and repair of the lock mechanism (and installation of the moisture membrane, new door window switch retainers, and the new speaker.

- I'll take some photos of the front trunk and give you guys a walk-through of the cool stuff that's up there.

- I'll shoot some pics of the toolkit and all of the unique, random stuff that's in there (you'll be surprised).

Take care!

-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, 11:44 PM
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Wayne,
Great to see the documentation of your progress, but frankly I can care less about the door panels and hood strut. When are you digging into the good stuff?
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Old 10-13-2007, 03:22 AM
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I am SO glad you picked this 959 up.. I love seeing all that you are doing and posting about it.
Old 10-13-2007, 06:30 AM
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Personally, I enjoy seeing ALL of the tidbits unveiled, as there are definitely crossovers to my SC, and it all helps to have photos as a reference!

Love it! Thanks for taking the time and effort!!!
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Old 10-13-2007, 07:13 AM
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Wayne, can't thank you enough for sharing all of this. Don't stop!
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Old 10-13-2007, 07:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by North Coast Cab View Post
Wayne,
Great to see the documentation of your progress, but frankly I can care less about the door panels and hood strut. When are you digging into the good stuff?
Patience, young grasshopper. One needs to start with the small stuff first. Things like a non-working driver's seat, and a passenger door handle that don't open are important when driving. The other stuff, is "fix it while you're in there stuff" which is also important if you're taking the time to tear into projects. With this car, I want to make sure it's done right and done correctly the first time out.

After a bit of this minor stuff, and after I read up on what I need, I will be building a code reader for the car, and then tackling the problem with the boost controller. Never fear, that time will come.

-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 10-13-2007, 09:58 AM
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Just as a point of reference.... the non-functioning power seat switches often don't work *simply* because the contact points ( yeah...like old distributor points) get cruddy and carboned-up. If you take the switch apart ( easy...but be carefull of the little ball-bearings), and swipe some emery paper underneath the contact points ( shaping a strip of emery paper or sandpaper as a long "rope" and using a pull-up-on-alternate-side technique)...I have found I can get EVERY bad switch I've come across back to life. I think the $130 cost is plain stupid for this switch....whether one can afford a 959 or not doesn't make it ( in my mind) any less stupid, as an item of cost relative to what it is.
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Old 10-13-2007, 10:55 AM
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Wayne...we're already envious of your 959. Please don't make it worse by telling us "..we just happened to have some hardware on the shelf"! Some of us mortals have to wait a week for that hardware...
Old 10-13-2007, 11:55 AM
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Thumbs up Thanks for the details

Wayne,

Thank you very, very much for sharing the small details of your work on the unique & fascinating automotive icon.

Man, am I jealous!

Have you given any thoughts to collecting the pics & text in book (or tech-note like story) form when you are finished?

Reading your notes reminded me of the book by Walter Boyne on the history & ground-up restoration of the Smithsonian's Me-262 aircraft.

Again, thanks - I hope to see it someday if I'm ever out there, or if the car comes to the northeast.
Old 10-13-2007, 12:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wil Ferch View Post
Just as a point of reference.... the non-functioning power seat switches often don't work *simply* because the contact points ( yeah...like old distributor points) get cruddy and carboned-up. If you take the switch apart ( easy...but be carefull of the little ball-bearings), and swipe some emery paper underneath the contact points ( shaping a strip of emery paper or sandpaper as a long "rope" and using a pull-up-on-alternate-side technique)...I have found I can get EVERY bad switch I've come across back to life. I think the $130 cost is plain stupid for this switch....whether one can afford a 959 or not doesn't make it ( in my mind) any less stupid, as an item of cost relative to what it is.
Yes, indeed, I took the switch apart already, but someone else was already in there, and had lost one of the springs, so I had to order a new one, which fixed the problem pronto...

-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 10-13-2007, 09:16 PM
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Wayne,
Please keep posting the pictures - they are great reference shots. I may now actually venture into my 89 911 doors as there is a rattle and I have always worried about not having the moisture barrier.

Also, do you recommend swapping out the factory window switch frames on the door panels for the SS ones as an upgrade?
Old 10-13-2007, 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted by ajmarton View Post
Also, do you recommend swapping out the factory window switch frames on the door panels for the SS ones as an upgrade?
Sure, I don't see why not. They are well made, and better than the originals...

-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 10-13-2007, 10:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wil Ferch View Post
Just as a point of reference.... the non-functioning power seat switches often don't work *simply* because the contact points ( yeah...like old distributor points) get cruddy and carboned-up. If you take the switch apart ( easy...but be carefull of the little ball-bearings), and swipe some emery paper underneath the contact points ( shaping a strip of emery paper or sandpaper as a long "rope" and using a pull-up-on-alternate-side technique)...I have found I can get EVERY bad switch I've come across back to life. I think the $130 cost is plain stupid for this switch....whether one can afford a 959 or not doesn't make it ( in my mind) any less stupid, as an item of cost relative to what it is.
Wil, I never had any luck with doing that. Seems like they get carboned up soon enough all over again and then I'm kicking myself for not replacing it in the first place. Since the switch is buried in the seat, it's a job that you only want to do once.
I just went through this on my '91 Turbo; the fore-aft switch on the passenger seat was shot. To make things worse, the emergency adjuster (the white gear on the fore-aft motor in the picture) was shattered. I had to crank the seat forward by manually turning the two cables in an alternating fashion while Wayne got me a gear from the Fatherland. But I enjoy a challenge
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Old 10-14-2007, 05:55 AM
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Wayne, You mentioned driving the car. Have you attended to the "severely cracked front rotors"? Don't want to see anything happen to you or the car


Also, I suspect the electrical seat/motor connector is a common item. However, if it is not, the same exact piece is used for '80's Mercedes headlights.
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Old 10-14-2007, 06:29 AM
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