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Author of "101 Projects"
 
Wayne 962's Avatar
Today's 959 Update...

Paul Cohen came by the shop today and I took him out for a ride in the 959. For those of you who might not remember, Paul was the private detective that I worked with last year on the recovery of the stolen 917 and 908 engines. He and I setup the sting to go "purchase" them and instead showed up with the police in tow. Ahh, the good ole' days.

Anyways, the car embarrassed me today, as I am still having problems with the oil pressure sender. The car has a neat integrated alarm system that will give an ear-piercing alarm if the tach records rpms above 3K and the oil pressure is below a certain amount. It's rare, but oil pressure problems in the engine can happen, so I have been careful to heed the warnings. Sometimes the engine oil pressure reading will just pop back up to a full 5 bar without any prompting. We drove around for about 30 minutes warming up the car and keeping it under 3000 rpm (difficult to do in a 959). No luck. So, we took it back to the shop and I took off the air cleaner and got out my screwdriver and repeatedly tapped on the oil pressure sender (it's a mechanical device inside the can). Well, that worked - for a short time. Then I had to do it again. This is actually good news, as it tells me that the problem is really, really likely with the oil pressure sender and not a problem with the oil pressure pistons within the engine. The only trouble is that to reach this part, it appears like you may have to remove a ton of stuff on the top of the engine, perhaps including the intake manifold. Yuck. More on that on a later date.

Okay, so with the idle problem seemingly solved, I think the next big project is going to be the suspension. I spent most of the afternoon setting up the lift and getting the car positioned and lifted, and the wheels all loosened for removal. I have some pics that are coming, I think a picture is worth a thousand words here...

-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 12-03-2007, 08:07 PM
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Here we are lining up the car for the scissors lift. Unfortunately, this is the only lift that we have access to here at the shop. It will do fine, as the 959 basically is difficult to lift up due to the fact that everything on this car is expensive and there's a nomex undercarriage pan that can be easily damaged. Using the lift is the best approach.



Carfully line up the lift points with the suspension lift points on the chassis. Seems to fit well.



But before we raise the car, we need to loosen the wheels, not a straightforward task. First remove the wheel hub caps. Note, that these look like standard Fuchs caps, but are actually about twice as big. I should get a regular sized one for a future photo to compare.



Underneath is a center-lock wheel lock.



You need the key to remove the center portion.



This part seems way overdesigned to me...



In order to remove the wheels, you need one of these devices. It's a planetary gear reducing mechanism that allows you to torque the wheels to something like 300-ft lbs.



Inside of the device. Man, I'd hate to lose this.



Another view...



Here it is on the wheel. It fits in there nice and snug.

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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 12-03-2007, 08:07 PM
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Yes, this requires a buttload of force to remove. I went bowling on Saturday for the first time in about 10 years, and man I am sore today. Removing this me that I shouldn't go bowling and then try to remove 959 wheels.



Here is Scott looking into the wheel well after we've removed the wheel. Some cool stuff lies inside there.



Okay, I'm trying to find a replacement for the nitrogen air canisters. The Mercedes parts look very close, but they are a bit smaller. I'm not sure if this makes a difference, I will have to think about this on a "physics level" tonight.



Big photo of the inner wheel well. We have removed the front splash shield here. A previous mechanic decided that the fiberglass panel could simply be manhandled out, and thus cracked it. Somewhere along the line, a set of bungleheads worked on this car.



Front 959 wheel. I just found out that Porsche has remaining stock on these, I think I'm going to order a spare front and a spare rear wheel. They are actually not too terribly expensive when you think about how rare they are.



Here are two shots that I took right before I left tonight...


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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 12-03-2007, 08:07 PM
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Wayne thanks for posting these updates. I know a lot of people have expressed gratitude for them but we really appreciate it. I've had a poster of a silver 959 in my room (now the garage) since I was 12 years old.

Sometime when I do a trip out of LAX I'll see if I can stop by the Pelican Mecca and see your car in person. I think I've only seen one in my life and I've never seen where all of my Porsche money goes.
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Old 12-03-2007, 08:17 PM
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Seems like you're having a lot of trouble with that car. Maybe you should trade it for my 74 914, my 78 SC, my 88 BMW 325 and both my kidneys. I think you would sleep better if you did

Oh, and I can throw in my mom, she makes a killer chili:crossesfingers:
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Old 12-03-2007, 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by BlueSideUp View Post
Wayne thanks for posting these updates. I know a lot of people have expressed gratitude for them but we really appreciate it.
No sweat. I'm just a regular Joe like you guys, this car is fascinating to take apart and examine from the inside out. I'm trying to talk Tony Callas into having a 959 tech session day - he's now got three that he services and maintains on a regular basis (including this one).

My goal with this car is the same as it is with the other cars - to keep them mostly stock, but with small upgrades here and there to replace parts that are NLA or prone to failure. I'm really curious to see how these nitrogen canisters work out. I'm going to order every single one I can find from my primary supplier (they have about 10 different ones), and then I'm going to pick the ones that best resemble the ones on the car.

Now, the question is, if the canister is slightly smaller, will that impact performance? Also, what if the canister is filled to a higher or lower pressure than the originals? I think both of these variables will affect suspension performance, but to what degree? I don't know. As I stated in previous threads, I'm wary of buying original Porsche parts, knowing that these may be NOS parts from 20 years ago. These canisters don't have a terribly long shelf live, and the OEM 959 ones cost $3800 or so each retail. I get them at wholesale pricing, so it's less, but still, that's $16,000 worth of parts retail. That's a lot.

-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 12-03-2007, 08:42 PM
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What does a spare wheel run on that car?
Old 12-03-2007, 08:43 PM
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This has got to be one of the most complex vehicles in the world. Thanks for taking us where few have explored.

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Old 12-03-2007, 08:46 PM
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Originally Posted by EarlyPorsche View Post
What does a spare wheel run on that car?
$4K each for the fronts retail, $5K each for the rear retail. Wholesale pricing is less than that. Don't forget that these will also go on the shelf, and can be sold at any time in the future too. I'm picking these up for spares. I once heard of a 959 that was out of commission semi-permanently because they damaged a wheel and Porsche had none. Right now, Porsche has about 70 fronts and 20 rears.

-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 12-03-2007, 08:48 PM
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As I look at your car I am truly amazed by the technology Porsche invested in these cars. The technology invloved in the 959 is far more sophisticated than many of today's supercars and the fact it was designed and built almost 20 years ago is mind boggeling. Wayne I truly appreciate you sharing your experiences with this incredible car.
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Old 12-03-2007, 10:10 PM
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This has got to be one of the most complex vehicles in the world.
Which is what would scare me to death about owning one.
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Old 12-03-2007, 10:28 PM
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Wayne seems to be taking it all in stride. I enjoy seeing the process of him "debugging" it.
It makes all my work seem mundane by comparison.
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Old 12-03-2007, 11:13 PM
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Originally Posted by village idiot View Post
Wayne seems to be taking it all in stride. I enjoy seeing the process of him "debugging" it.
It makes all my work seem mundane by comparison.
Complicated yes, but it's still only 1987 technology. A 997 Turbo is probably 100 times more complicated than the 959 is, electronics-wise...

The big project will be the 4WD system. That is certainly a one-off system with none other like it in the world, as far as I can tell.

-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 12-04-2007, 12:33 AM
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Hey thats a nice car buddy.

Is that a portable sissor lift? Nice, what brand is it? I could really do with something portable and that can get my car a metre in the air. I can't quite read the sticker on it.

Regards

Al
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Old 12-04-2007, 01:30 AM
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Originally Posted by KillerDynoSoar View Post
Hey thats a nice car buddy.

Is that a portable sissor lift? Nice, what brand is it? I could really do with something portable and that can get my car a metre in the air. I can't quite read the sticker on it.

Regards

Al
It's a BendPak lift. I'd hardly call it portable - I think I've owned cars that weighed less than it does. Weight is around 1400 lbs or so - which is what I think my trailer weighs!

-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 12-04-2007, 02:10 AM
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Ok your right... that ain't portable. Still a nice piece of kit and thats a nicer piece of kit perched on top of it.
Your 959 rocks. I would be scared to touch the damn thing to be honest, but I guess you wrote the book on maintaining 911's and operate a Porsche parts business, so maybe less scary.

Still thanks for sharing, its nice to see these things in such detail other than a showroom or concours even where you can only see the exterior.

Al
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Old 12-04-2007, 02:39 AM
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Wayne,

Budget concerns aside, I'd order a complete set of wheels, front/rear. Complete sets command significantly higher dollars than odd lots of wheels. Plus, you need track wheels don't you?

wj
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Old 12-04-2007, 02:39 AM
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Ok Im gonna sound like 10 broken records here by saying how great these threads are to follow. Its like owning one of your 101 books but with an article updated on a weekly basis. Are these constant issues starting to damp your spirits on the car or were you expecting this due to the previous owners neglect on the vehicle.
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Old 12-04-2007, 04:56 AM
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Simply amazing. . . It's incredible to think of how ahead of its time this car really was.
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Old 12-04-2007, 05:03 AM
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Wayne,

I’m uncomfortable with the 959 up in the air just supported by just the hydraulics and the wheels off. Is there a mechanical stop? How about setting it on four jack stands and leave the lift as a safety?

Best,
Grady
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Old 12-04-2007, 05:27 AM
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