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Wayne 962's Avatar
Project 959 Continues: Oil Pressure Sender Replacement - Completed!

Hi everyone. After several months of not having any time to work on the 959, I was able to park it in my garage after the Callas Rennsport tech session this past Saturday. The Boxster project car is still over at Callas getting an alignment and corner balance, so I had some free space to wrench on the 959! This car is a lot of fun to work on, you can almost feel the spirit of the 962 race car - the car almost hums in the background, just waiting to get back on the track again (like the ark from Raiders).

Anyways, the 959 has a really advanced warning system unlike any of the other production Porsches from this era. The oil pressure sender and gauge are tied into an alert system: if the engine's RPM goes above a certain level and oil pressure is not high enough, then an ear-piercing alarm goes off. This alarm has been going off quite a lot in the car, and it's very annoying. At first I thought that it might be the oil pressure "idiot" switch, so I replaced that previously (959 Porn: Today's progress (10-23-07)). But that didn't fix the problem. So, I have to replace the more difficult-to-get-to oil pressure sender.

As with any big problem, the key is to replace the easy part first. In this case, the sender may be defective giving off a poor reading. OR, the engine may have a true oil pressure problem. So, every time this alert has been going off, I've been having to drive the car very cautiously, keeping the RPMs under about 3000 - very annoying. When I was having this problem, I once took off the air cleaner (while the car was running), and tapped on the canister with a long screwdriver, which temporarily fixed the problem. This led me to believe that the problem was with the canister. Not to ruin the end of the movie, but I did get the canister out, and it rattles really terribly inside. So, although I don't have the new one in yet, I'm about 99% sure that the sender is the problem.

Okay, here are some pics...
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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 04-02-2009, 09:52 PM
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Here's a shot of the car in my garage. It's still a little messy from the feverish pace that we'd had working on the Boxster project car.


Here's the engine compartment with the air cleaner disconnected and tucked out of the way. The oil pressure sender is way in the back, of course.


I started by carefully disconnecting the throttle position switch. It has a tiny spring clip that would be lost forever in the engine if I wasn't very carefully removing it.


There are some vacuum hoses that are in the way here. I take pictures so that everyone can see what's going on, but also so that I can refer to them later on when I need to put the darn thing back together.


Here's a shot of a bunch of hoses connected. I need to get these out of the way to remove the oil pressure sender.


Need to take this hose off as well, as it's connected to the top. This will give me some working room.


Okay, now I can pull this vacuum canister-type device out from the inners of the manifold.


This fuel line was in the way when I replaced the oil pressure idiot light switch. So, at least it was loose and easy to disconnect. I had to push this out of the way to get to the oil pressure sender.


I think it's pretty cool that all of the hoses say "959" on them.


With some of the hoses removed, I can see the top of the sender. The red switch in the back is the one I've already replaced previously (didn't fix the problem).
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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 04-02-2009, 09:59 PM
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You have to be careful working on a 21-year old car with plastic connectors. If you aren't very careful, you can break them, and then you'll have to put a new one on. Lots of stuff on this car is unique and unavailable, so I try to be very careful when pulling on things.


Here's a big vacuum hose that was in the way. The little one above it has already been removed.


Ooops, dropped the hose clamp - don't want to forget that in there.


Okay, so the proper way to get this off is using a crowfoot wrench like this. Looks great, but there wasn't enough room for it to work properly.


Here's a view of what we're doing, showing the whole engine for perspective.


I've had great luck getting these out with vise-grips in the past. There is a danger that you can damage the sender, and dislodge the top part, leaving the bottom part spinning or stuck in the engine (which you can then get out with more vice-grips). Not the most elegant approach, but it does work, and it did work indeed in this case.


Success! And what do you know, the think makes more noise than one of my kids' baby rattles! Definitely broken, and ready to be replaced (tomorrow).


Here's what the hole looks like in the engine for the sender. Now that I think about it, I should put something over this just in case anything falls in there. Be right back!
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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 04-02-2009, 10:10 PM
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Part 2 will come tomorrow night, when I install the new sender. Then next week, I might start tackling the nitrogen canister problem. It's about time...

See all the previous updates here: http://www.959registry.org

-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 04-02-2009, 10:16 PM
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Thanks Wayne, love reading this stuff
Old 04-03-2009, 12:14 AM
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Fascinating Wayne, keep it coming.
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Old 04-03-2009, 12:33 AM
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These pictures will come in handy when I have to do this procedure on MY 959. Of course hell will have frozen over by then.
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Old 04-03-2009, 03:18 AM
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Thats cool Wayne that motor looks like it has 10 lbs of s!@t in a 5 lb bag good luck and have fun, Gee I'd like to have one of those 959 hoses on my car but the small one probably costs enough to to stimulate the economy!
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Old 04-03-2009, 03:28 AM
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looks like it attaches to an adapter that takes the place of the thermostat in a normal engine. can you get to the two bolts on the adapter with the sender in place? sure would be easier to tighten the sender if you could get the adapter out and do it on the bench. probably uses the same o-ring as a normal t/stat. looks like some leaking was going on in the area anyway.
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Old 04-03-2009, 04:22 AM
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Wayne are those metric vice grips

I wonder what tool the factory mechanics use. For some applications generic tools work the best.
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Old 04-03-2009, 04:50 AM
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Don't throw the old sender away- those things have a date code from VDO stamped on the hex on the side.
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Old 04-03-2009, 05:06 AM
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Wayne,

If John's suggestion with respect to the two bolts in the adapter isn't do-able, try using a 24mm crowsfoot wrench with a 12 pt. head. 24mm is of course a little tough to find, so a 15/16" or 1" SAE socket would work.

http://www.mcmaster.com/#open-end-crowfoot-wrenches/=1a9wg2

Of course do a test fit check of the suitable SAE socket size before sourcing the SAE crowsfoot! I'd check myself but i'm not at home right now...
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Old 04-03-2009, 07:33 AM
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Wow, very cool Wayne!! I always love reading the 959 updates, its soo cool to see how its similar and different from the 911!! keep em coming!!!
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Old 04-03-2009, 09:24 AM
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Old 04-03-2009, 10:06 AM
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Very cool. I love reading this stuff. Looking into the layout/construction of the 959 is like looking into the minds of a genius - a very mad, insane genius, but a genius. It's fun to figure out what the thought process was...

Keep those updates coming!
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Old 04-03-2009, 10:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GH85Carrera View Post
Wayne are those metric vice grips

I wonder what tool the factory mechanics use. For some applications generic tools work the best.
This isn't listed in the factory manuals, and I would bet that they would recommend this as an engine-out procedure.

-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 04-03-2009, 05:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john_cramer View Post
Don't throw the old sender away- those things have a date code from VDO stamped on the hex on the side.
I keep all of the old parts in the "old parts from the 959 box" just in case someone in the future will want them (when I'm in the ground, I suppose).

-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 04-03-2009, 05:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Porsche-O-Phile View Post
It's fun to figure out what the thought process was...
I think it's something along the lines of "how do we stuff a 962 into a 911 chassis?"

-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 04-03-2009, 05:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john walker's workshop View Post
looks like it attaches to an adapter that takes the place of the thermostat in a normal engine. can you get to the two bolts on the adapter with the sender in place? sure would be easier to tighten the sender if you could get the adapter out and do it on the bench. probably uses the same o-ring as a normal t/stat. looks like some leaking was going on in the area anyway.
It's going to be pretty easy to just screw the new one in there and then get a crowfoot wrench on it, I believe...

-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 04-03-2009, 05:38 PM
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Thanks Wayne for posting some great pictures.

I've just spent some time looking at the past posts.... I can see why Porsche lost money on very car they sold.

Everything is so over engineered but beautiful in detail and execution.

I'm very impressed with everything about this car. It is truly unique.

You can see the passion in getting it right on every detail of the car. And they were built to last. I just love the clear/yellow coating on the under body components.

Any idea what this coating is? Is it wax based or something else?
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Old 04-03-2009, 05:47 PM
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