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Dr. Pate's "101 Tips for 911 Owners"

These are simply a list of either my experiences or things I've seen debated quite often. I was just hoping to put it all in one place.
I am by no means "An Authority".








1. Pay attention to the dipstick. Don’t rely on the dash-mounted gauge.

2. Don’t lose the dipstick in the oil tank be careful when checking the oil level.

3. Only check the oil with the car warm, running, and on level ground.

4. You want the oil level in the middle of the “Hi and Lo” areas of the dipstick.

5. Wait until the engine properly warms before driving aggressively.

6. The little shims used as spacers for the alternator pulley are important and they must all be in place, either between the pulley halves of next to the nut.

7. If you upgrade your headlamp system what so ever, install relays.

8. Periodically check you lug nut torque, especially if you have installed aftermarket wheels.

9. A puff of white smoke at start up is normal on some cars.

10. Cross-drilled rotors are a waste of money, but they look cool.

11. Cross-drilled rotors cannot be turned like ordinary rotors.

12. Buy a numbered oil temp gauge kit. It’s worth the money.

13. Dead pedals are cool, but be extra cautious if you have big feet… especially on Targas.

14. Original factory windshields get very brittle with age. Be careful when removing them or even trying to remove the rear view mirror.

15. Targas are better than coupes.

16. If you have a CIS car, inspect the little green wire coming out of the distributor for damage.

17. Don’t over tighten the valve covers.

18. If you’ve lowered a US spec car, make sure you remove the 10MM spacers on top of the front shocks.

19. Put a little lithium grease on the rear Targa top pins to keep it from squeaking.

20. Reversing the windshield wipers is a big bonus.

21. If you autocross, consider turning your tachometer so that the redline is facing 12 o’clock.

22. Don’t try reupholstering the bottom side of the Targa bar unless you “really” know what you are doing.

23. RS door panels look cool, but the kits I’ve seen are really a pain to install.

24. If you have a 930S steering wheel and you don’t have enough finger space between the wheel and dash, consider installing a hub spacer.

25. For the love of god, buy a leather shift and emergency lever boot. We need to eradicate the factory rubber boots.

26. Don’t waste your time with Dash Overlay kits that are guaranteed not to warp. They warp. (I can send pictures)

27. Wet Okolie seat covers are a huge waste of cash as well.

28. Replacing many small rubber trim parts (door handle, windshield wiper, antenna, fender cowl, mirror seals etc.) is very easy, not too expensive and makes the car look much better.

29. If you have late model highback seats, you can swap the two seat backs with one another if the drivers’ side is showing wear.

30. Put a thin film of lithium grease on the seat sliders when you have them out of the car.

31. Recovering the interior with vinyl is cheap and fairly easy.

32. Keep a spare Targa top handle in your glove box, just in case.

33. Periodically make sure the screws on the fuse panel are tight.

34. Put a dab of Liquid Electrical Tape” on the screws to keep them from backing out.

35. Always carry extra fuses and relays.

36. Once you have your shift coupler adjusted properly, use a paint pen to mark its position for future reference.

37. Don’t waste your time with K&N air filters.

38. Keep in mind that CIS engines hate dirt in the worst way. K&N filters have been known to let allot of dust into an engine, even when properly cared for.

39. Don’t drill air holes in your air box…you won’t go any faster.

40. On any car 20 years old, it’s probably time to rebuild the pedal cluster. It’s not expensive.

41. Make absolute sure your clutch cable is adjusted properly.

42. Make sure the little rubber stop is not missing from the clutch pedal floor-board.

43. A gate shift kit is good protection from accidental mis-shifts.

44. A flowmaster muffler can save you hundreds of dollars over the price of a fancy SS job.

45. If your rev-limiter isn’t working, it’s probably the speed switch module located behind the gauges.

46. Re-torque your headstuds at every valve adjustment.

47. If you are going to go with a Short Shift Kit, just buy the factory one.

48. Don’t reset your trip meter under the odometer while the car is moving.

49. If you buy a set of aftermarket wheels… do NOT get rid of the original Fuchs.

50. If you get rattles from your doors after installing RS door panels, it might be the little free floating metal tabs along the bottom of the doors. I used a dab of RTV on each and they stopped rattling.

51. When you roll down your power windows, if you hear a “click” when they hit the stop, you may have a crack in your inner door panel where the assembly attaches, and it should be welded up.

52. The cold start valve, warm up regulator, Aux. Air valve and thermotime switches are the work of the devil.

53. If you want to add a voltmeter, cylinder head temp gauge, and or a fuel/air mixture gauge, the bottom of the ashtray offers up a good place to mount them.

54. When you replace your carpet, ditch the center console if you don’t have a/c.

55. Please don’t put white gauge faces in your car.

56. There is no excuse for having a crappy looking hood badge. The SCWDP has a “zero tolerance” policy in effect on this matter.

57. If you decide to put stone guards on your 911, please make sure that you put narrow body stone guards on narrow body cars and wide body stone guards on wide body cars.

58. It’s a good idea to put some air in that 20 year old spare tire to see if actually holds air.

59. If your hood doesn’t quite look right it may be out of adjustment. If you remove the two plastic plugs on the bulkhead, you can use an Allen wrench to adjust the latch up or down.

60. Be careful when adjusting your hood or deck lid latch. If you make it too tight, there is a chance that it will stick closed.

61. If you have a newer 911, you can lower the rear end about an inch by using the eccentric bolts on the spring plats instead of removing the torsion bars.

62. If you have a CIS car, check to make sure your throttle linkage is adjusted properly, or you may not be using all the power your motor can make.

63. If your brake caliper bleed nipples are slightly boogered up and frozen… and you’re afraid to use an open ended wrench to loosen them, use a ¼” drive deep well socket to break them free then use a wrench to open and close them.

64. If you have a door alignment issue, try adjusting the striker plate and door hinges for a better fit.

65. Spacers can be added behind the hinges and strikers to aquire a better fit. Sometimes these were removed and never replaced by a careless paint shop or Previous Owner.

66. Polishing cast wheels can be done, but it is not easy. (Trust me)

67. If you have an Aux. Oil cooler mounted in the front fender, you can remove the left side marker light from the bumper to get more air flowing through the oil cooler. Or if you have $90 burning a hole in your pocket, you can but the cool looking “Scoop”.

68. When racing your car at Autocrosses or DE events, remove the windshield wiper fuse so you don’t accidentally hit the switch while driving.

69. New domestic glass seems to be the best bet when replacing windshields. Many people say that it is even superior to German glass.
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Old 01-22-2003, 11:27 AM
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And the rest of them...


70. A dab of lithium grease on the door stays will let them operate easier and save your door the added stress.

71. Make sure all of your little Targa top clips are adjusted correctly. They must be clamped tightly to the top frame or they will let go at speed and make one hell of a noise.

72. The targa top itself has many different adjustments on it which can be played with to aquire a better fit. It includes the latches, front pins, rear pins and the side seals.

73. The vent windows have a bit of adjustment to them, which can help seal the Targa top where the two meet.

74. Also, the window height can be adjusted from the inner door panel as well as the stops.

75. I have absolutely NO idea what that subtle “popping/clicking” noise coming from the gauges every now and then is caused by.

76. Rekeying your door locks to fit your ignition key is a fairly simple and easy project to undertake. And you get the benefit of dropping one key from that wad you carry.

77. While you have the door panels off, put some lithium grease on the window linkages, regulators and tracks.

78. If your car doesn’t have it, use plastic sheet (even a garbage bag will do) and tape them to the inner door to keep water from warping your nice door panels.

79. Always torque your lug nuts to 90 Ft/Lbs using a torque wrench. No calibrated elbows!

80. H5 headlamps can be cleaned if they have fogged up by carefully using an alcohol pad with a pair of forceps to clean behind the lens. Be very careful not to bend the little metal reflector pad!

81. The factory has superceded the windshield frame to Targa top seal. So, if you buy a new seal for your pre-’86 car, it won’t fit properly. The only way around this that I know of is to shave the seal down. Not easy.

82. Inspect your tie rod boots for wear. Mine were less than 3 months old and they rotted away.

83. If your Targa top bar is looking faded, you can remove it and repaint it. Easily done in a day.

84. Once or twice a year, remove all badging from your car when you wash and wax it so you clean out all of the crap from the nooks and crannies.

85. If your engine mounted Aux. Heater blower is squeeking, it may be possible to prolong its life by carefully disassembling it and packing heavy grease in and around the bushings.

86. If your car isn’t getting much heat and you are sure the flapper valves and ducts are in good order, you might want to concentrate your efforts to the fresh air/heater valve assembly in the trunk. If any of the valves are out of adjustment in relation to their cables, you won’t be getting much heat. Use the Bentley manual to adjust the cables.

87. If anyone comes up with a good way to keep the fuel/oil level gauge from fogging up, please let me know.

88. 3.2 Carrera motors benefit greatly from having 2 teaspoons of fine metal shavings put in the oil tank every oil change.
"WARNING" My lawyer has just notified me of the legal dangers of actually suggesting someone put Metal Shavings in their oil. Let me be perfectly clear on this matter... I hear it works. Ok, don't do it, moron.

89. Don’t use JE pistons in Alusil cylinders.

90. Dilvar headstuds are the work of jealous Carrera owners and must be abolished.

91. Just buy Factory steel replacements, unless you are building a 400+ hp motor, you don’t need Raceware studs.

92. When installing the trunk mounted fresh air blower assembly. Be careful when tightening the two mounting screws that sit behind the hood scoop grill. The plastic will start to break on the blower housing before the screws strip.

93. I will not use Loctite 574 on engine case halves ever again. I’d drop the cash for a bottle of Dow Corning.

94. Beware of aftermarket hood crests. A buddy of mine bought one and the mounting pins were about an 1/8” higher on the crest than on the factory ones. The result was a very obvious line in the paint from natural fading.

95. If you live in a place like Idaho, buy fog light lens in sets of three. I’m on my third one this year.

96. Don’t let a wheel shop put balancing weights on the front of your wheels. Some PCA regions have reported Lynch Mobs resulting from such heinous acts.

97. Many older motors don’t like Synthetic oils. They tend to spring leaks because of the detergents and the fact that some Synthetics may be a bit thinner than Dino oil.

98. The rubber rocker panel trim molding is best put on by using dish soap and peeling it back onto the rocker, rather than trying to slide the rubber down the length of the car.

99. If your car is over 20 years old anf gets driven often… buy the door stay reinforcement kit and save your self the headache later on.

100. Don’t drop your engine on the floor when removing it from the car!

101. SC’s RULE AND CARRERA’S DRULE!!!!!!!!!
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Last edited by Leland Pate; 01-23-2003 at 10:46 AM..
Old 01-22-2003, 11:28 AM
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Dude, you need to get out more

Cheers
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Old 01-22-2003, 11:38 AM
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I read every single one of them, and just to prove it,

Quote:
88. 3.2 Carrera motors benefit greatly from having 2 teaspoons of fine metal shavings put in the oil tank every oil change.
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Old 01-22-2003, 11:42 AM
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Quote:
AirCooledExcellence- Dude, you need to get out more

Naaaahhh... I was just bored this morning.
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Old 01-22-2003, 11:44 AM
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Leland, this is some VERY good stuff.....I'm gonna have to email you a bunch of questions I have regarding like 15 of them when later today after work.

thanks,

amir
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Old 01-22-2003, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
I read every single one of them, and just to prove it,

"88. 3.2 Carrera motors benefit greatly from having 2 teaspoons of fine metal shavings put in the oil tank every oil change. "
That's just so at the next oil change there will be 4 teaspoons of fine metal shavings...or maybe it's to shore up the valve guides.
Old 01-22-2003, 11:51 AM
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# 87, remove gauge, drill a two holes in the rear then use a hair dryer to remove moisture.....the second hole allows air flow.

When done, add a small amount of granular, not powdered dessicant and seal the holes....reinstall.
Old 01-22-2003, 11:55 AM
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Wow! I'm printing out this one! Lots o' good stuff even if you don't have an SC Targa! Thanks Leland!

Now its been proven that lithium grease does have more uses than Windex!
Old 01-22-2003, 11:56 AM
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Coupe's rule, targa's drool! (and flex and twist and leak and squeek etc.)
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Old 01-22-2003, 11:58 AM
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Very cool. But, a slight change:

68. When racing your car at Autocrosses or DE events, remove the windshield wiper fuse so you don’t scare yourself *****less when you accidentally hit the switch while driving.
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Old 01-22-2003, 11:59 AM
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Quote:
101. SC’s RULE AND CARRERA’S DRULE!!!!!!!!!
inferiority complex?

Quote:
Coupe's rule, targa's drool! (and flex and twist and leak and squeek etc.)
(sc's of course)
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Old 01-22-2003, 12:05 PM
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Yo Leland,
I think we should agree to disagree about the coupe/targa thing, but the question is, what happened with the carbon fiber experiments?
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Old 01-22-2003, 12:16 PM
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answer to #95,

glass lense film

Another vendor (who is generally very overpriced) also carries this stuff precut to fit H5's and the Carrera flush style foglights.

Answer to the guage clicking and popping. The plastic guage faces expand/contract and rub against the shafts for adjusting the clock or the trip odometer. When this happens it clicks.

So you've got a targa! That almost redeems you for having a Semi Carrera

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Old 01-22-2003, 12:31 PM
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95. If you live in a place like Idaho, buy fog light lens in sets of three. I’m on my third one this year.

That was much less funny than any other sentence I can imagine that begins with "If you live in a place like Idaho..."

JP
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Old 01-22-2003, 12:33 PM
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What kind of metal works best for those shavings? Steel or brass? In a pinch, will steel bb's do?

Argo
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Old 01-22-2003, 12:34 PM
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Yhea! The bbs will nicely clean all the carbon deposit on your combustion chamber. But you would have to drop them thru the intake manifold.
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Old 01-22-2003, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Argo
What kind of metal works best for those shavings? Steel or brass? In a pinch, will steel bb's do?
metallic sodium has always been a favorite of mine...
Old 01-22-2003, 12:50 PM
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GREAT Post...by the way, aren't Targa's a Coupe that ran out of parts?
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Old 01-22-2003, 12:54 PM
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Great post Leland, I too read all 101 of them, guess I had to....I own a '79SC targa!
Old 01-22-2003, 01:15 PM
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