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Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Cape Girardeau, MO. USA
Posts: 17
New owner questions

I bought my first 914 today and know nothing about them. To check my mechanical abilities go to: http://homepages.msn.com/HobbyCt/johndandy/index.html
1.Battery tray and tray support gone, right front corner of engine down a little, some metal corroded away from right front area of area around engine, excessive toe-in and camber on right rear wheel. What's the fix?
2. No left seat adjuster. Is there supposed to be one?
3. With engine warmed up good the oil light comes on below 1000 RPM. Engine is full of good clean oil, don't know brand or type. No knock at idle or anywhere up to 3500 RPM. Oil pump? Bearings? Some 914 Quirk?
4. Sloppy gearshift lever. Bushings? Quirk?
The rest of the car seems to be in pretty good shape.
Old 11-07-1999, 06:39 PM
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1. Fix this by cutting off all of the rusted metal and welding in new stuff. This is the "dreaded suspension console rot", and it sounds like the part where the inner end of the trailing arm mounts has already broken off completely. Bad news. Chances are, if the suspension console rot is this bad, that you have rotten longitudinals as well. Check them very carefully, as they are the major fore-and-aft structure in the car. Screwdriver or icepick time--if that goes through, the panel needs replacing.

2. There is supposed to be a left seat adjuster. Early (70-71) cars had no *right* seat adjuster, because the seat was hard-mounted to the floorpan. The "loop" on the end of the adjustment handle (for fore-and-aft, not the tilt mechanism) often breaks off. The metal eventually fatigues and fails. You can still reach under where it was and push up on the tab. Replacement handles (plastic) are available from this site.

3. This is a sign of an old engine. The light comes on somewhere between 3 and 7 PSI. The owner's manual says that it is not unexpected for the oil light to come on while at idle with the engine warmed up. I personally think that's an indicator that the engine is pretty tired, and may need a rebuild in the near future. You can mount an oil pressure gauge, and if you're running <10 PSI per 1000 RPMs, that's a good sign that you should start saving a rebuild budget.

4. Sloppy shifting is a known quirk, particularly on pre-73 ones. But there's sloppy, and sloppy. Bushings will help, though not all slop can be eliminated. Things like (on a 73 and later car) the set-screws holding the rear shift rod to the rest of the linkage, wear on parts that go through the bushings, and other wear can also affect it.

This car sounds a lot like a basket case. It is going to take a lot of time and money to make it into a good driver again. From a quick look at your website, you may very well have the skills needed. (Do you weld? I couldn't figure that out--and you'll need to weld a lot on this one.) Good luck with it!

--DD
Old 11-07-1999, 07:40 PM
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Join Date: Jan 1999
Location: Duluth Mn USA
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One nice thing about the 914 is that any part you'll need will still be available. (unlike the honda or studabaker) Including a reproduction suspension console. Before You make any major purchases check out the supplier. Some are better than others. Can't really really go wrong here. Start by ordering the pelican parts CD Rom catolog. Their free! As is this BBS. At lease as long as we keep the crew at pelican parts in business. Keep us posted on your progress.

Cheers,
Old 11-08-1999, 03:05 AM
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Join Date: Nov 1999
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Thanks Rich. Strange you should mention two cars I have on my carport. A hopped up and customized 1976 Honda Civic 1200 I rebuilt 14 years ago and has been my daily driver ever since, and a 1962 Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk I bought new, it was my first car. For a look at them click on the URL in my first post and start working your way through. I'm still building the site.
Old 11-08-1999, 07:16 PM
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Regarding the oil pressure, don't take that too lightly. You should definitely put in a good oil pressure gauge, like a VDO. I also like their dual sender, that keeps the oil light working and gives you a sender for the new gauge all-in-one.

I would not drive the car if you are getting very low pressures (eg <10psi per 1000RPM, as Dave suggested). I ignored that once on an engine, thinking my gauge was bad (did not have the dual sender set-up, just a cheapy oil pressure gauge) and lived to regret it. Ate a rod bearing in the far curve at Morosso. Lucky I did not do worse, like throw the rod and puncture the case.

Now I run VDO gauges in my old cars, and believe them.

Good luck and welcome to the family!
Old 11-09-1999, 02:24 PM
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Thanks Pete. I can't drive it 'till I fix the major problem in my first post. Since the engine has to be out for that I'll gut it and have her ready for the long haul when it goes back in. I'm a "belly up" kind of guy. I always start at the belly of a project car and work my way up. Fortunately nearly all the topside work is already done. The DPO (Dumb instead of Dreaded) Previous Owner, didn't ever really inspect the car before dumping about 3 grand into, mostly, cosmedic items and lost his shirt, shoes, and ass on the deal. I spotted the problem while doing a walk-around, got on this site that night, doped it out, and bought the car the next morning. I'll remember your guage info and put it to use.
Old 11-09-1999, 06:08 PM
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