This post is about a wonderful 1971 Porsche 911T in Albert Blue. The car came to us from a recommendation from a Porsche friend. The owners brought the car to us for some basic service, but also the desire to make sure the car is good. As a Porschephile, I just love cars like this and I can get a bit silly about the details. Trish, the owner, was very connected with this 911T, because her father purchased it new in 1971 while based in Germany. Extremely cool and special. Unfortunately, Trish's father passed away several years ago, but she has a passion to keep and continue the car for the car.
After visiting for some time about the car, we recommended to do a safety inspection. Our inspection had a number of concerns, original fuel hose, timing chain tensioners, fuel leaking on the carburetors, older tires, and routine servicing. On top of the maintenance work, the owners were very interested in having the car detailed. After asking, who we recommend, well I know a few very good detailers, yet this is a Porsche and I'm a retired detailer. Honestly, I couldn't see anyone but us doing the preservation restoration detail.
I'm going to try and share some of the work and the process. The following is kind of a diary of what we serviced, what was changed or updated, and some before and after detail cleaning.
The car: Some photos of the car before we start working.
Underside and Mechanicals 6/4/18
Trunk - The trunk was nice, but was in need of clean up and care.
Engine service work. – Looking through past service receipts as well as inspecting the car, we knew it was time (pass time) for some service work. The list was not long, but the typical things; oil leaks, replace badly aged items, valve adjustment, oil and filter change, spark plugs, ignition points, new cap and rotor, and clean/detail the engine (repaint some engine tin).
Something that we don't see all the time. Original lower valve covers. These typically are replaced with the stronger and less prone to leak 930 valve cover. Because the car is so original and cool, we felt the original covers would be cooler to keep on the car. These covers typically leaked because they get over tightened and the gasket material was different back in the day. Today we have better options for gasket, and we can do some little tricks to reduce the likelyhood of valve cover leaks. There was a unique challenge with the removal of the covers. Over the years, in hopes of stopping the leaks, someone continued to tighten the nuts. This basically crushed the aluminum washers, which made removal very hard.
Timing Chain Tensioner - Back in the day, the failure of a tensioner was the end of driving pleasure. It was very common for a tensioner to relax and let the chain slip which would end in a very cost engine rebuild or worst case an new engine is needed. This car, because we didn't know it's history, the type of tensioner that was in the engine, and for the fact an updated oil feed tensioner was not on the car – we knew we had to remove the chain covers to find out. What we found was the "old school" method of turning an active tensioner into a "solid" tensioner. Only negative with these tensioners is they have to be mechanically adjusted. They have some spring to them, but do to wear they need some checking and tweaking about every 20,000 miles. The nice thing is they don't fail. The car has 78,000 miles. After seeing the stamped numbers on one covers, 58.8 – we know this isn't Porsche so we believe the mechanic that created the tensioner stamped the cover with the miles 58,800. Kind of a guess, but very likely. Thumbs up for the tensioners. The old school race car method is goo
Carburetors: 6/27/18 – First I have to say "WOW". These Zenith carburetors have never been messed with. The hoses are original the screw, bolt and nut heads show no signs of being touched. Sharp edges and no marks. Since it's been almost 50 years, I would say that is a testament to the quality of the Zenith carbs. The accelerator pumps were leaking and were not working as well as they should. SO replaced the accelerator pumps and cleaned out the bowls. Some junk, but not that bad.
Ignition system - The distributor is kind of unique on this Porsche. For a few years Porsche used Marelli distributors. A very good distributor.
The valve adjustment went well with only one exhaust valve being too tight. All valves were checked and adjusted for good measure. The oil was changed and then the engine was timed and the carbs were adjusted and sync. A short test drive and then back to work.
more to come...