My Porsche 928
This page is intended to be sort of a web log, and details things that have happened ever since I've bought my 928 S4 and later my 928 GTS. People may get the impression that there's always something wrong with a 928... I can safely say that I've never had a nicer and more reliable car that this one, and after 13 years of driving the 928 I still would choose the same car. It has its quirks, repair jobs and needs some maintenance and care, but is definitely not more (or more expensive) than other cars in the league, and certainly more enjoying to drive than most other cars on the market. Still love this car!
"In December 1999, I finally found what I had been looking for, for a long time. An advertisement in a newspaper announcing a 1988 Porsche 928s4 red Automatic for sale. At a reasonable price. The first thing to do is have a look, so I went down to Heerlen (in the south east of where I live: Holland). Talking about falling in love... what a baby. Nice condition, almost no bad spots on the paint (well polished... shit, probably little negotiating) looking great. No damage in the interior, but all audio was missing. The car looked crippled this way but never mind. Knowing my way in electronics it is probably just the cost of buying a new set. I'm going to make it a lot better than the original stuff from back in the 80's I guess. The rest looked really fine. Nice and clean. No smoker. The car was well cared for. This car is one of only 358 cars Porsche 928 that were imported into the Netherlands up until 2002.
Next was a test drive. Carefully on the motorway in Holland. They really are nasty on speeding. Taking the car briefly up to 200 Km/h and trying the kick-down. Everything seemed o.k. No obvious mechanical problems. Power was fine, and the A/T did a good job. But then the first set-back. What a disappointment to find that the car was not running idle as it should. It frequently stalled, and RPM fluctuated from 100 to 2000. That would be an issue. Take the risk, repairs minor? Finally it turned out that it did make a difference on the price I finally had to pay: they were aware something was wrong I presume and decided to sell the car right now. Good!
At home the first real round of fixing quite a few bad spots started. Installed the audio set. That was a bit of trouble because speaker lines seemed open. No connections to anything. On Greg Nichols web site I found that a booster was located under the right passenger seat cover. From there on is was easy. Also fixed some broken light bulbs, bad switches, ceiling cover, etc. etc. But then I was up for the idle problem. Might be a defective O2 sensor, or the idle stabilizer. Or is it just a vacuum hose that leaks?
Taking the air filter off only showed that this car is a little bit more complex than one would imagine. What the hell is all this stuff? I need to get up to speed on Bosch LH Jetronic fuel injection, Air Flow Meters, stabilizers, actuators dampers and regulators. Nice systems... when they work properly. Learning mode switched on. Lots of things to get on top of.
I discovered my first real problem: The engine consumed a lot of fuel without performing accordingly, and the Idle rpm was very poor. Pulsating from 2000 rpm to 0 rpm meant: totally out of control. Cold engine was fine however, but when warm it seemed still running as if cold. After checking all vacuum hoses for leaks, I decided the time had come to have a pro look at it.
When visiting J.J. de Bock, a Dutch local Porsche Service garage, they indicated that the engine is drowning in fuel. (and they were right: it was really taking 1 ltr/3 Km when driving gently). They replaced the MAF (Mass Air Flow sensor), tested all temp sensors, the Lambda sensor.... all seemed fine. But the CO level was however on an all-time high of 10%. Impossible to get it down to 0.4%-1.2% (specs). Would the Jetronic computer be faulty? Shittttttt , just one connector away from spending a lot of money on a new computer. But it worked instantaneously with the new computer! Nothing wrong anymore. CO level ? 0.5% Fine !!! Good for me, and my car.... bad for the wallet.
I can really recommend the service of Jos de Bock, he knows his Porsche business (see ad. on links page). Got a good deal for my new "brain" and I was on the road again. Happily ever after? ............
Jan 2000. All is well. Took the car out for a late evening ride on the German motorway. Does it really hit 270 km/h? I floored it, and quickly I reached 200, 220, 240, 250, 260...... boy never thought the scenery moved that fast. I knew this part of the motorway quite well, but decided to let it be for the moment. Waaaawwwww!!!! There was still power left to bring it up to probably 270, or 280 without hesitation. Maybe even more. Let's look at acceleration. 0-100km .... roughly 6 secs. If the AT did not hesitate before deciding to wakeup the horses it would be even faster. Braking..... 100-0km ? Cool ! But I'm going to use up my tires very very quickly this way. Let me take the horses back to the stables. I really never ever have been in a car like this.
I finally have time to look at small problems again. The right-hand window doesn't open anymore. Seems no power reaches the electro motor. A schematic would be helpful. It's too cold in the garage to work on it now. It will have to wait until spring. But then again... what the hell. It bothered me that it didn't work. I checked the switch. Ok. Followed the cables.. Ahhh, a connector was unplugged. Just plugged it in... and nothing happens. Seems to be an old problem of the PO. Unplugged the plug connecting the cables into the door. Checked the switched voltages: Ok. It seemed the electro motor was malfunctioning. I had to take the door apart, took out the mechanism, opened the motor, and yes: there was an "overload fuse" that was blown. Replaced, put everything back together, a drop of oil and grease while I'm in here, and finished the job by putting the door covers on again. Nice when a plan works....?
Feb 2000. Took the toy out for a ride on a nice Sunday morning. "Let's see what this baby really can do" I said to myself. Moved to the German motorway (no speed limit) and accelerated to, to, tooooooooooo: 285 kmh ! For a moment I thought it would reach to the end of the dial: 300. Unbelievable how nicely the car behaves at extreme speeds. I blasted a hole in the air when I passed a few other cars doing 120 kmh. I realized I should be a bit careful for the effects on other cars when passing at triple speed. Back to 120... back to the Netherlands...back to the stables.
he he.... what limit?
April 2000. One thing fixed, yet another to come. One of the cooling fans doesn't run... cause it is disconnected! Just connecting, easy fix? Forget it. It turned out one fan keeps blowing until out of electricity. I checked all possible switches and sensors since I now found out where they were . All were fine. Motor control unit defective. I had to replace the power stage (FET's blown). It's ok now. Next: fluid level in the steering reservoir is low. Just filled up with some ATF fluid. Must be a leak somewhere. Yes! It's dripping out of the steering rack hose. Shittt. Another one to go. While I was down there I tightened the crank belly pan screws. All were lose, and one apparently already started a life of it's own somewhere on the highway. So that's where the oil was coming from. The steering rack will be a bit harder: another challenge up ahead?
Mai 2000. Came back from Brussels. Next morning I had the morning after feeling: The battery was dead. No power at all. I was unable to charge it with my 10A charger. No other way... than to replace with a new one ;) . Next I had to go to the annual the inspection. I thought it would be an easy check. No way. The boots on the drive shafts were bad. Sorry, but that is a no-go. I'm sure I checked all boots when I replaced the outer right one two months ago. Anyway: order some new ones and replace (all three now) them. Sigh.... Finished a few days later. No big deal. Went off- and on very easily without cracking the wheel-nut or taking down the axle. Off we go again. What's next? Ohhh yeah, my steering rack leaks. Still dripping....!
June 2000. Another adventure. The air conditioning is needed when it is getting warmer in the Netherlands. And so this story started. Apparently there is cold and warm air blowing at the same time in my 928. The warm water valve's job is to close the entry of warm water to the heater body. And it's leaking! Now the air conditioning has to fight the temperature of the warm engine water. I thought I'd just take out the valve for the time being and replace with a new unit somewhat later this year. Everything was fine until... due to the pressure the closed hose started leaking, and the engine ran out of water. It took just moments until all cooling fluid was gone, and the engine temp increased rapidly up to max temperature. Thank God I was NOT speeding this time. A few moments later I was home, trying to cool down the engine on the outside with water, and new cooling fluid inside as soon as I could touch the [HOT] engine. I had to put the shitty water valve back in again to prevent this from happening again. I almost damaged the engine for a part of $30. Some meaningful words of wisdom... Don't try this!
July 2000. The heater valve (ordered in the USA) arrived along with other maintenance supplies. Replacing was a piece of cake. All was well with the car. I adjusted the cable slack in almost all cables. The AT is much more responsive now. As is the gas.
August 2000. Again one axle boot thorn! Now that I am getting experienced (and with the help of a family relative who has the right facilities) I replaced both left ones again. I made sure this time that there was not too much stress on the rubber. Hopefully that does the trick. I had some fun with a shiny BMW-7 series on the German motorway. With 160 km/h he was still a accelerating fast. But when he arrived at 210 he was already lacking power. I waved to him when passing at 250 (with a grin).
October 2000. I had a look at the fluid level of the tranny already several times before, and thought the time had come to do a full maintenance on the AT. I flushed the old ATF, and replaced the fluid and the filter. Looking at things, this was a good moment to do a good cleanup of the area. Also had a look at the boots.... and ... yep: they are fine now. Phew ! Also I had the front wheels off for an inspection and opened the wheel fenders for a cleanup and a peek inside. Found the charcoal filter (loosely hanging around, waiting to be attached again..), and the ABS system (now I know how it ties in). I was also looking for the valves that shutoff the headlight washers. One of them leaks a bit. Well: I didn't find them! Since the rainy autumn whether is coming up I used the occasional beautiful day to have the car out for a fun-drive. It makes you feel really proud to drive a beast like the 928.
November 2000. I know where the valves are, but they are hard to get to, so I will live with the problem for now. I did adjust the control pressure valve in the AT by one notch. The shifting is now more brisk. Also added 1/2 ltr of ATF fluid to match 20C level again. I drove the car today, and felt the urge to really feel the force again. Waaauwww, this car in unbelievable. It is so fast and stable the you feel so sorry that speed limits exist. I took the baby up to an easy 240kmh on the A40 motorway in Germany. Without even giving half throttle 240 seemed like a breeze for the car. Since safety is a priority I let go, and joined the others on a 130kmh drive back home. On another occasion I tested the ABS. Feels quite funny first time doing a full emergency stop. It's like the counter-pressure on the pedal suddenly drops. But braking.... holy sh**ttt. I guess that big tires and the large calipers do pay off. Stepped outside to have a look at the marks I produced on the road. Yes: It's definitely a good working 4 wheel ABS. I'm still impressed by this car.... every time......
February 2001. Now I've done it! The tranny is shifting badly from 2nd to 3rd. It is getting worse every day. Draining the ATF and replacing the filter in December did not solve the problem. Now I'm smelling the ATF fluid that's burned in the transmission. After making some inquiries, I know I will have to have it fixed by a professional. Dropped the car off at Jos de Bock in Heythuysen for a rebuild. He offered to also rebuild the steering rack for a fair price since he could not move the car from the lift anyway. I took his offer. A few days later the tranny came back with a box of obviously damaged parts. There was almost NO friction material left on the clutch plates. 1st Brake band, O-rings and seals replaced as well. It is running fine again. Firmer shift than ever. Good Job done by "de Bock" for a fair price. I can recommend them. Back on the road again.
March 2001. Good Sunday morning, clear skies, empty road, good driving whether. I just could not resist to see if all power that Porsche claims is still there. When driving the city streets this car is not at its best, but the real kick is "die AutoBahn". An impressive and personal record (for the both of us) was set at 290 kmh. I would think that insisting to push it even further would make the speed dial reach the scale-end: 300Kmh. What a beauty driving at this speed. Steady, stable, a bit noisy however. I could hardly hear the CD player desperately trying to be even louder that the combination of air, engine, and road noise. Words can not express what the adrenaline does to you. It is "Simply the best" as Tina Turner would say. Pity that this was not on the CD at the time. Anyway, a big smile stayed on my face for the rest of the day.
April 2001. Another drawback. Suddenly the steering rack started leaking. Again! Not a bit, but the ATF fluid started to poor out when turning the steering wheel. I took the driving belt off to avoid damaging the pump, and had to take the car back to 'Jos de Bock', where the rebuild in Feb.. took place. "Probably one of the seals or a Teflon ring that is blown", they stated. No problem... next day ready. At no cost at all. GOOD !!! That is a service one remembers.... Jos de Bock was the name.
May 2001. Oh no, again leaking at the steering rack. Phoned "Jos de Bock" and arranged to bring the car in. I had to take the drive belt to the steering pump off to avoid further damage. Now try turning the wheel... How's that for some exercise. So that is what they mean when they talk about power steering! They fixed it and did a complete rebuild again. Hope for the best now. I gave the car a nice treat with some new dino-oil and a filter. Thought she deserved this by now. Fixed the little fan on the dash as well. Apparently temperature expansion of the dash causes its plastic housing to break. I have covered it with a cap made from a speaker grill. Looks really ok. Did not cost a fortune this time. It's spring now, and the weather is nice and the sun is shining. So I take the car out for an exercise now and then. It (is it a she?) is in good shape now. Drives smoothly. Makes me proud every day.... still...
Jul 2001. The car needed a prep for the holidays. Brake pads were gone at the front, and needed replacing badly. Not the cheapest parts though. The wind plate in front of the windshield is broken. Not a big problem, but annoying. So I had to improvise to make it last through the summer vacation. Also new wiper blades were required. A bit anxious to see what the trip to Italy will bring next month.
Aug 2001. Time to do a story again. We had our holidays in Italy this year. The 928 brought us over the German Autobahn, Switzerland, and the Italian motorways to Loano. Driving the 928 on the Autobahn is just Perfect! Easy, smooth, stable, powerful, just as the Porsche 928 should. The motorway took us up-hill many times, where the enormous power of the 928 showed off. Taking the 928 up-hill at a speed of 160 kmh is no problem at all. Just kept it on cruise control, and relaxed. Most cars will have to get back into 2nd gear however, and see their speed drop to 70kmh. The Italian roads is a different ballgame. Unbelievable driving style on these <narrow> roads! Made me sweat sometimes. The 928 leaked a bit of oil. Not much, so no need to fill up. Just kept a close look on the dip-stick. Especially with the 40C temperatures the engine gets hot, and a drop of oil will be wasted from time to time. The trip back to the Netherlands was almost 1000km of rain. It started in Switzerland, and ended in Venlo where I live. This meant: keep the speed moderate and be alert. All went ok with us, but next to me I witnessed a crash in a tunnel. Now that is a moment to reflect! I checked all fluids back home, which showed that only the tranny needed a drop of ATF.
Sep 2001. Not much to say. I waxed the car, used moderate cleaner to refresh the paint surface and take away some stain spots. The car is really fine. I read so many reports of big maintenance cost that I think I must be a bit lucky. This car always runs, always sounds right, always uses too much fuel (did I say that) ... is just perfect! Sometimes people stop for a chat in a car parking or keep their eyes focused on the car when I pass by. Colleagues at work have various reactions. Some never expected me to drive such a car, others mention that I should have bought a 911. But the real pleasure is when someone recognizes that it is a 928, and knows what this baby is like. "This is a real Porsche Autobahn Cruiser" someone said in full admiration of the car. Or another one at the gas station: "I had a 911 turbo that I sold recently" he said. Now I have a 928 s4 which is such a pleasure to drive, that it makes me forget all about the 911. I drive the 928 just in the weekends. Its is such a shame to use it for regular driving". ...so... say no more.
Nov 2001. Time do some R&R again. The turn cancellation does not work correctly. Seems that a car of 260.000 DM should have a turn cancellation, so I bought a 27mm socket and fixed it. The PO apparently had the same problem, and tried to fix it with some duck-tape. Unbelievable this crap solution. And... it did not work. So I brought it back to standard, and modified the lever so that it worked again. Took the car for a ride to test the mod I made. It was quiet this morning, so I thought it's time to try something I wanted to try for a long time. Tony wrote sometime ago that pre-loading the automatic transmission, and then flooring the car gives a tremendous wheel spin. Ehhh...mmm.... Tony was right. As soon as the power reaches the rear wheels the car starts spinning, and creates a huge rubber-smoke before actually moving forward. You should have seen this.... As soon as the car picked up speed I decided to test the ABS (good to know it's all right). The massive 928s4 brake power kicks in, and the ABS engages. A second later all has come to rest. I know.... it's crazy, but this feels so goooood.
Dec 2001. I always wanted to do some work on the wheels. I decided to polish the center caps, and to paint them in the Porsche logo colors. Looks great. The caps shine like a mirror. I would love to do the rims as well, but know that when the snow comes the salt on the roads will oxidize the wheels so quickly that it will be impossible to keep them neat. So maybe I will stick to re-spraying and coating them again next year. The caps look really neat on the gray wheels.
Jan 2002. It is cold in Holland, well....sort of. I keep the car inside the garage as much as possible, but this is hardly the time to do repairs. The crank is leaking a bit of oil, so I'm watching the oil level carefully. Since I replaced the oil in April 2001 I have done about 10.000 km, and the level has sunken from top marker to halfway to the low marker. If I use up this little in a year, I think this old lady in still in very good shape. I will not add any oil yet, and think the next thing is the annual oil replacement. I have experienced the battery having a hard time to start the cold engine. It happens that all alarm lights stay on while the engine started. I left the car running for half a minute, and started again. All ok. Guess that low voltage can cause the electronics not to reset correctly. The battery is two years old, which is really ok for this type of car. It will probably last another year. The steering rack that caused a bit of trouble in 2001 is 100% ok now. No more ATF added since may 2001. Good! I took the car out for an exercise a few days back. Gently on the motorway until all was on the right temp, and off you go. The car actually feels faster when it is already at 3000 rpm. That's when you really feel the massive power it has to offer.
May 2002. time flies when you're having fun. The car is doing great. I planned to replace the Timing belt since I was unsure how many miles it had and did not want to take the risk of damaging the engine. I bought the parts at Jos de Bock (see links) and started off by arranging a decent working space. A brother in law has a garage pit which makes working from underneath so much easier. We took out the fan unit, loosened de water and oil lines, and took off covers and distributors. Removed the crank bolt which was not even so hard to do. The holy grail was there to see. The belt looked quite ok. It was not very old. We decided to replace the belt, water pump, idle roller, tensioner boot, and some minor parts. The pump was a very old type, probably due for replacing a long time ago. The tension of the old belt was way too loose. I had borrowed a tensioner tool, and brought the new belt up to spec. Car runs fine after this 1 day job. No difference in driving, but more peace of mind for me.
June 2002. my left window motor suddenly stopped with windshield fully open. I had to take on this job without delay. Well it has happened before, so this time I am getting to the bottom of it. I took the door panels off, pulled on every cable to locate any lose wires, and ended up taking the motor apart. Quite a bit of corrosion inside. Apparently water had entered, and the brushes were completely stuck. I fixed everything again, put it all back together, and voila: works like a charm again. While playing with the window and enjoying my obvious victory, I noticed that the backup-light did not work. I decided to take up this task as well since I was in a winning mood. I took the relay out, cleaned contacts, opened relay panel, checked for loose cables, and suddenly all worked again. I still wonder if the problem is solved by what did... or .... Anyway. As long as it works, and it is not catastrophic if it fails again. I checked the T-belt tension again. Without removing any hoses or fans. Just working in the narrow space but it can be done. Took an hour, but tension was near perfect. No stretch. Another job completed.
August 2002. its been some time since my last entry. Not that nothing happened though. Busy I guess. I was on vacation in Spain during July. Took the plane from Amsterdam airport to Malaga. Used the 928 to go from Venlo to Amsterdam, and parked the car at long term parking lot, late on a Friday evening. Made sure lights were off, checked again and again to make sure I did not make a stupid mistake. When I came back two weeks later, I was happy to see the car all in one piece, but as soon as I came to open the trunk, a big pool of oil started to attract my attention. It was 01:30 on a Sunday morning. I checked the ATF steering oil, the engine, brake fluid, coolant, jacked up the car, and checked the tranny. That looked bad. The pool was just under the tranny, and some drops were hanging on the bottom to indicate the source of the fluid. I checked again, and sure it was oil. I opened the oil reservoir at the tranny to check, but oil was in there. Sure it looked enough. I decided to start the engine, and see what the fluid level would like when the engine was running. No power from the battery. Nice. So I had someone jumpstart my car, and carefully drove to a gas station, asking the obviously stupid question: do you have ATF oil, and any small pump device to pump up the oil into the tranny? I bought the oil, even though I had no idea how to get the oil into the tranny. Anyway, I drove very carefully, making sure I had the tranny in 4th gear as much as possible (straight line, less friction and damage). All went fine. Tranny worked as always. Next morning I jacked up the car again and checked the tranny, prepared for the enormous loss of ATF. I added 100ml ATF to the tranny, and decided it was enough. It was full. So........ lessons learned..... always trust your 928, and expect someone else to have lost the oil. Oh yeah.... and get a decent new battery. 3 Years is about it.
October 2002. Not all goes well with the car. The turn signal lever acted a bit strange. Felt sloppy. Sometimes the turn cancellation did not work, and suddenly the turn signal lever did not stick in position. Then I got high beam on when pushing the lever, or I could not get it to shut the indicator lights off again. Some surgery learned that it is all internal. You can't open the assembly without risking a total disaster. One thing is clear: something is broken inside, and gets stuck between the parts that are still ok. I need a new one. I will open it up later to see what was really causing this. I bought a used part from Tebernum. Took just 15 minutes to replace, and another 30 minutes to do some surgery on the old part to find out what was really causing the erratic behavior. Beyond repair... luckily.
November 2002. My rear brake pads were showing wear, and after some close inspection, I decided to get some new ones and replace them before the sensor breaks which then indicates that they need replacing. I also started to have a nasty squeal every time I used the brake. I bought some NK pads off e-bay for a friendly price, and put them in. Even though specs say these are ok for 928 S4-GTS, the are actually a bit oversized. I had to use the grinder to cut off 2 mm from the metal base plate of the pads to make them go in and out easily. I do want to get them out again sometime. Dirty job that took about 3 hours, but the test drive made up for all of this. Braking was same or better, no squeal anymore. If you stack the pads on top of each other, and compare new and old piles... you will be amazed how much material has been transformed to dust.
December 2002. Winter climate has shown in previous years that my summer tires and the heavy powerful 928 are not a good match. Its been slippery and tricky all winter. Especially since this is my daily driver I was looking for some winter wheels and tires to swap before the winter season. I found some on eBay for a decent price. So I bought this nice set of 911 Cup wheels that do fit nicely on my 928. They were ET55/ET70 spec so they fit with rear 18mm spacers. Now ... let it snow...let it snow....
January 2003. The cold season in passing on very quickly this year. Its about 5 degrees C, and that's fine for a Shark. The heating in the interior is not doing perfect. The foot well flap seems to be non-functional, and a brief study explains why. The vacuum actuator is leaking, and not engaging the flap to open. Now why is this actuator placed in such a difficult spot? I noticed that the actuator has been worked on before, and the thought came to my mind that I has been like this for a long time already. Anyway, I disconnected the lever that opened the flap, and put it in middle position. At least it takes care of my cold feet now. This will be my next project as soon as the temperature rises again.
March 2003. The springtime announces itself, and the time is about right to do some work on the car again. I haven't got a vacuum pod yet, so that will have to wait. I finally got my hands on the chime unit. Normally if you leave the lights on when you leave the car a warning sound is heard.... but not on a euro Porsche 928. The US version was equipped with a chime unit. I got a chime-relay from eBay for a decent price. The Porsche part is bloody expensive! Fits nicely after you found the right socket to put it in... took me 2 tries and an hour studying the schematic plus testing the unit for failure. Sigh.. its sooo easy. I cleaned and temporarily fixed the fog-light, since water was entering the mounting box, making everything moist or even wet. The box had one broken off bolt-bracket. Apparently someone (not me) tried excessive force to open it. I put in a long bolt to hold the light assembly firmly to the box, but must say that this is not a proud fix. I definitely need a new mounting box to close this one up nicely. Next was the windows switch on which the print had faded. I just replaced the switch-lid since the switch itself was perfect. It was also time to swap shoes again: I put the summer tires back on. They should still be ok for another season I suppose, even though the rear has worn a bit. What can you expect? They wont last forever! Oh yeah... hmmmm... I found a bit of coolant under the car. Not dramatically, but it did give some cause for concern. Apparently the thermostat to reservoir hose has deteriorated, and some water jets ejected when the hose was under pressure. Again: its from 1987, so what can you expect. I replaced the hose with a fresh one. Should be ok for another 15 years.
April 2003. Oh oh... its not the hose that leaked: the radiator is leaking and causes more and more coolant loss. I had to take the radiator out to have it repaired which was obviously impossible (always lucky, I am...) so I ended up with a new core unit and an empty wallet. Actually it was not all that bad. But the coolant never ages if I keep replacing it in this pace. I already had some maintenance stuff sitting in the garage: 3Ltr 5w30 Synth Oil, 10 Ltrs Mobil Oil. So I bought an Oil filter and since things were accessible I did the annual engine maintenance. The oil still looked very good still. Anyway: fresh oil for the engine to enjoy and a beer for me. Today I was in Germany when the 928 showed its excellent class again: While driving at 50 kmh in the urban area and enjoying the music of Dire Straits I was suddenly triggered by a car that was coming from a parking lot on the left side of the road and clearly failed to see the approaching shark. I hit the breaks firmly, turned the steering fast right, fast left again, and luckily I did not hit anything. The guy in the other car was so impressed by the 928 behavior that he started to brake when the incident was almost over... The 928 is really perfect in handling these situations. I kept full control and steering these emergency maneuvers seems like a breeze for the 928. I did not even upset the car ;-). My hart was still kicking in my throat when the other driver came to thank me and (of course) complimented me on the 928. I don't think that any car I've previously owned would have performed this act without damage.
June 2003. Its happening again: the steering rack is leaking ATF fluid. It needs attention. The 928 has started to pick up the old habit of marking the territory. I phoned Jos de Bock to see if they could offer a replacement rack at a decent price. While inspecting the problem it turned out that both sides were leaking severely indicating a possible bending of the steering axle. Taking that the previous repairs were not very successful he was willing to help out and replaced the rack for me at a fair price. At least the oil leak stopped. Makes me feel a lot happier since I'm planning to drive the car to Austria later this summer.
Aug 2003. Ok, we went to Austria. Its always a bit of a hassle to stuff all the luggage into the car, but I keep reminding myself that a 911 never would have had room for 3 adults plus luggage. Amazing how much space this sports car has to offer. I drove 2500 km and the car did just great. The 928 likes the autobahn. Its a strange feeling when the road goes uphill and turns into 3 lanes to allow slow traffic movement. The 928 moved along easily in the left lane with cruise control on, and I did not even realize that the cruise control just corrected a bit to keep the required speed: 140 km/h where other cars shifted down to second gear. Hohum... The car behaved very well in the mountains too. Its a fat car though, and the sometimes narrow Austrian mountain roads sure made me a bit nervous. It was a great vacation, and despite of the 15 years age of the car, all went perfectly well. Just before the vacation I bought some additional maintenance parts to complete my plan for 2003. After the vacation the parts had arrived and I did the job. The new air pump filter was obviously not making any difference, the spark plugs did not make any difference (although I did expect something) but... the new air filter however did make the engine breathe again. Just incredible. The car just recovered from serious asthma..... it has more power, and feels more responsive too. I'm unsure if it was because of the clogged filter that I replaced, or the new Jamex Sports filter really made a difference in performance. Jamex claim 850 cfm where a normal filter makes 400 cfm *K&N is rated at 600. Now since the 928 is a real engine, it does a lot of breathing.
Sept 2003. Well, all goes fine at the moment. I did take off the front wheels and inspected the wheel bearings. Especially since I knew some play could be felt. The bearings looked nice and clean, and I decided to repack them, and put them back. I adjusted the bearing clamp so that there is very little pre-pressure on the bearing but no play anymore. It turned out to be a job of just 30 mins to do both sides. I was surprised that it was so easy. The steering rack isn't leaking anymore but it needs replacing because of too much play at the rods. I can really feel a distinct clunk when turning the wheel back and forth. Its still under warranty, and the shop has agreed to replaced it (again).
Oct 2003. I made an appointment with Jos de Bock to have him redo the steering rack. It turned out that the rack had too much play at the pinion pressure piston, and replacing the part was an easy fix. Also the steering coupler had a bit of play so he replaced that as well. Very good service!! I also got a vacuum pod for the foot well flap from him. I decided that since this repair was long overdue, I'd do it straight away. That was not an easy fix. Turned out I was ripping most of the dash apart to get to the leaking pod, and had to improvise a bit. But the new pod works well and a few hours later all was back in place for a test drive. Or should I say test-spin? Well anyway. I did test the pod, and had it up to 230 km/h for a test. Does not make any sense, I know, but it was great fun again. (ha ha)
Dec 2003. It's already December and it was time to find myself in trouble again with the 928. I had to go somewhere and just when I started the car the lights in the dash started to act crazy. It has happened before and normally I just turn off the engine and start again. This time the reset-problem stayed. It became even more weird when I used the turn signal. The lights did work but the oil pressure instrument jumped up and down all the way with every blink of the light. The speedo did not show any speed, the alarm light stayed on, or switched places with the turn signal light. Any way: it did not make any sense. It took a few moments before I decided that it just had to be a broken fuse. After some checking the nr. 10 was gone. No idea why. I swapped it with a good one and all is still fine. Must be the cold. It's become so cold that I swapped the tires again. The winter tires have a lot softer compound and they make a huge difference with the summer tires. The summer rear tires are badly worn and have become noisy. I definitely need other tires next year. Note to my self: the road noise is really tire-noise and not from the rear bearings! Despite of what it sounds like !! Really !!
Jan 2004. Things are going great. Did I mention that I'm still running that old battery? Yep: I charged it again and it works ok. So the new one is on standby. I'm Dutch you know ;-) I had yet another small problem with the car. The door lock stopped locking properly. It locked but immediately cycled back to unlock. I could not leave the car anywhere this way, so I had to take action right away despite of the cold. The door lock mechanism has a mechanical lock feature that somehow was engaged while the door lock mechanism was in the unlock position. This way the lock was blocked, and due to the inability to lock it cycled back to open again. Taking the mechanism apart and reassembling it made the problem disappear. Still have no idea what made it lock-up internally. It seems to happen since I once read on a website about the same problem. It took half an hour, so it was an easy fix.
Mar 2004. The temperature is rising slowly so the time has come to do some maintenance. Actually there's another reason to do this: the valves are clattering like hell. I've been given advice to use synthetic oil and see if the noise will go away. After I recently had a problem that a valve-tappet was stuck I decided the time was right. I had already bought the oil and acquired a new filter so the job was ready to go. It takes about 2 hours of which most goes into mounting the damn cover plate again. I hate this. I also decided to mount the summer tires again, and had to spray the rims once more. They started to look horrible, and honestly: the last spray job I did was not really superb. This time it came out perfect. Now I'm running my worn Marshal Tires again. I'm going to replace the rubber now. Its due anyway, and won't pass the next inspection. Haven't decided what brand to take.
Apr 2004. The time has come to get new tires on the car. Rears are worn, fronts are still about 5-6mm. The rear tires do make lots of noise and its getting unpleasant to drive them when it rains. I decided for Hankook Ventus K102 after some study on the internet and thus choose a mid-class tire with very good recommendations. Kumho 712 was my second choice. I'm very satisfied with the tires. Its too early to give a complete feedback, but first impression is great.
Sept 2004. The summer passed on too quickly, and we see the first leaves already falling again. The 928 is doing great, and except for the drips from the tranny all is fine. I suppose a new tranny seal couldn't hurt. The Hankook tires are fine if you consider grip and behavior, but it still feels like they are not balanced properly. I need to have that verified again. Because it was some time ago already I decided to spend an hour or so checking the timing belt for correct tension and damage/wear. It can be done by moving the distributor out of the way, leaving the cables on, and taking off only the left cover. Its tight, and you need small hands, but leaving all other stuff in place speeds up the job considerably . Tension was fine, as was the belt itself. No adjustments made. I checked the distributors too for wear, and decided not to replace them yet but leave them in. I used a dremel tool to clean the contacts which looked ok to me. It should last another year. The sparkplug cables needed a bit of routing change: when the engine was running and it was dark you could see one of the cables bridging to the water hose, loosing spark power. Moving them a bit up solved the problem. I had the car out for a spin a few days ago, and still love that feeling when you blast from 0 to 170kmh and then still have one gear left to take it one step further. Its a shame it was too busy on the road. I reduced to 130kmh and joined the flow. We don't want any accidents. Some days later I decided that another thing needed attention. I've been annoyed by the defective gear indicator lights in the dash pod. The P, D, and 2 don't work. Its the bulbs all right, so I decided to replace all 6 tiny bulbs at once. Two of the illumination were also bad, so those needed to go too. It turned out to be quite a bit of work. Not very difficult, its just that you will have to take everything apart to reach the little bastards. It took two evenings to finish, but they do work now. One is actually green.... never new that! I found that the fog light does not work when I was checking everything. Maybe a fuse. I will see to that later. One little surprise of the PO was found: the 100.000 km indicator is fixed with a piece of gum. That makes me think I will have to assist whenever I hit 200.000 ! It will never get there by itself. The car has a good record of inspections that do show consistent km readings, so any changing of the tacho is highly unlikely. Maybe something inside is damaged and fixing it turned out to be the perfect solution.... Ho hum.... I left it this way.
Nov 2004. Its gettin' colder again and soon I will be swapping the wheels for the winter outfit. First frost and snow was seen already. The car is driving and behaving just great. I read a lot of stories about the horror and grief some have with their 928, and about others telling me that its just fine. I personally think the 928 is a great car, has not disappointed me much (if at all), and provides the "fun-to-drive" anyone would love to have. Its a nice stable, fast, and easy performance car. That's for sure. Besides the fuel consumption, which is what you might expect, the 928 is not really expensive to drive or maintain. I have a log on my web to keep track of things. Today I gave the 928 a little spin again. Not horribly fassstt but its definitely ok. 0-100 kmh in just over 5 secs or so is not bad at all.
Dec 2004. The time has come to put on the winter tires again. Its again softer, smoother, less noisy than the summer tires. I keep getting surprised by this, and seem to get used to it very quickly. The car runs great at the moment. The valve chatter has decreased a bit and seems ok now. I've modified both EZK as LH controller. That does make a difference, as it appears now. Anyway, maybe more on that later. The footwell flap vacuum pod is leaking again. I put in a used one, and have now decided to buy a "proper" one. Its soo much hassle to replace. I also checked the vacuum system since I now bought a Mityvac and checked the brake booster vacuum system. It is 100% ok, no leaks as far as I can see. Its now 5 years that I own the car, and must say its still a very good deal to me. I still like the car a lot, its my only car and drive it every few days. Its not ever let me down so far. Some minor repairs and a few big ones, but all in line with a car that is already 16 years old and has done 195.000 km.
Jan 2005. Sometimes its the small things that make a difference. I have owned the car for over 5 years now, and form the very beginning on the door support has been failing. As soon as you open the quite large doors of the 928 to get in or out, it slams close again. Especially if you're parked on an tilted surface. I got two new door support units from Jos de Bock, and decided to replace both sides. The one at my wife's side (passenger) was the worst, and my wife started hating the 928 for it. It was not too much work, but the door panel needs to be dismantled again. Since this was not the first time, I was doing all-right. Took 15 mins to replace the door support, and one hour to put the liner back. I also addressed the window-rattling at the driver side (a small tie-wrap does the trick) and replaced the window motor at the passenger side. That window motor made an unpleasant sound when running, and I was fearing that it would fail soon, leaving the window open again. I had previously bought two complete sets of window-lifters on ebay for a very decent price. The fix was quick and easy since the door liner was off already. Works like a charm now.
March 2005. Its been getting warmer again, so time to get the summer rubber on the car again. I had problems with the summer tires ever since I bought the new ones last year. At a speed of 120kmh a vibration is noticeable that increases at higher speeds and fades a bit at 150kmh. Since I had the tires checked twice already I thought its time to have another shop have a look at it before mounting them. And yes: one front tire was a bit off, but the other one was quite different... turned out the tire wasn't properly seated. Phew. You don't want a blown tire because of this stupidity. They fixed it and now its really 100 % ok. Problem solved, and chosen a different tire-shop from now on ;-) The annual event of changing oil was up again, so I got some good oil, a filter, and geared up to crawl under the car again. Its not so bad, but a lift would come in handy now and then.
April 2005 The time has come to cross one more item off my list of things to do. I have been wanting the opportunity to use a garage lift for some time now. Inspecting and adjusting the Flexplate tension (Torque Tube) was on my list, but a garage lift would make this so much easier that I waited. A friend (thanks Marinus) offered me the opportunity and we put my car on the lift, took off the exhaust, flywheel cover, and checked the tension. The flexplate mount slipped back 2-3mm on the splines when I released the clamp. A lot more than I expected, I would say. Apparently a lot of force has built up from the twisting (lengthening) of the Torque Tube and pushed heavily on the crank. It was quite a bit of work, even though the actual pressure relief took only 2 seconds. Seems I saved the Thrust Bearing and thus prevented eminent engine disaster. This was also the moment to install the new aluminum engine cover. It was a tight fit, but its on. Next time I may need to increase the slots a bit ;-)
Later that month I thought the time had come to also install the two new distributors which I bought some time ago. Its not difficult to do, just takes a bit of patience because of the small area you're working in. Car seems to run more smoothly when Idling in front of a red light.
May 2005 I had a day off from work, so I decided to start the repairs on the footwell flap. I've done this before, and know its quite a hassle. Last time it took me almost the complete afternoon. But since it was raining outside.... and I started off with that feeling that all will go well. It did actually, until I thought to try out my recently acquired Mityvac vacuum pump. The footwell pod leaked a bit, but just a bit. It made me wonder if the leak was caused by the rubber membrane at all. But just for the heck of it I tried the comb flap actuator. Bad news. It was leaking like crazy. Must have been like this for ages already. I did not have another spare, so I tried something completely different. Since us Dutch guys ride a bike quite often, I have a bike tube repair kit at hand. I made a small patch, glued it on the leaking membrane, and let it cure. Then after closing things again, all seems reasonably ok. It's a cheap fix, and I hope it will last, but at least the comb-flap actuator is not so difficult to get at. I had a real good look at the defective footwell membrane, and can't see any obvious leak spots. Nevertheless it does leak, and therefore I did replace it with a new one to make it last for another 100 years ;-) And yes, lot's of cool air blowing again!!! Another mark on my to-do list!
June 2005.... I had a nasty squeal for a few days. Irritating to be honest, seems to be suspension related. Looked in very much detail at the hatch lock, but could not find its cause... until I inspected the suspension. First of all I had the impression that Camber of the right rear wheel was way off. The more I looked at it the more I thought this is not right. Anyway. But that was not causing the sounds. The drop link was bent real bad. Bare metal touched the torsion bar, and caused the squeal. I took the part off, looked for a decent replacement, and ended up bending it back in shape. Worked rather well I must say, but I'd rather have a new one. One of those adjustable types ;-) Now the camber setting... hmm.... I decided to take a carpenters level and made it similar to the left side. Easy enough. Strangely the steering wheel position changed a few degrees, indicating that the car's position had changed. Driving is still the same, can't see any difference, but it feels better (emotionally). Took the car out for a nice early Sunday morning spin on the motorway in Germany. Bloody fast it still is. I hit 280 for a brief moment and then let it cool down. <Man that's fassssst>. Today I replaced the brake fluid of my 928. It's been 6 years that I have owned this car now, and sure enough the fluid has never been replaced. The interval is 2 years, so I'm way behind on this. Its not difficult to do, takes about one hour. I bought 1Liter ATE DOT4 brake fluid, and it takes almost all of it to do the job. Braking performance did not change at all. Older brake fluid tends to boil earlier due to water absorption, which is not good under heavy braking so its good to have this on specs again.
Aug 2005.... Just before holiday in July I decided to have the AC repaired. It did still work, but I knew pressure was low and sometimes I experienced the clutch not engaging at all. I could see a clear leak at the compressor return line. When the system was hot I noticed bubbles exiting at the rubber-steel coupler. The system was still on R12 gas, the dreaded "freon". After some investigation I found a shop willing to replace the gas with R12 which is not completely legal I believe, and fix the hose. I made an appointment and brought the car. Turned out things were more complicated than they expected. They fixed the return line but had to weld on a new fitting, so it was quite time consuming. I paid the bill after telling them to stop investigating an electrical problem the car seemed to have. I know probably more of electrical 928 stuff than they would ever do. Took the car home knowing that no working fans would easily blow the AC system when it gets hot and over pressurized. Finally I hit on the "strange relay located at the climate controller" problem the PO left for me. After some investigation it turned out that the relay switched off the controller...and the AC fans too. Even when the AC was working. Not a good idea. I disabled the system, drove the car for a few weeks without experiencing any problems and then deleted the modification. What were they thinking when they did this mod? Anyway, another PO surprise eliminated. .... Now the nose flaps are working properly again too. What can I say ... We were on vacation in July, and had the car over to Amsterdam Airport again. I was a bit worried to run into problems again as happened in Aug 2002. So I took a spare battery along, some ATF, a filling device to get the ATF in, and some tools. All not needed, and as it turned out the car started right away, ran perfectly, did not lose any oil, and brought us back home without any problems. Its a good car! Perfect ending of a perfect holiday.
On another subject: I have a leaking comb-flab actuator again. The fix was quite temporarily I'm afraid. I ordered a new one at Jos de Bock. I'm definitely done with quick-fixing these actuators.
Sept 2005.... I got the vacuum actuator now, and decided to repair the leaking one straight away. Its a nasty job. Not that its difficult, but you need to remove almost the complete center console, and still have a hard time putting the new membrane and arm in. The problem is not even putting the membrane in, but hooking up the lever to the flap arm in the center-vent is a nasty frustrating job. After an hour of attempting without having a clue where the arm was, I decided to drill a hole next to the actuator and look at what I was doing. It did help a bit, and suddenly it clicked. It fixated on the center-vent flap arm and I gently put all back together. Fresh air is a lot better now, better free air flow, and the vacuum leaks have diminished. The console controls work like a charm again. Phew, I know why Jos just smiled when I picked up the vacuum pod: he knew what a nasty job it would be. A funny thing happened to me the other day... I was at a Post office, and when I tried to start the car nothing happened. No starting. I checked the gear lever for the starter lock-out, verified the alarm remote control, pushed and wiggled the relays, and suddenly it started again. Went home without problems wondering what may have happened. Couldn't find any cause. A few days later it happened again, now at a shop close bye. I was a bit puzzled, but it seemed that the alarm relay blocked the main power relay. It dawned to me that the battery at the remote unit did light a red activity led, but maybe that just wasn't enough....maybe it didn't trigger the alarm-off. I kept a spare battery and small screw driver in the dash. Put that new battery in now and voila... it works again without problems. Batteries do die you know ;-) I bought a new spare for the dash box right away, just to be prepared again. Nice, these simple repairs ;-)
Okt 2005.... Sometime ago I replaced the ECU programs with modified ones. I put the original programs back today, and must say I'm a bit fuzzy about the results. The modified chips have a more diligent response, seem brisker. The idle rpm is raised and max rpm too. Since I have an auto tranny, I did not like the raised idle rpm, as it keeps engaging the torque converter too much and heating things up. But the real reason for putting the original chips back is pre-detonation. I experienced a lot more knocks with that chipset, and feared the engine will suffer. Therefore I have been very gently when accelerating, trying to prevent the knocks. That was not what I had in mind. Hohum... back to basic again ;-) Checked all fluids again. All seems fine today. Did I mention that the power steering does not use a drop of oil? And engine oil usage? None. Wonderful !!
Nov 2005.... Its finally happened. The Odo need to go to 200.000 km and it doesn't. I knew this problem existed ever since I noticed the little gum attached to the first digit. I took the instrument cluster out again, fixed the first digit, and decided to check the voltmeter too. The voltmeter still did not work properly despite of my earlier attempt to make it "always" work and "always" indicate the right voltage. I took the instrument apart, cleaned contacts, oiled it and calibrated the new potentiometer to match my Fluke77 digital voltmeter. Put all back together, and after a struggle with a partially loose connector on the backplane all started to work again. I now enjoy the voltmeter showing what's happening. It has not ever been like this, ever since I have owned the car. Took the car out for a fun drive. 260 km/h was a breeze. What a car. Yummie.
Dec 2005.... The month was quiet. We had some real winter so I mounted the winter wheels and tires again. Must be careful not t exceed the max speed with these tires. The car performed well, but one thing has started to bother me again: I hear the engine chattering a lot while cold. I noticed that running the engine a little at 1200 rpm slowly shuts down most of the noise but I'm tempted to think its tappet wear, thick oil problems, or a return valve that needs cleaning. I've never looked inside the valve cover so that must be on the agenda in spring. See if any wear is visible and clean that return valve. Anyway, all is ok, and we smoothly went into another year. Its been the 6th year that I drive this car now, and it still pleases me to just go off and drive around in this car. Love it.
Mar 2006.... The winter was long and cold this time. Not that much snow however. Anyway, the car did well and I only worried a bit about noisy lifters during the warm up cycle. Its ok as soon as the oil is on operating temperature. I will see what an oil change will bring in spring. For now I'm extra careful when the engine is cold and try not to go past 1500 -2000 rpm. I swapped to the summer tires again, and that feels good. Firmer and more responsive than the winter tires. I hit the autobahn a few times to see what 240km/h felt like again, and its still a big thrill. Seems like the car enjoys speeds over 200 and we have that in common. The rear suspension arm needs a bit of work. I bought two used arms including good looking rubber bushings so that I can swap one arm. It looks like one bushing is loose in the right upper arm, allowing for too much play. So that's on the menu on the next time I'm having a garage lift available. Maybe the transmission needs a drop of oil again as getting from 2nd to 3rd gear is a bit harsh and delayed. Its ok when warm, indicating maybe a low level of fluid.
April 2006.... For the first time I was a bit scared with the 928. The engine started to make a strange "hollow" resonating sound and vibrated at 2000-3000 rpm. I had a pro have a look at it and it was diagnosed as a bad engine mount unless.... there's something else. I did an oil change and an oil filter ectomy. No bits or signs of serious wear in the filter. A bit of sand-looking stuff in the oil though. Not 100% certain what it is. The engine turns a lot nicer already and valves are not that noisy anymore. The resonating sound has almost diminished and so has most of the vibration. Can't really believe the oil change did all that. But the remainder is the mounts that need replacing. I noticed the driver side steering boot torn a bit. That needs urgent repair. Maybe I will combine it with the mount replacement. A few days later I attacked the rear suspension arm again. I tried this twice already and decided today is the day. Taking the nut off at the rear cross member was easy, getting the nut off at the wheel hub was easy, but I needed to make more room to take the arm off from the stud which required taking the damper out. That was a bit more difficult as the 22mm nut would not release too easy. Then the hard work started. It took me 1.5 hours just to get the bolt out of the rear arm at the wheel hub side. Aluminum to steel oxidation. Not giving up leads to success I suppose. The arm is in now. Phew. One other task done on my list. I checked the brake pads on the front brakes. They are down to 3 mm so they have another year to go. Discs will have to wait too ...
May 2006.... Nice weather again, time for a spin on the Autobahn. I've done this so many times now, in the last 6,5 years, and still enjoy what this car can do. Wonderful to drive at normal speeds, big fun (grin) to accelerate to high speeds and do fast corners. I sometimes do wonder what makes this car so special to me, and when I drive it again I know. It's Porsche, and the know ... no other way. Excellence is expected. That must be it !! I had a little fun drive with a challenging BMW Z3. A light car, ok, but not any competition for the 928. Sadly the owner did not know that .... LOL. It was so embarrassing. The engine is really low in the bay, and it seems to hit the bottom cover which really annoys me. I need to replace those mounts I guess. Today it was dry weather for a moment, so I decided to have the shark out for a fun drive. A VW golf tried to outrun me. Man, that one was really fast. But at 250 km/h he had to confess the 928 was even faster. I managed 280 km/h on the dial for a short time, and let go. I want to live longer that just that run ;-) Love that car. F@#$ing unbelievable what it can do at those speeds.
June 2006.... Things are going good. I prepared the car for the annual inspection, and replaced the steering rack boot at a friends workshop. Setting the wheel alignment was easy since I made a laser pointer tool to calibrate the steering back to its original toe-in position. Worked fine. The job was relatively easy. Later in June we did a car-bottom wash and degreased the bottom side. Gave it a Tectyl coating so it looks like new now. I modified the engine bottom cover since it was vibrating a bit and hitting the torsion bar. Feels good now. The AC was used quite a few times now, and I must say that it is cold now. So cold that you have to re-direct the airflow away from your body.
Sept 2006.... I've been to Leuven in Belgium a few times since our son started his study at the Leuven University of Medicine. Car done remarkably well. It is a wonderful car to drive. Cruising along the Belgium highways. Not too fast, but nice and easy. Fuel economy is nice too if you drive like this ;-) The AC could be better. That may need some attention again some day. I'm considering to replace the S4 with a nice GTS I've seen. Wonderful car. Makes it hard to keep my favorite S4, but there is only room for just one.
Okt 2006.... I've made up my mind. The time has come to say goodbye to my S4. Its been a wonderful car that has served me very well in the past 7 years. The new owner will get a car that has only minor problems and will not be a money pit. I've invested in this car quite a few hours to make it like it is now and it makes it hard to say goodbye. Sad moments up ahead..... But a wonderful GTS will take its place. Can not think of a more adequate and worthy replacement. Like my wife said: you will always regret selling the 928 unless you buy another one. There is no substitute ;-)
Nov 2006.... The GTS has finally arrived and replaced the 928s4. A 1992 928gts midnight blue. The car looks awesome, drives superb and feels even nicer than the s4. More quiet due to better sound isolation. Not exactly much faster than the s4, but that is still hard to tell. The road behavior is definitely better that the s4. Maybe due to the new Koni's that were fitted by the PO. The car is more luxurious, that is quite clear to me. All kinds of features like full Raff leather, sunroof, two heated lumbar support seats, PSD, and a Becker navigation radio. Anyway: I love the car already. The dash has a outside temp reading that insisted that it was -40C. First repair was to make it work. Couldn't get the mirror glass off no matter how hard I tried. I spent at least 3 hours trying until I finally decided to remove the complete mirror. That was easy and it took 10 minutes to repair the sensor and fit the mirror again. It is +7C now which seems ok to me.
Dec 2006.... Ok, not all is perfect. The GTS, like the S4 and the GT, has a resonance valve inside the intake. The "flappy" as it is often called. Well, it is supposed to go active at 3000rpm or so, managed by the LH ecu and actuated by switching vacuum to a actuator. The valve doesn't work. After some serious troubleshooting the cause is simple: not enough vacuum due to a severe leak. The footwell flap under the dash is leaking badly and needs replacing. It is a nasty job since the dash needs to be taken apart. Ok, so that's my next task. I ordered the actuator at P&P.
Jan 2007.... I have the parts but it is too cold to work on the car. No hurry. I released the lever from the footwell flap so that is open at all times, and moved the dash lever to the up position to shutoff vacuum to the footwell flap. That works fine for now, and vacuum is restored. Driving the car is great. Just great! I put on the winter wheels, so I may not go top speed, but acceleration alone is a feast in itself. Waauwww. Smooth and agile. It is a joy to drive and I'm very proud of this car. I get comments of how big it really is when you're driving behind the GTS. It is huge and awesome !!!!
March 2007.... Time to mount the summer tires already. Weather is nice and warmer than usual. So the shark can be made ready for more fun driving. A had a hard time getting one of the wheel locks off. Again this worried me as sooner or later this will happen when I have a flat tire. I decided to bin that lock and put a proper wheel nut in its place. There's no point in stealing 3 wheels I suppose. One thing that bothered me is the bent rear reflector. Many 928 GTS have this issue which is caused by mating two kinds of plastics with different expansion characteristics. I decided to drill two little holes in the rear behind the reflector, and glue two long bolts to the reflector to pull it straight. After some time I hope the reflector starts the adjust to this permanent force and straighten out. After experimenting with different glues I think I have one now that holds tight.
April 2007.... Due to busy times I did just drive the car without any repairs. Always a pleasure to drive this car. I tried to fix that footwell flap but found myself in time problems as the amount of work required in this car is way more than that of my s4. The airbag needs to make room and at that point I decided to bolt it together again. Maybe some other time. No big deal as the footwell flap is loose now and thus kept my feet warm during wintertime. I also did annual maintenance which was still outstanding, and worked together with a brother in law to replace the engine mounts. They were collapsed, and had become 1,5 cm shorter. Swapping the mounts was not difficult, just a lot of work. Half a day, maybe a bit more. Vibrations that the car has did not disappear however. I need to get to the bottom of that.
May 2007.... Ok, the steering wheel was off one notch since the last R&R. We up the car on the lift and did this again. It is not too difficult, just work. We did a poor job marking the right position prior to removing so I ended up guessing what the correct position was. But it is ok now. Perfect so to speak. While the car was up we also welded a strip cat the CAT's which was loose, and loosened the transaxle clamp to release tension. I must say that the car feels relieved now ;-) The vibrations did disappear almost completely. One more lesson learned. I did try to take the dash apart to fix that vacuum actuator at the footwell flap. I also found out that on the driver side another recirculation actuator was inoperable. Turned out that the line was completely disconnected (for quite some time it seemed) Now I have mastered the left side and the center part. I still have much difficulties reaching the upper bolt at the right side close to the airbag. I put it back together without solving the problem as I was running out of time. I need the car to be operational and can't afford to work on it for more that an evening at once. So I need to make a new schedule to finally tackle this bitch.
June 2007.... We had a short vacation in Austria planned, so I checked the timing belt tension just to make sure I was not getting any surprises. We drove from Holland to Linz, Vienna, Salzburg, Bregenz, and back to Holland without any difficulties. The car drives superb on the motorways as well as in the mountains. We had bad weather in the west of Austria but we decided to drive the Arlberg pass and that was a pleasure despite of the weather. Vienna was a pleasure to be, my wife, I, and the Shark liked it a lot. Later in June I replaced the final drive fluid as part of my maintenance plan. Also did the Air filter and fuel filter. Fuel filter looked like factory original, all waxed and stuff... I'm close to finishing so that I have a clear view of what has been done when. I don't trust these Porsche guys :)
July 2007.... One of those things that bothered me, was the frozen tow-eye plug in the front. Typical design flaw of the Porsche 928. I know it is a nasty job but there's no point in carrying that tow eye if you can't fit it when even required. So after some decent wrenching, hammering on a chisel, penetrating oil, ... it was time for the drill and Dremel method. Took 3 hours but the threads are clean again and the tow eye fits. Now it is time for a fun drive. Always good reward after yet another thing fixed. Man this car is awesome. I installed a parallel kick down switch again and this makes the car accelerate like a rocket. Wonderful !!! Yeeeha ! Also done the PSD flush in July. Paul and I both drive 928 and decided it's time to do a fluid service and bleed for the PSD, and also a final test of our diagnostic tool tat we developed. We changed the routines a bit and this was the final test. So the car feels really good now. I HAD to test the PSD so I got myself a nice stretch of gravel to test the spinning rear.... yummie. Still works :)
Nov 2007.... Summer passed quickly. We went on vacation and the car waited for us nicely at the airport. Luckily all went well. Driving this car is very different from the one we rented on vacation. This again reminded me of how low the car really is compared to ordinary transports. And when you gradually press the gas it is impressive how unnoticeable the car's speed increases to levels that are way beyond legal limits. And that is where the fun starts, a quick jump to 200+ speeds to then release the gas and let it gat back in line. The car has had its annual inspection and no problems were found. Compliments with such a fine car. I'm preparing for the winter time now. The winter tires need to go on when temperatures get below 8 C or so.
Dec 2007.... Winter has started. Temperature is well below 7C, and I mounted the winter tires again. I need to be careful not to overdo it when driving the autobahn. About 190 is acceptable at max. The right rear tire looses pressure a bit, and I used one of these foam-filler repair cans to try to fix it. That worked great I must say. RDK has been quiet for at least 3 weeks now. In the last month I have been working on making a modification to the ecu to connect a O2 (Lambda) meter and MAF output display. I made this myself, and if finally finished. Looks great, this O2 curve illuminating while driving. I need to post this some day. I went to P&P to have Peter listen to my final drive. I think there's a problem because a resonating sound can be heard at certain speeds. We briefly checked the play at the axle connections and that was indeed reason to start take things apart. Lateral play at driver side was 1 mm and about 0,5 mm at pass. side. We decided to take a closer look and see if we can shim the gears to resolve the play.
Feb 2008.... Not much winter this year. It has started to get warmer and I put on the summer tires again. There's one thing that still bothers me a bit. The differential humming. I am planning to open the box and figure out the cause early next month, as I'm offered to use a shop lift to do the work.
March 2008.... I went to a friend in Borculo to work on both his 928s4 and my car. We do that a few times a year. Always fun. My car only had a new oil and filter done, and a complete check. One of the steering boots is not looking great anymore. I need to keep an eye on that and replace it soon.
April 2008.... A nice time has started. The weather is fine again, and the shark is spinning great. no problems. Ok, except for that differential howl I still hear at about 55km/h. We listened when the car was on the shop lift, and it could also be the differential carrier bearings. I will see if I get those and then open the diff. Yesterday the car let me down a bit. knew the battery was in poor state, and already had it go empty on me. Now I started the car at a shopping center, and when it did not immediately fire up (as the GTS does, mostly it takes 2 seconds) the battery went dead. Time to go shopping for a new one. I really would like one I can rely upon.
May 2008.... I had a friend bring over some parts from the US. Among that was a set of distributors. The rotors I already had, so they were replaced too. That was about the last one on my to-do list. All runs perfectly now, even smoother than before. Especially at idle rpm's. Of course I couldn't wait for the engine to properly cool down so it ended in a sweaty job over the hot engine. But all went well and it was done in maybe 1.5 hours. Time for a short drive. As all seemed perfect, I had the car over on the German A40 to give it a blast. Whooowww.... it did only 210 km/h. What the ..... ah, damn. I forgot to put it in D, so 210 km/h is only in 3rd gear. Hohum... that was funny. I was asked to bring two teenagers to the high school ball. One really big event, and it was kind a rewarding to take these kids, all dressed up and looking at their best, to the biggest event for their high school time. Lots of people staring at all those beautiful cars and people showing off. Great fun I must say. I was kind a proud too.... of my car of course :)
Aug 2008.... What a terrible job. I fixed the footwell actuator which had a leaking membrane and made the flap control inoperable. I had a temp fix for this (took the control lever off the actuator) but hate to have these things that don't work. So I removed the lower left part of the dash, loosened the center console, removed the glove box, and that was all still fairly simple and straight forward. But there was this one bolt holding the dash and console together. Man.... it took me a day to get that one out. Work 15 minutes in a very unpleasant position almost upside down, looking in a small hole that is completely filled as soon as you put your hand and a wrench in it. No room to see what you are doing, and turn the bolt that was holding the console to the dash. 15 mins work, and then 45mins break to recover and do some silent cursing. There is no easy way for this unless you want to break the dash. It is fixed now, new membrane and it's done, but this bitch goes in my top3 of frustrating jobs on a 928. I treated myself with some fine 928 driving just to compensate for the evil dash :) Ah, and one special moment passed: we did 100.000 on the clock. 16 years and 100k this car is still very nice to own, work on and drive. What a wonderful machine. I love it.
Nov 2008.... autumn already... time goes so fast. October was the time for the annual inspection. The car was approved, but with some comments. The mechanic that did the inspection was excited about the car's state and maintenance, but wanted to point out some work that might need my attention. The steering boots require a replacement shortly, and brake hoses tend to expand too much when hitting the brakes hard. I browsed for a set of replacement hoses, and decided to go for these Goodridge Braided Steel Teflon hoses. They look awesome and perfect brake responsiveness is promised. I bought a set, only to find that it did not fit as perfectly as I expected. Some crush rings were missing so I had those sent to me and fitted those lines. Fitting was no big deal, just work. Ok, one of those flare nuts was pretty stuck and took 2 hours to break free, but it did. Brake responsiveness.... changed....? I will update this later.
March 2009.... It is spring. Winter was not so bad, but pretty cold. The summer tires went on the car already early in March and that gave the opportunity to run a few fast sprints in the GTS. Spring feels good :) The car is doing great. No issues at all. The new brake lines feel right, but can't say that is a huge difference. Technically speaking, that is. Optic it is just great, but you have to dive under the car to see them. I have been busy on MAF repairs for about 5 months now. Winter gave some extra time to make a wind tunnel for the test rig. Together with Paul we made a new electronics pcb and do rebuilds for customers. Not even hard to tune the MAF for different settings. Talking about tuning, I have made a different Ezk chip for the 928, and the car seems to perform very well with that. It definitely feels more agile. I'm going to drive some time with this and maybe I will keep it this way, or adjust the Lh some more to fit the Ezk.
June 2009.... we were planning to make an Austria tour for a while now and finally it will happen. We gathered some 5 928 and one 944 and drove off to Austria. A 700km trip, 6 Porsches in convoy. Funny bit: we lost each other just 5 km after crossing the German border. GSM saved the day :) Austria was wonderful and there is not any more impressive sight than seeing those sharks in the curvy Austrian mountain roads. It was great company, and superb to do. 2000km in 3 days is a lot of driving but it was well worth the effort. The cars were all 100% ok. Not one tiny bit of trouble.
August 2009.... The 928 is great as ever. I experimented a bit with my adjustable MAF sensor and used the opportunity to exercise my right to go fast on the motorway. Whiii..... you have to test those MAF's at some point , so this is it. I enjoyed every second of it. Kees, a friend, made a special clamp to hold the torque tube to the flexplate clamp. I installed it and painted the area white to that any creeping of the clamp would be noticed. The original clamp is know to be failing to hold to TT in place and causing an increased pressure on the thrust bearing of the crank. We don't want that to destroy the engine. Time will tell if this solution is the best way forward. Installing Kees' clamp was pretty simple to do. Not more than 30min work, most of it removing the heavy exhaust.
October 2009.... Time to gear up for annual inspection. I checked all things that needed checking and went to the local garage to have the mandatory APK inspection as we call this. The car was fine and the mechanic was thrilled by this neat piece of automobile. He loved it and invited me in the shop to look together. It seemed they discussed my car over lunch and pulled straws over who could do the checkup. Anyway, he loved it, made me compliments, and mentioned that he seldom saw a car of 1992 looking this perfect. I was proud, obviously. Who wouldn't. A few days later I did a check on the door window rubber. It was not seated properly. Took just 2 mins to remove the rubber.... and 3 hours to put it back properly. But now I know how to do it. Learned something again. Well, what more can I say about the car. It is just perfect. Did I mention getting new rear tires? Yes, 255x40R17 Bridgestone Potenza S03. Nice tires and the do feel good. Now I will have to see if they last and have decent grip. I done a few fast runs but no real test on the wet roads yet. I will have to see but I feel confident after a thorough market research :)
December 2009.... Already a year passed again. It has become cold and we had quite a bit of snow this year. I was still driving the summer tires which was awkward on the slippery roads like in our street. I was so late changing tires because I bought a 2-column Bendbak GL7 / Dannmar MaxJax workshop lift and wanted to use it. The lift is a nice piece of work that fits in a low-ceiling garage like mine. The delivery was 3 weeks late and setting up took more time then I expected, so only recently I changed over to the winter wheels. While I was at it I checked the PSD fluid level and all was perfect now. It was a bit low last time. Driving the 928 is beautiful as ever. Smooth as silk and powerful like a Porsche should be. No problems whatsoever with this car. Just love it ! Now the lift is in, Yoda can do its magic by lifting the 928 :)
March 2010.... it is still very cold, colder than normal, and the 928 has been garaged a lot of time. No work done, because it was way too cold. But occasionally there is a good excuse to take the car for a drive and enjoy the ride. I must say that it is always a pleasure to drive this car. And it does not even have to be very fast. I was driving back from a friend the other day and it happened to me again. For no obvious reason the car stalled and the engine shut down. I went off the motorway lane, ignition off/on and it started right up again without any sign of a probable cause. Although nobody talks about this a lot, it happens to me too sometimes. Not on a regular basis, but it happened once while still in our street, and some time ago twice when on a traffic stop. But now I was prepared. I expect an electrical power loss. I have a MAF/Lambda meter connected to the LH and that showed all was nicely powered, and a LED was connected to the output of the Fuel pump relay, and that went out when it happened. Definitely out. So it is either the LH failing to activate the fuel pump relay, or the relay is bad. I go for the last one, and swapped the generic 53 relay (141.951.253.B, 40amps) with the horn relay which is the same. If I now get an intermittent horn relay failure I know enough. So don't get scared when you see my car drive by... :) Later in March I used a vale timing tool (Pk32vr) I borrowed from Patrick to check timing. My engine was P: adv+1 and D: adv+2. I also checked the toothed belt for wear and tension. All together it was a few hours work but I am now confident that all looks superb. No worries. And I must say that it is a joy to work on the car when it is on the lift. I just love it, and so does my back :)
June 2010.... I was looking for a change in engine sound and found a set of GT intermediate mufflers. I bought them and fit them on the GTS. The sound has become a lot darker, louder, but not too much and seriously low pitched. It sounds great when driving. Not too hard to recognize the V8 powered Porsche from its growl...
August 2010.... the problem with the stalling is not over. It still happens once a month, and I have not found out why. It seems more likely to happen when the cars was not used for a while. I was on a vacation in Switzerland and the 928 behaved perfectly. Not one single remark. Driving the car is just a great experience and I must include that driving the 928 in the Alps is a vacation by itself. The Car used a bit of oil in the mountains, and I filled up half a liter, but on the motorway it was just hardly using any oil at all. At home I checked where some oil dripping came from. The oil cooler which is mounted below the radiator is leaking at the side. I tried to fix it but then decided that this would become a poor repair and bought a new cooler unit in Germany. It was a perfect fit and no more leaking.
October 2010.... summer is almost over and I fixed the stalling problem. It is interference that is pickup up from the external eprom socket I made and use for quickly exchange eproms in the LH ecu. So that is fixed now. No more stalling. A friend (Bert, thank you again) offered to help me with applying Mike Sanders anti rust treatment. Apparently the best stuff on the market, and only the best stuff is good for a Porsche 928 ..hehehe... We did this on a Saturday morning and it was really almost too cold. The wax alike stuff sometimes clogged the spray tube, but we're both very happy with the achieved results., let the winter begin.
December 2010.... oh boy. We never have this much snow in the winter. I was just in time top put on the winter rubber and the gates of hell opened and poured snow over us. We came back from Oberhausen in Germany on the first day of snow. It was so scary on the roads, the 928 slipped and drifted over the wet snow like if was real ice. We were glad to be able to park the car at home. No crash or damage. December was really strange and a mix of somehow wonderful wintertime and an awful lot of snow and ice. And then suddenly the year is over. Almost 2011. How fast time goes and what a wonderful year it was.
January 2011.... Another 928 owner contacted me per email, asking if I could do him a favor. His 18yrs old son was seriously ill (terminal cancer) and one of the things that he would greatly appreciate was get out on the German motorway as passenger in a 928. I did a request among friends and the 928 club, we came up with 9 individual 928's that joined on a sunday morning and made this happen for the kid and his family. Father, mother, and son got a seat in one of the 928's and we drove off into Germany. It was just perfect. 928's cruising at serious speeds up to 230 km/h, overtaking each other, and playing to show what impressive those 928's really are. It was a wonderful day and Alwin enjoyed every bit of it. We made a nice tour in the Eifel area, and enjoyed the wonderful sight over the snowy fields and the sun peeping thru the snowy pine-tree branches. We had a coffee in Monschau, and when Alwin became too tired we went back to Holland again. It was a great event which Alwin enjoyed very much despite of his severe pain and sickness. It turned out to be one last great event for Alwin. Just one week later Alwin died at the age of 18. It deeply touched me and the others that were with him in the Eifel tour. Eric and I joined at the funeral, and as a salute to Alwin we accompanied the car in which his coffin was carried to the grave yard. We were very much touched and paid our deepest respects to the mother and father, hoping that they find peace in the great loss that they have to overcome. We all were both proud that we could do this for Alwin and his parents, and also silent as we really felt some of the pain that they had to go through.
March 2011.... Winter sneaked out the back door and spring was upon us. The car was happy with rubber on solid ground and it was time to store the winter tires and put on the summer tires that were anxiously waiting. Time for a spin. The car felt alive and quick, probably also because I experimented a bit with MAF settings. Dunno what that does to fuel consumption however. Anyway, I took the car for a spin a few times, enjoying the sunshine, dry roads, and the speed. Later in March I did a oil maintenance job as this was due. All looked ok. The steering rack was checked too since I locked the rack firmly in place with thick washers. All oki doki.
May 2011.... The weather is very nice and I regret not being able to drive the shark as much as I would like to. Too busy. But from time to time I work on the car to keep it in mint condition. The door catch was failing and the door swings open too far, failing to stop at the open position but swing right back. Both catch units were bad. To replace these the door lining needs to be opened and that alone is a bit of work. But it was a sunny Saturday morning and I was in a super good mood. So radio on, car on the driveway, and have some fun. One of the bolts that hold the bracket to the A-column was severely damaged by the PO, and since it was impossible to tighten it properly I decided it needs to come out. Phew. That was a nasty one. Bought new bolts and now it looks and feels like new again. I replaced the outer window seals which were brittle and not so lice looking anymore. Bought the stuff from Porsche Center for whom I repaired a MAF. Fitting the seals is awkward. It took 1 minute to remove both seals and about 2.5 hours to put the new seals in. Painstaking 1mm at the time, gently pushing the rubber in the cavity that holds it. But it looks awesome again. Great. And that is not all. I Decided that it was time to replace the transmission fluid and the steering fluid. Bought a bunch of ATF and on a Saturday I did the job. Clean everything nicely, make sure that there is no dirt in the hydraulics and then bolt it up. Next is adding 6L of ATF( 7L, but part was still in the cooler and hoses). How to fill it again? No way to just poor it in. I decided to use a garden hose a funnel, and some sticky tape to make a filling point way above the transmission and use the hose to direct the fluid. That worked. Slowly, ok, but it worked. And then there is the reward. A test drive. whiiiiii, and quickly we reach warp speed. I love it. This is always the fun bit.
October in 2011.... Summer came and went quickly. May was super, June and July were not splendid, cold, wet. No Fun. We went on vacation and the 928 had to wait for us at the Düsseldorf airport. Always makes me remember being at Schiphol and the car did not start. Since then I check lights and door locks 2 times. Anyway, the car did fine, started right away, and made me enjoy my own car again after a few weeks in Malaysia. In October I was planning to make a small modification to the instrument panel. The mod went superb... but when fitting the cluster back in I found that one of the backlit lights was off. Removed the cluster again (luckily it was not completely installed yet) and checked every single bulb. 5 were dead, not one. I never noticed... I ordered the little lights in Germany, and after a few days they arrived. Put all in. I noticed there were two spots not equipped with a bulb. Check Engine, and CAT. I decided to put those in. Just to have something special. But the check engine light stayed on what ever I did. That was not the plan. So I brought that back to original (cluster out again!) and started to b9lt things up now, for a last time. It took a while as the bolts in the cluster is a bit of a funny construction. But it works. Now I have a turn cancellation failing sometimes. I need to take the airbag out and wheel off once more to see what is going on. I went to the annual inspection. Almost all was ok. I need new front tires and the rears are not so great either anymore. Just 2 years. That was less than I expected from those Bridgestone Potenza's. I think I will put the winter tires on to get approved once more, and think about buying new rubber fro front and rear.
November 2011.... I do repair MAF's for a 928, and was testing the repaired MAF in my car. This test is always fun, because one needs to really test the MAF at speed. And I do not hate doing this test...hahaha. I love it. I had a bit of fun with an Audi that was pushing his car to the limits. And you can not imagine what it feels like when you hit the gas at 220 km/h and let the Audi admire the rear of a 928. Ok, but not all was good. I came back home and noticed a fuel smell. The check valve on the fuel pump developed a leak. I took things apart, cleaned it, reassembled, and it appears to be tight again. Hmmm ... I need to monitor this for a while. Luckily the 928 has a fuel pump mounted in the rear below the tank, so a leak will not cause immediate and serious problems. Well designed :)
January 2012.... It should be winter by now but this winter should count for a real one. Lots of rain, and temperatures at 5C or above. No snow at all yet. Good, sometimes I can take the 928 for a ride and not worry about slippery roads. The 928 was damaged a bit by a small accident. I was parked and someone parked next to me scratching the rear right fender a bit. Not too bad but I insisted that insurance would pay fore a repair. They did come through and I was allowed a paint repair. That will happen late January in a shop in Lomm, about 15 minutes from where I live. They do a really good job with these things. Next is a planned fix on the upper a-arm bushings. The bushings are factory original and it seems that they are responsible for some vague steering, some tram lining. I can see a bit of play but it is hard to tell how much fitting remake bushings (actually made from POM/Delrin material and not rubber) will bring. Peter had me drive a 928 that had this repair and I must say that it seemed better to handle on uneven roads. So I decided to give Peter the order and we will fix this in a day if I help out. Good. Feb 3rd is the day. How is the 928 holding out? well, splendid. No problems, all and everything works, and I'm enjoying every ride in the car. A pleasure this is. Ask people who heard about a 928 and they may hesitate, but ask people who actually drive a 928 and they will start praising this car. Wonderful machine, way ahead of its time in those days and still fairly competent in performance and safety.
February 2012.... Early in February I had an appointment with Peter at P-specialist.nl and he upgraded both the bushings in the steering rack as the A-arm bushings. I helped him a bit. It was good to see how professionally the job was carried out. The bushings have no play at all anymore, just barely enough to make the A-arm turn freely. After the upgrade the car alignment was carried out and since the suspension was a lot better the toe-in was set closer to zero. That also helps steering response. The car now feels more stable, a lot easier to manage on roads that have some tracks, and especially braking and changing lanes has improved significantly. Well worth the work and money. Late in February I already swapped back the summer wheels. It will not snow anymore and temperatures have started to rise. Spring is in the air (pretty soon anyway).
May 2012... I was collecting parts since some time as the Timing belt job was moving up on my schedule. The belt was due already for a year or so but since kilometers were only 60 thousand. Since I was not planning on an engine rebuild I had chosen to do the timing belt job in time. The belt needs changing, the pump, idle roller, tension roller, oil, filter, coolant, that freaking' blue plug in the radiator which I broke partly a few years ago, the alternator belt and other bits that come on my way. The job was 1.5 days work if you do it on an easy pace like me. Bolts came out fine, but there was some struggle with the crank pulley (damper) that did not want to give way. It took an hour of wiggling, soaking and taping before it came off. And there was no real cause. It was not stuck on a bad surface or corroded or anything. Just a bit frozen I suppose. Anyway, I replaced the belt, pump, and tensioner roller, and replaced he bearing of the Idle roller (which was just 5 euro instead of 70 euro for the roller). I checked he timing of the camshafts at least 4 times to make sure I did it right, and then closed things up, made it look nice, and started the engine. It ran perfectly and as happy as could be. I had to leave the alternator belt on for a few weeks even though it had two cracks. I had a new belt form the parts shop but the gave me he wrong one. The manual has a shorter belt than the automatic version, and the 50% chance was not in my favor. So I drove some weeks knowing that the belt could snap shortly. The belt did not arrive before the holiday so I had no other option that challenge my luck.
July 2012.... summer was passing and we had a nice vacation. The 928 stayed at the German airport and was still alive and kicking when we came back. It was now time to replace that alternator belt and have peace of mind. I also was aware that my tires were not the best anymore. In wet weather they would even become dangerously slippery. Last years the APK (annual check) failed due to one bad spot on one tire. Now I had two rear tires with only bad spots (Bridgestone Potenza, which were only 3 years old) and one in front (Fulda Carat, which had 6 years on them)!! I had to get 4 new tires. Finally managed to get new ones at a perfect price. I also sprayed the center caps of the wheels as they started to look less than perfect. And that is something a 928 should not have.
December 2012.... Winter already, damn. The year passed quickly. The inspection in October went perfectly well, and except for me having to turn down the headlights a bit all was ok. In November the winter tires (wheels) went on and we were ready for some snow and cold weather. In December I looked at the intake hoses which were deteriorating a bit. It is very common that the foamy hoses suffer from heat and stop looking nice in the engine bay. I bought 4 MB hoses and two silicone couplers, adjusted length a bit and it all looks great now. Very satisfied with myself if I may say so. Time for a spin. No good reason, just a reward for the work. A bit careful though, since the winter tires are not ok for speeds over 190 km/h, so keep the foot lightly on the pedal :) Waauw... what a blast this car is. It's fun every time I do this. Did I mention the fast Bentley that I overtook and showed the 928 rears?
March 2013.... Winter is still not over yet. January was cold, February was very cold and snowy. We went to La Palma for a week around carnival, and on our way to the airport parking the road was pretty icy. We had to drive slowly as the snow was making any speed above 60 km/h like navigating on your GPS, not on the road markers. Visibility was close to 20 meters. But we made it there in time, also thanks to the winter tires and of course my driving skill. The car started again when we returned a week later and brought us home safely. You never know for sure with a 21 years old car parked in the freezing cold for a week. Smile when the 8 cylinders kick in and the engine fills the parking garage with proper V8 music. Comes to mind: the car never let me down... ever !!! February ended like it started... snowy. March was not much better. We were thinking about a white Easter instead of Christmas. So yes, the winter tires are still on. But spring was upon us now. Soon the 928 will get some proper maintenance done as the garage is way to cold now. I tend to avoid working on the car when temperature is below 10C. Snow at Easter, now what kind of spring is that supposed to be? Ok, I also went to the tire company as my front -summer- tires were a bit unbalanced at speeds of 150. They checked it, and one was off 5/35 grams and the other 15/15 grams. Hopefully this is ok now. Let the spring begin... so that I can test it !!!
April 2013.... And suddenly it became springtime. Yesss.. time to do some work on the GTS. First job was the brake pads. They were a bit worn already before wintertime, replacement due, and I decided that this was a good moment to tackle this. All went smoothly except for one of the bolts that hold the caliper to the steering knuckle. Apparently the previous owner had a problem getting it break loose and so had I. It needs replacing. It is tight now but won't loosen another time if stuck again.
May 2013.... Ok, I had this in mind for a long time and now is the moment. I decided to paint the Brake Calipers red. One of them had some bad spots on the clear coat and that was annoying. After an attempt to paint with a brush (it was said to give nice smooth surface, which it did not) and considering the result I decided to remove the paint and use a spray can from Motip. It took a few days to undo what I did, spray primer, red paint in layers, and let it cure... but it looks awesome now. New Porsche white decals on them, a clear coat to finish it all and it was ready. One more thing that happened: the ABS and PSD warning came on a few times. I investigated the problem by monitoring the ABS sensors through the RDK ecu with my PDT999 diagnostic device. All sensors were reporting in evenly and without any hick-ups. So I decided to replace the ABS relay. It felt kind a warm considering the 15 minutes that I was testing the sensors, and one of the prongs was somewhat dull, brownish as if it had some oxidation on it. I don't know if that is related to the problem. Anyway, spare relay in, and now lets see if things have become quiet.
June 2013.... We have planned our holidays to go to Norway. So the car got a complete check to avoid unpleasant surprises during the trip. The steering ATF needed a top-up, same for the transmission. The AC needed a shot of refrigerant, but besides that all seemed pretty ok. Ready to go. I used the car rather frequently in the last two weeks just to confirm condition. June 14 we go.
June and July 2013.... We had our holidays in Norway. I did not think Norway would be so great but that turned out quite differently. It was a wonderful experience to drive the 928 in Norway and enjoy the country, the nature, the cities and culture. The 928 (21 years now) did perfectly. No issues at all. Ok, I touched the ground a few times but the skid plates I have prevented any damage (like the oil cooler that sits so low that a can easily get hit). We drove 4500 km without one single problem. That is what we call quality built. It was sometimes funny, driving this fat sports car in the narrow Norwegian roads that tend to have one lane only. So you must be very alert, see how you can pass incoming traffic, and find a safe spot to make room. Driving tunnels got a whole new dimension for me: one was 24 km long and a lot were between 3 and 10 km. It takes concentrated driving as there is just little room for two cars to pass. We were at highlands but also on high mountain roads of which the Trollstigen an experience in itself was. And we drove along many fjords, one even more beautiful than the other. Wonderful. The 928 had no problems with the steep roads (12% sometimes) but did get a little warmer than usual sometimes :) Back home I checked the car and the only thing that was absolutely needed urgently was a decent car wash. Isn't this a great car? 21 years old, and in perfect shape.
September 2013.... I keep a note in my agenda to check PSD fluid. It popped up so I did what I assigned to myself. This time the easy way, ready in 30 minutes including cleaning my tools. It can remain like this for another two years. I wrote an instruction in my tech web so that others can benefit from my procedure. Oh yeah, and I must always do a test drive to see if the PSD works like it should. so I took the car out on a sandy road, and hit the pedal. The green PSD light will indicate the PSD in action, but you can also feel the traction shift from left to right. Then you step out of the car, walk along the slip marks and see that one time the left wheel spins, and a moment later the right one spins causing the traction to be redirected. Nice ! Oh, and I had a problem in the summer holidays. Sometimes the GPS did work fine, and the next moment GPS was offline and saw no single satellite. And the funny thing I discovered: GPS in my mobile phone was also down. Until... until I turn off the car, and my mobile phone went online again. Now that is peculiar! It took a while for me to figure out, but as soon as the radio was not even on, but power was on the GPS antenna, the GPS started oscillating. I wrapped it in Aluminum foil and suddenly the mobile had GPS again. So somehow the Becker Radio GPS kills the signal by transmitting a carrier itself. I ordered a new GPS antenna for my Becker, and fitted it in the console. Nicely routed so that the wire is not in sight at all. Quite some work, but the reward is super. I have all systems go again. Cool. This was causing problems for quite a while and now the pieces all fit together. Nothing is spooky when you start to understand.
October 2013.... The annual inspection is scheduled again, so it is time to do a pre-check. The wipers were not the best anymore so they needed replacing. I choose hybrid flat blade, partly flat blade and still a mechanism to add pressure to the outer ends of the blade, and try what that would bring. And,,, and I noticed that the rear right side handbrake did not work properly. The cable had a crack and was really not in a very good shape. It looked like 21 years old. I had to order a new one and then the struggle began. The wheel spacer bolts were stuck, the caliper bolts were stuck, and the brake disk was also stubborn. The cable end also did not want to out from the chassis opening so that needed convincing too. I did get all off without damage but it took some patience and force. The tube that goes into the backing plate of the brake seemed not to fit ... until I cleaned and lubricated. Then it just went over the cable end. The new cable is now in place, everything nicely cleaned up, and ready to go to APK inspection. For the inspection I chose Kwikfit as they have a tire balancer. My front wheels were still not perfectly balanced despite of two previous attempts. So they can give it a try. The inspection went super. "a joy it is to inspect such a car" he said, "and no crappy areas or poor repair, perfect score". And guess what? The balancing is now ok again, one wheel was really off 2x25 grams. Problem solved.
December 2013.... it is winter time, but not really cold. And we saw some lost snowflakes but that was all until now. Not much of a winter at 8C or so. The car behaves fine as always. I bought a new battery as the old battery was 7 years old now. Still ok, but I would not like to take my chances and end up with an empty battery in the winter time. Today I was at a traffic light, and a person in the lane next to me was signaling to have me open the window. He’s probably lost I thought… and opened the window. "what year is that fabulous car of yours?" he asked. 1992 I answered with a smile. "The car looks awesome and I’ve watched you in my mirror for a few minutes now. Great car !" he answered. Well, that is when the lights turned green, so I had to push the kickdown, made the engine roar and speed away from the other cars that started to move. It does make you feel special in a 928 !!
April 2014.... Winter was not much of a winter really. We basically went from Autumn to Spring, so in early March I already had the summer tires on. Still feels like the tires are somewhat unbalanced. I looked at my maintenance plan and noticed that quite a few things were scheduled for this year. So on a nice Saturday I did the 8 sparkplugs. I had original spark plugs from Porsche in stock, so they went in. The old ones looked not so fresh anymore after 7 years. It seemed that the car ran smoother with the new plugs, but sometimes you just imagine these things after a maintenance job. However, it feels right to replace them as they were over due :) Next one was the brake fluid. I got some nice ATE DOT4 SL6 fluid and decided to do a replacement on an evening. No big deal. I had made a small nipple hose with a one-way valve on it, so it is a one-man job. Basically connect the hose and hang the valve end in a glass can, add fresh fluid in the reservoir and pump the pedal until all the fluid was replaced. Now the last bit that was on my agenda: the AC compressor had a bearing that started to vibrate and make sounds. Not good. Removing the belt and the clutch was easy, all went off easily, and after kicking out the old bearing and pressing in a new one, fitting it was a breeze too. Just had to adjust the gap to 0.5mm so that the pulley could spin freely again. I think most of the maintenance is done for this year.
June 2014.... Summer is upon us. The weather is nice, and the repaired fan power stage finally works like it should. This is a project that I worked on for over a year now. I might have found which component fails and makes the fan controller turn one fan off and the other on full power. So I'm on testing grounds for a while now. I'm looking at fixing the hoses on the power steering reservoir. They are getting old it seems like oil is sweating through. Got me some rubber 10mmm ID fuel/oil hose and some clamps to do the job. Well, the hose did not fit at all. The diameter at the pump side was 12mm and at the reservoir was 15mm. Makes you wonder what the designer must have thought. Anyway, I put things back together and ordered the OEM hose so that it fits properly. Also the hose at the cooler side must go. That one needed to be cut off from the cooler pipes in order to replace. It is a tight area, but I managed to get the 12mm hose off and replaced by some Nitril-rubber hose. Looks great and clean. Now see if it stays clean and dry.
One thing that was on my mind for some time now, is spraying the rims. The from wheels had some scratches and marks on them which made it look not so very good. So on a summer day in June I sanded the rims, put on primer, aluminum/silver paint, and a layer of clear coat. It worked out well I must say. Looks perfect again. Another test drive is due again? YES! (hahahaa)
August 2014.... The 928 is doing great. I was driving with repaired fan power stages and had the AC on for quite some time. Nice and fresh. Not really cold by the way. Maybe I should make a summer valve to turn off the coolant flow to the interior permanently during summer. My calendar said that it was time to check the PSD fluid. I actually do set reminders in my agenda for this, as I know that when the fluid level too gets low the hydraulic pump runs dry and breaks down. Checking is easy. I had to fill up with about 30cc I'd say, so it was definitely below the lower marker. Then... then I noticed some sand and dirt caught up behind the splash screen. I thought I'd loosen the lower screw to lift it a bit and take the accumulated sand out. The sand has made a nice wall against the back of the screw and kept the water nicely soaking against the screw. Thus... it did not want to turn at all anymore. Took a while to oil and de-oxidize the rusty screw. It finally came out. A lot of sand too. The idea is that water washes any sand out from the cavity, keep it clean, but as soon as dirt accumulates the washing turns into soaking, making the screw rust badly. I checked the other side. Same problem. But apparently the splash screen was damaged before and has a large tear. I must make some sort of a patch to fix that properly. Ok, on my to-do list.
September 2014.... It was a lazy afternoon and not too warm. I had fixing the rear right side fender liner on my mind. The plastic in the lining gets brittle with age and one piece was completely broken off. That needed fixing. I removed the bits that crumbled between my fingers and looked at the problem. I'd rather have a completely new one but the price tag of almost 400 euro holds me back. I decided for a patch from black 1.5mm plastic and formed that so that it covered the broken bit from the rear. Stick some polymer glue on and let it cure. A similar bit must go on the front side so that it creates sort of a sandwich. Looks ok, almost like original. When I did a test drive I noticed that the interior fan did not work. Only at full speed, which indicates that the resister pack is in shut-down state. It has done that before and I know it is related to the bi-metallic switch that has become sensitive of maybe contacts corroded. despite of the fact that the engine is still warm I decided that I'd do that now. Squeezed my arm into the air duct to hold the resistor pack, while unscrewing the two screws that hold the pack to the housing. It takes some acrobatics to do this, and I started to regret to do this while the engine is hot. Anyway, I took it out, tweaked the contacts just a little and used some sanding paper to clean them as well as possible. I put it all back together and then it all works nicely again. Cool :)
November 2014.... Time passes on and the job claimed a lot of energy. Not much energy left to work on the car, and to be honest: nothing needs doing. I had an issue that the bass speaker made funny noises when I turned the volume up. That was one to have a look at. The bass speaker is an odd thing, specially made for Porsche by Blaupunkt. The speakers both had a badly deteriorated foam surround that needed replacing. I could order a new foam at reasonable cost and started to remove the old stuff that seemed more like chewing gum than foam or rubber like substance. The new surround was glued in place which was a precise job (you want to prevent the coil hitting the air gap wall in the magnet area) and I decided to also replace the capacitors for the mid. Not that it was really making a big difference, but it was more like a "while you're on it" job. I also carefully checked if the wiring was correct, as Porsche made a wiring error in the early 90's by reversing polarity of speakers. Mine are absolutely ok. Anyway, after drying and fitting it sounds like a champ again.
The winter tires are also fitted now as temps got below 7C, and when doing this I checked the PSD fluid. I found out that I must keep an eye on this. Maybe it looses fluid somewhere. It was mid between the low-high marker. I seem to remember that it was almost full when I filled it up in August. Ok, made a note in my agenda to check in spring. I placed the winter tires and immediately found that the vibrations around 140 km/h disappear when the winter set is on. I suspect that the front tires are still not well balanced despite of earlier attempts. In spring I will take them to a shop and have them removed and refitted/balanced again. For now it is ok. Winter is coming up soon so any non-urgent maintenance jobs get postponed.
February 2015.... Winter time still. We had a little bit of snow in January but not much, so the 928 was able to exercise on the Autobahn from time to time. Despite of the snow tires that have a limited speed rating, it was fun to press the gas and have a little fun. Still some adrenaline after so many years of owning and driving the 928. Great car! I can't wait till spring starts so maybe I should swap tires again and also prepare to have them properly balanced now. I must also look at the steering. It is still a bit fuzzy and this is more noticeable when the winter tires are fitted. Things must be perfect... right? So I placed the summer wheels again and do a last compare before deciding what to do about the imbalance. I checked the LSD reservoir again just to make sure: half between the markers. So it is perfect. No loss of fluid.
April 2015.... Spring is upon us. Yeah! And I still need to fix the imbalance problem. Damn. I need a day off to get this don e and off from the list. It seems that a company in my area has and old-skool Scooter balancer that works with wheels fitted on the car. It is definitely the wheels, the winter wheels are fine. I visited the 928-workshop day in Amstelveen. Was really nice to talk to so many people that seem to know you (sometimes embarrassed that I did not remember all names to faces). I helped some owners resolve issues with the cars and sometimes lectured about how things work. I would make my father proud I guess (he was a teacher). Ok, back to my car: things are really perfect. No issues at all. Except for the Becker Nav Radio. The CD player quit on me without warning. Totally dead. I opened the unit and investigated. All seems to work except for the spindle drive. I ordered a new driver chip but could not wait for it to arrive so I purchased a broken unit on Ebay for parts. Well, the electronics were fine. Diagnosed: The Spindle motor is dead. Damn. It required taking the complete assembly apart to remove the laser/spindle unit. I did not even try to remove the servo motor itself, risking to damage the laser setup. So I managed to replace the donor laser unit into my Becker... and it did not even work at all. Mechanical problems. Now, imagine 40 different parts like springs, brackets, plastic thingies, gears, levers and more. And no working example. I spent 3 full evenings to self-educate and master the Becker Traffic Pro HS unit, and now I understand it and it works flawlessly again. Phew. Normal guys would have purchased a new unit. Next is maintenance. That is a job that belongs to my spring tasks. New oil, new filter, new coolant, check AC, and some other routine checks. All looks well.
May 2015.... It was annoying that the front wheels seemed unbalanced and get bumpy at speeds between 140 and 170 km/h. You can't keep speeding over 170 km/h all the time just to quiet down the front wheels I suppose.... So I visited yet another tire shop to have them do their finest balancing. Turned out that they were severely out of balance. Things improved a lot. Maybe not 100% perfect but a lot better. Maybe I should have them check the rears too next week.
September 2015.... Summer passed way too quickly. The 928 stayed garaged most of the time as we decided to use our Toyota regularly and used it during vacation in France. No regrets, but some roads were just made for this Porsche to be honest. The 928 started immediately after 3 weeks of silence and runs well. Often you hear people complain about 928 repairs but I can say that this sounds familiar to me. Today I washed the car again and admires the beautiful lines and shape of this timeless classic. Still very nice I must say. Next week the 928 is up for annual check so I did some pre-inspection today just to make sure there are no surprises. But all looks really ok, nothing to complain about. So I went to the inspection station and watched them check my Porsche. The guy that inspected it again remembered my car. He only sees one of those... "so is it already a year ago??" he said. After thorough inspection he smiled and said: "well, I can only say that it cared for. No comments at all. Compared to age this car is in super condition which is seldom seen". And that is what I thought myself to be honest. I polished the the car once more and put it back in the garage.
November 2015.... I have purchased some EL foil to illuminate the GTS in the door sill when the door is open. It seemed to me like something that would look nice especially in the evenings. It took a while before finally starting this job and two evenings later all was done. Nicely wired into the interior illumination and it shows off in the evenings when it is dark. In daytime it is almost invisible. Another thing ticked off from the list. It is almost time to prepare for the winter. Seems like I'm early as we had temperatures of almost 20 C in early November. Soon the winter tires must be fitted. I'm still not entirely happy with the balancing of the front wheels. I'm planning to check again with the winter wheels on, and if needed have the summer tires reinstalled again. Something must be wrong... I feel an imbalance at 140 km/h and another one at 170 or so, sometimes more distinct than other times. I never had his before. .... and then it started to get freezing cold. I put the front wheels on and now is the time to find out if the vibrations are gone.
January 2016.... The new year has started after closing 2015 with a rather warm month. Temperatures went up well over 10C and a bit out of the ordinary I would say. The 928 does not mind the warm days and the lack of snow. Since weather was rather nice the 928 got out for a spin on regular basis. No problems whatsoever and it is always a pleasure to drive this car. But in midst of January it started to freeze so I was happy with the winter tires. These tires (on Cup1 rims) run completely without vibrations in the steering, so yes, there is still something wrong with the front(?) summer tires. The rear winter tires are getting close to state of worn, and they're dating from 1997. Old ones, I know, and surely they don't last forever. They still look o.k. but the time has come to replace them now that they have a profile of 2.8mm left on them. Since I drive only very little in the wintertime I'm considering my options.
April 2016.... The winter was not very cold but a rather long stretch to be honest. By end of March the winter tires were still on. I drove the 928 quite a few times since the conditions were fine: no salt or dirt on the roads. And as always the 928 does great. No problems. It was time to do some maintenance again. New filter, new oil, and I decided to repair that FR A-arm boot that had a tear in it. Repairing that was not so hard at all. I'm also going to find out why the tire/wheel vibrations exist. I'm sure that it not existing when the winter tires/wheels are fitted. So it is definitely wheel related and not in car alignment or so. I drove with FR winter tire for a while and the vibrations seems to be minimal. Now the FR summer wheel is on. Let's see. Ah, and I decided to put some nice intake decals on the 32v intake. Purchased them from Bertrand in Quebec. Very nicely made and looks great. Very dark blue Porsche with 32V in bright red.
August 2016.... In the summer vacation the 928 had to stay at home this time. Not because of malfunctions or so, but after some debate we decided that this year we would go with our Toyota Yaris. So the 928 was on a battery maintainer and after 3 weeks the engine stumbled for a moment to come alive. It was again a pleasure to sit in the 928 and drive it. Nothing wrong with the Toyota, but it is ... let's say: different. It is also clear how flat one sits in the Porsche and how low it really is. Still a pleasure every time I drive. It is now nearly 10 years that I've owned this GTS and almost 17 years that I've had 928's as a regular transportation. There is something magic to this car, some say it is like an addiction. One of the fine things of our geo location is that we're close to the Autobahn. I have my fun there quite regularly and today I must spent time to wash off many bugs I killed yesterday at 240 km/h.
October 2016.... It struck my mind that I now owned the GTS for 10 years already. Waauw. Time flies. Still love this car and it is really in a perfect condition. I'd almost say as good as when I purchased the 928. How's that for a "Langzeit Auto" as the Germans say. The car is just perfect. Yeah, sometimes there is a tiny thing that needs attention but considering: the car needs minimal maintenance outside of annual fluids, filters and some tire wear. Ok, the real cost is taxes and fuel I'm afraid. We Dutch seem to think a heavy car that has limited driving hours on the road must pay a lot more taxes than a car completely stuffed with batteries and driving over 50k per year. Strange laws we have... And fuel: Porsche made a right foot pedal to control this. So who's to blame? Now that winter is not so far away anymore I decided to get some new rear winter tires to replace he old ones. I got a very nice 65,- deal for 2 used Conti's that had 4.5 mm on them so ok for some extra years. And mid of October the car needs to go to annual safety inspection. The chap in the workshop I go to smiled and said: is it already a year ago?? He knows my car and appreciates a well cared for car when he sees one. Always fun to see the smile on his face when he confirms that all is splendid and see you again next year.... So next is getting the winter tires fixed since it is getting colder.
November 2016.... It is getting colder and it is time again for the winter tires. Halloween time. I swapped them without a hassle and the new rear tires are fitted. Furthermore the car is perfect. I was in Dortmund and gave the 928 a nice spin on the German motorway on the trip back to the Netherlands. It is always, really always a joy to drive the car. I finally fixed one problem I had for a while. A while ago I purchased a Yatour MP3 player that simulates CD's on my Becker NAV Radio. It works but quite often it suddenly stopped and it took a while to get it working again. I did exactly what the manual said: use a SD card for stability reasons. I tried several options including naming, bitrates, coding, power filters and more. I even thought the player had a defect. Well... I got the idea to use a memory stick on the players USB connector and that works 100.00 %. Always ok, never a problem. My guess is that the player does not like some types of SD cards. But it is fixed now. I can play virtually several hundreds of MP3 on my Becker and change songs as "CD's" on the radio. Perfect !! Finally ... you see, I really really hate giving up :)
February 2017.... Winter was not so bad and there was only a little snow. In February it already started to warm up. The car was fine, although the cold engine developed a loud ticking at one of the cam's. I will investigate this as soon as it gets warmer and see if the one way valve in the head needs cleaning. There was also a more serious drawback. The right rear tire developed a strange hump at the side wall. That definitely needed fixing so I went to profile Tire shop and had them swap with another tire. Fair price, not too bad, and anything is better compared to that damaged tire.
April 2017.... The winter wires are stored again and it was time to do some maintenance since it was getting warmer in the garage. I like doing this maintenance in early spring. The engine got its new oil and I carefully checked everything there is to check below. Also did a nice wash of the bottom. There is always a little oil sweating through the oil pan seal even though I keep the bolts tightened. But all looks fine and I finished up. Since the fuel filter was due I decided to take that off the list and also check the intank pump. Well, the intank pump was a bit of a mystery. When I removed it the hose that is known to fail actually was torn. But one wire that feeds the electricity seemed as if it was never properly attached. Maybe I broke it off but it just looked like not soldered right before. Anyway, I fixed it with a new piece of nitril hose and put things back together again, new filter and a test drive. Maybe I'm wrong here, but it seems to run better, more agile. Hard to imagine but it is like it is: it felt better, as always :) It is simply fun to drive the 928 and especially to run a test drive...hahaha.
May 2017.... I was on my way to a concert and suddenly the timing belt warning appeared, I never had that before. But it was a trigger: for sure I need to adjust the timing belt. So next Saturday morning the belt was on the agenda. I know checking of the belt can be don with leaving a lot of items in place, but retensioning the belt turned out to be a little difficult. The 17mm nut would not budge and I decided to remove the fan unit as well to get better access. It is really not such a big deal. yes, tension was seriously low, and I adjusted. I also cleaned up both distributors and rotors so that are nice and shiny inside. Half a day job. And then the mandatory test drive was on the menu ... always and still a joy to drive the 928, every time....
August 2017.... It was a nice summer and except for washing the car to remove the dead flies on the front not much happened. Until I decided to change some music on my Yatour MP3 player. I have this Yatour that links to the Becker radio and simulates a multidisc CD player using MP3's on a 8Gb memory stick. The Yatour is located inside the center console so this involved removing the side panel of the console. To do this I needed to lower the seat to get access one screw. Well, the seat wouldn't lower. That was unexpected. After trying numerous times I decided to fix the switch. This involved opening the switch with all the tiny bits that drop out when you do this. All looked ok, so the seat had to come out to investigate the controller below the seat. After some measuring it turned out to be a broken wire at the connector of the controller. Makes you wonder how that could happen since all of this is nicely bundled and tied up. Anyway, I re-soldered the whole connector and put things together. Doing the switch assembly with the little springs and balls was a challenge. After some time I managed and bolted everything back into its place. All worked again nicely. It took 2 evenings to fix the seat. Now I could add those MP3 files that this all started with and that took 2 minutes :).
November 2017.... In October the annual inspection was up again. So I checked all possible checkpoints and made sure it was ok before going to the test station. The guy always smiles when he sees my Porsche on the planning. Very pleasant person and always with a smile after testing my car. All fine, not one single remark. Perfect as always he said. Already for a long while I was annoyed by the wear of the sunroof gasket. Under sun it was shiny and if washed it showed white markings. so I bought two new ones and on a November Saturday afternoon I removed the sunroof, placed the new seals, repaired the lower plastic piece that had a funny bend and crack in it (no idea what happened there) and installed it again. Looks great. Like new. And of course that calls for a test drive on the Autobahn :) As it was getting colder midst of November, I swapped the wheels again and I'm now prepared for wintertime.
Happy Birthday 928 !! on the 24th of November my 928 was born so it is now officially 25 years old !! Classic level!
March 2018.... The winter started off as being rather warm ... until February. Late February it became freezing cold and snowy. That lasted till end of March so the car was mostly inside the garage and there was no ambition to do maintenance yet. Way too cold. Winter tires are also still fitted. So in a few days the spring will show its best and there is time to prepare. Meanwhile during the winter I worked on repairing the digital instrument clusters for a few customers. After spending many hours I managed to repair all of them. Time well spent.
April 2018.... And suddenly the temperature reached 20C and that is just wonderful for doing some maintenance on the 928. Fresh oil and filter, new coolant (14 Liter), and new transmission fluid plus filter. Did I mention that replacing coolant is a mess?? Not the work, but despite of precautions you end up swabbing the floor. The coolant spills everywhere. I also replaced transmission ATF fluid and filter. Doing the work is straight forward. But putting the 10L ATF back in is hassle if you don't have proper workshop tools for this. So I tried something new. A small gear pump that sucks the ATF from the bottle or can, and pumps it nicely in the tranny reservoir at the side of the tranny. This seemed to work well... I was exited and proud... until something happened: the hose slipped out. I panicked and by accident kicked the ATF bottle over... and ended up cleaning all the ATF on the floor. The idea was perfect as this worked great, but I'd have to practice a bit I guess. Next time I will begin with attaching the hoses properly to avoid them jumping out and mess things up again :)
September 2018.... Summer was extremely dry and hot this year. The was was kept in the garage most of the time as the strong sun will not do the car any good. Rubbers and paint are not new and this prevents the UV to increase the ageing of materials. The car runs fine. I had some Molycote Hydrostössel additive added to the oil change in April and that worked quite well I believe. Even if the car was not used for weeks the hydro's were still silent at startup of the engine and remained like this while warming up. I hope this stays and if needed I will add another 1.5 bottle next year. I still have some in stock. Conclusion is though that it is most likely the problem is in the lifters themselves and not in the oneway valve... but it is really a guess. It is hard to tell for sure. Anyway, the car is great and still a joy to drive every time I take it out for some fun. We use the car not a lot, a few thousand km per year tops. If you consider the cost of maintaining, and taxes, it is not the cheapest around :) But it does give all the driving and wrenching pleasure you could ask for. In a few weeks the October APK inspection is due. So time to do a checkup again. Two weeks ago I topped up the fluid in the PSD reservoir as it was really low. I guess there is a leak somewhere. I need to investigate this.
November 2018.... Winter is announcing itself I'm afraid. It is getting colder and its time to change over to the winter tires. Part of the fun of high speed driving now disappears as the road condition may be less good (wet or slippery) but also my tires are not up to 250 km/h speeds. So time to be captain slow again ...hahaha. Well, Dutch regulations only allow speeds to 130 km/h on certain roads. So what is slow if all of them are slow? Luckily I have the German motorway on just a few km from my home. Anyway, driving the 928 is a pleasure as always. And sometimes when at a traffic light you see people admire the car, look stunned or give a thumbs up as this car was and still is a remarkable and uncommon design. It stands out in the crowd so to speak. (It does not always stand out.... in a parking lot you must remember where you parked as it is so low that you see it only when you are 5 meters away from it) So winter is upon us and time to do a final check if all is ok. Next stop is the spring maintenance round. I'm planning to do a timing belt maintenance so this will be a big one.
December 2018.... And suddenly we had a brake pad alarm. Hmmm... I recently put on the winter wheels and it seemed still ok with a thickness of 1 maybe 1.5mm. Well, the alarm is there for a reason to it is time to replace the pads. Removing the pads was not such a big deal as the bolts of the calipers are fairly easy to loosen. Taking the caliper off from the disk helps a lot getting the old pads out and new ones in. It is a dirty job but with some patience and good tools it is not really hard to do. The reason why the alarms went off already is that the wear of the disk causes a little rim on the edge which cuts into the sensor. The sensors were still ok, and when I remove the winter wheels again I must remember to sand off that rim.
February 2019.... Winter time. We had a bit of snow and it was sometimes cold. I had to take the 928 out for a drive now and then and also brought my wife to work when the roads were covered in the white powdery stuff. I hate it doing this as salty roads are not good to preserve the car. But then again it is better than ending up with the ER in the hospital. The car is somewhat hard to reverse when it is slippery or icy. The trick is to put the automatic in reverse, and as soon as the car moves a little, put it back in neutral so that you can still brake properly. Otherwise the traction pulls so hard that you can't control it properly and it even starts slipping in an uncontrolled manner ignoring that you press the brake really hard. Ask me how I found out... Anyway, all went well now and I washed the car immediately after so that the salty crap is not eating and corroding the car body. Hope the damage is minimal.
April 2019.... Winter is almost over and temperature rises again even though it keeps raining and sometimes we get hail. I swapped back to the summer wheels and completely forgot about the disks that have this wear rim which I was going to remove. Ah well, it is not a big deal so I'm not taking the wheels off for this. I checked PSD fluid while I was working in the left rear wheel well, and noticed it needed topping up again. I must a have a leak somewhere. I will investigate when I'm doing the annual service. Maybe the link towards the transmission is leaking, I noticed some fluid deposit there. I tightened it a bit. Wait and see.
September 2019.... Waauw, first signs of Autumn are showing. Summer was hot and shiny, so I was glad the AC worked well in the 928. It is not super cool, but okay for me. The car is super. Never an issue, works great, runs superb, and sometimes it still makes people pulling a full `Linda Blair`. The other day a guy at the gas station immediately recognized the 928 (it does not have the 928 decal) and made compliments about this remarkable car and how great it still looks. Well... what more can I say to this? The annual inspection is up, so as a matter of preparation I did a full pre-check myself as always. Nothing that needs attention, all looks perfect. The PSD is loosing a tiny bit of fluid every half a year, so I must see where that goes :) And today we had annual inspection. of course all was well except for the headlights height. I think they lifted the car again which pulls the front a little out of suspension. I adjusted it myself just avoid having to come back for checking after repairs. And one more funny thing... there seems to be a new rule that fog lights must have a clear middle line where the upper part is dimmed. That is impossible with the standard fog lights in our 928. But you may also disable the lights... so I pulled fuse #6 and got my all clear approval. But really... this is like harassment for old-timers.
October 2019.... And suddenly I heard a grinding sound. At first very briefly and then it disappeared. I looked worried and at first I had no idea what it was. I drove the car maybe 10 km and all was fine. Almost accepted the issue as something temporary but when arriving home I heard it again. Loud grinding. I opened the bonnet and looked carefully. It was close to the water pump. First idea was a loose impeller. Shit. That is not good. I removed the air tubes and looked at the timing belt path. The belt was off to the side of the cam wheel on the driver side. A change of path indicates that the pump bearing could be failing. I did not start the engine anymore. This is not good. I decided not to wait and start removing all the items that block access to the belt. Took 2 evenings before most of it was gone and I exposed the coolant pump. Yep, bearing shot, and also the belt touched the side wall causing the grinding noise. It is quite a job to undo these things. But the pump bolts came out easy so I was happy about that. I always struggle with the air pump belt and end up removing the pulley as well :) Anyway, after cleaning things it was time to start reassembling. I had a new Laso pump, paper gasket, coolant, Gates Powergrip timing belt, new tensioner and new idler bearing in stock. And I replaced both rotors and distributors. So quite a big maintenance while you're at it. I started the job on Monday evening and worked almost every evening a few hours while finishing on Saturday. It is really a lot of work. This is why the Porsche dealer wants over 2000 euro's for it :) And then there is the magic moment where you actually start the engine again. It is always a very special moment when you start the engine again and find the engine running smoothly as always. The big maintenance is done, and good for another 7 years.
January 2020.... It is winter and the car did not get out so much despite of the fact that January was rather warm and we had no real winter cold or snowfall. The timing belt job was done well, no issues at all. It first I was a bit careful not to rev the engine too much but gradually confidence grew and I gave the car a decent spin now and then. That is what the car is for eh... to have fun. There is one more thing that needs attention: the PSD pump. It is leaking a bit and I need to tackle this. I'm a bit hesitating for two reasons: it is too cold right now, and taking off the interior lining of the driver side rear wheel well might damage it. It is known to become brittle over the years. However, loosing brake fluid is also not an option. So in March or so I will do this. meanwhile I will fill up the reservoir.
April 2020.... Spring has started and I did my planned annual maintenance. Nothing special to mention here. I also took the rear wheel liner out to have a look at the leaking PSD unit. The left side liner was really ok, no worries, but the PSD leak is a lot worse than I anticipated. Not a simple seal of hose that leaked. The accumulator is leaking at one of the cold-weld rims and I see no way to repair this. The accumulator has sort of a balloon filled with pressurized N2 gas and welding is simply not an option. A new part was about 2400 euro. Not something I wanted to spend. I decided to look for a used accumulator, and managed to find one that should be ok. With a lot of force I managed to unscrew the frozen accumulator. Phew. That was scary... While waiting for the part to arrive I also looked at a corrosion spot below the right rear window. It was progressively getting worse. This must be repaired if I want to keep the car for years to come. So I had Tom from a car paint workshop have a look. The rust was worse when the rubber window seal was removed and needed proper repair, new seal etc. And while checking things the list of other small things to do grew by the minute. Problem is that when you do one thing you wonder if you should do the other things while spray painting. I wanted to replace the deformed molding strip at the driver door with a new one I purchased, and it turned out that it my strip was sprayed over so the door needed spraying as well after removing it. And so the list became longer. The PSD fluid also damaged the paint and that was an unexpected surprise. And the plastic rear body was deformed a little ... and so on. It became a big task. Tom called and said that the right wheel arch liner was is very bad shape, brittle and full of cracks. A new one would be over 400 euro. I decided to try to fix that with glass fiber and epoxy while waiting for the paint work to complete.
May 2020.... Well, the paintjob is perfectly done. Can't say it any better. But the brake lights did not work anymore, the door sill illumination was off as well. I told the paint shop to let it be, I will repair those (which is probably much cheaper compared to them spending hours on troubleshooting). And so I did. This was for me kind of a relax moment to fix them. Next was the PSD. I got it all cleaned up and ready to go, but fitting it is a bit of a hassle. It is a very narrow space to work in and especially the rear bracket is a pain to attach. Holding the heavy pump in position and attaching a washer and nut on the back side where you cannot see what you're doing is a challenge. But it worked out ok, fluid filled, bleeding went well and the pump pressurized again. I did a test drive and that also seemed to go well. PSD nicely activated when needed. I also bled the brakes since I was replacing the winter tires which was well overdue. The wheel well liner on both right and left side are in, and this went reasonably well. This is really something you should not remove too often.... I made a picture of the PSD reservoir level so that I can easily verify through the inspection window in the lines. (yes, my GTS has this...) What remained is attaching the 928GTS decal on the rear bumper. I had this plan for some years already but never came around attaching. The original sticky back was not so sticky anymore so I decided to use a strong 3M super thin adhesive foil to attach it. It is a bit of work to cut out the contours and make it fit. But it looks awesome to be honest. That was the last bit on my to-do list.
July 2020.... Ok, repairing the PSD pump worked very well. No leaks at all, but I need to monitor the fluid level in the reservoir for a while. Just to be 100% sure. When I had new rear winter tires some years ago, I got the wheels back with damage. They had clearly dropped on the floor causing scratches and pitting. I repaired this 2 years ago but was not so pleased with the result. So yesterday I took them out from storage, sanded them, sprayed primer, carefully sanded them again, sprayed silver and coated them with glossy transparent coat. It is not professional quality yet but close enough. The center caps were apparently sprayed a few times by the previous owner and started to look somewhat blurry, so I had a paint remover gooey resolve multiple paint layers, exposing the fine cast Porsche logo so that I could spray it with just one silver layer and some clear coat. Looks perfect again.
September 2020.... The PSD was ok. Phew. No fluid level drop in the reservoir and this makes me very happy. Also the repair of the fender and liner looks ok and I'm satisfied with the result. This is the first time since I have the GTS that it actually says 928 GTS on the rear bumper. Looks nice I'd say. From time to time I drive the car, but not really as much as I would like to. I'm preparing the car for annual safety inspection which is due in October. Just want to make sure she looks perfect and I do not get any complaints about trivial things like the beam pattern of the bumper lights (last year they wanted to reject my car because of this, which is btw standard for all 1987 and later 928's and never any concern at inspections). As for the car... it runs perfectly as always. Never had any issues, and it is such a joy to drive this 928. Not really the fastest thing around, but I think one of the most beautiful (retro) cars around in my area.
October 2020.... It is well known that car start batteries have a limited lifetime and also that you should never draw power until they flat line. Well, when the car was in the workshop for spray work, they drained the battery. It was flat for about 2 weeks. I guess that is where it started to go down hill. I did not use the car much in the summertime and I had to charge it every 2 weeks or so. Still power was quite low. After 2 weeks it barely powered the electronics and you can forget about starting the engine with insufficient power. So before annual inspection I had to get a new one. I decided to go for a 71Ah Exide to replace the 6 years old Varta 74Ah. It is just one of those things that belong to regular operating cost of a car I suppose. This was also a good time to check on connectors in the battery area and do some "electrical maintenance". The car was in for annual inspection as well. And again they said the light pattern of the fog lights was not ok. So again I removed #6 fuse so that they were happy that I had no working fog lights. Just makes me wonder what changed.. regulations? Tougher inspection? Maybe the lamp reflector assembly faded a little? Looking back over 2020 I did not drive the car as much as previous years. Partly because of the Corona situation which made us stay home more often, partly because we have a Toyota Yaris which we use as well and is just a bit more economic (1:20) than my fun drive :)
later in 2020.... what happens next?
As they say at
People ask us: why do we put so much performance in a luxury car? And others ask: Why do we put so much luxury in a performance car? To both, the answer is the same. We are Porsche. And we know.... no other way. At Porsche: Excellence is expected.
Quoted from the movie: "NoOtherWayz"
|I am Theo Jenniskens, I live in Venlo, the Netherlands. I
am married, my wife's name is: Marie-José, and we have one son:
Currently I am in retirement. I worked for CANON OCE copiers and printers in Venlo, where I was team leader for an ICT support team of computer engineers. I have an electronics and computer background. I've previously worked for computer service-, forwarding- and logistics companies.
I love my family, computers, software development, electronics, mechanics, music, movies, traveling, and of course: my car.
|note: If I placed or copied text or photographs which are personal property, or if I have used objects without permission......... i.e.: If I did upset someone: please e-mail me and I will take immediate action !|
For those of you who have actually come so far as reading thru all this stuff here is a special gift:
The Porsche Font: PorscheFont.zip Just unzip in the \windows\fonts directory. It supports ONLY CAPS!
The family ... the way we were ... a while ago ;-)
In Gunnison Canyon USA 2012
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