Another 911 part arrives..

A new part for my 911 has arrived: a left side heater duct for backdating the heating system on the 911 to the early 911 style.  Why is this important and why is it a good idea to backdate the heat?  First, backdating the heat makes it much easier to work in the engine compartment.  It removes a decent amount of plastic piping and removes a large blower motor that honestly gets in the way when you try and work on the engine.  Secondly, backdating the heating system is just cool (pun not intended) since we already have a large fan blowing air across the entire engine diverting a little bit to blow air through the heater boxes around the headers isn’t that big of a deal.  The heat will still get to the front of the car with no issues.  And lastly, it is all in my steps toward rebuilding my engine into something more spectacular than the 3.2L boxer six sitting back there now.

Left Side Heating Duct

I still need to purchase the high temperature silicone hose used to route the heater duct air to the heater boxes, but I didn’t want to purchase it until I had the part in hand and could confirm the size that I needed.  As luck would have it however, Pegasus Auto Racing Supplies is out of the hose when I really want to order it.  Maybe I’ll get lucky and Austin Performance has some in stock.

And, just before I was about to publish this post another thing I’d been waiting for showed up on my doorstep.

Yes, a bag from Simpson Racing.. what could be in this bag?  Could it be this?

Yes, my racing suit, in the flesh, so to speak.  However, after trying it on there is going to be no gaining weight in the wrong areas or it won’t fit at all.  But, now I’ve got all the racing gear I need sans a cool shirt — now I just need my car so I can get to rocking and rolling out on the track again.

Kill Switch Adventures

As I’ve written about before, my 911 needed a kill switch installed to be truly safe for the race track.  This weekend I decided for sure I’d install it on Saturday and it’d be done in a few hours and there would be nothing else to worry about.  As you can tell with the name of the post, it did not go quite as easily as expected.

Most of the installation was straight forward, the kill switch gets installed between the main battery and the rest of the electronics in the car.  So, you simply cut the main battery cable, fab up a shorter one to make it from the battery to the kill switch, wire up what needs to be wired up and call it a day.  A quick and easy hour or so job.  Obviously, not the case.

The kill switch needed a bracket mounted to it to hold the kill switch remote pull wiring.  The piece holding the kill switch itself needed to have some holes oblonged so that then kill switch would not rub against other brackets and everything would fit into the vehicle.  The supplied wiring diagram was not very good at all (and I think this is where I managed to release the magic smoke from the system).  After two days of working on installation, the kill switch is now wired up and hopefully working, but, I ended up with a dead engine control unit in return.

The DME (engine control box) has been shipped out to 911CHIPS to be repaired and have a different performance chip installed and I’m looking at installing  set of headers on the engine to open it up a little bit more and get some more horsepower out of the engine.  Although this is a minor setback, the addition of headers onto the car should help lessen the pain of being without the car for over a week :).

The latest round with the 911

After finishing up the Level 2 driving classes from The Driveway it was time for me to tackle the few issues that came up with the car as I was driving it.  First, I was getting way too much body roll in the corners; secondly, the brakes were fading when being used repeatedly; thirdly, I need race brake pads in order to do the level 3 driving class; and lastly, the engine was coming way too close to overheating for me to not pay attention to it anymore.

Fixing the body roll associated with taking corners fast and hard meant new sway bars.  New sway bars meant new sway bar mounts for the rears since the stock 911 rear sway bar mounts are very flimsy and normally break with just the stock sway bar.  I chose to get the Smart Racing Products front and rear sway bars with the #31 bar in the front and the #27 bar in the rear.  To take care of the flimsy rear sway bar brackets I purchased the WEVO Rear Anti-Roll Bar Consoles.  The WEVO brackets were nice, think pieces of metal that won’t be breaking anytime soon (if at all).  Also, since the front suspension was going to be apart, I ordered a bump steer kit to take care of the bump steer inherent in the 911’s suspension geometry correctly rather than my quick, cheap fix of steering rack spacers.

Next up, were the parts for the brakes.  The first order of business was finding some track / race pads that would withstand repeated use and hopefully not destroy my rotors at the same time.  I read tons of reviews, looked at a lot of different brake pads and in the end, bought a set of Pagid Yellow pads.  Next on the list was the brake disk cooling.  In general brake disk cooling requires a method and parts to get air from the front of the car into the center of the brake rotor so that it will be push out of the rotor through the slots and holes in the rotor.  Luckily, a Pelican Parts forum member was making carbon fiber brake ducts with a 3″ hose entrace and was making them in various sizes.  I purchased these from him and even though I had to wait a while for them to show up, they were well worth it.  When I got the package it felt like the box was empty.  I also then purchased 12 foot of high heat brake duct hose so that I could channel air from the front bumper to the brake ducts.  The other piece of the puzzle was to have some metal tubing made that would fit around the front a-arm so that air could make it from the front of the car to the air duct inlet.  The finishing piece was some decent metal mesh to cover the openings in the front bumper where the fog lights once were.

Lastly, it was the engine cooling.  I purchased a second Carrera oil cooler to fit on the driver side of the car and some nice large tubing and hose ends as well.  If this doesn’t take care of the heat generated by my 3.2L engine the next step would be to purchase a large front mount oil cooler and run it in series with the two Carrera coolers.

I had hoped that I would be able to install the bump steer kit myself since it was a very simple install.  However, the ridiculous heat and not having a garage to work in conspired against me and I had to have my mechanics install it for me along with everything else.  I dropped off the 911 and the associated parts then left to begin the waiting game.  As I was waiting however, I realized I should probably print out instructions on how I’d like things to go together with respect to the air ducting and how the second oil cooler was installed in the car.  As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.  So, I took another trip out there and dropped that off with them – and started waiting again.

I made a few visits just to see how the progress was going but did my best to stay out of the way.  When we all thought it was close to being done, an unexpected situation arose.  The 3″ ducting that went around the front a-arms was causing rubbing on the tire so steering rack spacers had to be ordered.  Unfortunately, I found this out on a Sunday so it would be at least Wednesday before the part would show up.  It could have shown up sooner, but I wasn’t going to spend more money than the part was worth to get the part here quicker.  In the end, I was resigned to waiting for the part to show up on Wednesday and then running over to the shop and dropping off the new part.  In the end however, I could have just put it on UPS ground and it would have been just as well since they didn’t get a chance to work on it until Friday afternoon.  That Saturday it was all buttoned up and ready to go.  When I picked it up the second person working on my car told me it handled just like the 911 cup cars the Porsche race teams used to run.  I was inclined to believe him since he drove them.  It wasn’t until I drove the car home that I understood what he meant.  The steering became very precise and there was absolutely no body roll in the car.  The car also tramlined on the road at any small bump or rut in the road.

I said I wanted to make this car a race car that I could at least drive on the streets occasionally.  And I got what I paid for.  It can drive on the streets (although a shade harsh for some people) and I love driving it even with all the tramlining and somewhat harsh ride.  Now all I have to do is take it to the track and begin the fine-tuning.

Let the games begin. 🙂

Turning into a mechanic?

It seems crazy, but it looks like it might be happening.  After purchasing my new fun car I have found myself having to tinker on it to put parts on, pull parts off and generally try and keep it in running order.  There are some things I’m still not confident in doing; but, hey, you gotta start somewhere.

Today, I spent a good amount of time cleaning out the trunk area of the car.  The amount of grime, leaves and other random crap in the trunk was ridiculous.  After an hour or so of cleaning it still wasn’t sparkling clean, but it was clean enough that I might actually put something into it.  I still need to go through it again and clean the tools in the tool kit and take care of deep cleaning some other parts where the dirt just didn’t want to be picked up or scrubbed off with some 409.

After all that, I took the shop-vac to the interior and at least got all the leaves and grass that had been tracked in out of the car.  Still on the todo list for the interior is to clean it all up and redo the rear seats and redye the interior carpet back to black.  Not to mention replacing the door panels.. once they show up.

Oh, the joys of tinkering… and I still haven’t even started talking about the parts that need to be installed – but that is for another post on another day.