We don’t just write about Porsches, we drive and live with them, too What was sup­posed to be a ‘span­ner check’ for Paul Davies’ Car­rera 3.2 Targa, turns into some­thing more lengthy and ex­pen­sive

911 Porsche World - - Practical Porsche -

Time for a ser­vice. At present I’m clock­ing up no more than 3000 miles a year in the Car­rera, which means that I reckon I can go for a ma­jor ser­vice (plugs, tap­pets, tim­ing, the Full Monty) on al­ter­nate years and set­tle for just an oil change and what we ral­ly­ing types used to call a ‘span­ner check’ in be­tween. For­tu­nately for the bank balance, this year was due to be the turn of the less costly.

Staff short­ages at Jaz Porsche meant the St Al­bans spe­cial­ist asked me to post­pone my cho­sen date by a few weeks. No prob­lem as far as I was con­cerned; Steve Win­ter and his crew have been friends since the days of the 912 (eerily that is last cen­tury!) so I was happy to oblige.

Only, in the en­su­ing gap things took a turn for the worse when the ex­haust took a turn to de­velop a more than ‘ex­cit­ing’ note – es­pe­cially on the A1M road tun­nel that goes un­der the Hat­field shop­ping cen­tre. The deci­bels were bounc­ing off the walls.

A crawl un­der­neath re­vealed a nois­e­sized hole in the pipe that con­nects the main si­lencer to the in­ter­me­di­ate box. Bother, thought I, then re­mem­bered that the only part of the ex­haust sys­tem to have been re­placed since the car left Stuttgart in 1987 had been the afore­said in­ter­me­di­ate box (some­times known as the pre-si­lencer) that I had fit­ted eight years ago.

New main box needed. But did I go for ba­sic fac­tory spec or stain­less steel? With­out doubt the stain­less ver­sion would last much longer, but on the ba­sis that the orig­i­nal mild steel ver­sion had lasted three

sump tank, and the re­place­ment si­lencer was stand­ing by, Jaz tech­ni­cian War­ren was do­ing his ‘span­ner check’. The rub­ber boot on the out­side left hand drive shaft con­stant ve­loc­ity joint was split, he said. Bet­ter change that, I said. Then, ever help­ful, I added there had been an oc­ca­sional knock­ing (or was it more like rat­tling?) some­where in the re­gion of the right hand front sus­pen­sion.

It didn’t take more than a lit­tle bit of wheel shak­ing (no play in the bear­ing or bushes) and three sec­onds looking to re­veal the disc back plate was in the ter­mi­nal stages of cor­ro­sion and about to fall off. Bet­ter add that to the list, I said.

That was all. But what started as an oil change (the sim­ple bit) had de­vel­oped into the best part of a day’s work. It’s hap­pened to me be­fore.

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