PROJECTS MISSIONCREEP PAUL DAVIES
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
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.