911 Porsche World - - Practical Porsche -

There are no par­tic­u­larly awk­ward el­e­ments or tech­niques to this job. Note, though, that you will need at least some ac­cess to the un­der­side of the car, and cer­tainly first to deal with the ac­tu­at­ing rods – so un­less you have the lux­ury of a garage lift, make sure that it is safely sup­ported on axle-stands be­fore you ven­ture be­neath it.

The only spe­cial ‘tool’ re­quired is a sys­tem tester, and as ever we are as­sum­ing that, as a DIYER, you would have to rely on sub­se­quently tak­ing the ve­hi­cle to a con­ve­niently lo­cated spe­cial­ist for the new actuator(s) to be ‘adapted’, that is to say elec­tron­i­cally linked to the ve­hi­cle’s man­age­ment sys­tem. It will be per­fectly safe to drive, how­ever, with the per­for­mance no worse than be­fore you did the re­pair work.

When re­plac­ing the ac­tu­a­tors you will ad­di­tion­ally need to lower each rear corner of the en­gine away from the body to pro­vide suf­fi­cient room to reach in to each unit’s three socket-headed M6 screws. It’s best to do that just one side at a time, sup­port­ing the power unit with a jack (or, as here, a trans­mis­sion stand) as you do so. Make sure that the en­gine is jacked fully back into place be­fore tight­en­ing each se­cur­ing nut, or you risk dam­ag­ing the threads.

Or­di­nar­ily we might of­fer ad­vice on what else you might wish to at­tend to while the car is par­tially dis­man­tled, but here it’s a case of let­ting sleep­ing dogs lie; if it ain’t broke, in other words, don’t even think about try­ing to fix it. Be­cause – for ex­am­ple – any ex­haust-sys­tem fas­ten­ers you try to undo will al­most cer­tainly break, cre­at­ing more prob­lems than any preven­tive medicine will solve. Some of the ac­com­pa­ny­ing pho­to­graphs will show what we mean.

The same goes for the roughly ‘L’-shaped de­vice im­me­di­ately be­low each tur­bocharger. Their pur­pose is to col­lect sur­plus oil from the blow­ers, stor­ing it un­til it can be drawn back into the en­gine by the scav­enge pump. Each has a drain plug, which in the­ory should be re­moved oc­ca­sion­ally to al­low any resid­ual lu­bri­cant within them to es­cape, but which in prac­tice might just as well now be welded into po­si­tion. Don’t even go there, ba­si­cally.

All you can re­al­is­ti­cally do, then, is clean and/or de-rust any items or fas­ten­ers that have to be re­moved any­way – in­side the rear lamp hous­ings and be­hind the rear apron, for in­stance, or the in­ter­cooler brack­etry – and re­place any parts that are vis­i­bly bro­ken, or about to fail. In truth, there were none of the lat­ter to be seen in this nine-year-old car, but the over­all state of the un­der­side was a stark re­minder of how lit­tle gen­uine longevity is built in to these mod­ern Porsches.

It’s not con­nected di­rectly with this task, of course, but look at the con­di­tion of that main bat­tery-ca­ble ter­mi­nal and, up at the front, the leak­ing coolant pipes – both of which is­sues will need at­ten­tion in the fairly near to im­me­di­ate fu­ture in or­der to pre­serve any shred of re­li­a­bil­ity. (And both of which, to some ex­tent, we have al­ready dealt with in one or other of these how-to sto­ries, al­beit in prin­ci­ple rather than in spe­cific de­tail.)

What you will need to know, of course, is how much this prob­lem might end up cost­ing you – and the sad truth is that it’s a pretty com­mon one. The two short rods, as we’ve said, are about £11 each plus VAT, and you’ll be look­ing at roughly an hour’s work each side to have them fit­ted. (Or, bet­ter still, pe­ri­od­i­cally re­moved, greased and re­fit­ted, such that they never seize in the first place.)

The turbo ac­tu­a­tors – or what Porsche calls ad­just­ment mo­tors – are priced at an eye-wa­ter­ing £501.06 plus VAT apiece, and to have one fit­ted you will be look­ing at around four hours’ labour. If both are re­quired – and that, as proved by this car, is by no means a cer­tainty; don’t as­sume (or be told) that you must have both – your parts bill will ob­vi­ously be dou­bled. But any good spe­cial­ist ought to take ac­count of the fact that the rear apron is al­ready off, and ad­just the labour charge down­wards ac­cord­ingly.

Porsche-torque’s hourly rate, to give you some sort of yard­stick, is £75 plus VAT. If you would like Sid Ma­lik to have a look at your 997 Turbo – or any other Porsche, come to that; we highly rec­om­mend him and his team – call 01895 814446, or al­ter­na­tively go to

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