Find­ing sus­pen­sion Nir­vana has been some­what time con­sum­ing, but that doesn't mean that I've been ne­glect­ing other ar­eas of the 996’s well­be­ing...

911 Porsche World - - Practical Porsche -

In terms of day-to-day up­keep, that re­spon­si­bil­ity lies with Auto Um­bau in Bed­ford­shire. I like their prag­matic ap­proach to keep­ing the mod­ern, wa­ter-cooled cars on the road and al­ways en­joy drop­ping in to chew the fat with Robin Mcken­zie and Terry Parker and see what's on the ramps. So it was that I swung by re­cently for the 996's an­nual ser­vice, which mer­ci­fully was just a 'mi­nor' af­ter 2016’s noth­ing short of 'mega' ser­vice, which saw a full sus­pen­sion com­po­nent re­fresh, brake discs and pads all round, all flu­ids from oil to clutch and other miscellaneous stuff like a new ig­ni­tion switch, low temp ther­mo­stat and swap­ping over from 18in to 17in wheels. Even with a do­na­tion of the afore­men­tioned 18s to take the sting out of the bill, it was close to £2000 and there was still a seem­ingly lengthy 'to do' list. Since then and prior to this ser­vice, I've also changed the cool­ing rads and air con rads, plus had the sys­tem re-gassed. Oh, and I've changed all six ig­ni­tion coils.

I was sur­prised that be­tween the two vis­its, I had man­aged to clock up 3500miles. I know that sounds pal­try, but it's nearly dou­ble on the pre­vi­ous year! Any­way, even a 'mi­nor' ser­vice with Auto Um­bau strikes me as a pretty com­pre­hen­sive af­fair and I ac­com­pa­nied Robin on a vis­ual trou­bleshoot­ing 20-point tour of the car, plus, of course, an oil change, Auto Um­baus' tip­ple of choice for 996s of my car’s gen­er­a­tion be­ing Mo­bil X3000 5W/40 syn­thetic, which it doesn't seem to have any sort of wor­ry­ing thirst for.

I'm de­press­ingly fa­mil­iar with the un­der­neath of my car. It’s not a pretty sight, but no worse than most 996s of its age ac­cord­ing to Robin and Terry. There are ar­eas of what they term 'gravel rash' or light sur­face cor­ro­sion, which need to be at­tended to. The power steer­ing rack pipes are rather cor­roded, too, and the en­gine sump gas­ket is leak­ing as is the RMS, which Robin clas­si­fies as a “stage two” leak. Stage three is when it starts to ac­tu­ally drip, which is when it’s time to open it up and fix it. At that stage I will change the clutch and IMS, too. Re­ally look­ing for­ward to that, as you can imag­ine...

That aside it was given a rel­a­tively clean bill of health and so I got the book stamped and got out with my wal­let rel­a­tively in­tact!

All was go­ing well un­til the driver’s side elec­tric win­dow de­cided to play up. Be­ing frame­less the win­dow au­to­mat­i­cally drops about half an inch when the door is opened, and then raises when closed. Mine was re­main­ing in the up po­si­tion, so the door wouldn't shut prop­erly un­less the glass was man­u­ally dropped via the switch. Not too much of a drama ex­cept the hor­ri­ble graunch­ing noise that ac­com­pa­nied the pro­ce­dure and the win­dow seem­ingly hav­ing a mind of its own as to its di­rec­tion of travel. I de­duced that clearly it was bro­ken. I know, I'm quite bright like that!

This time it was lo­cal sports car spe­cial­ist Clev­er­ley Re­paired Cars to the res­cue (you will see that Dep Ed, Brett Fraser, has also had his Boxster in for some work there too in these very pages). Off came the door card and the prob­lem was im­me­di­ately ap­par­ent. The ca­ble, which op­er­ates what is ba­si­cally a scis­sor mech­a­nism to lift and lower the door win­dow was no longer un­der ten­sion be­cause one of the pul­leys that it runs on had sheared off, up­set­ting the whole mech­a­nism and con­fus­ing the regulator, which raises and low­ers the glass a frac­tion.

It was an easy if some­what fid­dly fix, and one of those things that ab­so­lutely had to be done. Euro Car Parts sup­plied the regulator and mech­a­nism for £156, which seemed rea­son­able enough and fit­ting took an hour at £45.00. Well, you have to keep on top of these things...

Be­low: Some­thing that seems to af­flict most 996s even­tu­ally. The driver’s side elec­tric win­dow was re­fus­ing to drop slightly, when opened. Closer in­ves­ti­ga­tion (cen­tre) re­vealed a sheared pul­ley, re­quir­ing a new regulator and mech­a­nism (be­low)

Above left: Auto Um­bau’s Robin Mcken­zie car­ried out a mi­nor ser­vice. Above: The sil­ver 996/997 club!

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