While the rest of the 911&PW crew shiver through an­other north­ern Euro­pean win­ter, US con­trib­u­tor, Matt Stone, basks in the LA sun­shine with his Car­rera 3.2. It’s all right for some, eh?

911 Porsche World - - Practical Porsche -

The be­gin­ning and end of each year for many peo­ple brings re­flec­tions on the re­cent past and of­ten res­o­lu­tions for the fu­ture. It does for me, too, and al­ways in­cludes an an­nual ser­vice for the Car­rera. Plus a cou­ple of other things that popped up on my list. So that meant an­other visit to my go-to guy, Tony Cal­las, and his rather fab­u­lous team at Cal­las Rennsport. On the dock­ets were a full lube, oil and fil­ter ser­vice, brake sys­tem flush and bleed, plus the re­place­ment of the won­der­ful work­ing, but com­pletely wrong look­ing, Alpine AM/FM/CD head re­sid­ing in the dash. Tony had sourced for me a pe­riod and model cor­rect used Blaupunkt Reno Am/fm/cas­sette unit that would fit back in the aper­ture, and look right. Work right? Who knew? I for sure wanted a work­ing ra­dio, but didn’t much care if the cas­sette player played or not, be­cause, I’m not sure I still own any playable tapes.

An­other is­sue that had popped up in the lat­ter half of the year was the per­ish­ing or dis­ap­pear­ance of at least one of the bush­ings that cen­tres the steer­ing wheel shaft in the col­umn; I’d se­cured the pair of them just to have in my pocket in case Tony didn’t carry them, but he said “keep them or re­turn them, I have a metal bush­ing re­place­ment that is much more pre­cise, lasts for­ever, and isn’t ex­pen­sive.”

Once at Cal­las, the car went up on the rack for tech­ni­cian Mike’s de­tailed once-over in­spec­tion. For­tu­nately, no new prob­lems had cropped up since the last ser­vice, although we are now keep­ing a good eye on a cou­ple of mi­nor oil leaks from this fit­ting or that. No need or time to ad­dress this now, but on the list for this year for sure.

Mike drained both oil tanks, and swapped in a new Porsche Puro­la­tor “Red” fil­ter, then re­fill­ing the en­tire sys­tem with high zinc Joe Gibbs Rac­ing 20/50 con­ven­tional oil. Stan­dard opps here.

Tony’s par­tic­u­larly mind­ful of mois­ture lev­els in the brake fluid, not want­ing to see that go above one per cent, so it’s checked each time my car’s there. It had been about a year since its last brake flush, and the wa­ter level had just hit the one per cent thresh­old, so for sure it was time to flush and bleed the sys­tem. Which Mike did us­ing a power flusher/bleeder tank. This en­sures com­plete sys­tem fluid re­place­ment, which on my 1989 ex­am­ple also in­cludes the clutch master cylin­der. Even then, just to en­sure there’s no air in the sys­tem, the brakes are re-bled man­u­ally us­ing the old school pump and hold method, en­sur­ing a solid, firm pedal.

The ra­dio head swap was also rel­a­tively straight­for­ward. Sierra Madre sourced re­place­ment main and speaker ca­bles, since the bone­head that in­stalled the Alpine had cut the Porsche fac­tory plug and play ca­bles, and spliced in the wires for the Alpine, It took a bit of wiring magic for Mike to cut, clean, strip and re­con­nect the wires to make it all fit and work again, but he did it, and the Blaupunkt dropped cleanly back into the orig­i­nal hole in the dash­board. Now re­con­nected, it once again looks prop­erly 1989.

The last item re­mained the re­place­ment of the steer­ing col­umn bushes that cen­tre the steer­ing rod within the col­umn; as it was the steer­ing wheel would clunk up and down within the col­umn at least a half inch in any di­rec­tion, and the steer­ing had be­come heavy and im­pre­cise. Tony has de­vel­oped a ma­chined metal bear­ing/bush­ing that re­places the fac­tory piece; the idea is that be­ing metal it’s un­likely to ever per­ish again in the fu­ture, and solves all slop and rat­tling prob­lems. The steer­ing wheel came off, and the new bush was pressed into place on the steer­ing shaft, ev­ery­thing but­toned up, and that prob­lem con­fi­dently, and likely per­ma­nently, solved.

Some­thing Cal­las likes to do is drive each cus­tomer’s car with the owner in the pas­sen­ger seat to dis­cuss in real time any is­sues he may dis­cover while at the wheel, or any­thing the owner is un­sure or un­com­fort­able with. Tony took the wheel, ex­plain­ing to me how to best man­age the clutch for max­i­mum life and min­i­mal wear. We went over all the sys­tem con­trols on the dash and in­stru­ment panel, and he tested them to make sure ev­ery­thing worked, and that I fully un­der­stood all the op­er­a­tion. He eval­u­ated the steer­ing, brakes and other sys­tems to again en­sure things were up to snuff or not. For­tu­nately, other than things we knew about or were al­ready ad­dress­ing, my car passed Tony’s per­nick­ety hands-on test in fine fash­ion, and I learned a few things along the way. A good process which I rec­om­mend you un­der­take with a trusted ser­vice ad­vi­sor. PW

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