911 Porsche World - - Tech Topics -

A re­cent visit to Auto Um­bau in Sil­soe, Bed­ford­shire, gave me a long-awaited chance to show how to deal with the quick-fit con­nec­tions in the pow­er­steer­ing pipes half­way along the un­der­side of the left-hand sill of a 996 or 986 – and both the 987 and 997 are in this re­spect iden­ti­cal. (This was the car with the im­pro­vised ‘re­pair’ that I re­ported on in these pages last month.) And I feel it’s a job wor­thy of a few photos be­cause oth­er­wise, un­less you ei­ther know how to get them apart – and back to­gether again – or else have an in­tu­itive feel for mech­a­nisms of this na­ture, you might never work it out.

Start by eas­ing out of its groove in the rear half of the de­vice the horse­shoe-shaped plas­tic re­tainer; a pointed pick is the best tool. Us­ing two open-ended wrenches – here 15mm; on the larger of the two pipes you’ll need a pair of 19mm span­ners – start to undo the two hexag­o­nal sec­tions rel­a­tive to each other. (The plas­tic horse­shoe is, as you’ve prob­a­bly re­alised, a sim­ple but ef­fec­tive lock­ing de­vice.) Con­tinue to ro­tate the two halves of the union and they will sep­a­rate, re­veal­ing a tiny metal ‘bas­ket’. Care­fully ex­tract that, and pull the hexag­o­nal sec­tion off the end of the rear pipe. Job done.

To re­con­nect the two pipes, take the now sep­a­rate union and in­sert the metal bas­ket, ta­pered end first. Make sure the ‘O’-ring seal is in good con­di­tion. Screw the union into the end of the front pipe and, again us­ing your open-ended span­ners, tighten it. You don’t need mas­sive force. All you have to do now, as and when the mo­ment comes, is push the rear part of the pipe into the front un­til it clicks.

Re­fit the plas­tic horse­shoe, and that’s that: a per­fect ex­am­ple of the clever de­sign and se­lected pre-assem­bly that would not only have saved count­less man-hours when the car was be­ing built, but would also al­low that par­tic­u­lar job to be done by a semi-skilled worker. Thus did Porsche start to save it­self the mil­lions of eu­ros that en­abled it to be­come the world’s most prof­itable car maker. PW

Easy when you know how. High-pres­sure lines for power steer­ing in 996 and its vari­ants have these in­ge­nious unions be­tween front and rear sec­tions, roughly mid­way along the un­der­side of the left-hand sill, de­signed to al­low quick and easy assem­bly in the fac­tory by pos­si­bly only ‘semi-skilled’ work­ers. Key to un­do­ing them is first to re­move tiny plas­tic lock­ing de­vice (don’t lose it...), and then to use well-fit­ting span­ners (15mm or 19mm, as re­quired) on the hexag­o­nal part of each half of the union. To re­con­nect them, re­assem­ble the two parts of the union ‘body’, and then just push in the end of the rear pipe, un­til it clicks and locks. And don’t for­get that plas­tic ‘horse­shoe’, of course

With 911 & Porsche World’s con­sul­tant editor, Chris Hor­ton

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