911 Porsche World
Issues under this heading are more likely to pertain to the gearbox than the engine. ‘On manual gearboxes the bearing that takes the end thrust from the input shaft can spin in the case, and this causes the case to wear, allowing the bearing to move back and forward along with the input shaft,’ Steve warns. ‘The result is that the car jumps out of second gear when you come on and off the throttle.’ He reckons the Tiptronic S auto ’box is more reliable.
The 996 Turbo’s suspension is a relatively simple set up with no particular problems. But age – the oldest Turbos are now almost 19 years old – is now a worry in itself. ‘Other than general wear and tear the suspension is reliable,’ Steve tells us. ‘But we are fitting more and more KW suspension kits to 996 Turbos, mainly because they are getting old and the original factory suspension is tired.’ He points out that the correct geometry set up is crucial, because small imperfections are amplified by the car’s high power output.
Brakes and wheels
Steve doesn’t encounter many brake problems on 996 Turbos, but does feel that the standard set up is not up to the turbo performance. A few 996 Turbos will have the factory optional ceramic brakes – these are very expensive to replace once worn out, and while cheaper, independently made substitutes are available, it will still be a costly business.
Early cars may now be showing some body and underside corrosion, and rust also attacks various components. ‘The major issue is the air conditioning condensers and all three coolant radiators, all of which are mounted at the front of the car and hence vulnerably placed, and we are also seeing corroded fuel, brake, power steering and air conditioning pipes,’ Steve says. Check for serious accident damage: if the paperwork says it’s a “Category C” or “Category D” insurance write-off, look closely for rust at the body seams.
The relative simplicity compared to later 911s eliminates many possible issues. But Steve warns about cars that have been unused for an extended period: ‘We’ve had a surprising amount of mouse damage on cars stored in old garages and barns, the little devils seem to love the silicone boots around knock sensors and the like.’ PW