Weymouth, UK @joewilliams85
912 Model 1967 Year April 2017 Acquired
No one likes a leaky rear main seal… when they get to a certain age they struggle to hold their fluids and end up leaving their mark everywhere they go. I’m sure many can sympathise and share the same embarrassing issue. Well I’m happy to report there is a fix, and it’s more day surgery than heart surgery. If I’ve lost you already or you’re just wondering what I’m babbling on about then I’ll share the intimacies of my little problem and what I’ve done to fix it.
So the rear main seal relies on mating up to the neck on the flywheel to get a good seal. Over time and with years of abuse and often poor maintenance the flywheel wears a groove which lets oil past. The easy option would be to replace the flywheel, but unfortunately they aren’t available new anymore. Luckily a clever little company has created the speedy sleeve which presses on to the flywheel neck to give a new and perfect surface for the rear main seal to run on.
So the 912 checked into ZRS Engineering to drop the engine and
’box to split them to get access to the flywheel. Though the flywheel was in good shape and the clutch looked new there was some wear exactly where that rear main seal sits. Problem found and cure deployed, back together she went.
There is a repeating pattern here… every time I get anything done on the car I can’t help but ask to have a couple of other bits looked at! I run twin Weber carbs which came with car – this is a popular conversion to get away from the old Solexs. They do require some setting up, and on inspection it looked like mine had been chucked on and neglected. =
The linkage wasn’t particularly well adjusted, the stops were off and there was a little leak on one side. On closer inspection they needed a good clean up, service and maybe a light rebuild. As with everything I’ve entrusted Matt to deal with he embarked on a full strip down, clean, rebuild and service, also replacing the internal filters and seals.
Some other general bits were done, a weeping dizzy seal swapped out and a check on the valve gaps for good measure. With the engine and gearbox mated back together the whole drivetrain was reinstalled. The carbs were balanced perfectly and new springs on the throttle cable and pedal return have made it much smoother under foot. After running the engine for a couple of hours, there wasn’t a drop of oil!
On to what could be the last couple of adventures of the year. A few of us like-minded Porsche geeks on the South Coast try to get together every couple of months for a catch up and a few hours chat that would put most people to sleep! I’m not sure how the location was chosen but we ended up in an Indian restaurant in Stockbridge which started with a great evening drive up and across the Dorset countryside.
I jumped a lift in a friend’s 997.1
C4S with a great little convoy including a show-winning 3.2 Carrera, a 996.1 C4 converted to 2WD, a 991.1 GT3
RS and a 991.2 GT3. We have similar conversations but always seem to come up with different scenarios… if you had to pick only one 911 which one would it be? What is the ultimate all-rounder? When will they release the Speedster? How do you get on ‘The List’? Have you seen Moby Dick? Where are we going for next year’s Euro trip? You get the idea! I love the fact that Porsche can bring together such a varied group, all with different expectations of what they want from their cars. What’s important to one has no relevance to another, but with a common theme that we all enjoy.
What did come from our group get-together was a last little morning blast before the weather turns and the light disappears. The following Sunday morning saw three counties, three hours and six cars, followed by breakfast in the New Forest! All before most people have rolled out of bed. Six o’clock normally only happens once a day for me so it’s always an effort to make these early morning meets, but every time it reminds me how rewarding a decent drive on empty roads really is. With the 912 all back together it seemed like the ideal test run.
Starting in Dorset, heading up to Wiltshire and finishing across in Hampshire all via great twisty country lanes on a cool October morning is hard to beat. It was a bit damp and the roads were pretty greasy, which made for an interesting yet fun drive out. By chance we had a pretty much all-white car turn out which was a novel sight given this month’s article on The White Collection.
Our driving pack leader rolled out his 996 GT3 RS, with another two 991 Gen2 manual GT3S, a fast road set-up 996 and me playing catch up in the little 912! As luck would have it conditions quite suited the old girl; light, nimble and with a bit of new poke she held her own while the muscle struggled to put down the power. I did have a little swap into one of the new GT3S, and 9,000rpm with that manual box is addictive, but after a nice breakfast stop and a bit of a natter I realised that I’d probably had the most fun. It’s such a rewarding little car that makes you work for it, but gives back in abundance.
I forgot to mention, after all that engine and carb fettling, it’s running like a dream – pulling harder, revving faster and generally much smoother. A noticeable improvement!