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Tuesday, 29 May 2012 12:26

Porsche Buyers Guide Introduction

So, you're thinking of buying a Porsche? you may have already chosen the model for you, you may even have looked at some. What this article aims to provide is the background information and tips for buying a pre-loved Porsche.

We say Pre-Loved because that is the kind of Porsche you want to buy, it needs to have previous owners who have looked after the car well, one who's servicing is up to date, has been serviced by a specialist or a main dealer and one which is the very best example you can find.

What you want to avoid is one where the servicing has always been minor, performed perhaps by a normal all makes garage, that is less than perfect, has issues and is cheap. There is a well used expression that I in particular like to quote, which is "There is nothing quite as expensive as a cheap Porsche". This means that although you might get what seems to be a bargain, but often it will cost so much to repair, maintain and bring up to scratch, that you would have been better off buying the one you thought was overpriced but was in great condition, with a good history of maintenance and has obviously been loved.

Do not buy a fix-er-upper, unless you are doing it because you want to work on a car and restore it, more than you want to drive it. If you are buying one to fix up, you are probably better off buying some books on car repairs and restoration rather than reading these buyers guides.

So, buy the very best one you can find, and before you buy it, make sure that you have read not only this article, but also the one specific for the model you are buying, perhaps also print them out and take them with you when you view a Porsche.

One last word of warning before we begin. Ebay, be very careful of buying a car from ebay and do not look at the ebay prices and decided that those prices are what the cars are worth. Ebay is typically a car vendors (private or trade) last avenue to sell a difficult to sell car.

Lets start at the beginning, finding the car.

There are lots of places to find a Porsche for sale, you might see it parked on the side of the road, you might even see it advertised in a local paper or other publication that you read. Which is fine, but before you buy one, or even go looking, I would like to recommend some places to look.

Specialist and main dealer websites.

Yes it is a good idea to check out what we have at JMG Porsche, or what our customers are selling. But as an unbiased article, I need to also advise you look at what other reputable Porsche specialists have for sale. Henry at 911 Virgin always has good cars, as does Jonus at JZMachtech and the guys at Strasse in Leeds. Check out all these sources, what they have and use them as the yardstick as I know that they, like me, take a lot of pride in their cars and will stand by them if there is an issue.

There are also a new breed of Porsche specialists, who will often advertise in the Porsche publications but are not of the same school and level of experience, so sometimes you need to be careful which specialists you trust.

TIPEC

The independent Porsche Enthusiasts Club (Tipec) is exactly what it says in the name, visit their forum, put the word out that you are looking for the model you have chosen, and see what comes up. Its not often that a true enthusiast will sell their pride and joy, but when it does happen, its often a good car. But also the members in the forum may be able to help you with your search, as well as they may know of some of the cars you are looking at and what is wrong with them.

PCGB

Porsche Club of Great Britain is much like TIPEC above, and also has some very helpful members.

Pistonheads.com

Pistonheads is a great resource for buying a Porsche. Whatever model you are interested in, simply because it has such a selection being advertised by both traders and enthusiasts. Which is the important point, enthusiasts! A community like pistonheads is filled with enthusiasts, enthusiasts generally look after their cars, which are just the kind of cars you are looking for. Like anywhere though, you will notice that their are cars there that are advertised at a lower price, and some at a higher price. Always start looking at the highest price cars first, there is usually a reason why some are so much cheaper than the rest.

AutoTrader

When selling a Porsche, a normal non enthusiast may advertise it via AutoTrader and it may not be listed in the forums or on Pistonheads. Although Pistonheads tends to have more Porsche examples than Autotrader, it is often worth taking a look to see what is around.

You have the short list

Once you have a list of cars to start looking at, things are going to get serious. There is the usual advice to call the people advertising as private vendors and say "I am calling about the car for sale", if the vendor says "Which car?" you know he is a trader and not a legitimate private sale. But everyone knows that, don't they?

When calling about cars, the important information to gather is....

  • Has the car got a service book? Is it showing a complete service history without gaps?
  • Does the car have any original MOT's over the years? (This can help prove mileage)
  • Does the car have any known issues? (Sometimes vendors will not tell you about any faults until you get there)
  • Are there any blemishes on the paintwork or any corrosion or damage?
  • Has the bodywork ever been repaired?
  • Is the interior in perfect condition?
  • Has it had any major jobs completed why they have owned the car?
  • How long has it been for sale and have many people viewed it?
  • How negotiable is the price (always ask this, after they have had to list any bad points!)
  • If so, how low would be their lowest price? (You will be able to go lower than this, even if they say it is the lowest price)

Once you have gathered this information, you will have a reasonable idea of how good or bad the car is, as well as a starting point for your negotiations after, and only after you have seen the car, test driven the car and have identified any additional issues with the car.

When you arrange a viewing, tell the vendor not to start the car that day before you get there, you need to make sure the car starts well and without smoke. Make sure the vendor is aware of this requirement.

Viewing the cars.

OK, so you are now going to look at some (hopefully) excellent examples of the Porsche model you are interested in. Take a pad and a Pen, so you can record details about the car and leave your humanity and love of your fellow human being, you are now a car buyer. Put on your best poker face and prepare to buy a car.

When viewing the cars there is one important piece of paper to take with you, a bodywork inspection card. There is an article on this website showing how to use one as well as how to make one. This is an important tool to find every single dent on a car, even the ones you usually only find after buying the car and washing it for the first time. Every dent you find can effectively devalue a car by £40, which is what many paintless dent removal companies will charge to remove a dent without breaking the paint.

Look for stone chips. I personally prefer to see some stone chips on the front of a Porsche I buy, it shows that the car has not recently been re-sprayed, which may be due to accident damage. You seriously would not believe how many Porsche for sale have recently suffered an accident.

The next job is to use our buyers guide specific for your intended model of Porsche, read the article before you view the car, but also read the article and follow its directions while you look around the car.

Chassis numbers.

Check the chassis numbers. Car's since the mid 90's have a chassis number in the windscreen. Older cars have them in various other locations. Check this matches the chassis number in the service book, on the log book, on the option sticker in the car, as well as other locations. The locations are also listed in the buyers guides specific for each model. But make sure they all match. If you end up interested in the car, you also need to check the chassis number matches the HPI report on the car, as well as the chassis number matches the specification of the car that has been advertised (read our chassis number reading guide) as you can learn a lot from the details hidden inside the chassis number. If all the details match, hopefully you are looking at a good honest car. If they do not, or they look like they have been tampered with, be cautious about the origin of the car.

Wheels and tyres.

Are the wheels fitted to the car the ones you would expect to have been fitted from the factory? If not, why not? and are the original wheels available? Many people want a Porsche with the original wheels, even if you are not bothered, the next owner might be.

Are the wheels damaged at all? Any curbing on the wheels is not only a sign the car has not been cared for as it should, but can also be a sign that the wheels have been structurally damaged. When viewing a car, make sure you point out any damage to the owner and negotiate the price accordingly.

When examining the wheels, check the tyres. How much tread do they have? Are they all the same make? How old are they (Tyres should be changed every five to six years, even if they have not worn out as they get hard and begin to crack after that amount of time. Missmatched tyres can be a sign of poor maintenance, especially if the two tyres on the same axel do not match, as tyres should be replaced at very least in pairs.

You also do not want to be test driving a car with poor tyres, bald tyres can cost the driver 3 penalty points and a fine for each defective one, a car with a bad set of tyres can cost you your licence!

Before the test drive.

Before you test drive the car, check the engine is cold to the touch. If it is warm, especially after telling the owner to not start the car that day, they might be trying to hide a fault with the car not starting easily when cold, a battery issue or even a puff of smoke as the engine starts, which could be a sign of a worn engine.

Check the engine bay for leaks, any leaks can be expensive to repair. A good engine bay will be dry of fluids other than the reservoirs that hold them.

If you see any fluid or damp patches, in the engine bay or under the car, here is a small rule of thumb for indentifying the cause.

  • Blue, green, pink or orange fluid with a consistancy of water, could be anti freeze.
  • Red or pink fluid with an oily touch, could be power steering fluid on pre 98 models, or transmission fluid on an automatic model.
  • Clear fluid is usually brake, clutch or in post 98 cars power steering fluid or sometimes automatic transmission fluid.
  • Black or golden fluid is typically engine oil or transmission oil in manual cars. Transmission fluid often smells bad, a little like cat pee (if you know what that smells like)

So there are no leaks? What else to check? Pull off the engine oil filler cap, look on the underside of it, as well as bellow it. Look for any signs of a thick creamy substance that has a coffee colour, any sign of this can be an early sign of head gasket problems. Although it can be a sign that the car has not been driven often and moisture is building up inside the engine, possibly still not a good sign and may require professional inspection.

Next you should pull off the coolant cap, is there any dry signs of evaporated coolant around it on the header tank or on the cap? It could be a sign that the cap is either faulty or the cooling system is building up too much pressure. In any case, its not a great sign and may require professional testing.

Lastly, check the brake and clutch fluid levels, they should be between the minimum and maximum level.

You can start the engine.

Any Porsche should start without the need to tickle the throttle. Make sure the car is not in gear, the handbrake is fully applied and that the drivers window is wound down. If it is a newer model, you may need to depress the clutch or press the brake peddle while you start the car, this can be normal if the vendor says you need to do it.

Once the car starts, get out of the car and look at the exhaust, there should be no blue smoke, if it is cold there should maybe be a small amount of visible white water vapor, but no smoke as such.

After observing the car running for a few minutes, you can proceed with the test drive.

The test drive.

You need to take the car for a reasonably long test drive, at least 30 miles. This should include stop-start town driving, country lanes as well as motorway cruising.

During the test drive the car should be taken very close to the rev limit on acceleration at least a few times, occasionally checking the mirrors for signs of smoke, which if blue, can be a sign of engine wear.

Also during the test drive it is important to at least once hold the car in gear at high rpm, let off of the throttle and coast to a lower rpm under engine braking and then accellorate hard. If you get a puff of blue smoke seen in the rear view mirror, it could be a sign that the valve guides are worn and require a top end rebuild.

The rest of the test drive should be spent listening to the engine note, searching for squeeks, rattles, vibrations or knocking noises which seem to be abnormal. They could be an issue with the suspension, engine, transmission or trim, but if you experience any, it will be best to ask whoever you get to perform a pre purchase inspection (PPI) to look into these.

If at close to 40 mph a rhythmic, deep humming noise can be heard, this is often a sign of wheel bearing issues.

It is during the test drive that you will reap dividends in experience from test driving more than one car. You will become familiar with what is normal, what is a quirk of the model, as well as what is most definitely not normal.

All Porsche models should have a relatively easy gear change (some older 911's may have a slight awkwardness) and a reasonably light clutch, in particular the later Porsche models after 1988 should have a clutch which is no heavier than a normal domestic car.

While in the cockpit, check the odometer digits are straight, sometimes (but not always) the digits not being level can be a sign that the mileage has been tampered with. Check the rest of the interior seems to match the same mileage. A car with only 30,000 miles shown, should not have a worn out gear knob, steering wheel and pedal rubbers!

Likewise a very low mileage car should not have worn out seat bolsters or carpet.

Once back after the test drive, I recommend you leave the engine running for at least 10 minutes while you make some last checks. You need to be sure that the engine does not overheat, the oil warning lights do not illuminate (except for some very early 911 models) and that the exhaust is not blowing. Also, once you switch the engine off, watch the car for 10 minutes to make sure the car does not begin to leak coolant or oil.

Now the test drive is over, it is time to check the paperwork.

The service record should have a stamp for each service, often with ticks or notes to say which service was performed. Look for the mileage not being sequentially rising after each service, it would not be the first time that I have seen the mileage of a car go down in one year, which can be a sign that the mileage has been tampered with.

If there are old MOT's in the paperwork, check through them and make sure they mileage ties in with the service history, you are asking the vendor to be patient while you check the paperwork, so it is worth thanking him before you start and explain that you are checking everything is in order. Most honest vendors will have no problem with this.

In an ideal world, there will be stacks of receipts with the car. However, if the car has been owned by a business at some point, there is a chance that the receipts are not with the car because they have been archived as evidence of the business accounts. So do not be too alarmed, as long as there is some record of servicing, even if it is just the book. If there is a pile of receipts, it is a bonus.

Negotiation.

If you are interested in the car, but want to try some more, it is worth telling the vendor this and negotiating the price. It is worth trying a low offer, perhaps 60% of the price you know they will accept. This may seem harsh, but sometimes a vendor is desperate to sell, so you may get a bargain, if not, at least you have started at a good point to negotiate upwards, as the vendor negotiates downwards. But if you are interested in driving more, please do, even if the negotiated price is good. It will still be good tomorrow, even if the vendor says the price is if you buy it right now, ask yourself why would it change to a higher price tomorrow? Don't fall for this.

Before you pay any money for a Porsche, I would recommend a pre purchase inspection by a recognised Porsche specialist, yes it costs money, but so does buying the car and a professional pair of eyes can often save you a fortune or at least give you some ammunition to negotiate the price downwards further. I would also recommend you have a HPI report produced for the car to ensure it has no finance outstanding, is not stolen and has not been a total loss or a category A, B, C or D. Cat C and D should not be an issue if there is a valid reason, it is quite normal after an accident for an owner to refuse a repair from an insurance company if they are not prepared to pay for a authorized Porsche repairer, or Porsche specialist to make the repairs, which can result in the insurance company to list the car as not inspected, which can result in a cat-C or cat-D marker being placed on the HPI history, some investigation may be required to find the reason, and the car should be discounted by up to 25% to reflect this.

My main advice in closing would be to recommend the following.

  • DO NOT buy the first example you see or test drive.
  • DO NOT be soft on the vendor just because he is another human being.
  • DO NOT trust the vendor just because they are a business.
  • DO thoroughly check every car you consider.
  • DO have a pre purchase inspection performed by a Porsche specialist on any car you consider.
  • DO pay for a HPI check on any car you consider.

Happy Porsche buying and remember, please read the buyers guide for the model of Porsche you are interested in.

Saturday, 26 May 2012 16:39

Tuning the 944 Turbo Part Two

Before you set off on a journey of tuning the 944 Turbo, you need to understand the limitations of the 944 Turbo components. Some components hold back performance, others may break before a certain performance level has been reached. Knowing this information is key to being able to get the best from your 944 Turbo.

Just to recap, in part one we covered the various engines installed into the 944 Turbo over its many years of production, if you have not read it yet, stop cheating and read it first before reading this article!

You may have heard this before, but to improve the performance of an engine you need to improve its breathing. Improving the breathing of an engine involves making the engine more efficient at how it breaths in air and fuel as well as its efficiency at expelling the burt fuel and air. This can be done in many ways, including removing restrictions from the breathing (in or out) as well as improving the way the air is processed and presented to the engine.

Lets look at some basic areas of the car and how they restrict performance.

 

The boost signal line to the wastegate (limits to 250 bhp)

The signal pipe and cycling valve, which sends boost pressure to the wastegate to open it, as standard is designed to limit boost to factory levels. With a standard wastegate it can be improved with a boost profiler, but with a dual port wastegate it would need to be replaced with a manual or electronic boost controller.

 

Engine management chip (limits to 265 bhp and 260 ft-lbs torque)

The standard engine management chip limits power because that is all it was designed to do, provide software and maps for the standard engine to be provided with the correct fuel levels and spark timing required by a standard engine and turbo. The result is that the engine is limited to 265 bhp, which can be performed by using a boost profiler to allow the engine to hold onto boost a little longer and allow it to build a little quicker. A good upgrade, but don't go any further than this without a replacement performance chip or a custom programmed chip.

 

The catalytic converter (Limits to 275 bhp and 300 ft-lbs torque)

When fitted, the catalytic converter is designed to change the state of exhaust gases from harmful gasses into less harmful gasses and water vapour. However its design hampers performance and strangles the engine. At best, with the catalytic converter installed, I do not recommend the performance is increased beyond 275 bhp or 300 ft-lbs of torque, as it is not only not nice to the catalytic converter (which can melt, causing a blockage and breakdown) but also to your engine, which will see very high combustion temperatures in the engine as well as in the exhaust. With this limiting item installed, you are limited to a boost profiler device or a set of chips at modest boost levels only. Its replacement can be a "Cat bypass" or "Cat delete" section of exhaust, or its replacement with a silencer.

 

Fuel pressure regulator (Limits to 275 bhp and 350 ft-lbs torque, with standard injectors)

With standard fuel injectors and fuel pressure regulator, the 944 turbo is limited due to the amount of fuel that can flow through the standard injectors at the standard fuel pressure. Upgrading the fuel pressure regulator to a 3.0 bar item (standard is 2.5 bar) can increase the fuel flow of the standard injectors to around 320 bhp and 350 ft-lbs of torque with the correct engine management chip.

 

The wastegate (Limits to 300 bhp and 300 ft-lbs torque)

The standard 944 turbo wastegate has a couple of issues. One, it opens slowly as boost increases above atmospheric pressure, this means that as soon as you get any boost, the turbo will begin to see less exhaust gasses flowing into it, therefore causing it to not increase boost as quickly as it could. The next issue is that as the RPM's increase on full throttle and full boost, the exhaust pressure in the exhaust before the turbo will rise to such a point that it will be opening the wastegate early, causing a drop off in boost pressure, which therefore also limits power. This can be improved with fitting a boost profiler, but ultimately a dual port wastegate of good design is required to take the car beyond 300 bhp.

 

Fuel pump (Limits to 320 bhp and 375 ft-lbs torque, when new!)

The standard Porsche 944 Turbo fuel pump delivers more than enough fuel for a standard engine. In fact a new fuel pump will provide enough fuel for 320 bhp. However, as the fuel pump ages, the fuel flow of the pump reduces, so also the amount of horsepower the fuel pump can provide for also reduces. This is particularly dangerous as if the rest of your package can provide more airflow for power, and your fuel pump is under performing, a lean fuel mixture can cause catestrophic detonation of your engine. Not advised. We recommend the install of a motorsport fuel pump, which fill fit in exactly the same way and provide enough fuel for a 550 bhp monster!

 

Fuel inectors (Limits to 320 bhp with uprated fuel pressure regulator)

At the standard fuel pressure of 2.5 bar, the standard fuel injectors can only flow around 275 bhp worth of fuel, at 3.0 bar with an uprated fuel pressure regulator they are limited to 320 bhp. Upgrading to larger fuel injectors, such as #55's or #72's increases the fuel flow, which then advances the limits of the injectors drastically.

 

The air filter box (Limits to 320 bhp and 375 ft-lbs torque)

As standard, the 944 Turbo air filter box and snorkel tube, like many other parts, can only flow a certain volume of air per second. We have found in testing that it usually limits the power to 320 bhp and 375 ft-lbs of torque. Replacement with an induction kit, should remove this limitation.

Typically, many people will tell you that the induction kit needs to place the air filter somewhere that it will recieve cold air, however, when the car is moving, often the under bonnet temperatures where an induction kit will place the air filter will not be as high as one would expect. However a better solution is always to have cool air feeding the air filter.

Replacement of the air filter box with an induction kit will also reduce the amount of time it takes the engine to create boost, making it less laggy.

 

Turbo Charger - K26.6 (Limits to 290 bhp and 375 ft-lbs torque)

The baby turbo fitted to the 944 turbo from 1985 to 1989 as standard (except Turbo S models) is very good at spooling up quickly and producing boost early, but this very design feature also means it runs out of steam by the time it is flowing enough air to produce 290 bhp. However its ability to spool up quickly means that it can provide quite a lot of torque. Remember, a turbo charger, like an exhaust system limits power due to its ability to move a certain volume of air per second. The lower the engine speed, the more time per second the engine is able to breath, so a small turbo like this can provide a lot of low down power due to its ability to create boost at lower rpms.. But that also means that at higher rpms, the turbo may not be able to keep up, beyond a certain level, the turbo will become inefficient and will generate more heat rather than more airflow beyond a pre set level of load or power. This limit can be removed of course with a bigger turbo, typically though, that also means more lag.

 

Turbo Charger - K26.8 (Limits to 320 bhp and 365 ft-lb of torque)

This turbo, fitted to the 1988 944 Turbo S and all 944 turbo's after 1989, is able to flow 30 bhp worth of air more, than its little brother the k26.6. Unfortunately it is at the expense of throttle response and increases lag. It was fitted because it allowed the Turbo S and late 944 turbos to produce a higher peak bhp, this often means that a standard 220 turbo is quicker out of the corner (less lag and more torque), but the Turbo S (or 89 on) car is quicker in higher gears. The limitation, like its little brother the K26.6 is due to it moving out of its efficiency band at around 320 bhp worth of air, beyond this it creats heat rather than more power, which can cause detonation of your engine.

 

Intercooler (Limits to 320 bhp and 375 ft-lb torque)

The standard intercooler design has poor flowing end tanks. There is much debate if this was a designed in feature to stop tuning, or if it was to help distribute flow across the entire intercooler at normal boost and airflow levels. But beyond 320 bhp worth of air, the standard intercooler is unable to flow as much air as the matrix within the intercooler can flow. An intercooler with modified end tanks is required to flow air beyond 320 bhp.

 

The air flow meter (AFM) also known as a VAF Meter (Volumetric Air Flow Meter). (Limits to 340 bhp and 400 ft-lbs torque)

The standard airflow meter as standard works fine, however it only measures airflow at low and mid range levels of rpm and boost, or to be more accurate "load", as such, when on a full throttle, full boost run, the engine management system is assuming a certain level of boost is being reached at a certain rpm at full throttle, not good for a very high performance car, so it is advised that you upgrade to a MAF sensor before you reach this limit or level. However, it has another limiting factor, which is that it can only flow a certain amount of air, which unfortunately hinders performance gains and limits them to around 340 bhp and 400 ft-lbs of torque. Beyond this, another air measurement device such as a MAF sensor or MAP sensor is required.

 

The exhaust system (Limits to 350 bhp and 400 ft-lbs torque)

The exhaust system fitted to the 944 turbo typically limits performance to 350 bhp and 400 ft-lbs of torque, this is because the volumes of air (or exhaust gas) required to produce more than this power level are more per second than the standard 944 turbo exhaust system can flow. Try to go beyond this power level with a standard exhaust will result in very little performance gain and increased temperatures within the combustion chamber. The standard system has a diameter of 2.5 inches, where as increasing its diameter, all the way back to the turbo, can remove this restriction. 3 inches is really the sensible upgrade diameter.

 

The standard engine - M44.50, M44.51 and M44.52 (420 BHP and 420 ft-lbs torque)

The standard 944 turbo engine, no matter what version it is, usually is fine producing 420 bhp and 420 ft-lbs of torque without issues, even if it has many miles on the engine. Obviously, if there is a component within the engine which has not many miles left on its service life, then upgrading the power in the engine is likely to reduce its lifespan. I often tell customers who are interested in tuning their 944 turbo that if their head gasket has not been changed in years and it maybe has another year or two left before it blows, then it may blow much earlier, or even right away if the performance is increased. We have taken standard used 944 turbo 2.5 engines beyond this level of tune, but to be honest, its a worry if the con rods, pistons or other components will survive. Certainly I would say that under 350 bhp a standard engine should have no issues, and ideally if tuning to 420 bhp I would recommend using a M44.50 engine with its superior strong block and pistons, but not essentially.

 

Conclusion

Every part above can be replaced with a less limited or unlimted item and at JMG we can provide any part you need for tuning your Porsche 944 Turbo, the sky really is the limit, we have even built 3.2 Litre engines for customers which are capable of 700 ft-lbs of torque as well as 2.8 and 3.0 litre turbo engines, every package is different, just as every customer and what they want to achieve is different, so for every package of different parts may provide a different output performance. All of the above information is based on experience and scientific experimentation, however every customer package is dependent on many factors and we can only estimate the final power delivery you may enjoy.

In the next installments we will look at what performance gains can be had from different performance products. But also look out for some of our other technical articles where we will deal with many other aspects of modification and performance tuning.

Saturday, 26 May 2012 14:39

Tuning the 944 Turbo Part One

The different Porsche 944 Turbo engines and the cars they were installed in.

Tuning the Porsche 944 Turbo is something that we at JMG Porsche have been doing extensively for many years. We redesigned the standard 2.5 Litre engine in 2005 to provide the worlds first 3.2 944 Turbo engines as well as building the very best 2.5, 2.8 and 3.0 engines for 944 Turbos. We have even tuned standard engines with over 100,000 miles on the clock to have over 400 horsepower reliably. So  you could say we know what we are talking about.

In this series of articles, I plan on showing you what can be done with a 944 Turbo to improve its performance, you will learn what the limits are to the original components and what can be done to improve those components.

So first things first, we need to cover the basic engines installed into the 944 Turbo and the turbo chargers the factory connected to them.

The Engines.

Porsche officially launched three revisions of 944 Turbo engine. The M44.50, the M44.51 and the M44.52.

M44.50

In 1985 when Porsche released the 944 Turbo, the original engine was an M44.50. With a capacity of 2.5 Litres, this engine was designed to be the test bed that the first customers of the 944 Turbo would be unwittingly testing for Porsche along with long term Porsche test cars, some fitted with a M44.50 engine as fitted to the production cars, others fitted with a M44.51 and some fitted with a M44.52. As Porsche were a low volume car manufacturer, this allowed Porsche to trim the production costs of the engines over time, as their test cars mileages rose higher without issues and the customers cars were monitored.

  • This original version of the engine, the M44.50 featured the following:-
  • Sodium filled exhaust valves
  • Ceramic coated exhaust ports
  • Modified engine block
  • Thicker engine casting with higher density aluminium engine block
  • Forged piston connecting rods
  • Manual Cam belt tensioner
  • K26/6 Turbo (Size 26 compressor matched with a size 6 exhaust turbine.)

This engine produced 220 bhp @ 6000 rpm and 243 ft-lb @ 3500 rpm, and was almost completely bullet proof. If anything Porsche knew it was capable of much higher performance, but due to the superior weight distribution of the 944 design, more performance would have made it faster than the companies flagship 911 Turbo on the road or track. Arguabley the 944 Turbo is faster on the bends and is certainly no slouch on the straights, so it was decided to limit power to 220 bhp.

M44.51

Half way through 1986 the 944 turbo received the M44.51 engine which had now seen another year of testing in the factory road test cars, so it was put into production as the new engine for the 944 turbo. Much the same as the M44.50, but with the following differences.

  • Thickness and density of the engine block reduced back to the same as a 944 non turbo to reduce production costs
  • Cast piston con rods instead of the expensive forged con rods of the M44.50

For normal or tuning use, there is no difference between the M44.51 and the earlier M44.50 except these components were downgraded in the later 51 engine. However, for the engine builder wanting the best from factory components, a M44.50 block and M44.50 con rods are sought after.

The M44.51 engine still featured the same K26/6 turbocharger and provided the same power output of 220 bhp and 243 ft-lb torque.

M44.52

During 1987, Porsche had finished testing with a new upgrade for the engine, an automatic cam belt tensioner, wider balance shaft belt (most earlier engines were upgraded during service belt replacements) and a deflector rail on the waterpump. Other than this, the engines are identical. This version of the engine continued until the Porsche 944 Turbo stopped production at the end of 1991 and the begining of 1992.

It is said that the M44.52 engine is one that produces 250 bhp, this is not true, but we will cover that in a moment.

The cars.

The early cars before 1987 featured a different wheel offset to the later ones, something that changed with all Porsche models in that year, this was done to improve handling and road safety, although it is also said that these earlier cars are more edgy and track focused, partly due to the lack of option for anti lock brakes (ABS) and a limited slip differential, but also due to the geometry caused by the wheel offset, but thats for another article.

After 1987 the engine changed to the M44.51 engine, performance was unchanged, the wheels changed to the later offset and some extra options became available such as ABS.

In 1988 Porsche had been racing a more powerful and upgraded 944, the 944 Turbo cup for a little while and decided to make a special edition 944 Turbo, the 944 Turbo S. This featured the sports MO30 Suspension and brakes, a larger turbocharger, the K26/8 (Larger exhaust turbine and housing) and a limited slip differential (LSD) all lifted directly from the 944 Turbo Cup race cars. The Turbo S featured 250 bhp @ 6000 rpm and 258 ft-lb of torque, an impressive increase in power, but with slightly more lag than the 220 bhp versions with the smaller turbo. These cars were fitted with the same M44.51 engines that all 944 Turbos had for the previous year and the non turbo S cars of 1988.

The turbo S version of the car was sold as a limited edition, at a price premium. Much to the annoyance of Turbo S owners, the following year in 1989 Porsche upgraded the standard Porsche 944 Turbo so that all 944 Turbo's featured the same K26/8 Turbocharger, and so produced the same power output as a Turbo S. Although in most international markets, the MO30 suspension, brakes and LSD transmissions were still optional.

Over the years there also were many changes to the 944 Turbo other than what we have mentioned here, but we will cover those in other articles as time goes on. For the moment, we have been interested in the engines, the years and what changed, as well as getting rid of some myths at the same time.

By now, you should have a good understanding of the 944 Turbo and its history, as well as the engine and the differences in the engine types.

In the next installment we will look at the Porsche 944 Turbo, component by component, to assess the tuning limitations of each part...

Monday, 30 April 2012 13:38

Panamera Servicing and Repairs

Your Porsche Panamera is in the best of hands at JMG Porsche, where even with servicing we go beyond the factory schedule.

The factory schedule for many models called for a service every two years, which was fine when the car was new and to make the car last beyond the factory warranty without issue. However we strongly recommend that all models are serviced annually, alternating between a minor and a major service each year. Click here and read our article for more information.


Here is a breakdown of our servicing. 


Minor Servicing Includes

  • Pre service test drive (JMG Additional included item)

  • Fault code analysis (models after 1988)

  • Replacement of the oil filter and engine oil (Porsche approved oil)

  • Factory specified inspection of - the vehicle under side, engine compartment, coolant hoses, coolant (level and condition), radiator or radiators, air intake, brake system, brake hoses, brake lines, drive shafts, tyres, locks and latches, electrical equipment, horn, windscreen wiper washing system, power steering and fluid level, lighting system check (including headlights and indicators)

  • JMG Inspection of additional items which are common issues as this model ages (JMG Additional included item)

  • Final test drive to check all major safety, comfort and mechanical systems for correct operation.

  • Final fluid and levels check

  • Dashboard electronic service light reset

  • Courtesy interior vacuum and wash (JMG Additional included item)


Major servicing Includes

All items from minor servicing, plus...

  • Replacement of the air cleaner element (JMG Porsche additional Included item)

  • Check condition, lubricate and adjust if required - fuel system, parking brake, clutch, steering gear, tie rod ends, axle joints, running gear, exhaust system, suspension, seat belts, throttle actuation and auxillary drive belt.

  • Numerous additional JMG Specific inspection and adjustments which are model specific, added as the car's get older.

 Prices for Panamera Servicing.

Panamera (All Models) - Minor Service £320 - Major Service £360

All services are performed with Porsche approved oil and genuine OEM filters.

Upgrade your service to premium Mobil engine oil for only £49.95 extra


The importance of routine annual servicing.

Routine annual servicing will benefit your car from being inspected by an expert every year, which will certainly mean that many problems are spotted long before they turn into an expensive problem, a simple seal for example, costing only a few pennies, could be all that needs to be spotted and rectified to avoid a complete engine failure.

Beyond this, on more modern models where the servicing is specified by the factory for every two years, there is evidence that that has decreased the long term reliability of components. A good example of this are the engine oil hydraulic components on a Porsche 997 being the same parts as used in a Porsche 996, yet the 996 rarely suffers from variocam solenoid failures, but those of the 997 are frequent and can cost thousands of pounds to repair, just for the sake of regular yearly servicing and oil changes.

Some people only cover a few miles per year and therefore believe their car will not need regular annaul servicing, however this also can cause problems as with the models where annual servicing is not performed.

 

Repairs.

We have many menu prices for Porsche repairs of each model which are usually likely to cost more if performed with our hourly rate, call us for a price.

For anything else our repairs hourly rate is £79.95 per hour.

 

Menu price diagnostic appointment - £149.20 (Two hours)

Porsche cars are especially sophisticated and complicated cars, therefore diagnosis needs to be performed by expert Porsche specialist diagnostic technicians, the cream of the crop, even for what might seem like very simple faults.

With all faults, there will be a problem, such as a bad relay for example, as well as this there will be a cause, perhaps this cause would be what caused the relay to become faulty, which in itself could be abstract or unusual, or could be as simple as age, but it is still important to be reasonably sure of the cause, before new parts are installed, otherwise the new parts will also swiftly expire!

Even with the most expert technicians it is impossible to predict what the fault may be, until we have spent some time both diagnosing what is faulty and what has caused that item to be faulty, so to be professional at what we do, in some cases we may need to spend a longer duration of time with our investigations.

Unfortunately, this can mean that diagnosis can be very time consuming and therefore expensive, as well as difficult to schedule in our busy workshop.

With this in mind we have developed a clinic system for diagnostic visits, where we charge £149.20 for a two hour appointment. During which the following will happen.

  • The customer will be able to talk to the diagnostic technician in person to explain the fault.

  • The diagnostic technician will endeavour to recreate the fault to experience it in person, perhaps including a test drive with the customer.

  • The diagnostic technician will then begin tests to narrow down the fault, which may include using the Porsche diagnostic computers, or even our special diagnostic equipment not available elsewhere, studying the engineering documentation, technical service bulletins as well as running manual tests on or off of a vehicle lift.

  • In the case of the problem being simple, it may even be possible that within this phase the problem may be found, the cause clear and perhaps even a repair made.

  • Once complete, before the two hour appointment is exhausted, the technician will spend time with the customer explaining what he has found, as well as what additional diagnosis may need to be performed, how long that may take, and what potentially could be the causes of the problem, concluding with an appointment made for when the further diagnosis or repairs can be made.

Between the end of this visit and the appointment for continuation of the repairs or diagnosis, the car can be taken away, or left with us by mutual agreement.

 ALL PRICES ARE PLUS VAT

 

Monday, 30 April 2012 13:38

924, 944 and 968 Servicing and repairs

 

 

 

 

 

Your 924, 944 or 968 is in the best of hands at JMG Porsche, where even with servicing we go beyond the factory schedule.

The factory schedule for many models called for a service every two years, which was fine when the car was new and to make the car last beyond the factory warranty without issue. However we strongly recommend that all models are serviced annually, alternating between a minor and a major service each year. Click here and read our article for more information. 


Here is a breakdown of our servicing.


 

Minor servicing (12,000 Mile Service or every other year)

  • Pre service test drive (JMG Additional included item)

  • Fault code analysis (models after 1988)

  • Replacement of the oil filter and engine oil (Porsche approved oil)

  • Factory specified inspection of - the vehicle under side, engine compartment, coolant hoses, coolant (level and condition), radiator or radiators, air intake, brake system, brake hoses, brake lines, drive shafts, tyres, locks and latches, electrical equipment, horn, windscreen wiper washing system, power steering and fluid level, lighting system check (including headlights and indicators)

  • JMG Inspection of additional items which are common issues as this model ages (JMG Additional included item)

  • Final test drive to check all major safety, comfort and mechanical systems for correct operation.

  • Final fluid and levels check

  • Courtesy interior vacuum and wash (JMG Additional included item)


Major servicing (24,000 Mile Service or every other year)

All items from minor servicing, plus...

  • Replacement of the air cleaner element

  • Check condition, lubricate and adjust if required - fuel system, parking brake, clutch, steering gear, tie rod ends, axle joints, running gear, exhaust system, suspension, seat belts, throttle actuation and auxillary drive belt.

  • Numerous additional JMG Specific inspection and adjustments which are model specific, added as the car's get older.

Prices for 924, 944 and 968 Servicing.

924, 944 and 968 (All models) - Minor Service £275 - Major Service £350

All services are performed with Porsche approved oil and genuine OEM filters.

Upgrade your service to premium Mobil engine oil for only £49.95 extra

 

The importance of routine annual servicing.

Routine annual servicing will benefit your car from being inspected by an expert every year, which will certainly mean that many problems are spotted long before they turn into an expensive problem, a simple seal for example, costing only a few pennies, could be all that needs to be spotted and rectified to avoid a complete engine failure.

Beyond this, on more modern models where the servicing is specified by the factory for every two years, there is evidence that that has decreased the long term reliability of components. A good example of this are the engine oil hydraulic components on a Porsche 997 being the same parts as used in a Porsche 996, yet the 996 rarely suffers from variocam solenoid failures, but those of the 997 are frequent and can cost thousands of pounds to repair, just for the sake of regular yearly servicing and oil changes.

Some people only cover a few miles per year and therefore believe their car will not need regular annaul servicing, however this also can cause problems.

 

Repairs.

We have many menu prices for Porsche repairs of each model which are usually likely to cost more if performed with our hourly rate, call us for a price.

For anything else our repairs hourly rate is £79.95 per hour.

 

Menu price diagnostic appointment - £149.20 (Two hours)

Porsche cars are especially sophisticated and complicated cars, therefore diagnosis needs to be performed by expert Porsche specialist diagnostic technicians, the cream of the crop, even for what might seem like very simple faults.

With all faults, there will be a problem, such as a bad relay for example, as well as this there will be a cause, perhaps this cause would be what caused the relay to become faulty, which in itself could be abstract or unusual, or could be as simple as age, but it is still important to be reasonably sure of the cause, before new parts are installed, otherwise the new parts will also swiftly expire!

Even with the most expert technicians it is impossible to predict what the fault may be, until we have spent some time both diagnosing what is faulty and what has caused that item to be faulty, so to be professional at what we do, in some cases we may need to spend a longer duration of time with our investigations.

Unfortunately, this can mean that diagnosis can be very time consuming and therefore expensive, as well as difficult to schedule in our busy workshop.

With this in mind we have developed a clinic system for diagnostic visits, where we charge £149.20 for a two hour appointment. During which the following will happen.

  • The customer will be able to talk to the diagnostic technician in person to explain the fault.

  • The diagnostic technician will endeavour to recreate the fault to experience it in person, perhaps including a test drive with the customer.

  • The diagnostic technician will then begin tests to narrow down the fault, which may include using the Porsche diagnostic computers, or even our special diagnostic equipment not available elsewhere, studying the engineering documentation, technical service bulletins as well as running manual tests on or off of a vehicle lift.

  • In the case of the problem being simple, it may even be possible that within this phase the problem may be found, the cause clear and perhaps even a repair made.

  • Once complete, before the two hour appointment is exhausted, the technician will spend time with the customer explaining what he has found, as well as what additional diagnosis may need to be performed, how long that may take, and what potentially could be the causes of the problem, concluding with an appointment made for when the further diagnosis or repairs can be made.

Between the end of this visit and the appointment for continuation of the repairs or diagnosis, the car can be taken away, or left with us by mutual agreement.

   ALL PRICES ARE PLUS VAT

 

 

Interesting service and repair information for the Porsche 924, 944 and 968 models.

Service interval - Even though the service book specifies six monthly and yearly services. We would strongly recommend that all Porsche models are serviced at least yearly or every 10,000 miles if more than 10,000 miles are covered per year to avoid expensive repairs and to potentially catch issues early, where they may be less expensive to repair.

Engine failures - Not as common as you would expect, we at JMG Porsche have never had to replace one of these engines due to wear, however we have had to replace many due to insufficient servicing and maintenance, but there are still worthwhile ways of avoiding unexpected large engine rebuild costs. One of which is proper servicing by a real Porsche specialist, which may not need cost as much as you think. There are also some ways to avoid unexpected bills by following some of our other advice bellow.

Brake fluid - Did you realise this should be changed every two years? Not doing this can cause problems with expensive parts within your car, such as the ABS pump or any part of the brake hydraulics due to water contamination as the brake fluid actually sucks moisture out of the air (hydroscopic), so even if the car is not used, the brake fluid must be changed every two years!

Water Pump - Often thought of as a part which fails with age, mileage and quite suddenly, leaving you stranded, our expert technicians are used to inspecting these during services, and so may spot tell tale signs of failure long before they become an issue, so saving you from the indignity of being broken down at the side of the road. A 944 and 968 Waterpump is also part of the cambelt drive mechanism, so it failing can cause serious damage to the cylinder head and engine as a whole.

RMS - Rear main seal - Something else you might see horror stories on the internet about, these used to be a real problem and Porsche re designed the part several times to arrive at the current design which is the only one we at JMG Porsche use. Like an IMS Bearing replacement, this is best performed during a clutch change, however on tiptronic models or on cars not needing a clutch, they can be changed at any time.

Transmission services - Not clearly noted by Porsche for when the transmission should be serviced and this vital expensive part of your car should not be overlooked. Just like your engine, the transmission is filled with oil/transmission fluid, which over time degrades. Not only this, but not many realise that many Porsche transmissions also contain a filter, which becomes clogged over time and can starve your transmission of lubrication, causing expensive repairs. We recommend all Porsche transmissions are serviced every 4 years or 40,000 miles, whichever comes soonest.

Diagnosis - Long has gone where cars had limited electrical equipment and a wiring diagram could be found in a manual from Halfords. Now the Porsche models have multiple separate computer systems, which all talk via networks, and many sensors to feed those computers with information about the world around it all tied together with many hidden wiring looms of thousands of wires and connectors. This can mean that in the event of your Porsche suffering an electrical issue, it is important that a Porsche specialist auto electrician is available, as we have at JMG Porsche. It is also important to understand that sometimes, finding the fault will not be as simple as plugging in a computer.

Drive Belt - Many of you may have had cars where a drive belt, timing belt or cam belt needs to be changed at a regular interval. Your Porsche model has a belt which should be changed every 4 years. Failure to do so can cause instant overheating, loss of power steering and damage to the engine very suddenly. We recommend you have this changed at least every 4 years.

Cam and Balance belt - The 924S, 944 (ALL) and 968 (ALL) have a cam belt and balance belt, which has to be set to a very precise tension and run across various pulleys, tensioners and rollers to function correctly, if these are not maintained with a new cam belt and balance belt every 4 years, and a new waterpump, tensioners and rollers (as well as front engine oil seals) every 8 years, the consequences can be catastrophic to say the least.

Brakes - The Porsche 944S2, 944 Turbo and all 968 models are fitted with Brembo callipers, which overtime suffer from corrosion build up which can cause the pads to stick and bind up within the callipers or even make it difficult to fit new pads. When this happens the calipers require a service rebuild of the slider plate mechanism, which needs to be performed by a specialist with the right experience, techniques and tools to make the repair more than a very temporary one.

Heavy clutch? - A heavy feeling clutch which is stiff to use is not normal on a Porsche and often a sign that the clutch has almost worn out. Ignoring this can cause further damage, such as to the dual mass flywheel and clutch fork.

Alarm system - At JMG Porsche we are experts of all Porsche security systems and have reverse engineered all the various control units. This not only means we can program new alarm control units and keys to your car, just as the main dealer can, but in some cases we can repair your old alarm control unit and keys, or in some cases recover your old keys to be used on the new alarm control unit, which is a service unique to JMG.

Alarm system causes - In most cases the cause of alarm control unit failure is water damage, we can perform modifications to your Porsche model to help mitigate the chances of this happening to your Porsche.

Monday, 30 April 2012 13:36

Aircooled 911 Servicing and repairs

Your air cooled 911 3.2 Carrera, 964 or 993 is in the best of hands at JMG Porsche, where even with servicing we go beyond the factory schedule.

The factory schedule for many models calls for a service every year and in some cases every six months. But with many of these models being infrequently used as they become more valuable, some owners have chosen to service them less frequently. However we strongly recommend that all models are serviced at least annually, alternating between a minor and a major service each year. Click here and read our article for more information. Failing to do this, may not just cause damage to the cars systems, but also may damage its reseal value in a market where service history is king.

 


 

Here is a breakdown of our servicing.


 

Air Cooled 911 Minor Servicing includes

  • Pre service test drive (JMG Additional included item)
  • Fault code analysis (models after 1988)

  • Replacement of the pollen filter (where fitted such as the 993)

  • Replacement of the oil filter and engine oil (Porsche approved oil)

  • Factory specified inspection of - the vehicle under side, engine compartment, coolant hoses, coolant (level and condition), radiator or radiators, air intake, brake system, brake hoses, brake lines, drive shafts, tyres, locks and latches, electrical equipment, horn, windscreen wiper washing system, power steering and fluid level, lighting system check (including headlights and indicators)

  • JMG Inspection of additional items which are common issues as this model ages (JMG Additional included item)

  • Final test drive to check all major safety, comfort and mechanical systems for correct operation.

  • Final fluid and levels check

  • Courtesy interior vacuum and wash (JMG Additional included item)


 

Air Cooled 911 Major Servicing includes

  • All items from minor servicing, plus...
  • Replacement of the air cleaner element

  • Check condition, lubricate and adjust if required - fuel system, parking brake, clutch, steering gear, tie rod ends, axle joints, running gear, exhaust system, suspension, seat belts, throttle actuation and auxillary drive belt.

  • Numerous additional JMG Specific inspection and adjustments which are model specific, added as the car's get older.

 

Prices for Air Cooled 911 servicing.

1983 - 1989 911 3.2 Carrera/Targa/Cabriolet models (Type 911) - Minor service £415 - Major service £575

1989 - 1994 3.6 Carrera/Targa/Cabriolet models (Type 964) - Minor service £435 - Major service £695

1994 - 1998 Carrera/Targa/Cabriolet models (Type 993) - Minor service £455 - Major service £695

Call for Turbo, 964RS, 993RS and 993GT2 Pricing.

All services are performed with Porsche approved oil and genuine OEM filters.

Upgrade your service to premium Mobil engine oil for only £49.95 extra

 


 

The importance of routine annual servicing.

Routine annual servicing will benefit your car from being inspected by an expert every year, which will certainly mean that many problems are spotted long before they turn into an expensive problem, a simple seal for example, costing only a few pennies, could be all that needs to be spotted and rectified to avoid a complete engine failure.

Beyond this, on more modern models where the servicing is specified by the factory for every two years, there is evidence that that has decreased the long term reliability of components. A good example of this are the engine oil hydraulic components on a Porsche 997 being the same parts as used in a Porsche 996, yet the 996 rarely suffers from variocam solenoid failures, but those of the 997 are frequent and can cost thousands of pounds to repair, just for the sake of regular yearly servicing and oil changes.

Some people only cover a few miles per year and therefore believe their car will not need regular annaul servicing, however this also can cause problems.

 

Repairs.

We have many menu prices for Porsche repairs of each model which are usually likely to cost more if performed with our hourly rate, call us for a price.

For anything else our repairs hourly rate is £79.95 per hour.

 

Menu price diagnostic appointment - £149.20 (Two hours)

Porsche cars are especially sophisticated and complicated cars, therefore diagnosis needs to be performed by expert Porsche specialist diagnostic technicians, the cream of the crop, even for what might seem like very simple faults.

With all faults, there will be a problem, such as a bad relay for example, as well as this there will be a cause, perhaps this cause would be what caused the relay to become faulty, which in itself could be abstract or unusual, or could be as simple as age, but it is still important to be reasonably sure of the cause, before new parts are installed, otherwise the new parts will also swiftly expire!

Even with the most expert technicians it is impossible to predict what the fault may be, until we have spent some time both diagnosing what is faulty and what has caused that item to be faulty, so to be professional at what we do, in some cases we may need to spend a longer duration of time with our investigations.

Unfortunately, this can mean that diagnosis can be very time consuming and therefore expensive, as well as difficult to schedule in our busy workshop.

With this in mind we have developed a clinic system for diagnostic visits, where we charge £149.20 for a two hour appointment. During which the following will happen.

  • The customer will be able to talk to the diagnostic technician in person to explain the fault.

  • The diagnostic technician will endeavour to recreate the fault to experience it in person, perhaps including a test drive with the customer.

  • The diagnostic technician will then begin tests to narrow down the fault, which may include using the Porsche diagnostic computers, or even our special diagnostic equipment not available elsewhere, studying the engineering documentation, technical service bulletins as well as running manual tests on or off of a vehicle lift.

  • In the case of the problem being simple, it may even be possible that within this phase the problem may be found, the cause clear and perhaps even a repair made.

  • Once complete, before the two hour appointment is exhausted, the technician will spend time with the customer explaining what he has found, as well as what additional diagnosis may need to be performed, how long that may take, and what potentially could be the causes of the problem, concluding with an appointment made for when the further diagnosis or repairs can be made.

Between the end of this visit and the appointment for continuation of the repairs or diagnosis, the car can be taken away, or left with us by mutual agreement.

  ALL PRICES ARE PLUS VAT

 

Interesting service and repair information for the air cooled 911 models.

Service interval - The factory service manual specifies the air cooled 911 models however some owners are tempted to have their cars serviced infrequently due to low mileage, however this is very dangerous and could allow the build up of contamination and water within the oil system which can be corrosive to the oil tank and internal engine components. We would strongly recommend that all Porsche models are serviced yearly or every 10,000 miles to avoid expensive repairs and to potentially catch issues early, where they may be less expensive to repair.

Engine failures - Not nearly as common as horror stories on the internet of top end rebuilds being required every 130,000 miles would have you believe, but there are still worthwhile ways of avoiding unexpected large engine rebuild costs. One of which is proper servicing by a real Porsche specialist, which may not need cost as much as you think. There are also some ways to avoid unexpected bills by following some of our other advice bellow.

Brake fluid - Did you realise this should be changed every two years? Not doing this can cause problems with expensive parts within your car, such as the ABS pump or any part of the brake hydraulics due to water contamination as the brake fluid actually sucks moisture out of the air (hydroscopic), so even if the car is not used, the brake fluid must be changed every two years!

Transmission services - Not clearly noted by Porsche for when the transmission should be serviced and this vital expensive part of your car should not be overlooked. Just like your engine, the transmission is filled with oil/transmission fluid, which over time degrades. Not only this, but not many realise that many Porsche transmissions also contain a filter, which becomes clogged over time and can starve your transmission of lubrication, causing expensive repairs. We recommend all Porsche transmissions are serviced every 4 years or 40,000 miles, whichever comes soonest.

Diagnosis - Long has gone where cars had limited electrical equipment and a wiring diagram could be found in a manual from Halfords. Now the Porsche models have multiple separate computer systems, which all talk via networks, and many sensors to feed those computers with information about the world around it all tied together with many hidden wiring looms of thousands of wires and connectors. This can mean that in the event of your Porsche suffering an electrical issue, it is important that a Porsche specialist auto electrician is available, as we have at JMG Porsche. It is also important to understand that sometimes, finding the fault will not be as simple as plugging in a computer.

Drive Belt - Many of you may have had cars where a drive belt, timing belt or cam belt needs to be changed at a regular interval. Your Porsche model has a belt or belts which should be changed every 4 years. Failure to do so can cause instant overheating, loss of alternator charging and damage to the engine very suddenly. We recommend you have this changed at least every 4 years.

Heavy clutch? - A heavy feeling clutch which is stiff to use is not normal on a Porsche and often a sign that the clutch has almost worn out. Ignoring this can cause further damage, such as to the flywheel and clutch fork.

Alarm system - At JMG Porsche we are experts of all Porsche security systems and have reverse engineered all the various control units. This not only means we can program new alarm control units and keys to your car (late models), just as the main dealer can, but in some cases we can repair your old alarm control unit and keys, or in some cases recover your old keys to be used on the new alarm control unit, which is a service unique to JMG. For all air cooled 911 models we can bypass the original alarm system and install more modern alarm systems in their place which are Thatchum (insurance standard) approved.

Alarm system causes - In most cases the cause of alarm control unit failure is water damage, we can perform modifications to your Porsche model to help mitigate the chances of this happening to your Porsche.

 

Monday, 30 April 2012 13:24

Watercooled 911 Servicing and repairs

Your Porsche 996, 997 or 991 is in the best of hands at JMG Porsche, where even with servicing we go beyond the factory schedule.

The factory schedule for many models called for a service every two years, which was fine when the car was new and to make the car last beyond the factory warranty without issue. However we strongly recommend that all models are serviced annually, alternating between a minor and a major service each year. Click here and read our article for more information.


Here is a breakdown of our servicing (Phone for Turbo, GT2 and GT3 Prices).


 

Water cooled 911 Minor Servicing includes

  • Pre service test drive (JMG Additional included item)

  • Fault code analysis

  • Replacement of the pollen filter

  • Replacement of the oil filter and engine oil (Porsche approved oil)

  • Factory specified inspection of - the vehicle under side, engine compartment, coolant hoses, coolant (level and condition), radiator or radiators, air intake, brake system, brake hoses, brake lines, drive shafts, tyres, locks and latches, electrical equipment, horn, windscreen wiper washing system, power steering and fluid level, lighting system check (including headlights and indicators)

  • JMG Inspection of additional items which are common issues as this model ages (JMG Additional included item)

  • Final test drive to check all major safety, comfort and mechanical systems for correct operation.

  • Final fluid and levels check

  • Dashboard electronic service light reset

  • Courtesy interior vacuum and wash (JMG Additional included item)


Water cooled 911 Major Servicing includes

All items from minor servicing, plus...

  • Replacement of the air cleaner element

  • Check condition, lubricate and adjust if required - fuel system, parking brake, clutch, steering gear, tie rod ends, axle joints, running gear, exhaust system, suspension, seat belts, throttle actuation and auxillary drive belt.

  • Numerous additional JMG Specific inspection and adjustments which are model specific, added as the car's get older.

 


Prices for water cooled 911 servicing.

1998 - 2005 911 Carrera/Targa/Cabriolet models (Type 996) - Minor service £215 - Major service £275

2006 - 2011 Carrera/Targa/Cabriolet models (Type 997) - Minor service £335 - Major service £350

2012 - 2017 Carrera/Targa/Cabriolet models (Type 991) - Minor service £345 - Major service £435

Call for Turbo, GT2 and GT3 Pricing.

All services are performed with Porsche approved Quantum/Fuchs oil and genuine OEM filters.

Upgrade your service to premium Mobil-1 engine oil for only £49.95 extra


 

The importance of routine annual servicing.

Routine annual servicing will benefit your car from being inspected by an expert every year, which will certainly mean that many problems are spotted long before they turn into an expensive problem, a simple seal for example, costing only a few pennies, could be all that needs to be spotted and rectified to avoid a complete engine failure.

Beyond this, on more modern models where the servicing is specified by the factory for every two years, there is evidence that that has decreased the long term reliability of components. A good example of this are the engine oil hydraulic components on a Porsche 997 being the same parts as used in a Porsche 996, yet the 996 rarely suffers from variocam solenoid failures, but those of the 997 are frequent and can cost thousands of pounds to repair, just for the sake of regular yearly servicing and oil changes.

Some people only cover a few miles per year and therefore believe their car will not need regular annaul servicing, however this also can cause problems.

 

Repairs.

We have many menu prices for Porsche repairs of each model which are usually likely to cost more if performed with our hourly rate, call us for a price.

For anything else our repairs hourly rate is £79.95 per hour.

 

Menu price diagnostic appointment - £149.20 (Two hours)

Porsche cars are especially sophisticated and complicated cars, therefore diagnosis needs to be performed by expert Porsche specialist diagnostic technicians, the cream of the crop, even for what might seem like very simple faults.

With all faults, there will be a problem, such as a bad relay for example, as well as this there will be a cause, perhaps this cause would be what caused the relay to become faulty, which in itself could be abstract or unusual, or could be as simple as age, but it is still important to be reasonably sure of the cause, before new parts are installed, otherwise the new parts will also swiftly expire!

Even with the most expert technicians it is impossible to predict what the fault may be, until we have spent some time both diagnosing what is faulty and what has caused that item to be faulty, so to be professional at what we do, in some cases we may need to spend a longer duration of time with our investigations.

Unfortunately, this can mean that diagnosis can be very time consuming and therefore expensive, as well as difficult to schedule in our busy workshop.

With this in mind we have developed a clinic system for diagnostic visits, where we charge £149.20 for a two hour appointment. During which the following will happen.

  • The customer will be able to talk to the diagnostic technician in person to explain the fault.

  • The diagnostic technician will endeavour to recreate the fault to experience it in person, perhaps including a test drive with the customer.

  • The diagnostic technician will then begin tests to narrow down the fault, which may include using the Porsche diagnostic computers, or even our special diagnostic equipment not available elsewhere, studying the engineering documentation, technical service bulletins as well as running manual tests on or off of a vehicle lift.

  • In the case of the problem being simple, it may even be possible that within this phase the problem may be found, the cause clear and perhaps even a repair made.

  • Once complete, before the two hour appointment is exhausted, the technician will spend time with the customer explaining what he has found, as well as what additional diagnosis may need to be performed, how long that may take, and what potentially could be the causes of the problem, concluding with an appointment made for when the further diagnosis or repairs can be made.

Between the end of this visit and the appointment for continuation of the repairs or diagnosis, the car can be taken away, or left with us by mutual agreement.

 ALL PRICES ARE PLUS VAT

 

Interesting service and repair information for the water-cooled models.

Service interval - Some models specify a yearly service in the owners handbook, some specify two yearly, now that several years have passed since the first models with two yearly servicing were introduced we have observed that those models are more prone to needing expensive repairs, such as bore failure, valve actuator faults which we are only able to assume is caused by less frequent servicing. We would strongly recommend that all Porsche models are serviced yearly or every 10,000 miles to avoid expensive repairs and to potentially catch issues early, where they may be less expensive to repair.

Engine failures - Not nearly as common as horror stories on the internet would have you believe, but there are still worthwhile ways of avoiding unexpected large engine rebuild costs. One of which is proper servicing by a real Porsche specialist, which may not need cost as much as you think. There are also some ways to avoid unexpected bills by following some of our other advice bellow.

Brake fluid - Did you realise this should be changed every two years? Not doing this can cause problems with expensive parts within your car, such as the ABS pump or any part of the brake hydraulics due to water contamination as the brake fluid actually sucks moisture out of the air (hydroscopic), so even if the car is not used, the brake fluid must be changed every two years!

Water Pump - Often thought of as a part which fails with age, mileage and quite suddenly, leaving you stranded, our expert technicians are used to inspecting these during services, and so may spot tell tale signs of failure long before they become an issue, so saving you from the indignity of being broken down at the side of the road.

IMS Bearing - The famous intermediate shaft bearing (IMS Bearing) is an important bearing within the engine. These can fail on some models and cause catestrophic damage to the engine, sometimes costing thousands to repair. However there is a better design of bearing available, which our engine specialists at JMG Porsche have developed some cost effective ways to install and remove the risk of this kind of engine failure. Typically, the most cost effective time to replace this bearing with the better design is at the same time as a clutch replacement. However if you do not need a clutch now, or own a tiptronic model, then we can perform this job at any time.

RMS - Rear main seal - Something else you might see horror stories on the internet about, these used to be a real problem and Porsche re designed the part several times to arrive at the current design which is the only one we at JMG Porsche use. Like an IMS Bearing replacement, this is best performed during a clutch change, however on tiptronic models or on cars not needing a clutch, they can be changed at any time.

Transmission services - Not clearly noted by Porsche for when the transmission should be serviced and this vital expensive part of your car should not be overlooked. Just like your engine, the transmission is filled with oil/transmission fluid, which over time degrades. Not only this, but not many realise that many Porsche transmissions also contain a filter, which becomes clogged over time and can starve your transmission of lubrication, causing expensive repairs. We recommend all Porsche transmissions are serviced every 4 years or 40,000 miles, whichever comes soonest.

Diagnosis - Long has gone where cars had limited electrical equipment and a wiring diagram could be found in a manual from Halfords. Now the Porsche models have multiple separate computer systems, which all talk via networks, and many sensors to feed those computers with information about the world around it all tied together with many hidden wiring looms of thousands of wires and connectors. This can mean that in the event of your Porsche suffering an electrical issue, it is important that a Porsche specialist auto electrician is available, as we have at JMG Porsche. It is also important to understand that sometimes, finding the fault will not be as simple as plugging in a computer.

Air Oil Separator - If your Porsche is producing some smoke, especially when it starts up in the morning, it could be that the air oil separator has failed rather than your whole engine being damaged. This simple device is designed to allow your engine to pass polution regulations and should not cost the earth to replace, at least much less expensive than rebuilding an engine!

Drive Belt - Many of you may have had cars where a drive belt, timing belt or cam belt needs to be changed at a regular interval. Your Porsche model has a belt which should be changed every 4 years. Failure to do so can cause instant overheating, loss of power steering and damage to the engine very suddenly. We recommend you have this changed at least every 4 years.

Heavy clutch? - A heavy feeling clutch which is stiff to use is not normal on a Porsche and often a sign that the clutch has almost worn out. Ignoring this can cause further damage, such as to the dual mass flywheel and clutch fork.

Alarm system - At JMG Porsche we are experts of all Porsche security systems and have reverse engineered all the various control units. This not only means we can program new alarm control units and keys to your car, just as the main dealer can, but in some cases we can repair your old alarm control unit and keys, or in some cases recover your old keys to be used on the new alarm control unit, which is a service unique to JMG.

Alarm system causes - In most cases the cause of alarm control unit failure is water damage, we can perform modifications to your Porsche model to help mitigate the chances of this happening to your Porsche.

 

Monday, 26 March 2012 14:42

Turkey powered 968 Turbo

From a 968 Club Sport poorly converted to turbo power by another specialist, into a JMG 2.8 968 Turbo, a typical JMG Special Projects car.

The Porsche 968 has always been a very capable car, with near 50/50 front to rear weight distribution it handles like a dream, big brembo brakes with upgrade paths allow it to outbrake most cars, and a 3.0 Litre 16 valve engine with variable cam timing, the performance is sharp too.

Porsche made four special 968 Turbo RS models for racing, and a handful of Turbo S models for the road.

With JMG Porsche having close contacts in the Porsche motorsport division in Germany and a level of involvement in 944 Turbo Cup and 968 Turbo RS development, we know exactly what's needed to build a 968 Turbo or Turbo RS, both in the original factory way, but also using the very latest in technology.

When this customer called us for some advice about his 968 Club Sport race car, it quickly became apparent that the customer had another specialist install a 2.5 944 Turbo engine into his race car, which was now smoking heavily. Our advice was simple.. Bring it to us so we can check the engine!

Compression and leakdown tests were performed and a borescope camera was used to examine the inside of the engine without a full stripdown. It became quickly clear that this engine had scored bores.. Running the engine quickly highlighted a knock from the big end bearings.. It was clear that this engine needed a rebuild. We also spotted a multitude of other problems with how the engine had been installed, which did not make us very confident about how well the conversion was performed or how the engine had been built in the first place.

The customer was not impressed, it turned out that this was the third engine the other specialist had supplied! To top it off, he had never been impressed with the performance.

After a long chat with the customer, it became clear what he really wanted was maximum performance, but in the race series he raced in, with a turbo charged engine he had to have an engine with less than 2.9 litre displacement to qualify. This was clearly a candidate for being a JMG Special Projects Division job.

We asked the customer to leave it with us for a couple of days so we could formulate a plan. More importantly we wanted to read the regulations for his race series to see what we could and could not do to his car.

If a diagnosis, modification, repair or build is likely to evolve unto unexpected tasks, research, development, prototyping or, as in this case, may turn into a can of worms, we recommend its worked on as a special projects car, simply because it may be impossible to estimate the duration of the car's stay, what we might find, or what additional work the customer may request. Cars like this can run a mockery of our diary for the usual work of a Porsche specialist, this way the car will be worked on specifically by our top technicians without diary constraints.

A Plan was formulated, a new JMG 2.8 Engine (Rather than the factory 968 Turbo RS 3.0), with a custom programmed engine management chip for the standard 944 Turbo engine management system, a larger hybrid ball bearing turbo, uprated exhaust, bigger injectors, bigger fuel pump and a free flowing air filtration system. We estimated 425 BHP and 500 pounds of torque with full boost being possible as low as 2800 RPM.

The customer authorised the plan, the engine was built, but something was still nagging away at me, why did this car go through so many previous engines?

The old engine was sat in a corner of the workshop looking very sorry for itself, so even though the customer had not authorised a postmortum, he had just wanted us to throw it away, we decided to perform a post mortum anyway.

The engine was filthy, covered in corrosion, but it did have all new gaskets. When we build an engine, we make sure every part is either new, or if re-used it would be cleaned, bead blasted and if needed, replated. This engine was something else, it looked like an old used engine, where someone had used new gaskets, had used gasket sealant where none should be used, had a cracked oil pickup pipe, a multitude of other sins, including the belts were not even set correctly! Even the crank was ground undersize but standard bearings had been used! But the oil pickup was the smoking gun.

Back in the day I had my mentors, one of which used to refer to poorly built engines as "Turkeys", the old engine was the worst "Turkey" I had ever seen!

Now knowing that the previous engine, or engines, had never had a chance of living a long life, we were confident that we could install the nice shiney new 2.8 Turbo engine into the race car.

It fired on the first turn of the key, ran sweetly, was tuned and went off on a car transporter headed for its first venue, the famous raceway of Spa, where it performed faultlessly and put a massive smile on the face of the customer, with performance blowing everything into the weeds.

The moral of this story? JMG Special Projects Division, as with JMG Porsche, know what they are doing, you might save a few pennies going elsewhere, but often you will find that you will just end up having to have all the work done again by an expert.

 

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