January 2012

8 January 2012

Shortly after the first of the year, I noticed that there was what sounded like a fan belt noise from the rear when the engine was cold. After a careful look at the main fan belt, I found a single spot where it looked like it might be barely starting to delaminate. Simple to deal with—the car came with a pair of spare belts, one in the tool kit in the front trunk, and a second in the Tupperware bin o'parts. After installing one of the spares, the noise was gone. A nice quick fix.

Having a spare belt in the tool kit is actually a factory thing. Porsche shipped spare belts with the cars when new, included the special tools necessary for changing the belt in the tool kit, and actually give illustrated instructions on this job in the owner's manual. I assume that this is because you can't run a 911 engine more than a couple of minutes without the fan, or serious damage will occur. While I hope to never have to change one on the side of the road, as a test I did try to change this one using only the factory supplied tools. I found one lack—only in the USA was air conditioning standard. The tool kit did not come with a 1/2" wrench that is needed to remove the A/C belt (which must come off first when changing the main belt). I put a spare wrench in the tool kit, just in case. All this preparation will probably ensure that I never have to do it.

21 January 2012

I have to admit that the change I made yesterday and today is 95% appearance, 5% function. While the original sealed-beam headlights that Porsche was required to fit for the USA market were horrible lights, some one had upgraded them to nice Hella H4 lights some years back. So in function, it already had good headlights.

But in appearance, not so much. While Porsches sold in the rest of the world came with specially shaped headlights that follow the lines of the car, the US-spec lights look to me like they are buried in a hole. So there was never any doubt that I would replace the headlights with the better-looking units. I'm not alone in this, as these headlights are one of the most common modifications you'll see on '68-86 Porsches. (Starting in '87 Porsche was able to use a similar looking headlight in the US, but the light output still didn't match the ones for the rest of the world.) Compare the two sides in the picture below to see the difference.

Porsche headlight comparison

I got the headlights installed yesterday, and painted the trim rings to match today. While some people may not even notice, to me they are a big improvement.

New headlights installed

Continued in February...