14 October 2012
When I upgraded the headlights last January, I did one of the most popular upgrades for these cars. But with this weekend's upgrade, I'm going against the Porsche flow. This weekend I added a rear window wiper.
The rear wiper was available as a factory option for 911's from the late '60s. But it was never a popular option here in the USA, where many Porsches were bought as third or fourth cars and never driven in the rain. And these days, it is quite common for current owners of the few wiper-equipped cars to remove them, since they (still) don't drive in the rain, feel they clutter the looks of the car, want to lighten their cars by the 3 or 4 pounds that the system weighs, or some combination of the three.
So here's where I go against the typical Porsche grain. I do drive in the rain, am not bothered by the looks, and can't see where an extra 4 pounds of weight is going to have any affect for how I drive. I've had other cars with rear windows that lay at angles like this, both with and without wipers, and I vastly prefer having the wiper to clear the window. With cars like these, you don't need to leave the wiper running while you drive, just one or two swipes as you get moving and then the airflow will keep it clean as you drive. Since there was a factory package available, I definitely wanted one.
Additionally, since these wipers are often removed, finding used parts is not too tough. I bought the complete package of all the rear parts (motor, bracket, linkage and wiper arm) used from an ad on the Pelican forums. I also ordered a new factory switch for the dash, which was surprisingly affordable.
For my car—or any US-spec 911 after the mid-70's or so—the biggest impediment to adding the rear wiper is the air conditioning condenser in the rear deck lid. To make room for the wiper motor and linkage, Porsche used a differently shaped condenser on the cars that came with the wiper. The A/C on my car is going to need considerable work before it will work reliably, so rather than worry about replacing the condenser now, I had what remained of the Freon evacuated and simply removed the condenser. I'll change to the wiper-style later when I re-work the A/C.
With the condenser out of the picture, the installation is pretty straightforward, only requiring the drilling of one hole, all the rest are already present. Spent most of the time running wires. The circuitry is pretty simple, but running wires cleanly takes time.
It's all in place now, and works fine. I'm certain that I will be making use of it before long.
29 October 2012
Happy anniversary! Yesterday was the first anniversary of my time with the Porsche. But before I recap the past year, let's catch up a bit.
Since my last entry two weeks ago, I attended to two small items. One was the replacement of a badly worn bushing in the steering column. I had noticed a trace of play in the steering column for a while, and when it suddenly got worse I ordered an improved replacement part. That was a simple project, only took about 15 minutes.
And while diagnosing why the intermittent wipers had a very small and fast range of adjustment, I found that at some point someone had gotten a couple of the wires to the adjustment knob reversed. After correcting the wiring, the wipers now work as one would expect.
As for my first year with the car, after the couple of issues in the first month, it has done well. I was hoping for a car that I could drive regularly without having to do a lot work, and I pretty much got that. Visually, the car is mostly unchanged, just different headlights and the "new" rear wiper. I've put 3000 miles on the car this last year, which was my typical annual mileage on the 240Z as well. I enjoy driving it, even if just my short hop across town to work.
Next year? More of the same, I figure. I've got a couple of maintenance replacement items in mind, and after that I'll want to start thinking about upgrading the air conditioning. More on that next Spring, I suspect.
Oh yeah, I plan to drive it, too.
Continued in January...