January 2015

3 January 2015

Cold and drippy

I have had need to perform a few repairs since the update at the end of October. This car has been remarkably reliable for a 30 year old car, but things do still wear out.

During one of my trips to work in mid-November, I reached down to pull the heater levers to the On position, and noticed that the fan blowers didn't come on as I expected. This was not good. While the engine cooling fan does provide some airflow without the booster fans, it's not enough to keep the windshield clear in a cold, damp winter drive. Oddly, even though there are 3 booster fans in the heater system in my car, none of them were working.

It didn't take me too long to determine that if the main booster fan in the engine compartment dies, the circuit for the two front boosters (mounted in the footwells) is interrupted as well. One dies, they all die. And in my case, the main engine compartment booster fan motor seized with no warning that I could hear. Just up and died.

Since an operating heater/defroster was important, I ordered a replacement blower motor immediately, and the problem was corrected in short order.

Somewhere about the time when I fixed the heater fan, I also spotted a drop of oil under the engine. This was almost a shock to me—while many air-cooled Porsches leak, mine has always been drip-free. And I like it that way.

After tracking the leak for a bit, it appeared to be coming from an area of the engine that has 3 known oil leak sources, and that is also notoriously hard to access to effect a repair. To access this spot, some years require either removal of the entire fuel injection, or dropping the engine out of the car.

Luckily, the '84-89 are easier than many, and do not require that kind of extreme measures. After acquiring the parts I figured I would need, I was able to fix all 3 potential leak sources and get the car put back together in about 3 hours. I believe that the cause in my case was the oil pressure idiot light switch. But since I only completed this work a couple of days ago, it is too soon to say for certain that I have got it licked. Time will tell.

Continued in February...