Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The state of the hood

With all this car not running excitement, i forgot about the whole hood fix business.

Here's a picture of the way it looked when i got it:

And the current state, pre-painting:

And that before picture is actually pretty charitable for the condition it was in. And notice the two nice little holes in the current hood? I will actually have a crest on my hood, like every p-car deserves.


This weekend i attacked the car with a multi-meter. I started with my fuel pump hypothesis and checked that it got power -- iIt did not. I checked the fuel pumps leads at the fuse block -- no power there either. So i traced the wire into the firewall and lost it there. I decided it was either something with the actual ignition mechanism or the DME.

I posted on the Pelican Boards, always a great source for p-car help. Within minutes I got a reply saying that the black DME relay under the seat was the likely culprit. I checked it and and, indeed, one of the two relays in the DME relay enclosure was not closing, and closing it by hand started up the pump.

I checked for the part on the pelican site and found this quote above the DME relay:

Relays are a very common source of failure in the 911. There are several different relays used within the 911, and all are subject to failure after many years of service. Before suspecting your wiring or your components, be sure to check your relays. Before you decide to replace your fuel pump, make sure that your Red fuel pump relay, which is located on the relay board within the front trunk area, is functioning properly. Also be sure to check that your DME relay, 911 (1984-89), is functioning properly. Pelican recommends that you carry an additional DME relay, which is located just under the driver's seat, with you at all times. It is wise to have at least a spare on hand, so that you can check the proper operation of the one that is already installed within your 911.

Aha! This was going great. Quick, trip the relay by hand and see if the car starts up! And that's where my streak of luck gave out. It wouldn't crank. Just the noise of the starter straining to turn the crank to no avail. WTF? Must be the battery, it's tired of all my attempts to start the car. Ok, on the charger it goes.

Long story short. Next day, same problem. I even used a starter pack. Now i was getting paranoid something else happened. Now, i know my battery is funky. I did the battery relocation mod since I had the heavy, outside wheelbase, dual battery setup. That DCS-33 battery apparently doesn't like charging. Not sure what the deal is, but i've had it charged already once, when my charger didn't do the trick. I decided to stop and emailed my mech at Dieter's. He got back to me and said to try and turn the engine by hand and if it that works, bring the battery back in for a charge.

Tonight I was able to get the engine to turn over, so it's time for a charge and a new relay and hopefully after that i'm back on the road (with primer color hood).

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

You'd figure the hood would be done by now...

That's what I figured as well. Alas, it's not and the car is dead to boot now.

Non-porsche events have kept me out of the garage for the most part. I did spend another weekend taking down old bondo and building it back up. The hood is now officially ready for paint and it looks good. Calling around for painting quickly showed that it wasn't worth having it painted. After all this is not a final job, just one to make the hood be presentable. The whole car will need to be painted after I do the RS bodywork and I want to have it all painted at once to get the best match.

That lead me to look into painting it myself. Worst case, i strip the hood again, right? I have the compressor, got a paint gun and need to make time to turn the garage into a paint booth.

But there is a complication. Apparently there is a short in the car and it fully drained the battery. Didn't realize it was completely gone at first and tried to start it using the start amperage on the charger. That resulted in strange clicking noises. It's a deep cycle battery, so it wouldn't take a regular charge, but i got it charged. Battery is fine now, but the car only cranks and cranks and never catches. Main thing i've noticed is that I don't hear the fuel pump anymore and I'm sure I used to hear it as soon as i turned the car on before.

In order to turn the garage into a paint booth, i need the car out, and to do that, i need to fix it. Grr.. So, first thing, get in there with a multimeter and check fuses. Oh well.