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Thread: Rebuild or not...

  1. #1

    Rebuild or not...

    Bought my first 911, a '70E Coupe last May. I knew it needed attention before buying it but I wasn't sure to what degree. There wasn't much in the line of documentation on the care it received in its thirty years on the planet. It leaks large amounts of oil from the left hand side of the motor (camshaft seal for MFI pump?) and the oil temp climbs to 250+ degrees after idling for 15-20 minutes. The engine is VERY dirty but I hesitate to pull it, clean it and fix the leaks. I would rather have it rebuilt and start from square one. Any thoughts? Thanks, Pete

  2. #2

    rebuild or not...

    Pete, my suggestion to anybody contemplating an engine rebuild is to buy a copy of Bruce Anderson's book: "Porsche 911 Performance Handbook". Tons of information that will help you in your decision process. Sure sounds like something needs to be done to help your car's engine.

  3. #3

    Re: rebuild or not...

    Thanks very much for the reply! I do own a copy of Bruce Andersons 911 Handbook and have read through most of it. Given the unknown history of the engine/car I think a complete rebuild is in order (as opposed to a top end overhaul) and I suspect Bruce would agree! My next question...Can you recommend a reputable outfit for a rebuild?

  4. #4

    Re: rebuild or not...

    I bought a 71 S Targa last year and faced the same problem. My car has 87K, engine was dirty, leaking, bad exchangers, original tensioners and chains. My local mechanic did compression checks, inspected engine and we decided to replace seals, install new pres. tensioners, chains, ramps, echangers, turbo valve covers etc. Had work done and engine should be fine for a few years - However - I am investigating rebuilding and you should first determine whether you will modify engine at all. The choices are mild to wild. Bone stock at about $6500 minimum to wild at upwards of $12K. Thusfar, I have talked with Andial & Jerry Woods in CA. Midwest - Steinel and Stoddard. East Coast - G&W. All come with good references and different philosophy to rebuild an engine. Internally, you will have to make the decision as to whether to go stock or modify. Good Luck.

  5. #5

    Re: rebuild or not...

    Hi Pete,

    I have been collecting early "S" cars for years and I know of some great shops for early cars, but my rule of thumb is to use someone local to you. Please contact me if you have any questions, or if I can help you.

    Best Regards,

    Marc Weintraub

  6. #6

    Re: rebuild or not...

    I can't thank you guys enough for your input! While I have considered pulling the motor, cleaning it and fixing the leaks, etc it seems like a waste of money if it will need a rebuild in the not too distant future. The flip side of that coin is that I would be learning about this incredible machine while I save money doing the work myself! On my lunch break today I spoke with Andial and got a better idea of their engine building philosophy. Paul Weir has sent me his catalog and I have spoken with him on a number of occasions. Also talked with a guy in Florida who builds mostly 911 race motors. There is someone here in Flagstaff, AZ, where I live, but I don't think that's an option for me. My intentions for the motor as well as the car are to bring it back to the day it left Stuttgart (with a few sensible and tasteful differences/upgrades). I want to make the car a daily driver that I can drive hard as well. Tell me what you guys think of my ideas for upgrades/improvements 1)tensioners - late style mechanical 2)headstuds - stock steel or Raceware 3)crankcase - piston oil squirters, time serts, complete rebuild of crankcase if necessary. Feel free to add your ideas...thanks in advance! Pete

  7. #7

    oil leaks

    I had some oil leaks as you described on my 71 cam box leaks can also be a problem leaking oil there our some bolts on the inside cover that pull the cover main block next to the fan you could remove the sheet metal and try tighting its a 50-50 shot otherwise i recomend pulling the motor repairing the oil leaks I would not rebuild unless you have proof that you need one comp. bad oil preasure, also there is gasket on top of the motor line runs from the MFI pump engine oil this gasket should be checked along with presure switch mine had been seeping it built up quite bit of packed grease and dirt under the red shroud you will have to pull the fan out to look in there it will give you acess to all the cooling fins it will help let the engine run cooler just use degreaser and water you dont have to pull the engine out, i spent 2000.00 had the worked performed by trust Tech. we replaced all cam box gaskets and retimed the cams you have to pull them anyways rr gasket on the MFI pump and belt rr all throttle cable bushings and clutch bushings and trans seals inner i did not pull the clutch it was fine no leaks you wait it start leaking later so far so good no oil leaks also you check the thermostat on the oil tank if your running warm my car KY never runs over 190
    you check oil lines after temp gauge get too 175-185 you feel the oil lines to see if there getting hot this would be conformation that it thers is working. Good luck Phil

  8. #8

    '70E engine rebuild

    Pete, perhaps the first step in you analysis is to determine what you intend to do with the car. I was in a comparable position when I acquired by '73S seven years ago. The engine was an unknown quantity. Once you become embroiled in either an engine rebuild, or body restoration, you can rapidly, and dramatically, exceed the market value.
    Unfortunately (or fortunately) I had fallen deeply in love with the early S's, wanting to marry mine in a small, private ceremony. Thus, I committed to rebuild with the goal of having a reliable powerplant for the foreseeable future. It has been made clear to my wife that the '73 will, ultimately be transferred in an estate sale. With that in mind, I proceeded to rebuild the drivetrain while turning a blind eye to market value. For elaboration on the primary motivating factor, please refer to the numerous pleas in this site, as well as other Porsche sites and publications, by those searching for an early S. The secondary factor to proceeding in this fashion is my innate cynicism regarding the "history" provided for any given car. Until you hold the oil pump in your hot little hands, you really don't know what is lurking in your engine bay.
    I started the rebuild project by dropping the engine and tranny, and completely dismantling the former, taking notes, video images, and labeling and bagging like a tech in the Smithsonian.
    Notwithstanding reading everything I could find on rebuilds, as well as attending one of Bruce Anderson's fine workshops with Jerry Woods, I lacked the self confidence to contract the machine work and to button it all up thereafter, already having committed to a serious outlay for the new pistons, cylinders, rebuild kit, etc. etc..
    With that said, I proceeded to hunt for a competent shop in Southern California. I remain indebted to Craig Stevenson for his recommendations. After discussing my goals with Don Kravig, I resolved to enlist the assistance of his shop, Precision Motion, in Riverside, California. Don's reputation as a race fabricator, par excellence, goes back to the 1960's.
    After the 2.7RS conversion, MFI and throttle body rebuild, new valves, Raceware studs, reground cams, shuffle pinned case, oil bypass modification, tensioner upgrade, powder coating, '74 2.7 muffler with Don's modifications and so forth (machine work by Ollie's), Don opined that the engine should go 150,000 miles with regular, routine maintenance. Averaging 3000 miles per year, that should give me 50 years of driving pleasure (to age 91), before the next rebuild.
    Sourcing many of the components myself (EBS in Reno was excellent to deal with), when the dust settled, the rebuild cost close to $15,000, parts and labor. This includes adding the front oil that Porsche saw fit to make optional in '73, SSI heat exchangers, and the transmission rebuild. Thus, if you do not intend to keep the car indefinitely, it does not make economic sense. If you truly love the early 911, it is money well spent. There is nothing on the road, contemporary or classic, that is quite like an early 911S.


  9. #9

    rebuild or not...

    Steve, Thanks for the great post! You made some excellent points, like the one about having the oil pump in your hands. Just last Saturday I moved the car from a 10'x 20' storage unit to a garage I am renting and I can actually open the doors without fear of hitting the walls! Now to set up a work bench, engine stand, etc. After having read all the replies to this post I still haven't come to any solid decision I can feel 100% good about. If money were not an object (which it is) than I would rebuild the entire engine for my own peace of mind. I, like you, don't ever plan on selling this car and don't care in the least if I sink more into it than it will ever be worth. As a child I dreamt of owning a Porsche and at last I do own one...a milestone met. Since I would like to use the car before I die and since money is tight then doing what is within my means is the most appealing option. I'm sure I'll have more questions along the way...thanks again to all who replied to this post. Pete

  10. #10

    To rebuild or not to rebuild, that is the question

    One of the persuasive issues to me in my decision to go with the full rebuild, was the knowledge that anytime something goes wrong with the powerplant, you end up pulling the engine and tearing it down. That is a significant expense. To do three or four major repairs, you now have duplicated this expensive effort (i.e. the removal and tear down). Thus, in the long run, it will likely cost far more doing it in a piecemeal fashion.

    Further, notwithstanding the prior mechanics assurances that the engine was solid, since it was not original to the 79,000 mile chassis, I had no idea what lurked within. The only way to confirm the condition was to do the tear down. In my case, it needed a new everything. Right down to the main bearings. New valves, injectors, etc. The crank, rods, and cams were servicable, but they too had their turn at the machine shop. Also, given the magnesium case, we elected to shuffle pin. The obvious slippery slope is that as you progress with the project, the more you have expended on the project, the less significant that cost of the next little tweak seems (until you add it all up.) But, alas, I did have the objective of longevity and reliability, and avoidance of repeat teardowns. Absent a missed shift, it should hold together.

    Hopefully, in your case, you will have better news, and you may not have to expend as much on the pricey bits. Good luck with your venture.

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