A Chapter Ends, A Chapter Begins (Short Version)

944folly, under new management, or something like that … read more

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The Three Ps.

Today’s project was determining why the low fuel light illuminates with a full tank of fuel.

According to the Internet Tubes, this is a common problem easily and more importantly, cheaply rectified. One simply lifts the carpet in the rear, removes the small square of insulation, lifts the cover, unplugs a connector, removes 2 fuel hoses and removes the sending unit. Clean the contacts and put it all back together. Ought to be a piece of cake.

Not so much. The carpet and the insulation came out as advertised. That’s where things went a little south. There’s this plastic cover that sits over the hole in the floor through which one accesses the fuel sending unit. It’s supposed to just sit there. Held in place by the previously mentioned bit of insulation and gravity. Some time in the past someone felt that gravity might not be sufficient. So they glued it down. Lacquer thinner and patience got it off. Now we can get to the sender.

Pulled the plug on the wiring, removed the fuel lines and the retaining collar holding the sender to the tank. Sender no move. Pried on it a bit before deciding that brute force and ignorance shouldn’t be the order of the day. Break it and the car’s not drive-able. So we put it all back together. We’ll dig into it further when the gas tank isn’t full and we don’t have a service appointment in a couple days.

While putting it back together, the connector to hook the wiring to the sender kind of fell apart. That brings us to the title of this missive. The Three Ps. “Porsche Parts Prices.” This connector is literally a 1″ cube of polystyrene with 5 molded holes in it. It has a second part that snaps on to hold the wire connectors in place. It is used on most 911/912/914/944 cars. Manufacturing cost? Maybe a dime. Seeing that Porsche is a luxury marque, one might expect to pay say, ten dollars for it.

After spending the better part of two hours searching, I found it. Part number 901.612.891.01. Price? Wait for it…


Porsche Parts Prices.

We’ll find an alternative.

Addendum – Additive manufacturing for the win: https://www.wiesner3d.com/…/4-pin-sending-unit…

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A Little Bit Like …

… hearing someone talk about how good your old girlfriend is in bed …

Tonight a former colleague, who has probably never experienced anything much more exotic than a Toyota pickup, emailed me to say that he had just been out of town on a little business and “… While I was there I saw a Porsche 944 parked in a friend’s driveway that friend tossed me the keys and said you should take it for a ride up Catherine Creek and I did wow was that a blast that was so much fun I feel like I’ve been able to ride where the great people have ridden and been in the same seat that’s been shared by awesome people woohoo what a party what a ride …”

Stay tuned for the next installment of the adventures of the PFKATBR*.

*Porsche Formerly Known As The Blue Rascal

UPDATE 6/3/21: The sender of the email quoted above sent me this explanation this morning:
“Sorry for that weird email…I was so excited I used the speech recognition function to just ramble verbally to compose the email!”

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Lawrence’s Guide to Buying a 944

From the Blue Rascal Archives: Reflected Landscape #2442

As a general proposition, work out how much you would be willing to buy a late model car for on credit.  Figure the max that you could put out as a down payment, then use that amount as the maximum purchase price, and reserve the amount of what would be your monthly payment for ongoing maintenance, care  and feeding.   Might be a good idea, as I did, to create a special account, money market or whatever, to accommodate and track your monthly reserve which may be needed for the life of your ownership and will help protect you from the crush of unanticipated major future outlays, with any surpluses (or profits?!!) going toward your next P-Car “investment.”  

You will probably never own a 944; it will always own you.  That said, it can be a wonderful driving experience, and with proper attention and investment, quite reliable.  Get one that is well documented, passes the scrutiny of an experienced 944 mechanic/owner and isn’t a victim of years of neglect.

P.S.  Don’t tell one anyone, but even having disposed of the Blue Rascal, I am still subscribed to Bring A Trailer


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A Changing of the Guard

Obligatory glamour shot (Lawrence takes photographs. Jim takes snapshots.):

Lawrence has already introduced me better than I would introduce myself so we’ll just leave it at that for now. If you have questions, please ask.

The Nine Four Four previously known as The Blue Rascal update:

When starting the car at Lawrence’s there was significant vibration from the engine transmitted throughout the chassis. This was so severe that Ivi convinced Lawrence to not drive it to meet us at the storage unit. While unusual, it didn’t really feel ‘trip cancelling’ so after a trial run, I went ahead and drove it the hundred miles home. Besides, following our experiences at the beginning of this blog, I have a 300 mile tow AAA plan.

My initial thought was failed motor mounts and since they’re not terribly expensive nor particularly difficult to replace, I ordered a pair. After the excitement of owning a ‘beater Porsche’ (I previously owned a ‘beater Jag.’ See below.) passed, I pondered the most recent work performed. Lawrence told me that he had experienced a “puff of white smoke” from the exhaust on startup and surmised that he either had a blown head gasket or a cracked head. He took it to an unknown to me shop in the TriCities area where over the course of three months they managed to bolt a new* head on. That was the extent of my knowledge about the last messing with.

So, upon further reflection, what seemed the most likely cause of the aforementioned vibration presented itself. 944 motors are balance shaft engines and how the timing is set on the shafts is different (according to folks more knowledgeable than I) between early 83-85 motors and late 85.5-end of production. My suspicion is that the previous work has the balance shaft timing incorrect. Not a difficult mistake to make, but it is unimaginable to me that a shop would allow such a mistake out the door. That they would let it out the door in this condition left me with the sincere feeling that I have no desire to meet these folks and since I am not giving them an opportunity to redo their work, they shall remain nameless.

I could probably rectify the problem myself, but instead, we’ll have another take care of it. (I’m sometimes lazy that way.) The appointment’s for 10 June. We’ll see if I still have my diagnostic skills intact after being away from the trade for 40 years.

* I have no means of verifying that it’s actually NEW new. It’s clean. That’s all I KNOW.

Beater Jag from a lifetime ago:


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A Chapter Ends, A Chapter Begins

A Moment in 2014

April 7, 2013 – May 29, 2021

As of this day, the ownership and custody of the Blue Rascal moves to my dear friend JamesA.  Management of this website will likely transfer as well.  Matters of health and time and attendant aging issues (Bob Dylan and I both celebrated our 80th birthdays this month) were driving factors.  Priorities are shifting to family and an overflowing plate of photographic and art project commitments.  Hopefully, my youngster friend Jim (aka JamesA) will re-introduce himself to you soon in a future post.   I intend to make the occasional contribution as well.  In the meantime, keep your eyes far down the road …

JamesA Confronts the 944 Formerly Known as the Blue Rascal (photo by Lawrence on 5/29/21)

Here’s an earlier 2013 blurb on Jim/JamesA:


Co-conspirator Jim is a aerospace engineer turned Internet service tech manager with British (including XKE) and German sports car leanings. And motorcycles, especially BMW. While he once professionally worked to performance-tune German cars and motorcycles in Southern California, after moving to the Pacific NW, he became a founding member of the famed WetWesties camping society. Centering his attention on the various flavors of VW camper/van/bus, he can be found at any time with at least two or three project machines in play. The latest is an ’84 high-top with a recently fitted and utterly transforming late model Jetta engine. And … oh, yeah … Jim and Lawrence swap ideas and tips as they both build music servers for their respective homes and compare music collections, hardware and software.


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A Day In The Rain

The Blue Rascal gets wet, a little …

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Photographing a 917

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Late Afternoon Sun

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photoillustration by lawrence

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