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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