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Copyright 1997, by Harry Pellow, All Rights Reserved.

It is Interesting how the gods tell us things sometimes. And when they do, the Maestro has learned that you'd Best Heed Their Messages- especially when they're advice is accompanied by Lightning Bolts. Aimed at YOU!

.....It is also interesting how Small the World is sometimes- especially the World of 356's.

.....Take for example, one of the few 356 AND 912 Owners in Mississippi. (First Emma Come-a, then I-ah Come-a, them I ass-ass, then I come-a again-a, then I ass-ass, then I pee-pee then I come-a Again-a. "OFFICER, aren't you gonna arrest him?" "What, for spelling Mississippi?")

.....In fact the Maestro had rebuilt BOTH the Owner's 356 SC Mississippi Cabriolet Engine and the '67 912. Ironically, the Man from Miss then sold the 356 to a dealer in California- a few miles North of the Maestro.

.....So, the Maestro's Engine which went from California to Mississippi was Coming home to California to roost- like the Swallows.

.....Like I said- it's a small World!

.....Eventually, The Man from Mississippi sold the SC with the Maestro's Engine for a considerable sum to the Widow of a famous Star in Malibu. Which is another Story.

.....And when Such a Deal as that goes down, the Customer inevitably is as Happy as a Pig in... And the Maestro is, of course, always Happy when a Customer is Happy.

.....Which brings us up to the day when the Maestro was having a Rare Relaxing Moment- imbibing his Minimum Daily Requirement of Beer, and reading a story in "Aviation Week" about the successful Brilliant Pebble Test, when the phone rang.

.....It was the Man From Mississippi- about to fire up a MaestroMassaged 912 Engine- one the Maestro had built a year before.

.....But there was a Problem- the Engine wouldn't run!

.....There was no doubt in the Maestro's mind that the 912 WOULD run- and in fact, HAD run- for like all MaestroMassaged Engine shipped out of the Silicon Valley, the Maestro had run it for an hour on his Test Stand, set the Timing adjusted the carbs, checked for leaks (none, of course), and made sure All Was Well.

.....But all was NOT well- the Man From Mississippi couldn't get the MaestroMassaged Engine Started!

....."It's really strange," Maestro- "she's a-popping back through the carburetors something fierce!"

....."Geez," thought the Maestro, "that's not right. It ran just fine thank out here! But a stuck valve or some such could cause just such a problem. But all MaestroMassaged Engines are Well-Lubricated and have NEVER suffered a seized valve!"

....."There's one thing I'd like to ask you," said the Man from Mississippi a little sheepishly- "Which way is the engine supposed to rotate?"

....."Uh-oh," thought the Maestro - "this sure sounds like one of those Trick Questions- like on the SAT."

....."Well," said the Maestro, quoting Chapter and Verse from his Books- "when viewed from the Rear of the Car, all 356/912 Engines Normally rotate CLOCKWISE. Like a Clock."

....."Yeah, that's what I thought too," said the Man from Mississippi. "But MAH Engine is a-rotating the OTHER WAY!!! It's goin' COUNTER-CLOCKWISE!"

....."WHOA!!!" said the Maestro- "that's not right!!!"

....."I didn't think so either," said the Man from Mississippi. "What do y'all think could be wrong?"

.....The Maestro, not having been confronted counter-clockwise rotating 912's before, cogitated on the situation before answering. He queried the Data Base. "COUNTERCLOCKWISE?" it Cried. "How the Hell can a 912 RUN Counterclockwise???," it asked incredulously.

.....Quick on its feet, the Center of Higher Reasoning jumped in- "If it's REALLY rotating backwards- it CAN'T! Run! Rotating backwards, it'll pump Exhaust back through the Carbs! Ah, which incidentally, explains the "a-poppin' back through the Carbs" problem."

.....Calming the Turmoil Within, the Maestro said to the Man from Mississippi: "Well, ordinarily, I'd say it sure sounds like a Starter problem, but let's start from First Principles- Since the Last Time the 912 Ran, Has the Starter been changed?"

....."Yes," said the Man from Mississippi.

....."Oh, the Starter's been changed. OK. How about the Battery?" "Yeah, I replaced that too. Oh, and I replaced the ENTIRE Wiring Harness too!"

.....Groan thought the Maestro- the Starter the Battery AND the ENTIRE Wiring harness were replaced- and ALL now suspect! Hadn't Man From Mississippi ever heard of Lucas's First Law, that states: Whenever any Electrical part is Purchased, if the Old part is exchanged BEFORE Installation of the New Part, the New One won't fit. And/or if it does fit, it won't work!

.....Moral: Always take the "core" back later, after you've determined that your old one really WAS bad and you've taken off the Old Part all the Important Tidbits you need that you won't have ifin you first turn the Old Part in.

.....The Man from Mississippi interrupted the Maestro's Speech with- "Uh, Maestro, I've got my Mechanic with me, perhaps you two can figure out what's wrong with my 912.

.....The Man From Mississippi's Mechanic (MFMM) got on the line-

....."Yeah, hey Maestro Man, bo' this is the Damnedest thing Ah ever did see! The damn engine turns over BASS- ACKWARDS!"

.....Wanting to be sure that Backwards in Mississippi was Counterclockwise in California, the Maestro asked- You mean when the starter cranks the engine over, the pulley turns to the Left??? Not the Right?

....."Yep, that's Right- if the "OT" mark on the Pulley is On Top, aligned with the Timing Mark in the Case, and the Starter engaged, the pulley moves to the LEFT!"

....."OK," said the Maestro. "But let's be Sure. I'll show you a little Trick. Go to the Rear of the 912. Do you see a little Yellow wire over by the Voltage Regulator that comes out of the Wiring Harness and goes nowhere? It's got a rubber boot over a Female Spade connector."

.....The Man From Mississippi looks around- and sho' 'nough finds a little Yellow wire with an insulated Female Spade connector.

....."That's the Baby," said the Maestro. "Now, making sure that the car is Out Of Gear, and that the Brake be on, touch that thar little Yellow wire to the B+ "Hot Side" of the Voltage Regulator- where the Big Red Wire joins- and the engine should crank over."


.....Over the Phone the Maestro hears the Unmistakable Sound of a Porsche Starter Cranking.

....."Dad Burn it," said Mississippi- "You're RIGHT Maestro- it DOES turn over! Hot Damn, that's a neat idea!"

....."Yes," said the Maestro- "it's a Mechanic's Secret so that ONE Mechanic's only (not two) can crank the engine over for Compression tests or timing adjustment. The little Yellow wire runs right to the Solenoid Connection of the Starter and does Absolutely Nothing unless you touch its other end to the Hot Side of the Regulator- in which case the Starter Cranks. But ONLY the starter- there's still no juice to the Coil or anything else."

....."NOW," said the Maestro- "which way does the engine turn?"

....."Honest to God, Maestro- it STILL Turns COUNTER-Clockwise!," replied MAN FROM MISSISSIPPI.

.....The Maestro then flashed through his Data Base and remembered The Strange Case of Mel, a Gentle Shop Owner who purchased a NEW Battery whose Terminals had been reversed! "+" was "-" and Vice-versa.

.....And BOY did the Gauges acted Strangely Indeed! All of which went away when the Battery cables were REVERSED, and which went away permanent when the Battery was replaced with another where "+" was "+" and "-" was "-", and never the Twain shall meet, save inside Palladium Rods filled with Deuterium undergoing cold Fusion. After all, Pons & Feishmann used a Sears Die Hard. If cold Fusion is ever proven to work, think of Sear's Advertising Possibilities: "Die-Hard: the Battery that started Fusion Cold.'"

.....But I digress. Asked the Maestro- "you said the BATTERY has been changed too???"

....."Yes," said Mississippi. "I replaced that too!"

....."First let us ascertain that it is NOT a reversed Battery. Reverse the Battery connections and try the Starter Again." (KIDS! Don't try this at home on Dad's Carrera GT Speedster!)

.....The guy did- "Dad Gum it Maestro, It STILL turns Counterclockwise- and pops like hell outa the carburetor!"

....."I'm not surprised," said the Maestro- "even a MaestroMassaged Engine won't run Backwards. However it WILL suck like hell from the Exhaust and try to Pump it out the Carburetor! Which is NOT a good thing to do with Sparks around!"

....."So whaddya think is wrong?" asked the Man From Mississippi expectantly.

....."It is my Professional Opinion," said the Maestro "that what we have have is a The Case of a BAD starter- one that's wound wrong- or more likely- the WRONG starter- maybe it's for a 914 or a VW Bus or some oddball 911?

.....""Y'know said the MMM, that's what I though too! I just was surprised as hell to have the engine turn the Wrong Way!"

....."You're not the only one," said the Maestro- relating the Story of the Gentle Reader back east who stuck a Corvair Engine into a VW bus. Since Corvair Engines rotate backwards relative to Porsche Engines, the ring gear of the Bus transmission had to swapped to the other side.

.....Unfortunately this Corvair powered VW Bus got wrecked and the Gentle Reader made a Deal with the Junk Yard Operator to buy the parts back at a Good Price once the Insurance Co had paid off on the claim.

.....Unfortunately, the Junk Yard owner had other ideas and refused to honor the deal. And the Gentle Reader decided not to tell the Junk Yard owner about the VW transmission mods. Ifin the Junk Yard owner sold the Transmission to a higher-up in the Mob's pecking order, the sight of a VW Bus with FOUR SPEEDS REVERSE and one forward would be a sight to see. so would the Junk yard owner's kneecaps the next day!

.....So, as the Maestro goes to Press, the Jury is still out in Mississippi- would it really be a Funky Starter or Something No One Has Ever Seen??? Stay Tuned.

.....You did? Good. 'Cause it turned out that it WAS a Bad Starter- a SR-27X rather than a SR-26X for a 912. And WHAT do you think a SR-27 X fits???

.....Give up?

.....Why, a 928!

.....So it was no surprise that a Starter for a Water Cooled, Front Engined, Rear Wheel Drive 928 just might turn the Opposite way from an Air-cooled, Rear Engined, Rear Wheel drive 912 made 20 years previously!

.....The Maestro was amazed that after all these years and all those differences that the 928 Starter FIT in the 912!!!

.....The Midwest Porsche Dealer who supplied the Starter was rather Embarrassed. The difference a digit makes. DMV still doesn't know a Zero from an "O".

.....But all's well that end's well. And with the RIGHT starter, the MaestroMassaged 912 sprang unhesitatingly to live. Strong like Bull. Heap Big Power.

.....The Man from Mississippi became a Believer. He had:

..... KEPT THE 356 FAITH!!!



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