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THE ENGLISH GENTLEMAN'S CUSTOMER
AND YOU THOUGHT OUR CAR THIEVES WERE BAD!
The Maestro's Worldwide Spies keep him up to date on events throughout the World of Science, Politics, & Porsches. (After all, it was through his Man in Zurich that he found his first big batch of Virgin, Porsche Industrial Engines, hundreds of which have gone many thousands of miles and/or won many races.)
Others have told him about "The X-Ray Flash in the South Atlantic" back in '77, during the Cold, Dark Days of the Carter Administration, that was shown recently to be what exactly what he was told- and Published in "The ABC's of Porsche Engines". Nope, it WASN'T meteorites hitting the Vela Satellites. Or Sun Spots.
It was a joint Israeli/South African A-Bomb test.
Then there was the Cat and the Transporter.
Anyhow, there was a Man From England, whom we'll call The Englishman, who called the Maestro for a bit of advice about a 356-based Race Engine that had broken down on a European Rally through the French Alps.
The Engine had suffered an inadvertent overrev when the throttle stuck wide open- the engine revved waayyyy up with the result that it now wasn't running too well.
What Damage could be done to an Engine by overrevving it?
Try EVERYTHING! "Well," said the Maestro querying his Personal Data Base. "Ifin the overrev occurs REALLY quickly- like on a downshift into First instead of Third, the Flywheel Dowel Pins can be sheared off! Cleanly Decapitated. Like by Guillotine."
But since the English Rally Race Engine in the French Alps was still running (albeit poorly), the Flywheel must still be connected to the crankshaft, so sheared dowels aren't the problem. Here.
The Second Bad Thing is the beating the Valve Train takes when "Valve Float occurs, which it likely did here.
At extreme revs, the valve springs can't close the valve fast enough and the valve "floats" open. If that happens, the Exhaust valves can be hit by the Pistons- the exhaust valve cut-out notwithstanding- and BEND the valves. (And the Maestro has one Ate 3043 356A/B exhaust Valve, so badly bent that it traces out an "S". Should be in an ad for Ate though - there were NO cracks in the badly bent "S" section.)
Obviously, a bent valve won't seal very well and can be easily picked out by a compression or leakdown test. Or by checking valve gaps. When you find the valve with the quarter-inch gap, you've found one problem. There may be more.
The Third Baddest Overrev Failure is that of the Weakest Link in the Valve Train- the Pushrods- which sometimes bend like pretzels.
They bend because the Valve smacks the Piston- the resulting sudden impulse load fails the column-like pushrod catastrophically. Or breaks off a Normal's Cast Iron Cam Follower Head.
The next day, the English Gentleman called back- to say that, Lo and Behold, there WERE a couple of Bent Pushrods, Mate. But after replacing them with good pushrods, it turned out that the engine still wouldn't run right. The Valves were bent also!
So, there you are, stuck in the French Alps with bent Valves. You out of Luck, Bo'! And the Race was over for the English Gentleman's Customer.
Having some free time before the Engine arrived back from Frogland, the English Gentleman told the Maestro a Story.
It went kinda like this:
A friend of The English Gentleman bought a 1967 912 from California and had it imported to Africa where he was working- in Nairobi, Kenya.
Being in Nairobi, the guy necessarily did his own maintenance and tune-ups, and called the English Gentleman many times for needed Parts and advice. (Hummh, thinks the Maestro- Somehow that sounds familiar.)
But once the guy had his local Nairobi mechanic fix an exhaust leak while he (the owner) went on a trip back to Headquarters. And Civilization.
When the owner got back, his "mechanic" had pulled the 912's engine out and stripped it down to the Lower End, by pulling off only the Right Hand Case Half, was now in totally over his head, and declined vociferously to do any more work on the engine.
So, the owner had the engine shipped back to the English Gentleman in, appropriately, London, England for a compete rebuild.
Once rebuilt, shipped back to Nairobi and put back in the 912, the car ran very well indeed, and became the envy of the town.
Too much a temptation, apparently.
For one day, the owner was awakened at Four in the Morning by a Machete held against his throat by one of two rather large Nairobi natives standing over him.
They hog-tied and blindfolded him, and threw him in the back of his OWN 912! And there's not much room there.
And then the thieves got in the car and drove. And drove.
Although time must pass quite quickly when you're having fun like this, hog tied in the back of your own car, the owner estimated they drove for some four hours.
Finally, the thieves stopped the car- wayyyyyy out in the Outback. (And when you're in the "Outback" in Kenya, you're in the OUTBACK!).
The guy figures he's dead meat.
They drag him out of the back seat and toss him by the side of the "road", such as it is. And it is here that the owner feels the immediate need to get in touch with his God, for he thought surely that not only are his days numbered, but that number is now near ZERO.
They throw him on the ground. And. And. And....
And they get back in the 912 and drive off.
Leaving the guy in the dirt by the Side of the Road, hog-tied and blindfolded.
Eventually, he managed to scrape off the Blindfold so he could at least see, but he couldn't get loose from the ropes tying his hands behind his back.
Try as he might- and he tried all day- he couldn't get free.
And now night was coming to the African Savannah.
And so did the Night Dwellers.
And there he was, hog tied and helpless.
Now, picture yourself in a similar position. Ifin you were a betting man, what odds would you give that this poor guy hog-tied and helpless would make it through a night on the Lone African Prairie?
Somehow, by some Miracle, he made it through the night unscathed.
And all the next day.
And then night fell again.
And he was still hog-tied!
And again- out came the Snakes, the Spiders. The Lions. And this time they came Closer this time. Like they could sense their dinner getting weaker. Which it/he was!
Amazingly, by a Double Miracle, he made it through the second night unscathed too!
After two days ad two nights with no food nor water, hog-tied on the African Outback, the guy again figures that the Third Time's the Charm and again his days were down to Zero.
It was then that a Range Rover "Tour Bus" bounced down the outback rut that was the "road", and FOUND HIM!
Un-hog-tied him and gave him food and drink.
Yes, Saved his life! That too.
And just WHY did they happen to find him?
Why, because the tour guide was attracted by all the Wildlife that seemed to be grouped in one place- over where the hog-tied guy was, just waiting for him to become dinner- THEIR dimmer!
The guy was rubbing his raw, rope-roughened hands as the Range Rover bounced down the road. A few miles down the road, off to the side of the road, what should he spy but
With both doors wide open and nobody around.
The guy couldn't believe it! He cautiously walked over to the 912 to check it out. The keys were still in the ignition. The battery was dead too, because: THE THIEVES HAD RUN OUT OF GAS!
And had run the battery down trying to start it!
The tour bus had a spare jerrycan of gas, so the owner poured that into the 912 and pushed it a bit. Got in, popped the clutch, the engine started, and off he went, back to Nairobi.
And immediately transferred to Equatorial Norway.
These things happen ifin you:
Keep the 356/912 Faith
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