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THE MAESTRO MAKES A NEW CUSTOMER
The Maestro doesn't advertise much in his own neck of the woods. He has enough work coming in from all over Der Vorld that Loco ads aren't necessary. Yet.
Still, the Customers trickle in. Some find out from Word of Mouth or View of Engine. Others come from the Internet with its Word Wide Reach at www.hcpresearch.com.
Which is how one New Customer came in today, Unannounced as usual, as the Maestro was laying underneath the Stanford Economics Professor's dirty, faded, Taxicab Yellow '65 Sunroof Coupe with birdy poo-poos all over and an Oil Screen COMPLETELY BLOCKED with what appeared to be a RAG, through which The Big Oil Pump could suck next to no oil, but COULD produce a Monica-like Vacuum high enough to COLLAPSE the almost completely clogged screen!
The Damage this may have done to the used 912 engine in the Stanford Economics Professor's '65 SC is left to the Student as a Senior Thesis.
The Maestro crawled out from underneath the Yellow, Birdy-Bespackled Beast and met the New Customer.
The New Customer had come all the way from Dublin (California, not Ireland- the Maestro's Tune-Up reach doesn't extend that far. Yet. Though he did get an order from Ireland today), to see ifin the Maestro could debug his bugged Beast.
"Well, maybe." said the Maestro modestly. "What's the Problem?"
"Well," said the Potential Customer. "I've got a 356C. And it's running Hot. Very Hot!"
"Hummmh," said the Maestro. "If you have a 356C, you should have all the Late-Model Goodies- the Double Flapper Heater Boxes, the rounded "Volute" type Fan Shroud, the Many Bladed Fan, the Dual Grill Deck Lid." "But ifin you happen to have oil leak(s) ANYWHERE, the Oil Cooler is probably half-blocked with Crud on the Outside, like this one. (The Maestro picks up an Oil Cooler from the conveniently-located Table of Broken Porsche Parts that is COMPLETELY BLOCKED on the outside with layers of Oil/Grease/Dirt.)
"Ohhh, said the Potential Customer (PT). "That's HORRIBLE!"
"Yeah," said the Maestro. "And so's this! Picking up the Five Easy Pieces making up a "Sectioned" L&R Late-Model Solid Mount Oil Cooler. "And this Oil Cooler was COMPLETELY BLOCKED at the L&R Factory by 1.7 Pounds of SOLDER that completely filled the Upper Plenum. So NO OIL EVER got trough this Cooler! (Which also proves that the L&R Oil Cooler Factory NEVER FLOW TESTED their Coolers.) Well, maybe not. The Date Stamp of THIS Oil Cooler was 10/86, which means it was made in or around OCKTOBERFEST! Which may explain it all. The Maestro holds up a Distributor that fires on #1 and #4 Cylinder but NEVER fires on #2 and only sometimes on Sunday #3, resulting in a 2.3-2.7 cylinder engine until the Maestro fixed it with an .050 and continues: "And (picking up fried Piston), if the Timing is wayyyyy off, that causes overheating too. With this result."
The Potential Customer, now more than a little frightened by the aura of all the Broken Parts in the Collection asked: "I have the car here. Can you take a look?"
The Maestro, always happy to see yet another 356 he hasn't seen before readily agreed to eyeball it.
Out in the Huge Parking lot at the Maestro's Shop was a 1965 356C all right. In a color that can best be described as "Baby-Poo-Poo Brown". With, sadly, a matching "Baby Poo-Poo Brown" Interior. Clearly NOT a Porsche Idea! The Factory had two "allowable" complementary colors to each exterior color. And having the SAME color on both the Interior and Exterior was Verboten! (Well, not really, you pay us enough money, we'll paint it pink with purple polka dots. And they would. (*Hey why not? If the Customer wants Gold Plated Tailpipes. Why not give it to him?)
The Owner popped the rear deck lid. And the Maestro eyeballed the Engine.
And quite an Eyeball it was.
The Maestro took a deep breath and started in: "Well, first of all, it's NOT a 356C OR an "SC". It's 754,xxx number, which makes it a 1967 912. The Type Number is a 616/36 which also is a 65-67 912 and the Case Casting Number is about right for the ID Number.
But the Fan Shroud ISN'T a 912- and it ISN'T a 356C either! It has no "indent" for the Valve Adjustment Decal, which means the Latest it can be is a 1961, but it's probably a 356A or early "B". I bet it came from a 1958 356A." That also means that the Fan Shroud has the earlier, smaller "Screened" Air Inlet, inferior to the later "Volute" Fan Inlet.)
The Maestro continued. "See all the oil over here on the Right Side. That's probably from the Breather Can, (feeling the Breather Can up and down and finding lotsa oil, the Maestro traced the leak up and found a wayyy too loose Breather Hose with NO clamp on it. Which is why it was way too loose and the Source of SOME of the Oil leaks at least.
The Maestro eyeballed the Oil Lines going to and from the Oil Filter Can, another Most Likely Place for an oil leak in an old engine. And sho' 'nough BOTH Oil Lines WERE leaking.
The Maestro pointed that out to the Owner, and the fact that the Hollow Bolt holding the Inlet Oil Line to the Junction Block had NO Gasket 'tween it and the Line. And that IT was leaking too!
The Maestro eyeballed the Crank Pulley- it had become a Giant Oil Slinger, slinging oil all over the engine, up onto the underside of the Deck Lid (to get in what little Hair you have left when you worked on the engine, and into the Air Stream, to be sucked INTO the Fan then deposited on the outside of the Oil Cooler to cause the aforementioned Clogged Cooler Syndrome with associated overheating problems.
While there, the Maestro also noticed something Interesting about the Rear Plate.
There were the bottoms of Tin CANS stuck over the Big Holes in the Rear Plate. The BIG Holes in the Rear Plate? Big Holes because this was a EUROPEAN Heater System Rear Plate! But the Fan Shroud WASN'T a Euro Heater Fan Shroud! (As stated before, it was an 356A type which NEVER EVER had a "Euro Heater" since the Euro Heater didn't start until 1963.)
That made the Maestro bend down on one knee.
Not in awe, but to eyeballed underneath the engine. SINGLE Flapper Heater Boxes instead of Double Flappers! Probably from that 1958 "A" again!
The Maestro eyeballed the Distributor. It was the Dreaded VW .009 instead of an Original or a new .050.
The Customer complained about the High Idle, so the Maestro went into Lecture Mode of how the .009 Distributor hasn't enough Advance to satisfy the needs of a Porsche engine and shouldn't be used in one except in an Emergency!
With a .009, If you time the engine Static to say, 5 deg BTDC, you get maybe 25 degrees High Speed Advance rather than the 35 (2) that the Factory Recommends. So your engine's a Stone at high speed.
And if you Time it to 33-35 degrees at High Speed, then it idles at 15 degrees Advance and at 1500-1800 rpm.
A new .050 Distributor is a much better solution. (As is a Good Original, but just try to find one of them when you need it!)
So the Maestro went inside to get his Magic Timing Light and the 12 Volt Battery.
Returning, he hooked up the Timing Light to #1 Plug wire and the power cables to the 12 Volt Battery attached to his arm.
The Xenon Light of Truth illuminated the Pulley on the rapidly-idling engine.
Not bad. about 5 degrees Advance. OK for idle.
The Maestro revved the engine up, and watched the Timing mark.
The Timing Mark barely moved. The Maestro revved the engine up again, and adjusted the Dial on the Magic Timing Light to move - by the Magic of Electronic- the TDC mark on the Pulley BACK to align with the mark on the Third Piece of the Case.
The Maestro read the Total High Speed Timing Advance off the Magic Timing Light's Dial.
15 degrees! "WOW!" yelled the Maestro, overcome with over exuberance, thereby risking Greenspan's wrath and somewhat indiscreet, said: "You only have 15 degrees total Advance. This engine must be a STONE!" "Well, yes, reluctantly agreed the Owner. "Actually It IS sort of pitifully slow." "Well now," said the Maestro, starting the Sales Pitch. "A new .050 will certainly solve your Timing problem and maybe some of the Overheating Problem. But with your early Fan Shroud, your Single Flapper Heater Boxes and probably the FEW bladed fan (if Murphy has anything to say about it), all the Oil Leaks and the 15 Degrees (at least) retarded Timing and I can see why it might be Overheating!
But the High Idle still puzzled the Maestro. Why was it idling so high? The Timing was NOT wildly advanced- only 5 degrees, so why the 1800 rpm idle?
The Maestro eyeballed the carbs. Of COURSE they were 1968/1969 Split Shaft Solexes.
And the Maestro explained to the Potential Customer about the Particularly Annoying Characteristic of Split Shaft Solexes, that they depend on an itty-bitty Bakelite Block to open the front throat of the Solex. At the Right Time.
And when that itty-bitty Bakelite Block disintegrates or falls out, suddenly the front shaft is free to Twist in the Wind. Twist OPEN in the wind.
The Maestro reached around to the Left Hand Solexes and felt for slop in the connecting linkage between the throats. He made a Funny Face, of Super-Concentrated Concern and said in his best TV-Preacher voice:
"Are you SICK, my son? "
"What are you doing, inquired the Curious Customer."
"Well," said the Maestro. "I think this problem calls for the Laying of Hands on your Engine. So that's what I'm doing- it's amazing how many Engines I've cured just by TOUCHING them."
The Customer was somewhat taken aback by this and backed away from the Maestro a few steps. The expression of Disbelief on his face said it all.
The Left Hand Split Shaft Solex was OK. It wasn't sick.
So, the Maestro went over to the Right Hand Side to check out its Split Shaft Solex.
The Customer crept forward cautiously.
Again the Maestro asked the Carburetor:
"Are you the SICK One, my son?"
The Maestro's Magic Fingers expertly caressed the Split Shaft Solex's linkage between the throats.
And found a buncha slop. The Maestro's booming TV-Preacher voice shouted:
"AHA, YOU are the SICK one!"
"I want you to HEAL THYSELF!"
His Magic Fingers moved the front throttle closed.
And Magically, the engine DROPPED down to a steady 1000 rpm idle!
The Customer was incredulous- he couldn't believe his eyes! This guy just TOUCHES my engine and the High Idle stopped! Returns to normal. Who is this Guru anyway?
The New Customer was sufficiently IM-pressed by now, so the Maestro explained the Magic Trick to him and told the Customer that to fix the high idle, a carb fix was needed. And while you're doing that, REPLACE that damn .009 Distributor.
And eventuality replace the Fan Shroud, the Heater Boxes, probably the Fan and the Rear Plate.
But the Mystery the Maestro would like to solve is what possessed the previous Owner to replace his 356C engine with a 912, but then use 356A stuff on it?
And WHERE did the 356A stuff come from? Neither the 356 NOR the 912 has that stuff on them- they have (or had) the GOOD stuff!
A 1966 912 Engine with: 1. A 356A Fan Shroud. 2. 356A Heater Boxes 3. A European Heater Rear Plate 4. 1968-69 Spilt Shaft Solexes 5. A VW .009 with only 10 degrees spark advance.
With every "Heinz 57" Engine there's a Story. Bet there's a good one behind this engine!
And the Maestro mentioned that to the Owner too.
The Owner, replied:
"Y'know. I took this car into what I thought was best Porsche Shop in the area, but they couldn't do anything with it because no one there knew anything about these things. But you really do!"
"Well, cough cough, said the Maestro Modestly. "I HAVE been playing with these guys for a while..."
And the Maestro knew he had another new Customer- one that really NEEDED help to get his Humble Brown Steed running right again.
And the Maestro likes to do just that- for the smile on the Customer's face when his car runs soooooo much better than before (as opposed to worse!) is a nice sight to see. Then the check is good and the credit card gets approval. Usually. Keep the 356 Faith Maestro P.S.
And yes, the New Customer DID come in for a Tune Up the net week. And the Maestro did replace the defunct .009 with a New .050, Individually Tested on his Special Machine, set at 33 degrees High Speed Advance. And yes, the Maestro did find that EVERY exhaust valve had ZERO (or NEGATIVE) GAP!
(And yes, he fixed that too).
And yes, he replaced the leaking Oil lines and EVERY metal gasket on the entire Junction Block including the Standpipe Gasket. All the previous gaskets were either non-existent or WRONG!
And he clamped the Oil Breather Line, cutting off that leak.
All that done, adjusting the Carbs finally became possible, after replacing the Split Shaft Bakelite Block with the hard, Barrel-shaped (like his first girlfriend) gasket for the Oil Booster Line that happens to be a nice tight fit and allowed both shafts to open at the Right Time!
So, after all this, did the 356 run Better?
Do Bears go poo-poo in the woods?
How could it NOT run better with Proper Timing and decently Adjusted Valves?
Was the Customer happy with the result?
It's always amazes the Maestro how well 356's run when they're adjusted to something resembling the Manufacture's Recommendation.
And how poorly they can run when they're NOT!
Keep the 356 Faith
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