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Copyright 1997, by Harry Pellow, All Rights Reserved.

Deep within the Maestro's somewhat twisted brain there lies the remains of an Ancient Auto Myth. One he first read about a looooonnnngg time ago in, ifin his memory serves, Clymer's 356 Porsche Book.

.....(Back in those Dark Days before Light, "Secrets", and the Engine Assembly Video Tapes, there were only Elrink and Clymers. Books. Porsche Books. 356 Porsche Books that is.)

.....Elrink's was the better Porsche book, but Clymers had Redeeming Social Valve for the Great Diagrams of the 4-Cam Carrera's Bevel Gear Drive System- a Mechanical Engineer's Centerfold!) (REAL Carreras, of course, have 4 Cams. And real "SC's" have Pushrods. Bill Block says that. The Maestro agrees.)

.....Clymers book also had a Story in the back, about a guy who drove into his friendly neighborhood Porsche dealer to trade in his 356 for a new 911 (foolish boy that he was- 356's are now worth LOTS more than 911's!)

.....Anyway, as the amazed dealer looked on, the guy drains the oil from his old 356 and PUTS THE OLD OIL INTO HIS NEW 911.

.....Shocking though that might be, even more shocking was the Fact that his old oil had over 200,000 miles on it!

.....Or so said Clymers, in its Telling of the Myth.

.....The reason, Clymer explained, was that like Long Distance Truckers, the guy had used a "Diatomaceous Earth" Oil Filter in his 356 and, therefore, NEVER HAD TO CHANGE THE OIL!!!

.....And the Wonders of Diatomaceous Earth OIl Filters spread like Wildfire from that Story- or others like it.

.....The Maestro knows that Diatomaceous Earth oil filters are good filters. They're made from dead little sea creatures called Diatoms that have incredible surface area and the ability to filter out crud and neutralize acids in engine oil. However- they cost more and they DO wear out eventually, and you can't find the filters anymore and,...

.....And then one day, what walks into the Maestro's Shop, but an Original Owner of a 1963 356B Normal- with, guess what, a Diatomaceous Earth Oil Filter!!

.....Yes, it's true that the '63 Normal had only a mere 160,000 Original miles on it, which is low for a Normal, but the HEADS HAD NEVER BEEN OFF! .....Upon seeing that, the Maestro got excited- for here for once was a Completed Experiment. One that could finally answer the question- after 160,000 miles and Thirty Years on an Original Engine, using a Diatomaceous Earth Filter, how well did that filter REALLY work?


.....Consumer Reports waited breathlessly for the Report from the Maestro's Lab.

.....After a mere 27 years, the Owner, a Lockheed Engineer in Re-entry Systems no less, had finally decided to have his Normal entered and turned into a MaestroMaster SupraNormal. It was Time. It was also leaking like hell out of every orifice, and running hotter than Hades in that warm California Sun.

.....The Maestro got the Dirty, Greasy job of removing & tearing down a long-leaking Engine. With mucho yucko and mucko all over. He was consoled somewhat by the fact that everything was Most Definitely Original, as it should be, and provided Confirming Data on the Factory's Methods.

.....Little things such as: Even the Tail Pipes had 14mm Across The Flats Nuts and bolts on them! Amazing since all the aftermarket Tailpipe Kits contain Standard Hardware which now is 13mm Across the Flats, not 14mm Across The Flats of long, long ago. Likewise the 14mm hardware on the "J" Tube to muffler clamps. That you never see nowadays- except on the Maestro's engines, of course.

.....About the only thing missing from the Normal was the piece normally missing- the Oil Pump Heat Shield. This hardly-ever-seen rectangular piece fits across the back middle of the engine- from one heater box to another- and acts like a heat shield between the Muffler and the Oil Pump.

.....(Actually, it doesn't "act like" a Heat Shield- it IS a Heat Shield, as the Owner could tell you, being in Re-entry Systems.)

.....The Oil Pump Heat Shield is also the first piece that falls off a 356! Highway departments all over the country must have a huge collection of these! (Fortunately, so does the Maestro- as oil pump heat shields come Standard on the Military Industrial Engines the Maestro gets- and the Maestro gets more than his fair share of Military Industrials.) Heat shields are not allowed to fall off Military engines. Being totally enclosed, they have no place to go.

.....Ah, but I digress. Back to the Original 1963 356B Normal with 160,000 miles on it- and leaks all over it. And what wasn't leaking was stuck together. Intimately. The push rod tube seals were mated permanently with the cylinder heads and refused to separate themselves. Only when the Maestro viciously wrung the push rod tube's neck did the Original NON-extended push rod tube and Cylinder Head part company.

.....(The important word in the above sentence is "non-extended". The non-extended push-rod tube, was what push rod tubes were way back then in 1963. Current New Age replacement Push Rod Tubes have a 1" extension on the sump side. This prevents oil from flooding into the cylinder heads on looooong left or right hand turns. This was a Richard Luke's invention that the Factory later incorporated into later 912 engines. All replacement pushrod tubes have a 1" extension on the end you stick into the crankcase NOT the end you stick into the head. (Of course, By Murphy's Law, some fools will put the 1" extension into the HEAD. They usually don't win races that way.)

.....When the Maestro pulled off the Fan Shroud he found The Reason for the overheating-in-the-California Sun Problem- the Oil Cooler was COMPLETELY blocked with Oil/Dirt/Crud on the outside. AND the cooler was leaking to boot. No WONDER it ran hot in the Summer.

.....And I'm not saying the Oil Cooler was just "dirty"- did you hear? The oil cooler was COMPLETELY blocked with crud! Since most all the air going to #3 and #4 cylinder has to pass through the oil cooler, ifin the Oil Cooler is completely blocked with crud, there ain't much air getting to #3 or #4 cylinder! Again, by Murphy, #3 and #4 cylinders run the hottest anyway and need the most cooling. But with a blocked oil cooler they get little. Too little. Too late.

.....This is also another reason why you want to build leak-free engines. Otherwise, by the Laws of Murphy, the oil from ANY leak magically gets sucked into the fan and deposited on the Oil Cooler fins. Oil covered fins act like oil-bath Air Cleaners and clean the cooling air going to #3 and #4 cylinders.

.....Since there's necessarily a LOT of cooling air going through a Porsche Air-Cooled Engine, a lot of dirt collects on the Cooler. And eventually this dirt fills up and blocks the left-hand half of the oil cooler's fins.

.....Blocking the right-hand half of the cooler is harder, 'cause the Fan creates a Centrifugal Separator that sends oil droplets to the left Hand side, but given long enough and oily enough, the cooler will end up completely blocked, in the worst case.

.....And this was worse than a Worst Case! Not only was the Oil Cooler completely blocked with crud, but there was a PILE of dirt that completely covered both #3 and #4 Cylinder fins to a depth of 1" (25.4mm.)

.....Is that why it ran Hot? you ask.


.....But maybe the Diatomaceous Earth Oil Filter would Save The Day!

.....The Maestro unearthed the Valve Cover bail, pried it off and carefully removed the valve cover to began his examination of the Engine's entrails.

.....As he eyeballed the rocker Entrails, he was Absolutely Amazed at the performance of the Diatomaceous Earth Oil Filter!

.....For this engine was, by far:


.....NEVER had he seen so much crud inside the valve cover of a a 356/912 engine! Even Engines run with Arco Graphite when Arco Graphite was in vogue weren't as gross as this!

.....In fact, the poor 356 looked like the '57 Plymouth that once came into the Maestro's father's junk yard back in Oh, 1963 or so. Smoking like Hell, the Plymouth barely made it the Last Mile to its final resting place- the Junk Yard which bought it for $20.

.....Though badly-smoking, the Plymouth only had 80,000 miles on it.

....."How often you change the oil?" asked the proto-Maestro.

....."Change the Oil?" replied the farmer. "Ah NEVER changed the oil! Just added a quart now and again. When it needed it."

.....The guy NEVER changed the oil- and it showed- when the Maestro removed the Plymouth's valve cover. Inside, was a solid mass of black Jello-like gunk, having the impression of the valve cover. Except where moving rockers had worn a hole in the solid mass of sludge! Very Impressive.

.....And this poor Porsche engine was like that- the valve train and heads were encrusted with a quarter-inch of Black Goo. The Case looked like something found in the LaBrea Tar Pits.

.....Every square inch inside the case was slimy with black goo, sludge and crud.

.....That's the Bad news.

.....The Good News is that being covered in oil-based Crud for neigh on 30 years meant the parts were well-PRESERVED! And after immersion in the Maestro's Special Solvents, (He's a Chemical Engineer too, y'know.) everything cleaned up remarkably well.

.....The Case, when cleaned, looked like new! More importantly, it checked out like new- OK Standard. (Well, it WAS a Stock Normal, and they're hard to abuse.) As did the Crank. And the Rods. The Cam had a worn oil pump drive slot, but the lobes of the low-lift Normal were unpitted.

.....Once clean, the Cylinder Heads looked like a Porsche Advertisement.

.....The Maestro called the Owner to give him the Good News and the Bad News. The Bad News being that the Engine won the Award for the Dirtiest Engine the Maestro's Ever Seen. The Good News being that all the parts inside were perfect.

.....The Maestro could stand it no longer and asked the Owner how often he had changed the Oil. Like, had he EVER changed the oil!

.....Turned out the answer was- hardly ever. Every 7,000 miles or so. Whenever the owner got A Round Tuit. 7000 Mile oil changes for a 356 is close enough to Never for Government Work & All Practical Purposes.

.....So, 356 Fans, ifin you think a Diatomaceous Earth oil filter is the answer to your dirty engine blues, think again.

.....Likewise ifin you still believe in the Myth of the 200,000 mile Porsche with the Diatomaceous Earth Oil Filter whose oil was never changed, DON'T! Believe in the Tooth Fairy of Santa Claus. It's cheaper. Cleaner too,

.....And like Consumer's Reports says- when CU complied Statistically Significant Data from its readers who had gotten over 100,000 miles on their cars, what was the Single Underlying Unifying Thread? The Common Factor among owners with 100,000+ miles on their cars???

.....Zee Answer Pleaze.

.....You Vant to get a Hundred Thousand Miles out of your engine?

.....Then CHANGE THE OIL every 3,000 miles or less!!! For 365's, with NO full-flow filter, which is to say ALL 356's as all 356's have a BYPASS filter, not a full-flow filter, make that every 2500 miles. 2000 miles if you want to be Sure. 1500 miles or every 6 months if you want to be REALLY sure.


..... KEEP THE 356 FAITH!!!

.....Many Miles longer.



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