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The Customer was New. Yet another Internet User who had heard about the Maestro and his Miraculous Tune Ups from the Web Site at www.hcpresearch.com.

The new Customer had good reason to visit the Maestro, for every time he took his 356 to a Big Name Porsche Shop, it came back running WORSE, OR with two or three NEW things wrong with it. Or Both!

(Well, of COURSE the Name Brand Porsche Shop is gonna give short shrift to 356's- they proudly work on "900" Series cars with their Factory Trained "Technicians". But who gets to work on YOUR 356 (or 912)? The Apprentice. Or the Gofer. So what do you expect when The Kid is YOUNGER than the engine he's working on?)

The guy also wanted to get rid of his ugly, noisy Bursh muffler, and replace it with a Porsche Sport Muffler. The Maestro just happened to have two of the only few in the country.

The appointed Tuesday came, and the Maestro arrived at his shop in his Blue Beast- the Magnificent Creation- bright and early at 11 am.

A few minutes later, the New Customer walked through the door, a 20+ year Owner of a VERY nice 1965 356SC Coupe.

The Maestro eyeballed the Engine.

Nothing exciting. A Study in Black and White, not even a Valve Adjustment Decal on the Fan Shroud for a little color.

For carbs, there were a set of Weber Carburetors with Great Big Air Filters, and REALLY Funky, overly-long Linkage arms. (They looked like the long arms from in FRONT of the Fan Shroud, which aren't adjustable as accurately as the "real" downcoming arms.)

The Maestro had his work cut out for him.

He pulled out the Rear Plate, noted the Bad Rubber and eyeballed the muffler nuts which were VW 12mm ATF copper type that came off easily.

The Maestro got the Muffle/J tube clamps off and sprayed the Interface with Aerokroil- the ONLY penetrating Oil the Maestro's ever found that actually WORKS!

After a few minutes, the Maestro assumed the Position at the rear of the car, grabbed the Bursh Bundle of Metal Snakes, pulled and lifted. And Lifted and Pulled. And Pulled and Lifted.

Went to the Left side. Lifted & Pulled. Pulled & Lifted. Got the Left Side loose.

Pulled & Twisted. Twisted & Pulled. (Great Rock Song Titles)

Wiggled and Pulled some more and the Right Side pulled off.

Got a Porsche Muffler off and the Daily Exercise done too. Such a Deal.

The Maestro grabbed the New Sport Muffler. Slid it underneath the engine and Assumed the Position.

Like Superman, the Maestro lifted the Muffler up, got it over the Right Hand "J" tube and looked up to see how close the Top Flange was from the Cylinder Head Studs.

It wasn't even close. It was WAY low!

Uh oh, though the Maestro. This doesn't look good.

And it wasn't.

For no matter HOW the Maestro put the muffler over EITHER J tube, the top muffler flange was wayyyy too low and just would NOT go over the Head Studs!

Hummmh, thought the Maestro. What's wrong with this Pictuire? And that's Part 1 of the Quiz. Is the Muffler pipe bent from a mishap in shipping? Or are ALL of the New Millennium Sport Mufflers Manufactured wrong?

What next? A vivid Demonstration of "Redressing" the part when Tolerances Sum Unfavorably with a Sledge Hammer???

In front of the New Customer?

Wouldn't he be IM-pressed?

Instead the Maestro said.

"How about we try the OTHER muffler."

And so they did.

This time when the Maestro put the second Sport Muffler over the J tube the Top Flange LINED UP pretty well with the two studs in the Head.


Ah, yes. That's MUCH better.

The Maestro wisely replaced the too-big "J" Tube clamp with one he happened to have from an Industrial Engine that's GUARANTEED to be the Right Clamp!

It was.

He tightened the four Muffler nuts down evenly, alternating from side to side, and the Sport Muffler was home free.

All that was left were the Chrome Tail Pipes that slip over the otherwise Olive- Drab exhausts of the Sport Muffler.

The Maerstro went to get his Special Tool necessary to install the Chrome Pipes- a foot long 2 b' 4. And a Hammer.

He placed the Chrome Tail Pipe up against the Muffler's pipe. There was NO WAY the Chrome piece was gonna go over the Muffler Pipe!

There was a slight "bulge" right at the end of the Muffler's pipe that made the O.D, bigger than the I.D. of the Chrome piece.

Now, there were several solutions here. A.) Cut off the offending piece of the tail pipe. (But then you gotta cut the same amount off the OTHER Muffler Pipe too!) That's destructive and too much like work. B.) File off the offending "bulge". But the file's way at the other end of the shop. Or C.) Since the Ball Bean Hammer fell readily to hand, merely play Master Body Man, and lightly but continuously, "tap" the "bulge" with the ball end of said hammer, around a full 360 degrees. Make several Orbits.

Then try the Chrome Pipe again. Spray with WD-40 first. This time the Chrome Pipe fit on, and with Gentle Encouragement with the 2 b' 4 and the other side of the Aforementioned Ball Pean Hammer, the Chome Pipes went on as nice as you please!

That done, the engine had cooled sufficiently to adjust the Valves. And so, with Feeler Gauges, Metric Adjustable wrench, and his favorite screwdriver and 13mm wrench in hand, he attacked the problem. Cranking the Engine over to TDC on #1 Cylinder he popped off the Right Hand Valve Cover.

And stuck the .005" feeler gauge 'tween the Intake valve and Rocker tip.

It wouldn't go in. Nor would it go between the Exhaust Valve and its rocker either.

Too tight said the Maestro. I don't care WHAT anybody else says- I still like 0.006" on the Exhaust with .007" on the #3 Exhaust, and while there, 0.006" on the Intake too!

Which is what the Maestro set these valves to too. All but ONE of the eight valve were way too tight.

Nice previous tune up, thought the Maestro sarcastically.

With the Valves adjusted and the new muffler on, the Maestro ordered the Owner fire the engine up to check the Timing.

The engine had a .031 Replacement Distributor, which in the Maestro's somewhat twisted mind made it suspect. (He doesn't like the .031's much. For one thing, they tend to get too much advance in them. Others just run mysteriously bad.)

But this .031 proved to be an exception- sort of. The high speed timing was (surprisingly) set at 35 degrees, but the idle seemed to jump around a bit.

But at least it didn't have 53 degrees advance in the Distributor like some the Maestro's tested.

The Maestro went to adjust the Webers. The Right Hand side wasn't too bad, but the left Hand Side- and especially #3 cylinder- was wayyyyy off.

The Maestro's Magic fingers twisted the Mixture Screw jusssst right, while he placed his other hand on Top of the Fan Shroud to take the Pulse of the Engine.

The Webers ALMOST adjusted. But about the time the Maestro thought he had the Mixture Screw about right, the engine would drop in RPM, and he'd have to keep trying.

And trying. And trying.

And still it didn't feel "right".

The Maestro gave up and decided to see how the off-idle condition was.

So he had the Owner hold the engine at 2500 rpm steady-state with the gas pedal. (That got the Customer away from the rear of the car so the Maestro could do his Magic (and some work too).

The Maestro used The Sacred Synchrometer to synch the Webers off-idle.

Thanks to the nicely logarithmic scale on the Synchrometer, he was able to synch both sides at 10 kg/hr, at 2500 rpm.

That done, he told the Customer to try it out now and see ifin it were Better, the Same or (heaven forbid) WORSE than before.

The guy did, and the sweat-drenched Maestro took a break (it was a hot day in Sam Bose'.)

The guy came back happy- it WAS quite a bit better than before, but..,,..

But.. it wasn't quite right,

Gee, though the Maestro, too bad.

So, the Maestro described the Benefits of an .050 and how Porsche Plug wires perform SOOOOO much better than the VW plug wires there on the engine.

Porsche plug wires are designed to "snap" into the Bosch Distributor Cap, to make a good, TIGHT connection.

Most VW plug wires don't snap onto the cap, and can be easily pulled OUT of the cap- by the FAN sometimes.

Porsche plug wires don't do that.

"And see here," said the Maestro, easily pulling a plug wire from the guy's Distributor Cap. "See the end here- see how it's a Crimp Connection?"

"Yes," said the guy."

"I don't like steenkin' crimped connections," said the Maestro with Emphasis. "Porsche plug wires have SOLDERED connections here! That's sooooo much better!

And did I say Porsche plug wires "click" into the cap?

The Customer was sold. "Give me a set of the wires AND a new .050 too!" he demanded.

A wise man thought the Maestro.

The Maestro dug out a ready-to-go .050, one that had passed Inspection, having been Individually Tested on his Special (Sun) Machine.

The Maestro loosened the Distributor clamp on the .031 and it jumped out of the Case and into his hand.

The .050 grabbed the "O" ring seal from the .031, put it on, and hopped in the hole, leaving the Maestro little to do but snug down the Distributor Clamp.

The guy was amazed.

"How do you get them to do that, anyhow?"

"Magic." said the Maestro. "Porsche god Magic."

The Maestro found the two longest wires of the New Wire Set, arranged the LONGEST wire so it would be on the top side of the Tie Down Do-Hickey, stuck an "O" ring on, gave the wire ends a shot of WD-40 and pushed them through the "tunnel" of the Tie Down Do-Hickey. He stuck a second "O" ring on the wires when they exited the tunnel, and screwed on the Original Porsche Ends the Customer wanted too (having seen the ones on the Gold Plated Super-90 Engine on the Engine Stand.)

He fed the Porsche Wires, ends attached, to the appropriate cylinders on the Right hand Side. And repeated the process on the Left hand side- with the longer wire going to the #3 cylinder also going on the TOP side of the Tie Down Do-Hickey, it looks (and works) better that way.

The Maestro cranked the pulley over and eyeballed 5 degrees before TDC. Then he rotated the .050's body until the Points jusssst started to open.

And told the Customer

"Ok, fire her up."

The Customer turned the key. And Whoom! The engine fired up IMMEDIATELY.

Even the Maestro was a little impressed with how quickly it fired up.

And when the Maestro pulled the trigger on his Magic Timing Light, he found his eyeballed "guess" to be almost exactly On The Money. Only a couple degrees off. Give that man a Cee-Gar!

The Maestro set the high Speed timing at 33 degrees and let the engine idle. It idled nicely at about 6 degrees Advanced. Not too bad.

The Maestro decided to try the Weber Mixture screws one more time.

Again he placed his non-screwing hand on the Top Of the Fan Shroud. Again he placed his screwing hand on the Mixture Screw of #1 Cylinder But this time he said in full hearing of the Customer:


The Customer, a little taken aback, watched intently.

The Maestro's other hand began screwing the Weber's Mixture screw in and out. In and out. In and out.

Because NOW the Webers Mixture Screw ADJUSTED LIKE IT SHOULD! With none of the "funniness" from before.

In no time at all, the Maestro had all four mixture screws adjusted just as nice as you please. "NOW take it out and try it," said the Maestro confidently to the Customer.

The Customer did.

And came back with a Big Fat Big Smile on his face (a S.E.G.).

Once again Porsche Plug Wires and a new .050 Distributor rode to the rescue of a poorly-running Porsche- to Save the Porsche day!

That, and a few adjustments here and there.

And, of course, a Blessing from the Porsche gods, 'cause when you've owned the car for TWENTY YEARS, you deserve a Break!

Or a Maestro Master Tune Up!

The guy still had a smile on his face when he paid the Maestro's Bill.

And the Maestro had a smile on HIS face when he put the check in his pocket.

Everyone was Happpy!

Yes, it IS a nice feeling to get a Porsche running right again- especially in the face of an assembled Multitude of Misadjustments.

These things happen when you:

Keep the 356 Faith


P.S. The Maestro doesn't know for certain whether it was the New .050 replacing the Bad .031 or the new Porsche Plug Wires exorcising the Demons of the VW plug Wires that made the engine run right. But whatever Science it was, it was Indistinguishable from Magic!

And So be it.



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