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Copyright 1997, by Harry Pellow, All Rights Reserved.

The Maestro's Quiz, 3 January 1997

..... To start the First Business Day of the 1997 New Year out right, the Maestro has The First Quiz of the New Year for you . Less than Three Years to the Millennium. And counting.

..... 'Bout three months ago, a guy calls on the Phone to ask an Engine Question. The Maestro, always available to answer Engine Questions, replies:

..... "Yes, my Son. You have an Engine Question?"

..... "Yes, indeed. Yes I do," said the VOP (Voice on Phone). "I have a 1963 Super-90 with a VERY strange problem."

..... "Good, said the Maestro. "We like Strange Problems. The Stranger the Better. So, what's the Problem?"

..... "Well," said the VOP. "I recently had my engine rebuilt by someone other that you in the South of the Bay, and it has about 2,000 miles on it now and..."

..... "And now, not surprisingly, your engine has a Problem." interrupted the Maestro, about to launch into his 'why engines rebuilt by a Turkey don't last long' Lecture.

..... "Well, yes, admitted the VOP. "But this problem I'm having is rather interesting- the engine turns over, but the valves don't move! They don't go back and forth. Or in an out. Whatever. They don't do ANYTHING."

..... Hummh, thought the Maestro. "The Valves don't move. The valves don't move? The Valves don't move! repeated the Maestro, immediately grasping the full significance of the problem, then launching into Sherlock Holmes mode.

..... "You're SURE the Valves don't move? You've turned the engine over with the Starter while eyeballing the valves? Through at least TWO complete revolutions of the engine? (Like the Beetles said: "So you say you want Two Revolutions,...". And the valves don't move at all???"

..... "YES! Exactly! I had a friend crank the engine over both with the Starter and a wrench on the Pulley Nut. The valves don't move."

..... "And you SAW the Crank Pulley rotating as the engine turned?"

..... "Yes. The pulley WAS turning. And we did at least 2 complete revolutions- we cranked it over several times. And the valves never moved!"

..... "Wow!" Said the Maestro. "And you checked both sides, of course?"

..... "Yes," said the VOP. "Both sides. And none of the valves move. My Question is:

..... WHY? And that Gentle 356 Registry E-Mailers is The Maestro's First Quiz of 1997. The Maestro, having a remarkable grasp of the obvious, cogitated on the "Why The Valves Don't Move" Problem, and came to the inescapable conclusion that something could well be quite Wrong inside.

..... So, what can possibly cause the engine to turn over, but the valves to a-no-a move-a?

..... Well, a broken Cam Follower for one. But that would only affect one valve. Not all 8. A broken cam? Depending on where the Cam breaks- some valves will still work. But here no valve worked. Was it Clintonomics?

..... Clearly something was wrong, was wrong, was wrong with the Cam Drive Mechanism.

..... On a Factory Original Engine there would be nothing much wrong with the Cam/Cam Drive connection. But on a Turkeyfied Engine, this is not an assumption one can safely make.

..... So, the Maestro suggested his Typically Turkey Cause to the Guy on the Phone: that whoever put the Cam Gear onto the Camshaft might not have bothered/forgot/never knew to install the three BOLTS that Firmly Attach the Cam Gear to the Camshaft.

..... Yes, there are those three alignment "Dowel Pins" on the Camshaft that the Cam Gear aligns on, but those dowel pins by themselves are not sufficient to hold the cam Gear on for long.

..... "They DON'T?", cry the Turkeys in Unisyn. One says: "We didn't know what those holes were for!" Another: "Oh, so that's where those bolts we lost should have gone." In Unisyn: "We thought these dowel pins would hold the Cam Gear on."

..... Nope. Wrong. You really DO need those Three BOLTS to hold the Cam Gear onto the Camshaft! This has been proven by Actual Demonstration- TWICE! And the Maestro has the results of TWO Independent Turkey Tests of:

..... "The Effect on Longevity of the Camshaft/Cam Gear Interface when NOT using Cam Gear Bolts."

..... (What a Great Paper to Submit to the "Journal of Irreproducible Results".) And that's the Question for Part 2 of the Maestro's First Quiz of 1997:

..... How long will a Porsche 356 engine run (Miles or total Crankshaft Reolution), before a Cam Gear attached only by its three Dowel Pins falls off, stopping the engine.

..... 1. Less Than One Mile

..... 2. From 1-10 Miles

..... 3. From 10-100 Miles

..... 4. From 100- 1000 Miles

..... 5. From 1000-10,000 Miles

..... 6. From 10,000-100,000 Miles

..... 7. From 100,000-200,000 Miles

..... 8. From 200,000 miles to Infinity

..... Answer is 'bout 47 miles. More or Less. One guy claimed almost 100, but his Odometer wsn't working. In any event: PRETTY DAMN SHORT LIFE, WOULDN'T YOU SAY?

..... You Betcha. And a Lifetime Turkey Award to those Turkeys who FORGET to install Cam Gear Bolts or cause them to be left out. Once again the Light Of Truth shines on the road best not taken.

..... So the Maestro told the Guy on the Phone with the Valves That Don't Move, the tales of the two Cam Gears and how a neat way to tell ifin YOUR cam gear has been Turkeyfied in this way is to see ifin there are any dowel-pin size "dents" right at the dowel pin holes of the cam gear. (Video Clips to follow.)

..... These "dents" are the damage done to the Cam Gear as the dowel pins work their way loose and come competely out of the Cam, in the Final Fatal Act of the Murder-Suicide Pact, the inadvertent, Omnipresent Curse of the Turkey.

..... That was the Maestro's answer.

..... Three months went by and the Maestro despaired of ever hearing from the guy whose valves don't more, when, on the First Business Day of the New Year, 1997, who should call the Maestro but the same guy- the one whose Valves Don't Move- with The Rest Of The Story!

..... YES!!!! thought the Maestro, having a Premature Elation. Boy, there must be a God. There certainly are Porsche gods. For every time the Maestro had a Good Year- wherein he answered enough Porsche Questions, fixed a sufficiently number of Impossibly Rare Porsche Problems, answered enough Faxes, e-mails, letters, etc, the gods reward him right around New Year's Day. Kind of like a Report Card.

..... Ifin he's been VERY Good, he'll get Customers who say, "I don't care how much it costs or how long it takes- as long as it doesn't take over 6 months- I want a beautifully running engine."

..... Noooo Problem. As long as there are Virgin Industrial Engines that still "Crack" Virginally when you untorque that next-to-last Acorn nut.

..... (Never heard that little scream Original Engines make? The First Time the Maestro heard that cry, he was taking the Acorn Nuts off an Original Engine when she cried and he thought he'd done something wrong. Maybe even broke something. But after carefully inspecting all of her parts, he could find nothing wrong.

..... Because NOTHING WAS wrong. In fact, that "crack" was a sign that EVERYTHING WAS PRISTINE INSIDE. A shorthand way the Factory has of telling you that Things are Just Fine Inside.

..... (Obviously, Turkey engines NEVER make that cry. They suffer in silence, never talking about the unspeakable things done to them, and are hard to bring back as useful members of society.)

..... "Maestro, I'm the guy with the engine whose Valves Won't Move."

..... "Really? That's Great- I've been hoping you'd call. So, tell me what was the Real Cause of the Valves not moving?"

..... "Well, I managed to get up enough courage to remove the pulley Nut and the Pulley like you told me. And thanks to your advice, I pulled out the key in the crankshaft that holds the Pulley on BEFORE taking the Third Piece off and destroying the Oil Stinger inside when i t snags on a still-installed key.

..... I took off the 8mm nuts, and there were 12mm Across the Flat nuts like you said they would be. And thee were some 13mm Across the flats there too, and some 14 mm Across The flats too, just like you said there'd be if a Turkey Overhauled it. And when I pulled off the Third piece of the Case, do you know what I found?"

..... "Yeeeeesssss," asked the Maestro with Great Expectations, wishing that someone (Are you listening BILL?) would post a $64,000 Reward for getting the right answer to an Impossibly Rare Porsche Problem.

.....(When will Jeopardy ever have THAT category? Wouldn't you someday like to see the Maestro say: "Alex, I'll take 'Impossibly Rare Porsche Problems' for Ten Million, please."

.....The Maestro was awash in an Ocean of Ever-Expanding Ego. Is there nothing he didn't know? Confident that he was about to be proven right once again- and marveling in the Power the Porsche Gods have given him. Will he NEVER be wrong again?

..... "And continued the VOP. "You were ALMOST right about the Cam Gear coming off!"

..... "Almost right? ALMOST right???" thought the Maestro's Ego, now having vastly over-inflated itself Dirigible-like to an Impossibly High Crescendo, had the air taken out of his sails. Metaphorically.

....."What do you mean by "Almost", bo'?" said the Maestro.

..... "Well," said the Guy on the Phone. "The Cam Gear actually DID come off the Camshaft. But it wasn't because of missing Cam Gear Bolts. All the Bolts were in place and tight."

..... "So, ifin the Cam Gear WAS attached by all the bolts to the CamSHAFT, then HOW did the cam gear come off?" asked the Maestro testily cross examining the witness.

..... "It broke!" said the Guy on the Phone. The Camshaft itself broke."

..... "But," said the Maestro. "Since NONE of the valves turned, the Cam would have to have broken right AT the Cam-mounting flange!

..... "Right. That's EXACTLY what it did!" Said the VOP! "The cam broke right at the connecting flange of the Camshaft." And so, the Next Question in the Quiz is:"

..... WHY?

..... The answer to this awaits Direct Inspection, just as soon as the parts arrive at the Maestro's shop. Gentleman, (or Gentlewoman, be it as it may), Place Your Bets: 1. A Defective Camshaft/poor heat treat/bad Albanian Cast-a Da Iron-a 2. A too-tight Camshaft/Cam Bore fit. 3. A piece of Crud wedged between Cam and Cam bore. 4. Something wedged between the teeth of the gears. 5. None of the Above: it was caused by Something Completely Different!

..... Explain: _______________________

..... And:


The Maestro



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