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In the Midst of rebuilding Porsche Engines the Maestro meets many Different, and some very Interesting people. On the Phone and In Person. After all, more Interesting People own 356 Porsches than own Chevy Chevettes. Or Hugo Hyenas.

He's met Movie Stars, Presidential Advisors, the Heads of Major Corporations, the wives of Rock Stars, SR-71 Pilots, Spooks, Spies and of course, College Professors.

Now, Professors of Engineering or Chemistry and ESPECIALLY Chemical Engineering (the Maestro be one of them boys), are pretty knowledgeable and let the Maestro do the rebuild the way he wants.

Physicists are a little more weird, always asking about how much each part changes the Entropy of the Universe and the Negative Energy of the Vacuum, in 11 Dimension String Space-Time.

But it's the ECONOMICS Professors, those practitioners of that Dismal Science who are always trying to Maximize the Utilization Efficiency of Capital and Labor while Minimizing Cost.

As a result, they are a big Pain in the Gluteus Maximus because they question EVERYTHING. Do I really need a New Coil? Isn't the old one still working. "Yes, but the old coil is Ugly as Hell and will detract from the Finished Product. Besides a New One assures Spark at Fire-Up with 99.9% assurance."

"THAT much for an OEM Muffler that lasts 20 years and is the ONLY ONE that is QUIET? Isn't a used one (with loose baffles and Kilos of Rust inside) Cheaper?"

Yes, says the Maestro, as he, like Lassie, educates many a College Professor. "And used Oats are cheaper than New Oats. Used Oats are Oats that have passed through the Horse once. And we all know what we call Oats that have passed through the Horse once. Right?"

Most usually get it.

So, once upon a Time, the Maestro's Transmission Subsidiary, The Wolfman, built a Very Nice 356C Transmission, with a properly-set-up 12 Bolt Ring and Pinion with all New Synchros and Bearings, and the Maestro sold it to the Malthusian Professor at an Equilibrium Fair Market price.

Two weeks later, the Professor called to complain about the "noise" the gears in the New Transmission made in NEUTRAL with the Clutch out. He even brought the car down so the Maestro could hear it for himself! "Yes," said the Maestro as he listened to the new Meshing of Gears and patiently explained. "That's Normal. After a Rebuild, with new Bearings the gears are probably meshing differently- touching in a slightly different place than where they were before. Give then a thousand or two miles and they'll quiet down."

The Economics Professor furrowed his brow over the phone, indicating Disbelief.

The Maestro asked him to "Suspend his Disbelief". Just for a couple of Thousand Miles. "Trust me. It's not one of the Three Great Lies."

And the Professor complained about the stiffness of the gear shifter. "Uh, yes that's right," said the Maestro. "Again, with new Synchros it'll shift stifly at first. And, like I said before, it'll take a couple of Thousand Miles for the new Synchros and the properly-adjusted shifter Rails and Forks to get to know each other. But when they DO, Ah, it's like that teenage girlfriend's hot knife through butter feeling. Trust me."

A Thousand miles later, Professor Malthus called again.

"Well, the noise in Neutral is getting better, just like you said, and so is the shifting, again just like you said, but I still have a funny noise I think it's "Bearing noise" in the Transmission."

Really? thought the Maestro, knowing that the Owner was a Professor of Economics, not Bearing Noise. The Maestro, knowing that the Wolfman's Transmissions have a 0.00% Failure rate and once they breakin are Joyous. When Brand New, they shift Stiffly and make noise in Neutral with the Clutch out. And the Owner wonders if this is some kind of Turkey Overhaul. If they change the Transmission Fluid at 500-1000 miles, and shift easily for the first 1-2000 miles, the Wolfman Transmission Transformation (WTT) into a Thing of Beauty occurs, usually one night when you're all alone, driving down a curvy country road with a Full Moon above, Contemplating Life.

"Well, tell you what," said the Maestro. "Bring it in and I'll take a look at it. And since it's not near a full Moon, I'll get The Wolfman to drive it too and see what he thinks."

The Professor just happened to be coming down to the Sam Bose' Airport which was right across the street from the Maestro's Shop, on his way to attend a meeting in Washington DC involving a Billion (with a "B") Dollar Lawsuit over a canceled Secret Military project, at which he was the featured expert witness and speaker, and wanted a tune up anyway, as the engine was running "rough". "Maybe it needs a Distributor", he suggested.

So, an hour later, the Professor arrived at the Maestro's Shop, and kept the engine running.

"Can't shut it off," he said. "It won't start when it's hot. Can you fix that too?" The Maestro eyeballed the car. Yeah, it was like he remembered it. A 1965 356C SC Sunroof Coupe, in dirty, faded, oxidized Taxicab Yellow, with many birdie poo-poos on the hoods and roof and generally all over the car.

Ah Yes, the Economist's Credo:

Minimum Maintenance = Maximum Return But they forget to subtract: (Probability of EXPENSIVE repair caused by lack of Maintenance!) Times (X) (The Cost of that Expensive Repair.)

On the way over to Sam Bose' International (hah!) Airport, the Maestro noted that the Professor always shifted at about the same RPM. THE REDLINE! 5800 rpm on the Tach!

The Maestro also noticed the paint-shaker like effect of the REALLY out-of-balance engine, as every loose knob and switch and window regulator vibrated along with the driving impulse.

The Professor left to catch his flight and the Maestro assumed the Position at the Wheel and started to ease back into traffic. He let the Clutch out. Nothing happened. He let the Clutch out some more. Still Nothing happened.

And some more.


FINALLY, after a looooonnnng ways out, the Clutch finally started to grab.

Way too tight an adjustment, thought the Maestro. Will have to deal with this too.

On the drive back the Maestro tried to make the Transmission make noise- ANY noise! But no matter how hard he tried, the Transmission was silent on the subject.

No noise!

And that Gearshifter! It 'twas The Classical "Hot Knife through Butter". Absolutely Perfect Synchros. A Really NICE Transmission!

The Maestro informed The Wolfman of the Coming of the Car, and he came up and test drove it.

The Maestro was packing Finished Product for UPS at the time the Wolfman swung back through the door and was happy for the break.

"Let me tell you one thing about that car and the Transmission..." started The Wolfman.

That's two things right there, thought the Maestro, but he maintained his silence as The Wolfman's started on one of his many Soliloquies. (You don't tug on Superman's Cape, you don't make pee-pee into the Wind, and it's best not to interrupt The Wolfman during his Performance.)

"And that car- what with the lousy paint that makes it look like a DOG! And that engine! EVERYTHING VIBRATES at 1800 rpm! The Knobs. The Window Regulator. EVERYTHING! "What that guy should do is have Maestro's Library pull the Engine and Flywheel and BALANCE it! That might help a lot." "Second, if all my Transmissions were like that Transmission, I'd be known as the Transmission GOD around here! It's Beautiful! It shifts like butter. There's NO noise in Neutral. And I'll be damned if I can separate out any "bearing noise" from the Cacophony inside the car from the DANGEROUSLY out-of-balance engine!" My thoughts EXACTLY, said the Maestro. It's a damned nice Transmission. The ENGINE is most, if not all, of the Problem. But how to convince the Owner/Professor of that. Boy, the Porsche gods sure work in Mysterious Ways! Read on, McDuff.

After Lunch, when the engine was cool enough, the Maestro began the Tune Up first by adjusting the valves, and found THREE of the four Intake Valves were wayyy too tight with almost NO gap!

It a Good Thing the Professor wanted a Tune up now. And maybe a Distributor replacement.

But when the Maestro inspected the engine he found a Perfectly Good & Always Adequate .050 installed. With a really lousy set of Plug wires.

The next step was changing the Oil. It was pretty dirty.

The Maestro eyeballed the Drain Plate. From the Crust of Rust in, on and ALL OVER the Drain Plate and the NUTS, it was obvious the Drain Plate hadn't been off for a Looooooonnggg Time!

A REAL Long Time.

This oughta be Interesting, thought the Maestro.

Little did he know!

So, the Maestro removed the VW-esque cap nuts on the Drain Plate, (only three of the studs came out), and started to drain the Oil.

But very little oil came out.

So, the Maestro pried the Screen down a bit to open up a larger hole for quicker drainage.

But the Screen and Drain Plate wouldn't pry down.

Great, thought the Maestro what have we here? Bent studs?

By patiently prying evenly all around the Drain Plate, the Maestro FINALLY got the Screen/Magnet combo out!

It was then he noticed something Funny.

Funny "Curious", not funny "ha-ha". First:

The Screen normally lifts right off the magnet, since there's nothing holding it. But this screen was held TIGHT by the magnet! Did the engine suddenly make "Magnetic Aluminum"? Will Transparent Aluminum then be far behind?

The Screen was REALLY funny-looking too. Instead of the usual "domed rectangle", the screen looked like the surface of Venus with four funny rounded "hills" with valleys in between, sort of like the Sierra Foothills.

Why was this?

The Maestro had never seen a Screen like this one, with the Topology of Venus, so he took off his optical aides for a closer look.

Yes, it was obviously a late-model Aluminum Screen with "Holes" large enough to pass office buildings through. And it was COVERED with Something.

The Maestro lifted a piece of The Something, and The Something appeared to be the remains of something woven. FABRIC! Like a RAG!

Did the previous Rebuilder leave a RAG (or a pretty big piece of one) INSIDE his rebuilt engine? Is this akin to a Doctor leaving the Tools of his Trade inside YOU?


The Maestro noticed that the ENTIRE Screen was covered with this funny covering, and then he realized the REASON why the Screen looked like it did!

Did you get it too?

The Screen was almost COMPLETELY CLOGGED, so at 5800 rpm the Large Oil Pump sucked soooooo hard and created such a Fine Monica-like VACUUM that the Sea-Level Atmosphere pushed a full load of 14.7 Pounds Per Square inch inwards and DEFORMED the SCREEN just like you see! Into a Topological map of Venus. Note too that the Screen is "supported" at the center by the large circular Magnet, and is otherwise rectangular with rounded corners. The Mathematical Proof of how the Screen deforms under Vacuum to duplicate the Surface of Venus is left for the Student as a Ph.D. Thesis. So, Mr. Economics Professor, what ELSE does this mean? What OTHER Conclusions can we draw from this Screen, besides the fact that the High Vacuum "Vacuum Formed" (pun intended) the Screen around the INSIDE of the Magnet by the Monica-like suction of the Big Oil Pump. What ELSE does it mean?

It also means, By The Way, that when the Oil Pump was sucking a good Vacuum, that it was STARVING for OIL too! And ifin the Oil Pump was STARVING FOR OIL, so be the ENGINE!

Oh, Man," thought the Maestro. Think of the Damage this could do, has done, IS doing inside his engine! Especially at 5800 rpm!

And the Maestro Came to the Realization that he probaby SAVED The Economics Professor's Engine from IMMINENT DESTRUCTION! Probably on the way HOME! At 5800 rpm!

And, of course, that means that the Maestro LOST an Engine Overhaul! One that was destined to happen Real Soon. Now it'll probably go 100,000 miles!

That's an Economics Professor for you- they have the Luck of Gladstone Gander.

And Tenure!

Ah, the Security of it- even if his Maintenance Theories are COMPLETELY WRONG, he still has his TENURE!

And YOU don't!

Which is why you'd better drop that Drain Plate yourself, every now and then, on that "bargain", "Rebuilt" 912 engine in your '65 "SC". Just to check for RAGS left inside! That way you can: Keep the 356 Faith Maestro P.P.S.

The Maestro replaced the Screen and Drain Plate with another from the many he has. He wanted to keep the deformed Original Screen with the funny "Fabric" covering it for Future Forensic Investigation and a Starring Role in the Maestro's Museum of Broken Porsche Parts.

He hooked up the Sear's Magic Timing Light and shined it on the engine's Pulley. It was idling about 5 degrees advanced. Not bad, He revved the engine up to > 3000 rpm and the Timing went to 33 Degrees. Not too bad there either. It's a nice .050 with decent timing. I can't improve much on that.

So he went on to adjust the Solexes.

The 4 Solex Mixture screws actually DID SOMETHING! They Adjusted- Sort of- each one a different number of turns out.

The Maestro removed the 10 long 6mm bolts that held on the Wire Mesh Air Filters- motto: "We filter out the Boulders. The Engine eats the rest."

He got out his Trusty Synchrometer with the Rubber Base from his old, obsolete, no longer functioning Unisyn and placed the rubber base over #2 Cylinder (the Right Rear) and Stuck the Synchrometer on.

The Maestro likes to see 5 KG/Hr per hole on the Synchrometers Scale but was surprised to see only 3- 3.5 Kg/Hr. Surprised because the engine was idling pretty high.

So the Maestro stick the Synchrometer on the #1 Cylinder (Right Front), and got nearly SEVEN Kg/Hr!

Oh, man, another set of Spilt Shaft Solexes with a bad Bakelite Block.

The Maestro's Magic Fingers walked over to the funny linkage that connects the two butterflies together, pretended they were a Bakelite Block and rotated the front butterfly back to "closed".

Immediately the Synchrometer dropped down to 5 Kg/Hr from the previous too-high 7 Kg/Hr.

Hummh, thought the Maestro. That's two missing Bakelite Blocks in Split Shaft Solexes in a row!

Yesterday there was the New Customer with the High Idle Problem with a .009 Distributor with only 15 degrees advance. HE had the same problem with the Bakelite Block. Things really DO come in Pairs!

The Maestro checked the other Solex. Again, #4 Cylinder was running at 3.5 whilst #3 ran at 6 Kg/Hr.

So, HOW do you adjust a carb when the throats are sucking so differently?


Which is why the Idle Mixture screws were so different from each other.

To achieve a smooth, even idle from badly out-of balance Carburetors on a badly Out-of Balance Engine would require, dare I say it- a "Maestro's Touch" to get running right.

But, of course, he did. (Both Solex had the sammmmmme problem that all "Late Model" Solexes from 1967.5-1969 912's and all Replacement Solexes have- the little Bakelite Block on the funny connecting linkage between the Butterflies causes "slop" when it wears or falls out. And it's not an simple, easy quick fix.)

Certainly not for an Economics Professor!

The Proper Solution here would be a set of Webers, but to an Economist, Fun is hard to justify Economically.

But the Maestro's Magic Fingers exorcised most of the Demons from the cursed Solexes, and made the car idle halfway decently again, right around 1000 rpm where the Maestro likes it.

The Maestro replaced the old, strange plug wires with OEM Porsche Pug Wires having SOLDERED ends at the Distributor that "Click" into the Distributor Cap for a solid, firm, sure connection, unlike the VW wires with crimped ends that fit loosely into the Distributor Cap- that can and DO get sucked OUT of the cap merely by the Fan-induced breeze.

That done, the Maestro decided he'd better take this almost-grenaded engine out for a Test Drive. See how she does.

He did. It didn't run too badly. Not a lot of torque below 3000 rpm, but you get up past 3500 rpm and it really got "on the cam".

Unfortunately, the internal engine Vibration was still there, and the thought of the possible damage done by the clogged screen made the Maestro not want to rev it up much.

The Maestro returned, reattached the Boulder-Filtering Wire Mesh Air Filters, printed out the Bill, authorized the Credit Card and drove over to the Long Term Parking Lot. Entering, he took a ticket and parked right in front of pole #134, set the bill on the seat. And locked the keys inside the car.

The he hoofed it back to the Shop to build a few engines a little better than that one had been done!

At least he had that Warm, Fuzzy Feeling that comes with saving the Life of a Poor, Sweet, Innocent Porsche Engine, even though you can't fund your IRA with them Warm, Fuzzy Feelings.

But you CAN:

Keep the 356 Faith



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