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101 tips for your 911


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Ian C has just sent me this; from the desk of Leland Pate, founder of our beloved SCWDP.


101 Tips for your 911


1. Pay attention to the dipstick. Don't rely on the dash-mounted gauge.


2. Don't lose the dipstick in the oil tank be careful when checking the oil level.


3. Only check the oil with the car warm, running, and on level ground.


4. You want the oil level in the middle of the "Hi and Lo" areas of the dipstick.


5. Wait until the engine properly warms before driving aggressively.


6. The little shims used as spacers for the alternator pulley are important and they must all be in place, either between the pulley halves of next to the nut.


7. If you upgrade your headlamp system what so ever, install relays.


8. Periodically check your lug nut torque, especially if you have installed aftermarket wheels.


9. A puff of white smoke at start up is normal on some cars.


10. Cross-drilled rotors are a waste of money, but they look cool.


11. Cross-drilled rotors cannot be turned like ordinary rotors.


12. Buy a numbered oil temp gauge kit. It's worth the money.


13. Dead pedals are cool, but be extra cautious if you have big feet. especially on Targas.


14. Original factory windshields get very brittle with age. Be careful when removing them or even trying to remove the rear view mirror.


15. Targas are better than coupes.


16. If you have a CIS car, inspect the little green wire coming out of the distributor for damage.


17. Don't over tighten the valve covers.


18. If you've lowered a US spec car, make sure you remove the 10MM spacers on top of the front shocks.


19. Put a little lithium grease on the rear Targa top pins to keep it from squeaking.


20. Reversing the windshield wipers is a big bonus.


21. If you autocross, consider turning your tachometer so that the redline is facing 12 o'clock.


22. Don't try reupholstering the bottom side of the Targa bar unless you "really" know what you are doing.


23. RS door panels look cool, but the kits I've seen are really a pain to install.


24. If you have a 930S steering wheel and you don't have enough finger space between the wheel and dash, consider installing a hub spacer.


25. For the love of god, buy a leather shift and emergency lever boot. We need to eradicate the factory rubber boots.


26. Don't waste your time with Dash Overlay kits that are guaranteed not to warp. They warp. (I can send pictures)


27. Wet Okolie seat covers are a huge waste of cash as well.


28. Replacing many small rubber trim parts (door handle, windshield wiper, antenna, fender cowl, mirror seals etc.) is very easy, not too expensive and makes the car look much better.


29. If you have late model highback seats, you can swap the two seat backs with one another if the drivers' side is showing wear.


30. Put a thin film of lithium grease on the seat sliders when you have them out of the car.


31. Recovering the interior with vinyl is cheap and fairly easy.


32. Keep a spare Targa top handle in your glove box, just in case.


33. Periodically make sure the screws on the fuse panel are tight.


34. Put a dab of Liquid Electrical Tape" on the screws to keep them from backing out.


35. Always carry extra fuses and relays.


36. Once you have your shift coupler adjusted properly, use a paint pen to mark its position for future reference.


37. Don't waste your time with K&N air filters.


38. Keep in mind that CIS engines hate dirt in the worst way. K&N filters have been known to let allot of dust into an engine, even when properly cared for.


39. Don't drill air holes in your air box.you won't go any faster.


40. On any car 20 years old, it's probably time to rebuild the pedal cluster. It's not expensive.


41. Make absolute sure your clutch cable is adjusted properly.


42. Make sure the little rubber stop is not missing from the clutch pedal floor-board.


43. A gate shift kit is good protection from accidental mis-shifts.


44. A flowmaster muffler can save you hundreds of dollars over the price of a fancy SS job.


45. If your rev-limiter isn't working, it's probably the speed switch module located behind the gauges.


46. Re-torque your headstuds at every valve adjustment.


47. If you are going to go with a Short Shift Kit, just buy the factory one.


48. Don't reset your trip meter under the odometer while the car is moving.


49. If you buy a set of aftermarket wheels. do NOT get rid of the original Fuchs.


50. If you get rattles from your doors after installing RS door panels, it might be the little free floating metal tabs along the bottom of the doors. I used a dab of RTV on each and they stopped rattling.


51. When you roll down your power windows, if you hear a "click" when they hit the stop, you may have a crack in your inner door panel where the assembly attaches, and it should be welded up.


52. The cold start valve, warm up regulator, Aux. Air valve and thermotime switches are the work of the devil.


53. If you want to add a voltmeter, cylinder head temp gauge, and or a fuel/air mixture gauge, the bottom of the ashtray offers up a good place to mount them.


54. When you replace your carpet, ditch the center console if you don't have a/c.


55. Please don't put white gauge faces in your car.


56. There is no excuse for having a crappy looking hood badge. The SCWDP has a "zero tolerance" policy in effect on this matter.


57. If you decide to put stone guards on your 911, please make sure that you put narrow body stone guards on narrow body cars and wide body stone guards on wide body cars.


58. It's a good idea to put some air in that 20 year old spare tire to see if actually holds air.


59. If your hood doesn't quite look right it may be out of adjustment. If you remove the two plastic plugs on the bulkhead, you can use an Allen wrench to adjust the latch up or down.


60. Be careful when adjusting your hood or deck lid latch. If you make it too tight, there is a chance that it will stick closed.


61. If you have a newer 911, you can lower the rear end about an inch by using the eccentric bolts on the spring plats instead of removing the torsion bars.


62. If you have a CIS car, check to make sure your throttle linkage is adjusted properly, or you may not be using all the power your motor can make.


63. If your brake caliper bleed nipples are slightly boogered up and frozen. and you're afraid to use an open ended wrench to loosen them, use a ¼" drive deep well socket to break them free then use a wrench to open and close them.


64. If you have a door alignment issue, try adjusting the striker plate and door hinges for a better fit.


65. Spacers can be added behind the hinges and strikers to aquire a better fit. Sometimes these were removed and never replaced by a careless paint shop or Previous Owner.


66. Polishing cast wheels can be done, but it is not easy. (Trust me)


67. If you have an Aux. Oil cooler mounted in the front fender, you can remove the left side marker light from the bumper to get more air flowing through the oil cooler. Or if you have $90 burning a hole in your pocket, you can but the cool looking "Scoop".


68. When racing your car at Autocrosses or DE events, remove the windshield wiper fuse so you don't accidentally hit the switch while driving.


69. New domestic glass seems to be the best bet when replacing windshields. Many people say that it is even superior to German glass.


70. A dab of lithium grease on the door stays will let them operate easier and save your door the added stress.


71. Make sure all of your little Targa top clips are adjusted correctly. They must be clamped tightly to the top frame or they will let go at speed and make one hell of a noise.


72. The targa top itself has many different adjustments on it which can be played with to aquire a better fit. It includes the latches, front pins, rear pins and the side seals.


73. The vent windows have a bit of adjustment to them, which can help seal the Targa top where the two meet.


74. Also, the window height can be adjusted from the inner door panel as well as the stops.


75. I have absolutely NO idea what that subtle "popping/clicking" noise coming from the gauges every now and then is caused by.


76. Re-keying your door locks to fit your ignition key is a fairly simple and easy project to undertake. And you get the benefit of dropping one key from that wad you carry.


77. While you have the door panels off, put some lithium grease on the window linkages, regulators and tracks.


78. If your car doesn't have it, use plastic sheet (even a garbage bag will do) and tape them to the inner door to keep water from warping your nice door panels.


79. Always torque your lug nuts to 90 Ft/Lbs using a torque wrench. No calibrated elbows!


80. H5 headlamps can be cleaned if they have fogged up by carefully using an alcohol pad with a pair of forceps to clean behind the lens. Be very careful not to bend the little metal reflector pad!


81. The factory has superceded the windshield frame to Targa top seal. So, if you buy a new seal for your pre-'86 car, it won't fit properly. The only way around this that I know of is to shave the seal down. Not easy.


82. Inspect your tie rod boots for wear. Mine were less than 3 months old and they rotted away.


83. If your Targa top bar is looking faded, you can remove it and repaint it. Easily done in a day.


84. Once or twice a year, remove all badging from your car when you wash and wax it so you clean out all of the crap from the nooks and crannies.


85. If your engine mounted Aux. Heater blower is squeaking, it may be possible to prolong its life by carefully disassembling it and packing heavy grease in and around the bushings.


86. If your car isn't getting much heat and you are sure the flapper valves and ducts are in good order, you might want to concentrate your efforts to the fresh air/heater valve assembly in the trunk. If any of the valves are out of adjustment in relation to their cables, you won't be getting much heat. Use the Bentley manual to adjust the cables.


87. If anyone comes up with a good way to keep the fuel/oil level gauge from fogging up, please let me know.


88. 3.2 Carrera motors benefit greatly from having 2 teaspoons of fine metal shavings put in the oil tank every oil change.

"WARNING" My lawyer has just notified me of the legal dangers of actually suggesting someone put Metal Shavings in their oil. Let me be perfectly clear on this matter... I hear it works. Ok, don't do it, moron.


89. Don't use JE pistons in Alusil cylinders.


90. Dilvar headstuds are the work of jealous Carrera owners and must be abolished.


91. Just buy Factory steel replacements, unless you are building a 400+ hp motor, you don't need Raceware studs.


92. When installing the trunk mounted fresh air blower assembly. Be careful when tightening the two mounting screws that sit behind the hood scoop grill. The plastic will start to break on the blower housing before the screws strip.


93. I will not use Loctite 574 on engine case halves ever again. I'd drop the cash for a bottle of Dow Corning.


94. Beware of aftermarket hood crests. A buddy of mine bought one and the mounting pins were about an 1/8" higher on the crest than on the factory ones. The result was a very obvious line in the paint from natural fading.


95. If you live in a place like Idaho, buy fog light lens in sets of three. I'm on my third one this year.


96. Don't let a wheel shop put balancing weights on the front of your wheels. Some PCA regions have reported Lynch Mobs resulting from such heinous acts.


97. Many older motors don't like Synthetic oils. They tend to spring leaks because of the detergents and the fact that some Synthetics may be a bit thinner than Dino oil.


98. The rubber rocker panel trim molding is best put on by using dish soap and peeling it back onto the rocker, rather than trying to slide the rubber down the length of the car.


99. If your car is over 20 years old and gets driven often. buy the door stay reinforcement kit and save your self the headache later on.


100. Don't drop your engine on the floor when removing it from the car!



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Oh no, not an SC vs Carrera thread!


Just look at the Dyno results guys ;)

You mean the dyno results where mine and Lewis's cars did over stock figures while the hallowed Carreras struggled to make stock brake? Yes, look at those figures and tell me why ten a penny Carreras are worth more money :D

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46. Re-torque your headstuds at every valve adjustment.


Whats the opinions on that? I've never heard of that before


75. I have absolutely NO idea what that subtle "popping/clicking" noise coming from the gauges every now and then is caused by.


yep me too, my dash guages make a really loud popping noise for some reason, its not subtle either

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13. Dead pedals are cool, but be extra cautious if you have big feet. especially on Targas.


Well you know what they say big feet.... ( I obviously have small feet as I have a Targa :P )


15. Targas are better than coupes.


Don't really agree though, to be perfectly honest. He must mean year round driving in California not track use, doesn't he?

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15. Targas are better than coupes.


With the torsional rigidity of a wet sponge it will definitley work better as a sponge.



Coz it can strip the little plastic cogs inside :smash:


Does the SC have a hamster running on a wheel inside the speedo too? The speedo in the Carrera is electronic. :whistling:



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  • 1 month later...
#75: Electric clock winding itself periodically.


Nope. My S gauges do it too, and I have a VDO boost gauge instead of a clock...


With the torsional rigidity of a wet sponge it will definitley work better as a sponge.




Does the SC have a hamster running on a wheel inside the speedo too? The speedo in the Carrera is electronic. :whistling:




All '76-on cars are electronic speedos. As far as I can tell, completely interchangable up to '89. I have a 3.2 one in my '77 right now - which reminds me, must post the original to North Hollywood before the dollar recovers... Oh well, plenty of time then... :D


The bit about the plastic odo gear stripping if you reset the trip whilst moving is a folk legend, according to the people rebuild the clocks and make the replacment gears for them..


The truth is that the plastic gear used by VDO degrades over time (70's and 80's plastics, remember) and turns into something that is brittle and possesses the tensile strength of a wet cigarette paper. It will then strip teeth anytime it damn well feels like it, and it just doesn't matter if you're moving or not. In fact, if you baby it long enough (i.e. get out of the habit of ever touching the trip), it will eventually just strip the teeth because it's being driven...


Ho hum.

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  • 3 weeks later...

52. The cold start valve, warm up regulator, Aux. Air valve and thermotime switches are the work of the devil.....you can say that again and they will all start to fail on cars of this age anytime now!


55. Please don't put white gauge faces in your car.....oops

Edited by bones
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Guest jersey911

99. If your car is over 20 years old and gets driven often. buy the door stay reinforcement kit and save your self the headache later on.


Where do you get these kits and what do they do? sounds like a good plan on my daily driver.

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Door stay reinforcement kits can be found from Pelican:



When I had a look at the insides of my doors, I found a small crack in the door stay area. But I fabricated the reinforcements myself, just bought narrow (couple of centimeters) aluminium panel from local hardware shop (I think it was originally meant as a reinforcement for doors inside houses), and moulded that to fit between door and door stay. Definitely cheaper than 60 $ (+ customs & delivery).

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  • 4 weeks later...
75. I have absolutely NO idea what that subtle "popping/clicking" noise coming from the gauges every now and then is caused by.


Check the connections on your driver's door electric window switches. The relay behind the clock will make clicking noises if you have a loose connection.

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