Despite threatening rain, two dozen enthusiastic drivers came to “The Other Nines” 924/928/944 tech session on October 26th at Ideola’s Garage in Plymouth. The event was a joint production of Ideola’s Garage, Munk’s Motors, and members of the SEM PCA Special Interest Group committee including Chris Braden, Merritt Scott-Collins and Erik Ohrnberger. The “Other Nines” initiative is part of the Porsche Club’s ongoing series of events which celebrate older models of Porsches, along with their nuances and quirks. Dan Beckett of Ideola’s Garage and Vaughan Scott, nationally-recognized 924 guru and co-founder of 924.org, worked simultaneously on Dan’s Guards Red 1981 924 Carrera GT.
Working together to divide and conquer, and staying out of each other’s way as though in a carefully choreographed dance, they swapped out the stock rubber brake for stainless braided (racing) hoses, in anticipation of Dan’s plans to track the car. They also replaced the front brake pads and, time permitting, would have replaced rotors as well, but left the corresponding rotor replacement for another day along with new front wheel bearings. Speed bleeder brake bleeding screws were also fitted to all four corners; these nifty yet inexpensive bleed screws further speed up brake bleeding at home by incorporating a check valve. The addition of the check valve inside the screw reduces the ability for air to re-enter the caliper during bleeding, further improving the speed and quality of a brake bleed. The rears were left alone, as an inspection prior to replacing the pads revealed plenty of material remaining before a change will be needed.
Finally, Dan bled the brakes and clutch — standard preventive maintenance for any high performance driving — which is commonly a two-person job. Dan demonstrated how, on days when you’re working alone in your garage, you can still get the job done thanks to the ingenious product on the market that makes bleeding brakes a do-it-yourself operation: the Motive Power Bleeder.
Throughout the day, we had an ongoing discussion of various tips and tricks and tool selection to make the job as easy/smooth/painless as possible. “If it’s taking too long, you’re using the wrong tool,” Vaughan pointed out. “This is particularly important when dealing with 30-year-old brake lines; using a proper brake flare wrench makes the job as easy as standard maintenance, but trying to make do with an old or cheap, poor-quality wrench will quickly turn this into a cascading series of broken parts. You’ll soon be replacing half of the plumbing in the car, instead of driving it!” There was also plenty of discussion about proper selection of racing brake fluid and brake pads, both for the street and track use. A common point of debate is trying to find the “ideal” brake pad for street use, yet with minimal noise and dust; drivers are continually trading tips on which pads seem to work best for them, and what might work better. As Munk pointed out, “Any pad which attempts to operate quietly or with minimal dust on the street will inherently be compromised on the track. Better to pick the right shoes for the job and use dedicated track and street pads – just like tires.”
Munk and Dan then pointed out some of the finer points of rebuilding Brembo calipers as fitted original equipment specific to various Porsche models, drawing attention to the substantial impact corrosion can have on the popular aluminum calipers, and how this results in significant limitations of the DIY’er to successfully rebuild these at home. We held a door prize drawing at the end of the day: three lucky guests went home with either speed bleeders, a fender apron, or a t-shirt, courtesy of Ideola’s Garage.
Dan wrapped up with a tour of his 924 collection, then we inspected a few of the 928’s also brought by attendees and on display. There was also an early 924 in attendance, presented by Wayne Everett, purchased brand new in 1977 by his father in law, freshly refreshed and back on the road in fine form.