August 28, 2006
Drove a Lotus Elise today
My buddy just bought an Elise and I had a spin in it today. He drove first and it feels nice, for me as a passenger, it felt like my 996 does, pretty stiff but not race car stuff, same amount of grip etc. Powerwise, it's ok until it hits 6k RPMs and then it pulled well. Above 80mph, it's slower than the 996.
Would I swap the 996 for one? No, I didn't feel it was a big upgrade. Performance felt the same from a seat of the pants point of view and above 80-100mph, the 996 pulls strong and it pulls strong low down in RPMs.
The 8.5k red limiter is awesome though, be nice if the 996 had that but I need to wait for a GT3.
For 40k bucks it's nice but you can buy 996s for that money easy although I reckon given my recent problems the Lotus is more reliable :)
August 25, 2006
Dont get wood trim in a Porsche
My 996 has about 9k bucks worth of maple burr in a full interior package. It's a major pain because it's so brittle. Here are some shots to illustrate.
The main console broke in a car park when it was hot (95F-100F). I left the car in a hotel car park and it broke pretty badly. Repair cost will be 700 plus tax plus labor.
The other shots are the left glove box. I had been resting my left elbow on it when driving, it's handy and comfortable. But, the wood fascia again broke due to the pressure which in my mind is ridiculous.
The steering wheel is also cracked but was cracked when I bought it. In my joy of owning the car, I overlooked it. The wheel is expensive to repair.
I'll be fixing it over the next couple of years, no rush to do it unless I want to sell the car but if I was doing it again, I wouldn't touch wood. It looks nice but it's very expensive and obviously, not very durable and obviously very expensive to fix.
So, it looks different than the old engine. It looks smaller in the engine bay, more compact. Definitely more space around the coolant tank and the snorkel.
Final engine cost 13529USD
Picked up the car and the total cost was 13529USD. The replacement engine was 8300, I needed a new engine core also which was 2.3k and then labor, gaskets and tax. The dealer instructions were to keep the RPMs under 4.5k for the first 2000 miles :(
August 22, 2006
Moving blog to trackpedia
I figured I may as well start hosting the blog on my own web site. I'll be figuring a way to move this blog and domain over there as the next couple of weeks. I'll start posting new entries on that blog.
You can see the new blog at http://www.trackpedia.com/blogs/billy
All the old URLs should continue to work once I complete the transistion, still have to work on the look and feel.
August 19, 2006
Renewed drivers ed insurance
American Collector Insurance renewed my policy again but apparently are not accepting new policies and will only renew me one more time. Problems seems to be most people are not getting track insurance and instead relying on normal insurance to cover them which is kind of dodgy.
Anyway, American apparently didnt get enough incoming policies and had a high payouy, over 100% apparently. Guess not every one is that careful or at least maybe they had cars that worked :)
August 18, 2006
Getting car back on Wednesday
Engine looks like Monday in the dealer and it should be ready on Wednesday. I'll pick it up on Saturday as I'm in Toronto next week. I get the car for a day and then I'm off to London for a week. The following week I'm in Boston, NY. Arrgghh, it's a conspiracy.
August 15, 2006
Photos of my dead engine
1999 Porsche 996 with 3.4L engine and 43k miles. #1 clyinder wall is broken. 1,3,6 pistons seized.
August 14, 2006
God bless em, looks like they are paying. The inspectors seen more dead engines that he wanted to. Apparently they don't cover Porsches any more given the cost of repairs and their unfortunate frequency. That basically means a 4 year or less old car with a CPO which is only 2 years is the best bet for people buying one of these cars.
August 12, 2006
Driving along, suddenly no power, runs rough, then a small black poof of smoke followed by the biggest white smoke cloud you ever saw from the engine. It looks like an F1 engine exploding. Pull over and the engine shuts down all by itself after every light on the dash came on. Run out of the car. The smoke clears slowly and I realize it's not on fire. A little smoke continues to come out of the right exhaust.
I opened the engine cover and it looks really clean which is no surprise as it's just been steam cleaned. Engine looks perfect visually. Looks like there is coolant in the engine oil though and the coolant tank looks empty.
After a couple of hours, you can see a waxy coolant in the engine oil. I brought it to the dealer who tore it down and the cylinder wall has broken off and "It's the worst we've ever seen!". So, the warranty company looks like they will pay for a new engine which is around 15k.
So, looks like I have a new car now, new transmission, new DME, and new engine. But, the whole reliability thing is beginning to get on my nerves, this is a Porsche not a Ferrari.
Don't know what I'm doing, I may sell it or not.
I did a little research around the web and it looks like the 996 engines and trannies are suspect. They were never raced and as a result are not 'developed'. The GT3 and turbo engines are supposed to be overengineered and very reliable even on the track. The normal 996 engines seem to be lacking in terms of engineering and durability if you drive it hard.
Wood interior breaks in heat
I had my car parked outside the office and it was hot (100+F) outside. The top of my wood center console shattered in the heat in the car park. Very annoying and I've a feeling it's very expensive. Carnewal.com has similar things at 800 euros! Damn.
Lesson to be learned here is to buy a windscreen sun shield. The wood is a major pain in terms of car durability. My steering wheel also has wood and it has hairline cracks around it's circumference also since I got the car, i.e. they were there when I bought the car.
The door box has wood covers and these also are brittle. What I tend to do on longer trips is rest my elbow on the cover and there are little pressure point cracks as a result of this. Not durable at all and very expensive to fix.
It does look nice but I'd take durability over looks at this point.