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Porsche 944 Track Car

Porsche Track Car – Part 5 Engine Teardown

Tearing down an engine that you are unfamiliar with is always an intense learning experience.  And it can have it’s challenges.  Like stuff that is stuck and stuff that requires a tool you don’t have.  The last engine that I totally rebuilt was the engine in my VW camper van shortly after college.  I guess it is good that I have gone through life without the need to rebuild engines but the occasion just hasn’t come up.  Or, in the case of my E-Type, the mayhem that needed repair was so severe that I had to farm out the job to a professional.  If you are interested in that job, click here.

An obvious tip is to take lots of photos as you tear the engine down.  Before the advent of digital cameras there was some financial constraint in this regard but now, there is no excuse not to just have that camera going all the time as you tear things down.  Believe me, these pics can be a life saver upon re-assembly.

Engine teardown and rebuilding is not an area where Clarks-Garage is of much use.  I was quickly able to find an internet source for “photocopies” of the actual Porsche shop manuals, on DVD.  These cost very little money and I would say are an absolute necessity, especially as you put things back together.  The free PET diagrams that Porsche publishes to show part numbers are quite useful.  There are links to these at both the Paragon and Pelican websites.

There were parts of the teardown that I remember that required special tools.  Getting the large bolt out of the end of the camshaft that holds on the timing belt gear – it has a “triple square” head.  Go ahead and spring for a set of triple square bits.  An impact wrench is nice but probably not absolutely mandatory.  Getting at the internal hex head bolts that hold on the cam tower was scary.  I took out the round plugs in the cam tower and inserted a hex key into the head of the bolt, after application of Kroil.  I put a wrench on the “L” of the hex key and thought something was going to break, it took so much force.  I subsequently sprang for a set of straight shaft hex bits that adapt to a 3/8″ socket drive.  Get the long ones that will reach into the depths of the cam tower.  They aren’t cheap but they are worth it.  Of course you need a pretty large socket and a flywheel lock to get the nut off the end of the crankshaft.  Again, an impact wrench is nice but going back you will need to torque this bolt.  So the torque wrench that puts the bolt back is sufficient to loosen it also.  I also used a gear puller to get various items off the front of the engine.

Finally, getting the head off was a real bitch!  It was hung up due to corrosion, I think, on one or more of the head studs.  As we will see later, I managed to damage the head/block surface driving screwdrivers and prybars into the space where the head gasket is.  In retrospect, I’m not sure how, faced with this problem again, I would have gotten it off otherwise.  Maybe someone can chime in on that subject.

So enough words.  Here are some of the photos that I took of the disassembly.

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