In the article here, I discussed why I am performing a rebuild on my Cayman S. I’m not going to try and fully document the work that I have done but I thought some notes about key things I learned along the way might be helpful to others. So here goes.
-You really really need a lift. I guess when I was twenty something I would have done this with a jack and concrete blocks but thankfully those days are past. By default, the engine needs to come out from the bottom. So you need to be able to raise the car enough to trolley the engine out once it is lowered. In my case, I used my single post lift, which worked just fine. A 2 post lift would also work well. A “low rise” lift would probably work OK. A drive on lift is going to be problematic. Besides the clearance issues, Porsche does not want the full weight of the vehicle on the rear suspension/rear tires once the various cross braces are removed, so your drive on lift would need some sort of supplemental lift bars. I settled the engine/transaxle on two furniture dolleys, with two thicknesses of pallets on them. This gave me ample room to crawl under there and remove the final 10 bolts holding the engine to the car. Then raise the car and roll the engine out.
-The Porsche “shop manual” is very helpful. I have a “bootleg” pdf copy, which I understand can be purchased from an Ebay seller. It is a very large file and a little clunky to use. You might want to also investigate Alldatadiy.com. The shop manual gives you a pretty good list of items to do to drop the engine out of the car. Use your common sense. Look around the engine compartment for things the manual missed. Although my manual talks about the Cayman through 2009, I have found enough differences and descrepencies to keep me on my toes.
-My most painful memory of getting ready to drop the engine was the air conditioner compresser. Thankfully, Porsche has a scheme to not evacuate the freon in the system. They just want you to disconnct the compressor and lay it aside. Good enough. But the single bolt at the rear of the compressor is very hard to get to. I wound up lowering the engine in stages until I could get a good look in there and even be able to see the damn bolt. Then it required finese to get to.
-All systems that contain oil, Pentosin (brake fluid), or coolant will be evacuated. Stage some large collection containers and a mop.
-Special tools for dropping and dis-assembling the engine. As long as you have a set of Torx bits, Triple Square bits, and Allen head bits, you’ll be fine. An impact wrench is helpful but not mandatory. Some of your blood may be required in certain tight spots!
-After working on 60’s British cars, I was astounded to not find a single rusted frozen fastener in the whole process. But the German version of torture is that every electrical connector has a different scheme for removal. This can be very frustrating!
-Anytime Porsche talks about a “quick disconnet” or similar language, just stifle a laugh and mutter “bloody hell”. When you tackle the coolant hoses that emerge from the tunnel under the center of the car, you will know what I am talking about. BTW, when you get to the “servo line couplings” the workshop manual forgets to mention that these are for the power steering and are hidden under the drivers side underbody panel.
Do I sound like a whiney bastard yet? Well, sorry, but like any job, if I had to drop the engine again, I could do it in half the time. But just to demonstrate my sunny nature, once I got the engine out and rolled into the engine dis-assembly room, the sun came out and angels sang! I have little to complain about but here are a few tips.
-Again, follow the shop manual, using your common sense.
-I bet you don’t have a 14mm male allen head tool in your toolbox. You will need one to get the chain tensioner out of one bank. On the other bank, you will need a 1 3/8″ socket or the metric equivalent.
-I went to a big box store and bought two 6 ft tables to lay the parts on. When tossing parts onto a pile like on reality TV just won’t do!
-Speaking of which, be ready to have a system to organize your intake and exhaust hydraulic lifters so you can put them back where they came from.
-My small John Deere tractor with a bucket on the front serves as the perfect heavy parts lift device! You may get by with something less.
-Obscure fasteners: There are a few. In general, when you are trying to separate two components, I like to start by tapping with a dead blow hammer. The advantage is if you have missed a fasterner, hopefully the dead blow hammer will keep you from breaking something.
-Obscure fastener #1: When you detach the front motor mount bracket from the front of the engine, there are 4 large obvious bolts. There is a smaller 5th bolt. You have to look through an opening in the front face of the mounting fixture to see it.
-Obscure fastener #2: Both cylinder heads are attached with very large, obvious bolts. At the end of the head where the timing chains exist, there are more, smaller fasteners. Inside the opening for the timing chain, there is an additional fastener. On one bank you have to remove the “slide rail” first in order to get at the bolt. The slide rail has two external pins that hold it in place. These show up as round plugs external to the block with an allen head. Very similar in appearance to an oil drain plug. See PET illustration 103-010. To get at some of these round pins, you need to remove the clutch and the flywheel. Finally, after all this, you can get a socket with a long extension on to the elusive bolt. Sheesh!
-Obscure fastener #3: OK, to do the above, you need to detach the transaxle. Most of the bolts from the transaxle to the block are large and obvious. But along the bottom edge of the joint, there are 2 oddballs. One is a nut on a stud. The other is a bolt with a triple square head with very limited access. Why they didn’t put a hex head bolt or a stud in that spot is beyond me. Fortunately, I found a triple square tool of the correct size. It was designed to use with a socket wrench. Internal to the socket it was formed as a standard hex shaft, with the triple square pattern on one end. The hex part fit a 1/2″ wrench nicely. I removed it from the socket but it was too long. I had to cut it off to just the right length to fit in the available space and project enough to get the wrench on it. Once it broke free, it was just finger tight and came out easily.
-Splitting the case. I admit I approached this with some trepedation and it did not disappoint. My workshop manual pointed out 3 bolts that apparantly serve to fix the “gear carrier” which you will not want to miss. It assumes you have removed the oil pan. Then it talks about 20 bolts along the case joint line. Two of these are inside the oil sump area. The rest are generally in plain sight. I went ahead and removed the plastic oil pickup items. There are a couple of “lever points” along the case joint. These worried me, as I could see that one could just snap them off. I started tapping with my deadblow hammer, to no obvious effect. I moved on to a metal hammer and a drift, tapping the upper case upward at what appeared to be hard points in the casting. At some point, the case started to split but only on the forward end. I looked again for fasteners I had missed but found none. In retrospect I think the oil seal around the rear end of the flywheel was the sticky part. I threaded two head studs in and, with a proper strongback, hoisted the block an inch off the floor. This eventually worked to split the case along its entire length. At some point I realized that the head studs are engaging the crank carrier, which isn’t really what you want. So I took them out and found two largish holes on the ends of the upper block, ran in some bolts, and suspended the block from there. This allowed the crank and the pistons to stay in place as I lifted off the block. Going this route, final removal was uneventful. I did a quick wipe down and inspection of the 4, 5, and 6 bores. They looked fine.
-Once the case was separated, the pistons on one side were removed at the wrist pins and the pistons on the other side were removed at the rod ends. This is a predicator of the fact that during installation, one bank will be easy to install the pistons and on the other bank, one has to install the piston wrist pins and retainer clips through a small hole in the end of the block, with a special tool.
-I did the entire teardown using either a tripod hoist or my tractor to manipulate the heavy pieces i.e. I did not have to use the “spider” engine stand attachment. That said, it is pretty clear after previewing the Jake Raby assembly video that I will need the spider engine stand attachment to build the engine back. Even if you have the spider engine stand, you need some sort of lift during the various phases of removal and assembly. An engine hoist would suffice.
-Based on my work log, it took me 16 hours to remove the engine and 24 hours to complete the teardown. Both of these were first of a kind activities for me. I did a rough talley of the shop manual. There are 120 bolts requiring removal to get the engine out of the car. There are 260 bolts requiring removal to strip the engine completely down! Talk about “wrenching on your car” this is it!
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