Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Jake files: volume 1 & 2

Let's just dive right into this one.

We all hate having to take our cars to the shop. There's always the worry that something will be found that has nothing to do with why you took the car in in the first place.

Flashback to November 2009. I have just taken possesion of one Guards Red Porsche 944 from my father in law. Nice man. Gave me a deal at the time. Still in process. You'll find out why later on in this ditribe of my wandering fingers connected to my brain.

Jake, as he's been called, is taken to Specialty Import Motours for a clutch and new engine mounts and brakes. The mounts are in my possesion already and I've priced the clutch kit I want.

For three days I wait. I get a call finally that the car is done. Brakes are fine and still at 54%. Just squeeky like a mouse. The other items are done. There was some bonus work that was done at the same time since the engine was out. Rear main seal. Very important. Some coolant hoses and a heater core valve. Very important.Power steering hoses replaced and system toped off. Car running very nice now. Still leaking like a sieve up front. Specialty provides a list of what still needs to be done. Great. More work. See. There's always more that needs to be done when you take your car in. All this for $2600 and some change.

Labour is what got me here. The clutch in a 944 is a 15 hour labour job. Remember that if you decide you're in need of one of these little gems. Get one that doesn't need a clutch. Very important.

Flash forward a few weeks. I've had Jake now for about a month. I've driven him periodically on the weekends only at this point. Now one full week prior to Christmas holiday I'm out with my neighbour and upon getting back Jake proceeds to hemorage fluids all over the carport. Bullocks.

That Monday I take poor Jake to Specialty Import Motours and leave him for the next two weeks.

The week of New Years I get a phone call. Jake is going to be pretty costly this time. The valve cover gasket is going to be rather difficult to get to. Seems the valve cover is attached to the upper cam and the main serpentine belt has to come off. Also there is a special tool for vcg bolts. Great. Once in there the pulleys have to come off so all the cam and crank end seals can be replaced. The water pump is leaking so that will be done while in there as well. The only way to do it. I should have the car back in the next two days.

I wait. No calls. New Years eve comes and goes into New Years.

The following Monday I receive another call. The owner (who is also wrenching little Jake) was in on the two holidays while the shop was closed to get it put back together. Seems once it was and the system was repressurised the radiator blew and the main coolant hoses blew. More work to come. Radiator, thermal switch for the twin fans and hoses.

First Thursday of the new year. Success!!! I get the call to come and get Jake out of there. YES!! It's cutting it pretty close. I lose my carpool next week and need my little Jake running and now.

$3400 and some change. Bullocks. There goes my credit card. It was paid off. Mostly. Fortunately there is room.

Fast forward middle of February. It's a warm (60 degrees) winter day and I get home and Jake pisses fluids all over the carport again. Now what?

Happily I"m picking him up tonite. No charge from Specialty Import. Seems the hoses have been expanding and relaxing and settling over the past month. The hoses are fine but the clamps are now loose becuase of this. I have never heard of this before. I worked in car dealerships in parts for 9 years and never heard of this. At least it's nothing serious and it was under warranty.

Seems I need to get the PCA membership soon so I can meet some folks locally that really know the 944. My wallet has been inspired to have me get intimate with Jake in a manner of speaking if he's going to continue to have a home with me.

It will be good to have him back though. Sure is fun to drive.