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Background, MOT

MOT Time

Time for a little box ticking and certificate receiving

Following my inspection and preparation for the MOT I was feeling buoyant! After all, the main problem with the car when I bought it was that it was a non-runner, it had been MOT’d the last time it was running, albeit 3 years prior. So, with the car running and everything I could do done, first thing on 18th April 2011, with great expectation, I jumped in the car and headed to the inspection centre.

When I parked up at the garage I had a couple people pass positive comments on the car, lot of love for the old Porsche. I was slightly concerned when chatting to one chap who informed me that this particular test centre reveled in failing cars. But I was there so no turning back. I rallied again slightly when I discovered that one of the testers once worked as a Porsche mechanic, would have been at the local dealer when this car was purchased and possibly (1 in 3 chance) would have done the pre-delivery prep! Although I bought the car over 100+ miles from home it came from a local garage when new. Surely the mechanic’s sentiment would cause him to overlook any slight variation in the omissions – at that point the [only] area I was expecting it could possibly fail. The car went in to be tested while I read magazines and drank tea.

Unfortunately my instant vending machine beverage was the star turn that day…

Reasons for refusal of a Test Certificate

  1. Rear Fuel pipe leaking
  2. Exhaust emissions carbon monoxide content excessive
  3. Nearside front Brake pipe excessively corroded
  4. Offside front Brake pipe excessively corroded
  5. Nearside rear Subframe mounting prescribed area is excessively corroded
  6. Offside inner rear Subframe mounting prescribed area is excessively corroded
  7. Offside outer rear Subframe mounting prescribed area is excessively corroded

Plus a bunch of advisories, mostly rusty parts and perrishing tyres. Also, problems with the steering, play in the steering rack and worn universal joint. My mood became less jubilant.

The fuel line on the 924 is a solid steel item, mine had rusted at one of the bends, not uncommon. That section of the steel line had been cut out and replaced with flexi hose, which couldn’t be fasten tight enough to withstand the high pressure of the fuel pump. I was also shown where the car was corroded. This wasn’t the testers being tough, this was looking like I’d bought a bit of a lemon.

I took the car home, utterly dejected. Sulked a little and then got in my MOTd car and headed up to Hillcrest Specialist Cars to have a chat with Simon and see what he made of it all.

Looking at the reasons for refusal and advisories Simon said it was all quite minor stuff, with two exceptions; the fuel line and the corrosion on the subframe. The question with the fuel line, was this going to be a show car? Hell no. In that case I didn’t need the genuine solid Porsche number, which would be £400+. Instead of the original item I could get a braided hose made up to run front to back, for around £100. Easy decision.

The corrosion was another matter, one that could apparently set me back about £800 a side, worst case. Still, with the general condition of the car it was fast looking like it could be stripped and binned – something I’d planned as a contingency when buying. The welding wasn’t something Simon would do himself, so he put me in touch with the chap he uses, Tony Littlejohn, an ex Porsche bodyshop guy and now welder and Porsche racer. I thought it best to see if welding was feasible, and, if so, get that done before the rest of the work for the MOT. So, first thing, I called Tony for a quote.

Porsche 924S Sill RustThe [rust] inspection revealed that the sections where the subframe [suspension / axle] are mounted had corroded through quite badly but was at least quite localised. Tony also found that the sills were worse than expected, but still, not a complete write off. A little prodding and the holes were revealed…

Not pretty. On the up side, a small panel could be fabricated to replace that section of the outer sill and then repainted – repaint the entire side of the stone chip protection. The subframe mounts could be cut back to remove the rust and new sections welded in.  I asked a bunch of technical welding questions, very kindly supplied by @RalphHosier [that I can no longer remember, something about upsidedown welding and mix?], to test Tony’s credentials, he passed. With an estimate of £500 I decided #Project924 should live! Although that’s quite evident by this blog.

A couple weeks later and my new toy was on the back of another trailer.

Porsche 924S being trailered away

For the record, the car isn’t strapped down using the boot, it was just a strap tidying exercise.

As an aside, I was talking to Tony as we were loading the car and learned that he raced 911s. He started out in 924s, said they were a great track car and handled superbly, naturally I was very pleased to hear this. We discussed a sunroof delete for my car but it would be too expensive, more than it was worth, and a cage would be the way to go for adding rigidity. For the time being though it was all about the work for the MOT. Off the car went again.

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