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Parts, Repair

I can hear! I can see!

Why is it always the simple jobs that take the longest?

The refurbed alternator was back in the car and charging beautifully, with commuting and a few joy rides, that week I passed the 100 mile [without breakdown] mark. I have been taking things gently as the car has been standing for 5 years and I feel needs the engine running in again, which will give me a better idea of what work’s needed. There was one job however that I wanted to get under way as soon as possible, replacing the electric aerial.

I was keen to get a new aerial on for two reasons: first and foremost, I want to listen to the radio,  secondly, the principal that “the electric aerial is a barometer of [a car’s] reliability,” gospel according to PetrolBlog, a working aerial = a working car. I will need to consult with MajorGav to confirm whether replacing a broken aerial carries the same mojo as having the original in working order. Either way, this had to go…

Porsche 924S Damage Aerial

Looking at the new aerial it had two nuts and three wires, allowing for rusty nuts on the broken aerial I estimated an hour to get the job done. Access was never going to be easy as the aerial is located inside the front wing (below left) and I was also missing the tool to remove the Panasonic stereo, so instead had to use a modified coat hanger (below right)…

Porsche 924S Old Aerial in Situ Panasonic Stereo Removal

I consulted the instructions for the new aerial and checked the wires from the outgoing one, but nothing made sense. I got the multimeter out and started testing for the live and switched wires, I thought I had it all worked out, and in tests the new aerial aerial going up and down as it should. Then it stopped. Next I am upsidedown with my head in the driver’s footwell tracing the wires back through. It transpired the existing aerial was aftermarket, and a bit of a mess, so it was stripped out to start again. Eventually, after the best part of a day the aerial was fitted – I did have a little nap after lunch, I was tired following an early start for qualifying for the Melbourne GP. It took a few tries to get the placement right but the aerial is in and working – the unit is a little noisy, but it was a little cheap. Compared to modern aerials, it looks massive, or is that proud…

Porsche 924S Aerial Full Mast

Bring on the [ahem] trouble free motoring. At this point it is worth noting that the second half of this blog was pre-existing and therefore not subject to the working aerial principal.

The car’s windscreen washers were working, at least enough to get through the MOT, but during the first 100 miles of use, stopped working. The next task, delayed start due to watching the great start to the 2012 GP season – win for Jenson, was to try and get the washers jets squirting again. Starting at the pump, through a process of elimination, I worked my way up to the washers, proving each section of hose as unblocked and then moving to the next. It was puzzling as everything seemed clear and the driver’s side washer was working, but the passenger side was still not functioning. The problem turned out to be a little valve that controls the pressure / spray, a little cleaner and compressed air got it working. My pleasure in the moment was short lived due to the revolting smell from the washer fluid.

I adjourned for a cup of tea and contemplation. It occurred to me that the water had likely been in the washer bottle for at least 5 years and had probably stagnated. Back in the garage I set about removing the washer bottle, to empty it completely and give it a good clean. This was easier said than done due to tight placement behind the pop-up headlights. The task aslo resulted in my having to cut off my first rusted-on nut of the project. Once removed from the car I emptied the washer bottle into a drain and I literally [dry] wretched, it was disgusting. I took the bottle into the bathroom and attacked with all manner of  cleaning products. This was what I had to try and clean…

Dirty 924S Windscreen Washer Bottle

Conventional cleaning products and methods weren’t working. Thankfully I recalled something I’d read on PistonHeads, in Rob’s 944 project thread. I emptied the washer bottle of cleaning fluids and added a good measure of dry rice, American Long Grain. Blocking the ends of the bottle I shook it like a loon, essentially shot-blasting the inside of the bottle, it worked a treat! The biggest issue, as Rob had warned in his thread, was getting the rice out afterwards. A lot more shaking and some aggressive flushing and it was looking a lot cleaner.

Porsche 924S Windscreen Washer Cleaned

The bottle went back in the car a lot esaier than it came out and I could now see the blue of the screenwash (below left). The downside is that the rest of the engine bay now looks a little shabby. I have my eyes on the coolant bottle next (front right of the engine bay).

Porsche 924S Washer Bottle Porsche 924S Engine Bay

So, not only can I know listen to the radio and see where I’m going but I won’t be needing a sick bag every time I need to clean the windscreen.

Discussion

8 thoughts on “I can hear! I can see!

  1. Sounds like you had a narrow escape!

    http://www.hse.gov.uk/legionnaires/whatis.htm

    That’s one of the reasons you’re supposed to use screenwash in the washer bottle, it helps combat legionnaires!

    Posted by John Baxendale | March 23, 2012, 12:52 pm
  2. Reblogged this on The Porsche Independent Repair and commented:
    Oh, lots of juicy projects- I’m impressed with the reward feeling them when I get done.

    Posted by abauerporsche | March 24, 2012, 3:17 pm
  3. Interesting to see that your aerial is on the opposite side of the car to mine. The electric item from mine must have been ripped out years ago and I’ve been left with an awful black rubberised item which tries to bend in half when travelling at anything over 60mph.

    Where did you source your replacement from? I think I’m going to try and get an aftermarket electric one in there at some point despite the fact I never listen to the radio.

    Posted by madrob6 | March 27, 2012, 9:34 am
    • I just bought one of eBay – “Porsche Premium Car Aerial” – it’s okay, a little noisy up and down, but seems to do the trick.

      Reference being on the other side, I wonder if the 944 is setup for RHD properly? The 924 they just moved the control, I’m sure – the wipers are the LHD way on!

      Posted by #Project924 | March 27, 2012, 9:59 am
      • The early 944s (like mine) also have LHD wipers, infact I think my car shares more with a 924S than it does a post 85 944. Does yours also have the pressed steel front lower wishbones?

        Posted by madrob6 | March 27, 2012, 10:57 am
      • Ah, okay, wasn’t sure if they’d changed the body – oddly the bonnet is made for either LHD or RHD wipers, there’s an indent on both side, I think.

        Not sure on the wishbones, but sounds about right, and the running gear on ours is very similar, as is the interior.

        Posted by #Project924 | March 27, 2012, 11:08 am

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