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Engine, Repair

A new hippo’s head!

I think I may have just fixed oil leak number 1!

Of course I don’t know the total number of leaks, I just know what every now and then I find a little deposit of oil under the car. Sometimes not. It was something that I had been expecting when I bought the car, partly due to it being 26 years old and having been standing idle for a long time. While I would like to think there is one source of the leaked oil, I suspect not. My plan has been to clean the engine as much as possible to allow me to see where the oil may be coming from.

As things never quite work to plan the engine clean has not happened, yet. Luckily, in the meantime, a web link came my way via @Only944 for the Porsche 944 Camshaft Gasket Replacement Procedure, I had a read through the post and discovered it was done to stop and oil leak. My car has oil leaks! This could be a winning ticket!

The camshaft gasket is at the bulkhead end of the engine, the cover just in front of the engine hoist hoop. Shown in the photo below, even without a close examination there’s oil visible on the hoist hoop and after seeing this I called Porsche and ordered the replacement gasket.

Porsche 924S Engine Cam Cover

As an aside, the photo also shows the new braided fuel line I had fitted to replace the rusted solid steel one. Sadly it looks a little out of place, but at £100 vs £400 it was something of a no brainer.

The gasket replacement itself was relatively easy, if fiddly. Firstly, I removed the cam cover which is held in place with three bolts, each bolt more difficult to access than the last. Thankfully the bolts are quite short and the cover was quickly removed.

Porsche 924S Engine Cam Cover Porsche 924S Engine Block Cam Cover Off

Once the cover was off I used a clean cloth to remove and loose grime and dust from the end of the cam and housing.

The parts were not as dirty as I was expecting (below left). The cork gasket was well past its best, it felt and broke like brittle plastic. Careful not to damage the cam end cover I removed it with a blunt piece of plastic and fingers.

Porsche 924S Cam Cover and Gasket Porsche 924S Cam Cover and New Gasket

I cleaned the parts with Gunk using a stiff bristled brush on the stubborn parts, they came up quite well (above right). Looking at the new gasket it became apparent why the chap at AFN Porsche referred to it as a hippo’s head. I am slightly at a loss as to why there are four bolt holes while there are only three bolts?

I applied a little all purpose grease to either side of the new gasket, to provide a seal, and bolted everything back in place. I was able to use a torque wrench for the top bolt, but the others were too far in among cables and hoses so I had to use the top one to gauge the correct pressure, pushing with a single finger, to tighten the others bang feel alone. All seemed to go back on okay.

Porsche 924S Cam Cover Gasket Fitted

I have racked up a few miles since fitting and the gasket looks in good condition and is showing no signs of leaking. Was this the magic ticket I was looking for? No. But, this one leak is fixed and there are still others, but it’s another job down so I’m more than happy with that.

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