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Timing belt / Water pump party in SF Bay Area

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Old 03-12-2013, 11:03 PM   #1
Foz
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Default Timing belt / Water pump party in SF Bay Area

Hi All,

The water pump on my poor Sharkie either seized or was very close to seizing yesterday. I turned off the car, towed it back to my garage and started reading the posts about timing belt / water pump replacement, and frankly, it's a bit too daunting to contemplate doing by myself. Years ago, I used to dive into transmission rebuilds, head replacements, etc. but I've learned over the years to understand my limitations. Between the special tools required, lack of a lift, and precision required, I have a bad feeling that I might get half-way and just stall out on the project. There is an excellent mechanic that I use, but he is a generalist and not a Porsche specialist, and I'm not too keen on being his first Porsche TB/WP guinea pig.

Anyway, if there is anyone in the San Francisco Bay Area who is planning on replacing their TB/WP in the near-future, I'd be most interested in doing it as a pair project where I could copy their steps. I know that it's just a stupid mental block on my part, but I've learned to be more cautious over the years about just jumping headlong into big projects that often take 5x the time that I thought that they would take (mostly from me researching every step to make sure that I don't make an obvious screwup).

I have a two-bay heated/lighted garage with basic tools in Sunnyvale to work at, or I could tow my Shark to anywhere in the Bay Area with AAA.

Alternatively, if anyone knows a good-quality Porsche shop in the Bay Area that has reasonable service rates, I'd be interested in knowing that as well.

Thanks,
Foz
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Old 03-12-2013, 11:53 PM   #2
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George at Adolph's Autohaus in San Ramon use to own a twin turbo 928 himself and does my 89 and 85 car every time no issues for over 10 years now.

23 Beta Ct # B
San Ramon, CA 94583
(925) 838-0886
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Old 03-13-2013, 01:01 AM   #3
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Use Dwayne's Garage pictorial and you will do just fine. You sound like you are plenty capable with your mechanical skills and to be honest I almost think a monkey could follow along with Dwayne's great pics and clear instructions.
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Old 03-13-2013, 02:01 AM   #4
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Talk to Marvin Weitz at The RennShop in Santa Clara. He is a Doctor of Porschology, who will diagnose the issue and prescribe the perfect treatment. He is factory/dealer trained and super meticulous - a no BS guy.
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Old 03-13-2013, 03:22 AM   #5
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Foz - if you give me enough advanced notice (and a few beers), I'll come down and lend you a hand. What year is your car?

Also, if your cam gears are slightly worn, I can recommend a shop in Belmont to have them recoated. This is much cheaper than getting new ones, but you'll need to plan on a 3-5 day turnaround.

PM me if interested.

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Old 03-13-2013, 10:47 AM   #6
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I'll sign up to help... done a dozen tb/wp's over the years, nothing to it grasshoppa.
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Old 03-13-2013, 11:49 AM   #7
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Wow, thanks for all the info and offers! Going to order all the parts (and beer) today. I'm thinking the weekend after this one, if that works (March 23rd / 24th). I'll post again once all the parts get here.

Thanks again guys - I do love working on cars, but was getting the feeling that I was over my head on this one.

BTW, it is a 1987 S4 Automatic.
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Old 03-13-2013, 01:02 PM   #8
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Foz
I'm halfway through changing the belt on my 16v, following step by step instructions
using Dwayne's guide. It's not all the difficult if you take your time. I put the instructions on my iPad and follow it to the letter. I was really freaked out about doing it at first....just gotta do it yourself. Then you know if it has been done right.
A shop usually figures about 10 hours of labor plus parts (per Bauer Porsche in Oakland). I find a great deal of personal satisfaction of having done it myself.
You are not over your head on this one and you have a lot of pals here to help you through it
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Old 03-13-2013, 01:05 PM   #9
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That weekend works well for me, the spousal unit will be out of town. I have a Kempf tension tool, flywheel lock, 3/4" drive breaker/socket for the crank bolt. Add Stella Artois and we're in bidness.
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Old 03-13-2013, 01:25 PM   #10
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I share your worry and discomfort. I plan on doing mine this spring. I'm a bit nervous too, however I'm getting a porkensioner to worry less about belt tension.
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Old 03-13-2013, 03:19 PM   #11
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I could join for a couple of hours. No experience with this job, just general mechanical experience. And beer drinking experience.
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Old 03-13-2013, 03:24 PM   #12
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Just to see if by some miracle, a full-service TB/WP job would be of low enough cost to make doing it myself not worth it, I called for ballpark quotes from the two service shops mentioned. In case anyone in the future is curious about the cost of a full-service TB/WP job in the SF Bay Area:

Adolph's Autohaus: ~$2700 (New Laso pump - Does not include rebuilding the tensioner, which he said would be like an additional $1000 to replace if necessary)

The RennShop: Would not give a ballpark estimate, but said that he would only install a genuine Porsche water pump ($1200). Would not install a Laso pump, even new.

So we're on for the TB/WP party - Beer, food, and gas money are on me!

Last edited by Foz; 03-13-2013 at 03:49 PM.
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Old 03-13-2013, 03:54 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foz View Post
<snippage>

cost of a full-service TB/WP job in the SF Bay Area:

Adolph's Autohaus: ~$2700 (New Laso pump - Does not include rebuilding the tensioner, which he said would be like an additional $1000 to replace if necessary)

The RennShop: Would not give a ballpark estimate, but said that he would only install a genuine Porsche water pump ($1200). Would not install a Laso pump, even new.
bwahahaha... that's funny.
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Old 03-13-2013, 04:30 PM   #14
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Foz, as a newbie to the 928, I undertook this task when I first got my 91 in Jan 2010. I followed Dwaynes instructions, and did it without any issues. You are in good hands with the volunteers, and adding beer never hurts anyone. Good luck, and you will feel better once it is back together and purring.
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Old 03-13-2013, 04:33 PM   #15
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even if you know how to do it, a couple extra pairs of hands around the shop never hurts...
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