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How many of you have actually had the cylinder leak?

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How many of you have actually had the cylinder leak?

 
Old 07-29-2001, 04:19 AM
  #1  
Bill Wagner
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Post How many of you have actually had the cylinder leak?

I'm curious. The 964s have been given this reputation for having the leaking cylinders that require the piston replacement, re-machining of the heads, new cylinders, etc. This really only applies (at least theoretically) up to cars made prior to the early winter production run of 1991.

How many of you early ('89-> first half of '91) 964 owners can actually confirm that you have this problem or have had it in the past? If you do/did have this problem, how many miles were on the car when it surfaced?

Thanks,

Bill Wagner
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Old 07-29-2001, 01:03 PM
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This one never had it.....67000 miles, 1990 C4.

Bob

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Old 07-29-2001, 03:15 PM
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Randall G.
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Hi Bill,

My car had the leak. Can't remember the actual mileage the problem surfaced at, I just know it existed. The leak was so slow that the oil was coagulating/baking on the heads. Also, never actually saw a single drip of oil in the driveway, but I'm guessing the pan was wet (never looked in the pan myself). Oil consumption was basically unaffected--perhaps a quart every few thousand miles (normal). In a nutshell, not severe enough to bother repairing. Car ran fabulous and strong until the day ....

.... it spun a rod bearing, at 100k miles. Now there's a good question. Anyway else have personal experience or know of any 964 engine that has spun a rod bearing? I understand 911 engines in general rarely spin rod bearings, because of the dry-sump oil system. Very bad luck for me .

After the rod bearing spun, I went with a used '97 VRAM engine. I'm sure whoever inherited/rebuilt my old core addressed the (slightly) leaky heads.

I have also traded e-mails with another person back east that has a VRAM engine in a '90 964. Came about installing the engine in his car because--at 160k miles--his heads were leaking so bad he could only go a few hundred miles without having to add oil.
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Old 07-29-2001, 03:17 PM
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Arnold
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My 90C2 has the leak.
Purchased the car 3 years ago with 40k kms.
I am sure the leak was present at the time.The car now has 108k kms and is used as a daily driver and track car(5-6 times a year).Porsche says the leak( no.1 cylinder)does not require fixing because it does not affect the power of the engine yet.
BTW no other stock 964 can beat my times on a track day.
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Old 07-29-2001, 06:32 PM
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John Miles
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No leak here. Overblown issue that virtually causes nobody any probs.


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Old 07-30-2001, 01:26 AM
  #6  
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Bill:

I know where you're going with this, and your frustration replicates my sentiments exactly. Obviously, some people have had this problem, but there is *way* too discussion about the 964's flaws and not enough discussion about what a great car it is. Every day on this board, it's flywheel, oil leak, distributor belt, over and over and over again. Hopefully, in the near future, people will stop talking about these problems and focus on the positive aspects of the car as by then the damned DMF will have been replaced on all but the lowest mile examples, the few with the cylinder leak will have taken care of it, and everyone who needs to will have spent the $17.00 and vented their distributor. Then, everyone will be talking about how much *fun* they are having with their 964, rather than this other stuff. (Hopefully, a side effect of this will be a rebound in selling prices. I recently purchased my '93 C2 and it wasn't much more expensive than an '87-'89 3.2. By virtually any objective criteria the 964 is a much better car. The whole thing is ridiculous).

Today, I had a great day driving twisty roads in the Santa Cruz Mountains along with one friend with a '95 993 and another with a BMW M3. We kept switching cars and we all had a blast. The opinion of the guy with the M3 was that the 964 and 993 are comparable and that the primary difference is whether you prefer a slightly rawer (964) ride or a cushier (although by no means "cush"--especially compared to his *very* cush M3) ride (993). He did think that the lines and interior on the 993 were superior. Although he knew that the 993 cost more, when I told him (in private) that it cost about $20k more than my car, he said, "you're kidding" and chuckled.

Anyway, sorry about venting (pun intended!) about this, but I know from Bill's posts that he is exasperated about all the negative talk as well.

We are lucky enough to drive one of the fines sportscars ever made. Hopefully, we'll see more posts about what *fun* people are having. How about a thread regarding where you went and what fun you had in your 964 this weekend?

Have a great week, everybody!

Jon
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Old 07-30-2001, 03:43 AM
  #7  
Bill Wagner
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Jon:

Just to clarify my sentiments, I'm getting tired of hearing the "Oh, yeah, if you get a 964 make sure the engine's been overhauled" types of comments that seem to be flowing rather freely. I WANT PROOF. If this is a problem that truly only existed in a tiny percentage of cars, why the reputation? Bruce Anderson, who pointed it out in his book (and then uses similar if not identical wording in his EXCELLENCE reviews) even indicated that the problems were rare. Can't people read anymore? If this is an insignificant problem, then when us 964 owners visit other sites of e-mail lists (like Rennlist) I think we should step in and point out the true severity of the problem. Like I said, I want proof one way or the other, and this is what this post is about.

My car has the updated engine so it shouldn't have the leakage problem, but I NEVER saw a true leaker when I was looking for one, and yet it, and all other pre-updated cars get this reputation whether earned or not. Most of the cars I looked at were '89-'93.

As far as people posting things like the "joys of ownership" goes, all I can say is don't hold your breath waiting. I've been working on cars as a hobby since 1973 (not Porsche...this is my first), and since the advent of the web I can safely tell you the "what's wrong with my car" and "if I buy this, what should I look out for" type posts will always outnumber any other posts by a factor of about 10:1. That's not a characteristic of Porsches, it happens on all web sites, and I think it's pretty normal. All cars break down or need some service, and that's when most people turn to the web. I guess people just don't post when things are working properly because they expect things to work properly.


Cheers

Bill Wagner


PS: I DID have a great time driving the C4 on Saturday. The stability of this thing at high speeds is UNBELIEVABLE...AND THE AC WORKS TOO!!!

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Old 07-30-2001, 06:19 AM
  #8  
Jeff Curtis
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I just bought a 964 about 2months ago, it was "born" in the first half of '91. The car goes through a quart of oil every 1,500k or so, I do use Mobil One which is notoriously thinner than Dino oil when warmed up, weight is 15w/50.

I would say that with the 54k miles that is on the car, it may "burn" a little oil. There is also some evidence of oil leakage at the cylinder heads which seems to back up the cylinder head leakage problem...doesn't seem to be too bad though.

The car runs it's butt off at track events and to work and back, so there is evidently no significant loss of power due to the cyl. head leakage. Like a previous thread stated, there are no oil drops on the floor and my undertray was removed within a week of owning the car.

All in all, I accept that the quart of oil I go through every 1.5k is okay. Funny when I do a track event, the oil level is perfect when the weekend begins...and almost perfect at the end of the weekend...which pretty much says I'm not burning much oil and that the leaks must be very slow ones.

Now with day to day driving, I notice that I need to add oil now and then. So, there you have it, I believe I have one of the "leakers" but don't see it as much of a problem...I'll keep driving the hell out of it until it blows up!
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Old 07-30-2001, 10:56 AM
  #9  
JeremyW964
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I agree - I bought my 1990 C2 Targa three months ago. Cam covers have a slight leak according to the PPI. No cylinder head leaks. I appreciate some of the negative publicity because I was able to get an incredible deal on an incredible car. The AC works, it has 30 hp more than the 3.2. The bumpers don't look like they were added as an after thought. For those of you that are selling - it may not be the greatest thing - but for those that are buying - jump on board! Compare the C2 to the '85 - '89 Carerra and it is no contest. Sooner or later more people will figure that out!
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Old 07-30-2001, 11:39 AM
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Randall G.
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Originally posted by JonSeigel:
<STRONG>He did think that the lines and interior on the 993 were superior.
</STRONG>
This seems to be the popular opinion, but the lines are the main reason I prefer my 964 over the 993. Even if the cars were the same price, I would still rather have my 964. The 993's sloped front fenders have never made my heart beat faster, and I think it's unlikely I'll ever own one as result. I'm guessing many of my fellow 964 owners feel the same.
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Old 07-30-2001, 02:43 PM
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I absolutely 100% agree with that. Since I was 14 or 15 years old and rode in my first 911 (a 78 or 79 SC) I was in love with those lines. In 1980, I drove my first 911 at 16 years old (a 71 or so S) I was totally hooked and looked to the future when I would own one off these cars. When that time came, the 964 represented ot me the culmination of the best engineering available while still retaining the classic Porsche looks.

Hey the 993 and 996 are cool. But even if I did have that kind of cash lying around, I wanted those lines that say Porsche. The latter models (especially the 996) don't do that for me.
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Old 07-30-2001, 02:49 PM
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Here's good news. The attached post was made on, er, another web site. See E):

A friend of mine on a listserv has seriously been in the market for a P-car for about 6 months now, but has been looking off and on for over a year. He had several observations that might be of interest:
-
I have noticed that as well. Couple of thoughts on that - take 'em for what
they are worth:
A) During the go-go of the tech boom, EVERYone who made a killing on stocks
went out and bought their dream playtoy. Now that Porsche (or boat,
airplane, whatever) is about two years old and the newness has worn off. It
is, after all, not a daily driver Lexus and pretty much a car for the true
sportster/GTer. Note the low mileage on most of them, they aren't being
driven very much. So many are just getting rid of their playtoys since they
are done playing with them, I think, and perhaps they reason that now is a
good time to get them gone while the economy is still good.

B) 993 C2's, C4's and Turbos are staying amazingly strong in resale.
Anything with a factory wide-body is selling for a pricely sum. The
traditionalists are propping up that market for now and there are no bargins
in that category.

C) '95 993's are plummeting in price. Maybe many are getting spooked that
those cars are well out of warranty now......a year ago when I was shopping
them they were mid-50's and that same car is now in the low 40's.

D) '99 996's are dropping fast. Good buys there, I think. They were not
known to have any severe first year teething problems that I've been able to
come up with. I expect them to fall further - faster when the 2002 models
(with nose redesign and a bit more HP) arrive in about 60 days.

E) 964's ('90 to '94) are really good buys with the exception of the RS
models (Hi Keith!) that are like the widebody C2's with strong resale value.

F) Stay away from the earlier 2.7 engines and older. Lots of maintenance on
those. 3.0 L engine and above is where you want to shop.
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Old 07-30-2001, 04:32 PM
  #13  
Andrew Wright
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Bill,

I agree entirely with all your sentiments. The 964 is - for me - the perfect 911. Quicker & more complete than the 3.2, and it still carries the right front-end - I never liked the flat noses, whether on specials of any kind or on the 993/6 models. If I wanted a GT car, the 996 it would have to be .. I want a raucus sports car & I want a Porsche. That leaves one model .. the 964.

My reply to your main question is on the other board.

Andrew
1989 C4
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Old 07-30-2001, 08:34 PM
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Richard H
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Second that Andrew 100%.

Richard 1990 C2
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Old 07-31-2001, 03:18 AM
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Bill Wagner
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After checking my own historical data that I've collected, posts on this site and several others, I can pretty safely conclude the problem is HIGHLY OVERBLOWN. Granted, an overall statistical sample of about 50 or 60 isn't huge, but the "catastrophic" failures just don't seem to be there in any large numbers...if this really was a problem I think I would expect to see at least ten reports out of all of this data...not two or three (and with one car having 129K on it).

Maybe we'll get a flood of leakage reports tomorrow...but I kind of doubt it.

NOW what we need to do is stop letting our cars be classified as lemmons and stop selling them for dirt cheap prices!

Later,

Bill Wagner
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