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Another SAI DIY story with a couple of improvements. If I can do it, you can!


Another SAI DIY story with a couple of improvements. If I can do it, you can!

Old 01-29-2010, 03:36 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: The land of Governor Moonbeam
Posts: 581
Default Another SAI DIY story with a couple of improvements. If I can do it, you can!

I had the dreaded CEL light come on a little while ago. My car popped the 1411 code and because I purchased a cheap OBII reader I would continually read and clear the codes every few weeks. I searched this site and others and found a wealth of information regarding various fixes along with opinions on what they felt caused the Secondary Air Passages to plug up with carbon and trigger the CEl light. I spoke with several experts and was told that for $800 to $2,000 they could perform an SAI flush, but they could not guarantee results. Or worse, I would have to pay for a top end rebuild from $5,000 to $8,000 to remedy the problem (except that my car did not burn any oil and ran great at only 50,000 miles. Oh yeah, by the way, I live in the republic of California so my appointment with the smog gestapo was inevitable. After a great deal of hesitation, I decided that I would fix this problem myself. I have had a fear of working on larger engine related projects on my 993 because of a incident regarding my 1975 914 Push Rod Tube seals, but that's another story.

So here is my average Joe story for attemping to fix this issue.

Day 1 and 2 - I pulled the air cleaner box as is outlined on many write ups with no problems. I then attempted to remove the SAI Check Valve. Let me just say that to avoid any unnecessary frustration just make or borrow the crowsfoot tool. that is detailed on several of the SAi write ups. Trust me, after trying the Vise Grips, the Dremmel the edge and bang with a chisel, etc.. I got the top of the Check valve to spin but the bottom threads were still locked in. I ended up going to Sears, having to purchase a pack of 3/8 drive Crowsfoot sizes with the largest size being 1". I knew I needed 1 1/16 inch to fit but I did not want to wait so I purchased the pack O' crowsfeet and used my trusty grinder to make the 1" fit. (see other DIY write ups). I used the 3/8 to 1/2 inch drive converter as suggested, and I had a 10" riser which was perfect so I could place my breaker bar just above the varioram ducts but just below the engine compartment. Finally after fashioning the tool and thinking of all the what if's I was able to very easily remove the SAi Check valve. Damn, I should have just made this tool to begin with. Time for A glass of wine and an Alieve.

DAY 3 - I start to remove the Heat shields. Everything is easy until I get to where I have to put the ratchet up through the holes in the heat exchangers to undo the nuts. I try one and can not seem to get the ratchet to find the nut. I try another hole and had the same problem. Sooo I hit our trusty Rennlist again and after searching and reading many posts I find one that says these particular nuts are Allen Nuts. What? I have never personally seen an Allen Nut (Allen Screw(bolt) yes, nut no). Sure enough, I put on my Allen ratchet head and was able to easily remove the remaining four Allen nuts. Interesting to note that when I went into the Porsche dealer to order the replacement nuts they showed no Allen nuts, only the 12 Lock Nuts #999-084-052-02. OK
I also went to the store an purchased Techron, Sea Foam and a couple of spray Carburetor cleaners. Later, I cut away, using a Dremmel cutting disk, the chard's of twisted metal remnants that remained on the old torn up Check Valve (see past DIY's). Leaving just the top of the threads. I hand screwed this customized remnant of the check valve into place, and stuck a funnel into the opening and poured in a gulp of Techron. I then pulled out the funnel and placed an air gun with a rubber tip into this opening and blew a shot of air. I have to say the amount of HazMat material that came out through the air passages was amazing. I also have to say that I could only see this toxic waste below 4 of the six exhaust openings. I tried it several more times with the same result, the same two cylinders were bone dry.I went underneath and sprayed carb cleaner up the exhaust ports and air passages but could not get the two exhaust ports to open up. Ok I am now done for the day. Time for two glasses of wine and a couple of Alieve.

Day 4 - I am determined to solve this problem. I re-read all the rennlist posts regarding this issue. I re-read all the DIY's on how to open these plugged ports. I read about how to plug up the open ports using various methods to divert the air flow to the plugged ports. So I went to Home Depot and purchased 5 -1 1/2 drain testers. They fit prefectly. I also read about using a hanger wire, about using picture hanging wire with a Dremmel, about using guitar strings with a variable speed drill. So I tried them all, one by one. I found that using most wire with a Dremmel ( or drill) would just twist up into a ball when it met with the impenetrable carbon wall in the air passage. And I simply could not get the hanger wire to move beyond the carbon wall. After spending several hours of doing the Sea Foam and Techron with the High Pressure air from above, along with carb cleaner and drilling from the bottom, nothing! All the wires I tried, just could not get past the wall of carbon build up. I am now done with this project today Time for glasses of wine and three Alieve.

Day 5 - I have been dreaming about how to solve this issue and thinking about how much it would cost to call a flatbed truck to transport the car the my repair shop. I awoke with the idea of trying a brake cable from an old bike we have hanging from our garage ceiling. I pulled off the cable and tried to cut it in half but found that my wire cutters would not cut the cable. It was really thick. I had to use a Dremmel to cut it. I then realized that the outer cover of the brake cable was also steel, humm that could be really good. I left the inside cable longer than the outer cover and attached it to a variable speed drill. I then stuck the outer brake cable up into the air passage as far as possible (which fit) and proceeded to drill with the inside cable. After about 7 or 8 minutes of light to moderate pressure with the drill spinning the cable at full speed it broke through and a bunch of black goo from above came flowing through. Hallelujah!! I tried the next blocked passage and 5 minutes later success again! I spent the rest of the day blowing Sea Foam and Techron down through the air passages. And all six passages were flowing black goo. I am still waiting for the replacement nuts from Porsche to arrive tomorrow before I can button this project up, but it sure feels nice to have tasted victory.

I am posting this because if I can do this DIY anyone can. Just learn from my mistakes and you can probably finish in a matter of hours rather than days. Below are some pictures of what I used that worked.

I hope this helps anyone who is on the fence about doing this DIY. If I can do it, you can. I have never even changed the oil on my 993 before. You can do it!!!!!
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