Porsche 928 Body FAQ

SECTION 1: Winter
Preparation II

Section 2: Other
Front License Plate

Section 3: Mirrors
Fallen Mirrors
Loose Mirror

Section 4: Interior
Interior Pod Removal

Section 5: Exterior
Replace Hood Absorber
Remove Exterior Trim
Faulty Sunroof
Sunroof Woes
Window Washer
Grabbing Wipers
Windshield Washer
Ride Height

Section 6: Exterior Care
Reviving Trim
Back to Black
Cleaning Products
Polishing Aluminum Cross-Brace
Window Streaks

Winter Preparation

*Rennlist note: There are different and accepted theories on how Porsches should be stored during the winter including continuing to drive it during the winter, park and then start it periodically or fully store it. Each is based on personal preference and experience*

In a question dated: 9/10/99

Hello all,
It is now September and soon the snow will be falling here in Pennsylvania. I have just purchased a 1982 928S and need some recommendations for getting it ready for the winter. Is temp controlled storage necessary? Up on blocks? Fresh coolant? Thanks for your time.
Nate Barbur
82 928S Auto Black/Black

In a response dated: 9/10/99

Dear Nate:
Get a set of good All-Season tires or snow tires on a spare set of rims, and drive. That’s what I do here in northern VA. Granted, it doesn’t snow as much as PA, or the the north in general, but it does get wet and slippery with an occasional snowfall or two.

If you just don’t want to drive it in winter, then a heated garage is nice, but not really necessary. The tires should be unloaded to avoid flat spots. A good 50/50 100% Phosphate and Silicate Free coolant is best. Add fuel stabilizer to the gas tank, and quality oil (5W30) and filter change. At least once a week, start it up and let it run till the electric fan comes on. At least once a month turn on the AC for a few minutes too. Since the car will be off the ground, run it in first and reverse to keep the tranny and differential lubed.

Merry motoring. Ed

In a response dated: 9/10/99

Wrong, wrong, wrong!!!

Put the car away and don’t start her up until spring time when you are ready to take her out. Starting the car periodically does much more damage to the engine than just leaving it be.

Steve- 87S4/auto/GPW

In a response dated: 9/10/99


What is being damaged?

Douglas Hampton

In a response dated: 9/10/99

It has been proven many times over that the most engine wear occurs during the first 30 seconds of startup when oiling is not fully established.

Oil drainage from the cylinder walls, cam lodes, etc, results in excellerated wear for those first seconds. Starting an engine just for the sake of warming it up does nothing positive for its condition months later.

Indeed, starting an engine and warming it causes condensation in the engine on cooldown that draws water into the oil that eventually creates acids that begin to “etch” your shiny parts. The same holds true of the exhaust system where water accumulation from condensation can eventually damage your pipes and such.

The best advice is store the car in a cool dry place, and if you want to be thorough:

Throw a desicant bag in each of the exhaust pipes and cap them.

Do the same for the intake and cap at the filter box. Doing this seals the engine from moisture entry which is the ultimate killer.

Change the oil and fill the gas tank.

Flush and refill the cooling system.

Leave the windows cracked open a tad to allow the interior to breathe.

Bleed the brake system to get any moisture at the calipers out. Same for the clutch if a manual. Also prudent on a manual is releasing the clutch to prevent a “lockup” come spring…easier said than done though.

Put the car on blocks.

Wait for warmer weather!

86.5 Indischrot 5-speed

In a response dated: 9/11/99

I have to absolutely disagree. All cars are engineered to be RUN, not stored. Without extensive prep, letting any engine just sit is the fastest way to invite trouble in to a variety of systems. If the car sits without starting for any amount of time without proper preparation you’re likely to run in to at LEAST the following several months down the pike:

1. A/C will leak
2. Battery will be dead
3. Engine will run rough
4. Starting will be hard

Unless you are truly preparing the car for long term storage it is MUCH better to simply wait for a decent day every few weeks and take the car out for a drive to get it up to temperature, turn on the a/c for a few minutes and then park it again.

Since the original question came from someone in Pennsylvania this shouldn’t be a problem as the winters are not that severe.

– michael

1988 928 S4 A/T RMB – Daily Driver see at…
Cassisrot Metallic/Burg.- http://members.rennlist.org/michael
928 OC Charter Member – http://www.928oc.com PCA NOR

In a response dated: 9/11/99

An excellent article on winter storage was written by Bill Hawe and is found at http://www.porschenet.com/winter.html. Thanks to F. David Chamberland for posting the reference here last year or the year before.

I’ve stored 928’s for more than 10 years. Bill’s article points out various opinions and pros and cons of different techniques. Here’s what I’ve done on the major points of contention:

1) I do not drive it or “store warm”, I store and cover it.
2) I use steel wool to cover openings like exhaust and air intakes – keeps the mice out real good. I don’t bother with desicants because here in Wisc the winter air is so dry there’s nothing to dehumidify
3) I don’t bother “spritzing” the spark plug holes with oil
4) I remove the battery, store in warm place, and charge it periodically
5) I store the car inside so can use a flannel cover

Not mentioned in Bill’s article but I take the wipers off and store them in the house. I use wood blocks to keep the arms off the glass. Keeps the wiper blades from deforming against the glass.

Mike McQuaid
94 928 GTS blue/tan auto


Preparation II

In a question dated: 1/13/99

928 in Snowy Conditions – Any Tips?

Hello 928-Fans

It is snowing here and it’s my first time having to combine motoring with snow.

I know these tips:

if you come home in the snow, scrape all the snow off the windows and front/rear lights to prevent ice – harder to remove tomorrow morning! (Note: no need to clear rear spoiler of excess ice/snow – ahem)

if you wash your car the day before it snows, make sure there’s no water on the rubber seals when you close the doors otherwise they will freeze shut

drive slowly around corners – real slow

hose car off all over (and under) as soon as salt not on roads any more

restrict to a minimum doing donuts in carparks

As you can see, I don’t know much, does anyone have any must-do’s for this subject?Is there anything underneath the car that needs to be attended to in very cold conditions that might freeze up and hinder a take-off? I heard a couple of thuddish snaps the other morning, one at a time, just after take-off, coming from under the car

Thanks In Advance
1989 928 S4 Black/Black 5-speed (winter wheels on)
1979 911 SC Guard’s Red/Black Sportomatic

In a response dated: 1/13/99

What do you mean, “Don’t do dougnuts??? I look forward to empty lots with an inch or two of snow. The best way to learn how to avoid or get out of a skid is to practice getting into and out of skids. Your shark is made of aluminum and galvanized steel. Wash it down regularly, and go.

Here are don’ts for you. Do not try to remove ice on any glass with hot water. Don’t drive with under-inflated tires. Don’t leave home without safety equipment, i.e., cables, blankets, de-icer, kitty litter, small shovel, flashlight, extra windshield wiper fluid, ice scraper.

Merry and safe motoring, Ed.

In a response dated: 1/13/99

Dear Listers,
On removing ice from glass: I grew up in a cold part of Pa., and have always used cold tap water for de-icing glass. Poured slowly, it’s virtually a miracle worker for removing ice. As Ed said, never use hot, (or warm) water for removing ice. It’s the rapid, uneven change in temperature that causes the glass to break. How ever, using cold water does not cause the rapid change. Therefore IMHO it’s safe, though I would hesitate using this method in extreme cold, such as below zero degrees. Also, using water on doors, can cause locks to ice up.

Tom H
86.5 928S

In a response dated: 1/13/99

I use four 70lb (4×70)bags of sand in back, and keep gas tank near full (~23x6lbs) for a total of about 400+lbs which helps traction a bit. I use Dunlop 4000 all season tires. Car seems to do as well or better than most rear wheel drive cars in snow etc.

’84 928S U.S. 5spd.
PCA, 928OC

In a response dated: 1/14/99

You wanted suggestions on winter driving? Well, I’ve got one or two. Living up here in Edmonton (welcome to the great white north eh?) I’ve got a little practice winter driving. The first thing is good snow tires. The second thing is a combination brush/ice scraper. I don’t use water because it’d freeze just about as fast as it hits the windshield. If you want to pour something on find some windshield washer fluid that’s good to -35 and use that. (usually it contains methanol, yes I know that’s hard on the rubber but if you don’t want to use the scraper your options are limited.)

For the actual winter driving tips the first one would be to practice. I don’t have a 928 (I’m just lurking and hoping) but I’ve wintered in 944’s and 924’s so I’ve got a fair idea (less power obviously but the same sort of weight dist.) Like I said, find a parking lot and practice. Practice locking your brakes (in non abs cars) so you know what it feels like and when you’re on the threshold. Practice pumping your brakes. Put your car in a skid (both directions) and recover. Now recover without taking your foot off the throttle. See how far sideways you can make the car go and still recover. Practice a powered u-turn in the minimum space possible (so when you accidently end up backwards on the road you can get out of there quick).

Make sure that this is all happening in a parking lot. The more you practice there the less likely you are to try it on the street. I know I don’t need to remind everyone that even though it looks deserted you can’t be sure what’s hiding behind the mailbox on the corner. Besides, when you actually need this stuff you’ll know what to do and how the car’ll react.

When I started learning to drive my father had me out every night for about 6 months learning this in the winter. He really made me work at it. We tried it in every sort of car we could find, front engine, rear engine, fwd/rwd, powerful, pathetic. The whole list. As a result I’m quite confident in my winter driving skills, I don’t worry as much as alot of people I know. But I also know my limits, I don’t drive faster or follow closer than I know is safe. And I make sure to watch everyone else becuase not everybody has the same sort of exp that I do.

Anyway, enough lecturing. The last thing is that if you want to put
weight in the back of your car it works best if it’s on or in front of
the rear axle, rather than behind it. I learned that the hard way in my brother’s pick up.



Section 2: Front License Plate

In a question dated: 4/22/99

The same state trooper has stopped me twice, now, for not having my front plate on. Next time he said he would take my car. What a dweeb! Flat hat and all! Sheesh! It (the hat) looked really silly the last time with the little plastic condom thingy on it, but he sure thought he was cool, so I went along with his power-trip. So the question is: How do I mount the peice of crap that my state requires on the front of my 88 without obstructing air-flow over the car or through the radiator? I really do not want to perforate the body any more than I have to, and am fairly adept at making brackets, etc. What do you all do? What a shame to have to put that plate on the front of that great looking car, but it is more hassel to be stopped by the gestapo for not having it. Duct tape? magnets? Help!!!
Don Hanson

I live in one of those states too. WI. Haven’t put the front plate on yet, but if it comes to it I’m going to fold the bottom inch and top inch back behind the plate making it about 3 inches high. Destruction of government property I’m sure! and then I am going to mount it under the bumper hoping it doesn’t hinder my
cooling. That is if I can find the front plate!

Mark Grasser
1978 928 5-speed
Guards red/black/tan sheepskins
928 OC Charter Member

In a response dated: 4/23/99

Alas, I’m in a State where a front plate is required (and the Police are sometimes quite anal about it). I got the front plate bracket for the GT from 928 International. If you look carefully, you will find two holes into which the bracket mounts.

Merry motoring, Ed.

In a response dated: 4/23/99

Don, the state I live in also requires front plates and I have always had a front plate on my 928s. I believe there is an official Porsche front mounting bracket for the plate. I”m sure David Roberts could help with the exact part numbers and ordering (or Devek or 928 Intl). I’ve never bought a 928 new so can’t say for sure, but all the brackets have looked pretty much the same to me over the years. It’s really not as hideous looking as you think – perhaps if you get a clever personalized plate you’ll actually like it. You won’t be able to detect any change in performance with one installed 🙂

Mike McQuaid
94 928 GTS blue/tan auto
93 968 red/black tiptronic (wife’s car)
92 Range Rover (my winter transport)

In a question dated: 6/19/00

My 928 didn’t come with a licence plate mounting bracket, and I am required by law to have a front plate installed (IE I just got a fine 🙁 ).
Where have some other 928 people mounted their plates other than in the stock holder? This application is for my 78 928 with a chin spoiler off a “S” car.

I’m considering shaving the sides off it and bending it to conform with the
front chin spoiler and then mounting it to the center of the spoiler.

Any new thoughts?

James Renfrew

In a response dated: 6/19/00

On a trip to Kragen recently, I saw a 2/8 inch thick flexible plastic
adapter for attaching plates to curved surfaces for $3.99. It has slots
on it’s lateral and vertical and works for fine for my ’85 928S.

’85 928S LSD 5-spd meteormetallic/black (now sports the front
licence plate)


Section 3: Mirrors

In a question dated: 11/4/00

If anyone can suggest a really good, super strong glue – for the
purposes of reattaching the mirror to the windshield (that would be the inside of the windshield for you nitpickers)…..and any special tips as to how to remount it….I would be overwhelmed with gratitude!)

Preventive maintenance tip No. 4356: Never haul anything longer than a few golf clubs in your Shark)

(“Sure, I can drop off a couple pairs of skis on my way to Mass. won’t be any problem at all…….(*&$#@ !!)”

84 – 5 speed

In a response dated: 11/4/00

I went to Pep Boys and bought the “mirror reattaching kit.” Worked just fine. How do you make sure it is really straight? YSMV

In a response dated: 11/4/00

Hiya John,
Any of the commercially available kits work good. The _real_ key is
preparation. The glass has to be very clean and oil free, and the same for the metal pad. If all else fails on cleaning the metal pad, get some 400 grit wet/dry sand paper, use plenty of water (and a tiny drop of dish washing liquid) place the sand paper on a flat surface and (keeping the pad level) sand the pad first in one direction, then turn it 90 degrees and sand. Keep alternating like this until you remove all traces of old adhesive (it will also give the new glue something to “bite” into) then clean with alcohol or acetone to remove any oil/grit/dirt. Most of the kits come with a “primer” or pre-cleaner, but I’d still use alcohol or acetone on the glass and the pad prior to installation anyhow. Make sure you let the alcohol/acetone evaporate completely before applying any of the primer/glue from the kit, then follow the instructions on the kit to the letter. I’ve used several of these kits (on different vehicles) and never had a problem, given proper preparation. Hope that helps.

Best always,

In a response dated: 11/4/00

Gary (et al),
If you have the manuals, Volume V page(s) 64-2a – 64-2d covers
installing the interior rear view mirror, including measurments and making a template.

Best always,


Loose Inside Mirror

In a question dated: 6/4/99

My rear view mirror and outside mirrors are a bit loose and woobly. The outside ones I assume I can tighten up when I remove the door panels for other stuff I’m doing (there should just be a bolt or something in there, right?), but I’m not sure about the inside rear view. The base seems to be firmly attached to the windshield, so it looks like the dangling part is loose. Any way to tighten that up or do I need a new one?

Mike Briggs
86 928S
88 944

In a response dated: 6/4/99


Nope….From the outside of the car, grab the mirror – and swivel it towards the front of the car. You will see a torx head cap stud. Get the correct torx driver and tighten… : ) Don’t loosen tho – if you do, and the backing nut falls off inside the door – you’r not gonna be happy while the mirror dangles against the paint while you remove the door panel!!


In a response dated: 6/4/99

Nope, not supposed to happen “normally”.

You should be able to remove the Allen head mirror base mount bolt without the internal threaded plate falling into the door, yours may have been damaged previously. I have however thought it was going to happen, but so far I have removed countless mirrors without hearing that dreaded “clunk” !!

Have a great 928 weekend !

David Roberts
Website: http://www.928GT.com



Section 4: Interior


In a message dated: 5/19/99

>I’ve been thinking some about putting new carpeting in, and would like to >hear from anyone who has done this about whether it is a pain in the a** >or not (getting the old stuff out, putting the new stuff in). *snip*

Recarpeting is not difficult but is quite time consuming if you require the finish to be perfect.

I purchased 4 linier meters (4M by 2M) of suitable car carpet from a friendly uphosterer and undertook my own.

I didnt use patterns of the old stuff, just simply ripped it out and
started again…

Cutting takes by far the longest time, the glueing and fixing is not at all difficult, however it pays to remove everything you can to make life easier.

The hardest part in the end was carpeting the seat carrying rails, they are quite a challenge.

For the mats I cut them to shape and had them proffesionally edged by the upholsterer, a cost of only $40.00

I enjoyed it and have to say the finsihed result is equal to the original.

Some quick tips

a) use a very good contact adhesive I used ados 1 you may not have that there…
b) for cutting scissors need to be of industrial quality and very sharp, my uphosterer lent me some of his
c) allow plenty of time, it does take a long while for perfection,
ventilate the area well too the glue does get to you!!!!
d) keep the old carpets until your complete, the cutting on corners and sewing on ridges is apparent on these, I used my ladies talents on her sewing machime for several areas.

Good luck if you do decide to try



Removing Instrument Pod

In a message date: 10/19/00

The pod is remarkably easy to get out. There are only 4 bolts up under there. Basically,

1. disconnect the battery ground strap

2. get the steering wheel off

3. remove the driver’s seat

4. put an old blanket down and lay down so you can look up in there

5. find the 2 bolts on each side

6. undo various other little screws – you’ll figure it out

7. be sure to label all electrical connections to switches

Use this for a reference (haha) – http://members.rennlist.com/pirtle/mydash-1.jpg

The job looks much uglier and spookier than it is and you will be Surprised how simply this part of the car is engineered! If your S4 is an 87 or 88 this would be a good time to check out the odometer gear. Your voltmeter might also ould use an adjustment (like mine).

John Pirtle
87 Auto


Section 5: Exterior

Replace Hood Absorber

In a question dated 1/2/99

Hi All,

I just scraped off what was left of the old honeycomb sound deadening stuff under the hood to make way for some new sound absorber. I’m left with the layer of old sticky gum on the underside of the hood.

Any ideas on how to get this stuff off???


In a response dated: 1/2/99

Don’t drive yourself crazy trying to get all of the yellow glue residue off, simply get the area as smooth feeling as possible. Then carefully wipe it down very well with lacquer thinner etc. (be careful of surrounding painted areas) before applying the new hood sound absorber.

David Roberts
Website: http://www.928GT.com


Removing Window Trim

In a question dated: 1/16/99

Hello again Sharksters,

How do I remove the front side window trim? I have heard that one must
remove the interior door panel to remove the rubber. It looks like the metal
might pry away. Of course, how to do the prying is the big question. The potential for cracking up paint seems high.

In a response dated: 1/16/99

This is long, but hey…..it’s my job!

Assuming you are talking about the door glass trim, the black reveal cover surrrounding the outside exposed edge of the window opening in the doors?

It is three pieces – one that fits around the upper part of the opening, one wider piece that fits across the bottom edge of the opening, and the little ‘angle bracket’ that fits at the foremost bottom of the opening where the two other pieces meet.

The little piece in the front corner must be removed first as it’s primary role is to hide the joint of the other two pieces. It is formed aluminum with a single pin welded or otherwise affixed. That pin fits into another plastic trim piece riveted onto the door. Everyone I talked with warned me, and I proved, that the little trim piece could not be removed without breaking that pin, requiring purchase of new pieces for both sides. Be warned, they are about $40 each. You may get lucky and be able to remove without destroying it (breaking the pin).

I used small piece of wood and carefully worked the top piece of trim off of the door opening. There is a place above the door handle where the lower and upper pieces butt together. Start with the upper piece at the front of the door now visible without the little bracket in place. The trim sits in place by clamping onto the door shell. Once you weasel the edge of the trim, you can use a very tender but firm grip to pull the trim away from the door. You may have to use the wood piece to gently tap along the way until you can get the whole piece away. You are correct to be very careful here as it is easy to deform the piece such that re-installing the same piece may be impossible.

The last piece is the one that goes along the bottom edge of the window opening. The rubber outer window seal is seated into that trim piece and must be carefully removed. A replacement seal runs around $100, so travel at your own risk. I used a large flat-head screwdrive from the inside of the car to pry the edge of the reveal trim enough to break it’s grip on the door. Keep working until you can lift from door being carefull not to bend it too much.

Obviously, things go back together as you’d imagine. I will add one warning (taken from ‘Beer Can Mechanic’ archives!). I used a rubber mallet to assist getting the trim pieces reseated onto the door opening. The bottom piece is beefy and required a lot of urging. I got it properly in place, but managed to pound away so hard that the teeny channel into which the rubber window seal fits became slightly squished together. Enough together that it was impossible to get the seal in place, and I had to carefully go up and back the channel with a flat blade screwdriver to widen the gap. This is potentially disasterous as it is easy to put little kinks in the trim making the whole operation obvious even to a casual observer. Mine came out fine.

PS to Dave Roberts: okay, I took the bait. Go ahead and post the much quicker and effective method – I’m ready! :{)

Have fun!

JP Rodkey
79 Euro


Non Closing Sun Roof

In a question dated: 8/8/99

Barry asked –

I’ve seen a lot of postings lately on sunroofs that refuse to open.
How about one that refuses to close? Opens just great, but when I hit the button to close…nothing. Not even a flicker on the voltmeter, and no sound from the motor. Cranks shut just fine. Bad switch? Or have I fried something in the internals of the motor?

In a response dated: 8/8/99

The switch sends 12 vdc to the sunroof motor to either open or close the sunroof. Since the same wires and the same motor are used, and the only difference is that the positive and negatives are reversed, the problem pretty well has to be in the switch. If the problem was mechanical (which sometimes happens), you would probably hear the motor making some effort to operate. The switches aren’t hard to replace, and aren’t too expensive as Porsche parts go. Check with Dave (770.928.4777) or one of the other vendors.

Wally Plumley
928 Specialists


Sunroof Woes!

In a message dated: 8/4/99
Colin says –
Sunroof attempts to open but will not

In a response dated: 8/4/99

There is a procedure for adjusting the sunroof in the shop manual – can you get access to the shop manual?

Try pushing down on the back of the sunroof while someone tries to open it. Be warned – it will bite you! If you can get it open this way, the inner cover is removed by removing three little phillips screws located back in the slot in the end of the sun roof, accessible when it is about a third of the way open.

After you have the inner cover off, look carefully at the 1″ x 1 1/4″ blocks that pull the sunroof back on the tracks. There are 1/8″ pins embedded in the blocks, and these sometimes break out. Replacing them means buying new cables. The job isn’t too bad – IF you have the shop manual. WYAIT, clean, lube and adjust everything.

Remember – if you get it open, you have a hole in your roof!

Wally Plumley
928 Specialists


Windshield Washer Problems

In a message dated: 8/6/99

A couple of added comments on windshield washer problems =

The most common problems seem to be:

The check valves stick in the closed position. I haven’t had much luck in getting them to function again. New ones are cheap.

The nozzles plug. Cleaning works well most of the time.

Removing the Hoses:

Before you yank the hoses out of the hood (bonnet to GB types), tie a string to the hoses on the driver’s side. Pull the hoses thru, and untie the string, leaving it in place in the hood. When you get ready to reinstall the hoses, tie the string to them and pull – much, much easier.

Reminds me of the old Southern joke – Man sees a little boy dragging a log chain down the road. He stops him and asks, “Son, why are you pulling that chain down the road?” The little boy looks at him with scorn and replies, “Mister, you ever try pushing one of these things?”

Wally Plumley
928 Specialists


Grabbing Windshield Washers

In a question dated: 4/23/00

BOSS wrote:
What causes the wipers ‘grab’ the windscreen? The blades are BRAND new and the motor appears OK?

The ‘grabbing’ sound is very annoying! Need help…….

In a response dated: 4/23/00

One way of helping prevent either a “grabbing” or chattering sound as the wipers sweep, or a sharp “whack” or “pop” sound when the wipers reverse direction, is to reduce the free play in the wiper blade assembly. If you examine your wiper blade assembly, you will find that the blade is held by small metal tabs that are bent over the edges of the blade. Take a smooth-jawed pair of pliers that won’t mar the metal and tighten the tabs’ grip upon the blade slightly. The blade must still be able to slide freely in the holders, but by reducing the free play, both chatter and pop will be reduced.

Wally Plumley
928 Specialists


Windshield Washers et al

In a message dated: 3/25/00

The list had a few criticisms and then explanantions of the rather ‘complex’ washer plumbing in the hoods of the cars. Here’s a few more comments–

Under/inside the hood, the plumbing and check valve setup is used so that
you get your choice of the regular or intensive washers. That ‘complex’ system of Y’s and check valves is there so that the two separate fluid sources can feed two common washer nozzles. The check valves are there to a) prevent cross-contamination of the two systems, and b) to make sure that there’s the shortest possible length of ‘common’ hose at the nozzle– That’s to make sure that when you press the intensive button you get the smallest possible dose of whichever fluid you called for last before you get intensive fluid. And vice-versa of course.

I have a picture of that whole hose manifold system spread out on the table if anybody wants to see what it all looks like before they tear in to it.

The most common problems seem to be clogged or stuck check valves. These valve (four of them) can be quite easily replaced in the hose manifold, and only cost a few dollars each at our regular suppliers. DR was able to supply a length of the correct hose, so I made up the whole assembly new (except for the plastic Y’s) when I had mine apart.

If you find that you NEVER need the intensive washer system and want to do away with the check valve problems forever, you could quite easily replace the existing hose manifold with new hose sans check valves, only plumbing the regular washer circuit to the two nozzles with a single Y connector in the hood. Pull the fuse on the intensive washer pump, and be done with it forever. Without the check valves, the washer fluid might slowly drain back from the hoses, so it might take an extra second or two to get the washers to actually squirt whn the lever is pulled, but at least it will always work.

My car is being maintained as stock/original for the most part, and the washer valves are so cheap that it’s worth the few dollars to keep it the way the engineers originally intended. I guess if I lived in a place where it actually rained, and I actually drove in the rain and used the washers a lot more, I’d be tempted to make the modification.

Frankly, so far in the two plus years or regular driving, the only time the washers have been actuated was to test them to see if they actually worked. They didn’t, so they got fixed, tested again OK, and never been tried again since. I guess I should go test them again today before car bath time to see if I need another set of check valves…. Considering that the disks in the valves get stuck with various deposits of calcium lime from the water, and dried deposits of whatever soap/detergent you pour in there, it might not be a bad idea to run them regularly to keep them flushed out.

Removal of the hose manifold takes only a few minutes. When you disconnect the nozzle hose at the driver’s side (left side of car, US models) tie a string or wire to it, and pull the hoses out the other side, leaving the string pulled between the two access holes. Use the string to pull the new/fixed hose back in when you go to reassemble. Total repair time for me was less than 30 minutes, including complete replacement of all the hoses and taking pictures for my (our) archives. If I was just popping in the four check valves, the whole job would be less than ten minutes— less time that it took to compose this message!

Good thing there isn’t another set of valves and pumps to spray the rear
window too!

dr bob


Tue, 27 Jul 1999 12:46:07 -0400
“Davis, Don CPOCMA”

OK, what causes my 88 S4’s door locks to close and then re-open of their own volition 1 second later. The rear deck is securely closed, as
are both doors. Same thing when the car is off, or while the motor is running and I push the dash button.

Ideas, ye of greater knowledge?

Don Davis
CPOCMA, Systems Management Div.

Tue, 27 Jul 1999 18:02:09 -0400

“Kevin Berez”

Don and Jeremy,

I learned this from C.C. White, I think. There are a pair of tiny inline
fuses behind the fuse panel. In my experience one or both of these has
given up the ghost. They a .4 amps. I got .5 from Radio Shack.


Kevin Berez
‘86.5 928S Auto Meteormetallic
’99 323i 5speed alpinewhite

Tue, 27 Jul 1999 20:49:11 -0700
“Douglas Hampton”

Check your door switches by the kick panels and be sure the work
consistently. The car could be confused because it thinks a door is still


Tue, 3 Aug 1999 06:38:54 -0400
“Davis, Don CPOCMA”

Turns out that the problem was indeed the plunger switches in the passenger door jamb, as more than one person had suggested.
Tweaked it a bit, and that stopped it. I haven’t gotten to actually pulling it out and cleaning it right yet, but it’s on the list. Evidently it was
still sensing an “open” door, and caused the locks so cycle back to open.

Thanks to all for the expert advice, as always. Whether we know it or not, what we’ve got through the lists is something like a virtual
garage, with more expertise than most people think!

Ciao – dd
Don Davis
CPOCMA, Systems Management Div.

Live fast, play hard, lend a hand

Ride Height Adjustment

In a message dated: 4/16/00

About a year ago I adjusted the ride height on my S4, and published a comment that one could measure the height of the fender lips to see if their car was excessively low. I gave the measurements. That was apparently a Very Bad Thing to do! Those numbers are being kicked around here like they are God’s Truth, which they are not. God’s Truth involves a measurement from the pads on the suspension mounts to the ground. This is the Only Way to get the height correct.

You car may not be an S4. Hans may have fitted the bodywork on my car,
while Fritz may have fitted yours. Your car may have had body or frame damage sometime in the past. Different years may have different fitment dimensions in original construction. Your tires may be different from mine.
They may be worn differently than mine. All these possible variations save the tires could contribute to a different relationship between the fender lip and the measuring pads.

To measure the ride height with original adjustable suspension bits, I used some wire gauges cut from some handy welding rod. You can as easily use wire coathanger, cut with a pair of heavy pliers. Make them different lengths, and mark them with masking-tape flags in mm length. I made mine
in 5mm increments, plus one each at the exact correct dimensions. With the car settled (drive it around for more than a few miles…), reach under the back of the wheels and use the wire gauges between the pads and the garage floor until you find the one that fits best and the closest one that doesn’t. Measure both sides front and rear, and Write The Numbers Down. If you need to adjust, turn both rears the same amount, and both fronts the same amount. This will keep the corner balance the same as when you start.

I raised the car up on stands and removed the wheels for easier access while adjusting. I also sketched the suspension with dimensions and tried to apply a little geometry to get the turns-to-ride-height-change

relationship worked out. It still took me three tries to get it all correct, including reinstalling the wheels and driving the car between adjusting sessions.

I sprayed the threads on the shocks as well as the spring perches and contact points with copulous (new word…) quantities of WD-40 prior to trying to move anything. With all that original cosmoline on the suspension parts, it was still a chore getting the rings to move smoothly. The old spring compressors came out of the tool cabinet and were used on the rears to unload the adjusters enough to make adjustment more easily possible.

Remember, measuring the ride height from the fender lips is a yardstick measurement only, in the most literal sense. If you need to adjust anything, do it the right way, the factory way.

If you have changed shocks or springs, consider having the car corner balanced to get the wheel loads dialed in just right. It’s quite possible to get the heights correct with diagonal corners carrying more than their share of the car’s weight. And put some weight in the driver’s seat while measuring ride height and wheel loads no matter what the method. That’s four 50# sacks of sand to simulate this driver’s own curb weight.

Someplace in my picture archives I have shots of the pads and also of the
wire gauges. If anybody is confused about procedures, e-mail me offline for more info.

dr bob


Section 6: Exterior Care

Reviving Trim

In a message dated: 9/12/00

Wally, I used DR`s recommendation on reviving the black on my GT`s trim. I lightly rubbed it with steel wool soaked in WD-40. Looks almost new afterwards, and only took about 10 minutes to do. Cheap and effective, just the way I like it.

Chris L.
’89 GT


Mother’s Back to Black

In a message dated: 9/13/00

Hey Steve,

I live in the Northeast US and Mothers car care products are readily available at most large auto parts stores. Around here Autozone and AutoParts Plus carry Back to Black. Here is the web site. It works great on interior and exterior rubber, plastic, metal including window trim and wiper arms. Anything that is supposed to be black.

Rich Pierce
87 5spd

In a response dated: 9/13/00

After seeing these posts i went and bought some today at Pep Boys in Vegas, 4.99 i think. All I have to say is DAMN IT WORKS GREAT!!! My rear wing has never look as new as it does now! I went over EVERY PIECE of black trim on my car… Amour All works OK but tends to leave a really oily residue behind ….. this stuff works great!! For the trim pieces i apply it directly to a cotton rag, (old, BVD cotton undershirt) and wipe/rub it across the wiper arms,trim etc! Nice thing is, if you get it on the glass accidently, it isnt a #$#% to wipe off. It doesnt smear and leave a trail like the Armor All does. Im sold on it!
my .02

Also, I just got my passenger side Slotted rims back from the “Shine Shop” today. If anyone is tired of looking at dull road grimed slotted rims…GET THEM PROFESSIONALLY POLISHED!!! These guys took out ALL the curb scuffs that were on them (PO’s fault) best 140 bucks ive spent so far for my cars appearance! Now it looks good on both sides! All i have to do now is to hand paint the crests on that side!

In a response dated: 9/20/00

My ’90 S4 is going to a concours (for which I got roped into being a judge, too) here this coming weekend, so I’ve been preparing to get it prettied up again. I’ve already got most of what I need (and more coming from Car Care Specialties (www.carcareonline.com)), but the one thing I haven’t been able to get my hands on is Black Again (no longer being made) or Mothers Back to Black. Where the heck do you get Mothers Back to Black? There’s not enough time to get it via their website and I can’t seem to find any around town (Kansas City area). For those of you who use this, what’s your source? Department stores? Detailing shops? If I can’t find it, is anyone aware of any similar alternatives? I’m intending it mostly for bumper guards, window trim, and other little plastic/rubber trim pieces. Also, what’s the best way of stripping Armor All? I think some stuff has been Armor-Alled in the past and I’d like to strip it off before putting other chemicals on.

I’ve been reading all of the posts on teh Black Again and Back to Black products – while they do produce a nice sheen on your black trim and rubber, they add more oils and grease like substances to your exterior items (have yo uever noticed the sreaks this product leaves after being raindon?). They produce an un-natural and “fake” shine as well. If you want the absolute best product for cleaning and protecting rubber and black exterior trim, use Wurth’s Citrus Degreaser. It is completely natural in makeup, will clean your exterior trim of bugs, dirt, oils and from previous use of Armor All,, and will leave your rubber looking natural. It isn’t cheap, but it is the best stuff on the market. From persnal knowledge, the top two class winners at the Mt. Tremblant Parade (two 89 Speedsters) use this product with regularity.

Brian E. Buxton
Buxton Motorsports, Inc. & Panoz of Evansville ~ http://www.BuxtonMotorsports.com


Car Cleaning Care

In a message dated: 9/14/00

Ok guys, with all the Back to Black posts, I figured I would do a core dump on all of the detailing products I use:

WASHING – not Blue Coral or Dishwashing liquid! I haven’t found a good one yet. Would like one with a light wax
WAXING PROCESS – Mequires 3(4) step process – red bottles
TIRES – Eagle One Tire Wet – VERY SHINY TIRES – washes off with 1st rain though
SPOILERS/BUMPERS – Mequires tire stuff that smells like grapes – very water repellent
LEATHER – Mequires leather cleaner/conditioner then whatever I use for the Interior Vinyl
INTERIOR VINYL – Mequires tire stuff that smells like grapes or Mequires vinyl protectant

Anyone else have anything that they like better than the above? I haven’t tried Back to Black yet, but would love to find out where I could buy some. I also use a random orbiter(buffer) to take off wax/polish. I also rub down the interior with a clean rag to even out any excess vinyl conditioner. For the interior I am considering going to the Mequire’s grape smelling product because I like the smell. I may be biased on the Mequires line, but many people swear by their products.

I may be sick, but I find it very relaxing detailing my 1986.5 Porsche 928 or my 1974 Triumph TR6.

Will Summers

In a response dated: 9/14/00

The Porsche branded car shampoo seems pretty good. The Porsche alloy wheel cleaner is the best (of 4 or 5) that I’ve tried. Mer wax works pretty well, but leaves a lot of white dust so you have to be careful. Avoid the Simoniz Back to Black (UK specific?). It’s foul – seems to be very high in silicone and only lasts a few days on black parts that have “greyed”.

Personally, I hate Armor All as I think it’s too artificial. For leather, if heavily soiled try Decosol vinyl and leather cleaner followed by Conolly hide food (try a Jag classic parts dealer). If not too bad, try saddle soap (try your local horsey supplier) with hide food.


In a response dated: 9/14/00

If you live close, you are cordially invited to come “relax” in and around my 928!! <vbg Seriously, I have had great luck with the products offered/recommended by www.carcareonline.com I have always used nothing but Lexol cleaner and conditioner on the leather interior of my cars and have never found a reason to switch; in my opinion, there is nothing better for leather! As for car wash, I’ve been very happy with P21S paint and bodywork conditioning shampoo. Like you, I use Meguires on my bumpers and other exterior vinyl with good results. Take a look at the site I mentioned above and let me know what you think.

Best regards,

Jason Butler
85 928S Euro


Polishing Aluminum Cross-Brace

In a message dated: 2/10/99

I know that folks out there have done this, so I’m looking for a little guidance. I want to polish the Aluminum cross-brace in the engine compartment to give it an eye-catching appearance. I am about to order a polishing/buffing kit from Eastwood, but I assume I will first need something to strip the stock black paint that is currently there. Does anyone have suggestions on a paint stripper or process for preparing the cross-brace for polishing (this is my first attempt at something of this nature)? If it goes well, I plan to polish the
gold-anodized flat disk rims next.

Thanks for any input,
’84 928S

In a response dated: 2/10/99

That is an easy one (if it is aluminum, the first year or so of production used a steel cross brace) and you do not need a “polishing kit” to do it.

The black paint will come off easily with the cheapest of spray paint strippers (Tal-Strip at Wal-Mart works great)

Once you remove the paint you will be pleasantly surprised to find that the aluminum underneath is already quite shiny. If you want it shinier you can use any good “Aluminum/Mag Wheel Polish” and a cloth.

David Roberts


Window Streaks

In a question dated: 8/1/99


If your streaks are like mine, no amount of window cleaner in the world is going to get them out. Go to the Eastwood Co. website (the address escapes me at the momemt), they sell a window polishing kit that is suppose to work wonders. I have been planning on getting the kit for quite some time but have yet to do it. Maybe I’ll do it tomorrow.

The system comes with a special polishing pad that attaches to your power drill and is said to remove any type of mark that can’t be felt by running your finger nail over it. This would describe my nice windshield wiper streaks that were left by the PO. Looks like she drove through a 6 hour sand storm with the wipers on full blast!

Hope this helps,

89′ 5 speed.

In a response dated: 8/1/99

Alternatively you can buy a polishing wheel for your drill and use rouge. You can check with any local hardware store or glass shop for details/confirmation. I used this on a scratch on my patio door and while it takes lots of time, the results are great. I’d be surprised if the kit you mention is anything more than this.

– michael

1988 928 S4 A/T RMB – Daily Driver see at…
Cassisrot Metallic/Burg.- http://members.rennlist.org/michael