Monday, October 26, 2009

Concours in Avila Beach, and The Engine Is Unhappy

Yesterday I drove the 914 down to Avila Beach for the 2009 Concours show.  My buddy Gary from G-Rides exotic car performance workshop sponsored the show and had a booth, so I couldn't resist.

The first thing that hit me when I walked onto the golf course show grounds were a pair of Tesla roadsters.  I got talking with the guys about my modest electric car project, and the J1772 new recharging connector that was just approved by the standards body last week.

 Just beyond the Teslas was the brand-new Porsche Panamera, the first 4-door sports car from Porsche.  Up close it's not as ugly as in pictures, but it is really, really big.  Can't say that I'm keen on it.

There were Ferraris everywhere, with a nice selection of classic American and European cars.  This Porsche GT caught my eye ($440K?  Pocket change!)

The local Central California branch of the Porsche club had a tent.  I told them I joined the national Porsche club on the web last week and my information should be forwarded to them soon so they can keep me up on club activities.  The lady was very sweet, telling me they didn't care if my car ran or was in pieces, they would still take me.  I told her I bought an 914 and I could see her face drop just a bit, but now that Volkswagen has purchased Porsche, we're all one big happy family!  I did buy a Porsche key chain for $10 , so now I'm official.

The downside of the trip was the engine has developed a habit of randomly stalling while driving down the highway...  It starts as a shudder, the power coming in and out rapidly.  If I beat on the gas pedal it will sometimes re-fire but I had to pull to the shoulder of the highway twice to restart.  Once it restarts, it seems fine, but it happened again several times on the way home.  The 914 forums say it could be anything from vapor lock to the fuel pump to cracked vacuum lines to the fuel filter to bad gas.  I just needed it to run nicely for a couple of months until I start the teardown for the electric conversion, but I don't trust it and I don't feel safe driving it far from home.  I don't want to put a lot of time, effort and money into fixing the issue when I'll just be pulling the engine soon, so I think I'll live with it and stay near home.  I've got 2/3 of a tank of gas to burn...

I'm refining the project task list, and researching additional parts and repair techniques.  Stay tuned!