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1999 996 C2 3.7

Thanks Mallone, looks a good kit. What dremelling is required please?
 
TV8 said:
Thanks Mallone, looks a good kit. What dremelling is required please?

In truth, it's not a super simple exercise. You'll need to offer up the various bits of the kit to your lights to see what layout will work best. My pictures are just what made sense and worked for me.

At a minimum you'll need to remove some material from the overlapping 'seal' of the back of the lights to allow the cabling to run through. I also removed some of the plastic webbing on the back of the light cover to allow bolts/washers to sit flush to the back of the cover for mounting the ballasts.

I'll try and remember to get a quick video talking through the mod when I next have the lights off of the car.
 
Mallone said:
TV8 said:
Thanks Mallone, looks a good kit. What dremelling is required please?

In truth, it's not a super simple exercise. You'll need to offer up the various bits of the kit to your lights to see what layout will work best. My pictures are just what made sense and worked for me.

At a minimum you'll need to remove some material from the overlapping 'seal' of the back of the lights to allow the cabling to run through. I also removed some of the plastic webbing on the back of the light cover to allow bolts/washers to sit flush to the back of the cover for mounting the ballasts.

I'll try and remember to get a quick video talking through the mod when I next have the lights off of the car.

That would be fantastic if you could do that please. I fitted a hid kit to my 987 but that had projectors and I was confident it would be a good Light pattern, so my fitting was fairly ruthless and not really reversible! Happy to try this here but would like the option of changing my mind... :D
 
Great write up chum :thumb:

I'm starting to like the early 996. A future classic.
 
Well, It's been six months or so since the last update on the C2, so figured I'd go through the iPhone photo album, dig out some pictures of the posh VW Beetle and get this topic back up to speed.

I put a lot more miles on the car than anticipated in 2020, she's just ticked over 127,000, and I do worry slightly that if I ever came to sell it most people would value it at about 50p, especially given the myriad horror stories about 996 (and 986) reliability.

Saying all that, for some people it became worthless the moment it ticked over 100k anyway, and I get the benefit of daily driving a 911 without worrying too much about losing the shirt off of my back if it decides to grenade itself. Swings and roundabouts I guess.


MOMO Wheel (removal...)
Last time I posted I got a bit of (justified) airbag flak for the change to a MOMO steering wheel. Despite how good it looked and felt, some of the stories I saw about people getting into fairly grim situations without an airbag whilst in a shunt made me think twice. I'd happily drive an old car without one, but something didn't feel quite right about doing it on this car. I think on balance I'd slightly undercooked my own justifications for running without an airbag on a road car, and when my girlfriend said she didn't think she would drive it without the original wheel and airbag I decided to switch back. Made 99% of my spend back when selling it, so no great loss, and a bit of an interesting learning curve navigated around how wheels/airbags/clock springs etc work. It's also not like the original wheel is terrible, I was mostly just being a tart for Italian leather!

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I really should replace the floor mats given the hole in the drivers side one but every time I think about pulling the trigger on £100+ for 2 bits of cheap carpet from Porsche I feel queasy...


Coffin and Control Arms
For a while I'd been getting a few knocks and rattles from the front end so wanted to investigate what sort of state the lower arms were in on the car. On all my previous 996/986's I've ended up doing the suspension arms at some point. I put the car into AMS and, after Angus had had a good poke round the car, he showed me the wear on the various arms. It was recommended I do all four coffin arms, and the tuning forks on the front. In the end I went one step further and got the control arms replaced on the rear too, followed by a full alignment.

As usual, when trying to remove things that have been on the car for 20 years, AMS ran into some issues, having to cut some of the bolts out and generally fight with stubborn old suspension, but once back together it made a HUGE difference to the overall quality of the ride. I don't think I'd realised how tired the original arms were and so many clunks and knocks had suddenly disappeared. Angus had also gone for a slightly more aggressive geometry setup (though nothing too crazy for the road) and this also made a big difference when pushing on. A lot more positivity from the front end. Unfortunately all that new kit started to show up some other parts of the suspension. We'll get to that later......

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I actually took this when getting the tyres done (see below...) so the arms are looking a bit grubby after some miles on them. GT3 brake ducts probably the cheapest brake upgrade Porsche have ever sold!


NC500 2020 Summer Trip
With COVID putting paid to any dreams of a proper holiday out of the UK in 2020 I decided that maybe we should tick off something I'd had on my bucket list for a while and head up to Scotland for a week to do the NC500. I'd imagine most on here know what this is but, for those that don't, think of it as Scotlands answer to Route 66. A 500 mile snaking route around the top of Scotland taking in some of the best scenery it has to offer. It was, quite simply, incredible.

I'd planned the trip over two weeks, the first week we were staying with some family in the Lake District, near Keswick, and then the second week we headed up to Inverness to start the NC500 properly.

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The whole route including the lakes. The north of England and Scotland is a very BIG place

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A closer look at the NC500 bit. We actually ended up skipping out the bit back across to Inverness when we finished it. The west coast from Durness to Applecross is simply unreal. The best driving roads I've ever been on.

Having spent most of the start of 2020 stuck in London, even getting up to the lakes was a complete breathe of fresh air and the car was in it's element. We had to take a LOT of stuff up for the first leg of the trip and there was some worry if the 996 would manage to squeeze it all in. Shouldn't have worried. Who says Porsche's aren't practical!?


Click the picture for a little video of the Tetris like packing we managed to achieve. Loads of space.

I won't do a full detailed run down of the various bits of the route, there's plenty of other people who will have done a better job than me of that, but will say that it was an epic road trip and one I wouldn't hesitate to do again. Some of the single track roads were hard work, purely in terms of work rate at the wheel and level of concentration needed, but you were rewarded with absolutely unbelievable views at every turn. We did the east coast first, which was nice enough in isolation, but it's as you start heading west from John O'Groats that things really start getting special. I could easily run out of adjectives trying to describe the beauty of the West Coast. Unreal.

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This might be my absolute favourite picture of the car. It looks absolutely perfect. I think the 996 with the aerokit can look a little off from certain angles. This is not one of them.

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Parked up near Derwentwater for a quick work call. A bit nicer than being stuck in the flat back in London on Zoom...

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Looking grubby on a very wet day near John O'Groats

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We'd stopped here for a bit of breakfast but found they weren't open. Scotland was still very much struggling with getting going again after Lockdown and a lot of places weren't open or were severely restricted.

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Gorgeous MK2 Golf GTi spotted in the Balkaneil Craft Village, near Durness.

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Don't think you'd get tired of views like this

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Looking out towards the Isle of Skye

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Views for days.

Despite pushing the car hard for over two weeks and 2000+ miles, she didn't miss a beat. Not a drop of oil or coolant used and the car was comfortable, fast and practical. I really don't know what other car would have done all of those quite so well.

Aside from the driving we found everyone to be incredibly hospitable and welcoming, despite COVID making things difficult at every step, and some of the long walks and sights we saw were breathtaking. I could probably have posted 200+ photos of the NC500 trip. If you haven't been yet then I suggest you go immediately.


New Tyres & Wheel Repair
If there's one thing that the NC500 did do to the car it was finish off the set of Toyo's I had on the car. They managed about 18k miles in all, including a track day, so pretty happy with the wear. It was also a good chance to try something new. I wanted to go Michelin this time around as everyone has been banging on about the Michelin Pilot Sport 4 (4S isn't available in an 18 inch size unfortunately).

A quick trip over to my tyre place, and the new boots were fitted. I've since done about 800 miles on the Michelins and they are very, very good. Particularly in the wet. The Toyo's always felt a bit light and nervous on the front end in the wet and it's night and day with the Michelin. Very, very good tyres. Will hopefully get the chance to try them on track later in the year.

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Looking a bit like a spacecraft when it's up in the air like this. Would recommend The Tyre Shop. Good prices, good service, nice guys.

Unfortunately my tyre guys also found that one of the rear wheels had taken a knock and was slightly buckled. Think I know when I did this in Scotland. Be cautious of potholes!

Everyone raves about Chris at Exel Wheels and a quick phone call later he was round to collect the offending wheel and leave me a spare. Thoroughly nice bloke, turned the job around super fast and, at £100 for the wheel to be collected, repaired, a spare lent to me, and delivered back, represents good value. Highly recommended.

Thankfully I didn't need to drive the car while it was getting fixed. Think the mismatched turbo twist wouldn't win the car any beauty contests!

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This looks so....wrong

As luck would have it though, I managed to put a nail through the brand new tyre just two days later. Arse.

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Why is it always a brand new tyre!?


Headlight Restoration
When I first bought the car the headlights had a little yellowing on them so thought I'd give them a go over with one of the 3M restoration kits. Unfortunately, I think due to the headlight having been lacquered at some point in the past, it didn't help at all and the headlight remained stubbornly hazy. I'd got my paint guy to give them a going over last year when the from bumper got painted but already the lacquer was peeling off again and I wasn't very happy. Decided to do a proper job myself.

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Pretty nerve wracking when you first get started. Easy to convince yourself they are completely knackered

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After the first compound on the DA, getting there.

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Lights finished and lacquer applied in the home made spray booth. Top shelf drinks to one side to help with a steady hand :)

Both headlights were wet sanded from 800 grit to 3000 grit before being machine polished and then lacquered. The wet sanding took FOREVER by hand, and it was clear the headlights had been lacquered more than once before. Quite a few layers to get through before the plastic itself was exposed.

They've come up MUCH nicer than before, though the pictures don't quite show the difference that well. It's also exposed that there is some fogging/dirt on the inside of the lens that's stopping them from being truly crystal clear. Looks like a previous owner had run too hot a bulb in the headlight housing and its lightly scorched some of the surrounding plastic. Apparently this burning/smoking of the plastic causes grot to build up on the inside of the lenses. Didn't really fancy splitting them to get to the inside of the lenses (though would give me a chance to upgrade to proper projectors....maybe one day) but did find an ingenious technique that Mercedes have used before to clean the inside of some headlights. Magnets to the rescue.


Picture links to YouTube to see it in action. Clever idea.

I've ordered the bits to make a similar magnet cleaning kit myself and will give it a try in the next few weeks. Fingers crossed it can help clean all the crap out and the lights should be looking brand new.


127,000 Mile Service + Suspension Decisions....
The car went into AMS again last week for an engine oil change (Millers 10W50) and a gearbox oil change. Gearbox was rebuilt not long before I bought the car so know it's fairly sound, but was still having to baby 2nd gear a little when the car was cold so figured it couldn't hurt to change it.

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Old oil was sent off to Millers for analysis and given a clean bill of health (though with a slight warning about fuel dilution. Must try not to use the car for too many short trips!). New gearbox oil has made a big difference to the shift so that was worthwhile doing.

Got Angus to investigate some other creaks and groans from the front end after the new arms and looks like, finally, I'm going to have to bite the bullet on some new springs/dampers/top mounts. The current (possibly original) top mounts are starting to go, I've lost a bump stop somewhere in Scotland and, truth be told, at 127k the original dampers will be long past it. Knew this was coming at some point!

In an ideal world I'd love to go for coilovers, would be great to be able to perfectly dial in the ride height and damping for road or the odd track day, but given this is a daily that's used year round (would they stand up to a salty British winter etc?), and the cost of anything decent from Bilstein, KW or Ohlins representing a good chunk of the cars overall value, I'm not sure I can justify it.

I had thought of taking a bit of a punt on a cheaper set of coilovers from someone like PB, Designtek, BC etc, probably with custom spring rates. Some people think they are awful, others incredible, but no real consensus either way. Even a 'cheap' set at £800-1k is expensive if they are terrible overall.

I'm currently leaning towards Koni Special Active dampers with Eibach springs as a 'fit and forget' option that should give me something that will cover all bases. Trying to speak to Centre Gravity at the minute for their view but they seem very, very busy! No rush to make any decisions but want to try and get something sorted in the next few months. Should make an even more positive difference to how the car drives.


Odd jobs + other car stuff
I've managed a few other bits and pieces of maintenance over the year. Whilst doing the aux belt I noticed most of the idler pulley bearings were grumbling a bit. Picked up a set of suitable SKF bearings from eBay for £20, £10 to borrow the hydraulic press at the local garage and boom. All three done for far less than the cost of a single new one from Porsche.

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Will also be swapping the current fixed alternator pulley for a newer clutched one at some point, just haven't got around to it.

Also spotted a few dramatic fluctuations in the oil pressure readout after the trip round Scotland. Figured the oil pressure sender was probably on its last legs after 20 years. New one that was ordered from Design911 turned up looking like this:

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These things are not supposed to be separate....

So sent that back and picked up a proper one from Porsche. Bit awkward to change, even with the right crows foot spanners, but problem solved.

A few more pictures below of random car bits:

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Spotted an awesome little Porsche service Playmobil man on an Instagram post by Type7. Couldn't resist getting something similar myself.

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This years tree was quite a bit bigger than the one from last year, so elected to make the most of the aerokit wing for the trip home. Got a few strange looks!

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Rather unexpectedly I've been given an old Morgan by my dad as a project. It's a 1971 Plus 8, with the Rover 3.5 V8 and Moss gearbox. Hasn't turned a wheel under it's own power for at least 20 years, so is definitely going to be a bit of a project. Thankfully it's been dry stored, so no rot. Be nice to get this going before the end of summer this year. We'll see....

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Looking absolutely filthy. Something about sports cars covered in muck in winter looks so 'right' for me.

Making the most of the grotty roads in Essex. In my view, these cars are meant to be driven, not tucked away. Nothing better than an early morning, cross country, winter bombing run.

Finally, some pics of her looking clean just after I got back from Scotland to demonstrate I do actually clean the thing sometimes!

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Another 'spot on' view of the 996. Sometimes I think about swapping the rear wing for a standard one and do the 996 GT3 Touring look, but that taco rear wing is still something special.

That just about gets the thread back up to today. Phew. I always seem to write LOADS more than expected so, as always, thanks for sticking with it :)
 
GMG said:
...so the covid rules don't apply to you ?

With regard to....?
 
...travelling around the country because you don't have a holiday last year!
 
GMG said:
...travelling around the country because you don't have a holiday last year!

I think you need to reread what I've written. My trip was undertaken when no lockdown was in place, last summer, and we followed all of the right rules.

What's the issue here?
 
Forgive me...l didn't read your post correctly thus be kind enough to accept my sincere apologies :oops:
 
Good write up, glad you enjoyed the trip up here. I often forgot how lucky I am to have good roads so close and a trip down south is all that's needed to remind me. Far too busy.

Here's hoping we can all get out soon and enjoy them again. Cars looking good, particularly liked the dirty photos. As said something about them if they are clorty.
 
Good write up, glad you enjoyed the trip up here. I often forgot how lucky I am to have good roads so close and a trip down south is all that's needed to remind me. Far too busy.

Here's hoping we can all get out soon and enjoy them again. Cars looking good, particularly liked the dirty photos. As said something about them if they are clorty.
 
Just found this thread....really enjoying your adventures with the car and it's great to see someone working on their own car.

I'm based up in N London and seem to be following along in your trail of jobs to do on my 96K C2 will be really interested if you go for the Koni shocks as I'm guessing mine will need the shocks changed before too long.
 

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