I don't have as much free time as I did two years ago when I got into detailing, but I decided my 986 needed some love this weekend. I started by rinsing the entire car, then spraying it with foam to lubricate everything. I used Optimum car wash with a tiny bit of Dawn added because it makes it foam a lot better. I then used two buckets, one to clean the wash mitts and one with soap. I use two mitts one for the upper panels and one for the lower panels.
After scrubbing the car while cleaning the wash mitts frequently, I rinsed the car again and then dried it with microfiber towels. I normally only do one swipe per side of the towel, so each towel folded into fourths is 8 swipes total.
I then let my soft top dry and cleaned the rear window with Plexus (I'm still amazed by how well Plexus works). I then heated up the plastic window with a hair dryer and folded it into the closed position with fleece in between the plastic to keep it from scratching itself. I haven't used the hair dryer trick before, but it worked very well (and quickly) to make the plastic window flexible enough to be folded without worrying about it cracking, which can happen if it is folded below 70° F.
I then cleaned the A-Pillar and clamshell with some quick wax, to prep it for the hardtop. I reinstalled the hardtop, but had a new issue. The defroster plug by the driver's seatbelt was missing. I ended up pulling off the panel that covers the seat belt, which is only held on by one screw and two clips, and reattaching the plug to the trim piece (as it should be) with zip ties. I reinstalled the trim and plugged in the defroster for the hardtop.
I plan to put a coat of sealant then a coat of wax on tomorrow, and clean and condition the interior/leather.
Over the weekend, I completed my annual/3,500 mile oil change. No problems, I used the wooden cribs I built a while back, and let the oil drain for 2+ hours before reinstalling a new drain plug and crush washer along with a new Wix oil filter. It was simple and quick, and overall my 986 is running well, although I need to detail it again.
However, while I was under the car I checked the oil leak I noticed about 5,000 miles ago on the passenger side of the engine. I had cleaned it up to see if it would return and it is still there. For the first time ever I added about 1/2 quart of oil to my 986 between oil changes, so I have decided this is something that needs to be addressed now. I am happy to do most of my own maintenance but troubleshooting internal engine issues is not my strong suit so I will be taking my 986 to a mechanic to resolve this. I am hoping it is not the RMS, I actually think it could be something simple like a cracked spark plug tube, but we will see.
I also have gotten two unrelated Check Engine Light codes, P0410 and P1411, which are secondary air system issues. I think my overheating issue a few weeks ago might have deteriorated some hoses, although they both happened while I had the purge valve on my coolant tank open so I have cleared them to see if they return.
After an initial issue with the color, I got a 2.5" silver "986" vinyl batwing decal made for my new two-switch batwing, that matches my Arctic Silver lower center console. This is replacing my old batwing that had a "Porsche" decal.
I also cannot believe that I never realized before now that "986" is the same when flipped over. However, with the decal font the lower half of the 8 is slightly wider.
If anyone wants one, I have an extra black and silver decal.
After twelve years of owning my 986, I have done a lot of modifications, particularly right at the start. One of my goals has been to eliminate all of the switch blanks on my dash. When I recently installed my radiator fan switch modification I decided to update some of my old wiring. I had never done much with electronics before my first Boxster modification, the OBC hack. Looking back I was eager to eliminate my previous liberal use of electrical tape, which can become a sticky mess after a few years in a hot car.
I have had some cooling issues with my 986 in the past. They have mostly been resolved since I did a complete coolant flush at 95,000 miles, replaced the water pump and installed a low temp thermostat, 'S' oil cooler, and third radiator. I believe these issues originated from an independent mechanic I used to go to that may have mixed two types of coolant which can cause them to gel.
While driving with the top down this summer, I was consistently hitting the 210 mark on the coolant temp gauge, when it should max out near the 0 in 180. then while stuck in traffic I passed 210, and had to pull over for my 986 to cool down. The cooling system worked fine on the freeway when air was getting rammed into the radiators. After some testing, I determined that my driver's side radiator fan had died.
It's been over a year since I first started thinking about installing a radiator fan switch using an OEM switch and a latching relay. I have had a temporary switch installed near the fan relays for several months which works, but isn't very clean. I wired this up this afternoon, and it works!
I have been super busy the last few months, and I have not had time to give my car the attention it deserves. I found some time yesterday so I jacked the car up using my wooden cribs with jack stands as a backup, and performed an oil change. Before an oil change I like to drive the car until it hits normal operating temperature so that the oil drains better. There is no need to rush as the oil will stay hot for a long time, I got it in the air and ready to drain the oil in about 45 minutes and the oil was still very hot (be careful not to burn yourself). I then let it drain for at least an hour.
In preparation for my summer detail and service, I have decided to finally permanently install the radiator fan switch I wired last year. The switch manually triggers the high fans to help keep the car cool before it gets too hot, which is especially useful around town and in traffic. It is a simply modification, but it get can get complicated if like me you want to use OEM Porsche switches to trigger the fan. This is because Porsche used momentary switches that trigger action by relays, unlike a regular on/off switch that stays set to on or off, a momentary switch only sends a signal, it doesn't stay in the on or off position. Figuring out how to make this work sent me down several rabbit holes, and I have to thank Particlewave & Sandy who's posts helped me figure this out.
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