A warm Saturday provided an opportunity for the second assault on the 928 S4. We brought a fully charged battery and had the booster on standby. We were also armed with two new relays, one for the ignition, and one for the fuel pump. The relays on this car do not come out easily, and it is easy to pry off the casing. We finally get the sockets clear and easily insert the new relays. Now for the moment of truth. We have the whole airbox off, and let pressure build for a moment. Then we give the key a turn, and nothing. It spins, but no fire. We try again, and....wait for it......it sputters to life for a few seconds before dying. A few tries later, and it fires up and we let it run for 20 seconds or so. We shut it down, as we have not yet flushed the oil (which looks very good on the dipstick). Pressing engagements have us running off, but mission accomplished.
On a relatively warm winter day (42 degrees), we decided to see what the problem was with starting the car. We found out relatively quickly that the fuel pump was not running. When you make a discovery like this, you are thrilled because you believe that you have discovered the root cause of the problem. Then we went back to the fuse box and found that the fuse was blown. Wow, we'll be home in half an hour! No such luck. A new fuse did not get the pump to come on, so we went to the relay. BTW, this car has more fuses and relays than all of my other vehicles combined! It was not possible to test the relay, but we did find out how to bridge it. Once we bridged the two terminals, the fuel pump came to life. Aha, we thought, but upon further cranking, the beast would not fire up. By this time, we were freezing, the battery was getting weak, and it was getting dark. We were convinced that we were on the right trail and we decided to retire for the night and return to fight again another (warmer) day.
Between logistical challenges and snowstorms, we had to arrange to pick up the 928. A clear day finally emerged and Ed managed to get it with the trailer. The car looks good now that it is liberated and we have begun to plan our campaign to bring it back to full health. Stay tuned...
Laws of Classic Velocity #3. Whenever you are not in the market for something, the market presents you with irresistible opportunities for that item. Of all the variations of the Porsche marque that I would be least inclined to pursue, it would be the 928. After all, this is the car that attempted to kill off my beloved air/oil cooled rear-mounted icon. The engine was in the wrong end of the car, it had luxurious appointments (read weight) by the bucketload, and lots of electronics (read expensive to maintain). The shark-like appearance was cool and it had its own kind of beauty, but it could not match the 911. I thought that if you were going to go front engine, then the 968 that I previously owned was a more beautiful car.
And so it was that a deal on a 1987 Porsche 928 S4 presented itself. My friend Ed actually found the car, but neither of us needed another vehicle. In fact, we both had unfinished projects, and recent acquisitions that should have precluded the very discussion of anything new. Ed had just embarked on another BMW 2002 adventure that I wrote about, and I had the BMW R90S project and the 914 project still unfinished. There was also no room at the inn, and being winter, we could not cleverly camouflage a vehicle with pieces of fencing and lush shrubbery (yes, this was actually tried before). By the way, the car was not running, and had a fuel leak and a few other issues when last it did run.
So we did what any self-respecting gearheads would do, and bought the car. We arranged with another friend to store the car at an undisclosed top secret location. We are having this friend move the car so that Ed and I cannot reveal its location even under water-boarding at Guantanamo. With some wrenching and a bit of luck, this GT will be restored to health, find a loving home, and show up at the next SharkFest. Of course, the last time I said that the car stayed for 8 years.