<![CDATA[f l ü s s i g m a g a z i n e - besitzerbericht]]>Sun, 31 Dec 2017 21:55:05 -0500Weebly<![CDATA[Porsche 968 caster block replacement]]>Sat, 23 Dec 2017 00:42:30 GMThttp://flussigmagazine.com/besitzerbericht/porsche-968-caster-block-replacementel jëfe
My testicles began to tighten and creep closer together ever so slowly; it's the same feeling I get when looking down from great heights.

rounding a right hand sweeper at around 75mph, the steering wheel began shaking violently under my hands. a 1000th of a second later, muscles and tendons controlling my right foot got the message to back off. I swore the front end of the 968 was about to shear off leaving us rudderless as we'd smash through the barrier and into the granite wall.

"oh, shit fuck — JESUS Christ!!!" I yelled to my woman.

I backed off the throttle and nudged the wheel to the left a bit...the shaking stopped.
we were fifty-some-odd miles from home heading out on another road trip; I wasn't turning us back around. so I drove the fucker as if on bald tires on a snow covered road.

my brain mapped out the entire front suspension for me to pick off the likely suspects. struts, strut towers, control arm bushings, caster blocks, sway bar bushings, outer and inner tie rods all nearly new and tightened to proper torque. I tried to avoid fingering the ball joints, but it seemed the most logical reason, especially since they're the only things I've not needed to replace...yet.

​my suspicion was wrong.

​I crawled underneath and found the ball joints flawless. then I grasped the control arm, twisted it laterally and found my problem; the goddamn caster blocks had had it.

I replaced these blocks three years ago...and they were genuine Porsche parts. they had less the 30,000 miles on them when the rubber decided to pull itself apart from the metal it once hugged. there's little sense in going on about it, nor is it worth investigating why such a failure would happen so soon. at USD$96.83, from Porsche they're cheap enough to buy and easy enough to replace triennially.

​but these are initial thoughts. it's only after I take the old ones out that the scrutiny begins.
take a good look at the caster block and how it attaches, the job is very easy. don't worry about upsetting the alignment, the eccentric adjuster sandwiched between the caster block and the control arm won't come loose when you remove the nut that secures it to the end of the caster block. you'd need to loosen the nut on the control arm side of the eccentric adjuster also to disrupt the alignment, which is unnecessary for this exercise. 

I marked the position of the caster block to the chassis, however, to humor myself. the new one may or may not sit exactly where the old one was marked, but this doesn't matter. the eccentric bolt will determine where the caster block sits.

you'll need the following:
  • hydraulic jack
  • two axle stands
  • a pair of ramps
  • a 1-2 foot section of pipe large enough to slide over the 19mm box end 
  • 19mm box end spanner (for passenger side M12 lock nut on eccentric shaft)
  • 17mm socket (1/2" drive) (for two M10 x 65 bolts holding the caster block to body)
  • 19mm socket (1/2" drive) (for driver side M12 lock nut on eccentric shaft)
  • 19mm socket (3/8" drive) (for torquing passenger side M12 lock nut on eccentric shaft)
  • 1/2" drive breaker bar
  • 1/2" ratchet
  • 3/8" or 1/2" torque wrench (preferably 3/8" drive for the tight fit on the  passenger side)
  • copper anti-seize paste (Optimoly HT paste Porsche part N°: 000 043 004 00  (copper colored))
  • Porsche caster block part N°: 951 341 023 01 (two required)
  • Porsche eccentric bolt lock nut part N°: 900 910 115 02 (two required)
so...let's it started.
passenger side M12 lock nut being removed with a 19mm box end spanner with a two foot pipe for leverage.
once the lock nut is removed, remove the two M10 bolts holding the caster block to the chassis with a 1/2" breaker bar and 17mm socket. the block can now be slid off.
the control arm will now hang loose. clean the eccentric bolt in preparation for installation.
968s don't have a center jacking point (under the doors) to lift the car. what you can do is use the hydraulic jack on the rear jacking point ahead of the rear wheel, lift the car as far as she'll go, and put an axle stand on the front jack point just aft the front wheel. repeat for the other side bit keep an eye on the axle stand on the opposite side to make sure it's not pivoting or shifting as you lift.

if you're a pussy and distrust the axle stands, slide the ramps under the front wheels once the front end is up for peace of mind. you'll need them there anyway to torque down the lock nuts.

before turning a single nut or bolt, mark the position of the eccentric adjuster in reference to the control arm. it's a precaution should the eccentric adjust move when loosening the lock nut on the caster block side.

"they should come off nary a problem unless the cocksucker in there before you ran them in with an impact gun."

here's why I suggested a 19mm box end spanner for the passenger side caster block lock nut as opposed to a 19mm socket/breaker bar combo for we're using for the driver side. the fuel and brake lines are there making it a tight fit for a breaker bar (mine, at least) to turn without the risk of hitting them. if you manage to get your breaker bar in there, be careful; if the thing slips off the lock nut, you run the risk of fucking up the lines thus giving you bigger problem.

now, if you use the 19mm box end, grab a nice section of pipe no more than 2 feet in length but with a large enough diameter to slip over the spanner; you'll need this for leverage when removing the 100Nm (74ftlb) torqued M12 lock nut.

next, grab your 1/2" breaker bar, slip on a 17mm socket, and remove the two M10 x 65 bolts holding the caster block to the body. they should come off nary a problem unless the cocksucker in there before you ran them in with an impact gun. you're not ready to install the new one yet, let's do things properly...remember, this is your ride you've undoubtedly sacrificed a lot to own.
clean all bolt threads with a brass brush like so. notice the self tapping tip on these M10 bolt.
and then chase the thread bores with an appropriate thread cleaner; this one's from a Craftsman set. I'm using the M10 x 1.5 tap.
if you don't own a thread restorer kit, you should. they're not expensive and will come in useful with every job you do. while the bolts looked good and had no traces of metal or dirt in the threads, I went ahead and cleaned them off with a brass brush. I couldn't see the thread bores in the chassis from the inside, however, which is why chasing them with an M10 x 1.5 thread restorer tap was prudent. better to have a positively clean mating surface for the bolt to run through.
a little anti-seize on the bolts ensures drama-free removal three years from now. the copper-colored Optimol HT should be used instead of silver-colored Optimol TA in the image.
the blocks are interchangeable between the passenger and driver side, but they can only fit on the body one way. the flat side goes up against the chassis; you can't fit it the other way round because it won't sit flat. 

slide the caster block over the eccentric bolt and position it close to where the location marks were for the old one. next, grab the two M10 x 65 bolts, re-install the 10,5 washers (one each), and put a thin smear of anti-seize on the tip. the workshop manual calls for Optimoly HT which is copper colored and meant for steel-to-steel fastening. I had none left so I used Optimoly TA which is also anti seize but is silver in color. while the latter is meant for steel/aluminum-to-aluminum fastening, it'll do. Castrol makes both products calling them Optimol Paste HT and Optimol Paste TA (part N°: 000-043-305-08). you can buy the Castrol version or order the same thing from Porsche which they call Optimoly Paste HT and Optimoly Paste TA for about the same price.

hold the caster block up to the chassis, and thread in one of the bolts snug enough for the block to move freely then run the second bolt in. you may notice that the block won't line up perfectly with the location marks of the old block, this is OK; manufacturing variances are the reasons for this. if you try to line the block up to the marks, you may not be able to install one of the bolts which is why the marks I made were pointless because the bolts dictated where the block would sit. the position will be close to the marks and any variance will be taken up by the rubber inside the block once thing are tightened up and settled. you can now torque these M10 bolts to 46Nm (34ftlb).

next, install the washer and M12 lock nut onto the eccentric bolt but DO NOT torque it down yet; finger tighten only. this lock nut must ONLY be torqued to spec once the car's weight is on the front wheels.

repeat the process of assembly/reassembly for the driver side up until the point where the lock nut is snugged onto the eccentric bolt.
the two M10 x 65 bolts are torqued down while the M12 lock nut is snugged in place. you can see how the caster block doesn't quite line up with the location marks from the old caster block.
your pussificational practice, presumptuously speaking of course, of placing the ramps under the front wheels should the axle stands fail are in fact a necessary step in finalizing things.

remember that the weight of the car needs to be on the front wheels to torque down the lock nuts on the eccentric bolts the caster blocks attach to. these nuts need 100Nm (74ftlb) of torque so had you torqued them down while the front end was up in the air, you run the risk of torsionally shearing the goddamn rubber off the caster block barrels. why is this? I'll explain.

the inner shaft of the caster block where the eccentric bolt fits through is molded to the rubber which is also molded to the caster block's outer barrel. there is a significant amount of torque required for that lock nut to hold the caster block's inner shaft tight between it and the other end (between the caster block and control arm) of the eccentric bolt where the adjustment collar is located. 

when you drop the car with the nuts torqued down, the weight will naturally pivot the control back to its level position. this pivoting effect is enough to potentially shear the caster block's rubber isolator off the shaft and barrel rendering them completely fucking useless. this leaves you no better off than you were before you started this job other than having a pretty caster block resplendent in cadmium plating. 

the only give in this equation is the rubber in the caster block which doesn't have, nor engineered with, the torsional strength to withstand sharing the 820kg (1807lbs) of front axle load — they can, however, handle the unsprung weight when jacking the car up. 

so...lower the car onto the ramps, and torque the lock nuts down to spec as stated a few paragraphs up. when finished, raise the car off the ramps, remove the ramps, and lower the ol' girl to the floor.
with front axle load sitting on the wheels, you may now torque the lock nuts to 100Nm (74ftlb).
whoever penned the workshop manual suggested in no urgent manner that these lock nuts should be replaced — fuck 'em. while I should've purchased two of them along with the caster blocks, I'll take my chances. however, I would suggest you not follow your bareback-riding author and order them along with the caster blocks — the part numbers are written in the bullet points above.
by looking at the old ones, one would think they were never replaced. look at them...the dry-rotted rubber could no longer hold it together. our 30 year old 944S still has the original caster blocks and they're still performing as they should. mileage is irrelevant in the 944's case because age has the upper hand in doing it in at this point.

why, then, had these failed prematurely?

this 968 isn't tracked, nor lowered. it has Sachs struts from Porsche, 17" Cup 2 wheels, and all season Michelins. the old ones were bought from Porsche, so quality shouldn't come into question. you've already read how the entire front suspension, save for ball joints, has been rebuilt using genuine Porsche components. so nothing would suggest that a worn component somewhere is accelerating such a failure because there isn't any.

my suspicion is in the design itself; there's just very little rubber between the inner shaft and the outer barrel unlike the early 944 versions. as the rubber deteriorates, it further stresses the rest of the rubber. that there are channels molded in for manufacturing's sake further weakens an already compromised design. complete failure is quick. if you don't drive the car at speed, you'll notice a clunk at the front end when braking. this also happens when going in reverse and applying the brake. the clunk feels as if something significant is loose up there like a ball joint or strut, so it'll be obvious when you feel and hear it.

the caster blocks are made in Italy, and that's another problem. Porsche likes to change suppliers presumably when German labor rates, amongst other things, become an unfavorable figure in spreadsheets. in 2017, German monthly wages for skilled labor averaged 3,475€¹ while Italians averaged 2,535€²...clearly this affects anything made in Germany unless a deal is struck in an effort to keep such clients. maybe Lemförder, Febi, or Bilstein had been their supplier for suspension components such as these at one point; it's anyone's guess which company in Italy won the bid for these pieces.

my observations regarding some Italian manufacturing is from hard, consistent experiences with industry-specific products where performance is not only demanding but crucial. when it comes to manufacturing anything out of rubber or plastic, Italians seem averse to following any proven recipe. the suppleness, elasticity, and I'll go so far as to say beauty of the manufactured article is short lived. maybe altering chemical formulations once the boss turns his back is a diabolical method of keeping companies in the black.

​whatever the case, I've yet to be impressed by anything manufactured in my ancestral land — save for comestibles and women.

should another premature failure occur, I'll look into Elephant Racing's product, Rubber Caster Block. while physically identical, their rubber looks more robust and might be made of a higher quality composite — and they're less than half the price. they also have a Control Arm Rear Monoball design that would certainly go the distance at the expense of comfort. the latter is a less desirable option because we use the thing for spirited road trips often peppered with B-grade roads.

pessimism sticks like a bad case of crabs; let's see how far we get with this round.


"German Labour Costs 1991-2017" trading economics

² "Italian Labour Costs 1980-2017" trading economics
<![CDATA[Porsche 968 headlamp housings and retaining rings]]>Thu, 20 Oct 2016 20:18:21 GMThttp://flussigmagazine.com/besitzerbericht/porsche-968-headlamp-housing-and-retaining-ringsel jefe
"look what you did...LOOK! "

"you've over tightened the fuckin' thing! it's plastic, goddammit; the screw doesn't need to be torqued down. Jesus Christ—get the hell atta here before I break my foot off in your ASS!"

there wasn't anyone there. 

I was yelling at the headlamp cover hoping that, somehow, by telepathy or Hermes' ghost, the message would be delivered to the oaf.
this 968 is 22 years old and that's a lot to ask of daily driven plastic. but, shit...he, she, or both could've been a bit more observant, used some finesse.

"'ang on a minute...no metal collar molded into this bore to stop the screw from cracking the plastic; best to go easy when I re-tighten it."

maybe the last line of my outrage should be directed at the Porsche project manager 2 Pfennig short of making a better part; the bullshit spacer washer falls short with those less delicate — making the housing out of PC/ABS only aggravated things.
look at the three shots above. 

the top one is how it looked before and after being removed for the first time. the housing won't come off without some thought which is why you can't just slip it off. there's some twisting, prying, and turning involved; give too much of those three verbs, and it'll crack. I managed to get the old one off without further injury, but I wanted to dry fit the thing a few times to get the angles right when time came to put  on the new one — and this is when I completely split the old housing open. even at a humid  90­° (32,2°C), the plastic wasn't very pliable. UV rays, the environment, and the headlamp's heat cycles all took turns stripping the plastic's flexibility over the years.

now...every plastic component Porsche makes has a date stamp, a part number, and Porsche's triangular seal of authenticity; it also has a tattoo of its composition. in the case of the housings and retaining rings, they chose PC/ABS — PolyCarbornate/Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene.

this is considered an "alloy." synonymous with  metal alloys, plastics use the moniker for the same reasons; to describe a blend or poly-blend of materials formulated for a specific performance. this blend capitalizes on each of the material's best characteristics to make a superior plastic. in this case, Polycarbonate (PC) brings stiffness, hardness, toughness, with extraordinary impact strength and weathering. the Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) contributes rigidity and strength of Acrylonitrile and Styrene, which also adds shine to the plastic, while the (poly) Butadiene adds rubber to the mix for flexibility, heat resistance, and ruggedness. ABS also has strong chemical resistance and physical impact strength and is easily paintable.

"and forget the workshop manual, you may as well use the pages therein to wipe betwixt thine buttocks because they're utterly and purposely fucking vague — shit...IKEA instructions pack more logic."

PC/ABS is what the housing/retainer rings are made of. it's a Thermoplastic that, by definition, melts into liquid form at a low temperature (around 221°F) making it easy to injection mold and re-heated without significant degradation. and because of its ability to melt back into a liquid, it's a perfect candidate for recycling. 

what I questioned was why Porsche didn't use PUR-RIM, Polyurethane Reaction Injection Molding, for these headlamp pieces. they did on the 928 with fantastic results; our 38 year '28 still has the original headlamp housings, no cracks or imperfections in the paint. then I gave the problem some thought.

Porsche had been using PUR-RIM on the 911, 914, Carrera GT, and 928 since 1969. it matches and in some cases surpasses PC/ABS' qualities. it's got superior tensile strength and super-high impact resistance, even in extreme temperatures. Porsche conducted tests where the material (with paint) was folded 180° in -20°C to 100°C conditions showing no cracks or loss of composure. so why didn't they use this nearly indestructible composite on the 968's headlamp housings? the answers have to do with economy and ecology.

Porsche's financial situation was in the shits by the time the 968 began production. this was a new model intended to be a stopgap in the hopes of keeping enthusiasts entertained while the 986 Boxster was being conceived. the 968 has heavily redesigned and re-engineered which meant new tooling, dies, molds, this sort of thing and with production moving back into Zuffenhausen, the expenses were piling up. when you figure in a slump in overall Porsche sales, and no chance of the costs being amortized with such a short model life, every Pfennig count, which meant corners had to be cut in the most inconspicuous places — the housings were one such place.
PC/ABS stamping on the headlamp housing...
and on the retaining rings
PUR-RIM is an expensive method of producing plastic components, not only in raw materials, but also in the machinery involved in molding these parts; they're much more robust to handle higher pressures. PUR-RIM components are also more dense, and naturally heavier than a more modern plastic like ABS; although their individual weight is negligible, when a car like the 928S is nearly 20% PUR-RIM, and the 924 Carrera GT nearly 25%, the weight adds up. this taxes fuel economy and the ecology which were becoming important issues to address in the 90's.

on the subject of ecology, PUR-RIM is nearly as bad as Styrofoam. the problem is that Polyurethane is a thermoset plastic, similar to a 2-part epoxy; once you mix the reactive materials together and allow them to set, it's done and irreversible. you can't remelt the finished product back into liquid form, trying doing it and it'll burn, and this makes them bad candidates for recycling. 

naturally, Porsche realized the attributes of PUR-RIM didn't jibe with their economical situation nor those of the green party and granola gangsters which is why I suspect they chose the lighter, cheaper, and reconstitutable PC/ABS. it easily met and surpassed the 10-15 year life expectancy of their product (the 968) with exceptional performance. let's face it, why spend more money on a product to last twice as long when the market was evolving to one of perpetual change, fickleness, and disloyalty. this wasn't the 911/928 market of the seventies.when you consider these points, it's hard to complain about cracked plastics on a 22 year old mass-produced Porsche.

getting back to the repair, I've yet to hear of any owner whose 968 had the same problem. but I don't suspect this was an isolated case, which is why I've documented the process.

luckily for Porsche, they still offered both headlamp covers and retaining rings; the paint is your problem.

you'll need to order these:

  • 944 750 121 00 - housing (2 pieces )
  • 944 750 151 00 - retaining ring front (2 pieces)
  • 944 750 153 00 - retaining ring rear (2 pieces)
before you take anything apart, flip each light up by hand and examine the retaining rings. the slender-fingered effete can slide their manicured digits between the fender and top of the headlamp, and pull forward. filthy sausage-fingered apes; on the inside of the fender, directly behind the lock release, is a hole big enough for your fingers sneak in and push the headlamp forward — look at the shots below, you'll see.
my hand in the shot above is on the spring loaded lock-out lever (workshop manual calls it a release). pull the headlamp up until it stops, then pull the lever out (inwards towards the center of the car) and hold it out as you pull the headlamp out some more (pulling the lever out allows maximum extension of the headlamp until it's vertical as shown in the shot). 

next, release the lever letting it spring back into its original position; the lever has now locked the headlamp in a vertical position. bingo — you've successfully positioned the headlamp in "service mode."

familiarize yourself with the headlamp and its mechanism; look at how the retaining rings and headlamp housing are held in, how, and where the Phillips head screws are attached. there're also two 5mm (maybe 6mm, memory eludes me) holding the bottom retaining ring, and three behind the swivel frame to remove the headlamp assembly.
top part of the housing, screw removed but spacer intact
the cheap fucking spacers that do jack shit in protecting the housing from cracking.
shot from the rear of the assembly with upper retainer removed. the 5mm hex head screws holding the lower retainer can be seen.
close up of the lower retainer's right side (looking from behind) showing the threaded brass insert that the upper retainer screws into
the assembly without the goddamned housing and upper retainer
shot of the headlamp swivel plate where the headlamp assembly bolts into. three 5mm screws (their bores in plain view here) holds the headlamp in. you now have clear view of the lower retainer for the attack.
a housing-less headlamp assembly shot from behind
if you're looking for me to tell you exactly what to do at every step, forget it; a rundown is more than adequate. those confident enough to work on their Porsches shouldn't have any problems figuring the shit out. and forget the workshop manual, you may as well use the pages therein to wipe betwixt thine buttocks because they're utterly and purposely fucking vague — shit... IKEA instructions pack more logic. 

begin by removing the upper retaining ring (N°16); two Philips head screws hold it in place (N°23). the threaded brass inserts (visible in the seventh image from the bottom) may have broken off the lower retainer (N°15) and may come out with the screw. don't worry about those, the new lower retainer ring comes with them and a few spares.

then go for the housing (N° 17) by removing the three Philips head screws 
(N°19)...and be careful not to lose the spacers (N°20), you'll be transferring them over to the new housing. if they're missing or have become victims of carelessness, here's the part number to order them: 

951 505 157 00

you can cannibalize the spacers from the screws that hold the under-chin liner to the front bumper cover, just remember to replace them. and remember what I said, practice re-installation and removal of the housing to get your technique down for the new ones.

you now have the guts of the headlamp exposed.  unbolt and remove the headlamp assembly from the swivel plate (three 5mm screws) in order to remove the lower retaining ring that's held by two 5mm hex head screws; be mindful that the headlamp wiring may be tie-wrapped to the retainer and the swivel plate, cut it loose and remember to replace it when re-installing. mine retaining ring was cracked where the screws attached, so nothing was holding the retainer onto the swivel frame.

alright...there should now be a housing, an upper and lower retaining ring, and a headlamp assembly on the floor.
the two shots above are comparisons of the new and old parts; the three above those were excitement-enduced error...hubris, pompous grammaticians might say. you see, you can't put the housing on the headlamp UNTIL the headlamp is bolted back onto the swivel frame which happens AFTER you install the lower retaining ring. got it?

our headlamp covers and retainers were sprayed by Paterek Brothers; these guys know exactly how the factory applied paint, what kind of paint they used, and how they cured it. when we started talking about the grain of car's paint and how the first few 928s produced were rejected because the direction of the metal flakes on the bumper didn't match those of the car, well hell...it was the beginning of a beautiful relationship.

Porsche used single stage on the non-metallic colors which means that the clear is mixed in with the paint while metallics of this 968's vintage were done in two stage; the color (base coat) goes on first followed by a coat of clear. if your non-metallic, single stage painted car had any paintwork in its past, it may have been done with a two stage paint process since lots of shops prefer it. not sure what have? when you wax your car and the cloth you're using to apply wax with is stained with the car's color, it's single stage. 

when you get down to it, talk to your painter to make sure you're getting exactly what you want. if, like me, you prefer everything to be done as the factory did, trust in someone's knowledge, experience, and expertise is non-negotiable. 
so...let's put the new ones on.

first, the lower retaining ring gets bolted to the swivel frame...don't forget to tie-wrap the headlamp wiring to it and the frame. the naked headlamp assembly gets screwed in next, followed by the headlamp housing...careful with that thing, and remember the trick you've learned while fitting-removing-refitting the old one. you needn't worry too much about cracking the new one since it's a bit more pliable than the old one, but don't push your luck — and don't force the goddamn thing, either.

make sure to put the three spacers back into the housing's bores, and use two fingers to twist the screws back in...that's all the torque they need.  finish up by screwing in the upper retaining ring and disengage the headlamps from service mode laying them back into the fender.

if your 968 is to remain in your care for the next 20 years, I suspect this'll be the last time you'll ever have to do this job. while the bulbs won't last that long, remember to use finesse when removing and replacing the headlamp housings, and for chrissakes...use two fingers of torque on those three screws, will ya?
<![CDATA[Porsche 968 G44.00 manual gearbox oil change]]>Mon, 19 Sep 2016 22:18:44 GMThttp://flussigmagazine.com/besitzerbericht/porsche-968-g4400-manual-gearbox-oil-changeel jefe
two things will reduce bearing life in any Porsche gearbox; not being driven and infrequent gear oil changes. 

there is a third; improper shifting habits, ignoring worn shift linkages and bushings. but these are characteristics of an oaf, and that's beyond the scope of this article because changing the gear oil is the least of your problems.
Porsche recommends the 968's gearbox oil to be changed at 80,000 km (48,000 miles); the same goes the 911, 911 Turbo, and 928 of the same vintage. 

that sit alright with you?

OK, put another way, they also suggest oil and filter changes at 20,000 km (12,000 miles) for the same models.

do you see where this is going?

never mind that it's synthetic oil. if you can afford to own a car like this, cutting those intervals by a quarter for the engine and about half for the gears is a pittance if you're going to keep the old girl around for a while. so forget the suggested service intervals, the company whose cars we lust after prefer to see you in their newer models; and there's no faster way there than by slowly killing the obsolete ones.

if you don't drive your bubble Porsche often enough—do you at least start the poor thing a couple times a week, give her some throttle and get 'er hot enough to kick on the fans? careful old boy; improper preservation is as bad as clay barring the paint...microscopically speaking, of course.

"some engine and gear oil formulas contain chlorine and sulfur, and when these mix with water moisture, some bad shit begins to happen."

when a car sits for long periods of time without being driven — or at least fired up and run until operating temperatures are reached — rust will begin spawning on their internal components after the oils have long since dripped off the moving parts. some engine and gear oil formulas contain chlorine and sulfur, and when these mix with water moisture, some bad shit begins to happen. if water flirts with chlorine, the lovechild becomes hydrochloric acid, and if water plays grab ass with sulfur, you get sulfuric acid. oxidation will be the least of your worries because these two reactive bastard acids will slowly begin leaching where they've been created attacking steel, brass, iron, and aluminum. and what's nastier than oxidation on steel and iron? oxidation on aluminum, that's called aluminum oxide—grinding wheels are made from that shit. but this applies more to our engines than gearboxes.

rust on steel and iron acts as an abrasive that will quickly wear away when engines and gearboxes are started up again. if they've been allowed to sit for several months, rusty surfaces will leave behind pitting on the metal surfaces...no so problematic for the hardened gears, it's the bearings you've got to worry about — pitting on the balls, rollers and the races they glide on will never get better with use. by the time they begin to whine or rattle, driving the thing will quickly make gearbox replacement supersede rebuilding it.

will every gearbox be vulnerable to these extremes? difficult to say. there're too many factors to consider like climate, altitude, geography, oil composition, and the like for anyone to formulate concrete answers. drive it and drain it often — prevention is preservation and preservation is prevention, so let's get on with the oil change.
number 1 is the fill plug (loosen this one first) number 2 is the the drain (in case this one can't be removed without extreme violence).
before you get into it, drive the car to warm up the gear oil. it's much faster to drain the oil when it's warm, and you'll get more of it out if you're the impatient sort who doesn't like to watch the thing drip dry.

you don't need a lift for this job; a hydraulic jack, an axle stand, and a sheet of 1000 mile paper (cardboard in hobo parlance) will do nicely. being that the 968 doesn't have a lift point in the middle like the 944 does, jack up the driver's side (LHD car, passenger side RHD) front high enough to get an axle stand on the rear jacking point...or you could jack up the rear and place an axle stand on the torsion bar tube closer to the aluminum bearing flange it comes out of. 

grab a drain pan, a 1/2" drive breaker bar, 1/2" drive 10mm allen head socket and slide underneath her tail. there, behind the rear axle, is the massive Getrag hanging down. now look on the driver's (LHD car, passenger side RHD), to the right of the axle flange is the fill plug (green arrow labeled 1)...loosen and remove this one first. why? because if you loosen the drain plug first and find that you can't break the fill plug loose without resorting to violence, you're fucked and have just turned a simple job into a complex one with no plot. make sure you clean the area and the cavity where the socket fits using a hammer to lightly tap the socket in—you want to be sure that sucker is driven fully home before taking a crack at it.

now place a catch pan under the drain and do the same for the drain plug (red arrow labeled 2); clean out the cavity, insert the 10mm allen head socket, pound 'er home, loosen, remove and let her piss out the old gear oil. you'll want to lower the car back down on level ground while it drains. if you're feeling a little horny, jack up the opposite side to drain out nearly every last drop. keep the fill and drain plugs in separate places; you don't want to put the wrong one in the wrong hole...remember the drain has the magnet in the middle.
968 gearbox drain/fill plugs will each have one of these washers...buy a bunch to keep on hand and replace them.
at this point, rather than lay there playing with yourself while watching her drain, have a look around. CV boots OK? how 'bout the axle flange seals and gearbox mount? exhaust hangers? shocks? brake lines, cables, and hoses? and the fuel filter, when was the last time you swapped it out? fuel lines showing some age? when was the last time you bought your woman flowers, godammit? go ahead and let the mind wander;  it's a perfect time for introspection under here.  

when the last of the oil is two or three drips away, clean out the drain/fill plugs paying special attention to the drain plug's magnet. what did it attract? small chunks like flies on a turd or a viscous paste made with fine particles? this is a pretty good indication of what kind of party's been going on in there while the doors where closed. 

you may or may not notice that the plugs also have aluminum crush washers; the same as on your engine oil drain plug — 27mm OD/22MM ID part number 999 123 118 30 (see image above). the Porsche parts catalog doesn't call them out for the 968...unsure why, but mine had these washers on them. and since I always have a bunch of these on hand, I decided to replace them.
profound art borne of waste.
the great oil debate is your problem. I don't give a shit what oil you prefer nor should you give two shits which one I, or any other hillbilly, use. the only concerns you should have are quality, viscosity (the service manual calls for 75W/90 API GL5 or MIL-L 2105 B), how many liters you need (2,75 liters for the 968), and if your car has option M220 (Limited Slip Differential), as in my case. this is very important as some oils are not compatible with LSD; Swepco 201 is. 

do your research on the oil brands. call the manufacturer, talk to the goddamned professionals, but resist the urge comb the forums—it only takes a few inconclusive pieces of advice, opinions, and rants to confuse and further frustrate the uninformed — ask 10 different people and you'll get 36 different answers. and forget your local Porsche dealer, they get some generic shit in bulk without a clue who makes it...I called a few out of curiosity. so much for the source; stateside, anyway.

when you're ready to fill the gearbox, raise the car back up and rest it on the axle stand, clean the area around the drain, and make sure you have the right plug; remember, the drain plug has the magnet. insert your freshly cleaned drain plug wearing a fresh aluminum crush washer by twisting it counter clockwise a twitch until you feel the threads disengaging. I prefer doing this to ensure that the plug is ready to start the threads, minimizing the chance of a cross-thread. the service manual calls for 35 Nm (22 ftlb) of torque on the drain and fill plug.
any decent auto parts joint will surely carry what they call a "fluid transfer pump." this sucker is much better than using some clear tube and a funnel.
assume the position for refilling the gearbox.
on 968s, there's a nice nook where the pump handle can be depressed between the spare tire hump and muffler with the car on level ground during refilling.
you're now ready to fill 'er up. 

you have two options in order to accomplish this. one is the redneck method of using 1" clear PVC tubing sticking into the fill hole and out of the driver's side wheel well topped with a funnel, or the method I have pictured above using a much cleaner "fluid transfer pump" mechanism. I've used the former method but went with the latter this time 'round because I felt like changing my routine. now this "fluid transfer pump" can be bought at any variety auto parts joint or Harbor Freight. it screws over most gear oil containers and comes with two lengths of pick-up tubes to suit their depths. the best part of this contraption is the barb at the end of the tube that inserts into the fill hole and stays in place while you pump.

since the 968 takes 2,75 liters, I kept the car's driver's side (passenger side for RHD) elevated and pumped in about half a gallon (roughly 2 liters), and then brought 'er back down to level ground to feed in the remaining ,75 liters. the second and third shot from bottom shows how the pump handle fits nicely into a nook between the spare tire hump and muffler when the car is down on level ground leaving enough space to squirt the oil in.

"6mm seems insignificant, like fly pussy, but if you've psychological issues stemming from being caught masturbating in your formative years, I suppose you're hardwired to follow instructions to the letter."

the moment the oil starts to weep out of the fill hole, wait a few seconds and give it one more pump just to make sure you're gearbox is full. remove the pump tube's barb and wait for the weeping to stop before screwing in the fill plug complete with a new aluminum crush washer torqued to 35 Nm (22 ftlb).

owners of early production 968s, take note; your gearbox was manufactured with the fill hole 6mm (1/4") too high. these gearboxes are tattooed with the number 6 followed by the plus sign ( 6+) above the fill hole as shown in the illustration below. the service manual insists that you must fill the gearbox 6mm (1/4") below the filler bore — how they expect one who may not have the creative capacity to do this beats me. here's a suggestion; take a 90­° pick tool, make sure it's clean, insert it into the fill hole angling the tool parallel to the ground, quickly but carefully remove it, and measure the distance between the fluid mark and the 90° bend...or use your finger and measure from your first knuckle. 

6mm seems insignificant, like fly pussy, but if you've psychological issues stemming from being caught masturbating in your formative years, I suppose you 're hardwired to follow instructions to the letter. 
early production 968s have their fill hole 6mm too high. the affected gearboxes will have "6+" tattooed above the filler bore.
when the gear oil begins weeping from the fill hole, she's plenty full.
that wasn't so hard, was it? congratulate yourself, rip open your favorite swill, and take a good pull. servicing your Porsche fosters feelings of manliness and virility building the sort of confidence that encourages the pursuit of more difficult endeavours that lie miles ahead.

remember to note the service in your log book with date and mileage along with a note reminding you of the next service interval.

<![CDATA[project 924]]>Wed, 10 Feb 2016 02:42:06 GMThttp://flussigmagazine.com/besitzerbericht/project-924George Mavraganis
I bought a 1988 manual 924S (UK spec right had drive) in late 2012 . Since I saw and drove this transaxle Porsche ( I also own a 996 Carrera 3.6), I knew it's a car I will keep.
I have spent a fair amount of money in the car, all OE stuff. Things like a major service, new belts, tensioners and various engine parts, new clutch kit, new suspension and bushes, new (un-cracked) dash, new wishbones, CV joints and bearings. 

On the inside, refurbished all the seats with new original cloth, refurbished wheels, new fuel lines, new brake lines, new exhaust, rewired (with new wires) all the dash electrics (all work done at Porsche) and installed a rare Porsche Exclusive Steering Wheel from their 1988 Porsche Exclusive catalog and some Porsche Classic finishing touches (Porsche Classic licence frames, first aid kit, warning triangle) as well as some rare Porsche accessories (Fire Extinguisher, cargo net, Wooden Interior Kit not yet installed). 

The car was totally transformed when I installed the OE SACHS suspension all 'round and have found the Dunlop Blue Response Sport tyres very good for the 924S. Overall, its a great sports car that i enjoy driving and I plan to put a refurbished torque tube next as there is some whining noise. I'm also thinking of installing an original complete Porsche 924S bodykit (I have two complete sets) which means drilling 24 holes in the car... this is a harder decision to make than I thought!
<![CDATA[Keith — part 2]]>Wed, 11 Nov 2015 15:22:26 GMThttp://flussigmagazine.com/besitzerbericht/keith-part-2igor duerloo
We are where we’d promised we’d be and the Shark is making an appearance. How long it may last, the appearance I mean, not the marriage, no one knows. The joy of my triumphant success lasted about 2 days but came to a sudden end when being notified that the garage was flooded with petrol. The epoxy had dissolved slowly and I have to get into the Keith routine yet again. Goddamn! 

won’t get fooled again; two days prior to the marriage (not mine btw.) I try another brand of epoxy but I don’t fill the car up until the morning of the wedding and I do hope that everything about this day may last forever but in case of the in-tank filter at least until the reception. It does and because of that I feel I might be a strong contender in the “wedding pic of the year” contest.
Contrary to yours truly we don’t get much further than the start of the evening party, the Master Chef points out to me that there’s a definite smell of petrol spoiling the food in the kitchen and he’s wondering if the smell comes form my nearby parked Shark. The puddle that started to form underneath the car says it all and my anger sobers me up immediately. Shall I put the car on fire before I park it in? After all doing so in the garage makes such a mess, doesn’t it. I back off to regain my composure and decide to search for a secondhand tank. I’m not willing to invest in a new one and I’ve lost all my faith in the epoxy's of the world. I’m lucky enough to find one for a mere $100 and ask myself why I didn’t go down this route before.

"A 38 year old bolt that refuses to retire has to be brought to it’s senses and it’s up to me to come up with a pension scheme."

It has happened before that one job leads to another and I’m not even mentioning the WYAIT’s (While You're in There). I should have done a WYAIT on my transmission rebuild but I might get a second chance to do so now. There’s a sort of a quite grinding/knocking noise coming form the diff while driving which could be caused by the diff’s bearings so there’s a WYAIT for ya. I admit it’s a bit of an extreme WYAIT but then again, the shark is an extreme vehicle.

After removing the tank, the exhaust and battery box get separated from the car. This WYAIT decision proves to be a good one since one of my axle boots is torn. 
After some parts shopping I take the diff out of the box and replace the bearings. The WSM says you need some “special” VW-tools to do so but being creative with what’s at hand will get you there also. 
The strange noises came from the “left-wing” (with a premonitory finger on one arm and “das kapital” under the other the left-wing is known for making tedious noises but we’re drifting away from the subject here) and it’s clear that the left bearing lets go a lot easier than the passenger’s side bearing. Furthermore there’s some grooves showing on the left bearing and my hopes rise that I might have solved the problem. However, the WSM states that in order for the diff to work without any noise it must be set up properly and to do so U need another set of tools. I create my own variation of the special tools and start dreaming about a silent diff and a noiseless left wing. 
Vaseline has many applications and Vaseline sprays are fully appreciated in the automotive landscape too. Oftentimes, Vaseline is applied extraneous for internal purposes and Vaseline cans are no exception to this. As soon as a Vaseline can has been thrusted into a Vaseline covered “shaft sealing ring” I can start monitoring the diff. 
My “stout” proves to be 1,25mm and my measured backlash is 0,81mm, these numbers are needed in the magic formulas printed on p.39-20 of the WSM. Play close attention to “note 2,” something I’d better done too but for now I’m convinced my math was right and I’ve had enough of laying on my belly doing measurements. Closing the transmission and filing it up with Swepco 201 marks the end of a fruitful day. 
Now that I’m replacing my gas tank I might as well take care of the fuel lines. Before removing the old junk I’d painted my tank-cover again, the loss of fuel had eaten the paint away but when I pop my head in the passenger’s side wheel well, I see there’s more that’s been eaten. Apart from a steel wire brush, sanding paper and various paints I can also get out the grinder. A 38 year old bolt that refuses to retire has to be brought to it’s senses and it’s up to me to come up with a pension scheme. Where’s the lefties when they can be of use?
Putting the tank and fuel lines back in shows the complexity of the 928 once more. Too much stuff in too small a place, either your head and arms gets stuck in the wheel well or your fingers, who have been useful in much tighter spaces, are pottering about in the filler hole trying to screw things together. 

Late in the afternoon I can finally fill the tank back up but the in-tank filter remains a source of addiction. After playing Keith once more I decide to use the old in-tank filter that came with the secondhand tank. Eat this, Keith! Fresh rubber and a fresh oral dam end the fuel job. 
During a test drive, there's proof that the diff isn’t completely quite so I drain the transmission again and do the “change if necessary," you remember, “note 2” thing. Not using formulas but practical logic I get the diff set to 0,22mm which will have to do for now. November 8th is approaching and I have warned the car that it must perform on the commemoration of the “Lizzytrip,” no matter what! I’ll keep you posted on that one.
<![CDATA[keith]]>Thu, 24 Sep 2015 12:14:42 GMThttp://flussigmagazine.com/besitzerbericht/keithigor duerloo
Some of my blog readers might remember that bringing the shark home from transmission rebuild was a bit of an adventure, to say the least. 

Since then we were able to have some nice day trips (a bachelor party at Spa Francorchamps for example) but the problem of a blowing fuel pump fuse would re-occur every now and then and, as we all know- simply because there isn’t a good moment, always at the wrong moment. It’s a given fact that driving a Porsche is a reason to smile but if you’re driving a full day with an ear to ear grin caused by a deceased fuel level gasket in the boot and an amount of fuel sniffig that would even take Keith Richards down, you know you’ve got problem to deal with. After raising the shark up for the umpteenth time I have to drain about 50L’s of fuel, I guess there’s no need to mention this gets the Keith Richards routine going again.
Despite the fuel sniffing, my sight is still intact and the fuel pump seems fine to me but then again, what can visibly be wrong with a grey cylinder? This grey cylinder can run hot when any of the two filters is gummed up so next up is a visual inspection of the in-tank filter.  If I had done some proper research on this subject I would have known better but since I didn’t, I’m making an attempt at unscrewing the in-tank filter. This mistake almost makes me go fuel sniffing again, the fuel filter does come out but it brings along a close friend: the metal collar. 
Somehow it does makes sense: The 928 is one of Porsche’s intelligent designs but combining a metal collar with an aluminum filter and screwing this combo in a plastic tank? This has got to be a Monday morning design, invented after a weekend of heavy drinking or even worse, a weekend of fuel sniffing. I hope I can end the endless caress and bathe the romantic couple in Wally’s brew. 
The day after sneaking up on the happy couple, I began checking the remaining parts of the fuel system. The remains of the deceased fuel level gasket were found at the bottom of the fuel bucket; the second fuel filter had seen better days. The date on it, 17/09/1985, probably says enough. What was that thing about overdue maintenance again?
Wally’s brew didn’t help in separating the “happy couple” so somebody suggested to boil the filter in vinegar. I’m giving it a go but I’m guessing this concoction was invented by fuel sniffing people. It wasn't helping at all but under the influence of fuel, I'm sure it was probably good fun.
I’ve had it with the romance, so I roll out some heavy artillery: drill, hammer, chisel, and a saw blade. 

After a few hours I am victorious but also worried about the outcome of things. The old in-tank filter was a 36 x 1,5 thread and is NLA. The one that is available now is a 37 x 1,5 mm. The metal collar had the shape of an egg after my violent attack but its thread wasn't completely undamaged; the problem was that this egg I'd created had to get back in the tank. What started as a simple job is a now a matter of state interest and I’ll have to rely on all of my James Bond skills to succeed.
<![CDATA[prelude to a pull]]>Wed, 11 Mar 2015 01:01:18 GMThttp://flussigmagazine.com/besitzerbericht/prelude-to-a-pullel jefe
While draining the coolant is the right thing to do for an engine that will sit for a while, it's also a time for decision making. I'm pulling the engine out. Considering the leaks, the unknown, and the unexplained, I think it prudent to pull the lump out and address all of the issues properly and easily. This is the first step to the this old girl's proper preservation.
With the radiator out, the picture begins to look much clearer. Like I've mentioned before, I think working on this car won't be be too difficult. With the engine out...shit, it'll be pretty goddamn easy. Just look at all of that space so far...
Put your dick back in yer pants son...you just don't drain the coolant by letting it out of the radiator. This baby has two more piss holes; one on the right bank of cylinders a one on the right. This is the one on the left (passenger side). It's been squatted by spider eggs so they'll be facing a wet eviction. The little bolt at 4 o'clock of the ground strap is the first to be loosened...
Thar she blows!!! Mind your dogs or cats and have plenty of catch rags, this fucker is a messy one. Left bank drained...next!
Here's the right bank piss hole (driver's side). Take this bolt off (the second rusty one from the left) one and let the rest of the green shit vacate the precious aluminum block.
Here's the radiator. I couldn't get the hose on the left off because the guy who should've been the juice that ran down the crack of his momma's ass decided to JB-Weld not only the crack in the radiator but the fucking hose as well. Looks like I'll be rebuilding a $1000 radiator. This guy should be sodomized with a hot curling iron...
Look at this fucking shit. This is the work of a bootlegger that worked in a Toyota parts department and fancied himself a Porsche mechanic. I sure hope this ahole doesn't produce any offspring. He should have his balls cut off so he doesn't contaminate the rest of this world.
For chrissakes, this inbred motherfucker used Home Depot sheet metal screws to attach the air filter snorkel shroud to the radiator....
The product of Stuttgart neighbors...hey Dieter, do you have a fan laying around anywhere that'll fit in our new car's V8? Ja Franz! Here's one from our w108 series that's been discontinued in 1972. As it happens, this part number belongs to the W108 series Mercs produced from 1965 to 1972. It could have also been used by other newer models. I love this kinda stuff. Here's Porsche designing a brand new car from scratch and they have a serious budget to keep. Why reinvent the wheel on something like a radiator fan? Take a walk over to Mercedes and raid their parts bin for shit that will save money. I LOVE Porsche's thinking!!!
The only thing they had to make was the bracket to hold it. Problem solved.
And that's how I left her. With the green juice supply gone, it's one step closer to proper attention...
<![CDATA[wiping from back to front]]>Thu, 05 Mar 2015 20:16:03 GMThttp://flussigmagazine.com/besitzerbericht/wiping-from-back-to-frontel jefe
I've decided to mosey on up to the business end of things. This shot will be my guide to not only put things back together but to witness the dissection that's about to take place. What I need to do up here are vacuum lines, all of the hoses you see here and the ones you don't, the rubber sleeves between the intake runners and the plenum, see what's shakin' at the fuel distributor, take out the fuel injectors, get the air pump back into circulation...anything from the heads up will get some kind of attention.
Just look at that shit...With the spider body off, you can see the years of varnish and carbon accumulation in the throttle body. There was certainly something wrong with her. See that flanged pipe under the number 2 runner on the left? That was a bee-otch to remove. I had to look at the workshop manual to see what the fuck that thing was and where it went since it prevented me from removing the plenum when I thought I disconnected everything...it's part of the AirCon unit.
Here's a shot looking at the runners for cylinders 1-4 and that goddamned AirCon pipe. If the intakes look like this, I can only imagine what the valves and combustion chambers look like. I think I opened a can of putrid worms on this one...but, I was going to take the engine out anyway. Look at the throttle body from this angle, it looks like someone tried to shit down this old girl's throat. This is gonna be a shitload of fun!!!
Here are the runners for cylinders 5-8 on the right bank. These engines can look intimidating when you first look at them, but they are actually quite simple and basic...for me anyway.
The left bank of cylinders where the air pump plumbing is rigged to. The diverter valve lived right at the end of that pipe and bolted to the bracket you see there. Let me tell you something, that valve took me 3 cans of beer and a masturbation break to give me the resolve needed to get it off. Yeh, Porsche passion.
I love these kinds of shots. everything laid out neatly for the sake of order and a sense of progress. Being raised to be the best has it's drawbacks, it makes kids grow up to be twisted fuck-wits like myself. Anyway, these are the components removed so far...air box, air box supports, intake plenum, intake runner sleeves, warm up regulator or WUR, auxiliary air valve, cold start valve, and the air pump delivery pipe...oh and the diverter valve that cost 3 brews and load. The air box supports were beyond shot and it seems that you can't just order the rubber isolator, it and the bracket are one part.
Now this was a nice surprise. It seems like one of the oafs who owned this car had enough smarts to order a new auxiliary air valve from one of the big 3 928 supply joints, 928 International. Unfortunately, another oaf, or possibly the same one, blocked of the connection that goes into the cold start valve collar so it never got a chance to work its magic.
See that? After all that grief and busted nuts this is my reward. The bolt holding the diverter valve bracket busted off leaving a real bag of dicks to deal with. I can't get a drill, dremel, or midget with an extractor in there to remove this thing. Another ahole would probably use wood glue to tack the valve back on or better yet, a sheet metal screw into the valve cover springing an oil leak that'll have him wondering why there's oil all over the place. I'll address this when the engine is out. For now, I deserve that long awaited fine cigar and a bottle of Boone's Farm to set me right.

<![CDATA[the fuel line rebuild...]]>Sun, 01 Mar 2015 01:36:10 GMThttp://flussigmagazine.com/besitzerbericht/the-fuel-line-rebuildel jefe
There it is. I had enough torment trying to see which was the best way to go on these fuel lines, I've opted for the Oetiker clamps and Cohline high pressure hose combo...and you know what? I think it's good enough. Sure, they're not braided lines and AN fittings (never really liked that option because it doesn't look stock and adds an element of 'boy racer' to the engine bay), nor are they "Hydraulic shop" ferrules and the like, but it'll work. And I wont have to worry about a screw clamp coming loose or the need to be re-tightened. My logic is this, the barbs cut into the fuel hose? Replace them at intervals like a timing belt or gear oil service this way age can't effect these hoses to the point where they may start to leak. So I went and did all of them like this...
And here's where I ended it on the return line to the fuel sending unit. I always weep at how beautiful this clamp looks here...it's factory-like, man!
See this?
How 'bout this? OK, because this was the hose from the fuel pump to the accumulator wrapped in that nice snuggley foam insulation that was a bee-otch to remove because the hose melted itself to it. This also explains why there was a trail of fuel and rust on the fuel tank strap portion where this hose channeled into. Look at that godamned thing, and I thought it felt supple and looked 'powder fresh.' What a dumbass...Alright, enough of the fuel lines, I'm bored with this shit, let's move on!
Oh wait, the shot that gave me a hard-on! The only hose available for this old girl...the one that goes from the fuel filter to the fuel line under the car that I got from Porsche FOB Germany...OK, now let's move on!!!

<![CDATA['79 928 fuel tank cradle and fuel pump cover reconditioning.]]>Tue, 17 Feb 2015 01:24:20 GMThttp://flussigmagazine.com/besitzerbericht/79-928-fuel-tank-cradle-and-fuel-pump-cover-reconditioningel jefe
And after...a shitload of elbow grease, Dremel sanding discs, and sweat. I then cold galvanized them and hit 'em with satin black industrial grade paint for durability. I also decided to not let my perfectionism get in the way here, besides, I really dig the pitted, pocked-mark, scratched metal in some areas that only bondo would eliminate. It's all about the piece's history, it took 34 years to earn those scars...Porsche patina.
perfectionism was beat into me, this is why I'm dissatisfied with the quality of the industrial paint I used on the rear cover (top two images). it looks, well, shitty. I want it to look like the cradle itself and so out comes the 600 grit again ready to prep it for a proper coat.