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Cayman R - Tyres, Battery, Exhaust Bolts

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Just before the winter set in and the road tax renewal demand reminder dropped onto the doormat, the R was serviced, drive belt changed, and brake fluid refreshed. The battery decided life was no more in the same week and so it was swapped for another Porsche OEM item. I've had the car on a SORN since end of October, but my wallet has now recovered from the earlier trauma and so the next phase of cost begins..........

 

  • Tyres seem to be headed towards GY Eagle F1 Asymmetric N0 - largely on price vs the aged Michelin SP2 currently fitted which seem to significantly more expensive for probably not a proportionate return in performance advantage for a car driven only on the road. It'll get a track outing but it will be a very rare event. Any experiences and anecdotes with the F1's would be appreciated.

 

  • The new battery has barely been used. The car did about 300 miles between the service and battery replacement before being locked away in my garage and hooked up to a Ctek MXS 5.0 charger for the duration of its winter slumber. However, having taken it off charge a couple of weeks ago, and taken for a very short drive of about 5 miles to agitate the fluids and rotate the tyres, the battery has refused to allow the charger past the test for it retaining 12v. With red error light brightly glowing, it fails and refuses to step onto the next phase of the program. I've tested the charger on another car (no problem) and disconnected the battery from the car to ensure nothing is draining it during the charge cycle (still errors). Any suggestions ?  Could the car just want a damn good run to warm the battery up chemically, so to speak ? I've clearly no idea but don't want to go back to OPC and look like a muppet for not doing something basic! (The battery is not draining or losing charge that prevents the car from starting).

 

  • Lastly, the service showed up that the bolts on the exhaust where it joins the manifold are corroded, but they wanted to charge me approx £400 to drill them out and replace them. I don't know if they tried to remove them, but I suspect not. Do I let OPC do the work, or do I go to a specialist ? The car is still under OPC warranty.

 

 

I'm on the verge of taxing it for Feb 1st as I really miss driving it. I feel I should leave it to March so that the salt is washed away more so from the roads, and temps begin to improve. The novelty of driving the car has still not waned in the slightest and I am truly gagging to get behind the wheel for a decent run out. These winter months and salty roads are driving me insane and the 13 year old Mini Cooper S just isn't cutting it !!!!

 

Well done if you made it to the end of this lengthy monologue - all advice, thoughts and opinions greatly received.

 

 

 

 

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My OPC just gave me the same malarky about the exhaust bolts/clamps after my MOT.  I took it to my exhaust specialist and he said not to bother, the OPC is just being picky about it.  I would go to an actual exhaust specialist and get a second opinion on that front, personally.

 

Sounds like your battery needs a test and that it could be naff.  Even if it's been sat over winter without charge, I wouldn't expect a decent quality battery to lose its capacity so quickly.  I have a battery tester but I think you're a bit too far away to borrow it. :) 

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Good excuse to come back to Wales though !!

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get your local battery re-seller  or auto electrician to do a drop test on the battery, it should be a free or nearly free check.  places like Halfords or other high st car accessory and bike shops will just tell you its FUBARED and get you to buy the most expensive option without having any skilled techys on site to do a proper drop test. Batteries like to be cycled and will last longer if not kept overcharged.. On the flip side, a low or flat battery will not like being in the cold for long. the Cayman has a 150 amp alternator and will happily charge a low battery within a few miles as long as it starts in the first place. a low but healthy battery should never drop below about 11.5 volts and should not deliver more than 13.5 volts whereas an unregulated charger can chuck out 17 volts without load. I have heard of many motorcycle batteries ruined by so called smart chargers that are left plugged in over winter. the batteries sulphate (gass off) if overcharged  and can grenade under sudden load if gassy so a drop test must be done carefully and safely. 

you could try connecting another battery to your Cayman  in parallel using jump leads  then reconnect your charger. the extra load might just kickstart the charge cycle.

hope this helps.

  • Thanks 1

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Clearly I’m missing something regarding exhaust bolts/flanges etc. 

 

Why do do people keep banging on about corrosion?

 

There isn’t a vehicle on the road without corroded exhaust bolts. 

 

Anyone care to to enlighten me? 

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40 minutes ago, Sidepod said:

Clearly I’m missing something regarding exhaust bolts/flanges etc. 

 

Why do do people keep banging on about corrosion?

 

There isn’t a vehicle on the road without corroded exhaust bolts. 

 

Anyone care to to enlighten me? 

 

I don't care about it, but my OPC has decided to jam an advisory on my MOT test because of it.  It's ridiculous.

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Its because as they corrode they break down and the bolts then no longer effectively hold the exhaust together at the joint resulting in your exhaust blowing, making a horrendous noise and would then probably lead to an MOT failure.  

 

Its a known problem on the 987 and my first CS both sides went (on separate occasions) and I had to get them fixed before 40k miles.  

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I guess it comes under the banner of "preventative maintenance", and given that they probably only see these cars every 2 years in a lot of cases, they point it out as a job worth doing (if I am being generous as to the intent at least!).

 

What gets my hackles up is that they quoted me £400 or therebouts to do it, without really working out if they were seized or needed to be drilled. I want a true price before I take the decision as to whether to do it or not.

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When Paragon changed my exhaust on the CR the bill was just under £500, the vast majority of that was labour (no parts included) associated with drilling/grinding the old bolts off. 

 

But, they warned me it could be a hour job if the bolts were ok, or it could be a 4 hour job if not and the difference in cost between the 2 extremes.  Have you thought about going to an indy rather than an OPC? 

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ha sounds like the OPC's have discovered a healthy gravy train in quoting us all for new exhaust clamps and bolts at service/MOT time. I had the exact same at my service. I expect even Kwikfit would do it for a tenth of the OPC quote if you sourced the parts yourself.

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@Beanoir - I wont have OPC do the work - it'll be a reputable indy.

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Bristol OPC quoted around 6.5 hours labour (at £60 + VAT/hr, TIPEC rate) total to replace the clutch and the corroded exhaust studs and clamps on one of our gen 1 Caymans last year (I supplied the parts).  I was more than happy to let them do it, as it took me about 10 hours to drill/grind them out on my other Cayman a few years ago, excluding the time it took me to do the clutch, flywheel and rear main seal.  I had a quote from a local reputable indy who quoted 4 hours labour plus supply of replacement exhaust studs and clamps, to just deal with the corroded studs and clamps only (total quote was £568 incl VAT!).

 

Shortly after I did my car in 2014, I went to Belgium and had Gert Carnewal supply and fit his modified GT exhaust for around £420 all in, on an exchange basis.  Had I known what an utter pig of a job the corroded studs are, I would have got the exhaust sorted by Gert first and done the clutch etc. afterwards, which would have been a doddle!

 

Gert told me it never takes him more than about an hour to deal with the corroded studs and this is included in his fully fitted price for the exhaust, if needed.  Compare his fully fitted exchange price with any indy or OPC quote for replacing corroded studs and clamps, and the GT exhaust is virtually free (or even better than free, compared with some indys!).   However, he is dealing with these every day so has worked out exactly how to do it and has I believe made some special tools to assist.   

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I'd add that on both our cars (1st one was 8 years old/58k miles and 2nd one was 11 years old/93k miles), the studs at the manifold to exhaust system flanged joints were virtually non-existent.  Neither was blowing yet but they couldn't have been far away.  It was really easy to get the exhaust off as I simply hammered an undersized socket on the remains of the nuts and sheared them off.  They were all absolutely beyond any chance of saving them.  However, the studs are a press fit into the flanges on the ends of the manifolds, and on my car, the heads were tack welded to the flange too, so I couldn't drift them out!  Even after I eventually managed to grind the heads off, I still had to drill the stud remnants out as I don't have an oxy acetylene torch any more and in any case the flanges are inches from the primary cats and I was really nervous of damaging those by hammering.  

 

I ended up disconnecting the rear suspension struts from the lower wishbones so I could swing the struts out to improve access with the drill.  The access is one of the main problems - some of the studs are easy enough to get a drill and grinder on to but some are not.

 

In theory it's possible to remove the exhaust and manifolds assembled and separate them off the car but the bolts that attach the manifolds to the heads are also highly likely to shear off in the heads and that would probably be even more of a nightmare!

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Dropped into Autostrasse today in Coggeshall - a well respected Porsche Indy - and he took a look at the exhaust bolts. His opinion - easier to do them now before the exhaust blow happens and before they corrode into "tooth picks" as he put it ! At about 40%cheaper than OPC, it'll be with him in the next week or so to be done. Also spotted a fair bit of soot on the exhaust tips - potentially over fueling or needing new plugs but possibly the result of (literally) a couple of starts and warm up on tickover during the hibernation since October. Might get them done at the same time once I've dug out the service book to see when they were last changed..

 

I've not been there before and I have to say, his candor seemed genuine and he struck me as an honest chap that just loves the cars. He had some stories to tell of his 911 ownership/driving/racing experiences. Nice fella and very knowledgeable.  

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You're right to get those flange bolts done now, before you attempt any rapid standing starts. On my old 2.9 Cayman I'd been warned about rusty flange bolts and ignored the warning, then when performing a rapid start while hillclimbing a couple of the bolts on both manifolds sheared leaving the joint open and the exhaust precariously attached, it was very very noisy too. I'll be getting the bolts changed ASAP on my recently aquired CS.

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Autostrasse are my go to Indy now, they know their stuff and are very reasonable.

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4 hours ago, twopointnine said:

You're right to get those flange bolts done now, before you attempt any rapid standing starts. On my old 2.9 Cayman I'd been warned about rusty flange bolts and ignored the warning, then when performing a rapid start while hillclimbing a couple of the bolts on both manifolds sheared leaving the joint open and the exhaust precariously attached, it was very very noisy too. I'll be getting the bolts changed ASAP on my recently aquired CS.

 

Wonder if the £400 the OP mentioned for exhaust bolt removal an OPC quote? I was quoted £600 by an Indi?! 

 

Mine need doing too. ( I think they all need doing from what I read). I’ve been putting it off. Last Mechanic I spoke to said they blow when theyve gone and to wait until then lol! Take it Lancaster bomber noisy? 

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8 hours ago, Buggyjam said:

 

Wonder if the £400 the OP mentioned for exhaust bolt removal an OPC quote? I was quoted £600 by an Indi?! 

 

 

Yep - OPC pricing was £400.

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