Engine out, Discovery.
The PO and I had reviewed the records/service history together and the only 2 deviations from original configuration were the installation of Weber carbs, and a repaint and color change.
The webers (sourced from PMO) were installed in 1988 during a total rebuild (including P/Cs) at 56,760 miles.
Soon after, the car began its “Black Phase” (it was originally Light Yellow.) It was treated to new carpet, dash, trunk liner, targa top upholstery – you get the picture.
Incidentally, I was in my own “Black Phase”, in ’89/90, as a sulky high school senior:
(photo included for your amusement)
Less than a year later the engine was coming out again – this time to repair fire damage. The engine was overhauled and resealed down to the case halves, and most of the engine electrical was replaced. The decklid was also renewed and the quarter panels repainted.
I never got a clear indication from the PO about the cause of the fire – one would assume automatically that it coincided with the installation of the the Webers – and one was notably singed – but the PO thought it was electrical in nature, and it occurred approximately a year after the carburetor installation & tuning. It did affect the entire top of the engine, to a degree necessitating a second rebuild.
Unfortunately the shop that performed the second rebuild wasn’t thorough with their paperwork, so the mileage at that time is unknown, but just over 1K miles were put on the 911 between the first and third (current) engine jobs. I don’t see any indication that significant mileage was added after the second build, so it’s hard to attribute the fire to work that was done a year and the better part of 1K miles previous.
It doesn’t particularly matter – but I’m interested in the history of the car, and there should be enough documentation in the service records to know the root cause and sequence of events.
The lack of attention to detail shown in the paperwork was reflected in the approach to engine work by the second shop – as you’d likely expect – people can only demonstrate the same level of commitment/effort, in everything they do.
The following images are of the discovery process – disassembling the engine.
(Keep in mind that there was virtually no use of this car between the last engine work and the pictures you’re seeing – this is how it was when it was reinstalled into the car.)
The second reseal (1989-90) involved what has to be the most Indian Head Gasket Shellac ever used in one location. This stuff is not easy to remove and was used extensively on this engine. You can see it around the base of the cylinders here.
While the fuel tank and engine were out, the little targa got its FIRST BATH IN 15 YEARS.
It really is a nice little car, I’m happy to have it.