This article is one in a series that have been released in conjunction with Wayne's book, 101 Projects for Your Porsche 911. The book contains 240 pages of full color projects detailing everything from performance mods to changing your brake pads. With more than 650+ full-color glossy photos accompanying extensive step-by-step procedures, this book is required reading in any Porsche 911 owner's collection. See The Official Book Website for more details.
Over many years, the Porsche crest located on your front hood can take a beating. Rocks, gravel, soot, rain, snow, sleet, and other debris can scratch and dull the finish of the crest so that it no longer shines the way it should. The good news is that the replacement of the crest is one of the easiest projects that you can do, and it significantly improves the looks of your car.
It is important to note that you should only use the original Porsche crests manufactured under license from Porsche. In past years, there have been some counterfeit crests available for about half the cost, but the OEM ones from Porsche are of a much higher quality.
There are two different styles of the crest: one for the early cars (up to 1989), and one for the later cars. Make sure when you order yours, that you get the proper one for your car. Small changes in the crest have occurred over the years as well, so if you are looking for 100% originality, you may want to look for a crest that is new old stock (NOS). It is also important to replace the rubber seal that mates the crest flush with the hood.
The crest is attached using two small self-threading nuts that Porsche calls "speed-nuts." These nuts are designed to be used both with the crest and the other emblems used on the car. The speed-nut is a small aluminum disk with a putty-like insert that allows it to hold the emblem snug without the danger of denting or damaging the hood of the car. The speed nut also stops water from leaking into the inside of the sheet metal.
The crest is attached to the car and held on with the speed-nuts on the inside of the hood. To remove the old crest, simply open the hood, and unscrew the nuts using a small 8mm socket and an extension. Be careful that the speed clips don't fall into the recesses of the hood. When installing the new crest, place the rubber gasket around the crest and test fit it against the hood. Sometimes the small prongs on the crest may need to be bent slightly in order to make them fit the holes. Be sure not to bend them too much, or they will break off.
It's also a wise idea to get a small piece of masking tape, and tape the crest and seal to the hood before you install it. The speed-nuts are meant to be attached once, and removing and reinstalling them can damage the small studs on the crest. Use a small dental pick to fit the gasket around the crest before it's completely tightened down. Tape the crest to the hood to make sure that the rubber seal doesn't slip out of position while you are tightening the speed-nuts. Proceed slowly, and check the seal before you tighten up the nuts. This is a very simple job that can be messed up if you don't keep a watch on the seal.
This before and after photo really shows the difference that a new crest can make. As with the lenses on the car, it is difficult to tell how tarnished and old the hood crest has become without looking at a brand new one. With such an easy installation, it is perhaps the quickest method of instantly improving the exterior looks of your 911. The new crest is so shiny, it's hard to take a good picture of it!
The inside of the hood is manufactured with access holes so that you can remove and replace the crest. Make sure that you don't tighten the two speed nuts too much, or you can crack some of the plastic gels embedded into the front of the crest, or damage your hood.