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Home > Tech Info Center > The 911 Series > 911 Q&A > Page #1

Pelican Parts: 911 Questions & Answers
asked by our readers
Page #1

     Hello. I have a 1973 Porsche Targa with a problem in the headlights/dinner switch/turn signal area. The lights will not stay on without holding the dimmer switch in a certain position. The part I was told was needed is some type of relay switch, but I do not know the exact part name nor number. Do you have any advice or part name/number which fits this description?

    I had the same problem with my 74 911 Targa a few years ago. I had to pull lightly back on the dimmer/turn signal switch to keep my low beams on; if i pulled back too hard the high beams would flash - if I let it go the lights would go out. However, the high beams and turn signals worked just fine. The fix for that is a new Turn Signal Switch. Sometimes they can be taken apart and the contacts adjusted, but that is usually a temporary fix, if it fixes it at all. To replace the switch requires removal of the steering wheel. A good shop should be able to replace one in about an hour - a little longer if you have air conditioning.  The part number you need is 911.613.301.30.

    I have a set of Mahle wheels that I would like to use on a 356 Outlaw car or early 911S. I have heard that they were discontinued because they were weak. Are there any short comings to this wheel?  Could they be used safely in vintage racing?

     The 5-bolt Mahle wheels are a pretty good wheel. Like Wayne said they are the lightest Porsche alloy wheel ever made. They are a fragile wheel just by the nature of the wheel, but not much more fragile than Fuchs alloys. I’m now hearing stories of old Fuchs alloys starting to crack under the abuses of vintage racing, and the racers should be checking the wheels closely between races. Part of the problem is that the tires are so much better now, and with the suspension upgrades that are on the cars, there is a lot more stress put on all the components of the car. Hit one curb or take an off-road excursion and you can start showing cracks in your wheels. Don’t be afraid to use the Mahles, just keep an eye on them.

     In recent times, it has become quite common to see oncoming cars which are using the new style of "Projector Headlights". I believe that they are factory installed on all new Porsche models as well as other types of cars such as Mercedes, Lexus and Acuras.  As I am sure you well know, these types of projector headlights are so bright that they actually give off a "bluish cast" when you see them. My question is: Do you know if this style of lamp and or reflector are available on the market either as a retrofit or replacement?

    Headlights are one of my favorite subjects. It goes back to my SCCA Pro Rally days and driving at night as fast as you can on a road that you’ve never seen before. Lighting was just about the most important equipment on the car!

     There have been great leaps in headlight technology over the past couple of years, as you’ve seen on the newer vehicles. Much brighter lighting, and a more efficient light pattern spread out in front of the car. Most headlights these days are designed to fit that particular vehicle, and will not fit any other. To upgrade existing headlights, about the only choice is to upgrade the bulbs, if you have replaceable bulbs. If you want to upgrade older standard 7" or 5 " round headlights, the thing to do is to put in the European lights, with their higher wattage bulbs and better lighting pattern.

     On the subject of bulbs, there are now some ‘blue’ bulbs which put out a brighter white light than the stock bulbs. The applications at this point are limited, but I think in the next year there will be greater availability.

     I’m gathering information from Hella on new headlight technology and retrofit options, and then I’m going to work on a headlight tech article in the near future. I think you’re right, there is a large market out there for people wanting to upgrade their old US spec headlights. Thanks for visiting the website!

     One question I would ask you about the 911T engines has to do with the strength of the crank shaft which is cast iron and not the forged parts which were used on the other 911’s. Has this crank been used in racers and survived as well as the forged part? I recall the late 70’s Porsches were running up to almost 8000 rpm, although I don’t expect to go over 6500 with mine. I also had the strange experience when torquing the conrod bolts and had two (all new factory parts) yield before reaching the proper torque. Anyone ever seen this?

     About your 2.0 T crank. These tend to be very durable, ‘workhorse’ cranks. They were designed for lower rev-ing, lower torque range T motors. They are not a 8000 RPM crank, but can go up to 7000 without a problem over and over again. I have heard of rod bolts failing upon installation. I have also heard of genuine Porsche dilivar head studs breaking upon installation in engine cases! No explanations..... All the failures I’ve heard have happenend during installation. If it doesn’t fail during installation, it seems to work fine for a normal service life.

     I recently acquired a 1969 912 Porsche that needed a lot of work. Nearly all the missing parts have been replaced and everything works except the cigarette lighter. The is no power to it. I have not been able to trace the wires because they are covered, but wondered if you could tell me which relay the power goes through. Also, do you have any suggestions on what else might be causing no power to reach the lighter? The wiring does not appear to have been worked on. The clock, which comes off the same fuse, works.   I would appreciate any help of suggestions you can give.

     If the clock is on the same fuse as the lighter, and the clock is working, it is a matter of testing the wire from the fuse block to the lighter. First, check the wire at the fuse block - they sometimes come loose, and although they look like they are making contact, they really aren’t. You’ll need a test light with a needle type point to check for power behind the lighter. Sometimes the connector also comes loose at the back of the lighter.

     I just checked my wiring diagram, and it looks like in 69 the lighter shares the same fuse as the brake lights, so check that one too.


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