Porsche 944 Rod Bearings

At our last race at Road Atlanta the driver in the final stint mentioned he saw a red light flash on the dash occasionally but did not know what it was. A routine oil level check showed the oil level had gotten very low by the end of the race. Therefore I decided we needed to inspect the rod bearings. And I am glad we did.

I used info from Clark’s Garage to establish a procedure. I began by purchasing an engine support from Harbor Freight. Then with the car on the lift, I removed the rear control arm bolts, the ball joint pinch bolts, the front sway bar and then lowered the cross member out of the car. It turned out to be much easier than it sounded form reading the instructions.

With the engine supported form above and the cross member out of the way, the 22 bolts holding the pan in place were easy to access. The pan separated easily but it would not drop down. The internal plastic baffle hung on the oil pickup. I ended up breaking the baffle before I figured out he right twist to get the pickup to come out the hole.

With the pan down, I had full access to the rod ends. Knowing number two to be a problem I started with that one. The Babbitt was gone as well as much of the copper. There was copper embedded in the crank throw as well. I thought we were looking at a complete rebuild. However the other three bearings looked fine.

So I decided to try polishing number two in place. I watched several you tube videos on crank polishing before I chose a method. I ended up wrapping a strip of 600 grit sandpaper around the journal and used a string to spin it back and forth. I lubricated it all with WD 40 during the process. In no time at all I had a shiny smooth journal that measured in the middle of the range.

I then installed new bearing in all four positions using new rod nuts as recommended. on reassembly, I notice the strap that holds the two sump tubes together was broken so I took time to weld it back together.

I was not able to source a used baffle in time so I decide to just glue together the crack I caused in the existing one. With it out of the oil pan, I made several practice runs to get the twist right on re installation.

Putting the oil pan back in place was the most challenging part of the whole process. The gasket is very thick and needs to be compressed just to get the bolts to start. I used wire ties threaded through the holes to keep it lined up while I made the twists to get the pan in place. Then I used my under lift support to lightly press the pan up while I started the bolts. I then used my inch pound torque wrench to set all the bolts to 36 inch pounds. This took forever to get the m all down as the gasket continued to compress causing the bolts to loosen as the one next to it was tightened. I hope I figure out a better method next time I do this job. Once they we all at 36 I then put them all to 72 inch pounds. This step went much quicker.

Once the pan was back on, I lifted the cross member back up and reattached all the under car stuff. I installed a new oil filter and refilled with fresh oil.

We are now ready to race at NCM. I will do this all over again after that race to see how much wear is on a fresh bearing set. Since these bearings were in place when we bough the car, I have no idea of their age or history.

Racing at Road Atlanta

2016 ChumpCar race at Road Atlanta

We ran our 1986 Porsche 944 at Road Atlanta.

The car ran flawlessly all day. We got a couple of new battle scars but still drove it on the trailer after the checker flag.

Our pits stops went well and even though our laps times were not as fast as we would have liked, we finished 32nd out of 110 cars. We found that there car can go over three hours on fuel so we skipped fuel on two of our driver swap pit stops. That gained us a lap or two. We completed 338 laps this year in the 14 hour race.

How to get radio out of Safe Mode in 2000 VW Passat

Do you have a radio like this in your VW passat? 000_0083



Is it in “Safe” mode after the battery has been disconnected?

If you don’t have the owner’s manual (like me), you should be able to find the code in your wheel well located in the trunk under the mat. It should look like this:




See in the picture where the 4 numbers are circled?  This is my code

Locate your code which should be on a sticker like this one in the wheel well. Turn your radio on which will say Safe for a short time and then say 1000.  Since my code is 0700  I pressed the  1 button twice to make it change to   0.

Then I go to the next number, then push it until it says 7.

When I finished I pressed the FF button (held it down) and voila! My radio was back on.

Replacing the ABS module on a 2000 Passat

When she bought it, Jennifer’s Passat had a scary warning on the dash says “STOP brake.”

Since the brakes stopped the car fine she bought it hoping the fix would be simple. It turns out it was.

The folks at Cheap ABS.com were a big help. We followed their helpful instructions at http://cheap-abs.com/removal.html and easily removed the unit.

We found her car had a mix of T25 and T20 fasteners holding the inner fender in place. It also took a few seconds of study to see how to pull it out of the various things it slides behind after the fasteners were out. With the inner fender out of the way, the washer bottle was visible. However, even with all three screws out, the bottle would not move out of the way enough to get to the ABS unit comfortably. I had to unplug the wiring harness and remove the pump from the bottle, to get it out of the way. These just pull right off but are behind the bottle so it was hard to do the first time.

With the bottle out of the way. I set at disconnecting the two wiring harnesses. The disconnect tab was really hard to pull forward and I had to use a screwdriver to get a bit of leverage to start it moving. I was very careful not to break any of the small plastic mounting tabs. With the wire loose, we then removed the six torx screws holding the module to the pump body.

Jennifer then packed it carefully and shipped it off to Virginia. She was able to drive the car with the box gone just as she had been driving it with the defective module.

One week alter the repaired module returned and we again pulled the fender liner and washer bottle out. The repaired module slipped right in and the wires were easy to connect after I aligned the tabs correctly. It was much easier to manipulate the washer bottle and fender liner into place after having done it once already.

When starting the car, she was greeted by a friendly reminder to top up the washer fluid instead of the STOP message that had been tieing up the display for the last few months. The anti lock brakes work as expected and so does the traction control. Thanks to the folks ta Cheap ABS!