CanadaCarCare.ca bought a 2002 Porsche Carrera C4S in Spring of 2014. We soon discovered that the car was plagued with scored cylinders. A not-so-common occurrence on the M96 Porsche engines and the only way to fix the problem is with a full engine tear down!
Some of you are asking how we came to the conclusion of scored cylinders. Our 1st sign that things were bad, was that the car consumed a lot of oil. Approximately 5L of oil with about 1000km of short distance driving. Yikes!
A week into ownership; and we noticed a huge plum of blue smoke on a cold start up one morning. It was enough smoke to kill all the neighborhoods mosquitoes population for the week - and was quite embarrassing. A Porsche shouldn't do that. It continued to do this every dozen or so cold start ups.
We started paying more attention, and begin to notice other things. The left hand side tailpipe has much more exhaust soot on it than the right side. The car has a significant engine knock at idle, and it goes away after 2000rpm...all things pointing to a unhealthy engine. More specifically, an engine with a scored (or more) cylinder.
video of cold start up and engine knock
We were bummed!
After researching the issue and it's various remedies, we came down to 2 options.
1 - Keep driving the car as is, add and change the oil frequently. A lot of owners out there with scored cylinders are doing just this. Other than the symptoms mentioned above, the car never threw a check engine light, pulled hard at the track, idled smoothly, and had decent gas mileage when you were easy on the throttle. Still a very drive-able car.
2 - Park the car. Remove engine and rebuild.
We chose option 2. We parked the car that winter, and began the process of engine removal and disassembly. Used engines weren't a guaranteed thing and the cost is between $10 000 & $15 000. A new engine from Porsche is over $35 000. We decided to go with a DIY rebuild with the help of LN Engineering. This would result in us sending our short block, and getting it back with new cylinders installed, and brand new pistons by LN Engineering. We would know the full history of the engine going forward and the costs landed us just a little over the price of a used engine.
With the help of Pelican Parts and their fantastic How-To articles we got started on engine removal & disassembly.
Stay tuned to our blog for our next update on Project 4.0.