The term “Mission Creep” is an old military term that has found its way into corporate America. Basically, it means that the scope of the work being done has exceeded its original parameters. The “Mission” has crept out of its boundaries and is now somewhere else. Consultants stole this term to mean that the customer wants more…normally for free.
Those of us who work with Porsches know all about Mission Creep. You start a repair, upgrade or other job and before you know it, you are attempting a lot more than you originally thought. Well, that has happened to us at 924S944.com
A few weekends ago we decided to replace what was probably the original rubber-centered clutch on Sparky, our 53,000-mile ’87 924S. Since everything we touched in the last few years was “factory original,” there was no reason to think that the clutch harbored a chunk of 33-year-old rubber. With some trips and shows coming up this summer, now was the time to replace it with a Sachs spring-centered clutch disk, new pressure plate and throwout bearing. We scheduled a DIY Day and Clarice Lee came by and helped strip the driveline.
If you’ve never done a clutch on a 944, it is pretty involved. Exhaust, transaxle, drive tube, starter, clutch slave – all have to be removed or moved to get to the bell housing, which is then removed to get to the clutch. In about three hours, we were there…then a couple of bolts stopped us in our tracks.
So – the engine had to come out, but since most of the work to remove it was already done, out it came. Change the clutch with the engine on the hoist…pretty simple.
Then came the creeps…
Engine is out, so why not clean it up? Brake cleaner is a wonderful thing and a case of cans later, the engine was a lot cleaner. And since the engine compartment is now open, why not clean the engine compartment? Detail it, you know. Creep…creep…creep. Since Sparky had an engine fire that burned up the wiring, this would be a great time to rearrange and clean up the wiring, hoses and vacuum system under the hood. Creep…creep…creep…
With the engine out, why not take the time to swap the belts? (I have history on the water pump, so that is not a problem at this point.) New cap and rotor? Sure. New plugs and wires? Why not. Oh, yea – paint the nasty heat shield next to the oil cooler and oil filter…no one wants a nasty looking heat shield.
Transmission is out, so this would be a great time to install a short shift kit and trans linkage from Only944.com. The shifter shows a bit of wear, so a shifter from Only944.com was added to the list. I mean, we’re there anyway, right?
So, a clutch job for us is about eight hours total. At the end of Full Week Two, the engine is back in, the driveline secured, and Sparky will be done today – creep, creep, creep… BUT – the sunroof gear cover is a fiberglass unit that is painted satin black. Why not – since we are in the shop – cover it in vinyl to make it look more original? Creep…creep…creep…
But Sparky is going to be better off for this whole ordeal. No doubt. We hope. Creep…creep…creep…
Just a note – Sparky is a “factory fresh” car. The driveline has never been touched as evidenced by the factory paint marks on some of the bolts. The Allen head bolts on the coupler between the driveshaft and the transaxle had no marks on them indicating that a tool had been used after the factory. Factory fresh. Pretty cool.
Kevin Duffy is an Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at Daytona State College in Florida and a dedicated car guy. He divides his time between teaching criminal justice topics in the online environment and working on/driving cars, particularly Porsches. Kevin is one of the principals in InspiringLifeOver50.com.