Working as Mighty Motor Media promoting Porsche specialists gives me great access to some of the best Porsche workshops. One such workshop is Unit 11 at Langley Wharf, Kings Langley: the JZM Porsche tech department.
On my last visit, Tech Director Steve Mchale (small H) talked me through a GT3 RS inspection (on lift behind this 911T). The car was a well-known track day ride, and the owner’s not known for sparing horses. After buying KW suspension for his GT3, the owner discovered the JZM workshop was booked up three weeks in advance. So he took his car to a Porsche crew in Berkshire who claimed they could do the job. It did not work out so well.
As with the cracked ceramic disc episode that saved the owner fifty quid but cost fourteen grand to correct, the GT3 man collected his car from the other crowd, paid a big bill and instantly noted a steering issue. The garage brushed it off as dampers bedding in, but a few days’ driving led to JZM for urgent Porsche attention.
Mchale found a series of problems: some potentially deadly. The struts had been installed the wrong way around, so left was right and right was left. The top bearings that should allow the assemblies to swivel with the steering were fitted wrongly, fixed with the wrong top nuts and trashed in short order, so the springs had started turning on their perches. The other garage had not tightened the grub screws holding the perches in position, so the car was unscrewing the ride height with every turn of the wheel, sinking 40mm in a week.
A new Cargraphic silencer had been fitted slightly sideways and wiring for one O2 sensor was cut to fit around it. The wires are heat-resistant stainless which cannot be soldered, so were extended by wrapping copper strands in. The ‘fix’ had not worked and, as these sensors operate in a range of less than one volt, the car was running terribly. Truth is, the wire did not need cutting to fit: it fits without modification.
A simultaneous service had lost the bungs for the airbox, but most worryingly of all, the mechanic had repaced the brake pad pins incorrectly, and the pins were falling out. At some stage, this GT3 was going to have no brakes.When I arrived, the guys had just started stripping it. The work would take at least two days and some new parts to fix.
Two big bills and many new parts, versus a three-week wait with the chance of a cancellation? OK, it’s aided by hindsight but I probably would have waited. Ever had a similar experience? I am always interested in hearing how good garages are, or not.