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Tag Archives: 997
Before we started carrying the Agency Power Rollbar for Porsche 996/997, I used to have a DAS Sport Rollbar in my car. Here are some tips for installing it in a 996/997 Coupe. The instructions published on the DAS Sport Website are pretty straight forward and with practice, the rollbar can be installed in about 45 minutes by yourself, though it’s always easier with a helper.
To begin, make sure you have enough room to maneuver with both doors wide open. You’ll need at least six feet free to maneuver on the passenger side. You don’t have to remove both seats, but it certainly is easier if you do, especially with fixed back seats. At a minimum, remove the passenger seat completely and remove the seat-bolts from the driver’s seat and move it as far forward as possible. If you car has seat-mounted airbags, as long as you do not turn the key with the airbags disconnected, you don’t have to worry about resetting the airbag warning light so make sure you don’t have to move the car once you start to work on this project. You will also be removing the carpet covering the ECU and strut mounts behind the rear seats. Consider if you want to carpet it or modify your current carpeting before you begin. It’s very difficult to try to put carpet back there once the bar is installed. You should also decide if you want to remove the rear seats or just leave them folded. You save a little weight by removing them, but with them folded you actually have more practical storage space in the back as you can use the folded seat as a shelf and stow small items on the seat below relatively out-of-sight from outside of the car. Using heavy beach towels, cover the center console, door plates and seat backs. The bar is very cumbersome to move around and you do not want to scratch your interior.
Start by preparing to remove the seat-belt mounting bolts in the rear foot-well. Take time to note or photograph the way the seat-belt fits, especially the half twist that is necessary to get it to line up correctly. Check that you have the correct foot plate for each side and install the eye-bolts but do not tighten them. You will need to finish installing and tightening the upper bolts of the rollbar before tightening the eye-bolts. My carpet was cut — it is not required for this to fit properly and not recommended unless you plan to remove your carpet soon and don’t want to have to remove the rollbar.
Remove the six nuts from the rear strut mounts. Note the angle of the mounting brackets on the rear section and turn it upside down. Carefully feed it into the car and rest it in the rear foot-well. Have someone help you flip it on to the rear strut mounting bolts. You will have to work it into position around the seatback stops and trim. Get all six openings into position and loosely tighten only the rear nuts to ensure it does not fall forward. Loosely tighten the remaining four nuts as well.
Orient the main rollbar as it will fit inside the car. Working from the passenger side, tip it so the bar is to the back and the foot is toward the front of the car, and work it in from the passenger side and around/over the driver’s seat before standing it up in the rear foot-well. It is cumbersome to move so consider wrapping the ends in shop towels to help prevent damaging your interior. Work the connectors to the rear section first and feed the bolts from inside to outside and tighten loosely. Put the foot into the driver’s side base and fit the bolt through from inside to outside. You will find one side will line up perfectly and the other will require some encouragement — this is normal. Encourage the other side to fit with a small rubber hammer and/or a very long flat-nose screw driver and fit the second bolt. Tighten both lower bolts loosely. If everything is lined up, tighten from rear to front, starting with the rear strut mounts and torque to spec. The last bolts to tighten will be the eye-bolts. Use a screw driver and a vice-grip to turn them, but do not over tighten.
Consider using bar padding on the main hoop starting at door sill height. Check your view with the rearview mirror before you buy padding. You may want to get the mini padding type that won’t extend down so far into your field of view. You may have to remove the cover on the seat-belt height adjuster slider on the B pillar if you still use the stock belts.
Spark plugs in the M96 engine need to be replaced annually. While you’re there, you should change the spark plug tubes as well, especially if you have no record of them having been changed. You can do it without dropping the exhaust first, but it will take you twice as long, even accounting for the time it takes to drop and reinstall the exhaust. Wayne Dempsey has a good DIY for spark plug replacement so we don’t need to repeat it here. Having done it both ways, I will be dropping the exhaust from now on. Be sure that the engine is cold before you begin.
If you find oil on the inside of the tube when you remove the plugs, then the tubes have cracked. Why else change the tubes? If you find oil on the valve cover seal or what appears to be a head gasket leak without an identifiable source, then your tubes may be leaking due to worn seals. They are relatively inexpensive to replace, and can help prevent wasting money on a more expensive repair that doesn’t work. The part number for the tube is 996-105-325-52. (Be sure to get the O-rings as well.)
The trick to getting the tubes out is to find a Porsche plug tube puller tool (expensive) or use a (cheap) boat plug. Tighten the boat plug using pliers and pull the tube out. Lube the sealing rings with dielectric grease and just press them back in. Replace the spark plugs without anti-seize compound and away you go. This would also be a good time to replace the coil-packs if you have no record of their replacement (997-602-107-00).
Since we dropped the exhaust to work on the plugs, we decided to upgrade while we were there. (Caution: rationalization in progress). Besides, the stainless steel exhaust is a thing of beauty and quite a bit lighter than the stock exhaust it replaced, which had started to rattle in recent weeks. Installation is very simple provided that the exhaust flanges haven’t rusted too badly. We replaced the cuffs, bolts and nuts all around. When we got the old exhaust off the car, we found out the internals on the right side were just floating around in the can — there’s your rattle.