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Very special Porsche 911 SC

Updated on April 11, 2013

1979 Porsche 911 SC, RHD Coupé (no longer for sale)

The 911 SC is widely regarded as one of the the most reliable Porsches of all times. Its 3.0-litre flat-six engine had more power than its 2.7-litre predecessor, yet it was much more durable because of the aluminium engine block.

Overview of this 911 SC for sale:

- RHD, UK spec

- Minerva metallic paint

- Tan vinyl interior

- Electric windows

- Electric sunroof

- Electric driver's mirror

- Foglights front & rear

- Rear window wiper

- 7"and 8" cookie-cutter wheels

- 80,000 miles

Rare L-series - Matching numbers

This particular example is a L-Series 1979 UK car with 180hp. Only 3,318 of them were built. With its factory-original cookie-cutter rims, Minerva-blue paint and tan interior, It strikes the perfect balance between seventies appearance and eighties reliability.

Over the years I have worked on and driven many SC's and this is one of the best that I have come across. It is original and in pristine condition, inside and out. It just received a comprehensive top-end rebuilt and re-upholstered front seats. Driving this car gives you an idea of what it must have been like behind the wheel of a new SC back in 1979.

The engine and chassis numbers are verified and correct. This was the 1063th L-series to come off the production line.

It is a real head-turner from all angles.

Immaculate interior - Ever wondered what a new SC looked like on the inside?

This car's tan-colored interior show no signs of wear. The carpets are in excellent condition, the dash is not sun-bleached or cracked, the seats have been re-upholstered and look like new. The seatbelts have been replaced with modern ones but the originals have been kept and come with the car.

Loose-fitting door pockets are a common problem with 911's from this era. Not this car.

Top-end rebuild

In late 2010 I decided to perform a top-end rebuild

When I bought the car it was clear that it was only used for short distances, and that over the last couple of years it had been hardly used at all. The timing chains were at the point where they needed replacement and there was a slight knock in the left cylinder bank. The engine didn't smoke, ran smoothly and pulled hard all the way to the red line so I knew there weren't major issues with it. Apart from new parts in the exhaust system, the service history showed no record of previous work on the engine. A physical inspection confirmed that. I decided to perform a preventative top-end overhaul.

I have stripped and rebuilt more 911 motors than I care to remember. Despite its age, this turned out to be the most untouched engine I had ever worked on. This confirmed my suspicion that the engine had never been opened, however it presented some challenges. Nuts and bolts that were fastened in 1979 aren't easily disturbed in 2010, and they break easily. I replaced every bolt, nut and washer and also all the exhaust studs. To make the engine new again turned into a very large and expensive project.

I soon found the knocking noise - a broken valve spring. The inner spring kept the valve from touching the cylinder and, surprisingly, the valves were all within spec. The guides were worn. The heads were sent away for reconditioning which includes fitting new guides, a complete new set of inner and outer springs, valve stem seals and re-seating.

The cylinders looked unused and showed absolutely no sign of wear. This confirmed my suspicion that it wasn't necessary to go any deeper into the engine - the sub-assembly (or short block) still had a hundred thousand miles in it, or more.

I removed the fog pump and air injection system and kept them with the car.

Parts that were replaced or reconditioned - Items in red have been replaced, the items in blue have been reconditioned

Carrera tensioner upgrade

Re-conditioned alternator

Re-conditioned cylinder head

This is what the reconditioned cylinder head looks like. The new springs and valve guide is clearly visible. The new exhaust studs are on the other side. The inlet studs (pointing towards the camera) seldom need replacement and were in good condition in this case.

Note the indentation in the inlet port for the fuel injector.

Cam housing with cylinder heads

The cam housing with cylinder heads attached. The rocker shafts, rockers and cams still have to be fitted. This assembly is one of the main sources of oil leaks and correct preparation is essential. With a 30-year old car there are no guarantees, however. To make double sure that everything fits the way it should, it receives new rocker shafts.

The cams showed no signs of wear which was a great relief.

Installation of head gasket

The oil return tubes have been electroplated and received new seals. The next step is to fit the head gasket (CE ring). Special care is taken to ensure that the groove in which the CE ring sits is perfectly clean as well as the cylinder sealing surfaces (top and bottom). The same goes for the cylinder-base gaskets where even a speck of dust may cause an oil leak.

The reconditioned air baffles are also installed at this point. Thereafter the cam housing with cylinder heads are fitted, and the head bolts are torqued.

The head studs were all in perfect condition and there were no signs of stud pulling.

Left side of long-block completed

New timing chains are fitted (with the link pointing in the right direction). One of the new chain rails are visible below the chain. Note how clean all the parts are. When it comes to engine assembly, cleanliness is next to godliness.

The chain tensioner is of the new hydraulic type. No more worries about the possibility of a collapsed timing chain.

The gear spacing is adjusted with shims and within factory specs. This important task is often overlooked when 911 engines are rebuilt. If done correctly, the chains run perfectly straight.

Cam timing adjusted, perfectly

Cam timing adjusted to perfection. This is a tricky procedure and sometimes has to be done over-and-over again before the desired result is achieved. Incorrect adjustment may cause the engine to run unevenly (if the cam timing is not exactly the same on both sides), it may rob the engine of power and may even cause engine damage of a valve touches a piston top.

The completed engine - Ready to be fitted

The end result is an engine that looks, performs and sounds like a new one.

New engine sound mat

The engine bay also received attention. The old engine mat (used for sound dampening and to keep heat out of the cabin) has been replaced with a new one. There are some aftermarket products out there but in my experience the original Porsche item is the best for a road car.

Porsche t-shirt
Porsche t-shirt

Porsche shirt to go with the car

Unique air-cooled 911 style

This shirt shows the full dashboard of a Porsche Carrera RS complete with 8000rpm rev counter. It is an ideal gift for the classic air-cooled 911 lover. Every instrument is replicated to the finest detail - even the little shadows under the orange needles. You may think it's a photo but it is a highly detailed vector drawing that took a very long time to complete.

I'm planning to wear this next year when I go to the Nurburgring Nordschleife or Le Mans. It is sure to attract attention from other petrolheads like me. Even at the Porsche museum in Stuttgart, I'm sure it will turn a few heads.


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      5 years ago

      Absolutely amazing write-up. We love the old air-cooled 911s, and this one sure is a looker. So glad to see you brought it back to life so you and others can enjoy it.


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