The Porsche 914 engine dies, it starts, it dies... I experienced this recently with my 1973 Porsche 914 2.0. The immediate fix is that the dreaded Porsche 914 relay is bad. I foolishly was driving without a spare, so we “borrowed” the one from the pop-up headlamp. Switching the relays didn’t solve the engine not firing and I was miles from home. It was a flat bed ride to the dealer.
Yes, I said to the dealer, Porsche Asheville. Not many people take their 914 to the dealer still, but Porsche Asheville features an air-cooled mechanic, Kevin, who is extraordinary in diagnosing air-cooled Porsche problems. Kevin is a unique breed especially in a smaller Porsche market like Asheville, North Carolina.
Kevin immediately diagnosed the typical Porsche 914 relay problem also, but instead of a bad relay it was a bad relay board. We had noted in our attempt at roadside repairs that the epoxy backing the board was oozing out the back and down the inside fender. Not good.
Of course, at a dealer the first look is for an official Porsche 914 relay board. The last year of production by Porsche was 2008 so I was out of luck. Kevin proceeded to do an Internet search to all the usual suspects for discontinued Porsche 914 parts. There is no solution out there for such a crucial part. Shocking.
A little research indicated that Porsche swaged the Porsche 914 relay board connections instead of soldering them so after 47 years of weather, heat and many heat cycles these connections let loose.
Two solutions presented themselves: a salvage yard part or a repair of the Porsche 914 relay board. Being an official Porsche dealer the salvage yard was not the solution, but instead the expertise of an official Porsche certified mechanic had Kevin repairing the 47-year old Porsche 914 relay board by soldering new connections.
The first task is one of the hardest, removing the epoxy backing. Finding the broken connections and soldering them became the next task. As you can imagine the charge for this labor rather than parts. It was a four-hour job at $160 an hour (minus the 10% discount applied for PCA members).
My Porsche 914 is back on the road with a repaired relay board that hopefully lasts another 47 years.
Tags: Porsche 914, Porsche 914 relay board