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3.8 S - How to replace Air filter and Belt in less than one hour

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3.8 S - How to replace Air filter and Belt in less than one hour

 
  #1  
Old 02-17-2012, 08:32 PM
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DIY - 3.8S - How to replace Air filter and Belt in less than one hour

Folks,

there are probably a lot of places describing how to change the air filter and the serpentine belt on this and various forums. But when you search for it, nothing comes really easy. So, underneath, I have written an easy step by step guide that will allow you to change your air filter and serpentine belt in less than one hour (it took me 30 minutes and I was doing it for the first time).

To be successful, you will need the following tools and parts:

- Air filter element (Pelican $21.00)
- Serpentine Belt Porsche genuine part (Suncoast or Pelican $37.00)
- Torx screw driver T25
- 7 mm socket or wrench
- 24mm socket (1/2 inch)
- 1/2 inch break bar (18 inch long)



A-Removal of the air filter on the 3.8S engine.

1) Using the 7mm wrench, unlock the three metal collars of the rubber plenum on top of the air filter box. Push the collars inside but do not remove them. Disengage carefully the rubber hose.



2) Remove electric connectors and vacuum line from behind. There are two connectors and one vacuum line that must be carefully removed: the connectors by unlocking the plastic and metallic tabs, and the vacuum line by pulling gently on the U shaped rubber hose. I am showing a picture taken from behind the air filter box to explain the process. Also, open the two cables holder (they open like a claw).



3) The filter box hold only thanks to three prongs (two underneath and one on the rear. When pulling and wiggling the box out, be very careful as to not lose the two rubber grommets located at the bottom of the box. To prevent such accident, I glued mine to the frame:



4) The engine compartment is now open. Tuck gently the two electrical wires and the vacuum line on the side:



5) When removing the air filter box, be very careful as to not damage the fine plastic film located underneath, that is used to give that great noise at mid-high RPMs. The picture below shows you where you fingers must NOT go:



6) The air filter box can be opened with your T25 TORX screw driver. There are 8 screws to be unlocked all the way (do not remove them from the box). The filter element is easily swapped with a new one. I usually write mileage and date on the side of the filter element with a Sharpie.

7) To re-assemble, just screw the 8 T25 TORX screws in place. Leave the air filter unit aside for now.

B - Changing the serpentine belt:

1) The serpentine belt is actually quite easy to change. The picture below show the engine compartment without the air filter box, with a plain view of the belt and its circonvolutions:



Pick up your break bar and the 24 mm socket. Insert the socket as shown in the picture and position the bar to your right:



Now, using your hand, gently push on the break bar (clockwise) to move the belt tensionner closer to the pulley. Do not be afraid to push, as the hydraulic spring is quite strong.



This will give you enough room to remove the old belt from the various pulleys.

Install the new belt starting by the bottom of the engine. Some wiggling will be necessary to remove and insert the new belt, as clearances are very tight with the engine mount frame. Follow the same path (make a drawing or take a picture if unsure) with your new belt. There are multiple models of belts and I went with the genuine Porsche part which is slightly more expensive. But this is such an important part that saving money would be foolish. Plus, you will probably change it once or twice in the life of the car, so it is not worth saving $10 or $15 with lower quality parts.

Again, press clockwise on your bar to give you enough slack to re-install the new belt around the tensionner. Et voila.

It is now time to verify that the belt sits nicely in the grooves and pulleys, that it follows a logic and coherent path, and perhaps take time to clean up the engine and the rear compartment. A clean engine is always more pleasant and easier to maintain.

Re-insert the air filter box, but not entirely - just position it into the engine compartment. Re-assemble the plenum starting with the main hose (larger one) and insert it into the air filter box. Make sure the top hole is also covered by the plenum. Gently tighten the collar, but do not overdo it. Using a 7 mm wrench should give you more than enough torque.

Then proceed with the small hose on top of the air box filter. Tighten the clamp.

Finally, insert the air box filter in the bottom grommets (you glued them, so they are secure) and the rear insert.

Gently connect the plenum with the intake manifold on top of the engine. Tighten the clamp.

Re-connect the vacuum line to the U shaped tube (you know where to find it, now). Re-connect both electrical connectors and secure them with the two plastic claws.

Final sweep with a clean rag on top of the filter and then on your forehead (respect the order, please). Admire your work, have a beer and tell yourself that you just saved a trip to the dealer and $400 of labors.

You just developed a special bond with your car and "she" loves you for that.

Turn the Ignition key and watch the new serpentine belt spin around the pulleys. You just did it.

Yves
 

Last edited by yvesvidal; 11-15-2012 at 10:02 AM. Reason: Title
  #2  
Old 02-17-2012, 09:47 PM
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Nice write up.

-HB
 
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Old 02-18-2012, 11:50 AM
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Nice job man
 
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Old 02-19-2012, 08:14 AM
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Thanks for the share !
 
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Old 09-29-2012, 12:36 PM
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Thank you all! I just did this project today.

The airbox came out with no major issues, and the old belt came right off.

When I went to put the new belt on, the nut started to slip and I could not get the tensioner over enough to put the new belt on. A few breaks to cool myself off, and a little help from my 9 year old daughter and we tightened the nut back up enough to get the tensioner over and get the new belt in place.

To fix this, I found a tip over on R-List that showed that the nut on the tensioner pulley actually has a a bolt on the back side. A 15mm wrench pushed in there, and a twist on the tensioner nut got everything tight enough that the arm would move again.

My input is that the top guide pulley is harder to use as the last pulley to place the belt on. I used the one next to the tensioner (Just to it's left) as I could get more of my hands on the belt to push it onto the pulley. With my nut slipping a bit it was harder than I thought to get the new belt back on.

Also when pulling the airbox out of a 3.6L engine the Mass Airflow sensor and it's wire guide clip are easy to see, but there is also a fastener on the snorkel of the airbox going to another vertical tube on that side of the engine bay. Watch out for that. And keep an eye on the two rubber grommets that go into the frame under the airbox.

I ended up using a breaker bar and a deep well 24mm socket. I'd advise finding a shorter socket or 24mm wrench for this job. The deep well socket put the breaker bar right on the frame line and I ended up rubbing into that a bit during the process.

The new belt is now on, airbox was cleaned inside and out since I had it out of the car.

All in all it was not a tough task, I just got frustrated with the nut slipping, but my daughter and I had some great bonding time. She came through for me and rescued the day when I needed a 2nd set of hands.

Thanks to all for the great instructions and write ups!
 
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Old 09-29-2012, 01:09 PM
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Nice write up and pics. Doing all this makes the task take twice as long so rep points for your trouble. I think the guy with the most rep points when Porsche goes out of business wins a gently used 2001 Ford Taurus. )
 
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Old 09-29-2012, 10:28 PM
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Great write up!!!
 
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Old 09-30-2012, 12:24 AM
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Thanks for these step-by-step instructions with pictures!!!
 
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Old 09-30-2012, 03:08 PM
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Excellent write up...Thank you! I too checked and cleaned my air filters today using this info and process. However, my car only has 22000 kms (13200 miles) and the belt was OK.
I did check my throttle body for residue and black gum buildup...and lo and behold even at this low mileage there was some there. I carefully opened the butterfly (don't do this with the key "ON" and gas pedal to the floor as it will set a code for the MAF being disconnected, you have to use your hands - gently) and used WD40 and a soft cloth to clean the area around the butterfly. The car seemed to idle smoother and the throttle response at low throttle openings seemed to be better. Maybe my imagination??
Anyway...Thanks to all on these forums...the information and support is great!
 
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Old 09-30-2012, 04:36 PM
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Wa2fast - Did you just push open the butterfly to de-gunk it? I cleaned around the intake but did not want to push on the butterfly for fear of snapping a spring. Did you push open via the top or bottom?
 
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Old 09-30-2012, 04:43 PM
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I just pushed it open. The spring is a bit stiff and you're moving all the associated mechanism (stepper motor) inside that links the butterfly to the gas pedal. You won't hurt it, there's nothing there to break or wreck (as long as the key is off).
Once open, I just held it with one hand and cleaned with the other. In my case the gunk was still soft, and there wasn't a lot there. But for others that have never done this before and have high mileages...it could be baked on pretty hard and might require a soft bristed toothbrush to break it all free.
 
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Old 09-30-2012, 11:12 PM
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Thanks for taking the trouble to post. Just took out my air filter to dust it off.
 
 
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