Time to crack open our Porsche Cayman’s broken transmission

Tom
Update by Tom Suddard to the Porsche Cayman project car
Mar 5, 2024 | Porsche, transmission, Cayman, Porsche Cayman

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I’d purchased perhaps the world’s cheapest running, driving 981-chassis Cayman, buying this 2014 Porsche for just $15,000 last year.

Then my wife and I drove it cross-country back to our Florida home.

What’s the catch? Oh, nothing major–just two missing gears in the transmission. And after lots of dragging my feet and plenty of nice weekend drives in the first four gears, I finally threw the Cayman up on the lift to tear its transmission out.

That’s right: It’s finally time to turn this project’s page from “broken Cayman” to “repaired Cayman.”

At least, that’s the plan. Remember, Porsche has declared this transmission unserviceable part, so internal parts and diagrams are unobtanium. But why would I let that stop me? Time to dig in!

And I know what you’re probably thinking: “That’s got to be impossible to work on, right?”

While that was certainly my fear, honestly, this is one of the easiest modern cars I’ve ever worked on. No, it’s not a Honda. And yes, a real lift is almost a necessity to access its drivetrain.

But with the help of Chris, our videographer, during a few key moments, I pulled the Cayman’s transmission out in just a few hours, mostly by myself. It didn’t even require too many special tools–just a rack of E-torx sockets, and of course an assortment of triple square bits. (Hey, it is a modern Porsche, after all.)

Once the transmission was out, I pressure-washed off the grime, set it on the bench, and took a deep breath: It was finally time to crack it open, and I’ll find out what’s inside in the next update.

Wish me (and the Porsche) luck!

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Comments
dyintorace
dyintorace GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
3/5/24 12:54 p.m.

Mark Sudduth on X: "@GBlack_22 I just wanted to say good luck, we're all  counting on you. - Leslie Nielsen https://t.co/SBWKrjSykS" / X

Noddaz
Noddaz GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
3/5/24 1:25 p.m.

I don't see what the big deal is.  How much different can it be from that VW Fox you guys used to race?

(I can't even type that with out laughing...)

MauryH
MauryH GRM+ Memberand New Reader
3/5/24 1:36 p.m.

Good Luck! Been wondering when we were going to this, I'm betting it turns out great.

deaconblue
deaconblue New Reader
3/5/24 2:08 p.m.

Okay, say you can open it up and you are able to determine what is wrong and even separate the broken pieces/parts from the rest of the transmission.  How are you supposed to identify correct part numbers of the needed replacement components and where exactly are you supposed to buy those needed replacement components from, if Porsche says its not serviceable? Something like; "Well I suppose you can buy another broken transmission missing say 1st and 2nd gears and between the two broken transmissions you maybe able to reassemble one good unit."

Maybe the real question to ask is exactly why does Porsche say that this transmission is not serviceable?  Something to do with magic fairy dust sprinkled in side?  Or the fluid itself which is distilled from the tears of elves? Or was it because Uncle Fredric disappeared while hiking in the Bavarian mountains before he could complete his work on the factory service manual?

Ranger50
Ranger50 MegaDork
3/5/24 2:17 p.m.

In reply to deaconblue :

OEM's are getting into assemblies for repair purposes. It cuts down on comebacks, especially transmissions. The amount of people able to fix in the field is small. To bring someone up to speed the individual dealership doesn't have time to invest into this person. If someone wanted to pay me to fix transmissions at the dealer level I wouldn't have left. It's all the other bs that forces people out.

nderwater
nderwater UltimaDork
3/5/24 2:18 p.m.
deaconblue said:

Maybe the real question to ask is exactly why does Porsche say that this transmission is not serviceable?

Don't ask, and don't notice the J-B Weld.

APEowner
APEowner GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
3/5/24 2:35 p.m.

I've been looking forward to this!

MyMiatas
MyMiatas Dork
3/5/24 2:37 p.m.

We have to remember that they have a Bridgeport a Lathe and a welder.  IIRC it could just be a pin from reading past threads about the ride home in it.

dps214
dps214 SuperDork
3/5/24 3:12 p.m.
deaconblue said:

Okay, say you can open it up and you are able to determine what is wrong and even separate the broken pieces/parts from the rest of the transmission.  How are you supposed to identify correct part numbers of the needed replacement components and where exactly are you supposed to buy those needed replacement components from, if Porsche says its not serviceable? Something like; "Well I suppose you can buy another broken transmission missing say 1st and 2nd gears and between the two broken transmissions you maybe able to reassemble one good unit."

Maybe the real question to ask is exactly why does Porsche say that this transmission is not serviceable?  Something to do with magic fairy dust sprinkled in side?  Or the fluid itself which is distilled from the tears of elves? Or was it because Uncle Fredric disappeared while hiking in the Bavarian mountains before he could complete his work on the factory service manual?

The transmission is more or less common with the GT4 and also is basically just an audi trans minus the awd provisions. There's enough people working on the GT4s and some amount of service info/parts available on the audi side that people have figured out how to source most of the relevant parts.

adam525i
adam525i GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
3/5/24 3:54 p.m.

This seems more like a "Time to drop our Porsche Cayman's broken transmission" article to me.

I came here for carnage!

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