SUVs are all the rage, and with the Cayenne proving a big seller for Porsche it’s no surprise that Wheeler Dealers Mike Brewer and Ant Anstead would eventually get their hands on one. And with this 2006 example wearing a sticker price of less than $10,000 it was always going to be hard to resist.
Our favourite Wheeler Dealer headed over to see trade contact, David, who’d supplied the Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG that appeared earlier this year. Despite admitting that the rapid Porsche Cayenne was suffering from a few faults – problems involved the air suspension, brakes and cooling system – Mike was blown away by the performance on the road. That’s no surprise as the twin-turbocharged V8 produces 514bhp, allowing this 2.3-tonne SUV to sprint from 0-62mph in just 5.2 seconds.
Mechanic Ant Anstead was a little less enthusiastic, though, describing the latest purchase as a ‘Porsche money pit’ but despite its mechanical faults even he had to admit that Mike had found a good one. But there was plenty of work to do, so it was into the workshop where he could start by tackling the suspension.
So a big, expensive problem? Well, no. Identifying a faulty residual pressure valve in the rear suspension, changing these cheap parts on all four corners had the issue of a sagging back end sorted. And he was also able to tackle the noisy air compressor, a comprehensive overhaul including new seals had the suspension back to its best for just $200.
It was on to the brakes, which had Mike a bit worried. Replacing parts would be very expensive but another Mike came to the rescue. This was one a Porsche specialist who set about stripping the big front calipers to find out what was causing the pull to one side under braking, and what he discovered came as a big relief. New piston seals were all that were needed, and instead of breaking the bank the overhaul cost less than three hundred dollars. With new discs and pads fitted, the big Porsche now stopped as well as it went.
A smaller problem was next on Ant’s list, and that was to cure the rumbling noise and vibration that Mike had noticed on the test drive. That turned out to be the prop shaft centre bearing, a common issue on these models and one that’s easily fixed. In this case, a two-piece aftermarket part was used and while it cost $400 it did mean that removal of the prop shaft was avoided. The shaft’s flex disc – oddly known as a ‘guibo’ – was also replaced.
There was just one last job to tackle, and that was to find out what was causing the smell of coolant and the accompanying leak. Ant’s first job was to strip down the air intake system, exposing the coolant pipes located within the vee of the V8 engine. A common trouble-spot, these had already been replaced with uprated steel parts but a pressure test revealed leaking O-rings. The fix? A careful clean of the mating surfaces, and fitting new items using the correct silicone-based lubricant, plus a precautionary replacement of the thermostat, including new gaskets.
“We couldn’t believe how quick it was,” Mike tells us. “Every phone call we made for any parts be in suspension or breaks it was always five grand! So rebuilding the brakes for less than $72 or £50 was an absolute bargain. We had fun doing this one as it’s the world’s most powerful SUV and still today is so much value for money.”
The total cost for this high-performance SUV was $10,521 – just over £8000 – and after a great test drive at the Willow Springs Raceway Mike handed the car over to David again to find a buyer. Hoping to bag $15,000, they were confident that a new owner would soon be found.
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Wheeler Dealers at Discovery Channel