Tom Amon is a Master Porsche Mechanic.
Specializing in Traditional Air Cooled Models.
Service and Repairs for Traditional Porsches including: 912, 911, 911s, 930, 964, 993: Years 1965-1998
READ >> THIS STORY: Written by customer Gerard Vaglio.
Read recent customer comments:
Just wanted to say many thanks for the good work and late day you put in here today in this crap Cali weather. Very much appreciated. After Cub Scouts I went for a squirt in the pissing rain in the dark. Lots of fun. Big difference in the drive.
Thanks again. You are one of a kind, and see ya Wednesday! 🙂
I just wanted to thank you – thank you – thank you!!!
The drive home from your shop was a pure Porsche pleasure! When you repaired the entire shift linkage assembly (transmission shim to shifter adjustment) it made all the difference. I went from having to concentrate on shifting carefully to not even giving it a thought. It shifts like butter. I mean it’s so easy I am kicking myself for not having you fix it sooner. You’re awesome. You know air-cooled 911s like I know computers, maybe even more.
It’s a rare pleasure to watch you work. You have the confidence of a renown surgeon – methodically and skillfully sorting Porsches to their correct operation with masterful patience – A truly awesome thing to witness.
My 74 911 has never been more fun to drive.
BRAVO my good friend, Bravo.
I was glad to hear you were in your new home and location as I knew that was the plan when I picked up my ‘79 911 earlier this year. I really enjoyed the e –card … but I was hoping I would also receive your new address and contact information to update my address file — but then it occurred to me you use your web site rather than a fixed address.
Coincidently, I was thinking of you today a/inc/s I took my car in for a valve adjustment and fluid change at the 6000 mile mark (like you told me). The shop asked how the car has been running (Dieter’s in San Diego who have been servicing my car since I purchased in in 1983 — and who were disappointed I went elsewhere for the overhaul).
I was quick to explain how pleased I was with the car’s rock solid performance as if it had just rolled off the assembly line in Munich. (Perhaps better as I really like the throaty bass of the exhaust system). I commented that I was very pleased with my decision to have the car overhauled. What I did not say (because of the politics involved) was the best decision was shopping around the State until I found you. It was a gutsy move on my part to send my car and money without ever meeting you. But my instincts proved correct. You are not only on top of your game as a Porsche specialist but also proved to be a honest straight shooter that told me exactly what you were going to do, the price you would charge, and delivered as represented. I could not be happier with the car and fully expect it to run for many thousands of miles. To state the obvious, I would recommend you to anyone so please feel free to use my name and quote any part of this email as you see fit.
Best wishes to you and Lolita in both your professional endeavors and personal lives…
A recent happy customer produced
this Video: or Nose Bearing CLIP:
Time for some fun!
Thanks for all your great work on this motor. It’s part of my new project that is really shaping up to be a beauty! You’re the one I know I can trust for this project and the motor going into the car. This last weekend was sure neat. You’re expertise is hard to come by. The motor sure looks great. After having you put all the tough parts together, I feel confident I can put the rest together. I’ll have you back just as soon as I can to finish the tuning and make it road worthy!!
You’re the best!!
Here are some photos for your site.
UPDATED: Pictures of almost finished project.
MOTOR: (wow! Thanks Tom!)
This is my second 3.0 Liter, but this one is upgraded thanks to a few good parts you help me match up. The 9.3 Pistons and 964 Cams will add quite a bit to this car. Not to mention the 74 style tranny, and headers. I can’t imagine how cool it will be to drive this car, but I know it’ll be awesome.
Thanks so much, Nathan – Roseville, CA
My 1978 SC 3.0 Liter has never been healthier!
Once again, I am astonished with the way my Porsche continues to improve with age. We just added an MSD 6AL ignition module and a Blaster 2 Coil. It was worth every penny. Wow. It was as you said it would be. Smoother acceleration, just all around better and quicker. I’ll keep track of the mileage to see how fuel economy improves, and report back soon. The ticker now read 323,650 miles (yes, on the original bottom end…) and it drives better than ever before. What more could a guy want? Not a whole lot, not a whole lot!
The gorgeous install of today’s visit:
Thanks for the fine work on my Porsche. Looking forward to seeing you in the future.
Tom is the best, wonderful to work with. Anyone in the bay area thinking of working with him won’t be disappointed. He even lets you watch if you want, it doesn’t get any better.
… the amount of equipment and stuff he crams into that yukon is staggering.
lucky man, loves his job. he IS good.
1981 white 911SC coupe.
How long has he been working on Porsches?
A looooonnnnngggg time !!!
Seriously, you won’t get anyone better period.
The fact that you can do some prep/finish work yourself (read save $$$) and ask questions and it’s pretty much a no brainer.
I have used Tom … he’s very good.
1987 Guards Red Targa
Tom stopped by this afternoon to take care of some maintenance on my 87 Targa. Here’s what he did;
Replaced\\repacked all 4 rubber CV boots and inspected joints.
Tightened V Belt
Repaired the cracked rubber hose on the “pipeline” http://www.pelicanparts.com/cgi-bin/…011032805-M100
Replaced motor mounts
E-Brake Pads clean up and adjustment
And the one I noticed most after a test drive…
Throttle linkage adjustment! Like many others on this board, I was not getting full throttle.
I swear, every time Tom works on my car, I get some ponies back.
Next up, goodbye 6s, hello 7s and 9s, and then Tom will lower my 4×4!
Once again, Tom is fantastic. He allowed me to watch him work on my car and I learned a little bit about CV joints and throttle linkage today.
If you’re in the Bay Area and need work done on your 911, give him a ring.
Tom, the Blue Angels flew over right after you left.
87 Targa – L35Y
What can I say, did I ever think I would have a mechanic come to my house to work on my Carrera? Never considered it until a few weeks ago while digging through this forum looking for someone to baseline my newly purchased 1987 911 Targa. After reading post after post about the great work that Tom Amon does, I figured I give him a shot. Well, here I am adding another POSITIVE post about this guy and his work. I could go on and on… He’s friendly, keeps the work area CLEAN, does not mind if you hang back and watch him work his magic on your Porsche, and answered all my questions (silly as some may have been). Did I mention he was friendly! If you have an 89 or earlier 911 and you’re looking for someone you TRUST to work on it, then Tom Amon is the guy.
My Carrera is purring at idle and growling when you get on it! It’s running so smooth right now I can’t believe it. I have been driving her for 3 weeks and she is alive now. I couldn’t be happier with the work and the price. When he was ready to split, he asked me to take her for a drive while he waited in his truck in front of my house. He wanted to make sure there was a smile on my face before he left, and guess what, I was grinning like the Cheshire cat.
Next up, CV boots and drop it a bit. 26” from the ground to lip of fender all the way around. Need to bring her down a bit. I will be calling Mobile Works West to take care of this…
Covers a good portion of the Bay Area in CA.
Thanks again Tom! Nice to meet you! Sorry about all the trains and planes!
87 Targa – L35Y
Tom Amon is the way to go. He just put my motor back in and got my car running, he great to work with and knows his stuff.
Jay – ’72 911 T
There is … Mobile Works West servicing the bay area.
Tom Amon with reasonable rates. I would never take an older Porsche to a dealer with those two on the prowl.
Gawd forbid an honest, competent mechanic in the So Cal area take a page out of Tom’s book. They’d be busy as a one legged man in an a$$ kicking contest.
87 911 Factory Turbo-Look Cab
I went to the Parts Heaven swap meet on Sunday and enjoyed a leisurely stroll, sipping coffee, gazing at all the hardware.
I saw Tom Amon of Mobile Works West, and we exchanged some light conversation.
While on the topic of P-cars, I asked Tom about a noise my front suspension seemed to be making.
On a Sunday, Tom asked me to bring the car around so we could take a quick drive. One drive down the street, and Tom suggested something possibly going on with the front strut.
Bottom line: Tom took time to help a customer free of charge on a Sunday. After discovering a loose strut cap, I ran back to the swap meet to slap Tom with a $20. He wouldn’t hear of it!
Again, I am extremely happy with Tom’s professionalism, experience, expertise, and willingness to help a guy out.
THANKS AGAIN TOM!
For those who are not familiar, Tom has a mobile Porsche shop on wheels and can perform many tasks on the spot.
BTW, his pricing is excellent!
Mobile Works West
JUNE – 2007 After re-installing my motor, I couldn’t get my 1978 911 SC (pictured below) running well enough to even get it to the shop. It was barely idling, backfiring and sounded horrible. I was really concerned. After calling Mobile Works West and setting up an appointment Tom assured me – he’d probably only need a few hours with it to get it back in running order – so I had some hope that perhaps it could be fixed.
Tom drove all the way from Campbell to where I live in Roseville. (150 miles) The amazing thing was: even with the extra cost of the travel fee, it cost me FAR less than I was expecting. It was literally just few hours, and my pride and joy was purring like a well tuned German machine. Beats the heck out of the alternatives! No more shops for me! more…
Even more amazing: I knew that by the way it sounded, I could expect it to run without any worries – so much so, that I literally got in, drove it 150 miles to San Jose, met a customer, drove all the way home and it never missed a beat. Now that is confidence in the mechanic. It was a terrific thrill to be able to drive it that distance and experience the car in fine form. It’s now running the best it has in the entire 7 years I have owned the car.
Thank you Tom, you’re the best.
P,S, The odometer now reads over 326,000 and it’s still running strong on the original bottom end. These Porsche’s are truly AMAZING!
Update: Sold in 2007 to a buyer in the homeland… (Germany) So long… 78!
A story of Porsche Repair – Written by customer Gerard Vaglio
Tom Amon rebuilds the most important engine in Porsche history, mine.
Well, after a little over 150,000 miles my 3.0 motor gave up? It seems something called a main bearing, the one that faces the transmission, is to blame. It was worn enough to let oil spill out by the handfuls. A little scary to see actually but I initially thought it was just a bad seal since the transmission had just been rebuilt a few days earlier. When Tom arrived to drop the engine and inspect the leak he was able to wiggle the end of the crank shaft quite a bit and that apparently gave the oil an easy escape route. Repairing something like this requires taking everything apart so I was faced with the biggest nightmare any old car owner can have besides “catastrophic” rust.
Typically the 3 liter engines have a reputation for being extremely reliable. Bruce Andersen, author and expert on all things Porsche says that most 3.0s will be rebuilt in pursuits of more horsepower, not because they actually need rebuilding? I know I was banking on getting another 50k out of my 3 liter which translates into years of life given the mileage I tend to put on it.
Two things may have contributed to my motors early demise. The first is that I’m not the original owner and I don’t know what type of life my car led during it’s first 80,000 miles over in the father land. I choose to believe it was used to run drugs, guns and money through the black forest for fun and profit. A Porsche mechanic did look it over for me before purchase but never did a compression test. Please don’t chastise me, that was over fifteen years ago and today I’m a much more cautious buyer.
Ironically, the other thing that may have hurt my engine was, well, me? Me and my proximity to San Francisco and it’s many steep hills that is. I have a bad habit of balancing the car on the hills by skillfully feathering the clutch. This allows me to leave the light without any dramatics or hesitation, I hate to make other drivers with automatic transmissions wait.
I always knew this was bad for the clutch but now I’ve learned that there is a possibility that this may also rob the main barring of lubrication. What can I say, had I known, I would have done things differently. By the way, I’m still not sure this was the cause of the problem so any other reasonable explanations would be welcome.
On a happier note, working with Tom is a real trip. He dismantled the engine at my house and left town with it in his truck? When this happens there is a little voice deep inside you that whispers, ‘am I ever going to see this guy again? ‘ Of course you do, he calls to check in and let you know he is accumulating the parts and sending your old parts out to be machined. I told him I was fine with that and did he know that I had been in and out of prison most of my life for a series of violent offenses against people who had ‘dissed’ me in the past.
Despite this information or maybe because of it Tom did show up three weeks later, as promised, with everything and he rebuilt the engine at my house while I watched and asked questions. The rebuild went without a hitch, in fact he did mine in two days thanks to my constantly supplying him with coke. Coka Cola. Also, Tom lives in Campbell which is about an hour and a half south of my house so rather then drive back and forth he spent the night in the spare bedroom and we had beer and pizza and watched attractive women eat mouthfuls of grubs for money on Fear Factor. How many of you can say you have this type of deep relationship with your mechanic?
Watching Tom work is like watching anyone who is very good at their job, it’s a pleasure. As he assembles the engine he coats all the parts that touch with a combination of oil, Teflon and secret sauce to keep all parts lubricated for the few minutes it will take the oil to get there after start up. His working style is nothing like mine. He doesn’t talk to himself, he doesn’t curse, he doesn’t loose patience. He can carry on a casual conversation while he works and he appears to be relaxed and happy while he spreads the innards of my child all around the driveway. The funny thing about this process isn’t that he’s doing at my house, it’s that I live in a small condominium complex.
For those of you lucky enough to live in an apartment or house a condo is a place where you must have window treatments that are white, avoid making noise, park only in your designated parking place and submit every bowl movement to the home owners association for approval. A condo is not really the best place to rebuild ones legendary boxer engine. Still, if your up front with people things usually go better. I put out chairs, snacks and cold drinks. My neighbors stopped by, looked around, met Tom, enjoyed a beverage and some sat for hours to watch him work. It’s fun and educational rebuilding an engine, like watching a segment of this old house only with an automotive slant. Several even commented that they were sorry Tom wasn’t going to be here all week? The guy became a local celebrity in two days?
Anyway, when the moment came to start the engine Tom firsts runs it without any spark to get the oil pressure up. You know what the slick 50 ads say, ‘most engine wear happens at start up.’ When Tom is satisfied that all parts are sufficiently coated in oil he starts the engine and here is the surprising part.
When Tom does start the engine it’s as if a switch was flipped, the engine starts in a fraction of a second and runs at a perfect idle. Immediately. It’s a little freakish, there is absolutely no cranking? No hacking, coughing, spitting, sputtering to life, surging or smoking. No spraying of fuel, no flames engulfed the customer. It’s actually anticlimactic, just an instant purrrrrrrrrrrrrrr that never varies.
There is also little adjusting to do? Tom did check the timing but it was already correct. He does hook up a gas analyzer to the exhaust to see what those hydrocarbons are doing, but that too was fine. I now believe that Tom checked these things mainly for my benefit. After all, shouldn’t the mechanic do something important during the first five minutes of engine life? He did watch the engine, rev it once in a while for effect but it was plainly apparent that this engine had never been happier. I remember thinking it may not have run this well the first time it started at the factory but then I’ve always had an active imagination. In any event, I’m smiling like a fool when Tom tells me it’s time to go for a test drive.
Tom wanted to drive it to see if everything felt good and of course I wanted to go along for its maiden voyage. Did I mention that Tom owns his own race car and apparently knows how to drive it extremely well. Sitting in the passenger seat of a car that Tom is probing for imperfection is, well …FUKN scarry. My hands searched for things I could hold on to to make myself feel safe like an arm rest or a small religious statue. I actually forgot all about the engine when Tom asked me if I’d like to see him make the back end come out a little. I think I whimpered no thank you and did my best version of ‘ isn’t it getting late’?
When the car finally did slow down I felt like I now owned something a little nicer then before. For the record, it’s really not a question of speed because I know there are much faster cars out there. I’d have to say it’s more a matter of feel. Newer cars are more refined and that can be nice on a long trip but this car is a little less refined and the sound, vibration handling, braking and now better acceleration makes it more engaging, more fun.
Specifically, Tom rebuilt the 3.0 out to a modest short stroke 3.2 with J&E pistons, new cylinders, 964 cams and some lucky charms all topped with a big old fashioned dollop of attention to detail.
So the bad news was that I had to do a rebuild in the first place but the good news was that I got to watch it being done by someone who cares. My old sc is starting over now with 235hp being added to its 2,437 lbs, shorter ring and pinion, lightened flywheel, enlarged throttle body and SSIs.
I’m sure most people think I’m crazy to do this and I don’t completely disagree. I also think it’s crazy to buy a new car and watch it loose the same amount of value in just the first few years but hey, who am I to judge.