Edit: Looks like the repeating first page feature has been disabled, so I've restored my original full intro here.
My name is Brent and I’m new to 914 World but certainly not to 914s. My 1973 2.0L has being lying dormant and neglected for over thirty years now and is long overdue for a resurrection. The path to where I am now has been a long one so forgive me for the long introduction, but some of you might be able to relate.
I wasn’t much of a car guy as a kid growing up in NE Kansas. I liked cars, but I didn’t LOVE them. But when I saw my first 914, it spoke to me in a way that no other car had before… or since. My first ride in a teener didn’t come until my senior year in high school when a co-worker took me for a spin in a 914 he had borrowed from his dad’s used import car dealership. The car did not disappoint and I was hooked! I knew I had to have one.
The year was 1981. I was 19 and beginning my second year of college at Kansas State when I took out a small loan to buy my first car. I found a barely road-worthy 1970 1.7L in Missouri for $2,300 and was beaming with pride when I rolled up to the college dorm with my new, but rather shoddy looking, prize. But being as I was 19, and that organ that would eventually become a brain was not yet developed, I managed to shove the nose of my new Porsche under the tail end of a pickup truck at an intersection the very next day. Devastated; I had the car towed to a little one-man body shop at the edge of town. The front left corner was toast. I had enough money left from my loan to buy a partial front clip from AA. I got a call from the body shop the day the clip arrived and was told there was a problem. I went to inspect and saw that AA had sent a wrecked clip. The fender was smashed and the cost to hammer out the panels was 3X the cost of the part. I got in a heated argument over the phone with AA when I was told that sort of condition should be expected with used parts. What a bunch of BS! Surface rust and a few dings is one thing, but this part has been smacked hard enough the turn signal opening was half the width it should have been. Pointing out that their own advertising promised used parts would be collision free got me nowhere. In the end, I had to pay return freight and a restocking fee to get rid of the shitty part. That was the first and ONLY time I’ve done business with AA and I’m still pissed 36 years later. Luckily, a 914 had arrived at a junk yard 60 miles away and I picked up the parts, minus the lid, for a fraction of what AA had charged and hauled it myself.
But my woes of fixing my 914 were far from over. The body shop guy told me he found a trunk lid and that if I prepaid for parts and labor, he could put my car back together, shot with primer, for $400. Like an idiot, I believed him. I took out another small loan and wrote him a check. Every time I stopped by to check out the progress, there was a different excuse. The lid was at another shop getting MIG welded to repair minor rust… things like that. Then the guy just disappeared. I spent a few weeks stopping by almost daily to find an empty shop. Finally, one day a crusty looking old guy was there. “Are you looking for Joe?”, he asked. “Join the club.” Joe had been bilking lots of people out of money and had skipped out of the country. The guy telling me this had recently entered partnership with Joe and had lost thousands of dollars. We would both shortly receive a bankruptcy letter listing us as creditors and leaving us with little recourse to recoup our losses. It was my first hard lesson in trust. The silver lining was that the new guy had another shop and took pity on me and completed the work that was promised at a very reasonable price. I know he lost money on the deal.
My now patchwork-colored teener was back on the road but I wasn’t any smarter at 20 than I was at 19 so my car would again suffer the consequences. It was a cold, snowy, Kansas winter when I was home at my parents for Christmas holiday. I had learned from experience that if I put the 914 to bed in that weather without adding a bottle of drying agent to the gas, she was not going to start. But I wasn’t alone and shop after shop was sold out of HEET. On the fifth stop, I finally found a few bottles and was heading home to my parents when I hit a patch of black ice at low speed on possibly illegal balding tires and wrapped the front neatly around a fire hydrant. Well shit! Here we go again. I was done with body shops and con-men so decided it was time to learn to weld. I found donor parts at the same junk yard as before and set about cutting out the damage and replacing using my brother’s oxy-acetylene torch. Amazingly, I managed to get the car back together in drivable condition. I won’t pretend it was a good repair job, but adequate. I learned a lot about working on 914s because just about every week, something new broke – clutch, torsion bar, struts, and the constant battle with bad wiring in the FI and ignition. I’m sure there is a part on a 914 I haven’t removed and replaced, but I can’t think of what that would be.
About a year later, my then girlfriend and now wife of 30+ years needed to replace her aging Honda and a nice looking 914 appeared for sale. It was a ’73 1.7L and looked much prettier than mine. We shouldn’t have bought it because it had been wrecked and not put back together right. It had a barely detectable sideways crab as it rolled down the road that a 4-wheel alignment couldn’t fix. But it made a good daily driver and was nice enough that when Elizabeth and I were married, her cousin hid the car for us so my original patchwork 70 got the traditional “Just Married” treatment.
Around that time in 1984, I spied an ad in the college paper for a 914 for $500. Always needing parts, I thought this was my chance to get a big pile of parts at a bargain price. After talking with the owner, I discovered this was a 1973 2.0L. (my dream model and year). It had suffered the dreaded hell hole and the RR suspension console was dangling free. The PO (who may have been the original owner) couldn’t get a shop to even quote her a price on fixing it, and I was welcome to go have a look. I found the car in a parking lot next to the local import car parts shop. I couldn’t believe what I saw. Not only was it my dream ’73 2.0, but it was metallic silver with 4-spoke Fuchs, center console but not appearance group (black bumpers and no targa vinyl. This is exactly the car I would have ordered at the dealership. I knew that the wheels alone were worth the asking price. From 30 ft., the car looked gorgeous. From 10 feet, it looked really good but you could see it had been repainted, and not well. The interior was complete and clean. The only thing wrong with this car was a rotten battery tray and suspension console. And even that rot was limited and hadn’t spread to other bits of the hell hole. I finagled another small loan and didn’t quibble on the price. THIS would be my car.
Back at the junkyard I found a console from the same donor I had taken the front for my 70 from. I spent a weekend in my parent’s garage welding it in and spent the next several years enjoying the hell out of that car. In the meantime, I rebuilt the engine on the old 70 to donate it to a VW bus and sold the chassis for parts. My wife’s ’73 became my project car and I earned my label as a DAPO botching an outer long replacement by overheating the weld and using poorly placed door bracing. The result was an increase in the sideways crab and a passenger door that didn’t close as cleanly as it should. I continued my assault on the car by stripping it down to respray in black lacquer – a purposeful choice to reveal all of the flaws. It was a lot of work and there were many goofs to be redone, but the end result was actually quite stunning. It didn’t last long though since I didn’t have a garage at the time and black lacquer is no match for the Kansas sun. But it did convince me that I could prep and spray a car with respectable results; better than the job on my 2.0L anyway.
I don’t remember the exact catalyst that caused me to tear it apart, but as much as I loved driving the 2.0L, it didn’t always love me and I was frequently stranded – and this was pre-cell phone days. The problem was almost always some damn thing with the FI. Plus, the car was leak oil badly and there were rust issues that needed repair. I convince myself it was time for a complete teardown and rebuild and I commenced to do just that. I was in my mid-twenties and Reagan was President.
Restoration Begins… and Stops… and Stops Again
I made a rookie mistake and started with the engine. I did a complete teardown and had all the bottom end parts machined and balanced at the local machine shop. Although I am kind of regretting it now, I decided to ditch the D-Jet that caused 95% of my reliability woes and opted for dual 40IDF Webers. Carb conversions were all the rage back then and I had lost patience with the FI. If I were to start this today, I’d probably keep the FI which I still have in storage. But to complement the carbs, I installed a “street grind” cam from Automotion. I’ve tossed my old Automotion catalogs and there are no other specs on the invoice. I only remember that the folks there recommended this grind to get the most from my carbs while staying close to the performance of the FI. The other mod I chose for the engine was a new set of OEM euro spec (8.0:1) Mahle pistons and jugs. I’ve always had this crazy idea that the euro spec cars were how Porsche intended and American spec was a compromise. As part of that rebuild, I stripped and repainted all of the tin with high temp paint and replaced the little hardware. Heads had not yet been touched, and Reagan was still the President.
Then life intervened. Elizabeth had put her college on hold while I finished mine, and it was while she was finishing her degree that I tore the car apart. Then it was my turn to go back for a graduate degree so the project went on hold. Time was in short supply. Clinton was President by the time I got my grad degree. Now neither time or money were as much of an obstacle, but having adequate shop space for the restoration was. All I had was an open carport that was not up to the task although I was able to turn it briefly into a makeshift plastic spray booth for the last car which we had since given to our nephew (kicking myself now). So, Elizabeth and I set about building a two-story barn with plenty of space for a large woodshop, mechanics shop, and spray booth. When I say build, I mean we picked up hammer and nails and built the thing. I must say; the thing was a work of beauty. All that was left was to install windows and then my restoration project could resume in earnest. And then I got offered a job in Bozeman, Montana which had been a long-time dream for this wildlife biologist. So without so much as ever rolling a car into the new shop, we packed up and headed to the mountains. That was 13 years ago and I’ve gotten a lot of grief for hauling my little project 1,200 miles across the continent. And she has weathered through many Montana blizzards sitting neglected in my driveway; waiting for me to come to my senses.
Maybe I am having my mid-life crisis but the itch to get this car back on the road had gotten too strong to ignore. Over the years, I would periodically cruise the Web for 914 news, but would quickly put it aside with the resignation that I’m back where I was with no good space to work on the car. But then I read Darren Collins’ amazing odyssey on this forum. Not only is it inspirational, but it also gave me an epiphany. The bulk of the work in a restoration is in cleaning and refurbishing small parts. I don’t need a big-ass shop for that. In fact, we do have a 2-car garage but half of it is filled to the gills with woodworking tools and the other half has to remain open for the daily driver so we don’t have to scoop and scrape several inches of snow off every morning, and to protect the car at least a little from the horde of deer mice that plague every vehicle parked outdoors in the mountains. But I have a plan. I purchased a set of 10” pneumatic castors at HF and will build a rotisserie on them. That will allow me to roll my chassis over my gravel driveway and in and out of the garage as needed. That will still leave the challenge when it comes time to paint (I don’t have the means to farm out a $10K paint job). But it will get me through strip, patch, and primer. We have planned on building a detached garage since we built our house. Maybe I’ll figure out how to fund it.
Determined to make progress, it was time to take stock of what I have ahead of me. The car had been mostly stripped prior to our move, but many of the parts that had been carefully stored in sheds wound up strewn haphazardly in the trunks and cockpit during and after the move. The old pitted windshield had been removed long ago and donated to the other car. The plexi I had installed to seal out the rain had cracked to shards and only the tarp over the car kept out rain and snow. The old tires turned to dust years ago, leaving the belly of the car only a few inches above the damp earth. Not the treatment I intended to give my car but it is what it is. I was prepared for the worst last week when I began excavating to survey the damage of years of neglect. The car wreaked of weasel piss and I actually found a weasel skull in the front trunk. But that weasel piss probably accounts for the surprisingly low amount of rodent nests found in the car. Considering the abuse, things could be worse.
Thirty years ago, I had all kinds of plans to modernize this car. But history gains importance as we age so now I want to keep it mostly stock. That’s also the easier and cheaper route given that the car is disassembled, but nearly complete. My rule for mods is to do nothing that can’t easily be reversed to original stock. The biggest sacrifice is that I won’t be blanking out the side markers as originally planned even though I really hate them.
Mods planned are:
Engine: These have already been done. Otherwise I might rethink them.
Great intro, good luck with your project!
Be sure to post lots of pics during the Rustoration. The 2 stage is more forgiving but I certainly wouldn't say it's more durable than single stage. Just the opposite, IMHO. This little project should keep you busy for a couple of years. Enjoy!
cool story! Good luck.
You have a lot of work ahead of you, but it will be worth it. You have many sentimental memories with the car so it will be worth every ounce of blood, sweat, and tears
Good point on 2-stage paint, I think I should have said lower maintenance rather than more durable. That may not be accurate either, but it seems with cars I've had with clear coat, I get better shine with less waxing. Plenty of time to change my mind before paint time comes.
What is the record for the oldest incident being screwed by AA? I can't be too far off, right?
And yes, many sentimental memories. It seems weird that I only spent about 5 years driving a 914 out of more than 30 years owning at least one. But they were very important years... first car, first wife (and so far, the only wife), first dog, first house, first real job... I guess I've always driven the teener in my mind.
Wow, quite an intro! I am in Bozeman, is your car up Timberline Creek?
It isn't often that we don't have to tell the new guy about AA! LOL! Good luck with the project! Oh, and your wife deserves a medal for letting you keep those cars around for decades...
Good luck with the projects!
Great intro; loved the whole story. Laughed at the AA screwing you took (sorry)- I guess that mold was cast long ago and they have never (apparently) changed.
Your project seems reasonable. Personally, I would leave the engine be for right now and tackle the chassis rust and once that is whipped into shape deal with the motor. Regardless, it looks like a fun project. Best of luck.
You have a lot of work ahead of you. All the parts can be found and there's plenty of free advice to be had. Be careful to pay attention to the alignment of the body as you start welding parts back on. I'd also contact Restoration design and see if they'd give you a discount for volume
Enjoyed your 914 story very much. I sure can relate to your experience with the car. Mine has been down for a year or two at a time during several periods over the 41 years I've owned it, and every time I get it back on the road, the car reminds me why I've kept her so long. You'll have miles of smiles when you drive yours again!
Nice story. It will be a lot of work, but since you have this car for such a long time, your emotional side talked to your rational side and that will give you the extra push you will need at certain moments. Good luck with all the work, looking forward to see the pictures and updates !
Such an amazing story. A story of life. Thanks for sharing.
Get a move on! You have a dream to fulfill!
I'd start with digging into the RH long first, no need for a rotisserie for that. You need to get it off the ground and perfectly level. You need to get in there and get a better understanding of what your up against. My .02c.
Here's what I did before I bought a frame bench.
We built a jig that attached to the front and rear suspension to keep the ends from drooping when you cut into the long. Plus you'll need door braces. I'd start with ones that allow you to keep the doors on.
I'd do a WTB on the rear trunk lid. If you did roll and weld in a patch. You'd be forever getting the metal leveled up. That is about the softest spot on the car. Once again, my .02c.
If I was still in Montana I'd have loved to come for a weekend and give a hand.
Good Luck .....................
Great story and kudos for hanging on to that car. You've got an ambitious project but you've found the right place for advice, support and resources.
BTW, since you're only going to keep it kinda stock, I'd get rid of the warts. They were just there for USDOT regs and not what Porsche intended for the car. 914s delivered in the rest of the world didn't have them. You'll be very glad you deleted those ugly things.
Welcome. You will have many questions posting up progress and what's holding you up will benefit you and others in the future. You can look at similar threads here as many have done project simular.
Restoration design will be a very good contact for you to have. The package will save you money. Assess your damage and make your list, it will be well worth it when you are done.
I hope I didn't come off too abrupt.
Your going to have great journey. Take lots of pictures. Dont be a dumbass like me, once a month rename the pictures so you can search them at a later date. Bag everything in freezer type bags. I label the bags with blue tape.
Hmmm. The in and out deal really won't work for the long work. You'd be spending more time setting up and re-leveling ............. I'd set the car up outside in a portable awning for working on it this summer. It's light till 11 pm.
The rotisserie won't roll on the gravel worth a damn. You'll need some sheets of plywood to roll it on.
I'll dig around for some door brace pictures. From 25,000 ft. The top is anchored to the upper seat belt bolt. The bottom, I weld a big nut to the side wall.
By chance is Kelly Seevers one of your neighbors? He lives up one of those canyons. Old friend from Albertsons.
Forgot about the MIG gas ...................... and the east wind.
We built ours with the rotisserie, sorry kind of cheating.
Sounds like your on the right track. Maybe I can break away for a couple days this summer and come over and check on you.
But the main thing is getting started and staying after it. Your passion is coming thru loud and clear .................
Made a little progress today. My engine yoke arrived so I hauled my engine out of the shed and mounted it on the stand.
That Mehling oil pump will be coming off and replaced with stock before final assembly. I let some yahoo talk me into it way back when. The 050 dizzy will also go. I paid dearly for it back in the day as they were getting hard to come buy.
To my horror, one of the cylinders that I had just freed last week and soaked with penetrating oil had already seized again. It took a little coaxing to get that one off. It turned out to be minor but scared the out of me.
It only took about 15 seconds with a hone to clean it up. You can still see a slight discoloration on this one.
Unless someone says this is a problem, I'm going to leave it alone. The other cylinders look perfect after a very quick hone. Tomorrow I will give the jugs a hot soapy bath to remove any honing residue and then give them a light coat of motor oil before slipping them back on.
While the jugs were off, I made sure all of the piston rings were floating free in their grooves. A few were gummed in and had to be work a bit to get them free. One of the compression rings from the cylinder that was really stuck and took about 45 minutes soaked in PB Blaster and a lot of gentle tapping with a wooden mallet before it popped loose. Once they were all free, I sprayed blaster into all the grooves and worked the rings around until I was sure they were all floating properly. I plan to give the pistons a wash with lacquer thinner before putting the jugs back on to remove any residue and then smear of motor oil unless someone has a better suggestion. I just don't want to leave anything behind that might interfere with the rings seating when I finally fire it up.
While things were open, I also peaked inside at the crank and camshafts. Everything looked good except some very minor flash rust on one of the rods. I put a drop of assembly lube on a gloved finger and rubbed it out. I smeared a drop on each side of all of the rods for protection. I also added a drop to each of the wrist pin oil ports while they were available.
Finally, I pulled out all the cam followers to make sure there were no issues there and turned the crank a couple revolutions just to make sure things were smooth. Tappet faces, bore and cam lobes were still well protected and lubricated with the assembly lube from when I assembled the case.
Once I have the cylinders back on, I'll spray the piston tops with Stabil fogging oil and stuff them with clean rags to hopefully keep them protected. The tectyl I ordered shipped today so I'll spend a few evenings recleaning the case and will brush it with tectyl when it arrives. Then I'll put a bag on the engine and move on to more important things. Should I fill it with oil?
I'm just glad I caught the engine in time. Maybe its screams were what prompted me to raise this project from the dead. I think if I'd have waited another year, it would have been a very expensive delay.
Love the story!!
You should decide if you want a restoration project or a 914. Once you start stripping down the car, you will find that every panel has rust, multiples of what you see now. A rotisserie wont help at this point, the car will bend, even with door braces. You will spend more money on replacement sheetmetal than you will to buy a nice running 914. And be years ahead.
I intended to get the car on a roll-around jig over the weekend but Rocky Mountain spring weather and other obligations slowed progress. At least I got the hard part done which was to mount a cross bar to the trailing arm mounts. The will ride on 2" rails supported by 10" pneumatic casters. I had rotisserie envy since this job took half a day and would have gone much quicker with the car upside down and inside the garage where I could weld without taking it off the car. I thought I had some flux core wire but couldn't find it. So I had to bolt the supports to the car. Jack the cross bar into place, and then haul my welder out to the car to make enough crappy tack welds without the benefit of gas to hold the bits together enough to bring it back in the shop to finish the job. But that's the way it goes.
Had another issue when I returned from the hour round trip to town to buy some bolts, only to discover that some yahoo had mixed non-metric bolts in the bin so half of what I bought won't work. I'll know to always take a voucher nut with me from now on.
After the weather turned bad, I spent some time sorting and reorganizing the various boxes of parts that have been moved and stored for thirty years. My box of NOS had an eclectic array of treasures I had forgotten I had bought. Including: caliper rebuild kits, flywheel shims and crush washers, ebrake cable, ignition wires, rocker hardware CV boots, and more. Some stuff won't be used and will wind up FS in the classifieds.
Overall, not a lot of progress; but at least it's progress.
Sorry, but I gotta ask...
Are you gonna be a dental floss tycoon?
New Wheels and Tires
Well, they aren't exactly stock but seem appropriate for the moment.
If I were to do this again, I would have put the car on a rotisserie first and then build the dolly jig. It's just near impossible to jack the car up in a way that the jackstands don't interfere with fitment of the jig. Add to that that one of my jack points was rusted out, I was doing it on a gravel driveway, and it wasn't exactly level. Let's just say that the operation was not OSHA approved and took two solid days to finally get the car on the dolly. Just in time too because within hours of wheeling it in the garage, it started to snow - that's spring in Montana for you. The 10 inch pneumatic tires work reasonably well on our gravel driveway. My wife and I were able to wheel it into the garage without too much trouble. But the pneumatic tires add a lot of rolling resistance and having swivel casters on all four corners makes steering a bear. I think I'll swap the tires our for solid core rubber wheels and see if that helps. I might replace the rear swivels with fixed casters but haven't decided yet.
Just having the car on the dolly makes it look a lot better and I was able to continue with what was left of stripping to the chassis and make a better assessment of the condition of the sheet metal. It looks like about $1,100 of RD panels plus a lot of fabricated patches will get the job done. But I'm hoping to sore at least a few panels from donor cars but so far, no luck on that.
I got most of the tar off the interior floor. The rear section is toast and will need to be replaced. The bottoms of both inner longs are badly rusted but can be patches with sheet metal. The outer flanges of the front floor panels where they attach to the longs are rusted in spots but can be patched. If money were no object, I'd replace the front floor with the RD panel but money is always an object. The two large holes under the pedal cluster that were a major reason the car was mothballed to begin with, did not repair themselves in the thirty years since, so those also need patched.
The left outer long is in pretty good shape. I had forgotten that I had patched that long and replaced the jack pyramid and tube and those look good. There is a small patch needed on that long but thanks to the rusted out bottom of the inner, I was able to get a pretty good look inside and don't see anything major over surface rust. I did a lot of stabbing with a screw driver to make sure it was sound.
Moving to the hell hole. Thing were not too bad. The console replacement I did when I first got the car has held up pretty well. I didn't get the rust stabilized as well as I should have, so there are some minor spots to patch but nothing major other than the right long which wasn't touched int he earlier repair. The engine tray is still pretty solid with a few minor spots to be patched, and I need to replace the engine seal track bead. The battery tray is toast. The support is still sound but will need to be removed to access other spots to patch.
The left outer roof pillar needs some minor repair and the right needs major repair. There is about 1/4 inch of bondo and a bunch of "California rivets" on the right quarter panel and pillar so there is almost certainly some metalwork to be done there. And there are lots of small patches in door corners etc. that need to be done.
On the ends, the front trunk floor and rear section of rear trunk floor need replaced. There's a good change the rear trunk lid will get replaced but I'd like fail at hammer forming a patch there first. It seems like a low risk skill builder.
It's a big project ahead. There will be surprises, but the sheet metal bill is about what I was expecting and doesn't seem horribly out of line. Last Friday I upgraded the gas bottle size for my welder and finally got a cart for the rig. I also made an offer on a 60 gal., 6.5 HP air compressor from Craigslist this morning to replace the one I sold with the house when I moved. Still waiting to hear if I was able to snag it. I hope so because I don't think I can do this without good air.
I love your story and the picture of you and your wife from the 80s I was married around then as well.
I do not want to come off as rude but I was born in California and lived here my whole life and have had a number of 914s from my 25th birthday on. I have bought and sold cars over the years and mostly rust free cars have spoiled me. I think you should see if you could get a roller from a dry state and get it delivered to you.
I think you will be ahead of the game. If you do not get a full car look for parts like hoods and doors. I know that I have an old hood and doors with little to no rust. Bruce Stone here can help you get good body parts if you need. Patching panels may save one more 914 but there are still a lot of them. You could get a pallet of parts sent to you from California. “California knows how to party” I was a huge Frank Zappa fan. It should not cost you that much if you combine a bunch of parts.
See what you can find as a roller. I paid $3,500 for a primo roller from Palm Springs that had been repainted really well and had a fresh interior in real leather. Radio, lots of great stuff. New windshield ECT. Carpet. I got the car in my Avatar from Camp914 and he had it delivered to me for $500.
This will all add up plus your time to do all of the work. There will still be plenty to do and you will be on the road much faster if you find the right roller. A fixed rusted car in my option is not as good as an original car. It would take so much more work to fix the rust that you do not see. The sail panels in side are crying. Lots of body panels inside that you cannot see are crying. The problem is if you do not get it all it comes back to haunt you. The perfect paint job 5 years later gets bubbles in it in some areas.
I had a 70 Challenger convertible that I bought in 1983. Looked premo. $3,000. back then. It was Hemi orange, fresh paint. Bought it at a car show in Pomona from 2 guys that brought it down from Canada. Sold it 5 years later for $4,000 after the rust started to creep back through the rockers.
One mans option. But one man that loves these cars as well as you do and as a businessman I look it all over.
Welcome to the board. Great guys and lots of knowledge. I hope I am not out of line.
+1 Zappa! (Whips out old vinyls)
Welcome to the board, just a little bit late.
With unlimited time, money, and patience all our little cars could be restored.
I've been down the road you're traveling - you have more skills than I did when I started. I wish you lots of great memories.
Really admire your passion for your 914. Best of luck, will be watching this thread!
P.S. - I had those same HF casters on my first body stand and ended up trashing them. The "swivels" got loose over time with the weight of the car and I became concerned one of them would topple when trying to steer around. Granted, my stand was much higher off the ground and made of wood.
If you have access to steel, consider building a rotisserie or octisserie (http://www.914world.com/bbs2/index.php?s=&showtopic=289586&view=findpost&p=2417844). Really wasn't too much more work and being able to flip the car over has made it incredibly easy to do underside repairs.
Off topic. But I too admire the plan.
I am thinking of driving out to that region this summer. Are there any Montana Wyoming Idaho etc group events such as drives? Made it to Arizona last year and had a blast.
Here's just a quick little side trip. Thought it might be fund to show the owner's manual package for this car. The tech specs booklet is something I bought when I started this deal. Am I correct this is NLA? I dug into the maintenance record and receipts for the first time. Learned the car was originally purchased in PA in June, 73. Then in 76, the car moved from PA to Kansas City. The receipt trail begins with the woman I bought the car from. Earliest receipt is from the same KC dealership for an owner' manual and car cover. That seems like a new used car owner purchase to me. There is no hint of when the car got its slathering of bondo and nasty Maco-quality paint job. My guess is that the original owner beat the crap out of the car for 3 years, then did a cheap makeover before unloading it. Maintenance receipts then go all over the east half of the continent: KS, DC, Houston, Fort Worth, MI, DE, Denver...
And a couple more docs in my files that have been gathering dust. One from a familiar member here, the other a letter from Bruce Anderson from Excellence Mag answering a bunch of dumb questions. If you can't read the date of that letter, it's Aug 15, 1988. Kids, before the Internet, this is the way people communicated long distance...
Saturday I swapped out the rear swivel casters on my dolly jig and swapped out the pneumatic tires on all four corners for http://www.harborfreight.com/10-inch-worry-free-tire-96691.html . The fixed casters were a big improvement but the flat free wheels were a bust. They are not solid rubber and create flat spots after a few minutes of sitting with weight on them which makes the car really hard to get rolling. So I switched back to the pneumatics and was able to roll the car out of the garage and across the gravel drive by myself on Sunday. I haven't given up on better wheels though. I want to try http://www.harborfreight.com/10-inch-x-2-1-2-half-inch-solid-rubber-tire-35459.html but they are not in stock at my local HF.
Most of Saturday was spent cleaning the tiny garage to reduce the trip hazard and continuing to strip the car. I sealed the deal on a bunch of sheet metal from donor cars. KevinW is sending me front and rear trunk floors, passenger side engine mount, and both sail panels for a very reasonable price that slashes my sheet metal bill substantially. Other progress on Saturday was scrubbing up the engine case that had become grungy and tarnished in storage as best I could, and applying Tectyl 846 to protect it. I don't know if this stuff was originally put on Type IV engines but from reading here and on Pelican, it is what Porsche used to protect 911 engines and trannys. I like amber look and will treat the carbs and tranny the same way. I will also be ordering new yellow zinc bolts and nuts for the spots that will be visible when the engine tin is on.
Sunday was door braces day and I would really appreciate if the experienced pros can check my work here and offer some wisdom. I stood in from of the heim joint bins at the hardware store for a long time because that's how I wanted to build these braces. But I couldn't justify doubling the cost for braces that will probably be used only once. So I went the turnbuckle route.
That door card and glass will come out before any more work is done.
Do these braces look okay? Is that lower nut placed in a good spot? It seemed like that inner long provide a bit more meat for pushing and pulling and is in more of a straight line with the roll bar mount point than the speaker grill area. But I could be wrong.
And now, more questions. Before doing any cutting or putting any tension on the braces, the door gaps are flaring wide at the tops.
The car was too close to the garage wall to get a shot of the passenger side, but it is only slightly better. 10mm at the top and 4mm at the bottom. This one is 13mm at the top in case you can't read it.
I think the hinge side gaps look good. I'm guessing about 5mm all around is a good target?
I'm not surprised the gaps were off but thought the flex would be in the other direction. The car has been supported by its wheels for 13 years and is not supported by the A-arm mounts in front, and trailing arm mounts (where the alignment shims go) in the rear. So now for the questions:
I haven't posted any progress in awhile but, despite a quick trip down to the Grand Canyon, there has been some. While waiting for sheet metal to arrive, I've spent most of my time continue to strip the car, organize parts, and begin cleaning and refurbishing. All the interior pieces got a scrubbing with Garrot's Garage interior cleaner followed by a wipe with 303 Protectant. The dash and knee pads are in rough shape but it is amazing how much nicer they looks with just a good cleaning. I will try my hand at crack repair later. Once the parts were cleaned, I bagged them in bags purchased from a local dry cleaner and tossed in some desiccants to hopefully keep the parts in good condition in storage. Our family room was beginning to look like a parts warehouse.
I spent some time refurbing the rusty and neglected instrument cluster that included repairing and resetting the odometer, repainting needles, and repainting bezels and mounting plate. The old mount rings are still in decent shape so I just cleaned them and gave them a wipe with 303 protectant. The worst job was refurbing the trip odometer cable which had been seized as long as I've owned the car. It took a lot of soaking with PB Blaster and heat, but I finally got everything apart, cleaned, and working again. Unfortunately I snapped one of the ears on the tiny little set screw that holds the knurled reset knob on so I'm trying to source a new one. When I was finished, my wife asked if I bought a new instrument cluster, which made me happy.
Just like Sheldon Cooper's spot - zero, zero, zero, zero... and one extra zero.
Next I turned my attention to the heater/ventilation control panel which was in really rough shape.
But with sanding, paint, and refrabricating a missing piece, I think it's an improvement. I googed a couple spots that can be seen close up. I'll probably try to fix them but they aren't noticeable at the distance a driver or passenger will be sitting, so I'm probably the only one who will ever notice. I even restored the glow in the dark finish to the up/down arrows. The chrome bezel will get replated eventually.
On Friday I picked up my first batch of sheet metal! A big thank you to KevinW who gave me a great price on these pieces which goes a long way toward keeping my restoration costs under control. He also was meticulous in cutting these pieces to my specifications and leaving me plenty to work with for final trimming.
On Saturday I was occupied cleaning up our family room and garage so didn't make much progress. My plan on Sunday was to start working on the front trunk floor but snow from the day before and two burst inner tubes on my cheap HF pneumatic casters prevented me from rolling the car into the garage, and guaranteed it would be less than pleasant to work on the trunk outside.
Instead, I pulled the sail panels I bought into the garage for prepping. Later in the afternoon, after the snow had melted, I started chopping on the car.
I was happy to not find any nasty surprises inside the roll bars. Mostly just surface rust to be cleaned with some minor repair work to be done on the passenger side. That's where I ended the day.
I'm going to leave the sail panels off until I complete the long and hell hole repairs since the holes provide some extra access to the inner fenders and door jambs. I've also decided to replace outer longs on both sides instead of just the passenger side. I just want to open up the driver's side to make sure the job is done right. But I'm leaning away from replacing the rear section of the floor. Most of the metal is intact but the bottoms of several bead channels are rusted out. I'm going to try making a hammer form to create good patches. If it doesn't work, an RD floor kit will still be an option. Finally, Cary was right that the rear trunk lid is trash. Not only is the rust more extensive than I hoped, but it was caused by a thick layer of cracked bondo over a shitty damage repair. So the trunk lid will be donating its sheet metal to other parts of the car.
Nice progress. Great to see another resurrection.
welcome and wow... you nailed that gauge cluster, it looks new, well done and gl
It is coming among well. Gauges look super. Did you put in a new plastic gear in trip meter as they all die after a long time?
Pelican sells them. I had the one on my 86 Carrera go bad. 70,000 miles and it just breaks from the I guess the grease on the gear breaking down the plastic over the years. I sent mine out to fix but you can do this yourself. They can send you the small parts by mail.
Haven't updated in a couple weeks but have been busy on the project. Continued to work on some little stuff in the evenings like cleaning up the fresh air control box that had been painted (not just overspray) by the PO. Took several days of soaking in brake fluid to soften the paint to get it off without damaging the plastic. Once it was finally clean, I refurbed with a kit from 914rubber and added the screen from the same. I read that some people had to trim the screen to get the gasket to fit. The trick for me was to install the screen in the gasket with the flange angle point down. Then start installing the gasket onto the box at one of the narrow ends. Work along the long front and back until the box is seated in the gasket groove along all but the last short end. Then I used a 4" taping knife to wedge the last end of the gasket into place. Not too hard and fits perfectly. I hope installing this thing back into the car is as much fun as I have read.
I also took a day to drive to Billings to pick up this Craigslist find. Not the screaming deal I missed out on earlier, but still a good supply of air for half the price it would have cost to buy new.
Of course I had to interrupt my work on Saturday to get it up and running. I was able to dust off my old Sharpe air separator/regulator that has been in storage since I sold my old compressor to the new owner of our last house 13 years ago. The next time I am in town, I will pick up an oil fogger and parts to plumb this so I have a clean air line, and an oiled line. I plan to use different style quick connects to prevent accidentally hooking up clean hoses and tools to the oiled line.
I also used my 25% off HF coupon to pick up a 40 lb. sandblaster on Memorial Day.
FINALLY - REAL PROGRESS!
Up until now, I have been swimming in the kiddie pool. Time to get serious and do something manly.
After much planning, I trimmed up the donor front trunk piece. The cancer on my trunk had crept onto the lower wheel wells. My donor piece had enough material to make nice patches. On the driver's side, I cut the spot welds on the wheel well seam to separate the wheel well remnant for later use. The passenger side had less rust so I decided to just include the patch in the trim. This turned out to be a mistake. Unfortunately, the pass side ear under the headlight bucket of the donor piece was damaged beyond repair, so I had to slice it to require a butt weld.
And here is the opening cut out, ready to receive the donor.
You can see the driver's wheel well patch laying on the floor. I decided to do this in stages to allow aligning the new trunk with the original pinch weld seam before cutting it out.
And here you can see the patch cuts for the pass side.
About the biggest PIA was getting the front suspension assembly bolted into place prior to welding to make sure all the mounting points stayed properly aligned. The problem was that the chassis is bolted to the rolling dolly via these same mounting points. So I jacked the front of the car up on a beam of doubled 2x4s to get the necessary clearance (and forgot to take a picture).
Despite trying to be very careful, the butt weld gap under the firewall wound up just a little wider than I was shooting for, so I rigged up a copper backing jig to hold things straight and help with blow through using a 1 inch copper pipe attached with washers and self-tapping screws. The copper wires were just to let me hook the jig on from underneath, and then pull it tight from the front to screw into place.
I didn't notice until seeing this picture that I forgot to strip the undercoating off the bottom before welding It didn't seem to affect the welds and I had a fire extinguisher within arms reach at least.
And here it is about half way through tacking.
And here it is in place. It will need some metal finishing. The butt weld on the ear turned out great, but the little wheel well patch will need more work. The top of the patch butted against some slightly pitted, but seemingly solid metal which blew out like a mofo when welded. I was able to gap the divide but am not happy with the result and worried it will be too brittle. So I'll be cutting that out and redoing to make sure I get into good, clean metal.
When I get the car on a rotisserie, I'll also weld in a reinforcement strip behind that firewall seam. I hate to do it, but that seems like it could be a flex point and I worry about the brittleness of the weld. I did try to minimize heat in doing those tacks, and let things cool down slowly between tack runs. But still... better safe than sorry I think.
The pinch weld on the driver's side was clamped only, and not welded.
So as soon as I had things in place, I gut another big hole out.
And patched it up.
That's where I stopped for the night. My welding was definitely rusty but by the time I got to this last patch, I had my 30 year old Hobart dialed in pretty good and was back in the groove. I should be able to finish tacking this in today and get it ground. It looks like the backside of seam will only require minimal sanding. That's nice.
I forgot to mention that the trunk bracing was removed carefully so it can be reinstalled after sandblasting and primer. Figured I'd take advantage of the extra access to that area as long as I can.
Awesome! I wonder if that is a reference to the song at all?
I'm overdue for an update here. There has been more work than progress but things are moving forward. First, I finished up the front trunk for now. There is still some metal finish work to do (I just received my new shrinking disc today), and I won't weld the braces back in until I can blast the areas under the headlamps out and get some epoxy primer on. Might as well take advantage of access to that area while I have it. Overall, I'm pleased with the result.
Then I lost almost a full weekend of work to finish up our little potting shed that is a hold over project from last fall.
Then it was back to the Porsche. But I knew my shop situation was going to be a challenge when I started this. I needed to make some improvements. So I devised a plan I think will get me through this project, and leave me with a garage bay to park the car when it is done. I did a massive cleaning and reconfiguration of my woodshop space to make room for rolling the Porsche into that side of the garage. Then I used an HF coupon to purchase a 10' x 17' portable garage and assembled it just outside my woodshop garage bay. I left the end at the garage door open so I can roll the Porsche in and out of the garage or tent as the need arises. I'd like to add a second door on that end, but so far I've gotten no response from HF about buying just the door end. I will also have to reinforce this structure before the snows come, or else it will collapse for sure.
The idea is that the tent will make a makeshift blasting and painting booth. To facilitate rolling the chassis, I had to bring in a yard of road mix to tamp in the driveway to level the transition between driveway and garage floor. Then I covered the gravel with cheap, 1/4" plywood to keep the dolly castors from digging into the fresh gravel. Thicker plywood would be better, but I'm cheap and this does the trick. I can easily pull the car in and push it out by myself. Finally, I covered the tent floor with thick tarp. The tarp catches blasting media for recovery and should help keep dust down when painting time comes. I tested the media recovering by blasting part of the rear trunk area with crushed glass. Then I rolled the chassis into the garage, lifted the edges of the tarp, and was able to shopvac up at least 80% of what I had blasted.
A bonus is that I can have the Porsche AND the wife's DD in the garage at the same time. That scored some bonus points.
Of course part of the challenge is figuring out how to get the tubs of car parts off the garage floor. So on Saturday, I reclaimed some space from a high shelf in the garage and loaded it with tubs and boxes. I found another spot of unused wall high on another wall, and added another shelf. It was just enough to get everything off the floor. The garage/shop never looked so clean and spacious. Then Saturday evening, there was a rumble and crash and I got
That is what it looks like when you just assume the shelf you installed 10 years ago had heavy duty hardware Overall, I got off lucky. The only damage was two OEM Hella taillight lenses. One was a Euro lens I planned to use. The other was a perfect condition US original that I planned to sell. The euro lens broke cleanly at the glue line between the amber and red sections so is salvageable. Anyone have suggestions on the best glue to use? The US lens is trash.
Despite the setback, I had been chipping away at cutting, cleaning, and prepping my donor pieces for the rear trunk during the odd hour here and there. By Saturday evening, I was ready to tack in the tail patch.
So I did
The patch is slightly lumpy along the spot weld line from having to weld up all the spot weld cutter holes. But it isn't too bad and I'm hoping my new shrinking disc with some hammer and dolly work will smooth it out. But first I need to finish welding in the patch.
So that's where things stand now. Next will be patching the rear trunk floor which should go pretty quick. Then the fun stuff with the outer longs.
This weeks update is a short one. I got the tail patch welded and ground...
and welded in the rear trunk floor patch.
Got to use my new shrinking disc on the tail to smooth out the lumps created from welding the spot weld cutter holes shut. It worked great. The surface is within about 1/32" of smooth. I think I could get it to perfection with a lot more time and effort, but 1/32" of filler seems a fair price to pay for gaining time for other work. I still have a small patch to fabricate on the lower right corner of the tail. Donor patch didn't quite cover that area.
The donor patch for the floor had some pitting at the rear edge under the seam sealer. It's still solid metal but caused a bit of bubbling on some of the plug welds. But it is attached solidly and the welds will be ground down and buried under seam sealer when all is done anyway. After applying epoxy primer, I'll smooth the pitted areas with a thin layer of FG reinforced filler. For now, I brushed on a coat of Jasco to convert any lingering rust left after blasting with crushed glass.
Unfortunately, I have to leave town for a week so won't be able to grind the butt weld to see the final project until I return. But it feels good to having the junk in the trunks almost taken care of. Getting closer to ordering some RD steel and diving into those longs.
Man, that's a lot of inches of seam welding you've done on your car. Looks really good!
I've been holding off on a similar repair I need to do to my rear panel and you're motivating me to get after it!
Keep up the great work (and the pics) and continued success on your build.
Overdue for an update again.
As usual, I like to divide time between rustoring the chassis and a more fiddly task I can do while relaxing on the couch, staring at the idiot box. This time, it was re-keying the door locks. I ran into a problem with the pass side door handle when the http://garage.914world.com/bbs2/index.php?showtopic=313066. Probably as a result of trying to get that handle off, I found a hairline crack where the hinge arch meets the mounting tab.
I knew that would bite me in the butt eventually so decided to attempt a solder repair with a propane torch to reinforce the crack to maybe by some time. I figured the handle was toast otherwise so nothing to lose. The repair actually went well and I think I had it... But then I decided to touch it up just a little better... I wound up blowing out a chunk of the hinge arch with the torch. It didn't blow all the way through, but enough to weaken the piece. Undeterred, I decided to experiment with the limits of cheap pot metal repair. So I melted on a big glob of silver solder and then ground and shaped it back to it original form.
Amazingly, that seemed to actually work! I reassembled the handle with spring and reefed on it a bit to see if it would hold. It did! And then I noticed that the hole on the repaired side was ever so slightly misaligned so the gap with the flapper tapered a tiny bit... like maybe 1/64". I stewed on it awhile and decided I couldn't live with that. So I decided to touch it up to make it perfect.
And here is the result:
I cry Uncle! If anyone has a handle with a busted flapper but good base they would like to sell....
Anyway, rekeying the locks was a piece of cake. Dan (a.k.a. Tweet) set me up with new tumblers. He actually went way beyond what I expected to get this done with minimum cost. Dan also sold me a nice ignition lock to replace the VW part that I had on the car, and a new key blank that I will have cut to code. Now I have all of my locks working with the original key for this car (glove box lock not shown because it already fit the key so I didn't mess with it). The frunk handle was also refreshed with a new coat of paint.
Going to hell.
Back on the car, it was time to dig into the hell hole. This is the make or break moment for the project. I had peaked inside with a fiber optic scope before, so there were no real surprises when I opened up the long. It's bad.
And still bad after a bit of cleanup.
After gaining insight and inspiration from many previous build threads, my plan is to rebuild the inner wheel well and lower section of inner long with fabbed parts and button up the outside with RD pieces. I believe I can do this without removing that outer suspension console.
I started with the top of the inner long in the wheel well by fabbing a patch made out of one of the sail panels I previously removed for replacement. Before this project, I didn't even know what a metal shrinker and stretcher was. This was my first attempt using one. I like these tools!
I carefully gut away just the top layer to keep the inner double layer intact. After cutting around the perimeter with a dremel and cutoff wheel, the layers were easily separated with an air chisel. I drilled the inner wall for rosette welding to the new patch. This should provide a strong reinforcement to the patch. Many thanks to Cary for pointing out the U-Pol copper rich weld through primer! I had been using Eastwood's self-etching weld-thru and hate it. This copper stuff is fantastic.
Then it was just a matter of clamping the patch in place and welding it up.
While I was there, I decided to patch the rust on the firewall.
I fabbed a couple patches from the other sail panel. So far, all the patches in this car have been made either from metal removed elsewhere on the car, or from unused portions of donor parts from other 914s. For some reason, I think that's kind of cool. The upper piece was my first complex bend on this project. I'm happy with how it turned out and this gave me confidence going forward. Here are the patches loose before cutting out the rust.
And here they are, welded in with just a little more grinding to go. I had one spot that blew through over the bend at the lower right of the upper section. I lost the definition of that bend repairing the blowout and the location of the rear engine shelf made it impossible to get a dolly behind to bump the crease back in. So I tried my hand at using body solder. My hat is off to anyone who has the skill to use this stuff I don't! In the end, I did get the bend somewhat redefined but couldn't get the solder to feather out the way I'd like. You can see my botched solder job just above where the pinch seam runs diagonal.
I'm still having trouble with that sunken edge around the welds preventing me from being able to grind the weld smooth without grinding away parent material. Do I need to increase my wire speed to get more fill in there? Structurally, it is sound, but it would be nice for all those welds to disappear without using filler.
And here it is with a temporary coat of primer. Not perfect, but not bad. I think it will look perfect with a very thin skim of FG reinforced filler. The dark spot is wet paint - not a dent. That weld bead in the pinch seam looks worse in these pics. But I think I'll hit it with the grinder anyway.
That's how it looks today. Next up is rebuilding the lower part of both layers of that inner wheel well.
You really are doing a great job on restoring you car. I have fear that a lot of people do bad jobs on welding their cars and that there are a lot of cars that the owners say they are restored but in fact they really are crap.
You should be very proud of bringing back you car that has great memories for you.
Since my rear trunk lid is not repairable, I decided to salvage the skin off of it thinking I could use it to fabricate patches for elsewhere on the car. I thought I had read that all the sheet metal on a 914 is 19 gauge but I must be mistaken. I cleaned up the nice sheet I got from my deck lid and threw a thickness gauge on it. 20 ga. dammit! I checked around the car to make sure my gauge was correct and discovered that all of the structural stuff is 19ga. but the body skins are 20. I think that's too thin for fabbing inner long patches so I guess I'm off to buy a sheet of 18ga tomorrow. And here I was feeling smug about the idea of creating all my patches from metal salvaged elsewhere on the car. Oh well, I can still use the lid for some door skin patches at least.
Nice fab work, and great progress. This is a fun project to watch.
I really enjoy reading this thread but hadn't kept up to date. Today I chuckled while reading your experience with HF tires/swivel rollers. BTDT. Wish I could have waved you off that experience. If you load up one of those hard rubber tires the wheel will separate because there is no carry thru sleeve/bushing. Liked your space solution. Rolling her in and out is a perfect solution.
What an inspiration. Take your time and enjoy the process. And here i am complaining about my emergency brake cable
I've been too busy to keep up.
I'm with Chris, thems are some nice fabrication skills.
Ditto on the tip Chris gave you. Slow and steady wins the race. I'm actually using an IR temp gun to check the metal before the next weld. On a stitch like that, 3 blips. Stop and let it cool. I know its hard to stop ................
Keep up the good work
Saturday Aug. 12, 2017
Spent the day cleaning up the mess from my previous inner suspension console repair over 30 years ago.
Boy did I not know what I was doing. I didn't completely remove the flanges of the original console and welded the new one over the top with globs of filler. Then I slathered a pound of bondo around to pretend that the welding (it was my first welding project) didn't look like Terrible workmanship. But I can't be too hard on myself. Crappy or not, for less than $150 and two weekends, I was able to turn my $500 car purchase into an acceptable looking, and very driveable '73 2.0L that gave me many, many, pleasurable miles of driving. Given the crappy workmanship, I wasn't too surprised to find a nest of tinworms lurking under the console that looks like had migrated to the outer console.
I already knew the engine mount was toast, so purchased a donor part from KevinW and he was generous enough to include both inner and outer suspension consoles with the part. I was hoping to not have to mess with the outer console but it is a mixed bag. I was already planning on getting an RD inner wheel house piece to patch that area and using the full patch makes some sense. So it doesn't affect the project budge which is always a plus. But it complicates the project because I'll have to figure out an alternative way to support the car while I do the repair and make sure the console goes back in the right spot. Anyway, I got the inner long mostly cleaned off.
Then decided I had better stop because the amount of steel left for structure on that side of the car was starting to make me nervous. I added an additional support under the rear shock tower just for extra measure. That's a copy of Jeff Hail's suspension dimensions taped to the quarter panel.
The Hell Hole
My pleasure cruise inside the engine compartment gave me plenty of time to ponder the origin of the name "Hell Hole." It seems obvious. This is the part that rots to either send 914s to their grave, or drain the wallets of poor suckers who try to save them. But a day in the pit got me thinking of some alternative reasons:
My fist time seeing your thread, Brent (?) - read it from start to current status this afternoon (when I should have been working on my car - lol)
Awesome undertaking and total dedication to achieving your dream car. Truly inspirational
Fab-iddy, fab, fabulous fabbing! Looks great.
I'm sure you've seen and heard it all before but it bears repeating:
Brace the bejeezus out of the chassis and go slow when you install all that long bracing.
Following closely so keep the great work coming!
August 16, 2017 - More fabbing
Not much progress the last couple of days. I realized that before I finish up that front lower long piece, I should fab the patch where the lower front wheel well wraps around to extend into the long.
Rich Casto also made this piece but didn't provide details on how it was done. Last night I took my first stab at it on a piece of scrap. I made another radius bending form using a larger diameter rod to match the bottom radius of the fender and bent the piece in the brake. That worked pretty well.
Next I spent an hour wearing my arm out on the shrinker to form the vertical radius. This really tested the limits of that little shrinker but kind of worked. As you shrink, the material widens on the flange side so I had to stop and grind that back a couple times so the piece would still fit in the throat of the shrinker.
I actually overdid it and had to stretch it back a little. I wasn't surprised that the edge that would become the weld flange split when I did that. The biggest problem here is that as the piece was shrunk to bend, the bottom radius narrowed and became more crisp at the bend.
I experimented with using the radius brake form as a stake dolly and banging the more gentle radus back out. This will work, but I need a better stake dolly to get a smooth finish. Sorry about the blurry pic.
I went ahead and bent the flange down to see how it would fit. Not bad for just eyeballing the curve.
But I don't like that split and am not sure this is the right way to go.
I could patch the split up, but maybe there is a better way. Anyone have ideas? What I really need is a better selection of dollies, I think.
I think the way to avoid that is to make that part in 2 pieces:
- the "top" part with the lip tipped in
- the "bottom" part with its lip tipped out
- weld them together along the line
Or give a go to hammer forming it?
I just worked up a piece via hammer forming that included an inside corner and was surprised how well it turned out.
Hope this helps...
August 19, 2017 - No Progress
I had to work on Saturday so didn't get anything done on the car. Work consisted of hiking through places like this:
And looking for things like this:
It's a rough job but somebody has to do it
August 20, 2017 - Back in the shop
First I cut out the old lower section of the inner long.
Finished up the front lower section of the inner rocker. I picked up a hunk of maple to make this corking tool which also is good protection against vampires, and a cheap anvil from HF to provide something better to hammer on.
The maple with a BFH does a pretty good job of forming without leaving as many tool marks. My forms for the stub bead channels are a bit fiddly for getting the metal aligned and clamped properly. Luckily, precise location of these channels isn't important so one is off by as much as 1/8" from the original. If I did this again, I'd make the forms as negatives like http://motorsport.zyyz.com/project_914_03_04.htm That might be easier. It took a full day, but I managed to get the job done.
The hardest part was trimming and forming that curved flange at the front. There wasn't enough left of my original to provide a good template, so I had to flip the piece over and match it to the driver's side to create a mirror image. I hit it lightly with an 80 grit disc on a 3" angel grinder to knock off some of the tool marks. That also made it too shiny to get a good picture.
Before removing the old, rusted section, I made a couple of witness blocks to make sure I could install the new piece at the right height.
This made trimming and fitting the piece much easier.
August 21, 2017 - Made rear section of inner long
Last night I was able to bang out the rear section of the lower inner long. It only took about an hour and a half thanks to a combination of experience from the first piece, not having to deal with two channel depths, and not having a curved flange section to hammer out. I didn't have enough left of the original to know how many, or where, the stub channels were located along the rear. I just assumed they were evenly spaced along the length. It looks like the piece will be trimmed in front of the last one, so that was a bit of wasted effort. I even had time to weld it to the front piece. Here it is, loose laid in place.
Hopefully tonight, I'll have to make the final trim and fitment, and get the first few tacks in place.
Man, I'm in awe of you guys who cut out such major sections of your cars!
Nothing but and
Great work, love the metal shaping you're doing. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on how hard/not hard it's been for you to get the results you're happy with.
Maybe I'm getting lucky but so far (knock wood/I'll take it!) but, I'm finding the fabrication goes pretty well. Some forethought and maybe a practice piece or two.
When I started my project just over a year ago, I happily confess I was a bit intimidated by the thought of trying to fit even a preformed replacement panel.
Sorry for the hijack, just curious to hear others' experiences. Again, great stuff and keep it coming.
what a great read and you really do remember the picture taking part, I always forget to take them along the way.
Super job and keep us posted...
Thanks for sharing!
It's all so funny/interesting. I've not worked with wood but I've always had beliefs like "heck, how hard can wood working be? You can do it with wimpy little tools that don't cost very much (e.g. wood lathe vs metal lathe), etc, etc."
Shows how little I know. I appreciate gaining a new perspective!
When people compliment my work, inside, I'm thinking, "man, if I can figure it out, anyone can." Not that I don't appreciate the kind words. I do.
Lesson learned for me about all things in life is: Come on people! Jump in and give it a go. With a bit of practice, I bet you'll be surprised at how well you do.
OK, back to work...
Got the bottom inner long trimmed and tacked in last night. Took an hour and a half to put that many tacks in. I'm relieved to be putting structure back in rather than taking it out.
Well, I lost two weekends of work on the car to travel. First was a trip to Boulder, CO to attend our nephew's wedding. The following weekend, I drove out to Seattle over Labor Day weekend to see friends. I logged over 3,000 driving miles in just over a week. I did manage to finish welding and grinding the inner long in between trips, but only took this crappy pic before moving on.
The day after my return, this arrived :
Back at it
I didn't have a lot of time during the week, but managed to finish forming the front wheel well patch.
And trimming the outer long panel.
Just seeing that panel clamped on was a big psychological boost.
The rest of the operation is going to require a carefully choreographed dance. First, I'm being careful not to remove too much metal at once. So, I'm trying to cut out a bit and get it structurally sound before moving on to the next piece. As added insurance, I added support for the chassis under the firewall to keep things aligned when I eventually have to remove that outer suspension console. Second, I'm going to paint all the internals with a rattle can of Eastwood's epoxy primer. Once activated, it only has a 48 hour open time so I need to have my ducks in a row to be able to paint and install all the parts within that window.
Here are the planned dance steps:
Cindy Lauper ...
I'm in between projects at work so was able to take a few days off to make some major progress on the Porsche. Things started moving pretty fast so I didn't do as well with taking pics of progress, but I think I captured the good stuff even if taken out of sequence.
914 Day - fiddly stuff
First up was fabbing this little patch for the rusty hole behind the door latch reinforcement. Easy peasy.
Next was fabbing the front section of the inner long, inner wall and prepping the long for installation.
Saturday Sept. 16
Fabricated a new bracket for the front heater tube and bead blasted both tubes and the spring steel mounting clamps for the heater hose. Patched some rust on the bottom of the door hinge post that will be rewelded over the new rocker and gave that a good bead blasting. Again, no pics, but many thanks to my awesome neighbor Rachel for lending me her blasting cabinet.
Sunday Sept. 17
Welded in the front section of inner wall and a new seat belt mounting bolt from RD. Then I tackled the rear section of inner wall. This was mostly just the flat bottom part so no pics. Most of the day was spent trimming and fitting the inner wheelhouse piece from RD.
Late in the afternoon, all of the parts were ready for primer, so I activated a rattle can of Eastwood's epoxy primer and went to work prepping the long and assorted parts for final assembly. The heater hose mounting clamps got sprayed with Eastwood's rust encapsulator to give them a black finish to more closely match the original finish that looked like it might have been black zinc plating. Yep, I realize nobody will ever see those parts but I'm weird that way.
Here is the inner long with inner walls repaired, seat belt mount in place, and sealed with epoxy primer.
Monday Sept. 18
I didn't have much time to work on the car, but managed to weld in the heater tubes and rivet in the hose clamps. I chose to use solid rivets to more closely match the factory parts. The only rivets I could locally source had considerably larger heads than the factory rivets, but I still think they look better than pop rivets. But they were a PIA to install compared with pop rivets. Again, I'm screwy that way.
Lastly, I welded in the inner wheel well patch and sprayed with epoxy. Here is the inner long all assembled and ready to be buttoned up. Don't those black hose clamps look awesome?
Houston, we have a problem!
My last act of the day was to clamp the outer long on to see how things were fitting. Well shit.
Tuesday Sept. 19
First order of business was to fix my screw up on that front inner wheel well piece. The old one was cut out and a new one made. This time, I decided to make it easy on myself and simply fab the straight section. It was bending the curve around the front of the long that caused the radius to narrow and not fit the outer long properly. The new plan is to fabricate the curved section as a separate piece after everything else is buttoned down. Leaving that patch for later will also give me easier access for spraying in cavity wax that I hope to pick up from my local paint supplier tomorrow. This new patch will do.
Spent the rest of the day rechecking measurements and tacking in the outer long and rear inner wheel house. Just enough to hold it in place to check final fitment but easy to remove if some adjustment was needed. The RD wheel house only needed some minor reshaping for perfect alignment. By the end of the day, it was starting to look like a car again. I took this pic a little late, but here's how it looked.
Thursday Sept. 21 - What Hell Hole?
With the main panels tacked in place, I screwed on the door jamb with zip screws and then bolted on the door to check the gap. Checked measurements again. Everything looked good.
Time to weld things in place. First was the outer long. I picked up this tool from Eastwood a few years ago and love it for rosette welds. Not only does the clamp hold flanges tightly together, but the copper backing lets me crank up the welder to max voltage for better penetration to the bottom layer.
I did two rosettes spaced out on top, then two on the bottom; blowing with compressed air after each weld. I made sure everything stayed cool to the touch and checked the door gap after every set. It took a couple hours, but eventually was done. Next I tackled the long process of tacking up the butt weld on the wheel house. Again, just a few blips spaced out with air after each round. When all was finished, the door gap and measuresments were unchanged.
Not all is perfect though. The lower flange on part of the rear inner long will need some tuning to mate properly with the wheel house. I'm not surprised given the complex fabrication I had to do with a lot of the original piece missing. It isn't bad, but I think it will have to wait until I have the car on a rotisserie so I have better access to hammer things back into proper alignment. I'll just leave that portion unwelded until things can be made perfect. But it feels good to have this monumental part of the rustoration behind me!
I enjoyed reading this, although some was painful to read. Good luck with your teener.
You really are doing a super job on restoring your car. I wanted to point out something. I see you have a new floor pan. It is a nice touch to cut the circle and 3 tabs out on the pan and use your old or you can buy NOS inserts so your car will look just like it did when it came from the factory. A lot of guys do not do this but it is a nice touch.
I have seen some guys cut the hole with a circle saw but I did mine with a jigsaw and it went fine. This is my 6 from 6 years ago.
Saturday Sept 23 - A little frustrating
Well, today was a mixed bag. Yesterday I sprayed the inside of the lower door hinge post with Jasco and let it soak over night. Rinsed it out this morning and ran the heat gun to dry things out. Made final prep to reattach the lower part of the post. It took longer than expected because I had to include a patch for the back side that is inside the wheel well. There is a lot going on inside that space and access is very tight. The patch slips in behind a flange from the fender and also has to be attached to the back of the hinge mount support inside the box. But I eventually got it in, but still need to grind down the ugly welds and fabricate an end bracket for the rocker cover.
I saved that grinding for later though because I wanted to get the threshold on. I didn't go too nuts on grinding the weld around the front of the hinge post box since it will be buried under the threshold once it is attached. Here it is prepped with weld-thru primer and ready for the threshold.
Putting on the threshold was going well until my welder took a shit and stopped feeding wire, which caused some crappy rosette welds that will require extra grinding.. After fiddling around for a half hour, I figured out the gun liner was toast. Luckily I had a spare that would work, but it took a good hour to get the old one out and the replacement in place. With the welder back in action, the threshold was looking really nice:
With just a little more welding left on the threshold, I decided to install the brackets to make sure everything was proper. Then I hit a significant problem when the bracket didn't fit right. There is about a 2mm gap at the top and front of the upper step
I took the bracket over to the other side of the car to test it against an original threshold. Perfect fit. I checked the other three brackets, and they were all the same.
I grabbed the trusty tape measure and discovered that the RD threshold piece is about 2mm deeper, and 2mm wider in the step compared with the original piece. I checked the dimensions of my driver's side RD threshold piece and it's also tall and wide. Yet the RD bracket fits the original profile perfectly.
I sent a message with these pics to RD to figure out a path forward, but this wont do. I could fab my own brackets to fit, but I think that is going to put the outer rocker covers 2mm lower and 2mm farther out than they should be, which will throw off gaps and alignment. Has anyone else run into this problem? For now, I have abanidoned the threshold until I hear back from RD and moved on to the jack pyramids. Before installing them, I made a template of the recess in the mounting location because I'm pretty sure I'll need to fabricate a patch in that area on the other side.
No real issues install the jack tube and plate except that my little 120v welder has a hard time with the thick steel of the tube, so the weld beads piled up like turkey shit around them. I did get a good stick though and will just have to dress those up a bit with the grinder. Overall, it came out pretty good but, of course, I need to knock those rosette welds down.
That's it for today. I was hoping to weld on the door jamb but the threshold SNAFU put a halt to that.
In a jamb
Still plugging away on the project. Peter at RD got back to me right away about my threshold issue. He said they could retool to change the profile on the part, but it would be at least a full year before that could happen. But I figured out that the minor difference in profiles between the new RD threshold and the original wouldn't affect the final fit and alignment of the rocker covers. So I decided to move forward with what I had. This required a simple modification to the brackets to make them fit, but no biggie.
With the thresholds finished, I welded in the door jamb and latch bracket, installed the latch,
and checked the door gap. An even 7mm. Once the quarter panel is on, that should close up to ~4-5mm. And the door latches easily with that solid German clunk.
I've also been busy harvesting hell hole parts from a donor piece I bought last spring. Still some work to do but the hard part is done. Man those suspension consoles are a bitch to get off.
In theory, I should be able to just bolt the outer console to the dolly and it should be aligned correctly. But I'll be checking measurements just to be sure.
It's starting to look like a car again.
Wow, Brent. You are not wasting any time. Keep on rocking. Before you know it you'll be
Mad skills, for sure
Just a suggestion ... I drill extra weep holes in bottom of the jack post supports
I'm stoked on your progress! Great work. You're killing it. Keep at it!
Looking REALLY good. And if it's anything like what I experience, it looks even better in real life.
There are lots of us looking forward to each your updates so get back out there and keep up the great work!
Very nice work. Did the same inner long work to my car. Doing the same to dion's car this winter. Sent him this thread as motivation. Keep it up!!
Threshold - take three
I see only Moose. Where is Squirrel?
Squirrel on porch. Here is Squirrel:
Must catch squirrel.
Very impressive work! Your doing a great job. I can appreciate that feeling of seeing it come together. Keep the photos comming
Wow! Great job.
Not sure what I like best?
The great work you've been doing on your project or....
the incredible wildlife you have up in your neck of the woods.
In a few years, I might move a bit more towards the great outdoors like you up in northern Idaho away from the hectic life here in Portland.
Skeletons in the Closet
This morning I decided to change my game plan. For a number of reasons, I'm going to hold off on installing the suspension console until I can flip the car on a rotisserie. This list of things that need to wait until this pig is on a spit keeps growing. So I decided to turn my attention to the driver's side long. First, I needed to see if I could turn this car around, in a small garage filled with too much crap, so I'd have room to work on the long. These pics make my garage look huge. Trust me, it's not! Turning this car was like a Chinese tile puzzle. Move stuff out of the way, Move the car into the vacated space. Move stuff again, repeat. At one point, I was able to move my table saw with only an inch of clearance. But I got the job done, and it's good to know I can do that without having to roll the car outside on the gravel. MUCH easier on the concrete.
First, an inspection of what I'm dealing with.
As usual, the driver's side isn't nearly as bad as the hell hole, but it still needs help. The outer long is rusting through in spots so has to be replaced.
Many years ago, I patched in a rust hole and welded in a new jack plate. I did a pretty crappy job so that all has to be cut out and redone.
The long is rusted out under the jack plate and I had previously cut out a section for inspection before the restoration went into deep hibernation. That would have been the same year that Chernobyl exploded. No, really!
The door gap is 13mm wide at the top on this side so I'm hoping to fix that. The measurement from roll bar to windshield frame is 7mm too wide. I"m pretty sure I caused this by putting the car on jack stands when I did the crappy patch repair.
Once I got the outer long cut off, it took just 3/4 turn on the door brace to bring that measurement back into spec.
With the long open, I made a thorough inspection.
The inner long is rusted through in a few spots along the lower wall near its midpoint.
There are also a couple small holes at the very front that I couldn't get a good pic of. I think I'll be able to patch those without removing that PIA heater tube. The worst is the section behind the jack plate which will require some fabrication. But I won't know how much I bunged up the inner wall with the original repair until I cut the quarter panel as I did on the passenger's side, and remove that jack pyramid.
The only surprise was finding this humerus bone among the rust and debris. It is probably from the same weasel whose skull I found in the front trunk during my initial cleaning.
That's as far as I got today. Next step is to remove that jack pyramid and then wheel the car into the tent to blast these areas with crushed glass. Then I will evaluate how much metal needs to be replaced and form a plan from there.
Moose outside, Squirrel in house and now Weasel in the long...
The Yellow Brick Road has nothing on you!
Love that you're sharing your adventure with us.
I WILL come and visit you! Not "try", not "plan"... WILL!
Wait, even better and more accurate: MUST! I MUST come visit!
(Like I need more motivation to get my car on the road...)
Well... setbacks today. I tried to set up to do a little blasting today, but winter is fighting its way into the Northern Rockies a tad early this year and my air hose kept freezing up.
My plan was to use this panel to replace mine, but I got it for free because it has been worked on before. I knew the lower section of the door jamb would need to be patched. But needed to clean it up to make sure the rest was sound.
I spent a lot of time yesterday separating the outer skin from the roll bar reinforcement the hard way. And when I got it open, I found this of a gift inside. A poor patch to say the least.
This panel is no better than the one I cut off. Between that, and the door jamb issue, it is trash. Oh wait, I will be able to use this:
I took a closer inpspection of the other side where I was planning to use just the sail panel. It's even worse:
Sooo... Looks like RD will be getting more of my money for two sail panels and another door jamb. That will make reassembly a lot easier at least. I'm waffling on biting the bullet and adding a front floor panel to the order. Mine needs a lot of patch work. Doable, but will probably require at least a week. Having an all shiny new floor is appealing but will mean another big freight bill too. The lesson here is to make sure you have ALL of your donor panels prepped BEFORE placing your sheet metal order.
I think I'm going to try to take my driver's quarter panel off while leaving the door jamb on so I can continue to check the door gap while I work on the long. Oh well, onward ho!
Some goodies arrived
On Monday I received my back ordered engine shelf from RD.
And yesterday, my suspension mount gussets arrived from 914Rubber.
I also placed another order with RD yesterday. I decided to bite the bullet and ordered the front floor pan. I think it will make for a better end product.
I continued the archeology to figure out just how far the tinworms have spread on this side. First I cut off the jack pyramid to reveal my old patch. It actually wasn't too bad if you ignore the ugliness. Just a flat plate welded over the inner wall with a square hole cut in for the jack tube.
If it weren't for all the rot around it, it was a structurally sound repair, but not up to the standards I'm aiming for now. We can do better.
Then I wheeled the car out to the tent for a frustrating afternoon of media blasting with crushed glass. It is snowy and cold outside which caused my safety glasses to want to fog up with my P95 mask on. And moisture had gotten into the pressure pot, causing the media to cake and not flow. But eventually I was able to get enough done to make a good assessment.
Unfortunately, the result is not good. While there is less rot on this side, I'm still going to have to rebuild the entire floor and lower wall of the inner long like I did on the passenger side. The differences are that I have most of the original to use as a pattern, the corrosion stops much lower on the side wall so I think I can do this without pulling those blasted heater tubes, and the curved part of the rear of the front wheel house is still solid so I don't have to replicate that compound bend.
The rear inner wheelhouse section is in much better shape than the hell hole but is still going to be work. The floor is gone below the jack support and the inner wall needs repair from the hump for the engine mount forward. But it's going to be tricky because access to that area is poor since the inner wheel house is solid rearward of the jack support.
The floor looks gooey in this shot because I had just sprayed it down with Jasco. The metal is a little pitted but still solid rearward of the engine mount hump. I think it will be fine with a Jasco treatment and epoxy primer followed by cavity wax.
Tomorrow I will cut off the doughnut triangle under the heater tube to get better access the the outside wall of the inner long. I know it is rusted through in a small spot where it passes through the firewall. I'm worried I may need to remove the engine mount to get access to make necessary repairs. I'd like to avoid that of course.
A Big Wind!
Well... on my to-do list for the weekend was pulling the cover off of the tent garage so it didn't collapse under the snow this winter. Friday night, a warm front came through with high winds gusting up to 56 MPH. At 4 am, I looked out the window and everything looked fine. At 6:30 am, I looked outside and "Bubba's room was gone!" That, BTW, is a direct quote I heard a guy say on the news when describing the aftermath of an Oklahoma tornado tearing through his trailer court. Here's what was left of Bubba's room Saturday morning:
And here's where I found Bubba's room. The only thing that kept it from blowing into the next county (which is only a couple hundred feet up the road) was a rope attached to the tent that wrapped around one of the trailing arms of my car. They apparently make good anchors.
The actual anchors were still firmly in the ground:
But the cheap-ass cable clamps failed.
Now I remember thinking that I should replace those clamps when I set up the tent. But I forgot. To add insult, I have a pile of good ones in the garage. The tent is a little torn up, but nothing some gorilla tape won't fix. But I won't put it back up until spring... which means mid-June around here.
Despite the late start on the car, I managed to finish cutting out the rusted sections of the driver's inner long.
Then I set to work fabricating a new lower section of the long. By the end of the day, I had the front half mostly done:
This morning, I worked on the recess for the e-brake handle. Getting that banged out to align perfectly was just loads of fun. Of course, bending that metal shrank the back wall, which warped the piece. So I had to use my shrinker on the welding flange followed by some hammering on the anvil to straighten things back out. It wasn't too hard, just took time. But I finally got the recess in pretty good shape. It will require a little hammer and dolly work to fine tune it once it is tacked in place.
Fabbing the rear section only took a couple hours since it is a much simpler piece. By late evening, I had the two halve melted together and trimmed. Ready to install.
Not a bad looking piece if I say so myself.
And about an hour ago, I had the piece tacked into place.
Looks great.. I wish when I made mine I had something to follow to make the recesses like you did but nothing for a pattern could be found.. I still need to figure that out..
Nice work Montana! Following your thread and soon to be looking out for your car. Great job!
* it was blowin a hawks ass here as well... time to adjust (the lean) for winter.
Ben PMed me about dimensions for the recesses in the inner long floors. I figured I'd post here in case it helps anyone in the future. Sorry for this crude drawing. I am neither an artist or draftsman and no longer have a CAD program on my computer.
- Areas marked recesses are recessed when viewed from the bottom of the long and raised when viewed from the inside surface.
-The long channel along the length of the inner wall forms the recess where the floor pan is welded on.
- All channels running perpendicular to the long channel start at full depth from the long channel, and taper to near zero depth as the approach the outer edge.
- Left and right longs are mirror images of each other.
- The rear sections of both my longs were rusted out, so I've marked the area where I have just assumed the channel layout. My assumption is that the long channel extends as far as the rear edge of the floor pan, and there is one additional perpendicular channel spaced the same distance apart as the two shallow channels. If someone has better pieces for pattern, maybe they can correct these assumptions.
- I used both centimeters and millimeters i the measure,ents, so pay attention to the units.
Hopefully this helps someone.
Good progress today. I finished welding in lower inner long patch. Then trimmed an dry fit the outer from RD. Then I tackled the outer wall patch for the area under the jack support.
I was going to make a hammer form for that pyramid recess under the jack support using 3/16" steel. But I didn't have any on hand and didn't want to wait until my next trip into town. So I decided to give it a go just hammer with the help of the vice and anvil. If you can forgive a few hammer marks, I think it will look close to factory fresh once it is burned in.
Next up is fabbing patches for the inner walls of both sides of the long.
Holy Toledo! Your car is WAY apart. I'm always in awe of you guys who (seem to) think nothing of lopping off 1/2 the side of their car.
There should be a club/t-shirt for folks who pull off this sort of thing.
Continued great results as you soldier on!
Lol Chris I assume you are talking about me as well.. That's the fun isn't it making something out of nothing..
Ben - Yep, you, bbrock and Dion come immediately to mind. I know there are others, too, that I'd lump in with you metal cuttin' crazies!
Oh Yeah, that list is LONG! And there is no way I'd be doing this if others hadn't documented their processes before me. We are only the current cohort standing on the shoulders of giants.
I've gotten behind on updates so let's get caught up. Let's start with some more sheet metal porn. These arrived last Wednesday:
Now back to work. First up was finishing welding in the inner long floor. That went pretty well.
Next, I welded in the outer wall, inner side patch behind the jack support. That little piece took forever to get right. Between the compound curves and limited access, it was a booger to get shaped and trimmed. You can see my whoopsy where I trimmed too much off of a corner. I'm not too worried about that though because once the inner wall is in, it should be easy enough to fill in that corner with the welder. But still...
Now let's patch that inner wall. This was another piece that was a PIA to get shaped and prepped.
Tin worms had gotten to part of the inner wall over the hump for the engine mount bracket, but luckily, the outer wall had a little pitting, but was still sound. My plan was to include that area in the larger inner wall patch. But due to limited access, I couldn't get that little whoopty-do shaped and trimmed accurately as an integral appendage to the patch. So I made a template with tracing paper and just cut a small piece of sheet metal to patch that separately. Even then, there was no room to manipulate the welding gun, so the the welds look like turkey shit. But structurally, it is sound.
Next the larger patch and outer wall were prepped, and the patch was welded in.
Again, space was so tight inside that area that I had just enough room to stick the gun in with a bare hand. So the rearward portion of the weld job is a bit of a shit show, but structurally sound. I take no pride in this part of the repair. But the only option to make that area look pretty would be to open up the inner wheel well to provide better access like I had on the passenger side. But that option seemed like it was fraught with a lot of risk for limited reward.
Now it was time to tackle the inner wall of the jack support. This is a complicated piece and I was going to build a hammer form from maple or 3/16" steel, but then I happened to notice a scrap of 3" schedule 40 PVC in the shop and thought that might offer a simpler option. Sure enough, the PVC fit very close to the diameter of the doughnut I needed to create.
So I drilled a 2" hole in a piece of sheet metal with a hole saw, then hammered it into a doughut using a wooden mallet and the PVC for a form. This would have been easier if I'd have cut the PVC down so I was hammering lower on the bench. But my table saw was covered with crap and I'm lazy.
I was able to raise a reasonable facsimile of the original doughnut. It isn't an exact match, but very close and functionally equivalent. The doughnut on the original is sunk in an hourglass-shaped recess to make it fit tight against the pyramid of the outer wall. I created the recess by lining up the piece on the edge of my anvil and tapping at an angle with the edge of my mallet. This took a bit of finesse, but I was happy with the result.
Here's the final result.
Tuesday, Oct. 17 - the anti-climax
I spent a few hours grinding down welds and prepping things for epoxy primer. Everything was given a treatment with Jasco the night before. Then cleaned and wiped down with wax and grease remover, and all flanges and butt weld areas were masked before primer. I pulled my second ratte can of Eastwood Epoxy Primer off the shelf and found it was defective. I felt like a Who down in Whoville who, after weeks of preparation and anticipation, woke on Christmas Day to find the Grinch had been busy. That exciting moment of paint and reassembly would have to wait. I should say that this wasn't Eastwood's fault. They had already replaced the defective can. No need to bore with details except that I thought the original can was still usable, and it wasn't. My bad.
Wednesday, Oct 18 - Primer, finally
I had a gallon of very expensive PPG DPLF series epoxy primer on hand, but no way to spray it. My only spray gun is an ancient siphon-fed high pressure pot, and I wasn't going to waste my $325/gallon primer through an inefficient gun. The next day, I took a trip to the local HF to pick up one of their cheap HVLP spray guns. It is good enough for primer, I think.
The new gun worked well. It was my first experience working with 2K paint or an HVLP gun. My how painting has improved over the decades! But in my excitement, I forgot to take a picture of all the nicely primed parts.
Yesterday, Oct, 19
I tried my best to shoot primer all the way to the rear of the long, but couldn't get it done. So I engineered and fabricated this high tech remote access primer delivery system.
And I at least got a pic of that result.
After this cures a week or two, I'll follow up with some Eastwood Internal Frame Coating as backup for any spots that might have been missed. And all cavities will be sprayed with cavity wax.
Reinstalling the the rear heater tube and hose went without a hitch. The outer paper wall of the heater hose split slightly when I removed it, so I put a wrap of Gorilla tape on just for a little added reinforcement. Would have been fine without, but I wanted to be sure. It would be nice to be able to clean that hose before reinstall, but didn't want to risk destroying it.
Then the jack area patch went in. I thought of all kinds of ways to offset the inner and outer wall welds, which is preferred. But access limited options and every alternative I could think of was fraught with risk. So I decided to chamfer the butt weld gap so I could make sure to run a puddle into both layers. It seemed to work well and the result is acceptable.
Then I welded in the front wheel well patch that extends into the long.
I wanted to primer the backs of those butt welds, so I designed and frabricated a space-aged limited tolerance primer delivery tool.
And finally it was ready to fit the outer long! I like to weld up the patch area at the front first. That way, the piece can move with any shrinking that occurs from the butt weld without pulling the whole frame structure.
That was a lot to cover. Today I'll dry fit the door jamb with zip screws and refit the door so I can check gaps while I weld up the long. I'm running low on MIG gas, so we'll see how far I get.
Its looking good.. I have to take off from updates this weekend as out of town.. Keep the great work up to take up my slack.
Trying to do as Ben says and keep plugging along. Yesterday, I got a lesson in why it is so important to wear underwear when doing a project like this because I just about my pants when I bolted on the door and dry fit the jamb to check door gaps. They were WAY off It was hard to tell how much was because the jamb needed to be tweaked for fitment, and how much was a real problem. But the gap was zero near the door handle, and (I'm just guessing) 15mm lower on the door. I decided I needed to trim the sail panel enough to clamp it on for a dry fit so I could properly align the jamb the way it will be in in its final resting place. That took a bit of fiddling to get right, but I finally got there and things started looking MUCH better.
But there was still a major concern. At the spot labeled "A" in the above pic, the door was 2mm higher than the quarter panel. I adjusted the sail panel as much as possible but still couldn't get things to line up. I looked for any possible adjustments at the door hinges and found none. It was puzzling because my measurements from roll bar to window frame, and across the door opening were both spot on with factory specs. It made no sense and I was getting really worried that something was seriously bent or torqued. Then I decided to just push down on the door above the handle area and presto, the door went into perfect alignment.
It's a little unsettling, but other than a couple small rust patches in the skin, the door is solid. Apparently, there is enough give in the door that it can be bent up or down a few mm.
Anywho, with that little nightmare out of the way, I spent the next couple hours plug welding the long shut. I'm getting better at my plug welding technique, but still have a tendency to overfill the holes a bit, leaving enough dome that they need to be touched with a grinder.
After welding, the door fitment and measurements were unchanged.
Just as a refresher of where this door started:
Last night, I got the jack tube welded in. Unfortunately, the replacement gun liner I ordered for my welder was for the newer style Handler and didn't fit my old unit. This leaves me with no way to run .035 wire until I find a replacement. So the inside weld around the tube required some grinding to not look like a pile of bear crap. After getting the tube in, I called it a night.
This morning, my welder gas was running on empty so I tried to use it all up in time for a run into town for a fresh exchange. I welded on the jack pyramid. I'll leave welding around the tube until I can run thicker wire.
I was still getting 20 lbs of pressure at the gun so I kept going. I welded in the threshold.
Still had gas, so I burned on the brackets.
Still had gas. So I started on the door jamb. Got it plugged on in a few spots and the gas gave out... 10 minutes too late to get to the welding shop before they closed at noon
Oh well, welding is over for the weekend. But there is plenty of other stuff to do. I ended with clamping the sail panel back on to admire the progress.
The gap is down to 2mm at the door handle, but that is just because I don't have the sail panel aligned exactly right. It will be fine with final fitment. I think this will be a good time to do a little shop cleanup and organizing.
Wow - AWESOME progress! And I hear you on the underpants and measurements... Nerve wracking. But man, you are knocking it out! Very nice.
And you have every right to be proud of the improved fit you've achieved.
(And you still have Sunday to tidy up...!)
Nothing too exciting this week but more progress. Monday I got a fresh C25 bottle for the welder and finished welding in the door jamb.
But I was getting ahead of myself because when I cut off the old door latch bracket, I found a spot of deeply pitted metal underneath. Yes, I'm stupid. It wasn't a big deal, but if the jamb were still off, I'd probably weld in a small patch. Instead, I just cleaned it back to good steel and zap, zap, zapped to fill the hole with the welder. Then welded the new bracket in place.
I have one last task to do before I can put the shell on a rotisserie. The bumper mounts were rotted out and it would really suck to watch the rotisserie rip the nose off the car.
I thought this would be a quick sheet metal patch job, but the structure is a little complicated. The bumper mount is actually a 3 layer sandwich of metal that integrates a bracket, inner wheel well, and front nose skin together.
After cleaning back to solid metal, I made a tracing paper template for the front part of the inner wheel well.
I cut out some rot in the bracket and patched it with 18 g sheet. Then I fabbed a new front piece of the inner wheel well out of 21 g sheet scavenged from the trunk lid.
Then a skin graft from the trunk to patch the front nose skin.
I'll do some more cosmetic work on this as I go through the chassis for metal finishing. For now, at least one side is strong enough to hange the car on.
These pics are a little boring. So here's a pic from Monday. You can see the frame of my tent garage at the bottom.
And here's an older one. This is my idea of a really good day.
It's been a bit hectic between work and this project so I skipped a week of updates. But some progress has been made.
I finished patching the driver's side front bumper mount area.
Then I hoped to start converting my roller dolly to a rottiserie to dive into finishing the engine compartment and replacing the floor, but I was waiting on parts to sort out my welder. More on that later. While waiting, I zapped a strip of 22g onto the drivers long to replace the vapor hose hold down.
Then, I decided to patch the firewall on the drivers side.
That hole above the channel bead was an unfortunate isolated pit surrounded by good metal. So I just zapped it closed using a copper backing plate.
For the lower area, I fabbed a patch and welded it in.
Still can't get rid of that shrink. Heating and hammering as Ben suggested helped, but poor access on the back limited how much of the seam I could hammer and dolly. It will only take a dab of filler to smooth those valleys, but I'd rather have it smooth with no filler. I'm starting to curse you guys that post pics of your invisible butt welds.
Still waiting for welder parts, so I harvested the rest of the hell hole pieces from my donor parts.
The battery tray had obviously been a replacement on the donor car and was in great shape other than a little surface rust. The engine mount was a bit crusty on the back, but still solid.
Both parts cleaned up nicely with bead blasting, but I have a little more work to do on the mount, so will wait to post pictures when they are done.
Unrelated to chassis work, I got a fun GB package from 914rubber.
It will be quite some time before I'm ready to used these parts, but I had to take advantage of the GB on the master cylinder. I hope I don't regret not getting the easy option.
All this welding and grinding has taken a toll on my shop air filtration filters. So replacements were in order. Certainly don't what that in my lungs!
And the welder parts arrived.
I wrote about this on another thread, but a couple months ago, my welder started acting up. I was still using the original, 30 year old, liner that came with my welder. So assumed changing the liner would make things right again. It wasn't easy to find liners for this discontinued gun, but I managed. But after installing the new liner, the welder was no better. It was time to face that I'd been in denial. The spark had gotten weak to the point that I was cranking the amps up to full power just to stitch weld thin sheet metal. After some research, I learned this is a classic symptom of bad diodes. So today I pulled them and tested them.
Sure enough, both diodes read open in both directions. The local welding shop sells Miller products, but they don't stock diodes and had no interest in helping me find them. This is the same shop that still sells silica sand for blasting media. Diodes are easy to find online and I have a set on order, but I'm dead in the water until they arrive. There are plenty of non-welding tasks to do though. So I'll manage to stay busy somehow.
Not a whole lot of progress, but some. While waiting for welder parts, I worked on a couple non-Porsche projects. But I did finish cleaning up the engine mount and battery tray, and treating them with Jasco. I also stripped the Dansk tray support I got from RD. The Dansk support comes with a super tough power coat which would be great, I think. But not so great if you want to primer and spray with the chassis. It was a bear to get off. The Jasco will need to be reactivated and rinsed before installing the parts, but they cleaned up nicely.
With the welder down, I turned my attention to the engine. The heads are the only things that weren't rebuilt back in 1989. You know, back when Madonna and the B-52s were making me weep for the musical arts. Even Neil Young was putting out crap. Why Neil... why? Anyway.... I disassembled one head. Some of those valve keepers didn't want to let go. But I got the valves out. Everything looks good so far, no nasty surprises.
With the heads disassembled, time to clean them. I gave them a scrub with soap and water to get the worst of the almost thirty-year old grease off.
Still pretty nasty. I loaded up the borrowed blasting cabinet with walnut shell to finish the cleaning. Then I hit another snag. The blasting cabinet I'm using likes to clog, but I was able to get it to work barely adequately with glass bead by pulsing the trigger to clear the tube. The walnut shell was a no-go. The best I could get was maybe 20 seconds before it would clog. Putting a gloved finger over the nozzle and puffing air would clear the clog until the rubber hose worked loose enough the pop off. Then I had to get in the cabinet and reconnect things. Too much of a pain. The little bit I did blast, worked really well. But this won't do.
I did a little online research and quickly discovered that the single tube siphon in this cabinet is the problem.
I just got the go-ahead from the owner to modify the tube to this double tube design which is said to work well.
This is another pretty boring update, so here is a bat:
Nice Pine. What state?
Cute Bat. That pick up tube looks like the one that transformed my
POS HF cabinet into a useful blaster. Eually important is the use of 3/8 ID hose and fittings. Keep on keeping on. Your almost there.
Diodes delivered! I made a special 6 mile round trip down our snowy mountain road to pick up the mail, giddy with the prospect of having a working welder by the end of the evening. I got home and opened the package, all aquiver with excitement.
, , and more
One diode kit and one.... nylon insert nut? Waiting to hear from the ebay seller on my refund request. I don't think there will be a problem, but another week of delay. This whole operation depends on a welder. Without it... no chassis work, no blasting cabinet repair. Might be a good time to start working on the wiring harness.
If this isn't interesting, here's a coyote.
Here's an update for the last week and a half. Progress is still slow due partly to the holidays, but mostly because I slipped on the ice on the steep part of our driveway last week and busted a rib. That has me moving a little slow... like Uncle Joe.... at the Junction. Sorry, couldn't resist. And if you got that bad joke, you're OLD.
While waiting on welder diodes, I pulled the main wire harness out of the shed to start the restoration. It's not a lost cause, but needs some help. First steps were to clean, assess, inventory parts needed, and taking lots of reference pics to put things back together properly.
Here's how the harness looked coming out of the car.
There are two main areas of damage to be addressed. First there is the bundle running from the 14-pin connector in the engine bay. Sorry for the blurry pic.
This brought back memories. It was a warm spring day motoring along I-70 in the middle of Kansas when all of a sudden... she quit. The sweet smell of burnt insulation wafted into the car as I coasted to the shoulder. The tach wire has shorted out and fried almost every wire in that bundle with it. Only two wires survived that meltdown. I spent several hours roadside that day wrapping burnt wire with electrical tape and splicing things back together enough to get the car going. I never did repair that damage properly so now is the time.
The second big problem spot is near where the harness passes through the bulkhead to the front trunk where a rodent commandeered several inches of the harness for nesting material. Only one wire survived this assault.
The rest of the damage is dispersed. Lots of missing spade terminals, wires snipped by rodents here and there near the terminal ends. A few insulation knicks, The instrument illumintion harness a good example of the random damage.
and lots of overspray left over from a PO's cheap paint job.
It seemed daunting at first, but like anything complicated, once it is assessed and broken down into bite-sized steps, it isn't bad.
First step was a good cleaning. I started by removing removing tape and zip tying wire bundles together to keep the groupings organized. As I removed
tape, I noted the size and type and ordered new stuff. There are actually 3 types of tape in these harnesses. There is the 9mm Tessa tape that has been talked about. It measures about 7mm on the harness but I think that is because of a combination of the stretch put on the tape during wrapping and shrinking from age. There is also vinyl tape approximately 1/2" inch wide used to band the wire bundles prior to cloth tape wrapping. They also used the wider 19mm cloth tape in a few spots, but those are buried so deep you wouldn't know it until you removed all the tape. I'm anal, but not THAT anal, so I just ordered the two narrow widths.
With the harness stripped down, scrubbed every inch with a nylon brush and simple green. Then everything a good rinse and let it dry. Next I wiped everything down with 303 protectant. It is starting to look new again. I forgot to mention that I also downloaded both '73 and '74 schematics from http://bowlsby.net/914/WiringHarnesses/#ReferenceLibrary and printed them out large. The '74 diagrams include wire sizes which I can't find on the '73 diagrams. So they are handy for sourcing the correct replacements.
Here's a before for comparison.
There was still the matter of the overspray. Most of this was on the tail light bundle and the one piece of black cable sheathing in the front trunk that is split. That was lucky because it could be easily removed. The painted sheathing and taillight section of harness got an overnight soak in brake fluid to loosen the paint. Then it was easy to remove with the green side of a scrubber sponge.
Gettin' wired continued
Now that the wire was nice and spiffy, I made a complete inventory of parts needed. I ordered a bunch of proper brass, open barrel spade terminals, a few right angle spade terminals, new brass bulb holders, contact cleaner, and an assortment of colored heat shrink tubing. Of these, only the bulb holders have arrived.
But that was enough to fully refurbish the instrument lighting harness. This consisted of splicing several broken wires using a lineman's splice, followed by flooding the splice with solder and sealing it with heat shrink. I have plenty of black heat shrink which was the right color for this wire. Finally, I soldered on new bulb holders where needed and followed with heat shrink over the joints. After a cleaning with contact cleaner, this should be good as new.
More importantly, I made a complete inventory of wire and jacketing needed to repair the main harness.
Perry Kiehl is checking his inventory of sheathing material to see if he has what I need. I'm working on sourcing the wire now. I forgot to mention that I'm going to eliminate the original fuel pump wires in the engine bay and relocate it to under the fuel tank. This will require running a new black w/ red stripe wire from the 14-pin connector up to the front trunk area, and a ground wire to a terminal somewhere up front, but yet to be decided.
I also decided to start re-wrapping sections of the harness that don't need repair or new wires strung through them. Not looking too bad.
And now for something completely different
In other news, the diodes for my welder arrived last week. It took about 45 minutes to put them in and the welder was hissing like a viper again. Unfortunately, in the process of bolting up the diodes, a lead on one of the capacitors that protects them popped off. I replaced it with the closest thing I had on hand, but I'll need to tear in there to put in the right value capacitor.
But in the mean time, I was able to mod the pickup tube on the blasting cabinet. Luckily, the cabinet already has a 3/8" hose and gun. So the mod cost nothing since I already had a piece of tubing on hand.
Boy what a difference that made! I can now blast away without clogs. And that meant I could finish walnut blasting my heads. Finally! A task on this car that didn't constantly shoot pain from my busted rib.
No signs of cracks on either head.
These will go in for rebuild soon, but for now, they already make the engine look nicer.
It will be nice to have those done so I can start bolting stuff onto the engine where they are out of my way.
Well Goodbye Dolly
I put the car up on jack stands yesterday, and today I cut up the dolly and made a good start on turning her into a rotisserie. She played her part well. Hardest part of today was dragging those long pieces out with a broken rib. Every time I pulled, I could feel my rib grinding. Had to called in the wife for help. After that, it was downhill.
Bummer on the bad rib. Heal quickly.
Looking good on all the wiring harness work.
I had high hopes of having a chassis hanging upside down in the garage by the end of the weekend. Those plans fell through when a quick brake pad replacement on my Pathfinder turned into an unplanned trip into town to buy new calipers, followed by an extended cussing session getting the system bled. Shot the whole day, but I'm glad my work truck/snow plow has new brakes.
That left just today to work on the Porsche. I made good progress om the rotisserie, but didn't quite make it to mounting the car. There is probably 2-3 more hours of work before the magic moment.
The new diodes in the welder have it hissing like a viper. Running .035 wire for 1/8" wall square tube. Working well.
In the mean time, I've been working on the wire harness as parts arrive. Theer donated a chunk of old harness to the project and I patched in everything I could. Cary is sending a care package with all the pieces I haven't been able to source new. I wasn't happy with the spade connectors I ordered on Ebay. They were okay, but a little flimsy for this project. I tracked down the OEM AMP brand crimp connectors and ordered a bunch from digi-key. MUCH better quality and a perfect match to the originals.
I also ordered some 3:1 black heat shrink to replace insulators on spade connectors. I'll add a pic later, but it is a perfect match to the factory originals
Got an envelope of gray heat shrink in the mail, so this morning I finished patching in the gray wires. I don't know, is this anal?
I need to do the same to my harness.. At some point and engine fire caused all kinds of issues.. Keep up the great work.
Before you go too far. Your building your rotisserie the same as I did. As soon as Doug's car comes off were going to change it. I what more precision on where i can lock it down.
We're going to cut back the inner tub and weld a plate on the end with a nut welded in the middle behind a hole. Then we'll fabricate a lock down handle, maybe a 914 steering wheel with a plate and a long piece of all thread. We'll do both ends.
Kind of like this. But we'll still leave the 4 pin holes for climbing in the tub.
My .02c for the am.
What I have seen is a gm or similar flex plate welded on to the rotating assembly and then a starter motor gear welded to a handle.. Probably the easiest way to get the rotisserie to have a true stop..
Saturday 12/16 - Rotisserie is Done
Finished building the rotisserie today. Took longer than expected because I underestimated how long it would take to cut and grind off all the brackets from the dolly so I could recycle the square tubing.
I'm a bit nervous about how tall they are. Everything looked good until I whipped out my big ten inch..... castors. I knew they would add height so I shaved the height of the center posts as much as I dared from specs I've seen online. I hope I measured right to allow enough clearance for the car to spin. Even with shortened posts, the hubs are about chest high. I'll see how it goes, but might wind up swapping out for smaller castors.
I tested out the locking mechanism. With the bolts cranked down, I'm able to hang my whole weight out on the end of the arms. I think with both hubs locked down, I'll be able to climb in the tub without spinning. If not, I'll drill a hole in each hub so I can drop a pin to lock them into the horizontal position.
Now I have to figure out what to use for cribbing to lift the tub high enough to mount to the rig. Everything I have is buried under snow. Might pick up some cinder blocks in town tomorrow.
Tomorrow is massive clean up, plowing snow, and catching up on some non-car related chores.
Dang I'm tired.
I've dreamed about this for almost 30 years, and now it's done. Fine German steel slowly spinning on a rotisserie. But it wasn't easy.
First I had to lift the car. Verily did this pucker my anus.
And even with the tub lifted as high as I dared, I still had 4 1/2" to go.
So I dropped two wheels off of each stand so I could dip the hubs low enough to engage.
Success! And those 1/2" brake bolts work like a champ.
With the wheels reattached, time to test the spin.
Not bad, but all is not bliss. Trying to keep this thing as low as possible, I shaved about 2 inches too much for the windsheild frame to clear the center bar for a full roll over. I could probably live with that but I'm afraid if the car ever got loose from me, it would swing around and make a really bad day. I'm thinking of two options. One is to cut the center bar under the cockpit and reweld it with a drop so the frame clears on a full spin. The other is to just cut the bar in half and add a small sleeve so it is removable. Then I would attach the center bar when I need to roll the chassis around. I can't decide. Opinions welcome! Overall though, this feels like a HUGE milestone.
Congrats Brent. This is my favourite thread at the moment - along with Tygaboy's. Makes for an interesting contrast.
30 years ? Hmmmmm I know the feeling unfortunately.
I would leave the long bar in one piece but weld a length of box section to the underside of each stand - and then slide the long bar into those. Same result - minimum effort. DAMM ! just realised there's a castor in the way. Never mind. What if you did the above suggestion and swapped the 2 inner castors for some much smaller ones ?
Good luck, keep it coming.
On mine I decided I really didn't want to risk something as you described so I just put stops so that my car will only rotate 90 degrees from sitting flat each direction. This allows me to still do all underside body work with out as much danger..
I'm right there with you on the pucker factor when trying to get the car high enough to be rotisseried. I'm thinking a nice mid rise lift might be justified!
Your car is coming right along.
(and yes, I'll get that window to you soon...)
The Seamy Underbelly
Got a good start on pulling the old rusty floor off. Of course, I made a mistake. I had saved my last Rotabroach cutter and pilot bit for this task; thinking it would get me through the project since this is the last set of spot welds I'll need to cut. I grossly underestimated the number of spot welds in the floor. I babied the cutter as best I could, dipping the cutter in Blair's special wax-based lubricant after each weld, and keeping the drill speed nice and low. Still, after 60-80 spot welds, it went dull. I pulled out my last HF POS spot weld cutter to finish the section I was trying to remove. After about a dozen welds, the piece of shattered. I flipped the cutter over and got another half dozen spots cut before the piece of shattered on the other side. But it was just enough to pull a section off and reveal all the crud in the tunnel.
Checked to see if I could pick up some Rotabroach locally. No luck, closest dealer is in Billings (150 miles). Ordered a new set from Amazon. With holidays, they won't be here until Wednesday. No biggie, there is plenty to do to keep me busy. But I couldn't resist clamping up the replacement to see how it looks.
Flanges on the RD panel are wider than stock, which is probably good, but will need to be trimmed. Looks nice though.
BTW, I'm really digging the 4-bolt brake system on the rotisserie. With all 4 bolts tightened down, you can't budge the tub. To spin the tub, you open both bolts on one end all the way, then loosen the other two just enough that you have to use a bit of muscle to spin. It provides the perfect friction to position it just where you want it without worrying it is going to get away from you. Let go, and it just stays. I can't take credit, this is Rich Casto's design.
And for those who are snow deprived for the holidays, maybe a couple winter shots. Here's a pair of pine grosbeaks on our feeder just now.
and a fox from our front window a couple weeks ago.
FLOOR IT, BABY!!!!
MerryHappy to you and yours, my friend.
The flange is longer then stock on the floor pans.. I figured when I spray seam sealer it would not be noticed.
You really showed your fine talents on how to put a car back in proper restoration.
Next year should find you with a finished very nice 73 that will be as good or better than it was the day you got married.
I mite say stay thirsty my friend but I think I will say, stay warm my friend.
Happy holidays to you, yours and Montana.
FWIW, I needed to trim my RD rear floor exactly that same way.
Oh makes sense
A Good Stiff Member
I can't cut any more of the floor pan off until my new Rotabroaches arrive, so I got bored and decided to play with my member... I mean... the center member across the floor pan It had rusted away around the e-brake switch.
But before I could get very far, I had an unpleasant task to complete. A few days ago, my air compressor started leaking. I tracked it down to a stuck check valve but the valve wouldn't budge, so I left it to soak with penetrating oil for a couple days. So, this morning I went out to the unheated shed that contains the compressor and went to work. It was 5 degrees F, that's -15C for those of you who live in first world countries. A.K.A. "cold as shit." Fingers froze pretty quick but I managed to get the check valve out. It was packed with fuzz and stuck open. A frickin' mouse had crawled inside the compressor housing and made a nest. Somehow, that shit got sucked through the cylinder and into the check valve. It has an air filter to supposedly prevent such things, but it obviously didn't work. Shitty design. Of course, that meant I had to tear the think apart to clean out all the crap. With the cold temps, I had to warm up the plastic shroud with a heat gun so it didn't just shatter when I unsnapped it. Got all the crap cleaned out and put back together. It wasn't too bad except a couple of itty bitty screws that were a bear to get in with frozen fingers. But I got the job done and hands warmed up. I'll need to do some rodent proofing of that shed, but not today.
So back to work on the rusty old member. Fabbed a new end for it.
Turned out pretty good. I'll need to cut out a hole for the e-brake switch but there wasn'e enough left of the old piece to provide a location guide, and the switch disentegrated. Thought about using one of the door switches as a guide but decided to just wait until I have a new switch in hand to make sure it is located correctly.
Next was the long process of prepping the member and trimming a little at a time to sneak up on a good fit.
That'll do. Welded it in place.
And smooth it down.
Seems like I'm getting a lot less shrink since I changed the diodes in the welder. I left the plug welds on the longitude flanges for later. No reason to weld overhead when the car is on a whirly-gig thingy.
That took most of the day. We have company coming tomorrow so I needed to knock off a little early to do some major cleaning since the project has spread from the garage and into the house.
Man, you're doing a magnificent job on every aspect of the restoration, Brent
Really nice fab/welding - a job well done! You're doing a great job on your build.
Brent + + =
Back in Hell
I went a little A.D.D on Christmas day. Started out planning to work on repairing the lower inner firewall. It only took about 30 minutes to have a good start on a fabricated patch.
But after moving the outer engine mount piece out of my way for the fifth time, I decided, dammit, I'm going to get that out of my way for good. You might recall that I mentioned the section of my fabricated inner long under the outer mount not mating perfectly. I had skipped welding that bit until I could flip the car up for better access to address the issue.
That also caused the mount to fit poorly. I was hoping I could just chase that flange into place with a hammer, but the double-walled construction locks things together very stiffly and it wouldn't budge. So I cut out the divot I had banged into the inner long to fit the mount to relieve stress, and now I see I didn't get a pic of it opened up. But it was a bit of a shock to open up the frame and find nothing but clean, solid steel and epoxy primer. Just doing that brought the clam shells together so it just took a little hammer and dolly to bring the inner to mate perfectly with the outer. I must have built up some stress welding in the inner wall on the first round.
This pic doesn't look great because I left the fabricated flange long and ragged so I could trim it back flush with the RD piece after everything was together. But the two pieces now fit perfectly together.
I finished plug welding that section but forgot to snap a pic. Next was the job of patching that hole. I needed to make two patches with that indent for the engine mount nested to form the double wall. I've been wanting to buy a metal shaping shot bag for just this sort of thing, but never did. So, it was time to improvise. I snooped around and found an old, partially used bag of mortar mix and a freebie tarp from HF.
I wrapped the mortar in the tarp and, walla! Redneck Shot Bag I alternated between banging on the hillbilly bag and the anvil, intermingled with a few tweaks on the stretcher until I had something close to the shape I was after.
At that point, I was able to use the mount itself as a hammer form for final adjustment. Light taps only so as not to ding up the mount.
Then I repeated this to make another piece that nested inside the first. Got too busy for pics. Next, I did a little surgery to cut the outer skin wider than the inner so I could stagger the welds between layers. Hey! There's that pic of the open hole.
I needed to match the patch to the channel bead in the original. I cheated by forming a little scrap to the profile of the channel and welding it to the patch.
After welding the patch to the inner wall, I ground out the material over the scrap to reveal the channel. The next couple pics are disappointing because I had to use a flash which distorted the perspective and makes things look horrible. It isn't beautiful, but it doesn't look THIS bad. Anyway, it is strong and I'll probably be dead before anyone ever sees it again.
And here's a pic with the outer skin laid in place. Again, the flash messes things up. To my brain, this pic looks like up is down and down is up. I left the outer edge ragged so I could cut it flush with another piece welded to the bottom.
That's where I left it on Christmas. Wednesday, I welded up the outer patch and mixed up 3 tablespoons of DP50 epoxy primer to paint the inner long and inside of the mount. Here it is almost ready to weld. After this pic, I sanded off the epoxy from the areas that would be plug welded and sprayed with U-Pol copper.
And here's the mount in place and before cleaning up any of the welds.
My new rotabroaches arrived a day early, but I haven't had time to use them yet. I'll probably cut out some spot welds tonight before sitting down for movie night.
Flo No Mo
Looking good.. Your catching up to me.. I better get mine in gear.
What are the little yellow tags you've left hanging on the car ?
I just know there'll be a good reason and I want to copy it
A whole week for a 6"x9" patch
On Monday, I got my welding helmet squared away and was back to work on the patch for the frunk cable pull mount under the dash. I'm not going to lie, this was a giant B and I had my doubts I could pull it off. It was so hard, I didn't take any progress picks because I was just floundering my way through. I got the patch shaped up pretty well and welded into place on Monday. On Wednesday, outside temps actually climbed above freezing for the first time in over a month, so I wheeled the rig outside for another round of media blasting. I got the tunnel and cross member cleaned up, then blasted both sides of the weasel latrine area I was patching. Of course, a big area beyond what I thought needed patch blew out into Swiss cheese. I spent a bunch of time zapping all the little holes shut with the welder, but when I had finished, it looked like crap so I cut it all out and started on a second patch to extend the first. Simpler curves on the second patch, so not as hard to shape, but it required a lot of tacking and tapping shape the patch as I welded to make it work. I finally got it in place and started the LONG process of grinding and then welding up exposed pinholes. Access to that area is terrible, even with the floor pan fully off. Then there is the cable tube for the trunk release, and fuse box brackets to add extra challenge and interfere with the welding gun and grinding tools. This was just a case of globing on melted steel and then sculpting with a cutoff wheel to pretend the welds weren't shitty. The whole time I kept thinking that Ben would probably flunk me on this assignment. Finally, I got things welded and shaped to something close to what I was after.
Of course, the real test was whether the trunk pull mount would fit. Luckily, it did.
I didn't get too carried away smoothing welds that will be buried under seam sealer, and I'm not going to beat myself up too bad over needing a little FG reinforced filler to fill pin holes and a few minor rough spots. But after final grinding with a conditioning disk, it isn't too bad. A thin skim of filler and the repair should dissapear completely.
Boy, am I glad that is done!
You're doing amazing fixes, dude.
Looking at your open tunnel pix, I think both my accelerator & clutch tubes need some attention near the rear firewall/bulkhead. I think the best approach is to cut out a couple squares from the underside to deal with them. then weld patches & shoot undercoating on them when done
Thanks. Now that I've fully dissected this tunnel, I think you are right on your proposed plan. I think you could cut off fairly large sections of tunnel from the underside and weld them back in pretty seamlessly. Luckily, the only tube repair needed on mine was a quick zap with the welder on the accelerator cable tube to fix a small nicked from the cutoff wheel getting the floor off. That tube rides right down on the tunnel floor right where I cut.
When you get a chance, could you shoot a pic of this area showing the accelerator cable tube? ... I can't see where it ends at the front
Perfect, Brent - thank you ... exactly what I needed to see.
I'm tempted to extend the accelerator cable tube more forward, as I believe the cable has somehow wrapped itself around the hose for the hydraulic clutch set up that's running through the clutch cable's tube and causing the drag.
I'll definitely heed your caution on cutting into the area
I only worked a few hours on the car today. After the intensity of the trunk cable pull mount, I wanted to do something easy, yet satisfying today. So I decided to tackle the rust hole in the floor under the pedal area that won't be covered by the RD floor pan.
I wanted to replicate the original circular indentaion, so I made a very simple hammer form by cutting a hole with a hole saw in a 1/4" piece of birch plywood. The disc cutout is the same diameter as the metal discs that were seam sealed into those indents to plug U-shaped drain slits (I assuming for dipping the chassis).
Hammer forming was a simple matter of placing a piece of 18 gauge sheet over the hole, placing the disc on top, and hammering the disc into the hole. Took about 3 minutes. I also did some simple bending on the vice to match the beading, and a little hammer to match some curves around the edges, and I had a nice patch.
Then it was simply a matter of trimming the opening and welding in place with a few hammer taps here and there to fine tune the shape as I went for a perfect fit. I missed a couple areas while media blasting and intended to hit those with a flapper disc before welding, but I forgot. It caused a little sputter while welding, but not too bad.
Then carefully grinding down the welds and finishing up with a conditioning disc to blend the joint, and it doesn't look half bad except my old, cheap, Campbell-Hausfeld die grinder that has been abused for 30 years died on me, so I won't be able to grind the weld on the inside until I replace it.
The last of the wire needed to finish my wire harnessed was delivered yesterday, so I might work on that tonight.
Just got back from a trip to the doctor:
I know what you are thinking... that the dumbass wasn't wearing safety glasses. But I'm very careful to wear all the appropriate eye, hearing, and respiratory equipment. I finished my day of working on my car Saturday without incident. Later, I laid down on my back and felt a shower of crap fall from my eyebrows and into both eyes. I immediately got up and rinsed my eyes with saline but they still burned. I figured I must have scratched both corneas and they would heal. My eyes were pretty goopy on Sunday but I still managed to work some on the car. By yesterday, my right eye was healed but the left was getting worse. This morning, I noticed a black spec on my left eye that wouldn't come off with rinsing. So to the doctor, I went. Hopefully I'll be good as new in a day or so. But all this because I didn't wash my damn face after finishing work on the car.
Coincidentally, yesterday we had to take our 19 y/o Dachshund to the vet for the same reason, scratched cornea ... although she wasn't working on a car when it happened
I got a tiny piece of rust stuck in my eye just from laying under a car and looking up into the frame one time. Just fell with gravity and they had to use the 'eye drill' to get it out. Hope you heal soon and continue with the great work you are doing.
"eye" and "drill" are not two words that should be in the same sentence! Luckily, no such procedure for me. Just numbed it up and used a micro-spatula to scoop it off.
Hope the pup is doing better Mark. My eye sure is.
My wife would never let me live something like that down. She always bugs me to groom my eyebrows. I just let them go wild. Didn't realize it was a safety issue...
eye drill !! the thought makes me almost .
Bummer that happened after how well those repairs turned out ,feel for you did the same myself years ago....bloody painful,get well soon.
I'm happy to report I have no more shit in my eye and NO DRILLS Doc says I should be at 90% by Friday. If they'd just send me home with a bottle of that Lidocaine for numbing, I'd be at 100% right now. Still have to laugh at the absurdity of the whole thing.
I have had this happen many times.. I now make sure I shower right after working on the car and grinding etc or wash my face at the least.
Also just bought some of kevlar reinforced filler yesterday specific for sealing all the weld joints.. I have a friend that does some pretty nice restos and swears by it and he goes right to bare metal then regular filler then epoxy over that.. He has had fantastic results.. I am still debating that..
Back at it
My eye healed up enough to get back to work on the car this evening. Not much, but good to be making progress again. I've been debating how to treat the rusted lower edge and weld flanges of the firewall and floor cross brace where seam sealer had trapped moisture. The firewall definitely needs a couple patches, but there was generally mild pitting and several pin holes along most of the length of the firewall and brace. They were borderline, but replacing the entire lower edges seemed like overkill. So, I used a copper backing plate and turned down the MIG to low and started zapping pinholes and filling the deepest pits. It seemed kind of like cutting corners, but ultimately, I think the result is more sound and definitely less time consuming than several feet of butt welds.
Now I can get back to the firewall patches I started a couple weeks ago.
Mine was a bit worse so i had to do several feet of butt welds..
Looks like a productive weekend.
Keep up the good work.
Since you have the tunnel apart and access from the inside, it might be a really good time to reinforce the clutch tube mounting points. Having the tube break loose is a distressingly common thing in 914s...
The front of the clutch cable tube on my '75 had been 'repaired' by a PO with a brace that was bolted in to secure it in place. The rear of the tube has definitely broken loose from the firewall, so that's the area I'll focus on first.
I also want to install a J-West RennShift lever, so I'll probably remove the entire shift rod assembly, allowing me to inspect the tunnel better with an inspection camera - it's pretty cluttered in there right now and hard to see very well. Pretty sure I'll have to cut out a section of the floor of the tunnel to effect tube repair at the firewall.
Oh, I definitely appreciate all the tips and recommendations, Brent. Since I'll be cutting into the tunnel anyway, I may go ahead and do a better fix on the front tube support 'while I'm in there'.
I've been fortunate in that there wasn't much rust on the car, and most has been dealt with - nowhere near what you've had to work on ... it's just those last little nagging bits left to address
Your progress thread has been very educational and an inspiration to many of us
Just a couple little tasks to update. Yesterday I started working on a patch for the driver's front inner wheel well where it meets the long. I left those open on both sides, thinking I'd use them for access inside the longs to spray cavity wax. But they aren't really needed and I need to patch them before the floor can go in.
Nothing very eventful other than I ran out of time before finishing grinding, but finished that up tonight.
Still a couple shrink dinks in there which is frustrating, but close to invisible.
While I was over there, I glued this piece back on with a little BB Weld, mostly just to have one less loose piece rattling around in the shop. I still need to fab a new rocker bracket there that will include a patch for a small rust spot further up in the wheel well, but that can wait.
I wore out my last grinding disc so will have to finish grinding later, and frankly, I was getting pretty sick of grinding so needed to do something else.
So, I moved over to the other inner wheel well to start on that patch. It is the last patch needed before the floor goes in. You probably don't remember this one, but I sure do. This is the patch I spent a lot of time on and really struggled - and ultimately, through the patch away. I punted by patching only the part I needed to do the longitude repair; hoping my skills would improve by the time I circled back around to it. I doubt they have. I know my toolkit hasn't improved.
I got this far with the patch:
Then I realized I wasn't just tired of grinding, I was just tired. I need to be fresh to tackle this next patch. So I shoved all my crap up under the car so my wife could get her car in the garage when she got home, and called it a night.
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