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Thread: Collective Wisdom Sought

  1. #1
    Blessed be the lowered RickS's Avatar
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    Unhappy Collective Wisdom Sought

    I have been going back and forth about 2 major items which need attention and can't decide which to tackle. First comes true confessions: I am not a mechanic nor consider myself capabale of performing a rebuild since I have never even torn down a lawn mower motor. I can swap parts with the best of them: suspension, brakes, tune-ups, and lots of electrical stuff, but my greatest fear is trying a rebuild and then having the motor detonate and cost me more bucks in the long run than if I just had it done professionally. Rebuilding a 911 motor as my first project just seem a little insane. Yes, admitting my mechanical limitiations is painful to the bb, but I know everyone out there is was not born with a wrench in their mouth. Now that I have had true confessions... My 2.4 S motor smokes badly enough to be embarrasing, but provides the added benefit of keeping tailgaters off my rear in rush hour. Continued...
    71 914 3.0, 82 SC, ESR 376, RG 307

    "The problem with the world is, the ignorant are cock-sure and the intelligent are full of doubt." Bertram Russell

  2. #2
    Blessed be the lowered RickS's Avatar
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    The power seems to be excellent, as I can whip any SC (World Dominators that they are) around. Long and short, its getting tired. I would like to keep the matching numbers motor in the car and am debating the merits of having it bored to a 2.7 RS or going to the 2.2 pistons, etc - but that is another discussion. I know which ever route for the rebuild I chose will be BIG $$$. Now the dilema, the car also needs to be repainted, but will retain the original Gran Prix White. I was planning on having a glass out as well as trunk and engine bay repaint. The bad news is that there is also rust in the sills, a dime size spot on one door and some rust in the lower winshield retaining area. At least that's all I can see, but believe there has to be more hiding.
    71 914 3.0, 82 SC, ESR 376, RG 307

    "The problem with the world is, the ignorant are cock-sure and the intelligent are full of doubt." Bertram Russell

  3. #3
    Blessed be the lowered RickS's Avatar
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    So now the dilema, which to do first? Rust never sleeps, but then the smoke is obnoxious when I am sitting at a light and the wind blows from the back of the car - besides environmental concerns. Since I only have enough $ to do one at this time, which would you chose and why? TIA
    71 914 3.0, 82 SC, ESR 376, RG 307

    "The problem with the world is, the ignorant are cock-sure and the intelligent are full of doubt." Bertram Russell

  4. #4
    Rebuild the motor. If you take care of the car then the rust won't get too hungry too fast.
    -Marco
    SReg. #778 OGrp: #8 RGrp: #---
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    Searching for engine #907495 and gearbox 902/1 #229687

  5. #5
    Rick, I'd vote for saving the bucks a while, and doing both at the same time. Seems to me that any body/paint stuff would be easier to do with the engine and transmission out of the car...that way the body shop could place your car on a rotisserie device if they felt the need. I'd also suggest you buy a copy of Wayne Dempsey's engine rebuilding book if you don't already have a copy. I too wouldn't consider doing a rebuild myself, so no need to apologize. I find the book a great read, gives you much material to discuss with your chosen wrench before the engine comes out.
    Paul D. Early S Registry #8 - Cyclops Minister of West Coast Affairs
    "Now, to put a water-cooled engine in the rear and to have the radiator in the front, that's not very intelligent." -Ferry Porsche (PANO, Oct. 1973)

  6. #6

    Dilemma

    Rick,
    I vote that you do the body first. Rust never sleeps and while you are driving around over the next couple of years enjoying your new motor, the worms will be eating away at your precious metal and making it worse until the car is ruined or you come up with the money - whichever comes first. The longer you wait on the body, the more money it will cost.
    On the flip side you may be able to get away without doing a rebuild until you get the money down the road - hopefully. What are the symptoms of your engine which leave you believing that an engine rebuild is looming besides smoke? Does the engine smoke at acceleration or deceleration, or both? How about leakdown and compressions tests? How many miles are on the engine?

  7. #7

    Re: Dilemma

    Originally posted by gruen911
    Rick,
    What are the symptoms of your engine which leave you believing that an engine rebuild is looming besides smoke? Does the engine smoke at acceleration or deceleration, or both? How about leakdown and compressions tests? How many miles are on the engine?
    Exactly. You need to know where you stand on the motor issue. The motors are very durable. You may be able to put off the motor work long enough to do rust repair and paint work.

    You may also find that you can improve the smoking problem once you know what the real problem is. What he said about diagnostics is key here. Spend a few dollars before deciding which course to take.

    For what it's worth, I'm in a very similar circumstance. I need to do a lot of cosmetic work to make the car even presentable. Doing a 'rolling restoration' allows me to use the car when I want. If I got too involved, it would not see the road for over a year. I will drop the motor to detail the engine bay and the motor periphials. And when it comes time to do the motor itself, the MFI, sheet metal, fan ass'y and ignition will be ready to bolt right back on. Same with axles, clutch, TO bearing and tranny. I'll have all the cables dialed in as well.

    I've built 2 other cars in the last 3 years from the ground up. Each a year+ and over 1000 hours. I'm gonna enjoy this one in a different way. It's amazing how projects balloon if you take on everything at once.

    My advice: Prolong the rebuild and start at the body problems and keep things under control. Baby steps.

  8. #8
    Blessed be the lowered RickS's Avatar
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    Good words. Time for more info.

    I would not characterize the rust areas as bad. They don't feel like baklava (i.e. squishy) and are far from being able to jam a screwdriver through them. The doorsills are less than the size of a 50-cent piece area-wise and the door about a dime. Cosmetically from 5 feet the car looks great. Much of the paint is window-paned. But, it always gets lots of compliments. The car is always garaged and gets washed about a dozen times a year and thoroughly dried. It's only driven in rain very occasionally.

    At start-up, I send a blue-black cloud through the neighborhood. When idling, you can see barely see the blue-black coming out but can smell oil and good ole combusted gas. At night when on full throttle, I lay down a pretty good smoke screen visible in the headlights behind me. When decelerating it isn't really noticeable. The car says 87K on the odo, but its not documented. The car pulls strong, at all RPMs and takes off when on-cam. For regular driving around town, the smoke is barely visible, but I can really smell it at lights. When waiting in line at ax I always get kidded about it but no one seems terribly concerned or are being too nice.
    71 914 3.0, 82 SC, ESR 376, RG 307

    "The problem with the world is, the ignorant are cock-sure and the intelligent are full of doubt." Bertram Russell

  9. #9
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    Rick,

    Rust first engines later....

    Even if the rust doesn't feel bad....it is worse than you think. That screw driver will go thro' if you 'honestly' try.

    Believe me it was the worse day when I decieded to be big and brave and look at a 'coin sized' bit of rust in the door shut.

    After clearing the paint off it didn't look bad, a few pin prick sized holes, nothing major i thought.

    After a go with a metal brush there was not much difference but the metal was still very dull...opps there really was a hole about 11/2 inches in diameter in the outer cill, and then in the inner cill.

    I didn't dare tackle the base of the windscreen posts, but they will inevitably be the same.....

    Luckily my engine is good so the bodywork can be taken care off this winter, but its still BIG BUCKs to get both sides done...

    I hope your engine holds out long enough to get the pennies together for a rebuild.

    Or do what one guy here did and hold a rebuild party with other more experienced guys to hlp out. That way at least you'll have help in the beer consuming department regardless of the technical side..

    Keep us posted.

  10. #10

    Rebuild Party?

    Somehow, the idea of a bunch of guys drinking beers and working on an early 911 engine at the same time doesn't seem like such a great idea. Considering the low tolerance for error and importance of cleanliness, I would prefer everyone sober as surgeons dressed in hospital whites and rubber gloves.
    Bring on the strippers and the booze once the engine shroud is screwed on!

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