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Thread: Ten Fifty-nine

  1. #21
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    Foam!

    With the major mechanical stuff tended to, next item up was dealing with that corrosion in the driver’s side rocker. I’d considered holding-off on the bodywork until later --- outer rockers aren’t structural, and I was thinking about doing a re-spray, anyway --- sometime in the next couple of years --- just do all the body repairs then. But I didn’t: I wanted the rot in that rocker dealt with period --- and the sooner the better.

    So John got started, sizing up the situation, first probing, then cutting into and around the perforation, sending me pictures as he went. But as he began poking into the space behind the rocker, John made a curious discovery: the rocker was filled with . . . . foam.

    Effing FOAM!

    Looked a lot like that liquid squirt-in expanding junk used for packaging. Never seen or heard of anything like it. All we could come up with was somebody must’ve thought that the foam would keep stuff out of the rocker. Instead, the foam became a sponge that held in moisture, which then rotted the panel. It turned out that the other rocker had the same foam treatment, just not as badly damaged --- as in, the rot hadn’t burned through, yet. So I decided to replace both outer rockers. Turned-out that he inners were fine ---- minor surface corrosion only (whew!) --- so everything was cleaned, treated, then primed, along with the replacement outers, then put back together.

    One interesting note: John said he saw no trace of paint or primer whatsoever on the inner surfaces of those original rockers --- just plain old steel.

    Meanwhile, the front quarters had been dismounted to do the rocker replacement. The driver’s side quarter looked original and spotless, but, the passenger’s side was not. The inner brace had some corrosion on it, which was odd, and then there was the more-usual fiberglass+bondo-patch made to a rust-perforation down at the bottom of the panel. Nice. I didn’t want to replace either of the quarter panels --- if it could be done, then I wanted to keep and repair as much of the car’s original metal as possible. As it turned out, John had access to a fabricator, who metal-finished the patch-repaired section of the lower right quarter. The battery boxes and trunk were good, the floor-pans un-marked, and John had already looked up inside the rear of the car, when he’d pulled the motor and trans; everything looked to be intact, original, and untouched.

    Replacement rockers were ordered from Restoration Design, then everything was installed, primed and painted. John’s Body Guy was concerned about the paint because matching any two-stage finish is pretty much impossible, anyway --- let alone one that’s +10-years old. I told 'em that I wasn’t worried so much about the color match on the repaired sections; I was expecting to re-spray the whole car at some point, anyway . . . maybe after a few other things got attended to --- like tires, exhaust, re-finishing the wheels, etc. I just wanted the panels repaired/replaced, then protected and painted well enough to use the car. I’ll give John credit: everything got ordered, installed, and finished in short order.

    Now I assumed that installing the outer rockers on a stock, original 911 would be a relatively simple, straight-forward kind of job. And maybe it is . . . for someone familiar with these cars.

    As things turned out, the panels were installed well enough. But the fit and alignment were off. Not hugely, mind you, but, still . . . off. And on Porsches --- any ‘off’ is too much. Like the right front quarter. It had had the lower 6” section of its outer skin replaced, to repair that rust hole. The fender repair was done in metal, and looked well-executed . . . but, even from 10 feet away, I could see that things weren’t lining-up properly on the right side: the fender/door and fender/rocker gaps were off, and the fender contour didn’t match either. Everything could probably have been hidden by re-installing the rocker trim, but when I saw how things fit, well . . . I just left the deco off --- no sense putting good stuff over bad.

    At least the car was solid now, and the mechanicals were in order. The ‘fit’ issues would have to wait.

    1) The first cut into the damaged right side rocker

    2) 'What the ---- ?

    3) Further forward on the driver's side. This showed-up after removing the rocker deco. Keep in mind that all this is an original panel, being cut into. With me hearing about this over the phone and looking at digital pics.

    4) Cutting into the forward part of the rocker

    5) Another view
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  2. #22
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    Rocker Repair

    Here are some shots of the driver's side rocker being repaired.

    1) Outer rocker removed to reveal the inner rocker

    2) and 3) Rust-proof paint applied everywhere

    4) Rotted original rocker on the bench . . . with foam 'tumor' still in place (This picture isn't very good, but I kept the rockers for 'show-and-tell' . . . I'll take some better shots, later)

    5) Replacement fitted and primed
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  3. #23
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    Rocker Rot

    Here's a shot of a rocker and the rot caused by being packed with foam.

    I get ticked-off every time I see these shots. 1059 was a perfectly nice, normal, original car almost spoiled by some wing-nut getting creative with packing foam.

    Seriously. Go back and look at the photos of that rust hole from the PPI. Would you have spent all that money to buy this car? Most people would have seen the rot . . . and just walked away.
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  4. #24
    You are to be commended for keeping this car on the road!
    Peter Kane

    '72 911S Targa
    Message Board Co-Moderator - Early 911S Registry #100

  5. #25
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    Fun with Fenders

    Here's some shots of a previous poor repair made to the lower corner of the passenger side front fender, after it came off for the rocker repair. Panel has an old fiberglass-and-bondo patch, probably dating back to the time of the last respray (done ~'98?)

    From the quality of the exterior paint . . . you'd never now this kind of nonsense was there.

    1) view of upper section of right front --- kinda rotty (the driver's side was perfect ---hmm)

    2) bottom of same

    3) another view

    4) and 5) right front wheel house
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  6. #26
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    Fun with Fenders (part 2)

    This is the driver's side.

    1) bottom of the left front fender --- un-marked
    (compare this to the condition of the right-side fender, above --- it always bothered me that they would be different)

    2) up inside the same fender --- un-marked

    3), 4), and 5) left front wheel house --- note the after-market air-horns and strut brace. See the original factory horn still in position, beneath the battery box?

    Brace is gone, now. And see the big chip in the lower of the two air horns? And the small tweeked bracket, on the outside of the battery box? I'll come back to that.
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  7. #27
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    Fun with Fenders (part 3)

    Here are some shots of the metal repair done to the lower part of the right front quarter, along with some shots of the car when all the preliminary bodywork was done . . . the last shot was just after getting my first tank of gas . . . during my first drive of a '901' 911!

    Total cost for this 'first-cut' at the bodywork, including the new Restoration Design rockers was $1500
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  8. #28
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    First Drive

    After the mechanical stuff and basic bodywork were finished, I flew out to Charlotte in April ’09 to take care of business . . . little things like license, registration, etc. Also wanted to meet Mark (the PO) as well as John --- settle my bill.

    Oh yeah – and maybe actually see and touch and drive 1059 for the first time!

    Black Forest Racing was located in Lincolnton, which I guess is sorta close to Charlotte. But, if you’re like me, from outta town, well --- it sorta isn’t. Good thing I had a navigation system in my rental --- just plugged-in the address and followed the prompts. NC is beautiful: rolling country, lush, green, with lots of smooth fast freeways --- but also lots of cops --- so I just cruised. The Shop was a small collection of buildings in among farmland and residential property, a mile or so off the freeway.

    Weather was warm and balmy when I got there, late morning/early afternoon. I met John, shook his hand, talked a bit ---, just about what, I don’t recall. He was pretty much as I expected; soft-spoken like he was on the phone, polite, friendly, maybe taller than I was expecting. Then we went over to 1059. John had the car inside and I walked around it for my first look.

    Even with the primered rockers and ‘fit’ issues --- I just loved the car: the size, the shape, the way it sat, the ‘fly’s eyes' H1s . . . . but especially the color.

    Technically, the green’s wrong, too bright. I’d seen Bob Smith’s car at Dana Point, in 2009, also Green Metallic 8383 --- and still original paint --- so I knew the color should be a bit darker, browner, more olive. 1059 had been well-painted, but only re-sprayed --- the original finish can still be seen under the hood and deck lid. When the time comes, those’ll be the paint samples to match. Anyway, the car was clean and, under those shop lights, looked gorgeous.

    John fired up the car in the garage, showed me where the hand-throttle was, and then we small-talked a bit, listened to the motor run. I don’t remember much about what we talked about --- I was real anxious to get behind the wheel. Then John pulled the car outside . . . and I got in.

    I’ve only driven one other longhood --- Bert Jayasekera’s (Bert) Jade ’72 T (a totally original 915 car) --- so I had some idea what to expect. I dropped down into the seat, then swung my legs in under the wheel, dodged the door pockets. The only immediate difference once I got settled was the funky non-retractable ‘70s vintage seat-belts. These manually adjust by setting the length of the un-used belt on the exposed shoulder and lap sections (nothing ‘retracts’ outta sight --- it all just hangs there) and, well . . . . it’s a pain keeping all those belts and what-not from tangling and fouling on either the shifter, heater lever and hand-throttle, seat, door jams, etc. Passengers hate it.

    I, of course, love it. Just adds to the occasion.

    Anyway, the car was already warm, settled and running, so after fiddling with the belts a bit, then adjusting my seat and mirrors, I let out the hand-brake, put in the clutch, gave the shifter my old 356 ‘wiggle’ (car smells a lot like my old Roadster, too), then stick it into fir --- all I did was sti ----. Stick ----.

    All . . . . I . . . . did . . . was gently ------- stick it ------- into ----- first.

    Left, back --- let the gears stop twirling --- then back some more, wait a moment. Is that it? Feels like it. Let out the clutch, easy, easy. Nope. Try again. Left. Back. Back some more. Twingle it around, a bit. Hey! Now that felt like something important. Let out the clutch and . . .

    . . . . away we go. Hhhh.

    George Karcher said it best, about Porsche gearboxes --- ‘bag of antlers.’ (And he was talking about the 997.2 GT3!) 1059 is a whole ‘nother level of, how shall I say . . . involvement? No kidding. Damn stick is into the seat cushion under my right leg before it seems to ‘catch.’ So much for showing off. What a pain in the a$$!

    And I think I’m in love. (Or something.)

    Anyway, I got the car moving, trundled off across the gravel drive, then over a dirt verge and out on the local road, headed for the highway, and just took it all in. The whole orchestra of noises and smells and motions, the low, low seating position, the panorama of gauges . . . and that famous view down the road --- seeing what’s 5 feet in front of the car, framed by two fenders. To me, from the outside, 911s have always had this vaguely amphibian aspect to them; but in here --- it all makes sense.

    I took it up and down the highway a few miles, gradually building up the revs to ~6000 or so, but only as far as 4th, then let it just run out in 5th. The speedo's in KMs and I hadn't tried to figure out how to convert the numbers in my head, yet, so --- had no idea how fast I was going. (No traffic, anyway.) There was a vibration from the front --- flat-spotted tires, maybe? --- but, other than that, 1059 felt fine. Controls were a bit dull, especially the throttle; things didn’t seem to ‘catch’ until >4k RPM. The car felt heavy, also --- no where near as alert as my 356 had been --- but I attributed that to the tires. I don’t care for over-sized tires for a number of reasons, the biggest one being road-feel, especially on small cars. And the Bridgestones on the car were the wrong profile as well as too wide – the sidewalls bulged out --- and would succumb to side-wall failure a few months later. Great brakes, too. I wasn’t exactly racing but I did give ‘em progressively firmer shoves, looking for the ‘threshhold’; no noise or smell or pulling. Nice firm pedal, too --- stopped straight, really really short distances. Had to worry more about who’s was behind me, than what’s in front.

    After about a half-an-hour of blatting around, I pulled up at the local gas station, tanked-up --- love that flip-up gas door --- took some pics at the pump, pulled out in the sunlight and took some more, then drove back to John’s.

    The whole time, no grinding or stalling or holding-up traffic while I went fishing for first. Good first time out.

    But, then again . . . there wasn’t any traffic. Or rain. Or darkness. Or squawking passenger.

    The paintwork would get touched-up, next, then, I turned the car over to My Little Girl ---- she’s going to school at Duke and could put a few more North Carolina test-miles on the car, while I was outta state. My little test-pilot. (Hey --- Many Are Called but Few are Chosen.)

    Cammi’s actually an excellent driver. Her first car was a Subaru Outback --- small 4X4, 5-speed --- then she’d cut her teeth driving her Brother’s pop-top 4Runner 5-speed as a commuter car -- in San Francisco. The Girl can handle a gearbox. In traffic. On hills. At night. In the rain.

    And I trust her. She knows about me and my cars. Showed her how to check the oil, gave her John’s number, told her to drive it at least once a week. ‘Get it warm, then get it up over 4k; call anytime.’ Except for some plastic bit in the clutch run, nothing happened. . .

    And until I drove the car to California this last spring . . . she had more miles on it then me!

    1) and 2) Bert's wonderful '72 Jade T . . . and my introduction to Longhoods (Thank you, Bert!)

    3) Another shot of The First Drive

    4) All painted-up now, and getting correct-size Vredesteins mounted, by Aaron and the Guys at Zuffenhaus

    5) XZX Michelin Spare was so old and stiff, that it had to be cut off --- still had a tube in it!
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  9. #29
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    Driving out to California . . .

    . . . this is the thread when I brought 1059 to California:

    http://www.early911sregistry.org/for...%2C+costa+mesa

    Car's a 'runner.'
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    Last edited by LongRanger; 11-25-2012 at 07:55 PM.

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  10. #30
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    Hi Rick,

    I am enjoying your thread. Your green car looks like it is in good hands.

    It was good to meet you when you came to visit the Jade Green car. A nice original 911 brought in another long hood convert
    Bert Jayasekera
    1970 911T - Tangerine Orange
    Early 911S Registry #494
    R Gruppe #167

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