April 2009 Newsletter

newheader356 Restoration Book
We reviewed the final draft of the second edition of “Porsche 356 Guide to Do-it-Yourself Restoration”. The layout is not as good as the first edition as this work was sent out and it takes someone familiar with the 356 to understand the sequence. Hopefully, this will be fixed prior to printing which is expected for June.

Demand for the book has increased since the first edition went out of print. We have received calls from folks needing the book but not wanting to pay $200 for copies. We have also received calls from at least twenty folks who are using the book to do their own 356 restorations. We consider the book a success.

We are busy! We put the Shop ’54 Coupe in the storage building along with the Shop ’64 Coupe which cam back from the painter in its original Heron Gray. Pretty! We took the Shop ’60 Cabriolet to the upholsterers to have him install the carpet (which finally showed up ) and the top. The three Shop 356s will wait until we get the customer 356s done.

We started on George’s ’61 Roadster and got it about one third done when we switched to Jim’s ’60 Sunroof Coupe. Jim’s 356 is the one that got hung up at the painter for five months. Another painter got it repainted in the correct Slate Grey color and turned it around in ten days! It is almost all together, just waiting on the carpet and interior. Jim went with leather seats.

The last headliner we put in a Sunroof Coupe we pulled too tight and when it came time to cut the opening for the sunroof we almost had splits at the corners. This time we set the headliner, marked the opening then loosened the headliner to cut the opening. This technique worked well. We are always learning on 356 restorations. Maybe a third edition of the book? Doubt it!

We will finish Jim’s Sunroof Coupe and deliver it to the mechanic for installation of the rebuilt engine and checkout. Then back to George’s Roadster.

Next up will be Kit’s ’64 Coupe which is Black. Her 356 gets dusty within five minutes of being in the Shop. Black is a great 356 color but sure does show the dust. We know as our ’63 Sunroof Coupe is Black.

All the parts for the Wyoming Speedster were delivered including the rebuilt engine and transmission which were done in Minnesota. The tranny has been modified for disc brakes and the whole setup look like good engineering but BJ says the instructions are in German! Good thing Roland lives nearby and is German.

BJ is getting the Wyoming Speedster ready for paint; either White or Ivory. Then he will help finish the other customer 356s. When they are done we will go back to the Shop 356s and contact the customers on our wait list.

When BJ and I trailered the Shop ’60 Cabriolet to the upholsterers a guy saw us and followed. When we stopped, he introduced himself and said he had a ’65 Cabriolet project that would be the same colors, silver with red. After dropping off the Shop ’60 Cabriolet we went to his house and sure enough a ’65 Cabriolet in primer with reasonable body work. He had been working on the project for twenty years. We gave him a verbal estimate on what it would take to finish his project and hope to get to him at the end of the year. The end of the year will get me close to my seventieth birthday and I am starting to think about a second retirement but it will include 356 restoration as I still enjoy it. This situation has been faced and is being faced by many of my friends, so we will have many inputs and plenty of time for a decision.

Tech Tips
A tech tip we learned by accident awhile back, we were installing a headliner and didn’t notice the owner had left the screws in position for the sun visors, mirror, quarter windows and coat hooks. When we went to install these items we couldn’t find the hardware and then discovered we had covered them up with the headliner. No problem. We cut a small x over the screw head, removed the screw, attached the part and we were done. No searching for screw holes under the headliner. We put this tip in the second edition of our 356 Restoration book. Another tip which we learned early and the hard way is to use plenty of tape (we prefer blue painters tape) when working on a painted 356. All the holes in the body have to be cleaned of paint before you can attach wipers, script, horn grilles, turn signals, license plate brackets, etc. To clear the holes we use various size round files. Protection of the area with tape is a must.

During 356 reassembly we have come to expect some paint scratches and just deal with it and move on.

Two products that we use everyday in the Shop are Kroil and 3M General Purpose Adhesive Cleaner. Kroil is a penetrating lubricant and better than Liquid Wrench. The use of Kroil has saved many fasteners on 356s some of which are no longer available. WD-40 is not a penetrating lubricant, it is a water displacement lubricant. We do no use it. The 3M product is excellent to remove tape residue and glue but also a very good rubber cleaner.

We have used it to restore fifty year old rubber with excellent results.

The 3M product is available at NAPA and Kroil can be ordered at www.KANOLABS.com

Grandpa News
Alex was sitting on the sofa with BJ as he read the paper and said, “Daddy, I can read this.” She pointed to a very colorful ad for Easter candy and sure enough she could identify the candies but wasn’t really reading, as there was no need for words!