January 2009 Newsletter

newheader356 Restoration Book
We finally got word from the publisher that the second edition of “Porsche 356 Guide to Do-it-Yourself Restoration” will be ready for us to proof in a few weeks. The publisher had our draft for almost a year and just didn’t get to it. And of course now we have detail to add which will probably push out the print date. And, we plan to take vacation.

The first edition of the 356 Restoration book sold out of two printings and 3,200 copies. With the continued interest in the Porsche 356, demand for this information remains high. Some copies of the first edition have sold for three to four times the cover price.

We picked up the Shop ’54 Coupe at one of the other painters and rehung the doors and deck lids as soon as we got it back. We do this right away so they don’t get damaged. The next step is to mask off the freshly painted 356 and paint the under carriage to cover overspray and set the undercoat. Since you can’t wax a freshly painted car, we use a glazing compound that protects the finish during reassembly.

For the ’54 we also have to reinstall the transmission as we put it in Speedster 80013 while its transmission was being rebuilt. We have a dolly we install to roll a 356 when the transmission is removed.

The Shop ’60 Cabriolet is just waiting for the red carpet to arrive and we will install it and then off to the upholstery shop for the new top and boot. Some mechanical checkout and it will be for sale.

We expect both Jim’s ’61 Sunroof Coupe and George’s ’60 Roadster back from the painters soon. The Shop 64 Coupe and Kit’s ’64 Coupe will then go to the painters. We are missing a few parts for the Shop ’54 Coupe and they will be hard to find (and pricey). Most of the parts on our shelves are from the latter 356s. We have almost no pre-A parts and very little A parts.

During the final assembly on the Shop ’60 Cabriolet we ran into a problem we hadn’t seen before. The horn contact on the steering wheel didn’t touch the contact ring. No problem, we would just loosen the steering column collar under the dash and move the column, closer. That not it! The column and hub move together. We want the column to move deeper in the hub.

We went to the shelf and we had eight T-5/T-6 steering columns. We even had prices on some at $10 and had never sold any. It’s not a part that goes missing on a 356 and if it is damaged, the 356 was probably totaled. Inspecting the shelf parts we can see that there is a clamp inside the hub that holds the column. The clamp is held by a hex bolt at an angle. It looks like if we can disassemble the hub we might be able to separate it and get to the clamp. We don’t want to have to remove the turn signal switch as we recently checked out all the electrics. It works! We loosen the clamp and adjust the column to hub depth by measuring the correct depth on the shelf parts.

We guess some sort of after market steering wheel had been used on the Shop ’60 Cabriolet and a previous owner had changed the factory setting. Two things learned. Always expect the unexpected when restoring forty five year old Porsches and how great it is to have lots of parts to check assembly.

BJ cut off the damaged left front fender on the Wyoming Speedster to get to the crunched closing panel and replace it. It went well and the replacement left front fender was fit and welded. The door was used to ensure a flush fit of the new fender.

The Speedster’s owner provided a new front nose clip but we only needed the bottom six inches to repair the cut off section on the Speedster. The owner also provided a new rear clip and we will not need it so if any of you need one we think we can get a good price from the owner.

Scot got the transmission in the ’54 Coupe so we can move it into the shop for assembly. There is a rubber collar for the nose piece and a transmission mount that also has rubber. Working with rubber always causes fitment issues as it doesn’t compress well and silicone spray is needed to reduce friction.

We took George’s engine to Eurosport to have it checked out. It had not been run since 1972! George needed to know if he was going to need a rebuild. Changing the oil, replacing gaskets and running a leak down test was encouraging. Value adjustment and carburetor work and the engine runs!

We will also check out Kit’s engine which hasn’t run in twenty years and the engine for the Shop ’64 Coupe which is a complete unknown. We hope we have the same results as we have had with George’s engine. Engine rebuilds are costly and take lots of time.

We will also check out the four spare shop engines we have. It will be good to know what shape they are in and if rebuilds are in our future. We sure do appreciate Porsche engineering. Who would have thought an engine not run in thirty eight years would start right up.

Scot’s son, Aidan, wanted to see where his Dad worked so he came and got to learn all the tools. He used the brake, notcher, grinding wheel and even did a spot weld on the Wyoming Speedster. He is probably the youngest 356 restorer.

There will not be a Newsletter next month as we will be on vacation. Aloha!

Grandpa News
Alex hasn’t started on her Christmas computer as she has been occupied with her new fish tank. Fish have no names yet though.