June 2015 Newsletter

Rain, Rain Go Away
We are trying to put a roof on our new home. With twenty seven of thirty one days of rain in May , getting the roof finished was a chore but it was accomplished. But then you have to do the fascia and soffits so the roofers can install the special covering and begin roofing.
The house has been wrapped in Tyvex so that means doors and windows can go in after the Tyvex is inspected. The plumber is running his stacks to the roof so the roofers can get started . The mason has delivered his scaffolding so they can begin to tie the existing brick walls to the structure before beginning to apply stucco and stone.
Since the house was a foreclosure, very little work was done on the property. Jim knew there was a noxious weed problem and began spraying for thistles in early spring. Went through seven gallons and still had to chop a few. The other weed is leafy spurge and will require spraying next spring. With all the rain there is a big thistle and leafy spurge problem in Douglas County. Leafy spurge is that tall weed with yellow flowers.
It looks like we might move in September which will be one year since we started.
In preparation for moving Jim had to organized all the 356 parts in labeled bins. He had them stored in the new home shop area but had to move them back to the existing storage building to give the plumbers and electricians room. With all the other 356 parts recently purchased the storage building is full.

Jim has been working on the assembly of the Shop ’61 Coupe (Casper). One problem was the front windshield installation. We have installed over one hundred windshields- front and back. The windshields have to be removed for painting. The front windshield almost always has to be replaced. After fifty plus years of use they are pitted plus a 356 restoration looks a lot better with a new windshield. They are expensive, about $550. Years ago, there were two suppliers and the windshield price was in the $300 range. But then one supplier decided to get out of the retail trade and the remaining supplier raised his price. You can still get the Sigla windshield which was the original 356 windshield but it is marked at the bottom of the windshield rather than the top.
But back to the windshield problem on the Shop ’61 Coupe. The cord broke! After hundreds of windshields it broke. The cord is inserted into a channel in the rubber windshield seal and then with the windshield in place and held by a helper, the cord is pulled from the inside the 356, pulling the lip of the seal over the windshield opening.
So we need to get a new cord. Jim goes to six stores and all he can find is nylon covered cord. We need cotton cord which will be rubbed with beeswax which will allow the cord to be pushed into the rubber seal channel and allow the seal to be pulled without cutting the seal. So, what to do? We sent the 356Restore experienced shopper, Barb, to find some cord. She bought home some samples and one looked like it would work as it was tightly woven but still had a vinyl covering, (Whatever happened to cotton rope and cord?) We tried it and the beeswax barely got into the cord and it was difficult to push into the seal channel, but it worked and the windshield was installed. Isn’t 356 restoration fun?
Jim also started on the engine for the Shop’61 Coupe. Since this 356 was driven to the shop, we knew it ran. It is a 912 engine. Jim removed all the sheet metal and had it blasted. You do not blast the oil filler or oil canister as the media could get into the oil and destroy the engine. You strip these by hand using chemical stripper. Once all the engine sheet metal is stripped, you prepare for paint. We clean the part and spray with a two part epoxy primer. Then paint with Satin Black for the black parts. The fan shroud is either black for normal
engines or a silver gray for Super engines. The one part that takes time to paint is the heater boxes. They have to work before paint and it is best to restore them as they are very expensive, $500 each.
Jim also worked on the engine for the Shop ’56 Speedster. His friend Bill had completed most of the assembly before he died. Since the Speedster came with a unusable engine , we found a 1956 short block in Florida and Bill had this machined for the new parts he installed. The early engines had the throttle linkage through the fan shroud, while we had an early fan shroud we were missing parts. Cal Ensor found us the correct linkage between the carburetors in Italy. And Norm Petitt had the steel lines for the small solex carbs. We had to make some parts to get the throttle linkage to work and it appears it will work. We will take the engine to Trevor Sewell for final assembly as it still needs the valve train, fuel pump, tach drive and distributor installed. The customer ’64 Coupe came back from Blast Tech and it is in worse shape than we expected. The cost of blasting was more then we ever paid for a 356 as the time to remove the filler was lengthy. The roof which looked good before blasting was full of dents. Almost every external and internal panel had been previously repaired with brazing , fiberglass and overlapping seams, all covered with filler.
We wrote up the restoration estimate and went over each panel with the customer. He decided to proceed. This will be another extensive metal and body work project for BJ. BJ is doing almost all the welding as Jim has to wear glasses due to cataract surgery and has difficulty seeing under a welding helmet.

Grandpa News
While visiting the Nashville zoo the girls got to pet a kangaroo. Very fun they said.