September 2005 Newsletter

We picked up the Shop ’58 Cabriolet at Trevors. He made sure it would stop and go but we still have to sort it out. He also said it had electrical issues. The 356 had the headlights on with the switch off and the engine wouldn’t shut off. The first issue was to get the driver door to work. Having thought about it, it was obvious to me that the door was too close to the chassis and needed to be shimmed. Sure enough; there were no shims on the top hinge plate and only one on the bottom. We have worked on original unrestored 356’s and know the factory used at least one and usually two to three shims to position the door. By adding a 2mm shim at the top and bottom we solved the interference problem at the front of the door. We still had an issue at the back and had to remove some metal and trim the upholstery to get the door to fit flush and stay latched. Problem solved!

BJ is almost done with the paint prep on Andy’s ’62 Coupe. He spent a day and a half repairing Andy’s rear bumper only to find it was racked and would not fit. It’s good to find this out before paint. Fortunately we had a good bumper that fits but will have to get it media blasted and prepped.

I delivered Scot’s ’55 Turkish Red Coupe to him and he was pleased. He still has to do the mechanicals and interior but it is one sharp PreA Coupe with lots of original parts. I get title to his ’54 Coupe in exchange. Not sure when we will get to it.

I got a new floor and panel under the fuel tank welded into Rob’s ’61 Cabriolet. We have the battery box floor and longitudinals yet to do and then most of the major work on Rob’s 356 will be done.

Electrical Issues
Trevor was right! The headlights were always on and the engine wouldn’t shut off on the Shop ’58 Cabriolet. What to do? Call Joe Leoni! Joe came and immediately knew that the headlight relay was wrong for a T-2 356. It should be the green one and they are hard to find. (Anyone have one?). Joe can make up a relay that will work.

On to the next problem; the engine electrics. I pulled down the ignition switch and Joe asked where is the black/white wire. I found it tied into the accessory socket with a hot red wire. Joe said wrong! And cut off the black/white wire, soldered on the bullet and placed the wire in the ignition switch. Everything worked properly! I’ve said it many times “Joe Leoni is a freaking genius on the 356 electrics!”

The New Jersey owner of the ’58 Speedster flew out to remove his stored parts and to drive his 356 before it is transported back to New Jersey. He spent a lot of time verifying that all his parts were here. He had an extensive inventory and videos that he used in his lawsuit against the original restorer (which he won to the tune of $80,000 but difficult to collect). I took him for a drive and then he drove it and seemed pleased. It will be a relief to have this six year storage issue resolved.

Tech Tip
A respected mechanic on 356Talk comments that the 9.5 x 825 fan belt recommended by Porsche in your owners manual has changed over the years. It no longer fits properly in the generator hubs. He recommends a 10 x 838 fan belt. It fits better and rides a little higher on the hubs giving more revs for cooling.

You do have a spare fan belt in your 356 don’t you? And the tools to remove and replace it? How old is it? Will it work if you have to replace your fan belt? Your 356 cannot be driven without a fan belt. The engine will overheat and destroy itself. That is why you have that important red light on your dash/combo instrument.

The tools to remove the fan belt are a flat bladed screwdriver with square sides. It goes behind the slot on the rear pulley and secures it by jamming against an engine bolt. Then you use the special pulley wrench to remove the large nut on the generator. The pulley wrench should be in your tool kit and is available from vendors for about $12. We doubt that AAA will have this tool.

When replacing the fan belt, count the number of shims behind the nut and between the pulley halves. Replace them as positioned. You must have ten shims. For long 356 drives we recommend you carry spare pulley hubs. It is another forty/fifty year old part which can break. Available from vendors for about $25.

Speedster Mania
What’s going on with Speedsters? I had two calls from guys looking to buy a Speedster. I said I was restoring a ’57 Speedster and it should be done in about six months. Both guys wanted to immediately send a deposit and were prepared to spend big bucks! I indicated we don’t do business that way. Both were adamant that they had to have a Speedster and tried to talk me into a deal. I refused.

What’s going on?

The RM356PC Christmas party is December 11 at the Boulder Broker Inn from 11 AM to 2 PM. Prepay by November 21 to Sharon at (303) 494-7381. If you are not a member of the Rocky Mountain 356 Porsche Club now is the time to join and meet some great people.

The princess is crawling, attempting to stand alone and is enthralled by everything. Her 1st birthday was Sept. 5 and we had a great party. We now have a borrowed highchair in the kitchen, a push car in the family room and toys everywhere. Barb has a car seat in her car and is on call to babysit at all times!