'70 911T - The long road to recovery

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Simon
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'70 911T - The long road to recovery

Post by Simon » Mon Mar 27, 2017 9:25 pm

This is obviously not Fiat TC or engine building based, but I thought some member here might be interested in one of my other never ending projects.
Other than a 124 Spider, the other car that I had always dreamed of owning was a Porsche 911. In 1998 I finally fulfilled this dream by buying this US import '70 911T. This was the entry level 911 model of its time, with the E and S sitting above it, and was the first year of the longer wheelbase cars. So it has the 2.2 litre engine with twin triple carbs and 'softer' camshafts than the E and S, and lower spec. brakes and suspension setup.

It had one owner from new and came with an enormous paperwork file including the bill of sale, and mountains of receipts from Porsche and 911 'specialists'. The original owner spent an absolute fortune on it.

It served as my daily driver and track toy until around 2004 when I decided I really needed to take it off the road and sort the deteriorating body out before it got any worse - the British climate was making short work of what had been nicely preserved in the Californian sunshine for 28 years! It also leaked like a sieve whenever it rained.
Up until this point I had gradually updated and repaired it to keep it alive and useable, including a swap to European headlights, pressure fed chain tensioners, a proper suspension geometry set (midway between track and road spec.), Fuchs wheels, SSI headers/exhaust, Recaro seats and the usual service items.
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As bought in 1998 - from California to a UK winter!
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Negotiating the hairpin at Cadwell
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Isle of Mull, waiting for the ferry
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The aim now to get it back into a sound and nice usable and presentable condition with all the rot and paint attended too. I'm currently going down the 'junior' RS route as its the only financially viable way I can afford it. The car is currently in storage a few miles away but should be back in the garage by the summer for work to continue.

I've not really got time for full blow-by-blow build account of the rebuild, so I'll just post up some captioned pictures with the odd comment here and there. I'll start with some pics from the strip down back in '04
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I knew about the filler covering up this area when I bought the car.
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This (as I suspected) is what lay on the other side - a known 911 rot spot.
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Front wings off
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Removing the wings revealed some rot..jpg
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Nearside support was slightly worse..jpg
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The cause of the windsceen leak
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O/S A pillar base
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N/S A pillar base
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Luggage compartment
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Fuel Tank out
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I had sufficient doubt about what may lie beneath the rest of the body, that I decided to strip it back to bare metal.
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Stripping the paint thankfully didn't reveal too many horrors
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Evidence of a prang
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A layer of filler from some minor accident damage.
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I think that's enough of the strip down on the body. I will start posting up the progress on the remedial work next.
Last edited by Simon on Thu Mar 30, 2017 10:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Guy Croft
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Re: '70 911T - The long road to recovery

Post by Guy Croft » Tue Mar 28, 2017 6:53 pm

MODEL POST!!

Full of interest and an interesting narrative and super photos! Well-done Simon and thanks very much for sharing this important post.

Insfofar as "this is obviously not Fiat TC or engine building based post..." I will simply say that this is the GCRE Race Engine Forum, not the GCRE Fiat Lancia Forum..

In my works at present I have units from Audi, VW, Aston-Martin, Fiat, Lancia, Alfa. And that's just March 2017.

Don't want to clutter Simon's thread so I will just say there is more at https://www.facebook.com/GuyCroftRacing

I understand that lots of people don't like Facebook, but it does have an important role in connecting GCRE to the world beyond UK shores.

Very sincerely,

G
Guy Croft, owner

Simon
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Re: '70 911T - The long road to recovery

Post by Simon » Tue Mar 28, 2017 9:06 pm

Thanks Guy, I tend to forget the diversity of machinery that passes through GCRE.

Here are some more pics, starting with the repair of the rotted out corners of the rear parcel shelf.

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Trying to figure out what the shape the original panel was from the remove section. The separate bracket spot welded to the panel is the mount for the luggage strap.
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Starting to form the shape of the original pressings as best I could. I removed the luggage strap bracket to replace on the new panel.
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Shape nearly there
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One of many trial fits, gradually pulling into shape and place with self-tappers
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The rotted sections also have the engine lid hinges spot welded to them on the underside. So these had to come off too.
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Finally welded in place and the luggage strap bracket reattached.
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The other side needed similar attention, but with a smaller and thankfully simpler panel
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The other side needed similar attention, but with a smaller and thankfully simpler panel
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Poor picture, but this shows the engine lid hinge back in place
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Repair welded in and cleaned up
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With the shelf corner fixed, I could reconstruct the internal seam. Its quite a complex area where several panels (shelf, inner wing, rear wing and roof, sunroof drains) all meet. Its apparently a 'rear wing off' job in many cases.
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Final repair section tacked in place
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Welded and cleaned up.
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This is one of the areas that was lead loaded at the factory. So I decided to do the same. This is applying the tinning, the brown areas are the flux
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Smoothing off the lead (wooden spatular and tallow used)
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Filing lead to the correct profile
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A coat of smooth Hammerite (mixed red and yellow to get a reasonable match to the Signal Orange.) Its all hidden under the thick foam sound deadening anyway
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All solid and sound again.
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Next up will be the repairs I did to the front wing supports.
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Will01
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Re: '70 911T - The long road to recovery

Post by Will01 » Wed Mar 29, 2017 11:55 am

Fantastic. I love air cooled 911's. You have a very cool car there. (Really want a 993 2wd myself, but we will see!)
Nice work done so far and you will have me following with a great level of interest.

Don't worry about non Fiat/Lancia etc i have my own FORD resto on going on this forum.
We just like to see good work and engineering going on which you have certainly shown so far.

Keep up the good work and enjoy
Will
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Simon
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Re: '70 911T - The long road to recovery

Post by Simon » Wed Mar 29, 2017 9:34 pm

Thanks Will. I'm really glad I bought the 911 when I did, there's no way I could afford an air cooled car now - prices have gone sky high. I agree on the 993 - all the advantages of a modern car but with an old school 911 heart.

On with the resto...

Another classic 911 problem area the inner wing supports. The O/S was reparable:

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The N/S was too far gone so needed replacing:
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Reference measurements before removing the old panel.
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Panel removed
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Rot cut out of inner wing
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Inner wing repaired
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New panel tacked in plcae
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Plug welds dressed
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Finished
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Will01
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Re: '70 911T - The long road to recovery

Post by Will01 » Thu Mar 30, 2017 11:46 am

Working quickly then haha.
Alot of good work there, it looks worse than my Capri did and that saying something haha.
Even more glad you saved it.

Yes unfortunately now i think there will never be a day a can afford an aircooled 911. I think the 993 is already out the window unless i can somehow get a sheel and build it over a few decades! haha.

The only way i am going to be able to afford one is to turn to the darkside and buy a 996 water cooled! But that isn't really the same.
Anyway greeat work as i said before, this will be great once done and you can be happy in the knowledge you didn't have to sell a few houses to buy one.
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Guy Croft
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Re: '70 911T - The long road to recovery

Post by Guy Croft » Thu Mar 30, 2017 5:55 pm

and folk say Fiat and Lancia rusted away..! Like they were any different from any other car...

ALL cars rusted in those days.

What's made the big difference? Those days of chronic car-corrosion are pretty-well over.

Anyone know?

G
Guy Croft, owner

Simon
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Re: '70 911T - The long road to recovery

Post by Simon » Thu Mar 30, 2017 9:46 pm

Yes Will, it was pretty bad in places, but nowhere near as bad as I was dreading when started to strip it. I definitely think I caught it in time. Good luck with your quest for a 911 they are addictive. Tim, the guy in the white jumper in the first set of pictures, absolutely had to buy one himself after I let him drive mine back from Mull down through Glencoe chasing the Subaru!

That's very true Guy. I think the advance in paint systems and sealants, and better design/production techniques that remove mud/moisture traps have helped to banish rust. I also think there was some pretty poor quality steel about in the 70's. Most rust you see these days seems to be due to poor accident repair.
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Front seal lip was shot, so replaced it with a genuine Porsche replacement - not much more than pattern part cost.
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Front edges of the inner wings were crusty too - so they needed repair sections making up.
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The so called 'Smuggers Compartment' also needed a bit of attention to its surround. It is actually where an optional petrol heater could be fitted.
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The screen pillar bases were the main source of the water leaks.

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Apart from a small repair to a hole on the O/S sill that was about it for the welding. So I moved on to stripping the rest of the paint.
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More to come...
Last edited by Simon on Thu Mar 30, 2017 9:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Simon
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Re: '70 911T - The long road to recovery

Post by Simon » Thu Mar 30, 2017 9:53 pm

With most of the luggage compartment and inner wings repaired I prepped and painted it in Smooth Hammerite. I could have waited and painted true body colour, but wanted to get it all protected. It's all covered by sound deadening and carpet anyway. and the colour is close enough.

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Simon
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Re: '70 911T - The long road to recovery

Post by Simon » Sat Apr 01, 2017 10:09 am

I was anxious to leave the engine and gearbox in the car for as long as possible, as I find this, psychologically at least, taking the engine out always turns a 'car' into a 'project'. But it needed to be done, so out its came. Its quite an easy job on a 911 as the whole engine/trans unit comes out as one from below. It was all out in less than an hour and took less time than replacing a headlight bulb on the Crossfire!
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901 gearbox - 5 speeds with 'dog leg' first.
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Engine bay clear ready for prep and paint
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Refinished in satin black.
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Spider 1969
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Re: '70 911T - The long road to recovery

Post by Spider 1969 » Sat Apr 01, 2017 7:32 pm

Great project. Nice to see it's progress. Friend of mine owned a similar one with gas flowed heads and bigger inlet valves. Ran very smooth with great torque on the "T" cam shafts. Keep it up!

Regards,

Charles
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