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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:45 am 
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Hello, Whilst not kept busy as the upholsterers chief glue stirrer I was working on other bits and found the deco strips I bought from Stoddards as correct for pre A and A are too short. I have checked the part numbers and they are correct and also against the originals and they are definitely short, I did think I was going nuts, has anyone else found this and what was the solution?
V

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 1:00 pm 
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Note that original pre-A through early T1 bumper decos are noticeably shorter than later decos. What car do you have and what are the measurements of your original and replacements?

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 6:39 pm 
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Yes look at the side view of this car.

http://derwhites356literature.com/DerWh ... Coupe.html

You'll see that the aluminum deco doesn't go all the way to the end of the bumpers.

That said, it is my understanding that the reproductions are actually too long - i.e. most restored pre-A and early A cars with replaced deco are easy to spot as the deco wraps around all the way to the ends.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:44 pm 
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Here is what the shorter pre-A and T1 decos look like vs T2. The photos are both unrestored cars. Porsche changed the length some time during the T1 production. If someone needs the different lengths I can dig that up. Also, if you still have original decos, by all means refurbish them! The reproductions do not look near as good as the ends are never formed quite right. You can take out dents in decos, although you sometimes have to drill holes in the back for access. It's more work but worth it. Note that all 356 decos are bare aluminum (not anodized) until you get to the Cs.

All that said, I agree with James in that to my knowledge, all reproduction decos are of the longer version and you would normally need to shorten them to be correct for an earlier car. You must have had the longer decos on your car and maybe the latest Stoddard reproductions are shorter or you are mixing front and rear as they are grossly different lengths. Measurements would help, along with what year car.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:33 am 
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Hello and thanks for your help.

The car is a '55 and just to give you the full S.P. we very much doubt that the bumpers on the car when we got it are original, seen as she had both rear and front end shunts repaired during her life. Also, as you might be able to see from the pictures, to repair them to any standard would have been madness compared to buying those available remanufactured. We got these from Trevor's Hammer works and were delighted with the quality, the fit was great and all the holes match up to the fixing points on the original deco strips.
The length of the 'original' decos are:
Front 203cm
Rear 166cm
With the fixing holes lined up the distance from the end of the deco to the end of the bumper is;
Front 40mm
Rear 65mm
The length of the replacements are
Front 182cm
Rear 165 cm
The distance form the end of the deco strip to the end of the bumper would be;
Front 95mm
Rear 105 mm

I hope the pictures show the problem, I'd say the 'originals' are where they should be as shown in Mr' Houses's reference photos.

Yep I thought I'd mixed them up, No,
Wrong type bought/sent, No,
Upside down, mad I know, No
Shrunk in storage No, as I said I thought I was going mad, so much for a simple job ticked off!!

V


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:52 pm 
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Vincent,

At this stage you have several options, most of them not very good. Before I continue, there are a couple of basics to cover. First is that if you are expecting the reproduction decos to line up nicely with the existing holes in the bumper, forget it. The quality of the repo decos is very poor, regardless of where you get them. They have a lot of issues with asthetics being just one, which is why I never use them. Also as you have probably already figured out by now, the optimum way to do all this is to pre-fit all bumper components and fit to the car before painting. On to options...

Your original decos are from a late T1/T2 and not technically correct for a '55. If this is of little or no concern to you, skip to the next paragraph. If it is, you will have to at least fill the deco mounting holes at the end on the bumpers and repaint, and also possibly cut the decos carefully and hide the mating lines behind the bumper guards if the repos are longer than the original pre-A decos. You'll also have to drill some new mounting holes. If you want to do this I can give you the pre-A deco dimensions.

If you are going with the late T1/T2 deco size so you don't have to fill and repaint your bumpers, then I really think the easiest solution is to use your original decos. Take them to a metal finisher/polisher in the U.K. and they can be refurbished, even if they require a little welding on the end. The replacement rubber is available. Then, everything will just bolt up without drilling new holes and it will look good! If this really doesn't appeal to you, then call up Stoddard and tell them the front deco they sent is unacceptable and have them measure their stock until they find one close to the original size. You'll still have to re-drill the mounting holes in the bumper. The rear deco being within 1 cm of original is about as good as you'll get on the repos. Again, you'll still have to drill new mounting holes.

Assembling bumpers from random parts is usually never as easy as it might appear. Best of luck!

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 1:52 pm 
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Chuck, could you measure the length of the pre-A and early T1 decos on your original car for us? It might be good information (if not for Vincent then) for others who are also trying to get their early cars restored right and need to work from either wrong or reproduction parts.

Even high-dollar restorations at recent auctions have got this little detail wrong on pre-A cars. ;-)

Many thanks!


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:09 pm 
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Anyone else to verify the lengths in Vincent's vs Chuck posts?

So far, with the front decos, it appears there is a difference of 210 mm (8.25 in). The ShortFat guards are 65 mm (2.55 in) wide. So do the math from there.

General notes: there is one, and only one, manufacturer of all 356 bumper and rocker deco strips: Tasker Metal Products in LA. Their deco strips have always (48+ years) been only barely acceptable with bad bends, poorly welded ends, wrong "bull nose" insert, and poor rubber base with loose ends to be glued on. Good news is they sell for only $100 - $125.

Rocker strips have about the same "problems" including the 356A rubber base not being the correct width and, as usual, the hardware is SAE threads.

In my time I have only seen 3-5 brand new, in wrapper, factory decos.

Of course, the ultimate solution is to engineer and manufacture correct strips -- surely at tremendous cost. Meanwhile, I suppose old beat-up (but restorable) originals will continue to go up in price!

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 10:01 pm 
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I attempted to measure the front deco length on my '53 and '59, both with, I believe, original decos. A little awkward measuring installed with guards, but I got 184 cm for the '53 and 190 cm for the '59. Each measurement probably within 1 or 2cm.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 11:58 pm 
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Here are the measurements I get. This is from two complete sets of OEM pre-A decos and two complete sets of OEM A decos and they were all consistent so I'm pretty confident. Because I had to measure one set of each on the car, I made all the measurements along the outside surface of the aluminum deco. Measuring along the inside mounting surface will give slightly shorter measurements.

Measurements are +/- 1cm taken from outside surface of aluminum.

Pre-A Front: 181cm
Pre-A Rear: 162cm
Distance from end of deco to end of bumper (F/R): ~7.6cm

A Front: 188cm
A Rear: 169cm
Distance from end of deco to end of bumper (F/R): ~4.1cm

Brad, didn't at one time you attempt to offer better decos? Was that by attempting to rework the TMP decos?

Vincent, I'm confused by what you have. The front deco you took off the car is way longer than it should be. The rear is closer, but short. Your measurements of the replacements is closer to what the pre-A decos should be, however that is not consistent with the TMP reproduction decos I'm familiar with as they are normally closer to the A size decos. Also note that the distance from the end of the deco to the end of the bumper on yours are going to be different because you have reproduction bumpers and the ends are not exactly as original.

Makes you wonder how something so seemingly simple can be so complicated, doesn't it?

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:35 am 
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Thanks so much to everyone for their invaluable help, I have checked all the measurements a couple of times now and +/- a few mm they are correct.

I'm as sure as I can be the 'original' bumpers are Porsche parts, as I was told she was repaired at AFN and Trevor HW's replacement bumpers are, to my measurements, eyes and fit spot on. Even the holes they arrived with match those on the 'original' bumpers and perfectly marry up with the bolts in the 'original decos'

In comparison to Mr House's Reference measurements my 'original' decos are different as follows:
Pre A; +22cm front and + 4cm Rear
A; +15cm front and -3 rear.

However if I was to use the length of Decos in Mr House's reference measurements the distance to the end of the bumper would be miles out. As it is this distance using my 'original' decos on the new bumpers will be pretty close to the reference measurements and photos here.

I did get my original decos polished, just to see what they were like under all the crud, they are pretty good but, as you might be able to see have a few dings, bumps and scrapes. I thought it might be easier to use the replacements especially on the nice new paint how wrong I was.

So I'll be doing a bit of hammer work on the original decos, getting them repolished, going into a hot room to get the outside rubbers in and reusing them. This was supposed to be a nice simple job whilst 'helping' the upholsterer, HA!!

V

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:49 am 
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It seems that Alan and my measurements correspond pretty well regarding the front bumpers for Pre-A vs A, considering that it is awkward to accurately measure the decos while mounted on the car with the bumper guards. Vincent, I still have no clue what to say regarding your measurements except that if the decos you originally removed fit the bumpers, I don't think you have much choice other than to restore and reuse them. Any deep nicks, scratches or dents are easily taken out by raising the area with a suitable punch from behind, then filing, sanding and polishing. The trick to getting the rubber inserts in is to get them warm with a heat gun or hair dryer while you twist them back and forth and walk them in. Note how the insert ends are done from Alan and my photos. Don't do it like the reproduction decos. Best of luck.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:13 pm 
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Confusion -- in all these years I've found it best to use millimeters, not centimeters, in all measurements of parts. In the case at hand, there is the added chance of measuring the outside or the inside of the radius. Plus, the early bumpers were wider and shaped differently compared to the T-2 bumpers; but I don't know if the outside measurement was different.

The length of the Tasker decos has never been a issue that I know of. But all the other defects have been. Yes, in the NLA days, Dick Koenig and I modified the Tasker decos by re-shaping to conform the bumper, re-welding the ends, bull-nosing the insert and substituting Intl Merc rubber bases. At the moment there are no plans to anything other than re-sell the Tasker decos.

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