Building a 904

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Bill Sargent
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Location: Beijing, PRC

Re: Building a 904

#16 Post by Bill Sargent » Tue Nov 06, 2018 10:06 pm

Hi Adam,

Dennis Frick ( Europa Machina) built a 904 replica based on a 914 about 15 years ago for use in PCA club racing. It used a 914 tub from the front firewall back and a tube frame forward. Not sure what he did about the rear shock tower heights. The car is now in France and Barrie at M&W did some repair work on it a few years ago after a racing accident. He said when repairing it that the entire body work had been widened by a couple of inches.

If you need any body parts, Dennis seems to have the molds for just about any variant. I needed the fiberglass mount bracket for the Webasto gas heater and he was able to make me one in only a couple of weeks.

As for "...nice to see a 904 build not bound by budget concerns"; I do have a budget, just larger than yours :wink: . I am also hopeful, maybe delusional, that the sum of the parts may be worth more than the parts alone. If money were not a concern, I would have purchased Stan Gold's 904-006 8)!
Regards,

Bill Sargent
#151489 59A Cab
#159176 64C Cab
60 VW Singlecab
73 911 T
904 clone in the works

Adam Wright
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Re: Building a 904

#17 Post by Adam Wright » Tue Nov 06, 2018 11:03 pm

Bill Sargent wrote: If money were not a concern, I would have purchased Stan Gold's 904-006 8)!
But where would be the fun in that? I've learned the journey is usually far more interesting than the destination, and building a 904 is a journey, any way you slice it. Keep us posted.
I always need stories for my Barn Find column in the magazine, if you have a good story to share, please let me know.

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Bill Sargent
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Re: Building a 904

#18 Post by Bill Sargent » Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:12 am

Adam - you hit the nail on the head. I am doing the 904 project because I love to build things that I can enjoy later. This gives me far more satisfaction than simply purchasing something. Now I just need to retire so I can do more of what I love .... and less negotiation with the Chinese government.
Regards,

Bill Sargent
#151489 59A Cab
#159176 64C Cab
60 VW Singlecab
73 911 T
904 clone in the works

Adam Wright
356 Fan
Posts: 8248
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2008 1:00 am
Tag: KTF

Re: Building a 904

#19 Post by Adam Wright » Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:37 am

My attitude aligns well with Ferry.

"I looked around and could not find quite the car I dreamed of, so I decided to build it myself. "

Mine is a little different, I couldn't afford to buy a 904 or a 550, so I put my hands to doing.

Same when I built Da Spoodster.
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I always need stories for my Barn Find column in the magazine, if you have a good story to share, please let me know.

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Bill Sargent
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Re: Building a 904

#20 Post by Bill Sargent » Tue Nov 13, 2018 8:35 am

The first post in this thread showed a couple of photos Barrie sent of the 904 body parts in process. He took his molds off 904-063 owned by Bill Stephens in the U.K., and has added other body styles/parts since. He made his first car in about 1999 and has made about 25 cars since.

The 904 body consists of about 50 separate fiberglass parts (according to Barth’s book). At least 40 of them can be seen in the photo below.
50A54452-C85D-4794-BE51-52AAAE135C3E.jpeg
Photo from Barth 904 book showing most, but not all, body parts.
There are many variants of the 904 body:
- Long door or short door. Long doors wrap under the body where short doors open at the top of the chassis. Short doors were only on the very late cars. Photo above shows long doors.
- Kam tail or spoiler
- Fender flares or no flares
- Small scoops on sides for rear brake cooling or larger ones on late 6 cylinder cars

My car will be long doors, spoiler tail, no fender flares and small side scoops.

The first post showed the inner part of the lower nose and the front fenders/windshield frame/roof being laid up. Barrie then mates these parts together in a large dolly as shown below.
4717549A-8DE1-4E0A-B52B-5609B033EABB.jpeg
Over the years Barrie has made dollies and supports for all the molds since they are used a couple of times per year.
1C976AF5-4370-4494-8747-2E14530A7A7A.jpeg
Large unwieldy part!
Henkel made the original 904 bodies using chopped glass fiber sprayed into the molds. Depending on how Fritz felt that day, a body might be thin and light or thick and heavy. Barrie lays his bodies up using several layers of cloth, so weight is generally lower than a factory car and the thickness is more uniform. After all the body parts are laid up and removed from the molds, they are bonded to the chassis in stages. The roll care is installed in the car after the body is bonded to the chassis to ensure the cage is tight to the bodywork inside the car.

More photos will follow as Barrie makes progress. Thanks for following along.
Regards,

Bill Sargent
#151489 59A Cab
#159176 64C Cab
60 VW Singlecab
73 911 T
904 clone in the works

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Bill Sargent
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Re: Building a 904

#21 Post by Bill Sargent » Mon Nov 19, 2018 10:48 am

When Gregory Campbell was doing the final assembly of his M&W 904 one thing we discussed was the location of the fuel pumps. The factory owner’s guide said to remove a cover to access them, but it was not clear if the fuel pumps were located in the front trunk or elsewhere. Gregory eventually found a photo showing that the fuel pumps were located on the bulkhead behind the steering rack under the car. But Gregory’s car did not have a cover over this area.

Fast forward a few months and I was looking at auction photos for 904-107 and found a good photo of what this area looks like on an original car.
CD80D070-7FA6-4966-97DF-36E9717A59A1.jpeg
The portion toward the top of the photo is the cover for the oil cooler. The two vents behind this are where hot air from the oil cooler exits under the car. The panel behind that is the elusive cover over the steering rack, fuel pump and brake master cylinder area.
Knowing this, you can clearly see the panel in the photo with all the body parts:
145ABF63-0494-4F33-894A-3F77D17D9B14.jpeg
Green circled part is the oil cooler and steering rack cover.
Better picture of the part are shown below.
67BA6C72-95A4-4493-83BF-26D50330A8EB.jpeg
Oil cooler and steering rack cover
4E829985-4C8D-41CE-9799-FE47D44D905E.jpeg
Side view of oil cooler and steering rack cover.
Looking at the part, it is easy to imagine that when it is removed (in the heat of a race for example) that the thin parts connecting the oil cooler cover to the steering rack cover might get broken and the steering rack cover discarded. Probably about half the 904s I have seen photos of are missing the steering rack cover half of this body part. Barrie said 904-063 that he took molds off of did not have this part, so he had not made the mold for it.

Barrie will now make a mold for this part, but we will modify the original design such that the oil cooler cover and the steering rack cover mount separately so your can take them off independently. I think there may be more times I want to access the fuel pumps and brake master cylinder than I want to access the oil cooler.

Always something to learn. Thanks for following along.
Regards,

Bill Sargent
#151489 59A Cab
#159176 64C Cab
60 VW Singlecab
73 911 T
904 clone in the works

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