356 B S90 Project

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Pablo Esguerra
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356 B S90 Project

#1 Post by Pablo Esguerra » Mon Nov 21, 2016 11:03 pm

Hey Everyone, so the reason I'm posting is because I'm looking for some input on a project I want to start. I recently got a 160K km 1962 356 B T6 S90 as a graduation present from my dad. He's the second owner and has had the car since 1981, so he knows it very well. We've done a few things but we also own a 56 Speedster and bought a 70 911E recently that have taken all of our attention lately. Its the S90's turn.

We've restored the suspension and brakes (the car was modified in 1964 to accommodate disc brakes) and replaced the matching numbers engine (we do have it though) with an industrial engine with 86 mm bore, AA cylinders and forged JE Pistons. Its also got new Webers and manifolds. My dad says its never been as fast, reliable and torquey.

I'm looking into some advice as in where to start fixing the car, little by little. I want it to be a drivable and reliable car I can use frequently. I also want to try and do most of the work myself, even though for complicated stuff I got a great mechanic that restored our 911 and Speedster in the last 5 years. I'll try and give you a good idea on the car's current state.

Even though the transmission works well, its got a squeaky sound in 2nd, 3rd and 4th gear. Sometimes, there's a high-pitch sound that starts when I engage the clutch. Usually happens when its warm. However, even though gears are not entirely smooth, the gearbox has been working perfectly for many years. What's the most common issue with this type of transmissions? Should I start to look for a new one, or is it easier to restore the whole thing? I can upload some recordings I made on the sound it makes if someone is willing to listen and give me some insight on what it needs or what it might have wrong. All I know is we replaced synchro rings and bushings not too long ago.

I posted in a thread a couple months ago that I have an old '53 transmission (apparently in good shape) that I could trade for a repaired 741 transmission. Vic Skirmants confirmed authenticity but the condition should be determined in the next few weeks. I'm having it cleaned up and disassembled to determine its actual vlaue.

Also, as brakes get a little warm, they also start with a squeaky sound at low speeds (sound disappears as soon with slight brake pressure), but the car brakes pretty well. Since we restored the brakes, when we take long drives down-hill (40-50 km journeys down hill) they don't warm up and fail as they used to before. Braking power is good and there are no squeals while breaking.

Engine works wonderfully, although sometimes I think it might be nice to install electronic ignition. I put it on our 70 911E and the car runs amazing.

It really needs paint, new deco trim and new carpeting. Also, it could use some body work done in some areas.

Now, I want the car to be a little more sporty. Its matching numbers engine will be rebuilt in case we need to sell again, but it will probably won't be installed in the car for a while. Its got Koni Shocks and new transmission mounts for less than 5000 km.

These are the upgrades I was thinking about:

1. 5 1/2 inch wheels.
2. Performance sway/torsion bars & suspension - Probably Willhoit's sway bar and Skrimant's Z bar the S90 torsion bar is enough? Maybe the Elephant Racing bushings make a difference?
3. Acrylic/lightweight windows (rear quarter panels only?)
4. Short Shift Kit
5. Performance Exhaust - Bursch or Dansk? (no restrictions on emissions down here)
6. Replacement Grilled Engine Lid ( I would source a spare lid to modify it)
7. Bucket seats (replicas can be made from my speedster seats)
8. Roll Bar/Cage (real simple though, probably just Bolt in/off)

I hope I can hear as much as I can from you guys. Thanks for taking the time to read it through and hopefully I can get as much input as possible. Suggestions in Porsche literature and directions to other forums or content will be greatly appreciated.

I currently own Secrets of The Inner Circle, The Maestro's Workshop Manual and Dr. B Johnson's 356 - A restorer's guide to authenticity. I also own the original Porsche huge parts catalog (cloth cover, around 4-5 inches thick) and many old parts catalogs from Stoddard. Again, THANK YOU for reading and hopefully we can start a real interesting discussion to begin this project!

A video of our cars in a recent event: https://vimeo.com/192570713
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Picture from 5 years ago
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M Penta
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Re: 356 B S90 Project

#2 Post by M Penta » Tue Nov 22, 2016 10:11 pm

Welcome Pablo, congrats! My kid would have to do pretty damn well to get my 356! He is an excellent student and loves cars though so who knows, it's a long time off....

Can't help with the transmission problems, but the sound when engaging sounds like throw out bearing.

I put 5.5's on my car and did not realize they do not fit with out spacers. 5mm is enough and ok with stock stud length. The edge of bump stop still needs to be rolled so it does not contact rim. Also, avoid wheel weights on inside of rim as they can catch on shock mount and gouge tire (ask me how I know...)

I do like the looks of them, but mainly using them since they already had new tires. I also lowered the front about an inch since it was very high when I got it.

Sounds like nice suspension plans. I think the first thing I would want are some cambered/reinforced spindles if I were to drive my car very hard.

Good luck,


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Pablo Esguerra
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Re: 356 B S90 Project

#3 Post by Pablo Esguerra » Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:42 pm

Hey guys. So finally after saving a couple years and learning some things about well executed restoration projects (I worked for a year for Classic Motors / FJ Company / Straat 911 http://www.classic.com/www.fj.co/www.drivestraat.com) I've decided its time to start my restoration project. I think it has to be done in stages and even though I've already started, I'd love some input on my plans and on parts acquisition.

1. Gather Literature and study as much as I can about this kind of project. Current books I have include:

- 356 Workshop Manual (managed to find one in Colombia from my dad's friend and photocopied it)
- Porsche 356: Restored by Hand - Ron Roland
- Technical and Restoration Guide: 356 Porsche (356 Registry)
- Secrets of the Inner Circle - Harry Pellow
- The Masters Workshop Manual - Harry Pellow
- The 356 Porsche: A Restorer's Guide to Authenticity - Dr. B. Johson

Does anyone here recommend any other valuable resource?

So, I've done some reading on Ron Roland's book as well as the Registry's book. Nonetheless, I feel the technical terms get a little confusing once in a while, specially while reading about metal work. Other than that, everything is pretty straight forward and my car is not in a horrible shape so my project should be fast (hopefully not too expensive) and the result should come along pretty nicely.

2. Dissasembly

This is the only stage where I think I might be able to do everything by myself. I've started removing the interior and carefully labeling everything I take apart and registering everything in a list where I can keep track of what I have removed for later replacement or repair and then installing back again.

However, before removing engine and transmission, I would like to fabricate the recommended dolly on the 356 book that I purchased. Pretty simple and useful!

The next "gadget" I want to make to be able to work on the underside of the car is a rotisserie, but I still don't know which style I should choose. Ron Roland recommends the "classic" rotisserie which consists of two ends that bolt on to the front & back of the car and you con rotate it on an axis and block it in certain points. The other alternative is Rod Emory's octagonal frame, which I think is less complicated to build. Nonetheless, I still haven't figured out how to bolt on to either alternative. I think the back should be bolted to where the transmission support bolts on to and at the front I can make a round clamp that will grab on to the front torsion bar. What do you guys think on mounting them to the rear torsion bar plate

I've read different opinions on both alternatives and there doesn't seem to be a general consensus on the matter; some like it one way, others like it the other. Therefore, which would prove easier and cheaper to make? It would make a fun DIY project to start to sharpen welding skills!

Now, after I've finished my gadgets, I the next steps are:
- Disassemble Interior and Electric Components
- Take down wiring harness
- Remove glass, w/s, trim & bumpers
- Door parts removed (window frames, regulator and door mechanisms.)
- Engine and Tranny down to Dolly
- Suspension, Brakes / Lines Down
- Gas tank emptied and removed

3. Paint Stripping

I've thought of using Eastwood's Countour SCT tool to strip the car completely to assess damage and order metal parts accordingly. Should I not do this but rather strip the car in stages and focus on the places were fixing is needed? The latter is what Ron Roland recommends in his book. I'm thinking this is a reasonable approach, and since my car needs floor replacement, I can order the Floor restoration kit from the guys over at Restoration Design and then start exploring other places it might need work.

4. Metal/Body Work

The only doubt I have is whether I should work the body first or the floors first (floors need definite replacement).

5. Paint

After the body is completely worked on, I will remove all primer and start with the fresh metal to prepare it evenly for paint. Underside and wheel wells will be coated with Wurth undercoating and I'm thinking of prepping the paint with eastwood products entirely and then painting with Glasurit Paint. Any recommendations for something different?

All the mechanical stuff is in good condition except tranny, which will probably be either replaced or rebuilt. I'll start another thread just for this.

The interior will be done by a local upholsterer but I think its best to address these details later on.

If you've gotten this far, thank you and please excuse me for the (probably-unnecesary) length of the post.

I'll post pictures as I move on with the project!

Best to all!

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Pablo Esguerra
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Re: 356 B S90 Project - Progress

#4 Post by Pablo Esguerra » Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:48 pm

Finally got around to making progress in the disassembly process.

Engine is down and interior is out (except headliner). First time I undertake this simple task, but I did enjoy it! I used a wooden dolly made with plans made by Dick Pike published in the 356 Technical and Restoration Guide. Many thanks for that incredibly useful tool!

Looking forward to removing glass next as well as transmission and headliner!

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Pablo Esguerra
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Re: 356 B S90 Project - Progress

#5 Post by Pablo Esguerra » Thu Aug 30, 2018 12:17 pm

So I've come around to some progress on dissasembly and paint stripping. The car is ready for body work, hoepefully it can leave for the body shop as soon as next week. I've uploaded some pictures as to the actual state of the car, the body is in good shape but the floor pans are completely rusted and I have found some rust issues in the engine compartment as well as in the front compartment. Unfortunately I have not been able to strip the front compartment so there is really not a good assesment on that part yet. Hopefully it will only be superficial.

I have uploaded some photos on the car as it currently sits in my garage as well as some photos of the rust issues in the rear compartment. Any input will be greatly appreciated.

Other than that, I have noticed that someone performed work on the door shells sometime ago and didn't do a very good job. I will try and upload some photos later on to find help on whether I should get the door skins, have them made (there are very good sheet metal and aluminum craftsmen in Colombia that work at very fair prices), or simply have them repaired.

Other than that, I would love to know if anyone knows how to contact Ron Roland, as I am using his book and will have to translate it to Spanish for the local shops down here, so I want to ask him permission to distribute that translation if anybody ever becomes interested.

Any input or comments are always welcome!

Best regards!
Final one
Stripped right
Stripped Left Side
Stripped & Speedster
Front Stripped
RD Floors in Colombia
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Engine Down
Before dissasembly
Before dissasembly and paint stripping

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Doug McDonnell
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Re: 356 B S90 Project

#6 Post by Doug McDonnell » Thu Aug 30, 2018 12:29 pm

Vic Skirmants skirmants@hughes.net and /or Sebastian Gaeta spg356@sbcglobal.net would probably have contact info for Ron Roland
1965 356C There is never enough time to do it right, but always enough time to do it over.

Mike Stephens
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Re: 356 B S90 Project

#7 Post by Mike Stephens » Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:37 pm

Cool! My 63 S90 looks very similar right now. I'd love to see some detail pictures of the metal work.
1972 911E survivor
1972 914 2.0L
1963 Italian delivered 356B Super 90 project

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Pablo Esguerra
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Re: 356 B S90 Project

#8 Post by Pablo Esguerra » Sun Aug 25, 2019 10:44 pm

Finally was able to make some real progress on the car. Here are some of the photos from the moment the process began, I got it out of my garage and over to the shop. I was planning to do the work myself but then realized it would probably take much longer than if a real pro did it. Fortunately enough for me, I got in touch with several shops (none experts in 356's) that had restored or worked on older cars before and the cost of the work didn't seem to costly in terms of what the car was gaining in value.

So I decided on the best shop available and sent the car there. I took the trouble on translating several parts of Ron Roland's book to Spanish to help the guys in the shop understand how the work needed to be done and where should they begin (I think they did't follow Roland's recommendations very well). Here are the first pictures of the process.
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Pablo Esguerra
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Re: 356 B S90 Project

#9 Post by Pablo Esguerra » Sun Aug 25, 2019 11:13 pm

This is the car on its side for the first time. When we started cutting metal out we realized that there was a bigger rust problem that we imagined. New longitudinals, front bulkhead and engine compartment sheet metal were then ordered mostly from the guys at Restoration Design.
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After most parts got down to Colombia, we started working on the engine compartment. Rust was removed, some panels were replaced and then everything was primered.
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After the rear part of the car was done, the longitudinals were replaced and the floor pans were replaced.
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Pablo Esguerra
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Re: 356 B S90 Project

#10 Post by Pablo Esguerra » Sun Aug 25, 2019 11:44 pm

Floor pan replacement was complete at this point, the diagonal member was also installed and the front bulkhead was starting to be repaired. The inner longitudinals were locally fabricated.
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I bot a replacement back wall for the battery box as well as the floor, but had to improvise and fabricate the front part of the bulkhead, only the lower end in order to preserve the original spot weld in the hood compartment which was actually in good shape.
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Pablo Esguerra
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Re: 356 B S90 Project

#11 Post by Pablo Esguerra » Mon Aug 26, 2019 12:07 am

After the underside of the car (or most of it) was replaced, we moved on to the doors. We wanted to adjust as best as possible to the body as the doors were once hit and needed a lot of adjustment. The lower door sills were fabricated locally as well as the interior rear quarter panels. Also the door gaps and body near the doors were leaded, just like the factory. Fortunately the man working on this car was trained many years ago and masters leading, so it gave the car a very nice look and even finish.
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Pablo Esguerra
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Re: 356 B S90 Project

#12 Post by Pablo Esguerra » Mon Aug 26, 2019 12:26 am

More work on the door and the gaps. The edges were adjusted and took several weeks for just one door to be completed.
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After the left door was done, primer and body filler to fit imperfections on the metal surface began to be applied. Work for the right door is still to be completed but this week it will probably be done.
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Hopefully after these multiple photos I can get some feedback from you guys regarding the quality of the work done. After all this is the first 356 project of several I wish to complete. Thank you and hopefully you'll find we're doing a good job.

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