My SC coupe project. Made by hand…again.

Share progress on your 356 related project or full restoration with others!
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Tom Perazzo
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My SC coupe project. Made by hand…again.

#1 Post by Tom Perazzo » Sat Jun 05, 2010 1:14 pm

Well here we go.

I’ve been a long time listener and occasional poster of 356Talk and have really enjoyed all the technical subjects but restoration and engine subjects are by far my favorite. Rusty’s, Shane’s, Justin’s, Rich’s recent projects, just name a few, are a great source of information and inspiration. With the advent of the new project forum, I thought I would make an effort to share my story and project as well.

My progress is slow for many reasons, but there are two primary ones. They are 4 and 6 years old.

I bought my car 13 years ago at the age of 25. It was a goal of mine to have my first 356 by 25. I had two Karmann Ghia’s before that. So I bought the best car I could afford, which at the time was about $7000 cash. During the test drive it barely ran and I remember it not starting again after I shut it down. The price was right and I expected that it needed work. Overcome with excitement, I bought the car and towed it home. Image
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I knew the engine was from a 912, it had a cheap interior, needed paint, and the floor pans were rusty.

Sometimes today I wish I had taken out a loan or waited a few more years to buy a better car but hindsight is 20/20 they say. It’s too late now, because I’ve fallen in love with THIS car over the years.

I fixed all the mechanical things and drove the car. New brakes, new brake and fuel lines, fixed gas tank, rebuilt engine etc. The car ran great as an almost daily driver and never once left me stranded in 10 years.

Having what I would like to think are high standards bordering on perfectionism, I was never proud of this car cosmetically. It looked good from 50 feet and 50 mph. I was the guy who would park a mile away and then walk into a Porsche event.

So I began taking the car apart for restoration about 4 years ago. To date I’ve replaced the drivers door bottom and lower skin, replaced a rusty windshield pillar, replaced passenger side longitudinal, and done some work to the battery box.
Here’s the car on an Emory style rotisserie that I built.

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I will update this post with my current progress. I have a few continuous weeks of Porsche time ahead and I hope to get all the structural body work done. Wish me luck!!!
My restoration goal is to restore the car as close as possible to original. Irish green, tan interior, minimal reproduction parts as possible. I would like to compete in one concours and then resuming driving it again as much as I used to. All this before my 40th Bday…in three years. Time flies!

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Tom Perazzo
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#2 Post by Tom Perazzo » Sat Jun 05, 2010 1:26 pm

Here are some pictures of the drivers side longitudinal replacement. I look forward to any constructive comments. I consider myself an amateur and I'm willing to learn.
Before

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cleaned hard to reach cavity and then sprayed epoxy primer with a black rattle can top coat.

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Some home made replacement panels partially welded in.

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David Gensler
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#3 Post by David Gensler » Sat Jun 05, 2010 1:41 pm

Good looking project Tom. Happy to see you joining us here in "Project World" Will look forward to additional pics. Good luck.
DG
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Herrick Griffin
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#4 Post by Herrick Griffin » Sat Jun 05, 2010 3:50 pm

I'm in the same position you were in 13 years ago (bought at 25, just turned 26). I'm hoping to get the car restored sooner rather than later. My plan is similar to yours, get it mechanically sound and drive it for a few years before restoring it. Speaking of which, is that Irish Green I see?
Herrick Griffin
1963 S Coupe

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Rust Repair

#5 Post by max handley » Sat Jun 05, 2010 5:19 pm

Tom

That is some beautiful work....yes I'd say borderline perfectionist.....love the quality of your welding...what welder are you using , wire size ect.

Best & keep up the good work

Max H

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#6 Post by Tom Perazzo » Sat Jun 05, 2010 8:26 pm

Herrick,
Yes that is Irish Green by golly. Here's a picture of the original painted dash. The color has really grown on me. I've seen some nicely done cars in Irish Green and its now one of my favorite late colors.

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Max,
Thanks for the compliment. I switch between a Lincoln TIG and a Miller MIG. The welds pictured are certainly done by sparky as I like to call it. I prefer the TIG for outer panels or gaps that are small. More TIG weld pictures to come.

My MIG is fitted with .023" S-6 wire. Its a standard 115V model. 75% Argon CO2 mix. Nothing special. I like to set the heat on the hot side and avoid burn through with technique and short weld pulses. Oh, and I'm a stickler for clean metal especially when using the TIG.
Thanks,
Tom

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Herrick Griffin
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#7 Post by Herrick Griffin » Sat Jun 05, 2010 10:21 pm

Tom Perazzo wrote:Herrick,
Yes that is Irish Green by golly. Here's a picture of the original painted dash. The color has really grown on me. I've seen some nicely done cars in Irish Green and its now one of my favorite late colors.
Me too. Here's some inspiration..

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Porsche- ... 1c12deeb37
Herrick Griffin
1963 S Coupe

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Tom Perazzo
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#8 Post by Tom Perazzo » Tue Jun 08, 2010 8:20 pm

Here are some more photos of the inner longitudinal repairs.

I had to remove a large rusted section below.
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Here's the new piece welded in. I sprayed weld-thru primer because there is a plate that overlaps this area
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I put Ospho over the welded areas. It tends to turn the heat affected zone black almost immediately.
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The rear heater tube support was badly bent and corroded. I'm too lazy to put a new one in so I repaired the original in situ.

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I TIG welded the outer flange on.
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I also fillet welded these supports to the inner longitudinal because the factory spot welds were broken. Granted the jack spur saw some serious abuse.
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Small patch panel to meet outer longitudinal. This seam was TIG welded with Silicone Bronze fill wire because the access was tough on both sides of the seam.

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Sometimes it helps to take a step back and admire the spots were rust once lived!!!
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I did a test fit of the stoddard outer longitudinal and was pleased that it fit quite well with only minor trimming. No slicing, sectioning, or strange work required. Yea!

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hey Tom!

#9 Post by Justin Rio » Wed Jun 09, 2010 11:48 am

hey Tom,

I just found your post! Glad you decided to share your project with us! Your work looks great! I like the "rollling" cage you've built. Going by the background in your first two pictures did you by this car in the high desert area? Victorville or Lucerne valley maybe?

Justin

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Tom Perazzo
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#10 Post by Tom Perazzo » Wed Jun 09, 2010 8:07 pm

Damn your good Justin.....you nailed it. Apple valley to be exact.

I think my car disproves the theory that cars don't rust in the desert. :)

To be fair who knows where it lived before then. Maybe you know!!!!!!

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#11 Post by Justin Rio » Wed Jun 09, 2010 10:29 pm

Hi tom, The area looked very familiar. Being a desert car is no guarantee of a rust free chassis especially if its left outside. Its just not east coast rusty. My car has been in the high desert since at least '67 but was stored out in the open. It still managed to rust out in all the ususal areas. Our cars are just doing what old Porsches do best; Rust away!!

Justin

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Tom Perazzo
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#12 Post by Tom Perazzo » Wed Jun 16, 2010 10:47 pm

A bit more progress below:

Test fitting the outer longitudinal panel.

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Some inner longitudinal repairs. One small patch is missing in the picture. A total of three pieces were needed near the rear door jamb.



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Tom Perazzo
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#13 Post by Tom Perazzo » Wed Jun 16, 2010 11:07 pm

After many tedious hours of wire brushing, scraping, sanding, and stripping I sprayed some epoxy primer! It gives me great joy to progress toward a tidy interior that a floor pan can actually attach to. Only a few weeks ago, my car was at its all time low undergoing surgery. Now, a few sections are seeing the foundation of what will be someday be paint :D Still more work to do in adjacent areas. I have some holes in the rear seat pans and in the rear inner fenders.

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What is up with these nails near the hinge posts? Should I remove and weld holes? I haven't done so yet, because they are on both sides? Doesn't look factory to me. What holes are need for the interior installation?
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Please comment if something looks wrong or needs more attention. As I said before, this is my first 356 restoration and I want to do the best I can with the help of more knowledgeable folks on this forum. I won't be offended, rather I prefer to make it correct and now is the time :)

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#14 Post by David Gensler » Wed Jun 16, 2010 11:13 pm

Tom,
Just glanced back through your photos. Looks like things are coming along nicely.

However, one thing is bothering me. In the third photo you have the car in a really nice looking rolling cage. I can't for the life of me figure out how you got the car in the cage! Did you construct it around the car?

DG
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Tom Perazzo
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#15 Post by Tom Perazzo » Thu Jun 17, 2010 12:29 am

Hi David,
Thanks for your nice comments. The rack is not my creation. I copied it with a few modifications from Emory Motorsports.

http://www.emorymotorsports.com/the-rack

If you look in their "Workshop" webpage you will see more examples of this type of rotisserie.

The horizontal bars are removable with bolts. This is handy so one of the bars can removed for better access to the body.

The rear hoop attaches to the rear transmission hoop bolts and the front attaches to the sway bar bolt locations.

To get the car in the rack, you first jack up the rear high enough and bolt the rear hoop up.

Then jack up the front and attach the front hoop.

The horizontal bars add stability to the hoops. I keep three attached at all times. It's a bit dicey getting them attached for the first time, but I had some help and I supported the hoops temporarily with motor cycle straps.

I chose this method over a traditional rotisserie because it attaches to the suspension mounts and keeps the chassis square with the floor even if the car is tilted. In other words, no abnormal twisting torque is applied to the chassis while structural work is being performed.

The down side to this design is that it takes space to roll the car. Once its rolled 45 degrees, then I can slide the rack on the concrete to get it back in a good position in my small garage.

I can rotate it myself without too much trouble.

I also transported the car 70 miles with this rack on a trailer. I cross braced the hoops and had no problems. It rolled right up the trailer. I will post a picture later, if I can find it.

I hope that's clear. I couldn't imagine doing all this undercarriage work upside down and laying on the floor. Although, my car didn't have major accident damage and I feel reasonably certain that my suspension mounting points are in the right place. I did measure before cutting and after welding.

Tom

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