Late 1959 S/R coupe project # 108625

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Jules Dielen
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Re: Late 1959 S/R coupe project # 108625

#136 Post by Jules Dielen »

Vic Skirmants wrote: Wed Nov 22, 2023 8:43 am Karmann did not make panels for 356A.
I think he meant Karmann Konnection in the UK
Jules

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Chris Davis
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Re: Late 1959 S/R coupe project # 108625

#137 Post by Chris Davis »

Justin,

While I have some automotive restoration experience, I'll admit to being a little intimidated by the sheet metal origami found in the 356 longitudinals and many other joining panels. Your posts here and on abcgt.com have been incredibly helpful as I start my 356 restoration. The detail photos and explanation of your battle plan are terrific. Thanks so much for sharing!

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Re: Late 1959 S/R coupe project # 108625

#138 Post by Justin Rio »

Thanks once again Antione, Appreciated.
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Yes Jules, That's what I was getting at, sorry if I wasn't clear. Its a Simonsen copy but from what chassis; a later Karmann feature or their own interpretive "improvement"? I've already run into that problem with other repop parts which I'll post later. The embossed area in and around the Zims decal is a very nice feature but again not correct for an A chassis.

Thank you very much Chris and glad to know that these entries are of some use. I've been there, intimidated and paralyzed by analysis on many occasions while deep into the bowels of chassis repair. Made lots of mistakes and have redone things up to three times when I was cutting my teeth. As you well have figured out by now, these cars are deceptively simple yet extremely complex to repair correctly if you're shooting for factory correct. Then there is that continuous egg shaped body to get right all the way down the sides when the coachwork phase begins. I was channel surfing and I just so happened to catch last weeks episode of Bitchin Rides. Someone brought their '59 coupe in for a restomod. Looked like an okay driver but it was deceptively nice. Once it came back from dipping the whole back end of the chassis was shot. By the time they where done peeling the entire chassis was gone from the rear torsion housing back; then there was the front end to address. You could tell it was their first 356 as they fished the side glass out with the chrome frames still installed during the tear down phase. Some of the repairs were also performed out of sequence so that I know made life a lot harder than it had to be. Its of course heavily edited but the look on their faces and work description clearly relayed that its reconstruction was pushing them to the limits. "oh its rustier than we thought" "we have to keep peeling past layer upon layer to complete the repair" "none of the new parts fit and they all need lots of rework" Again this a team of seasoned metal guys with access to all the high dollar metal shaping tools. The roller looked nice enough but I have to believe the owner was well over 200K in Kindig shop time alone; 150 bucks an hour minimum I would guess...and its still not done. Anyway, it was heartwarming to see the high end experts having a real challenging go at repairing these old cars. A must watch for sure...
Thanks again.

Justin

Making my own cap:
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Begin paper template off the remains of the original.
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Good basic shape. Moving onto metal.
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This also gives me the opportunity to make it out of 18 gauge like the Chassis components should be.
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Cut to basic shape now onto form fitting it.
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Again it should be just a smooth sweeping panel without that stepped cornered relief shape.
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Form fitment to come. As its 18 gauge its not going to be as forgiving as 20 gauge so it'll need some extra persuasion.
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Slowly adding the inner flange run.
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Flange better defined with each try. The tricky part is its gathering in that corner so a some heat was needed to keep it going.
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Heat added to the corner and a bit of force fitment to get to sit down deeper as it went..

More later... Thanks for looking.

Justin
Last edited by Justin Rio on Wed Nov 22, 2023 11:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Martin Benade
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Re: Late 1959 S/R coupe project # 108625

#139 Post by Martin Benade »

For what it’s worth Stoddard lists a single rear closing wall piece for all years of 356.
Cleveland Ohio
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Justin Rio
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Re: Late 1959 S/R coupe project # 108625

#140 Post by Justin Rio »

Rear cap Continued:
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Inner flange defined and set enough to be able to commit to the outer upper(car is upside down) flange run.
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As you can see the car itself is making for the perfect hammer form.
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After a few more rounds I finally had the rolled inner flange shape I was trying to copy.
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With each round I'd lock it in with set screws which had to be redrilled a couple of times as the panel shrunk in tighter with each pass.
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Basic roughed in shape with just one more detail to add.
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Need to add in this curved delta relief shape for the heater conduit.
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Relief shape added with one more comparison shot of supplied closing panel with what was actually needed for this car.
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Relief shape was grafted in. I foolishly thought I was just going to pound that shape in cleanly on the first try. It went side ways real quick so it had to be made separately for a clean shape.
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First refit after all the changes and final adjustments.
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Probably wouldn't have bothered with that shape relief otherwise but its a transitional T1 to T2 thing and it will always be visible so it was added.
Final installation next.
Thanks for looking.

Justin

Puygranier Antoine
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Re: Late 1959 S/R coupe project # 108625

#141 Post by Puygranier Antoine »

Well done! I made the experience myself with my ghia, that most of the time, doing the panel yourself leads to a better fit and a more accurate panel than the repros..

Bests

Antoine

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Re: Late 1959 S/R coupe project # 108625

#142 Post by Justin Rio »

Thank you Antione. Agree, sometimes you have to do so much modification to a new panel that it would have been far more time and cost effective just to make the panel yourself.

Rear closing wall installation.
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First of the tack welds...On for good. Left some of the flange from the panel underneath exposed so the eventual seam weld down this inner run will tie into that as well.
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More shaping and probably more heat as it goes in but its at least installed.
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Inner flange seam welded as originally. Some divots and details I still need to clean up on that weld seam yet but leaving it for now and moving onto the next flange run.
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After a few rounds of heat and dolly work the corner finally relief stretched down in there so I could finish plug welding.
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PIA working in18 gauge! 20 gauge is awfully tempting.
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A very long road but I am now down to sealing the inner surfaces and punching the rest of the needed plug weld holes.
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With most of the severe heat behind this area I can now shoot some sealer down in here.
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Prepping for sealer and a good coat of paint next. Almost ready to close this cavity up.

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Re: Late 1959 S/R coupe project # 108625

#143 Post by Justin Rio »

Closing time.
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A long road to get here but this cavity was finally ready for its sealer coats.
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Behind 3 solid coats of epoxy while checking for blind/bare spots as it went.
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The extra was poured straight down into that hole for insurance. Begin squirting the final top coat of black here.
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Final top coat of black.
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Inner surface of the closing panel as well.
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Left to cure with only plug weld holes left to add.
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Holes punched and mating surfaces cleaned. She was finally ready.
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Set screwed into position for the last time.
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Ready to begin laying down my first series of plug welds starting at the center then working outward.

That up next. Thanks for looking.

Justin



17

Justin Rio
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Re: Late 1959 S/R coupe project # 108625

#144 Post by Justin Rio »

Finishing up Right longitudinal repair.
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At long last I was welding it on. Welding center most outward beginning along the additional plug weld run attaching to the internal bulkhead assembly which will support the eventual jack spur.
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I'd weld a series then grind them down so it wasn't such a bore. A lot holes to fill and dress.
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Threshold flange fully welded and dressed along with the attachment plugs to the twin bulkhead assembly.
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Quick test fit with the rocker just to see and make sure. It fits and clears fine. Onto the next series of plug welds.
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Plug welding and dressing continues.
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Getting close to buttoning this up.
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Adding in the details back in. Gas weld detail replicated at the forward junction.
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The rest of the run after it was now finally fully dressed. I left alternating set screw holes open in anticipation for the eventual floor pan. Why drill for these twice. One of those things you pick along the way. So out of character for me to be thinking that far ahead. but I actually did this time.
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Attaching the side with plugs and back filling some short comings as it went.
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Fully welded and dressed. Hinge base can now be remounted. Soon...

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Re: Late 1959 S/R coupe project # 108625

#145 Post by Justin Rio »

Welding continued
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Moved onto plug welding up the back.
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All plugs fully dressed and ready for final finishing detail.
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On my early T1 there where no plug welds here; the flange was fused at the edge instead. As you can see the edge on a T2 was left very raw and the two were spotted together.
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This T2 detail will be replicated with my old panel spotter.
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Spot detail complete. Very close together and numerous as the original shows.
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Flange edges where not perfectly uniform with each other and this was also replicated.
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Front spot weld details were next. Frequency and spacing also replicated to continue the look off the original panel above this patch. Again the mating flanges where not perfectly uniform with each other up here either.
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Right longitudinal just about completely welded and finished.
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Rear inner run and corner are all that remain.
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Time to start adding on more parts like the jack spur.
prep for its installation next...

Thanks for stopping by.
Justin

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Bil Brown
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Re: Late 1959 S/R coupe project # 108625

#146 Post by Bil Brown »

lookin good Justin.......hope you`re doing well!
Bill Brown

Justin Rio
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Re: Late 1959 S/R coupe project # 108625

#147 Post by Justin Rio »

Hey Bill, Great to hear from you. I'm hanging in there, I hope all is well out your way. Merry Christmas to you and your family. Justin

Jack Spur prep:
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Good initial fit but some flange shaping and trimming yet to come before its ready.
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Referred to my factory manual for the exact placement of the spur once again.
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Here is 415MM from the center of the rearward spring plate bolt. Centered right over the bulkhead assembly as it should.
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Like the coupster project before the new jack spurs need some detail trimming to better match an original example.
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Start with excess off the snout. Trimmed back right to the shoulder of the weld.
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Quick filing to clean up the edges.
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Almost an Immediate presentational improvement.
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Upper and lower flange shaping next.
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Narrowing and shaping the spine flange next.
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Very top had to be trimmed back and also flattened so that it will clear the rocker.

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Re: Late 1959 S/R coupe project # 108625

#148 Post by Justin Rio »

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Finished profile. Almost like a raw casting that needed final shape cleaning.
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It not only looked better but it now fit and cleared the rocker.
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Now time to begin locating it against the lower lip of the rocker.
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My goal is have it tucked up there all the while still leaving me enough wiggle room for final panel adjustments between the rocker and door for lower gap.
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Nice thing about reusing the old rocker is that I can dial it in within a mm or two of where its ultimately going to be.
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This seems to be the sweet spot.
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I figured about 10mm's. Still looks good and again leaves me some wiggle room for final panel adjustments for lower door gap.
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Plug weld holes added also had some mounting flange massaging so it would seat flush against the longitudinal.
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Going with it. Set screwing begins.
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Initially set screwed at the middle first then working outward.

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Re: Late 1959 S/R coupe project # 108625

#149 Post by Justin Rio »

Spur final installation
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Worked outward from there drawing it tighter as it went. Dismounting one final time.
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Only a handful of spot welds hold this unit together and after thinning I decided to add a few seams to the inside of the spine to ensure it stays intact. These spurs aren't just for looks I want them to perform the job they where put here to do, jack points.
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This will remain an open air cavity so rust is not going to be an issue but I slopped the inside with some epoxy for a little extra insurance.
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Same with panel face.
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On for good! First couple of plug welds beginning at the center and working outward.
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Plug welding complete.
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Relieved it hugs the panel as tight as it does. Now the fun of carefully grinding all those little heads down.
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Fully dressed with follow up spot weld detail.
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Jack spur install complete.
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Car righted to begin the next repair.

Thanks for looking.

Justin

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Re: Late 1959 S/R coupe project # 108625

#150 Post by Justin Rio »

Last bit of right side longitudinal repair.
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inner corner closing wall next.
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Have to take a step or two back before I can move forward on that corner. The rear kick panel flange runs under it so I'll have to go ahead and repair this section of the perimeter first.
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Behind this flange runs a very heavy gauge strip probably as a reinforcement for lap belt anchors. Anyway a T2 detail or possibly a late T1 as I don't rule anything out anymore but not early T1 for sure...
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Begin peeling the old flange from this reinforcement strip. A lot of rust and scale but the plenty of meat left on that old heavy gauge stuff.
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Most of the old flange removed exposing the strip. Continue cleaning and treating the residual rust.
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Removed as much of the old flange as was needed. Cleaning all the thick, heavy rust from the inner surface of the reinforcement strip without the luxury of a sandblaster.
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Chipped away some of the thick heavy scale first. There was a lot of it.
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What would not come loose was torch heated causing it to pop free, this saved a lot of time. Muriatic acid was applied lastly to take it the rest of the way clean.
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Back to a silver surface. With the amount of scale trapped I was surprised this piece did not rust though. Not as strong as it once was but once its tied back into a fresh piece of 18 gauge everything should be just fine.
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New section heeled over some tubing to replicate the sweeping curve of the original.

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