And so it begins!
I knew a business owner from some mutual clients and we got to know each other on a gent’s golf trip to South Lake Tahoe. Over wine, he mentioned a ’69 911 coupe he was finishing and a green 1970 911T Targa that was stripped. I just put that in the back of my head for the time being. A few years went by and I needed a project. While a coupe would be preferred, the idea of a Targa has merits. How tough could this be? – Just buy a car in parts and put it together. Kind of like Legos.
I visited with folks like Sean Reardon, past KCRPCA President, to get an idea of what I was getting into before I made any decisions. Looking back, he was spot on! (Thanks Sean!). Figure what you think it will cost. Then double it, and that’s only if you really manage your progress and do most of the work yourself. Also, double your time estimate.
It was my 60th birthday gift to myself and we cut a deal on the project. The body was completed. All gone through, primed, painted in the original Metallic Green per the Certificate of Authenticity from Porsche. Yep, I’m one of those suckers for a green car.
There was a small wrinkle. No parts list or diagrams, but “all the parts are there”. Famous words that would bite me in the backside soon enough.
So, I grabbed my enclosed race trailer and loaded up JUST THE BOXES; then another trip to get the car. So, all of those parts go into that little car? That should have been my first clue that this wasn’t going to get done very quickly.
I thought I was up for a little challenge, but this was almost more than I could handle – almost. I realized throughout the build that I needed help and it came in all forms:
- YouTube! (yep, kavs911 was very helpful)
- Google (images and search for strange parts)
- Pelican Parts forums
- Tom Charlesworth (Charlesworth Performance – Tulsa)
Yep, he’s my older brother and past PCA Racing Scrutineer and was head of the PCA Tech Committee for many years. A wealth of info for the older 911’s and he has a full shop of tools, lifts, etc.
First error: I didn’t take it apart. So, it makes it more difficult to determine what the parts are for, if they are any good to use or, if you needed to order new parts.
The unboxing was kind of like Christmas, but really dirty. Almost nothing was bagged and labeled. So I tried to organize by separating the parts, trying to put certain parts in bins to keep them ready for “that section” of the rebuild. I may get in trouble with this next statement, but whoever took this Porsche apart and boxed it up the way they did, should have a good scolding. (Feel free to insert a more colorful verb if you wish, as I had to restrain myself).
Next, I made a list (thanks Pelican Parts) of what I thought I would need as far as new parts for each area of the car (brakes, engine, suspension, etc.) I put together a budget plus a margin of error. (good thing, because I have used it all; so Sean was right again). Setting the list up by section of the car not only helped break the project down in more manageable projects, but it made paying for the items over time so much more budget friendly. If you think you have your list complete before the build, you are WRONG! I can’t tell you how many times I got into the build only to find that I didn’t have a part that I never knew was needed.
Let the work begin!
The first task is to clean the parts. So I made a quick trip to Harbor Freight and purchased a cheap parts washer. It did the trick for what I needed and I donated it to a gent that’s storing my trailer (plus a bottle or two). Of course, in the process of cleaning parts, it became evident that many were simply not good enough to reuse. A part here, a part there; they add up! Some were a bit more pricey like cylinders and pistons. I did find a company that wanted the cylinders, so a modest recoup of some funds ($150 for a set of 6). Obviously I needed a new Sach clutch kit, flywheel, etc. and by the time you clean and resurface, just start new so you know what you have while it’s easy to get to!
Next, a quick trip to the local sandblaster and have suspension and engine tin parts cleaned and powder coated. It’s off to a pretty good start.
Suspension is ordered and ready to go in! Things are looking better with all those front and rear suspension parts on the car. It took a little more time than what is depicted on those TV rebuild shows that can do a car in a week! I call that BS. Of course, it’s just me, so I settle in on just enjoying the learning process and the journey. Kind of hard to be patient when you really want to DRIVE that car!
What was a bit tricky was the steering column. Trying to correctly align the wheels (before needing to get an alignment later) with the multiple splines of the shaft was a two person job. However, it did go well.
Note that the fuel tank is re-plumbed with new hoses. Good luck sourcing the correct ones, but I did!. Also note the Steel Wheels. I’m kind of bummed that Fuch’s were not part of the deal, but the COA confirmed that the car came with these wheels. Someone chromed them, and I had them cleaned, blasted, straightened and painted. I’ll put some chrome domes on them later. Oh, and the tires had European type on them originally from 2002. So off they came and before I spent that kind of money, I just went to Discount Tire for some simple radials for now. Of course, it took two trips. Once I had put them on, the front tire diameter was too large to allow them to turn within the wheel well. Who knew? (you all probably did, but I didn’t). Another trip back and they did me a solid deal and swapped the tires out for no charge! (Of course, a case of beer somehow showed up one day at their shop at the end of their workday.)
Time to load it up and head to Tulsa! More next issue.