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1959 356A S/R coupe project chassis # 108625

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  • How strange,yesterday after reading your post Justin, I went out to the garage to look at mine. Trouble is, in the 70's that end closing panel to the longitudinal was rusted through on both sides so I fabricated end panels myself removed the rusty ones and gas welded them in. I do remember and noted in my workshop diary the longitudinal and heater ducting was really free from rust so applied plenty of zink primer and paint before closing up with the torch.
    I made no mention of an indent to clear the heater pipe area and I believe it fitted and had clearance. So mine today are flat or more or less so. I worked back then in a far different way to these days.

    I capped the bottom of the torsion bar housing as it had some rust pin holes. The cappings have been used ever since for garage hoist lifting so have worked well.

    I will look for a photo maybe?

    Your area there Justin will look like new!!!

    Roy

    Comment


    • And we know it's not a "California thing."

      Agree Bruce I don't think its a California thing either.
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      They certainly do vary in definition even on one side to the other. This one was coming in just under 2.5 inches in length before it washes out.
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      Mine is about the same though I defined the end more perhaps giving it the appearance of being longer. Anyway, just one of those crazy details we can all get too caught up with.
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      Its an easily overlooked detail Roy and one that is not necessary for clearance as you can see is clearly the case here. The reason for this is that I let that new Simonsen closing panel dictate where the cap was going to be. I didn't want to deal with having to shorten and rebend the flange on it over just a couple of MM's. Life was much easier this way.
      Thanks again guys!
      Justin

      6/7/18

      Closing time! Right longitudinal
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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 also
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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.
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      At long last I was welding it on.
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      I'd weld a series then grind them down so it was 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 next.

      Thanks for looking!
      Justin
      Justin Rio

      Comment


      • I did find a couple of old photos showing the removal of the L/side rear longitudinal end capping rust damage ready for welding in Dec 1976. ( You will notice the raised area has been cut out and I left the shape of the large radius for me to copy. I know now of course a cardboard template would have been better!)

        The other photo taken in 2009 when I started a rear brake overhaul shows the repaired end capping thirty three years later still looking okay and still the same today the rule though of dry driving does apply.

        Now truthfully back then I had a full gas welding kit but no special disc grinder to grind back the welds underneath the car. In fact I thought bit more strength why make it smooth.

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        The work standard today is so much higher than all those years ago.

        Roy

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        • Roy, Its simply not fair to judge your 42 year old rust repairs with what's going on today. A completely different time and era in both the value of these cars and the technology now easily affordable to today's amateur hobbyist. I for one am quite impressed with your level of effort and the skill you show by gas welding all those panels in; with the car right side up no less! Gas welding like lead soldering and TIG welding requires a certain skill level and development that not just anyone can do successfully. You attempted these deep repairs at a time when these cars where simply not worth the effort. If word got out in 1976 that a guy was performing serious rust repairs using all steel which was not brazed but properly welding in the first question would have been "WHY"?? An A coupe that rusty, why the hell would he waste his time on that? Send it off to the scraper (like a certain pre-A coupe you've mentioned) Open up your local paper or latest issue Panorama and simply get yourself a better car, take your pick. While you're at it you can probably move yourself on up into a nice 356B or hell even a C-coupe! Poor guy wasting all that time, on an A coupe no less, who the hell wants those and a pre-A forget about it primitive junk, a dime a dozen.

          I clearly remember my father in the early 80's having a conversation with another Porsche enthusiast about 911's then it eventually turned to the 356 model. My Dad mentioned that he had two coupes and I remember the guy's face lighting up with a nice smile and asked "are they B or C cars"? My Father said "no unfortunately they are both just A coupes". The guys face turned very sympathetic and said "Awe, that's too bad" as if to say to "You poor fucker, there, there". Time has proven the last laugh on that one but my father back then had the same mind set he would have preferred a nice T6 model. So my point with all this is that you installed all steel repairs at a time when brazing, fiberglass and or pop-riveted patches of various materials where the norm, if the car got repaired at all since it was considered disposable at that time. Top notch repairs in 1976 and a solid decade to follow for sure Roy!


          Then there is the technology aspect in 1976 as a hobbyist you had a gas welder and maybe an Arch welder if you were serious. A wire welder was very exotic and well out of the reach of regular guys like us. Panel spotters where around some but also very pricey and only a justified purchase for a full on body shop. MIG welders were still considered pretty exotic as far back as 1986. The need for one is how we met my Mentor Greg Parker way back then. My father was repairing some front end collision damage on a Toyota pickup. He had all the new core support substructure but no way to cleanly join all the new pieces together properly. He had a gas welder and an old arch welder and after he blew a few holes through it he quickly realized he needed a MIG welder to do it right before he completely ruined the new pieces.
          Greg was probably one of only a handful of outfits that had a wire welder locally at the time. So my father set screwed it all together and drove the truck over to Greg's so he could properly plug weld all that sheet metal together. We were just in Awe, not only did Greg have the larger wire welder for frames and such but he also had a smaller Miller sidekick for sheet metal. "WOW, JUST WOW! " It was probably like having a TV set in the late 1950's. After that my father realized he had to have one of those Miller Sidekicks, there was no going back. Fast forward to today and we've all gotten so spoiled that a wire-welder is almost frowned upon at times.
          Anyway Roy, I have nothing but respect for your repairs given the times and available equipment. Well done!

          Justin

          6/10/18
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          Plug welding and dressing continues.

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          Getting close to buttoning this up.
          Justin Rio

          Comment


          • I agree, Justin. Back then, that was a great repair.

            Comment


            • Roy, the main thing to remember is that you did your own work!

              Luckily, I got some welding training on oxy-acetylene and stick welding while in art school. I built my first car trailer out of scrap metal and a '51 Chevy front axle, widened with re-bar and welded to remain straight-ahead by measuring with a tape... in one of our school shops.
              Cut with the torch and 'glue 'em' together with the don't-need-no-sissy-shielding-gas stick welder.

              As I basically 'fell into' the business of rust repair in '73 after that beginning as a hobby in '65, I found that the MIG welders were the thing to have, so I went to a manufacturer's demo class local to me, Systematics brand. 220v but could be turned down for sheet metal or cranked up for, gee....building trailers or any production welding demanding a nearly 100% duty cycle. I bought one.

              A welding instructor learned that I was restoring old Porsches, so he came to my first small shop with an A Coupe on an open trailer, the first 356 I had seen upside-down. That 356 had been MIG seam-welded all over with the first-gen floor from Stoddard along with hand-made or the crude repro parts of those early '70s. Beautiful welding but totally wrong, albeit strong. Would never pass today's demands for "originality."

              Thus, the challenges are now beyond what equipment to use but... how close to what Porsche had done can we get.

              We used to use a Lenco spot welder. If the surfaces and pressures are not absolute, the spot weld may look good but not be trustworthy. For that, a MIG plug weld was used as insurance about every inch 'or so', ground flat and a drift was hit next to the MIG to look like another spot weld.

              Then, along came the better suited house-current MIGs, plasma cutters and affordable TIGs......and better spot welders! Holy Welding, Batman!

              Now, to keep up with the rush back to "originality," I have learned (from Rick Mullin) that an 1/8" or 1/16" (or 2 or 3mm) hole on one side of an overlap can be puddled in via TIG to look 'just like' an original spot weld and just as strong. I'm working on that.

              If a shop does a LOT of spotting, a new welder can be had that will do a better job than even the old Reutter originals....but they start at around $42K.

              Roy, for all the right reasons....I like your repairs the best....right up there with the other vanishing norm from back then....driving the 356! Ya can't see any repairs at speed!

              I got an A running last week after it sat for 18 years. Brake and gas system rebuilds and all the safety checks and new tires. My first test drive, I could not get the big smile off my face the whole time. I was in a time machine. Roy, thanks for keeping us all grounded in a truer reality.

              Regards,
              Bruce

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                Roy

                Comment


                • What great conversation. I first welded in 1988, the year I graduated UCONN, albeit in five years instead of four, having spent much time working on other people's cars and motorcycles instead of hitting the books. (It worked out OK, since I have been employed in the car bizniss ever since.) I worked on a couple of BMW 2002's and my own Alfa GTV, all of which required some amount of metal joining, and saw an ad in Hemmings for Daytona MiG, whose Cebora machines were considerably more affordable than a Sidekick. My lovely Dad bought me my Cebora 130 as a reward for getting my degree; I still have it and while now it looks rather low-end, it was the dog's balls in 1988.

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                  • Ah at last someone who speaks English ....

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                    Thanks for all the support.
                    Steve
                    (& Tips and Advice always welcome)

                    Comment


                    • Great thread ! Like Roy if I were 40 or 50, maybe even 60 I'd start another
                      project, but at 73 I'm just going to maintain the beast and drive the dog's bollocks out of it. Bruce is correct, while doing a build is great fun (well,
                      most of the time) driving a 356 is the ultimate pleasure provided by these
                      critters..
                      Cheers,
                      Joel
                      Joining Roy with more photo clutter...

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                      Comment


                      • Ha! Fantastic license plate (number plate for Roy) and what a sweet green 356. What's the official name of that shade? Happy Fathers' Day to all, and thanks as always to Justin for providing this lovely place of learning and camaraderie. John in Tolland, Connecticut.

                        Comment


                        • Thanks John, and Happy Father's Day to all my fellow Procreators and Providers.
                          Color is to order and named ' Fazination Grun '. Looked long and hard to find that pair of plates, genuine blackies.
                          Cheers,
                          Joel

                          I'm with the old school of if it's a good solid repair and out of sight it's
                          just as good as ' perfect ' to get you down the road.

                          Comment


                          • Mark Erbesfield
                            57 356A
                            65 911
                            68 912
                            73 911S
                            66 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ45LV
                            79 450SL Dad's old car

                            Comment


                            • Thanks for all the great follow up stories and photos you guys! We are all on the same path. Just doing the best that we can with the tools and techniques that are available to us at any given particular moment in time.
                              Justin

                              6/17/18

                              Adding in the details


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                              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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                              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.
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                              Good initial fit but some flange shaping and trimming yet to come before its ready.
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                              Begin that and the forward splash pan repair next.

                              Thanks for looking!
                              Justin
                              Justin Rio

                              Comment


                              • Very neat work Justin, looks very nice indeed. John, my car is Meissen Blue this colour does though have a small splash of green in the make up, this makes the colour sort of special when compared to other light blue shades.

                                Roy

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