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'63 356B T-6 Rebuild

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  • '63 356B T-6 Rebuild

    After a prolonged search I was able to find a 356 not too far from me in New Hampshire. Only a 3 hour drive to northern Maine. I went to see the car and it didn't look too bad and the seller, lets call him Bubba, had installed new floor pans and a new battery box floor. An early clue to issues should have been that he had been storing the car outside and parts outside even though the car had the glass taken out. Hmmm....
    jjgpierce@yahoo.com

  • #2
    I'll post more info...and pictures...after I figure out why the pictures aren't showing up. Must be a size issue
    jjgpierce@yahoo.com

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    • #3
      Welcome John and thanks for sharing your build! Look forward to your progress. We'll get the photos dialed in; Email sent.
      Thanks and Welcome once again! Justin
      Justin Rio

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      • #4
        All right. Round #2 of picture loading. If I fail at least the captcha code will be gone


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        Primered 356 being stored outside with no windows!

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        Parts as found...not covered.

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        Saved
        jjgpierce@yahoo.com

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        • #5
          Welcome aboard John.
          Always good to see a new project.
          All those boxes of parts to be refurbished is a little intimidating.
          My finished pile of parts are greater than the unfinished.(finally)
          Good luck, Gordon

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          • #6
            It took about a week to disassemble the rest of the car (electrical, engine, transmission, etc.) then about another week to remove Bubba's attempts to hide his patches with thick undercoating before I could bring it to the media blaster. The only saving grace is that the undercoating was put on top of rust and it peeled off easily


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            I built a dolly for easy transport and moving around the garage. It supports the chassis at the rear torsion bar and front sway bar attachments.


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            At media blaster. Plastic beads for sheet metal and Black Beauty for the thicker metal.


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            Pretty cool to see original German build markings!


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            Back home and ready for a prolonged rebuild. I'll post close ups of the areas that need addressing.
            jjgpierce@yahoo.com

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            • #7
              John
              Looks pretty decent looking at pics you have posted. I also am restoring a 63, going on way too long. Good luck.

              Phil Planck

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              • #8
                Ok. So here are some of the things hidden under Bondo. Where to start?! There are lots of other patches elsewhere, but here is a good start.

                Driver's wing patches. You can see inside the wheel well with patch welded to patch.
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                Front cockpit patches. No butt joints here
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                Passenger door well patches. Don't know why a piece of swiss cheese was used here.
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                jjgpierce@yahoo.com

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                • #9
                  Whatever you do don't go wild on the cutting. Do a section/area at a time & finish it. If you cut it all out at once you may get overwhelmed plus forget how certain things go. Take pics before & during cutting for reference.
                  Mic
                  1959A coupe

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                  • #10
                    John
                    With your new pics I retract my previous statement. How are your welding & metal working skills? How close to looking as it left the factory do you want to get? I and I'm sure others have lots of pics to share showing how we repaired a lot of those areas. A little harder in your case as you will have to undo previous repairs if you don't like them.

                    Phil Planck

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                    • #11
                      My first job was to take photos of everything, before disassembly, prior to media blasting and after media blasting. So hopefully things will go back where they should.

                      I built a Factory Five Cobra 2 years ago with a 4.6 L 32 valve 2010 Mustang GT engine. Fuel injected so I had fun making wiring harnesses and doing other electricals. Ended up putting in power steering, power brakes, hydraulic clutch, A/C, heated seats, etc. Little bit of woodworking and sheet metal fabrication. Kind of went wild, but learned a ton, which will help later on in the 356 build. The FFR is put together with rivets, so I've got little experience MIG welding sheet metal so I've been practicing.

                      My plans are to restore the car the way it was built. I've got lots of work ahead of me. My first area to tackle is the passenger door well as I can learn as I go along, especially in an area that is not too obvious.


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                      jjgpierce@yahoo.com

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                      • #12
                        Hey John,

                        I see that you have the picture loading issue all dialed in and your past the "captcha Code" phase. Beautiful Cobra! A highly detailed and no expense spared build for sure! You're coupe should be quite the restoration if this car is any indication! Mic makes a good point about not opening the underside of this car all at once; not so much for reference because none of its original but for structural support as you work. Phil will be of great help since he's wrestling with the exact same car and he is also quite the metal man. You asked where to begin? Chassis work goes before the outer skin and you'll want to begin with the longitudinals first but you may need to rebuild the battery box before hand so you can get it on a rotisserie. You are going to put this on rotisserie, right? Its a real PIA to cut out and redo shoty work and you have lots to do! Funny, Bubba used a door spacer shim to recreate a mount flange on that lower hinge boss. A lot of clean up! A place to start is to cut that new rocker out and give yourself access and room to work in there!
                        Best of luck John, I sympathize fully with what you must do. Thanks again for sharing your build! Justin
                        Justin Rio

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                        • #13
                          Guys, thanks for the replies. I've got a good understanding on how to approach this from reading all the great books out there, and have done some fabrication in the past, but this is going to take it to the next level Any advice would be much appreciated.

                          As you can see from the pictures, the 356 is not in horrendous shape, it's in need of a lot of work, especially to undo Bubba's work. Kinda of hard to get a grasp on it. I go back an forth on what NEEDS to get done versus what SHOULD be done to make it original. I really hate what was done with the new longitudinals and floor pan. It would be a real PIA to remove the floor pans, weld new perimeter metal in, and reinstall the pans, especially as that area won't be seen once the interior is installed. I did measurements and the car seems to be straight. Any advice?
                          jjgpierce@yahoo.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            John, I can understand where you're coming from about most of this crude repair being hidden from view so why worry about it however for me personally I could never let that stand on my car especially considering the point where you are now starting from. You're probably inclined to keep this car for a while but the day you decide to cash out that sub-standard work will most definitely come back to hurt you. Anyone who is willing to pay you top dollar for the car is going to want to have it gone over by a guy like Bruce Baker. He'll be looking in all those "hidden" places and this will drastically effect your asking price. They'll say "I've got to pay a professional at least 25K just to correct all of those bugard up patches" not to mention messing up that nice paint job you did in the process. I am gathering that this is your first 356? The most important rule with repairing these cars (unless your doing an all out custom hot-rod)is that the sheet metal work has to replicate the factory as closely as possible. If you deviate the next buyer will ding you because its something that has to be corrected. BUT, your car and your decision. Hope this helped. Justin
                            Justin Rio

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                            • #15
                              Hey Justin!

                              That makes a lot of sense. It's so disheartening to see the subpar work already put into the car. The whole lower 6" of the car is a patchwork of patches! When I say the whole 6", I really mean the whole 6" from front to back. All with poorly installed sheet metal. Both middle section inner longitudinals are are not original, just patches, while the outer longitudinals are new but were cut at the front end for some reason and rewelded. Really strange work. The front and rear section longitudinals are also patches that used swiss cheese metal with Bondo.

                              I am up for a project, but this is becoming daunting. Time to step back and play the game: "What would the experts do?" Ok guys: where would you recommend that I start if I was to do this correctly and end with something to be proud of? I've got the car torn down to the chassis so I can do about anything here. I've got a plasma cutter, Millermatic welder, plumbed in air, lots of tools. I haven't made a rotisserie yet. I've got a garage bay that can be used for years. I do have to attend to my other full-time job though

                              Here are some more pictures of the cockpit issues:


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                              Passenger tunnel patch holding remaining tunnel in place.


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                              Passenger front cockpit side wall patches.

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                              Close up of passenger front cockpit side wall.


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                              Passenger inner longitudinal.

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                              Rear passenger inner longitudinal.


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                              Driver front side wall patches.

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                              Close up driver front side wall patches.
                              jjgpierce@yahoo.com

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