Sunday, 13 January 2013

Porsche 911T Project - Starting Off

In the cold light of day (or at least the cold half-light filtering through a garage window obscured by plants) that's a pretty daunting list.

Painting old 911's appears to be a very expensive business. When I first started asking around, I'd been advised that the cost of a good paint job, starting again from bare metal, would be in the order of  £8,000 to £10,000. I'll admit these figures were generally supplied by people trying to frighten me into 'investing' in their stock of recently restored high-end old cars, but its a lot of money.

As I researched more,  I started to get some more sensible estimates, around 1/2 or 1/3 of the numbers above. However, this was based on me delivering a car that was all ready for painting - ideally a bare shell. That means stripping off all panels, interior, electrics, drive-train, suspension and brakes, leaving just the car's steel skeleton. It also means removing every scrap of the old paint, either by media blasting or by dipping the shell in a corrosive bath. 

I'm afraid I bottled it. Mainly because I just don't have the space for that sort of exercise, but also because I doubt very much if I have the competence to put it all back together. 

I'm going to go for a half-way house - I'll get the bits I can take off (doors, boot and bonnet etc.) media blasted, and then remove anything else that might get in the way, but leaving the car on its wheels.

I started on familiar territory, and removed the front seats. Even the 'lightweight' Recaro's are pretty heavy with their steel subframes, so getting them out in the narrow garage was a struggle. But you'd not want them to come lose in a serious accident, so robust mountings are  something I'll happily live with. 

Next job was to remove the rear seats, front and rear seat belts, and the rear shelf.  

I have a confession. There's something I've been dreading in this whole effort - rust. Old Porsche's have a horrible tendency to rot from the inside out. Perfectly nice looking, shiny 911's are only a screwdriver's prod away from being exposed as seductive deathtraps, their strength leached away over the decades by tin worm. Internet sages quote home truths "There are only two sorts of 911s, those where you can see the rust and those where you can't". 

Well, the first rust trap I uncovered is the metal parcel shelf. Its covered by a thick absorbent soundproofing material, and it doesn't take much of a leak for that do become a soggy compress, perfect for killing cars. With relief I discovered, that bar a bit of surface rust, mine was solid.

I called it a day.

No comments: