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(Former 1968Cayman)
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Rutherfordton NC
Posts: 2,383
Don't Crush 'em, Restore 'em

I've been reading so many threads & posts about people parting out these vehicles because they are "too far gone" and such that I wanted to say that if you treasure a car enough, then it's intrinsically worth repairing and you CAN learn to do it yourself. Well, here's my white elephant and just one area that I've repaired at home with a 12 inch shotbag and a few different mallets. The 18 gauge metal was about $8.50 and beating the panel to a point where there was very little tension took about six hours total.

Before:


Last edited by 1968Cayman; 08-21-2008 at 07:59 PM..
Old 08-20-2008, 09:01 PM
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(Former 1968Cayman)
 
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Here is a better shot of the "before" state. I'm working on the after. Give it a few hours, I'm still in and out of the garage.
Old 08-21-2008, 01:17 PM
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(Former 1968Cayman)
 
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After

Finally found time to repost this. Here is a slightly more recent pic, after some planishing, but still far from what it will look like. Most of the dots are greasy fingerprints, not tool marks. You'll notice that the corner is a LOT more squared off than stock; I simply could not get the depth I needed in that corner without a power hammer so I went with the squared-off look and will cut and form to replicate the stock piece right around the time the floorpans are being fit. The extra steel hanging down will eventually become the flange for the floorpan and will not look so deplorable.

Old 08-21-2008, 07:31 PM
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there's a whole lot of car missing in that second photo!
looks like you built an internal frame of square stock.
probably can't be saved, too far gone.

just kidding.
nice work.
Old 08-21-2008, 07:59 PM
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(Former 1968Cayman)
 
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Location: Rutherfordton NC
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The car was missing when I bought it!

Seriously, though. It was bad. Here's the left rear rail before/after. The area forward of the torsion hole was recently cut off and the new longitudinal (custom fabricated from 16 ga.) will mount in that area. The ENTIRE CAR was like this with the exception of the roof and pillars. I consider the repair work to be somewhat relaxing.


Old 08-21-2008, 08:40 PM
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Man, That looks almost building a complete car ! Do you have a picture of the whole car, or what is left over?
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Old 08-22-2008, 10:34 AM
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(Former 1968Cayman)
 
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I think this is about as close to building a complete car as you can get without designing one from scratch. The only piece that's being left alone is the roof. Inner rockers came in yesterday afternoon; forgive the painter's tape, I had to think fast in order to show my wife why the $160 pieces were more necessary than her weekend hair appointment:

Old 08-22-2008, 11:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1968Cayman View Post
I think this is about as close to building a complete car as you can get without designing one from scratch. The only piece that's being left alone is the roof. Inner rockers came in yesterday afternoon; forgive the painter's tape, I had to think fast in order to show my wife why the $160 pieces were more necessary than her weekend hair appointment:

I can only say:

Those with Golf Balls Play Golf.....
Those with real Balls Rebuild Porsches......


I have done some rust repair on my '71, but this....

Keep us posted.

Cheers

Engelbert

AirBoxer.com
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Old 08-22-2008, 05:39 PM
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(Former 1968Cayman)
 
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What? Doesn't everyone do this to their 911? I'll do my best to keep everything up to date; I started using the blog feature provided by our host but cannot figure out the "load file from url" feature, so it's mostly talk (anyone who can help with this please PM me using very simple words). I'll probably start a thread here or in the 911 Technical Forum like everyone else in the near future, but I just got so tired of seeing what I perceive to be "perfectly good" candidates being hacked apart. Granted, in their dismantling they are affording other owners the abilty to better their own cars, but still . . . organ donation sucks if you're the donor.
Old 08-22-2008, 08:32 PM
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Amazing. You are to be commended for not giving up on her. What is the substance or story of her "intrinsic worth" to you?
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Old 08-24-2008, 12:44 PM
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(Former 1968Cayman)
 
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There was no attachment until I got the car home and started to see how poorly it had been repaired in the past. Basically, I just couldn't stand to see something (with such nice lines) chopped up after having been treated so poorly. The car was supposedly involved in some sort of dispute and sat under a tarp in Ohio for 16 years. I bought it in '06, which means that it had only been driven for 12 (1968-1980) of its now 40-year existence. So now I'm resurrecting it . . . it's not going to be exactly stock when I'm done but at least it will be back to its original color (Bahama Yellow) and back on the road.

Last edited by 1968Cayman; 08-24-2008 at 07:47 PM..
Old 08-24-2008, 01:49 PM
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Well, I bet she treats you very well once you get her finished, because you are certainly showing her a lot of love.


There aren't many people who will go to such lengths to put one back together properly... take that into consideration before you ever tell somebody they're a wimp for giving up on a rebuild/project after they find 10 times more rust than they knew about.

Have you named her yet? Do you sing to her while you're working on her?
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Old 08-24-2008, 07:43 PM
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(Former 1968Cayman)
 
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No names, but I am guilty of staring lustily following a few Bass Ales and a long day of work . . .

As for replying to people who find more than the expected dose of rust, my initial reasoning here was to explain that (unless people are looking for an instant ride) the art of metal forming and associated skills such as using the English wheel, power hammer and performing planishing can be learned and directly applied to their projects; they will actually save money over the course of the rebuild . . .

I'll be posting a thread in the 911 Technical Forum on the actual parameters of the project - it's not exactly being put back "properly" and I'm expecting more than a few brusque responses to the whole thing . . .
Old 08-24-2008, 08:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1968Cayman View Post
... the art of metal forming and associated skills such as using the English wheel, power hammer and performing planishing can be learned and directly applied to their projects;
Are there any books or videos ? How do you learn those skills without working in a body shop ?
Old 08-27-2008, 05:52 AM
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(Former 1968Cayman)
 
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If you're just starting out I'd look up such books as:

"Sheet Metal Handbook" by Ron & Sue Fournier ISBN 978-0-89586-757-5
"Advanced Sheet Metal Fabrication" by Timothy Remus ISBN 1-929133-12-X

As well as any book by John Glover pertaining to the English Wheel. Any books by the authors listed above (Remus, Fournier; I think Ron Covell might have a few out, too) will be helpful so long as you understand the general principles. Metalcrafttools.com has a great three day EW class for $500 as well as the EWs, powerhammers (a take on the Yoder design) mallets, bags, slappers, etc.
Old 08-27-2008, 12:53 PM
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Great work saving another one.

Check out this thread on a VW Thing restoration.

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=273089
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Old 08-28-2008, 09:01 AM
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(Former 1968Cayman)
 
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John- thanks for that link. I love the old "Things" and the story behind it makes it even more special. In fact, after reading it I decided to go out and negotiate for a few "VWs" of my own - some 914s!!

As for the condition of the new cars . . . anyone current on repairing 7.62x39 holes in 914 sheet metal?
Old 08-31-2008, 07:03 PM
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I wish that I had the space and equipment. I will have the inner/outer rockers replaced and hope there is not alot of inner door rust. Ohio is a poor place to preserve cars due to the salt they use on the roads. I recently had the lower front pan section replaced due to severe rust around the suspension points. I have been using Restoration Design parts and they seem to be just as good or better than original parts...thicker guage, good fit and reasonably priced. Have you used their parts?
Old 09-02-2008, 03:27 PM
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Garage
Nice to see someone else as "crazy" as me to tackle one as bad as yours. As you can see from the pics, what I bought and what I really had were very far apart. 3 years and counting, the end is in sight with lots of tips, pics and advice for anyone who has similar ideas of tackling such an adventure. Looks like you have done excellent work. Feel free to contact me to exchange tips, etc




Old 09-02-2008, 05:02 PM
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Pretty amazing. I read on the Tech forum that a water pumper mid engine is going in this. Any pics of how that will work? Or did I miss another thread?
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Old 09-03-2008, 08:02 AM
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