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Swapper and Ruiner
 
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Katy, TX
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DIY IROC RSR Conversion

Howdy all!

I'm shutting down my non-used blog and relocating my project here. I never should even have considered putting it anywhere but here. Duh...


So this is the project. Convert this:



to this:




Should be pretty easy. I've read all the blogs and the projects on Pelican. How hard could it be?

Actually, I started this project a couple of years ago. I haven't finished it but I'm getting close.

Here's the story so far...
Old 10-03-2009, 01:53 PM
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Swapper and Ruiner
 
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Here's the car. It's a 1986 3.2 Carrera with 125k mi. I bought on eBay from Ann Arbor, MI. I flew up there, inspected it, paid cash, drove it home all in one weekend. Quite the experience. If you haven't done it, I recommend it. I booked a round trip flight in and out of the same airport on the same day. That way, if I didn't like, I just hop right back on the same plane and go back home.




I brought it home and started not quite immediately tearing it down.



BTW, the plan is actually to create a 1974 IROC replica...
Old 10-03-2009, 01:59 PM
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Swapper and Ruiner
 
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I decided to use all fiberglass parts. The wing came from GT Racing. As you can see from these pictures the decklid is a terrible fit. In fact, these pictures are actually from the second decklid. I sent the first one back. The seams weren't even sealed on it.

The wing will become on the most difficult things to make look right.



Old 10-03-2009, 02:09 PM
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Swapper and Ruiner
 
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So at some point in these projects you have to grab a sawzall and cut into your car.

The first thing to do is remove the bumpers and all the junk on the ends of the car. This stuff weighs approximately 3000 lbs.

The first thing to do is to fit up the new flares OVER the old flares. This will give you an idea to the extent that you can cut away. I also fitted the flares to the bumper the way would be on the car. You'll have to lift and tuck and shape the inner edge of the wheel arch so it looks right. It's also pretty important to make both sides equal. Although, it's worth noting that one person cannot look at both sides of the car at the same time so minor differences aren't apparent.

I was never quite happy with it and I learned that this is best done with the wheels that you intend to use installed.





Once you have these mounted, take an indelible marker - or even a scratch awl and mark the edge of the flares.

After you've removed the flares, make another mark 1 inch or so inside the outer one. This is a very important step. If you cut at the line you drew around the edge of the flares, there will be nothing to bond the flares to.

Once you have your line drawn, grab your package, smoke a cigarette if you need to, then cut. It was a little nerve wracking to start with, but after a couple minutes, you figure, what the heck. Who cares. It's only an $85,000 Porsche that I wanted my whole life.... Well, that's what it cost new, anyhow. I didn't pay that. Obviously.









Old 10-03-2009, 02:31 PM
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Swapper and Ruiner
 
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Next job was to strip the paint. The paint was old single stage paint. It was faded and cracked.

We did the car in two halves. We taped off the back half and did the front.










You can only get so much off with the aircraft stripper. After that you use a dual-action sander with 80 grit sandpaper, crank up your ipod and go to town.



When done, retape and prime.



This was wierd primer. I don't know what it was. I believe it was regular primer not hi-build. It didn't matter. Ultimately you sand and prime a bazillion times.
Old 10-03-2009, 02:59 PM
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Swapper and Ruiner
 
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Heres the rear clip





Old 10-03-2009, 03:18 PM
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Swapper and Ruiner
 
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Next we hammer and dollied the lips to match up with the inner side of the fiberglass flares.



Then you apply a bead of glue on the body



and on the flare.



Here's a shot of the glue we used.

Old 10-03-2009, 03:27 PM
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Swapper and Ruiner
 
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One of the questions that I've seen is with regard to whether the flares should be bolted on. The answer is yes and no. The flares will be under tension when you put them on. The flare isn't just set onto the body. You'll have to bend the two bottom ends towards each other to get the right shape. I didn't get a picture of them, but you can see in some of the other pictures that the flares are held on with Cleco Fasteners. These are temporary. You drill an 1/8" hole through which you put the fastener. Since they're temporary, you can take them out, move the flare drill a new hole and see if it looks right.

Once you have it right, you glue them on. Then you take some sheet metal screws and screw them into the holes that you had the Cleco's in. This insures that it goes back on the way you wanted it to.

Next is a very important step. After the glue is set - I left it a few days - your remove the screws. Stated another way, do not putty over the screws - take them out.

Bondo has a terrible reputation - particularly amongst the Porsche crowd. But when you're putting on fiberglass flares it is a fact of life.

I prefer Evercoat Z-Grip. It's spreads better and doesn't leave pinholes.









When you sand these, you sand these, apply putty, then sand some more. I must've done this step 20 different times. Across the whole car body.

One of the things I learned is that all show cars have putty on them. You put on thin coats and sand them almost completely off time after time. Once you get happy with it, you end up priming it, then sand it back down to the primer, then apply more putty, sand it, more primer, sand it, etc.

You also amass quite the collection of sanding blocks. I bought a dozen different bricks from the paint and body shop. Ultimately, my favorite sanding tool ended up being a nearly completely worn out disposable sanding sponge that I bought from Home Depot. I wrapped it in regular automotive sandpaper, of course. Usually, the stick on type.

Porsche's are curvy so the sponge worked great.
Old 10-03-2009, 03:53 PM
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Swapper and Ruiner
 
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Back to the Wing.

This was more of a craft project than bodywork.



We decided to lop the wing off the fiberglass decklid and graft it onto the original decklid.

It seemed reasonable because that's sort of what Porsche did.

But, not like this...









I don't know how to explain this. We used everything from fiberglass to putty to paper mache and dog fur. It's amazing. It came out pretty well, though.
Old 10-03-2009, 04:03 PM
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Swapper and Ruiner
 
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More sanding and priming.





More sanding and priming






More...

Old 10-03-2009, 04:08 PM
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Swapper and Ruiner
 
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The car did have a little bit of rust. I guess that only figures since it came from Michigan. Actually, the guy I bought it from had bought it only a few months earlier from a guy in Florida.



Had to install the oil cooler mouth next.



The panel came from Patrick Racing.

It was a straightforward cut and weld.



Notice how perfect my welds are? I learned from Chip Foose. He said, and I'm paraphrasing, "you don't have to be a good welder, just a good grinder".

I'm good at grinding. ;-)



Old 10-03-2009, 04:18 PM
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Swapper and Ruiner
 
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Now you'll look at these pictures and think: "didn't you do this a few months ago?" Well, yes I did. But we had what I'll call "Chemistry Failure". The epoxy reacted with the primer negatively. It would cause the paint to bubble right where the screw holes were. I figured this would go away as soon as I was able to let the car cure in the heat of the day. Trouble was, it was cold outside. Once it warmed up outside, I left it in the sun for a few weeks and the bubbling never stopped. Ultimately, we chose to take our mulligan. It was heart rending.

But we powered through it and welded on steel flares.

Having done both, the steel is easier and requires less putty.













One of the things you might notice in this picture is the bumper. It's fitted up nicely now. This was a side project that I haven't really documented very well.

Making the bumpers look good and fit required hours of work. These are the original GT Racing bumpers that I bought when I started the car.



You might notice the change of venue. During this time, my buddy and I had collected so many derelict cars that we had to rent some shop space. We were simultaneously restoring and repairing 2 Ferrari 308's, 2 Pantera's and 2 911's.

I don't recommend this. You can have too much of a good thing...
Old 10-03-2009, 04:35 PM
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More sanding and priming. Here you can see a guide coat applied. This helps you tell what's been sanded and what hasn't. At this point you're using 600 grit sandpaper.

After you finish with the 600g, go over with 1000g. All this is done wet. Poke a hole in a water bottle cap and keep it wet.
Old 10-03-2009, 04:40 PM
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Swapper and Ruiner
 
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Here we hung and laid out all the misc. parts around the shop and painted them.

Both bumpers were replaced with MAShaw bits. We spent hundreds of hours trying to make the GT Racing bits fit and look good.

The MAShaw pieces bolted up perfectly, had a very good fit and finish and required very little work - in comparison to the GT Racing parts. We still spent 20 to 30 hours working them.

Also, the upper lip of the GT Racing front bumper was unreinforced. The MAShaw had a 1 inch roll that makes the whole thing stiffer. You can see this in some pictures of cars on this board. It shows up as a wavy top edge of the bumper. The MA Shaw is much straighter and stiffer.









You can also tell from the pictures of the front bumper that the lower edge of the bumper is rolled down. This adds extra stiffness.

This picture also shows our wonderful paint "booth". We just use the whole shop. We clean it really well. Then we cover all the tools. Then we wet the whole thing down with water. This keeps the dust controlled.

Basically we don't worry about dust specs. We bury the part in clear coat. Everything comes out when you wetsand it. And we wetsand it down to 2000 grit. It looks like glass when we're done.
Old 10-03-2009, 04:58 PM
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Swapper and Ruiner
 
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Finally, the big day is here.

It's painted.









Now it's time to wetsand and reassemble.

This brings us current.

The last project I completed was to strip the black off the trim and repolish it.

I'm in the process of reinstalling the trim.

I'm doing the interior this week.
Old 10-03-2009, 05:03 PM
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Wow, nice job. I am about a month behind you in progress, hoping to be all done early spring
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Old 10-03-2009, 05:59 PM
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Very nice. Sure like to see what you did for bumper mounts, especially the front.
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Old 10-04-2009, 06:27 AM
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Newbe welder question here.

When you stitch weld the flares on do you fill in all the gaps with more welding so there are no pin holes?, Or do you fill in the smaller gaps / pin holes with plastic filler?

The rear side of this flair looks like you've added more metal than on the forward side. Did you add more welds to the front half or is this as far as you went with the welder.

Beautifull looking car by the way.
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Old 10-04-2009, 07:07 AM
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Swapper and Ruiner
 
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Sail,

This pic shows it tacked on. We did fill in the bead. It's mig welded. I don't seem to have any pictures of the seams though.

Ideally, you should be able to put a bead all the way across, then sand it down to flat metal.

There should be very little putty needed when you're done.
Old 10-04-2009, 07:59 AM
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Swapper and Ruiner
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shbop View Post
Very nice. Sure like to see what you did for bumper mounts, especially the front.
Whisky,

I just looked through my pics. I don't have any. I have to pull the bumpers off again in the next couple of months so I'll take pictures then.

There's nothing to them. On the front they're basically just an l shaped bracket made out of a piece of 3" x 6" aluminum plate. The bumper is secured across the front of the trunk with 4 bolts and under the bumper with another 3 or 4 per side.

I also need to fab up some steel braces between the body and the bottom of the bumper.

On the back, I did the same thing but the bumper didn't have any mounts. I had to glass in some metal that i could mount them to.
Old 10-04-2009, 08:09 AM
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