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Join Date: Mar 2011
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Project Avocado - 1986 Moss Green 911 Rebuild

Hey everyone!

My name is Gabe and I've turned into a fellow Porschephile...

Of the number of cars I've built, I've never had a true build thread. This is probably the most ambitious build I've ever taken on and I don't want any details to be forgotten. You're all such a wealth of knowledge and as fellow enthusiasts, I'm looking forward to getting to know more of you from far and wide.

My wife and I recently bought a house, it's our first house and as such, is also a fixer upper (more on this later). This whole house thing is really what kicked me down this path... Over the last few years we've gathered what anyone would consider a FLEET of cars and to afford this house, we need to downsize. I honestly never wanted 5 cars but there are just too many cool vehicles out there and you can't have them all. Anyways, here is where the fleet stands:
  • 2001 Audi S4 Wagon in Nogaro Blue with Sport Package
  • 1998 Volkswagen GTI w/ R32 Engine and Syncro AWD Swap SOLD
  • 1996 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Guards Red/Black w/ Aerokit
  • 2008 Honda Civic Hybrid
  • 1974 Chevy C10 w/ LS1 Swap recent purchase

I think you can tell which car is my wife's...

The plan is/was to get down to three cars while raising some extra cash for house stuff. The Audi is the car I've owned the longest and arguably my favorite, it ticks a lot of boxes. Now that I work from home the only driving I do is around town, for fun [DE, Autocross, Canyon Driving, etc], for house stuff, and occasionally to go meet clients. That said, the truck is SO much fun to drive around town and quite utilitarian, that left me to decide what I wanted for a fun car. The Audi is OK at that and I've done quite a few autocrosses with it. It's powerful, heavy, and rather nimble for being 3800 pounds but it's not what I'd really consider a "weekend/fun" car. The 1996 911 had to go, being worth a lot of loot, it's the primary resource for this reshuffling. That took me back to the drawing board. My 993 has really made me fall in love with Porsche (beyond the 993 GT2 poster I had on my wall as a kid). They're just such driver's cars and are beautiful by being so functional. They're just, so, ME. That lead me to desire continuing to have a 911 in my life.

Being a new homeowner and reshuffling the fleet didn't leave me with a huge budget. I don't have $45k lying around to find a mint example, even if I did, I'm not sure I would. As much as I love clean cars, I really enjoy driving them. I enjoy the story that various nicks, dents, scratches, and cone marks have to tell about the owner that enjoys them.

I gave myself ~$20k to find a 911 that wasn't a POS and had a story to tell. One that deserved some love.

So I scoured the forums, craigslist, autotempest, and the insurance auction sites until something came across that piqued my interest.

*Enter Stage Left* 1986 Porsche 911 with a muddy past (literally)



Green is BY FAR my favorite color. I had a stint with Orange back in elementary/middle school but that was short-sighted. Green IS IT.

I've wanted to paint a project car BMW Urban Green ever since the color came out. That's where the idea for Project Avocado really came from. Although urban green is more Guacamole, Project Avocado has a better ring to it.

This 911 being Moss Green is what initially caught my eye, looking closer at the pictures, I saw that it was built in May of 1986, which is when I was born. I thought that was just damn cool.

After that I googled the VIN and it took me to a listing of the car from 8 months ago where it had been explained to have: Books, Manuals, Window Sticker, Service Records, 2-Keys, Tools, and a Spare as wells as... here just go check out the ad and see that I'm not super crazy: https://classiccars.com/listings/view/1090470/1986-porsche-911-carrera-for-sale-in-oakwood-georgia-30566

I was like, "daaaaang, this was, up until this point, a really well-maintained car." It was now flood damaged and looked to have had a tree fallen on it but it had enough niceties that made me interested.

So I clicked "watch" on the website and waited. I wasn't actually sure if I was going to bid on it, but the wheels were turning.

Fast forward a few weeks... The GTI had sold and my bank account was feeling fat. I got an email notifying me that the 911 was coming up for auction so it was time to make a decision. I funded my account with a deposit and waffled on what to do. I talked to my wife the night before to let her know what I was thinking and she said go for it, she's really the best and understands my lust for cars as well as someone that drives a civic hybrid can. That gave me the go-ahead and I had the aforementioned $20k budget to play with. LET'S DO THIS!

Like I said, I work from home. I'm a financial planner with a home office that tends to meet with all my clients via video chat, even if they only live a few blocks away, because LA traffic sucks and it's just way easier to do. I had a meeting scheduled for the morning, which was during the auction, but I figured that it would be alright depending on how quickly they went through the cars.

I had my video chat up on one screen and the auction up and muted on the other. I wasn't really paying attention to it until my client had to go grab his laptop charger. So I looked over to the auction screen when he walked away, and the 911 was coming up next! Oh *****.

So I started bidding on it, then my client came back...

I was like, "hold on a second..."

And then the bidding kept going and I was thinking that I had to get back to the task at hand, my meeting, so I said f-it. Set my max bid to $20k and turned my attention back to my meeting. I'd figure out if I won the car once I was done.

Turns out that I DID win the car. The other bidder didn't have the same max I did. I had the high bid at $19,800. Still haven't told my client about that but we can have a laugh about it once the car is running/driving and doesn't look like a POS so they think I'm totally an idiot with money. Not a good look for a financial planner

This auction was an "on-approval" type auction which meant that the insurance company or whoever, had 24 hours to either pitch me another price, accept, or deny my bid. They ended up countering at $24,600 and I said no way, I really don't know anything about this car except the pictures and the old ad (which is really stupid, I should have had an inspection done. Noted.) They countered a second time and I said no thanks. Ultimately, I received an email later in the afternoon that had said I won and had to wire them the funds ASAP. Um, alright.

After that, I feverishly started shuffling money around our bank accounts and organizing a shipper so that I could hurry up and wait. The whole process was pretty easy, if I were to do it again I would just make sure that all the money was in one account and that it was an account that could do wires to a third party to avoid late fees and make this happen quicker.

Alright, I hope you've stayed with me so far. It's been a journey just to get to this point. Feel free to check-in from time to time if you've enjoyed yourself so far. My plan is to keep this updated as often as possible and let it grow into it's own thing. I also mentioned that the house/garage are fixer-uppers too so I'll probably have posts about those from time to time.

To keep you salivating, I'll leave you with a picture of what I saw when the semi rolled up to our house. Until next time.

Old 04-06-2019, 10:37 AM
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cpa cpa is offline
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Gabe, welcome to the Moss Grun rare color group. Enjoy your build.
Old 04-06-2019, 10:49 AM
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I’d like to know about those wheels, I like them a lot.
Old 04-06-2019, 10:55 AM
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Nice car with solid bones. It's hard to look back at the old ad and think that a car can get so beat in such a short period of time. Those minilites look great and I really like the green.

Good luck and enjoy the process.
Old 04-06-2019, 11:08 AM
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Awesome score, watching keenly...really dig the wheels.

-Mike

Fellow moss-greener

IMG_2470 by Michael Small, on Flickr
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Old 04-06-2019, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpa View Post
Gabe, welcome to the Moss Grun rare color group. Enjoy your build.
Thank you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by LJ851 View Post
Iíd like to know about those wheels, I like them a lot.
Yea, they were another aspect of the car that I was excited about. Minilite Mag wheels. I haven't pulled them off the car you to check width and offset but it notes that they are 16x7 & 16x8 in the old ad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Edoyle View Post
Nice car with solid bones. It's hard to look back at the old ad and think that a car can get so beat in such a short period of time. Those minilites look great and I really like the green.

Good luck and enjoy the process.
Agreed. I'd love to find the person that owned it prior to me getting my hands on it. I reached out to Barbour Performance to see if they'd be willing to ask whoever bought it if they'd be interested in chatting with me, radio silence so far. It would be great to get all the records, original manuals, and the like.

Quote:
Originally Posted by msmall215 View Post
Awesome score, watching keenly...really dig the wheels.

-Mike

Fellow moss-greener
Thanks Mike! Nice to see another clean one.
Old 04-06-2019, 03:58 PM
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Nice im a sucker for green aswell. Normally I absolutely hate minilites they are way over used especially on classic minis. But they look great on your car in black.
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Old 04-06-2019, 05:13 PM
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Congrats. Looks like a nice project. Any idea on the extent of flood damage? I always thought a flood damaged car could be a night mare. Hope yours isn't.
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Old 04-06-2019, 08:42 PM
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I’m hooked!
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Old 04-06-2019, 09:18 PM
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That is going to be a stunner when it is finished. The color and those Minilites set it apart.
Subscribed!
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Old 04-07-2019, 05:40 AM
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Welcome to the MMG Club
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Old 04-07-2019, 06:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by porsche930dude View Post
Nice im a sucker for green aswell. Normally I absolutely hate minilites they are way over used especially on classic minis. But they look great on your car in black.
I hear ya. They are a classic wheel that isn't often seen on a 911.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evans, Marv View Post
Congrats. Looks like a nice project. Any idea on the extent of flood damage? I always thought a flood damaged car could be a night mare. Hope yours isn't.
In general, it depends on how deep the water was, how long it was in it, and whether it was fresh or salt water. I'd probably stay away from a flood car if I wasn't tearing the whole thing apart anyways.

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Originally Posted by Hi_Fi_Guy View Post
Iím hooked!
Haha, me too!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jackb911 View Post
That is going to be a stunner when it is finished. The color and those Minilites set it apart.
Subscribed!


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Originally Posted by macssc911 View Post
Welcome to the MMG Club
Thanks! Happy to be here.
Old 04-07-2019, 02:49 PM
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Letís pick up where we left offÖ

I initially planned on having this car transported in an enclosed transport because the windshield was missing, but the days of waiting for someone that could accommodate that request started stacking up, as well as the storage fees, so I decided to work with an open transport. The open transportís plan was to put the car on their trailer backwards and over the cab of their truck. This worked really well but also had some unintended consequences for the driverÖ

I really wish I had taken a picture of the semi, it arrived COVERED in oil from the engine leaking out of the case. I wish I could say that this was from normal leakage, but it wasnít. This brings me to issue #1 with this car which wasnít disclosed in the auction and is why I REALLY should have had an inspection done. The car/engine arrived with a huge crack on the driver-side engine case:



I started a separate thread on this issue when I first got the car to help me decide what to do. I have a local machine shop that can properly weld the case for $300-$500 if I deliver them the short block. At that point that also means that I might as well rebuild the engine since the case needs to be split. Iíd prefer a used, original engine case but thatís been difficult to source. Either way a full rebuild of this engine wasnít originally in the plan but now that it is, I need to decide on a plan of attack.

This car is meant to be a hot rod and I think would ultimately like to build a 3.6, I just donít know if I can justify the extra cost right now, not knowing if the engine I have is worthless. What are your thoughts?

Also, if I keep the 3.2, what are the best bang for the buck performance mods to do while youíre in there?
Old 04-21-2019, 10:38 AM
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My list, in order would be:
Sal’s MAF
Cams
Head work
Headers
3.4
Then the really slippery slope hits.
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Old 04-21-2019, 11:39 AM
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Are you sure that damage didn't happen in transit? Seems like the oil would have leaked out long before it was loaded.
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Old 04-21-2019, 02:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmaull View Post
My list, in order would be:
Salís MAF
Cams
Head work
Headers
3.4
Then the really slippery slope hits.
Love it, thanks!

So there is one wrench thrown into that, which is big issue #2. If you read through the old ad in the original post, you saw that the car had a Steve Wong chip in it at that point... Well, when I got the car the ECU was completely missing. The motronic metal box was sitting in the frunk and the engine computer is gone.

One of the ideas I had kicking around the bin even before getting this car is that I'd like to run a modern standalone with modern injectors, coil on plug w/sequential ignition, and down the road the option for ITBs. Thinking:
  • AEM Infinity 506
  • Haltech Elite or
  • MS3Pro

That upgrade may just allow me better control if/when I do cams and headwork.


Quote:
Originally Posted by pete3799 View Post
Are you sure that damage didn't happen in transit? Seems like the oil would have leaked out long before it was loaded.
Yea, that's possible but because I didn't get an inspection ahead of time I have no way to prove otherwise.
Old 04-21-2019, 03:28 PM
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I know this sounds a bit rough - I'm from New Zealand and we tend to be a bit too practical.

But can you just get a good aluminium mig welding place to weld it with the engine in place. Sure the oil might get a bit scorched but it could have a change after.
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Old 04-21-2019, 04:13 PM
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Welcome to the club!
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Old 04-21-2019, 07:20 PM
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I know this sounds a bit rough - I'm from New Zealand and we tend to be a bit too practical.

But can you just get a good aluminium mig welding place to weld it with the engine in place. Sure the oil might get a bit scorched but it could have a change after.
That was initially my first thought but after the collective wisdom of the forum and talking to a few welders, that probably wouldn't turn out well. You'd be better off using JB Weld if you don't want to crack the case apart. #1 reason is because of the oil contamination, good welds need really clean surfaces on both sides of the weld, #2 is warpage from introducing all that heat. It likely wouldn't seal well nor would it be flat if you welded it that way.

That's what lead me down the path to just taking it apart, getting it done right, and rebuilding it along the way.

Quote:
Welcome to the club!
Thanks! Idk why but the Green on Black wheels is such a good look.
Old 04-23-2019, 09:57 AM
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That looks like a perfect candidate to be welded as JB weld will never be a long term fix. This is a non structural area and is like welding any aluminum oil pan. Do a search for "welded oil pan" and sleep better tonight.
Old 04-24-2019, 01:57 PM
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