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How do I climb out of this hole?

I'm at the point where I'm so far down the hole on trying to get my car back together that I've gotten to the point where I don't even know where to start.

Maybe you can help me out on how to tackle this project?
I have 2 current issues to deal with:

Currently #1: I have the car on jack stands with various parts taken off the car as I went looking for rust. The more I 'tinker' with this car while it's up on jack stands... the more rust I keep finding. Nothing really serious, but nonetheless I keep finding it. Typical places you'd expect on a 87 that lived on the East Coast... front bumper shock mounts, under front fenders, along side panel behind door, etc...


Currently #2: I have the engine apart after it came back from the machine shop. So it is sitting apart, ready for me to buy some new cams, P&C, and other things.

The wife says I should send the car to the shop and get the rust repaired and the car stripped and repainted (glass out). along with other various welding repair work that I cannot do.

I think getting the engine back together would at least clean up my garage some, as I have various boxes and bags sitting around related to my engine.

So.. My Problem is: Because of time and money (both that I must efficiently use), which ever direction I take.. engine or body... will most likely sit for 2 years until I can then focus on the other.

Where would you start? How should I tackle this?
Should I send the car out to get the body repaired, and once I get it back, wait a few years until I can start working on the engine?
Or rebuild the engine and let it sit on it's engine stand for 2 years until I can get the rust repaired on the car????

I need to do something next year, as I'm getting tired of sitting inside my Porsche and making engine sounds just to enjoy it.

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Last edited by Trakrat; 10-16-2019 at 02:58 PM..
Old 10-16-2019, 02:55 PM
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Send the body to be completely stripped and fix all the cancer
Old 10-16-2019, 03:29 PM
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My Vote - Engine 1st

Hey Trak - I've been through a couple of my own 911, 930 and 928 projects as well as helping others with several more rebuilds. Just an opinion but from my experience - you should 1st concentrate on getting your engine sorted out and assembled correctly. There is nothing wrong with used parts but - carefully check ALL the spec's on the piston/cylinders, cams, cylinder heads, crankshaft, engine case, etc... you plan on using. Don't cut corners on any borderline parts while trying to save a few dollars. Your goal is to end up with a reliable and trouble free power plant.

If you don't already own a copy of "How To Rebuild and Modify Porsche 911 Engines" by Wayne Dempsy AND "Porsche 911 Performance Hand Book" by Bruce Anderson - they are full of extremely valuable information.

Good Luck - Michael
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Last edited by JK McDonald; 10-16-2019 at 05:15 PM..
Old 10-16-2019, 04:04 PM
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My two cents, which are worth probably half that: You don't have a car right now. You've got a chassis and a pile of parts. If you get hit by a bus tomorrow, it's a thing of unknown value with a lot of work ahead of it to ever be a car again. To be a car, the engine needs to be done. The body work sounds like it doesn't.

If the chassis has no real structural deficiencies, I'd skip the rust for now and rebuild the engine to install it as-is. I'd get it back to a state where if I ever wanted to or had to, I could sell it in a week on Bring A Trailer. I'd drive the car for months or years. Whatever rust it has by now will only be marginally worse in a year or two. It won't eat itself in that time. I'd make sure that I still loved it enough to put even more money into it. Once you've got a running car, then you can decide when and how you want to do a paint / body restoration.
Old 10-16-2019, 04:07 PM
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+1

Quote:
Originally Posted by Harpo View Post
Send the body to be completely stripped and fix all the cancer
I suggest getting the body/chassis done so you have something to build on. There dozens of small projects you can work on to move forward. Getting the engine done is going to consume a lot of time and money AND, you probably donít want to put in a car needing a ton of little stuff done
Try working on a prioritized list of small tasks. This invariably Leeds to parts and subbed out work.
My car has been down 6 years. Got a few cool parts and rebuilt stuff ready to go back in.
Good luck,
chris
Old 10-16-2019, 04:09 PM
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When you are in a hole...stop digging!

Stop looking for rust and fix what's opened up.
Old 10-16-2019, 04:29 PM
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What's your goal with this car?

If it's a restoration/ rebuild like some posted here, seems like you need to make your list, get organized/ deliberate and start working on one thing at a time. How you arrange your list will depend on what you like to do and how you like to work.

If you're just wanting to drive the car, then as t Madden 2 says, quit looking for rust and put it together.

Me, I'm more interested in engine work so I'd do that first. And be looking for a good shop to handle the stuff you can't or don't want to do.

Good luck. It's a lot easier to take it apart than to put it back together.

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Old 10-16-2019, 05:56 PM
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I'm with most of the replies above since the rust issues are mostly minor, start on the engine and work towards getting it on the road. Attack some of the rust issues during times when your waiting for parts or have time to kill. Good luck.
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Old 10-16-2019, 06:33 PM
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I’d check with your body shop to get an estimate on their time frame. You’d hate to have an assembled engine and then find it’ll be another 6-12 months to get the chassis back.
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Old 10-16-2019, 06:42 PM
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I am into yr 6 of my restoration.

beginning to feel like I will dig a hole all the way through to China, may be the only way out...

I have found almost NO rust, so glad for that. but engine parts at shop for rebuild/refurb and in the process of stripping paint from the tub.

but good new is I am feeling like I am finally making positive progress and past the dismantling phase. I have already done a lot of rebuild / refurb work on the suspension and other parts.

what you do next depends on what your end point plan is. doing body and engine is not cheap and time consuming. glad I can do almost all the work. but did send some engine parts to a shop for rebuild/recondition and will have my friend do the paint.

also in the process of rebuilding the engine for my 951 track car....

good luck.


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Old 10-17-2019, 07:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mixed76 View Post
. It's a lot easier to take it apart than to put it back together.
YES! I have learned this the hard way. Even as I'm taking something apart, I tell myself "I should document where that screw came from"... only to find out 30 minutes later that I'm looking at a tray full of different length screws that I have no idea where exactly they came from.

30 minutes to take something apart, 2 hours trying to figure out how to put that same part back together.
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Old 10-17-2019, 07:19 AM
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I tried to bag and label everything as I was dismantling, and took a lot of pics. sent a lot of stuff to be replated, so will need to eventually sort this out....

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Old 10-17-2019, 07:33 AM
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Make a list and prioritize. Figure out where your time and talent is best applied and focus on that.

Probably engine rebuild, re-assemble, and drive it for me. If you can't live with rust, strip it and send it out for media blast. That will get everything in one shot so you can stop dinking around chasing it here and there.
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Last edited by Cajundaddy; 10-17-2019 at 10:06 AM..
Old 10-17-2019, 09:36 AM
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Always the engine 1st.

1) You can drop it into another 911 shell if ya want
2) You can sit around your garage and listen to that sweet sweet sound while you drink beer.
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Old 10-17-2019, 11:03 AM
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These type of projects are always about 2 things: Time and Money. It is rare for most people of average means to have both of these at the same time. So... Buy parts when you have money even if you don't have time to install them. And when schedule allows install parts.


Compartmentalize it and start moving forward. No other way.


Where to go from here? First, make a list of all the things you have to do to get the car as a roller again. Structural rust gets repaired first. Then suspension goes back on so that the car is mobile. Then tackle the engine and get it back in the car. At this point the car is drivable. Then follow up with cosmetics.

Yes, these items can take you 2 years depending on how much free time you have (and can devote) to wrench on the car. Make an agreement with the wife/family to reserve specific time to work on the car. I negotiated one night a week, late Friday and Saturday mornings to work on the car. This small block of time will force you to pick a single task and try to knock it out quickly.

If you don't the project will not get finished, will languish in the garage and be sold at huge loss. Then you will resent ever owing one of the most fun cars to drive.
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Old 10-17-2019, 11:16 AM
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LOL...

part of my problem is this is not my only project. during the past 6 yrs resurrected two 944s, an 87 944 / 16V and a 951 I built starting with a roller. of course I have done a few things to the 928 also and reverting my 85 911 to stock that I sold last year.

I retired 2 yrs ago but seems like most of that time went into the 951 and 928 and recently helped a friend resurrect another 944. but feeling good about the increasing rate of focus on the 930.

so much time ... so little to do...
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Old 10-17-2019, 11:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpnovak View Post
These type of projects are always about 2 things: Time and Money. It is rare for most people of average means to have both of these at the same time. So... Buy parts when you have money even if you don't have time to install them. And when schedule allows install parts.


Compartmentalize it and start moving forward. No other way.


Where to go from here? First, make a list of all the things you have to do to get the car as a roller again. Structural rust gets repaired first. Then suspension goes back on so that the car is mobile. Then tackle the engine and get it back in the car. At this point the car is drivable. Then follow up with cosmetics.

Yes, these items can take you 2 years depending on how much free time you have (and can devote) to wrench on the car. Make an agreement with the wife/family to reserve specific time to work on the car. I negotiated one night a week, late Friday and Saturday mornings to work on the car. This small block of time will force you to pick a single task and try to knock it out quickly.

If you don't the project will not get finished, will languish in the garage and be sold at huge loss. Then you will resent ever owing one of the most fun cars to drive.
This is some sound advice. I like it!
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Old 10-17-2019, 02:39 PM
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Since you admit that you (like I) don't have the skillset to do bodywork, I would send the body out to be fixed now, and get to work on the engine while the body is being fixed. Sending the bodywork out while you work on the engine will also free up space for you, and lessen the amount of dust that might be floating around.
Bodywork ALWAYS seems to take longer than anticipated, so by doing both simultaneously you can avoid stacking one delay on top of the other.
Otherwise you could be several years before you actually drive the car.
Old 10-17-2019, 03:09 PM
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Most of these cars are rolling projects... your car is a 10 year project... take your time, enjoy it, work on it when you can. That’s a $30,000 plus cost project there...

Been there, done that...
Old 10-17-2019, 05:05 PM
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On an 87, rust would be superficial, basically on the bolt on items, bumper shocks, suspension pieces, nuts and bolts, etc. very rarely perforations on the galvanized cars.
You already took the motor out and apart, got it back and put the boxes away.
It’s easy to take stuff apart, much more challenging to put it back together.
Build the motor and put it back in, drive the car. Wait a couple years and send it out for paint if you still deem it necessary. Patina is tasteful
Stop digging
Bruce

Old 10-18-2019, 10:01 AM
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