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Galvanizing on Porsche 911s - A History

I'm posting this again as the topic keeps re-surfacing. I also don't see the last thread I posted on it several years ago...

Body Galvanizing in Porsche 911

Thyssen steel = steel with Zinc layers on both sides; thickness of the Zinc layers varied from 10 um to 20 um, depending on exposure conditions (Frere, p. 201)

1970 – Galvanized steel (not Thyssen type) used in floor pan and wheel arches (Bob White in Pano V: 142); the “entire platform, including the floor, the longitudinal members, the wheel arches and the seat pans were galvanized.” (Boschen & Barth, p. 124)
1971 models – had galvanized steel in areas particularly exposed to rust (Frere, p. 201)
1972-1973 – Thyssen steel use began (Bob White in Pano V: 142)
1973 – Thyssen steel: rocker panels, inner rocker panels, floor pans, & some other parts (Chuck Stoddard in Pano V: 142)
1975 – Thyssen steel: entire body treated (Bob White & Chuck Stoddard {began in Feb. ’75 production for US cars; earlier for Euro cars – had trouble with paint} in Pano V: 142, 192)
1976 models – had Thyssen steel in entire body except roof (Frere, p. 201)
1977 models – on – had Thyssen steel in entire body (Frere, p. 201); an “important step forward was the use of zinc-coated sheet steel for the manufacture of the entire body structure (except for the coupe’s roof on early production cars). Coated on both sides, this made the structure virtually immune against the formation of rust….” (Boschen & Barth, p. 143)


The Zinc steel added 22 lbs. to the weight of the body structure (Frere, p. 202)

Pano = Panorama volume: page number
Frere = Frere, Paul. 1997. PORSCHE 911 STORY. 6th ed., Patrick Stephens Ltd. Newbury Park, CA.
Boschen & Barth = Boschen, Lothar and Jurgen Barth. 1978. THE PORSCHE BOOK: A DEFINITIVE ILLUSTRATED HISTORY. Argo Books.


Note: the Panorama and Frere comments can be harmonized since most cars for one model year are constructed in the previous chronological year
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Old 04-26-2007, 11:41 AM
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I was recently perusing the early factory manuals (body sections). They make some refeernces to galvanize. -if I come across more specifics I'll post. ...or maybe some else can check them and post the specifics.
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Old 04-26-2007, 12:10 PM
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Good info to know for those of us who like the early models.
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Old 04-26-2007, 12:29 PM
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1970 – Galvanized steel (not Thyssen type) used in floor pan and wheel arches (Bob White in Pano V: 142); the “entire platform, including the floor, the longitudinal members, the wheel arches and the seat pans were galvanized.” (Boschen & Barth, p. 124)

I guess it was the outside of the rear seat pans/bucket that was galvanized/zinc coated?(1970/71) Mine was rusted from the inside, not the outside.

john
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Old 04-26-2007, 12:46 PM
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Thx -- I'll add anything posted here that looks apropos.

This is "all I know -- so far" (with apologies to PAG's adv. firm)

Perhaps people like milt & Darryl -- who have really torn into the cars can post anything they've found.
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Old 04-26-2007, 01:00 PM
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Randy,

Thanks for bringing this up. This is probably the single most important issue about our “old” Porsches.

One issue not commonly discussed in the 911 manufacture process is the putting the chassis in a furnace to burn off the stamping die lubricant and sheet metal preservative from the steel manufacturer. This process preps the 911 chassis for immediate rusting and was used from the ‘50s.

There was a video posted (linked?) here a few years ago showing a ’61 coming out of the oven glowing red. I think it was a period Factory film.


Another less discussed issue is repairing a galvanized chassis. What are the proper techniques? Are they commonly used? Does proper repair return the chassis to original rust protection? What happens when less-than-ideal techniques are used? I suspect the answers to these questions are less than what we want.


Rust and repair of crash damage are historically THE most significant issues with a 911. All of our tinkering with various mechanical issues pale in comparison.


PAG appears to be missing the boat not supplying appropriate replacement chassis. How many would buy an “official” replacement chassis for a ’69-’73 LWB long-hood? What if one were available with all the latest technology and rust prevention? Being a “spare part”, it wouldn’t have to comply with anything than original ’73 regulations. What would you pay?

Best,
Grady
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Old 04-26-2007, 01:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Grady Clay
PAG appears to be missing the boat not supplying appropriate replacement chassis. How many would buy an “official” replacement chassis for a ’69-’73 LWB long-hood? What if one were available with all the latest technology and rust prevention? Being a “spare part”, it wouldn’t have to comply with anything than original ’73 regulations. What would you pay?

Best,
Grady
Now that's an interesting thought! A lot of long hoods have been lost to the ravages of time (err rust). More would be around today if replacement early tubs were available from the factory. This would have an impact on the need to make other parts available over time, too.
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Old 04-26-2007, 01:23 PM
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Thx Grady.

After I found out that a 964 unit body was much stiffer than mine and weighed only 80 lbs. more, I plan to consider every 964 I see a replacement chassis...
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Old 04-26-2007, 01:51 PM
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The factory workshop manual lists serial numbers for '70s with and without galvanizing. The Karmann cars did not have it, while the Reuter cars did. I thought it was limited to the floor panels, but i may be mistaken.
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Old 04-26-2007, 04:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Grady Clay
....PAG appears to be missing the boat not supplying appropriate replacement chassis. How many would buy an “official” replacement chassis for a ’69-’73 LWB long-hood? What if one were available with all the latest technology and rust prevention? Being a “spare part”, it wouldn’t have to comply with anything than original ’73 regulations. What would you pay?

Best,
Grady
Grady,

I totally agree.

After all, for about $8,500, I can get a complete, NEW, MGB body (http://www.zeni.net/trf/MGB-GC/129.php?s_wt=1024&s_ht=768)and move my running gear to the new body. For a Porsche, which is a superior car, I would think it could easily go higher and many of us would be thrilled to get a solid body for our older mechanicals.
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Old 04-26-2007, 05:36 PM
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Thanks for posting Randy,


The 1969 Camaro bodies as well as the newly introduced 1967 mustang fastback bodies have made waves in the hot rod circles. the 67 is going for 15,000 which can be considered a bargain considering the work and money to get an original back to 20/20 can quickly surpass that amount. It would be nice to get a new long hood that hasn't been beat to all hell.
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Last edited by BURN-BROS; 04-26-2007 at 06:19 PM..
Old 04-26-2007, 06:15 PM
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Sorry for the resurrection, but I had a couple of questions:

Quote:
Originally Posted by randywebb View Post
Thx Grady.

After I found out that a 964 unit body was much stiffer than mine and weighed only 80 lbs. more, I plan to consider every 964 I see a replacement chassis...
Hi Randy, do you have a source on the chassis weight difference?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Clarke View Post
The factory workshop manual lists serial numbers for '70s with and without galvanizing. The Karmann cars did not have it, while the Reuter cars did. I thought it was limited to the floor panels, but i may be mistaken.
Could you (or another volunteer with the factory manual) transcribe these serial number ranges? That would settle on the board once and for all the question of whether a given car has the galvanizing (aside from roof), particularly cars produced between late 74 and feb 75.

Cheers,
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Old 11-21-2007, 12:45 AM
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There is always a lot of confusion about this. FWIW, Porsche Classic as well as the Porsche Historical Archive say the bodies weren't fully galvanized until MY '81.
Old 11-21-2007, 01:26 AM
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I can get a steel replacement for my 74 FJ40 for about $2000 prepped and powdercoated. I'd pay 4X for that in a 71 911.
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Old 11-21-2007, 03:37 AM
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The information I am working from is found in the first two volumes of the factory workshop manual. This applies only up to MY 1971. I'd be happy to list those serial numbers if there is interest, but it is safe to say that the floors were galvanized on some '70s and all subsequent cars.
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Question cutting galvanized panels?

Thanks for the history lesson. I had heard that galvanized panels were implemented, but I hadn't previously seen a concise breakdown.

Related to this:

Because of the galvanized steel, are there any special precautions for cutting and/or welding? Any special post-treatments?

It seems logical that cutting and especially surface grinding of galvanized panels removes the zinc coating, and makes an excellent spot for rust to start. Aside from standard rust-inhibiting primers, are there any specific recommendations for Porsches? Do cold galvanizing compounds really work?
Old 11-21-2007, 07:25 AM
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"source on the chassis weight difference"
- Andy, that is based on some posts on this bbs from people that weighed a stripped 964 chassis -- you'll have to do a search to find the original post

dw1 - I'm sure some of the welding experts can answer this. IIRC, there were a couple of posts on this in the last year -- but one related to sanding and then trying to primer adhesion I think.
Old 11-21-2007, 10:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dw1 View Post
Because of the galvanized steel, are there any special precautions for cutting and/or welding? Any special post-treatments?
This doesn't relate to precautions in regards to creating a good galvanized, rust-proof surface post repair, but it's definitely a precaution, and that is that welding zinc generates toxic gas that can, after prolonged exposure, make you quite sick, especially if working in confined spaces.

However, I imagine that given the number of people on the board who've successfully welded up their chassis without incident that it's not a big deal. After all, most likely people are doing lots of short stitch welds and so forth, and are working with good ventilation, but it's something to be aware of.

Worse, cadmium coating, when burned off in the welding process, can kill.

Again, these probably aren't things that would affect most of us, but learning this in welding class was VERY sobering.

That zinc smoke is nasty (if you overcook bronze brazing rod, you'll get it: it's thick, white, nasty, and smells terrible).
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Old 11-21-2007, 10:53 AM
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HarryD's post regarding MGB bodyshell reminded me that 2007 is the 20th anniversary of BMH (British Motor Heritage) supplying them. BMH also make Mini, Midget/Sprite and other shells. Nearly all the older British sports car shells are available.

I still wonder why Porsche AG does not either supply new 914 and 911 shells or does what Ferrari has done and let another company (Maranello Concesionaires, the UK Ferrari importer has sole rights and deals with all parts up to 1989) sort it all out. BMW recently built a new 2002 to promote their Mobile Tradition. The market is obviously there.
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Old 11-21-2007, 02:41 PM
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*Note - The Karman bodied cars for 1970-71 may not have used the zinc steel; see http://forums.pelicanparts.com/porsche-911-technical-forum/428594-1972-rust-post4167116.html#post4167116
for more info
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