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Another Retro Backdate Thread

Part 1.

So, I decided that I needed a backdated 911 in my life. Why?

Back in the 90s, I drove a 1971 2.2T as a daily driver for several years. After that, I drove a 1989 3.2 coupe for several more years. Both were my only car at the time, both wore snow tires 6 months of the year, and both had a roof rack for bikes and snowboards. Both were tracked at PCA DE events, though I was never sure how the ’71 passed tech (more on that later). Neither had what you’d call “working a/c” – the vent windows on the ’71 cooled off humans better than the factory spec a/c on the ’89.

The ’71 was the scary sweetheart. Everybody loved that car from a distance. But get a little closer and that car started to get scary, with fuel and exhaust leaks, big blue flames and backfires from the exhaust, occasional carb fires, failing fuel pumps, leaky fuel tank, a starter solenoid that only failed when I really needed it… plus growing rust holes in several spots of the floor, bumpers, windshield pillars, and accumulated body damage from life on the mean streets of SF, Philly, NYC, and ultimately Denver. Did I mention leaks? That car needed every seal and wire replaced… By the way, this car was named “Lucy”, as in “Lucy, you have some explaining to do!”

The ’89 was in great shape and was a real car in almost every way. Amazing torque for a sports car, never a squeak or rattle. So competent, it felt downright indestructible, and I drove it relentlessly. But it missed the fun factor of the earlier longhood car. The throttle response felt heavy and slow, the gearing was way too tall for my tastes, and the heavy steering didn’t encourage me to throw the car at the twisties.

Love vs. Hate:
1971 911T Coupe
Love: Fun! Styling, narrow body, chrome, throttle response, sound. Feels light and quick.
Hate: Rust problems, fiddly carbs, poor shift, leaks and smells (outside air, gas fumes, hot oil, burning oil, exhaust, rain, freezing rain, you get the picture).

1989 3.2 Carrera Coupe
Love: Solid! Bulletproof durability, torque, power, speed. Drive anywhere, anytime.
Hate: Styling (whale tail, impact bumpers), poor shift, tall gearing, feels slow on the street, even though it isn’t

Unfortunately, the newer 911s haven’t done much for me. The 993s are "too good", if that's really a thing – they’re so competent, smooth and quiet that the thrill isn’t there for me. I have nothing against the water-cooled generation of 911s, they’re just a bigger, heavier car than I want to drive.

So the goal of this project is take the things I loved about each of my departed 911s, address the shortcomings if I can, and have a very fun daily driver with a good mix of old school style, 4 seasons practicality, quality engineering and build, and a dash of fun/sport purpose. Oh, and I have lots of ideas but no skills or patience. And a limited budget. Going to need a good partner for this project.

Stay tuned for part 2: the donor car, the builder, and the plan.

Photos: in memoriam... the 1971 and the 1989 that led me to this.

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Old 03-27-2016, 11:48 AM
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Sounds like the start to a really good thread!
Old 03-27-2016, 11:58 AM
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I considered the same but in the end decided on a decent 912 to tinker with until it suits me (not totally certain of where that will lead). My main reason was the interior: I LOVE the cabin of long hoods. Every time I considered back dating my SC I'd stop when I remembered it would still look the same on the inside, not that that is a bad thing, but the style matched inside and out so I left it as it was...sold it...and now own a 68 912.
I look forward to following your project, as I do all the back dates, and good luck to you in achieving your dream car
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Old 03-27-2016, 12:29 PM
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Sounds like a fantastic idea. It would be really neat to make it a narrow body and no-sunroof car like your '71. I have lots of ideas, be sure to hit me up before you start.
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Old 03-27-2016, 07:06 PM
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Neat. I know someone that has a very similar story. Hope your car turns out better...
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Old 03-27-2016, 07:11 PM
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Part 2:

Day 2. The builder, the donor car, and the plan

At the recommendation of Dave Bouzaglou at TRE, I connected with Marc Zurlinden at Zurlinden LLC to build the car. Marc has done a number of very interesting and high quality builds, from backdates to lightweight sports-purpose to track specials. We immediately got along, and I liked his ideas and approach.

With Marc’s help, we acquired the donor car in February 2015. It’s a 1984 coupe. The engine and trans were solid, despite 140K miles on the clock. The paint had been damaged in a garage fire. Interior was swampy. The suspension was floppy. The body had a little rust, mostly superficial. Perfect!

Working with Mark, we came up with the plan following plan:

Suspension and brakes. Basically, rebuild stock Carrera setup with a few improvements.
• Lower ride height
• Raised spindles
• Rebuild calipers
• Replace wear items (bearings, bushings, balljoints, shocks)
• New stiffer torsion bars (22/29mm) and new tie rods.

Wheels and tires.
• Repro/alloy 16” “steelies” , 7” and 8”.
• Long stud hubs
• BFG G-Force Sport Comp 2, 205s front, 225s rear.

Body. Backdated to longhood style. Keep as much metal as practical. Very clean design, silver/chrome accents.
• Strip the car to factory E-coat. Full repaint, Glasurit Albert Blue, single stage – like my old ’71.
• Add steel fender extensions to front quarter panels, steel longhood latch panel. Leave stock Carrera flares. Remove Carrera rocker trim
• Get used steel longhood and rear decklid. Chrome/brushed silver grills. No tail.
• FG “S” style front bumper and RS style rear bumper from TRE. No bumper or body decos.
• H4 Euro-style headlamps with polished trim. Silver trimmed tail lamps and turn signals.
• New windshield. Removing tint from side windows.
• Refinish window/door trim in brushed silver. ’73 NOS “flag”-style side mirrors on both sides. No badges or emblems.
• Resealing everything – body seals, door felts, window rubbers.

Interior. Backdate to long hood style using (almost) all new parts.
• Delete center consoles.
• New seats, “S” style from D’Eser with corduroy inserts and perforated leather bolsters.
• RS-style perlon carpets + cocomats. RS-style door cards and handles
• New headliner
• Raid/Racemark steering wheel, ~390 mm, with leather crest horn button. Backdate turn signal and wiper stalk switches
• Repro factory-style shift knob.
• Recovered dash.
• Restored/backdated gauges to RS style with 10K rpm tach and LED lighting.
• Backdated dash fascia.
• New radio and speakers (I’m not nostalgic for 70s radios). New sun visors. New seat belts, front and rear.

A/C. Not a backdate, an update.
• All new system from Griffiths/Kuehl, optimized for my Colorado climate.
• “Duehl” condenser setup, upgraded evaporator/blower/compressor/barrier hoses with r134 with new center vent.
• A/C controls relocated to ashtray face.

Engine and tranny. Leave pretty stock.
• Engine runs well as is – leaky and messy, but with good compression.
• Soda blast and reseal engine
• Wevo shifter and shift linkage coupler.
• New lightweight clutch and flywheel from Patrick Motorsports.
• Replacement gas tank, new fuel pump, filler neck and fuel lines.
• Internally rechambered stock exhaust with stock single outlet and drilled airbox for a little more sport sound.
• Leaving stock cat in place – needs to pass Colorado emissions, and I like the idea that a fun resto-mod car which will get a lot of use doesn’t have to be a polluter.

Here are a couple “before” pictures. Nobody will miss this tired 3.2 Carrera, will they?

Stay tuned for part 3: the build.






Last edited by badwater; 03-28-2016 at 01:29 PM..
Old 03-28-2016, 12:33 PM
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Awesome, game on!
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Old 03-28-2016, 03:07 PM
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Cant wait to see progress of this!
Old 03-28-2016, 03:57 PM
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Sweet!!!!
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Old 03-28-2016, 04:09 PM
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I am all about the environment but I wonder. With the cars we play with and the level of tune we keep them in...I wonder if the cat makes much difference? On a worn out car with bad gas and old spark plugs and other ignition components any car will pollute. I think that is what half of the emissions stuff is for...when the car gets old and out of tune - the way most folks keep their cars. But most of us keep them running in top shape and probably over tuned. I doubt the cat even removes much from from the exhaust of a great running car. All that said you will need the cat for visual.

Looking forward to seeing more details!
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Old 03-28-2016, 06:25 PM
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cat

It's a good point about the cat. I did need it for visual, though I wonder if it's having much positive impact or just generating a lot of heat and creating exhaust backpressure. I've heard about 911s running very cleanly without cat, would be interested in testing mine both ways...
Old 03-28-2016, 07:02 PM
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Full disclosure and joker alert: member badwater is my brother. Described '71 "Lucy" is the first 911 I ever drove - which hooked me on 911s instantly. I've since have had a few cool cars thanks to him and Lucy. That's where it all started...lots of passion in this car that you'll all see shortly in parts 3+. I won't spoil the fun here - have some pics of the finished product when parked with my pride and joy. It turns heads for sure and has performance to boot.

EJP might be related too...although I have a tough time explaining the '88 carrera he drives. Training wheels? Either way, kinda cool having a family full of 911 fanatics and love seeing builds like this.

Keep 'em coming!
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Old 03-28-2016, 08:02 PM
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Subscribed for updates. Really look forward to seeing the finished product. Love Albert Blue and love the idea of the repro steel/alloy "steelies."
Old 03-29-2016, 05:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elombard View Post
I am all about the environment but I wonder. With the cars we play with and the level of tune we keep them in...I wonder if the cat makes much difference?...
I can tell you when I first moved out here to Portland, I tried to get my car DEQ'd with the backdated exhaust. It passed based on the numbers (fairly comfortably, too), but not on the visual because it lacked a cat. Engine is a fairly fresh rebuild in excellent tune...FWIW.

Good luck with this build! Still dying to backdate my '86...
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Old 03-29-2016, 07:13 AM
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Old 03-29-2016, 08:31 AM
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I'm on board...
Old 03-29-2016, 05:40 PM
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Part 3: Teardown and body work

Part 3: Teardown and body work

The pics mostly speak for themselves, even if they can't really portray the level of effort and detail that went into this build.


The teardown revealed a little more rust and a few more leaks than we had anticipated, but not too bad.










The front fender extensions didn’t reach the bumper the first time.










Stay tuned for part 4: The Build
Old 03-29-2016, 08:03 PM
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Ahh, I think I've seen photos of this car, I met Marc last year. If it's the one I'm thinking of, the finished article is stunning and the owner's a lucky man

I'll be in California at the back end of May this year, hoping to catch up with Marc then and talk cars
Old 03-30-2016, 05:56 AM
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Old 03-30-2016, 06:19 AM
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Part 4: The Build

Part 4: The Build

Leaving the body shop.


Updated A/C parts


Rebuilt brakes and front suspension coming together


Front end and welded-in hood latch plate


Steering wheel hub and horn button


Restored gauges with LED lighting


Raid/Racemark wheel


Stock muffler cut open


Stock muffler rechambered


New seats from D'Eser. Perforated leather bolsters, corduroy inserts
Old 03-31-2016, 06:19 PM
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