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Location: San Diego, CA. USA
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Talking 914/ 4 to 6 conversion

I'm looking for someone in the San Diego or nearby area that can do a complete, quality 4 to 6 conversion for me. You don't have to have a shop, as long as you have the talent and honesty to complete the job. It fact, it may work out best if it is done by someone who works out of their own home (no middle man or overhead to pay). Also, it wouldn't have be a rush job. The six 3.0 should be ready to go, so you don't have to be a six expert, although it may help. If you are interested or know someone who might be please give me a call at (619) 269-0124 or send an email to jcdekerguelen@cox.net or post reply!


Thanks!

Jon

Last edited by joncdeke; 09-14-2002 at 10:38 AM..
Old 09-14-2002, 10:11 AM
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This could prove to be an interesting thread.
I can think of only one shop I would trust to do a top notch conversion and that would be our resident Ahole, Brad.

If you're lucky, he *might* grant you an interview.
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Old 09-14-2002, 10:40 AM
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That certainly doesn't sound very encouraging! I'm beginning to think that I'm the only guy who isn't independently wealthy or full of mechincal talent on this BBS. Oh well, maybe I can try it myself. Although, I haven't had the best of luck with past endeavors, except when working with the simple things like changing spark plugs. I did replace a clutch once but that was back when I didn't have any choice as I didn't have money to pay someone else. Besides when I do it myself it usually ends up costing me even more, as I just don't have a lot of patients.

Jon.

Last edited by joncdeke; 09-14-2002 at 11:23 AM..
Old 09-14-2002, 11:20 AM
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I didn't want to discourage you. The conversion is fairly labor intensive. There is more than one way to do each of the required steps and.......ah.....some are better than others. As you're aware by now, parts aren't cheep.

Having it done "right"will be pricey.
I think Brad quoted a price in one of these threads.
You may be better off finding a good converted car and having someone stick your motor in it.

DIY is not cheep either. I'm haven't added up the total cost of mine. Really have no urge to........cause there's more to come.
It's not rocket science, tho. Mine was up on blocks for almost a year for the initial conversion. Take your time, get some gud advice here.......it's doable.

There are a few folks in various stages of completion on this BBS
even as we speak. I'm confident some of them will run....eventually.

There is an original 6er in the 914 classifieds. Swap out the old motor and trans and pop in your 3.0/sideshifter.....bingo.
Prolly the cheepest way to go.....quick, too.
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Old 09-14-2002, 02:05 PM
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There was an earlier thread asking about shops in SD. Do a search on "san diego" and it should pop up. Contact each of them and see how you feel about them. And how they feel about doing a Six conversion.

Bring money.

--DD
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Old 09-16-2002, 10:22 AM
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Hmmmmmm. This thread has me thinking.....

San Diego has a famous sister city which, despite it's reputation has quite a few good shops for Carb rebuilding. body work etc.

Since the project , beyond the scrounging of the parts, is mostly labor, maybe a reputable shop in TJ might be an alternative.

The Suicide blond will be taking a trip to Mexico to go to a "Strip Joint" and have the carb "blown". Maybe while I'm down there, with John Roger's help, I might be able to find a mechanical shop which would do the 6 conversion.

James
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Old 09-16-2002, 10:36 AM
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some 914'er posted long ago that he took his car to TJ to be painted. it was crazy how cheap it was ($400-$600?) and was supposedly a nice job.
Old 09-16-2002, 10:59 AM
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Hey, that was me....Check the post for 9/14 pictures for what the car looks like with a 3 yr old paint job. It cost $375 for the paint (in San Diego) and the labor/materials in TJ was about $550. The TJ work included new carpet sections, new door panels, taking out lots of fender bumps from racing slick thrown stones and a complete dash recover. The car was left for a week (Mon-Fri) so they could take their time on it. James is thinking of a complete strip and many small "paint bubble" repair places so it would probably cost more? As for a 6 conversion, figure 6 to 8 thousand dollars if you do it and add 5 thousand on top if a shop does it! As mentioned there are lots of pit falls such as getting the engine and tranny mounted straight. This wasn't done on Jan's 914-6 conversion (from AZ) and the tranny mounts ripped out of the trunk! As JP said, take your time, spend lots of $$$$ and enjoy the experience! Good luck

Last edited by John Rogers; 09-16-2002 at 12:05 PM..
Old 09-16-2002, 12:03 PM
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I'm going to show my ignorance of California (and possibly 914s) but what about Otto's for the conversion?
Old 09-17-2002, 01:06 PM
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Yep, the Suicide blond is going to get her bleach job done in TJ.

Looks like I need to sell 2-3 trannies to get it done. OK, who wants one? Or sell my other car....

Hmmmmmmm.

James
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Old 09-17-2002, 01:55 PM
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If you want to get an idea of cost, go to www.motormeister.com
They have a list of prices for diferent size motors and a list of items that they change.
I am not supporting any repair facility, just advising for use as a guide. No interest.YADAYADA
I was adding up the cost of doing the conversion. Getting close to the $7500 mark. Still plenty of parts to purchase and track down. A friend, Jim Chambers emails me and says did you see this, 74 914-6 conversion, $5500. Long story short, I bought the car and drove it home. Unless you have the money and time and a good wrench to do the work, buy one already done.
Craig C. Laughlin CAMP914
Old 09-17-2002, 08:19 PM
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Speaking purely for myself, I would not do the MM conversion. I really do not like the motor mount they use--it's the "85 lbs of square tubing" one. And I keep hearing contradictory reports about their quality and customer service. Some people have had zero problems and great service. Some have had problems that were handled just fine. And some have had problems that could not be resolved.

If I ever do the conversion, I will try to "do it right". If that means spending $5K+, that's what it means.

--DD
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Old 09-18-2002, 08:18 AM
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I think they have a realistic pricing guide for someone who wants to get an idea as to how much they are going to spend for a six conversion. I would probably not use MM either. It is just that they put information out there for people to access to help them in there decision making process.
Craig C. Laughlin CAMP914
Old 09-18-2002, 08:41 AM
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I will be selling mine very soon. I went the easy route. I bought an original 914-6 that has a 2.7 in it. They day it arrived, we found out my wife is pregnant!
Now, although this is great news, the loss of her work income means my very nice 914-6 is going to have to go.
I am very glad to have had it for this short time, and VERY glad I did not try to build one!
Anyway, my biased opinion, buy an original 6 with a better engine. They are out there, and for reasonable price. Mine will be priced about $17,000 when its ready to sell.

I will sob uncontrollably when it goes.
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Old 09-18-2002, 11:09 AM
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Hey John,
Where in TJ did you get your paint job done? I was happy with my interior work there so I figured I would do the paint job as well. I knew a guy who had just about a complete resto in TJ on his 68 chevy truck. Really nice job and I think he said he spent something like $1000 bucks. I was going to go with the shop he used, but I lost touch with the guy.
Old 09-19-2002, 06:04 AM
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Ugggg, I hate to cause friction but Mexico? I was afraid to take my bug down there (had a friend who lost a 59 Bus down there at a VW show). Mexico is great for picking up perscription drugs, underage drinking, or maybe restoring that old Chevy farm truck. Here si my thought.... have you ever seen a Tj citizen in a nice Porsche? Porsches are not suited for the mexican roads. I don;t think they would do a good job. It is possible but you will need to speak spanish and more importantly know someone personally to take it to. Mexicans in Tj are loyal to their friends but they love to rip off the gringos. Trust me I live next to mexico.

Ottos would be a great place for a conversion. But you will have to drop your car off and a credit card with a high limit on it. THey will call you when its done and your will be charged whatever it costs (alot! but they are good).

I could do some or all of your conversion. I am up in North County (Tom is as well, but does he do work himself? Doesn't he just sell parts?). I have half of the parts you need already. I have 2 914s here getting 6cyl put in them so you can check my work out for yourself. I don't want to go on and on but I have been working on Porsches for 6 years, I worked with a very German (ex 70s porsche factory employee) man in LA for sometime. I know how to save some money over retail on the conversion process (but using top quality parts). My time is limited but maybe I can help you ou as I am only 30min or so away from you. Email me ALLAIRCOOLED@yahoo.com

Tom has a 914-6 for sale as well, its only $50,000.
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Old 09-20-2002, 02:18 PM
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Yeah... I have known Tom for several years and havent seen any car he has built except the "Ralleye" 914/6 (and I cant prove that he built it.) I have always known him as a parts pusher. Does he really build cars ??

B
Old 09-20-2002, 02:53 PM
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Is Tom the "middle aged" bearded guy with the "rasta" themed -6 rallye style car, who recently had a new HSR 2.0 car at Ventura for $50K?

That car looked interesting and very clean overall. I didn't spend a lot of time going over it, but a couple things that stood out were the chopped windshield (even less remaining than a "Ginther" style from what I recall) and an unusual pressure-side rear-trunk-mounted (inside) oil cooler. The cooler had an electric fan, ducting, and the rear lid was louvered.

I asked him how the cooler setup worked, and he said he didn't know, the car had never really been "run" yet. I thought to myself...OK, self...$50K for a race car that not only has no proven history yet, but hasn't even been "run" yet ?!?!?!?!?!?! Hmmm. self, make a note to check back in 2 years. (It will either be $60K, or $15K by then, LOL).

It did look like fun, but I'd be leery of a car built to tight vintage class specs like HSR 2L challenge...unless that windshield setup is grandfathered (old chassis & logbook) you couldn't run it with other groups, right?

Not to mention it's not a very stiff or safe setup -- there of course was no "halo" etc on the cage...IIRC it was caged vintage-style i.e. everything down low and bare minimum.

Oh yeah, re. Otto, yes he still does -6 conversions and has access to, and existing stashes of parts, yes he does excellent work, and yes he isn't cheap. He has a philosophy of not "half-a$$ing" these cars. If your car needs something he views as "essential" (brakes, fuel lines, etc) it will not leave the shop without that being fixed -- period. You cannot bring your car there and say "do this only and ignore anything else, don't go over $300". Under those conditions he probably would decline to work on it at all. Some guys don't agree with his personality or how he does things, but he knows this stuff better than 95% of the hacks out there and has a shop & race record to back that.

When I walk into a shop and see like 200+/- Porsche race & rally trophies going back 30 years, that is a serious immediate credibility boost....the fact that the shop is really damn busy day after day, year after year is a good clue too.

Pick your mechanics/shops wisely guys, mistakes can be even more expensive than going the 'right' way in the first place.
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Last edited by campbellcj; 09-20-2002 at 08:57 PM..
Old 09-20-2002, 08:41 PM
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