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Frankly my dear....
 
rhett's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: England
Posts: 512
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Porsche Crest There and back again - A Porsche's story

I have been asked by a few forum members to ‘chronicle’ all the work that I have carried out on my 1988 944S during its long restoration. Some of the photos have already appeared in other posts at some time. However, it seems that one complete ‘start to finish’ thread was what the guys wanted.

So, rising to the challenge (it has taken a bit of time!), here is the complete story of E138WCL’s journey from the salvage yard to a head-turning classic.

It will take a while to load everything, so feel free to comment as the various stages appear.

Here we go.....

As you can see from the photos, she is looking a bit sad , damaged and in need of a lot of TLC, but far too good for a ‘parts car’!










Once delivered to me I stripped off the damaged wing (fender) and front panels and welded a replacement inner panel in place. Removed three – yes, three old alarm systems and repaired the electrics. Drained the fuel tank, inspected as much as I could and fired her up. Nice.....

I then fitted some replacement panels, including a fibreglass S2 style front complete with original S2 lights, etc.

Then I had to drill out the locking wheel nuts (no key!)..this took an age and three hole saw blades. Once the wheels were off, I replaced the discs and pads and generally serviced the calipers.

Decided that as I didn’t know the service history and when the belts were last done (they looked fine..) I ordered all the necessary parts.

A bunch of other minor works was also carried out on a number of systems to bring them ‘back to life’.

Then took the car for an inspection to put her back on the road, it actually passed! So, I was able to take her out and about…which I did (well who wouldn’t?). However, I wish I hadn’t as I had only done about 1500 miles when the cambelt stripped teeth (rubber had perished) and the engine was toast… This was only two weeks before the ‘holiday’ I had booked to do the work on the car, as you can imagine - I was gutted.

At this point, the car sat on my driveway for some time (quite a time actually!) while I decided what to do next.

__________________
Porsche - accept no substitute
Blue 1999 Boxster - Brief encounter! Black 1988 944S - Ongoing project
Black 1987 944S - Gone but not forgotten
Metallic Black 1980 924 - Those were the days....
Red 1979 924 - Hmm Minerva blue 1979 924 - Where it all began!
Old 09-10-2013, 09:30 AM
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Frankly my dear....
 
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: England
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It's dead Jim....

Finally got around to assessing the damage, knowing pretty much what I would find. Stripped the engine and removed the head, 8 bent valves, basically all the inlet ones. Priced up replacement valves and all the other work and parts involved and decided to get myself a complete working replacement engine. This ‘new’ one would be then rebuilt as much as possible , cleaned and fitted - so the hunt began for a suitable donor car.

Found a lower mileage S (87K) that was really shabby, lots of rust and only suitable for parts:






Got it home and removed the engine, as below:








Stripped it down and replaced the following:

Cambelt and balance belts
ALL belt rollers and tensioner rollers
Head gasket
ALL cylinder head camshaft box seals
Balance shaft oil seals
Camshaft chain
Camshaft chain tensioner pad
Rear main crankshaft seal
Other engine gaskets and o rings - as necessary
Exhaust manifold gaskets
Thermostat
Engine mounts
Oil cooler seals and gasket
Complete set of Beru spark plug (EHT) leads
Spark plugs (copper)
Distributor rotor arm and cap

While doing that, I extensively cleaned the engine, repainted components and inspected things like the water pump (it appeared to be a replacement with no leaks and a good bearing). I had noted the oil pressure on the long drive back from the PO and it was good, so decided not to do the rod bearings.

Then replaced the following clutch components:

Clutch pressure plate
Clutch plate (friction)
Clutch thrust (release/throw out) bearing
Pilot (spigot) bearing
__________________
Porsche - accept no substitute
Blue 1999 Boxster - Brief encounter! Black 1988 944S - Ongoing project
Black 1987 944S - Gone but not forgotten
Metallic Black 1980 924 - Those were the days....
Red 1979 924 - Hmm Minerva blue 1979 924 - Where it all began!
Old 09-10-2013, 09:36 AM
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Frankly my dear....
 
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Smile Shiny..shiny...

The engine was, at this point looking good:






So (while I was in there) I decided to clean the engine bay and replace the clutch master and slave cylinders along with the flexible hose….





__________________
Porsche - accept no substitute
Blue 1999 Boxster - Brief encounter! Black 1988 944S - Ongoing project
Black 1987 944S - Gone but not forgotten
Metallic Black 1980 924 - Those were the days....
Red 1979 924 - Hmm Minerva blue 1979 924 - Where it all began!
Old 09-10-2013, 10:39 AM
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Frankly my dear....
 
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Smile Signs of a recovery...

Then fitted the rebuilt motor:







Fitted all stainless steel pipe clamps
Repaired the PS pump with a gasket kit - as these things like to leak!
Replaced the external belts (PS and Alternator)
Did an oil flush, new filter and oil change
Did a coolant flush and filled with new coolant
Replaced the air filter
Fitted a new battery

After a few ‘false starts’ and a bit more minor work, she fired up..again...nice
__________________
Porsche - accept no substitute
Blue 1999 Boxster - Brief encounter! Black 1988 944S - Ongoing project
Black 1987 944S - Gone but not forgotten
Metallic Black 1980 924 - Those were the days....
Red 1979 924 - Hmm Minerva blue 1979 924 - Where it all began!
Old 09-10-2013, 10:43 AM
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Frankly my dear....
 
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Angry What lurks beneath..?

Then decided that I would overhaul the front suspension components, cleaning, repainting and refurbishing as much as possible. Also replaced:

Front struts
Front wheel bearings
Front flexible brake pipes with stainless steel braided ones
Brake dust guards
Both front tyres
Bonnet (hood) struts
Front caliper seals, pad retaining springs and pins
Caliper bleed nipples with stainless steel ones
Headlamp relay rubber cover
Air filter box to AFM rubber seal

At this point I noticed that the sills (rocker panels) had developed a ‘bit of a rash’. They had actually rusted out quite badly. See what I found:







- what more can I say?
__________________
Porsche - accept no substitute
Blue 1999 Boxster - Brief encounter! Black 1988 944S - Ongoing project
Black 1987 944S - Gone but not forgotten
Metallic Black 1980 924 - Those were the days....
Red 1979 924 - Hmm Minerva blue 1979 924 - Where it all began!
Old 09-10-2013, 10:54 AM
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Frankly my dear....
 
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Smile Full metal jacket...

Cut out all the rot and went off to my local Porsche breaker and specialist. They had just finished stripping a really good 944 that had blown its engine. The sill panels were solid, so they cut them out for me:





I then spent a lot of time cleaning the panels up to get them ready for welding, etc. I had thought it best to use original metal where I could, as the fit would be so much better. So, out with the welder (had some help here!):







Real progress was being made. However, the restoration was probably into its third year at this point.




Of course, the other side needed doing too!
__________________
Porsche - accept no substitute
Blue 1999 Boxster - Brief encounter! Black 1988 944S - Ongoing project
Black 1987 944S - Gone but not forgotten
Metallic Black 1980 924 - Those were the days....
Red 1979 924 - Hmm Minerva blue 1979 924 - Where it all began!
Old 09-10-2013, 11:34 AM
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Frankly my dear....
 
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Unhappy Getting in even deeper...

While I was doing the body work, I decided to go the whole way and drop the entire rear suspension for a total refurb, as well as replace the tatty and rusted fuel hard lines. The suspension was looking like this:




So it all had to come off, fuel hard lines too. I then extensively cleaned the floorpan, gas tank, wheel arches, and every little crack and crevice in the bodywork I could find. Over painted the rubber under seal with a flexible enamel paint after treating any small rusty areas first.

Bought a roll of Kunifer pipe and some bending tools as well as various high-pressure fittings. Then fabricated complete new hard lines and also replaced all the rubber fuel pipes with new original Porsche parts. The fuel pump was removed and cleaned, the filter replaced, and all the pipe fixing clamps replaced.

The sills were then wax injected for protection - that is a real messy job .
__________________
Porsche - accept no substitute
Blue 1999 Boxster - Brief encounter! Black 1988 944S - Ongoing project
Black 1987 944S - Gone but not forgotten
Metallic Black 1980 924 - Those were the days....
Red 1979 924 - Hmm Minerva blue 1979 924 - Where it all began!
Old 09-10-2013, 11:46 AM
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Frankly my dear....
 
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Smile All that glitters...

As it was now winter, and working on the car was impractical due to the weather, I decided to buy a DIY electroplating set and set about replating as many suspension and other fittings as I could - this was hard work, but real fun!










As you can see I - refurbed the trailing arms, stripped and refurbed the rear calipers, replaced the seals, pins and springs too. The non-plated parts were cleaned, de-rusted and re-painted, the smaller suspension parts were looking fine...

I had the torsion bar tube on the bench and the roll bar (anti sway) hanging from the ceiling of the garage - they were also cleaned, and extensively re-painted.

The muffler heat shield was cleaned and painted with a HT paint, and when the weather was not too bad I got underneath and cleaned the transaxle assembly too.

At this point I think I could see the light at the end of this particular very long tunnel...but I began to realise all this cleaning and attention to detail was becoming a bit obsessive
__________________
Porsche - accept no substitute
Blue 1999 Boxster - Brief encounter! Black 1988 944S - Ongoing project
Black 1987 944S - Gone but not forgotten
Metallic Black 1980 924 - Those were the days....
Red 1979 924 - Hmm Minerva blue 1979 924 - Where it all began!
Old 09-10-2013, 12:07 PM
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Frankly my dear....
 
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Smile Gentlemen - we can rebuild her...

Several months passed as I refurbed the suspension parts, so when the weather got warmer I started to rebuild the back end.

New rear shocks were fitted
New rear shoes for the handbrake were fitted
A good pair of very low mileage rear axle shafts were sourced and fitted
The transaxle oil was drained and replaced (Swepco)
Flexible brake pipes replaced with stainless steel ones
Stainless steel exhaust system (rear muffler) fitted

The results are:










Putting the suspension back together with the parts in this condition was a real joy as I didn't really get my hands dirty for once!
__________________
Porsche - accept no substitute
Blue 1999 Boxster - Brief encounter! Black 1988 944S - Ongoing project
Black 1987 944S - Gone but not forgotten
Metallic Black 1980 924 - Those were the days....
Red 1979 924 - Hmm Minerva blue 1979 924 - Where it all began!

Last edited by rhett; 09-10-2013 at 12:27 PM..
Old 09-10-2013, 12:19 PM
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Frankly my dear....
 
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Smile Yes, there's more...

To continue...






The sills were then finished...not too shabby? (for an amateur):




Things were certainly nearing completion now...
__________________
Porsche - accept no substitute
Blue 1999 Boxster - Brief encounter! Black 1988 944S - Ongoing project
Black 1987 944S - Gone but not forgotten
Metallic Black 1980 924 - Those were the days....
Red 1979 924 - Hmm Minerva blue 1979 924 - Where it all began!
Old 09-10-2013, 12:26 PM
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Frankly my dear....
 
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Thumbs up It's nice indoors...

During the project I also did the following:

Repaired the sunroof mechanism – now fully operational
Fitted a remote control central locking system, with rear hatch release too
Replaced the hatch pins and struts (I know…but the dreaded delamination hasn’t happened )
Replaced the hatch rubber seal and all three wiper blades
Fitted some higher output headlamp bulbs

The interior was also stripped out and practically everything replaced:

Dashboard
Front seats replaced with Porsche script fully electric ones
Rear seats and door cards to match front seats
Black carpet
Momo steering wheel fitted with ‘special’ custom made horn push

So it looks like this in the cabin:







The silver trim may not be to everyone's taste, but I think it just brings the cabin a bit more up-to-date, so I tried not to overdo it!
__________________
Porsche - accept no substitute
Blue 1999 Boxster - Brief encounter! Black 1988 944S - Ongoing project
Black 1987 944S - Gone but not forgotten
Metallic Black 1980 924 - Those were the days....
Red 1979 924 - Hmm Minerva blue 1979 924 - Where it all began!
Old 09-10-2013, 12:53 PM
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Frankly my dear....
 
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Cool Back on the road again..

When I took the car for its inspection, it looked like this:









She passed the inspection with a glowing report from the tester, he was knocked out by the condition of everything. One thing was needed for the pass, an adjustment of the mixture and a good rev at nearly the limit to clean out the cylinders, etc. The emissions were then very low and a certificate issued..she was legal again!
__________________
Porsche - accept no substitute
Blue 1999 Boxster - Brief encounter! Black 1988 944S - Ongoing project
Black 1987 944S - Gone but not forgotten
Metallic Black 1980 924 - Those were the days....
Red 1979 924 - Hmm Minerva blue 1979 924 - Where it all began!
Old 09-10-2013, 12:59 PM
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Frankly my dear....
 
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Wink Almost done...

So, she is back on the road again and here are the most recent shots. I made some carbon-fibre effect vinyl stone guards too:









Looking just a bit better than when I first got her...
__________________
Porsche - accept no substitute
Blue 1999 Boxster - Brief encounter! Black 1988 944S - Ongoing project
Black 1987 944S - Gone but not forgotten
Metallic Black 1980 924 - Those were the days....
Red 1979 924 - Hmm Minerva blue 1979 924 - Where it all began!
Old 09-10-2013, 01:05 PM
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Frankly my dear....
 
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Wink Where are we now?

Recently fitted a new radiator header tank to tidy the engine bay further:




Was it worth all that work??? Yes, I think so…However, I dread to think what it has cost in parts but a conservative estimate must be around £4000.

That is the story so far. However, there is actually still quite a bit that I need to get around to do, but for the meantime I can actually drive her and that (in my opinion) is what it is all about really!

Hope you enjoyed the thread.
__________________
Porsche - accept no substitute
Blue 1999 Boxster - Brief encounter! Black 1988 944S - Ongoing project
Black 1987 944S - Gone but not forgotten
Metallic Black 1980 924 - Those were the days....
Red 1979 924 - Hmm Minerva blue 1979 924 - Where it all began!
Old 09-10-2013, 01:11 PM
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Wow, looking good, thanks for sharing!
Old 09-10-2013, 01:49 PM
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Nice work!
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Old 09-10-2013, 02:02 PM
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Wow! Great restoration! But did the euro versions not have the side markers on the front bumper?
Old 09-10-2013, 02:31 PM
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Wow ! Thank you for sharing. Your journal & photographs would make for an excellent book.
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Old 09-10-2013, 02:37 PM
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Fantastic work, mate. Fantastic.
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Old 09-10-2013, 03:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mueller944s2 View Post
Wow! Great restoration! But did the euro versions not have the side markers on the front bumper?
No. In the fender instead. No rear markers either.

Awesome job. You must be super proud of yourself!

Always nice to work on them clean.

But - you put the interior together backwards!!!!!

Take care,


Last edited by FrenchToast; 09-10-2013 at 03:58 PM..
Old 09-10-2013, 03:56 PM
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