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My ’78 euro - a bottom-feeder’s thread


Old 09-14-2017, 05:37 PM
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Default My ’78 euro - a bottom-feeder’s thread

Other Rennlisters have done a single thread for their cars, I am pulling together several threads that I started, or will start in the future, on specific topics.

What I mean by a bottom-feeder thread is that I don’t have the means to restore my 928. Some people don’t even think I should own a 928. But a couple of years ago I said, what the hell, the worst I can do is lose a couple of thousand dollars but until then, for awhile, I get to own and drive one of the most appealing cars ever made. The buying process is recorded here;

and here;

Here it is the day I got it home.

My two initial sins were not to do a PPI and to buy the cheapest 928 I could find (which in reality was the best 928 I could afford

The car was bought in September of 2013, driven until winter, then parked in the garage for future repairs… which were started in the fall of 2015.
It has been on the road at least a couple of months in 2016 and 2017 while I worked on my 924S.

Aesthetically it had been too abused to ever be brought back to original condition without a massive investment, but that was OK with me as what I am aiming at is a 928 that looks reasonably good, drives well and is reliable.

Not everything is done according to recognized standards (I aim not to do anything that cannot be reversed, if at some point someone wants to do a real restoration). So far I have done very little WYIT since I don’t want to spend extra money until I have confidence that the car is not going to have a major failure. My time is not worth much (as I notice every month when my pension payments appear in my bank account), so I function on OWHTBD (Only What Has To Be Done).

Not having had a PPI, each time I work on the car I find something new in terms of PO hacks and lack of TLC or lack of just plain C.
The PO had warned me that at least one CV boot was torn and I discoverd early on that there was the well-known right side radiator tank leak. So my first project was to replace the radiator end tank which led to this thread;
I seem to have solved the missing radiator fan problem very simply. I plugged the wires for the AC blower into the fan thermo switch in the radiator and it works just fine. Comes on when the temperature gets a bit high and brings it down very quickly.

Next I did the CV boots. I found that the two on the left side had already been changed and that both right side boots were torn, but lots of grease inside so I just cleaned, regreassed and rebooted;

With the radiator out it was the time to check out the timing belt. I found the timing belt tensioner was in bad shape, not properly assembled and multiple broken disks;
The timing belt, water pump and other parts of the timing belt assembly all looked fine except the tension roller which seemed a bit sticky. So putting in practice OWHTBD, I drilled a small hole in the bearing holder of the roller and injected some grease and sealed the hole with JB weld, with the intention of replacing the roller at some future date if all went well (a year later I did change the roller, the old on was still working just fine). With the rebuilt tensioner installed I checked the belt tension, changed the oil and the coolant and was ready for spring.

After sitting for 2 years the restart process was a bit difficult;
but in the end the fuel system cleared itself out and the car ran quite nicely

August of 2016 I realised the brake master cylinder needed changing. At the same time I flushed the old fluid out, got the parking brake working (the parking brake parts were missing on one side (!) and the cables were seized) and verified the rest of the braking system, which looked great (recently installed disks and pads).

The winter of 2016-2017 it was time to finally change the fuel lines in the engine compartment;

At the same time I installed steel lower ball joints in place of the original aluminum ones, put in fresh upper ball joint boots and replaced the timing belt tensioner roller which I mentioned above.
I also changed the transmission fluid and adjusted the reverse band because it was slipping badly...

I had hoped to attend the first Camp 928 in northern NY State, but the week before a no-start problem popped up… in the end it was just a corroded positive battery connector, but the discussion was interesting.

While testing the fuel pump for the no start problem I noticed fuel leaking from the right rear fender area… I had a look and saw it was the accumulator, and the general condition of the fuel supply system in the rear decided that we would be going to Camp 928 in my 924S

So the next project was the rear rubber fuel lines;

I again had a problem with the engine running cleanly when I started it after the 2 months that I was working on the fuel system. Once I got it back on the road the system cleaned itself out after a few miles and it was back to almost normal. A top end renewal is in my future.

The worst thing about the 928 when I bought it was the interior. The story is that the car was at some point used as a test bed/show car for an audio store and somewhere along the line the original interior was gutted. Everything back of the front seats (which are from an Acura!) was a disaster area. Badly installed rear seats, incredibly badly recovered quarter panels, missing hatch covers and the tool plate, no carpet and no spare tire cover.
I found most of the parts locally and started the process of refreshing the rear part of the interior. That will be the next installment.

Last edited by elgy; 09-17-2017 at 12:32 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 09-14-2017, 05:40 PM
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Great thread! This may encourage me to start adding to my '78 #413's thread that I started 2 years ago. Subscribed!
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Old 09-14-2017, 06:27 PM
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Car looks great. Keep up the good work.

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Old 09-14-2017, 06:30 PM
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I love that you have linking your individual posts to this one
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Old 09-14-2017, 06:36 PM
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These cars can certainly be a labor of love at the best of times, the rewards however are quite high. Still a beautiful and timeless car.

Sounds like you have your work cut out on the interior, but given time and patience I am sure you will sort it out. Sounds like you are off to a great start!
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Old 09-14-2017, 10:18 PM
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There is most of a black leather interior from a '78 on eBay right now if you are interested.
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Old 10-12-2017, 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by kiwiokie View Post
There is most of a black leather interior from a '78 on eBay right now if you are interested.
Thanks, I had a look and that would have been nice but it was at least 3 times what I can spend.
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Old 10-12-2017, 05:17 PM
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Part one of the interior refurbishing (everything aft of the front seats plus the headliner) is complete as detailed here:
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Old 10-12-2017, 06:30 PM
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I like low-cost saves. The car may not be 100% orig, and it may not be ready for the concours circuit, but it's looking like a very nice driver, at modest outlay of money.

Keep up the great work. I'm with you in spirit.
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