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Old 06-15-2017, 11:55 AM
  #1  
GeorgeK
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Default Body Restoration

After 265K Kms, 28 years, and about every single winter driven in salt/snow, my 964 C4 is starting to show more signs of a hard life than I care for. Poor accident repair, budget body work (remember, there was a time when a 964 was not worth much), corrosion from salt/grit/normal wear have taken their toll.
I have already rebuilt the brake system, with 993 parts (and I am now going back to 964 again), swapped the suspension for Bilstein/HR combos, restored the interior with one from a wrecked car, and changed from cream to black at the same time, rebuilt the ventilation system, renewed the complete AC ( to be reinstalled when the car is back from the shop), changed wheels and tires more than I like to admit.
Last fall I did bring it to my trusted body shop for some smaller issues, and during a pre-work checkup, so much defects were discovered that it made more sense to wait until after the winter while saving my pennies and accumulating parts, and start the work this summer.
I brought the car home this spring and started dismantling all I reasonably could, and then rented a flatbed to bring it to the body shop (last week). I know these cars inside and out, and I am way cheaper by the hour than my body shop for dismantling. In 50 hours I removed and took completely apart the front and rear bumpers, the lower sill mouldings, the complete doors (2 pins and they are off the car ready to be stripped/repaired/repainted), all lights, mirrors, badges, inner fenders, and glass.
Now that the car is at the body shop, some sorry past repairs have been uncovered, and up to 6 layers of paint on some parts.
I have sent all that could be to the plating shop for double yellow cad plating, started to assess the parts taken off, for cleaning/adjusting/repairs/replacement.
I’ll try to document the process as it unfolds. I hope to get he car back from paing by the end of summer, and will spend a leisurely fall/winter rebuilding it.
Some mods are also being implemented, since the purpose of the car will be changing, with it becoming relegated to non-snow and non-salt use only.
Some pictures oft the work so far, in no particular order:
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Last edited by GeorgeK; 06-15-2017 at 01:08 PM.
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Old 06-15-2017, 12:04 PM
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Rust doesn't look too bad from these photos. Thanks for sharing. I look forward to seeing your progress.
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Old 06-15-2017, 12:05 PM
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Plating:

I had already had parts replated in the past for my 911s (not my first rodeo), and the plater still does the original type yellow plating, using hexavalent chrome for that deep yellow tone. They have kept a setup for the very purpose of car restoration needs. What's more they are easy to deal with and not expensive.

I sorted all that I have taken off the car, cleaned the paint off as much as I could (plating baths will remove rust, but not paint, interestingly). 3 weeks later, I am now sorting the 10 lbs of parts that came back. I also threw in a box of Porsche hardware that I have collected over the last 10 year for the very purpose of having it redone.

Some before/afters:
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Last edited by GeorgeK; 06-15-2017 at 01:05 PM.
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Old 06-15-2017, 12:38 PM
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Weird s**t:

When I bought the car, it had a dented rear left fender from being parked outside for 6+ years and having tree branches/tons of snow fall on it.
The car was destined to be a parts donor until I bought it, and while recommissioning it, I asked the body shop of the time to watch the budget, since I was not sure how the rest of the car would behave.

After a few years, a fist sized blister popped up on that fender, and I got rear ended shortly after that. The next body shop ground the fender down to sound looking steel and tin. Another year passed and the same bubble popped up
This time, the first thing the shop owner did is to grind the fender down as far as it would go. He uncovered a brazed steel plate and a deep crease above the rear light. The weird part is that there seems to be no perforation under the brazed plate, as seen from Under the fender. Looking forward to seeing what hides under that plate, and hoping the fender can be saved.
One can also appreciate the layers of paint/bondo
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Last edited by GeorgeK; 06-15-2017 at 01:11 PM.
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Old 06-15-2017, 12:39 PM
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Hardware looks great. What is the name of the plating company? Where are they located?
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Old 06-15-2017, 12:41 PM
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Alunni SA, in Switzerland
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Old 06-15-2017, 01:00 PM
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Rear shelf:

When I bought the car, my son was 2 years old. The car had a rear wiper, 2 rear speakers and no 3-point belts (not specced in 1989), and a rotten, shrunken, mouldy rear shelf.
Luckily, the interior I bought from the wrecked car had a rear wiper, speakers and rear 3-point belts. The shell is equipped with the anchoring points for the belt reels. I could install the baby car seat in the back, and we all enjoyed countless family miles in the car.
Fast forward to today, my son is 10, rather tall, and will not fit in the back much longer, the rear wiper will become obsolete for a non-daily driver (not to mention I have already had 2 wiper arms break on me - they are made of very weak pot metal).

So I have 2 rear shelves, the nasty original one I brought down from the rafters and a nice half leather black one. Hmmmm....

At the time the 964 was made, Porsche seemingly had no regard for efficient building. 2 different plates, very specific sequential stapling of the covers and assembly of the halves, yet poor quality fiber board cores.
Anyway, with some thinking, some new vinyl, foam, hot glue, new fiber board and a good stapler, I now have a rear shelf without rear wiper cutout, without rear belt cutouts (remember, not originally fitted to this car), and the rear speaker enclosures are there but, I did not want to open them so far. The shelf looks too good all plain without cutouts. If the radio sound is really bad as is, I will install the speakers. But for now, I revel in the thought of the lost weight so high and far aft of the car.

Oh yes, there is also that 3mm thin, defrost-less rear window in a box, waiting patiently
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Old 06-15-2017, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Rennlistuser8 View Post
Rear shelf:

Anyway, with some thinking, some new vinyl, foam, hot glue, new fiber board and a good stapler, I now have a rear shelf without rear wiper cutout, without rear belt cutouts (remember, not originally fitted to this car), and the rear speaker enclosures are there but, I did not want to open them so far. The shelf looks too good all plain without cutouts. If the radio sound is really bad as is, I will install the speakers. But for now, I revel in the thought of the lost weight so high and far aft of the car.

Oh yes, there is also that 3mm thin, defrost-less rear window in a box, waiting patiently
Good job, I'll do the same.
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Old 06-15-2017, 02:49 PM
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Good work George, looking forward to reading more.

Nice Colnago - we should do a '964 owners bicycles' thread
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Old 06-15-2017, 03:12 PM
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GeorgeK
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Originally Posted by Ken D View Post
Good work George, looking forward to reading more.

Nice Colnago - we should do a '964 owners bicycles' thread
Thanks. It is the wife's bicycle, I am more into US custom builders . Kirk, Kish, Firefly, Spectrum, Weigle, Sachs, Speedvagen.

Anyway, back to topic.

Rear bumper side supports:

These tubular steel supports spend all their life in the direct line of fire, behind the rear tires. Painted steel and road grit: Not a good combination. Mine have become the lightweight version....

Porsche PET: 100$! Each! Not happening.
6$ of 16mm steel tube, a hand press, some bending, a lick of paint. I may redo them, after filling the tubes with sand before bending to avoid the creases, but for now, and for what they are/where they reside on the car, they fit my needs. When I am really bored, I'll try again.
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Old 06-15-2017, 03:36 PM
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Great work! Looking forward to how this continues.

Are you planning to take out the front glass? Well known spot for rust to hide, and since you're already in there...

I was considering getting some aluminum tube to make new bumper supports. Might as well save a pound or two and avoid steel corrosion.

Good luck!
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Old 06-15-2017, 03:51 PM
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GeorgeK
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Windshield comes out, of course.
Aluminum was on my mind, but I have worries that it will crack where I flatten it at the ends. Didn't Robert Linton made some in Ti?
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Old 06-16-2017, 06:38 AM
  #13  
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Great job! My bumper supports are toast as well but I have no tools or garage to do it DIY. I wonder why anybody hasn't just make this aftermarket, I'd pay half of what Porsche asks.
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Old 06-16-2017, 07:12 PM
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What wheels are those??
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Old 06-16-2017, 07:51 PM
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GeorgeK
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The wheels on the car now are 928 winter wheels, so called Wintercults. The fronts are 6' and the rears 8'. The front are custom made from 7', with the right offset for the 964.
I will likely sell them.

Edit: That was a great project. These rims have a cult following among VW people, hence the name Wintercult. they exist in 7" ET 65 and 8" ET 55.
I found a set for a good price, although in sorry condition, but it was no problem since I had the fronts cut and rewelded. Removing 1" from the back of the wheel reduced the offset from 65 to 52, ideal for the front of the 964. After the cut/weld, I also had the TPS sensors removed, followed by a very welcome lick of paint.

They are likely the only set in the world that actually fits the 964 *and* passes the silly Swiss inspection.
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Last edited by GeorgeK; 06-17-2017 at 11:59 AM.
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