Seems like it has been raining here for months, but on Saturday morning, the sun poked out! Pulled Miss April into the local cars & coffee parking lot and enjoyed the banter with other "car guys".
Over the next couple of weeks I plan on working on getting the speaker cloth in and adding another rare accessory. More on that later.
By now, most of my 356 contacts know I am a complete originality freak. I really enjoy trying to get things exactly as they came from the factory. When something uber rare comes my way, it is a reason to celebrate!
One of the things that deteriorated quickly on the 356's was the original, factory installed speaker cloth that went over the metal speaker grills. The cloth was thin, and when sunlight hit the cloth, it quickly faded. It was not a cloth like now can be manufactured to withstand UV light nor any other elements. There is some very nice looking cloth available through a Registry member, but it is still not the same appearance as original. Nice substitute, but not perfect.
The Registry has a saying- Come for the cars, stay for the people. Today I can endorse that saying 100%
A wonderful 356 Registry friend just sent to me a nearly perfect condition pair of original speaker cloth used in late B and 356 C Blaupunkt speaker grills. The cloth was given to him by none other than Chuck Stoddard himself, and was in an unopened Blaupunkt installation kit Chuck had. The cloth was then briefly used in my friends car, and quickly removed when he carefully inspected it and found it had faded ever so slightly. No rips or tears, and only very slight fade in the material.
Although this person has a nice C car himself, he thought it would go great in Miss April, so he sent it to me,,,, free!
It arrived today, and all I can do is say how kind it is of that person to pass the cloth on for me to very carefully install!
Photos of the original cloth are below.
Thought this might be fun. Click on the image below and it will take you to a crossword puzzle I created that is all 356 related. Good luck!
A while ago I posted that I had acquired another original maroon PORSCHE catalog for my bookshelf. See: more-maroon-please.html
Well, I am at it again- sort of...
This time the book is rare, about PORSCHE, and maroon, but not a factory publication.
The book Excellence Was Expected by Karl Ludvigsen is a classic, to say the least. I have had the pleasure of owning a couple of First Edition issues,, but all of the previous books were the typical ones with the paper dust cover. When the book was first released there were a few, very limited versions with a genuine leather cover. The covers were either tan leather, or maroon leather. The books you see with black covers were a faux leather, and originally had the paper dust covers. Leather books were simply leather bound, no paper dust cover. Other differences, besides being quite rare, were the binding end of the books has gold embossed lettering, and the outward edges of the pages were also gold covered. This is not the case with the standard versions of the other books, including that the other First Edition books without the leather covers did not have this gold embossing.
I have now added a leather bound first edition/first printing leather bound Excellence Was Expected to my collection! Mine is not signed by Karl, but it is signed by Scott Bailey, making this book even more rare. Who's Scott Bailey? Publisher of the book, and President of Automobile Quarterly, as shown in the photos below.
Happy to have this book in the collection!
John Mellencamp recorded a fun song called Cherry Bomb a long time ago, but it's still a great listen. If you've forgotten the song, listen to it below while you look at the photos of Miss April on a neighbors driveway, bathed in cherry trees. A much different "cherry bomb", but I just couldn't resist the song reference. Hope you like the photos.
Ok, not the old movie with Jim Carrey.......
There are a lot of cables on a 356. Probably the reader quickly thinks of the clutch cable, but here is a list of the ones I am working on.
This weekend I replaced the cable to the rear decklid. I had previously removed and lubricated it, but when I reinstalled it, the cable broke at the end right where is passes through the latch. It's important to know that is a rubbing point and also the point where there is stress when the cable is pulled. I cleaned and lubed the engine lid latch months ago, and it works great. I made a small extension to use until this weekend I replaced the cable with a new one. Installed it with a nice lube as I put it into place.
Here is where it gets interesting....
The cable sold for the engine lid release is the same one as used for the hood release. In my case engine deck lid cable broke only about 2 inches from the end, and was in great shape otherwise. Here is the surprise, the cable length to the rear engine lid is LONGER than the length to the front hood latch. Hmmmm.....
I did not want to have the cable break for my front hood latch, so I removed the latch and gave it a serious cleaning. It sure was full of dirt and grime. Came out great after soaking and cleaning with a soft brush. Photos are below. Then, to avoid the issue of the front hood cable breaking at the point of attachment to the latch (like the engine deck lid cable did), I simply used the old engine deck lid cable for the front hood cable. Even though it had lost about 2 inches when it broke, I still had to cut another couple of inches off of it to use for the front hood latch. Again, the cable was in fantastic shape, so I lubricated it and installed it with full confidence. After cleaning the latch it was lubricated as well.
Both front and rear cables operate very smoothly now, plus I have a spare cable I could use if I need to cut it down for the fuel door.
There are brass fittings and screws on a 356. Perhaps more on the earlier cars, but even on the 356 C cars, there are brass screws in the Zenith carburetors, and brass fittings on the brake lines.
But, there is at least one more spot...
The straight slot screw that goes into the fastener where the rear deck lid cable folds back is, yes indeed, brass. Of course I had to polish mine!
Original fuel line on T-6 Porsches had a blue plastic tracer in the braided cloth. Many of us have found samples of this that remained unchanged for decades under the floor mat at the front of the tunnel. It was used in that location, but also on the engine, the gas tank overfill line (T-6) and connecting the brake fluid reservoir to the line feeding the master cylinder.
Some attempts have been made to replicate this plastic lacing, but none were made with the same materials as original. Today you could buy fuel line that is woven nylon over the rubber fuel hose, and the blue tracer line is made up of several thin strands of nylon threads (not a solid lace). The fuel line is shinny black, the color of the tracer is the wrong color, and it is obviously not a solid plastic lacing, but threads.
So the problem is that the original lines are old and unsafe, not fit for modern fuels, and a replacement fuel line can be had in braided cloth, but without the blue tracer. This is what a large percentage of 356 owners are installing today.
So, what is an originality freak to do????
I had my own line made up with the proper materials of course!!!!!!!
I pulled the blue plastic lacing from an original fuel line and examined the back side to get a good color match. Originally the blue was lighter than the dirty appearance the 50+ year old stuff looks now. Very happy I found a good match.
Results are below.
This first photo is the original fuel line that was used on the gas tank vent line. I decided to reuse this piece since it is in nice shape and normally not a "wetted" part.
Here it is installed.
Another shot of used/original line. This one is so dirty is still has spider webs on it. That makes the blue plastic tracer line look darker than it did originally.
Here is a somewhat blurry photo of the nylon version of replacement lines. Again, the material is nylon instead of cloth, and nylon threads instead of solid blue plastic lace. In the photo below, it doesn't look to bad, but in person, it is very obvious that the braiding is done with groups of nylon threads, not cloth. A few years ago I bought some not knowing it was made this way. I tossed it out when it arrived.
And now,,,, here is the line I made up! Cloth wrapped with a solid blue plastic tracer as original!
A couple of years ago I posted about installing the rear bump stops in Miss April as well as some Boge shocks on the rear of the car. Well, I have finally completed the task of cleaning up all the shocks and steering damper. Boge was the standard shock installed on the 356's unless the buyer specified Koni from the options list.
Since there is no mention of shocks on my Kardex, it's a good bet that Boge were on the car when it left the factory.
Below are photos of my Boge shocks and steering damper. I have done my best to restore them to original and I'm happy with how they turned out. They still have nice smooth movement in either direction.
The mahogany/brown color is the original color for these shocks. They changed to a black color around the same time that the Berlin wall fell, and the shocks were then marked "MADE IN GERMANY" replacing the wording "MADE IN WESTERN GERMANY".
Also note the original Boge logo on all the shocks and the steering damper. That was not used in later production and the word BOGE was later stamped in individual blocks.
Enjoy the photos!
Close up on the Rear Shocks. Note the PORSCHE 644 part number.
Close up on the front shocks. PORSCHE part numbers on these as well.
Harder to get photos on the steering damper because the diameter of the tube is so small. Including 3 shots. Again, the PORSCHE part number is present this time starting with 695.
I have a modest collection of PORSCHE automobilia. It's a fun hobby that I enjoy. Today I added a "Flip File" of an incredible collection that was auctioned off a while ago. The collection takes up 169 pages!
To view this amazing collection go to the Misc Section of my website. It is at the bottom of the page. MAKE sure to click on the FULL Screen icon [ ] in the bottom right of the tray. Enjoy!
I always strive to do a complete and through job when working on Miss April, but on occasion a component will require me to revisit the restoration of the part. This is definitely the case with my fuel pump.
About 4 years ago was the first time I opened it up, and it looked great in inside. This was really just an inspection to see if any junk had made it from the fuel tank through the fuel selector valve and then gotten caught by the little screen in the pump. I had completely restored the fuel tank and also completely restored the fuel selector valve, so opening it up was just for inspection and cleaning. Car ran great.
Phase Two- The pump developed a small leak at the brass inlet tube on the upper half of the pump. I was able to remove the pump and make a good repair using green wicking Lock-tite. Once reinstalled, the leak was gone and Miss April ran great just like before this repair. We put on a few hundred miles, some of it very spirited driving at the West Coast Holiday (80 mph).
Phase Three- Car continued to run very well, rowing through all gears and pulling strong. However,,,, If I left the car at high rev's, around 4k, and held it there for a long time, eventually the car would sputter just a little. If I backed off, the car would run great again. I could take the rev's all the way up as high as I dare, and it would run fine. It only sputtered a little if I held the rev's up for a long time. Seemed the float level was going down and finally one carb would stumble because of low level. Having checked the float levels several times, it seemed fuel supply was the issue.
On this third attempt, I wanted to do everything possible that could be done to the fuel pump, but first I wanted to diagnose if it had a problem. One problem to check out was the "check valve" on the outlet of the pump. This check valve keeps flow from going backwards when the diaphragm is going down. It prevents backflow, which if there is any backflow, the net result is both lower pressure and lower flow to the carbs.
I decided to take the pump apart, clean thoroughly, and then submerge the pump in water, blowing back towards the pump while connected to the outlet pipe.
Below is the result of this first test-
The above shows the check valve was not sealing. The check valve is difficult to remove, requiring drilling to remove the 4 small spots where the valve was "staked" into place. I decided to avoid this and seriously cleaned everything first. I folded over some very light sandpaper and gently went around the interface of the disk to seat. I followed that with lots of simple green spray, and then a soak in mineral spirits. Lastly I used compressed air from both directions. Then it was time to test again. Same test...
Yahoo! Tight shutoff!
Next step was to make sure the mating flange surfaces of the body were flat. I used a fine flat faced file to get close, then finished the surfaces by using wet or dry sandpaper on a flat surface.
The result was much better. These flanges get bent from people tightening down the screws too much, and this repair is something I would recommend to anyone who has their pump out for repair.
I had extra springs from other repairs I have done over the years, and there is some variation in the length of the large pump spring. I went ahead and used the old springs
Proceeding on to assembly, one thing that is somewhat tricky is compressing the springs so that the "C" clip can be installed on the end of the push rod. Holding it all together is difficult by hand, and compressing it in a vice covers up the end where the clip needs to go. Rummaging through my junk drawer, I found the perfect thing-- it is from a light fixture where you connect a room light to a junction box. The hole was just the right size to fit over the spring end cap but let the shaft push through. Instead of a vice, I used zip-ties to hold it low enough to install the C clip.
Last step is to make sure the diaphragm is flat when tightening down the screws around the flange of the body. I cut off the zip ties and then used two more to adjust the height of the diaphragm to exactly where I wanted it. Then I installed the upper body while keeping the diaphragm flat.
Done! Should be good for miles and miles of pumping fresh fuel to the carbs!
After installing a rebuilt pump, it is a good idea to re-check float levels. Here is a shot of the level in my passenger carb lining up perfectly at Z3 level on my gauge. Right where it should be. Also, if I take the car up to 4k RPM and hold it there while watching the level, it stays right on the line.
After all the above, a great test drive. Here is a shot taken in THIRD gear. Love it!
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