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octavious
octavious Dork
11/13/12 12:58 p.m.

For the GRM print experts this car may look familiar to you. That is because in the June 2011 issue, Practical Porsche, there was a pic and a blurb from me. My car made the magazine! And even though I have been a lurker for a long time, I never got around to making a build thread until now. I’m still working on digging up some of the earlier photos so we’ll have to leave some space and I’ll fill it in with pics. Here are the pics that went to GRM Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket And a couple not to long ago at the beach. Photobucket Photobucket

octavious
octavious Reader
11/13/12 12:58 p.m.

As far as when I got the car, it was the fall of 2001, and I had just obtained my first job. I was saving to buy two things, my wife’s engagement ring and my car. I’d always heard the stories of guys having to sell their car when they got married, had kids, or for some other reason. I didn’t want to be one of those guys, so I came up with a plan. I figured if we drove away from our wedding in the car then it would have sentimental value and therefore I would be able to keep it forever. So far it’s worked.

I found the 911 in an autotrader and it was listed for $8500, now this was 2001 dollars so… But I went to look at it anyways. When I arrived it was love at first sight, it was a classic 1976, it was a 911 which I had always drooled over, and it wasn’t red or black. It was bright yellow and I had to have it. I did all the things a potential buyer shouldn’t do, I showed up, saw the car, fell in love, drove the car, I had done absolutely zero research on the car itself, or prices for older 911s, and made an offer without having a PPI done. Doh. Luckily, because it wouldn’t go into first gear, I talked the guy down to $7,000. Looking back that was still stupid money for a broken 911, but live and learn. I drove home the 50 miles starting it in 2nd. It never dawned on me that this may be a major problem. I was having a great time and grinning from ear to ear.

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Luckily for me the transmission problem turned out to be the four bolts that mate the engine to the transmission were not tightened correctly. It was a shocker to get a $300 for a guy tightening a couple bolts. I thought, crap if I want to keep this thing I better learn to turn a wrench. I had very little car wrenching experience. I had done some oil changes, wired up some off road lights and car stereo stuff, but that was about it. And man would you guys had laughed at my tools, I had a small Craftsman 3/8 socket set and wrench, a pair of vice grips, a pair of pliers, a set of screw drivers, a rubber mallet, and a framing hammer. You gotta start somewhere right?

Well after getting the transmission fixed, I drove the 911 for about 8 months. As a note, we got engaged in August 2001 and were to be married in August 2002. I yearlong engagement worked out really well for me, and the 911. In the spring of 2002, while doing my first valve adjustment I found that the head studs were pulled. I found two were missing the barrel nuts entirely, one I located in the oil drain, I still never found the other one. Since the 2.7 is internet hated by all 911 people, I listened to others advice and instead of rebuilding the 2.7 I found a 3.0 out of an 81 SC and swapped it in. This was a huge learning experience for me, and for those that notice I did my first motor drop and left the transmission in the car... learn from my mistakes and don't do it this way.

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I got the car up and running just in time for the wedding, and on August 17, 2002 we used it to drive away from the wedding and the reception. All my friends and family collectively held their breath to make sure it would start when we went to leave. Thankfully it did. This is the only pic I have of how the 911 was decorated for the wedding.

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In 2007, while driving down the interstate I had a sudden loss of power. I got the 911 off the road and tried to diagnose what was going on. I eventually towed the car home and started a more thorough inspection to see if I could figure it out. After much, prodding and prying, I finally pulled the spark plugs, stuck a rod in the each hold, and turned the motor over by hand. Huh, that one rod isn’t moving… as it turned out a connecting rod broke and punched a hole in the case. WARNING next shots contain carnage… But, I essentially had a big yellow paperweight on my hands.

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From the oil sump Photobucket

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octavious
octavious Reader
11/13/12 12:59 p.m.

So how all that got sorted out involves a little side story. When the 3.0 was running well and I wasn’t doing small mods to the car, my car ADD took over and I had made some purchases and trades for other stuff. Some of that other stuff included a 1954 BMW R25 and a 1956 BMW R26, both in pieces. I also had been working on saving my car budget to buy another project car. As it turns out I sold the BMW’s and blew my car budget buying a 1970 911 S coupe. Yes, you read that right, an early 70 911 S. Ugh. The next part hurts just to type…I sold the 911 S in order to be able to get a motor for the 76. I’m still sick over it. The 70 S did need a lot of work. The pics don’t look to bad, but it had rust through on ever body panel, the floors had some holes, the carbs were gone off the motor and I wasn’t even sure if it would turn over, the original wheels were gone, the interior needed a redo. It was pretty rough. I eventually rationalized that the 76 had more meaning for me, and I sold the 70. Like I said, it was a tough choice and even though I regret it, I’d still do it again.

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octavious
octavious Reader
11/13/12 1:00 p.m.

Now that I had some funds for the 76 I began looking for a motor. Apparently Porsche motors from when I bought the 3.0 in 2002 to used stuff in 2007 jumped in price. As I was having no luck finding anything worth buying, I even started contemplating the cost of doing a 3.6 swap. I was all over the place. While I was looking I guy I met from the Dorkiphus.net board offered up a 3.2 from an 85 911. He was going the 3.6 in an early car route and didn’t want the 3.2 he had originally planned to use. As it turned out this was a great motor for me. It gave more power than the 3.0 I had been using, plus it got rid of the CIS system, which was a PITA, and the swap was reported to be easier than a 3.6 swap. The trans does have to be notched for the 3.2

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At the same time a buddy helped rebuild my cv axles.

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Right in the middle of the 3.2 swap I got a job that moved us about 600 miles away. The motor swap got put on hold during the move, and eventually we ended up in TN. I should preface that I got the motor in the car and got everything wired up prior to the move, but it wasn’t running right. Which meant the 911 got towed to its new home. Once at the new location, on Easter weekend, my wife kept me company in the garage as I repulled the 3.2 motor to try and figure out what why it wouldn’t run.

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As it turned out, the lower pulley has a small pin in the back of it that had warbled loose. Only after doing tons of diagnosis, cussing, praying, and finally taking it in to a air cooled shop did we figure out what was wrong. I had a list of everything I had checked and rechecked and it just so happened the mech was rechecking the timing and found the warble in the pulley. Total repair cost was $200. As opposed to the next step which would have been a teardown of the engine to see what was wrong.

octavious
octavious Reader
11/13/12 1:00 p.m.

After that it was just regular maintenance and stuff. I put in stiffer torsion bars and lowered the car to euro ride height. A buddy and I did it in my garage, that was fun, we put the bars in wrong the first time and had it jacked up like a Dakar rally 911. We over turned them the second time and had it so low we couldn’t get the jack out. Third time was a charm. Not long after I had to replace the rear wheel bearings

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New wheels, but not yet lowered

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octavious
octavious Reader
11/13/12 1:02 p.m.

At this point, it might be easier to just make a list of things I can think of that I’ve done to the thing. Almost everything has been done by me, using parts (mostly used parts) sourced off the internet.

  • stiffer torsion bars front and rear

-Bilsteins front and rear

-ducktail

-copied the original pieces to make my own carpet, yellow and blue with black seats were the original colors

-removed the a/c and all its components

-installed knee pads

-updated the stereo to 2001 standards, so its outdated now

-Recaro SRD seats

-Momo steering wheel with Porsche logo, I think Momo got in trouble with Porsche for that one

-surface rust repair in the battery tray

-updated to H5 headlights and added the relay

-backdated the exhaust to a B&B copy. It has equal length headers into a muffler, no cat

-Steve Wong chip tuned for the exhaust

-reversed the windshield wipers

-Rennline camber plates

-turbo tie rod kit

-installed front mounted cooler and lines

It’s been well used and has over 221,000 miles on it now. Some more random pics

Porsche bringing home some Porsche art

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And some new wheels

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And after I refinished them

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Making carpets

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Door panels

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octavious
octavious Reader
11/13/12 1:06 p.m.

More to come...

Woodward_Dreams
Woodward_Dreams New Reader
11/13/12 5:21 p.m.

Looks awesome man! Im in the same boat as you were, im currently saving for a ring, and shopping around for a new project car.

racerdave600
racerdave600 Dork
11/13/12 5:59 p.m.

Great looking car!

octavious
octavious Reader
11/14/12 7:24 a.m.
Woodward said: Looks awesome man! Im in the same boat as you were, im currently saving for a ring, and shopping around for a new project car.

It worked for me.

But in honesty what worked for me was a) having an insanely understanding wife, and b) always putting her and our family before the car. There are times when the car has just sat and sat due to other life events taking precedence. And in the end that was fine with me.

octavious
octavious Dork
6/14/18 9:41 a.m.

Yeah I already have a build thread...

So it has been 4 years since I updated about my car.  My family has grown, my work has gotten busier, and my car has sat on the back burner.  I got into Jeeps again, Land Cruisers, motorcycles, and now back to cars.  I've decided instead of buying another project car at the moment to do a refresh of the 911.  I'll try and keep it updated here but the work will be slow and boring.  I plan to try and work at least one night a week.  

The car has been taken out and used for short drives around town/backroads the past 8 years but it has not been maintained like it should have. I have at least been lucky enough that TN has 100% gas without any ethanol that I have used since we got here.  And it has always been on a battery tender. 


Things I know it needs:

- rear tires

- valve adjustment

- oil change

- brake bleed

- brake pads and rotors (probably)

- spark plugs

- air filter

- small dent on the driver's fender

- headlight rings could use a paint

- rear bumper to body seal replaced 

- door panels fixed or replaced (the RS panels in the above pics were removed when I thought I wanted to go back to stock, I don't)

- steering wheel loose

- targa bar interior material is coming loose

- clean the interior and exterior

 

In addition to all of that, these are the things I would like to do:

- replace the seats (there have been about 3 different seat options since those earlier pics, the Recaros, a pair of clean factory seats, a pair of trashed sport seats, and my current crappy stock seats below). I really want some nice seats that tilt to allow access to the rear, but I also don't want to break the bank. 

- possible replace the carpet (I made the carpet in an effort to make the car lighter, it is cheap and it shows)

- clean the underside of the car, wheel wells, fenders, etc. 

- lightweight battery and tie down

- add rear seatbelts for my kids

- Lastly, something fell on the fender and dented it

 

Here are some pics of how she currently sits

JAGwinn
JAGwinn New Reader
6/15/18 10:28 p.m.

Still Awesome!!

octavious
octavious Dork
12/7/18 8:38 a.m.

I move at a snail's pace.  6 months later and I finally have an update.  

Work sent me to Norfolk VA and I found a guy selling some Recaros.  I emailed him and he said he'd hold them for me.  True to his word he held them for me, even when he got offered double his asking price, on Monday I picked these up (not mine but he same pattern):

 

I've also gotten a few other things done in the past 6 months:

- rear seat belts installed

- steering tightened up

- front shock tower nuts were loose, and I tightened those

 

mr2s2000elise
mr2s2000elise Reader
12/7/18 9:10 a.m.

Color and the duck tail , pure sex ! Stunning 

octavious
octavious Dork
12/8/18 8:31 p.m.

 

octavious
octavious Dork
12/8/18 8:32 p.m.

Mini-me, and future owner of this car, helped me put the new seats in, and then did the butt test for me. 

 

docwyte
docwyte UltraDork
12/8/18 11:52 p.m.

Very period correct seats!  I've had a few sets of those Recaro SRD's and they're great.

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy UltimaDork
12/9/18 7:36 a.m.

A whole lot of awesomeness here.

octavious
octavious Dork
8/14/19 8:44 a.m.

Another long stretch, and I realized I updated more in someone else's thread than in my own.  Here goes.  I started on the regular maintenance getting the car ready for spring, oil change, valve adjustment, etc.  During the valve adjustment I found:

 

At least one broken head stud on the driver side.  I still haven't pulled the valve cover on the passenger side yet. 

octavious
octavious Dork
8/14/19 8:49 a.m.

Which meant a motor teardown to replace the broken head stud(s).  It's been a long time since I dropped the 911 motor and I didn't like when I used the atv jack in the past.  Heck I don't even have that jack anymore but I do own a pallet jack.  I cut some 2x8s to add some cushion for the engine, used the pallet jack to jack up the car until it supported the weight of the engine and transmission and then lowered the pallet jack to the ground.  I then jacked up the car and slid the engine and transmission out the rear.  

 

octavious
octavious Dork
8/14/19 8:51 a.m.

And how it sits today:

 

octavious
octavious Dork
8/14/19 8:55 a.m.

How about a couple more overview shots from one of her last drives before the broken head stud was found, and minues the ugly photobucket markings?

 

 

 

octavious
octavious Dork
12/27/19 7:53 a.m.


 


 

Snails pace...where we are today. I'm having second thoughts on rebuilding myself, paying someone to rebuild it, or doing a swap. Sigh. 

84FSP
84FSP SuperDork
12/27/19 7:59 a.m.

I'm sure there are many here unafraid of rebuilding an aircooled porsche for their first motor build but it would scare the hell out of me.  I thought rebuild parts were in the 3-5k range depending on what needs to be done.  I'd find a local vw aircooled specialist if you can.  There is still a good amount of the wizards out there that rebuild them in hours rather than months.  I have a wicked guy in Piqua Ohio that still does them on the side in retirement but I'nm sure there is spomeone more local to you.

octavious
octavious Dork
12/27/19 9:14 a.m.

Yeah physically I can take it all apart and put it back together, but my concern is the attention to detail to reset everything correctly. I lack attention to detail in my daily life and fear I will set something wrong at it will just go BOOM.  I've also had notoriously bad luck with 911 motors, this is my third. OG 2.7 had broken studs and I replaced it with a 3.0 long ago. 12-13 years ago the 3.0 had a connecting rod break and bunch a hole in the case. That was my first 911 tear down. Now this.

 

There are 2 aircoooled guy here in town, and one in Nashville that I've dealt with in the past. All are one man shops. I'm going to talk to all of them before I do anything else. 

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