octavious
octavious Dork
1/11/19 2:45 p.m.

I’m posting here because you guys/gals have knowledge in Porsche, motor rebuilds, motor swaps, parting cars, collector cars, car values, and regular old car stuff.  Plus I’m interested in options which may be outside the norm, and not necessarily “save it cause its air cooled”.  I am really trying to make the best informed decision I can.  I trying to look at this with open eyes.

 

Back story, the car is a 1976 911 S targa with a 1985 911 3.2.  I have had it since 2001, and we drove away from our wedding in it.  It has seen very little use in the past 8-9 ish years due to my ever changing interest, and a growing family.  I decided to get the 911 back up and in better condition for this upcoming spring.  In prepping to do a valve adjustment on the car, I took the valve covers off and a barrel nut fell out.  I found a broken head stud on the exhaust side sitting in the head.  I put the valve cover back on and went inside to have a beer.  From my internet research…it looks like broken head studs are fairly common on 911 motors, and the repair is to do a rebuild.    

 

I did a cost check of all the tools, parts, solvents, etc, I would need and it comes out to $3,700.  That does not include machine shop time.  Additional issues which seem to be pretty common which are not in my $3,700 total are valve guide replacement, and replacement of the pistons and cylinders if they are out of spec.  At that point that $3700 amount quickly jumps to $6000 and that is still if I do all the work myself. Forum quotes 911 forums about having someone else do the motor quickly double that $6000

 

Mechanically I have torn down a 911 3.0 motor before but, I had already found a chunk missing from the case so it was more of a learning experience than an actual rebuild.  I have never done a rebuild.  Other things I know about myself are that I do not have an attention to detail.  So doing the work itself gives me concern. 

 

As far as the car, here are all the “known” issues besides the head stud:

  • Cheap respray, which shows from more than 5”
  • Dent in the driver side front fender.
  • One cylinder has been welded from a previous broken exhaust stud.
  • The interior door panels need to be replaced
  • The material on the inside top of the targa bar needs to be replaced

Some good things:

  • I’m technically the 3rd owner, 1st had it for a long time, second for a short, then me.
  • Collector car value
  • Sentimental value
  • Some nice parts, Recaro seats, 16x6 and 16x7 wheels, H5 headlight conversion, Momo Porsche steering wheel, turbo tie rods, Bilstein suspension pieces, stainless 2 out exhaust, etc.

With all that said, I am looking for all options to consider what path I want to go.   These are what I have already thought of but I'm unsure of most of the cost/values associated with them:

  • Rebuild the motor
  • Sell the car
  • Swap the motor
    • Options here are pretty broad, it looks like you can Subaru to LS1 it.
  • Part the car
    • Not sure about that one

 

I’m sure there is more I am forgetting but I need to run and want to get this posted.

captdownshift
captdownshift PowerDork
1/11/19 2:52 p.m.

If you decide to rebuild the motor, you're in TN, I'd get in touch with Brent Knoll or Stacey David about doing a rebuild if you're looking to have the work done locally. 

 

Dr. Hess
Dr. Hess MegaDork
1/11/19 2:55 p.m.

Rebuild it.  Consider it a learning experience for your new Attention to Detail.

docwyte
docwyte UltraDork
1/11/19 3:16 p.m.

I wouldn't swap the car.  I've btdt and it's nowhere near as neat of an experience as you think.  It's also very, very expensive.

Woody
Woody MegaDork
1/11/19 3:50 p.m.

Do you love this car? From what I've read over the years, I think that you do.

Short term solution: Pull just the one cylinder barrel,  leave the piston in place, replace broken stud, reassemble, drive to local PCA event.

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
1/11/19 11:00 p.m.

You need to ask yourself, "Do I love this car?" Not in any rational way, but in your gut. If you do, then you can rationalize any repair. 

If not, send it on its way to someone who will. 

If we put dollar amounts on cars we love, we wouldn't love the cars we do.

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy MegaDork
1/12/19 4:44 a.m.

You state, "It has seen very little use for the last 8 or 9 years.". Air cooled Porsches are absurd money, even a less than perfect example like yours.  Sell it for far too much money to some fool, and use the cash for something useful. 

octavious
octavious Dork
1/12/19 8:13 a.m.

Thanks guys. I do love the car. You guys ever have one of those cars where you sit in it and everything just feels “right”? That’s this car for me. The seat wraps around you comfortably, the seat height, distance to pedals, reaching out for the steering wheel or gear shift falls naturally to my hand (one thing I noticed the Mustang DD doesn’t), and it’s such a light car to toss around.  But for me, and even though tar gas have a bad rep, and mid years are the red headed step child, I still love the car. 

 

The reason it got little use for so long is because it is from 1976 and had no safety features, the back seats didn’t even have seatbelts until I put them in recently. And neither my wife or I agreed putting small kids back there would be a good idea. They have both ridden up front in the car seats which were probably overly strapped into the car.  But they are older now. And my 9 year old has showed an interest in working on small car projects with me, so I was fixing the little things (door panels, tightening loose bits, etc) before the head stud issue. 

 

My buddy asked “well if you sold it, what would replace it?”  And I’d don’t have an answer. This is the only car I’ve never had a replacement candidate for it. I can’t even say the same for my Mustang which I also really like. But when the time comes I already know what I’ll look for to replace the Mustang. The 911 on the other hand was the car I’d keep forever.  I think I was just really having issues with the cost of the rebuild, especially know I only paid $7k for the car.  Streetwise I think that was also the issue of air cooled values, we’ll i could sell it for $$$$$ even broken, but then what. 

 

My brother in law put it this way “does it still wiggle your weinie?”  If so start planning and saving and rebuild it. 

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
1/12/19 12:29 p.m.

You have your answer.

yupididit
yupididit UltraDork
1/12/19 1:40 p.m.

I'll give you 10k for it right now and I don't even like targas. cheeky

rustyvw
rustyvw Dork
1/12/19 2:35 p.m.

I'm with Woody, just do what you have to do to fix the broken stud.  If you get rid of it, you will just end up wishing you had fixed it.  

irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
1/13/19 10:31 p.m.
octavious said:

Thanks guys. I do love the car. You guys ever have one of those cars where you sit in it and everything just feels “right”? That’s this car for me. The seat wraps around you comfortably, the seat height, distance to pedals, reaching out for the steering wheel or gear shift falls naturally to my hand (one thing I noticed the Mustang DD doesn’t), and it’s such a light car to toss around.  But for me, and even though tar gas have a bad rep, and mid years are the red headed step child, I still love the car. 

 

The reason it got little use for so long is because it is from 1976 and had no safety features, the back seats didn’t even have seatbelts until I put them in recently. And neither my wife or I agreed putting small kids back there would be a good idea. They have both ridden up front in the car seats which were probably overly strapped into the car.  But they are older now. And my 9 year old has showed an interest in working on small car projects with me, so I was fixing the little things (door panels, tightening loose bits, etc) before the head stud issue. 

 

My buddy asked “well if you sold it, what would replace it?”  And I’d don’t have an answer. This is the only car I’ve never had a replacement candidate for it. I can’t even say the same for my Mustang which I also really like. But when the time comes I already know what I’ll look for to replace the Mustang. The 911 on the other hand was the car I’d keep forever.  I think I was just really having issues with the cost of the rebuild, especially know I only paid $7k for the car.  Streetwise I think that was also the issue of air cooled values, we’ll i could sell it for $$$$$ even broken, but then what. 

 

My brother in law put it this way “does it still wiggle your weinie?”  If so start planning and saving and rebuild it. 

I'll empathize with you on the "really love the car but don't drive it thing."

I had a 1970 Triumph GT6, which my dad bought brand-new when he graduated from college. He drove it on and off for years, and when I turned 16 he let me have it. But at that time it was not a great car for a high school kid who wanted to bring more than one friend, so it went into storage and I bought some beater. Fast forward to about 15 years later and I got it back and did a fairly extensive restoration on it, and made it "how I always wanted it" before I could afford to do it. I made it as good as I could make it while keeping it mostly original.

Fast forward 5 years. I almost never drove the thing - way too unsafe here in a metropolitan area full of big SUVs. Not particularly comfortable, nor particularly fun to drive. I kept it for years for sentimental sake, and because damn it looked pretty (and almost nobody has them these days). 

In the end, though, I sold it 2 years ago. Over 45 years since my dad bought it. I actually offered it back to him for nothing and he said "sell it, I have no interest in driving it." So I sold it to a coworker who lives in the countryside where he can drive it, and he's been busy doing his own things to it. Ironically, I sold it for more than its original cost. Anyhow, I wanted an "older" car to do road trips in, but the Triumph was just too old and unsafe for my liking. Ironically for this thread, I replaced it with a Porsche 924S from the late 80s, which is modern enough that I feel safe driving it.

Long story short - it's hard to part with a car you love. But if you don't drive it, sell it. Someone else will enjoy it, and you can move on to something that better fits what you want NOW. I hardly even think about that GT6 now.

djsilver
djsilver Reader
1/13/19 10:49 p.m.

Woody's suggestion makes sense.  It can be repaired without a full rebuild.  That is something your son could participate in and would benefit both of you.  It will allow you to get it back on the road and consider further options. If you decide to sell it, a running vehicle will certainly sell for more.  

Cotton
Cotton PowerDork
1/13/19 10:50 p.m.

I would fix it.  You’ll regret selling it and you may want to pass it on to one of your kids some day.  My dad owned some cool cars when he was younger and I would love to have one of them now,  but he sold them all.

RealMiniNoMore
RealMiniNoMore PowerDork
1/13/19 11:16 p.m.
irish44j said:
octavious said:

Thanks guys. I do love the car. You guys ever have one of those cars where you sit in it and everything just feels “right”? That’s this car for me. The seat wraps around you comfortably, the seat height, distance to pedals, reaching out for the steering wheel or gear shift falls naturally to my hand (one thing I noticed the Mustang DD doesn’t), and it’s such a light car to toss around.  But for me, and even though tar gas have a bad rep, and mid years are the red headed step child, I still love the car. 

 

The reason it got little use for so long is because it is from 1976 and had no safety features, the back seats didn’t even have seatbelts until I put them in recently. And neither my wife or I agreed putting small kids back there would be a good idea. They have both ridden up front in the car seats which were probably overly strapped into the car.  But they are older now. And my 9 year old has showed an interest in working on small car projects with me, so I was fixing the little things (door panels, tightening loose bits, etc) before the head stud issue. 

 

My buddy asked “well if you sold it, what would replace it?”  And I’d don’t have an answer. This is the only car I’ve never had a replacement candidate for it. I can’t even say the same for my Mustang which I also really like. But when the time comes I already know what I’ll look for to replace the Mustang. The 911 on the other hand was the car I’d keep forever.  I think I was just really having issues with the cost of the rebuild, especially know I only paid $7k for the car.  Streetwise I think that was also the issue of air cooled values, we’ll i could sell it for $$$$$ even broken, but then what. 

 

My brother in law put it this way “does it still wiggle your weinie?”  If so start planning and saving and rebuild it. 

I'll empathize with you on the "really love the car but don't drive it thing."

I had a 1970 Triumph GT6, which my dad bought brand-new when he graduated from college. He drove it on and off for years, and when I turned 16 he let me have it. But at that time it was not a great car for a high school kid who wanted to bring more than one friend, so it went into storage and I bought some beater. Fast forward to about 15 years later and I got it back and did a fairly extensive restoration on it, and made it "how I always wanted it" before I could afford to do it. I made it as good as I could make it while keeping it mostly original.

Fast forward 5 years. I almost never drove the thing - way too unsafe here in a metropolitan area full of big SUVs. Not particularly comfortable, nor particularly fun to drive. I kept it for years for sentimental sake, and because damn it looked pretty (and almost nobody has them these days). 

In the end, though, I sold it 2 years ago. Over 45 years since my dad bought it. I actually offered it back to him for nothing and he said "sell it, I have no interest in driving it." So I sold it to a coworker who lives in the countryside where he can drive it, and he's been busy doing his own things to it. Ironically, I sold it for more than its original cost. Anyhow, I wanted an "older" car to do road trips in, but the Triumph was just too old and unsafe for my liking. Ironically for this thread, I replaced it with a Porsche 924S from the late 80s, which is modern enough that I feel safe driving it.

Long story short - it's hard to part with a car you love. But if you don't drive it, sell it. Someone else will enjoy it, and you can move on to something that better fits what you want NOW. I hardly even think about that GT6 now.

Y'all remember what my original screen name was, right? 

I bought my Mini in '87, drove it off and on for a few years, when I didn't have it torn apart. Finally got it close to where I wanted it to be, in 2004. Had fun until I hopped a curb and bent and broke suspension parts in 2006 (moral of that story is: tell your wife she has to wait until you wipe off the tire shine, don't do what she wants and let it soak and creep all over the tires). 

It sat in my garage for a year or so, then I moved it to my workplace storage. I sold it last April. I do not miss it. 

chandler
chandler PowerDork
1/14/19 6:59 a.m.

I would keep it, fix the single cylinder issue. What other car has that kind of character and connection with you?

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
1/14/19 9:19 a.m.

I say sell it. But then again, I'm not one to keep stuff around I'm not using. 

dankspeed
dankspeed HalfDork
1/14/19 12:11 p.m.

Sell it now for crazy money thwn wait till the 911 market truely bottoms out and pick up another. 

xflowgolf
xflowgolf SuperDork
1/14/19 12:24 p.m.

I'm in the camp that says it seems like there's a solution to fix it without the full rebuild.  If you can do that route, don't let scope creep get the best of you, just get it running and enjoy it.  

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