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1973 Porsche 914

Time For Some Rubbers

Classic Velocity

The long awaited door seals had arrived some time ago, but I just got around to installing them and removing the foam insulation that had been temporarily in place for a few years ;-) With new seals, the doors are harder to close, but they should make the car closer to airt tight on the road. Unfortunately, the recent snowstorm and the first application of salt will delay a test drive for some time...time enough to address several other needs on the car.

 

Castrol Cologne

Classic Velocity

Photo by Mark MorrisseyThere is nothing like an event to get you motivated to sort out a few things. In this case, the Early 911 breakfast club was going to join the local Reisentoter PCA chapter breakfast. Since they were starting at 9:30am, which is practically midday for the breakfast club, Lee Giannone had the brilliant idea of an earlier scenic drive to arrive at the chapter breakfast. What does this have to do with the 914 ? Glad you asked. Since this was to be a more leisurely drive, and I needed an extended shakedown run, I decided that I would take the 914 on its longest journey yet. The starting point was about sixty miles away, and then with the drive and the return home it would be about a 200 mile day.

The full story on this adventure is in the Fragrance of Castrol post on the main blog.

Power Pings

Classic Velocity

The 914 is very reliable at this point, and I have used it on longer errands, and on a few late afternoon rips through the leaves. It is because of this, that I have discovered another item to track down. It likes to live above 3 grand on the tachometer and will happily fly along up there for sustained periods of time. This is the sweet spot on the cam, and it is probably the same reason for the flat spot down below. However, it pings a little when under full load. At first I thought it was gas, and it was better with the next tankful. But not gone. I rechecked the timing which was almost dead on. I added some octane boost, and it got better yet. But not gone. I'm going to drain the oil and check the valves, pull the plugs, and perhaps dig out the pertronix unit that I have laying around somewhere.....stay tuned (pun intended).

A Few Cosmetics

Classic Velocity

We are finally getting down to some of the cosmetic items that need doing. This is not because everything else has been done, but because I was in the mood to tackle them ! The steering wheel had been sitting in a box for a couple of years along with the hub adapter. There was a little fiddling to make the horn work, but other than that it was a snap. The 1980s vintage radio had to go. Given the nature of this car as a no frills driver, I opted for a home made radio delete panel. It cleaned up a bunch of wires behind the dash as well. Lastly the sill trim gets attached and cleans up the appearance of that area a lot. Rivets will replace the sheet metal screws. Lots more to do, so stay tuned.

The Circle Grows

Classic Velocity

  

Work in the garage continues at a lively pace now that the car runs reasonably well and can be relied upon for longer distances. As the concentric circles grow in diameter, confidence grows. One one run of around 60 miles, the car failed to start after getting gas. It had power, but no starter action. Things looked ok underneath, but a jiggle of the solenoid wire revealed that it had perhaps a strand or two holding it on. Once things cooled down (why is the problem always close to the headers or exhaust?), I stripped some wire and made enough of a connection to get it started. The trip back included some stints in excess of 90MPH, and the engine was smooth and strong. Back at home, a more permanent fix was made. In addition, several other shakedown niggles were fixed. The blue coil was a little smaller than the original, so it needed some padding in order to stay secure and avoid arcing against the sheetmetal. A hole in the sheetmetal for the carburettor warming duct was sealed off using my artisan metalworking skills (tin snips and a drill ;-) 

  

 

 

Shakedown Part Deux

Classic Velocity

After getting the seats back in the car, it was time for the next larger concentric circle according to my restoration theory. This one was a journey of about 50 miles circling the house. It included some twisty roads, some uphill climbs, and about 15 miles of interstate. Overall, the car ran very well. There was a little pinging under load, which might have been the gas, but I will recheck the timing to be sure. It is stable at 80+ MPH, and returns to a perfect idle every time. We are getting close....

Putting the Headrest to Rest

Classic Velocity

I had popped the seats in the car just to facilitate shakedown, and to make the local constabulary less interested in the car as it went by. Bad enough that it was unusual and did not have matching wheels !! However, everytime you look at the car from the rear, the unfinished backs of the headrest were visible complete with dried glue stains. To an observant police officer, this would still say "Allo allo allo, what have we here ?". With the need for testing which might on occasion exceed posted limits, this vehicle needed no more attention than it already received. The fix was simple, but involved pulling the seats out again. I finally got around to finding the cardboard backing, and grabbed the spray adhesive. A few clamps and some patience. Easy peasy, and problem solved. Now on to more important issues.... 

Picking Up the Pace

Classic Velocity

The strong march toward readiness for travel continues with the sorting of the rear tail light clusters. Somehow, I have three sets of these is various states of suitability for use. I pick the best pair and change the bulbs. Then I change the lenses. I also have three pairs of these, but one set is clearly far better than the rest. Two sets have the US lenses with red turn signals. For some reason I have never liked that concept and prefer my turn signals to be amber. 

Next it was on to the seats. Nothing says "stop me, this car may not be legal" like a missing passenger seat, and door panels. Step one is to sort out the passenger side seat and seat belt. Oh, I have three seats, so some mixing ang matching of seat hardware needs to take place in order to get the good one on the passenger side.

On to the missing grills in the bumper, another dead giveaway. They were missing because I needed to sort out the fog lights, which I wasn't planning to get to for a while. I decided to just get them mounted and behind the grills for now and return to that project some other day.

With things buttoned up, it was off for a test drive that included some highway mileage. Mysteriously, with both seatbelts connected, the flashing handbrake light stopped, and the fasten seat belt sign now works. I'm assuming that I somehow cleared up a ground loop. The car ran fine, but with no insulation on the floors or the firewall, you get the full auditory experience!

A Spurt of Sporting Intent

Classic Velocity

After another long period of inactivity, it is back to work on the 914. I needed to start it and take it for a brief drive. That means I needed to get both stock wheels on the front of the car, rather than one and the spare with so-so tires. That means I needed to get the Yokohamas I had from the basement, and get them mounted. That in turn means a trip to the local tire place, which was ok because I needed to charge the weak battery.

The next day, it meant I needed to bolt the seat in place. That meant I needed to get the driver’s side seat belt to work. That meant I needed to get the carpeting in that area tamed.  And that in turn meant I needed to get the handbrake routing sorted. So there were another few hours of work before I could start the thing and get it on the road.  

The car started smoothly, and actually drove fine for it’s first concentric circle run. Once up to temp, the throttle was smoother and it showed some impressive go. There is definite sporting intent in this go-kart. There was a rattle from the rear trunklid hinge which I sorted out, and a few things to check out like the handbrake light. Other than that, a successful circle that sets the stage for the next spurt of progress.

Doors and Floors

Classic Velocity

One of the few benefits of a major eastcoast snowstorm is that you are often confined to quarters. This one was just right, allowing us all to get home from work on Friday (at least in my area), and then dumping almost a foot of snow overnight. So, bright and early Saturday morning, Ientered the frigid garage to light the heater and then retreated for a cup of coffee. A short while later the garage was inhabitable, and I got to work on the long neglected 914. It needed to get ready for a roll bar fitting, and I needed to get a seat in it and take care of enough items for it to be driven a few miles under its own power. Ihad decided some time ago to just carpet the rear firewall for a little sound deadening. The stock upholstery was not going back in. The carpet kit that I got was finally taken out and the spray adhesive was unleashed. Some progress was made, but much more remains. I also reinstalled the engine lid drip tray and got the seat belts located so that I could locate the needed slits in the carpet. I also began to address the issue with the window mechanism in the drivers side door. It felt good to make a litlle progress on this car, and hopefully this will start a major push. Spring, and the opening of the hillclimb season is not far off!!

A new era of progress

Classic Velocity

The car is in running order once I set the timing is set to the correct advance. It now runs and stops. The engine bay lid goes back on the car for the first time in two years. Attention turns to pieces of the interior, bumper mounting, etc which is a major milestone...