Darryl's 1966 Porsche 912
BODY REASSEMBLY PROJECT JOURNAL ENTRIES (IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER)
Entry: 4/15/08 - I followed the advice of the body shop and let the paint harden for a month in a heated garage. At first the smell of the solvents in the paint "off gassing" was pretty pronounced but as the weeks went by the smell diminished. The paint is noticeably harder too, which will be much more forgiving of boo-boos during the assembly phase. Today I finally got out the 110-volt Warn winch and dragged the "roller" back up the steep driveway and onto the 4-post lift. Tonight the car sits in the "operating room" awaiting the slow installation of all the pieces that finish the car.
Entry: 4/20/08 - I've decided to work my way from the front of the car to the rear, starting with the hood weatherstrip seals and fender to cowl beading. The fender to cowl beading went in without any issues. For the rubber weatherstrip seals, I asked the master, Steve Shepp, how he would attach them and he pointed me to Wurth rubber cement and the advice to apply the glue the painted surface first and let it "tack up" then apply it to a small 12" section of the rubber seal and install it "wet" so it can be moved into position before the cement "grabs" the piece. The logic is that it's a "one shot" kind of deal and if both sides are tacky, they stick so well the seal would be ruined if it had to be pulled up to reposition it. I started by marking the center line of the hood seal on both the car and on the seal and worked my way outward from the center with the gluing.
So as you can see from this photo, the fender to cowl beading (the original style "thin" stuff that is getting so hard to find since the OEM stuff is wider now) and hood seal went into place quite nicely.
From this photo you can see the freshly media blasted and painted center grill is installed using new stainless steel sheetmetal screws and the new hood seal. I am going to have to clean the sanding dust out of the trunk at some point in the near future before installing the windshield wiper motor and dash wiring.
I also installed the new torsion bar access hole covers with the new rubber seals. I had pre-fitted the deco strips so the holes for those are already drilled.
Entry: 4/22/08 - I spent a couple hours detailing the inside of the trunk to remove all the sanding dust using aerosol glass cleaner and mineral spirits. I also installed the pneumatic struts on the hood hinges and prepared the hood for installation, once I can arrange for my neighbor (who works) to come over and help me some evening.
Entry: 4/25/08 - My neighbor has Fridays off so I was able to get his help this morning with installing the hood. The hood is now bolted into place, ready for final adjustment and installation of the latch which holds it centered in the lower part of the opening. I've installed the radio antenna in the left fender so I'm now ready to hang the doors next!
Entry: 4/30/08 - The fuel filler door and driver's side door are installed and there is no variation in the paint color, same can, same batch, painted about a month apart. The door gaps are perfect since I did all my fitting and adjusting while the car was still just primer. I will hang the passenger door next and then start installing the handles, latches and check straps. At some point I will be needing to paint the inside of the doors matt black, along with the area inside the windshield, rear quarter windows, dashboard and engine cover grill indentation.
Entry: 5/4/08 - Today I was able to find time to hang the passenger door and as with the driver's side it went in with perfect gaps all the way around thanks to pre-fitting while still in primer. I've hunted-down all the parts for assembly of the door so now it's time to start preparing those trim pieces for final installation.
It was a lovely, dry day here so I took the time to carefully mask off the grill indentation in the rear deck lid and painted it with Wurth Satin Black Trim Paint.
Here's how it looked after I removed the masking a couple hours later.
Entry: 5/6/08 - Today's little project was to clean up and rebuild the door latches that attach to the body of the car. After a little degreasing and removal of the staining and oxidation of the metal using ABC Corrosion Buster, the latches were ready for reassembly using the rebuild kits I purchased from Stoddard's. I assembled them using Wurth silicone paste as a lubricant on the pivot points.
Here's how the driver's side latch looked installed in the car using new Phillips-head machine screws, correct for early '65-built cars instead of the triple-square socket head type found on later cars. I also installed the rear deck lid release cable, using the pull knob as found on the front trunk release cable, this too is correct for early '65-built cars rather than the 'T' style pulls found on later cars. I'm not content with how much the silver cadmium plating has eroded over time on the driver's side latch and will be looking for one in better condition at my leasure, for now I have one that is clean and functional.
I also installed the fuel filler latch and new silver cadmium plated gas cap, gold anodized plated caps were only used on 912s after '68. I've also touched-up the yellow and black paint in the areas that had been oversprayed and the threads of the machine screws holding the fuel door on. All that remains is installing the flap that protects the paint below the opening during refueling.
Entry: 5/11/08 - Today's projects were disassembling the rear engine lid grill for cleaning, mending a tear in the wire mesh and repainting it and then polishing the chrome finish before reassembling. There are somewhere around one hundred separate parts that make up one of these grills so I've got to be careful not to lose any of them!
I also found the door side of the driver's door latch was quite bent out of shape so I used the shop press and straightened it. I also found the locking mechanism was worn out so I need to figure out a way to re-bush a shaft that had eroded to the point where the metal arm that pivoted on it was allowed to slip out of a groove and make it impossible to unlock the door using the key from the outside. Oh the joy of one year only, NLA parts!
Entry: 5/13/08 - Today I made some great progress on cleaning up the rear deck lid grill and installed the wiring to the headlights, turnsignals and horns on the front of the car.
Installing new rubber tubes to connect the wire conduit and headlight buckets, with the original hose clamps that have been blasted and painted was where I spent the majority of my time today. I'm also cleaning up the horns and will have them ready to install soon.
Entry: 5/20/08 - I was able to repair the driver's side door latch with the use of some J & B Weld epoxy to fill the worn part on the shaft that controls the lock latch and with some minor enhancements to the lock mechanism itself so it would stay together with a little additional "slop" in the mechanism. Polishing the chrome handle with some brown jewelers rouge on the buffing wheel brought the luster back a little but some minor pits will remain. The idea here is to preserve the original pieces as much as possible and leave replating as a future option if the value of the car grows to warrant it. After installing it, the latch works perfectly but some minor adjustments remain to line-up the the trailing edge of the door since it seems to be about 2 mm too far in at this point. You can see the fresh paint of the rear bumpers safely stored inside the car, awaiting their turn in the assembly process.
The detailing of the engine lid grill continues with the buffing of each individual bar in the grill to remove clouding in the plating. I've been able to mend the torn wire mesh in the grill using "GOOP" general purpose cement. As the photo shows, some kind German designer had the foresight to require all the grill bars have their order number stamped on them, ascending order from the top of the grill down. Polishing progress has only reached bar #6 so I have many hours of work remaing in the polishing and reassembly task, luckily no pieces have been dropped on the floor yet!
Entry: 5/21/08 - I made more progress with buffing the engine lid grill bars and stripping and prepping the horns for paint. Today's fun milestone was installing the new door check straps using the correct pin, washer and cotter pin set sold by Stoddards. After installing the pin and then tightening down the two machine screws that hold the check strap to the door, I lubed the groove in the arm with silicone based lubricant and tested it. Everything works perfectly with no popping or play, thanks to welding up the old hole in the tab on the hinge post and boring a new hole using my Dremel tool way back at the beginning of the project. The door latches shut with a very crisp and secure sounding click and the 2 detent points of the check strap engage securely just like the owner's manual describes it.
Entry: 5/23/08 - Another fun milestone today, installing the front turn signals permanently. I had to resort to using #8 sheetmetal screws and corresponding clip type speed nuts but they look perfectly stock from the outside and they are very secure. I glued in new gray foam rubber seals to the back of the turnsignal buckets using Wurth rubber cement (the stuff I used on the hood seal). I installed the heavy, 4-screw chrome-plated brass horn grills to complete the look. More progress on the engine lid grill and horns, both involving black paint... both getting closer to installation!
Entry: 5/26/08 - Today's milestone is the completion of the horns and engine lid grill! I was able to carefully clean all the silver-colored plated parts on the horn to preserve them so the restoration was simply a matter of stripping the black paint using aircraft type paint stripper, sanding the surface rusted areas and masking off the silver parts and repainting them with semi-gloss black spray paint. I tested the horns using a 12-volt battery in another car and they both work fine. Reinstallation on the car was the fun part, everything looks just like it did when I removed them except they look like new again.
Reassembly of the engine lid grill took a little time but the result is a very crisp and shiny grill when it's contrasted against the black paint inside the grill indentation on the freshly painted engine lid. I am very pleased with what a little elbow-grease produced and while the grill is not perfect, it is still all the original plating with a patina that makes the statement that it is old and was well cared for.
Entry: 5/27/08 - Today's milestone was final mounting of the rear deck lid. Before I could do that, I needed to remove and detail the rear deck lid hinges, again using Wurth matt-black trim paint. After a few adjustments, including shimming the height of the lid using washers between the hinge and deck lid, I had the gaps perfect, just as they looked when I test fitted it prior to painting.
I detailed the inside of the engine compartment while I was back there, cleaning the bodyshop dust by using aerosol glass cleaner and hot water. Once everything was dried out using compressed air, I gave the entire area a thin coat of Wurth matt-black trim paint to freshen it up. A little attention to the wiring and installing the insulating foam padding and the compartment will be ready for the engine! I also started stripping the seat pans using aircraft type paint stripper, in preparation to delivering them to the upholstery shop.
Entry: 5/28/08 - Today's milestone was permanent installation of the NOS headlight assemblies I found back around Christmas 2006 on eBay. First task in accomplishing that milestone was soldering in a set of Hella headlight sockets that I had saved off a '67 VW van that I had the privilege of installing a new wiring harness into at work. Luckily the shop carries the correct type terminals but I had to solder them because I lacked the correct crimping tool. No problem since the terminal is clipped into the bakelite socket and the solder isn't visible. Here's how the Hella sockets looked installed.
Installing the 12-volt sealed-beam units into the NOS headlight assemblies was easy so soon I had both headlights securely attached and adding a further finished look to the front end of the car. I can't wait to bolt that front bumper into place once I wrestle the NOS deco strip into place. Things are coming together very nicely.
Entry: 6/8/08 - Another annual NW Porsche 356 Club "Bull Session" at Denny Akers' property in Woodinville and a chance to catch-up with Al Caldwell the original owner of my 912. I loved showing Al photos I brought along of how beautifully his old car is coming back together. I also love to hear him lament the solid motor mounts, aluminum riveted steering wheel that came off in his hands on the back stretch of Seattle International Raceway and other not-so-fond-memories of what he calls, "The worst Porsche I ever owned!" I've got to admit, when you're comparing it to all the wonderful 356 and 911 models he's owned over the years, that's not a particularly harsh statement.
Entry: 6/20/08 - After a little time away in Mexico, it's time to get back to work on the 912! I've been working on the driver's side door frame and glass but ran into a back-order delay on the felt strips that run inside the window channels from Stoddards. I have the chromed brass frames shined-up to a good luster but with a few scratches and pits consistent with a 40+ year old original piece.
So since the door window task is on hold, back to the front bumper task, which I had been delaying on because I needed to be in a good relaxed mood to deal with installing a brand-new deco strip across the front of it... fresh back from vacation sounds like the perfect opportunity to take advantage of most patience I can have! Here's how the front bumper looked from the back side with all the refreshed and new hardware installed. The weld down the center where two "mirror-image" junk bumpers were grafted to make one good one is clearly visible.
Using a standard folding table and the hydraulic ram and cable lowering capabilities of my 4-post life, I was able to easily position the heavy and ackward sized bumper by myself. The stable work surface made it possible to attach the assembly without a single new paint defect being created!
While it looks all finished, today's effort was only a test fitting so I can mark the positions and tighten the bolts on the bumper brackets that cannot be accessed with the bumper installed. I still need to glue the thick rubber fender beading to the lower edge of the fender where the bumper makes contact, so a few more hours of labor remain before the front bumper installation can be considered complete. Let's hope that I can repeat this "defect introduction free" performance on the final "remove & re-install" sequence!
Entry: 6/27/08 - Today I performed the final installation of the front bumper which involved attaching the weatherstrip / bumper bead that runs along the bottom of the front fenders and across the front of the hood latch sill. This area was completely reconstructed using a new sheetmetal pressing for the weatherstrip lip and the original heavily damaged right side of the hood latch sill was preserved through many hours of labor. The new black weatherstrip looks very striking against the fresh Bahama Yellow paint. Now all that remains is the final adjustment of the front hood and completion of the installation of the hood latch mechanism. Suffice to say, I'm very pleased with how the collision damage cleaned-up on the right front corner and I'd probably avoid a trying to save an original panel with that much damage in the future! The things one must do to preserve one year only features of an early production car!
Entry: 7/9/08 - Over the last couple days I've wrapped-up a number of tasks. First of all, the new "FREE" sheetmetal dash pad subframe has a good coat of POR-15 on both sides as well as the strip that slides under the tabs to hold the vinyl on the forward area. I also completed final adjustments of the front hood, finished with the latch and release cable installation and painted the hood bolts and inner weatherstrip lip with semi-gloss black paint to match way it left the factory. So now, the final photo of the hood gaps, suffice to say that I'm pretty pleased with the outcome. I still need to install the driving light covers onto the front bumper.
The big project for today was removing the hardened weatherstrip and polishing the frames of both rear quarter windows. As they sit tonight, the frames are polished and the new rubber weatherstrips are getting the Wurth Rubber Care treatment before I install them.
Entry: 7/13/08 - The backordered fuzzy window channel strips arrived from Stoddards so it was time to scrape the old one out of the driver's side door window frame and install the new one. I slid the non-tinted door window that I found on eBay to replace the tinted one that came in the car originally into the fully-raised position and clamped it with mechanic's wire into place to make sure the fuzzy strip seated correctly until the glue is dry. Once the glue dries, everything is ready to finally install the window frame and riser into the driver's door. As a side project, I glued the rubber edge covers on the driving/fog light covers that go on the front bumpers so they will also be ready to install once the glue dries.
Entry: 7/14/08 - Upon returning home from working all day down at the shop, the dry glue on the driving/fog light covers called my name. So a few minutes later, here's what they look like installed. With the exception of the Stuttgart hood badge, which won't be installed until after the paint been "cut and polished" back at the bodyshop, the front of the car is now 100% complete!
Entry: 7/15/08 - Today's goal was to get the assembly of the left side of the car completed. First task was blacking-out the lower rockerpanel as it was done by the factory. After masking off the areas I wanted to remain Bahama Yellow, I sprayed on a couple coats of black Wurth Stone Guard, following the masking lines I found on the original sheetmetal.
Once the Wurth Stone Guard was dry, I removed the masking and installed the new OEM (not a repro) deco strip on the rockerpanel and the small-face Durant mirror, correct for a '65 built 912. The contrast between the Bahama Yellow, the fresh black Wurth Stone Guard and new deco strip looks quite sharp!
A close-up of the new small-face Durant mirror shows how crisp it looks against the new paint and the nice 4 mm gap between the door and front fender.
I was about the begin installing the driver's side window regulator when I discovered the spring pin has broken! Compare the passenger side regulator on the top with the broken driver's side regulator on the bottom. DOOH! How did I miss that up until now? Well, I'm going to have to see if Nick the owner of the bodyshop up the alley from my work shop has any spares driver's door regulators laying around!
Entry: 7/17/08 - NICK SAVED THE DAY AGAIN!!! Nick not only had an extra driver's side mechanism, but the correct one for my '65 built 912! I'm starting to question my powers of observation, not only was the driver's side door riser mechanism broken but it was completely different than the one on the passenger side! In the following photo, you can see the passenger's side one on the left, the one Nick gave me in the center and the HUGE, broken one that was in the car on the right. I took a look at the door and saw new mounting holes drilled to accommodate the larger winder mechanism, which I can only assume is a later model. The factory manual shows how several versions of the window risers evolved over the years, each new version superceding the prior and the size and number of turns of the crank required increased over time. I really had not done a side-by-side comparison until now but it's clear to see the newer one is much larger. The riser mechanism that Nick gave me is missing the spring but that can easily be cannibalized from the broken one. All the parts required to rebuild the broken riser mechanism are available from Stoddard and Pelican Parts and I might just fix it and keep it as a spare for my '74 911 or as "trading stock" inventory. All I know is that having Nick's bodyshop just down the alley from the shop where I work has been a marvelous improvement to my life, THANKS NICK!
Entry: 7/18/08 - Cleaning and close inspection of the driver's side door riser mechanism that Nick gave me yesterday didn't uncover any surprises! The mechanism only required swapping the spring from the broken one, a little love given to the surface rust with rust sealer, fresh grease on the gears and it was ready for installation. I also discovered an "8/65" manufacture date stamped on the mechanism which puts it right in the time window for parts used on my car when it was assembled at the factory. Originally the inside of the doors on my car were painted black so today was a good time to recreate that feature before the glass is installed into the door and overspray becomes a problem. I wasn't satisfied with the thickness of the Bahama Yellow paint on the metal under the "fuzzy strip" that runs horizontally on the outside bottom edge of the door windows so I gave them a thick coat of POR-15 to make sure that the rust pits I media blasted out could not reactivate if moisture got in there. The following photo shows the results of today's work, Nick's window riser mechanism installed (yes, that is an early VW ivory knob window crank) and the inside of the door painted with Wurth semi-gloss black trim paint. If you look close you can see the two holes drilled to accommodate the later window riser, too bad I didn't see those back when I was welding-up the other holes in the door! The next step will be installing the glass and chrome-plated brass window frame. I am getting very close to having the driver's door assembly work completed!
Entry: 7/19/08 - The driver's side door is completely assembled using all the original chrome pieces that came with the car, a new clear (non-tinted) window I found on eBay and the riser assembly that Nick gave me. Now I can turn the car around on the lift and start on the other side! Not long before I'm hauling the car down to Steve Shepp for the new headliner and dash pad, installing a new windshield and the rear glass, then hauling it to the bodyshop for the final "cut and polish" of the paint!
Entry: 8/1/08 - I was back home to Colorado for my 30th high school reunion last week so not much progress on the 912 but I did scrounge around the Internet during my "down time" and found a couple very hard to find parts for it! How about a NOS set of right-parking "SWF" marked wiper arms and correct 901-prefixed part number "SWF" wiper blades! I have a thing about wiper arms and blades being new since they're always something you can admire while sitting behind the wheel of the car!
Entry: 8/3/08 - I finally found the type of plastic-face hammer required to pound the rubber weatherstrip into the groove in the rear quarter window frames. With a little lubrication using Wurth Rubber Care and carefully placed hammer blows, I was able to get the new seals in both rear quarter windows. As you can see in this photo, both sides quarter windows are laid into place, held only with one machine screw to keep them from falling out. Once all the hinge screws and latches are fastened tightly, the windows will center in the holes. I'm just pleased to have this rather difficult task behind me and now I can move on to the other side of the car.
Entry: 8/15/08 - Here it is mid-August already and time to perform the annual maintenance on the fleet. Turning the 912 around on the 4-post lift coincided with the need to move it off to the side so I could use the lift for oil changes and brake fluid changes on my other cars. First to get the "spa treatment" is my 1974 911 coupe, which is being converted from 20W-50 Kendall conventional motor oil to Swepco 306 synthetic because of the new "SM" formulated motor oils that have removed the zinc from the formula because it burns out catalytic converters. Unfortunately the lack of zinc in the motor oil has a very detrimental effect on air-cooled engines and causes premature cam and lifter wear. Swepco 306 isn't cheap, my cost through the shop is $6 per quart so an 11 quart oil change on the 911 is quite expensive but since it's synthetic, it has double the service life of conventional oil. I love seeing the 911 and 912 side-by-side in my shop, it makes my heart go pitter-pat!
Entry: 8/31/08 - Once I finished doing my annual maintenance work on my other cars, it was time to put the 912 back on the lift with the passenger side facing my workarea. Over the course of a couple days I installed the rockerpanel deco strip, painted the area below the rockerpanels with black Wurth Stone Guard, painted the inside of the door with matt black Wurth Trim Paint, polished the chrome window frames and did the final assembly of the passenger door. I also installed the rear quarter window hinges and latches so they are held securely in the window frames. Everything is aligned and adjusted as much as possible without having the door weatherstrip installed so I'll wait to install the hole cover plugs on the inside of the door until then. I am on a mission to have everything ready for a trip down to Steve Shepp to install the headliner and dash pad so I can then install the windshield and rear window within 3 weeks.
Entry: 10/22/08 - Once again Nick, my friend who owns the bodyshop, allowed me to toss the two rear bumper deco strips in with a batch of chrome going into the plater and they came back yesterday. I wasn't able to find new OEM pieces so I had to replate the originals and they turned out perfectly and not too expensive with Nick's shop discount. I was able to use the rubber pieces out of the nasty repro deco strips I purchased from Stoddards and with a little work and new rubber and bumper guards, the entire rear end of the car has now been assembled. Suffice to say, I'm totally psyched at how clean everything has turned out! Now I just need to figure out how I'm going to mount the license plate on that new rear panel!
Entry: 1/7/09 - By God, my new windshield finally arrived this evening! The invoice was dated 12/15/08 and it had been buried in the UPS warehouse since 12/21 due to the major snowstorm over the holidays that shut-down Seattle streets and suspended UPS deliveries! So after hugging the box like a G.I. returning from Iraq, I opened the boxes and found exactly what I ordered, a German (Austrian actually), untinted, 100% clear 911/912 windshield! Tomorrow I'll stop by my local auto glass shop and see if I can get the manager, Ken (the guy who did my '43 jeep and 911 windshields) to come over and install the new windshield and rear window into the 912 for me. I would rather pay Ken than gamble on this myself, I've done a couple, Ken's done thousands. I spent a few hours degreasing engine tins this afternoon and adjusted the valves and did a "go/no-go" compression test this evening with excellent results: #1 - 135 psi, #2 - 148 psi, #3 - 150 psi, #4 140 psi, All readings within a 10% variance range. The test was performed on a cold engine and "dry" meaning no oil squirted into the cylinders and the numbers will probably be higher when the engine is warm. I reassembled the top side of the engine and only need to install the carbs, adjust the points and timing, rebuild the fuel pump and bolt the sump plate back into place and add oil before it's good-to-go for fire up! I'll do a legitimate "warm engine" compression test again once I have the engine running for the most accurate values but for now these numbers look very promising.
Entry: 1/21/09 - My glass installation expert, Ken the manager of Speedy Glass in Bothell, was finally able to come out to the shop and install the new windshield and rear window this morning! All new rubber and bright annodized aluminum trim strips went in with little fight and without any distortions or curling. Ken and I decided to put the glass in "dry" as in not applying any sealant or windshield caulk to the seals at this time. We felt that at 55º F in the garage at the time of the installation, the seals may well expand, shift and settle once the outside temperature rises as summer comes. We can always add sealant or caulk later when the glass and new rubber seals have settled in while stored in a nice dry garage. Suffice to say, I'm a happy camper with how it turned out and how it gives the car a nice finished look.
One thing to note in the photos above is the radio speaker in the dashboard. The original one had a shifted magnet and couldn't be re-coned so I put a wanted ad out on the 912bbs.org and a very generous guy named Theo Kindermans sent me a spare he had and it works perfectly! What a nice gesture, I really appreciate it! I also finished restoring the remaining seat pan, so now to get that dash pad and those seats reupholstered by Steve Shepp and we're really making progress! A new development on the engine evaluation, I started hearing a knock as the engine started warming up while running it on the test stand so it's going to require a complete tear-down and rebuild. I'm down to removing the J-tubes and heads at this point and should have the whole thing disassembled in a couple days.
Entry: 9/8/10 - Getting down to the last details as summer draws to a close here in the Pacific Northwest. I found the correct, original factory style speednuts for the rear emblems and installed them after giving the paint underneath a good coat of carnauba wax. The windshield wiper depth was readjusted, the big nut showed under the black plastic cover and now it doesn't. The front hood has been readjusted and it looks good but I'm still not happy with it and will give it one more attempt once my back recovers from stooping over most of the afternoon. If sunny weather holds out I'm going to attempt larger air correction jets in the carburetors to solve the sputtering and popping at 3000-3500 RPM that has been plaguing them. I must say that I do have them dialed in much better as they drop down to idle at 800 RPM very nicely now after replacing the needle valves with earlier stock ones and setting the float levels correctly. I am getting an education on these carburetors and keep the faith that at some point I'm going to master them.
Entry: 9/28/12 - Well, a little more than 2 years since the last post in this journal chapter and a lot has changed. First of all, I fiddled with those (damn) Solex 40PII-4 carbs for 2 years and could never get them to run quite right so I finally saw the light and converted to Webers, which is covered at the end of the "Mechanical" chapter of this blog. Secondly, the new hood struts I purchased from Stoddards when I first restored the car worked at first but quickly lost their "mojo" and couldn't keep the front hood up. I now know this is common knowledge to guys like John Walker, hoods with any body filler (notice I didn't use the word "BONDO" because I used professional Evercoat filler) add enough weight to the end that the stock hood struts can't hold them. Recently browsing on the Stoddard website, I see something new in the hood strut listings, two offerings actually, the ones I bought originally and a second type described as, "Front Hood Strut. The shock will hold 83 pounds. Fits '65-'73 911/912, 2 req'd." BINGO, they finally came out with stronger ones to handle hood bodywork. I ordered a pair and as you can see in the photo below, the old one on the bottom and the new one on the top, the stronger one is slightly longer and bigger in diameter but still the same length. The "911" prefix in the part number is replaced by "SIC" in case you're wanting a pair for your car.
So a few dozen cuss words later, the hard to access retaining pins are removed and reinstalled, with the new struts in place, easily holding the hood fully open. Knock on wood that this will be the case for years to come. By the way, I love working in my bright and spacious new shop!