Entry: 4/4/07 - Finishing the right rear fender undercoating was the first task on the list today. For some reason, I hadn't finished the area from the back of the rear quarter window to the tail light bucket, specifically still needing to remove the tar soaked foam and making sure no rust had gotten up in the body cavity behind it. Once I got all the old, cracked and dried-out material removed, scrubbed the dirt out with soap and water and dried it well, it was time to use the SEM Rust Seal. I put the SEM Rust Seal in my Harbor Freight air chargable aerosol type spray can to spray it back into the recesses and used a paint brush and compressed air to spread what ran down. While things were drying from the heat of a 500-watt halogen work light, I took plain white blackboard chalk and closely inspected every square inch of primed sheetmetal, drawing a circle around any areas I found that needed a little more attention with the glazing putty and block sanding before I'd call it perfect.
My final task for the day was taking a large cigar shaped piece of 3M Strip-Calk and filling the big void that seals the body cavity behind the right rear quarter window, exactly like I did on the left side. Once the strip caulk was pushed into position, I covered the entire area in 3M seam sealer to create a hard surface and protect the soft strip caulk. Once the seam sealer dries and shrinks down, I'll give the remaining unfinished fenderwell a thick coat of Wurth high-build underseal like I've done everywhere else on the underside of the car. That step will put the finishing touch on my rust treatment and undercoating work on the bottom side of the car. All my efforts will be focused on getting the top side of the car ready to turn over to the body shop for the final filler primer and block sanding work before they paint it. I can really see the light at the end of the tunnel now... I'm ready to start interior trim and engine rebuild work! While I like bodywork, it really does get old by the time I've got the car ready for paint.
Entry: 4/6/07 - I was able to put a thick coat of Wurth high-build underseal on the area between the rear quarter window and tail light bucket of the right rear fender last night and let it dry over night. That step officially completes all the underbody detailing, rust treatment and undercoating. The wheel that was on the right rear was one of the two perfect wheels that came with the car and I didn't want to send it to the bodyshop with it on so I swapped it with a rusty core wheel I picked-up and bought a used tire for. Now all four wheels on the car are rusty core wheels that I don't worry about getting overspray on at the paint shop. I've put in a few more hours on fixing the minute imperfections in the primered areas on the left side with glazing putty and block sanding with 320-grit wet-dry paper. It is very tedious work but I hope to have the left side of the car finished very soon so I can turn it around on the lift and finish the little work remaining on the engine lid area while I work on the right side imperfections.
Entry: 6/4/07 - It occurred to me that my 912 is a free rolling vehicle with no parking brakes, and it would not be the brightest idea to send it in that condition to a bodyshop with a steep driveway. I figured that I had better dig out those new parking brake cables and hunt down all the hardware required to make the hand brake lever functional for the bodyshop guys. I think I'll plan on removing it again after painting the car to media blast and paint the handle, which will allow the painter to not worry about masking it to protect it from overspray. I also need to run the new speedometer cable, which will require removing the hand brake handle again anyway. I'm trying to keep the inside of the car in a condition where the painter doesn't have to worry about overspray and I can go back and clean it up and repaint the areas that were originally black. So tonight I have everything cleaned-up and ready to reassemble after I've studied the workshop manual and figure out how to get those pieces back together in the right order. It feels good to be working on the mechanical stuff again and done with bodywork. Bodywork is one of those jobs that really wears you down over the months of doing it because it required discipline to maintain a high standard of work against the natural human tendency to get bored with the drudgery.
Entry: 6/5/07 - Assembly of the parking brakes was today's objective. I purchased a new pair of cables from Stoddards some months back and it always causes a bit of worry as to whether they were the right part or not and the fact I've had them beyond the exchange date but as it turned out they are perfect. I cleaned all the old grease out of the cable tubes that run up through the center hump of the car using a steel welding rod with a loop formed in the end and ran pieces of rag soaked in carburetor cleaner through it like cleaning a gun barrel. I pumped the tubes full of fresh chassis grease from a handheld grease gun before feeding the new cables into the tubes, spreading a thick coat of the same grease on the cables as I fed them into the tube just to make sure everything was well lubricated. Assembly of the spreaders inside the parking brake drums took a little time to figure out but eventually everything went together and the work under the car was completed. As you can see in the following photograph, the new brake cables installed, adjusted and the wheels back on the car and off the jacks.
Inside the car, the handbrake handle went into place very easily when all the excess slack in the cables was available to get the loops on the cables around the pulling hooks on the handbrake lever. It took a little more adjustment on the left side where I had repaired the cracked weld holding the cable tube inside the center hump but eventually both wheels locked up tight with 3-4 clicks of the handbrake lever. As you can see in the following photograph, I will need to remove the handbrake handle again to media blast and repaint it with a gloss black paint. I'll tape a rubber glove over the end of the handle to protect the plastic part of it from paint overspray yet allow for its operation. I am really getting excited about the prospect of doing all the reassembly work once the car comes back from the painter... to me that's what this type of work is all about!
Entry: 6/10/07 - Today was the annual Pacific NW 356 Club's "Bull Session" out at Denny Akers' property in Woodinville (Here's a link to the club's website showing photos from the event). It looked like rain today so I left the Porsches in the garage and drove my daughter's car and good thing I did, the number of vintage 356 cars that showed-up was so numerous that later vintage Porsches like mine were pushed way back into the back parking lot. A quick look around in Denny's "shop" (which looks more like an airplane hangar to me) provided a huge reward for my curiousity, his "gulf blue" '66 912 was on the car lift and under good lighting, so I took a couple dozen close-up photos of key fit-and-finish areas for reference when I put my car back together. As you can see in the following example photo, Denny's car has perfect body gaps, which one would expect looking at all the other cars in his collection, he doesn't buy junk!
I also ran into Allan Caldwell, the original owner of my 912 today and it was fun to report how close I am to getting the car painted. Allan was very excited about the prospect of getting a photo of him with the car and I must say that I'm looking forward to that day as well.
Tonight I got another round of block sanding the remaining minute imperfections on the right side of the car and am getting extremely close to being done. With the rain in the forecast, I'm not in any hurry to tow the car up to the bodyshop and let it get exposed to water so I won't push too hard on that yet but I'll be ready when I get the call.
Entry: 6/14/07 - Today I wrapped-up the final block sanding and spot primed the right door before I cleaned the old rubber cement out of the weatherstrip channels on both door frames in the area where the chrome window frames would come in contact with them. Removing the dried rubber cement required using a small 1" x 1" piece of Scotchbrite pad folded over and clipped into a hemostat before dipping it in my favorite solvent, carburetor cleaner. When I needed a break from the weatherstrip glue removal task, I used another large Scotchbrite pad and gave all the shiny original paint a good, thorough scuffing to prep it for sealer. There are not very many things remaining on my list of things to be completed before heading off to the paint shop and we're at mid-June so I expect a call any day now! I am getting extremely stoked to have this car off to the painter... FINALLY!!!