Monday, 30 June 2008

Removing the Doors...

Pushed the car out of the garage ready to tackle the doors.

Well the impact screw driver was crap (and none of that bad workman
blames his tools!). So I've ended up having to drill out the stubborn screws on the bottom hinges, both to the doors and to the door pillars, 12 in all.

Several broken drill bit later, the doors are off!
What could have taken 20 minutes, took 3 hours - plus interruptions and tea breaks six hours had passed.

I'd hoped the body would feel loose from the subframe with the doors off, but its still solid at the front. More pop rivets to find or more probably the sealant has remained effective on the none rusty front end.

Having only undone two bolts to the body in the engine bay, and removed some sealant with a Stanley blade, the back end feels like its ready to lift off.

Monday, 23 June 2008

Newark Kit Car Show


We went to the Newark kitcar show on Sunday and saw Kevin’s Speedster; it has bags of character and looks gorgeous. The door pillars distance is the same as my Chesil so although I still can’t get anyone to confirm, I’m pretty sure the Pilgrim subframe should work with my fibreglass body. Pilgrim were at the show with some products but didn’t have a speedster with them.
I’ve finally ordered an impact screwdriver to remove the doors, and have spent some more time desealing my fibreglass body from the subframe; this was mainly pop rivets and a black rubbery seal. Once the doors are off, ill be able to test lift the body to see where it’s still attached.

Friday, 20 June 2008

Removing the roof...

Removed the roof and it started raining again so the doors can wait for now, I'm in no urgency and don't want working on my car to become a chore. I've got about 20 litres of fuel to siphon out before I remove the petrol tank and then the steering column is easy access. I reckon the petrol was only 1.12 a litre when it was purchased so I've made a killing ;-).Whilst feeling rich from my fuel storage profit I quickly ordered the stuff to treat the vw chassis.

I opted for marine clean, metal prep, POR-15 and Black Chassis paint from Frosts, I'm only wanting to do this once and several VW restorations I've seen online have gone this route with their beetles.

I finally saw the Dream Machines episode where they build a Pilgrim Speedster, 5 blokes lifted the subframe onto the chassis - looks like Ill need to get some beers in unless they all just wanted to get in the shot in case they were otherwise edited out.

I cant believe some of the questions I was asking now - like whether to leave the doors hood and engine lid on when removing the body/subframe. The doors must come off to remove the body as they bolt through it, but from the look of things the hood and engine lid are just attached to the body, same as the window wiper motor so Ill leave them there if I can.The windscreen comes off easy enough and must come off, not only to reduce weight for the lift but its safer where it is for now.

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Day two

Really this is just evening two, having only spent two hours last night I only managed an hour and a half this evening.
Things started well, the remainder of the interior has been stripped and the wooden floorboards removed... find a massive puddle on the passenger side floor!!. Fortunately the floor is still solid and can be saved. That puddles probably been in the car since the first time the car got caught in the rain after I bought it.

The drivers side was surprisingly bone dry, but it has had a big hole in the subframe the last couple of weeks to let any water out and air in I suppose.

I did plan on taking the hood frame off but the bolts are rusted tight so I'll need to grind them off, I left it too late this evening to be making noise, so will tackle that when I get in from work tomorrow.
So I began taking a door off to find that the bottom hinge screws are also rusted, I daren't look at the passenger side. Ill need to get the car out of the single garage to have a better try with the door wide open and maybe an impact wrench, but it started raining - sods law. An excuse to go indoors to get the camera - woo France vs. Italy on TV. Ahh well there's always tomorrow!

On the plus side of progress, if weather permits at the weekend I'm planning to finally see a pilgrim speedster up close (thanks to Kevin Pearl).

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Restoration Day 1

Welcome to my first 356 Speedster Restoration blog post. I've just started this blog for my partner who has a 356 replica Speedster. This lovely classic motor car is in desperate need of some work after being neglected for several years.
I thought it would be a nice idea to record the restoration along the way. The picture above was taken a few years ago on our way down to St Tropez. We've had some amazing adventures in this lovely little motor car, I just can't wait to see it when it's back on the road.

My partners owned the car as his daily driver for 8 years but it was built in 1994 by Chesil. A few weeks ago he noticed a knocking noise coming from the rear passenger side on uneven roads and later found that the subframe had rusted and broken behind the drivers door pillar.

With a guestimate of a couple of hundred pounds to cut out and weld a repair he took it to a local vw restorer who soon found that it requires quite a bit more metal replacing and will need the body removed to tackle it. Being busy themselves with customer commitments they wouldnt be able to tackle the job for a few months at least and having no experience with the kits they couldnt give a quote on how much it would cost.

Well at first he was horrified, he had bought the car 'factory built' as neither having the time nor patience to build a kit himself. The task initially sounded daunting, but after seeing some helpful build sites :'s%20Diary%20of%20Building%20a%20Porsche%20Speedster%20Replica%20-%20Page%202

And after a few telephone conversations with Tony at Pilgrim, he felt better knowing his task was going to be quicker and easier than building the car from a beetle starting point.

The fibreglass body needs to be removed so that the subframe can be repaired or replaced. The VW chassis is in good condition so just needs a rub down and rust prevention/repaint.
Pilgrim offer a galvensized subframe which seems to be the best option. Chesil are nolonger in business and Tygan nolonger offer the car as a kit.
However, he’s still to confirm if the Chesil body mould will sit onto a Pilgrim subframe without much modification. A trip to see a Pilgrim speedster with a tape measure and camera seems the best that can be done prior to trying it.
After a day of tidying up and making space in our garage, he was ready to get the car home from the restorers.

Day 1 (16th June 2008)

Brought car home and started to strip the interior, can now get a better look at the extent of the damage and can see how and where the body is pop riveted/bonded and bolted to the subframe. Ripping the carpets from their glued backing wasnt too painful as he intended to replace the interior for a more authentic replication at some point in the future anyway.