It's drivable after 9 years

| No TrackBacks

It's been nearly 9 years since I first started taking apart the 356. You can look through this restoration journal and see some of my first posts and detect that early enthusiasm. This week, the persistence, even when there were sometimes long lapses, paid off.

I got my pair of rebuilt carburetors back from Precision Matters, who did a wonderful job. I fixed an issue I had with the cooling fan in the fan shroud -- I was missing a spacer on the hub which caused the fan to not be able to be fully tightened on the hub, and it was loose and causing the clunking noise I described a month or so ago. I stole the spacer from the '59 motor, and realized that either I or the previous owner had also screwed up the fan so that it didn't spin true. Therefore I threw it away and stole the fan from the '59 motor as well. It doesn't have as many blades because it was original to a 160 watt generator, not the 200 watt generators, but the motor is perfectly cool at the moment. Later this summer I'll switch to a new fan I ordered, if it becomes necessary.


I fixed a few other remaining issues such as the regulator circuit not being wired correctly; getting the foglights working; and getting the clutch adjusted. I took it for its first drives around the driveway last weekend. Then I got a new plate and registration this past week. Thursday I drove it to get it aligned by my friend Albert. The car is driving much much better now... and then this weekend I have put around 75 miles on the car. There are some more details to work out but we are more or less done. It's an amazing feeling of accomplishment.

The picture with this entry is taken at the same location where I took the original photos of the car the day I purchased it. I think it makes a nice contrast.

I'll continue to post sporadic updates on the car when I find time and energy, but even though there are a few remaining details, I'm more or less considering this project done. I hope others have found this journal useful or entertaining in their own restoration endeavors. Keep The Faith!

Car is almost finished

| No TrackBacks

I got the car fired up, but it wasn't running well and even though I attempted to rebuild my Zenith 32NDIXs many years ago, they were clearly still leaking.

I sent my Zeniths to Ron LaDaw for a rebuilt, and the 022 distributor that was giving me trouble to Glenn Ring. Probably will be about 2 weeks before I have replacement/rebuilt parts back in hand.

In the meantime I did some work on the ride height and a rough toe-in alignment; we're good enough now to get to my friend's shop when ready. I still have a few electrical gremlins, and I have to do a bench test on my oil pressure sender to see why it is going off the scale when my engine builds pressure (I really don't think I'm making that much oil PSI, but we'll find out), and I need to get a spare tire, torque the rear axle nuts, and clean up the hubcaps. I still have a few interior issues to deal with as well but we're close to being a driving car. End of January - beginning of February I think is realistic. Only about 7 years behind schedule...

Motor installed

| No TrackBacks

The motor got installed 12/30/2002. Thanks to both guys who gave me a hand...couldn't have done it without you. Pretty much went in by the book but getting it mated with the transmission input shaft was a bear. We did have to remove the muffler to get enough vertical clearance; possible the slight variation in where I welded in my replacement engine tin had something to do with it but it fits well and bolted up fine.


Early winter 2011 update

| No TrackBacks

Took some time off from the car for other priorities. In august I had to take apart the nose of the transmission to fix a persistent leak from the selector shaft. I got a remanufactured shaft from Vic Skirmants and put that in. There is no leaking from the shaft area anymore, but I do have a bit of seepage from the intermediate plate area and the side plates. Swepco really does like to creep. I'm going to just deal with it for now...



Now its vacation time, and I finished the motor last night. Hopefully will be going in either Friday or Saturday.


I'm in the home stretch. Wiring is pretty much done other than an issue with my fog lights -- the switch illuminates but I'm not getting power to the lights. I'll have to trace that out. I need to swap out the combination gauge with this one, and hook it up:

I'm also going to add this outside temperature gauge. The factory would have swapped cut a hole to the right of the glove box, moved the clock to that hole, and replaced the clock with the temperature gauge. I like the clock where it is, so I'll put the temperature gauge to the right of the glove box. My car, I'll do what I like! Easy enough to swap later if I change my mind.

Still need to install the new starter motor I got (I was installing the previous one and the stupid terminal broke off the solenoid as I was tightening down the cable!). Need to put some gas in the tank and check for leaks in my lines, but I've replaced all the rubber bits from the gas tank to the back of the car, so feeling pretty good about that. Need to hook up the clutch cable, throttle linkage, and heater stuff. The seats need to go in the car, and I have some issues with the fit of the rear garnish rails to the firewall upholstery pad, but that can wait. I will need to do a rough alignment of the car. But otherwise, we're very, very close. Excitement is building.

Gas tank installed

| No TrackBacks

This evening, I tackled the gas tank. I had to trim back some of my sound-deadening pad to get it to fit properly, as I expected a couple months ago. Getting the rubber collar on the filler neck was kind of a bear. That and getting the reinforcement plate for the filler neck in place on the inside of the trunk...the fresh air heater can was REALLY in the way, and I didn't want to unfasten it because it's a royal pain in the ass. Got it into place with some coaxing...

View imageThen I finished buttoning up the gas tank. I hooked up the fuel cock. The vent hose required from the tank to the pipe in the fender well appears to be a larger diameter than regular fuel hose. Is that true? I couldn't easily get regular fuel hose on either the pipe or the tank vent nipple.

My other question regards the overflow hose...I'm not sure how it gets mounted to the body. See pictures.

Tomorrow I hope to finish the fuel system. Then, aside from odds and ends, it's time to get the motor back in this car... I am going to go through the valve train as I kinda left it at that point, but otherwise, we're getting pretty close here.