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> Derek’s Willow Green, ‘72 914, Restoration Thread
dereknlee
post May 24 2020, 11:26 PM
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Inspired by others on this forum, this thread will document the restoration of my 1972 914 1.7.

I bought it in summer of 2008. It was supposed to be my daily driver that I would make minor improvements to while keeping it drivable. There was a memorable couple of weeks where I was using it for my commute in the winter, with no heat (heat ducting/valves removed for paint), and then the ignition switch went out and so I was parking at the top of hills until I got that figured out/fixed. I don't know how 914s got on my radar or what drew me to this car. Le Mans was, and is, one of my favorite movies - so I thought 1970s Porsches were cool. 911s were a bit out of reach, so I guess the 914 was the next closest option.

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[Side note, cell phone camera technology has come a long way since 2008....and these pictures make me feel old.]

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The plan for this car to be a daily driver changed (not so much by choice) when I bought a house in the fall, and upgraded from apartment carport to an actual garage. I set aside a couple weeks to drop the engine and tend to some oil leaks, and of course - discovered rust. The car hasn’t driven since (12 years as of this writing).

The worst of the rust was in the hell hole. I bought a MIG welder and did a fair job of patching things up. I also attacked the rust at the driverside jack point and in the rear trunk.

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Then the house remodeling got serious. The car sat for four years before I decided I wasn’t going to learn body work and the car deserved better. I hired Eurotech Bodywerkes to finish the rust repair and repaint the car. When I bought it, the car had been re-sprayed (and poorly masked) in a John Deer green. The plan was to go back to the factory color: willow green.

Eurotech found more rust in the doors, so it got new doors. They also fit factory sway bars. They fixed miscellaneous rust all over the place, filled dings, re-sealed the seams, installed a new battery tray, stripped the underside, fitted new rocker panel valances, restored the old front and rear valences and then laid down a very pretty paint job. The cabin and front tank bay are the only areas with original paint.

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At the same time I had the engine rebuilt by NW connecting rod into a 2ish L displacement (not sure as of this writing whether it is a 1911 or 2056) with a carb cam. The plan was to fit dual Webers (more on that later). I also had the transmission rebuilt to fix a chronic 1st gear grind. And I had some parts re-plated.

And then the car sat for six more years while I permitted and built/finished an addition to the house, as well as picked up some sports to occupy my time.

Spring forward to Dec 2018, and a freshly separated shoulder from a cycling crash. I started working on the 914 again. Re-sealed the tank (the kits available for this are amazing).

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And refurbed the wiring loom in the front trunk:

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...before getting side-tracked again by a Vanagon. The Vanagon was a 2018 acquisition that suddenly needed a motor replacement in 2019, following a catastrophic failure that occurred a few days after this picture was taken.

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Which brings us to the current covid quarantine times and cancelled vanagon trips. But on the bright side, work has restarted on the 914 again. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/piratenanner.gif) Will this be the final push that sees the car on the road? Track record says no, but only time will tell.

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I will add additional posts to document progress. But at the outset I’d like to state my intentions with the project I would like this to be a stock 914 (IMG:style_emoticons/default/prop.gif) - at least outwardly. This presents a dilemma relative to my current 2L engine. I'd like to coax as much performance out of the engine and 1.7 L Djet system as I can. But a new cam is in order to even consider that, and as long as the engine is coming apart then I can re-think heads and displacement - with the aim to go as big as possible without ditching everything for a 2.0 L Djet or going microsquirt.

-Derek
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dereknlee
post May 24 2020, 11:35 PM
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On to recent progress. In March I picked up where I had left off and got the headlight assemblies installed and working. I also fitted and re-terminated some of the turn signal wires (Vanagon experience has been a confidence boost).

Next I removed all the suspension and brakes. BTW, a cheap HF press made removing the trailing arm pivots a breeze - no heat required. Rear bearings on the other hand, not fans of the press.

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I bead blasted most everything.

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Then started on rehabbing and repainting. Supension parts getting VHT ‘epoxy’ satin black (paint seems way too soft to be epoxy, hoping it will harden up in time). This paint seems to do best when the final coat is laid down very thick, and allowed to dry flat.

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Before I can make too much more progress I need to order a bunch of parts: bearings, rotors, bushings, refinished brake calipers, etc. I also need to get a bunch of parts re-plated. Which leads to my next post…
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dereknlee
post May 24 2020, 11:44 PM
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I have accumulated a batch of parts that need to be replated. There are a couple local shops that support the aerospace industry that can do yellow chromate conversion coatings. But when I returned to the one that had plated some parts for me in the past they turned me away (don’t like small jobs, don’t like car parts). I found another shop that will take my parts, it won’t be cheap. I see where they are coming from - cost of doing business.

But an internet search for DIY plating lead me to this site. This site made it look easy, and inexpensive:

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Turns out it is actually easy to get decent results:

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The next step is to chromate the parts. Surprising what you can get on eBay, sodium dichromate is on the way.

I still may hire out a plating batch for the appearance items. But having the ability to refinish rusty parts that were originally plated really satisfies that particular/peculiar part of my brain that wants to return this thing to near stock. Hiring plating in small batches is cost prohibitive, and the only other alternative would be to paint, so I am eager to find a recipe that works.

Today's progress included cleaning up these turn signal assemblies (brackets and studs were very rusty, but look good enough after plating):

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Repainting the Koni rear shocks (not really happy with the color match, photos to follow when assembled). Painting miscellaneous suspension parts, and dissembling one of the rear axles.

-Derek
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Cairo94507
post May 24 2020, 11:58 PM
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Hi Derek- Wow. Great work and color. You are going to have one beautiful 914. Keep at it and you will be driving that baby before you know it. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/beerchug.gif) Michael
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wysri9
post May 25 2020, 02:49 AM
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Great story which many of us can relate to......lovely work too. She will be stunning when she's done! (IMG:style_emoticons/default/clap56.gif)
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luft
post May 25 2020, 04:59 AM
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QUOTE(wysri9 @ May 25 2020, 03:49 AM) *

Great story which many of us can relate to......lovely work too. She will be stunning when she's done! (IMG:style_emoticons/default/clap56.gif)


okay relate to yes, getting started is another story.

Derek keep it up, love to follow your progress.

BTW is you'r Westfalia back on the road?
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Big Len
post May 25 2020, 06:05 AM
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Following......
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gereed75
post May 25 2020, 07:15 AM
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Nice thread. Nice work. Nice car

Git er done! You deserve it.

Nice to see the 914 still serving as an “entry level” Porsche
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tygaboy
post May 25 2020, 07:16 AM
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Nice work. Your car looks great!
Curious: which tank sealer did you use?
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dereknlee
post May 25 2020, 08:27 AM
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Thanks all for the encouragement! (IMG:style_emoticons/default/beerchug.gif)

The tank sealant was KBS coatings tank sealing system. Never having been through the process before it was amazing to see the tank go from rusty and crusty to sparkling clean with no elbow grease.

Before:

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During:

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After:

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Yep the Vanagon is back on the road. The engine blew in Arches NP in mid April of last year. I put a GoWesty 2.2L in about a month later.

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After spending a bit of time in a shop for the intial startup (oil in the coolant system turned that into a bigger job than anticipated), we were back on the road by June.

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This February I replaced the peeling/cracked headliner, which was the last major project on the van's to do list.

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We were supposed to do a road trip to Yosemite starting 2 weeks ago, but all those reservations were cancelled by 'rona.

-Derek
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dereknlee
post May 25 2020, 07:46 PM
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Today I disassembled the other rear axle and degreased all the parts. Then washed all the tools I handled in the process - what a goopy mess. CV joints wear looks okay. They are Loebros. Who knows when they will be on the road next so I'll re-grease them, put on new boots, and move along. I cleaned up the axles primed and painted in gloss black. Need to buy some yellow enamel to re-create the original marks on the axles.

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One end of each spring was rusty, so I hit those sections with the wire wheel and then sprayed more gloss black.

Earlier this weekend I stripped the Koni shocks and yesterday I painted them in a VHT chevy red orange. I'm not happy with the color match, too orange. I tested a few other shades of orange and red today but they weren't right either, so I'm just going to live with it. I pressed the bushings back in and best part of all: applied the stickers. My philosophy on these is similar to the CV joints - it is easy enough to change out in the future and they aren't obviously bad, so I'll clean up rather than replacing.

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-Derek
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bkrantz
post May 25 2020, 08:01 PM
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Keep up the momentum, Derek!
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billh1963
post May 26 2020, 06:17 AM
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Great work! Looking forward to seeing more progress
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jaredmcginness
post May 26 2020, 06:43 AM
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Awesome work and thread. The fresh willow paint looks fantastic!
Curious for more info about that engine build? What carb cam and P&C's did you go with?

Keep it up!
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dereknlee
post May 26 2020, 07:23 AM
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QUOTE(jaredmcginness @ May 26 2020, 05:43 AM) *

Awesome work and thread. The fresh willow paint looks fantastic!
Curious for more info about that engine build? What carb cam and P&C's did you go with?

Keep it up!



Thanks! I posted about my self-imposed engine conundrum here. The plan was for dual Weber 40 IDFs, with a Webcam 86 (00-152) and 96 mm pistons. But I've changed my mind since having the engine built up this way and will be changing over to something that is more FI friendly (what that is exactly is TBD).

-Derek
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VaccaRabite
post May 26 2020, 08:02 AM
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When I finally get around to installing my flares and need to repaint the car, I think I'm going to change to willow green over Conda green, though I like both.

Zach
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gereed75
post May 26 2020, 08:15 AM
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Do what Mark said at the end of the other thread. The bigger 2.0 liter throttle body will give you the appropriately sized induction core for a stock looking but modern EFI. My opinion is that it would perform well ( Not wasting the money already spent) and not detract from future value.

Not sure about the cams, but my question there would be “if I went with the “modern D-Jet” build described above, exactly what would I really be giving up using the current cam”. I guess some performance and some drivability. Maybe Mark could postulate

Easy for me to say from 2500 miles away. I am sure that Mark would help you getting it together. Good luck
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rjames
post May 26 2020, 10:16 AM
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Hey, I also live in Shoreline. Curious where you're at. I'm across the street from the community center. Would love to see your car when things return to normal. I'm also a cyclist, so we have that in common, too.
Keep up the great work!


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mbseto
post May 26 2020, 01:44 PM
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Nice work! Watching with interest...
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dereknlee
post May 26 2020, 05:58 PM
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QUOTE(VaccaRabite @ May 26 2020, 07:02 AM) *

When I finally get around to installing my flares and need to repaint the car, I think I'm going to change to willow green over Conda green, though I like both.

Zach


Both good options! When I bought the car I did almost no research so it was just 'green'. After staring at these cars for a bit I am a big fan of the bright colors like signal orange and canary yellow. So I really lucked out to be able to turn it back to this bright factory color.

QUOTE(gereed75 @ May 26 2020, 07:15 AM) *

Do what Mark said at the end of the other thread. The bigger 2.0 liter throttle body will give you the appropriately sized induction core for a stock looking but modern EFI. My opinion is that it would perform well ( Not wasting the money already spent) and not detract from future value.

Not sure about the cams, but my question there would be “if I went with the “modern D-Jet” build described above, exactly what would I really be giving up using the current cam”. I guess some performance and some drivability. Maybe Mark could postulate

Easy for me to say from 2500 miles away. I am sure that Mark would help you getting it together. Good luck

Thanks for the advice. Not tearing the engine apart to change the cam would be a huge plus. I would like to use the stock fuel injection with only bolt on changes. Anything I chose will have a learning curve to it, and once I've climbed it and gotten comfortable with it I won't want to change. So I'd prefer to go through all that now with the factory system.

QUOTE(rjames @ May 26 2020, 09:16 AM) *

Hey, I also live in Shoreline. Curious where you're at. I'm across the street from the community center. Would love to see your car when things return to normal. I'm also a cyclist, so we have that in common, too.
Keep up the great work!

Hello! I just down the street from Shorewood HS. Would be great to meet up - will send you a PM.

-Derek
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