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Seat Belts in your 356

March 23, 2011 | Safety & Driving | 3 Comments
By Gordon Maltby Reprinted from the 356 Registry magazine Let's assume we're all in agreement that seatbelts are a good thing. Not to put too fine a point on it, but a small, light car designed half a century ago is just not going to afford its occupants the kind of crash protection found in a modern car. Knowing that, there are still some things we can do to these little beasties to tip the odds in our favor. Short of installing a roll cage, one of the most effective self-preservation tools we can bring along for the ride is a set of seat belts. Better than lap belts only, are three-point belts, and (if you remember the late sixties and those stationary shoulder belts) it's most convenient if they're retractable. There may be some compelling arguments for not installing belts in a 356, but the only one I can think of is authenticity, or keeping a "look." Consider then, that Porsche did offer seat belts as an option, or a retrofit beginning in about 1957 [see photo at right s...

Starting an Engine after Extended Storage

September 27, 2010 | Safety & Driving | 0 Comments
By Alan Klingen How to handle an engine that has been sitting for years First see if you can turn over the motor easily, if not then you need to dismantle the motor to play it safe. If you can turn it over then remove all the oil, sump screen and oil filter, then refill with new oil of your choice. Do a regular tune with points, valve adjust and plugs but leave the plugs out for the time being. You can squirt a small amount of oil into the cylinders if it make you feel better but only a very small amount! Just a couple of drops only! Note on the dip stick where the oil level is exactly. Crank the motor with the ignition off by grounding the point wire to the coil, this is marked #1 on the coil. You don't want to just leave the cap off because it will be sparking inside and if you have a fuel leak and you are not there to see it, well you know what could happen. Crank for a few seconds and then recheck the dipstick and see if oil is being drawn, if it is crank some ...

Proper Engine Warmup Procedures

September 27, 2010 | Safety & Driving | 0 Comments
By Bud Osbourne The reason that engineers recommended the "drive away" warm-up, as opposed to allowing the engine to warm up at idle was that the faster the warm-up, the lower the build up of harmful condensation within the engine and exhaust systems. So, if you are only going to drive a short distance, you (your car's engine, actually) are better off just driving away after a very brief (30 seconds or so) warm-up, thereby allowing the engine to warm up quickly, and minimize the amount of harmful or corrosive condensation build-up, before shutting down. The majority of the engine wear occurs immediately upon start-up, no matter whether you drive right away or sit and warm it up. Your engine will incur less frictional wear if you let it warm up at idle (at as low an rpm as it will run at) than if you just drive away. However, if you slowly warm it up at idle and then drive only a short distance before shutting down, the condensation formed in the crankcase (which di...

Travel Kit List

September 26, 2010 | Safety & Driving | 2 Comments
By Lawrence Wilkinson This spares/tools list might be a bit over-the-top depending on what you're planning to do. The toolkit doesn't include the obvious spanners [wrenches], sockets, etc. Parts Complete distributor, with clamp, timed and ready to go (or points, condenser, rotor, cap) 2 generator bearings and brushes Generator pulley, hub, nut, shims, 2 woodruff keys, and 2 fan belts 1 inner and outer front wheel bearing and grease seal Several spark plugs and a couple of wires (or at least the longest one) + connectors Spare coil + coil lead Voltage regulator Fuel pump (and socket wrench to remove it) or fuel pump diaphragm [consider an electric fuel pump as a spare Fuel filter Some throttle linkage pieces Anti-vibration rubber connection in the throttle linkage (T6) Spare clutch cable with related nuts & fittings Fuses and bulbs Exhaust valve + spring + keepers Valve cover gaskets (2) Valve adjusting screw Sump gasket Oil drain plug Oil filter gasket ...

Tires With Tubes – Original Yes, Needed? No

September 24, 2010 | Safety & Driving | 0 Comments
By Rick Dill, Geoff Fleming, David Jones, Bud Osbourne, Al Zim, edited by Barry Lee Brisco [Editor:] When new the 356 came with tires that required tubes, because that was standard at that time. Wheels back then did not have the "safety bead" that has been standard on wheels since the late 1960's. That feature was purported to reduce the chance of a tire coming off the wheel during a blowout (for the 1968 model year Porsche incorporated a "safety bead" on their steel wheels though the optional Fuchs alloy wheels did not get this change until 1972). The consensus among long-time 356 owners is that it is not necessary to use tires with tubes even though the original 356 wheels do not have the "safety bead". Below are comments from several of them. Rick Dill: Now the real truth is that tubes will blow out at least 10 times as often as tubeless and that is what rolls over the SUVs and occasionally a 356. So even if the tire isn't as well contained because of no "safety bead" on the ri...

Safe Jacking of Your 356

September 23, 2010 | Safety & Driving | 0 Comments
Or, How to Stop Worrying and Lift Your Car By Tom Farnam and Barry Lee Brisco (With thanks to Ken Daugherty, Ron LaDow, Ray Knight, Dick Weiss, and Bruce Baker for review and comments)   Knowing the safe way to jack up your 356 is essential to preventing damage to your body, not to mention protecting your valuable car! Here are some tips based on the collective experience of several veteran 356 owners. First Block Your Wheels Before you raise your car, block the wheels for safety, even if you are only jacking up one side and you have the emergency brake on. What if it suddenly pops off because you didn't quite fully engage it? Blocking the wheels only takes a moment.   Do Not Use The Original Jack And Jack Points! If you have an original 356 jack, by all means keep it correctly stowed in the trunk for car shows if that's your thing, but avoid using it, even in an emergency. Call for a tow instead if you have no other safe alternative. Original jacks were noto...

Classic Car Insurance: Actual Cash Value, Stated Value, Agreed Value

September 23, 2010 | Safety & Driving | 0 Comments
Link to an article by Holly Bromberg about classic car insurance and the difference between "Actual Cash Value", "Stated Value" and "Agreed Value" This is important reading for anyone who wants to properly insure their 356. Here's a quote from a key section of the article: "Insurance companies will use one of three different policy forms. They are generally known as Actual Cash Value, Stated Value or Stated Amount and Agreed Value or Agreed Amount. Each of these three forms is different, misunderstood, and frequently misrepresented by insurance agents." "Most collectible automobiles have stable values and slowly appreciate over time. Because the values are stable, an "Agreed Value" insurance policy should be obtained to protect your collectible automobiles. Under an Agreed Value policy, if your car is stolen or totaled, you will receive the Agreed Value listed in writing on your auto policy. Ninety-five per cent of all standard insurance companies do not offer an Agreed...

Installing a Dual Master Cylinder Using Original Reservoir in a 356C

September 23, 2010 | Safety & Driving | 2 Comments
Text and photos by Kurt Anderson When I installed the Klasse356 dual M/C on my 64C, I altered the installation in order to keep the car more stock looking. I did not install their dual reservoir. I kept my original and put a "T" in the line just below the reservoir bracket (it looks stock unless you take the steering coupler inspection plate off). Note from Bruce Baker: "The special blue supply hose is 8mm, so the corresponding domestic 'T' is 5/16ths, not at every home center or hardware store anymore. A good auto supply store is the best bet." From the "T" I ran one hose over the top torsion bar tube, and one hose under the top torsion bar tube. I attached both hoses to the bolt that held the original reservoir line (using rubber padded clamps), and then attached another clamp setup to the body wall just above the pedal cluster. Works great. The dual reservoir is fine, but is not needed. With the "T" and two hose setup, if I sp...

Tire Pressures for the 356

September 23, 2010 | Safety & Driving | 1 Comment
By Barry Lee Brisco, David Jones, Alan Klingen, Ernie Puskas, Tom Martinez, and Al Zim If your tires are over 9 years old, replace them! Not sure how old they are? Here's how to find out. 356 tire pressures are different from modern cars because of the lightness of our classic vehicles and the unusual weight balance: heavier in the rear, not the front. The factory 356A owners manual recommends 24/28psi front/rear, but that was for bias-ply tires 'back in the day'. The 1965 Elfrink Technical Manual suggests 24/26 for "normal" driving and 26/29 for "fast driving" on 165 tires for the C/SC coupe/cab that had a 2,061 lb. curb weight (the Porsche C Owner's Manual has almost the same figures for "braced tread" tires, the early name for radials). However, since that time, tires have changed dramatically — fortunately much for the better — so be careful applying old pressure recommendations to new tires. Certainly underinflation is to be avoided, as that can produce a lo...

3-Point "Y"-Shaped Seatbelt Installation in a Speedster

September 23, 2010 | Safety & Driving | 0 Comments
Text and photos by Greg Scallon My installation (more photos below) is a direct copy of the set-up that Alan Klingen did for Stan Jensen's speedster. I saw Stan's belts at EASY one day and decided to do mine the same way. Without an extra 4" I-beam welded into the rear bulkhead, I realize there's only so much strength this design has, but I'm confident it'll slow my face down measurably before impact if it ever comes to that. After searching high and low, I was surprised to find that Deist seemed to be the only company with a Y-shaped shoulder belt set-up. I priced them on the Web but couldn't get a better deal than Jim at EASY and would much rather give my money to him than some Web company. FYI: The eye-bolts, washers, nuts, etc came with the belts. The goal was to have the mounting point as close to that 90 degree bend in the bulkhead as possible for strength but to leave room for the eye-bolt on the inside. I drilled from the back, in the engine compartment, and tried to stop...