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Dash Knob Refinishing

September 26, 2010 | Troubleshooting & Repair | 2 Comments
By Phil Carne, Alan Lockyer, and Todd Rudaitis Phil Carney: One of the easy restoration items on a 356 that any one can do is knob restoration. It turns out that the knobs are soluble in lacquer thinner (not paint thinner). Make a little holder using a wooden dowel stuck in the theaded hole. Using the dowel stick, immerse the knob in lacquer thinner for 15 to 45 seconds or so (don't let it touch anything while in the lacquer thinner). Remove knob and use a stiff lint-free cloth to brush the surface so that all crazing disappears. You can even remove small nicks by reimmersing and rebrushing to fill them in. Let the knob dry overnight without touching anything. I drilled a bunch of holes in a piece of wood and put the dowel holding the knob in the hole. The next day I polished each knob on a buffing wheel using blue polishing compound. Since plastic heats pretty easily, I assume a buffer on the end of a drill could also be used. It is almost like magic how th...

Colors for Dash Knobs, Steering Columns & Wheels

September 26, 2010 | Troubleshooting & Repair | 0 Comments
By Tim Herman and Norm Miller Tim Herman: Here are the color formulations for the Grey and Beige knobs, steering wheels, etc. This is for Akzo Nobel/Sikkens acrylic enamel. Used with the catalyst the applied product is very durable and to my eyes dead-on with nice original (albeit old) parts. Your results may differ! BEIGE Quantity 0.30 Liter Product: ABP P1 ColorCode: 426B3 Akzo Code: 426B3 Color Map: 426B3 Q120 276.8 g Q326 0.1 g Q160 1.0 g Q437 10.3 g Q065 86.4 g GREY Quantity 0.30 Liter Product: ABP P1 ColorCode: 419G4 Akzo Code: 419G4 Color Map: 419G4 Q110 204.8 g Q652 1.2 g Q348 1.6 g Q160 14.0 g Q328 25.7 g Q065 76.0 g Norm Miller: I found the closest match in rattle cans to be Do it Best Rust Coat Enamel, sku 790095 Gloss Sand 1018 (1-6) , manufactured by Do it Best Corp, Ft Wayne, Indiana. [Editor] With the change in Sep. 1959 to the 356B model, those par...

Colors for Dash Knobs, Steering Columns & Wheels

September 26, 2010 | Research & Identification | 0 Comments
By Tim Herman and Norm Miller Tim Herman: Here are the color formulations for the Grey and Beige knobs, steering wheels, etc. This is for Akzo Nobel/Sikkens acrylic enamel. Used with the catalyst the applied product is very durable and to my eyes dead-on with nice original (albeit old) parts. Your results may differ! BEIGE Quantity 0.30 Liter Product: ABP P1 ColorCode: 426B3 Akzo Code: 426B3 Color Map: 426B3 Q120 276.8 g Q326 0.1 g Q160 1.0 g Q437 10.3 g Q065 86.4 g GREY Quantity 0.30 Liter Product: ABP P1 ColorCode: 419G4 Akzo Code: 419G4 Color Map: 419G4 Q110 204.8 g Q652 1.2 g Q348 1.6 g Q160 14.0 g Q328 25.7 g Q065 76.0 g Norm Miller: I found the closest match in rattle cans to be Do it Best Rust Coat Enamel, sku 790095 Gloss Sand 1018 (1-6) , manufactured by Do it Best Corp, Ft Wayne, Indiana. [Editor] With the change in Sep. 1959 to the 356B model, those par...

Electric Clock Adjusting Screw

September 26, 2010 | Troubleshooting & Repair | 0 Comments
By Don Ahearn [Editor: This article is reprinted from the 356 Registry magazine, Brett Johnson's Restoration column, Vol. 21 No. 4 Nov / Dec 1997] Every electric clock I've ever seen for a late 356 has an adjusting screw on it, and you don't have to open the clock to get to it. It's on the back. When looking at the back cover, it's at the lower right corner, directly below and in line with the positive connection. If the positive wire is connected you may not see it right away, but it's there. The adjusting screw is an ordinary slotted screw, and it lives behind a tiny hole, maybe 1/16" diameter. It is marked "+" and "-" for fast and slow. You'll need a tiny jeweler's screwdriver; a set of 6 is available at any hobby shop for cheap. You don't even need to remove the radio to get to this stuff. Remove the glovebox liner instead. Just undo the two chrome Phillips screws that hold the metal strap behind the glovebox liner, and work thro...

Factory Fresh Air Blower

September 26, 2010 | Research & Identification | 3 Comments
By Barry Lee Brisco, with contributions from Jim Beam, Ken Daugherty, Steve Fox, Linus Pauling Jr., and Charlie White 356 coupes had little provision for providing adequate supplies of unheated outside air into the cabin if the windows were closed and the heater was turned off. 356A/B models had fresh air vents in the footwells, but they worked poorly, as they were covered with carpet and relied on the speed of the car to force air through them. With the introduction of the T6 body style in September, 1962, a lever on the dash opened vents located in the trunk that forced air into the cabin, but still no power assist was used so the system only had an effect at speed, and even then the results were marginal. On a rainy day where the ambient air temperature was not down in the chilly ranges, if the driver wished to keep the rain out by closing the windows, but wanted the heat off so he didn't boil, the result was usually a stuffy cabin with foggy windows. Of course, ma...

Speaker Sources for T6 Cars

September 26, 2010 | Troubleshooting & Repair | 0 Comments
By Bob Cannon The original round speaker size for the T6 cars was about 5 inches in diameter; current speakers come in 5 1/4 inch diameters, which fit well, but may require that the mounting tabs be trimmed to fit within the speaker grills. The major problem you will face is the overwhelming number of choices available and picking the "best" set for our 1960 versions of a radio. If you are using your original radio, you should choose replacement speakers with high efficiency ratings since the output of these radios is much less than modern units. Efficiency is generally measured in decibels per watt at one meter, or dB/Wm. With an input of a single watt, a speaker with a sensitivity of 90 dB/Wm will produce 90 decibels (dB) of sound at a one-meter distance. Most ìhighly efficient speakers have dB ratings of 91 or above and a speaker rated 3 dB higher than another will require half as much power to produce the same output. Minimum power ratings on speakers provide...

Switching Seats Between Models

September 26, 2010 | Troubleshooting & Repair | 0 Comments
By Jim Breazeale, Al Zim, and Ron Anthony An oft asked question is, "Will the seats from a (Porsche model name) fit into a (different Porsche model name)?" Below are the answers! (Jim Breazeale:) Speedster, GT and even bench seats will interchange with coupe seats. Any T5, T2, T1, or 356 (There is no such thing as a "Pre A") seat will fit on the tracks. T6 seats all use the same mounts and are not compatible with T5 and earlier seat mounts. 911/912 early seats will not fit in a 356. They are similar but are far too wide to fit on the tracks. Also the seat stops are on the oposite side. Some of the parts in the recliner mechanisms are interchangable, though. (Al Zim:) For seats from 1954 though 1957 model year (fat rear seat back). and 1958 through 1961 (thin seat back), including Speedster seats and non-reclining Roadster seats, all will interchange 1954 through 1961. At the start of the T-6 cars 1962 model year through the end of 356 production ...

Wood Steering Wheels: Custom

September 26, 2010 | Research & Identification | 0 Comments
Besides the stock and aftermarket wheels, over the years a variety of customized wheels have been created, as shown here. Click any photo for a larger image, and in some cases multiple images and close ups. Daryl Bruhl custom, Honduran Mahogany, for B/C Submitted by Daryl Bruhl Jack Arct, modified "C" VDM, cut to 15.5", white mahogany, w/ebony stripe and a flat finish. Submitted by Jeff Gamble Daryl Bruhl custom, Honduran Mahogany, B VDM Submitted by Daryl Bruhl Jack Arct, modified "C" VDM Submitted by Jeff Gamble Jack Arct, custom "B" VDM Submitted by Wim Van Der Horst Jack Arct, unsigned Nardi, rewooded in Gabon ebony Submitted by Dave Brenny Stock and Aftermarket Wheels >

Wood Steering Wheels: Stock and Aftermarket

September 26, 2010 | Research & Identification | 3 Comments
For many 356 owners, a wood wheel adds that final classy touch to their car, and it feels great too. The factory generally only installed VDM wheels as original equipment, though Jim Shrager's research shows that starting with the B model, Les Leston wheels could also be ordered from Porsche. There were a variety of aftermarket wood steering wheels used on the 356 model, including wheels made by Nardi, Les Leston, Derrington, and others (custom wheels shown here). Click any photo for a larger image, and in some cases multiple images and close ups. VDM, original Carrera 2 Submitted by Bruce Baker VDM original, unrestored, Carrera 2 Submitted by Anthony P. West VDM original Carrera 2 Submitted by Steve Terrien VDM, late, "recreation" by Bruce Crawford Submitted by Michael Rivkin VDM early, original, unrestored Submitted by Reinhold Plank VDM, early, reproduction By Jeff Fellman Nardi, original, flat, 16" Submitted...

Reassembling a Recliner Back

September 26, 2010 | Troubleshooting & Repair | 1 Comment
By John Lauer   I got my recliner mechanisms back from the plater yesterday, and I have a few tips on reassembly. Page 238 of the Registry Restoration & Repair Guide describes how to build a tool to install that strong spring. Regardless of what you use for a tool, start by screwing the mechanism down to some sort of wood work bench. I used two wood screws with large washers through the holes that attach the recliner to the seat back. Then I drilled a hole in the work bench where the hinge point attaches to the seat bottom cushion. I did this with a cardboard cushion between the chrome and the work bench to aviod scratching. Now you have the whole thing held securely so you can concentrate on the powerful spring which has the potential to make you bleed. As to the tool, if you make one be sure to use some very hard metal for the pegs described in the manual. I wound up using a blade screw driver in the spring windin...