Camber compensators were installed on Super 90's and offered as an option on 356C's. Porsche's objective with the camber compensator was to improve handling. Their formula was to use smaller rear torsion bars (23mm) combined with a type of spring called a camber compensator.
Whether or not they accomplished their objective is controversial. There are some who believe it improves handling as it was intended to do -- and there are others who believe it actually detracts from handling and should be removed. Presented here is information compiled from the 356 Registry Talk List and other sources.
From: Porsche Speedster: The Evolution of Porsche's Light-Weight Sports Car
The handling of the Super 90 was improved by the installation of a compensator spring. This was not a stabilizer bar, but a leaf spring fixed to the two ends of the rear axle that was supported under the case of the gearbox without being mounted to it. Because this leaf was under tension, ...
By: Mike Robbins
The bearing, universal no. 6306, can be found at most bearing supply houses. It is also used on swing axle Beetles and can therefore be found at VW shops. The large and small O-rings are also used by VW. The axle seal has unusual dimensions and is tough to find outside of Porsche parts handlers. Steps:
1. Remove hub cap.
2. Remove cotter pin in axle nut.
3. Chock wheel.
4. Using 36mm or 1 7/16" 6 point- 3/4 drive socket loosen axle nut.
5. Loosen lug nuts.
6. Jack up side of car and support w/ jack stands.
7. Remove wheel.
8. Jack up outboard end of axle so it is higher than inboard end. Place a secure prop under axle tube, bottom of shock or wherever convenient. This will minimize oil loss out end of axle tube.
9. Using 11mm or 7/16" flare nut wrench loosen the brake line fitting at the banjo fitting on the caliper. Do not loosen the hollow bolt at the banjo fitting. Disconnect the brake line from the banjo fitting.
10. Remove the brake pads.
Text by David Jones, Wil Mittenbach, Bill Strickland, Ab Tiedemann, and Al Zim
Ab Tiedemann: First, make sure that all of the cotter pin is removed.
Then, you will need a good reaction bar. If you have a disc brake car, you can get a very good one from Ashley Page. I purchased one and it works super. It is my understanding that he will also make one for the drum brake cars.
You need a very good breaker bar and socket combination. Good ones are not cheap. (Snap-On about $100-130). A 3/4 inch drive 30 inch length is what I have been using for 40+ years. This, in combination with an impact, six point 36 mm, 3/4 drive socket will whisk most of them off. You most likely waste time or break tools or both if a 1/2 drive combination is used.
Sometimes you will have to resort to the impact wrench. On really stuck ones, you may need one that develops 750 lb-ft of torque. These guns require a lot of air and will quickly run down most air compressors found in the home s...
Contributions by Pete Archibald, Jim Breazeale, Jim Kellogg, Steve Davis, Dave Mitchell, Brad Ripley, Charlie White, edited by Barry Lee Brisco
Jim Kellogg notes that there is another limited ergonomic 356 adjustment: the pedal cluster. The pedal rods are notched for two or three positions. Further out for short ladies and for heel and toe folks the brake pedal can be set lower than the clutch.
The 356 offered relatively little in the way of adjustments when it came to positioning the driver in relation to the steering wheel. The seat went forward or back and that's about it, though this limitation was typical for the cars of the day (see sidebar at right for a helpful note from Jim Kellogg). For owners who wanted the steering wheel a bit closer to them but didn't want to be nearer the pedals, there was an optional "Extended Steering Column", or in German, "Verlangerte Lenksaule".
According to Charlie White this option first shows up in an accessory bookl...
By Bill Sargent
Q1: How do I replace the seals in my ZF steering box?
I rebuilt the ZF box in my 64 C earlier this year. I assume yours is a similar. To replace the seals you will have to remove the steering box from the car and take it apart - at least partially. You will need a tie rod end remover to get the tie rod ends out of the pitman arm.
Once they are off and you remove the steering damper from the pitman arm you can unbend the locking plates on the 4 bolts securing the steering box to the upper torsion bar tube (be sure to replace the locking tabs on the mount bolts with new when reinstalling - Stoddards, NLA and others have them).
Once the steering box is out of the car you will have to remove the two eared connector from the smaller of the two shafts coming out of the box. This is the thing that connects to a similar connector on the steering shaft. Unbend the lock tabs on the clamping bolt and remove th...
By Alan Klingen, Al Zim, Ab Tiedmann, Brad Ripley, and Anthony DeMichael
[Editor: This page contains vendor information on steering coupler replacement parts, as well as some pertinent comments from veteran 356ers on couplers. Note: in July 2005 there was some discussion on 356Talk as to whether the Volvo P1800 steering coupler would work in a 356. Al Zim did some research and feels it definitely will not work, and recommends against it.]
Alan Klingen, The Stable: (posted to 356Talk) Many 356C couplers have broken but their design never allows you to lose total steering, maybe very sloppy but it still can steer. The C uses a wide coupling and the original type one is the only one I would trust but it is $$$, I think $300. Some of our vendors have clones made that are trust worthy. The one I have been using is a dual early type kit made by Brad at NLA. It is a complete kit with all the bolts lock tabs, etc., and is one I would trust. I have used quite a few of them a...
By Gordon Maltby
[Editor: The steering coupler is a sometimes neglected — but critical — component of the steering system. This article, reprinted from the 356 Registry magazine, Vol. 30, No. 2, explains what it does and what to watch out for!]
Every Porsche 356 is equipped with a rubber bushing in the steering column. Its purpose is to dampen vibrations through the steering wheel to your hands and allow a slight amount of flexiblity to the entire connection, since the steering box is anchored solidly to the top torsion bar tube.
The A/B Coupler — Sturdy and Reliable
356A and B cars used a simple rubber disc (a VW part) that has been reproduced in various forms over the years. The original idea was somewhat like a tire's construction, with rubber molded around woven fibers. Some of the replacements available over the years are just rubber, and some have more fiber than others, like the sorry sample Richard Miller sent (below at right). He says it was still in use i...
Contributions from Wyatt Blankenship, Bill Cooper, Max Handley, Jerry Haussler, Tim Herman, John Kehrli, Robert Paxton, and Bill Sargent
[Editor: the question of what silver paint to use on 356 wheels is often asked. NLA/Stoddard sells Wurth Silver in a rattle can that is a very good match, as shown at right (larger photo). For what others have used, read on...]
Wyatt Blankenship: I used Plasti-kote Aluminum 207 plus Plasti-kote Clear 229. Looks real close to what it should be. Found it at PEP Boys. Sand it down with some fine grit paper to remove all rust and loose paint.
Bill Cooper: I have had good results using Dupli-Color #DAL 1679 Silver Metallic lacquer spray paint. This is a non-clear coated moderate sheen paint that approximates the original factory look well, in fact I was complimented on the accuracy and look by a PCA Parade Concours Judge! Available at AutoZone and other FLAPS locations.
Max Handley: The perfect match to the factory silver can be found...
How to install hubcap clips without damaging painted rims
By Brian O'Kelly
When I bought my current 356 project the wheels were already painted but without any hubcap clips.
All it really takes to install them without damaging the wheels are the proper tools, a good work area, and a steady hand. The series of photos that follow take you step by step thru the process. It's a quick job and one wheel can be done to a very high standard in about 20 minutes.
There are two types of clips available, VW and 356 Porsche. At 5 times the price for what appears to be the same thing, it is tempting to go the VW route. However, they are slightly different. To avoid problems use the 356 units if you are using Porsche or quality reproduction hubcaps.
The tools I used for the job were, 5 lb. sledge, a large punch with fattened end, rivet mandrel, a right angle grinder, and eye protection. The rivet mandrel was purchased from ebay and the clips/rivets from Brad at NLA.
Text and Photos by Steve Clarke
When I bought my 65 C coupe it had been sitting indoors for 18 years. While essentially complete some parts had been removed and were either missing or stored elsewhere in the house (I found the gas tank in the attic). Eventually I found 3 of its calipers; apparently the right front had been lost. I was able to obtain an original from Gary at Parts Obsolete, one of our trusted vendors. While complete, all calipers were rusty and needed refurbishing.
Dismantling the calipers is fairly straightforward. In my case some of the bleeder screws required heating the caliper half in order to remove the screws without risking shearing them in two. Remember that as you remove the cross pipes and bleeder screws the caliper assembly looses its assignment as to the left or right axle. If it is important to you mark the caliper halves so they can go back to their original position. I do not recommend the factory procedure for removing the pistons fr...