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Seat Belts in your 356

March 23, 2011 | Safety & Driving | 2 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...

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

January 18, 2011 | Troubleshooting & Repair | 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).  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 spring a leak in the one-half of the system, it will quickly drain that half of the system and all the fluid from stock reservoir. BUT- since it is gravity feed from the "T" to the M/C, the other half of the system retains all of it's fluid, plus the fluid...

Fan Blade Failure, and a Fix

December 3, 2010 | Troubleshooting & Repair | 2 Comments
Text and photos by Jim Ansite and Roy LockYou are enjoying a drive on a lovely fall day. Cruising along at 3400 RPM’s, suddenly there is a loud bang! You quickly shut off the engine and coast off the highway. Getting out of the car for a closer examination, you see a big puddle of oil, a smoking engine, and realize that shutting off the engine was a wise decision.Previously, you had noticed a whistling noise at speed and had tried to have it diagnosed and fixed to no avail. Once you get your 356 up on the lift, shards of metal fall out of the engine compartment. A close examination of the shrapnel indicates a cooling fan failure. As dangerous as those are, all the shrapnel was contained by the engine and its components. It was truly a catastrophic failure. ALL the blades separated from the two cooling fan end plates. Never in my 35 plus years of association with 356’s and 912’s had I seen all the blades separate. Here is the evidence of failure. Here are the pieces of the cooling f...

Why Should I Care About Compression Ratio?

December 1, 2010 | Troubleshooting & Repair | 0 Comments
By Ron LaDow If you are not contemplating or in the midst of an engine rebuild, you probably don't care about compression ratio. If you are, there are certain facts which should figure in your thinking. Engine life is inversely related to engine RPM. The 'power' an engine makes is largely irrelevant to engine longevity. An engine that makes 100HP at 5,000 RPM, and limited to that speed, will far outlast an engine that makes 75HP at 6,000RPM, and regularly run to that speed. Loads increase linearly with power and geometrically with speed. Engine speeds above 5,000 RPM are where almost all horsepower is quoted since it’s easier to make big horsepower numbers there. It's just not easy to make them at the RPMs commonly used; those big numbers are swapped for power elsewhere in the engine speed range. It's also easy to make noise, and this is entirely too often confused with power. There are four ways of increasing power in the range between 2,000 and 5,000 RPM,...

356 C Shift Linkage Refurbishment

November 17, 2010 | Troubleshooting & Repair | 5 Comments
By Ron LaDowShifter action in a 356 will never equal a car with has the lever sticking right out of the transmission, but it should be crisp and accurate in its selections. If your shifter seems vague, there are plastic bushings in three locations subject to wear which can make a great deal of difference in feel and accuracy. They are not expensive, a standard wrench set pretty much covers the tools required, but you should devote a weekend to the project if you've never done it before.PartsCup Bushing - (1) - Stoddard's part # 911.424.139 (for B/C cars, original # was 695.424.110.00). This is a plastic cup at the base of the leverRing Bushing - (1) - 695.424.211.01 A plastic ring bushing just aft of the cup bushingCoupler Bushings - (2) - no separate part numbers; ask by name These are two plastic bushings in an aluminum coupling, similar to a u-joint mechanism, just forward of the transmission noseInner Boot - (1) - 695.424.922.00Outer Boot - (1) - 695.424.921.03Buy the bushings f...

Fan Shroud Colors: Factory Photos

October 31, 2010 | Research & Identification | 10 Comments
Return to article on Fan Shroud Colors. Bill Romano: I took these photos at the Porsche factory in 1962 and 1963. They show rows of engines awaiting installation. There are both gloss black and gloss grey fan covers on engines with Zeniths and I guess these were Normals and Supers. Then there are S90's with Solex carbs that appear to have the same color fan covers as the supers (gloss grey). The grey ones could be silver I guess but they look grey in my photos; they are certainly not white but I can't tell if they're exactly the same shade as the Supers. Return to article on Fan Shroud Colors.

Messko Tire Gauge Pouches

September 29, 2010 | Research & Identification | 2 Comments
By Jim Perrin & Jerry Haussler   Q: Were all tire gauge pouches made of vinyl, or were the earlier ones leather? A: The tire gauge pouches were leather from the early 50s in all the tool kits through the 356B model; the only exception is for the version of the T6B tool kit that had no tire gauge. Like everything else, there were various versions of the leather pouch. The earliest ones are the nicest ones. They had much more sewing along the edges (I think the stitching used was called surge stitching) of the earliest ones. In addition, there was a little piece of material sewn inside the bag next to the inner surface of the metal snap so that it wouldn't scratch the lens of the gauge. An unusual variation is that a few pouches were suede leather. Pouches are made from two pieces of leather. Reproduction pouches invariably have two halves that matching leather grain, i.e., out of one hide. Many, but not all, of the orig...

Identifying Blaupunkt Radios by Series Designation

September 29, 2010 | Research & Identification | 6 Comments
By Charlie White   Q:How do I Identify my Blaupunkt radio? A: Blaupunkt radios were manufactured with a series designation and a serial number. The easiest way to tell the approximate age of a Blaupunkt radio is by the series designation, as: K 1956-1957 S 1957-1958 G 1958-1959 Q 1959-1960 D 1960-1961 E 1961-1962 T 1962-1963 U 1963-1964 V 1964-1965 W 1965-1966 This letter designation is usually found on a "paper" tag/label affixed to the side of the radio. The letter usually is in front of the serial number. It appears from the information I have, that the first part transistor Blaupunkt radios were introduced in 1958-59, with the Koln TR US. This radio would have been mostly tubes, with one or two transistors. In 1959-1960 the Frankfurt TR US appeared, and the conversion to all transistor was completed sometime around 1965. Just a tidbit from an accumulation of information that I have gathered together about Blaupunkt...

Links to Other Websites for Research & Identification

September 29, 2010 | Research & Identification | 2 Comments
These links will take you off the 356 Registry website. Look up 356 Chassis Numbers, Engine Numbers, and Transmission Numbers Eric Cherneff's website 356 & 912 Engine Type Numbers Eric Cherneff's website 1950 - 59 Official Factory Parts Book PDF 3.4Mb, official Porsche website 1960 - 65 Official Factory Parts Book PDF 3.4Mb, official Porsche website Porsche Parts Catalogs, all models, all years official Porsche website Factory Parts Books DerWhite's website Factory Workshop Manuals 1950 - 65 DerWhite's website Factory Paint Colors A, B, C John Willhoit's website Factory Color Charts A, B, C DerWhite's website Factory Toolkits A, B, C Eric Cherneff's website Factory Toolkits A, B, C DerWhite's website Owner's Manuals DerWhite's website Factory Price Lists A, B, C DerWhite's website Factory Options A, B, C DerWhite's website Factory Radio Options DerWhite's website Blaupunkt Radios DerWhite's website Dealer Installed Air Conditioning Systems DerWhite's website ...

356A Driver's Manuals, "Vintage" and Reprints

September 29, 2010 | Research & Identification | 2 Comments
Text and scans by Charlie White, edited by Barry Lee Brisco, with additional contributions from Orr Potebnya, Bill Strickland and Michael Zois NOTE: The colors that you see shown in the images below do not necessarily accurately represent the actual colors. Digital photos/scans and computer monitors vary significantly in how they show colors. There are a number of slightly different 356A Driver's Manuals in circulation. The images shown below are an attempt to make clear which are vintage (the versions provided with the A model when it was new) and which are later official Porsche reprints. Only English language versions are covered here: the 356A Driver's Manual was also published in French and German. Shown below is the cover and 1st page of an original 356A Driver's Manual, print date October 1956: notice the black spiral binding. Orr Potebnya notes that the October 1956 edition is 112 pages long and differs from the l957 edition with the inclusion of 16 pages ...