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GAS FAB - 1985 Porsche 911 3.2ltr Carrera Cabriolet

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    GAS FAB - 1985 Porsche 911 3.2ltr Carrera Cabriolet

    Early last year I started a part time metal fabrication business, GAS FAB. I’ve been doing everything from structural steel, to architectural pieces to minor welding repairs and now, my first automotive job (not counting the trailer modifications I previously did). With the permission of the owner, I thought I’d share this recent GAS FAB job.
    The customer had seen my previous work on the 1600 and asked if I’d be up for working on his classic Porsche. The car is a 1985 Porsche 911 3.2l Carrera Cabriolet.
    The original scope of the job was to repair/replace both sills and associated shut panels/qtr panels, and drivers’ floor with reproduction panels provided by the customer, make a small repair to the rear above the bumper, replace a sway bar mount and investigate a previous repair at the passenger front corner. The car was delivered with the interior stripped and the passenger side outer sill/part of the quarter panel removed by a previous owner. As I started repairing the car it was clear the scope was going to grow (more on those later).
    Here are some photos of how I received the car.
    GAS_FAB_P911_001 by Garvice, on Flickr

    GAS_FAB_P911_002 by Garvice, on Flickr

    GAS_FAB_P911_003 by Garvice, on Flickr

    GAS_FAB_P911_004 by Garvice, on Flickr

    GAS_FAB_P911_005 by Garvice, on Flickr
    GAS 260Z RB26DET
    GAS 1600 3SGE BEAMS

    #2
    Since the cars structure was questionable, I went about taking various measurements of the current door gaps/openings and then braced the entire car before getting into the repairs. I utilised all factory bolt holes for the bracing to avoid any unnecessary future cleanup/repairs. I braced across the cabin, triangulated each door opening and later added a diagonal from the drivers side rear to the passenger side front (not shown below but can be seen in future photos)
    GAS_FAB_P911_006 by Garvice, on Flickr
    GAS 260Z RB26DET
    GAS 1600 3SGE BEAMS

    Comment


      #3
      With the bracing in place I got to start on the driver’s side sill. These consist of a inner (inside cabin) sill, a middle sill, a kidney bowl (ties the b pillar section with the sill), a jacking point and an outer sill. When removing the panels, it was clear that someone had completed some very poor repairs on the car in the past. Below are some of the bad previous repairs I uncovered.
      Bottom of Qtr Panel had been poorly shapped with flat metal that didn’t fill the entire hole, then was covered with ” of bog.

      GAS_FAB_P911_007 by Garvice, on Flickr

      GAS_FAB_P911_008 by Garvice, on Flickr

      Removing outer sill to find a lot of loose rust

      GAS_FAB_P911_009 by Garvice, on Flickr

      With the outer sill removed you can see that the middle sill and a pillar to floor connections had rusted through

      GAS_FAB_P911_010 by Garvice, on Flickr
      Last edited by garvice; 29-09-19, 08:24 AM.
      GAS 260Z RB26DET
      GAS 1600 3SGE BEAMS

      Comment


        #4
        I needed to remove the door shut panel to get to the kidney bowl panel sitting behind the qtr panel. Unfortunately while looking for spot welds to drill out it was clear I wasn’t the first person in here as all the welds had been ground flat, there was also a seem about half way up the panel. What was worse, the previous repair had just glued the shut panel back to the qtr panel with a bunch of selastic.

        GAS_FAB_P911_011 by Garvice, on Flickr

        With the shut panel removed, I found that the kidney bowl had also been previously repaired, very poorly and that what hadn’t been repaired had all but rusted away. I could also see that the panel behind the kidney bowl was rusted through as well.
        These photos show the rusted out kidney bowl with previous patch work repairs.

        GAS_FAB_P911_012 by Garvice, on Flickr

        GAS_FAB_P911_013 by Garvice, on Flickr

        This is that ill fitting qtr panel repair mentioned previously.

        GAS_FAB_P911_014 by Garvice, on Flickr

        And behind it more poor patchwork repairs to the kidney bowl.

        GAS_FAB_P911_015 by Garvice, on Flickr
        GAS 260Z RB26DET
        GAS 1600 3SGE BEAMS

        Comment


          #5
          Kidney bowl removed showes extent of damage to panel behind the kidney bowl.

          GAS_FAB_P911_016 by Garvice, on Flickr

          Middle sill removed shows floor rusted away

          GAS_FAB_P911_017 by Garvice, on Flickr
          GAS 260Z RB26DET
          GAS 1600 3SGE BEAMS

          Comment


            #6
            So now that I knew what I was starting with, I got started on replacing the old metal with new metal. First repair was to the bottom of the a pillar, this required a few simple panels to be formed as I didn’t have any repair panels for these.

            GAS_FAB_P911_018 by Garvice, on Flickr

            GAS_FAB_P911_019 by Garvice, on Flickr

            GAS_FAB_P911_020 by Garvice, on Flickr

            GAS_FAB_P911_021 by Garvice, on Flickr

            GAS_FAB_P911_022 by Garvice, on Flickr
            GAS 260Z RB26DET
            GAS 1600 3SGE BEAMS

            Comment


              #7
              I then got started on the panel that goes behind the kidney bowl. This panel was a little more complex in shape.

              GAS_FAB_P911_023 by Garvice, on Flickr

              GAS_FAB_P911_024 by Garvice, on Flickr

              GAS_FAB_P911_025 by Garvice, on Flickr

              GAS_FAB_P911_026 by Garvice, on Flickr

              GAS_FAB_P911_027 by Garvice, on Flickr
              GAS 260Z RB26DET
              GAS 1600 3SGE BEAMS

              Comment


                #8
                Once I was happy with how the panel fit alongside the middle sill, I painted inside the sill, put the air vent tube back in place and got to welding the middle sill and the new panel into the car. There are a lot of spot welds on these porsches!

                GAS_FAB_P911_028 by Garvice, on Flickr

                GAS_FAB_P911_029 by Garvice, on Flickr

                GAS_FAB_P911_030 by Garvice, on Flickr

                GAS_FAB_P911_031 by Garvice, on Flickr
                GAS 260Z RB26DET
                GAS 1600 3SGE BEAMS

                Comment


                  #9
                  The new kidney bowl and integral jacking point were welded on next. This is how the panel is meant to look

                  GAS_FAB_P911_032 by Garvice, on Flickr

                  Followed by the outer sill. I had made a template from the previous sill sot the the new outer sill would sit right.

                  GAS_FAB_P911_033 by Garvice, on Flickr

                  GAS_FAB_P911_034 by Garvice, on Flickr
                  GAS 260Z RB26DET
                  GAS 1600 3SGE BEAMS

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I left the driver’s side like this for now and moved onto the same job on the passenger side. The passenger side was already missing the outer sill, so the damage was more visible. This side has also been hit with poor previous repairs, and though they were better than the other side, I was still up for repeating most of the work.
                    This is the panel before I started work.

                    GAS_FAB_P911_035 by Garvice, on Flickr

                    This is the previous repairs on the kidney bowl, this panel came off the car with little more than a few taps of the hammer and showed that I’d need to recreate the panel behind the kidney bowl again.

                    GAS_FAB_P911_036 by Garvice, on Flickr
                    GAS 260Z RB26DET
                    GAS 1600 3SGE BEAMS

                    Comment


                      #11
                      With the middle sill removed, the inner sill/floor was in quite good shape

                      GAS_FAB_P911_037 by Garvice, on Flickr

                      But there was attention required at the bottom of the a pillar

                      GAS_FAB_P911_038 by Garvice, on Flickr
                      GAS 260Z RB26DET
                      GAS 1600 3SGE BEAMS

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I started in on the panel behind the kidney bowl, in much the same fashion as the other side, shapping from flat metal sheet.

                        GAS_FAB_P911_039 by Garvice, on Flickr

                        GAS_FAB_P911_040 by Garvice, on Flickr

                        GAS_FAB_P911_041 by Garvice, on Flickr
                        GAS 260Z RB26DET
                        GAS 1600 3SGE BEAMS

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I couldn’t finish the rear panel without fixing the bottom of the a pillar. This side required more work and meant I had to recreate a few panels from scratch.

                          GAS_FAB_P911_042 by Garvice, on Flickr

                          GAS_FAB_P911_043 by Garvice, on Flickr

                          GAS_FAB_P911_044 by Garvice, on Flickr

                          GAS_FAB_P911_045 by Garvice, on Flickr

                          And said panels welded in

                          GAS_FAB_P911_046 by Garvice, on Flickr
                          GAS 260Z RB26DET
                          GAS 1600 3SGE BEAMS

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I could then weld in the middle sill (a lot of spot welds again) and fabricated panel at the rear

                            GAS_FAB_P911_047 by Garvice, on Flickr

                            GAS_FAB_P911_048 by Garvice, on Flickr

                            GAS_FAB_P911_049 by Garvice, on Flickr
                            GAS 260Z RB26DET
                            GAS 1600 3SGE BEAMS

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Followed by the new kidney bowl and jacking point

                              GAS_FAB_P911_050 by Garvice, on Flickr

                              GAS_FAB_P911_051 by Garvice, on Flickr

                              And finally outer sill

                              GAS_FAB_P911_052 by Garvice, on Flickr

                              GAS_FAB_P911_053 by Garvice, on Flickr
                              GAS 260Z RB26DET
                              GAS 1600 3SGE BEAMS

                              Comment

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