Taking a 911 Apart, Repainting
and Putting It Back Together -

Part Four

By Edward H. Coon

When you look at your car with the paint off, you might say to yourself, "this car is really ugly". You will most likelly be correct, it is really ugly. Now is the time to take pictures from many angles, as well as close-up pictures. Some day if you ever sell the car, you will be able to show exactly where the rust was or that it had no rust. Pictures also show the hard work that goes into a project like this.

When the car is completely stripped, it is time to give your project over to your painter. Discuss the following with him:

  1. Make sure that you specify that you want the best paint available. I have used Glasurite paint and have found it to be excellent.
  2. With the paint off, you and the painter can see rust, body work, or other areas that need to be repaired. The painter should give you a better estimate of cost, now that the paint has been removed.
  3. Ask to see the car after the final primer coat has been applied.
  4. The final coat should be exaxtly the color you have selected. There should be no dirt, runs, drips, or errors in the paint.
  5. A word of caution on payment for work performed on your car. It has been my misfortune to learn an important lesson, (education does cost money one way or another), never pay for services BEFORE they are finished and you are ready to take delivery of your car. In some cases a request for "UP-FRONT" money for parts or materials is acceptable.

While the painter has your car, it would be a good idea to have your seats and interior repaired. If you take out the frontseats yourself you will save some of the labor charge.

Tip No. 119 - when taking out the seats of a 911SC, push the seat all the way backwards and remove the two front 10mm bolts holding the seat to the rail frame. Next, push the seat all the way forward so that the two rear 10mm bolts are exposed and easier to get at.

When you receive your car and all the painted parts, take care not to scratch them or mark them up. The paint will take a few days to cure and will remain "soft" for a few days to a week depending on the weather and temperature. Putting the car back together is more than half the fun. It is exciting and rewarding to see your project develop and come back into shape. At this point it is like putting a "kit car" together without directions.

This would be an excellent time to replace your dash top. In order to replace it, you must have the window removed. The nuts and bolts attaching the dash top to the body are located behind the heater fans, hoses and windshield wiper motors in the front trunk and are not easy to reach.

Putting the car back together takes patience and planning:

  1. Take your time.
  2. Replace all rubber seals.
  3. Take a section at a time and lay out the parts with the rubber seals and see how it all fits back together.
  4. Check all the nuts, bolts and fasteners to see if they are rusted, broken, or stripped. Replace them with new ones if necessary. If you are not planning to show the car for Concours, your local hardware store has a wide variety of metric nuts, bolts and similar attaching hardware and they are usually cheaper than OEM parts. If it sounds like I am trying to save money, " you've got that right."
  5. Use Anti-Seize on all bolts and screws, along with lock washers. You never know, you may have to take something apart again and this time it will come off easier.
  6. Don't wax the car for at least 6 months because the paint must breath and cure.

Well, there you have it. It is a lot of work but I can assure you that the finished project is well worth the effort.

May your socket never find a rusted nut,

May your scraper never make a gouge,

May your paint never see a rock,

And may your friends say, "WOW! YOU DID THAT??"

If you have any questions, advice, or stories, please contact me at ecoon@netside.com

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Last Update: 28-Feb-1997 2:30 PM ET