I've always been interested in German cars, especially Porsches. In late 1995, I found a nice looking 1971 Porsche 911T for sale at a car show. The car had 128,000 original miles on the odometer and a nice paint job. A couple weeks later, my brother purchased the car. Over the years since, I have done quite a bit of work on the car to preserve it and keep it on the road. This web page depicts the car's present condition and details some of the work performed since 1995.
This photo shows the car in its present configuration and condition. The body is nice and straight. Paint quality is excellent. Engine, transmission, and wheels are original. Tire size is original. Only deviations from original appearance are aftermarket front fascia, removal of windshield and hatch window trim, and change of paint color. Original paint color was white.
Photo taken at Leeland, Michigan classic car & boat show, 2010. Participation in this show was by invitation only. The yellow car attracted a lot of attention.
Porsche 911 cars built prior to 1974 did not feature galvanization of lower unibody parts as a corrosion inhibitor. This explains why rust-free early cars are nearly impossible to find. In late 2009, this car had several issues needing attention. The most serious was rust in the front suspension mount area. I removed the entire front suspension, cut out rusted suspension mount and part of the front pan and began to install replacement components.
Photo shows front suspension removed. Holes in lower front are where factory spot welds were cut out to release lower front pan.
This photo shows fitment of new front pan and suspension mount. I chose lap joints rather than butt welds favoring superior strength over appearance and used a combination of spot welds, mig welds, and steel rivets to complete the installation. The empty space in the center of the photo is where the fuel tank extends below the belly pan. The car had some issues with fuel contamination so this was a good time to also install a new fuel tank. After trying unsuccessfully to locate a new exact replacement tank for several weeks, I installed a later model tank instead. The only disadvantage of the later tank design is the original spare tire is not compatible. However, a later model Porsche "Space Saver" spare will fit.
The original passenger side door sill and rocker panel were also rusty so new parts were welded in.
Glass, doors, deck lids, and trim removed, car masked off & ready for primer. The old yellow paint was not cracked or checked in any way and still adhered very well so it was thoroughly sanded but not taken to bare metal.
Application of primer coat. All paint work was done in state-of-the-art spray booth.
Application of color coat - After color coat, clear was applied and car was re-assembled with all new rubber seals around windows, under badges, door handles, etc.
After my brother had owned the car for about a year, we decided to do a complete engine overhaul. In retrospect, a top overhaul of just the cylinders would probably have been sufficient but we went all the way and the engine has now performed beautifully for 43,000 enjoyable miles of driving since the overhaul.
The original, nitrided crankshaft was measured and magnafluxed to check for wear and detect cracks. The crank checked out OK so it was simply polished, cleaned, and re-installed with new, standard size bearings. The connecting rods were were checked for straightness and sized for fit of new insert bearings and wrist pin fit. All machine work performed on the engine's internal parts was done by C&P Machine in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
The original cylinder barrels and pistons were replaced with all new, standard bore piston and cylinder kits.
C&P Machine also reconditioned the cylinder heads. New valves were installed as were later-model "Turbo" valve guides to make the engine more compatible with today's unleaded fuels.
Reground camshafts and cam followers by Web Cams were installed along with new timing chains. The chain tensioner upgrade had already been done on this engine. This photo shows one of the camshafts being "degreed in". Porsche does not rely on simple timing marks on sprockets for proper valve timing.
Freshly overhauled engine ready for installation. The original Zenith carburetors were re-built and retained. A modern crank-trigger ignition by Electromotive and Clewett Engineering was installed in place of the original distributor as parts for the original distributor were no longer available. The electromotive unit affords almost infinite advance curve adjustment plus an adjustable rev limiter feature. Note: I installed an inconspicuous push/pull type, On/Off switch in the left rear area of the engine compartment. The switch may be useful for a service technician. It may also be used as an anti-theft device.
One little piece of information that may be helpful to someone is the fact this engine has a "dry-sump" lubrication system meaning the engine oil reservoir is a separate oil tank rather than a traditional oil pan. One of the reasons we overhauled the engine was because the engine would smoke occasionally. Ultimately, we learned smoking is what they do if the oil tank is overfilled.
A few other things worth mentioning were done in the first year my brother had the car before the engine overhaul. First of all, the brakes would tend to not fully release after braking. This problem was the result of soft, worn out, old flexible rubber brake lines. All the rubber lines were replaced as were the calipers and pads.
Another thing that made a big difference was the addition of Weltmeister adjustable sway bars front and rear.
Also, the transmission was rebuilt by an independent Porsche mechanic when my brother lived in the Kansas City area. The mechanic did a beautiful job and no excuses need to be made for the transmission operation today.