Saturday, November 8, 2008

A Little Progress

Went down to the painters today to check on the progress. All the primer is on, body work and sanding is finished. I need to get off my butt and figure out what color white I'm going to paint this thing.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

At the Painters

So the car is at the painters now, sorry didn't take any pictures down there. My neighbors son in law has a body shop and he is doing the paint. Nice thing is his shop is about 5 min. away so I can give him a hand if needed and check on things with out driving for miles.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

OK now it's really ready for paint

So I thought I had finished up all the bodywork but since the sun gas actualy been out a little bit up here I saw a few more spots that needed a little work. I also decided to install a Rensport mirror so had to drill the holes for that also. Today I finished it all up, fiberglassed the hole up for the steering tube, painted the trunk with trunk spatter paint. It is now ready for the painter. I can't wait!

Sunday, May 18, 2008


Finished up mounting the steering today. Had a moment of clarity last night to solve a minor engineering problem and banged it out in about an hour and a half today on my last day of vacation. Now it's really ready for paint.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Grey Ghost

We finaly got some decent warm weather up here in the great? Northwest and I had a little time to finish up all the small bodywork items that needed to be done still. Here it is all ready for paint. I'm just waiting for my painter to get his last project out the door and he can come get mine and get started. The steering colum is done just need to put the final weld on it.

Maybe I will have this thing done before summer is over!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


I decided I didn't like the plain four bolt look on the car and the smoothie hubcaps look nice but I wanted something a little more racy looking so I have been looking for something to spruce up the wheels for awhile. I found these plastic covers in our local VW parts store, the world famous BOW WOW auto parts, they were hanging way up near the ceiling all dusty and they had 5 left so I bought them all to try them out. 5 bucks each so what the hell. I found some Porsche crest badges on ebay for 15 bucks that were the same size as the VW emblem in the center that look pretty good.

I had a moment of inspiration today anf thought there might be a way to make them match the chrome wheels a little better so I stopped by the local NAPA store and bought a can of Duplicolor chrome paint. I them trimmed all the sharp edges and flash off the hubcap and primed it with Krylon Fusion paint. This paint is made to stick to plastic and is an enamel just like the chrome paint and really works well. After the Fusion was dry I put on a good coat of the chrome and it layed down really smooth over the Fusion and looks like polished Aluminum. I think they loook pretty cool. The caps are made by REVESCAR and I don't know if they are even available any more but there should be some floating around out there someplace.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Which way do we go?

Got my steering wheel dilemma sorted out. Keep in mind that if you use a NARDI steering wheel and the adaptor that T/R uses on their cars with it. The steering shaft that you need to use is the pre collapsible shaft version. I'll call it the middle years version. It's after the late 50's models and say pre 1970. The late 50's models have very large chunky splines on the shaft. The middle years have kind of finer machined splines and the collapsible shafts have a smaller overall diameter with small splines. I was able to get another complete shaft assy. from a friend so I'm good to go. Just need to cut to length now.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

My name is Bondo, James Bondo

Finished up most of the exterior bodywork today still a couple areas that need a little help that I noticed after I primed the front fenders. The weather was good enough today to give the car it's first good wash since I strated working on it 2 years ago. It was nice to get all the dust and crap off it and it makes it a little easier to spot what I still nedd to work on. One thing to watch for while you are doing the bodywork is the globs of wax they use as mold release. Some of it is pretty tough to get off as it has hardened up over time.

Thursday, March 6, 2008


Remember the J tubes I was bitching about not fitting well................THEY FIT FINE! if you install them correctly. They need to run over the frame crossmember not under it like I was trying to do. One more mistake you don't have to make now that I have made it for you.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Man, my arm is tired!

Started doing the bodywork the last couple weekends. Lots of little stuff to fix. mostly pinholes in the gelcoat. The biggest area that needs work is over and around the front fenders. I ordered to wide body option and the flares up front look like they are cut into the stock fenders and then glassed on so there is some rough sanding marks that need attention. Also around the back behind the passenger compartment by the headreast there a quite a few small imperfections that need a little bondo but overall not so bad. I wet sanded with 600 grit to smooth it all out clean it with body prep and then prime it and go back over it to see if I missed anything. Overall the fiberglass work on the kit is pretty good and tough.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Details Details.....

My stuff arrived from Fibersteel Friday so this weekend I finished up the brake and Clutch hydraulic lines and got them secured to the floor with clamps and got the holes for the front and rear badges and crests drilled. Kind of a tricky job with not template for the crests but the old measure four times drill once worked out ok for me. I also mounted the engine cover tie down straps.

Sunday, February 3, 2008


So while I am waiting for T/R to ship me the new J tubes I thought it would bo good to get the brakes and clutch lines run. This requires drilling a few holes in the front tub and the center rib in the passenger compartment and also in the rear firewall. I used a .500" diameter drill to do this as the fittings were already on the lines had and they needed to fit through the holes. My Brother Bob came over to help and he did some nice clean tube bending up front to make sure it all fit nice. We also mounted the master cylinder for the brakes. The clutch cylinder has a resivoir on it but the instructions say to mount one so I guess they have changed parts for that. Did not have time to fill and bleed it all but it looks like it should all work fine.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Finaly it's home!

I finaly brought the car home to my place from MANLAND. I have hooked up the steering for the time being with tack welds just so I can steer it around a little easier. I have also started to install the exhaust system but ran into some trouble. The original system that T/R sent with my kit was made wrong and required me to send it back to them to have it fixed so the collector hung a little lower to clear the frame. otherwise the J tubes coming back from the forward cylinders could not be inserted into the collector. Anyhow I sent it back and they fixed it but since I couldn't fit the J tubes in the first place to check their fit now I have the back part in place and the J tubes are not right. Soooooo back to T/R they go to be exchanged for a new set. Hopefully this fixes the problem.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Just a few pictures

Just a few shots to show how the kit looks all uncrated and on jackstands. The crate is pretty sturdy and takes a while to get it all broken down and it makes quite the pile of stuff to haul to the dump.

Monday, January 14, 2008

The Motor

The Motor for the car is a brand new 1776cc dual carb (kadrons) with a Engle 110 cam. I'm shooting for reliability in this car so I didn't want to build a hand grenade motor. I'm pretty sure the 1776 will do the job in a 1300lb car!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

More Power

So you have probably noticed that since I have the wheels on the transaxle must be in the car. Well your right. Again like I said I deviated from the instructions a little bit since my first goal was to get it on it's wheels. I will say this, I think it would be much easier to put the engine and trans. together first and then mount it in the car. The reason I say this is because after the trans. is in getting the motor in between it and the chassis and firewall is a tight squeeze. It can be done but you have been warned! You can see in the pictures the scratches on the frame and firewall that happend when I wedged it in there. Once it's in bolt it to the trans. and your good to go. DO NOT FORGET THE THROWOUT BEARING!!!!!! In case you are wondering no, I did not forget mine but I know someone who did and he had to remove the engine to install it. This isn't something you want to do twice especialy if the car is painted before. You don't want to risk damaging the paint do you?

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Wheels of steel

So after all the hassle with the front end the rear susp. was pretty easy. There is no right hand left hand etc... marked on the parts so make sure you get it right the first time. The instructions are very clear about the measurment from the upper shock mount to the end of the spring plate. I used what the manual says 11 1/4" inches and I think the car sits just right at this height. As far as getting the ends of the spring plates pushed into the bushings, do yourself a favor and use long old bolts or all thread to pull it all together and then replace them one at a time with a bolt and nylock after you get it all snugged down. The spacers between the spring plate and the mount are approx. 5/8" it does not mention that in the instructions and that is the measurment I got from T/R on the phone from Tom, he should know he has built a few of these. The spacers are just tube steel. after that pop on the wheels drop it on the ground and adjust your front ride height. The two adjusters up front give you about 2" up or down each. Here is my car on it's wheels for the first time.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

T stands for trouble

So Like I mentioned I had a few quality issues to deal with when I first started. I chose to do the front and rear suspention first so the car could be rolled around as needed. The T/R manual kind of follows a rational path but I have deviated from that path a little as I am a guy and guys don't follow directions very well. Anyways back to the Issues. First thing was I found a broken bearing shell that had been powder coated over on the front beam and when I was cleaning out the upper tube I found what was left of the bearing rollers. There was also a punch hole that looks like it was made with a screw driver next to the tube on the shock upright. So after much grinding prying and cussing I got the remains of the old bearing out. So on with the assembly right?.....Wrong! in the left lower tube I found a bugpac urethane bushing that was pushed way back into the tube. I found this out when I was finishing up the front susp. assembly and of course the last piece I was putting on was the left side lower trailing arm. So, I had to dis-assemble what I had done on the lower beam and figure out how to get the urethane bushing out as I could not get the trailing arm to seat with it in there.

Long story short I ended up pounding the trailing arm in as far as I could with a deadblow hammer and then using a slide hammer was able to pull the bushing closer to the open end of the tube. I then took a large soldering iron with a long flat tip on it and was able to cut the bushing into four pieces and pull it out. After all that I welded up the punch hole and the rest went together per the instructions, took awhile to get it all done though.

Where to start......

First off let me start by thanking my buddy Jamie. He allowed me to keep my car at his place for far too long not to mention "MANLAND" as it's known to all of us is a great place to work on stuff. Here are a few shots of what a T/R kit looks like in it's crate. Mind you the shipping company carries these crates on their side to save room so when you go to pick it up and have to lay it flat on a trailer for transport better bring a couple strong friends to help out or you might have a problem. I actualy had the guy at Freight Forward just drop it on the trailer and after a few minutes of trying to figure out how to lay it down he just got into his forklift without a word to me and drove off. I thought he was going to get some help but he never came back. I asked a couple other guys if they could give me a hand and they didn't seem to interested until I told them I would just leave the truck where it was blocking their ramp until they helped me get it into a transportable condition and were actualy pretty cool about it once they saw how the other dude left it.

Let's get started shall we?

So here it is, I planned on starting this when I first got the kit. I will attempt to detail the build of my Thunder Ranch Porsche 550 replica here. I bought this kit almost two years ago and have kind of worked on it in fits and starts. It really should be finished by now, but I am going to attempt to finish it by this summer. I chose the T/R kit after doing some research and for the most part I have been happy with my decision. I have had a couple quality issues with my kit and T/R has been for the most part good to work with and they do seem to care and stand behind their product.