Plum Crazy? 1973 Porsche 911S Restoration (part 2)

Tue, Feb 8, 2011 | Posted by:

Cars, Sweet Builds, Tech

In the first installment of this build, we showed you the tear-down of a well-used 911, and followed it through paint work. Now, take a look at the suspension and electrical work that was done. The before pictures show this car was driven hard! You’ll be amazed at the attention to detail that went into restoration and reassembly.

What makes the 911S so much fun to drive is the outstanding control from the suspension and brakes. The rear engine posed a unique design challenge, and the 911 suspension broke new ground for Porsche. In the front, MacPherson struts on single transverse A-arms connect to longitudinal torsion bars. Rear suspension comprised transverse torsion bars and semi-trailing arms. This was a big improvement from the suspension used on the 356. This 911S uses Koni sport front struts and rear shocks. Vented brake rotors help to keep the brakes cool for improved performance.

Take a look at the suspension and brakes before restoration:

Here you see suspension pieces disassembled and bead blasted in reparation for refinishing. Every fastener was cleaned and refinished (or replaced where needed):

Now, check out the finished, restored suspension:

For such a small car, the Porsche has a lot of wire. Every circuit needs to be documented during disassembly. Color-coded wire helps, but it’s best to mark the wiring and photograph the route and mounting location of the harness.

Here you see the front and backside of the fuse panel:

Here (left) you see the engine electrics, including the ignition amplifier unit and voltage regulator. Also pictured (right) is the back side of the oil pressure/temperature gauge, with color-coded wires:

And here is the restored dash with reconditioned gauges:

The stock, 2.4-liter flat-6 uses mechanical fuel injection, and is mated to a 4-speed transmission. As with all aspects of this restoration, the engine and transmission were completely revitalized down to the smallest detail, including correct markings and decals.

Here’s the engine during reassembly (left), and installed back in the car (right):

All told, months of preparation and exhaustive work have resulted in a stunning automobile. Thanks to the careful hands of knowledgeable craftsmen, the car has literally been given new life! If you have any questions about this restoration, feel free to drop them in the comments. We’d love to share the experiences and information we picked up along the way.


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22 Responses to “Plum Crazy? 1973 Porsche 911S Restoration (part 2)”

  1. Darby Says:

    Wow! The color is beautiful and I get to learn things, too! Thanks for sharing the details.


  2. Don Says:

    Awesome color


  3. Bill Says:

    Awesome finish!
    Very interesting articles.

    Can I ask what brand of paint was used in the painting process? Was it a basecoat / clearcoat system or was it single staged?


  4. Tim Willard Says:

    Hello Bill. The paint used on the 911 was Glasurit brand. It was applied using a single stage paint with a clear coat applied on top.


  5. Hans Says:

    Great job!!! Really enjoyed following this effort. After the suspension pieces were bead blasted, how were they cleaned and refinished? Did you spray them with clear coat?


  6. Tim Says:

    Hello Hans. The suspension pieces were cleaned using Dow-Corning OS2 silicone remover prior to painting. The paint is a Sherwin/Williams industrial coating called Polane. It’s a polyurethane enamel that is very durable and well suited for use on suspension components. Thanks for asking!


  7. mark Says:

    It says that the engine has 295 horsepower. Is this correct,and if so what mods were done to bump it that high?


    • Mike Says:

      Hi Mark. I believe you’re referring to the caption in our Handbook #335. That’s a mis-print… the correct horsepower for this car is 190hp. Good catch!


  8. Doug W Says:

    Nice work. Glad to see you brought one back from the brink and made it completely original. PCA gave away a similar car (’73 911T) this past year after a full factory restoration. Look up “Porsche Revive the Passion” on the web. We’re all just custodians of these great cars. As a concours enthusiast I can attest that your products make it easy to preserve them once they’ve been restored. Keep up the good work providing materials we can rely on!


  9. TOG Says:

    Tim, that process was very interesting and it came out awesome. It must be quite satisfying to take something like that and turn it into a work of beauty. Great job and thanks for sharing with us.


  10. Tim Thomas Says:

    Way beautiful! Interested in selling her?


  11. Ben Says:

    Where did you find the NOS Michelin XWX tires?


  12. Tim Willard Says:

    Hello Ben. We found the Michelins at Coker Tire.


  13. mrearlygold Says:

    Looks beautiful!


  14. Daralaw Says:

    Beautiful! I can see why you are plum crazy. That color works excellent with that Porsche. If I was the owner of that car, I’d also drive it around first before considering to sell it (if ever!)


  15. Wvshrk Says:

    What was the total budget for the rebuild?


  16. Charlie Says:

    Tim, Awesome job! I have a 1969 911S that I am restoring. Your venture has given me inspiration on how to go about it. But I have some questions.
    1) Soda blasting: Any negatives that I should be aware of or make sure certain steps are done before proceeding after soda blasting?
    2) Running gear and engine tins: Powder coat or 2k paint or just a good ‘ol 1 step paint?
    3) Any websites you can recommend on restoration parts and supplies?
    4) Trim and bright parts: What’s the best way to clean or refinish?

    Tim, Thanks for sharing your experience. -Charlie


  17. Tim Says:

    Hello Charlie,
    Thanks for reading our blog.
    1- Soda blasting is a great way to strip paint and undercoating to bare metal. The car needs to be completely taken apart including removing the wiring harness. This is important as the soda can cause corrosion in the wiring. If you go this route have your body shop spray a good sealer coat over the bare metal after blasting.
    2- Single stage paints work well as they achieve the color sheen for an original look.
    3- Pelican Parts is a great resource for Porsche parts. A Google search will yield other suppliers.
    4- Refinishing bright parts is a tough one. The aluminum trim is polished and then clear anodized for protection. Over time the anodizing wears leaving unprotected aluminum to corrode. We replaced most of the trim on this project with new pieces.
    Hope this helps!


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