October 2020

Issue link: http://digital.nexsitepublishing.com/i/1299706

Contents of this Issue


Page 18 of 47

OCTOBER 2020 WWW.PNWR.ORG 19 continued on next page This is the fourth in a series of five articles chronicling the DIY 'driver' level restoration of my 356C that will focus on the twin-plug 'restomod' engine build. The previous three articles explained how I acquired the car and went into detail on the body work and painting done by MAACO. The final article in November will cover the interior restoration and engine break-in. Getting a chance to drive a 356 with a twin-plugged engine was enlightening during my 2007 to 2009 'apprenticeship' where I learned engine building from my good friend, Jack Morris. The experience left me lusting for all the torque these engines produce. I was deemed a 'graduate' when I successfully rebuilt the bone stock 1600 cc engine for my matching numbers 1966 912 at my home shop. It runs great, but it constantly reminds me that it only has 90 horsepower! If I learned anything at Jack's Wolfsburg Motorwerks shop, it was that I'm a cookbook mechanic, totally lost without the workshop manuals. This would make Jack a Cordon Bleu mechanic by comparison. So, investing in his 'secret recipe' using all the expensive new parts in a twin-plug long-block engine for my 356C was an opportunity I couldn't resist. A minor logistical challenge emerged when Jack moved his business to Salt Lake City in 2014. So, we put things on the back burner until he got his new shop up and running. The goal wasn't about big horsepower and impressive top speed bragging rights. For me, the main objectives were to keep all the modifications entirely bolt-on, completely reversible, and most importantly, result in a durable engine that would run cool for many miles. The motivation for twin-plugging the engine was to get it set up for future 'canyon-carving' while running at the lower end of the 3,000 to 5,000 rpm range. I didn't want to be forced to downshift much on long hills and for the car to handle the higher altitude driving that comes with the mountain passes here in Western Washington. Retaining the cabin heat and defrost functions was also non-negotiable. The first reality check in this adventure was sending the sad, oil- hemorrhaging case off to Ollie's Machine Shop. They isolated the cause of the oil leak, which was due to sloppy line boring and an out of round center bearing saddle. This caused flex and vibrations in the crankshaft and flywheel seal that caused oil weeping. The good thing is that this 1965 "C" 616/15 engine case has all the internal webbing reinforcements made over the evolution of the 356 series. The bad thing is it had lived a long life, was already on 2nd over bearings, and needed to be resurfaced to machine off both the center mating surfaces to make it slightly narrower. This also required re-drilling the

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Spiel - October 2020