Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Update -- Restoring a Porsche 911 Targa Top III: The Jig is UP!

Outer top and burlap along with come padding removed. On the left the black webbing is still covered with burlap, that I did not to want to remove becuase of alignment considerations.

Oh, Oh! I didn't figure on this when I bought the top for $50 at a swap meet in Oceanside, CA.

Wood jigs spacing the plates at set distances. Since webbing was broken, the top had lost its alignment.

Hi folks -- it has been a while since I updated you on the Targa top restoration project, "Clapton." OK, it has turned out to be a far more complicated story than initially anticipated. One major issue is that the webbing that keeps the plates aligned was broken in several key places. What that meant was that no longer were the plates aligned properly. God, what do I do now? Well, I did careful measurements and then built a jig out of wood pieces. I noted that the optimal alignment -- since the center plate and the two end plates do not move -- is that of 6.5 mm from outer plate to inner plate, and 5.2 mm from inner plate to center plate -- on both sides. So today I cut very carefully using a fine blade on a circular saw these jigs, and put them in the top to serve as spacers. Now that that is done, I can cement and rivet in place (earlier I drilled out the old rivets) the tough black webbing that holds the alignment of the plates. Once that is done, the next step will be to glue on burlap and a thin foam pad, before gluing on the outer cover and finally the inner headliner. So I'll keep you informed from time to time.
However, my next agenda item is finishing a book review for a journal on the history of the automobile in California, entitled Wheels of Change, by Kevin Nelson. This is a great read and I will aim to give it a review that will encourage others to read this fine book.

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