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Off Topic metal forming for a friend

Frank Canale

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This post may take a couple of post to get all the pictures in. This is a project that I took on for a friend of mine and old friend of the owner of the shop that I work at. The car is a Porsche 914/6 GT. This is not a clone but the real thing. The owner has had it for over 35 years, and years ago wrecked the car and has just gotten it back fully restored from the wreck. He said one day when he brought it by he sure would like to have a steel front valance but they do not make them and never did. Not thinking I said well I can make you one if you are not in a hurry. He said I have been waiting 35 years. I don't think he thought it would happen, and so the project began with a poorly made fiberglass one that did not fit but was a general idea as to what he was looking for and the original valance from a stock 914 to use as a template only. This is all I had to start with as we were not going to take a chance having that car get damaged in the shop.
valance template.jpg
center valance template.jpg
driver side template.jpg

blank layout.jpg

center of blank layout.jpg

driver side blank layout.jpg

center section with mounting flange.jpg

forming lower section of valance.jpg

Center section rough shape.jpg

certer top and center bottom together.jpg

maybe half way done.
 
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Frank Canale

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passenger corner rough formed.jpg

passenger corner welded.jpg

driver side corner rough formed.jpg

test fit.jpg

Test fit #2.jpg

bottom flange added.jpg

first coat of epoxy.jpg

skim coat.jpg

black epoxy.jpg

installed on the car.jpg

About half way thru this project my friend told me this was a dream of his for 35 years and then I knew it was special. He is thrilled and I am very pleased with how it turned out. It's not perfect but not bad for an amateur. This is not a show car but a nice driver that he gets out and enjoys. Frank
 
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Frank Canale

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Thank you John. I have learned a lot doing this project and hope it helps when I start forming the dog leg quarter panels for my car. I worked on it as I had time and felt like working on it. I have to tip my hat to the guys and girls that do this day in and day out as it is not easy work. Frank
 

DavidApp

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That is a great piece of metal work. Looks like it came with the car.

I notice one of your tables has a lip around it. Is that just to stop stuff rolling off?

David
 
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Frank Canale

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That was the main goal to make it look as factory as we could and stay true to the original race cars that had fiberglass front ends.Yes that is a small roll around table with a lip around the top. we use them for all sorts of things. built on furniture dollies so very strong. We can put material, be it plywood or steel on two carts and roll it anywhere we need it and it is at a good working height. Frank
 

RJCOX

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Frank,
Beautiful work!
Did you ever get around to making that gas tank?
I saw this post and thought about that.

Ron
 
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Frank Canale

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Hi Ron, No I have not made the gas tank yet. It is standing on end at the entrance to my shop. I am still trying to decide how I want to form the ribs in the tank. Every time I think I know how to do it I find a flaw in that method. The boot floor taught me a lot about how the material for the ribs has to come from somewhere and if you don't plan correctly you have a mess on your hands. The metal forming can be done in the winter without much trouble. Right now trying to get the tub back together and start painting brackets and any assemblies that are ready. Good to hear from you, hope your car is going well. Frank
 

RJCOX

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My 3 has some gap problems right now, and much like the tank, has me scratching my head thinking of how best to fix. On top of that, I wrecked my right elbow, so I'm working on an engine while healing.

I'm going to be breaking a lot of welds to get the A pillar to drop down some onto the sill but reaching in and holding a grinder for a long time has been, shall we say, uncomfortable. I was assembling the car in preparation tor paint when I noticed the bad gaps under the door. Thankfully it was before paint, so no biggie, but Dad has us on a 49 Jeepster with floorboard issues as well so getting sidetracked is easy.

Ron
 

DrEntropy

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Very nicely done, Frank. I have only seen a few 914/6's "unmolested" and you've hit that air dam on-the-nose as far as I can remember.

One of those cars sat in a private garage in Fort Meyers, FL for a number of years, lost track of it long ago. It was in a non-running condition back then, some pieces removed, can't recall color. My understanding is it fell victim to a divorce. Could the one you got your hands on be it? Stranger things, and all that.

For a short time in the late '70's I worked in a Porsche-Audi dealership, factory certified tech. We "converted" a 914 to a six (service manager's car). A lot of work but it ended well, looked the part and ran as it should. We had an actual one owned by the principal of the dealership to use as a template.
 
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Frank Canale

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No I am afraid this car is not the same one. This car was bought new by a Porsche tech. As far as I know there are only the two owners. They were friends. It has been a privilege to get to work on a car like this, a really fun project. I am currently working on the rear valance. The 914/6 did not come with a rear valance but the owner says the back looks like it has plumbers butt and needs its shirt pulled down. An original 914 valance is being modified to look like it came on the car. It is fun to see the owner really excited to get the final pieces to the puzzle assembled to make the car exactly what he dreamed it should look like. More to come, Frank
 

DavidApp

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I had a similar problem with my TR3A body in that the "A" post was welded too high on the inner sill. Pipe claps helped getting it back into the correct position but I should have sighted the alignment from the back. The drivers side is still a fraction high.

David
 

LionelJrudd

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Really going well Frank. I think Lazze does a video on pre stressing the sheet prior to rolling the ribs in sheet to minimize the buckling of the sheet. (Unfortunately only saw this after I did the tank). When I did my tank. I rolled the ribs in my bead roller then used a form tool I made to round the ends of the ribs. Used some hammer and dolly work to deal with the oil canning / buckling.
 
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Frank Canale

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Great to hear from you Lionel, hope all is going well for you. It is amazing how much stress putting ribs in a sheet distorts it. I found that out when I made the boot floor. I am looking forward to making the tank but that is for the winter when I hope to have more time to focus on that project. Take care, Frank
 

M_Pied_Lourd

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Really Nice Work Frank. A 914 is on my bucket list…

Cheers,
Tush
 
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