Rennline Shop Projects

Project 50 Shades of Grey – Full Build!

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For this build we wanted to do something a little bit different. Something that would challenge us technically and drive new product development. What we ended up with was what we feel is the perfect car. A backdated, turbocharged, widebody 911. We were lucky enough to find a donor car that had recently gone through a powertrain rebuild. This consisted of a built 3.4 L Turbo engine, rebuilt 930 4spd transmission, and all 930 running gear including brakes and suspension. The car had been in an accident in the late 1980’s and received a slantnose conversion at a Porsche dealership in SoCal using all factory parts. On this build, we weren’t looking for the slantnose look, but the rest of the car was perfect for what we had in mind.

Upon the car arriving at the shop, we went through the typical process of stripping it down to bare metal, re-plating all the hardware, and breaking out the hammer and dolly to begin the metal work. We began at the rear quarters by rounding out the fender profile, and widening the turbo flares by about 20mm. Next we moved up to the front where we installed an Early Dansk front latch panel. Once this was in place, we cut most of it away to install our front oil cooler box along with our signature brake cooling ducts. Next up we installed some early steel fenders along with some steel flares which again got dollied out for a rounder profile.

For the front bumper we picked up an early steel bumper, added a hole for our oil cooler, and shaved the rest of the bumper of any holes. We also widened the bumper to match our fender profile. Finally, we built a steel valance to complete the OEM look.

Next we moved back to the hood and gas tank with the installation of an RSR style fuel filler. Here we started some new product development which included a machined gas cap, filler neck which we welded to the gas tank, and carbon Kevlar fuel catch bowl. While we were in the trunk, we also developed an RSR style weld in strut brace.

At this point, we put the car on the rotisserie and began cleaning up the underside. Once all of the metalwork was completed, we sprayed the underside of the car with Wurth SKS Stoneguard. Then the color started to take color or lack thereof in a light grey. While on the rotisserie, we sprayed several test color codes of grey, but didn’t come across any that really struck a chord. At this point we nicknamed the car #project50shadesofgrey, and mixed up the final color having complete disregard for any factory color code.

Finally, we sent the chassis off to our friends at Washburns Autobody and they got to work on the final fitup, bodywork, and paintwork. The result was phenomenal resembling a mix between a battleship, and a tin of putty.

While the car was away for paint, we got to work on the suspension and brakes. We intended for this car to be 90% street use, 10% track use so we setup the suspension accordingly. Starting with the front suspension, we installed a set of Rennline HD Strut Mounts, Bilstein HD insert, Rennline HD Control Arm Bushings, Rennline De-cambered Ball Joints, Rennline Bump Steer Kits, Tarett Engineering through body Sway bar and Droplinks, and of course the RSR strut brace that we developed on this car. We also raised the spindles 19mm and gusseted them to the strut housing.

For the rear suspension, we bead blasted and clear coated the rear trailing arms, before pressing in a set of Rennline HD rear trailing arm bushings and new wheel bearings. Working our way out we also installed a set of Bilstein Rear Shocks, Rennline HD Adjustable Spring Plates with HD bushings, 29mm Sanders Torsion bars, and Tarett Engineering rear sway bars.

Moving onto the brakes, we cleaned up our 930 setup and reinstalled these under a set of 16x8 Fuchs, and 16x9.5 Fuchs that were made by machining down a set of 16x6’s and swaging them into new lips.

When the chassis came back from paint, we installed our suspension and brakes using our shiny new hardware, and then we got moving on the electrical side. Step one was to install some Rennline Bi-Xenon Headlights with clear lenses. After years of driving these cars in the dark, it was time for something new… real light output that looks factory.

The wiring harness that was in the car seemed to have had been the project of several garage electricians and at this point, it was time for a clean start. We built a new wiring harness from scratch using a Watsons fuse box and universal loom. 4 months later, we had a very tidy wiring harness with only the bits and pieces that we needed. Our harness started at an Odyssey PC925 Battery mounted in a Rennline battery relocation kit located in the smugglers box. This gave us a weight savings as well as better weight distribution.

On top of the smugglers box was a Rennline Smugglers Box Cover with kill switch mounted to it. Behind the Smugglers Box we installed our Rennline Blower Motor Cover to do away with the factory cardboard unit that had just about disintegrated to nothing.

Moving inside the car, we installed our Rennline fully adjustable pedal set, Rennline Floorboards, Rennline Door cards and Sill Plates, Rennline Lock Knob Set, Rennline Billet Shift Knobs, Rennline E-brake handle, and Rennline Shift Linkage Cover. Next up we tackled the dash. After building several cars before and never being quite happy with the dashboard, we decided to develop something new. The result was a beautiful full Dash Fascia that incorporated an early style extrusion with Basketweave insert. This also allowed us to use an early HVAC control set, and Bluetooth Radio. We were thrilled to have finally developed a solution to the pealing, misaligned foam dash with misaligned glovebox that also has it foam peeling off. To top it off, we developed a full line of Rennline Dash knobs and a Rennline key switch bezel. What a difference!

The interior was upholstered in grey carpet and we picked up some Vintage Racing seats to complete the look. For safety sake, we installed a Rennline Fire Extinguisher mount with Rennline Fire Extinguisher Quick Disconnect, and an H3R Halguard extinguisher.

Finally, it was time to bring in the powerplant. As we mentioned, we were lucky enough to find this car with a freshly rebuild 3,4L Turbo 930 engine and Short bellhousing, rebuilt 930 transmission. The motor was fully setup with LN Cylinders, JE Pistons, Cp Rods, Web Cams, ARP hardware, B&B exhaust, K27 turbo and all sorts of other goodies. We cleaned everything up a bit, mounted our Rennline alternator strap, Rennline RSR Engine Carrier, and Rennline HD engine and transmission mounts.

At last the car was ready for action. One of the first events we took it to was a tour of the new Club Motorsports track in New Hampshire. This new track had been carved into the side of a mountain and provided the ultimate location to shake this car down. The power to weight ratio on the car makes for a thrilling ride, but quite difficult to control with a huge power difference through a small section of the powerband. As the day went on, we made some tweaks to the various adjustable areas including pedals sway bars, boost control, timing and we became more confident with the car. By the end of the day everyone had a huge grin, and we were thrilled with the outcome of the car.

Project Fifty Shades of Grey was completed in 2017. Explore aftermarket parts from Rennline below!

Questions?

For info or to purchase parts you can contact our tech support at 802.893.7311 or email orders@rennline.com

Posted by admin in Feature Cars, Porsche & Rennline News, Rennline Shop Projects
Looking for Porsche 991.2 & 991.2 Turbo

Looking for Porsche 991.2 & 991.2 Turbo

Rennline is currently searching for any Porsche 991.2 and 991.2 Turbo owners in the New England area. We are looking for someone willing to drive their vehicle to our shop in Milton, VT for the day so that we can fabricate a new grill kit. The owner of the car will receive a FREE Grill Kit + Installation for allowing us to use their car!

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Rennline Inc. is located at 32 Catamount Drive, Milton, VT 05468

We thank you in advance for your help!

Posted by admin in Porsche & Rennline News, Rennline Shop Projects, 0 comments
2017 Porsche Macan GTS…A Build in the Making

2017 Porsche Macan GTS…A Build in the Making

For all you Porsche lovers, we are proud to announce that we are going to be using our new Rennline Macan GTS for product development and testing. We plan to start the project by fabricating custom grill kits and then move onto other Macan specific parts. If you have any product ideas or questions, feel free to send us an email us at orders@rennline.com.

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Posted by admin in Porsche & Rennline News, Rennline Shop Projects, 0 comments
Rennline News: Hershey Porsche Swap Meet 2016!

Rennline News: Hershey Porsche Swap Meet 2016!

It’s that time of year everyone! Whether you are a casual Porsche enthusiast or a die hard fanatic who eats, sleeps and breathes Porsche, there is a little something for everyone at the Hershey Swap Meet in Hershey, PA. Founded years ago by a small contingent of friends and business partners, the swap meet started as a small gathering of those ‘in the know’ but has burgeoned into one of the largest Porsche-oriented events of its kind in the country. This growth has been driven by the collective wealth of parts and knowledge that has gathered here, and the fact that it is largely organic growth means that core is still at the heart of the Hershey Swap Meet.

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This event comes right at the beginning of the season, especially for us New Englanders where we are still getting small amounts of snow, and draws a crowd from all over the east coast. Whether you are looking for an entire car, some hard to find bits for your project, or some new parts from the many vendors that attend the event, you can guarantee it will be at Hershey. We drive down with a load of parts and several cars or display, and we try to take as little home as possible! This means some of the best pricing on Rennline brand parts and accessories you can get, and the chance to check them out in person before you buy!

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The show itself is on Saturday, April 16th so be sure to stop in if at all possible! Our display cars left today bound for the Hershey Bears stadium, the site of the event, and we will be leaving tomorrow morning. This will mean that we will have limited support in the office Thursday and Friday, and we ask that you please keep this in mind if you cannot make the show and need to place an order either of those days. We hope you can all make it and we look forward to seeing old faces and meeting some new ones!

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Posted by Shawn Christianson in Porsche & Rennline News, Rennline Shop Projects, 0 comments
Vintage Day at Team O’Neil Rally School

Vintage Day at Team O’Neil Rally School

It’s 5*F.

At 5AM.

On a Friday.

And I am wide awake.

That’s because a few hour jaunt over the Green Mountains, Team O’Neil Rally School and a field full of vintage rally cars awaits. It could be -15*F at 3AM on a Saturday for all I care.

I was invited by Marc Feinstein, owner of German Performance Service and pilot of the 964 rally car you will see in the pictures. Despite a late arrival, it seems my morning is not the worst of the bunch; I’m greeted by a team working fervently to get the Rothman’s 959 replica started. A combination of an old dry cell battery and the cold weather are proving formidable opponents. I snap a couple pics, offer the battery out of my Audi, and finally decide that I’m really just annoying them, so I head up to the main building just in time to miss introductions. Apparently 5AM was too late of a start time.

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The view upon our arrival

Team O’Neil, located in Dalton, NH, has been providing top-notch instruction for drivers of all talent levels, from WRC factory pilots to those just looking to slide around for a weekend since 1997. The school is a matrix of gravel roads that sprawls across 585 acres of Granite State terrain featuring off-road terrain parks, snowmobile trails and tactical security training courses in addition to their signature rally roads. This diverse background allows Team O’Neil to stay a leader in the world of rally schools, and provide a huge range of offerings to their clients. Today they have put together a venerable history book of cars for us to sample with the goal of illustrating the evolution of the rally car through the ages.

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The lineup

I arrived under the impression that I was going to get to see some cool cars, take some cool pictures, meet some awesome people, and freeze my ass off. So you can imagine my thoughts as Wyatt Knox, Special Projects director for Team O’Neil, began running through the itinerary. Rides then drives in each of the vehicles was the plan, with the idea that we would progress chronologically through the field ending to really gain a feel for how much has changed and for how much has stayed the same. Wait- we’re driving? I would say sign me up but, almost unbelievably, I already am. Luckily I have enough auto-x, rally-x and track experience that I’m more excited than scared. For now at least…

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Marc Feinstein, owner of German Performance Service in Brighton, MA and this 964 was gracious enough to invite us out for the day

The lineup touches on a number of important historical innovations, beginning with the blue 2-stroke Saab. It was built as a tribute to Erik ‘On the Roof’ Carlsson’s days winning rallies for the marque. The red Saab is a later 4 stroke, and although it isn’t as ‘vintage’ it is just as cool as anything here, featuring a V4 4 stroke engine on Megasquirt standalone fuel injection with individual throttle bodies, a hydraulic e-brake, and an electronic, variable-ratio steering rack. These two represent a massive leap forward in technology as Saab was one of the first manufacturers to bring front-wheel-drive to the masses, and they found huge success in off-road disciplines with this formula.

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Vintage coolness- period correct hood-exit, roof mounted exhaust and leather hood strap

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Far from stock: just about everything on this little Saab has been re engineered and re imagined

Next up in the evolutionary line was Charles’ Volvo 142. Charles also owns a Volvo dealership in Canada, which makes a lot of sense for a few reasons. This car has the most history of the group, as it was driven by Marku Alen in the 1973 1000 Lakes rally, and has been more or less active in international competition through today. In the drivers’ meeting Charles makes it very clear that his car is not here to be driven. It is here to be beaten. It’s dual Weber carburetors, resultant 3,000rpm idle and lack of anything resembling modern electronics confirm the nature of this beast. With a limited slip and studs, it is also the fastest car of the day. These Canadian boys came prepared.

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Owner Charles is in attack mode at all times when behind the wheel of his rally car legend

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Tucking the nose in just enough to get past those cones sideways!

Next up was something intimately familiar to me, what might be considered the godson of modern rally, the Audi 4000. Mechanically these cars are almost identical to the URquattro that spawned the fire breathing S1 and Sport Quattro, but without a turbo and with an extra set of doors. Same block casting, same transmission, differentials and suspension. Old Audi’s are my forte, I’ve owned 5 from the 80’s all with the legendary quattro AWD, and the red 4000 feels like an old friend as I climb in. You might expect each vehicle at Team O’Neil is stripped out and race car prepped, but this is far from the truth. In fact, this car retains much of it’s wonderful 80’s interior, right down to the dash, seats, and locking center/rear differentials.

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This is a particularly early version; note the dual headlights and badgeless grille

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Need rotation? Left foot brake it!

Unfortunately I did not get a chance to get behind the wheel of the Team O’Neil E30 3 series BMW, but it was a pretty similar story to the Volvo- lots of sliding with a razor’s edge of balance between speed and spinning tires. You could tell that Team O’Neil instructor Travis Hanson has done this more than many times, as evidenced by the pin point car control and huge slip angles he was able to produce lap after lap.

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It’s all about weight transfer

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Look at that slip angle! These guys know what they’re doing

Finally it’s time to get into the car that brought me here in the first place; the C2 964 owned by Marc and prepared by his shop German Performance Service in Brighton, MA. The car has already been labeled simply ‘a tough drive’ by several drivers than myself, so I’m a bit hesitant. At least I’m more comfortable than I have been all day; I’m 6’5 and Marc comes in around 6’4 making it a perfect seating setup for me. I’m sweating a bit but I’m ready.

Compared to the Volvo this thing feels completely composed. The rear-engine configuration helps grip significantly by putting plenty of weight over the rear tires, and the suspension works brilliantly. My first half lap is an exercise in building confidence, Marc can’t fit in the passenger seat as it’s solid mounted to the floor and set up for his 5’3 co-driver so I’m on my own. I’m feeling the car and it’s working great as long as I stay smooth; no sudden throttle inputs, no crazy steering angles, just tap the brakes to get the front tires to bite coming into a corner and feed it throttle to keep it rotating. But I’m no professional and halfway through the track I’m sideways… backwards… and back sideways. Two-feet-in keep me from too much embarrassment, and I go back to basics for the remaining part of the lap.

By the end of my third trip around the course I’m getting in the groove. It is just so predictable- that’s not to say it’s easy because it isn’t- but as long as I stay smooth I’m scooting around the track at a good pace. Well, good enough for me anyway. This car certainly evokes the most visceral pleasure- there’s nothing like the note of an aircooled flat-six, and the lightweight flywheel makes the gearbox sound like a metal box of rocks. To any Porsche and/or rally enthusiast, I am sitting in a little piece of heaven.

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Ready to roll. Note the skid plate under the engine- the entire underbody of this thing is armored to the hilt

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Plenty of grip to throw snow thanks to the engine weight being right over the rear wheels

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Despite how good it looks sideways, cornering like this is much faster and more effective

Finally I’ve made it towards the end of the line, and I’m ready to sample the Rothman’s 959 replica. I am NOT driving this one. Damon, owner of Series 900 in Sunapee, NH built this car- every body panel is hand-laid Kevlar and the entire thing is a one-off. What I love about this car is the attention to detail; it is not just a 964 C4 with a body kit. It has a completely custom fuel delivery system which mimics the factory cars, and there is an aluminum space frame to support all the body work, as well as a million little touches like the rear transmission cooler, over sized oil cooler and a ton of other racecar goods. Unfortunately the car is currently set up for tarmac, so the spring rates are a bit high for this kind of driving, but Damon does a great job getting it to rotate throughout the course in spite of this. Thanks to the AWD this thing has plenty of grip, and once it’s pointing the right direction it simply sticks and rips, even in these conditions.

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Brothers from the same mother with different fathers

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If this isn’t one of the most awesome things you’ve seen today… I want to spend a day in your shoes

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Special Projects Director and National Rally Champion Wyatt Knox getting the 959 ready for takeoff

Finally Team O’Neil brought out one of their top dogs for the event; a WRC spec Subaru Impreza piloted by none other than Tim O’Neil himself. Tim immediately begins hucking the car around the course, and for a mothballed rally car that hasn’t been out much in the past few years, the car takes it extremely well. With Tim at the wheel the Impreza is as entertaining to watch as the Volvo, and probably a bit faster. It seems it is in need of a bit of setup work, but overall it certainly seems to have aged well.

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The man himself, Tim O’Neil, sliding….

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Still sliding…

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And coming out of the corner like a lion!

The day is winding down, I’m frozen, tired, and still have several hours of driving ahead of me, but I hang around until the last of the group packs it in. It isn’t everyday you get to be a part of such an incredible group of people and cars in such a liberating and welcoming environment, and frostbite-be-damned I’m milking every last minute of it. Finally everyone is gone, I finish helping Marc load up the 964, and by that I mean mostly watch, and follow him back out the maze of dirt roads that surround the facility. Today was a good day.

 

 

HUGE thank you to Team O’Neil Rally school and all of the staff for putting this event together. These guys are not only on top of the rally school game, but they are some of the nicest and genuinely enthusiastic people you will meet. Also BIG thank you to Marc Feinstein of German Performance Service for inviting us, without him I wouldn’t have been able to experience such an epic outing!

 

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Posted by Shawn Christianson in Porsche & Rennline News, Rennline Shop Projects, 0 comments