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.

Hershey big

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!

hershey old

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!

Porsche-hershey-swap-meet

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.

Team ONeil Vintage Rally 964 959
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.

Team ONeil Vintage Rally (16 of 133)
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…

Team ONeil Vintage Rally (36 of 133)
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.

Team ONeil Vintage Rally (3 of 133)
Vintage coolness- period correct hood-exit, roof mounted exhaust and leather hood strap
FE12 Ad Series (1 of 1)
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.

Team ONeil Vintage Rally (104 of 133)-1
Owner Charles is in attack mode at all times when behind the wheel of his rally car legend
Team ONeil Vintage Rally (57 of 133)-1
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.

Team ONeil Vintage Rally (6 of 133)
This is a particularly early version; note the dual headlights and badgeless grille
Team ONeil Vintage Rally (134 of 133)
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.

Team ONeil Vintage Rally (127 of 133)
It’s all about weight transfer
Team ONeil Vintage Rally (123 of 133)
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.

Team ONeil Vintage Rally (37 of 133)
Ready to roll. Note the skid plate under the engine- the entire underbody of this thing is armored to the hilt
Team ONeil Vintage Rally (88 of 133)
Plenty of grip to throw snow thanks to the engine weight being right over the rear wheels
Team ONeil Vintage Rally (52 of 133)
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.

Team ONeil Vintage Rally (10 of 133)
Brothers from the same mother with different fathers
Team ONeil Vintage Rally (1 of 133)
If this isn’t one of the most awesome things you’ve seen today… I want to spend a day in your shoes
Team ONeil Vintage Rally (23 of 133)
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.

Team ONeil Vintage Rally (79 of 133)
The man himself, Tim O’Neil, sliding….
Team ONeil Vintage Rally (80 of 133)
Still sliding…
Team ONeil Vintage Rally (81 of 133)
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!

 

Team ONeil Vintage Rally (90 of 133)

Team ONeil Vintage Rally (65 of 133)

Team ONeil Vintage Rally (11 of 133)

Team ONeil Vintage Rally (21 of 133)

Team ONeil Vintage Rally (55 of 133)

Team ONeil Vintage Rally (27 of 133)

Team ONeil Vintage Rally (78 of 133)

 

 

Rennline: Continuing Expansion

Here at Rennline we are lucky enough to have a devoted customer base that understands our commitment to quality parts and dedication to customer service. This relationship has grown in size and breadth over the years; it saw us expand from a small industrial space in downtown Winooski, Vermont into our current building, and now it is allowing us to build on that foundation. Both literally and metaphorically. But none of this would be possible without each and every customer, so again, we would like to thank everyone, from the smallest order to the largest, for their support of Rennline Inc. and the parts we manufacture for your Porsche, BMW, Audi, Volkswagen, Mini and more!

 

The entrance to the addition
The entrance to the addition

 

The addition getting close to finished!
Getting close to finished!

 

 

The left side of our new space
The left side looking from the door from the existing building

 

The right side of our new space
The right side looking from the door from the existing building

 

One of the most important aspects of this new space was what to name it. After a few days of deep contemplation, waterjet operator John Bombard emerged with the answer: his ‘office’ would henceforth be known as “The Jet Hanger.” Of course, despite completion of the naming process there was still much to do to finish the transformation of our addition. Plumbing and wiring needed to be run, drains, grates and filters installed in the floor to catch overflow water and filter our the garnet which is a super-fine abrasive that gets injected in small amounts to aid in water jet cutting.

Running the requisite fire suppression systems.
Running the requisite fire suppression systems.

 

Grates with filters for waterjet overflow
Grates with filters for waterjet overflow

 

Preparing the sprinkler system for installation
Not quite as aesthetically pleasing as our own extinguisher mounts!

 

Beginning to move the jets meant a lot of muscle was needed. These things keep about 10,000lbs of abrasive sand in the tank and about 8,000lbs of water (128 cubic feet)- PER JET! We had two that needed to be cleaned out, disassembled, moved and reassembled in the Jet Hanger. This was an all-hands-on-deck kind of day, but luckily we are a hearty folk up here in Vermont and the entire operation went smoothly and relatively quickly considering the shear volume of material that needed to move.

 

Welder Connor and Fabricator Jeremy getting the job done
Welder Connor and Fabricator Jeremy getting the job done

 

Manufacturing Team Leader Buck getting into the trenches himself
Manufacturing Team Leader Buck getting into the trenches himself

 

Clearing out space in the existing shop
Making moves!

 

A HUGE increase in space
A HUGE increase in space- the majority of the open area you see here was taken up by waterjets

 

Getting the first waterjet situated in its new home
Getting the first waterjet situated in its new home

 

The first of the water jets to get back up and running
And we are back in business! Or… at least partially. 1/3 jets back up and running!

 

We took this expansion as an opportunity for us to add some machining capability since we are going to have sufficient additional space. We have had great luck with Flow Waterjet, so we contacted them again for one of their newer units. This was delivered in a timely manner and we began setting up our newest toy… er… machine! This puts us up to 3 waterjets in house, two CNC mills and a CNC lathe along with a couple manual mills, two huge press/brakes, a CNC Time Saver and plenty of other odds and ends to makes sure we can tackle any challenge from any job that might present itself.

 

New waterjet incoming
New waterjet incoming!

 

We had Flow's technicians and engineers come up to Vermont to do the final assembly and calibration
New arm for the new jet! Of course, we had Flow’s technicians and engineers come up to Vermont to do the final assembly and calibration

 

General Manager Tom, Engineer Dave and Owner Paul set up the new garnet abrasive hoppers
From left-right General Manager Tom, Engineer Dave and Owner Paul set up the new garnet abrasive hoppers

 

Flow Waterjet #3 for the Rennline shop
The eagle has landed. Flow Waterjet #3 for the Rennline shop

Things have progressed even a bit further than since these most recent pictures; we are almost back to fully operational waterjet status and the moving/reorganizing process has begun in the existing shop. This will be a lengthy one as we add additional storage racks and finalize the overall layout to maximize space and work flow. Although this operation has already been a huge amount of time and effort and there is still plenty of work to be done, seeing it all start to come together is bolstering us for the final push in getting it done!

 

Rennline Invades Boston- Holiday Party Extraordinaire

The holidays are a great time to bring people together, and here at Rennline we try not to miss the opportunity to bring us together as a company. A cohesive environment is a productive one, so it is a perfect time to get together, have some fun and get to know everyone a bit better outside the bounds of the workplace. But this year was different than most. Instead of a nice dinner in nearby Burlington, Vermont, Rennline shop manager Joe DeSimone and owner Paul Jacques engineered what might go down as the ultimate holiday party.

Getting Ready to leave-2
Left-to-Right: Warehouse Manager Dan, Engineer Dave, and Manufacturing Team Leader Buck

 

Getting Ready to leave-1
Left-to-Right: Lead Welder Connor, Fabricator and Material Expert Ben, and Consultant/friend Harrison

 

For those not from the North East, Boston is a four hour bus ride from Burlington, so arrangements were made for a coach bus to transport the team to our destination and around the city of Boston after the main event. We rendezvoused at the Rennline shop at about 9AM Friday morning, some more prepared than others. Unfortunately there were several of our staff unable to make the two-day trip. Unfortunately, CNC Machinist (little) Jake, Manufacturing Engineer (big) Jake, and Master Fabricator Gene were unable to make the trek due to scheduling constraints.

F1 sign
Our Destination: F1 Boston Go-Karting

 

Welcome Rennline-1Welcome Rennline-2Welcome Rennline-3

The welcome we received at F1 Boston was warm and accomidating, we would highly recommend them for your next company outing, birthday party, or just as a way to get a little track time!

The plan was to head to F1 Boston (www.F1Boston.com) for some serious go-karting! In total we had 19 people with us, the invitation was extended to significant others and several girlfriends and wives were brave enough to make the trip. Our karting session consisted of six qualifying sessions, each session was a different, randomly selected group, and each driver ran three different qualifying races. At the end of the qualifiers, the top 10 drivers in points from the qualifiers started the final with their starting position determined by their standing in points.

F1 track
The track where all the action took place!

 

The final was a much longer race than the qualifiers and provided several surprises. The first of which was veteran PCA instructor, experienced track driver and Rennline owner Paul’s absence. Due to a rash of penalties resulting from aggressive passing, Paul found himself sidelined for the final race, having missed qualifying for the final by a few points.

Karts Lined up
Gridding up for the final

 

The real-time position display provided the spectators with the ability to watch the exchanging of positions on track, despite most racers being unrecognizable in their race suits and helmets. By the midpoint in the race, Engineering Consultant Jamie was holding off the rest of the field, but it was not to be. Sales and Marketing representative Shawn Christianson capitalized on a mid-track pile-up, pulling a quick maneuver to avoid the pile up and gain two positions, taking first place. With a clear track ahead, he went on to set the fastest lap of the day along with the highest top speed of the day, and clinched the overall win.

Winner
Shawn coming in from his victory lap

 

Podium
The podium finishers: Sales/Marketing Rep Shawn took the gold, Engineering Consultant Jamie held onto second, and Fabricator Jeremy took the bronze in third

 

As the karting came to a close, we retired to the bar for a post-race drink and to exchange stories and glories from the time on the track. The anonomity provided by the suits and helmets made for some awesome post-race banter, with some coming clean regarding questionable passes, “gentle nudges” and penalties that should have been.

Paul with trophy
Owner Paul admiring some hardware he was unable to take home

 

After race bar
Much needed post-drinks and banner at the F1 Boston bar (no more driving for us that night!)

 

From F1 it was time to hit the hotel for much needed showers, more banter, and for some a couple more drinks before dinner. Paul and Joe pulled out all the stops and booked the entire crew at W Boston, a beautiful hotel in the heart of downtown Boston. Although it was a task in and of itself to find a restaurant able to accomidate the entire group, Joe again knocked it out of the park securing a table for everyone only minutes walk from our hotel.

Bus after race
Fired up leaving karting, adrenaline still pumping and ready for a night on the town!

 

The W
Our accommodations for the evening

 

Out the window
The view from one of our 7th floor rooms

 

Unfortunately, the details of the rest of the evening belong to our crew, but know that nobody was wanting for more fun: we won Boston. No one was harmed in the making of these memories, and no damage of any kind resulted, so we can at least assure you the night was an unequivocal success. One last time, from myself and the rest of the Rennline crew, we would like to thank Paul Jacques, Rennline owner for making what will go down for many of us as the most epic holiday party to date. A huge thanks to Joe DeSimone for not only having the idea, but for taking his time to ensure that everything ran flawlessly. It would be hard to imagine a better group of people to enjoy this kind of an event with!

Head Count
Shop Manager Joe DeSimone, ever responsible, making sure we weren’t leaving anyone behind!

 

Tom
Rennline General Manager Tom Rittenburg relaxing at W Boston before heading out to dinner

 

Buck
Manufacturing Team Leader Buck Kempner doing what he does best: getting excited

 

Paul and dan
Warehouse Manager Dan Geisweit with Rennline Owner Paul Jacques pal’ing around at W Boston

 

Euro Dave
Engineer Dave Molnar- can you tell he’s European? He’s proud of that

 

Ben
Fabricator and Materials Expert Ben Walsh

 

Jeremy
Fabricator Jeremy Graziano rocking the undisputed best beard of the Rennline crew

 

Connor
Welder Connor Ryea trying to figure out why we’re taking a picture of him and not his welds for once

 

Harrison
Consultant/Friend Harrison Goldberg leaving Boston in peace

 

Jamie and Shawn
Consultant Jamie Bullivant and Sales/Marketing Rep Shawn Christianson grabbing 1st and 2nd place beers- Painter Charles taking a picture of a picture in the background

 

Bombard
Waterjet Master John Bombard refusing to hold still long enough to have his photo taken

Rennline is Growing- Construction Time!

Thanks to all of our loyal customers who continue to support our pursuit of top-notch Porsche, Audi, VW, BMW, Mini and more parts, we are lucky enough to need more space! Our existing building in Milton, Vermont was built so that we could make the move from a cramped city space to a larger facility capable of handling our new machining centers, second waterjet, and rapidly expanding staff. Now, four years later, we have reached the same point where expansion has become necessary, again thanks to all of our wonderful customers.

 

Original Building construction

Initial construction of our current facility circa 2011

This is going to be a significant improvement for the Rennline shop. As anyone who has run, worked around, serviced, or even seen a water jet can tell you, they can be a little messy! This new shop space is going to be almost solely committed to ‘jet operation, which will free up a huge amount of space and allow us to spend less time scrubbing. We are also adding a third water jet, bringing our total to three in-house, which will massively improve the speed with which we can turn out your favorite parts!

 

IMG_9680
Pouring the new foundation

 

IMG_9822
New foundation complete!

 

IMG_9889

 

We are hoping that this additional space will allow us to carry a larger supply of current Rennline parts and also to continue expanding our line of parts for Porsche models as well as Audi, Volkswagen, BMW, Mini and others. In the past year we have been able to significantly expand our offerings, specifically for VW models by releasing our RS Style Door Pulls, billet license plate mounts, tow hooks and GoPro mounts and more for the MK4-7 Golf, GTI and Jetta, and we cannot wait to flex our engineering muscles on some more parts for these cars!

 

IMG_9815
Building materials for the addition arriving at the Rennline shop

 

IMG_9824
The sun setting on another productive day here in Milton, VT

 

Frame going up
Beginning construction of the frame

 

IMG_9896
Slowly but surely!

 

We hope to be moving into this space in January if everything goes smoothly, just in time to begin stocking up on parts for the race season. This also means that with our increased production capability we should be churning out a host of new parts for the new year! Look for continued development of the new 991 chassis and new lines of VW products to lead the way.

Last, but certainly not least we would like to take the opportunity, once again, to thank all of our customers who have made Rennline’s success possible. Since our opening we have worked hard to bring the best parts possible to market, and luckily we hit a niche with a lot of great enthusiasts who are passionate about speed and quality. Whether you’ve ordered $10 or $10,000 worth of parts from us, we would like to thank each and every customer for supporting us and making this all possible!

Project: 73 RSR Tribute with 3.4T

After searching for several months for that perfect backdate project car, we came across a 1975 Carrera that had been converted to a Slantnose by a SoCal dealership in the late 80’s. Being a California car, this chassis was rust free and a great starting point for what was to come. In addition to the rust free chassis the car also had the entire drivetrain from a 79 930. After a few more questions we learned the car had been serviced by our friends at Poudre Sports Cars in Denver, Colorado. A phone call yielded the details; the engine had been built two years prior and the parts list included JE pistons, LN cylinders, ARP head studs, topped with a K27 Turbo. Between the chassis and engine build we settled on this car as being the perfect candidate for our project and had the car dropped back off at Poudre Sports Cars so that it could be shipped over to us in Vermont.

Our project was a slantnose 911 before we got it

That famous slantnose front end

Upon arrival at the Rennline shop, we spent some time sorting a few small issues and putting some miles on the engine to ensure everything was running correctly and up to snuff. Thanks to Poudre’s top notch work, this was a short process and within no time the car was shedding its sheet metal in preparation for a complete restoration. A full array of early body panels were sourced and the slantnose parts were removed in preparation for the long hood conversion.

Removing the front end and all the slant nose body work

The beginning of adding backdate bodywork

We are never ones to miss the opportunity to develop fresh parts for the Rennline catalog, and this project was the perfect chance to so some applied product development. First up was an RSR Style Strut brace which features dimple-died strut tower reinforcements to all but eliminate flex between the strut towers and caused by the forces transferred though the shocks themselves to the top mounts. Next up we jigged the new long hood on one of our water jets and wrote a CNC program to cut a hole for our new Center Hood Gas Filler. This piece is machined from billet aluminum right here in Vermont and is the perfect compliment to this or any 911 project.

RSR style weld in strut tower bar

Getting ready for paint with lots of bodywork

Using the water jet to cut a hole for our billet gas cap

 

With the extensive amount of body work needed for the backdate, we employed a hydraulic rotisserie that was custom built by one of our close friends with assistance from our CNC tooling centers. As anyone who has restored a car can tell you, removing factory undercoating is one of the worst tasks. This was made worlds easier with the rotisserie, and we tapped our catalog for some of Wurth’s OEM quality SKS Stoneguard to coat the entire under body. This included the engine bay and entire floor which was body-matched after the Wurth products were applied.

911 on a rotisserie getting undercoat applied

Custom metal work to add large rear fender flares

Next up was the rolling gear- the suspension was all in decent shape, but a combination of old rubber and the fact that we can never leave well enough alone meant that a complete overhaul was in store. The entire suspension and steering systems were stripped down bare nuts and bolts status, and every last nut, washer and bracket were media blasted and sent for OEM equilivant yellow Zinc plating. Since Aluminum can’t be zinc plated, and those parts weren’t coated from the factory anyway they were media blasted and clear coated both to maintain the clean look of the raw aluminum and to make cleaning easier in the future.

Zinc plated parts look like brand new

With all the suspension looking brand new, we threw the book at it: Rennline HD parts everywhere, including de-cambered ball joints for increased camber, strut mounts, trailing arm bushings, spring plate bushings, and control arm bushings to name a few. With their rubber construction and higher than factory durometer composition these parts are perfect for significantly increasing the handling capabilities of these old cars without drawbacks associated with typical aftermarket bushings.

Rennline Decambered ball joint in powder coated control armRennline HD Trailing Arm Bushings

Below are a few pictures of #Project50ShadesOfGrey as it began to take shape outside of the Rennline factory. After years of working on such a big project it’s nice to finally see things coming together. We can’t wait to see how the final build turns out! Follow us @Rennline on Instagram to see updates of the car as the build comes to an end.

 

Our project leaving the Rennline shop for the paint shop

The first glimpse of our now gray 911 back in the shop from paint

It’s now February of 2018 and #Project50ShadesOfGrey is finally done and we are so excited to share the final photos with you guys. What better time to release the build than right after the release of the newest 50 Shades of Grey movie. If you have any questions about the build, or the Rennline products used in the build, send us an email at orders@rennline.com. Cheers!

img_2927_sm_26456922000_o

img_2923_sm_26703524976_o

img_2913_26663429411_o

img_2942_sm_26729518775_o

964 Turbo: Bushings and Coilovers

It has been a while since we updated everyone on the beautiful 964 Turbo barn find that Rennline owner Paul was able to recover in North Carolina. The 964 Turbo is continuing to rise both in desirability and value; the last of the Turbos to feature truly classic 911 styling, but were limited by Porsche’s budget at the time which. The result? For a long time the 964 was relegated to the “not so desirable Porsche” category. Fiendishly complex and technically advanced, the original 1989 964 C4 was Suttgart’s way of showcasing the technology developed with the legendary 959. C2 models followed for 1990, and a myriad of variants became available in the following years, however this would be the last of the legendary Turbo line not to be all wheel driven.

Classic 911 with 964 Turbo in Rennline shop

This particular 964 was parked years ago due to a leaky brake caliper of all things. The then-owner decided that lack of use and cost of repairs was enough to justify some downtime. ‘Some downtime’ turned into years, which turned into full fledged abandonment, and that is about where our story picked up last installment. This meant that there was plenty of work to be done. As many will tell you, a car sitting deteriorates much faster than one being driven, so there have been a number of time related issues that needed addressing. First up was the front suspension, which not only featured a plethora of dry rotted rubber bushings, but also steel bolts that were corroded and frozen into the aluminum subframe. The result was that we had to remove the driver’s side front subframe just to remove what remained of the bolt!

964 turbo receiving a minor restoration

With all of the front suspension bits finally freed up, we went about burning out the rubber bushings, cutting out the residual races where necessary, and pressing in a fresh assortment of Rennline HD bushings. Our High Density (HD) line of bushings feature rubber construction to avoid annoying squeaks and groans typical of aftermarket poly and delrin bushings, but feature stiffer durometer even compared to OE RS or similar parts. This means you get the performance increase of a stiffer, more responsive chassis without dealing with the extra NVH, squeaks and creaks associated with most aftermarket solutions. The installation of the front suspension bits went smoothly as expected, simply pressing into the control arms just like factory bushings. Thankfully it was less stinky than the process of removing the old bushings!

Pressing new bushings into 964 control arms

We are not known for leaving things “well enough,” so while the car was in the air and the front suspension was totally disassembled a set of Bilstein PSS10 coilovers found their way into the mix. PSS9/10s are widely known for their high-quality, rebuild-able design, adjustability and performance during track and spirited driving. Based on our past experience, we deemed these the best fit for the kind of roads and driving this Turbo will see. We paired these coilovers with a set of our Rennline Adjustable Camber Plates in the front and Monoball Strut Mounts in the rear. This will ensure that we are able to maximize the benefits of increased stiffness added by our High Density suspension bushings. Further, this will allow us to dial in appropriate camber settings when we get around to taking this thing to the track, and will ensure minimal suspension geometry changes during hard driving.

Rennline camber plates with Bilstein PSS10 coilovers

With the front end back together and the car on the ground it was time to get it moving under its own power for the first times since it came to the Rennline shop. When it first arrived, the first items on the docket were to drain the 5-10 year old gas, change the fuel filter, pump, plugs and wires. With this basic tuneup and a little futzing we got it fired up and settled into a nice, even idle with no smoke or strange smells coming from the exhaust. With the car on the ground we finally had a chance to give it a serious test!

Rennline camber plates and Bilstein coilovers in our 964 turbo

Unfortunately, the brakes that originally caused the car to be parked have since deteriorated further. This meant that a single front caliper leak has developed into a front and opposing rear rendering the car able to brake but not able to do so quickly or exceedingly effectively. Despite this limiting factor the 964 made its first laps around the industrial park under its own power! The engine, it turns out, is indeed nice and strong, giving solid off boost response and a mid range without hiccups or misfires. The turbo spools up nicely and makes target boost levels in typical early-turbo style: plenty of it but after a deep breath to spool.

964 turbo first drive

All in all we are extremely pleased with this project’s progression. It is a back-burner barn find that has provided a relaxed and enjoyable series of projects. Without a deadline and with all the other things going on in the shop we are taking our time with this one and having fun! That said, we are looking towards the 2016 season for the debut of this thing at some or our local New England track events!

964 turbo cooling down after first drive

Project: 73 RSR Tribute with 3.4T

After searching for several months for that perfect backdate project car, we came across a 1975 Carrera that had been converted to a Slantnose by a SoCal dealership in the late 80’s. Being a California car, this chassis was rust free and a great starting point for what was to come. In addition to the rust free chassis the car also had the entire drivetrain from a 79 930. After a few more questions we learned the car had been serviced by our friends at Poudre Sports Cars in Denver, Colorado. A phone call yielded the details; the engine had been built two years prior and the parts list included JE pistons, LN cylinders, ARP head studs, topped with a K27 Turbo. Between the chassis and engine build we settled on this car as being the perfect candidate for our project and had the car dropped back off at Poudre Sports Cars so that it could be shipped over to us in Vermont.

 

Tap_sm-4725

IMG_4846

Upon arrival at the Rennline shop, we spent some time sorting a few small issues and putting some miles on the engine to ensure everything was running correctly and up to snuff. Thanks to Poudre’s top notch work, this was a short process and within no time the car was shedding its sheet metal in preparation for a complete restoration. A full array of early body panels were sourced and the slantnose parts were removed in preparation for the long hood conversion.

IMG_4850

IMG_4890

We are never ones to miss the opportunity to develop fresh parts for the Rennline catalog, and this project was the perfect chance to so some applied product development. First up was an RSR Style Strut Brace which features dimple-died strut tower reinforcements to all but eliminate flex between the strut towers and caused by the forces transferred though the shocks themselves to the top mounts. Next up we jigged the new long hood on one of our water jets and wrote a CNC program to cut a hole for our new Center Hood Gas Filler. This piece is machined from billet aluminum right here in Vermont and is the perfect compliment to this or any 911 project.

IMG_4233

IMG_4638

SB81

With the extensive amount of body work the car needed for the backdate, we employed a hydraulic rotisserie that was custom built by one of our close friends with assistance from our CNC tooling centers. As anyone who has restored a car can tell you, removing factory undercoating is one of the worst tasks. This was made worlds easier with the rotisserie, and we tapped our catalog for some of Wurth’s OEM quality SKS Stoneguard to the entire under body. This included the engine bay and entire floor which was body-matched after the Wurth products were applied.

IMG_3577

IMG_4137

 

Next we removed the suspension, and refurbished everything from the trailing arms to the nuts and bolts. The aluminum parts got media blasted and clear coated, the hardware got stripped and re zinc plated. We installed the full line of Rennline HD bushings from Decambered Ball Joints to HD Spring Plate Bushings front and rear.

IMG_0090

 

Project: 964 Turbo Barn Find

A brief glimpse of a rusting shell in the woods on a back road. The gleam of a forgotten headlight through a barn door. Local lore of a long lost duck tail buried deep in a pile of rubbish. But time marches on, and the term ‘barn find’ has itself become antiquated. Many of today’s treasures have been lost to garages, storage units and warehouses, but are no easier to discover.

Regardless of location, as the classic 911 continues to rise in value, these stories have become fewer and further between. Our tale begins two years ago when Rennline boss-man Paul was looking for something suitable for family and dog hauling that could rip through the brutal Vermont winters. Being a Porsche man, the Cayenne was an obvious choice, and thus the search began. Thanks to the internet, Paul quickly located a lightly used 2013 Cayenne S belonging to a gentleman who had decided that the “Porsche guy life” wasn’t for him. A deal was struck, plane tickets purchased, and soon Paul was in Virginia exchanging handshakes and keys.

The 964 turbo barn find as we came across it

Always the opportunist, Paul made sure to ask the seller if he knew anyone else that might be liquidating their Porsche lifestyle and assets. “My Dad has a late 80’s, early 90’s Porsche he has had forever, but he has a bit of a death grip on it,” was his response “if that ever changes I will let you know.” Happy with the deal, they shook hands and parted ways. It would be another two years before this story got really good.
An unexpected email reopened the case of the “death grip Porsche,” with the son informing Paul that his father’s hold was starting to slacken. Details were lacking at best; the son knew it was red and that it was a Porsche. It had been daily driven for some time, but was parked and let sit 12 years prior when it had needed brake work. Paul asked for pictures, but the car was hundreds of miles from his point of contact, so several weeks of waiting ensued. Finally another email arrived bearing attachments. Expectations were low after reading the text: “Sorry for the REALLY bad cell phone photos, hopefully they will be good enough for now.” Still hoping for a ratty 911, but expecting a beat 944 or 928 he began opening attachments. What he saw blew him away- a 964 Turbo in Guards Red. Arguably one of the most desirable cars ever to come out of Stuttgart. Within hours Paul had plane tickets in hand, but there were still plenty of surprises to come.

 

Of course, we are not ones to leave well enough alone, so you can be sure this project is going to get a healthy dose of Rennline parts along with some other top notch aftermarket parts. Check out our full line of 964 offerings.

Our barn find 964 turbo back home on the lift for the first time