Finally done are our 60mm front brake drums. Available in either stock or Le Mans ( drilled & milled ) specification.
60mm Front Brake Drums
Internal shot of our Spyder brake drums. Machined from billet with a cast iron liner shrunk in to Porsche specifications. NO pins , screws, or, God forbid , glue needed.
60 mm front brakes
Just finished is a LeMans conversion of our 60mm front Spyder drums. This modification , used on the factory LeMans effort, consists of drilling the perimeter fins and machining pockets on the face to lighten the drum.
Front Suspension Link Pins
The 550 Spyder, being very light , required Porsche to come up with a system that had less friction than the bushings used on their 356 cars. The solution was needle bearing rollers and it's associated custom made parts. These parts haven't been available for decades but luckily most can be made by any good machine shop. Pictured is an assortment of original parts ( now well worn) and our replacements made in house.
Heat Treatment of Link Pin Bearing Races
One part in the king pin needle bearing assembly that is the most time consuming to make are the outer bearing races. Material used for this is 52100 vacuum melted bearing steel. This part is a heat treated precision part that needs to be made very carefully. Pictured here are our outer races being heat treated to 1500 degrees with a short soak of 15 minutes just before quenching in water. All done in house of course.
Grinding Outer Bearing Races
Here's our outer bearing race after heat treating being finished on it's OD by grinding with a tool post grinder in our lathe. This is a messy job by machining standards because grinding dust is a byproduct. This requires shielding all the working surfaces of the lathe to keep the grit from getting into machinery.
Needle Bearing Outer Race
The finished race ground to precision tolerances for a perfect fit with our new caged roller assemblies. Because of the lack of actual rotation in the original parts they frequently suffer from " false brinelling" which causes the needle rollers to stay stationary and have flat spots pounded into them and the races. Ours on the left and original on the right.
Stabilus Steering Dampener
The 550 Spyder used a steering dampener made by Stabilus and unfortunately these units are no longer available nor are they made to be rebuilt. Because they are original units and are date stamped to the month and year of manufacture we are obliged to rebuild them. A special cutting tool for the trusty South Bend lathe and we're in there. As you can see they are a complicated unit with nearly 40 internal parts. This is more than twice as many parts as a modern Koni shock absorber. We clean them and install new "X" profile seals, o'rings, dust seals and fresh oil.
Stabilus Steering Dampener
Why bother rebuilding old parts when new adjustable Koni steering dampeners can be purchased. Besides the aforementioned date stamp the Koni's are much larger physically and this is problem visually. Adjustable? Well it is not very well known but the Stabilus is also adjustable but in the opposite way from the Koni. When extended all the way out the pin in the top cap engages the adjuster tab and holds it to turn on threads thus putting more compression into the valving. Pictured is the top insert with pin touching the adjuster tab.
Stabilus Steering Dampener
In addition rebuilding the dampener with new seals etc. we manufacture new bushings for the eyelet ends. Using an original in good condition we make a silicone mold and cast our bushings. This enables us to retain the original Stabilus logo and part number on our new part.
The steering box in the Spyder is a VW type. This box uses the main shaft as the inner raceway for the ball bearings. Often spalled up from the balls we have developed a process to recondition the shaft. We then install new balls and seals to complete the rebuild.
E-Brake cable splitter
Connecting the main e-brake handle to the two cables going back to the rear brakes is this cable splitter. A formed steel part made from 2mm sheet stock it is an impossible part to make without special tooling. Original pictured on the bottom and ours on top.
E-brake cable splitter
Shown here is the tooling to perform the various operations needed to fabricate this part. In the foreground on left is the original part with ours on the right. Pictured also are four "trial" parts showing the previous failed attempts at making this part. As in many parts we make things don't go exactly as planned the first time. Analyzing your mistakes and figuring out how to go forward to a finished part is a frequent part of our work.
Steel / Alloy wheels
The later 550 Spyders were fitted with 60mm front drum brakes. These wider drums required wheels with a greater ( 20mm ) offset to maintain the same wheel track. The KPZ S597A wheel used is one of the most difficult wheels in the Porsche world to find. This coupled with the fact that original wheels are now 60 + years old forced us to manufacture these wheels. Now made new, straight and true.
Steel / Alloy Wheel
Here's a photo of the backside of our 16" steel/ alloy wheels. These are assembled with steel rivets of the proper size custom made for us.