Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Expert conversation

Expert: (not sounding too impressed) That's a nice 72
Me: (trying to sound humble) Sorry, it is not a 72
Expert: Yes it is:
Me: Trust me, it isn't
Expert: (sounding a little overconfident)  Only the 1972 had the oil door on the quarter panel
Me: I know...I put it there  :)

I crack myself up sometimes......

But seriously,  this started as 1970 car and we were asked to do  a replica of the  1972 911 ST Strawberry color, rumor has it, that only a handful of these were made.  Of course we modified the living daylights out if it, from the placement of the seatbelts anchors to the powertrain, reinforce the body so it can handle the Gs that the engine will provide, top of the line suspension and power brakes, custom made seats and a foot rest,  traffic has changed since 1972

Its features and details are pretty cool, all together, 3 shops were involved in the trasformation of this New Mexico native.  Posting all the documentation would take me forever, but if you want to, you can see some more on here:

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Things of fairy tails...

One great  thing about the California car culture, is that we can enjoy a convertible, pretty much all year round, as a matter of fact,  we spend so much time in our cars, that we have to personalize them, to make the daily commute a little more enjoyable.  Sometimes 40 minutes can seem like an eternity, but for some, in a convertible, it can be tolerable,  specially if it got some zing to it....

Oh mine !  what big carburetors you have..........
Well, this little red riding hood is not going to make to Grandma's house......unless....
.......we can get it the help it needs.....she is a replica of a 1957 Speedster, built on the chassis of the 1968 VW bug.....................    don't ask me  who got lost in the woods, but the title is of a the big bad smog wolf has gotten a hold of her, and unless we return all original parts to her basket, she is not getting out of this California woods....................
To be continued.......................

Monday, March 28, 2011


It was good to hear the bell at the end of this day....

Two new students arrived today, though they are going to be taught the same, being eight years apart makes their needs a bit different. 
The younger one, was built in 1978, and it has been running strong. and though it has been taking classes on line, it has been missing the one on ones with the teacher, It just failed the compression test and scored very low on the leak down test, running on five cylinders is not good enough...... we are going to have to pull an all nighter........

This good old boy, a 1970 S   is new in town, but it has not been to school in 13 years, and even though it looks like one of the cool kids, it's going to need some tutoring: starting with brake and suspension refurbish, gas tank and lines cleaning, compression, and some superficial rust, after that we'll see how it does on the performance test.  Sure, the body should hit the gym to get in pristine condition, maybe even try for the track team, but we must start its education slowly, it needs  time to catch up

So tomorrow we have a big test........let's hit the books...

Friday, March 25, 2011

Two down.....several to go....

 Let's close the gate, time to go home......-What a challenging week we had....................-what do you mean????......................-Have you ever had an easy week at this place??........True, there are times it seems like it is as busy as an emergency room,  we have to patch things, cut things, fix things,  and every now and then we have time for lunch.
The Good news is that two patients were released today,  they may have to comeback for some small check ups, but at least now we have two more beds available,  the bad news is that this track beast went to try its muscle to the dyno today and bled copiously from one the sumps, it's going to need a transplant, but it did push the powerband above 450HP.Next week we will make our rounds on another set of patients..........I need some interns.......Tune in next week.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

That's a nice piece of tail...

 So,  let's go back to this former Targa, who is traveling through the emotions of change;  Some say change is good, but others fear it,  for the Porsche purist, this is sacrilege, for other this is a journey, but the emotional trip  that this stimulant can provide is exhausting,  one single thing changes everything......

If you ordered a 3.1 turbo, and then upgrade to a twin turbo, well you'd better be dressed right for that dance, it's got an upgraded suspension, so now we have to find the right tux for those shoes, let's start with by cutting a little off the top, widen those hips, and protect that haircut with a custom made roll bar.

So now that those hips won't lie:
 let's see how many miles we have traveld  so far,  a 1974 Targa that has gone from mild, to wild:     Upgraded suspension, chassis reinforcements, wide body, twin turbo tail, custom front valance, 993 full  interior upgrade, sound proofing, big reds with power brakes..........looks like a good recipe........I may like this dish, but stay seated.......dessert is coming.......

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A brand new day

What a difference a day makes,  yesterday it was pouring rain and now we have blue skies, some days here can compare with that, there are times when everything goes smoothly, but then, sometimes it seems like Murphy's Law was written for us.

A 1989 930 gets bought at a salvage yard, mostly in pieces, then it travels 90 miles to its friend's body shop; once the body goes skinny dipping in red, an attempt to assemble gets under way;      Realizing that so many parts are missing, the friend recommended to see someone with more knowledge of Porsche....... Who you gonna call ???

We had been commissioned to build a Turbo engine for this toy, along with all other vital parts and some upgrades, not too wild, we still need to maintain the original look.  I was not expecting to be the finisher.

It came to us looking like someone was running away from home, boxes and bags full with Porsche and non Porsche parts, it has taken months and a lot of patience, along with the assistance of some of our associates to make it to a decent stand,.....but today is a good day,  Big Red is alive, all the vital signs are good and soon ...Rubber might be burned........

Monday, March 21, 2011

First day of Spring

It's raining cats and dogs, I guess who ever said that it never rains in Southern California, has not seen a day like this.  Not too much going on today,  all the toys are going to have to be under wraps until further notice.
But at least we have time to catch up on paperwork, move all pictures to their respective folders, and be ready for sunny days. 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Misery loves company

When the experts speak, people listen.....most of them will follow, but as we know, assumption is the mother of all failures.   The lessons learned this past challenging week would bring cursing words on a Nun;  All in a nutshell, if 4 minus 2 equals 2, then my high school math teacher must not be having a good time in the afterlife.  I know, I know , I wasn't a great student....... but... 4-2=0....really???
We were working frantically on getting a better cold air intake for the twin turbos of that silver C4, it needed to go to the dyno on Friday at 8:30 am 40 miles away,but dyno is not equipped with 4WD.......word from above, "all you have to do is remove the front axles"  
boss: -are you sure
from above: -yes, people do it all the time
me: does not sound like a good idea to me
boss: -let's try it, we are out of time.................

A C4 will not move at all if you remove any axle, I guess that's why it is called a C4......complete 4 wheel drive.
We did not make the dyno date, customer was upset, expert was ....really ??....We were in a really bad the comedian said, if you don't say the F word in situations like have anger issues.
On that black Turbo.....all we had to do was change the light switch......really ??? has been to an alarm place that had  lots of ideas....We do have a thing wit lights, don't we??...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Under Pressure !!

It is never a dull moment when you have this kind of job,  you spend years learning, and then you learn some more, and when you are done learning, you start all over again.  There is a point here, but I am so tired, I am going to give it a few minutes.......................Balance, that's what it is, which in my world it's like a build one of this machines requires a great balance of time ans skill, Rome was not built in a day, but also, you don't have to wage a war of a thousand days........I know, somewhere in between you skills are sharp, but time cannot be contained..tic tack tic tack............Tomorrow our skills will be tested...........

Monday, March 14, 2011

Old school vs tech

The first real engine I built was a 350, of course, with a little bit of my invention, see, I had this 1970 Camaro RS That me and my brother brought back from the afterlife, it was looking pretty good, but after a 1/4 mile testing, it was an embarrassment, 17 seconds, that really is an eternity, so more wrenching was required, and I found this 86 Corvette that was in a fire, so intense the whole injection was melted, but the engine was rebuildable.....It was then when I heard,... you can't use that block on a regular Chevy manifold....... I don't like it when I hear that kind of language,.....Months later, with a little bit of old school mixed with a little technology my 1/4 mile was much faster and my car was on the cover of Hot Rod Magazine.

Over the last decade and a half, we have been building and upgrading air cooled Porsches, but I have stayed away from the engine room, the boss in in charge of that kitchen, where old dishes are being prepared with new ingredients, and when this main course is served I may ask for the recipe, after all, I am the one decorating it.
This chef's specialty will be served with external boost controllers, coil on plugs and a side of turbo technology..........  bon appetite.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Structurally sound.

Now that we have taken care of the handling with the upgrade of the suspension and brakes, it is time to take care of the chassis;  Though uni bodies are pretty strong, one would wonder why does it need reinforcements??, why not, to put it simple words.  It is my belief that every manufactured item is rated at certain specifications, and because as humans we tend to change things, it is only natural that our way of thinking take us here:  More horse power and more torque, well ......  I don't think this old body can take it, lucky for us there is cosmetic surgery.

When it comes to structural reinforcement, many believe that the thicker the metal, the better....not me.....In my opinion it could be a little thicker, but without exaggeration, I found the  structure stronger when the two pieces have become one, by drilling holes all over the piece to be added to the structure and then piece will not move without the other.

So now our engine bay is ready for the added horse power, and all places where stress is going to be present are strong enough to take in a little more.

Suspension upgrades and structural mods, really nothing that hasn't been done before, ...where is the excitment ???  patience, we are still at ground level, and there is a lot more on the order sheet, but in the mean time, I will put my feet up, have a drink and practice being nice.

Friday, March 11, 2011

We interrupt our scheduled programming....

To bring you an update on the other things going on at bat cave: Holy turbo Chargers Boss, I think it's done.

 After being built at several shops, each one their own specialty, the last stop is us, on this one , we will call ourselves the cleaners, little details to be addressed, before it can hit the track.

Today there were 9 turbo cars and 2 non to be worked on, with only 4 hands on wrench, we had to attack the easy one, which was this toy, it's turbos have been reconstructed with better parts and were ready for a test, well it passed, and at the same time, we were able to get Project X on deck ( I'll tell you about it later) and Reinvented has been move out of the disable list, actually it is looking pretty good, I think we can have it  in uniform by next week, all those body aches have been massaged, and now it is ready for a mud bath .

Stay tune..........

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Those shoes don't go with that shirt !!

If you ask the boss the build you a 3.1 liter twin  turbo engine with all the trimmings, and then put it on a 1974 Targa, in my eyes that is like getting your best Bermuda shorts and then put on some black knee highs, although I have seen that  a lot, no one has become a trend setter.......Let's examine the patient, shall we.....

Owned for some 15 years , this one has been diagnosed with loose handling, lethargic performance and a few grunt noises when moving slow.  Over the counter fixings have not been the answer, even the witch doctor has waved his medicinal herbs at it.   I think it's time to see a specialist.

Take fresh powder coated front suspension, urethane bushing with lithium grease, cad plated rear spring plates, turbo torsion bars, add power brakes and big reds,  then call me in the morning......

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Captain's log...

It has been a very long day, but the two twin turbo projects that we put in today's menu are ready to test drive, minor details before they get dyno tested, Now the only pair of turbos left on the shelf are for Mr Re-invented that climbed to the top of that step ladder.  He stepped up big time and now my boss is going to build him a 3.1 litter twin turbo. Wild horses are going to drag him.... Once that decision was made, Gerardo and I were thinking......we're going to have to operate...the vessel is a seventy something, smog exempt, targa, overall a pretty nice ride as it is, but in my head I see a full orchestra of mechanics attaching parts to it. with a swift move of my hands, freshly powder coated A arms with urethane bushings dipped in graphite grease, magically  adorned the front end...........Not in my world, put the car on the lift, take the wheels off....(where is the wheel lock????)   got it, remove the suspension and let's get busy........

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


When it comes to the wheel, it has been a done deal for a very long time, attempts to reinvent it will only bring failure, .....or will it ????

On the next few posts, we will share a journey to a dream car being re invented, a 911 Porsche; the year and type are unimportant at this time, but they will bare something on the decisions made.

After owning this car for a decade and a half, and a few half ....fixes', it was time to bring it, when he showed up in a tow truck,  I was carrying a step ladder, just in case he was ready to step up... well, he was.........This is the beginning of a beautiful thing.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Volume plus pressure

Though I flunk math a couple of times in my life, understanding the problem was not very difficult....just a little friction.
The twin turbos on this ride burned up.  American turbos don't require as much oil as the stock ones, and with a high volume oil pump, this 3.1 litter is pumping 80 lbs cold.
The diagnose from the turbo company was "lack of oil"  What !!!  at the end of this equation, I think somebody made a mistake, but before we start asking for heads to roll, let's check our own stuff first;  All lines are fine, all fitting are restricted as recommended, we have plenty of pressure, Ok, so remove all restriction and increase the diameter of the feeding hoses.....the important thing here is, give the customer what he came here to get, a rumbling twin turbo.  A couple of days after he took delivery of the car, he called back.
Have you seen spies movies ??  they all have a button to release a smoke screen to get much oil pressure, the turbos were squirting it out of sides and into the tail pipe;  Now for the big dilemma, restrict the oil flow and risk the turbos, not an option, the problem wasn't volume alone, it was volume with that kind of pressure.
There is a company near by that makes all kind of check valves, and they had one that allows only 20 lbs of pressure, this might work, we tested it, and documented the test, it has good pressure, good flow, now for a test drive.   Oil + temperature = low viscosity.  The pressure dropped to a very uncomfortable level.
One fun thing about my job is that I get to take things apart just to see how they work,  Inside the valve there were springs, rubber seals and two machined fittings,  replaced the spring, drilled a couple of holes and machined a little more.  The result: the proper volume at the proper far so good.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

No rest for the weary

Hello boy and girls:
We don't usually work on Saturdays, but with the weather getting nice and Summer just around the corner, we  really need to come on boost and finalize some pending projects.

We give every car a nickname, and Marty's 930 was the one to be worked on today, it has been in line for a new ball bearing turbo, custom headers, new clutch kit and some cosmetics....simple enough......of course as luck will have it, there is always a wrong part or a missing part, needless to say, it made the day a bit longer, but engine is in, and  soon Marty's 930 will be on boost.

We even had enough time to give these twin turbos the proper oil pressure feed, a story for another day.

So now I am going to rest a bit and prepare for next week.

Have a nice weekend.

Friday, March 4, 2011


Axiom Motorsports is a small shop near LAX, dedicated to the care, maintenance and restoration of air cooled Porsches , we specialized in 911, and  though we are a small crew, collectively we have a vast amount of experience:

Joseph Toliva:  Engine builder. fabricator, welder, and he also signs our checks.

Rudy Ruano:  I am the operations manager.

Gerardo Camarena:  the other third of this trio. He brings to the table skills learned while working on fast production shops as well as several dealerships

We are constantly working on some cool projects, from the mild to the wild, off ground restorations to reinventions, street or track.

I hope you come check us out and see for yourself.

Visit us at to see some of our projects.