I bought my 74 2002 in 2006 from my friend, Ray, for $400. It had been sitting for ~6 years in a shop parking lot. We kicked out the family of cats living inside, sprayed the carb with gas, jumped a used battery and ka-blamo, it started! It was bone stock except for the paint (bummer, because it used to be Fjord blue). I’m not a mechanic, but I always liked working on my own cars, so, I wanted to do as much of this build myself as possible.
After I gutted the interior, my friend, Jim Pierce of Pierce Motorsports caged it from trunk to front rails, incorporating the strut towers and rear shock mounts in the process. The A-pillars and roof are very tight maximizing driver helmet space and interior aesthetics. The boxed door X's are also a favorite of mine. He really does great work. Since the bars in the engine compartment tie into the strut towers and render the stock brake fluid reservoir mount useless, I had to go to plan B. The brake fluid reservoir and bracket from a 77-83 911 bolts on to the 2002 brake booster bracket with very minimal fitting, since they all came from ATE. Doing this, separates the reservoirs of the brake and clutch MCs. I used a 67 912 brake fluid reservoir for the clutch MC and fashioned a bracket for it from the stock air cleaner bracket. It makes for easier bleeding of each system, too.
I've always loved the aggressive, well-proportioned look of the 70s Schnitzer-flared 2002s, so, that would be the basis for my build. I traded a set of tan Recaros for a used set of 4” box flares and air dam from Brian (ibjettin on the FAQ). They were old, but in decent shape for my plans. I cleaned them up, rebuilt the vents & the nose of the right flare due to previous damage and started on the rear quarter panel prep for installation. I was able to do this all myself after a lot of FAQ & YouTube research for flare installation and some practice MIG welding for the quarter panel cut outs/inner fender well fab. I used 3M panel bonding adhesive for the rears, and the fronts were bolt-on. I enrolled in an auto body shop class at my local community college. I learned a lot, doing the work myself, and have a great instructor, Brent Kooiman (Mr. VW). I used Evercoat fillers and primer and Restoration Shop epoxy primer (DTM) only after using really bad PCL etching primer & Extreme 2K primer surfacer (lessons learned). The color is Olso Blue (Restoration Shop single stage paint) a Porsche color from an old Glasuit 55 paint line. I primed using an Iwata gun 1.8 tip & painted it using a DeVilbiss Tekna Prolite gun 1.4 tip. I color sanded & then buffed it out using Evercoat Triple-Cut. From start to finish, the bodywork/paint took almost 4 years to complete using the school’s shop. I'm happy with my first paint job, ever!
I wanted to build the motor for spirited street driving and driver ed events (like Streets of Willow). I tore down the stock 2.0L, had it assessed, bought some new Mahle 9.5:1 Euro tii pistons, a Schrick 292 cam and got everything machined to spec (Jack Fahuna in Van Nuys). I checked things out when it all came back from the machinist, bought an engine kit (bearings and seals and such), had the head completely rebuilt (after finding a good e12 head, mine was cracked) and installed Schrick single valve springs. I started with Solex side drafts, but they were very difficult to get parts for and tune. So, I installed a set of (Spanish) Weber 40s with much better results and tune-ability. I have a set of Italian 40 DCOEs that I will clean and rebuild as the machining is likely to be better than what I have now…maybe? The ignition is MSD 6AL with a Pertronix in the distributor. I used a Crane XR700 before, but could never get it to idle right. With the MSD, it idles just fine. I have another mechanical advanced distributor to re-curve to Ti specs. I think my present Tii curve is causing a mid-RPM ping (advancing too soon?) that's driving me nuts. I’ve been hunting this down for a while. The next step is installing my 5-speed gearbox. Still accumulating the parts needed for that swap (have the 5 speed already).
I’ve always liked the adjustability and ease of use from a good coil-over suspension. I went with IE’s shortened/cambered Tii strut bodies & Bilsteins for my front coil-over base (and new ball joints, of course). I added the their big brake kit that allows use of 13” wheels (I love the old school wheels). While I had the front sub-frame out, I welded a strengthening plate where the motor mount always cracks & stitch-welded the front control arms as well. I double-sheared the rear lower shock mounts on the trailing arms after I boxed them. This added the extra strength needed to anchor the rear coil-overs. The upper mounts were beefed up during the cage build. I went with the IE disc brake setup for the rear while keeping the stock e-brake setup. The stock anti-sway bars were ditched for the IE adjustable units. I changed out the well-worn stock rubber bushings for urethane throughout the car. I added a set of adjustable front camber plates as well. I removed the short, stock lugs from the front hubs when I changed the bearings and in the rear hubs also when I installed a new set of forged stub axles and bearings. The rears are a direct fit from Summit Racing, part #ARP-100-7717, a Mitsubishi Evo application. The fronts were sourced from Turner Motorsports. They allow me to switch from my 13x8 Panasport C8s to my 13x8 and 8.5 Schmidt TH Lines (with the appropriate small spacers) with no problems. The 3.64 LSD rear diff is from a 78 3-series. I welded in the IE rear camber & toe adjustment kit on the sub-frame for extra adjustability.
I relayed the driving lights, the electric radiator fan (with a manual override switch) and the H4s. I upgraded the alternator to an 85amp unit. I installed the 3-core radiator from Silicon Garage. I decided not to install a stereo or center console.
The rear seat has been deleted, custom Porsche RS black felt and racing seats installed (mounted lower than stock) using 5-point Sabelt systems. The headliner is black and was...interesting to install around the tight cage. I wanted a mix of stock, but spartan interior in black. I rebuilt the door and rear panels using Dave Varco's thin wooden inserts. I removed most all of the stock sound deadening material (~30 pounds!) before applying POR 15 in the minimally surface-rusted floorboard areas. The battery was relocated to the right rear passenger seat area.
I'm still working on some aesthetic details, but I love driving my 02. I’ve learned a lot about 2002s thanks to Jeremy at IE and from the FAQ. I’m appreciative of the flow of 2002 knowledge available!