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337 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently picked up an AutoArt Porsche 917k in the livery of the Martini & Rosso International racing team, as raced at the Watkins Glenn 6hr in 1970. I would have preferred a John Wyer Gulf version but they seem to go for at least twice what I paid, so not only will I be upgrading the model but also repainting it. I didn't take any images before I dismantled it, but these are the images from the Ebay auction.

Tire Wheel Car Vehicle Land vehicle

There was some slight decal damage at the front end and the cut off switch is missing so perhaps that is why there wasn't so much interest in the auction and I managed to win it well within my budget.
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What there is of the engine is very nicely done, but it lacks a lot of details which I intend to add.
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The spartan interior is well done, but again there is scope for improvement. The Martini team painter must have been tripping out on something when he came up with this livery, which is pretty awful to my eye compared to the iconic blue and orange Gulf colours of the John Wyer team. Each to their own of course and it give gives me another opportunity to improve my painting skills.
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I have to say, this is the most complex dismantle I've done so far and involved quite a bit of head scratching at times to get it done. I took images at each stage which hopefully will assist in reassembly, which I'm sharing here in case any other intrepid modellers decide to boldly go where no modeller has gone before. 馃榿

First remove the 4 base plate screws. Then you are screwed because to all intents and purposes, the body and base should separate, but it doesn't!馃槨 After the first head scratching session I realised that you have to prise off the lower wishbone pivot holes from the upright pivots.

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Then it separates. As you can see the upper part of the suspension and steering etc., is screwed to the body.
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Here's a closer image of the suspension etc. Note that the nicely moulded oil cooler is moulded in clear/ translucent plastic and not painted!
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Removing the wheels is quite simple albeit you run the risk of breaking the plastic wheel nuts as I did on two of them, which you can see above in the 5th image. If you grip the nut with pliers, twist then pull, it comes off to reveal this. Some scope there for adding a self tapping bolt to allow the wheel to be removable me thinks!
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This is the front end of the base plate.
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And the rear.
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The trumpet covers are easily prised off.
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As it the anti roll bar and struts.
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The cockpit interior assembly is easily removed by prising and pulling upwards.
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Then you can prise off the base plate for the trumpet covers.
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Followed by the trumpet assembly.
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Here you can see one of the screws which retain the upper and lower parts of engine to the base plate. There's another towards the rear, which I'll come to later, but this one can be removed now.
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The framework and wheel arch assembly is next to be removed. Some cutting of the melted tabs under the luggage area is needed to achieve this.
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To remove the uprights, you first need to separate the lower pins from the framework. As these can be glued in place on reassembly, I snipped off the ends with side cutters.
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And then prised off the upper framework seen here on the right, which releases the uprights, shockers and springs (non working).
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Then the main spaceframe assembly may be removed.
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Removing the second engine screw located in the top of the gearbox allows the upper half of the engine block to be removed.
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This screw also retains the frame and lower mounts for the rear uprights, so that can also now be removed.
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Followed by the lower "half " of the engine and exhausts.
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Which separates to this.
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And a view of the main engine components.
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Removing the two screws in the front suspension/steering/dashboard allows this sub assembly to be removed from the body.
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And the headlight cover/oil cooler may then be pulled out.
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That's pretty much the disassembly. Next up some butchery on the metal.



5,098 Posts
I can't wait to see where you're going with this! I have several AA 917s and would love to see what's possible with them (not that I would attempt it, not being a DIY'er).

34,981 Posts
A great project! I've got several of these myself.

337 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Many thanks Gents!
That was the easy part. Hopefully when I'm finished having fun adding bits here and there, I can just repeat the above steps in reverse and put it all back together again.

When you say "attempt custom projects", I hope that does not mean some of them went wrong! The ht leads look nice but I think the plugs are a little lower down on the sides. I'm waiting for some fine cable to arrive that I ordered for the leads and fuel lines, so I'll be following in your footsteps. As you've already boldly gone before me on this model, please shout out if you have any pointers as I go along.

From what I've seen so far, this AA 917K has the potential to be a whole lot better than it is out of the box (assuming I don't screw up). You should pick up some cheap Bburagos on Ebay to practice on and build up some skills. Assuming you have the time and inclination you can have hours of fun and I don't have to listen to my wife!馃ぃ馃ぃ

Enough bla bla, time for some pictures. The first mod I've made is to open up the cooling vents above the front wheels. AA do a nice job casting them in relief and painting the bottom of the valleys black but they are a whole lot better now.
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And as you can see, this can be done without damaging the paint. Not that it matters as I'm going to repaint, but I just wanted to sed if I could do it.
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Here's how I did it. All the butchery is done on the inner face of the arch starting with a sanding wheel in the mini drill. The metal between the struts is quite thin so after a few minutes sanding, the gaps start to appear. In this image the upper one is done and the lower one is just starting to show the gaps as I sand down the metal.
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It speeds things up if you have some cutting burrs, but it takes more care as the round one can really chew into the metal. Once the gaps start to show I opened them up with the cylinder burr which 0.7mm diameter and was spot on for the gap size. The wire brush was used to tidy up the inner face. No filing of the gaps was needed.
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Just a couple of points on this version of the AA 917k. There's a couple of naca ducts on the upper sides of the engine cover that AA just covered with the decals. Look closely just under "RACING TEAM" and you will see where the decal has just started to collapse inwards.
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And the same story on this duct at the front, so if you have one in this livery, be careful how you handle it in these areas.
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Just a quick look back at dismantling. The engine cover and doors are removed from the cockpit by unscrewing the retaining plate in the roof. The windscreen and door windows are easily flexed out of their locations.
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So, one last look before it went into the Tupperware tub with paing stripper.
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Thr stripper I use is very good and after a couple of hours the paint was bubbling nicely, but I left it overnight before cleaning in hot water and detergent. Then after much sanding, scraping and wire brushing, you get this.
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The ducts that were covered by decals are now clearly visible. As I'm converting it to a John Wyer car the roof mounted rear view mirror and window of the Martini car are not needed, so I glued the window in place and sanded down.
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And the body components.
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Next the bonnet naca ducts were opened up with a drill and burr. It's not possible to open the ones on the sides of the engine cover as the metal is way too thick.
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That's all the serious butchery done on the body so it's now ready for painting.


10,001 Posts
Oh cutting through it is definitely possible. I used a jeweller's saw to cut through this 5-6 mm thick bumper.

You could also use a Dremel with a small cutoff wheel, but it's not that accurate and you would have to fill it with putty or bondo but it can definitely be done. Also legende-miniatures sells resin NACA ducts and if you can find a powerful enough drill to go through the metal and then just file the edges away by hand, you could insert the resin duct, blend and voila

337 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Good to hear that you are finding this useful for upgrading your CMR anc Norev 917Ks. Let me know if there is anything specific you need by way of images and I'll be happy to provide them if I can. Those are both sealed I believe so are you going to chop them up to make them openable? If you don't have it already, this is a useful reference for 917k engines.

If you delve deeper into this site you will find another 3 sets of images showing around 50+ I images of 3 other 917k engines that were offered for sale.

I didnt mean the metal couldn't be cut. With the right tools you can of course cut anything. At first, it appeared to me that the area of the nacas was cast in such a way that the only way to open them would have been to drill into the metal parallel to the side. In actual fact, after looking at it further I realised I could drill at an angle so they now look lIke this.
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They are not actually depicted correctly as they should look like the larger ones lower down, but I'm not going to attempt chiselling them out or cutting out all together and replacing with resin items.
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So with the metal bashing now done, I've moved onto the engine. Although the block, gearbox and final drive are nicely depicted, they lack a lot of bolt detail, distributors, ht cables and fuel lines. Colour wise, the whole block is painted in a sort of matt khaki, with the glass fibre/resin moulded trumpets and cooling fan etc., in matt yellow. This is what it should look like. (images from the link above)1
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As it comes the rear moulded distributor is piss-potical and there is no front distributor, so I made a couple of replacements from styrene tube and rod. In this image I hadn't drilled the holes for the HT cables to run to the coils yet.
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I've repainted the block in Tamiya metallic grey and chrome silver, with the glass fibre/resin moulded areas in matt dark yellow to get something closer to the engine images above. I spent ages drilling holes where bolts should be to add lengths of nickel silver rod to represent the bolt heads. Note that the fuel injector has 14 feeds, when it should of course only have 12. The two errant ones were removed later.
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A dry run with the painted distributors after adding the coil cables.
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This inside view shows some of the nickel silver rod used to represent the bolt heads glued into the drilled holes. I find it much easier to use overlenght pieces of rod and trim inside and out afterwards, than fiddling about cutting and installing pieces of the correct length.
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Here are a couple of views with all the HT cables installed in the distributors and fuel lines installed on the trumpets. Again I prefer to cut them all over length and trim later. I work out what is the longest length needed and cut them all to that. Wastefull, I know but I find it a lot easier to do it that way.
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The trumpets are still detatchable and will remain so until I reinstall the engine onto the floorpan. I took them off to run the HT leads to the plugs.
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This is what is looks like inside the engine after installing the leads to the plugs. The brass rod was added first and painted black on the outside to represent the rubber plug covers, then the leads were inserted.
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Right hand side done and cables taped up.
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And with the trumpet assembly in place and the fuel lines trimmed and installed in the fuel injector. Jag waiting patiently in the background for attention.
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The fuel lines should be translucent white, but these were all I had.
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And the HT leads should be orange, but again this is what I have.
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The injector feeds are in two rows and staggered, so I removed the front one on the inner row and the rear one on the outer row to correct them.
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The trumpet assembly and fuel lines can be removed and will not be fixed until the engine is reinstalled on the floorpan, as the front fixing screw is located under the fan. So far, so good methinks!


5,180 Posts
Damn, as in what?
As in amazing attention to detail!

I've added hoses and wires before, but never to that extent.

That is going to be one insane build!

Here's a picture of the spare engine for Jo Siffert's Can Am car.

Seppi at TIS-Spare Engine by Jim Forte, on Flickr

Plus, I have a couple of these apart and in my spares bin. Let me know if you need a part or two, and I'll ship them across the pond at my expense.


337 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hi Jim,
Ah, now I understand. We speak the same language but sometimes the nuances are different. Glad you like it and many thanks for the offer of some spares. Unless I screw up I shouldn't need any, but you never know. Sometimes screw up, or cock up as we say on this side of the pond, is my middle name!

Thanks also for the engine image. Every one I see looks different in terms of the colours of the various parts, so it's hard to be sure what colour to paint what part. One thing for sure, is that the colours AutoArt used are a load of bollocks! I don't claim to get everything right, but you'd think that with the resources AA have, their research would be such that they wouldn't make these simple cock ups.


5,098 Posts
I echo Jim's (Oldtimer's) comment above: DAMN!

STUNNING detail work, Peter. Even in my kit-building days, I had no interest in custom work but your effort here is off the chart - brilliant! Thank you for sharing this; I continue to eagerly anticipate each new installment.


337 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thank you Jim. I'm glad you are enjoying it.

Progress has been slow as I seem to be spending more time searching the interweb for images of areas of the engine bay, that I'm not sure about. One example is the two cooling ducts either side of the gearbox. I wasn't sure where they were routed, but I found this image which shows they are for cooling the gearbox. It also shows the coils for the rear distributor mounted on the chassis frame. As mentioned earlier, AA moulded a very poor representation of the rear distributor on the engine but didn't add these coils. They omitted the front distributor but added the coils, albeit in the wrong position on the frame near the fire extinguisher in the cockpit! They should be on the inside of the firewall low down between the seats. The engine oil catch tank on the left of the gearbox is also not included AA and will have to be added.
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Back on the engine I've added the starter motor and solenoid to the side of the differential, made from styrene rod and tube, along with the lower bolts on the lower rocker covers. They might be visible when you look at the underside of the car??
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The trumpet assembly and fuel lines have been removed in preparation for adding further details to the top of the engine. I need to make the rear alternator and the throttle linkages.
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However, I've gone off on tangent and started on other areas. All the frame components have been sprayed in satin black after removing the moulded coils from the strut near the fire extinguisher. It all just clips together which is useful for making dry runs to check clearances when you make changes. For example, now that I've added the HT cables the engine just squeezes between the side frames.
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These are the mods made to the wheel nuts to allow them to be removable. I drilled out the centres to 2mm and added an M2 cheesehead screw, after first reducing the head diameter and thickness so it fits in the recess in the plastic nut. Not perfect but acceptable to me so I can display it with a wheel removed if I choose.
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The disc rears were not painted by AA (cheapskates!), but they will be. I'm not sure about the copper colour on the uprights though. More research needed.
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The seat backs have received two brush coats of Tamiya dark yellow to represent the bare glass fibre/resin and the exhausts have been sprayed with white primer. I added a strip of PVC tape the width of the bracket, around the tail pipes before painting the bracket silver. I've also drilled the pipes deeper and painted matt rubber black on the inside so the blank ends cannot be seen. I use the rubber black in a lot of non rubber areas as it's less stark than plain matt black and looks better to my eye. Since taking this image, I've painted the universals in silver and picked out the bolt heads in gunmetal.
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The upper front wishbones were solid, so I scribed an offset line from the outer edges to the width required with a springbow compass, before removing the surplus plastic.
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First I drilled a series of holes around the perimeter.
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Then removed the inner plastic after cutting through thr bridges between the holes.
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And after tidying up with the file, you get this. Not rocket science so apologies to the cognicente, but it may be helpful to those new to model car bashing to see how it's done.
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The areas either side of the engine bay are difficult to find good images off but I've made a start on modifying the moulded parts. Moulded piping has been removed and smoothed and handles added to the top of the oil and fuel fillers from styrene strip. The fuel filter was moulded between the two tanks on the left but I've separated it and fixed to the correct position on the side of the chassis frame. The remaining gizmo between the tanks if the fuel pump. It should be neared the outer edge of the large oil tank but I'm leaving it where it is for simplicity. Mould lines have been sanded smooth ready for a whisk of aluminum.
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Here where the fuel filter should be. It's already drilled to accept replacement piping.
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And with the mouldings dry fitted.
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I covered the duct for the oil pipes from the cooler to the engine in metal foil to represent the heat insulation. The detail above the duct is electrical stuff and I'll paint up the various parts to pick out the wiring. There should be something similar on the firewall behind the seats, but AA didnt add that either, so more scratch building.
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