1:18 UT Porsche 993 series facts and images

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FrenchToast
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1:18 UT Porsche 993 series facts and images

Post by FrenchToast » Fri Dec 02, 2016 5:08 pm

Hello all,

If you are familiar with the 1:1 993 shape it is clear how well done the UT 993s are. The overall shape is more accurate than Bburago, Maisto, Anson offerings and In my opinion is on par with the AutoArt and the GT-Spirit versions. The biggest falling point of the UTs is the front end, they simply never got the look right. Of course, UT's interior and dog-leg doors are not up to modern standards.

Through lots of research I've come across some interesting facts about the UT 993s that I thought I would share. Some may be obvious, hopefully some are not. If any are incorrect please point them out!

Pre-production
993 RS
-Techart front air ducts (incorrect in respect to 1:1)
-'Hardback' sport seats (incorrect in respect to 1:1)
-Wheels are too wide

993 Targa
-Blue model originally to be Viola Metallic?

993 GT2 Champion
-No shoe-polish number (added for production)

993 GT2 "Naked Lady"
-Speedline wheels (BBS for production)

Pre-production photos

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Series 0 / First run
-Arena Red Turbo, Silver GT2, White GT1 only
-No brake calipers (applicable to GT1?)
-'Live' rear axle (applicable to GT1?)
-Models have Minichamps / PMA nine-digit reference number and are listed in their official database

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Series 1
-Brake calipers added
-Independent rear axles on all models
-Cup wheels are in scale 18" (should be 17"), probably to share tires
-GT2 Speedline centers are darker
-One washer per door hinge
-Models begin using five-digit reference number (continued by AUTOart).

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Series 2
-Cup wheels changed to 17" but stylistically less accurate. New tires
-Front seats attached with superglue instead of plastic-weld
-Separate exterior door handles
-Some widebody cars drop two rocker clips in favor of screws
-Underbody text reads "made in china," replacing "crafted in china"
-Two thin washers per door hinge

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Model codes in numerical order (51 count not including PMA numbers):

180065000*: 993 GT2 Street - Silver
180066070*: 993 Turbo - Arena Red
180966600*: 993 GT1 - white (plain body)
27801: 993 Carrera - Mint Green
27802: 993 Carrera - silver
27803: 993 Carrera - Mirage Metallic
27806: 993 Carrera Cabriolet - Black
27807: 993 Carrera Cabriolet - Silver
27808: 993 Carrera Cabriolet - Arena Red
27811: 993 Turbo - Arena Red
27812: 993 Turbo - Black Metallic
27813: 993 Turbo - Silver
27816: 993 Carrera RS - red
27817: 993 Carrera RS - white
27818: 993 Carrera RS - Riviera Blue
27821: 993 Targa - red
27822: 993 Targa - silver
27823: 993 Targa - blue
27826: 993 Carrera S - silver
27827: 993 Carrera S - Arena Red
27828: 993 Carrera S - Viola Metallic
27830: 993 GT2 Evo Street version - white
27831: 993 GT2 - silver
27832: 993 GT2 - Speed Yellow
27833: 993 GT2 - red
27836: 993 Turbo S - Light Yellow
27837: 993 Turbo S - red
27838: 993 Turbo S - Black
27841: 911 GT1 (993) - white (plain body)
27842: 911 GT1 (993) - blue (plain body)
27846: 911 GT1 Evo (996) - silver
27847: 911 GT1 Evo (996) - black
27848: 911 GT1 Evo (996) - Light Yellow
39514: 993 Carrera Supercup VIP
39625: 911 GT1 (993) - Porsche AG #25, 24h Le Mans 1996
39626: 911 GT1 (993) - Porsche AG #26, 24h Le Mans 1996
39627: 911 GT1 (993) - Porsche AG, 24h Le Mans 1996, Test car
39630: 993 GT2 - Champion #74, 24h Daytona 1996:
39631: 993 GT2 - show car / demonstrator
39632: 993 GT2 - Repsol #10,
39720: 911 GT1 Evo (996) - Porsche AG #6, 1997
39721: 911 GT1 Evo (996) - Porsche AG #7, 1997
39722: 911 GT1 Evo (996) - Giesse #17, 1997
39723: 911 GT1 (993) - Wallindh / Strandell #30, 1997
39724: 911 GT1 (993) - Rohr #01, 1997
39810: 911 GT1 Evo (996) - Champion #74, 1998
39811: 911 GT1 Evo (996) - Rohr #01, 1998
39812: 993 GT2 - Krauss Motorsport #63, IMSA 1998
39813: 993 GT2 - Goodyear #90, 24h Daytona 1998, BERT LENGIN - FRANCO LA ROSA - KRIS WAUTERS - KOEN WAUTERS
39815: 993 GT2 - Superflo #24, Sebring 1998 VARGO - PATTERSON - REFENNING
39817: 911 GT1 Evo (996) - Champion #38, 6h 1998
39831: 993 GT2 - Haberthur #68, 24h Le Mans 1998

*Minichamps / PMA assigned numbers. These models are listed in the official Minichamps database on https://www.hobbydb.com/

Except for the first three models which were all carried into series 1, each variations exists only in one 'series.' To my knowledge there is only one variation that made it to production with both Series 1 & 2 setup. It is the black Carrera Cabriolet; the series 2 is the rarer of the two.

The five-digit product code was continued by AutoArt when they absorbed UT.
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The colors UT uses are based on real 1:1 colors*. Some aren't an exact match however. Pictures of 1:1's are below.

1:1 Name (1:18s it appears on)

Arena Red (Carrera Cabriolet, Carrera S, Turbo)
Basalt Black Metallic (Carrera S and Turbo)
Black with clear coat (Carrera Cabriolet, Turbo S, GT1 Evo)
Grand Prix White (GT2 Evo, GT1)
Guards Red (Targa, RS, GT2, Turbo S)
Light Yellow (Turbo S, GT1 Evo)
Ocean Blue Metallic (Targa)
Mint Green (Carrera coupe)
Mirage Metallic (Carrera coupe)
Ocean Blue Metallic (Targa)
Polar Silver (Carrera coupe, Carrera Cabriolet, Targa, Carrera S, Turbo, GT2, GT1 Evo)
Riviera Blue (RS)
Speed Yellow (GT2)
Viola Metallic (Carrera S)

The interiors are also based on real colors*:

Cashmere
Marble Grey
Black
Flamenco Red (special order)

Three of the four seat options offered on the real car are featured in UTs.

Comfort seat
Sport seat (1996-8), aka "Hardback"
RS fixed bucket

Missing is the early sport seat, used only for the first two years of production.

*Except for the blue plain-body 993 GT1. Both the exterior and interior is not a Porsche 993 color. Theoretically however, a customer (private racing team in the case of a plain-body GT1) could order a car in any color they wanted. Although at Weissach they would probably be scratching their heads why they requested a white interior!
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Real Colors:

Arena Red
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Black Metallic
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Black with clear coat
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Grand Prix White
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Guards Red
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Light Yellow
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Mint Green
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Mirage Metallic
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Ocean Blue Metallic
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Polar Silver
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Riviera Blue
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Speed Yellow
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Viola Metallic
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Real interiors:

Cashmere
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Classic Grey
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Black
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Flamenco Red (special order)
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Real seats:

Comfort seat
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Sport seat (1996-8), aka "Hardback". Standard the backs came painted black metallic. However Porsche could paint them matching exterior color by request.
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RS fixed bucket
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Missing is the early sport seat, used only from 1994-5.
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Homologation Street cars

GT2 Demonstrator:

GT2:

GT2 Evo: (Note two styles of airdam Porsche Motorsports developed for the car)
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GT1 Evo:

Racecars:

For all the cars except the Supercup, a keen eye may notice that the bodywork of real cars differs slightly from the 1:18. There are two causes for this: A) real racecars go through many exterior changes in order to stay competitive and B) UT chose to only model the later GT2 iteration with the larger front intakes (except for the Repsol car).

RS-CS Supercup

Porsche RS-CS Clubsport VIP (second picture: Porsche did a lot of variations with these graphics)
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GT (Team name: Sponsor)

AD Sport: Goodyear (1:1 pics are hard to find!)
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Champion Porsche: STP
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Elf-Haberthur Racing: Tuiles TBF "Naked Lady"
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Krauss Motorsport: Portfolio Consulting "Harlequin"
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Kremer Racing: Repsol
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Reffening: Superflo
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GT1

G-Force / Strandell: Blue Coral
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Porsche AG: Mobil 1, test car
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Porsche AG: Mobil 1, Warsteiner
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Rohr Motorsport:
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GT1 Evo

Champion Motorsport: STP
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Porsche AG: Mobil 1, Warsteiner
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Jb Racing: Marlboro, Giesse

Rohr Motorsport:
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And what the field looked like in 1997. One of the golden eras in motorsport, without doubt.

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Fun facts:

General UT:

-UT stands for Unique Toys
-All doors (including series 2) are stamped 180065000. Excluding GT1 models.
-All GT2 (non EVO) shells are stamped 180065000.
-All Turbo and Carrera S shells are stamped 180066070.
-All rear wiper-delete coupe glass are stamped 180065000.
-All rear wiper-equipped coupe glass are stamped 180066070.
-All trunk inserts are stamped 180065000.
-Some pieces are marked according to the models they first appeared on. Front axles can be marked GT2, RS, or Turbo. Metal rear decklids note RS, S, or Cabrio.
-UT's Arena Red Turbo matches the factory's 1995 demonstrator model both in paint and interior color.
-Each of the UT Porsche 993 street models are produced in three colors. The one exception is the GT2, which is additionally offered in accurate 1995 demonstrator livery.
-The rare 993 RS CS is represented with UT's Supercup model.
-The UT plain-body 993 GT1s are not a street version. They are the race version just without livery (as it would have been delivered to a private team). The 993 street version has the GT1 Street-version BBS wheels (which UT uses on the GT1 Evo street-version), 993 RS steering wheel, blocked-off lower driving lights, and treaded tires.
-Prior to PMA/UT producing the Rohr-sponsored yellow GT1, a company called Sport Craft Miniatures produced roughly 80 copies of the yellow Rohr car. SCM attained permission from Jochen Rohr (Rohr team owner) to produce the model as it was decorated for Mosport (now Canadian Tire Motorsport Park) in 1996. They started as the plain-body white GT1 and then were fully disassembled, repainted Penske Yellow with decals applied. The SCM-modified and factory UT versions are virtually indistinguishable. The SCM version has yellow doorhandles and black vents between the taillight and reflector strip. UT versions have black doorhandles, yellow vents, and the addition of Allan McNish as a driver.

General AUTOart:

-According to legend, AutoArt created molds for their early 1:64 Porsches directly from UT's CAD files, effectively making them 1:3.6 scale models of a UT 1:18.
-AutoArt's newly released 1:18 993 Coupe and 996 GT1 Evo use no parts from the versions UT created.
-AutoArt briefly continued using some of the UT parts in their models. The UT tires, as well as some other parts, were used in many of AA's early 986 and 996 models.

General 1:1:

-As you can imagine, some of the real cars are somewhat rare as well. The 993 GT2 Evo Street-version was produced in 11 copies, and the 996 GT1 Evo Street-version in 25 copies worldwide. The 993 GT1 Street-version (not depicted by UT) was made in just two copies.
-The Champion car was campaigned for at least three years in professional motorsport, after which it became a frequent appearance at club events (and still is occasionally). The Superflo car I believe had a more brief professional career, but like the Champion car still enters club events.
-As such, the Champion car went through many changes. In 1995 - '96 it resembled a normal GT2 (not the Evo front bumper). In '97 it gained the Evo bumper as modeled by UT, but also gained boxed rockers for improved aerodynamics. Today it sports the earlier Evo bumper (smaller inlets), and has larger rear fender flares to accomodate larger diameter rear tires.
-The 911 GT1 Evo (that has the 996 lights) is included in this list because underneath, the car is identical to the 993-based 911 GT1. Porsche grafted on the newer lights to resemble their upcoming model.
-The front half of the real 911 GT1 (but not the GT1-98 silhouette car) is actually based on a 993. Aft of the cockpit it is based on the 962.
-The UT 993 GT1 Blue plain-body has a white interior. This is very, very strange. All 1:1 GT1s, either in street or race guise, had a black interior. The only exception is one Light Yellow 911 GT1 Evo which was special ordered with a Cedar Green interior.

Exterior:

-All narrowbody UTs use different front fog/signal pieces. They are more accurately shaped but are too tall with respect to the 1:1.
-The UT narrowbody coupe rear decklid is not interchangeable the widebody coupe rear decklid. (It would be on the 1:1)
-The UT cabriolet and Targa models have a unique front hood. This is due to how UT chose to assemble the front windshield.
-The UT Targa model is based on the cabriolet, but uses a 'hardtop' to create the Targa roof. This is similar to the 1:1.
-The Turbo S is the only model to have the roof-mounted third brakelight. On 1:1s this was delivered on all coupe production models starting in 1996.
-The exterior mirrors are positioned asymmetrically (for LHD), just like the real car.
-The UT Turbo S is the only model to have clear front turn signals and red rear signals. In reality all European AWD 993s share this feature. As such, the normal -Turbo should have this. Instead UT's Turbo (non S) uses normal European 2WD lighting.
-All UT models use European lighting.
-The '74' on the rear window of the 1:1 Champion racecar is just shoe-polish. (Often used to create a temporary number).

Interior:

-The RS and GT2 door panels are for an RHD car - most assuredly a design mistake. The right side panel has two window switches while the left has only one.
-All UT models have a front strut brace installed. In reality, only the GT2 (and possibly RS ?) came with one.
-The plastic trunk 'insert' is not accurate and has levels of accuracy. The top (most rearward) part is accurate. Everything below, including the fuel tank sender, edge of fuel tank, is mirrored. The brake reservoir and washer reservoir are not mirrored but flipped 180 degrees; this is proven by the indent on the washer resrvoir. Flip it around 180 degrees and to the other side, it is an exact match to the 1:1. If it was mirrored, it would not be accurate.

Wheels and drivetrain:

-Excluding GT1 models, three engines are modeled. One is the turbo engine, which is essentially an intercooler that blocks everything (only the intercooler and part of the fan is modeled). For the normally aspirated engines, both Varioram and non-Warioram engines are modeled.
-The Turbo S has color-matched calipers. The 1:1 Turbo S merely got yellow calipers, regardless of exterior color.
-The UT Speedline wheels are very accurate. GT2 and RS Speedlines are depicted with the correctly differing number of flange bolts; 30 for the GT2 and 40 for the RS.
-The early UT GT2 has unique, inaccurate brake calipers. I do not know why.
-Series 2 Carrera, Carrera Cabriolet and Carrera S models with the smaller Cup wheels use a tire with a tread pattern modeled after the Bridgestone Potenza of the era. While there are no Bridgestone markings on the tire (likely for licensing reasons), this is the exact tire Porsche supplied on certain 993s. It seems the larger street tires are modeled after the contemporary Michelin Pilot Sport.

Between Bburago, Anson, UT and now GT Spirit there is an astonishingly comprehensive array of period 993 racecars in 1:18. Would be neat to line 'em all up! (No, not me, I only have two).
Last edited by FrenchToast on Fri May 11, 2018 4:59 pm, edited 32 times in total.

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StratosWRC
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Re: 1:18 UT Porsche 993 series facts and images

Post by StratosWRC » Fri Dec 02, 2016 7:36 pm

Dang! Thanks for the history lesson

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Re: 1:18 UT Porsche 993 series facts and images

Post by [KRAFTIG] » Sat Dec 03, 2016 3:21 am

What a wealth of information, I still have many of gems in my personnel collection. AUTOart get off your ass and build us some more 993s!

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Re: 1:18 UT Porsche 993 series facts and images

Post by FrenchToast » Sat Dec 03, 2016 3:36 am

[KRAFTIG] wrote:AUTOart get off your ass and build us some more 993s!
+993!

They've done the hard part. The interior and basic body molds are all there. They basically need to tweek the bodyshell to create a lot more variants.

:wall:

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Re: 1:18 UT Porsche 993 series facts and images

Post by [KRAFTIG] » Sat Dec 03, 2016 8:13 am

FrenchToast wrote:
[KRAFTIG] wrote:AUTOart get off your ass and build us some more 993s!
+993!

They've done the hard part. The interior and basic body molds are all there. They basically need to tweek the bodyshell to create a lot more variants.

:wall:

YUP! I'm still puzzled why they haven't made more variants of the 993 and 930! Fans of diecast and fans of Porsche would eat them up!!!!!!!!!! :woot:

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Re: 1:18 UT Porsche 993 series facts and images

Post by Josh » Sat Dec 03, 2016 3:02 pm

Wow awesome work here! Lots of info to take in, you really spent some time on this! Every collection simply must have some UT 993's in it!

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Re: 1:18 UT Porsche 993 series facts and images

Post by Gavin » Tue Dec 06, 2016 2:57 pm

Great thread...tons of info.

I LOVE UT's 993....so much so, that I haven't upgraded to either the GT-Spirit nor AA (yet).

So, what's your favorite? Mine is the black Turbo S.
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Re: 1:18 UT Porsche 993 series facts and images

Post by Sanchez » Tue Dec 06, 2016 3:42 pm

That is some scientific research about a model! Love reading threads like this.

FrenchToast
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Re: 1:18 UT Porsche 993 series facts and images

Post by FrenchToast » Tue Dec 06, 2016 3:47 pm

Thank you all. The format is still a bit wonky. I have edited it a few times and shall in the future as needed. Most recent discovery is that the first three models are actually listed in Minichamps' official database.
Gavin wrote:black Turbo S.
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She's a beaut, Clark! (Xmas movie quote just in time for the holidays!)

Sadly my UT collection is made up mostly of parts at the moment. Have some projects to complete.
Gavin wrote:So, what's your favorite?
Out of the box? Without question, the Arena Red Turbo. It matches the demonstrator/poster car nearly exactly. The real car, to me, represents the end of an era for Porsche.

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UT's application of the Arena Red paint is quite stellar as well. I've always liked the color - most likely because of the poster. :)
Last edited by FrenchToast on Tue Dec 06, 2016 7:13 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: 1:18 UT Porsche 993 series facts and images

Post by Gavin » Tue Dec 06, 2016 4:44 pm

I have that Arena Red as well...was my first UT model. Love it, even though its the early one without the calipers.

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Re: 1:18 UT Porsche 993 series facts and images

Post by FrenchToast » Wed Dec 07, 2016 9:29 pm

Gavin wrote:I LOVE UT's 993....so much so, that I haven't upgraded to either the GT-Spirit nor AUTOart (yet).
Same here.

Although I do have a lone body from a GT Spirit C4S. It is cracked, don't know why. Probably a victim of GTS's poor shipping practices?

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Re: 1:18 UT Porsche 993 series facts and images

Post by SPhilli911 » Mon Sep 11, 2017 4:54 pm

Dunno if this is the right place to ask, but I am struggling to find info on dismantling a UT 993. I have two silver GT2s, the old one with the unpainted wheels and missing brake calipers, and the updated version. Both are in pretty bad shape paint-wise, but I want to take them apart and repair, mod, and repaint them.

Any tips on removing the parts, is there glue holding it together? I can only get so far as removing the front lip. I feel like this may be asking a lot, but I can't really find any useful info specifically for UT Models.

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Re: 1:18 UT Porsche 993 series facts and images

Post by [KRAFTIG] » Mon Sep 11, 2017 5:20 pm

I've never operated myself on one though I can see it being too difficult. I would pose this question in the "custom models..." forum Good luck!

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Re: 1:18 UT Porsche 993 series facts and images

Post by SPhilli911 » Tue Sep 12, 2017 6:36 am

Thanks! I'll make a post soon in the custom model section. I feel like it may be pretty tough, for myself, to get the cars down to the body shell without accidentally breaking things. Should be fun.

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Re: 1:18 UT Porsche 993 series facts and images

Post by FrenchToast » Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:45 pm

SPhilli911 wrote:Dunno if this is the right place to ask, but I am struggling to find info on dismantling a UT 993. I have two silver GT2s, the old one with the unpainted wheels and missing brake calipers, and the updated version. Both are in pretty bad shape paint-wise, but I want to take them apart and repair, mod, and repaint them.

Any tips on removing the parts, is there glue holding it together? I can only get so far as removing the front lip. I feel like this may be asking a lot, but I can't really find any useful info specifically for UT Models.
It isn't too difficult. The hardest part is the wheels.

I made a quick tutorial about it somewhere, stand by while I look for it.. Edit: found it. It isn't really a tutorial, it is more of a stream-of-consciousness letter to someone who asked how to disassemble theirs.
For the UT 993 in particular: (I don't have one in front of me however)

It varies between models, but on the cabrio/Targa models I recall there are four screws holding on the undercarriage. Two are under the front apron, and two are hiding above the exhaust system. To get to the latter two, you need to carefully pry out the exhaust system (it is friction-pressed in). Pry under a bulky part, i.e. the muffler, so you don't snap anything.

There might also be two screws on the rocker panels (there are on some models), bringing the total undercarriage screws to six, but I don't recall at the moment. Regardless, the rocker panel screws are obvious if they are there.

There might be two screws in the rear fenderwell, I can't remember? If so, easy to see looking inside the wheelwell. And on the cabrios there might be a center screw?

Make sure all the screws are fully disengaged, and turn the model over so the screws fall out. Don't do this over a drain, grate, dirt, black hole, or other surface where the screws might easily fly everywhere. You don't want to lose screws. Unlike larger hardware, screws this small can rarely, if ever, be matched at a local hardware store. I hoard small screws for spares. :D

After all the screws are out, note if there are a difference in threads (machine versus coarse threads), length, and organize appropriately. Since there are sometimes so many, I sometimes like to put the screws back where they came from.

Before proceeding, look in each and make sure all the screws are out. If they are stuck in there (they'll come out later), be conscious of this and continue work over a towel or area where you won't lose a screw.

If the car is a narrowbody (Carrera, RS, Targa, cabrio), you can wiggle the undercarriage out. If the car is a widebody (like your GT2), the rocker panels have at least two or four clips going into the undercarriage (two clip widebodies have two screws at the rocker directly under the leading edge of the door). Push inwards at the base of the metal rocker panels while lifting on side of the undercarriage out. It should pop out. If there are four clips you may need to do the front/rear separately. The rear wheels come out with the undercarriage, the fronts are attached to the body shell. Next are some more screws. Two screws hold on the front steering 'rack'. Before you undo this, note the orientation of these pieces. They usually only fit one way. You can take the bottom brace out, the wheels/rack won't want to come out yet as the steering shaft is pressed into the rack system.

Next is the interior 'bucket'. First use masking tape the rear engine lid shut. There are at least two, might be more? If there are more they are in plain sight. Anyway, undo those screws. Again note the thread, length, etc. Now open the doors (watch the windows though). Now you should be able to wiggle out the interior bucket and dashboard. Sometimes they come out together, sometimes not. Depends. The dash board may be hung up on the flange at the base of the windshield. Note that the doors need to be open for the dashboard to come out. The not-very-detailed engine is attached to the interior bucket. The engine lid (very fragile in the case of a GT2) may fall out when you remove the interior bucket, this is why you should tape it.

Now you should be left with the shell with doors, hood, roof, and lights. If the car is a coupe, the hood is held on with one screw (also holds the sliding track "hinge"). On Targa and Cabrio models, the hood and front windscreen are held in by two screws. These screws also hold on the hood. On the Targa/cabrio, reinstall these screws gently and do not overtighten. You can easily crack the windshield cowl. The Targa top or cabrio top unclips from the bodyshell (may have small amount of glue).

There is one screw holding on each door. Note that both of these screws each use a lock washer, flat washer, and sometimes another flat washer.

On the coupes, the 'glass' is mushroom riveted to the roof. Only remove this if you have to paint the body. The best way is to use a dremel and grind off the mushroom "tops" of the rivet stuf. Do not simply pry the glass out without grinding down the rivet, the glass can break.

The rest is all glued on. So you need to carefully pry or punch out stuff. The seats are clipped in (as I recall it is best to pry the front up first). Most everything else has a stud that goes into a hole that gets glued (actually the stud gets melted): its best to find this stud and punch it out of the hole, rather than prying around the visible exterior edge. For example, the rear lightstrip is held in by two studs behind the backup lights. The door panels you have to pry though. Try a plastic prybar and slowly inch them off the doors. Be careful of the windows, which are a separate piece.
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Wheels:

Be VERY wary of trying to remove the wheels from their hubs. UT used a very strong glue that basically bonds the plastic. You may be lucky and find that a wheel either has no glue or very little and slides right off. This is however unlikely. In my adventures removing UT wheels, I've had maybe an 80% chance that something breaks. I've tried most everything, the infamous youtube screwdriver method ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDYCgO7S1yg ), heat, prying. Below is what for me has been most effective (but still does not guarantee something not breaking)

For the rear wheels, remove the brake calipers. They are held on to two pins with friction. Gently pry them off these pins. They will not come out yet, so do not pull them out. You cannot remove the calipers on the front wheels. Address one wheel and hub assembly at a time. Run the wheel and hub assembly under hot tap water for about a minute. (Do not heat it with a lighter, heat gun, hairdryer, etc. it will melt the plastic). While it is still warm, gently pull the wheel straight away from the hub while spinning it back and forth. Do not bend the spindle. On the front wheels insert a small screwdriver into the steering axis hole to help hold the hub. Also on the fronts, keep your eye on the brake caliper, it may break. There isn't much you can do except glue it back on if it breaks.

If you are lucky, the wheel will pop right off the brake rotor.
Otherwise, the brake rotor will actually slide off the spindle (plastic slightly more malleable from hot water).

In the case of the latter, the wheel should be free, however the brake rotor is still attached. To remove the rotor, again run the wheel under hot water. Holding the tire (or rim section if tire is removed or missing) use needle-nose pliers on the circumference of the brake rotor. Try to wiggle it back and forth. If it doesn't move (or just digs into the plastic), try the method shown in the above youtube video (much easier now that wheel is removed from chassis). A screwdriver is going to scratch the rotor, so put a piece of paper towel between the tool and rotor. Even better if you can find a hardened drift with a blunt end.

This process gives you a better chance of saving the spindles, which are harder to repair than a brake rotor.
If the paint on your GT2 wheels is flaking off, there isn't much you can do to fix them. The lips are chrome plated (electrolysis process, also toxic process IIRC). The center sections are painted on top of the chrome. There are some spray products that replicate a chrome finish, but all they can do is come close. I had to wait a very long time to find a set of good condition GT2 wheels that weren't attached to a car.

As for the rest, there are some good tutorials on model car painting, modding, etc. You usually need aircraft paint stripper, which is pretty volatile stuff, so you need a mask or respirator too (best outside or with a fan). Do not skip the primer process. I've done that. The paint chips off very easily later. Alternatively you may be able to sand down the current coat and use that as a primer, although that isn't ideal.

When you are at the masking stage, by a roll of 3M "fine line" masking tape in the size you want. You can a big roll on Amazon. Expensive for tape but it should be all you'll ever need unless you do this for a living. The "fine line" is used by automotive body professionals, and does not leak like regular blue painter's tape (typically designed for drywall or other rough surfaces). Otherwise painter's tape is always going to leak around the edge. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gT_Tyt4rqzo

Generally, when disassembling a model: try not to get impatient and randomly pry things. That's typically how something breaks.

Oh, and don't poke yourself with the screwdriver. Duh!

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