This is the project we all wish we could do….all the time.
Often we start with a blank canvas, a relatively plain car, and then try to build up the car to be something far greater than what anyone thought possible, to elevate the car to the elite status of the very select, the chosen, the few. But, is there really room to create a greater solution, a better mousetrap, when you start with an amazing car to begin with? Sounds like a challenge to us…..and, we’re all for it.
So, with the challenge a foot…there are two approaches. The traditional magazine project car approach….pull all the cute tricks in the product catalog, throw them on, and then try to sell the final solution as something great. Or….set the objectives, do the effective evaluation, and amass the tools of the trade to produce a masterpiece.
So, what was the amazing canvas that we started with? Here she is….with this color, you better be able to put out, or you have a lot of explaining to do.
This is indeed a great car, one of the best combo street / track cars around. So, what were the objectives? Really, quite simple. Faster, louder, crisp in every element, handle like a slot car under hard duress, stick like glue, and make it safe and keep your butt in the seat since this is going to be a high G generator, but don’t…..don’t cross that line that makes this a track car that you can drive on the street, versus a great street car that can be driven hard at the track. So, engine upgrades – check. Suspension upgrades – check. Safety upgrades – check. Exhaust upgrades – check. Shifter and drivetrain upgrades – check. Interior upgrades – check. Wheels and tires – check. Hey….I thought we said this was a great car…does it really need all that? Oh YEAH BABY. So, lets get started….
As we stated above, we didn’t just pick things off the shelf, we wanted the very best, so we tried many pieces in the evaluation. This project took over 3 months from beginning to end, due to the “try it, test it, prove it” methodology. And note…the wheels that are being tried below…did not make it to the finals.
Besides playing with the external upgrades, there were internal pieces that we needed to deal with – like the toasted clutch and flywheel
Next, the base suspension and exhaust elements that needed attention.
Sharp eyes will note that this car (being a GT3-RS) already has the nicely adjustable lower control arms…..but the bushings, the sway bar, the sway bar end links, the toe links…..all have to go.
The only good thing about the stock exhaust is that it doesn’t make any noise…..which is good if you want to drive at Laguna Seca on their insanely quiet sound control track days. But, if you want to get rid of some weight, want to hear the car sing, want the exhaust to flow, and want the exhaust to look like it has the same character as the rest of the car….then, it has to go.
So, let the surgery begin –
You can also see the wimpy shifter cables, just as in our other Porsche 997 track duty projects…..off w their heads.
Out with the seats and the interior….and straight to the heart of the manner….the brains of the beast.
So, we’re at the core, and now time to start adding the pieces back in that we want…….needing to work around the PASM supported shocks, as we find that these work just fine in Sport mode, and still allow the car to be driven on the street. If the project moves beyond a combo car, or to where track is the higher objective than street, then we would substitute a suspension kit like the new AST 5200 or 5300 system (see our 997.2 GT3 project for info on those).
What are some of the pieces – suspension goodies. GMG WC sway bar set, GMG toe links front and rear, Tarrett Engr sway bar end links, camber shims for the control arms.
Yes…we’re seriously in love w this center section exhaust. We wanted to keep the rest of the exhaust system, so that we can have the selectable valves and inner rear fender mufflers…so, that for tooling around town, the car sounds just fine with this addition, and also looks the part…we think these are the finest and sexiest tips to be had for a current generation Porsche. But, when times get exciting, and you open the valves, oh what a sweet sound….you can sing this tune all the time….your heart jumps a beat, your adrenaline injects the cells into your bloodstream, you can taste the moment.
The nuances of the Porsche that make track driving confidence robbing, rather than confidence inspiring, are all the suspension components that have rubber bushings, which, under duress, allow way too much deflection. The result of this deflection is a combined toe change that makes the car feel like it is steering on its own. So, out with all those bushings…..but not all. Close attention to the role each component and the combination of the geometry identifies those that need to be replaced, while some can indeed be kept, preserving some of the vibration isolation to the car, which goes along with our objective of a street car that can be driven on the track….not the other way around.
We ensure that all the pieces go together right as well….you notice the blue pen marks….after each part is installed, and initially tightened, we go back and tighten all connections to the specific torque, and mark all connections, so that in our quality review before we release a car, we know that all elements have been completed 100%. We even use different color pens if we work on the car for more than one project, so that we don’t confuse prior work with subsequent work.
And, in the installation, its the attention to the little details that make a project sing. Tarrett makes get units, but close attention needs to be made to the spacers and offset bushings. These aren’t just there for looks, you need the clearance….test these at the full extremes of wheel lock, and the link will come close to interfering with the main strut and make noise, and ultimately break, while at the opposite end of the wheel lock, the link will hit the inner fender liner. So, precision and attention needs to be given on the exact spacers and bushings to be used and where.
As part of the complete attention to the details of the project, even little items like the pedals received attention. Here they are in stock form –
And, with a little work and the right tools, presto, even the little items of the interior can be upgraded to meet the objectives of the car.
Did we achieve the results of the project…..the customer thinks so….he loves every aspect, and has fully tested the enhancements, and says that all of them were spot on, and the result is truly greater than the sum of the parts. Joy to drive, joy to produce….smiles all around.
BRracing…..performance that exceeds expectations.