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Mallone
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Joined: 10 Feb 2017
Posts: 56
Location: London


PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:51 pm    Post subject: 99 C2 3.4 - The story so far.... Reply with quote

TL;DR - I bought this old Porsche, spent some time sorting it out/fixing it. It’s awesome.



I had been meaning to write this up for a while when I was asking for help in some other threads about some ICV issues. I finally sorted a write up earlier today. Thanks for everyone's help on the forum with advice or guidance so far as I've been working through the to do list on this car. Much appreciated.

Warning: Long, rambling, wordy post ahead.

Since learning to drive (feels a long time ago now….) I had generally stuck with hatchbacks, and have had a variety of hot hatches in the past - Clio 172, 4 different 205 GTi’s, Mini R53 - as well as an early MX5 and some rough sheds. A few years ago, with student loans paid off and a bit of spare cash floating about, I decided to get into something a bit more ‘grown up’.

I got really close to getting into an E46 M3. I’d done my research and looked at a few cars but I wasn’t sure they felt special enough and I wasn’t quite smitten. I’d inherited a love of Porsche’s from my dad at a really early age but hadn’t really considered them as part of my ‘grown up’ car research as I didn’t think I could make the money work. The idea of the mystical £10k 996 idea started to get me seriously thinking about them and I started doing my homework.

I soon had my head round all the various horror stories - IMS, RMS, Bore scoring etc - but also knew that there were a few years/models where you weren’t likely to have too much bother if you bought the right one. This narrowed things down to the early non facelift 3.4 cars, with the dual row IMS. I’m pretty handy with a set of spanners these days so didn’t mind something that needed a bit of work, but didn’t want a basket case.

Looked at a few cars at the lower end of the market, with most of them being really rough, before I engaged in some epic man maths and started upping the budget. Wasn’t long before I was in that horrible car buying mode where every waking hour was spent trawling PH, Autotrader and eBay looking at anything and everything. I HAD to have one.

In the end I made a couple of rookie mistakes and bought this car:



These were pics from my for sale ad at the time. It had just had a bunch of paint and looked super clean. Such a simple shape and I will always love turbo twist style wheels.

It was a straight car overall, but I missed some things when I inspected it (Mostly bodywork/paint related. Don’t view cars in the rain!) and while it was mechanically sound and pretty low mileage, the spec wasn’t quite right for me and I never grew to love the Savannah interior. Drove the car for a year, sorted all of the niggles out, enjoyed learning about working on 996’s, but then had to sell up to help fund a house deposit.

I ran another Mini for a while while the finances recovered but was REALLY missing a flat six in my life. Trouble is, I couldn’t really afford one. Attentions slowly turned to the 996’s cheaper brother, the 986 Boxster. I kept an eye on the classifieds and had considered getting a really, really cheap early 2.5 but then this one came up for sale up north for a fair price.




It was a really high spec for a Boxster and I couldn’t say no to it. It had the 3.2S engine, M030 sports suspension, Bose, heated sports seats (fantastic with the roof down), and came with a hardtop as part of the deal. History was good and speaking with previous owners/dealers it all checked out. I knew it needed a clutch soon (and as it had the smaller IMS bearing it was a chance to sort that out too) and some brakes so was able to do a bit of a deal with the seller (after more man maths…)

Had this for around a year and really enjoyed owning it, quite a different steer when going quickly compared to the 911, and it felt nice to get 90% of the performance of the 911 for around 1/3rd of the price. I sorted a bunch of the mechanical bits myself and then had the clutch/flywheel/IMS changed by Revolution Porsche.

The Boxster was an incredibly practical little sports car, and I think anyone who has one has a great car on their hands, but the 911 desire simply wouldn’t go away for me. I HAD to get into another one.

Even more ludicrous man maths got involved and after convincing myself of what I could flog the Boxster for, and deciding that I could accept something that was a bit more of a project, I started looking at 996’s again.

Throughout this time I’d been keeping an eye on a few 996 forum threads on PH and 911uk (along with that epic Drivetribe video Jethro did on his purple 996) and had slowly been coming round to the looks of the Aerokit cars. There’s a relative simplicity to the shape of the front bumper and rear wing that really appeals to me compared to the later cars, and although some (not me…) think there’s an element of ‘fake GT3’ about an aerokitted Carrera, it had evolved into my favourite looking car of the 996 era. The aerokit wasn’t a deal breaker for spec, but this time I wouldn’t dismiss them immediately.

After a month or so of keeping an eye on the classifieds this showed up on Facebook Marketplace. The wheels were wrong, it had some horrible tints on the rear, and I didn’t think the ad was particularly well written. Nearly glossed over it completely. Something about it kept me coming back to it though and a quick chat with the owner suggested this was a well specced car underneath. This could be the little project I was looking for…





These were pics I took when I first went to look at the car. The front view looks SO aggressive with the splitter and I will never tire of the rear 3/4 view on a 911

===The good bits:===
Early 3.4L car with the cable throttle
Dual row IMS
Recent gearbox overhaul with new clutch, flywheel
New brake lines all round
M030 Factory Sports suspension
Sports seats
No sunroof
Factory LSD
Black on black
Aerokit

===The bad bits:===
(Relatively) high mileage at 105,000
The heavy, too big, replica Fuch wheels
Horrible pitch black window tints
Nasty and unreliable non factory immobiliser install
Horrible aftermarket SUPER loud exhaust

It also had some other weirdness and general bodgery going on with some nasty aftermarket rear bumper winglets, broken Carrera badge, incorrect exhaust tips from a facelift car, a badly installed K&N induction kit and various bits of interior trim looked pretty tired. If this was the first 996/986 I’d seen I would have walked away, but knowing these cars pretty well by this point I could sense a good car underneath and knew I could get on top of it pretty quickly. Outside of the ASBO exhaust, the car drove really well so could sense I was on to a potential winner. Despite his questionable taste in mods, the owner before the seller had the car around 11 years and it had a solid service history with Porsche Torque.

The guy who was selling it had previously been into big power Japanese cars - Supra’s, RX7’s etc - and bought this from Northway Porsche to try something different but didn’t get on with it at all. He’d put less than 1000 miles on it since he’d got it from the dealer about 6 months previous and was selling on to try and get back into an RX7. (Pictured below from when I picked the 996 up from him.)


I’d never been in one of these before and the seller took me for a quick spin. Couldn’t believe how tiny it was inside and also how quick it felt. Awesome bit of kit.

I phoned Northway and the story stacked up, they had got the car in as PX against a 997 and they gave me a thorough overview of recent service work they had completed and vouched for the car. Even offered to let me get it up in the air on their ramps to have a better look. As a bonus they also told me they had a set of recently refurbished original Porsche/BBS split rims they would swap for the replica Fuch wheels if I could sort out some tyres. Result.

That sealed the deal for me so I made the seller an offer and we shook hands. It was a good bit cheaper than the blue car so man maths gave me a modest budget to sort out all of the niggles and get it spot on. My plan was to go for an OEM+ vibe with the whole car.

I picked the car up in July 2019 and have given it a thorough going over since. All of this was largely elective, other than the water pump spectacularly letting go one Saturday afternoon, and the car is now feeling pretty fit and healthy. I’ve almost certainly blown my modest budget to bits in getting everything done so I’ve simply stopped adding up the cost of things Smile

List of mods/fixes so far in no particular order:
    Replaced the crappy K&N filter kit with a standard 996 airbox

    Fit correct sized Porsche/BBS Split rims along with a new set of Toyo Proxxes (Not impressed with these. Didn’t have much choice at the time from the tyre supplier. Michelin PS’s going on next time.)

    Upgraded 12v socket (The early cars have a weird sized 12v socket that doesn’t fit anything)

    Hubcentric spacers - 5mm at the front, 15mm at the rear

    Bluetooth install for the standard Becker head unit

    Upgraded front and rear speakers and fitting kits (Alpine SPG 10C2’s for anyone interested)

    Carnewal 996 modified exhaust and new Dansk exhaust tips (Had one of these on the Boxster. Great exhaust. Quiet round town, screams at high revs)

    Removed the ropey immobiliser install (This was a complete rats nest behind the dash. The alarm guy I used found two different tracker systems plumbed in from previous installs!)

    New pierburg water pump, low temperature thermostat, upgraded coolant cap and full coolant flush

    GT3 Centre console delete

    GT3 Front brake ducts

    Removed the horrible window tints

    HID H7R Retrofit into original light units (I know HID retrofits are frowned upon by some. These new ones have a good cut off and are approximately 100000% better than the candles fitted as standard by Porsche so they are staying)

    Porsche X51 baffled Sump (Want to do a few track days this year and figured this was a cheap insurance policy against oil starvation)

    New Bosch idle control valve (Was causing issues with cold starts and a temperamental hot idle)

    New Bosch fuel Regeneration Valve (helped solve a fuel tank vacuum issue that was making the car moo like a cow every time I turned it off!)

    993 RS Engine Mounts

    Low speed fan resistors for both radiators


And that’s about it so far and brings the story up to date. Car sits at around 115,000 miles now. That list above represents quite a few weekends worth of spannering but it’s been good fun to work on and it’s now nearly finished! (Though project cars are never really finished, are they?)

Here’s a bunch of pictures of it in various states of undress while working on it over the past few months. (I know it’s parked in a disabled space in some of these pics. It’s the one they gave me when I applied for a permit and for some reason won’t let me change it!)


Sorting out various front bumper niggles and fixing the rad fans. Looks dramatic but only about an hour to get to this point. These things come apart so easily.


Water pump and thermostat time. Got lucky with the exhaust fixings coming apart. This was on the limit of what I’d want to do without a proper garage/lift.


The one and only time the two ‘brothers’ met each other.


Bottom end open as part of the X51 sump install. Looking pretty clean for 100,000 miles and 20 years.


I got the stand AND the bike in the back of the car. It’s a bit of a Tardis at times.


Someone had a good sense of humour when it was parked up covered in muck

It goes for a bit of paint at the end of the month to tidy up the front and rear bumpers and then I’m planning on enjoying it for the rest of this year. I’m lining up a few track days (At Silverstone on the 25th if anyone else is coming to that?) and a bit of a Eurotour by car as part of a summer holiday.

I live in north London and cycle everywhere during the week, but given Big Brother will want to charge me £12 every time I take it out of the garage when the ULEZ expands, I want to try and get as much out of it as I can in the next 12 months. Further down the line I’ll think about a suspension refresh, and might switch to a smaller MOMO steering wheel soon, but that’s about it.

These things really get under your skin and it feels so special every time I take it for a spin. Equally at home caning it down a bumpy A road or pottering through town at <10mph and they are surprisingly practical as an only car. Even got the Christmas tree in there this year.

I’m a bit crap at keeping threads up to date, but now I’ve gone to the effort of writing this up I’ll try and keep on top of it with any updates.


Covered in crap after a cross country bombing run on Boxing Day and looking all the better for it.
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Dave Moore
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Joined: 16 Dec 2018
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Location: Shropshire


PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great read.

I tried to buy that car but I couldn't sell my car at the time to get it. It was well priced I thought and the perfect 'drivers spec'. I was in dialogue with the owner for a few weeks!

Looks like you have given the car the refresh it deserved.

Did you know those wheels were worth around £2.5k second hand? No wonder Northway offered to swap you for a set of circa £1k splits! At least it was easy and you got the desired result.

Hopefully you will get some track photos to upload from Silverstone. Looking forward to your next update.
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Robertb
Dijon


Joined: 01 Sep 2003
Posts: 7587
Location: South Oxfordshire

2002 Porsche 996 Carrera 4S

PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent read, looks like you've been busy.

My car moos when it's turned off too! Was it like a sort of "mmm...mm....m.................mmmmmmmmmm....mm...........m.....mmmmmmmm" noise from the back of the car that lasts a half minute or so after its turned off? Very Happy

I had no idea that it was a fault, or that it could be fixed - was the fuel regeneration valve a simple job?
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Mallone
Trainee


Joined: 10 Feb 2017
Posts: 56
Location: London


PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dave Moore wrote:
Great read.

I tried to buy that car but I couldn't sell my car at the time to get it. It was well priced I thought and the perfect 'drivers spec'. I was in dialogue with the owner for a few weeks!

Looks like you have given the car the refresh it deserved.

Did you know those wheels were worth around £2.5k second hand? No wonder Northway offered to swap you for a set of circa £1k splits! At least it was easy and you got the desired result.

Hopefully you will get some track photos to upload from Silverstone. Looking forward to your next update.


I'm going to pretend you didn't tell me that about the wheels! Surprised

To be fair, I was so fed up of the horrible ride on the Fuch wheels that I was happy to do a straight swap and didn't really have anywhere to store a second set of wheels anyway. At least the splits were immaculate when I got them fitted and they transformed the ride and handling.

Robertb wrote:
Excellent read, looks like you've been busy.

My car moos when it's turned off too! Was it like a sort of "mmm...mm....m.................mmmmmmmmmm....mm...........m.....mmmmmmmm" noise from the back of the car that lasts a half minute or so after its turned off? Very Happy

I had no idea that it was a fault, or that it could be fixed - was the fuel regeneration valve a simple job?


Yeah, 5 minute job. Hardest bit was persuading one of the vacuum hoses to budge after 20 years of being sat in the same spot. There are a few different valves in the fuel system that manage vacuum (or lack of as required). If you're not having any issues filling the car up but are getting the 'moo-ing' then it's likely the regen valve.
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maldren
Suzuka


Joined: 07 Oct 2016
Posts: 1237



PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent story, well done.

How did you get the tints off, I have the same problem!
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2003 996.2 C2 Coupe Arctic Silver
 
  
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Mallone
Trainee


Joined: 10 Feb 2017
Posts: 56
Location: London


PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

maldren wrote:
Excellent story, well done.

How did you get the tints off, I have the same problem!


The side windows came off pretty easily by hand but left a load of glue and residue on them that nothing on earth seemed to be able to shift.

I didn't want to touch the rear window as I'd heard horror stories about tints pulling the heating elements off the glass.

In the end I went to a local window tinting company who relieved me of about £60 to remove the whole lot. They used a steam cleaner, razor blades and some sort of glass cleaner to sort it all out. Was worth paying for as it looked SO much better afterwards and the car felt so much more airy with them removed.
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maldren
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've lived with the PO's tints for a while but the biggest problem is that the heated rear window is pretty well useless with the plastic over it so any condensation at this time of year takes for ever to clear.

thanks
Mike
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adamw
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Joined: 09 Jul 2009
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1998 Porsche 996 Carrera 2

PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 8:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Mallone

As others have said, great 1st write up.
Your car looks great and the work you’ve already completed is very impressive.

Love an 996.1 with aero.. I’ve just made a similar move in to a lovely black 996.1 C2 aero very similar to yours and also love it.
Although I’m ashamed to say, I got it in Oct and I’ve done very little mileage since due to busy family life and poor winter weather.
Very much looking forward and getting out in the car more once spring finally breaks Cool

I’ve also started a progress thread, just to keep tabs on mine although by the looks of it you’re much handier with spanners than me :
http://911uk.com/viewtopic.php?t=136217&highlight=

See...Twins Grin

Maybe we’ll be able to get these 2 side-by-side at at 911uk meet in the spring summer.. Thumb

Anyway, all the best and keep the posts coming
Very Happy

PS : I also watched and re-watched Jethro’s Drivetribe video he did on his arena 996 when I was considering thumbsup
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coullstar
Albert Park


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does look great and good to see them getting dirty.

I don't think those Fuchs were genuine, there was a few sets or replicas for sale at around £600 so I think you got the better end of the deal with the 18in splits.
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T8
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A great start to what, hopefully, will be a long running thread. thumbsup
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HSC911
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah


& Welcome


Thumb
 
  
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Mallone
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Joined: 10 Feb 2017
Posts: 56
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2020 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

adamw wrote:
Hi Mallone

As others have said, great 1st write up.
Your car looks great and the work you’ve already completed is very impressive.

Love an 996.1 with aero.. I’ve just made a similar move in to a lovely black 996.1 C2 aero very similar to yours and also love it.
Although I’m ashamed to say, I got it in Oct and I’ve done very little mileage since due to busy family life and poor winter weather.
Very much looking forward and getting out in the car more once spring finally breaks Cool

I’ve also started a progress thread, just to keep tabs on mine although by the looks of it you’re much handier with spanners than me :
http://911uk.com/viewtopic.php?t=136217&highlight=

See...Twins Grin

Maybe we’ll be able to get these 2 side-by-side at at 911uk meet in the spring summer.. Thumb

Anyway, all the best and keep the posts coming
Very Happy

PS : I also watched and re-watched Jethro’s Drivetribe video he did on his arena 996 when I was considering thumbsup


Thanks Adam. It was Marky911's car that first got me thinking about an Aerokit car in the first place. Even thought about trying to find a way to get the cash together to buy the car when he put it up for sale but knew I'd be at the bottom of a long list. Hope you get the chance to put some more miles on it this year.

I'll keep my eye out for details of the meet up. That would be a pretty good picture with them side by side!
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996driver
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2020 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great update! Sounds very similar to the story I've had since I got my 1998 C2 in May last year. Decent car underneath waiting to be found!

The 12v socket doesn't work on mine so I'm interested to hear what you did to replace yours? Is it a standard Porsche part to use?
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Last edited by 996driver on Fri Jan 17, 2020 4:44 pm; edited 1 time in total
 
  
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mpowerrob
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2020 1:44 pm    Post subject: C2 Reply with quote

Great write up and lovely car!

Always loved the aero kitted 996, would love one in red or yellow, Been contemplating one of these or an early 997, to replace my 996 turbo as thinking of selling to free up some money for an extension.

Where abouts in North London are you, I'm in Cockfosters, I go to ace cafe most last mondays of the month for Porsche night could go up in the porsches some time.
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MisterCorn
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Joined: 08 Jan 2011
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2004 Porsche 996 Turbo

PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2020 1:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

996driver wrote:
Sounds very similar to the story I've had since I got my 1998 C2 in May last year. Decent car underneath waiting to be found!

The 12v socket doesn't work on mine so I'm interested to hear what you did to replace yours? Is it a standard Porsche part to use?


If you swap it use the later part, it is a smaller size so fits most new things better. I did a write up on it in my project thread, very cheap.

MC
 
  
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Dagerous
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2020 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great write up Mallone! Funnily enough your car was the final decider on me jumping back into 996 ownership! I had seen the car for sale at Northway (Where I had bought a 996TT some years before) and was so inspired by it! Unfortunately at the time I was in Australia and a couple of days before flying back (Having decided on a trip to Northway) only to find it had sold!

Still. After a brief bout of disappointment I managed to find the silver Aerokit I ended up buying anyway!

Interestingly enough I too have replaced to engine mounts (Though I went the RSS route). Fantastic upgrade over the worn originals which made it feel like two fat blokes wrestling in the boot when cornering! Have also fitted some Ohlins R&T coilovers and countless other little "Tweeks" since.

Absolutely loving my Carrera now (Even more than my 996TT believe it or not!) so please pass on my thanks to your car for providing the final impetus to buy it!
 
  
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Mallone
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Joined: 10 Feb 2017
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2020 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

996driver wrote:
Great update! Sounds very similar to the story I've had since I got my 1998 C2 in May last year. Decent car underneath waiting to be found!

The 12v socket doesn't work on mine so I'm interested to hear what you did to replace yours? Is it a standard Porsche part to use?


MisterCorn wrote:
If you swap it use the later part, it is a smaller size so fits most new things better. I did a write up on it in my project thread, very cheap.


Yeah. The early cars use a weird spec German size. This is the part to buy: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Genuine-Porsche-996-986-987-Boxster-997-Cayman-Gen-1-Gen-2-Cigarette-Lighter/182643156073?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

Bit of a fiddle to fit but well worth it. You might be able to get it slightly cheaper direct from Porsche.

mpowerrob wrote:
Great write up and lovely car!

Always loved the aero kitted 996, would love one in red or yellow, Been contemplating one of these or an early 997, to replace my 996 turbo as thinking of selling to free up some money for an extension.

Where abouts in North London are you, I'm in Cockfosters, I go to ace cafe most last mondays of the month for Porsche night could go up in the porsches some time.


I'm based near Hackney Downs (which some people might consider Central London in all fairness!)

Rather shamefully I've never made it to the Ace Cafe. It's been on the list for a while but was always a bit turned off by the videos on YouTube of guys doing wheelies and burnouts past police vans. Is it always like that?

Dagerous wrote:
Great write up Mallone! Funnily enough your car was the final decider on me jumping back into 996 ownership! I had seen the car for sale at Northway (Where I had bought a 996TT some years before) and was so inspired by it! Unfortunately at the time I was in Australia and a couple of days before flying back (Having decided on a trip to Northway) only to find it had sold!

Still. After a brief bout of disappointment I managed to find the silver Aerokit I ended up buying anyway!

Interestingly enough I too have replaced to engine mounts (Though I went the RSS route). Fantastic upgrade over the worn originals which made it feel like two fat blokes wrestling in the boot when cornering! Have also fitted some Ohlins R&T coilovers and countless other little "Tweeks" since.

Absolutely loving my Carrera now (Even more than my 996TT believe it or not!) so please pass on my thanks to your car for providing the final impetus to buy it!


The car says thanks! Grin

The engine mounts made a HUGE difference to the feel of the car. Much more than I expected. A little bit of a trade off with the slight increase in NVH but a really solid upgrade. I had originally gone for the Powerflex gearbox mount at the same time, but with the engine mounts that was too much. Much too harsh for me as a road car, even with the upgraded design with slimmer 'wings'. Had to come out ASAP.

Spent the weekend in Wales doing the EVO triangle (amongst other awesome roads) and generally giving the car a good thrashing while getting it filthy. Seemed a good way to check everything was working before Silverstone this coming weekend. First track day in a 911 so looking forward to exploring it's limits a bit. Hopefully I'll get some photos from the day to share.


The Wales route. Mega, mega roads in this part of the world.



Forgot to include any interior pics in my original post. GT3 Console delete makes it feel curiously unique when you've got the much space under the dash.



Looking filthy and awesome at the services on the way home. I can neither confirm or deny that some 'accidental' doughnuts were performed on the icy surface behind! Very Happy
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Shalmaneser
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2020 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some amazing driving in North Wales.

I will never forget driving along the B4518 over the Welsh moors and next to Clywedog Reservoir one Sunday as the sun was going down.

Lighting was incredible and roads equally good, it looked like something out of Grand Turismo. Can't wait to take the 996 up there!
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2020 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mallone wrote:
Rather shamefully I've never made it to the Ace Cafe. It's been on the list for a while but was always a bit turned off by the videos on YouTube of guys doing wheelies and burnouts past police vans. Is it always like that?


I've never seen anyone doing a wheelie in their Porsche Dont know












Grin

PS It's actually a good night Thumb
 
  
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Mallone
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2020 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thought I'd do a bit of an update on the car over the last few weeks as it's been a bit busy going round race circuits and then being tarted up a bit with some paint.

First up was a track day at Silverstone GP on the 25th. I've raced here before (but in a Clio 182 - quite different speeds down the back straight!) so knew the track, but was really keen to see what the 996 was like to hustle quickly.

We lucked out and managed to get a garage and, although it was pretty grey and cold, the rain stayed away and the track was dry. I was with my racing 'partner in crime' in his 987 Boxster and we were keen to see how they differed.












So how did it get on? Overall, OK. With room for mechanical improvement.

In terms of driving the car, the balance was good with a sniff of understeer to manage, along with a couple of nice playful slides in the high speed stuff like Copse. Nothing too scary (as long as you remember not to lift!) to manage. I hadn't been massively impressed with the Toyo's that are currently on the car during road drives, but must admit they came alive on track with some heat in them. Might not write them off just yet....

Car felt a tiny bit soft at times and there was a little more body roll than I had expected. What was startling was driving the Boxster back to back with the 996. The 987 is on OE Porsche suspension (not sport or PASM) and it felt WAY WAY softer. It really wallowed around a lot more. Engine placemenet will affect that too but it really surprised me just how different the experience of driving each of them was.

Mechanically things were a bit more of a mixed bag. Engine and gearbox were bulletproof - not a sniff of oil or coolant used - but rather frustratingly the brakes became an issue pretty quickly and I had to manage them most of the day.

After only one fast lap we were getting a lot of vibration from the fronts. Got the car up in the air while they were still hot and could feel a high spot on the disc. Seems that they were slightly warped to begin with, that hadn't ever shown up on the road, but once we put some real effort and heat in to them they were really grumbling. Overall stopping power didn't seem to be affected but the vibration was painful. The brakes are the only thing I haven't changed on the car yet and I now wish I had!

In the end I used the day as a chance to practice my lines and just made sure that we were doing lots of lifting, coasting and gentle braking into the hard stops around the track. That seemed to keep the brakes more or less happy.

The only other mechanical issue that showed up was that by the time I'd got home at the end of the day the welds had failed on one of my Dansk exhaust tips and it was rattling like mad. Caused a few weird looks sat in traffic as it sounded like I'd chucked a load of bolts into the air intake Surprised

Thankfully Design911 were pretty good at sorting it out once I'd sent a bit of evidence and I've already got a new set delivered FOC to go on the car this week.

Overall a good day: engine didn't explode, Silverstone is still a mega track, car handles well, need to sort brakes.


Next up: Paint

Although the pics when I first bought the car made the front bumper look pretty tidy, like a lot of 996's of this vintage they are actually a bit knackered close up. After a local old boy accidentally reversed into me at a set of traffic lights and cracked the lacquer (and gave me £300 in cash on the spot to say sorry. That was unexpected!) I knew it was time to sort it our properly.

I also wanted my paint guy to fill in the various bits of woodscrew butchery caused by badly fitted numberplates over the years (I'm going to go with a stick on plate) and see if he could sort out the really scruffy GT3 front splitter (I'm not paying Porsche £150 for a sliver of hard plastic. Mad money!)

Finally, when my paint guy saw the car he offered to see if he could give the lights a good going over as the plastic was a bit faded and yellowing and my own efforts with a 3M restoration kit had been pretty disappointing.

Thankfully he was able to manage a pretty solid result on all three bits!


Woodscrew Bodgery filled and sanded


Primed and ready to go


Lights sanded, polished and lacquered

[/i]
Looking super clean as it was reversing out of the paint shop

I haven't got any pics of the splitter in paint but he was able to sand down, prime and then apply a satin black finish to it. Looks good as new. I'll likely do this myself next time but good to know it can be brought back to life fairly easily.


Parked up at home looking better than ever. Why oh why do we have to have numberplates that spoil front ends like this!?

And that's the car up to date again. Not likely to get the chance to use it much over the next few weeks as we're in build mode for our new race car and that will keep me busy with the spanners. Time to start planning for a few summer road trips. Might see if I can nip out to the Ace Cafe on the 24th though.....

As always, cheers for reading.
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