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Fast & Furious
Fast & Furious

Joined: 04 Oct 2010
Posts: 8661
Location: East Midlands

2001 Porsche 996 Targa

PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have used Bigg Red seals on most of my cars that I have kept for any length of time and are currently in both my Porsche's, I have found their parts to always be a perfect fit but I have only ever fitted them myself, I have a thing about other people working on my cars as I don't trust that work is always up to my care, I'm not on the clock when I do my own work.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

infrasilver wrote:
I have used Bigg Red seals on most of my cars that I have kept for any length of time and are currently in both my Porsche's, I have found their parts to always be a perfect fit but I have only ever fitted them myself, I have a thing about other people working on my cars as I don't trust that work is always up to my care, I'm not on the clock when I do my own work.

Yep, I’m with you on that , though I’d hoped (expected) that by handing the job to BR I’d ensure it was done right, with the added benefit that the end result would be pressure tested. My unease over them (and their abilities) stems from the fact the caliper miraculously “sprung a leak” between their alleged pressure testing of the finished job and then it sitting on the shelf in my garage for a few weeks before failing once bolted on to the car ...
If they didn’t pressure test it (and I don’t think they did) what other safety critical processes have been omitted/forgotten or ignored ?
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Henry,

Enjoying reading the ups & downs of your time with the car. Is this being written in real time, or are you still catching up?


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

-ollie- wrote:
Hi Henry,

Enjoying reading the ups & downs of your time with the car. Is this being written in real time, or are you still catching up?



Hi Ollie, I hope you’re well? I was on your doorstep on Monday lunchtime (though I was in the “wrong” car)
Fettling halted for the summer about a month ago, just enjoying it when work allows now.
I’ll let you know in advance when I’m going to be in your neck of the woods with car next Smile It’d be good to catch up.

Still waiting for pictures of the car with the new wheels on ...
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Slippydiff wrote:
-ollie- wrote:
Hi Henry,

Enjoying reading the ups & downs of your time with the car. Is this being written in real time, or are you still catching up?



Hi Ollie, I hope you’re well? I was on your doorstep on Monday lunchtime (though I was in the “wrong” car)
Fettling halted for the summer about a month ago, just enjoying it when work allows now.
I’ll let you know in advance when I’m going to be in your neck of the woods with car next Smile It’d be good to catch up.

Still waiting for pictures of the car with the new wheels on ...

Really well thanks! Trust you are too.

Nice, it's fun to read about you & several others getting involved in the mechanical work yourselves, and especially then taking the time to document it on here. I was used (being a BMW nerd historically) to seeing & enjoying that kind of content, but being new to the Porsche scene it had appeared to be lacking, until recently Cool

Wheels are yet to be fitted. FVD have sent RS rears, so short of fitting some GT3 R style overfenders, I'll need to wait until the suitably sized replacements arrive.

Do let me know next time your local, would be good to go for a beer and I'd love to see the Zanzi cup.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2019 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bodywork and Paint

The front bumper to the leading edge of the bonnet shutline had been an irritation with the car from day one of my ownership. The gap between the trailing edge of the front bumper and the leading edge of the bonnet on the N/S of the car being some 3-4mm wider than the O/S, and the way the car was parked in the garage meant that every time I went into the garage it was the first thing I saw on the car, and it grated. A lot.

I'd asked Matt at Fearnsport to try and improve the shutline. His “fix” was to adjust the bonnet catch and pull the bonnet further down, thus giving the visual impression the shutline was tighter than it actually was. Close, but no cigar I'm afraid.

So off the front bumper came. It's actually a far easier job than I'd envisaged, and with the car up in the air on axle stands, it took no more than 30 minutes to remove from start to finish.

Having studied the various front bumper mounting points, it was clear there was a fair degree of adjustment available, but it was also noticeable that the PU itself had sagged on the N/S as had one of its crucial attachment/mounting points. But furthermore the two nasty plastic bumper mounting brackets bolted to the front panel and the N/S/F wing also looked tired and somewhat saggy.

On what was one of the hottest days of the year (up to that point in late May), I used the ambient temperature and a heatgun to remove the sag from the mounting point on the PU, and the PU itself.

After tweaking the various mounting brackets and shimming them out with washers and fitting/removing the PU on at least 8 occasions, I refitted the PU for the final time and was pleased to find that with the the various adjustment points tweaked, the shutline now looked near perfect.

Satisfied with the outcome, I could now once again enjoy walking through the garage. Little did I know that the bumper would be coming off again !!

The car is an original panel example , however the previous long term owner (or a prior owner) had Paint Protection Film fitted to the front half of the bonnet, the front bumper, the leading edge of the front wings, the sill extensions, mirrors and the leading edges of the rear bumper.

I’d assumed, incorrectly, that this PPF had been fitted early in the car’s 20 year life, and thus the paintwork on the front of the car was original. Wrong !!

The PPF was old, and a year outdoors in the sun, wind, rain and frosts of Silverstone had done it no favours at all. Added to which the quality of its fitment originally left a lot to be desired. The front wings and bonnet looked especially bad as the PPF had only been applied to their leading edges.

I tried machine polishing the film, and whilst doing so improved it, the PPF generally made the car look “tired”.

Starting small, I removed the film from the mirrors, this alone sharpened the car up, so I progressed to the front wings.

After some experimentation I established that using a heat gun to gently warm the film up prior to attempting to peel it off worked best. Too much heat and the film tore or left the majority of its adhesive stuck to the panel, and removing this gooey, sticky residue was a long, tedious, messy process.

With the front wings now devoid of PPF the car looked better still (and the flowing lines of the front wings now returned because the the line where the PPF finished abruptly had been dispensed with).

And so on to the bonnet. I foolishly attempted this late one evening, and whilst I originally made good progress to the N/S of the bonnet, pulling the large area of film off in one broad swathe was proving hard work, and impatience got the better of me, so rather than use the heat gun on an area I'd already heated up once, I elected to just pull the film off …

With a noise akin to ripping Calico the film came off the bonnet. Alas, it did so with all the laquer and a couple of coats of paint too …

Suffice to say, what I thought at that very moment, rhymed rather neatly with “Clucking Bell” …

I retired to the living room having kicked the cat and poured myself a large glass of Amaretto.

The rest of the film and its adhesive were removed without further trauma to the car's paint and laquer the following evening, and with the bonnet and front wings now devoid of PPF, I figured I may as well remove it from the nicely fitted, properly adjusted front bumper too. So off the front bumper came once again ...

Removing the film from the bumper was a Herculean task, the area of film far greater than that fitted to the bonnet. I rapidly realised that trying to remove the film in one piece would be impossible, so I elected to cut the film into 4” wide sections with a sharp scalpel. This made removing the film far easier, though still a lengthy process.

With the film removed, my thoughts turned to the Cup esque vents that had been cut into the top of the front bumper. These vents had been roughly hewn out of the PU, their edges rough in places, but also their shape grated, and their dimensions differed from vent to vent.

I'd never really been convinced as to their aesthetic quality (I actually looked into having sections from a secondhand PU plastic welded into the voids with a view to returning the bumper to a stock looking item) but decided against it.

Closer inspection of their shapes revealed that not only were they of differing dimensions, but whoever had applied the PPF to the bumper, had apparently cut it using a pair of those all but useless scissors to be found in every kindergarten the length and breadth of Britain …

So what were already badly cut holes, were made to look considerably worse by the application of the poorly cut PPF.

Note the differences in the PPF cut lines and their proximity to the opening in the PU at the points marked with arrows :

Add in the nasty aluminium expanded mesh that had been used to protect the radiators and to fill the Cup vents (which looked like it had been sprayed with an aerosol on numerous occasions) and the whole thing looked pretty tawdry.

So I devised a plan to tidy up the vents : Specifically to redesign the outer profile of the outer vents and narrow the “bars” between the two outer vents and the central vent.

I mocked these up with black insulation tape (you'll probably need to open the image up to its full size by right clicking on the image and clicking “Open image in new tab”. Once opened, click on the image in the new tab to view it full size) :

Then removed the mesh, unfortunately these had been stuck in place using what looked like Liquid Metal :

simply “gobbed” on by Stevie Wonder's English brother. The adhesive required the application of copious amounts of heat and a various hooks/picks to literally tear the mesh and adhesive off the back of the bumper. I then set to with a die grinder, files and emery cloth.

Mocked up :

And the end result :

“Bar” width narrowed and equalised :

Finished mods :

The vents look more 996 RS like and are far neater (not to mention symetrical)

Next up was sourcing some decent mesh for the “Cup” vents. Many hours spent trawling an internet found this in The States :


Further surfing found a company in the UK that could supply sensible sized sheets with various sizes of hexagonal perforations.

After much deliberation I decided on the finer mesh. The mesh is mild steel rather than my preferred stainless steel, but has been two pack epoxy coated in satin black. It looks far more OE and professional than the usual expanded mesh used.

The rear bumper on the car was a new item. Legend has it that when Dick Chambellend specified the very expensive Inconel/Titanium exhaust, he did so with a two central exit tailpipes. Upon collection of the car the owner questioned why the exhaust had been configured in this manner.

As the owner wanted the car to look as stock as possible, he requested the exhaust be redesigned to utilise the stock tailpipe positions, this in turn meant fitting a new bumper...

Bearing in mind these rear bumpers were fitted to every Mk1 996 ever produced, it’s strange they're actually more expensive than the Aerokit/Mk1 GT3 front bumpers !! They cost the princely sum of £1500.

A new bumper was sourced, painted and fitted, with one caveat, the heatshield that protects the PU from the massive heat of the cats behind it, was omitted, along with the stays that secure the lower, rear edge of the bumper.

This was end result of the rear bumper being “toasted” by the cats :

With the rear bumper off the car to remove and fix the exhaust, I set to with my heatgun to try and reshape the rear bumper with a view to getting it repaired. But pretty much as soon as I tried to move it back closer to its original shape having heated it, it cracked …

PU (Polyurethane) contains oil within it's ingredients (no sh*t Sherlock), when it's gently roasted by two cats running at anything up to 900 degrees C, these oils get burnt off, and the end result is a very brittle bumper indeed.

The heatshield and its stays are now present and correct :

As the existing rear bumper was not repairable cost effectively, I sourced a replacement secondhand bumper, and this, the front bumper and bonnet were expertly painted and the grills fitted to the Cup vents. After many hours fettling, the end result looks stunning

A big thank you to Diggameister for his recommendation for an excellent bodyshop in the West Midlands. thumbsup


And a quick edit to add an image of the numerous layers of paint found on what i'd assumed was an original paint panel ...

In fairness, I think it probably IS an original paint bonnet, the problem being that OE paint was beneath at least 4 or 5 other layers of paint Grin

Suffice to say, the bonnet was returned to bare metal prior to painting this time !!

Last edited by Slippydiff on Tue Aug 06, 2019 11:10 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 1:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks absolutely stunning H. Next on my list of back catalogue in a few years Wink
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 7:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

was you not tempted to follow the lines from the headlight 'creases' into the bumper for the outside lines on the vents?
I really must learn to spell check and proof read my posts Smile
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 7:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks incredible. Fantastic work and attention to detail. Stunning Thumb
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Slippydiff, ironially I was working the other way round changing my Comfort specification to a Clubsport (a lot of the work had already been done). So actually bought a PU with holes cut out and then had to source the mesh from the Porsche Motorsport department. Again ironically it looks more like the stuff you removed than the neat hexagon route you went.

Hats off to you either way.

Pip Thumb
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cooling system

The car runs a set of expensive CSF alloy radiators (LH & RH and centre)


These are an all alloy construction and in a different league to the cheap and nasty OE items from a quality perspective.

They’re also very efficient, and as a result the car tends to run slightly cooler than with the stock aluminium/plastic radiators.

The centre radiator had been angled forward in the manner the 996 GT2 and Cup cars are. The idea being that hot air exits from the vents in the top of the bumper, rather than under the car, which creates unwanted lift at speed.

As with most other modifications to the car, this too had been poorly executed.

Space was clearly at premium due to the external transmission cooler being located in the front bumper AND expanded race mesh grills having been fitted to the openings in the front bumper to protect the expensive alloy radiators, so much so that with the transmission cooler in front of the angled centre radiator the transmission cooler was quite literally bulging out through the centre mesh grill.

As the car was intended for road use, I asked Matt to remove the transmission cooler and it’s associated plumbing.

With the front bumper off the car to remove the cooler I also asked him to check the quality of the install of the centre and side radiators “whilst he was in there”. On collecting the car I was told "all was good" with the radiator install.

When I subsequently removed the front bumper to improve the bonnet/front bumper shutline, I inspected the radiators and their installation.

First up I noticed a slight weep from the drain plug on the centre radiator, this due to a slightly perished sealing washer.

Further inspection revealed the GT2 exhaust “chimney” that sits behind the centre radiator and ducts the hot air up through the vents in the top of the bumper, had been smashed/hacked (and cracked) by whoever had originally installed it, and it wasn’t properly secured.

The centre radiator had been angled using some 30mm spacers and longer, nicely corroded socket head setscrews, and the two part frame that cradles the radiator had been cut and twisted and it’s mountings bent through nearly 180 degrees.

Stacked spacers arrowed, rusty cap head setscrews a nice touch

Additionally the air conditioning pipe that runs above the centre radiator and links the N/S & O/S condensors, was either the wrong item altogether, or had bizarrely been bent some 60 degrees along it’s length, which in turn meant it was unsecured and flapping in the breeze...

To enable the centre radiator to be angled forward requires longer coolant hoses be installed (the correct way). Or alternatively the existing coolant pipes can be cut off (using a blunt, rusty butter knife) some 4-5” back from their joints on the radiator stubs, and a 5/8 hose joiner inserted into the newly formed hose ends and secured with a pair of Jubilee clips, to effectively lengthen the hose a couple of inches.

No prizes for guessing which method had been chosen in this instance …

Hose joiner arrowed ... :

Angling the centre radiator forward also means removing the rubber cold air duct that fits between the front PU and the radiator atogether, and also means the cold air ducts to the left and right hand plastic/rubber radiators also need their inner ends trimming to accommodate the relocated centre radiator. These had been beautifully sculpted (or as neatly and tidily as a blind man with what I imagine was a a chainsaw, could manage)

Having assessed that lot, I elected to return the centre radiator back to its stock position and put all the other components back to stock too.

First up the lengthened bolts and spacers went in “File 13” (that's the large round one in the corner of the garage), next up the butchered rubber/plastic cold air ducts for the LH & RH radiators went the same way.

Upon removing the centre radiator sandwich brackets :

Seen sandwiching the radiator itself here :

I found they had been cut with a hacksaw in several places, this for no apparent reason, and these pointless “cuts” had just been left.
In addition to the mystery hacksaw cuts, the brackets were generally bent, twisted and misshaped, and the returns designed to give the pressed steel some much needed strength, had been flattened in various places.

Not satisfied with that level of wanton vandalism, the perpetrator decided the bottom mounting tabs needed bending back through nearly 180 degrees, whilst the top ones were bent a more modest 70 degrees.

I do like a challenge, so I hammered, twisted and generally teased everything back into something closely resembling their original shape.

A quick trip to my local metal bashing welder saw the hacksaw cuts TIG welded up and the welds dressed back so perfectly, you'd never know Walter Smith had laid a finger on them. A couple of coats of black zinc primer and they were good to go again.

With the central radiator now back in it's original upright location, and located with some nice (not rusty) flanged securing bolts and the 997 GT3/996 GT2 hot air exhaust chimney consigned to the bin, the aircon pipe that links the two condensors started to look distinctly strange flapping in the breeze.

Here's what the pipe/hose should look like running straight above the centre radiator and attached to the front panel with two plastic brackets :

Here's more what it looked like in reality (this a 987/997 front end, so one can only assume they used a 987/997 pipe, or for some bizarre reason they just bent the original at 60 degrees halfway along it's length) :

Either way, the pipe was just hanging there, so I elected to remove it, get it in the vice, carefully straighten it and then attach it to the front panel with the two plastic clips that were on it.

The front panel has two threaded studs sticking out of it which were clearly meant to provide a fastening for the plastic clips that locate and support the A/C hose, but the threaded studs are only 5mm diameter and the holes in the plastic clips closer to 10mm, this hardly seemed Porsche engineering at its finest, so I was mildly perplexed as to how the two parts actually did their job. However some trawling on an internet threw up an image of the clips :

And all then became clear. The nuts that can be seen sticking out of the top (actually the front) of the clips had clearly been consigned to the bin or the workshop floor by an incredibly bright spark …

These nuts have a long 10mm diameter shoulder that locates in the bore of the clip and also a 4mm hole down their centre that forms a thread as they're wound down the metal studs protruding from the front panel.

A quick call to my local OPC established the nuts weren't available on their own, they could only be bought with the clips …

So a new pair of clips were bought, the nuts removed and the new clips tossed in the bin. It's soooo good Porsche supply parts for their cars in such a sustainable and thoughtful manner....

A new cold air duct was bought for the centre radiator, likewise the large plastic/rubber dusts for the outer radiators.

With the bumper now fitting correctly, the old expanded mesh grills removed and the new OE cold air ducts in place, the bumper went on easily and bolted up perfectly.

Having read up on bleeding the 996 cooling system after a radiator change (or in this case changing the centre radiator coolant hoses) and seen it can be a PITA to ensure no airlocks get trapped in the system (Porsche recommend filling the cooling system with a vacuum pump) I didn't want to risk cooking the new Cup engine ...

So I elected to leave the hose joiners/extensions in the centre radiator coolant lines in place, but before putting the centre radiator back in place and refitting the front bumper, I slackened the Jubilee clips securing the hose joiners and slid the rubber hose ends down along the joiners equally until they were touching, this effectively returned the hoses to their original length.

Next Winter I'll buy two replacement OE coolant hoses and have them fitted and the system filled using the recommended method.

Last edited by Slippydiff on Tue Aug 06, 2019 8:24 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pip1968 wrote:
Slippydiff, ironially I was working the other way round changing my Comfort specification to a Clubsport (a lot of the work had already been done). So actually bought a PU with holes cut out and then had to source the mesh from the Porsche Motorsport department. Again ironically it looks more like the stuff you removed than the neat hexagon route you went.

Hats off to you either way.

Pip Thumb

Evening P, I hope you’re well. I have a full sheet of the mesh with the larger perforations, and I suspect sufficient left of the sheet with the smaller perforations to do a bumper (if cut carefully). You’re more than welcome to have either, or both, if you’d like to “upgrade” ?
Happy to post it to you Smile
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very kind Henry. I have PM'd you about the chimney actually.

Anyway probably more importantly, I was of the understanding that the central radiator had to be turned upside down to facilitate the tilt modifiation although it sounds as if this was not done here. The bracket similarly was turned around to allow the (40mm? ) spacers and the longer bolts to be accomodated.

I think it was the user Oze (??) that did a long write up on this modification and he too initially cut the side ducts but then quickly realised that turning the radiator upside down negated this. I may remember this completely wrong but that is my recollection. I should add that this also negated the extension of the hoses (that I am less sure about).

Maybe that is why there was so much jiggery pokery on yours ie he got it wrong.

Good weekend to you H.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2019 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Morning Pete, I hope you’re well.
I read up on the central radiator mounting options, mainly on Rennlist where there seemed to be some conflicting views on flipping it, and as to whether flipping it required new hoses. Whilst the internet can be a huge (and great) source of useful information, all too often someone’s idea of “fine” can be another individual’s idea of a bodge job. So the idea of flipping the radiator, having drained the system, only to find the already modified/butchered hoses wouldn’t/didn’t fit nicely, didn’t appeal.

But like you, I didn’t want to drain the car’s cooling system only to have issues ensuring it was free of airlocks and overheating the new engine in the process.

I’m afraid the GT2 exhaust chimney wasn’t worthy of being fitted to any GT3, such were the atrocities inflicted on it by its original installer. Once I’d made the decision to return the central radiator’s position back to stock, the duct (what was left of it after it had been hacked/smashed and cracked) was consigned straight to the bin.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A slight hiccup last week, I noticed the car smelt of fuel, both externally when parked up in the garage after use, but also (and more worryingly) inside the car when cruising on a steady throttle below 60mph.

A quick visual inspection after a run, found the fuelpipe/union arrowed to (or from) the fuel filter in the engine bay, dripping fuel :

Bearing in mind this is indirectly straight above the N/S exhaust manifold, a spanner check to ensure it was tight seemed prudent ...
The check revealed it was loose (and clearly loose enough to enable it to leak) this seemed somewhat strange as it had been marked with red paint to confirm it had been fully tightened when originally assembled/fitted to the car) Question

It only required tightening a tenth of a turn :

but this seems to have fixed the issue.

Driving impressions.

My primary aim with the various modifications and fettling I've carried out, was to make the car drive as nicely as a Mk1 996 GT3, but with improvements to brakes, suspension etc, whilst introducing little or nothing in the way of compromises.

To this end the damper valving and the spring rates were designed for fast road use, this to ensure the car rides decently, but also handles well even at elevated speeds, speeds that would have the stock Bilsteins tied up in knots on our oft bumpy A and B roads.
Likewise the brakes needed to be fade free under duress, but work from cold, be quiet in their operation (more of which later) and the car needed to be as refined as possible.

Looking back to when I drove the car briefly the week after I'd purchased it, compared to how it drives now, leaves me wondering why I bought it in the state it was, but furthermore, how had I driven it so quickly in such a state !!

First up, the JRZ's (or more to the point, their spring rates and valving) that were on the car when I bought it, were clearly better suited to track than road use, they did excel at high speeds on smooth roads (where you could genuinely feel the quality of their damping) but the Ohlins allow you to feel their quality at far, far lower speeds on pretty much any road surface. Note also that the geometry settings on the car when I bought it were optimised for track use.

The brakes were all but ineffective in their previous iteration, clearly the removal of the Endless pads at my request, made a massive difference to their performance when compared to the “toasted” RS 29s on the Alcon front discs and the substitution of the Endless rear pads with well used stock pads on the worn Alcon rear discs.

The rear MPS Cups had 1.7mm on them, the fronts probably closer to 4-5mm. Fitting a pair of new Cup 2's to the rear of the car has imbued it with prodigious amounts of grip, but also made it vastly smoother and quieter.

My guess is that by the time I bought the car, the engine was already well below par. Don't get me wrong, it was still a 4.1 litre flat six on ITB's, but it was hampered by blocked cats, and cams lobes that were wearing out quite literally, by the mile. Added to which it had already overheated due to the blocked cats/detonation, prior to my purchasing it … and thus was very much in a sub-optimal condition.

I remember driving along the dual carriageways into Shrewsbury thinking it was quick, but then casting my mind back to when I'd first been a passenger in the car when it was being driven on the open roads of N.Wales, I remembered just how savagely quick it had felt then, and it now no longer longer felt as potent.

Put bluntly, the car was a noisy, rattly thing to drive on anything less than billiard table smooth road surfaces, add in the harsh dampers/springs, worn Cup tyres, heavily cracked screen, badly fitted and seized, Rose-jointed suspension links, brakes that were all but ineffectual, and it wasn't a particularly pleasant place to be. So improving it really couldn't be THAT difficult could it ?? !!

The steering is “nuggety” going on heavy (that's not a criticism btw) it has a meatiness to it lacking in the standard car. I suspect the combination of the Cup EPAS pump, the Cup tyres and the Ohlins damping, along with a fairly benign geo set up, means there's a lot of tyre presented to the road at all times. Add in the smaller diameter Cup steering wheel, and you have all the ingredients required for driving quickly with all the feedback, tactility and engagement you could want or need.

If there's a caveat, it's a lack of front end bite on really sharp turns when the tyres aren't warmed up, my guess is the heavily preloaded Guard LSD with ramps designed to work in tandem with the heavily preloaded plates is the issue here. With the tyres up to temperature and the car driven aggressively, the front end grip is a thing of wonderment.

Let me say the front tyres are without doubt, sub-optimal, and a pair of new Cup 2's would most likely solve this minor issue, but I really like the original Cups (a large part of that is down to their stiff sidewalls and minimalist tread pattern) and so I'm loathe to ditch them, as once they're warmed up, I actually prefer them to the 235/40/18 Cup 2s …

I've previously documented my thoughts on the Ohlins elsewhere, but let me say here and now, that high quality 3 way adjustable dampers are sadly under appreciated by many. The benefits they provide, especially to a package so inherently dynamically “wrong” as the 911, are many.

With the Ohlins fitted, the 996 chassis feel becomes closer to that of the Gen 1 997 GT3, but retains the 996 tactility and adjustability without the nannying TC of the later car. In short, it's a win win situation, with the added bonus of consistent top notch high speed damping.

There is price to pay for the fitment of the Ohlins (as with any really good top end dampers) this being they need warming up. So a quick thrash down to the paper shop for a pint of milk and a box eggs, isn't on the agenda. If you want to feel their benefits they need a good 30-45 minutes use (dependant on the roads you're traversing) before they're at their best. Without some heat in them, they will feel a bit taught when cold, but once they're warmed through, along with the tyres, engine, gearbox and brakes, they have a wonderful “fluid” nature to them and their benefits are there for the taking, and unlike the standard dampers, the Ohlins won't start to go soft/lose their composure when you start pushing on over less than ideal road surfaces at big speeds.

Those of you that read about my suspension fettling, will remember that after Matt had fitted the Ohlins to the car and driven it, he commented it felt harder than expected. This I suspect was due to firstly not having driven it for long enough to warm the dampers through, but also because he had guessed the damper settings and elected to set both the fronts and rears to halfway through their high speed and low speed bump settings, and likewise the rebound settings.

Those that know my previous car ownership, will know I used these dampers on my previous Black Manthey Mk 1 before selling it, and prior to that car, on a 996 GT2.

Building the dampers to the recipe I wanted, took a lot of time effort and money (and several attempts) to get the correct spring rates. After the last build of the dampers on the Manthey car, I took the guy who built them, out in the car so he could witness how the car behaved and advise/instigate any tweaks to the settings he'd initially applied to them. Sure enough after a couple of high speed passes down his (and fortunately my) benchmarking roads, he tweaked the compression and rebound on the rear dampers.

After Matt had driven the ZanziCup and said the dampers were harder than he'd expected, I did a longish stint in the car to ensure they were warmed through properly, and whilst getting them up to temperature improved them, I was forced to concur with Matt's assessment.

The problem I was faced with was I had no point of reference or baseline to work from, and trying to set the 3 way adjustable dampers up on the road, effectively from scratch, would be a long, most likely frustrating undertaking.

I slept on the issue, and then in a eureka moment, thought it must be worth speaking to Ben at BG Motorsport to see if he still had the bump and rebound settings he'd applied to the dampers after he'd built them previously and we'd road tested the car together, some 6 or 7 years previously.
So I rang him, and waited tentatively (and with baited breath) whilst he went to find his build/ job sheet for their original build all those years ago.
He returned a couple of minutes later, and his usually clipped tone said “Yep, got them. Do you want them ? ”

All in all, this was a proper result !!

Ben duly told me what they were and how to adjust both the high and low speed compression, along with the rebound settings.

I applied the settings to the car months ago, but then had to wait patiently whilst I addressed the various other modifications to the car I've documented in this thread, before being able to see just what the resulting change in their adjustments would bring.

Let me say here and now, the car is a very different animal to the one I bought and drove all too briefly in March of 2018.

The previous rattles, knocks and occasional bangs from the suspension are now a thing of the past, all you can hear is tiny mouse like squeak from one of the rear dampers (it was there on the Black Manthey car, and despite removing the dampers and running them on the dyno, we couldn't replicate the squeak) I suspect it's one the spherical bearings in the top mounts, but it is quite literally. mouse-like and not at all intrusive, on the contrary, I consider it “character”.
Added to the squeak, the oil/gas in the dampers can be heard “whoosing” around in the remote canisters and their hydraulic lines when the dampers are earning their keep. It's a sound I love, and again, not an annoyance.

I'm glad to say the previously rattly, seized, poorly fitted/adjusted Elephant Racing suspension links are all now silent.

The new brakes are powerful, progressive and refined, though I noted that last time out in the car, they're quiet under duress, but squeak when they're cooling down, only to become quiet again once cold. Something to look into, but overall they feel, behave and sound like OE brakes.

The race proven Cup/R/RS box sounds like the transmission in a 964 RS LWT that's just been driven hard, and it does so from cold. Pressing the clutch down silences it immediately. The transmission noise is exacerbated by the fitment of the Cup cables and the Wevo upgraded engine mounts. Once on the move it's not noticeable, all you hear is the usual sounds emitting from the masterpiece that is the Mezger engine …

The gearshift assembly (a standard item, not a Cup part as I'd originally thought) allied to the Cup cables and the reduced length shift levers on the 'box itself, along with the tighter engine mounts, makes for a truly stunning shift quality, but without being baulky, obstructive or notchy. It requires a firm hand, and is incredibly quick and tactile to use. Lightening rapid heel and toe downshifts are the order of the day, such is the rev happy nature of the massaged Cup engine, close ratio 'box, lightweight flywheel and co-operative gear shift.

The 4.0 RS clutch/flywheel package is smooth and progressive, though compared with a those found in most modern cars, the clutch requires some heft to operate.

The engine installation and its subsequent tuning have made for a powerplant that is borderline scarily quick at full noise.

Quite simply, Wayne Schofield's many hours spent formulating then finessing the map along with working out and optimising the best strategy for the actuation of the various flaps in the intake manifold , have made for an extremely potent engine that breathes/revs ridiculously easily at the top end, and the rush to it's 8100 rpm limit (reduced from 8400 rpm for longevity) it is manic in the lower gears, but the sheer pull of the thing in the higher gears, has to be witnessed to be believed. Such is the gearing and grunt from the engine when it's on the cam, the higher ratios barely blunt the accelerative forces. On the contrary, the engine feels like it punches more heavily in the higher gears, clearly all that flappery/trickery in the inlet manifold does actually do something ...

There are some further minor tweaks required to the car. Specifically the geometry and ride heights (neither are bad/wrong, they just need optimising) but overall it's now a formidable package, and one that feels like a stock Mk1 GT3 with pretty much every aspect dialled up to 11, be that the brakes, suspension/body control, gearbox, engine etc

Whilst the road getting there has been a rocky one, the end result is worthwhile, the car is a phenomenal package now ; Visceral without being over the top, focused without being difficult to drive, quick far beyond the headline figure of 465hp would suggest, and after numerous hours fettling almost as refined as a stock Mk1 GT3.

The ultimate evolution of the Mk1 N/A species ? I'd say so Thumb

Last edited by Slippydiff on Tue Jan 07, 2020 8:44 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 6:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent write up.

What's next?!......
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for documenting all this. Always interesting and educational as well.

Did you ever put those exhaust parts on scales btw? Your side boxes sure look very light. I just had my M&M apart and they felt surprisingly heavy for their size.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hermes wrote:
Excellent write up.

What's next?!......


Great read, cheers!
2005 996 GT3 mk2
1999 Integra DC2
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Albert Park

Joined: 20 Aug 2009
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Location: Chelsea

2007 Porsche 997 GT3

PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great read Slippy Thumb
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Albert Park

Joined: 25 May 2012
Posts: 1589
Location: The Cotswolds

2003 Porsche 996 Turbo

PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

H, this car of yours is approaching perfection worship

I say approaching because no doubt you will continue to refine, develop, then rinse and repeat? To me it looks perfect as it is and from your excellent appraisal of the way it drives, the theme seems to follow the visual form.

Dampers, or rather more accurately, specifically tailored dampers, are worth their weight in gold in any modified car - they simply transform the driving experience. I'm glad you chose to persevere with the 3 ways and get them re-dialled to your liking, many would have thrown the towel in and gone for another brand or solution entirely, missing the sweet spot you've now rediscovered.

I may be a relative newcomer to the 911 world, currently into year eight, but these 996 platforms are just so good, aren't they? Super sensitive to tiny geometry changes, engaging, playful, delicate at times and yet supremely capable of playing hard-ball, or simply cruising in relative comfort as and when one's mood dictates. ZanziCup is the pinnacle of the platform to my eyes. Awesome piece of kit!

As an aside, this video came to my attention earlier in the week and pretty much encapsulates what yours would be capable of on track. Now imagine your car on the same track Cloud 9

Open Youtube Page

2003 996 Turbo
Previous toy 1974 Mini 1000
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