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50th Shade of Silver, the ubiquitous Arctic silver 996 C4

Drew-Nitram

Trainee
Joined
15 Dec 2019
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50
50th Shades of Silver, the ubiquitous Arctic silver 996 C4

I've not actually done one of these ownership threads since my Impreza owning days back in the early 2000's when I spent way to may hours on ScoobyNet.

Before I start I must own up to being a serial Silver car owner, and was possibly one of the few people actively looking for a silver 996, I like silver cars as you may be able to tell.




I have been a Porsche fan for as long as I can remember, as a child I was drawn to the shape of the 911 I remember fondly the Athena posters of a Guards red slant nose 911 adorning my bedroom wall.

I had wanted a 996 literally from when they were launched, I don't know what it is about this particular iteration of the 911 but I love the design of the 996, Sure, I appreciate all 911's and would love to have a 964 but if I was in a position to own one I'd be scared to drive it, the 996 for me is the perfect blend of special-ness while still being of an age and price point where I'm not scared to use it.

I came close in 2007 when my then girlfriend (now wife) and I decided to consolidate cars and buy something we both could share, something convertible for her and sporty for me, after much deliberation we ended up with a late 2002 986S, finished in dark teal metallic, I had wanted a 996 at this point but just could not stretch to it so had to make do with the 986, not as it was a hardship as it was an absolutely fantastic car, it made me realise what all the fuss was about when it came to Porsche sports cards and made the want for a 996 all the stronger.


I have a young, growing family so had always needed a car that was practical enough to carry out some light family duties, my wife's/family car carry out the lions-share of the mundane journeys but I always liked have a car I could put both kids in to along with their paraphernalia should the need arise, In 2019 a change in job roll came with it a company car meaning I no longer needed a practical car and could finally get that 996 I had promised myself.

Early in 2020 after a few of months of looking I found a car which ticked all the boxes except is was a C4 not the C2 had been looking for, the car was at a dealer so I though I'd pop along for a look and a test drive, after 5 minutes of the drive I knew this was the car for me, it had had thousands spent on it and drove better than all the C2's I had tried up to that point.

The car in question was a 3 owner, '00 C4, manual finished in the ubiquitous Arctic silver with Black interior, hard back, heated sport seats, extended leather, and a very good spec.


At purchase the car had 101K miles on the clock, it was not in concourse condition but very well presented and most importantly had a huge folder of receipts and had been very looked after, for a large part of it's life by 9e.

This is the first phot of the car I took after putting down a deposit.


The first change I made was to fit a set of matching tyres to replace the mismatch Continental sport contacts / Pirelli P-zero combination the car came on, New tyres and the cars first wash photo.


The guys at eporch threw in a airbox resonator delete kit when I bought the car, a small improvement to the intake noise, nothing too extreme just a little more induction noise, seeing as it was free I could not complain.


The standard ride height of the 996 has never sat right with me, being a C4 coilover and spring options are limited, I opted for the cheaper option of lowering springs, H&R springs were fitted.


A low hanging off side exhaust tip indicated the engine mounts had seen better days, enter the popular Type 911 RS engine mount kit.



One of Alex's SSK's was fitted to cure the rather long and imprecise stock shift action.


Like most during lockdown I was bored so decided to do some routine maintenance, new ignition coils, plugs and heat shields. While I did not have an error codes or misfires it was only a matter of time.



Stainless steel heatshields and alloy spacers to clear the 997 coil design.



I'm a bit of a sucker for a split rim design wheel, I've always liked the GT3 style sport design wheels but not wanting to pay £1000+ for a set I'd then have to have refurbished, and with time on my hands due to covid I set about finding a cheap set, I eventually bought a single front and rear wheel from one guy, two front from another and finally after a few weeks a single rear cropped up, I managed to buy them all for a little over half the going rate for a shabby set, once I had sold of the near new pair of tyres from the front pair I had bought, I had paid significatly less for three front and two rear wheels.

After the refurb with satin bronze centers and diamond cut lips.






Next I turned my attention tot he woeful audio, although the car came already fitted with a Pioneer double DIN headunit but the stock speakers were rather pathetic, I got two sets of 3D printed adapters from a nice chap on this forum, in to which I fitted some shallow mount 10cm coaxial speakers these are driven by the headunit amp.

The above made a huge improvement but the 10cm drivers cannot produce any bass so I made a small enclosure to sit on the shelf behind the rear seats, in to this I mounted an 8" Alpine bass speaker powered by a small class D Alpine Amp, I covered it in same black parcel shelf carpet which I sourced from a 996 breakers on eBay, I also managed to find an Alpine speaker cover from the early 2000 to make it appear period correct for the cars age.



To compliment Alex's SSK I got a 917 style wooden shft-knob from a guy that had imported it from Mexico only to find it not to his liking.



During the summer of 2021 I attended a GT3 race at Brands Hatch, while queuing to park I noticed a few wisps of steam coming from the front near side area of the bumper, the following weekend I stripped down the front of the car to find the rads and condensers to be in a rather sorry state, with the nearside definitely showing signs of leaking coolant.



New rads/condensers and fans including resisters where ordered while D911 had a good discount offer running.




During the autumn of 2021 the Bosch S5 battery decided it had, had enough even though the car lives connected to a Ctek charged time had taken its's toll, I replaced it with a Optima red top which required the fabrication of a brace to hold it in the battery tray.


I bought the car with a pair of Dansk sport back boxes, while the offer an increase in sound over the OE exhaust I wanted a little more, so removed the boxes and dropped them off to a friend to have a Gundo hack modification done using 1.5" pipe. The result is superb, exactly what i wanted.


The last MOT mentioned front disc corrosion as a minor advisory, ECP had Sebro disc's on offer recently, these have been fitted with a set of Akebono ceramic pads, these give the same braking performance as the OE Textar pads I removed while producing significantly less brake dust.



The last change I have made it to have the spoiler cover painted in satin black to break up the rear of the car, I think it also give the optical illusion of making the rear seem a little wider.



This is two year of ownership and I love this thing more than ever, I cannot think what I'd swap it for, in fact I have been toying with a full Hartech 3.7 rebuild as I deem this a keeper, but we have been thinking of moving house so that may have to wait a couple of years.

Sorry for the long post and thanks for reading.
 
Fantastic post and fantastic looking 96 with some very tasteful mods. Looks great :grin:

Welcome aboard :thumbs:
 
Very nice work!
The latest in a long line of interesting cars :thumbs:

So what drew you to this particular car? The maintenance and the way it drove?
 
adamw said:
Fantastic post and fantastic looking 96 with some very tasteful mods. Looks great :grin:

Welcome aboard :thumbs:

Thank you very much, it's not anything ground breaking - just the normal fare of lower springs, wheels, engine mounts ETC, all fairly common mods and maintenance.

I guess the wheel colour and painted wing are enough for it to be a little different yet not too garish, well, in my opinion that is.
 
Griffter said:
Very nice work!
The latest in a long line of interesting cars :thumbs:

So what drew you to this particular car? The maintenance and the way it drove?

I tried several C2's prior to this car, I was not impressed by the way any drove, I feel none of them were particularly good examples if I'm honest as I find it hard to believe that they are all like that.

This car had far more poise, the steering was more communicative, (hard to understand as it's a C4 which most say corrupts the steering feel a little) it had no noises coming from the suspension or the interior, it felt like a much better cared for car.

It also had an exemplary history folder with lots of recent work to the suspension as well as a recent clutch change and IMS inspection carried out by 9e, also the confirmation of a dual row IMS during the clutch change put my mind at ease.

Like most I was looking for an early C2 that's the sweet spot as we are lead to believe, but I found the difference between cable and eGas throttle so imperceptible it was not worth worrying about. same for the 4WD system, I could not tell the difference between it and o=any of the 2WD variant I had tried, sure slightly heavier but no less feel-some, At this point I knew I had to buy purely on condition and history not internet hyperbole.
 
Great post and looking forward to more updates in future. Love the wheels too :thumbs:
 
OP - you know/recall the size of those spacers you used for the heat shields? I recently fitted 997 coil packs and need to clear them as well.
 
Looking excellent mate. Love the work on the rear Alpine sub. Where did you mount the amp?
 
Drew-Nitram said:
Griffter said:
Very nice work!
The latest in a long line of interesting cars :thumbs:

So what drew you to this particular car? The maintenance and the way it drove?

I tried several C2's prior to this car, I was not impressed by the way any drove, I feel none of them were particularly good examples if I'm honest as I find it hard to believe that they are all like that.

This car had far more poise, the steering was more communicative, (hard to understand as it's a C4 which most say corrupts the steering feel a little) it had no noises coming from the suspension or the interior, it felt like a much better cared for car.

It also had an exemplary history folder with lots of recent work to the suspension as well as a recent clutch change and IMS inspection carried out by 9e, also the confirmation of a dual row IMS during the clutch change put my mind at ease.

Like most I was looking for an early C2 that's the sweet spot as we are lead to believe, but I found the difference between cable and eGas throttle so imperceptible it was not worth worrying about. same for the 4WD system, I could not tell the difference between it and o=any of the 2WD variant I had tried, sure slightly heavier but no less feel-some, At this point I knew I had to buy purely on condition and history not internet hyperbole.

Interesting. I had a '01 C4 on M030 which I also loved (including on track). I think condition and set up can trump drivetrain on these, particularly if tired. Agree re cable throttle. People forget the cable controls the throttle, but there's still an ecu controlling timing and fuel!
Very interesting you have a dual row IMS in a 2000 C4.

Lovely car - enjoy.
 
ckellum84 said:
Looking excellent mate. Love the work on the rear Alpine sub. Where did you mount the amp?

It's a tiny class D Amp so small enough to mount to the side of the enclosure.



It's the first time I have made my own enclosure, I calculated the volume of the box to match the requirements of driver and while it sounds good I wished I had made a ported box, maybe a version 2 will be on the cards at some point.
 
Great thread and wonderful car history.

Love that E46 M3 on 18', just looks so right. Would love one but prices have gone crazy now (like everything else mildly interesting). Great colour on the Boxster also.
 

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