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mohitos' REN 993 blog

The 19 year old existing grommet not reusable? Are the badge nuts different? I'm assuming EXACTLY SAME size as existing badge as well? Should have asked these questions before ordering!
Badge was the same size. I might have been able to reuse the grommet but decided to treat the car! As for the nuts - they're a bit odd. Not properly threaded so difficult to reuse. As per Dom's advice, don't overtighten.
And you!
Got the badge earlier. Remarkable quality. Looks like an OPC product. How does the old one come off?
Undo the existing bolts and when it starts to loosen pry the badge up to encourage the reverse threading. Try not to lose the bolts in the bonnet upper.

Happy new year freakoids x
How exactly did you loosen the nuts on the bonnet badge? I was hoping needle nose pliers would do the job but they won't get a purchase.
10mm 1/4" drive socket, with small extension bar - just be careful when removing nut to avoid it falling within bonnet structure void.
As the pins aren't threaded the nuts can sometimes just spin. Worse they can catch and tear the pin off the badge.

I suggest carefully levering the badge up a little as you undo if they don't just spin off with ease.
Setting off at 5am tomorrow to Center Gravity to have them transform the ride and handling of my car. Can't wait. I'm jumping on the train straight back to London to work the day but will ask if they can take some photos.....
Center Gravity

I had become increasingly unsatisfied with the way my car handled, together with the quality of its ride.

The car has factory MO30 suspension which the previous owner refreshed in 2010 (12,000 miles ago) with new springs. He had Bilstein B6's fitted and the ride height lowered to RS+ 12.5mm at the same time. The work had been completed by Northway and five monthe later the car went to Center Gravity for geometry and corner weighting.

I had two main problems:

The car's handling had become increasingly weird and erratic :eek: It was beyond tram lining, veering one way and then the other, randomly and seemly on any road surface (even motorways). This had become much more pronounced after Le Mans classic last year, quite unnerving and ruined enjoyment.

The ride quality was also shocking. I figured it was a mixture of the car's MO30 springs, Bilstein B6's and ride height compressing the springs so much that there just wasn't any compliance whatsoever over bumps. The interior shook over bumps and the whole experience was bone jarring.

A combination of the above meant that my enjoyment of the car was being severely hampered.

I'd used Center Gravity before on my old 968 Club Sport track car. On that occasion I'd spent the day there (a very very long day!) watching and learning as Chris Franklin worked his way through the process. Whilst I'd loved to have done the same again, I just couldn't justify the time off work this time. So instead I arranged with Chris to meet him at Nuneaton station at 6:50am on Friday morning. From there I jumped on the train to Euston (only an hour, fantastic really), and Chris took my car to his workshop, using the opportunity to test drive the car and try and figure out what was going on. The plan was to return to Nuneaton that evening on the 610pm train from Euston, where Chris would meet me with my transformed car. Sometimes things don't go exactly to plan as parts may be required and aren't available same day. For that reason I'd booked another cheap day return ticket for the following day incase my car couldn't be turned same day.

I'll take the opportunity to state this upfront.

No, geo, suspension work etc is not a Black Magic. And yes, plenty of other capable garages can do the work.

I chose to return to Center Gravity as I wanted to be sure a wholistic approach was taken to sorting everything. Not just a geo. And having witnessed Chris at work before, he has exceptional attention to detail. That's why it costs more than your local Kwik Fit. Their hourly rate isn't exorbitant but Chris will spend a long time on your car, making sure every single suspension component works as it should. In my experience your local Porsche specialist can do the same thing, they just don't dedicate the same amount of time to the process and as a consequence aren't as thorough.

Chris and I exchanged several emails before the day, and we agreed on a full Chassis Tune, which includes the following:

- Test drive and report
- Inspect all suspension systems and components including dampers, springs, users and balljoints
- Remove existing MO30 springs
- Replace existing springs with MO33 springs supplied by customer, including tethering spring to spring perch cups
- Pre load car with weight
- Tyre data check and adjust
- Ride height check and adjust (optimise for A/B road use)
- Corner weight check and adjust
- Geometry check and adjust (optimise for A/B road use)
- Re check corner weights
- Set up adjustable anti roll bars (if fitted)
- Before and after tyre, ride height and corner weight report
- Before and after geometry check and report


Chris kindly agreed to allow me to supply my own MO33 springs which I sourced from my friendly local OPC with the usual discount.

It's a shame I couldn't live with the MO30's as the previous owner only replaced the springs about 12,000 miles ago. The whole setup was just too extreme for me. I'll have to figure out whether to store the springs (as they're factory spec for the car it might be worth doing), or flog them to recoup some of the expense.

Around 10am I received my first email update from Chris. Source of the handling problems had been found. The loose, vague darting steer at any speed had been caused by broken steering rod ends. Chris described the experience when test driving as akin to falling asleep at the wheel and waking up when realising the car was verging in the wrong direction, correcting it only to find it doing it in the other direction. Truly scary stuff!

In addition, the osf top mount had delaminated, creating quite a lot of movement in the joint.

Fortunately Chris keeps top mounts in stock (official Porsche and supplied at less than OPC prices), and said he would fix the steering rod ends with his evolution repair. Good news as none of this would create a delay in collecting the car same day.

At the end of the day I received a Dropbox folder with a load of photos a two videos of the work on my car. Here are the videos showing the worn parts - definitely worth a watch!

Rod Ends:


Top Mount:


Here's the evolution steering rod end mod that Chris performed:

Suspension removed:

At 2:30pm I received another email to confirm that the parts had been fitted / repaired, and the car was back on it's feet.

I called again at about 4:30pm and Jayne confirmed I'd be good to collect my car that evening. So I made my way to Euston to catch the train back.

Chris met me with the car at Nuneaton and spent a considerable about of time talking me through the day's work. There's no question that he takes pride in his work and is a subject matter expert. Here are the spec sheets from the work, for those interested:

So what are the results? Well, the car's handling is now very precise and direct. Vagueness in the steering has completely disappeared. I did experience a very small amount of tramlining. Chris had already warned to expect this and that there is only one true solution: 17" wheels. As my car has factory 18" hollow spokes, I'm prepared to accept this compromise. Raising the ride height and reducing some of the camber has minimised the tramlining, but it can never be completely eliminated on these wheels. The handling now inspires confidence and the car is a joy to drive - as I always thought it should be.

So far as ride quality goes, it's massively improved. There's compliance in the suspension, although it does still feel sporty and firm. The ride height was raised about 4mm at the front and 10mm at the back. Many of the interior rattles have disappeared. I'm determined to eliminate those that remain this year!

As a nice finishing touch, Chris replaced a number of missing undertray clips whilst the car was in the air - parts he carries as standard.

I'm not convinced the Bilstein B6's are great dampers, but it seems wasteful to replace them after only 5,000 miles, and I'm not even sure what I'd replace them with. Chris agrees that it's a difficult call on the B6's but has offered to use me as a guinea pig as he plans to offer a Center Gravity valving on Bilstein dampers. I'm definitely interested and exploring what Chris is hoping this process will deliver in terms of ride and handling characteristics.

So in summary - delighted with the work, impressed again with the attention to detail and customer service by Center Gravity, and happier with the way my car goes than ever before :thumb:

Next jobs:

Rattles: Eradicate remaining interior rattles

Tyres: Replace the Continental Tyres for Michelin Pilot Sport 2's all round. The Center Gravity report showed that my rear inners are currently at 3mm, which is usually where I replace. I've never been a fan of the tyres and always been impressed with Michelin. Chris Weaver/Exel Wheels has quoted a great price to supply and fit the Michelins, and I know I can trust him with my wheels.

Maintenance: Minor service and replace aux belts

Underbody waxing: Chris Franklin commented how exceptional my car is underneath - a testament to the previous owner. Unfortunately, the previous owner removed all wax when getting the car to that condition, which doesn't really suit our climate conditions. I'm thinking of using Bilt Hamber Dynax-UC to protect the underside but would welcome recommendations.

Fantastic service beyond the norm. I've said before, 5-6 years ago, why don't all garages provide photographic updates/reports to build trust/faith/relationship as this is the only way forward/ All credit to Chris and Jayne and their ethos. And to you Stuart for being the pedant you are :)
Mohitos a very interesting post with a great deal of analysis, interesting thoughts and information. The two videos were very helpful. On the steering arm I could not quite gauge the problem from the stills, but the video made it all very clear.

Just wondered if during your discussions with Chris, was there any mention of the Koni FSD damper option which seem to have been a well considered option for the 993's when a change of damper was required.

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