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Thread: Porsche 944 turbo road to racecar.

  1. #1
    Registered User 333pg333's Avatar
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    Porsche 944 turbo road to racecar.

    There has been a little bit of interest in my build so I thought I'd make a thread about it. Like most of us and our projects, it's been a long time coming and is still a few months away from getting back on the track.

    I started back in 2006 with a 1989 Porsche 944 turbo. My intention was to spend a few grand and just do some club racing. I was very naive in thinking I could just slap on a different set of wheels / tyres and I'd be ready. As those of you who have tried your cars on the track will know, you soon find out that street cars have their limitations once out on the racetrack. Even Porsches. You realise that you do need a second set of wheels with R spec tyres. Your brakes need upgrading and modifying, suspension needs attention. The motor needs some basic tlc just to get it up to standard spec and it doesn't take long to get the modifying bug. Especially with turbocharged cars. Anyway I went through a lot of money modifying and screwing up. 2 engine rebuilds that failed had me following a different builder and after another 2 failures the motor is in the US getting the final engine dyno tune and then being shipped down here to go in the current car. That's a very long story made very short!

    During this time the car kinda got switched to an earlier model due to a little 'Lara' which eventuated with the car getting written off. Bit sad as this was a really nice looking and feeling car. The new one which I got pretty cheap off Ebay has never had the same solid feeling but now that it is all stripped and caged and essentially a track car, it doesn't matter.

    So basically the sequence of pics will show the first car as I bought it. Flew to Adelaide with a bank cheque on a Saturday morning. Took a look around the car for a few minutes. Handed them the money. Drove home to Sydney. Fairly decent test drive I would say. Car hummed along and hit speeds easily up to 240kmh at 3am on a wide 4 lane bit of new bitumen. Way back when they were first released in 1986 these cars could do over 160mph. Outstanding for a 2.5L 4 banger back then.

    Then there is a pic of the Grey car with a few mods. Still looking very nice.
    We got it to look pretty racecar for a short while but then the accident happened. So we took about 98% of the components out of the Grey car and put them into the Black car. This is a lot harder than it sounds.

    So the Black car became the focus and still remains so. It's gone from a street car to a street / trackday car and now it's morphing pretty much into a track / time attack car with number plates. It will only get driven to and from workshops and the track so hopefully we don't get pinged anywhere. Bit tricky to pass the drivers license out of the sliding perspex window around the cage. Don't think the cops like that much.

    So the car will probably be in the 1200kg region and we are hoping to have about 450kw at the wheels. A bit of a delay while the dry sump setup was being fitted. We've taken out the old roof with a sunroof and put in a non sunroof version. A lot more headroom for cage and helmet plus lowering the weight and C.o.G. All the stock brake system is coming out and in has gone a Tilton pedal box. Carbon doors are being made up in some far off place and hopefully on their way. New Moton Clubsport suspension is on it's way. The widebody wheel arches are on their way. Got a 6 speed gearbox being built up to take a bit more load. The stock ones are 5 speed and not super strong. New wider wheels on their way too. Aiming to run 305 fronts and 320 rears in slicks.

    The car so far has been running on an internally unmodified 2.5L single cam 8v motor (it does have a GT3076 in place of it's older kkk k26/8 and some more up to date electronics plus Plazmaman front mount and larger exhaust. So far the best times on track have been 1.05 at Wakefield Park and 1.45 at Eastern Creek all on R spec. We are expecting a marked improvement with the 3.1L racemotor and all the rest of the changes. These cars are very underrated both by people within and outside of the Porsche community. I have left out a stack of photos, videos, and general info as I don't want to bore you all to death straight up.

    The car will come out looking pretty similar to the Black and Orange one shown here, but in all Black.

    Apologies if this is the wrong section to post or wrong forum.

    ps, what's the difference between a Porsche and a Porcupine? A Porcupine has the pricks on the outside!!
    Last edited by 333pg333; 08-03-11 at 05:55 PM.

  2. #2
    Smoke em if you got em! LINCOLN's Avatar
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    Great thread start, I am sure a mod will move this to PF Racers section.

    BTW - you cannot bore us will details - please more pics and info - it looks like you have very well thought out this car.

    I love the size of the rubber you can get on it.

  3. #3
    Registered User 260BC's Avatar
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    My favourite Porker although why anyone would turn a car that looks as good as that into a race car has me puzzled. Seeing there are plenty of actual race versions around already.
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    Registered User WRXCunt's Avatar
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    Nice mate,

    I'm currently doing the same thing to a 1986 turbo, so post up as much detail as you can on this thing.

    Where did you get the splitters/aero parts?
    1986 944 turbo
    2006 #26 VE Senator

  5. #5
    Registered User 333pg333's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LINCOLN View Post
    Great thread start, I am sure a mod will move this to PF Racers section.

    BTW - you cannot bore us will details - please more pics and info - it looks like you have very well thought out this car.

    I love the size of the rubber you can get on it.
    Thanks. I wasn't sure where to post and forced induction seemed a good place to start. I'll post more stuff soon enough.
    Even stock you can fit 295s in the rear. It's kinda funny looking at all the wheels and tyres from the Jap scene. They're so small.

    Quote Originally Posted by 260DET View Post
    My favourite Porker although why anyone would turn a car that looks as good as that into a race car has me puzzled. Seeing there are plenty of actual race versions around already.
    I was always a 930 fan, having grown up through the 80's. When I went to buy some sort of 911 back in 2006 I asked around and eventually got onto my current mechanic. He's Porsche factory trained and been working on them for over 30 years. His son now does most of the work on my car. Anyway when I spoke to them about my intentions to buy an older 911 and club race it they said sure no probs. You can spend about $35-$50k in mods to get another 50hp out of one, or spend $5k on a 951 to get another 100hp with more potential to follow. I had always liked the front engined Porsches and so was persuaded to go after one of these. Like any car that you start doing trackdays with, it's a slippery slide to financial ruin. A lot of inexperience and naivety on my part and the normal disappointments along the way have led me to where I'm at now.
    I agree that the car was nice and clean and was a great road car. Problem is that I can't enjoy a nice fast road car in this country. Lost my license too many times. I drive an old '96 banger Falcon that has dings and dents in it.

    There's actually very few of these cars as race cars in this country. There's the older n/a 944s that they run in the Challenge series in Melbourne but that's not the same thing. Once bitten by the boost bug...well you know the rest.
    Quote Originally Posted by WRXCunt View Post
    Nice mate,

    I'm currently doing the same thing to a 1986 turbo, so post up as much detail as you can on this thing.

    Where did you get the splitters/aero parts?
    Yes I spotted your other thread. There's a lot of pitfalls on these cars. You can also spend money on stuff that you realise you don't need or need something better and wind up chucking it out or selling it at a loss. If you are certain of your power goals and what you want the car for, then you can make a clear plan. I'm happy to help if you want. I've gained a fair bit of knowledge on these cars. If you really only want 300-350whp you can achieve it pretty easily, but it also depends on whose dyno you're talking. My current motor would reach those figures and maybe a bit more on some dynos. Even with what would be considered low power by today's standards we did run into a few problems along the way. Headgaskets are the archillies heels of these cars. There are ways to bolster these but we learned through trial and error.

    My suggestion is to really be sure what you want with the car. What series you want to race it in. Whether you might ever want to race in a higher class.
    You have to look into a mirror and ask yourself these questions. From what I have seen people start with goals that are lower than where they wind up. So they buy a kit that gives them 300whp but then they find that they need a bit better suspension / brakes etc...so they buy just enough to cover for 300whp....then they start looking to boost it up a bit more and eventually the suspension and brakes aren't good enough. Or something along those lines.
    Of course the whole thing can hinge on budget too.
    Feel free to ask, plus there's a few websites that will give you a lot of info on these cars that you won't find in Australia.


    Fingers crossed, next week I should be able to show the dyno charts of my motor in the US which will have considerably more power than this current one. It's been a loooonnnngggg time coming so I'm just a bit excited and nervous. This is the 5th motor I've had since the original one back in 2006!!


    -Patrick
    Last edited by 333pg333; 12-04-11 at 09:37 PM.

  6. #6
    Gas Turbine enthusiast da9jeff's Avatar
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    nice car mate, looks farkin tough. 1 question though - does it sound better than the atmo 944s? Saw my first 944 race yesterday and they almost all sounded like a formula Vee crossed with a HQ....

    Have you got any engine bay pics?
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  7. #7
    Registered User 333pg333's Avatar
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    Yes the n/a 2.5L sound pretty bloody boring. The turbos can sound a bit better depending on the exhaust setup, but turbo cars are generally quieter than higher compression n/a so what can you do.

    Here's a short video clip showing the car after we installed the 3.5"-5" exhaust. You can also see the engine bay as it was last year. It's really loud at idle but surprisingly not too loud on the track. I have to run with a silencer on the road. Actually sounds pretty good from inside the cabin especially for a single cam 8v.

    Outside:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3kG4WDTN_c


    Inside:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jODlrQ7meLE

    So here's a pic of a stock motor and here's a pic of my incoming motor. Many changes under the skin too. I'll get around to posting them shortly.
    Last edited by 333pg333; 08-03-11 at 06:00 PM.

  8. #8
    Registered User WRXCunt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 333pg333 View Post
    .........

    -Patrick
    Yeah been thinking about it and plan is to spend most of the cash on suspension/brakes, so that I don't get to the point where I have to upgrade them down the track to deal with more power.

    Probably looking at 350rwhp to start, then chase more power probably a year down the track
    1986 944 turbo
    2006 #26 VE Senator

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    Registered User tinkerbell's Avatar
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    i like the orange & black one best!!!

  10. #10
    Registered User 333pg333's Avatar
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    So a few more pics.

    The standard 944 block is a forged Alusil treated open deck inline 4 cylinder motor. They were never designed for high hp applications and people along the way have discovered their shortcomings. Mostly to do with headgaskets. Various 'cures' have been tried. 'O' ringing and metallic gaskets being the most popular. The reason that they suffer the leaks / failures is most likely to do with headlift which in turn allows the cylinders to shift and also the seal to break allowing coolant to get into the combustion chambers. I have been using the Cometic metal gaskets for a while and while these don't stop headlift per se, they do allow you to turn the boost down and drive home as they reseal. Better than a tow truck let me tell you. Especially from Wakefield Park to Sydney! That's no fun.

    There are other more detailed fixes for this situation. Some have tried the Darton Wet sleeves or MIDs. These are inserted after machining most of the parent cylinder away and these very strong ductile iron sleeves are inserted. They lock in at the top and are very solid. We tried these but had failures with the piston seizing in the bore. 5 engine builds later between me and my mechanic's cars we raised the white flag and stopped. We couldn't tell if the issue was incompatibility between the very thick sleeves and the mostly JE pistons or if the machinist who installed the sleeves didn't follow procedure. I think a bit of both.

    So for my 2nd round of builds I went with bigger headstuds and a deckplate. As you can see here the deckplate looks factory fitted even though they never made one. This will clearly lock the cylinders in place and I hope the bigger ARP headstuds will lock the head down...along with the correct no detonation tune. Also using E85 is great as an anti-knock magic juice.
    The block has been fully cleaned up and zyglowed. Girdle has been pinned. Line bored. Head has been ported polished etc with Ti springs / retainers etc. Arrow Rods, CP pistons, balanced and lightened crank. Big cam (293/282). Borg Warner S362 turbo, Lightened flywheel. Full sequential CDI injection w wasted spark, LINK G4 Extreme ems, full custom 4 -1 headers and X over plus 3.5"-5" exhaust, Dry Sump, Plazmaman front mount, and of course an increase in capacity from 2.5L to 3.1L.
    Probably more stuff I can't remember.

    Brakes and suspension next.
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    Last edited by 333pg333; 22-02-11 at 05:20 PM.

  11. #11
    Smoke em if you got em! LINCOLN's Avatar
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    Great info - thanks for sharing - this thread would get a lot more traffic in the right section... PM Bigmuz, TJ, Bilzilla or other moderators..... hard to tell who they are these days.

    I love reading thorough builds like this and would love to see this car when I come to Sydney.

  12. #12
    Opens Guido's Avatar
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    Done.

    Awesome car! What will you be revving the new motor to and what boost are you looking to run?

  13. #13
    Registered User 333pg333's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LINCOLN View Post
    Great info - thanks for sharing - this thread would get a lot more traffic in the right section... PM Bigmuz, TJ, Bilzilla or other moderators..... hard to tell who they are these days.

    I love reading thorough builds like this and would love to see this car when I come to Sydney.
    Sure. It's still a couple of months away I'm thinking but let me know if you're up and if it's going you can check it out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Guido View Post
    Done.

    Awesome car! What will you be revving the new motor to and what boost are you looking to run?
    Well these cars are generally better known for their mid range oomph than outright rpms, being old single cam 8v's, but it will probably support 7200 pretty comfortably. Boost, it depends on the event. If it's a short club sprint event I am game to push up to high 20's. Nothing like the big boyz nowdays, but when you think that these cars did somewhere near 165mph back in the '80s with 250 to the crank at about 12psi, I'm thinking this new one should be sufficiently quick.

    Looking into some nice aero stuff too. I'm hoping to have it pretty much all shaken down by the next Superlap event in August.

  14. #14
    Registered User 333pg333's Avatar
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    Not sure if this car is of any interest on this particular site but I'll keep posting a few more update pics.

    Cage is almost done along with window net and dummied up the dash to test fit it. Seat is back and down so pedals and steering shaft have moved accordingly. Motor has since come out so the bay can get stitched up. Then paint the bay and interior. After that a full rewire followed by dash which will be covered in alcantara is to go in with all the gauges etc. Then new motor to go in and finally external bodywork and paint before tuning it on the dyno.

    We're going to run an ethanol content sensor and tune some 4d and 5d maps to work with the % content. That's the plan anyway.
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    Moderator Cal's Avatar
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    Faaaaark how did I miss this. That grey car on the Simmons looked awesome. Was the wheel in the air shot Oran Park?

    Edit: What class are you planning to race this in? Prod Sports?
    Last edited by Cal; 10-03-11 at 04:03 PM.
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  16. #16
    Registered User 333pg333's Avatar
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    Yes Oran Park (R.I.P.), well spotted. A great corner on a really challenging circuit with very little room on the outside if you fucked up. Many a crash at Suttons. Great track which fell victim to Sydney's housing growth. Amazing to think that a city with over 5 million people only has one racetrack. Criminal!!

    Yes they are Simmons wheels on the Grey car. That car was such a solid and tight good looking motor. I miss it. The old '5 star' pattern always suited these cars amongst others. I'm actually just selling those wheels to a mate with a 928S4. I have too many wheels at the moment and need to clear the garage.

    I hope to run in Prod Sports, PCNSW, and Worldtime Attack Superlap thingy. This car will be very fast...but not up with the Pro class imports. Hope to give the Open class a bit of a shake but I'm sure so will all the other entrants!
    Last edited by 333pg333; 10-03-11 at 06:20 PM.

  17. #17
    Registered User Stefan52's Avatar
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    Yes keep posting, this is very interesting.

  18. #18
    Old mans car
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    nice work mate

  19. #19
    CNGAF rowdytoot's Avatar
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    sweet car mate!

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  20. #20
    Pollitically incorrect
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    Quote Originally Posted by 333pg333 View Post
    Not sure if this car is of any interest on this particular site but I'll keep posting a few more update pics.

    .
    I think you will find there is plenty of interest, top stuff and please keep posting.
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  21. #21
    Anti-drifter XAC15T's Avatar
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    This is turning very serious! Awesome car mate
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  22. #22
    Chairbourn ranger! Mike Lowrrryyy's Avatar
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    Grey car looked very good that's for sure.
    Looking forward to seeing some Dyno numbers.
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  23. #23
    Has AIDS - BRT-393 Bermo's Avatar
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    Awesome car.

    1:05 around wakefield is farking moving for a street car
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    hah! i thought i recognised this car! i have seen this one and JET951 driving around the beaches a few times. also a good mate used to work at PT next door to buchannans...

    fucking awesome car mate, looks awesome and sounds like it will go fucken hard once sorted!

  25. #25
    Moderator Cal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 333pg333 View Post
    Yes Oran Park (R.I.P.), well spotted. A great corner on a really challenging circuit with very little room on the outside if you fucked up. Many a crash at Suttons. Great track which fell victim to Sydney's housing growth. Amazing to think that a city with over 5 million people only has one racetrack. Criminal!!

    Yes they are Simmons wheels on the Grey car. That car was such a solid and tight good looking motor. I miss it. The old '5 star' pattern always suited these cars amongst others. I'm actually just selling those wheels to a mate with a 928S4. I have too many wheels at the moment and need to clear the garage.

    I hope to run in Prod Sports, PCNSW, and Worldtime Attack Superlap thingy. This car will be very fast...but not up with the Pro class imports. Hope to give the Open class a bit of a shake but I'm sure so will all the other entrants!
    Oran GP was my favourite short circuit in the country. Hard to compare with Phillip Island and Bathurst.

    Sif you'd ever sell those wheels.

    I'm the President of Prod Sports Qld, so we will cross paths at some stage for certain.
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  26. #26
    Registered User 260BC's Avatar
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    I'm still in mourning for a beaut example of this model being turned into a race car but at least it looks like you are doing the 'turning' properly
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  27. #27
    Registered User 333pg333's Avatar
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    Thanks guys. Had some rather nasty bills come in today. Might slow progress a bit. Hope not.
    Think the motor will be on the dyno next week....don't know how many times I've typed that before....or that before....or that before.......................

  28. #28
    Registered User oscar32's Avatar
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    Non car bills suck.
    Awesome thread. I've always liked the looks of the 944 and their general 80's goodness. Keep up the good work. I can't wait to hear how your new engine sings .

    I also agree its a friggin train wreck they think one motorsport venue is enough for the biggest city in Australia. I know wakefield is up the road but closing Oran Park without any thought of opening another venue (which I imagine is more expensive than moon rocks) was a typical government move. After all, if those who are interested in cars can't get to a track - it means revenue in fines.
    Guys, come on stop that. Stop rolling my whale into the ocean. .

  29. #29
    Registered User 333pg333's Avatar
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    Yeah and it's easy to cop a fine driving down to Wakefield too. Goulburn cops are notorious.
    I got one and never saw cop, camera, van...nothing. Must have been one of those bastard planes!!! The Oz govt are a bunch of lying thieving crooks who don't give one shit about road safety etc. If they did they would implement a MUCH stronger system of driver training instead of the lameass test that we take to get a licence. Definitely some of the worst drivers in the Western world are in Australia and it's the Govt fault.

    Apart from that we took out about 25kgs of wiring this week!! Can't wait to weigh the new car once it's finished. They start out at about 1400kgs and for a pretty small car that's quite a lot. Must be all that old school thick metal panels instead of the alu-foil they use today. Love to get it down to 1200kgs but that's hopeful.

  30. #30
    Resident Weevil evil_weevil's Avatar
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    yes, this should def enter MRA super TT!!!!

    awesome build! awesome car!

    cheers,
    chris
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