The stunning Porsche 911 has set the benchmark for years in sports car design. Porsche have produced a fun to drive and reliable sports car that is easy to maintain.
If you are buying a 911 for the first time you need to take some time familiarising yourself with the characteristics of the car. We see many new Porsche owners come to grief when they are not used to the rear wheel drive, rear engined car setup. We strongly recommend that you invest in a few track day sessions and take it easy until you have learnt your limits.
As one of the longest running sports cars produced it is quite hard to write a tuning guide that covers all of the models but this is a challenge we relish and we shall do our best, please feel free to add your comments (at the bottom) if you feel we have missed an area of 911 tuning or that we have got it wrong anywhere.
So onto the 911 tuning tips:-
Most of the 911 engines were NASP but there were a few notable and impressive turbo engines introduced at various points along the 911's history.
The turbo engines are pretty solid and one of the easiest to extract more power from. Late post 2000 cars can be remapped, releasing another 30% or so of power. If you want to add a hybrid turbo or a larger turbo then bigger gains are on offer. The more you push the engine though the more you need to think about reliability and it would be good to get the block cryogenically treated, balanced and the internals replaced with stronger parts.
As the Porsche has kept a similar engine position and mount throughout it's history there is plenty of scope for doing engine swap. This is particularly useful on older models and this enables you to take advantage of the advancements in engine design. You will need to swap out the gearbox as well if there is a big power difference and will certainly need to sort out the electrics as there will be many difference between the old and the new.
If you have a NASP powered 911 then you still have plenty of scope for extracting more power. These tips also equally apply to turbo engines, where the power gains will be even more impressive. Balancing the engine internally will allow you to fully exploit the top end power of this engine and this will help you to get more power out of the upper end of the rev limit.
Other modifications you should consider for your Porsche 911 engine. Fast road cams will make a large power difference and really change the nature of the engine but you mustn't go too extreme in your chosen profile, there are also some well documented air intake modifications and a sports exhaust will give a raw edge to the engine, something lacking in the modern Porsches. Finally doings some port matching and perhaps even a rebore or stroker kit will release a little more power from your 911 engine tuning efforts.
Another option you may consider is adding nitrous injection kits, this alone can add 50bhp more power to your engine and is probably one of the easiest modifications to have done.
What other modifications?
Brake upgrades are popular and you can source parts from the high performance limited edition models. Carbon ceramic and various other materials are being used in brake disks, pad technology has also come on a lot in recent times. Fitting larger disks and pads will have a very beneficial effect on your 911 brakes effectiveness, look to the GT range for suitable donor parts if you want to take it to the max. There are also a number of big brake conversion kits around for the 911.
Handling mods are also worth considering for older 911's where the suspension has gone a little soft, we would recommend that you get fully adjustable suspension kits so you can set this up to suit your driving style. If you are lowering the car then stick with a drop of 20-30mm as the 911's are already pretty low.
We suggest that if you want a bit more information on 911 Tuning you consult the following sources. TorqueCars have a comprehensive 911 tuning article and also a very active, friendly and helpful Porsche forum.
If you have any tips to pass on please use our comments box below and we will update this article, after all we are all here to share knowledge. Please also let us know if we've missed out an engine or performance mod that you feel should be included in here.
Please use our forums if you wish to ask a tuning question, and please note we do not sell parts or services, we are just an online magazine.
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