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Porsche Crest 2010: An EFI Hot Rod Odyssey


That's me to the right, my son, Steve (who was 11 years old when I bought the car), and my grandson, Henry.


2010: An EFI Hot Rod Odyssey


It happens to many of us. We finally get our hands on that 930 we've dreamed about forever and, sure enough, it's every bit as amazing as we knew it would be. But before very long we find ourselves thinking about making a few changes. More aggressive body work. Beefier wheels and tires. Coilovers. Brakes. Paint. The list goes on. The purists among us object, of course, referring to it all as just so much "molestation." Yet, for those of us bitten by the bug, the real fun of owning these iconic old cars -- what really gets the blood coursing through our arteries -- is the idea possibility of modifying them.

For me, it's always been about the engine. After all, for the last 45 years Porsche flat six engines have been modified in every conceivable way, both by the factory and by racing teams and tuners. From my perspective, the stock 3.3 turbo engine has always seemed more like a good starting point than a finished product. My dream has been to someday take my 930 engine to the limit. And when I turned 66 last year I realized that if I was ever going to do it, well, let's just say time wasn't on my side.

So several months ago I made the decision: Despite the beating that the economy had inflicted on my finances, I would convert my 1984 930 to EFI and in the process go for some serious horsepower. Ah, yes, you're thinking, the old "slippery slope" syndrome. Better known, perhaps, as the "while I'm in there" syndrome, often followed by the "my wife wants a divorce" syndrome, and the "damn, I'm in deep do-do now" syndrome.

It wasn't as if my 930 engine was stock. I had purchased the car in Munich, Germany through a grey-market broker way back in December, 1984, with 2200km on the odometer. After it arrived in Minnesota, the engine had been modified over the years with 964 cams, Billy Boat headers, a K29 turbo, full-bay intercooler, Andial fuel enrichment, limited slip, and a pair of fan-cooled B&B oil coolers in the front fender wells.

So it was already a very quick car. And when I added an 8:41 ring and pinion a couple of years ago the car became stupid fast out of the hole. For off-the-line performance, the 8:41 was like adding another 100HP. The car had always scared the daylights out of passengers, but now it left them speechless, bug-eyed with terror and grabbing for something, anything, to hold onto.

But a horsepower junkie is a horsepower junkie. As far as I know, there are no 12-step meetings for this arcane obsession. No, my fellow junkies, you're on your own. And unlike, say, crack cocaine, you don't even lose weight by upgrading your turbocharger So you gotta do what you gotta do. In my case, since my mechanical abilities are pretty much restricted to changing oil, spark plugs and tires, I needed to find a really talented mechanic.


My Kingdom for a Wrench

Now, you might think that there are lots of mechanics in this country eager and able to build a full-blown 930 hot rod motor; however, in my experience you'd be wrong. That isn't to say there aren't plenty of people out there eager to convince you that they can. But we've all heard the horror stories, and forewarned is forearmed. To me the operative rule heading into this project was that much ballyhooed old MBA school maxim, "due diligence". Or in other words, dude, do your homework.

So in an effort to screen out the wannabes and shady characters, I decided to carefully limit my contacts to just the usual suspects: those well-known technicians with reputations for quality craftsmanship and for not just phoning in their work. But oddly enough, even limiting my search to the supposed crème de la crème of Porsche fixers still proved a real challenge.

In the midst of the worst economy since the Great Depression, some of these people didn't return emails and phone calls. Others simply wanted to sell me off-the-shelf parts or systems that they had developed or had in their inventories. Some didn't let me get a word in edgewise, not pausing to listen to a thing I said. Still others couldn't be bothered to provide a written, detailed proposal. Jeez, I thought, spending money shouldn't be this difficult. This wasn't the Holy Grail I was searching for here.



A Purple 965 from Kuwait

And then there was TurboKraft. I had spoken with Chris Carroll of TurboKraft on another matter a few years back. Generally, I had been impressed. Chris had returned my emails and phone calls and, more important, answered my endless questions -- some of them no doubt idiotic. The more I had talked with him, the more I had realized that this guy was the real article, someone who intimately knew his way around the world of 930s and wasn't averse to generously sharing his knowledge.

Sure enough, when I called Chris this time he listened patiently and seemed to quickly grasp what I was after. Skeptical as I had begun to become by this point, each time Chris and I spoke my comfort level rose. Since I was about to go to Phoenix anyway, I scheduled a face-to-face meeting.

When I showed up at TurboKraft in mid-January I saw seven 930s in various stages of mechanical work around the shop, plus a couple of naturally aspirated 911s and a Boxster in the process of being turbocharged. The cars were from all over -- California, Idaho, Pennsylvania, Colorado -- even a purple, 1994 Turbo S Flatnose from Kuwait. Standing in the midst of all this was Chris Carroll, looking younger than I had expected and speaking fluent German to a customer who had flown all the way from Bavaria to consult about a project.

While he finished up, I looked around. Off in a corner I discovered a primered 356 and, next to it, a 914-6. In another corner was a Dynapack AWD Dyno with a Toyota Supra attached. It turned out that the dyno was shared between TurboKraft and an adjacent company, UMS Tuning, specializing in modified import cars. I walked next door and discovered an amazing array of performance cars -- an older right hand drive Nissan GTR, Mitsubishi Evos, WRXs and even a turbocharged Acura NSX. Between these two companies were enough hot rods to film a sequel to "Gone in 60 Seconds". A veritable candy store for speed freaks.



Pad Thai with Spicy Turbo

Chris and I introduced ourselves. When I asked about his fluent German I discovered he had grown up in Berlin, the son of a US Air Force officer and international pilot. In fact, the 356 belonged to his father. Since it was noon, he suggested that we have lunch and offered Mexican and Thai as choices. Twenty minutes later the two of us, plus two of TurboKraft's key employees – Brian Day and Mike Brudeseth -- arrived at a small Thai restaurant on the ASU campus. As we chatted about car stuff I looked across the table and found Mike struggling to find some beef in a pile of vegetables and rice. I made a note to go with Mexican next time around.

At my request, we sifted through the TurboKraft proposal, making cuts where possible. But basically TurboKraft had got it right. Clearly, the engine they were advocating looked like a monster. The EFI system would be AEM, which Chris insisted was not only cheaper than Motec but incorporated the same bells and whistles and was easier to tune. He proposed that we replace my K29 turbo with either a Garrett GT4088R or a GT4094R. We could keep my full-bay Garretson/Andial intercooler or replace it with an even bigger custom made billey machined job, depending on budget.

The CMW heads I had bought a year earlier Chris expressed some doubts about. He suggested we flow test them with Extreme Cylinder Heads in Florida before making any decisions. As far as cams went, we would start by looking at a GT2 grind, and go from there. For pistons and cylinders, new Mahle 3.4s got the nod along with a GT3 3.6 crankshaft, giving us 3.5 displacement. My existing B&B headers would be modified to flow better. The muffler would be a very free-flowing Borla racing muffler. The case would be shuffle-pinned and boat-tailed. Whatever heads we ended up using would be twin-plugged and niresist ringed. A very serious clutch would be necessary to hold the power. Plus several other upgrades.

Then came the music to my ears. The engine that TurboKraft envisioned would produce in the neighborhood of 700HP on 100 octane fuel, and in the mid-500s on pump gas. Chris cautioned that we would need to over-engineer the engine in order for it to survive the kind of horsepower we were talking about. Our goal would be not just a really fast motor, but a really fast motor that would actually be around for many years.

By the time we finished lunch, I had made my decision. I would cut the other contenders loose, and TurboKraft would do my build. As far as the actual nuts and bolts of the job went, I realized I would clearly be at TurboKraft’s mercy. At some point in a job like this it inevitably had to come down to trust. But as a guy who had built a couple of successful businesses myself, the one thing I had learned to recognize over the years was passion. It was clear to me that these were not "close enough for government work" people at TurboKraft. It was obvious they lived and breathed their work. And that was good enough for me.





More to come...

Old 04-19-2010, 11:23 AM
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Subscribed! Good luck with this and awaiting next update
Old 04-19-2010, 12:12 PM
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Yunger, es sieht aus wie sie fand ihre antwort.

Viel Gluck!!!


Walt
Old 04-19-2010, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wjfk32 View Post
Yunger, es sieht aus wie sie fand ihre antwort.

Viel Gluck!!!


Walt

Huh? Wenn Sie dabei sind, auf Deutsch zu sprechen, machen Sie mindestens eine Anmerkung, die Sinn hat!


Tom,

Glück mit Ihrem Projekt, es sollte großer Spass den ganzen Weg durch den Prozess .. aber besonders einmal getan sein. A Ja, sind Sie in fähigen Händen mit Chris Carroll.

Rücksichten,

Paul
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Old 04-19-2010, 01:45 PM
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Very nice writing. Eager to read the next episode!
Old 04-19-2010, 02:05 PM
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This was almost like watching an HBO trailer! I can't wait to see the next episode!

Subscribed!
Old 04-19-2010, 02:52 PM
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I'm in for this 12 step program!
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Old 04-19-2010, 03:05 PM
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I barely understand half the details here but I can't wait to read more Best of luck with your project!
Old 04-19-2010, 03:08 PM
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Tom, Chris at Turbocraft is a great guy, I almost went with him for my EFi build, but in the end I went with JB Racing. Good luck on your build.... You will have an awesome car when you are done!!

Brad
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Brad...930 gt-1 racecar, increased displacement to 3.6L, JB racing Cylinders, JE 8 to1 pistons, stroked crank, Carrillo rods, extrudehoned 3.2L intake, full bay Bell I/C, GT-2 EVO cams, Rarly8 headers, GTX-3584RS turbo, twin plug, P&P heads, Link G4 EFi system, G-50/50 with LTD slip and oil squirters/oil cooler, zork tube, full race coilover system, with carbon fiber body, full cage, E-85 sippin drunk
Old 04-19-2010, 04:15 PM
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Tom, thank you for taking the time to write this beautiful journey you are on and sharing with the rest of the world. Can't wait to hear some more from you. Awesome post.
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Old 04-19-2010, 05:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onboost View Post
Huh? Wenn Sie dabei sind, auf Deutsch zu sprechen, machen Sie mindestens eine Anmerkung, die Sinn hat!


Tom,

Glück mit Ihrem Projekt, es sollte großer Spass den ganzen Weg durch den Prozess .. aber besonders einmal getan sein. A Ja, sind Sie in fähigen Händen mit Chris Carroll.

Rücksichten,

Paul
BTW your German is not better, sorry

Ich bin sehr gespannt, wie es weitergeht!!!
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Old 04-19-2010, 11:21 PM
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Ich bin sehr gespannt, wie es weitergeht!!!
Und ich erst!
Hab den Thread gleich abonniert.
Bitte mach viele Fotos von dem Umbau
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Old 04-20-2010, 12:16 AM
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I'm in, can't wait to see the outcome!
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Old 04-20-2010, 01:33 AM
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OFF THE BOOST PIPE NOW...
 
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Can you guys get a room? Jeez...



Quote:

Quote de onboost



Huh? Wenn Sie dabei sind, auf Deutsch zu sprechen, machen Sie mindestens eine Anmerkung, die Sinn hat!





Tom,



Glück mit Ihrem Projekt, es sollte großer Spass den ganzen Weg durch den Prozess .. aber besonders einmal getan sein. A Ja, sind Sie in fähigen Händen mit Chris Carroll.



Rücksichten,



Paul

BTW your German is not better, sorry



Ich bin sehr gespannt, wie es weitergeht!!!

Last edited by A930Rocket; 04-20-2010 at 05:58 PM..
Old 04-20-2010, 03:30 AM
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It basically says...

" If you're going to speak in German, at least make a comment that makes sense!"


"Tom,

Good luck with your project, it should be great fun all the way through the process.. but especially once done. And yes, you are in capable hands with Chris Carroll.

Regards,"
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So many cars.. so little time!!

Last edited by onboost; 04-21-2010 at 06:57 AM..
Old 04-20-2010, 07:00 AM
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Thanks for all the nice comments, guys. The odyssey continues. Some interesting stuff (at least, to me) coming up in a few days.
Old 04-21-2010, 06:29 AM
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I am also interested, but wonder why you would stop at a 3.5 and not make a 3.6 by using 100 pistons/cylinders? In fact if you started with a 964 case you would not have to bore the case for the 100 cylinders. Good luck. Jim
Old 04-21-2010, 07:14 AM
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I will be following along, sounds like a fantastic project. I would love to do something like this as well someday. You are in very good hands with Chris.
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Old 04-21-2010, 09:09 AM
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I also chose 76.4 mm crank and 98 mm P/C. --- 3.5L . I felt this would give me max displacement with some degree of safety in thermal management of the P/Cs.
Old 04-21-2010, 09:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Dorociak View Post
I am also interested, but wonder why you would stop at a 3.5 and not make a 3.6 by using 100 pistons/cylinders? In fact if you started with a 964 case you would not have to bore the case for the 100 cylinders. Good luck. Jim
Good question. Several reasons:
1. Tom already had a new set of Mahle 98mm pistons & cylinders he had acquired before bringing us the car.
2. We are building the original 930.66 engine, and it's in really good condition. As easy as it is, we will not be machining open this case for larger cylinders in this instance. The 98mm are a slip-fit into the case.
3. If it was staying CIS or was a milder EFI build, and Tom didn't already have the P&Cs, we'd probably big bore it, too. But this will run more boost that most CIS engines, and the 3.4L cylinders have a thicker wall than than 100mm cylinders, so we'd rather err on the side of caution and have more robust cylinders for increased longevity.
(On another note, we sell and use Nickie cylinders almost exclusively and the 100mm Nickies are way strong. We've done the bore+stroke combinations before and they hold up great. If we were supplying the P&Cs, we'd use the Nickies and probably 100mm.)

3.6L case -- there's more to a 3.6L engine swap than most people factor. After you build the core motor to suit, there's still the mods to make it work in the earlier chassis: crank pulley, cooling sheet metal, adapting the extrude-honed 3.2L intake manifold Tom already had (or building new throttle linkage for a 964/993 intake), power steering delete, inlet oil line from tank, modify 1-3 cam for scavenge pump drive, fan/alternator pulley hub, adapting for 911/930 heater hoses... and more.

And we're not trying to build the world's most powerful single turbo engine, just a real solid, reliable, big power EFI 930.
In fact, it wasn't even going to be stroked but we had a great deal on new GT3 crankshafts and new forged rods, so Tom added that, too.
Now it'll have enough torque to make the 8:41 ring & pinion obsolete -- it would render 1st gear useless and leave him with a 3-speed. So back in with the stock tall R&P...

Cheers,

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Old 04-21-2010, 02:56 PM
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