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What makes SC's so special?

Been hunting for a Targa from the SC years through to late 80's G50 years and wondering exactly what makes the SC's -seem- so desirable? I've been told they are, "bomb-proof" engines, but -why-?? How do the SC's differ from LATER year engines that seems to make them, "better?"

I'm asking because I simply do not know. Thanks!!
Old 01-07-2018, 12:22 PM
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They aren’t better than later engines. They are better than the previous magnesium engines.
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Old 01-07-2018, 12:27 PM
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When I was shopping I was open to both SC and 3.2 Carrera. I personally donít consider one more desirable than the other, because I donít mind the 915. The G50 cars are considered more friendly transmissions but they are heavier and a bit louder. I drove 3.2 Carrera and 3.0 SC back to back and found them to be very similar from a power standpoint although the SC I bought seems particularly strong. The thing I noticed the most is that the SC revved a bit more freely.

To me they are comparable cars and Iíd buy the cleaner one you can find, G50 vs 915 notwithstanding.

All things being equal the 3.2 Carreras are considered more desirable by most people for the updates mentioned.

As for the SC being bomb proof, I donít know other than upgrading to the Carrera chain tensioners is supposed to solve any problems they do have. Iíve also read that the SCís tend to maintain power with higher mileage than Carreras but I think thatís conjecture and I havenít seen proof of this.

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Old 01-07-2018, 01:03 PM
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I've got both, and in my very specific case, I prefer my SC (just by a bit though). There is a noticeably more immediate throttle response with the SC vs the Carrera. It seems like my SC doesn't really care for the situation it just revs in relation to the pedal whereas the Carrera lags just a bit. I've noticed you have to pause just a bit to get the throttle blip you're looking for which was similar to when I drive my dad's 997. The gear boxes are fairly similar, but the G50 is a bit cleaner in the shifts and has never really resisted any gear except first, which I've had in my SC, Carrera, and the 997, so I think that's just a Porsche thing. I'm probably also a little biased because the SC has the M&K premuffler and a sport exhaust, whereas the Carrera has a catalytic converter and what I would call an almost stock exhaust. The one is definitely louder and rowdier than the other, but the butt dyno says they pull about the same.

Back to facts:
-They both use the same 930 engine case and same piston/cylinder sizing ( different compression though)
-Displacement comes from a different crankshaft, which is why the 3.2 has a lower red line (some engineering reasons, I forget)
-SC's are just as fun and reliable, albeit CIS can be a pain, because they are basically the same car. The Carrera has a bit more power and a bit more weight, and they use the same chassis.
-SC's use CIS ('78/'79 no O2 sensor, '80-'83 yes O2 sensor) while Carrera's use the motronic system (yay computers)
-3.2/915 combo is a bit more than SC's by maybe a few grand depending on condition
-3.2/G50 combo is usually a few grand more than the 3.2/915 but easily will go higher since people want the G50 and G series body
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Old 01-07-2018, 01:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JetSpeed View Post
Been hunting for a Targa from the SC years through to late 80's G50 years and wondering exactly what makes the SC's -seem- so desirable? I've been told they are, "bomb-proof" engines, but -why-?? How do the SC's differ from LATER year engines that seems to make them, "better?"

I'm asking because I simply do not know. Thanks!!
Each year they made improvements on the previous year, some times the improvements are seen as a step back, for instance the change from '73 to 74 bumpers isn't
considered a happy one by most, but the change from 2.7mg to 3.0 al is generally considered to be a good one, as is the change in '84 from 3.0 to 3.2 as is the change from CIS to Motronic the same year

Mostly the aluminum block crash bumper cars from '76 are all pretty bullet proof though each has some idiosyncratic issues.
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Old 01-07-2018, 01:28 PM
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Other than a small displacement increased the pressure fed tensioner, the other big difference (in my opinion) is the switch from a CIS (really still a mechanical injection system with electrical add-one) injection to a modern Motronic system. However, Iíd also say that itís best to find a good car rather than worrying about small differences in the models.
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Old 01-07-2018, 01:29 PM
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Both SC and Carrera engines have near-bulletproof bottom-ends. Both are plagued with issues with the top end that are (relatively) easily corrected - head studs and valve guides. The best of the classic air-cooled cars, IMO.
Old 01-07-2018, 01:38 PM
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There were many changes to the aircooled over the years

I think that this sums up the biggest change other than cosmetics

Engine torque vs rpm for an SC 3.0, US C3.2, highly modded 3.4 based on a 3.2, 3.6, 3.8RS


People always seem to talk hp, when it's really torque and where that torque is developed that's important, I could also add some of the water cooled to the data but that would just make you all feel bad
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Old 01-07-2018, 02:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JetSpeed View Post
Been hunting for a Targa from the SC years through to late 80's G50 years and wondering exactly what makes the SC's -seem- so desirable? I've been told they are, "bomb-proof" engines, but -why-?? How do the SC's differ from LATER year engines that seems to make them, "better?"

I'm asking because I simply do not know. Thanks!!
By "bomb-proof", I believe "they" are referring to the 3.0's bottom end.

The SC's CIS system is a handful. You can read about it in many threads.
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Old 01-07-2018, 02:18 PM
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All interesting comments and great discussion so far and thus firms-up what I believed about the SC's, which, is positive.

That torque graph is very unexpected for me BTW . . . .
Old 01-07-2018, 03:10 PM
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I just noticed the color codes above are off, so here it is again, corrected w/ a 996GT3 added
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Old 01-07-2018, 03:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Verburg View Post

People always seem to talk hp, when it's really torque and where that torque is developed that's important, I could also add some of the water cooled to the data but that would just make you all feel bad
Now divide by weight.
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Old 01-07-2018, 04:54 PM
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Well said, Matt!
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Old 01-07-2018, 05:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Monson View Post
Now divide by weight.
ok
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Last edited by Bill Verburg; 01-08-2018 at 05:08 AM.. Reason: correct a few errors
Old 01-07-2018, 05:47 PM
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Well, the SC is "Super Cool".
Old 01-07-2018, 05:52 PM
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I don't know what makes SC's so special either! They lost me with the K-Jetronic / CIS model, so now I've gone water cooled turncoat with a 996 X51. It'd be nice to see where that's located on Bill's torque curves.
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Old 01-07-2018, 06:00 PM
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The SC feels more torquey in the lower rpm ranges. The Carrera has more top end. You could argue the later (after 84) Carerra with the G50 is the sweet spot for the G body. Horses for courses.
Old 01-07-2018, 06:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JetSpeed View Post
Been hunting for a Targa from the SC years through to late 80's G50 years and wondering exactly what makes the SC's -seem- so desirable? I've been told they are, "bomb-proof" engines, but -why-?? How do the SC's differ from LATER year engines that seems to make them, "better?"

I'm asking because I simply do not know. Thanks!!
Keep in mind that everything is relative. There was a time when long hoods were considered undesirable.

Technical differences aside, just think of it as a speculative market. When the long hoods appreciated out of the price range of mere mortals, what did people do? They started looking for the next car that was affordable. I think the SC became interesting because of the mag case of the mid 70's 911s. For not much more money you could get an SC with an aluminum case and a 3.0L over the mid 70s.

The SC's hit the bottom of the depreciation curve, what... roughly 10 years ago? When I bought my SC the saying was a solid car was $13-15k (and "they're all $20k cars"). $10k was a fixer-upper. You don't hear people say that anymore.
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Old 01-07-2018, 06:37 PM
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My SC.............

I bought my SC about 18 years ago. Since then, I have rebuilt just about everything on the car and had it painted (bare metal). When I rebuilt the engine I went with the 3.3SS for more performance. The car has always run well and is certainly a joy to drive. I got my SC for about $15k but have spent about twice that amount in parts and updates. When I first got the car, it was used as a daily driver. However, as we (the car and I) aged, I find that I more often drive my modern truck with power steering and good a/c. Would I buy another one? Maybe, but I would consider a 993 model as well for the improved accommodations. While I enjoy driving the truck, the SC fills my "need for speed"! By the way, I have never owned another car as long as the SC!

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Old 01-07-2018, 07:16 PM
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My ROW SC with the euro 930/10 engine with cams and SSIs goes nicely. I test drove a 3.2 thinking it was an upgrade but it felt a bit sluggish. Didn't want to rev and didn't really have that get up and go that the SC has.
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