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SGB SGB is offline
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Question 914 performance characteristics

I'm curious about how my car would compare to other 914s. The only other one I've ever driven had an RX-7 rotary and auto-cross slicks. I'm sure it had modified suspension, too. Mine (suspension) has been modified also (KYB, stiffer springs, fatter tires, etc). In fact, the whole car has been slowly and incrementally modified with the "standard" inprovements. I know there are convincing arguements about the virtues/ vices of different mods (like FI/ carbs), but I wonder how far from the factory baseline I have strayed, and what a stock or almost stock 914 would drive like. So here is whar I want to know from you folks:
Is your 914 stock, or at least really almost stock except maybe tires? Briefly, how modified is it?
Are you glad it is or is not modified, in terms of driving characteristics? I'm sure we have all done what we have done to our cars has been to improve "performance", but has it been worth it? Does it really drive "better"?
I guess these questions don't apply to autocrossers or other off-street 914s.

So here is my start:
-Car has revised tires, shocks, and springs. It has been slipped two or three splines on the torsion bar and spacers under the steering rack. It has the stock anti-roll bar. Its got 40 idf carbs, a hydrualic webcam ("street-grind"), swivel feet valve adjust screws, HD oil pump, low-pressure fuel pump, short-shift kit.
- I might wish I had FI, but I do see a lot of fuel injection related posts. The webers are easy to mess with, but hard to mess up badly, but make it also a less than perfectly smooth idle. I think my throttle response is as not strong in the midrange as it is at low and high revs. The bushings are getting worn in the shift linkage, so now the short shift is sorta a handicap, really exagerating the problem (new bushings are on the way from PP, hoo-ray!!). Lastly, I wonder if the wide tires, hard springs,etc contributed significantly to my tearing the suspension off at the under battery try rust area. Anybody wanna chime in? Anybody driven more than one? Is yours different now than when you bought it?
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Old 09-24-2003, 09:02 PM
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I am on numbers 10, and 12, 11 was bought by the lucky guy that should have bought 12.

10 is a 1.7 that has bilsteins all around, and sway bars on both ends, stock tire size, 140# springs, and it's running on the factory built engine/transaxle. Injected.

12 is a 2.0 with KYBs, no bars, stock tire size, dead springs, rebuilt euro spec injected motor, and rebuilt transaxle. Injected.

Number 11 kicks ass.

You broke your right rear suspension console? Rust contributed.


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Old 09-24-2003, 09:12 PM
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Of course rust contributed. I know that. It has been significantly rehabilitated in that area- I'm wondering about shaking things loose or overstressing wheel bearings, like that. I just wonder if a six seems more like a 911, or seems like my car with a better motor. I wonder if it originally had the same kind of dynamic responses as it does with the changes that hve been made. How have the different ones you have owned seemed different? Are they all as, well, crude as mine (loud, rough, requiring a fairly heavy hand and foot on the controls)?
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Old 09-25-2003, 09:03 AM
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I have driven 1.7's, 1.8's, 2.0L fours, and 2 sixes, one stock and one 3.2l.

Any 914 without sways bars is pretty sloppy in the corners including the stock six.
Stock sways improve the street and AX experience. Aftermarket sways, springs and shocks turn a stock car into a little gokart!

Engine wise the early 1.7's are fun and have decent power.
1.8's I have driven couldn't get out of their own way.
All 2.0l have good power and are a blast to drive especially if they have sway, spring, and shock upgrades.

The stock six was fun but no rocket. The 3.2L six car was built for the track and a rocket ship. With the upgrades this car was truely a very fast modern car with race car feel.

Oh, you are leaving alot of performace on the table using that pos hydrocam. They are soo mild for buses. Get a decent cam to wake up that motor if you are using carbs. You won't believe the difference!

Geoff

BTW-I hate KYB shocks so get some Bilsteins or Konis!!
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Last edited by Bleyseng; 09-25-2003 at 09:26 AM..
Old 09-25-2003, 09:23 AM
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I've owned two, and driven a whooooooole bunch more.

In absolutely stock form, the 914 is primitive and reasonably civilized. I was reminded of this recently when I got to drive EJM's bone-stock (even to skinny 165-width tires!) 76 2.0 car. It was fairly comfortable over the bumpy stuff, but responded well to control inputs. The limits were not that awfully high, but the car behaved very well when it got to those limits.

I remember my old 1.8 being pretty similar, after the alignment was corrected.

My 2.0, when I bought it, was also bone-stock. It did have the stock sway bars F&R, and 195-width tires. It handled much better than the 1.8 did, as well as having more get-up-and-go. It was louder, though (my mechanic said "a well blown-out stock muffler"), and less comfortable.

Now--or rather, last time it ran--it was pretty hard-suspended for street driving. Acceptable, certainly, but not as comfy as EJM's. The limits were a whole lot higher, though. It's also got a bit more "oomph" than stock, mostly due to the Bursch muffler on it. Which is even louder than the blown-out stock muffler. Quiet it ain't.

A 914-6 drives a lot like a 914, except that it will accelerate and it will brake. Even the stock 110 HP 2.0 T-spec original Six motor will propel the car with more gusto than the 2.0 Type IV will. It also sounds worlds better. (And having the 911 "M" brakes up front helps as well.) More-advanced 914-6es start getting pretty incredible pretty quickly. The 993 VarioRam-equipped Six I've driven was absolutely unbelievable.

The 911 doesn't drive that differently from a 914-6, but you can feel the extra weight in the car. It also does have a tendency to "poke its hips out" from time to time, and is easier to hang the tail out when you are incautious.

But all in all, it's not all that different!

--DD
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Old 09-25-2003, 09:27 AM
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SGB,
Just sent you an email.
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Old 09-25-2003, 12:42 PM
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Thanks for the descriptive answers guys! Geoff, I am pretty satisfied with the webcam. I rarely adjusted valves on schedule, and now I'm guilt and paranoia free about that. The initial torque is strong, and it will wind past redline (actually waaay past, that was a scarey miss-shift). It is strongest at 3100 rpm, pulls untill about 4250, then comes on again about 4900 and want to run up to 6k really fast. I am pretty sure from the sound that it is related to carb synchronization. I mess with that pretty much, moving the "sweet spot" where they are really flowing together around in the rev range. I guess that wouldn't be an issue with FI. Does the FI have a pretty flat torque curve (in a stock motor)? So the 914 screwed together in Zuffenhausen wasn't any tighter than the Karmann ones? The 911 I have driven seemed more solid- like the BMW and SAAB I have owned. It may just be the mass.
I tried to hit a happy medium with my car. Do most folks go all out for ultimate handling? I guess that would be capitalizing on the car's virtues, but I have to drive on Alabama streets if I'm gonna drive it at all, so I didn't want to make the car into a bone crusher (I did that with a previous car, too- ruined my perfect little '73 2600 Capri. That suspension was so hard it started shaking parts loose). Does the BMW brake upgrade get close to 914 6 behavior. I haven't done that one yet.
Whats the beef with KYB? Should I go back to Bilstien? Konis are too $. OK, I'm just rambling now. Maybe someone else will chime in...
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Old 09-25-2003, 01:08 PM
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KYB or Kill Your Back shocks are cheap and have crappie valving. Go to Bilstiens or even Boge's.
The 914/6 were finished alittle nicer and had a few more goodies besides the 911T engine.

I like the BMW 320i front calipers, they added stopping power.

Good shocks (Konis or Bilstiens), 19mm front sway, 19mm front Tbars, and 140 rear springs make for a nice upgrade for a bumpy street or AX machine. 195x60 Series tires are a nice fit with that suspension set up.

Upgrading your suspension should include new front and rear bushings. You would not believe how bad 30 yr old rubber bushings can be. With all these new parts your 914 will be very tight and handle like a gokart.

Geoff
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Old 09-25-2003, 04:06 PM
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Well My car when I bought it was basicly a stock POC 914 with a 2.0 engine transplant.

Since I bought it, I have done the following plus a bunch.

Upgraded to 5 lug, including vented brakes front and rear, and 911 A calipers up front.
5 lug fuch's with 225's front and back, Fenders "custom" flared by myself to accomidate.
Koni's up front with no names in back. I think 140 springs in back.
Factory sway bar.
Momo steering wheel, and 5 point simpson harnesses.
Freshened engine (working on it right now, doesnt run right)
Replaced battery tray
Lowered
Thats about all I can think of..

It handles very nice, very smooth and responsive. I wont talk about the engine because its not running right.

You asked, so I answered!
Old 09-26-2003, 04:54 PM
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