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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: augusta, ga.
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V8 conversion....finished.....driving impressions

First, I'd like to thank all who have answered my questions during this project. Without this forum and the recently shutdown porschev site, it would not have happened. Pelicans tech articles have also been a great source of info during this process.

My conversion started about 6 months ago when the 2.0L engine in my '73 started knocking. I had plans of doing a v8 conversion when the car was purchased but wanted to drive the 4 a bit longer while putting the v8 and necessary conversion parts together. The knocking 4 changed my game plan and 3 months of driving the car after a 20 year absence from Porsche's just started to feel good again. I spent months researching v8 conversions and exchanged information from many who have been down this road.

My impressions:

I've put about 1000 miles of local, short trip driving on my car with only one problem. CV bolts loosened after about 100 miles but I was warned to watch for this and caught it before causing any damage. Frequent checks of cv bolts have not revealed any reoccurance of problem.

The installation of conversion kit (Renegade) was very straight forward and went in with no surprised. I sweated potential problems (leaks, overheating, clutch problems, bad handling, starting issues when hot etc.) but have not had a single problem to date other than the cv bolts mentioned earlier. My kit consisted of just about every option available from Renegade and no shortcuts were taken or deviation from their recommendations or instructions. Their radiator/fan setup works flawlessly and comes fully assembled out of the box. I also used their high performance cv alxes, clutch, rear springs, wiring harness and not yet installed a/c-heater.

Engine was custom built by Wild Bill's in Ca.. They were recommended by Renegade and supplied the engine I wanted via a couple of descriptions over the phone. I depended on Bill to take my description and how I was going to use this car to build a reliable high performance power plant that would not rip the guts out of a stock 914 transaxle. It had to sound right.......a little thump at idle but something that would work in a air conditioned car. It also had to have good street manners.......not wanting to cut off at stops, in traffic and not a PITA while cruising at slow speed. It has performed flawlessly. Specs. are 390HP, aluminum heads, intake, valve covers, oil pan and front cover. 600 holley was bench flowed by Bill and required no adjustments to date. Engine was purchased 100% complete, top to bottom and required no adjustments after starting. I may play with timing a bit in the future to tweak HP just for kicks. Bill has built many engines for Porsche conversions and other light weight v8 converted cars. I pretty much depended on his past experience with respect to parts compatibility. A job well done here and someone I will use again if ever needing to custom build a v8.

Driving impresssions: Hard to describe having this much power in a 914 but I'll list some of what comes to mind. Prior to conversion, I was running the original 2.0L four that had been rebuilt just 20,000 miles ago that had been switched to 48 dellorto carbs and stock size european p/c's.

-stock 901 (rebuilt 2 years ago) seems to handle power fine. I just don't use first gear as recommended by the conversion gods. I've avoided burning the tires down on take off but do find it easy to get the stock tires loose if any extra throttle is used taking off from a dead stop. I've never been much on roasting the tires on anything I drive and feel the stock trans. should work fine as long as it is driven with common sence. Engine rpm (stock gearing) is 3000 at 72 mph with 165x65x15 tires and it feels like I could use another gear for highway cruising. 90-100 mph in top gear puts engine at about 4000 rpm. I've seen 135 on one short run down the highway but did not happen to check rpm. I'll reframe from those speeds until installation of 5 lug conversion, new front struts and more rubber in placed on road.
(stock wheels/tires are posted 4 sale in classifieds)

I had invisioned a really loud sound to be heard in passenger cabin with a v8 right behind my head. This is not the case. Engine is supplied with headers but uses quiet Dynomax turbo mufflers. Carrying on a conversion in car while crusing down the highway is basically the same as with the 4 cylinder. I removed factory engine bay insulation during stock engine removal as well as rubber passenger cabin mat. I'll not replace the engine bay insulation but might install the rubber piece just to get it out from under my bed

You must pay more attention to your driving with the additional power. Changing lanes while using the extra power requires a recalibration of how fast cars are passed and how quick the distance between you and the car in front of you closes up. On several occasions, I've had to make pretty sharp steering inputs to avoid making fender contact.

I find it hard to do the posted speed limit on highways. Car seems to really like 70-90 mph and is really smooth there.
Having the extra power, I for some strange reason always want to be the guy leading the pack. Maybe it's because I can. Who knows, but I feel that it will take a ticket of two to change my driving style. Maybe it's because my daily ride weighs in at about 5500 lbs., is underpowered and doesn't make for a good lane changer (spelled ford expedition).

I know many out there hate v8's in porsche's but it is something I have always wanted to do. It has satisfied my itch to have a hot rod engine in a car that really handles. It has been a pleasure to get back in to turning wrenches after a 20 year absence and the 914 is a car I really enjoy working on. I've still got much to do.........paint, suspension upgrades, heat-a/c and interior.

Once again, thanks to all that have responded to my pleas for help.

John
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'73 914
(Renegade V8 conversion)
Old 09-28-2002, 10:24 AM
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165 X 65s?..........Oh my, that *must* be exciting.

Congrats on your progress. I find the term "stage of completion"
more accurate than "finished" when describing a 914 hot rod.
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Old 09-28-2002, 10:45 AM
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Congratulations....I've just purchased a '74 and I also plan on installing a v8, eventually...
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Rob Watson
Red '74 2.0l
Old 09-28-2002, 06:12 PM
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Congrats on the project.

Though not a big fan of V8s (I wish I had that HP in a flat 6 ), the main thing is that it seems that the car is well taken care of and you have done the coversion well.

I like the 4 lug look and the 165s, gives it a sleeper touch. :d
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Old 09-28-2002, 06:32 PM
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Mike Ginter
 
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Very nice. Congrats
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Old 09-28-2002, 06:39 PM
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I cant beleive "YOU" did this to a 914. You should have your head examined. People like YOU give 914's a bad name. How dare you enjoy a car with something other than a 4 or 6. You should be ashamed.

I highly suggest people stay away from this person. He is mean and has NO feelings for our little cars.



Just practicing.


B

Last edited by Brad Roberts; 09-28-2002 at 09:17 PM..
Old 09-28-2002, 08:04 PM
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He is just the type of person to trade his Ford V8 SUV for a Porsche V8 SUV, how unamerican.
Honestly nice looking car, I would like to say job well done.
Craig C. Laughlin CAMP914
Old 09-28-2002, 08:56 PM
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Thanks for the compliments. Not a single bashing? I thought at least a dozen or so would start the flame throwers up. If I didn't know you Brad, I might have have thought differently

Took my sleeper out for a cruise last night with the bride ridding shotgun. She loves the car and the acceleration. Anyway, we were almost back to the 'hood when I spotted what appeared to be a late 50's vette up ahead about a 1/8 mile. Not having the opportunity to street race anyone yet, I figured I'd have a little fun with the vette. I moved up quickly into position and as I got closer it turns out this vette was actually a Cobra. Really nice car, had side pipes and 427 emblems on fender. Not really what I wanted to make my first run against but I was already in position. As we got side by side, those side pipes were making that big block sound. We both added throttle while crusing about 50 mph or so but I couldn't get him to bite. Maybe for the best..........same spot I got a ticket about 3 years ago. Right blinker on, took it on home.

John
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Old 09-29-2002, 03:47 AM
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Good luck........... Like to see more pictures.

You really need to upgrade the Rubber and the brakes soon.

Like JP said you are never finished just a phase of completion
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Old 09-29-2002, 04:04 PM
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I'll be glad to post more pics. Just picked up a digital camera last week and am on a steep learning curve

Most of the pics I've taken are too large for this BBS. I'll take more in the next week and post a few here.

Brakes, wheels/tires and front struts are on the way. I will say though, the stock brakes work fine on a street car if in top condition. I've had no problem stopping my car, even with the added horsepower. I'm sure it would not take repeated 100-0 mph stops without fading but I don't drive it that way.

John
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Old 09-29-2002, 05:14 PM
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John,

Nice job. The car looks very good and I'm sure the HP is loads of fun.

I strongly agree with the recomendations for a little more tire. A set of 195/65 or 205/60 (which I have and like) will make a major difference in the handling and stability. This should help your lane changing problem. Plus if you want to maintain a stock look these don't affect it too much.

Have fun,
Mike
Old 09-30-2002, 04:59 AM
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John,

I know the plan is to go 5 lug, but you could buy some tires right now if you wanted a smoking deal.

Tirerack.com has Yokohama AVS intermediates on sale right now for 37$ apeice. If you decided to run a 15X6 911 Fuch alloy.. these would fit on them with no problems. They are very sticky for a cheap street tire and seam to last quite awhile also.

Oh BTW: 205/60/15 will fit OK on your 914 Fuch, and fit nicely on the 15X6 911 Fuch alloy.

B
Old 09-30-2002, 10:40 AM
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My wheel/tire upgrade will consist of 5 lug Fuchs.....6x16 and 7x16. I have not nailed down tire size yet but do want to avoid anything more than rolling rear lips for clearance.

The look I'm after is similar what Rich Johnson is running on his yellow 914 but without shortening the rear trailing arms. Might have to use a shorter tire with the 7's in rear but will just have to wait and see how things go during the conversion as I don't know if I've got one of the fat or skinny 914s.

I also like the look of Criag Laughin's yellow 914 with the 911 fuchs (7x16 front and rear if I remember correctly) and 205/45/16s.

Thanks for the tip on tires Brad but my upgrades should arrive in a few weeks. Thinking hard about just parking my ride and taking things apart vs. putting myself or car in another bad situation.

John
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Old 09-30-2002, 02:24 PM
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John,

just a FYI. You need to install Ny-lock style nuts on the end cover of your tranny. The factory nuts are torqued too something stupid like 10ft lbs. Anything over a 3.0 will cause these nuts too loosen up over time if you dont run Ny-locks. Even after that, you should check the torque on them every few months.

I love when somebody does a nice conversion (its rare)

B
Old 09-30-2002, 02:28 PM
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Brad,

Anything special to ask for when purchasing nylocks? What about a lockwasher? Torque still at 10lbs.?
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Old 09-30-2002, 02:45 PM
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Its just use a M8 Nylon lock nut. I still use the flat style wave washer behind it. I'll get you exact specs on the nuts when I get down to the PA shop this evening. I torque them to 15lb feet. You have to be careful not too put too much stress on the tranny case studs.

WOW John. I was applauding earlier... give us all the pics of this car.

Oh.. the 7's fit without narrowing the control arms. RJ was just experimenting with his to see if he could get more under his car.

B
Old 09-30-2002, 02:57 PM
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Question

Nice work! Looks good.

Question:
What's the V8 crowd's thoughts on cutting out big holes in the front fenders? I don't get it... I've seen a lot of cars like this, but it seems like that metal has got to be structural to help hold the A-arms solid. Does Renegade say otherwise?

Just curious... I'm happy with my -6 for now. (next step will be a turbo or two)

-Steve
Old 09-30-2002, 03:18 PM
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There are a couple of ways to exhaust the air from radiator. I've seen it go out top of hood, bottom of trunk and as you see on my car. The folks at Renegade use the method you see on my car and don't have a issue with structual weakness. I believe there have been enough of them built to discount this method as a area of concern.

Just picked up this $200 sony camera a couple of weeks ago and thought I'd share my efforts. I know zipola about computers and have not read the instructions yet. Also read where people have problems posting pics. It's pretty self explanitory.......you'll be notified if your pics are too large........a mistake I made early on and my camera is setup to dial in a smaller (email size) format that loads just fine here.
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Old 09-30-2002, 03:45 PM
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Old 09-30-2002, 03:48 PM
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Old 09-30-2002, 03:49 PM
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