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Pelican Technical Article:

Personal Touches

Time:

Infinite

Tab:

$1 to $5,000

Talent:

*

Tools:

Unlimited

Applicable Models:

Porsche 911 (1965-89)
Porsche 912 (1965-69)
Porsche 930 Turbo (1976-89)

Parts Required:

Just about everything in the catalog

Hot Tip:

Keep an eye out at swapmeets for cool additions that you can add to your 911.

Performance Gain:

The sky's the limit

Complementary Modification:

Wash your car.
101 Projects for Your Porsche 911

This article is one in a series that have been released in conjunction with Wayne's book, 101 Projects for Your Porsche 911. The book contains 240 pages of full color projects detailing everything from performance mods to changing your brake pads. With more than 650+ full-color glossy photos accompanying extensive step-by-step procedures, this book is required reading in any Porsche 911 owner's collection. See The Official Book Website for more details.

As principle photographer for the internet-based Porsche parts company Pelican Parts, I've had the opportunity to photograph a lot of different modifications that people have done to their 911s over the years. While not all of them improve the looks of the car in my own opinion, it can certainly be said that Porsche owners like to modify their cars more than most people. Whether it's the addition of Turbo flares and body panels or the complete installation of a Chevy V-8 engine, if you can think of it, it's likely that some passionate 911 owner has spent hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars to do it. This Project is designed to give you some ideas for projects for your 911.

In the 1980s, Porsche shipped an anniversary edition of the 911 that had painted wheels that matched the color of the car.
Figure 1

In the 1980s, Porsche shipped an anniversary edition of the 911 that had painted wheels that matched the color of the car. This is a popular modification for all 911s. Painting your wheels to match the color of the car is not a difficult job, and depending on the look of your car, it may improve the appearance significantly.

An uncommon sight is the rear fog lamp.
Figure 2

An uncommon sight is the rear fog lamp. This fog lamp was only sold on European cars. The addition of the rear fog lamp adds a unique European look to the car. The car in this picture is somewhat of a mismatch: the rear bumper guards are the larger USA type, and the rear fog lamp and turn signal lenses are European.

The addition of an original Porsche wooden wheel is almost always a nice touch.
Figure 3

The addition of an original Porsche wooden wheel is almost always a nice touch. Originally shipped as an option on some early 911s and 912s, the wooden wheel stands out as a great addition to an already classy car. The aftermarket Nardi wheels from the 1960s and 70s are also very popular among collectors. Depending upon your style, you may want to change your steering wheel to something increasingly classic, or a style more tuned towards the racing motif.

Perhaps the most popular upgrade to the 911 is the addition of a much a larger horsepower motor.
Figure 4

Perhaps the most popular upgrade to the 911 is the addition of a much a larger horsepower motor. While most owners choose this path, Wayne Sievers decided to reduce the weight of the car with a much smaller engine. He installed a 993cc Geo Metro engine and radiator complete with custom sheet metal and engine mounts into his 1972 911 coupe. The engine uses Mikuni carburetors, a custom-made crankfire ignition unit, and requires no modifications to the chassis of the car. The smaller engine reduces the entire weight of the car down to 2009 lbs, and makes the performance of the car similar to the 912.

In almost an exactly opposite manner to the 993cc motor, here is an example of a Chevy V8 motor installed into a Porsche 911.
Figure 5

In almost an exactly opposite manner to the 993cc motor, here is an example of a Chevy V8 motor installed into a Porsche 911. While often frowned upon by 911 owners, the Chevy engine is a source of good, cheap power, and can create a well-balanced 911 that takes off like a rocket. In this case, the engine was also moved forwards into a mid-engined position, in order to better balance the car. This engine is literally sitting in the back seat of this 911.

Little graphics and decals that were anything but stock can dress up and improve the overall look of your car.
Figure 6

Little graphics and decals that were anything but stock can dress up and improve the overall look of your car. While it may make concours judges cringe, the average Joe on the street will appreciate the creative intent and the improved look. Tom Sharpes of the Orange County PCA (Porsche Club of America) Region came up with this snazzy way to dress up the top of the cooling fan.

On early 911s, a semi-unique addition are the grille-mounted fog lamps.
Figure 7

On early 911s, a semi-unique addition are the grille-mounted fog lamps. These slick looking lamps were an option, and are very hard to find nowadays. However, there are aftermarket reproduction kits available though for those who want to add them to their car. A kit that contains all the parts to perform this conversion costs around $300. Original ones are extremely difficult to find.

One of the most popular styles for the 911 is the RS Replica.
Figure 8

One of the most popular styles for the 911 is the RS Replica. The 1973 911RS is one of the most sought after and most replicated cars around. The conversions can range from the simple addition of the fiberglass bodywork and famous lettering to the more complex task of installing an 2.7 RS-spec engine. Either way, replicating the look of the 911RS is a very popular project for early 911 owners.

White gauge faces are another neat option for giving your interior a more unique look.
Figure 9

White gauge faces are another neat option for giving your interior a more unique look. The faces can be installed by painstakingly removing each front glass from all of the gauges. Replacement of the faces usually requires that you have your tachometer and speedometer recalibrated.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Mike Comments: I own a 1978 porsche 911sc and recently did some upgrades. I replaced the stock exhaust system with a SSI pre-75 exhangers and danske stainless muffler single outlet sound great. The technician removed the air pump/smog pump assembly and capped off openning at block. Car runs great but I noticed the RPM's seemed to drop across the board. Cold start process rpm seems lower and after driving/coming to a stop rpm is 600-700 or so. It's not until engine meets proper operating temperature that the idle comes up to where is should be 800-900 for so. Once warmed up properly idle seems good. Could this exhaust conversion/removal of air pump have anything to do with this condition. Thanks for any feedback.
March 14, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Depending on the exhaust design you could have different back pressure changing your rpm limit a more restricted exhaust will give better mid-range power but lower top end. A more open exhaust will give more top end power but mid-range torque will suffer. This should not have much of an effect on your idle speed - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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