Sep 19, 2018

Why the hell would anyone buy a 996? The loophole explained.



Because it’s a genius, that’s why.   A $100,000 car for the price of a new Accord is the definition of a loophole people!  Naturally it’s controversial, but that is why its so genius.  
40th Anniversary Edition is Porsche's successful attempt to make something special.
Faster than the Carrera S or 4S, this narrow car is the “40 Jahre 911” (#1008 of 1963)  
Still quite attainable, the 40 Jahre will catch on like every other special P-Car does. 

Oh I've heard them, bitching about water cooling, IMS, RMS, headlights etc.  Change is never easy, but I've gotten my head out of my ass and bought one.  I can hear them now.

“Hey Mark, how the hell did Adam get back into the car club?”
“He bought a 996, so we had to let him in, technically it is a Carrera.”

In addition to fancy badges, the 40 Jahre had a very fancy X51 performance engine, fancy suspension,
fancy painted interior trim, fancy colored leather, fancy alcantara headliner, fancy paint from the Carrera GT, 
fancy turbo front bumper and fancy wheels.  Fancy fancy fancy.



Engineering flaws have drug the prices down, much further than the real risk.

The 996 wasn’t developed directly from racing as earlier cars were.  That showed in engine reliability which people rightfully fear.  If you want details tough, I can’t share because its bad luck to speak or write about.  Short version:  Bearings and cylinders should not fail, and when they do it aint cheap.  If one understands the risks going into a purchase he/she can get one hell of an automobile for his dollar.  Understanding the risks means reading all the shitty blogs (like his one) and having a plan, not just crossing your fingers.

These risks are real and would keep any car guy up at night.  Shop for cars that have the scariest issues already mitigated or budget to mitigate them yourself.  But don't fear everything,  the internet and paranoia has made people a little nutty here.  Each situation is more unique than you might think, so get some guidance on the car in question and pay for that advice.  Meaning, free advise is worth what you paid for it.  If the issues still keep you up at night buy a warranty, get a Kia Stinger or just take Ambien like I will. 

I’ve personally forgiven Porsche for the unreliability of the past 20 years   That’s not to say I feel the 996 is equal to its predecessors; it isn’t.  Frankly, those incredible predecessors are gone for me, so   I've stopped looking back at cars with crappy a/c and scary handling.  Look forward at the $12-30,000 Carreras on Craigslist right now. The time to strike is last year.   Oh, and dare I say it....

These cars are also superior to their predecessors in many ways too.   Let the hate mail begin.
Clearly visible here the 40 Jahre has no 996 cylinder issues due to the enhancement of the X51 package.  
For those unfamiliar with Carreras: the engine is between the luggage and the spare. 
IMS and RMS issues inherent to 996's have been addressed on this one..  
Lastly,  the Porsche Anniversary luggage set makes me feel fancy inside.  



The available body colored hard back sport seats are NOT ugly?  They are however, uncomfortable.

They are ugly and like strippers, ugly does not fetch top dollar.

True, but they’re only ugly because they’re so unattractive.   Those headlights suck and Porsche back pedaled with the 997's design due to the outcry. That back pedaling sealed the 996's fate as the ugliest Carrera in history. Now that hideousness can be your savior in the form of savings.    For me, I wear bifocals now, so who really cares?

The ugliest Carrera ever made is not necessarily the ugliest sports car ever made. At the end of the day it is still a freaking Porsche and it’s a spectacular sports car.  Just park far from the 993's at Cars and Coffee.



Truthfully, I think the headlights are actually attractive, just different.  Relax, it's just a f#!king headlight, not a nose-ring.

Speaking of ugly,  why didn't Porsche upgrade the brakes to fill out behind the wheel better? 
Stay tuned for my plan.

They are middle aged, and nobody likes that.  Not even middle aged people

These have hit the bottom of their market.  Couple that w/a bottom that is lower than warranted due to hideousness and unreliability and you get you end up with the loophole of which I'm speaking.  You have got to know the shittiest Porsche is still one of the coolest cars in the world.  People are paying $30,000 for VW powered 914's for crying out loud!  I’m not going to build a chart for you because I've lost my crayons, but wouldn’t your rather own a Carrera?  

Here’s how to look at it to fully embrace my genius.  Stop comparing  996's to older and newer Carreras and compare them to sports cars you can afford.  Which do you want?  Can you mitigate the risks to your satisfaction? Do you have sleeping pills?  If you buy carefully, and plan ahead for the unexpected you can drive an amazing car and we can then be friends, because you'll be cool like me.    

996 40 Jahre rear badge is unique, as are the body colored rear bumpers.
I
In this world of over sensitivity, I''ll clarify for the sarcasm-challenged.  I think the car is magnificent looking.  It is a tremendous automobile,  to drive it is a pure joy, especially when driving fast.  My son fits in the back and spending time together w/him in the 996 will be some of the happiest moments I've had in a while.

Quality information instead of smart ass remarks can be found at  The 40 Jahre Story

Apr 2, 2018

Doubling Down




Spending like an idiot is the true path to sports car bliss. I like this car so I'm doubling down, like any clueless jackass would do in my situation. Then I will reach the promise land.

The M3/4/5 is esoteric slang for the M3, 4 door, 5 speed.   Not rare but not
 terribly common either; many have been totaled, worn out, or converted
to race cars due to the fantastic handling, and stiffer sedan body pillars.
 
I like it as much as my previous Carrera (no I don't). Doubling down on everything on an old M3 costs about as much as a shift knob for a Porsche.  Of course the Porsche was cooler, but the M3 is an old rock star that still has what it takes.  I could name rock stars now, but don't want to be judged.

More importantly you should follow me and do the same.  Let's be stupid together; I'll be your leader


Here's how you get started,  you find this online, then say to yourself  "I'll buy this 
rather than some newer car with a big payment plan.  I'm so conservative and wise."  
These cars are at the bottom of their market, for the moment.  They won't go lower.

Start by explaining to yourself that buying a new is easily $60 - 80,0000 so you've saved your family a fortune.  Ignore that little voice saying  "new cars are faster and have a warranty", that's pride f**in' wit ya. F** pridePride only hurts, it never helps.  This as an extra car for that 3rd bay in your garage.  You know the one with the recycling, and your artificial xmas tree parked in it.   Your minivan can be the "safe" purchase, lets take some risks and get a AAA card. 
Dirty fingernails are a badge of honor.  Wear them with pride (or paint them)
Bargains are bargains because you  can do the work,  not because there isn't work. 
Go get a Toyota Camry S or get a better job if you don't want to get your hands dirty.
The internet will help you justify your decision,  you can trust the internet.


Unfortunately I'm still paying for the stupidity of my past,  so actually
this should be a photo of a dude rolling coins instead of throwing bills
The truth is out there.  Just read between the lines in magazines.  They'll confirm what you know in your heart; that newer cars stink.  Trust your feelings, give in to your hate.
1. Electric steering systems falsely struggle to feel like the E36 M3
2. Magnetic ride suspension is cool, but must suck somehow. 
3. Big Brakes on production cars are cool, but too automated. You loose light braking feel.  
3. New cars are massive, full of cameras, sensors, airbags, and HEPA filters
4. Wheelbases keep increasing but mountain roads aren't changing at all.
5. Speakers to create a fake auditory exhaust experience. WTF? 
6. Don't get me started on automatics with paddle shifters.
7. They are faster, Oh wait, that's a good thing.  Just focus on the first 6 points. 
   
Suspension,  Okay, so that new car magnetic ride shit is amazing. Don't be so concerned about speed bumps or spilling that Starbucks.  The sporty feel of Dinan KONI Springs Shocks and Stabilizers reminds you you're driving a damn sports car, even at slow speeds. It's nothing to be ashamed of so let your freak flag fly.    
Dinan's yellow and blue crap makes me feel good inside.
Rest assured, you'll never get your money back for these
You look cool upside down on track day with all that yellow and blue.  If you need a car that turns into another car at 145mph, then you are not looking for a bargain sport sedan, you are looking for a race car.   Buy one, and get off my blog.  (and take me with you)
This is what a proper sporty exhaust look like.
 No wires no solenoids; no moving parts at all.
You may need more Speed.    It's hard to compete with the power modern cars are putting down.  Supercharging can get you back in the game a little. Don't be affraid, everybody's doing it.  But boost is like heroin, so keep it moderate and let those Kia Stingers pass if they are tailgating you. 
 Much more power and actually probably devalues the car.
Now we've hit the trifecta of stupidity.  Don't you just love it?
If you want to see it installed then send money.

Speed yes, but restrain yourself.  Nobody is fast if on the back of a flatbed.  Know your old motor's limitations. I have spent a few years and beers watching the Dyno at Blood Enterprises devour a car or two.  Unless building a motor for supercharging, be conservative as hell.  I'll be setting boost to 6-psi to match what Dinan offered and warranteed back in the 90's.   Everyone will tell you to do more boost, you can always do more. It might even hold up,  but it might not. Those guys aren't going to replace your head gasket are they?  If you are cheap, broke, or just plain uninspired then keep to this mantra: "Keep it simple stupid"


Note Ken's aftercooler, a must have upgrade for heat reduction.
Secret confession:  Boost is negated quite a bit at CO elevation, 
 those internet folks aren't that crazy, but I drive to Seattle often. 
You know all you really want is to open your hood at Cars and Coffees, Caffeine and Gasoline, or Douchebags and Donuts. 
Just keep telling yourself that new cars suck.  Any Autozone employee will tell you,  most new car developments are not for enthusiasts despite what the magazines say.  They are for the transportation safety board and Starbucks compatibility.


Add caption
You are a now a genius? You are going to be the envy of every drive through liquor store attendant in town.  Once you've got $20-30,000 spent on your $10,000 BMW, you are set.  You have improved your ride, AND assured it will never be feasible to sell. Congrats, and you're welcome 



But wait, there's more.

Doubling Down is an ongoing process.  There is more you will need to make your M3 special.
Future stupidity for me lies below.
These serve no purpose other than looking unique.  I want em.
Red or Blue colored Motorsports belts can be purchased various places online.
With an M3 sedan it's nice to bring back some sporty things to prove you are cool
Brakes are not something you need on an old M3 but they're certainly trendy.
When I buy some I'll paint them to look OEM-ish and match my seat belts too.

Over $3000 a set, Dinan/Fikses are the epitome of stupid.
That essentially guarantees I will eventually have them.  



This blog is brought to you by envy.  
Today my envy is primarily pointed at the new GT350 and GT360R,   Thanks for the inspiration
   




   

  











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Jan 22, 2018

and so it begins.

I have  an  obsession with the original Dinan Supercharger. With all it's shortcomings, I "need" it because it was the ultimate factory option in the 90's.  Authorized dealers would install these, then Dinan insured them to maintain the factory warranty.  


Below explains where I 'm headed with my M3,  but with less carbon fiber.





Okay,  almost a factory option;  you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view. 

I'm obsessed with that stupid little "D" or this would be much easier
More than one company offers nice intercooled systems for the E36
Dinan offered quite a nice package, who could resist?
  1. a sexy proprietary mount w/a pretty "D" engraved into it.
  2. a hideous aluminum finish in an all black engine compartment
  3. unappealing hoses and clamps probably sourced from Lowe's
  4. No cooling at all, to assure the system fell short of it's potential
Why the hell would I want this shit?  I'm still asking myself this question.   Probably for the same reason people like the Maserati Biturbo, the Taurus SHO or any 80's Jaguar. Because it's cool, cool always trumps smart or prudent.

So like a bad relationship, I'm hooked on this old Dinan shit. What to do?
I'll tell you what I'll do: find it, Paint it, get cooler clamps and hoses, then address the big issue....
cool down the damn intake charge that's what!   


That cooling issue is now a 20 year old problem, so it's not a problem.  Enter the RMS cooler, ideal for Dinan's setup.   An after-cooler system,  it's a heat exchanger using a water pump between two radiators.   This "after-cooling" is easier to plumb because of the smaller hoses carrying water instead of air.  Thereby fixing the inherent problem with Dinan's  setup and less hideous than a air "intercooler" that is more common.

Why cool down the intake charge?  I'll explain here.

Actually no I won't explain, I'm not your high school physics teacher,  so go look up a YouTube video on why compressed air is hot.  Then watch another video on what detonation and heat soak are.  They are the work of the Dark Side,  of that I am sure. 
Now this is a sexy appearing setup!  If only VF offered an intercooler.
They claim they don't need one. You need one unless you live in Alaska
In the true spirit of my lazy-ass I have crowd sourced my plan and entirely.  I relied on all this information from Facebook forum I founded,  M3/4/5 Group   Yes, I could have found answers and products on any existing forums, but that is too hard.  I simply waited for my team of twenty  legion* of unwitting minions to offer me a solution.   I am an evil genius, I know.

It wasn't long before the exact Frankenstein setup I "need" was located just a hour away. Clearly parts availability is one major upside of the E36.  Originally a Dinan setup, then later enhanced with the RMS after-cooler mentioned above, this was perfect.  I was able to swap, negotiate and then sell some plasma to work out a deal.  It's possible I killed a man too, but It's all quite foggy now.

all kidding aside, the products above I found are quite good,
but there's always more to do when you want to do it right.


Now if you think the next step is installation, you are as stupid as I was 48 hrs ago.  Every single part should be assessed and refurbished if you are as uptight as I am.    I'll give you a hint........

Addendum:  Apparently Dinan actually offered such a setup as the one above (10psi, w/RMS cooling) as an unadvertised option.  I cannot say this is one of those setups or simply an attempt to copy it.   Either way I'm quite happy.


The name of my next blog is "There is no such thing as a free lunch"



* it's possible it was legion of one.  :)  Thanks Vic D.  I owe you one.