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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey everyone!

I recently purchased this 2009 Cayman S with the 6 speed manual off BAT. I haven't actually picked up the car yet (will do later this week) but I am already digging through the forums here looking for the information I need, and so far it has been very helpful. This thread I'm using to document what I'm going through with my car, as well as clarifying anything I'm still unsure about. For now, my plan for the car is to take it to open track days here in California and start building up my experience on the track. Over time (when budget allows) I'll modify the car to suit this purpose. I also plan on using it for weekend driving, still, so currently I'm not considering stripping it out and going full bore with it.

Right now, I'm compiling the "bare minimum" that I need to do to the car to make it reliable and usable at the track, including maintenance and mods.

This car has ~70K miles on it, and has supposedly been serviced based on the recommended Porsche intervals. The 60K maintenance was completed, and it has has a new OEM clutch as well. Based on this, it seems to me that the main maintenance item I want to take care of prior to taking it to the track is doing a transmission fluid change. As with everything, there seems to be a lot of back and forth on what fluid to use - I'm still trying to decide between the main 3 people suggest, Redline 75W-90NS, Mobil 1 Delvac 75W-90, and OEM fluid. Since I plan on using this car primarily for the track, I'm looking for the fluid that will best protect under heavy loads and heat, even if it means forgoing easier shifting when cold. Input welcome on this one.

Are the water pumps a concern on the 9A1? Any other maintenance items I missed or things I should check?

Onto the modifications - as I'm sure you all know, the consensus is that the LCAs are the first thing that need to be done to be able to setup proper track suspension geometry. I've been looking into pricing out the 996 GT3 LCAs (99634112190 and 99634112290), but it seems like the inner pieces (99634144190) are way more expensive than they used to be ($250+ ea). If I go this route it seems like getting a monoball inner is the way to go. Also looking into the aftermarket LCAs like the ones from RSS and Tarett. Seems like 20mm worth of spacers (including the litronic bracket spacer) is what I'll need. If anyone has a hookup on pricing, let me know.

Now, for brakes. Everyone seems to go with the GT3 front brake duct swap, so I'm going to grab those (99734148492 and 99734148392). I'll be doing a full flush with a high-temp fluid, and when I get the car I'll inspect the rotors to see if they have enough life left and not too much stress cracking. Brake pad choice is another one where there is no consensus (unsuprisingly) but it seems the two common choices are from PFC and Pagid. I also see a split in people that swap pads for track days, some say you'll lose performance doing that, some say it's just fine. Looking for your input and experience on this one.

I plan on trying to find a second set of 987 S 18" wheels so I can run some stickier tires and swap back to the PS4S on the street. If anyone has some at a reasonable price (especially if you're local, Northern California) let me know. Or if someone is selling any of the below items feel free to reach out.


Mod list update 6/4/19


Maintenance:
Transmission Fluid - Redline 75W-90NS
Coolant Flush - Pentosin Pentofrost++

Completed Mods:
Short Shifter
Numeric Shifter Cable

Essential Mods:
RSS front LCAs - Purchased
Track alignment post LCA install - recommendations on specs?
High Temp Brake Fluid
Brake Pads - PFC? Pagid? Other?
GT3 Brake Ducts

Mod wishlist short-term:
Second set of 18" S take-offs - Purchased
Track Tires - NT01?
Third Radiator
Replacement motor mount/FF insert

Mod wishlist long-term:
Ohlins R&T Coilovers - Purchased
Front/rear swaybars + drop links - Tarett, ?
Front/Rear toe links
Rear Brake Ducts?
GT3 Master Cyl
Technoversions brace
Rear LCAs
Other bushing/mount replacements?
Track headers, exhaust
Tune


Let me know if I missed anything you think is essential Otherwise, input is welcome on anything, including recommendations on future mods, brands, etc. Hope to see a few of you out there on the track!
 

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If I recall Apex1 threads that rear toe links are necessary as well as you adjust camber and track. I think that if you are making LCAs as your priority purchase, you should add the drop links and rear toe links to that list.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
If I recall Apex1 threads that rear toe links are necessary as well as you adjust camber and track. I think that if you are making LCAs as your priority purchase, you should add the drop links and rear toe links to that list.
Interesting. I'd want the rear toe links even if I'm not running aftermarket rear LCAs? I'll do some more searching. If you come across any of those threads feel free to link them.
 

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I would move the 3rd radiator to the top of the list for a track car. I am doing the same thing to a 987.2S for NASA TT4 and SCCA TT S3.

Peter
 

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I would agree that you will need a 3rd radiator and a older GT3 or 997 oil/water heat exchanger. These items will reduce you engine oil temperatures, The picture is from CSF web site who makes after market racing radiators. The center radiator in the picture is a GT3 997 radiator. The GT3 oil/water heat exchanger has over double the capacity of a 987.2 exchanger. I would recommend GT2 brake ducts in front, rather an GT3's. You might source a set of Numeric Racing shifter cables, as our OEM cables often break just before the transmission without warning.
 

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Hey everyone!

Maintenance:
Transmission Fluid - Redline 75W-90NS, Mobil 1 Delvac 75W-90, OEM?
Coolant Flush

Essential Mods:
Front LCAs - OEM or Aftermarket
Track alignment post LCA install - recommendations on specs?
High Temp Brake Fluid
Brake Pads - PFC? Pagid? Other?
GT3 Brake Ducts

Mod wishlist short-term:
Second set of 18" S take-offs
Track Tires - NT01?

Mod wishlist long-term:
Third Radiator
Rear Brake Ducts?
GT3 Master Cyl
Short Shifter
Front/rear swaybars + drop links - Tarett, ?
Rear LCAs
Front/Rear toe links
Coilovers - JRZ, Ohlins, ?
Other bushing/mount replacements?
Rear brace?
Track headers, exhaust
Tune


Let me know if I missed anything you think is essential Otherwise, input is welcome on anything, including recommendations on future mods, brands, etc. Hope to see a few of you out there on the track!
Nice purchase, the 987.2 is a great foundation for a track car! I track my '12 Cayman R and have researched and tested a lot of what you are asking about.


Maintenance:
YES: Transmission Fluid - Redline 75W-90NS, Mobil 1 Delvac 75W-90, OEM?
I'd opt for the Redline or the M1; my understanding is that your cold shifting might actually improve with the Redline.
YES: Coolant Flush
I'd change the water pump while you are flushing the fluid.

Essential Mods:
YES: Front LCAs - OEM or Aftermarket.
It is really a personal choice; if you plan to go bonkers on the suspension at some point, you might want to get solid monoball LCAs. For your combined street/track use model, the OEMs GT3 arms might be the best.

YES: Track alignment post LCA install - recommendations on specs?
Max camber possible in front, more in the rear, little bit of toe out.

YES: High Temp Brake Fluid

YES: Brake Pads - PFC? Pagid? Other?
I've tried a lot of pads, the PFCs 08 and the Pagid rs29. Much to my surprise, the PFCs were even louder on the street than the Pagids. I used to swap my stock Cayman R pads with the RS29s without issue and Pagid claims these pads are compatible. I've stopped swapping pads and I am too lazy to keep putting the car up an pulling the wheels -- I do not drive on the street that often, so the squealing is not a huge issue for me.

YES: GT3 Brake Ducts
Easily done.

I'd add the GT3 M/C to the 'Essential Mods' list -- huge improvement in brake pedal feel, essential on the track.
Likewise, I'd also consider the third radiator a must for track duty. Since you are doing a coolant flush, this would be the time to add the radiator.

In my experience, it is really hard to beat NT01s for price/performance and durability. I really enjoy driving on them, nice and predictable.

Cheers,
DJM
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I would move the 3rd radiator to the top of the list for a track car. I am doing the same thing to a 987.2S for NASA TT4 and SCCA TT S3.

Peter
I would agree that you will need a 3rd radiator and a older GT3 or 997 oil/water heat exchanger. These items will reduce you engine oil temperatures, The picture is from CSF web site who makes after market racing radiators. The center radiator in the picture is a GT3 997 radiator. The GT3 oil/water heat exchanger has over double the capacity of a 987.2 exchanger. I would recommend GT2 brake ducts in front, rather an GT3's. You might source a set of Numeric Racing shifter cables, as our OEM cables often break just before the transmission without warning.
Looks like all three of you replying are saying go for the radiator, so I'll be looking definitely shoot for adding one. Going to do some reading on the oil/water heat exchanger, GT2 ducts, and the shifter cables. I had seen some talk of those being a problem.


I'd opt for the Redline or the M1; my understanding is that your cold shifting might actually improve with the Redline.

I'd change the water pump while you are flushing the fluid.

Max camber possible in front, more in the rear, little bit of toe out.

I've tried a lot of pads, the PFCs 08 and the Pagid rs29. Much to my surprise, the PFCs were even louder on the street than the Pagids. I used to swap my stock Cayman R pads with the RS29s without issue and Pagid claims these pads are compatible. I've stopped swapping pads and I am too lazy to keep putting the car up an pulling the wheels -- I do not drive on the street that often, so the squealing is not a huge issue for me.

I'd add the GT3 M/C to the 'Essential Mods' list -- huge improvement in brake pedal feel, essential on the track.
Likewise, I'd also consider the third radiator a must for track duty. Since you are doing a coolant flush, this would be the time to add the radiator.

In my experience, it is really hard to beat NT01s for price/performance and durability. I really enjoy driving on them, nice and predictable.

Thanks for the tips on the fluids and water pump.

MAX camber huh? I was thinking shooting for something like -2.5 to -2.7? I hadn't dug into suggestions for exact alignment specs much yet.

I had read a lot of good about the RS29s. I'm not sure I would actually bother switching them out for street pads, either.

Noted about the master cyl! It's definitelty on the short list.

I've also read a lot of good things about the NT01s, they'll probably be my tires of choice also. Just on the lookout for a cheap set of 18" take offs.
 

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Looks like all three of you replying are saying go for the radiator, so I'll be looking definitely shoot for adding one. Going to do some reading on the oil/water heat exchanger, GT2 ducts, and the shifter cables. I had seen some talk of those being a problem.





Thanks for the tips on the fluids and water pump.

MAX camber huh? I was thinking shooting for something like -2.5 to -2.7? I hadn't dug into suggestions for exact alignment specs much yet.

I had read a lot of good about the RS29s. I'm not sure I would actually bother switching them out for street pads, either.

Noted about the master cyl! It's definitelty on the short list.

I've also read a lot of good things about the NT01s, they'll probably be my tires of choice also. Just on the lookout for a cheap set of 18" take offs.

I am traveling so I do not have access to my alignment specs, but I think -2.5 is about the most you will get with just the LCAs; rear should be an additional .5 of negative camber (approximately).

Someone mentioned the GT3 oil/water heat exchanger; I am unclear if that fits the 987.2. Would be useful to know if this fits our application. I do have an oil/heat exchanger from a 3.8 9A1 motor that has had the power steering cooling circuit removed, reducing the thermal load on the cooling system. This requires a strand alone PS cooler, of course. I've yet to install this, but sourced it from LN Engineering.

WRT the GT3 M/C: look for the OEM version; it is the exact same part are the Porsche labeled box, but much cheaper.

Cheers,
DJM
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hooo boy. I'm struggling here, guys. The slippery slope of parts is too real.

Good news is I scored a set of nice Cayman S 18" wheels for $300 shipped! Bad news is I have no idea what direction to go with my first suspension mods.

I spoke with RSS about getting a set of their front LCAs and I was informed that they are not compatible with stock S suspension (only lowered aftermarket or PASM, etc). I guess the geometry can cause binding. So, I got thrown down the path of looking for coilovers when I really wasn't planning on budgeting for them just yet. I've looked at everything from $800 Godspeeds to JRZ RS Pro and everything in-between. I want to do this right the first time, but I also am not sure I can blow $3000+ on coilovers right now on top of everything else.

Godspeed $800 - Junk but they do work as a stopgap and supposedly don't immediately fall apart. Weird set spring rates that are not ideal. One way adjustable, not rebuildable.

BC $950 -$1500 - Small step up but still not great.

Fortune Auto $1250-1600 - Quite a few fans, still using lots of Taiwanese sourced parts but with USA assembly, support, and engineering. One way adjustable, rebuildable, 5yr warranty, customizable. Comes with front camber plates.

Feal $1300-1800 - Again, more fans (especially import guys). Very similar to FA above, maybe better quality internals.

Bilstein PSS9 $2000 - People on these forums like these a lot. Single way adjustable, no custom spring rates (they're fairly soft compared to the other options).

KW V3 or Ohlins $2800-3000 - Two way adjustable from two reputable brands. Good stuff, just expensive. Ideally, I'd probably get one of these.

eBay Special used set of JRZ RS Pro $3900 - Pipe dream but while I'm justifying spending $500 more, $1000 more, $1500 more maybe it makes the most sense? 700/800lb spring rates though, that's probably overkill for me.


You're all welcome to throw out your opinions though I'd imagine they're not super different to what I've read all over the internet. As far as the budget options go - I am kinda considering going with Feal, I can get a set of their coilovers (400lb/500lb) with swift springs, camber plates, and radial bearings for about $1500. They have good reviews from other vehicles but I have seen nothing about the 987, only a couple other Porsche models. Should I step up to PSS9s, or even V3s? Is it worth the $500-$1500? Two-way adjustability might be something I wish I had down the road. While we're on the conversation of budget, too, the Feals come with camber plates for the front which means I might be able to get by with those and no front LCAs (at least for a while). That's an $1100+ saving...
 

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You paid a good price for an excellant ride, why screw it up with suspenion parts that are suspect to start. How would you feel going 130 mph and a shock barrel failed or some other part that really was not built to withstand the rigor of a Cayman S, when pushed hard. If you want a true system, Ohlins R&T with their DFV internals is an excellant choice to start with. I have had mine for 3 years without an issue. Once you start this process, of tearing apart the f and r suspension for shocks, its a great time to add the LCA's of your choice or camber plates with monoball that rattle after a while. JoshuaJ can give you an excellant deal for both Ohlins and GT3 LCA's with solid thrust bearings and mono bearing on the inside. Just those two parts (Ohlins & GT3 LCA's) are a real good start to an excellant suspenion program.

After the install you will need a competition alignment with corner balance to take advantage of the coilover setup. Your installer/alignment expert hopefully can add the full amount of spacers to the LCA's (20mm) and still give you the toe in in the rear with the drop (lowering) you request. Sometimes adjustable toe links are required in the rear to get the alignment to workout with lowered Caymans. So source these before you have your shop take off all the parts, only to say they need those toe links to complete the job, just a word of warning, could take a couple of days to get the ones you want to the shop. Call or PM Joshua, he can help start the ball rolling.
 

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Good luck with your new car. I'd suggest you start by driving the car as it is, and getting to know it, to establish a baseline before modifying it.

Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
I appreciate the response guys, I'll definitely get back to this and respond appropriately but for now I have an "emergency".

Picked up the car and made it about 20 miles. Entering the freeway I suddenly lost the ability to shift. The shifter moves up and down in the 3-4 slot I believe but doesn't change gears so I'm stuck in one of them. Shifter doesn't move side to side at all.

I'm awaiting a tow now (yay for AAA). The clutch was recently done on the car (and is still working)... Does this sound like a snapped cable? Maybe something wasn't fastened all the way after the clutch job?

Guess I may have to pull it apart to find out. If anyone wants to link relevant DIYs or threads please feel free. 🙂

The 20 miles I did get were pretty glorious though! I already know I'm going to love this car.
 

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Sounds like the shift cables, a known issue. Get yourself some Numeric shift cables. And while you're there get yourself one of their beautiful shifters.
 

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Hyrax- You have two options for shifter cables, Numeric steel cables, which I use along with their short shifter, and the new OEM version of the older cable that stranded you. These cable are different, in their design and feel. The Numeric cables are tough, built to last and do transmit NHV to some degree. They also allow you to feel the detents of the transmission on each shift, which helps downshifting, especially into 1st gear. Numeric does have a sound deading cable tube that you can add for $30.00, which I recommend.
The new Porsche OEM version changes the support of the cable around the transmission to alleviate the sharp bend, there the cable usually breaks. This support needs some technical skills to install, but once that is accomplished you will have a silkly smooth shifter cable that will most likely last the rest of the cars usage. So, your choice as both are about the same price. Silky smooth, harder to install, no tranmission detent feeling or proven steel cables that are designed to last in a racing environment, easier to install, yet do increase the NHV, but can be addressed with cable insulation.
 

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Everyone has a different opinion on *what you need* and often these track build threads become more confusing than clarifying. I will be an outlier here and suggest you find a good local Porsche indy shop to handle your track setup. If they put a lot of cars on the podium, trust their judgement with specific mods and alignment and don't get too hung up on brand names or internet chatter. These guys have been playing this game for a while and know the tracks in your area so they will recommend a mild build that will serve you well. This is what I did with my 987.2 and the car has been bulletproof over 50 track days, regularly running in the advanced instructor group at the pointy end of the time sheet for street cars.

My dual purpose mild build with 3 PCA TT Championships since 2015:

GT3 arms and lowering springs
Fresh Motul 600 brake fluid
Raybestos ST-43 pads or RS-29
Slotted Sebro rotors
GT3 brake ducts
NT-01 or RE-71r tires
Alignment and corner balance, Camber: -2.5*F, -2.0*R
Stock interior, stock motor, stock software
My car is a 2.9L and I don't hit the track during hot summer months. I have not yet need a center rad but a 3.4L generates more heat and definitely needs one.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Everyone has a different opinion on *what you need* and often these track build threads become more confusing than clarifying.
Isn't that the truth! Well, thank you for your opinion and I definitely will keep it in mind.

I did finally get my car on the road a couple of weeks ago. Turns out, installing those Numeric cables with an IPD TB/Plenum is a real nightmare. Apparently, they offer slightly longer ones upon request for that application but I didn't know that in advance. I did get it to work though, ended up removing the TB/Plenum so it could be threaded underneath.

I am headed out on my longest drive in the car over this weekend. Going from Sacramento to Santa Cruz (might head up and over via 9) and then Sunday I'm headed from Santa Cruz out to Oakdale where I think I'll drove up and over Mt. Hamilton. Should give me a chance to stretch its legs a bit!

Going to be keeping an eye out for Memorial Day sales this weekend, if anyone wants to contribute what they find in that regard I may be enticed into some purchasing. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #20
The driving this weekend went great, no issues and this car feels effortless.

I spent a good amount of time clay barring, polishing, and waxing the paint and it looks so much better now. It clearly hadn't been maintained as well as it should have. Still shows its age and mileage but from a few feet you can't tell!

IMG_20190525_073130.jpg

I've ended up ordering Ohlins R&T along with RSS LCAs. I think I'll be offloading my IPD Competition plenum + 84MM TB in the nearish future to help pay for these mods. I'd rather focus on suspension and track mods and I doubt I'm getting much out of the intake without a tune, anyway`. If anyone's interested shoot me a PM.

The only new thing to fix that I've found so far is some clunkiness when shifting or getting on/off the throttle. Seems like maybe the engine/trans mounts may be worn or just too soft. I was reading some threads on upgrades to these earlier and I'll be looking into doing that soon too.
 
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