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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, new member here. I don't currently own a Porsche but am planning to purchase one in 3 to 6 months. I've decided on a used cayman. After reading about the 100hp gains made possible with the TPC LP turbo kit, I'm thinking that, combined with an inexpensive used low miles cayman would be the best performance per dollar out there.. In theory. My question is which model year, and to S or not to S? I'm not planning to do any track driving, I'll leave that to my sport bike. Planned use is as a second car to get more enjoyment when I have to drive around for work as well as spirited excursions up and down the local mountain passes. I live in Reno, NV which is at 4500', and tahoe gets up to 6300' real quick. I can tell you that altitude has a major effect on my bike, and I'm sure the cayman will be the same. Hence my interest in the turbo. So one school of thought I have is to get a 2006 cayman Base. Those can be had for the low 20's, add the kit and I'll be in this under 30k. I have read somewhere that the 2009 and newer engines are better suited to a turbo addition, but I don't recall the reasoning. I've also read that the tiptronic causes some extra hassle with the install so will plan to stay away from that. For another 5k I should be able to get a similar S model. As a final thought, how reversible is the turbo install? I'm thinking I will do the bolt on myself, but I have not fully researched this yet. I'm asking this last part to understand if it would be feasible to remove the kit when I sell it in a few years to upgrade. It seems like I would be able to get more return selling the kit separately when the time comes. Anyway, thanks in advance for any wisdom shared.
 

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I would go for the S to get the larger displacement engine. If you'll be tracking, go '09+, if this is a street car save some money and go with an earlier model. TPC recommends some light suspension mods so that you can put all the power down. Good luck and keep us posted on your project!
 

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Welcome!

Lots of interesting questions. Let me take a stab at some of them.

Let me start off with a story of personal experience. Porsche holds an annual week long event called Porsche Parade and last yr it was in Monterey, CA. I drove my 08 CSS there along with my brother in his 88 944T. We stayed in Reno on the 2nd night of our cross country journery. The next morning we drove thru downtown Reno (even saw the famous Reno sign) before hitting the Interstate. We quickly got into the high elevations in CA. I never noticed any downgrade in power in my car based on the elevation. It easily traveled the speed limit + 5 without running out of breath.

All 06 Caymans are S's. The base model was introduced in 07. S's hold their value better. You can get an 07 or 08 base for about the same price as an 06S. Porsche made major engine design changes in 09. The major change was to remove an internal part called the IMS. If you search on IMS you'll find tons of threads on the issue so I'm not going into the details here. 09 was also the introduction of Direct Fuel Injection, which was an improvement vs the prev gen motor. And the final 09 change was with the auto trans. The 09 version is called PDK and is a big improvement over the prev TipTronic. However, in 09 only the S got DFI. It didn't become std on base models until '10 or '11. And if you'll recall, there was something called the Financial Crisis that happened in late summer 08. It had a devistating effect on sports car sales - Porsche Cayman sales dropped 90% in 09 and they still haven't recovered to pre-crisis levels. What this means in today's market is the 09+ Caymans have a more desirable engine and trans and there were very few made, so prices for 09S are about $8K more than an 08S.

Because there were so many engine design changes, I would doubt a TPC turbo for a 987.1 (06-08) would work on the engine in a 987.2 (09-12). They have different ECUs. And I seriously doubt you'd be able to install one without having to totally remove the engine from the vehicle. Not sure if you're set up for that kind of surgery.

Study up before spending your $30-45K. Test drive several - maybe you'll find the stock version has plenty of power for the street. Maybe a '12 R would fit your needs, although it's further upmarket in price. You have lots of options in front of you, take your time and be sure you make an educated decision.
 

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Husker Boxster is mostly correct except that TPC makes different kits for 987.1 and 987.2 cars so just buy the right kit. You also don't need to drop the engine and while some members have installed the turbo themselves, I would recommend a shop that has done the install before if possible, TPC should be able to provide referrals.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I did not know that the 06 did not have a base model. Very helpful to know while shopping! I'm trying to keep my initial investment to 35k. 09 or newer S models are hard to find with low miles under 30k. I guess the major decision is whether to go with the 987.1 or suck it up and pay a little more for a 987.2. The most inexpensive would be a low miles 06. What do you guys think? Is it worth it to drop an extra 5 to 7k to get the newer model?
 

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And when I say I want to do the turbo instal myself, what I really mean is I will be buying a twelve pack and heading over to my buddies shop so I can stand around and drink beer while I watch him work.
 

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And when I say I want to do the turbo instal myself, what I really mean is I will be buying a twelve pack and heading over to my buddies shop so I can stand around and drink beer while I watch him work.
TPC charged me for around 3-1/2 days for labor so you better bring a keg!
 

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I have a 2007 Boxster S with the Stage 2 turbo kit and methanol injection. If you install the turbo kit (or, as recommended above...and I agree...have the turbot kit installed), I would suggest getting the methanol as well; it's not much more expensive, and the two work together really well.

The performance bump is amazing. I suggest you do a bit more due diligence on which year to purchase, but my understanding is that the 987.1 cars work better with the turbo kit because they have separate fuel injectors, which get upgraded with the turbo kit. The 987.2 series cars have direct injection, which I believe (but check me on this) becomes a bit of a constraint on the turbo installation since there's a limit to which injection pressure can be increased. In other words, I think the turbo kits work best with the 987.1 series cars.

My car drives amazingly well. Below 3,000 rpm it behaves like a stock Boxster S. Above 4,000 rmp, the acceleration is night and day. You get the benefit of an old school hydraulic steering mid-engined platform with the acceleration that every Boxster and Cayman deserves. I am on the waiting list for a Cayman GT4, but I keep wondering if I'd really like it better than the car I already have. My Boxster S with the TPC turbo and methanol injection is the favorite car I've ever owned.
 

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Prepare for additional money for ongoing maintenance. I assume you are smart and know perfectly well what you might be getting into. The car cost + kit does not mean that spend ends. The more you mod, the more that may go wrong or need added attention. I'm not saying that you will have issues and I hope you do not - just go in with eyes open. Alot of people mod only to get in very deep - you should have deep pockets, even if it is 'just in case' money that you never spend.
 

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Prepare for additional money for ongoing maintenance. I assume you are smart and know perfectly well what you might be getting into. The car cost + kit does not mean that spend ends. The more you mod, the more that may go wrong or need added attention. I'm not saying that you will have issues and I hope you do not - just go in with eyes open. Alot of people mod only to get in very deep - you should have deep pockets, even if it is 'just in case' money that you never spend.
Monkeyboy
Are you speaking of ongoing maintenance on the turbo install, or just ongoing maintenance on the car in general. I own an 06CS but may possibly buy a CST and wondered if there is anything specific on the turbo itself that has to be maintained?
 

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Putting a turbo into a car without a turbo from factory generally opens up a can of worms. The Cayman has a very packed engine bay, so cooling isn't the best out there to begin with. Then you need to make sure the mechanic working on your car knows these aftermarket turbos pretty well and would look out for potential problems in every checkup.
 
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