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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I posted on here several months ago about buying a 2006 Cayman with known bore scoring and doing a rebuild/restoration. Well, all that happened while I was in the middle of moving, but now we're settled in so I'm finally getting started!
Tire Wheel Vehicle Car Hood


The engine should be out in a day or two, if all goes well. Then I'll pull it apart and send the halves off to LN Engineering for new sleeves. I was planning on doing the 3.8 upgrade, but California just recently made ECU tunes illegal, so I'm wondering if that will be a problem. Anybody know if the stock tune will run the engine at 3.8 liters well enough to pass emissions? I'm planning on doing a tune, but I need to be able to pass emissions first.

While I'm waiting for the case and other machine work to be done, I've got some other plans as well.
  • Body work, it's 15 years old and has 90k+ miles, so it definitely needs a refresh. The bumper needs to be replaced and painted, then I'll probably try my hand at a wrap job. I've been wanting to try one since my last car, and now's the time.
  • I've already got a Numeric shifter and cables, so that'll be going in sometime soon. Probably do an IPD plenum, as well. Should help with the extra .4 liters.
  • New entertainment system. It's got PCM so I was expecting to do a full system swap, but I've seen rumor of Porsche releasing a new compatible android auto unit for the Cayman in '22, so I may wait and see what that's about.
  • Gonna send the exhaust in for the Carnewal modification. I really want to do the 200 cell cats, too, but holy cow the price tag on those is up there. If the cats are ok I may wait to upgrade them, but if they're full of oil from the bore scoring, I may not have a choice. Problem is, I may not really know until the engine is back in and running if they're good enough to not throw a code.
  • I wanted to lower it, too, but now that I've been rolling around underneath the car for a day, I'm not so sure. :oops: This thing has obviously taken some hits to the undercarriage. Nothing too bad, but the underpanels have taken a beating. If anything, I may do the Cayman R suspension swap to just get the 20mm or whatever. Every lowering spring or coilover setup I've seen seems to start at a 30mm or so drop, which is more than I want.
  • Maybe some cosmetic mods. Paint some of the interior trim, maybe put a wing on it. I haven't fully fleshed out what I want to do cosmetically.
Anyway, wish me luck. I'll update as I go along.

Update: Engine is out! It was surprisingly drama free. The only thing that was problematic was the clutch slave cylinder connection. It was really stuck and I ended up rounding the nut over on one side, but it came loose after some struggle. I had to get a little creative (read: stupid) with the quick jacks to get the height necessary to get the engine out, but it worked.
Wheel Tire Car Vehicle Automotive tire


I used a Harbor Freight ATV jack that I built a quick extension on to be able to pull the engine and transmission together and it worked great. Probably a lot easier than trying to finagle them separately.
Tire Wheel Automotive tire Hood Tread

Now to start disassembly and try to get it on a table or something. I don't have a hoist, but one problem at a time.

For anyone looking to pull the engine yourself, I highly recommend the AllData DIY subscription. I used it for this and the money was well worth it. The section on engine removal was super helpful and made me much more confident about the process. I don't think it was 100% complete, because a few things were a little vague, but between that and the Pelican write up for the Boxster, I was covered. Also, I had recently bought an interior trim removal kit from Amazon, just one of the cheap all in one kits pictured below. I didn't buy it for the engine removal, but it ended up being so helpful that I can't believe I've worked so long without it. The little picks were great for disconnecting clips and electrical connectors, and the plastic levers were great for breaking the seal on hoses without having to worry about scratching up the connection.
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Looks like a great build man!! Love it!

so the motor/ecu… so you build a 3.8 and upgrade the ecu to accommodate that 3.8 right? how and who would know that work was done ? The ecu will run that motor as if it were bolted to a Carrera S… I’m sure it is illegal to do that now (stupid rule) but how would or anyone even stop to think it wasn’t stock? No red flags and a new motor running under a 3.8 tune should easily pass emissions.. tunes sometimes run more efficient imo

suspension: get some H&R’s, it’s really the perfect drop, yes the car is low and you have to be careful… I have full aero, try that!! Haha the struggle is real
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Looks like a great build man!! Love it!

so the motor/ecu… so you build a 3.8 and upgrade the ecu to accommodate that 3.8 right? how and who would know that work was done ? The ecu will run that motor as if it were bolted to a Carrera S… I’m sure it is illegal to do that now (stupid rule) but how would or anyone even stop to think it wasn’t stock? No red flags and a new motor running under a 3.8 tune should easily pass emissions.. tunes sometimes run more efficient imo

suspension: get some H&R’s, it’s really the perfect drop, yes the car is low and you have to be careful… I have full aero, try that!! Haha the struggle is real
From what I have read, California checks for ECU tunes during smog testing, now. They read the checksum of the ROM loaded on the ECU and compare it to a database of stock ROMs. If there is any change to your stock ROM, the checksum will be different and you'll fail. As long as the stock ECU tune can run the engine without throwing a code, I can get it smogged and tune it after. I'll just have to flash it back to stock before getting it smogged again.
I think it will be OK as long as I don't make too many changes up front. The big thing I think I'm likely to see is a MAF value code because of all the extra air being pulled in. But if I keep the more restrictive stock intake components on, it may be enough to keep from triggering it. I've even considered if it would be possible to create extra restrictions in the intake and exhaust to keep the amount of air moved down to stock levels until it's smogged, but I may be over thinking it. Hopefully it'll be fine.
 

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From what I have read, California checks for ECU tunes during smog testing, now. They read the checksum of the ROM loaded on the ECU and compare it to a database of stock ROMs. If there is any change to your stock ROM, the checksum will be different and you'll fail. As long as the stock ECU tune can run the engine without throwing a code, I can get it smogged and tune it after. I'll just have to flash it back to stock before getting it smogged again.
I think it will be OK as long as I don't make too many changes up front. The big thing I think I'm likely to see is a MAF value code because of all the extra air being pulled in. But if I keep the more restrictive stock intake components on, it may be enough to keep from triggering it. I've even considered if it would be possible to create extra restrictions in the intake and exhaust to keep the amount of air moved down to stock levels until it's smogged, but I may be over thinking it. Hopefully it'll be fine.
Man they go to a lot of trouble to look for nothing…
 

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Wow. Nice progress. with the engine out, how stable do you think the car is on the factory jack points? I see some floor jacks in the front but I'm not sure if they are there to prevent 'front tip over' or not. And yes, you got creative on getting the additional height from the quick jacks (I've done similar stuff :cautious:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Wow. Nice progress. with the engine out, how stable do you think the car is on the factory jack points? I see some floor jacks in the front but I'm not sure if they are there to prevent 'front tip over' or not. And yes, you got creative on getting the additional height from the quick jacks (I've done similar stuff :cautious:)
Still seems plenty stable on the factory jack points. The stands are only there because I needed them do a two step lift with the quick jacks. All those blocks won't fit under the car with it down, so you have to lift it up and set it on jack stands, then drop the quick jacks down and add the blocks so you can lift it on those.
 

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Thanks for the information. One last question… did you do most of the work disconnecting the engine (wire harnesses, coolant lines, fuel lines, etc) from the body while the car was resting on the Quickjacks and only do your ’creative height’ solution either after the engine was already down on your modified transmission stand or it was held in by a few bolts, or did you do all the work while it was propped up on the blocks? I’m just wondering about the sequence of events.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the information. One last question… did you do most of the work disconnecting the engine (wire harnesses, coolant lines, fuel lines, etc) from the body while the car was resting on the Quickjacks and only do your ’creative height’ solution either after the engine was already down on your modified transmission stand or it was held in by a few bolts, or did you do all the work while it was propped up on the blocks? I’m just wondering about the sequence of events.
I did everything with the quick jack in its normal configuration, fully raised on the 3" block. That's the first picture. I disconnected everything and dropped the engine to the ground, then put the car on jack stands, added the extra blocks, raised the car and pulled the engine out and put the car back on the regular blocks. No way I would get under the car on those extra blocks. Just getting the jack stands in place was more than I wanted. The biggest problem is that with all those blocks, the quick jack is nearly flat when the car is on the jack stands, and it leaks down/drops fast when it's nearly flat. Some taller jack stands would solve this issue, but I didn't anticipate needing to stack the two and three inch blocks on top of the wood blocks, so my trial run only had the three inch block, which was easier to manage.
 

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I used to have an '06 w/ 3.8 X51 w/ Softronic tune. Under suspicious circumstances at a repair shop, both the body control module and ECU went kaput. I bought a used ECU w/ exact same model no. from Autogator and the car ran just fine until I got around to flashing it w/ the Softronic file. Go through the inspection w/ the OEM ECU and then swap or flash it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
I used to have an '06 w/ 3.8 X51 w/ Softronic tune. Under suspicious circumstances at a repair shop, both the body control module and ECU went kaput. I bought a used ECU w/ exact same model no. from Autogator and the car ran just fine until I got around to flashing it w/ the Softronic file. Go through the inspection w/ the OEM ECU and then swap or flash it.
That's great to hear. Thanks! How did the Softronic tune do for the 3.8? Was it their off the shelf tune or a custom one?
 

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Softronic has a conversion file specifically for the 3.4 - 3.8 swap. I think maybe it was tweaked a bit for the X51 intake. The car certainly was quicker w/ it but ran surprising well on the stock 3.4 ECU.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Update with some questions. Everything is pulled apart, heads are at Len Hoffman's for rebuild and some port work. Cases should be off to LN Engineering tomorrow or the next day along with the IMS to have the sprocket pinned and the IMS Retrofit bearing installed. The rotating assembly will go to Revco Precision, a localish place in LA, for inspection, polishing, and balancing. There's two things I'm still thinking through though. Should I reuse the connecting rods? And what to do with the cams/lifters?

I posted another discussion about shot peening the rods, but the responses have me thinking about changing them out. I'm considering the K1s from LN Engineering. I wasn't considering it initially; other builds I've seen reused the old rods with no apparent issues. But I'm wondering if the power bump from the 3.8 conversion would justify needing new ones. The bottom end felt great when I pulled it apart, and there was no abnormal wear on any of the rod bearings, so I don't have any reason to think they are unusable. I'm not planning to track the car or do anything harsher than the occasional autocross, so are new rods beneficial?

The camshafts I'm planning on having inspected and polished at Revco along with my crank, that seems pretty straightforward. I'm not as sure about the lifters, though. Anything I can do to inspect them besides press on it an make sure the secondary tappet doesn't stick?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Before I pack these up I thought I'd snap a picture of the damage. Both 5 and 6 are toast with deep scoring. Every other cylinder looked perfect. I'm honestly amazed these engines can even run without grenading themselves instantly like this.
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Do you have a link to that Trim Removal Kit? It looks pretty extensive.

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I got this one from Amazon. Nothing special, but it has worked well.
 
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