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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi All,

I'll be off to an open track day locally for the first time with the Cayman in about 1.5 month's time. Just wanted some advice from you guys. I had some experience with AutoX and DE (intermediate level), but the last time was literally 7 years ago on my S2000. It's rather difficult to find these things after I moved to Asia. Anyway, so I am a little rusty to say the least.

1. Alignment - is it "wrong"?
I noticed most people recommended more negative camber up front on these cars. My shop set my car up with:

-1.5 in front
-1.8 in rear

With a bit of toe-in up front. I have only driven the car in spirited drives, so never pushed beyond say 75% of the limit if at all. Is this setup grossly setup for understeer bias? The shop that did my car's very experienced with Porsches, but they are literally filled with 996 and 997 GT RS cars there all the time. So I just want to make sure this isn't a mistake or if I need to dial less negative camber in rear (I'm still on original LCAs, so my front camber can't really go more -ve).. I want something that has reasonably high limits, but not at the cost of having unpredictable handling or snap oversteer type of character. At the end of the day, I'm not exactly a good driver and I haven't been on the track for almost a decade. Something a bit more neutral and more forgiving would be more suitable for me at this point.

2. Safety mods - is this sufficient?
I know this is literally beaten to death as I have spent quite some time reading up on this. I only have the 2.0L deep sump from Mantis and Motorsport AOS. I kept the original baffle and no power steering cooler. Would you say this is pretty sufficient for intermediary level driver + street tires? Or should I look into a more complicated baffle + secondary scavenger pump soon? For your reference, my friend with R compounded + lowered car did experience the AOS overflow on day one on the fast left hand turn on this local track. I'm not sure if AOS overflowing usually means the oil situation is running pretty stretched there. I don't plan on running R compounds within the next 2 to 3 years at least, and I just want something reasonable safe on reliability side (I know there is no bulletproof solution per se)

3. Shifting @ Redline = bad?
From reading previous posts, it sounds like it's bad to shift near redline on these cars? I've always shifted very near the redline on my Honda before. In fact, even on spirited drives I generally drive all my cars to the redline pretty much. Did Porsche not set the redline properly on these cars or something? I mean I understand the power band doesn't really require the driver to shove the needle all the way to 7200rpm, but having another 400 to 500rpm to work off as opposed to shifting at 6800rpm certainly may help. Just sounds from older posts that our engines can't take it when we shift above 6800rpm or something.


As background info, the car (2008 987.1 Cayman S) has:

- AD08R tires on stock 19" wheels
- Bilstein Dampstronic coilovers w/TPC module
- WaveTrac TBD
- Pagid black pads on stock brakes + whatever DOT5 fluids
- 3rd radiator + Mantis deep sump + Mantis pulley + Motorsport AOS
- pretty stock on power side (only sport cats in headers + softronic software)


Unfortunately there is very limited (if at all) instruction time involved in this event. Any other advice you guys have on driving this car around a track? Or anything else I should (and can) check on the car before the day? (so far haven't heard any funny noises from the water pump yet, but the car isn't exactly that new). Anyway, thanks in advance!
 

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With the camber you are running you should have quite safe, predictable handling with on-limit understeer. Running zero toe on the front will assist with turn in, and reducing the rear camber to about 1.3 would make for a more neutral balance.

The engine mods you have are a good starting point and should be ok for now. Adding an additional scavenge pump and maybe considering an Accusump would provide a safer option.

As far as reving the engine is concerned, there is no harm in taking it to the redline, however I find you can make better progress shifting up at around 7000.
 

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I agree with 0 front toe. Do not reduce rear camber. Mods should be fine with street tires and intermediate run group. I'd consider the Mantis baffle in the future as well as a power steering cooler. Watch your tire pressure and don't run over about 37-38 psi hot. You can tune handling with pressure. Lower pressure in the end you want more grip. Use 7000 redline.
 

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Zinger:-

Do you have a rough idea what the ambient temperature is going to be when you hit the track?

Your car is going to get real hot, these temperatures will obviously stress the car and seek out the weakest link. Make sure your engine oil is in good shape, some guys decide to run a slightly thicker engine oil in order to help maintain a longer level of oil integrity, this also helps to assist oil pressure.

Rev to the red line? - I am just not that brave to regularly rev a stock motor to that point, it sounds great, and my heart is telling me to do it, but I just don't know exactly what condition my crank and rods are in, is my motor one of the good ones? will I get away with it?

Until I have the spare cash in the bank to pull the motor and rebuild it with higher end components, then I've decided to keep the revs down to 6500 rpm most of the time, sometimes I'll stray over, (the load on the motor goes up massively with those extra 500 rpm), be careful!

Your mods look like a good start, good luck, you'll enjoy it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
I agree with 0 front toe. Do not reduce rear camber. Mods should be fine with street tires and intermediate run group. I'd consider the Mantis baffle in the future as well as a power steering cooler. Watch your tire pressure and don't run over about 37-38 psi hot. You can tune handling with pressure. Lower pressure in the end you want more grip. Use 7000 redline.
Thanks for all these advice. Will keep that in mind. Actually, never knew Mantis made a baffle. Let me look into that


Zinger:-

Do you have a rough idea what the ambient temperature is going to be when you hit the track?

Rev to the red line? - I am just not that brave to regularly rev a stock motor to that point, it sounds great, and my heart is telling me to do it, but I just don't know exactly what condition my crank and rods are in, is my motor one of the good ones? will I get away with it?

Your mods look like a good start, good luck, you'll enjoy it.
Roughly we are looking at 26 to 30 degrees Celsius in where I live, but humidity may be something that my car wouldn't like. It can get pretty humid here (705%+ humidity sometimes).

As for redline, that's something I never understand, why aren't these cars designed with a redline for you to hit? I'm just used to the idea that the factory rev limiter is set at a level such that it's there to protect your engine from overrevs up upshifts. But it sounds like the driver needs to have a human rev limiter in mind for the engine to not blow up? The prev car I had tracked, I have always just ignored it and let the rev limiter do its job. Not that I really bounce off that much at all, but it's definitely something nice to have that you know really works. The owner who bought it from me also tracked the car, and always takes it to the redline ... the car's still in healthy running state. Am I missing something here about Porsche engines?


Zinger, may I ask where the open track is? I left HK 2 decades ago and there wasn't any track in HK.
Actually it's not exactly an open track day, but local organizations including Porsche Club Hong Kong setup track days for people to join. The two tracks are Guangdong International Circuit (GIC) and Zhuhai International Circuit (ZIC). GIC is a fairly new track, while ZIC is a little older. As an idea of size, GIC ... you are looking at around 1:30-ish in lap times on a Cayman, while ZIC would be close to 2 minutes. Unfortunately both are in China, so it does require a bit of work to get the temporary license to drive across the boarder. Effectively the opening up of the boarders have helped this to happen, and also the newer GIC track helped to bring some of the cost down for these track days. However, I would consider track driving culture to be less popular and maybe even less safe compared to the America. From what I could gather, the requirements of helmets, tech inspection, and rules on the track, are much less stringent compared to ones in the US/Canada. In some ways this worries me. But oh well.

You might consider using Joe Gibbs XP-9 track oil. It is recommended by engine builder Jake Raby.
Let me take a look at this. I usually just leave it to the shop on oil brands to be frank. I was thinking whatever 5W50 oil would do. The car's gonna go in with a fresh load of oil this time anyway.

Anyways, thanks for the input guys
 

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Zinger, Joe Gibbs XP9 is an oil specially formulated to use in race engines or for track days. After the track day/weekend is over, you need to drain it out and put in your street oil, preferably Joe Gibbs DT40.
 

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Hi All,

2. Safety mods - is this sufficient?

3. Shifting @ Redline = bad?
So I took my 2008 Base Cayman to the track last year. I race Shifter Karts so to me the Porsche is my street car and I really just wanted to drive it on track because, well, it's a Porsche. I was about 15 years removed from any sort of HPDE style Driver Events. I just showed up with track tires. I might do this 2 times a year at most. It's obvious folks here know a lot more about these cars on track than me, honestly I'm a little surprised at how many parts people seem to need to change given that in the 90s I was always amazed at how rock solid stock Porsches were.

But here were some of my thoughts for what they are worth.

1. The brakes were disappointing. Back in the 90s I had a track dedicated car so racing brake fluid, steel braided lines, track racing pads, cryo treated rotors, extra cooling ducts, etc. So maybe it was unfair to expect that level of braking with my street car, but it was a good reference point for me to start with stock and I just wanted to see what 'Porsche' brakes were like.

I won't drive it on the track again without steel braided brake lines, GT3 master cylinder, and some upgraded pads that I use just for the event. To me the feel and modulation of the brakes is just really important and obviously I'd use fresh fluid for the event. With the exception of the pads, I personally find the rock hard pedal enjoyable on the street too, so this to me isn't a dedicated track mod.

2. Your redline question is an interesting one for me too. I have historically treated redline exactly as you described, use the full range but no further. Again, I'm sure these guys who are telling us no redline are speaking from hard learned experience so I respect their perspective but it's sort of mind boggling to me too that the below redline would be bad. For what its worth I was using the full redline on my car, which doesn't prove that I'm right or they are right, but it certainly wasn't a grenade.

The second event I did was a PCA event, where they didn't know me and so they started me in the beginner group. My instructor was telling me not to redline it as well, but I also was pretty much scaring the crap out of him "You're coming in too fast, you can't take this corner that... oh, wow, really nice", so after I got acquainted with the track he relaxed and we were just swapping racing stories before he signed me off. So he didn't harp on the redline issue too much other than to say it will wear out the motor faster, which like you I wasn't really sure if this was a written in stone known technical issue or something anecdotal or some folklore people had come up with.

Based on the feedback I've seen here I'll probably continue to redline it (or there about 7k) but I always use fresh oil before an event and probably will consider some oil starvation protection as other more knowledgeable people have suggested.

Here's a clip of me taken from a friend's car (my car is the yellow base Cayman that comes by towards the end)
[video]https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/5124326/MeFromOtherCarThunderHill.mp4[/video]
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
honestly I'm a little surprised at how many parts people seem to need to change given that in the 90s I was always amazed at how rock solid stock Porsches were.


Totally agree on this statement. I had a Honda before. Other than changing out brake pads + brake fluid and checking lug nuts torque + tire conditions, there really isn't much to do on other cars to get those cars on the track. But then here I see a lot of people having issues with power steering, AOS overflow etc. I'm sure these newer cars are more capable, but it almost feels like a bit of a fail when these issues are lying around even when people have just done relatively trivial mods like lowering the car with more aggressive tires + alignment.

I actually don't mind rock hard pedals on streets either, as long as they aren't super sensitive like BMW brakes are (especially the newer cars, which I couldn't even heel-toe properly on street use or spirited drives as the ratio between the brake pedal and throttle are just that far off). I would love to change to Brembo GTs that I tried on my friend's 997 or something similar as my driving skills improve, except that local laws in where I live do not allow aftermarket brakes. I would need to take the calipers out for annual inspection or if a traffic police challenges me. They are really against anything that has an adapter unless it's from the factory like AMG cars do -- yes, they keep track of these things.

Personally I'm not 100% convinced about steel brake lines as I don't like the idea that they just die rather than deteriorate. I'll certainly put in new set of high temp fluid + some Pagid pads before the event. The GT3 master brake cylinder I'm not too sure yet, as I do wanna find someone locally who has done that mod on stock brake calipers. I'm just worried the brakes would become too sensitive for street use to heel-toe etc. when I'm only running them on stock calipers. I have tried that on a Cayman with GT3 calipers, and that worked well.

Interesting comments on the redline issue. Anyway, I'll just be diligent about changing the oil before these events then. Similar to you, I don't really plan on having more than 4 to 6 days (i.e. 2 to 3 weekends) on the track per year for the next 2 to 3 years. So this would be more of a leisure thing than any sort of serious competition that I'm looking at ... although in my mind, I do have specific times for these two tracks that I want to beat consistently before I drop more money into the car in mods.


Zinger, Joe Gibbs XP9 is an oil specially formulated to use in race engines or for track days. After the track day/weekend is over, you need to drain it out and put in your street oil, preferably Joe Gibbs DT40.​



As for engine oil, I'll probably stick with someone that I could continue to drive the car on the streets after these track days. At the end of the day, 10L+ of oil is quite a lot haha.

Anyway, thanks guys
 

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I was thinking whatever 5W50 oil would do. The car's gonna go in with a fresh load of oil this time anyway.
5W/50 is too thick imo. The car's come with 0W/40 in them when new and it is also regarded as acceptable to use 5W/40. I use an ester-based oil for track use such as Millers Nanotech.
 
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