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What's the right call?

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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This is a bit of a nutty question on the surface, but maybe I'm not the only one asking it.
I have a 2006 CS and have held off doing any major performance upgrades to it, but am at the point now where there's no question that I want more power. I was considering going the TPC Stage 2 route -- but wanted to wait and see what the GT4 would be like. Now that I know it's a tough decision, and I'd love some input.

The GT4 may well go down as the most iconic Porsche of the decade. As many others here have said it's like they listened to what all the Cayman owners and critics have been saying for nearly 10 years now and created the perfect midengine GT car. Moreover, in Porsche terms the car is a bargain.

On the flip side I love my 987. It still makes me smile every time I twist the key and makes me grin when I'm riding the twisties. I'm just tired of losing on the straightaways to drivers with more muscle. The TPC kit is also a relative bargain, and would give me up to 80hp more than the GT4 for the price I'd spend on taxes and fees buying one. Of course, power is all I'm getting there's a lot more to the GT4 than the 3.8L engine. The questions is -- is there $70k more? (The math being that a new GT4 with the right options is $110k net minus the $25k I'd get for my 987 vs. $15k for the TPC kit).

Thanks for your feedback!
 

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This is a bit of a nutty question on the surface, but maybe I'm not the only one asking it.
I have a 2006 CS and have held off doing any major performance upgrades to it, but am at the point now where there's no question that I want more power. I was considering going the TPC Stage 2 route -- but wanted to wait and see what the GT4 would be like. Now that I know it's a tough decision, and I'd love some input.

The GT4 may well go down as the most iconic Porsche of the decade. As many others here have said it's like they listened to what all the Cayman owners and critics have been saying for nearly 10 years now and created the perfect midengine GT car. Moreover, in Porsche terms the car is a bargain.

On the flip side I love my 987. It still makes me smile every time I twist the key and makes me grin when I'm riding the twisties. I'm just tired to losing out on the straightaways to drivers with more muscle. The TPC kit is also a relative bargain, and would give me up to 80hp more than the GT4 for the price I'd spend on taxes and fees buying one. Of course, power is all I'm getting there's a lot more to the GT4 than the 3.8L engine. The questions is -- is there $70k more? (The math being that a new GT4 with the right options is $110k net minus the $25k I'd get for my 987 vs. $15k for the TPC kit).

Thanks for your feedback!
If your car is registered in CA, getting a TPC turbo or an engine swap is a pain given the CARB inspections for most counties.

What do you want the extra power for? Is your car a track car? Have you driven a car with low ride height and a relatively stiff suspension and enjoyed it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes it's a CA car and has a clear engine cover too, so I'm definitely only going to go for the turbo if I can find a way to still pass smog. I have heard from one installer who I trust that they have had TPC 987s pass.

I do track the car and, like I said, find the power lacking on the straights. With that being said it's not a "track car", I drive my 987 every day, but I take the Cayenne for any serious road trips. I've driven a GT3 and a few other track-oriented cars on the street before. I don't think anyone really enjoys driving them in traffic or through parking lots, but they make up for it when you get out on open and well-maintained roads (which there are a lot of here in Orange County).
 

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GT4. The turbo will give you more power and you will still have all of the design weaknesses of the M97 engine. The GT4 has the latest, best engine from Porsche. The GT4 of will hold value better over time. Get it and keep your 06.
 

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Yes it's a CA car and has a clear engine cover too, so I'm definitely only going to go for the turbo if I can find a way to still pass smog. I have heard from one installer who I trust that they have had TPC 987s pass.

I do track the car and, like I said, find the power lacking on the straights. With that being said it's not a "track car", I drive my 987 every day, but I take the Cayenne for any serious road trips. I've driven a GT3 and a few other track-oriented cars on the street before. I don't think anyone really enjoys driving them in traffic or through parking lots, but they make up for it when you get out on open and well-maintained roads (which there are a lot of here in Orange County).
Seems like you are a good candidate for the GT4, given your geographical location and intended mixed use for the car.

The GT4 on paper should be a really fun car for most tracks (as long as they are not HP tracks like Auto Club Speedway or Willow Springs) But keep in mind there will always be cars that will pull the GT4 on the straights, but that is only one dimension of the track driving experience.

With the GT4 you won't have to worry about having to deal with the AOS/Power Steering/ABS issues present on the 987.1, and furthermore the potential headaches about having to service a forced induction engine that can only be serviced by the shop that installed the kit.

Peace of mind goes a long way... IMHO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The GT4 on paper should be a really fun car for most tracks (as long as they are not HP tracks like Auto Club Speedway or Willow Springs)
Well those are the two most popular tracks here. I'm hoping Porsche lets GT4 buyers onto their private track just up the 405 though. I wonder if that can somehow be worked into the purchase...

there will always be cars that will pull the GT4 on the straights
Of course. The bigger issue for me is I would like a car with more power because my skill has improved to the point where I can make good use of it (I'm not going to kid myself that I could push a GT3 to its edge however).

Peace of mind goes a long way... IMHO.
No doubt about it, but there's always the cost/benefit. Of course if I get a TPC kit and my 987's reliability takes a dive then that spread narrows substantially.
 

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There is no difference in servicing a 987.1 or a 987.1 TPC turbo except for a shorter interval for replacing the spark plugs. Any shop that works on a Cayman can work on a Cayman turbo.
 

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I'm in a somewhat similar situation to you (987.2 in CA), and I think (based on my limited research so far) that you are missing a third option that would in fact be best. First, I think you have no chance of getting a TPC turbo to pass smog reliably. There are a lot of threads discussing this but, in short, TPC haven't shown any real interest in getting CARB certification and the smog test involves a visual test - a turbo is something that is impossible to miss. There are claims that some testers will turn a blind eye, but given how hard CA is cracking down on this activity, there is no guarantee that a tester will continue to do so, or will hold onto their license and still be around if they try to. While someone may say they can get a turbo passed, it is highly unlikely they can guarantee this for the next test, the one after that, etc. If it fails, you will be left with a car that you cannot register and you will need to sell across the border. Not something worth considering unless you have so much money that you would be happy to buy a GT4 as a second car to begin with (and then we wouldn't be having this discussion).

As you say, the second option is to buy a GT4.

The third option is to put a 911 GTS engine in the car. This will be more expensive than a turbo, but way cheaper than buying a GT4. Advantages relative to the GT4 include: it will be way cheaper, you will have more power, and you will have hydraulic steering. Advantages relative to the turbo are: it will be naturally aspirated power, it will sound better as it won't have a turbo, you will be avoiding possible gremlins as it is OEM rather than a tuner product (tuners cannot compete with the resources porsche possesses, and porsche is also quite secretive about their technology so tuners may not fully understand it), by swapping the engine you will be eliminating many of the problems with the 987.1 (IMS, oil starvation issues, AOS?), and finally, I believe that getting it to pass smog is quite doable as the engine is already homologated/legal because it comes in the 911 GTS. From my limited research, there is no problem with passing smog as long as you put in another engine that would pass smog as it is originally sold and is the same age or newer than the engine you are replacing.
 

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I recently purchased an 06 with a TPC stage 3 turbo kit and it is ridiculous fun. 402 hp to the rear wheels with moderate boost. I live in reno NV and it passed smog but we don't have a visual. They just plug into the obd2 and check that everything is working. The reason I chose the turbo over other options is I'm willing to take the risk and I don't want an out of the box same as everyone else's car. If the hp is worth knowing that you may have to put more money and time into it to keep it up then the turbo is worth it but if reliability and warranty are are more important than hp other options might be better. Another thing to consider is I've had a few issues with TPC's customer service. I've been away on a long business trip and when I get home tonight I'm going to continue working on a few minor issues with them. I hope just caught them on a bad day because they seem to make a good product and they have a few other products on their Web site that I want but will purchase elsewhere if I don't have a better customer service experience this time.
 

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The third option is to put a 911 GTS engine in the car. This will be more expensive than a turbo, but way cheaper than buying a GT4. Advantages relative to the GT4 include: it will be way cheaper, you will have more power, and you will have hydraulic steering. Advantages relative to the turbo are: it will be naturally aspirated power, it will sound better as it won't have a turbo, you will be avoiding possible gremlins as it is OEM rather than a tuner product (tuners cannot compete with the resources porsche possesses, and porsche is also quite secretive about their technology so tuners may not fully understand it), by swapping the engine you will be eliminating many of the problems with the 987.1 (IMS, oil starvation issues, AOS?), and finally, I believe that getting it to pass smog is quite doable as the engine is already homologated/legal because it comes in the 911 GTS. From my limited research, there is no problem with passing smog as long as you put in another engine that would pass smog as it is originally sold and is the same age or newer than the engine you are replacing.
While good in theory, I don't think installing a GTS engine is feasible. There are significant issues in retrofitting a 9A1 engine into the 987.1 chassis due to the computers. I don't even recall seeing an account of it being successfully done on this board or any other Cayman related board.
 

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While good in theory, I don't think installing a GTS engine is feasible. There are significant issues in retrofitting a 9A1 engine into the 987.1 chassis due to the computers. I don't even recall seeing an account of it being successfully done on this board or any other Cayman related board.
Well, as luck would have it I came across a thread by BGB Motorsports on RL about a 987.2 into a 987.1 conversion. Everything to do it costs around $31.5k. In addition to the new engine, you have to use a 987.2 transmission, new DME, and lots of wiring labor. For that outlay, you could sell the 987.1, even if it has a blown motor, and go buy a 987.2 with that money and the $31.5k, but I digress.
 
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