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What challenges should one expect to encounter when upgrading a base 981 engine with an S or GTS engine from the same generation Cayman? I like the PDK and want to keep this transmission while an upgraded engine might come from a manual transmission. I'm assuming one cannot upgrade to the new 781 Cayman engine but if this an option this creates more possibilities for a better engine. I'm wondering if there will be any parts cost or other issues that will drive up the cost of installing besides the labor for a better engine. I'm not looking to turn the base Cayman into a track car or take on the Alabama pick up trucks that want to start a race at 80 mph. I might swap out the brake rotors and calibers if needed so braking stop performance aligns to engine performance if needed. Thanks for any advice or experience doing this.
 

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I would think a base-to-S engine swap would be fairly straightforward. The engine won't care what kind of transmission is attached, but the ECU might need a reflash. If you are not racing on track I doubt the brakes will need an upgrade, but if you want to it's easy to swap calipers and rotors.

Forget about putting in a 718 engine, that's a whole different architecture that would require lots of modification.
 

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I think on paper, the swap should work relatively smoothly. I don't know if there's differences between PDK in a base and and S, but would be something to check.

I guess the question is, why? Unless you're looking for the challenge that comes along with a full motor swap, I would think you could offload your base model and pick up an S for less money than the transplant.
 

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I think on paper, the swap should work relatively smoothly. I don't know if there's differences between PDK in a base and and S, but would be something to check.

I guess the question is, why? Unless you're looking for the challenge that comes along with a full motor swap, I would think you could offload your base model and pick up an S for less money than the transplant.
I'm going to learn about the economics soon. Maybe a lot of Cayman drivers blow up their engines so demand is high. See enough engines on Ebay to think not. Rollover cars with I assume cannot be restored with even a salvage title (can you even restored crushed pillars) to a safety spec your insurance company would want to insure is a mystery, and you would want to risk your body and brain in unless you completely install a cage set to be sure of structural integrity and spend a nice sum on replacing all of the damaged body parts as it rolled over. Does anyone know if the major insurance companies will insure a salvage Porsche title? Not sure who would want to risk a house, assets, etc. in a civil lawsuit if the car cannot be insured. I would sell the base and take the upgrade car if the economics worked out. I'll assume the 981 GTS engines will work too for a 981 base. The 781 cars that are wacked is the remaining question on whether their engine will fit a 981 is the remaining question. Thanks.
 

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What is available are many take out engines from people swapping in 3.8 or 4.0 engines. You can buy them from the race shops that do that work.
I did it many years ago when I blew my engine and Porsche wanted 19k for a replacement. I got the 3.8 x51 for 15k and that shop was selling other take out stock engines for 8k.
That was the 987 series not 981 but the idea remains the same only the $$ change.
 

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Thanks for the option. Did some searching for this option but didn't find race shops for the 981 engine (just dealers with replacement engines at $16K) except for one that is offering a turbo upgrade for 981 for 11K that claims to offer 100 Hp gain and safe tolerance for car. More used engines are showing up with low miles on Ebay ranging from $7K for the S (50hp) to $11K for the GTS (70hp) gain from the base plus all of the torque boosts from these options. My base engine with 50K on the engine might be worth a few thousand to help pay for upgrade. IPD Plenum upgrade seems to get 20 hp so a used S engine with less than 25K miles seems to be best value. Price on salvage Caymans are running much higher then these numbers but even a better set of wheels and maybe the Porsche sports exhaust transparent don't seem to cover the difference. Thanks everyone for reading this thread and I'm closing it down unless you have a option that I have missed.
 

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My local shop discouraged an engine swap due to differences in the ECU between the base and S. Said I would not get performance of an S engine with a base ECU. Found a company call Softronics that sells the ECU upgrade for an S engine. I was told you cannot take a S ECU out of a salvage car and put into a different VIN. The ECUs I guess are aware of the VIN and all of the items on the car. This was an unexpected challenge and another $1300. The Softronics flash can be custom programmed by the car owner and boosts the same HP as the Carrera on the S engine. Some of the reviews on their web site seem to confirm the boost and they have been around for 30 years and claim a relationship with Porsche Club of America for their tuning software. Let me know if you know of any other gotchas on the engine upgrade.
 
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