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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently purchased a 2008 Cayman S with Sport Chrono. I have taken a DE, and plan to take more as they come up in the area.

I love the handling, and the acceleration from 4000rpm and up. I would like to improve the acceleration below 4000 RPM though.

I have done lots of reading here, and previously, highly modified a turbo Miata. Based on that info, it looks like the big gains are the TPC Turbo route, or the base mods (Exhaust, Headers, Plenum, Flash). Both these routes are expensive and NOISY. lol

I probably don't need a big increase in the sub-4000rpm are to be happy, and I don't want to make the car louder. Are there any quiet mods I should consider?

I have read about the following. Can you give your thoughts on these and any others that you think I should consider?
- Lighter Wheels: I currently have the stock Cayman S wheels.
- Plenum: Is this worth doing without upgrading the exhaust?
- Chip Flash: Is there much to be gained over the Sports Chrono?
- Under Pulley: Is it worth the cost?

Thanks for you help...
 

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I recently purchased a 2008 Cayman S with Sport Chrono. I have taken a DE, and plan to take more as they come up in the area.

I love the handling, and the acceleration from 4000rpm and up. I would like to improve the acceleration below 4000 RPM though.

I have done lots of reading here, and previously, highly modified a turbo Miata. Based on that info, it looks like the big gains are the TPC Turbo route, or the base mods (Exhaust, Headers, Plenum, Flash). Both these routes are expensive and NOISY. lol

I probably don't need a big increase in the sub-4000rpm are to be happy, and I don't want to make the car louder. Are there any quiet mods I should consider?

I have read about the following. Can you give your thoughts on these and any others that you think I should consider?
- Lighter Wheels: I currently have the stock Cayman S wheels.
- Plenum: Is this worth doing without upgrading the exhaust?
- Chip Flash: Is there much to be gained over the Sports Chrono?
- Under Pulley: Is it worth the cost?

Thanks for you help...
Oh ya you can gain plenty of performance with out raising the noise level of your CS ...

- Lighter Wheels: I currently have the stock Cayman S wheels ... lighter wheels and tires will make a significant improvement, for example OZ wheels and Pirelli TrofeoR tires
- Plenum: Is this worth doing without upgrading the exhaust? Yes this is a great mod for additional HP, even with out exhaust ... adding a sport header will help and it will not be too noisy.
- Chip Flash: Is there much to be gained over the Sports Chrono? most flashes are good for a few HP ... the responsiveness and drivability will be greatly improved
- Under Pulley: Is it worth the cost? An easy way to gain 5HP ... and no noise

Some additional quiet mods to consider
- Sprint Booster ... no HP gains although, throttle response is greatly improved
- de snoark & drop in air filter (K&N, BMC or EVOMS) ... minimal increase in noise, worth a few HP
- LSD, this will improve acceleration across the RPM range

Hope this helps
 

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The short answer is there is very little you can do to improve under 4000 RPM power. Just about all of the standard mods improve breathing above 4k rpm. Long tube headers are about the only thing that would give any gains that you could feel.
 

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Here's some suggestions. I wish it was easy like motorcycles by only changing your sprockets and gearing.
The most ideal would be a supercharger but I only seen one mfg offer it which is Rotrex/RUF = $$$.
Headers mated to a less restrictive Carnewal mod for more quiet sound.
Lighter wheels do make the car feel a little more agile and quicker at the line. You can also goto to 17's with lower profile to change your gearing ratios to improve low end torque. Will probably need to do the math or consult vendor on what's ideal.
A custom tune tailored to lower RPM and better torque curve.
Shave weight from the car and goto more DEs to learn where your powerband is.
Stay in higher gear and RPM to increase responsiveness.
Buy a V8. hahaha I had to just to lighten up the mood. ��
 

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If your goal is to improve the engine for DEs, forget about power. Add a deep sump, Motorsport AOS, and a power steering cooler. Use a high quality oil and change it frequently. Listen to your instructor.
 

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For a DE the best speed improvement would be a racing seat and 6 point harness, for the street displacement is the only quiet non-turbo way to get real gains in power.
 

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Oh ya you can gain plenty of performance with out raising the noise level of your CS ...

- Lighter Wheels: I currently have the stock Cayman S wheels ... lighter wheels and tires will make a significant improvement, for example OZ wheels and Pirelli TrofeoR tires
- Plenum: Is this worth doing without upgrading the exhaust? Yes this is a great mod for additional HP, even with out exhaust ... adding a sport header will help and it will not be too noisy.
- Chip Flash: Is there much to be gained over the Sports Chrono? most flashes are good for a few HP ... the responsiveness and drivability will be greatly improved
- Under Pulley: Is it worth the cost? An easy way to gain 5HP ... and no noise

Some additional quiet mods to consider
- Sprint Booster ... no HP gains although, throttle response is greatly improved
- de snoark & drop in air filter (K&N, BMC or EVOMS) ... minimal increase in noise, worth a few HP
- LSD, this will improve acceleration across the RPM range

Hope this helps
I have a few issues with the above advice.... It's based on truth, but not exactly true.

You are specifically looking for better low-end torque. I agree. The Gen 1 stock motor is a little wimpy under 4K.

I bought a GT3 plenum and throttle body used. It was originally with a Softronic software package. It took a bit of coaxing to get them to provide the software for me. They charged me full retail for it when they were having a group buy discount. They had to know the original owner to verify it was one of their plenums.

Along with that, I bought a SpeedART "TUV Approved" cat-back exhaust system. This setup uses the stock header and front pipe, which includes two of the 4 CATs that come with the stock car. The Cat-Back system ends just after the two primary cats. The secondary ones are removed. I always pass emissions (3 tests so far). There is less back pressure, if for no other reason than the elimination of the secondary cats. It's gives a little bit deeper sound, but isn't by any means loud. I love it.

Race headers add a considerable amount of racket according to guys here who've added them. They use either no cats or "200-cell sport cats" as opposed to the stock 400 or 600 cell cats. 200 cell cats usually will pass emissions when new, but after a few years, they don't. Blowing out the innards of these sports cats is not uncommon. Unless you are a track junkie or know the local emissions inspector, I'd shy away from these on a street car. I've heard they do add torque, however, as well as HP.

The GT3 plenum & throttle body plus the exhaust and software together made a nice difference in everyday driving. Because the GT3 plenum doesn't have the vacuum operated flap of the stock system, there's no clumsy step in the torque that the stock motor has. It's more intuitive and I really like that. Is there more torque? Maybe a bit, but it feels better and that's what I really wanted. Oh, and the fury above 4500 is increased quite a bit. :cool:

I have Sport Chrono. Setting that to "Sport" gives the car a feeling of better torque. The Sprint Booster essentially does this for non SC cars. It's not expensive and easy to install. I'd get that. I've also heard that the tiptronic version of Sprint Booster is worthwhile for SC equipped cars but I haven't tried it.

I have forged 18" Champion RG5 wheels on my car in summer. The biggest improvement they make is lower unsprung weight for a better ride over bumps. If there's any acceleration improvement, it's very minor and not worth the money you'd spend. They look great on my car and the ride improvement is very welcomed.

I also have an under drive pulley. It makes the car feel a little more rev-y or something at off-idle speeds. No way it adds 5hp.

Under drive pulley may in fact make the car marginally more difficult to start off in 1st gear because of slightly less flywheel effect. Not sure about that. I've had my pulley so long and added other things to the car, so it's difficult for me to say. The stock clutch is already fairly light and I stalled the car almost from day one.. This is the only car in 30 years that I've occasionally killed starting off in first. I find that I had cultivated a habit of engaging the clutch after a rev when engine is coasting down. This works great with a bigger flywheel...like on my BMWs or a pickup truck. Because this flywheel is so light, or maybe because it's "dual-mass" you can't get away with that. You have to keep revs at 1000 or a bit higher for a smooth start and that's difficult with the fly-by-wire accelerator.

De-Snork is a no-cost procedure that involves removing the left side air intake and pulling out a snorkel thing that restricts air a bit. This also restricts water intake if you drive the car in a rain-storm, which I've been known to do. It also adds intake noise. I didn't do it.

LSD - Limited slip differential - Does not add ANY HP or torque. It's nice on the track when you get back on the gas after a turn and can be used to help rear-wheel steer the car on corner entry, but around town, it will do nothing to help the low-end torque issue. I solved my "inside rear wheel in the air thus no power out of corners until it settled down" issues with a set of TPC anti-roll bars with quiet links. The stiffer front bar keeps the rear wheel on the ground so no spinning. Car is intuitive and fun on the track like it should be. That's all I need. btw: I drive my CS all year long. I'm just finished my 5th winter in Chicago with it. It gets through snow just fine with Pirelli 240 winter tires. LSD is in my list, but I just never seem to get to it. I guess it's not a pressing need.

Like you, I want a car I can drive daily and not call massive attention to myself, but I also want a car that's fun and intuitive to drive on the street as well as in anger at the track or on back roads. I think the stuff I have has taken me down a very good path. It was not cheap but no regrets. I have a car worth keeping for several more years. In fact, I'm really at a loss as to what to replace it with. I really love driving the thing. 85K miles and no reliability issues so far.

Of note is that I added a deep sump and oil-safe kit early in the car's life and do only occasional track days...2 per year or so. Enough to keep the skills I've learned. Not enough to make wifey grumpy with me.

:cheers:
 

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My suggestions are bit different than most, for seat of the pant's feel I would do these:
- lighter flywheel + fresh clutch
- lighter wheel and tire package
- reflash/tune

The lighter rotating components make a distinct change in the way the car responds to the throttle, and will improve acceleration measurably (even on the dyno) same with the reflash.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Wow, Thank for all the great suggestions and advise. I appreciate the way everyone chipped in with advise honoring my odd request for QUIET mods. I am sure that took restraint. lol I have a lot to think about and research now.

Of course, I will be taking driving classes as they come up here in town. In the mean while, I will try to sort through the advise here to figure out which quiet mods are big bang for the buck. I don't want to spend $6K, and only see minimal gains. I would prefer to do the more "sure bets" to start with. On the other hand, a Gen 2 Cayman could appear which would have 25hp and more torque, right out of the gate. haha.

Seriously, I think I will start with the Sprint Booster. I know it doesn't add HP, but improving throttle response, which will get the revs up quicker sounds like a good thing. Most people that tried it, seem to like it. Light Tires may be next, while I research more of the great advise above.

I will probably forego the reliability mods unless I track it outside of the driving class days. If I start to track it with any regularity, I will spring for them then.
 

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Well, I'll write down the list of "mods" I have done after I bought a used CS:

Fresh clutch + flywheel - do not underestimate how big of a diff this makes. The old driver (probably) was a terrible stick driver, and managed to get the clutch in pretty bad shape with only 17000 miles on the odometer (the odometer reading was verified using various methods, so it's real). Clutch was a lot smoother after I pulled the old one out. Even acceleration was smoother.

NHP 200-cell headers (while keeping stock PSE exhaust) - no noticeable gain in power, but throttle response improved overall with mid-range feeling marginally more opened up

Mantis underdrive pulley - picking up the car from a dead stop felt lighter and easier to cope with. Some argue there is a power gain of 5hp at the wheels, but I couldn't really feel like. It felt much like the headers, and gave the car a lighter and more responsive feel.

Softronic ECU flash - mid-range felt livelier. I honestly couldn't really feel a "dip" in power in stock file, but the Softronic one seemed to have given it a smoother curve if I were to guess. Revs climb smoother particularly in the mid-range, but not because there was a dip felt to begin with.

IPD Plenum (non competition version, so not the one with GT3 T/B) - felt like there was a small bump in power (maybe 5 to 7hp??) based on butt dyno. Also the sound of engine was a bit nicer with this plenum.

Other mods so far:
- Motosport AOS (safety mod for track)
- Mantis deep sump (safety mod for track)
- GT3 brake ducts (doubt they do anything)
- WaveTrac TBD (too chicken to get 1.5 way LSD, will do so when I improve my driving skills)
- factory aerokit (purely for looks)
- Bilstein Damptronic coilovers + TPC DSC module for PASM (really great for me)
- Porsche OEM bucket seats from GT2 + 6 pt harness (bling factor and transforms driving experience)

I went for OEM+ route as opposed to full out race mode. I love the way the car drives and really felt this is how the car should be like from the factory. I'm still running on those heavy OEM Porsche Sport Design wheels with heavy tires (RE11). I doubt I'll go with lighter wheels as I feel that none of the aftermarket wheels are really worth my effort to drop so much money on from a styling point of view.
 

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If your goal is to improve the engine for DEs, forget about power. Add a deep sump, Motorsport AOS, and a power steering cooler. Use a high quality oil and change it frequently. Listen to your instructor.
Yes....listen up! If you are taking the car to the track the very first thing that needs to be done is adding the deep sump! Had I only done that it would have saved me around $25,000 for a new engine. Bill was my instructor last year when my DE weekend was cut short on lap 2 of the first session due to oil starvation.
 

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You can also learn the finer points of interior and seat removal and dynamat / dynaliner your car. Absorbs some of the noise, especially the higher frequencies.

I have a post with some pictures of my efforts ... I haven't pulled the seats and carpet but that's on the agenda.
 

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Yes....listen up! If you are taking the car to the track the very first thing that needs to be done is adding the deep sump! Had I only done that it would have saved me around $25,000 for a new engine. Bill was my instructor last year when my DE weekend was cut short on lap 2 of the first session due to oil starvation.
There are MANY stories like this in the 987 Cayman section under Problems and Complaints.

If you are serious about trading for an '09 or newer car, DO THAT BEFORE YOU START MODDING THIS CAR. Dealers want bone stock cars for their lots. The DI engine from '09-12 has 5 oil pumps and does not have the oiling issues that the older cars have. There is also improved cooling for the power steering system and a better Vapor Oil Separation system. All that stuff will need to be attended to if you track an '06 to '08 car.

I bought my car used in '09. If we had all known about the better engine reliability for track use that the Gen 2 cars were packing, I'd have waited and bought a used '09 car. For street use, the early cars are reliable and great, but they can't handle the hard cornering of track/autocross use with modded suspensions. They just turn so much better than other cars that the single oil pump sucks air in corners and blows engines.

If you stick with the '08 car, get the reliability mods before you track it much and certainly before you track hard with R tires and such. You can run an '09-15 car all day without these issues because of the new pumps etc.

I was able to get more than half of my mods at near half price due to it being used and half of the rest of it on Group Buys. I took my time and just didn't track the car until I had the minimum stuff on the car....That would be a 2 quart sump with baffles, in my opinion.

There are a few lucky people out there who've managed not to destroy their un-enhanced Gen 1 motors, but I really think there is more to that story.

Check Problems and Complaints. Check the LN Engineering website. Check the MantisSport website. DO NOT just go out and drive this car hard with a bunch of mods on it. To quote David Hobbs....Ka-Blamo! I can't think of much I'd like less than having to sit through the summer while spending way too much money on a new motor. My info tells me that factory rebuilt motors are $13,000 PLUS LABOR for a STOCK motor that has the same foibles as the ones in our cars. If your engine incident damaged your block beyond repair, add another $5K to that. If you want enhancements so it won't happen again? Check out the Flat-6 website, get your wallet out and wait in line.

These early cars are really fun, but they are what they are. You have to acknowledge their weaknesses if you're going to go out and push them.

:cheers:
 
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The GT3 plenum & throttle body plus the exhaust and software together made a nice difference in everyday driving. Because the GT3 plenum doesn't have the vacuum operated flap of the stock system, there's no clumsy step in the torque that the stock motor has. It's more intuitive and I really like that. Is there more torque? Maybe a bit, but it feels better and that's what I really wanted. Oh, and the fury above 4500 is increased quite a bit. :cool:
:cheers:
Six - you mention the GT3 plenum and TB. I am guessing this plenum is the Porsche GT3 plenum and not the IPD plenum?
 

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Six - you mention the GT3 plenum and TB. I am guessing this plenum is the Porsche GT3 plenum and not the IPD plenum?
The GT3 plenum and throttle Body are stock Porsche parts. They are supplied with Softronics 4.0 flash as a package by Softronics.

The IPD plenum is shaped differently. I've never used it or tried a car with it so I don't know what, if any, difference it makes compared to the GT3 setup. Softronics doesn't like people using their software with plenums and throttle bodies that they haven't used and tested. They only sell the 4.0 software with their GT3 plenum and throttle body. You buy it all as a kit. This is why I had a problem with trying to buy their software for my used plenum. Because the previous owner had bought his hardware and software from Softronics, they sold me the software. So, if you find a used GT3 plenum and intend to buy Softronics for it, make sure to ask Softronics if the previous owner was a customer. If not, you'll be stuck.

IPD is happy to sell you anything they make. If you use a different plenum, that's your problem. I would only run software designed for the IPD plenum if I bought an IPD. Mixing and matching could go wrong. Why take that chance?

I really like the Softronic package I bought. I think their basic software flash, without the plenum, is worthwhile as well based on comments here and elsewhere I've read. You don't get quite as much bump in the upper RPMs as with the plenum, but you do get nice drivability improvements. Their plenum/flash setup works really well when combined with a good aftermarket exhaust. I think I'm missing out on a lot of power by not getting a full race exhaust but I'm happy with the car the way it is. I think there are people on here who have the basic, no-plenum flash and aftermarket exhaust. Most of them are decently happy with the improvement.

Point is, if you want massive HP and torque improvements, get a turbo or a 3.8 liter engine transplant...heck, there's a guy near Vegas who puts LT-1 Corvette engines in Caymans. Believe it or not, the weight increase is a bit under 100 lbs. If you just want drivability improvements and a mild increase in power, the software flash and maybe a mild cat-back will help a lot.

Does IPD plenum work with Softronics? Well, maybe. I'm not one who likes spending this kind of money to fiddle with someone else's carefully worked out solutions. I try not to mix and match. If it doesn't work, you're stuck. If you stick with one or the other, you have some recourse and can expect some help if something ends up wrong...and chances are less that it will be wrong because it's been done.

The IPD plenum looks to me like it would have better flow, but that's a very simplistic way to look at this. Maybe it makes more power at peak HP RPM, but there's lots of turbulence inside an intake plenum that changes at different engine speeds and loads. I'm not looking for ultimate power. I just want a better feeling machine to drive. Is IPD better? Dunno. I went with Softronics because I scored a used Softronics plenum and Scott, the owner, is really a perfectionist and knows A LOT about Porsche.

I drive mostly under 3500 RPMs with the odd blast for a bit of fun like most of street/DD crowd most of the time. I use cruise control a lot. My most frequent drive is from the far west burbs of Chicago to the North burbs of Chicago...55 miles each way on mostly interstate. I crank the Bose and set the cruise at a sporting cruising speed and just try to maintain that for as much of the trip as possible. Triple digits are reserved for track days. The older I get, the faster I was....or something.

Some want a track tool only and gut their cars for less weight etc. Some want a weekend thrill ride/track toy with nice looks. They spend a lot of time cleaning and go for more radical mods, like turbos and race suspensions. I want a car that I can drive across the country, across town and to the track and be entertained. I don't give a hoot about lap times or how I compare to others, even other Caymans. I've had enough cars to know a good one and I have a good one. It makes me smile to drive it and even to look at it after 5 winters. Even with winter tires and wheels on it, it's still a stunning car. I just love the design and really love the mid-engine handling. Adding these tweaks have always been to enhance what this car has always been good at. Nearly all of my stuff has been installed by non-dealer pros at a good shop near my house. I have zero issues with any of it. Car is perfectly reliable with these mods and I expect I'll be driving it for another 50K at least with just normal maintenance.

In the area of not really normal maintenance, I've had to replace my coils and wires, which, to me, seems kind of unusual. That's unfortunately very common with these motors because the coils are really buried into the heads and it's hot there, especially if you track these cars. The insulators crack and sparks can jump now and then. I found myself stalling the car more because it would misfire a bit. Hard to even tell, but it was there. You can go into the car's computer and find misfires for each cylinder. If you find a lot, you probably need new coils and wires. When the new wires were installed, the car was easy to pull away smoothly from a stop with no stalling.

My next preventative maintenance will be checking the radiators and lines for corrosion and replacing anything that looks dicey. I replaced the water pump last year...It's a known weak link at around 50K...I'd waited until 70K or so. I think the under-drive pulley may help water pump longevity??? While they were in there, they put in a lower temp thermostat. It's supposed to turn on a bit sooner at a cost of about 1mpg but prolongs the life of the engine.

I'm always looking for knowledge about the car and I try to learn from other's successes and mistakes. Keep up with a car like this and it's very rewarding. My first great car was a 1974 BMW 2002tii purchased used in 1978. It was a maintenance hog, but what a gem of a car! It was also simple enough that I could do most of the mods and service myself.

When I got the CS, I knew this was going to be one of those cars that's worth keeping and maintaining rather than trading. The amazing support on this site was another thing that has kept me in this car. I could trade "up" to something newer and pricier but I love the build quality, the crudeness, the sharp but not "hey look at me" looks, the way it seems to velcro itself to the pavement, the driving position, the steering, yada-yada-yada. Just a great machine for my situation and interests.

:cheers:
 
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Good info.

You are right about the coils. They are not designed to hold up with that much heat. I have 88k on my car and have had two complete coil failures where they stopped firing. I decided to try something different and covered all the coils with heatshield material. We'll see how long they hold up. coil.JPG
 

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Nearly all of my stuff has been installed by non-dealer pros at a good shop near my house. I have zero issues with any of it. Car is perfectly reliable with these mods and I expect I'll be driving it for another 50K at least with just normal maintenance.
I live in Arlington Heights. Have had my 06CS for a few months but I am looking for a good, trustworthy and knowledgeable mechanic. Who do you use? Like you I don't want or need anything major done. Just some spirited, fun driving here and there.

Thanks,
Paul
 

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Wow, Thank for all the great suggestions and advise. I appreciate the way everyone chipped in with advise honoring my odd request for QUIET mods. I am sure that took restraint. lol I have a lot to think about and research now.Of course, I will be taking driving classes as they come up here in town. In the mean while, I will try to sort through the advise here to figure out which quiet mods are big bang for the buck. I don't want to spend $6K, and only see minimal gains. I would prefer to do the more "sure bets" to start with. On the other hand, a Gen 2 Cayman could appear which would have 25hp and more torque, right out of the gate. haha.Seriously, I think I will start with the Sprint Booster. I know it doesn't add HP, but improving throttle response, which will get the revs up quicker sounds like a good thing. Most people that tried it, seem to like it. Light Tires may be next, while I research more of the great advise above.I will probably forego the reliability mods unless I track it outside of the driving class days. If I start to track it with any regularity, I will spring for them then.
If you act fast, someone has a sprint booster on sale in the classifieds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
If you act fast, someone has a sprint booster on sale in the classifieds.
Cheech,

I acted too fast. I ordered one on-line on Thursday. :)

Thank you for the info though. I appreciate it.

I don't think the person listed which version they selling, in the classifieds. It looks like it will be a good deal for someone though.

I ordered the Auto version, for a couple reasons.
1) Some people that bought the manual version said it was too much.
2) If I do something crazy like buy a Gen2 with PDK, I can just move it to the new car.
 
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Cheech,

I acted too fast. I ordered one on-line on Thursday. :)

Thank you for the info though. I appreciate it.

I don't think the person listed which version they selling, in the classifieds. It looks like it will be a good deal for someone though.

I ordered the Auto version, for a couple reasons.
1) Some people that bought the manual version said it was too much.
2) If I do something crazy like buy a Gen2 with PDK, I can just move it to the new car.
I was a little surprised that you're still getting some lag with Sport Chrono in sport mode. I have an 08 also but with Tip. The response is aggressive between normal and sport engaged.
 
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