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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
It is good to be back...

My ownership and passion for Porsche started here on Planet 9 in 2011 when I acquired a 2012 Cayman R (http://www.planet-9.com/987-cayman-and-boxster-modifications/60623-2012-white-cayman-r-project.html) and it all spiralled down from there: I soon bought a 991 C2S, 996 dedicated track car, 997.1 GT3 and another souped up 991 C2S (with in between a VW Mk6 GTI, BMW E36 M3, E46 M3 and F30 335i all extensively modded). Then, after almost 10 years spent in the US, it was time to move back to Belgium and say goodbye to my toys which I had sold one after the other :(.

Back in Europe, I drive a more pedestrian BMW 430d Gran Coupe as a company car (ATLBlue's 2014 F30 and 2017 F36 Journal) and had promised myself I would get a new P-car -718 or 911- in a few years, after I had put my 2 older boys through college since they chose to stay in the US for a dad-subsidised run. I put all my Porsche stuff in a box in my basement and tried not to think about it, having as much fun as I could with my daily driver. This was until my better half, who had noticed I was dearly missing trackdays, registered me for a DE at Spa-Francorchamps.

Even though I was running my diesel 4-door bimmer, I had a ton of fun but immediately felt the urge to get a lighter and more nimble ride.
Here is a short cheesy video of the day at Spa that made me relapse:


Looking at a way to get something fun without breaking the bank, I found a 2006 Artic Silver Cayman S (Manual, with PASM, Sport Chrono...) in very good condition with about 60,000 miles. I pulled the trigger but still have not taken pictures or done anything to my new week-end & track ride.

Meanwhile, here is the pic from the listing showing the car in its present state:



I am looking forward to spend time again on Planet 9, learn from member's experience and share my progress. Next steps are a few upgrades to the car next week (more to come...) and a first day at Spa on August 4th.
:banana::banana::banana:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Thanks!
The used car market for P-cars in Europe varies quite a bit from one country to the other. The U.K. or Germany have more cars available and are usually a bit cheaper (probably around the US level). On smaller markets like Belgium, you end up paying at least 10 to 15% more than in the US for the same car. In addition, 80% of cars have the base engine because of high taxes. Believe it or not, but a lot of the 987 and 981 have the base engine... deflated to 211 hp to stay in the lower tax bracket


Then comes the issue that you have a lot more haters (unlike the US, you are more likely to get your P-car keyed than getting thumbs ups from other petrolheads) and snobs (compared to the US, more P-car drivers own one to show off than because they are true enthusiasts). And naturally, the more snobs you have, the more haters you get.

Overall, I found the US to be heaven on earth for car enthusiasts: cars are usually quite a bit cheaper, low taxes, cheap insurance, almost free gas, tons of petrolheads and cool tuning shops, lots of racetracks, clubs and DEs, etc.

Still, there is a friendly crowd in Europe too, amazing tracks and lots of opportunities to have fun...
 

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I bought the OP's Cayman R......................SM-ATL great to see you back. I am on my second 981 since trading in the R after 2 years of troublefree driving.
If your pattern repeats, I expect this 06 to undergo a transformation :).
 

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Thanks!
The used car market for P-cars in Europe varies quite a bit from one country to the other. The U.K. or Germany have more cars available and are usually a bit cheaper (probably around the US level). On smaller markets like Belgium, you end up paying at least 10 to 15% more than in the US for the same car. In addition, 80% of cars have the base engine because of high taxes. Believe it or not, but a lot of the 987 and 981 have the base engine... deflated to 211 hp to stay in the lower tax bracket :(

Then comes the issue that you have a lot more haters (unlike the US, you are more likely to get your P-car keyed than getting thumbs ups from other petrolheads) and snobs (compared to the US, more P-car drivers own one to show off than because they are true enthusiasts). And naturally, the more snobs you have, the more haters you get.

Overall, I found the US to be heaven on earth for car enthusiasts: cars are usually quite a bit cheaper, low taxes, cheap insurance, almost free gas, tons of petrolheads and cool tuning shops, lots of racetracks, clubs and DEs, etc.

Still, there is a friendly crowd in Europe too, amazing tracks and lots of opportunities to have fun...
Good to know! I hope to make it over there in the next few years to live out my nordschleife and Spa dreams, but it's tough trying to gain a work visa right now. I'm really interested in where you go with this car, especially suspension. Do you keep the PASM and go DSC Sport box and maybe their tractive coilovers, or something else?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I bought the OP's Cayman R......................SM-ATL great to see you back. I am on my second 981 since trading in the R after 2 years of troublefree driving.
If your pattern repeats, I expect this 06 to undergo a transformation :).
Hi Ron, nice to hear from you after all this time! I am happy to see that you Cayman passion is still strong and am not surprised that you could not stay very long without a Porsche after you sold the CR ;) Congrats on the 2016 981!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Good to know! I hope to make it over there in the next few years to live out my nordschleife and Spa dreams, but it's tough trying to gain a work visa right now. I'm really interested in where you go with this car, especially suspension. Do you keep the PASM and go DSC Sport box and maybe their tractive coilovers, or something else?
The 'ring is on my list for the coming months, but given the length of the track, it will take many visits and lots of practice :) Spa is really amazing and has a bit of everything: high speed and technical sections, elevation changes, nice amenities and scenery... Aside from the fact that the weather is less predictable than in the Southeast and that the trackdays season is shorter, I consider myself happy to be only one hour away from it.

Regarding car modifications, I have not figured out yet how far I want to go. Probably not all the way to a fully dedicated track setup since I want to be able to use it for spirited week end driving on open road. I also do not want to over-invest in it since I would rather move on to a 911 again at some point. Still, the Cayman is a terrific little car so it will probably last for a while. First -little- steps are scheduled for next week: replacement of all the suspension bushings at the front (there is a little bit of knocking in the front suspension) and oil pan and sump plate baffle kit (I will still be on street tires, but I'd rather not take risks of oil starvation at the track). A LSD will definitely be required shortly thereafter, probably before suspension improvements. The PASM works very well, but the DSC sport box seems an interesting upgrade option. Nevertheless, I want to assess how the car performs and find out more about user feedback before giving it a try.

To be continued...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
First mod!

Let's start small: new key cases... not even 20 EUR on eBay and looks like new and OEM.

 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
First time at the shop...

No major modifications yet, just the bare minimum to get the car ready for some track time this Friday at Spa. I went to an independent shop (Passion911) close to Namur (Belgium) and they seem to do a good job. They are more focused on maintenance/restoration of P-cars to stock than heavy on track prep', but my goal was also to make sure that my Cayman was perfectly reliable in stock mode before taking bigger steps.


Brakes

While OEM lines are of good quality, I preferred to have stainless steel braided lines installed. Unfortunately, non-OEM lines are not allowed in Belgium and I would get flagged during the annual mandatory vehicle technical inspection. Fortunately, Goodridge makes a nice product called "Phantom" brakelines that are covered with a rubber-like coating and would go perfectly unnoticed ;)



At the same time I got the fluid replaced by racing brake fluid and Pagid RS29s installed front and rear. Just for the looks, I also got new Porsche decals on the callipers...




Suspension

The light knocking sound I had in the front suspension got fixed by replacing the sway bar bushes. I was ready to do more if necessary, but I like the idea to be able to test-drive the car with the suspension in a completely stock setup and start from there. I also added 5mm spacer at each wheel and got a slightly more aggressive alignment.

Engine

In order to prevent any risk of oil starvation -while still being on street tires- I also had an oil pan and sump plate baffle kit from FVD installed (with a magnetic drain plug). I know it may not be a bulletproof solution but it will put my mind at ease for now.




Others

New battery, extensive inspection and testing... The car is good to go :drivingskid:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
A few pictures


I must be getting old. The clean OEM stock look of the 987.1 in artic silver on black is growing on me. I had considered all kinds of modifications, decals etc. but the more I look at how the car currently is, the more it simply illustrates how form follows function.

I took a few pics today...










The interior if full leather and in great shape, but I will probably want to add a bluetooth connection for my iPhone and I find the rim of the steering wheel a bit thin. Not to mention the usual A/C control buttons that need to be refinished.

As far as the exterior is concerned, I had ordered the 'Cayman R'-stripes but have to make up my mind to see if I will get them on the car or not. Should I go for it, this is what it would look like.



It is still fairly low-key... and can be easily removed, so I may give it a try.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Exhaust job!


I was looking at getting a bit louder exhaust, but as stated before, I like an 'OEM+' approach. Living in Belgium, a visit to Gert Carnewal came in good order and his OEM modded GT exhaust was definitely the right option for me. The car still sounds like a Porsche (not too much low rev' growl), is not too loud below 2-3,000 rpm and really opens up from 4,000 rpm to the redline. My neighbours are still happy and the exhaust puts a big smile on my face when I step on it.

Everything that is said on forums about Gert and his shop is true: he is extremely kind and competent, the exhaust swap job takes almost too little time to fully enjoy the premises and you get to wait comfortably installed with your computer, sipping on a good coffee and indulging a few chocolates :D

Probably the best value for money for a louder exhaust suitable for daily driving if you do not have PSE.

My car ready for the exhaust swap...:




...while I comfortably wait:

 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
A few cosmetic changes


Since I already had the decals, I went ahead and installed the 'Cayman R' stripes on the car. I also replaced the discoloured center caps with a fresh set of Tequipment coloured crest-on-silver. I find it OK for now. Let's see if it gets old or if I will leave the decals on the car on the long run...





While I dropped by at the dealership, I also spotted this immaculate 996 GT3 for sale. Just in case you had 80,000 EUR under your mattress and did not know what to do with it :)

 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Air filter change


Taking a look at the maintenance records, I noticed that the air filter had not been changed in a while. It was probably too soon according to Porsche's own schedule but having planned to head for the track, I decided to replace it anyway and while I was at it to install a BMC filter. Looking at how dirty the filter was and the amount of dust that came out of it, it probably was about time to take care of this.








When I find the time, I will spend a couple of hours detailing the engine bay, but this is not mission critical for now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
At the track!

All the basics being taken care of, it was finally time to take the Cayman to the track. The first opportunity was a Public Driving Experience day at Spa-Francorchamps. It is not the kind of DE I have been used to in the US (run groups not based on experience/skill level, not point bys, all kinds of cars on the track...), but it was plenty of fun. It is simply meant to offer the possibility to drive your own car on the circuit, but it turns out that most of the participants -a lot of them from the UK, Germany and France- are track rats.

To make a long story short, the car did great and, to a certain degree, exceeded my expectations. My former 991 C2S or 997.1 GT3 were undoubtedly quicker and the 991 w/PDK was especially easier to drive fast, the car being so 'good' that it made you look like a great driver every time.
The manual 287 certainly required more work but was also more tactile, nimble and therefore more rewarding. It may sound like a paradox, but while the Cayman S may feel a bit underpowered on the street, particularly due to the lack of low end torque, the perception on the track is very different and the car appears to be a very coherent and well balanced package: the motor, gearbox, suspension and brakes all work together very well. With the car being stock (except for the pads), you can push the engine to its limit and still go nicely around the turns, only having to use the brakes before tight corners.

Would I like a bit more power ? having the car to remain a bit more flat around corners ? Sure, but I am afraid that if I rush into modifications, I could ruin the balance of the car like I have done on some of my previous rides. The only improvement I would like is a tad more stability under hard braking, but it was not even a real concern. Ideally, I would go for electronically controlled coilovers that would be softer than PASM in 'normal' mode and stiffer in 'sport'. I have been told that Bilstein Damptronics B16 could achieve this but reviews I read (logically) say the opposite with the car being stiffer all the time. No hurry anyway, I will keep running the Cayman as it is until it is time to replace the OEM shocks. The best upgrade I can think of for now is more seat time (and maybe go on a diet to reduce the weight).

Here is a video of a lap following a pair of 991 GT3s. They could for sure have left me in the dust, but the drivers were most likely not pushing the cars too hard.



I have also used one of iMovie's trailers to make this -very- cheesy video:

 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
More small stuff...

It seems that over the years the headlights of my CS had become a bit hazy and covered with faint scratches:



I cleaned them thoroughly, got them covered with clearbra and they now look like new again:



Cheap, quick and easy :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
+5hp... at least

with a Spa-Francorchamps sticker.



Too big to my taste, I'll have to find another one... so I can make room for Zolder next week (yippee) and hopefully the 'ring in a few weeks.
 

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Thanks for sharing your experiences!

Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for sharing your experiences!
The pleasure is all mine. There is for sure nothing really new with a car that has been for so long on the market, but I enjoy reading other's personal experiences, and what they end up doing over the long term. Before I bought the car, I thought about turning it quickly into a dedicated track toy and change a lot of things. Then I found out that I enjoyed it quite a bit the way it was... but with more trackdays, mod options are growing on me again. I asked quotes for bucket seats w/harnesses, new control arms etc. Time will tell.
 

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It is good to be back...

My ownership and passion for Porsche started here on Planet 9 in 2011 when I acquired a 2012 Cayman R (http://www.planet-9.com/987-cayman-and-boxster-modifications/60623-2012-white-cayman-r-project.html) and it all spiralled down from there: I soon bought a 991 C2S, 996 dedicated track car, 997.1 GT3 and another souped up 991 C2S (with in between a VW Mk6 GTI, BMW E36 M3, E46 M3 and F30 335i all extensively modded). Then, after almost 10 years spent in the US, it was time to move back to Belgium and say goodbye to my toys which I had sold one after the other :(. ...

I am looking forward to spend time again on Planet 9, learn from member's experience and share my progress. Next steps are a few upgrades to the car next week (more to come...) and a first day at Spa on August 4th.
:banana::banana::banana:
You are the same SM ATL of Journal fame from RL and 6SP? You be famous :) I've read some of your journals and growing experiences and enjoyed them. Learned stuff from them too.

I applaud you Sir, good stuff.

Welcome back

Chows
 
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