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Hi everyone, I am new here and just picked up a 2008 cayman base model with 96k miles. My intentions are to make it into my weekend spirited drive car and track day car. Nothing competitive, just for my own fun. There are so much info on this site and I'm a little overwhelmed on what to do.

I was planning on tracking the car as is but the tie rods are worn down. Should I upgrade to stock tie rods if I plan on putting coil overs in the future? I don't plan on doing everything now but just enjoying the car and adding/upgrading things as I learn more and more.

-Can someone recommend me inner/outer tie rods and sway links for my situation?
-What coil over or suspension set up is best for my intended usage?

I have a budget for this but just want "best bang for buck" upgrades, dont need the best of the best since I wont be competing competitively.

PS. I will be doing the oil preventive mods to try and prevent oil starving, but i'm so new to track, i dont think i will even push it near the limit.

Thanks!
 

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Hi everyone, I am new here and just picked up a 2008 cayman base model with 96k miles. My intentions are to make it into my weekend spirited drive car and track day car. Nothing competitive, just for my own fun. There are so much info on this site and I'm a little overwhelmed on what to do.

I was planning on tracking the car as is but the tie rods are worn down. Should I upgrade to stock tie rods if I plan on putting coil overs in the future? I don't plan on doing everything now but just enjoying the car and adding/upgrading things as I learn more and more.

-Can someone recommend me inner/outer tie rods and sway links for my situation?
-What coil over or suspension set up is best for my intended usage?

I have a budget for this but just want "best bang for buck" upgrades, dont need the best of the best since I wont be competing competitively.

PS. I will be doing the oil preventive mods to try and prevent oil starving, but i'm so new to track, i dont think i will even push it near the limit.

Thanks!
Well, long story short here is if you intend to track your car, oil starvation and oil over heating are two issues to solve right away. This is because just a single track event could cause severe rod bearing scarring depending on the tires you use which equates to G forces in the long right sweepers. So, get a deep sump with a baffle and windage tray. Next, install a 996 oil/water heat exchanger. Lastly figure out what oil will fit your needs. Track oil should be 10W40 of some sort. The reason for that type of oil is once you are on the track, our cars do not have oil pressure gauges or oil temp gauges, so you are blind to what is happening behind you. The M97 engine has a weakness for rod bearing #6 scarring as its oiling feed is around the clutch side main bearing and through the crankshaft to rod bearing #6. By the time the oil reaches this bearing it is very very hot, especially in the second half of the 30 minute run. That is where many of the blow ups happen. So, use a little thicker oil and the deeper sump. LN makes a good kit that includes a straight oil return down tube to the windage tray. The idea is the less restriction on the head oil return the better as some oil will get trapped there and become frothy. So the less air in the oil the better.

The 996 oil/water heat exchanger is double the capacity of the 987.1 Caymans, so that is a better bet to keep the oil cooler. Later, after a few track days, you might want to add a 3rd radiator to keep the water temp down. In the P9 article section, "376726111 Engine Oil Cooler" giving the correct part number and washers.

I use Elephant tie rod ends with bump steer adjustments both front and rear (toe). The reason is my car is lowered with a Ohlin Coilover road and track system about 35mm from stock. This is where the bumpsteer adjustments come in handy to help keep the tie rod close to level. The Ohlins provide as much spring rate and shock valving as I need for my autocross and few HPDE's each year, which is about 15% of the usage, the rest is a daily driver. The single golden knob adjusts both the rebound and compression which is shown below at the base of the Ohlin shock body. Spring rates are 400 lbs/in f and 458 lbs/in r, so 50% more than OEM rates. To go with these rates I added Tarett GT adjustable swaybars, These bars add to the spring rates and depending on the adjustment, can add significant amount of spring rate, which is a big negative for everyday driving on bumpy back country roads. They do add spring stiffness for a great day on a semi flat track though. They can be changed to the softest setting for wet track conditions as well.

One additional item you will need is adjustable rear toe links with bump steer. The reason is if your car is lowered beyond 28mm or so, getting the rear toe to toe in enough is difficult using the OEM toe link. Again, I am using the Elephant rear toe link with bump steer adjustment and locker plates to secure the twist adjuster.

Then comes the alignment with corner balancing. You will need adjustable down links for this to occur. The issue is the swaybars will have preload if these adjustable links are not used. Corner diagonal cross balancing really helps keep the car's turn in and mid corner roll rate equal. This balance includes drivers weight in the drivers seat.

if you like your tires and intend to track your car more than a few times a year, you will want to add more camber than the OEM adjustments will give you, especially in the front. To solve this most of us have gone to GT3 lower control arms with adjustable shims for adding camber in the front. The rear will be ok as you can get about -2.1 degrees of camber out of the rear adjuster. The most OEM front camber most local shops can give you without slotting the top mount is -1.5 degrees. The outside tire shoulders will still get a significant amount of wear with this setup. Most track cars use -2.7 degrees of camber f and -2.1 degrees r to solve the tire shoulder wear issue. Adjustable top mounts in front are also available. Many track cars have both systems for the front as pushing out the track 20mm on the GT3 lower control arms can cause some unintended issues with caster. By using the OEM top slots (-1.4), and the GT3 LCA's with 13 mm shims (1mm shim equals -.1 degree of camber) gives a total -2.7 degrees. By keeping the caster (using the adjustable thrust puck in the center of the GT3 LCA) closer to OEM specs 7.5 the steering effort in not affected by the camber adjustments.

Lastly, Brakes, to get rid of the heat, you will need either GT2 or 996 GT3 Cup brake duct deflectors f and GT2 rear brake duct. Brake pads are your choice and most likely you will need larger front slotted rotors from Girodisc or a Brembo big brake kit.

A very slippery slope is occurring here. Happy modifications.

DSC_0026.JPG
 

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You’re giving away all your secrets
And giving him a lot to work toward
 

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Apex1 gave a great road map. I started a little slower adding pieces as needed since I am just starting. First, deep sump, alignment, then brake fluid, pads and stainless lines. Then third radiator and will be adding LCAs this spring for more camber and a more aggressive alignment. May do coil overs and rear toe links next year.
Also, debating Carnewall exhaust just for fun!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well, long story short here is if you intend to track your car, oil starvation and oil over heating are two issues to solve right away. This is because just a single track event could cause severe rod bearing scarring depending on the tires you use which equates to G forces in the long right sweepers. So, get a deep sump with a baffle and windage tray. Next, install a 996 oil/water heat exchanger. Lastly figure out what oil will fit your needs. Track oil should be 10W40 of some sort. The reason for that type of oil is once you are on the track, our cars do not have oil pressure gauges or oil temp gauges, so you are blind to what is happening behind you. The M97 engine has a weakness for rod bearing #6 scarring as its oiling feed is around the clutch side main bearing and through the crankshaft to rod bearing #6. By the time the oil reaches this bearing it is very very hot, especially in the second half of the 30 minute run. That is where many of the blow ups happen. So, use a little thicker oil and the deeper sump. LN makes a good kit that includes a straight oil return down tube to the windage tray. The idea is the less restriction on the head oil return the better as some oil will get trapped there and become frothy. So the less air in the oil the better.

The 996 oil/water heat exchanger is double the capacity of the 987.1 Caymans, so that is a better bet to keep the oil cooler. Later, after a few track days, you might want to add a 3rd radiator to keep the water temp down. In the P9 article section, "376726111 Engine Oil Cooler" giving the correct part number and washers.

I use Elephant tie rod ends with bump steer adjustments both front and rear (toe). The reason is my car is lowered with a Ohlin Coilover road and track system about 35mm from stock. This is where the bumpsteer adjustments come in handy to help keep the tie rod close to level. The Ohlins provide as much spring rate and shock valving as I need for my autocross and few HPDE's each year, which is about 15% of the usage, the rest is a daily driver. The single golden knob adjusts both the rebound and compression which is shown below at the base of the Ohlin shock body. Spring rates are 400 lbs/in f and 458 lbs/in r, so 50% more than OEM rates. To go with these rates I added Tarett GT adjustable swaybars, These bars add to the spring rates and depending on the adjustment, can add significant amount of spring rate, which is a big negative for everyday driving on bumpy back country roads. They do add spring stiffness for a great day on a semi flat track though. They can be changed to the softest setting for wet track conditions as well.

One additional item you will need is adjustable rear toe links with bump steer. The reason is if your car is lowered beyond 28mm or so, getting the rear toe to toe in enough is difficult using the OEM toe link. Again, I am using the Elephant rear toe link with bump steer adjustment and locker plates to secure the twist adjuster.

Then comes the alignment with corner balancing. You will need adjustable down links for this to occur. The issue is the swaybars will have preload if these adjustable links are not used. Corner diagonal cross balancing really helps keep the car's turn in and mid corner roll rate equal. This balance includes drivers weight in the drivers seat.

if you like your tires and intend to track your car more than a few times a year, you will want to add more camber than the OEM adjustments will give you, especially in the front. To solve this most of us have gone to GT3 lower control arms with adjustable shims for adding camber in the front. The rear will be ok as you can get about -2.1 degrees of camber out of the rear adjuster. The most OEM front camber most local shops can give you without slotting the top mount is -1.5 degrees. The outside tire shoulders will still get a significant amount of wear with this setup. Most track cars use -2.7 degrees of camber f and -2.1 degrees r to solve the tire shoulder wear issue. Adjustable top mounts in front are also available. Many track cars have both systems for the front as pushing out the track 20mm on the GT3 lower control arms can cause some unintended issues with caster. By using the OEM top slots (-1.4), and the GT3 LCA's with 13 mm shims (1mm shim equals -.1 degree of camber) gives a total -2.7 degrees. By keeping the caster (using the adjustable thrust puck in the center of the GT3 LCA) closer to OEM specs 7.5 the steering effort in not affected by the camber adjustments.

Lastly, Brakes, to get rid of the heat, you will need either GT2 or 996 GT3 Cup brake duct deflectors f and GT2 rear brake duct. Brake pads are your choice and most likely you will need larger front slotted rotors from Girodisc or a Brembo big brake kit.

A very slippery slope is occurring here. Happy modifications.

View attachment 266541
Wow, thanks for the write up. I'll need some time to digest and comprehend all this.

The car handles well stock now, the tie rods and rear sway bar links are bit worn. There's play in the wheels.

I'll prioritize the oil issues first. But also want to address the worn parts . Do you think I should go with adjustable tierods and sway lines first, since I'll be upgrading suspension in a year or so and go straight to the oil mods.

Any suggestions on time line of upgrades? I don't plan on doing everything immediately. Maybe 6 to 12 months at a time.

Not sure if it's different but I meant HPDE / AutoX for the first year and weekend driving to just get familiar with the car. I really won't be pushing it near the limits at all.
 

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Time line- Engine oil modifications now. Deep sump for 2 additional qts of oil/windage plate/straight head return tubes and run only 1/2 oil fill on your gauge. 996 oil/water heat exchanger in the P9 articles section (not expensive). Buy a OEM AOS for a spare and the cable plyr needed to reassemble the OEM AOS. Depending on your driving style and the sticky ness of your tires, you may not need a Porsche MotorSports version of the 987.1 AOS. If you find you are oiling down the AOS every event, change to the MotorSports ASAP as bad issues can happen with the sump oil ingested in large amounts. Like burning out your catalytic converters, causing your piston to freeze against the oil and the head as it does not compress and lastly bad for your friends behind you when you are leaving a blue/white oil cloud.

Then turn to the worn parts. Adjustable swaybars can be done now. Use the old down links until you are ready for coilovers/ corner balance modifications. If you need tie rods, get the adjustable tie rods with bumpsteer adjustments. A competition alignment - 1.5 camber f and -1.8 camber r. Toe 0 f and toe in 12 minutes in the rear. That's it for this year.

Next year, wheels/tires for the track, front LCA's for additional camber, springs or coilovers. Eccentric rear camber bushings.
 

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Like Apex said, you can upgrade the parts that need to be replaced now while keeping stock shocks for example. When you're ready for coilovers we have several versions of Ohlins with our custom valving and spring packages.

SPL or Tarett drop links work really well:

SPL LCAs:


SPL toe links:

SPL TREs:

Tarett Sways:


Tarett Top mounts:


Ohlins Coilovers:
 

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Don't waste your money on all the mods. Fix the engine oiling issues and spend your money on doing track day after track day, with a good coach. Learn the car, learn your weaknesses and stregnths. Build the car to address both. Modifying the car will hide many of your inherent weaknesses as a driver. I went to my first track day 13 years ago with a fully modified car. An instructor in the same model with only brake pads, fluid and new shocks did things in that car I could only imagine doing. Now as an instructor for over 10 years, I wish I would have started with a relatively stock car.
 

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There's no doubt the driver is the key. However, by this logic we should sell our Porsche's and get go karts...

Don't waste your money on all the mods. Fix the engine oiling issues and spend your money on doing track day after track day, with a good coach. Learn the car, learn your weaknesses and stregnths. Build the car to address both. Modifying the car will hide many of your inherent weaknesses as a driver. I went to my first track day 13 years ago with a fully modified car. An instructor in the same model with only brake pads, fluid and new shocks did things in that car I could only imagine doing. Now as an instructor for over 10 years, I wish I would have started with a relatively stock car.
 

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There's no doubt the driver is the key. However, by this logic we should sell our Porsche's and get go karts...
Did you actually read what I wrote or just decide to post a stupid response for the sake of it? The point is - AT THE BEGINNING (maybe you'll have a better understanding if I spell it out) learning what your car can actually do is way more important that wasting money on mods. AFTER YOU ARE NO LONGER A BEGINNER, you can start making mods based upon what is necessary for your driving style, based upon the data you decide to collect, so you can improve your driving experience. Yes it's about the driver, but it is also about understanding vehicle dynamics and what the impact of what you are doing to your car will have on your car and your driving skills. While I drive a Cayman on the street - I drive a PCA GT3 spec 3.6 Boxster on track. It's far from stock. Of course since you sell parts - I understand where you are coming from.
 

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I sure did rassta, that's why I quoted it. I missed the OP saying he was a beginner, though.

I'm sorry you think my post is stupid. I'll try and up my humor game for next time... :)

but i'm so new to track, i dont think i will even push it near the limit.

Did you actually read what I wrote or just decide to post a stupid response for the sake of it? The point is - AT THE BEGINNING (maybe you'll have a better understanding if I spell it out) learning what your car can actually do is way more important that wasting money on mods. AFTER YOU ARE NO LONGER A BEGINNER, you can start making mods based upon what is necessary for your driving style, based upon the data you decide to collect, so you can improve your driving experience. Yes it's about the driver, but it is also about understanding vehicle dynamics and what the impact of what you are doing to your car will have on your car and your driving skills. While I drive a Cayman on the street - I drive a PCA GT3 spec 3.6 Boxster on track. It's far from stock. Of course since you sell parts - I understand where you are coming from.
 

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Base Caymans rarely have engine oiling issues. It seems the lighter pistons make quite a difference with rod bolt stretch etc. Of course it's good insurance to add a deep sump if you are going to be running R comp tires with a heavily modified suspension. Adding some additional camber up front is a good idea and a must with R comp tires. Camber plates work fine and are the cheapest way to do it. Stock brake pads are good but you will go through them really fast. Something like Padgid orange works well on a dual purpose car. There's no need to go crazy with mods initially. The car will be reliable and fun to drive with just a few cheap mods plus the wear and maintence items you need to address. Once you develop the driving skill to push the car near it's capability you can go crazy with coil overs, bars, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for all the advice.!

So is there a difference between deep sump and accusump? I read that we can install an accusump that will turn on when oil pressure is low and should prevent oil starvation. And if so we don't need an x51 oil pan with baffle?


And then someone else on another thread suggested PS cooler? I think those two items are the most Critical?


And I will have and spare AOS on hand, seems like the consensus on that in every forum/thread.
 

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987peke- I assume that the 2.7L M97 engine would have the same oiling and tracking issues as the 3.4L engine. I should let others with 2.7L track experience offer their ideas to how best to run a 2.7L car on the track. I am looking at both through the same lens, but this may not be the case. Focus on your skills for now. Take care of your tires with a good competition alignment.
 

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Not to beat a dead horse but 99.9% of the oiling issues have been with 987.1 S models. The base Caymans have been very reliable from an oiling point of view. Having blown 3 3.4L engines I can tell you that doing all of the oiling mods you can isn't a fullproof path because the rods and bolts can't handle the heavy pistons. My last engine had a deep sump and extra scavenging pumps on the heads, it still blew. The lighter pistons in the 2.7L allow these engines to survive on track. I've seen base Caymans with race suspensions on slicks with 200 track days and over 100,000 miles with no engine issues. A deep sump with good baffles is a worthwhile insurance policy but not absolutely necessary.

If my memory serves the base Caymans didn't have much of a PS issue either.
 

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Oh that's some good news for me. I went with the Base model because I didn't think I wanted that much HP as a beginner. I went shopping for a Miata and came home with a Cayman lol.

I guess, I'll switch out the tierods/links as Apex suggested with the bump steer adjustment ones and get a competition alignment to start with. I'll keep researching the oil issuing, almost every thread I read, never mentioned that the oil issue was more so for the 987.1 S, not the Cayman, I thought it was all the same.
 

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Unfortunately we do not have oil pressure or oil temperature gauges in our cars, so we are blind. Even with the gauges as some mentioned in other threads, you have no time to study what the pressure gauge is doing. The only way is to have an AIM system that records the whole event so you can replay with a camera and the electronic gauges shown. You would need to install a oil temp sender and most likely a oil pressure sender as well. We have one that goes to the bus but to get that info connected is a nightmare. I thought about analog gauges, but was told that real pressure through a copper line is a no no. That means a flex line from the engine to the dashboard to see the pressure.

Maybe Diverdog is right about the 2.7L pistons and rod bolts. Also not as much heat is developed in the engine as well. So, the oil heat at the #6 rod bearing is not nearly as hot or the pressure on the bearing as great as the 3.4l engine. Maybe you will be ok. I would still call LN to verify the difference in oiling issues between 2.7l and 3.4l. Charles would be able to give you all that is needed as he oversees a whole fleet of Cayman race cars under the BRS/BILT division.
 
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