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The Staff of Motorsport Marketing
The Staff of Motorsport Marketing Writer
1/31/19 11:01 a.m.


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Photo Courtesy Porsche

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AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) Dork
5/5/20 6:45 p.m.

"IMS bearings do not tend to be an issue with the GT3 cars because they came with the special Cup engines."

Pretty awful for an expert.  The M96 in the regular 911s has the IMS roller bearing and a potential issue.  Porsche did design a Cup car alternate engine based on the M96.  A lot of those parts later became part of the X51 power package.  

The GT3 engine is a Mezger engine.  It is actually based on the old air cooled engine design, which also has an intermediate shaft.  The IMS is supported by an oil fed plain bearing like the crank.  These engines are much more durable in this regard.  Suffice it to say the GT3 engine isn't really a special cup engines.

Normally I'd love to read a GT3 article but this stopped me in my tracks.  

My favorite 996 issue is that in '05, you could buy a 997 Carrera but all GT3s, turbos and the GT2 were still 996 based cars.  The GT3, GT2 and turbo all use Mezger based engines. You couldn't get a US spec GT3 until '04.  You could get a Ruf RGT in '00 or '01 which was a Ruf 996 chassis with a naturally aspirated Mezger in the US.  Reportedly only 17 were built and only half a dozen or so made it to the US.

dps214
dps214 Reader
5/5/20 7:11 p.m.

In reply to AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) :

Yeah...GT3 and turbo engines technically have M96 codes, but are completely unrelated to the "normal" engines. No IMS troubles, real dry sump, air cooled case with water cooled cylinders and heads.

More fun facts: the overlapping generations isn't new for Porsche. In 1989 the 964 Carerra 4 was introduced, but all the 2WD models wre still torsion bar 911s. And there's probably some other examples too. The GT3 (and maybe Turbo?) release is always staggered a year or three from the initial model release. 

docwyte
docwyte UberDork
5/6/20 8:34 a.m.

Yup, 996 Turbo's and GT cars have the older Mezger motors.  That's why I bought a turbo...

DirtyBird222
DirtyBird222 UberDork
5/6/20 10:29 a.m.

That's some pretty cryptic expertise.....

Also sounds like owning a early 2000s Porsche is a PITA. 

docwyte
docwyte UberDork
5/6/20 12:58 p.m.

In reply to DirtyBird222 :

Mine has been totally reliable.  I have friends with over 100k miles on their 996 Turbos and have had the same experiences.  Nothing beyond typical maintenance

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) Dork
5/6/20 3:14 p.m.
DirtyBird222 said:

That's some pretty cryptic expertise.....

Also sounds like owning a early 2000s Porsche is a PITA. 

It's far better than it seems.  You have to factor in that Porsche owners tend to be paranoid, neat freak, perfectionists.  Selling used Porsche's is brutal for this reason unless they are really old and priced accordingly.  It seems like every first time Porsche owner expects a "perfect" car and that creates a lot of the "issues."

As far as cryptic expertise, well that's largely due to how Porsche operates.  They just don't like to share expertise or information, so you have to get it first hand or second hand from someone that really knows.  There is a lot of 3rd and 4th party heresay that is just really bad info. 

Having taken a class taught by the guy who has rebuild the most M96 and M97 engines co-taught by the team manager for many Porsche Daytona 24 hour endurance races really helped.  Other guest instructors including the one reputable shop that rebuilds and repairs water cooled heads, the owner of the shop that sells the best aftermarket cylinders and pistons and Lake Speed Jr. of Gibbs Racing oils.  Now all of the class info is on video for purchase without the Q&A which I was lucky to benefit from. 

It's funny because the Mezger engines have a bullet proof reputation but the guys that rebuild them prefer the M96/7 platform with improvements.  Did I mention the owners wife holds FIA land speed records with a built M96 engine? 

Basically, the information is all out there, you just have to weed through a lot of other info to find the correct stuff.  It's not really even a matter of knowing it all, but knowing where to look and who to call when you need help.  I'm hoping to find a nice M96 3.2L or 3.4L 5 chain core oneday at a reasonable price and rebuild my own for performance and to always have a spare on hand.  I own two cars with 5 chain M96s.

I love the turbo 996s too, but don't think I'd ever buy one.  I would buy a 996 or 997 GT3 if I had the funds and found the right car for me.  It'd have to be certain colors, have certain options, and be in my price range..... so probably never. 

 

 

DirtyBird222
DirtyBird222 UberDork
5/6/20 4:03 p.m.
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) said:
DirtyBird222 said:

That's some pretty cryptic expertise.....

Also sounds like owning a early 2000s Porsche is a PITA. 

It's far better than it seems.  You have to factor in that Porsche owners tend to be paranoid, neat freak, perfectionists.  Selling used Porsche's is brutal for this reason unless they are really old and priced accordingly.  It seems like every first time Porsche owner expects a "perfect" car and that creates a lot of the "issues."

As far as cryptic expertise, well that's largely due to how Porsche operates.  They just don't like to share expertise or information, so you have to get it first hand or second hand from someone that really knows.  There is a lot of 3rd and 4th party heresay that is just really bad info. 

Having taken a class taught by the guy who has rebuild the most M96 and M97 engines co-taught by the team manager for many Porsche Daytona 24 hour endurance races really helped.  Other guest instructors including the one reputable shop that rebuilds and repairs water cooled heads, the owner of the shop that sells the best aftermarket cylinders and pistons and Lake Speed Jr. of Gibbs Racing oils.  Now all of the class info is on video for purchase without the Q&A which I was lucky to benefit from. 

It's funny because the Mezger engines have a bullet proof reputation but the guys that rebuild them prefer the M96/7 platform with improvements.  Did I mention the owners wife holds FIA land speed records with a built M96 engine? 

Basically, the information is all out there, you just have to weed through a lot of other info to find the correct stuff.  It's not really even a matter of knowing it all, but knowing where to look and who to call when you need help.  I'm hoping to find a nice M96 3.2L or 3.4L 5 chain core oneday at a reasonable price and rebuild my own for performance and to always have a spare on hand.  I own two cars with 5 chain M96s.

I love the turbo 996s too, but don't think I'd ever buy one.  I would buy a 996 or 997 GT3 if I had the funds and found the right car for me.  It'd have to be certain colors, have certain options, and be in my price range..... so probably never. 

 

 

Do they give classes on a proper LSX swap? That seems more manageable than relying murky hearsay wink

I've looked into 996s in the past and enjoyed the ones I've test driven. I have gripes about working on German cars because of nightmares I've dealt with back when I was a tech. I bought an S2000 and an E36 M3 with that money instead. I have unlimited reliability and the ability to be frustrated by German nuisances all under the same budget. It hasn't stopped me from continually looking at 996s for future projects. 

 

mw
mw Dork
5/6/20 7:35 p.m.

I know it's only anecdotal evidence, but my 99 C2 has been trouble free for 6 years and about 55,000 km. Just oil changes and brakes and tires.  It just keeps working. It was cheap ($16k Canadian). I'm often tempted to replace it because ADD, but there's definitely nothing I'd prefer at a similar price. 

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) Dork
5/6/20 8:41 p.m.

Proper LSX swap and a 996 is a debatable topic to say the least.  Each swap is really a custom one off affair no matter what folks say.  You should look up SPEC 996 lap times if you think you need more power. 

 

dps214
dps214 Reader
5/6/20 9:52 p.m.
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) said:

Proper LSX swap and a 996 is a debatable topic to say the least.  Each swap is really a custom one off affair no matter what folks say.  You should look up SPEC 996 lap times if you think you need more power. 

Agreed, I'm not a huge fan of the M96 engine line, but it's nowhere near enough of a dumpster fire that anything but the most well executed and polished swap would be genuinely more trouble free. If you want a 911 with a V8, go for it. If you want a bulletproof and hassle free ownership experience, add up what you would have spent making the swap flawless, then go buy a 997.2 and probably have some money left over, not to mention a car with some amount of resale value.

docwyte
docwyte UberDork
5/7/20 10:11 a.m.

I'd never do a non native swap again.  I put an LSx into my 951 and it was a tremendous amount of work.  Tyler Hoover of Hoovies Garage did an LS swap on his old 996 and regretted it. 

As much as I love the GT3's, I wouldn't want one for anything other than a dedicated track car.  They're just not great on the road, they're a thinly disguised track car.

dps214
dps214 Reader
5/7/20 10:53 a.m.

In reply to docwyte :

I wouldn't be surprised if you're right about the 996, but the 997+ GT3s with active dampers ride really well on the road. They can't totally cover up all the stiff rubber and metal bushings in the suspension, but they're far from uncomfortable. I've definitely been in more "normal" vehicles that weren't as comfortable on the road. Then all you're left with is the lack of ground clearance and awful fuel mileage, and you get at least one of those things with most any sports car. Though piling on miles is the one thing that depreciates GT cars, so I definitely wouldn't have one as a pure street car unless I was fully dedicated to keeping it forever.

docwyte
docwyte UberDork
5/7/20 3:01 p.m.

In reply to dps214 :

I've driven a 997 GT3RS on the road but only briefly around a pretty tight neighborhood.  Not enough to get an idea of how it rode but the 996 GT3's I've driven are pretty brutal.  The clutch effort on all these GT cars is also in the 800lb gorilla level, 996 and 997 alike...

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) Dork
5/7/20 5:48 p.m.

If I had one, I'd be driving it primarily to and from fun events or the Hill Country or fun roads in OK and AR.  I don't care about ride quality for that :).  The 997 GT3s are moving into the world of possibility lately thanks to Porsche finally importing lots of GT cars into the US.  I will keep waiting.  Time is on my side.  I may never own one, but given the right opportunity, I'd pounce.

 

 

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
11/10/21 5:57 p.m.

Thanks to a job change and rising P car prices, my dreams of ever owning one of these has likely vanished.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
11/11/21 8:30 a.m.

In reply to AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) :

You know, I thought about a 996 GT3 when they "only" cost about $45k to $50k. I figured I could sell my 911 and get most of the way there. But now a 996 GT3 costs $100k....

docwyte
docwyte PowerDork
11/11/21 8:55 a.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens :

At the end of 09 I had a chance to get a 996 GT3 for $45k that had all the tasty parts like the euro GT3 seats, rollbar, toe arms, etc, etc.  He was selling it and buying a friends Spec E30.

I passed on it because I was in the midst of buying the building for my practice and also thought I'd be better off with a cheap, disposable track car.  I ended up buying the 944 Turbo, which showed up with a blown motor and I LS swapped it.  Spent an insane amount of money,  on it, no longer was it a cheap, disposable track car.

I kick myself everytime I think about that.  I could've been driving a GT3 all these years that's now worth twice what I would've paid for it.  Ugh.

KyAllroad
KyAllroad UltimaDork
11/11/21 9:06 a.m.

The car is out of my range, but I have the seats of a 996 GT3 in my Miata.  They're really comfortable for fixed back racing units.

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
11/11/21 9:24 a.m.
David S. Wallens said:

In reply to AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) :

You know, I thought about a 996 GT3 when they "only" cost about $45k to $50k. I figured I could sell my 911 and get most of the way there. But now a 996 GT3 costs $100k....

Same here.  Had the world not gotten turned upside down and I had stayed at my job and gotten a big fat year end bonus, I might really have one.

My current job pays nice relocation bonuses for certain sites, but that isn't enough.  I have other car plans for those funds should things work out.  

dps214
dps214 Dork
11/11/21 10:01 a.m.
docwyte said:

In reply to David S. Wallens :

At the end of 09 I had a chance to get a 996 GT3 for $45k that had all the tasty parts like the euro GT3 seats, rollbar, toe arms, etc, etc.  He was selling it and buying a friends Spec E30.

I passed on it because I was in the midst of buying the building for my practice and also thought I'd be better off with a cheap, disposable track car.  I ended up buying the 944 Turbo, which showed up with a blown motor and I LS swapped it.  Spent an insane amount of money,  on it, no longer was it a cheap, disposable track car.

I kick myself everytime I think about that.  I could've been driving a GT3 all these years that's now worth twice what I would've paid for it.  Ugh.

Don't feel too bad, you could have been the guy that sold a car that was about to appreciate 100% to buy a E36 M3box E30.

I think I've said this before, but the thing with any "collector" porsche is that unless you win the lottery or something you'll never be more able to afford one than whenever you first decide you want one. You might think something like "in a few years when I have more saved up" but in that time the value will have outperformed your saving abilities almost every time.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
11/11/21 10:11 a.m.

FWIW, I bought my '84 911 Carrera at the right time and have been extremely happy. I admit, I got in before the bump, but I wasn't thinking like that. I wanted one, so I bought what I could afford. (Truth be told, I originally started looking for an E46 M3 and then a 993, but that's a whole 'nother story.)

docwyte
docwyte PowerDork
11/11/21 10:38 a.m.

In reply to KyAllroad :

Have those been recovered?  They didn't come from the factory like that, there should be a Porsche crest on the headrest and recaro embossed on the back.  If those are real, they're worth $5000 now!

Olemiss540
Olemiss540 HalfDork
11/11/21 12:05 p.m.
docwyte said:

In reply to KyAllroad :

Have those been recovered?  They didn't come from the factory like that, there should be a Porsche crest on the headrest and recaro embossed on the back.  If those are real, they're worth $5000 now!

They have never been made out of a microfiber type of material. Only ever made from Leather or Neoprene from the factory. 

Olemiss540
Olemiss540 HalfDork
11/11/21 12:09 p.m.

Bought one. Loved it. Rebuilt it. Thrashed it mercilessly on track. Then realized it was waaAAAAAAaaaaay too much money to have sitting in my garage 99.9% of the time unused. 

Was a fabulous event a Road America though before she went to her next owner. Will always be the nicest car I will have ever owned.

Really need to make 4x or 5x a cars value in yearly income to not have regret staring at it as garage art in my mind. 

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