GT3 Carbon Fiber Mirror Installation

Another upgrade for the 991! This time I decided to add the GT3 carbon fiber mirror housings.  Certainly not cheap (I ordered them from Suncoastparts) but compared to offerings by other companies like MACarbon or Techart they seemed like a steal.

Installation was fairly difficult because I couldn’t find any good assembly / disassembly documentation online. Eventually I figured it out and made this video below:

At first I wasn’t really digging the look of the carbon fiber. In retrospect I have no idea why since I think they look really sharp now (it’s been about a week since the install). Great upgrade. Not a DIY for everyone, but somehow I muddled through it.

The carbon fiber almost makes the mirrors look like little ears from the front. All business from the side.

Porsche 911 Turbo S – 1 Year Review

I have now owned my 2016 Turbo S for over a year. I thought I’d do a quick update after a year of ownership. If you’re not interested and want the quick version then here you go: Still the best car I’ve ever owned. Incredible to drive. Very reliable. Love it.

Reliability: My car has over seven thousand miles on the odometer and it’s performance has been, for the most part, very solid. In the interest of full disclosure I will mention the following:  I had to have a leaking windshield wiper reservoir replaced (under warranty). Periodically I hear some strange noises I can’t explain (an intermittent groaning noise under the dash – although it’s been awhile since I’ve heard it). There are some little rattles here and there (dash, squeaky seat).  A few other quirks pop up now and then such as the stereo restarting or the passenger thermostat not working for an evening. I would say, however, that the amount of issues is on par with or less than most other vehicles I’ve owned. The aforementioned aside, all the electrical and mechanical systems seem to be working correctly, no [other] leaks, emissions tests run (with the right tune) and the car seems very happy. I would say the reliability thus far has been excellent.

One thing that’s noteworthy is that the service at Ken Garff Porsche over the past year has been outstanding. That makes me feel more comfortable when something goes briefly amiss- I feel like they have my back. Their proximity has also been a huge bonus. They happily give you a loaner car or provide pick-up/drop-off services but I love dropping the car off and walking home along the trail.

Projects: While I’ve undertaken a few modifications myself (i.e my center console, carbon fiber additions, etc) I have left some cosmetic and electrical changes to the professionals. I think it’s safe to say that I feel less confident tinkering around with this car than I have with previous cars. That being said there are still tons of cool (non-invasive) ways to customize the 991 series.

Modifications, Mechanical: So far I’ve really just stuck to the time-tested modifications I’ve mentioned before on my blog: Fabspeed 991 Turbo Supersport X-Pipe exhaust w/ the quad-Style Tips, sport headers, , HJS 200-cell racing sport cats, BMC F1 air filter, ByDesign intercoolers, IPD plenum & Y-Pipe and then a tune via the 991 Cobb Accessport Port. Obviously I haven’t pushed any boundaries or ventured into uncharted territory but for the most part I’m pretty happy with what I’ve done. The only thing that I’m not totally satisfied with is the drone that the Fabspeed makes at certain speeds / RPM ranges. However, aside from the periodic drone I do love the sound of the exhaust.

At this point I still don’t actually know how my modified car compares to a stock Turbo S (I haven’t made too much of an effort to find out). Once upon a time I had plans to upgrade the Turbos and add meth injection. However,  think I’m nearly over that infatuation. I like how the car performs right now so I don’t want to go further down the rabbit hole. As thing stand I can’t run quarter miles at RMR (I’m not adding a roll cage) and there aren’t a lot of places around here to max out the car so I don’t see the need for more speed (wha- whaaaaa whaaat??).

Modifications, Cosmetic: I’ve really been happy with everything I’ve done so far. Most of the gold is gone. I’ve added lots of carbon fiber (from Techart & MACarbon). I love how the blue calipers turned out. The back being blacked out (vinyl, tint, letters, etc) really gives the car a nice look. No regrets on my cosmetic changes yet. I do wish upgrading stuff wasn’t so expensive…

Performance: Still top tier in most respects (not much has changed from any of my other reviews so this section will be pretty short). I think I’ve definitely gotten comfortable with the car’s handling and in some ways that makes the car more enjoyable to drive. I took a drive through the AF canyon recently and pushed pretty hard. Previous cars have always made me feel nervous but the Turbo was so planted and handled so well it actually surprised me.

I’d also say that I’ve gotten used to the car’s speed; it’s still fun, but the adrenaline rush has definitely diminished a bit. I think that getting used to your car is inevitable and, for many, it’s part of what compels people to keep modifying their car. I find myself carelessly close to the siren mod-reef on many occasions . But the bottom line is still the same-  I’ve never never had a car that’s more fun to drive.

Ownership (attention): The car is fairly nondescipt, as far as cars like this go and I am generally ignored by other drivers. As I have modified the car it has gotten a little more attention. That’s not necessarily a positive thing for me as I’m certainly not making any changes to garner additional attention. Whatever you own- house, car, clothes, jewelry- you open yourself to some level of public scrutiny. Generally the reception to the car is positive. There are a few detractors now and then and I will admit that owning the car occasionally feels uncomfortable.

Dislikes: There’s just not a lot to dislike about this car. I’ve hit on things in my log from time to time but it’s little stuff. No volume indicator- just ridiculous. I have gotten blasted so many times… at the very least there should be a volume level indicator when there’s no input. Not a huge one, but the sunroof doesn’t open all the way. It opens enough but I feel like I’ve been robbed of a few inches. The exhaust drone is not my favorite (truthfully I almost never notice it when I’mm by myself- only with company). Not totally keen on the placement of the only USB port although this really isn’t an issue since I got my Rennline Phone mount.

I don’t mind the inconvenience of center lock wheels. I don’t mind the tiny back seats (I love that they are even there). No objection to the lack of storage in the frunk- it’s always been plenty to accommodate what I’m doing in this car. I can’t even think of anything else that I might dislike.

Likes: Where do you start on a car like this? I love the look. The feel. The smell. When I get in the car I feel transported to another world with only two rules: Feel good and go fast. So much headroom. So much space in general. I’m a 6′ 4″ 260 lb guy who feels like the car was build for me. The visibility is so good. The seats are so good. The stereo often blows my mind- the Burmester offering is so outstanding that sometimes I just go for a drive to listen to music (to be absolutely fair- the subwoofer has a hard time on some bass-heavy songs).

Cost of Ownership: This could really be it’s own blog post but I’ll cover the basics here.Cost of ownership is something a lot of people really don’t consider when they are buying a car (any car). What does it cost you to own your car each day, to drive it each mile? Here’s a breakdown of my Turbo S. While I won’t hand out all the specifics in this post rest assured that my math is pretty accurate. There are a couple of different ways to approach this but I’m just demonstrating the “cash costs” of owning this vehicle. There are several components of real cost that I will outline below:

Purchase Costs: The base price for a 2016 Turbo S is readily available online and that’s about what I paid (you could say I got my option upgrades for “free”). I traded in my ’15 Corvette on this car which reduced my taxes on the new car by about $6,000. I paid title and registration fees and I purchased, a service contract and some additional warranties (after a year of ownership I have concluded I can sell back two of these for a prorated refund). I don’t have to take into account any costs of interest because I don’t have a loan. If I sold the car right now I think depreciation would hit me to the tune of 18% or so.

Upgrade Costs: I have spent a ton of money on upgrades (many of which are listed here). I could probably recoup 1/5 of the money I’ve put into my upgrades when I sell the car so I can pull those from the cost, but the rest is stuck in that car. Granted, I didn’t have to do the upgrades, but I did and they are part of my personal ownership costs.

Insurance costs: $2000. Gas costs (7000 miles at 17 mpg average at $2.90/gallon  + $400 of racing fuel & additives): $1600. 

Gas Costs: Total cash cost (as in cash I can’t get back from this car) of ownership for year one: $212 / Day or $11 / mile. Totally insane, right?

Now, if I keep the car another year and don’t do any modifications it gets much better.

Taxes, tiles, registration, warranties, and the upgrade costs were all paid for in year one so we don’t have to worry about those (you do have to count modification costs moving forward – I’ll probably spend about 5K a year on those). I’ll get hit with some depreciation from year one to year two (and so on), but it won’t be as bad- say $10,000. I’ve got the racing out of my system so fuel is just $1200 (7000 miles again). Insurance will be about the same. No maintenance costs yet because I have a service plan and my car is still under warranty.

Total cost of ownership in year two, three and four (depreciation, fuel, maintenance, insurance):  $50 / Day OR $2.60 / mile. Obviously the smartest thing you, as a savvy car buyer could do, is let someone else take the financial hit in year one. Maybe I’m not so savvy, but I’ve gladly taken the bullet for someone down the line.

FYI: By the end of year four the warranty expires and maintenance that is no longer covered by an existing service agreement. Depreciation is still going on and maybe a bit faster since the car is out of warranty. It’s very possible that year five and up costs will be similar, but it’s more likely they will be higher than two though four.

Final Thoughts: I am really sold on the Porsche brand. I think any car in their line up would be fantastic but I have a special affinity for the 911 series and, in particular, the Turbos. I’ll conclude the way I started: Best car I’ve ever owned. Incredible to drive. Very reliable. Love it.

Porsche 991 Turbo S – Exclusive Series

Porsche has just announce their 2018 Turbo S Exclusive Series. If you have any interest in this car I’d say the very first step is to head over to the Porsche website to read through the features section. Also take a few minutes to watch the live stream of fan controlled robots crawling around the car:

I have often fantasized about the perfect Turbo S and so I have a few thoughts on this release:

Q. Can I even get one?
A. It’s hard to say at this point. Look what happened with the 911R. They all went to folks who’d bought a 918. I’m hopeful the average Porsche fan gets a crack at these, but history doesn’t seem to be on our side.

Update: The Turbo S Exclusive Editions are being offered to people who have previously purchased a 918.

Q. Do I even want one?

A. I certainly find this car appealing, but I don’t think it’s a good fit for me (more on that later). They’ve done a lot here with carbon fiber and I do love that stuff. However, if Porsche would let me I’d just order parts from this car and install them onto my current car (I don’t think they’d like that). The price on this, while actually less than I expected, somehow seems like too much for what’s included (or not included). I am holding out for a 2020. I have a feeling that will be my next car.

Q. So, what’s the price?
A. One of these beauties start at a whopping $258K. How do they justify that? It’s limited, it’s got some cool upgrades (carbon fiber, a bit more power), more parts of the car are “hand made.” After talking with a local sales rep one thing that surprised me is that you sill have to add in options like the Burmester stereo or even the lane change assist (and you can even add more leather). For the price I feel like all the highest end options and every goody should be already included. But again, to be fair, the car is priced lower than I expected and not much more than a decked out current model Turbo S.

Here is brief picture tour of the car (all pictures are from Porsche.com).


Exclusive Series Turbo S – Front. Note the two stripes of exposed carbon fiber.

Exclusive Series Turbo S – Front Right

Exclusive SeriesTurbo S – Front Left

Exclusive Series Turbo S – Rear Right.

Exclusive Series Turbo S – Rear. Totally dig the carbon fiber valence and the aerokit.

Exclusive Series Turbo S – Wheel Detail. I really like the wheel design, but I’m not really digging the black calipers.

Exclusive Series Turbo S – Illuminated Door Sill Detail. You know I like this.

Exclusive Series Turbo S – Carbon Fiber Engine Cover Detail


Exclusive Series Turbo S – Cockpit


Exclusive Series Turbo S – Seats & Cockpit Side View


Exclusive Series Turbo S – Standard Color Options, Agate Grey Metallic, Golden Yellow Metallic & Carrara White Metallic

Q. Deal breakers?
First a confession- I’m a gold-hater (I’ve admitted this before on my blog and I’ve worked quite hard to remove any traces of gold from my current car). Thankfully the Exclusive Series comes in some other colors (the white looks really good to me). From what I can tell, however, all of these cars come with the gold/yellow wheel detail and interior accents. I freely admit that even with the gold I think the car looks great.

Sadly, there is no sunroof option on this car (understandable given the carbon fiber roof. For the time being, that would be a deal breaker. I know “purists” aren’t big into the sunroof scene (additional weight at the car’s highest point and all that) but it doesn’t seem like many people would want to race this Exclusive Series. Why not have a sunroof for the freaks like me?

My local sales guy also made a good point- when you have a “collectible” like this you’re going to be very wary while you’re driving it. Given how insane I am about the commodity I already own I’m sure it would diminish my driving enjoyment just a little (plus I don’t like to draw attention to myself).

In any event, I really enjoy looking at the pictures (makes me want to do a professional photoshoot with my car) and I definitely appreciate the work that has gone into this car. I hope all 500 owners really enjoy their Exclusive Series Turbo S cars!

 

Generation Toy J4ZZ (Jazz the 991 Porsche)

Jazz and I go way back. While I’m not a huge fan of the music, I absolutely the 935 Porsche Transformer from the 1984 cartoon series. In addition to be being a robot stud he was one of my favorite cars. I’m always a little slow on the uptake so I missed the release info for the Generation Toy J4ZZ figure. I finally got around to picking on up last month and I have to say it’s pretty amazing.

The box’s slipcover features some very nice artwork. Inside you’ll find the figure, a blaster and some instructions.

The car looks exceptional. They opted for a pearl white finish which looks good but might not have been the perfect choice. The detailing and fitment are excellent and the molding and paint are nice as well (there is one paint spot that’s an issue on my car and the side view mirrors need to be cleaned up a little). This particular model has a Porsche 991 front and a [more or less] 991 rear. That’s more exciting for me than a 935 since I’ve actually own a 991 style Porsche.

This is a 991 Martini Porsche and I’m certain the Generation Toy J4ZZ is modeled after this car (or one similar to it).

As far as transformation goes: One look under the chassis and it’s clear there’s a lot going on. J4ZZ comes with instructions, but it was honestly easier to stop using them and figure out the transformation on my own. Most of it is quite intuitive, although there are some small flaps here and there that I missed the first time around. This is definitely not like the toys you played with as a kid!

The quality on J4ZZ is comparable to other Masterpiece releases that I have (but to clarify- this is not a Masterpiece release).I can’t even fathom the amount of engineering that went into this project. I am blown away by how good he looks in car and robot mode. Everything is properly jointed and you can easily achieve some hero-caliber stances. I think this is an easy recommendation. If you love Jazz and you’re okay with it not being period-correct piece I’d pick one up ASAP.

Rating: 9/10

Porsche Lid Liner – The Missing Part has been Found

LidLinder.com claims owners refer to its hood (funk) liner as the  “missing part.” Honestly, I’d agree with that. The liner claims to prevent items in the trunk from hitting the inside of the hood and causing damage. While I’m not too worried about this personally, I know this has happened to people. However what sold me on the liner was how much better the car looks with it!. Taking it from the top…

Delivery was spectacular. I ordered from LidLiner on Monday and they sent it 2-day USPS. It arrived at my house on Wednesday. The packaging was good- nice box (mine came a little crushed but I knew that was a non-issue) and the liner inside was wrapped with paper & plastic.


The quality of the liner appears to be excellent. It’s well formed and feels quite sturdy. The front finish is well matched to the plastic that Porsche uses. The back of the liner has foam so that it rests snugly and safely against the hood’s painted interior. Installation is a breeze- you simply press the plastic clips into the designated locations and you’re set. Two minutes if you take your time.

As far as I’m concerned the visual payoff alone is worth it. The hood’s underside really did look unfinished and that’s what led me to see if there was a liner in the first place. Sure enough! Some forum member was kind enough to provide a discount code offering 15% off the retail price (I think discount codes like this are almost always floating around). For anyone considering one of these liners,  the current 15% discount code is RF14. If you have a 991 I would highly recommend ordering this part.

So… there is one potentially tiny downside to this liner. And that is simply that the hood hydraulics weren’t designed to accommodate much extra weight. I have XPEL covering my hood (good for me!) and that coupled with the weight of the Lid Liner (nearly two pounds) slightly alters the behavior of my trunk lid. I’ll just say that while you can get the lid up (and it does stay up) it all functions more like a senior citizen than a teenager now.

But again- a great, classy product. Maybe someone should send one to Nick Murray. When a guy gets leather on his steering column you know he cares about the little stuff. I care about the little stuff too and I love the lid liner!

991 Renline Magnetic Phone Mount

Other than sticking your phone into the glovebox or center console the 991 series cars have no place (and certainly no good place) to put one. I suppose this is common problem on many vehicles but I’d had enough. After trying other solutions (i.e. a phone holder on my windshield) I was excited when Rennline released a 991 phone mount and decided to give it a whirl.

The Rennline system uses a ball joint that’s secured into place by piggy-backing on two screws holding in the PCM. You simply remove a trim piece on the center console and install the bracket. A magnetic mount secures onto the ball joint and a magnet is placed on your phone or inside your phone case.

I put some BHQ-blue vinyl over the magnet on the back of my phone.

The unit is well constructed and holds the phone securely. I recently got a new smaller phone and even with my far-left magnet placement the PCM screen is still badly obstructed by the phone. I think Rennline could have engineered the bracket to position the phone further to the left. Even with this limitation the system works well and is far superior to anything else I’ve found. Running my lightning cable from the glove box to the phone is fairly simple and unobstructive as well. Until something better comes along or Porsche addresses the issue I would recommend the Rennline magnetic mount to anyone looking for a place to put their phone.

The video below shows portions of the unboxing, installation and positioning of the various magnetic components:

5/20/2017 Update: After a few days of using the phone mount I can definitively say it works well. The location, aside from cutting off a slice of the PCM screen, is great. It’s easy to plug in, select music, use the maps, and even activate the voice control for music or to send a text (only when I’m stopped). Because my magnet is located at he bottom of the phone it’s quite stable when I’m pressing the home button which is helpful too.

Porsche 991 Dummy Key Swap

These days a lot of cars have a push button start- you leave your keys in your pocket and press a button somewhere to start your car. The Porsche “entry and drive system” is the same thing but instead of pressing a button you start your car by turning the “dummy fob” which is kept in the ignition. [As a side note, I find it very satisfying to turn a key, as opposed to pushing a button. Additionally there is some interesting history regarding why Porsche opted to place their ignition location on the left of the steering wheel]

Since there is dummy key that makes it something that can be customized. And since I am a compulsive customizer I ordered a new dummy key in the same color as my car’s exterior (carrara white metallic). I really like the contrast and the white key actually makes it easier to find.

Oh hey, a new fob. Looking good in there! Much easier to locate too!

Below is a video of my dummy fob and a demonstration of how to remove the old fob and install the new one.