Porsche Progress (Rather, A Lack Thereof)


This is a post I’ve spent six months contemplating. I still don’t really want to write it, but I feel the need to chronicle parts of my car’s resurrection. Let’ start at the beginning (I’ll make this quick)…

Back in September of 2019 I crashed my Porsche Turbo S. It wasn’t a bad crash- I was driving in on unfamiliar county roads, didn’t realize the road turned, hit a sign and rolled off a small hill. No one was injured. The police decided to get involved and my car was impounded. I was charged with several crash-related crimes. Not my best month.

Eventually I got my car back. It was taken to Alpine Auto Renovations, in SLC, to assess and repair the body damage.

I hired a lawyer, Stephen Fraizer, and worked to get get my charges sorted out.

On 12/12/2019 I got word that that my car would be fixed. The total damages came in around $70,000. Ouch. That’s quite a bill for hitting a sign (although rolling off the hill didn’t help).

In January of 2019 Stephen let me know that the court had agreed to drop the reckless driving charge if I agreed to plead guilty to leaving the scene, pay the fine and take an online traffic course. I made the plea in abeyance; So long as I’m not found guilty of  additional crimes in 2019, the charge will be dismissed. I took what ended up being a six hour online course (admittedly, one that I needed). With the legal troubles out of the way my focus returned to the car.

Time passed. Parts were ordered, installed and painted. And in between each step it felt like an eternity. Even now, looking forward, all I can see is an endless tunnel.

The car is now up at Lehi Porsche for airbag replacement, suspension component replacement and some power-related goodies. However, I don’t even know when we’ll be able to start on the rest of the work. Currently there is a raging COVID-19 pandemic. One of the companies I’m working with, ByDesign, is in California and they are dealing with a lion’s share of the corona virus difficulties. The state is under a “shelter in place” order, businesses are closed, things feel bleak.

Here at home I just got word that my mechanic, Dagan, will be out of commission for six weeks following back surgery. No one else can touch my car though so that will have to wait. People over projects. People over parts.

I’m hoping to start work on my YouTube “Resurrection” series next month (really in just a few days at this point). I don’t know if there will be a happy ending in time for the Limitless event, but hopefully it will make for some good entertainment.

Maybe I’ll email my insurance company and see if there’s any kind of relief from this situation. Knowing what I know right now,  I might have opted to total the car instead of pushing for a repair. Hindsight. On the other hand, waiting won’t kill me, and good things come to those who wait, right?

Update 4-25-2020: We’re working our way through the crisis here in Utah pretty well. I think, overall, we’ve managed the corona virus appropriately. There is nothing my insurance can do for me at this point; My only option is to move forward. Dagan is recovering well and parts for the car’s next transformation have finally arrived. Let’s see if we can bust this out before Limitless in June. If there is a Limitless…

Update: 5/22/2020 – Dagan can come back to work on June 10th. I don’t think there’s any way to get the build done before then. It doesn’t help that there’s really no Limitless audience this year- it’s not worth it to push hard to run a car that no one will get to enjoy. So… totally happy to wait on the build and do it right. She’s nestled safely at Lehi Porsche for the time being. I miss this girl… but she’ll be back, better than ever.

Horsepower vs Torque vs Misc

Of of the most constant struggles of my life has certainly been to actually understand the relationship and functions of torque and horsepower (along with its cousins: watts, amps and voltage… but that’s for another time). When you modify car components to increase power, the evaluation almost always revolves around how acceleration within a specific measurement (i.e. distance) has been affected.

Here’s are the fundamentals:

Horsepower is the total power output of an engine, while torque measures the “turning/torquing ability” of the engine. Practically, torque is a better measurement of how quickly your car will accelerate, while horsepower (relative to weight) is a better measure of your car’s top speed

This is one of the best explanations of torque and horsepower that I’ve come across:

If you watched the video now it all makes sense 😭😂

I even decided to leave a comment:

This is a great explanation. Although horsepower is Torque x RPM ÷ 5252 (which is the magical point where torque and horsepower lines cross on graph). Also in the car racing example there were certain parameters left out (i.e. the race’s distance). It is possible that the car with less horsepower and more torque could actually win a very short race. The discussion about gearing in this example is confusing because gearing can alter torque. All things being equal the one with more power will eventually be quicker.

Torque is force x distance
Horsepower is force x distance x RPM / constant 
so, more specifically,
Horsepower = torque X RMP / 5252 (this is the point where torque and horsepower lines cross on a graph).

I made my comment above because I felt the video slightly misrepresented things @ 3:15. It’s really not a big deal but it could be slightly confusing for those of us truly looking for the light.

Below I’ve also posted an interesting comment made on this video by Martyn M. I have edited parts of the story for brevity and clarity, but the content is intact. 

Torque is a turning force. It is measured in either Newton Metres, or Lbs Feet. In this example we will just keep things simple. Think of torque as brute strength.

Horse Power is a method of measuring how much work is done in a given time.

You need torque, multiplied by how many revolutions per minute, that torque is applied, to work out how much horsepower is achieved in a set time.

This is the way I think of it…

There are two piles of bricks, one hundred in each pile, and they need moving up a fairly steep hill on a building site.

A muscle man and a marathon runner challenge each other to a race, to see who can move a pile of the bricks the fastest.

The chap with a lot of muscle and strength is big and immensely strong but heavy and quite slow ( (we will think of it as having lots of torque). He is quite capable of scooping up a whole load of bricks and carrying them up the hill. He might carry 20 bricks at once and slowly walk (at low revs) up the hill. He could move all the bricks in 5 trips and take 10 minutes.

The seriously fit runner, who is light and fast on his feet might only carry 5 bricks and sprints up and down the hill. He has a low amount of muscle (or torque) but his legs can run (or perform revolutions) at a much faster rate. It takes the runner 20 trips to move the bricks. Also in 10 minutes

Now if they both complete the task in the same time, then they have both done equal amounts of WORK (which can be measured in Horsepower or Kilowatts) then it’s a draw.

However, if the muscle man could carry 25 bricks per trip, at the same pace, he completes the task in 4 trips, and in just 8 mins. He will have put out more horsepower. He carries bricks at a slow pace compared to the runner, but by applying more torque, each rpm is doing more work. Then it’s just a case of multiplying the two together. Torque x RPMs.

However, the runner, still only carrying 5 bricks, refuses to be beaten. He hasn’t got the strength (or torque) to carry more than 5 bricks, but he can pick up the pace so he runs faster. He finishes the task in 7 mins. His body, although weaker at lifting, has now worked harder, because his low amount of torque, could be multiplied by very high revs.

Keep this example in mind and think of your car engine. Horsepower is simply a way of measuring work done in a given time. It is not a unit of force, or a measure of how fast it can travel. The ability of an engine to provide power is achieved either by applying large amounts of torque at low revs, or applying lower amounts of torque at high revs.

The amount of gratitude and praise for this post is surprising because ultimately I think it misrepresents the relationship of torque and horsepower (unintentionally). Based on this story, both machines (brick movers) accomplish the same amount of work in the same time period. But I think he confuses the issue at some point during his explanation and arrives at the conclusion that both the muscle man and the runner have accomplished the same amount of work in the same amount of time and so their horsepower is equal. It is not. In this example the work being done has been erroneously broken into impossible parts.

The power an engine produces is called horsepower. In mathematical terms, one horsepower is the power needed to move 550 pounds one foot in one second, or the power needed to move 33,000 pounds one foot in one minute.

A car cannot be moved in 100 pieces arriving at it’s ultimate destination over any period of trips. Am I thinking about this incorrectly? I’d value any insights into this matter- there’s just something here that I can’t completely wrap my head around…

Another question I’ve been thinking about is this: When you alter the gearing in vehicle you can change the torque but you cannot change the horsepower. Why is this?

Let’s say your vehicle makes 600 ft lbs of torque @ 7500 rpms. Your horsepower output would be 600 x 7500 / 5252 (the point where torque and horsepower lines cross on a graph). This gives you around 856 HP. You can change the gearing on your car to give you more lower end torque. Let’s say you make an adjustment that gives you 650 ft lbs @ 6900 RPMS. How much horsepower do you have? Yes- the same. The theory here is that you’ll be faster inside of a certain window (in this case up to a certain speed you’ll be quicker).

All things being equal, one could probably make a simplistic assessment that horsepower is the definitive measurement of power. If you’re obsessed with top speed then that is the number that matters. If all you care about is how quick your car feels off the line then you’ll need more low end torque (and this, of course, is why measurement of peak output don’t paint the whole picture).

An engine only produces peak horsepower and torque at certain ranges. You can take a snapshot of the car’s maximum output but this doesn’t always give you the true picture of a car’s power over the entire output range (I’m probably misusing the term “power” here…).

I think this is why, in theory, a car purported to have “600 hp & 500 lbs of torque” could be “beaten” (in a shorter race and absent any considerations of weight or aerodynamics) by a car with “550 hp and 480 lbs of torque.” This is why people take their cars to the the track and put them on dynometers; You need a physical application of the engine’s power to really appreciate their real world performance.

And speaking of real world performance (I alluded to it above) but there are no many more factors than just horsepower and torque to take into account when you’re trying to make assessments. A car’s weight, drag and even friction could play a part in a car losing to a less powerful competitor.

Anyway… quite a rabbit hole. The amount of information about horsepower and torque online is truly overwhelming and the debate about what’s more important and the misunderstandings about their relationships will probably continue forever (they are both important). As for me- I’m just going to live my life by the stopwatch. No one can argue about time*.

*They can argue about who robbed them, why they were robbed, what went wrong, etc, but they cannot argue about how long a particular race event took (except in the absence of any accurate timing device). Ah… who am I kidding. Time is relative, right?

Chevrolet C8 Corvette- Not Bad… Not Bad at All.

Wow. I wasn’t prepared for how awesome the new C8 turned out to be. A mid-engine Corvette that looks like a Ferarri and that starts under $60K? Bravo Chevrolet.

Thus far they have released the Stingray model (the basic coupe) and have rolled out a Z51 performance package. Despite “only” having 490 HP the performance statistics appear impressive (0-60 in less than three seconds). At some point Chevrolet will release a higher horsepower model (maybe a Z06?) and that’s when I’ll start taking a serious look again at the Corvette.

I really like the customization options Chevy is offering. A blue interior would be fun. Here are a few pictures from the configuration tool:

 

Antigravity Lithium Battery Install – Porsche 991 Turbo S

Freak, Cam. Is every post on your blog about some car crap! Hey, thanks for noticing. But it’s not just about cars- it’s about health. Many of you know I’m big into weight loss. I think this video may help people lose weight quickly and safely. It’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle change.

So you want to lose a bit of weight, eh? A lithium battery might be just what you need! They’re not cheap, but the weight reduction is legitimate. Spoiler: I knocked off forty three pounds by switching from a lead-acid to a lithium battery. Forty three pounds!  This video also demonstrates the removal & installation process of the battery in a Porsche 991 Turbo (as always it was more difficult than I thought it would be):

If you watched the video then you’ll know I had to do a bit of cosmetic surgery, but I’d call the operation a success. So far the battery works as advertised- weighs less, starts right up and the car drives great. I have negated he additional weight added by with methanol kit (& actual methanol) and my fire extinguisher. As I mentioned before, they are pricey, but a lithium battery is a pretty easy win!

7/13/2019: I decided to remove the battery when there’s no current concern about weight reduction. A couple of times in the last month I’ve had the PCM cut out followed by multiple dash errors (i.e. steering fault, PDCC fault, etc). I think this may be related to the battery but I’m not certain (seems like some type of power surge / drop). I removed it today and reinstalled my tune so we’ll see how things play out.

Antigravity H7 Lithium Battery
Guardian Tactical OTF

Rennline Fire Extinguisher Mount Install – Porsche 991

Safety first! I have never kept a fire extinguisher in any car I’ve owned. Even though I’ve never had a car fire I’ve often considered installing in some type of fire suppression device. With the addition of methanol into my car I figure I’d better not push my luck too and so…

I picked up a Rennline fire extinguisher mount for my 991 along w/ a 2.5 lb H&R Performance extinguisher w/ Halguard (if you’re interested you can get your own here). I opted for a Halguard model – this shoots out a fire suppression gas as opposed to a fine powder (not big on powders after I had a fire extinguisher blow up at work once).

The install was a bit more complicated than I imagined but I’m pleased with the results:

Helpful Hint: If you install a similar setup in your car I’d recommend a bit of practice. You’ll need to be able to release the holding clips and remove the extinguisher from its cradle quickly all while sitting in an adjacent seat. When fighting a fire, remember the P.A.S.S. acronym. Pull the pin. Aim at base (closer proximity is better). Squeeze the trigger. Sweep side to side. Hopefully you don’t have a fire in your car (or anywhere you don’t want one) but it never hurts to be prepared.

MACarbon Seat Belt Buckle Repair

These MACarbon seat belt buckles have been a bit of a headache for me. I had to modify the covers for the two rear buckles before they would fit. A recurring warning light forced me to replace the front passenger side buckle altogether. And then the new buckle promptly “broke” apart (the two parts of the housing separated and it’s much worse where the belt is attached and there’s tension). I’m not sure if I’d buy / install these parts again.

Regardless, I’m a guy that looks for solutions. The first thing I tried was epoxy. I glued the halves back together but they came apart again shortly after transporting a  passenger. I considered a number of different options before settling on some 3M adhesive- the same stuff you might cover the exterior of your car with. I cut out a couple of sections and did some test fitting.

Originally I had just intended the fitting to be temporary but the 3M seemed to be exceptionally strong and the installation went fairly well (you can see the lines in the pictures but in real life it’s very hard to see where the film is at all).

One of the back seat belt buckles also had a case that was coming apart so I applied the 3M there as well. I suppose my next step will be to see how well the film works over the coming months (I’m worried about its ability to stick and the potential of stretching). In the meantime this appears to be a quick and elegant solution for anyone with a similar problem (and not just limited to seatbelts folks– you can wrap this clear 3M film around pretty much anything).

Collecting Cars: A Practical Guide (1/18 Scale)

If anyone actually reads my blog you may have noticed that I have a thing for cars. Many of you might not know this, but a few years ago I made a rule for myself: One car, one truck. I’d like to unequivocally state that this has been a fantastic rule and keeps things really simple for me (thinking of you, warehouse full ‘o cars). Right now I’ve owned my truck for over four years and my car for nearly three years- that has got to be some kind of a record for me!

Now and then I still get tempted by vehicles (new & used) but I’ve found a much cheaper and space efficient method to collect cars: behold, the 1:18 scale model. I don’t have too many at this point but my collection is growing little by little. I started it off with a Turbo S Exclusive Edition and have added a few here and there:

Takumi Fujiwara’s 1986 Toyota Sprinter Trueno GT Apex AE86 from the Initial D comics / TV series. I love the detail on the interior and engine bay. This is an excellent quality model.

This is the Porsche 991.2 Turbo in metallic white. It’s similar to my car but it’s the newer generation (physical differences between the 991.1 and 991.2 include the engine vents and rear lights). The quality level on this one is okay but it’s a notch down from the others and a bit slower than my 2016 991.1 😀

The McLaren 720s is a car I have seriously considered but, as with the 991.2, this seemed like a much more economical way to own one. The detail on the carbon fiber parts and interior is fantastic (although it’s worth mentioning the doors and rear hatch don’t open). The actual color is a light grey but it photographs more like an off-white.

As you can see from these pictures my iPhone 7 doesn’t take great photos (or you may be tempted to think I’m not a particularly good photographer… I would not necessarily argue). I may try and set the cars up and take some better shots with my DSLR eventually… but for now it’s just fun to pick up a “new car” for the price of a tank of gas.

Next on my list: Lamborghini Aventador!

3/1/2019: Look like I lied! I found this little guy and a pulled the trigger (I’m keeping it at work since my house is already overloaded with white cars). This is a British exclusive so the steering wheel is on the right side. I couldn’t get a good shot of the interior but it’s incredibly detailed. This is a resin model (doors don’t open). Hot!

4/11/2019: Lamborghini Aventador acquired. This is the Mansory licensed “Carbanado” edition with carbon fiber additions (the model does not have real carbon fiber). I love how this one looks.

2/28/20: 1/18th scale Lamborghini Aventador. This is a one/one custom model. The body on this one is matte white- I love how it photographs.

This is a cool one- a custom made replica of my Lamborghini Huracan (from Atelier). While they can’t replicate the supercharger, custom hood and other mods they did do the calipers in white. And it was cool to be able to pick the base options and get it signed by the artisan. Also added this model to my 1/18 scale collection post.

Something Goes Bump in the Night (and Day). Porsche Repair

It’s been awhile since I made this adjustment, but I wanted to a second and memorialize just what I’d done. It’s probably been a year since I first noticed the bumping noise coming from behind me. It was a rapid and systematically occurring thumping sound aggravated by uneven roads. I accused the seats, seatbelts, various tools stored in the back of the car and even my imagination before I finally found the real culprit. I wedged myself into the back seat and tapped on everything until I finally discovered a piece of interior trim knocking against the car’s frame.

For context: You’re looking at the A-pillar that holds the rear right seat belt (the belt is still attached to the frame). The back window of the car is visible in the top-right.

Removing the interior trim along the right A-pillar was unpleasant. Even after I found the parts that were hitting each other I wasn’t able to determine what parts of the parts were making contact. I tried various sound deadening fixes like felt, molding tape and strong language. Eventually I hit the sweet spot and the noise was radically reduced. Zipping things back up was even more work than taking them apart but I got it done (and it was done right). One less noise in the cabin – easily the largest offender – has been eradicated! This makes me want to revisit my efforts to cap off the engine noise being pumped into the car. One day.