Limitless 2019. 200mph Porsche 991 Turbo S? Yes!

Limitless rolled around again. I had a pretty specific goal this year: I wanted to hit 200 mph. For some reason this speed has been an elusive siren. A few times I’ve snuck within twenty miles per hour or so but there is a huge difference between going 180 and going 200 miles per hour. A chasm I had not decided how to cross…

At last year’s Limitless race I was pretty sure 200mph was out of reach but I wanted to hit somewhere close. On my first (and best) run of the day my odometer showed me going right around 184 mph. That was back when I had “stage 3” modifications. I shrugged it off, blaming it on my catalytic converters, tiny turbos and utah’s higher altitude. I forgot about the race until they announced the 2019 event.

There was no way I was going back to do the same thing over again. I needed more power… I needed ByDeign‘s stage 4 package. But the idea of installing more upgrades made me nervous. Really nervous.

It’s funny how we can decide something and there is so much stress centered around the decision- probably because of what we don’t know. I was committed to the stage 4 build but it created a ton of anxiety. It was almost enough that I didn’t order the upgrades. But I ordered them. Then it was almost enough that I thought about cancelling the install. But we did the installation. So many things are like that- our fear can stop us from living our best lives. As we look back at the times we jumped with no net there were certainly times we fell, but there were times when we got to fly.

You can read about my install here if you’re interested.

The week of the race Sam, my tuner,  whipped me up a “medium level” tune for the event. I wasn’t looking for a glory run or anything like that. I just wanted to hit 200 mph safely (in both a physical and mechanical sense). Normally I’d run fuel from Sunoco but my supplier was out (and I had used up what I bought for the race while I was playing around) so I ended up using 100 octane “pump gas” (thankfully we have one floating around over here). I filled the car half way up, topped off the methanol, checked the tire pressures and plugged the car in for the night. “Big day, tomorrow,” I whispered.

There were a few important changes to the Limitless event this year. First, Cars4Kids had purchased professional timing equipment because the radar times had been so inconsistent.  The length of the straight section of road was lengthened slightly giving us just over a mile of straightaway to achieve lift off. The best change was probably the police escort we got from our “briefing & breakfast” to our race destination (Thanksgiving Point all the way out to Eagle Mountain). Before we left one of the officers said “Stay with us… we’ll be going a little over the speed limit.” As we tore down residential streets at 80mph, ran red lights and stop signs I became certain that this was they way I was born to drive.

Race time! I admit I was nervous. With last year stuck in my head I imagined how embarrassed I’d feel if we only crawled our way to the 190’s… especially given that I’d spilled the upgrade beans to a couple of people. My turn! I drove conservatively around the curved part of the course and launched into the straightaway around 100 mph. The car was running strong! She just kept pulling. By the time I crossed the finish line my odometer was definity past 200. But what would their official timing system say? 201.72mph! Wow. Talk about feeling elated. That was just my “test run!”

For my next heat I decided to hit the curves more aggressively and try and come out onto the straightaway with as much speed as possible. It helped quite a bit.  207.87! It was a great feeling. It was thrilling to hit 207 mph and smash my goal to pieces.

And that’s about it for this race. The car showed up, no one gave it a second look, and then it kicked everyone’s ass. Well, almost everyone. A 1000hp twin turbo Lamborghini Huracan beat me by 1.3 mph. It’s hard to lose by such a small margin, but on the other hand it’s a satisfying car to lose to. My car was the only one that ran back to back 200+ mph runs. I think the third place driver was somewhere around 196mph. Not too shabby of a showing. I am extremely impressed by the Porsche 991 platform and how much this car can be pushed. Maybe we can push a little more in 2020.

Limitless: June 15, 2019.

Here is a bit of Race banter:

Here is the Make a Wish Foundation presentation:

991.1 Stage 4 Tuning & Testing w/ 91 Octane & Methanol

I’ve had my car back for a little over a week and I’ve been able to do some empirical testing. Hardcore scientific-level stuff. As I had mentioned, it felt like the car was faster than before but now I’ve officially confirmed it. It’s nice to be right. Also… Whoa. Momma.

Below I’ve put two runs side by side. This left shows the car in its previous iteration (stage 3) tuned for 91 octane. The right shows the car in its current iteration (stage 4) also running a 91 octane tune (w/ methanol). Watching the video shows how dramatically the top end tapers off with the old set up. I really wish I had made videos from every stage of the car’s development, starting when it was stock. But hey! At least I have something:

Fun fact: The current setup is faster than the previous setup using race ga$ (I used the “$” because it’s like liquid gold). You could almost make the argument that a stage 4 build is more cost effective since you only need a couple gallons of methanol for a three tanks of 91 octane gas gas (driving normally).  Of course taking into account the cost of the stage 4 upgrades you’d just be lying to yourself… and everyone. You’d just be a big stage 4 liar. And it’s a moot point since I’m about to use race gas.

Stage 4 w/ race gas should take the car to yet another level!

Quirks thus far are really minimal. Under certain circumstances the car sputters a bit when it starts (allegedly this has to do with residual moisture present in the intake manifold). I’ve also seen some slight idle stumbles but I’ve seen that even before this latest upgrade. All in all I’m feeling pretty confident that this setup is bulletproof enough that I’m willing to pop in the race gas for a couple of days. I should have some updates next week.

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).

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.

2020 Porsche 911 (992) Unleashed.

I was hoping to get around to this post yesterday but, as always, time got away from me. I watched Porsche’s live 992 launch event and found it quite enjoyable (was it just me or did everyone seem slightly uncomfortable)? It was fun to see all the different 911 models parading around and listen to the designers’ thought processes and inspirations.
My initial impressions are mixed. I recall not being particularly awed by the 991 when I originally saw it, but now I think it’s far and away the best looking 911 ever made… so there’s probably some hope for me.

When the 991 replaced the 997 it didn’t seem like much of a jump. Initially the exterior changes required a double take to figure out which model you were looking at. In comparison the move from 991 to 992 feels eve smaller-  just a hop…until you see the back of the car. Good or bad, no one will mistake that light bar for anything but a 992. While the light bar feels okay to me the third brake light seems like a bad design choice. The car itself has a slightly more hatchback feel, reminiscent of the Panamera. There’s definitely something less cutesy about the 992 which makes it an additional step removed from it’s cousin, the Beetle. I will be extremely curious to see the Turbo version of the 992.

The interior has changed more dramatically. At first glance I thought the changes added additional elegance. As I studied the interior further I started to wonder what the impression would be like in person. I loathe the new shift knob. Do they think guys want to shift with their shaver? I think those center vents must be for the people in the back seat; I know I’m not interested in having air blown on my stomach. That being said, I’ll withhold final judgement.

Now that the car is officially unveiled I’m excited for the onslaught of reviews that will provide user-related insights and driveability impressions. It’s conceivable that this car could grow on me. And yet… would it ever be enough to make me trade in my current car? In the meantime the McLaren 720s has planted a few roots in my heart.

Cars 4 Kids 2018

Cars4Kids recently did a toy drive. Ha! It just occurred to me that it was a literal toy drive (read on)! We loaded up our car with toys and went on a 400 mile drive through various Utah canyons (we opted for the shorter day-only event but there was a longer four day event option as well). We started out at LaCaille, traveled to the Conestoga Ranch and toward SLC (we were always careful to obey all traffic laws and posted speed limits… just kidding). It was an awesome drive, with fantastic food and for a great cause. At the end of the drive the toys were collected and presented to the Ronald McDonald House.

This is a video covering the Cars 4 Kids (I didn’t make this one):

And this is a video of my experience (this one I did make):

This coming year I’d like to participate in the longer event and, possibly, even be a sponsor. Knives and cars… Like peanut butter and chocolate.

Porsche 991 Washer Nozzle Replacement

Legend has it that in order to replace the 991 headlight washer nozzles the entire front bumper of the car needs to be removed. Not so! With just a few simple tools anyone can swap their washer nozzles in about 10 minutes. You can pull them out and repaint them yourself or pop in a ready to go set. Below is a quick video showing you how:

I ordered a carbon fiber set from eBay but the weave wasn’t quite right and the quality didn’t impress me. I bought a second pair from BumperPlugs.com and had them painted metallic white (that must be an impossible color to match). This is the set that I ultimately put in but I’m not sure if it’s the look I’m going for. You know you’re pretty desperate to do projects when you’re replacing your headlight washers. #modlife

Porsche 991 MACarbon Fuel Door

What’s better than a stock part? A carbon fiber part! MACarbon makes an awesome all carbon fiber fuel door replacement for the 991 series. I tried to hold out but there was never any hope:

Installation was a little tricky as my part required a slight modification (as have some of my other MACarbon items) but I don’t mind that stuff at all. The fuel door looks fantastic, and, in my opinion, it’s a part I would recommend to anyone who wants to shave a few ounces off their car (okay, it is lighter but that’s obviously not why you’d get this part).