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Old 06-18-2019, 12:04 PM   #1
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Introduction / swapping a 3.2L S Engine into a 2.7L Car

Hey guys! My name is Justin, I'm a younger engineer in my mid twenties and I live in New England. I spent some time going to Limerock park when I was younger and I grew up around older Porsches (mostly 944s), 996s, E36s, etc. My first car was a 944 S2. I learned a lot from that car and the older Porsche community. I managed to rebuild the engine and a good portion of the rest of that car thanks to some great advice from the community, the workshop manuals, and with some help from my father and my uncle. I still have the car and drive it frequently.

Around a year ago, my father picked up a 987 Cayman S - it's a great car! I helped him do some basic maintenance on it (filters/fluids/changing the waterpump) to get it in a perfect condition. Naturally, after driving it and spending some time underneath one, I decided to keep my eyes open for a 986.

I recently picked up David's 986 with a blown IMS (Thread 1 , Thread 2) . My original plan was to swap in a 2.7L engine and enjoy the car. Well a day after picking that up, I found a 2001 Boxster S roller car for sale with 93,000 miles. One of the previous owner decided to cut the body all up (his plan was to retrofit a diablo bodykit to it). The car is a tiptronic and it is a running and driving car. I got it for a great price and it also has newer bilsteins on it. The owner also threw in a deep sump oil kit, all of the interior pieces, and a ton of 996 parts he accumulated. I'm hoping to sell a lot of parts off of it (i've done something similar for a 944 S that was hit).

So far I have pulled the engine and I am currently stripping the tub out. I plan to swap in the S suspension, third radiator, brakes, and the 3.2L engine into the black 986. It's a fun father/son project.

I can't find any real documentation to see if anyone has actually done this swap. Wayne Dempsey has written a little about it in his book.

- According to Wayne, the 2001 3.2L engine should directly swap into the 2000 2.7L car. I havent investigated yet but I imagine the 2.7L engine harness will directly swap over? I'll compare all of the sensors in the PET and I will compare it to the 3.2L harness but I know some pieces will be different (because it is designed for a tiptronic).

- Based on my research, the 5 speed from the 2.7L should swap right over. Has anyone had any direct experience? I'll have to check the PET and make sure the pressure plate and clutch components are the same.

- Does anyone know where I could send out my ECU to be remapped for the 3.2L engine? The bosch motronic version is the same between the two cars. Wayne makes it sound like a remap is all that is necessary.

- I was going to change the Waterpump, IMS, AOS, RMS and spark plugs on the 3.2L engine while it is on the stand. I have the tools from when we did the IMS on my uncles 996. I was also going to install the deep sump pan that I was given. Is there anything else I should address? Any seals?

Any comments or insight is appreciated! Thanks

Here are some pictures of the project












Last edited by JustinS; 06-20-2019 at 04:20 AM.
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Old 06-19-2019, 08:27 PM   #2
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That is one heck of a project sir. I admire your ambition. Are both cars Tips? If not, I believe there will be harness differences? Possibly computer issues also? Please post updates as you can. I look forward to watching your progress.
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Old 06-20-2019, 04:19 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by rexcramer View Post
That is one heck of a project sir. I admire your ambition. Are both cars Tips? If not, I believe there will be harness differences? Possibly computer issues also? Please post updates as you can. I look forward to watching your progress.
Thanks!!

The 2.7L is a 5 speed and thats what I was planning to use. I read it should directly bolt up. In the 944 world, the turbo cars will eventually blow any NA transaxle used. I hope that isnt the case here. I was hoping to do a few DEs with it so I might look into a 6 speed eventually.

I was hoping to use the engine wiring loom from the 2000 Boxster 2.7 on the 3.2L. I was going to compare the differences when I have them side by side and thoroughly look at the PET. I was naively hoping an m96 is an m96. If someone could chime in on any differences, id appreciate it. I'm not sure about the ECU - they share the same 7.2 DME. It sounds like you just need to remap it.

Edit: Looks like there are two different PNs for the wiring harnesses.

M96.21 with M480 (3.2L with 6 speed)

986 607 010 06

M96.22 with M481 (2.7L with 5 speed)

986 607 020 01

Once I'm done stripping the tub I guess i'll be going through some wiring diagrams...

Last edited by JustinS; 06-20-2019 at 04:56 AM.
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Old 06-20-2019, 05:34 AM   #4
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I put a 3.2 into my 99 boxster.

I would reuse your 2.7 harness. Otherwise, the swap should be very straight forward. Softronic did my tune. Not a flawless experience, but works ok.

Probably your cheapest bet is to find a full set of a 3.2 DME, immobilizer, and locks/keys that are sold on ebay for around $600. Then it would just be a bolt in and go set up.

5 speed works fine with the 3.2. I shredded the teeth off 4th gear on my original tranny, but that seems to be common on tracked cars with stock motors.

maybe do the spark plug tube seals and anything else that looks like its leaking, but otherwise, they don't seem to be leaky engines
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Old 06-20-2019, 07:03 AM   #5
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Woody (Itsnotanova) has a thread somewhere on this forum about the differences between the base and S models - he has stripped enough of them and posted a lot of pictures pointing out the differences. One thing I remember is the cooling pipes from front to rear are different - since you have the S pipes you may want to swap those over too to increase your coolant flow to and from the radiators.
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Old 06-20-2019, 08:25 AM   #6
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Engine swap wise what matters is the years not displacement. You do not need to do anything with the DME. My 2000 S engine is 3.6 liters now & the DME has never been altered. You should install the "S" coolant pipes.

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