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Old 12-03-2017, 09:16 AM   #1
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Best sub $1k power mods?

Winter arrives in Quebec. I’m looking for ideas to upgrade my car over the next few months befor my first spring track day: an 04 Boxster S, MT, unmodified with the exception of the 2 litre deep sump. I’m only interested in power mods, no cosmetics, not interested in loud, and I have already addressed the brakes, suspension, etc.
Having already spent more than I had planned on the slippery slope, I would like to keep the costs in check. I have been reading about the plenum/996 tb mods, and the exhaust mods, and the 997 airbox mod. There is a lot of info to be pored through. Anyone want to chime in with a Cliffs notes version?
BTW, I am my own mechanic.
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Old 12-03-2017, 09:35 AM   #2
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Easy....

....go on a diet and lose 30 pounds.

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Old 12-03-2017, 09:48 AM   #3
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....go on a diet and lose 30 pounds.

Hmm, should we change the beers to Perrier?
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Old 12-03-2017, 10:17 AM   #4
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What are the rules at your track? What mods are allowed? What class are you running in?

What safety improvements have you installed?

Obviously have you done significant time with an instructor? Have you done any instrumented and recorded laps to allow you to review your performance? IOW, have you gotten the most out of the driver?
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Old 12-03-2017, 10:31 AM   #5
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What are the rules at your track? What mods are allowed? What class are you running in?

What safety improvements have you installed?

Obviously have you done significant time with an instructor? Have you done any instrumented and recorded laps to allow you to review your performance? IOW, have you gotten the most out of the driver?
I hear you mate. The answer to your last question is a resounding NO! However, one doesnít preclude the other. Iím not racing, just trying to hang with my 911 buddies on the straights.
I have spent quite a bit of time with instructors and will continue to do that on occasion as I continue to improve.
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Old 12-03-2017, 10:39 AM   #6
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If you DIY you can do plenum and 996 throttle body, 987 air box, exhaust manifolds, under drive pulley for sub 1k.
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Old 12-03-2017, 10:57 AM   #7
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If you DIY you can do plenum and 996 throttle body, 987 air box, exhaust manifolds, under drive pulley for sub 1k.
This combo should be a new sticky
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Old 12-03-2017, 11:36 AM   #8
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I forgot to mention, I did install the UDP, essentially to keep from cooking my PS pump at the track. Don’t know if it really gives you any boost but it’s good peripheral insurance.
ę****Eddy****Ľ posted a 3 hp gain on the dyno after installing the plenum/TB/box mod. Seems like a lot of work for 3 hp. But I guess every bit counts!
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Old 12-03-2017, 04:32 PM   #9
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I forgot to mention, I did install the UDP, essentially to keep from cooking my PS pump at the track. Donít know if it really gives you any boost but itís good peripheral insurance.
ę****Eddy****Ľ posted a 3 hp gain on the dyno after installing the plenum/TB/box mod. Seems like a lot of work for 3 hp. But I guess every bit counts!
I don't agree with that 3 HP increase. I did the air box, plenum and tb upgrades and could tell the power was much much better. I have since put on headers with 200 cell cats, secondary cat delete pipes and a borla exhaust. My car pulls like a monster.

Do I have dyno numbers, no, but watching a guy on youtube that did the air box, plenum, tb and a "sport exhaust" with the stock Porsche tune gained 25 HP on the dyno. He did have an UDP, but the dyno showed no gain with it.

HP with the air box, plenum, tb and a "sport exhaust".



UDP showed no HP gain.



Car had an off the self tune on it, then they put the Porsche factory tune back on it. Total HP gain in the end was 25 HP.

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Old 12-03-2017, 05:09 PM   #10
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I often want more power, especially when newer cars rocket away down the straights. It makes it that much more fun when I dog them in the subsequent corners translation: I haven't figured out any go fast mods
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Old 12-03-2017, 05:34 PM   #11
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I often want more power, especially when newer cars rocket away down the straights. It makes it that much more fun when I dog them in the subsequent corners translation: I haven't figured out any go fast mods
Iím with you there Steve, just depends on how long the straights are!
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Old 12-03-2017, 05:41 PM   #12
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Kram, loved those Road and Race vids! Think I’ Watch them again.
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Old 12-03-2017, 09:20 PM   #13
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Have you done any instrumented and recorded laps to allow you to review your performance? IOW, have you gotten the most out of the driver?
As Mike suggests and without a doubt, the best investment of $1,000 is in high performance driving instruction.

Even with a completely stock Boxster on street tires, an untrained driver is, by far, the weakest link in the pursuit of going fast on a race track.

No one would expect to walk into a calculus class and think that they could just kind of "pick it up as they go" just because they've been doing addition and subtraction their whole lives, would they? Of course, not. Then why do people think that they can show up to a race track and know how to really go fast just because they've been driving around on the street? Like calculus, high performance driving is a skill wholly unto itself.

And track driving isn't about having big balls. The size of your balls has very little to do with performance driving. Its really all about learning specific driving techniques; techniques that you have most likely never been taught or practiced.

Even after 135+ track days and 50+ races and as a DE/Time Trial instructor myself, I still hired a professional instructor to work with me over this weekend because I still don't know everything. We analyzed video and data and I had another driver's data (who is faster than me and who graciously shared his data) to compare against. The insights were astounding and it helped me to pick up quite a bit of time per lap. And it doesn't end when we left the track, since the instructor and I will have a call to go over final points and talk about what I need to work on next later this week.

Forget about the car mod's and get as much seat time and instruction as you can because the most fun you can have is outrunning the 911's in your stock Boxster because you are a better driver then they are!
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Old 12-04-2017, 05:15 AM   #14
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Thanks for your input Tom, and I am totally in agreement with you. As I said to Mike, one doesn’t preclude the other. I have been, and will continue to be taking advantage of the driving instruction which is available to me through PCA Rennsport. Since in my part of the world there won’t be any track time for the next 5 months, I thought that I could use the down time to make some welcomed tweaks!
Cheers, James
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Old 12-04-2017, 08:04 AM   #15
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Since in my part of the world there wonít be any track time for the next 5 months...
Is there any indoor karting near you? That would be a good investment of time/money. Go twice a week and get one of the fastest drivers (usually one of the kids who works there) to help you get your lap time into the Top 3 on a weekly basis. You'll learn car control, driving the fastest line, and how to maintain momentum - all of which will transfer over to the Boxster in the Spring.
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Old 12-04-2017, 03:14 PM   #16
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The 996 TB, 997 T and 987 airbox can all be had for way less than 1k. Have yet to install UDP but it pulls very hard throughout the rev range. No regrets! The ******************** of it all was getting the old airbox out. Had to cringe a bit when bending one of the engine cover tabs! That and loosening the intake mani for clearance.
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Old 12-04-2017, 04:49 PM   #17
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I hear you mate. The answer to your last question is a resounding NO! However, one doesnít preclude the other. Iím not racing, just trying to hang with my 911 buddies on the straights.
I have spent quite a bit of time with instructors and will continue to do that on occasion as I continue to improve.
It is very hard to hang with a 911 in the straights with a 986. You need to beat them in the corners, but like Tom and others stated that take training and getting smooth so you can carry more speed before the pedals goes to the floor. But once the pedals go down there isn't much hope if your not carrying more speed than they are out of the corner.

These cars with bigger brakes can enter the corner faster, so brake later and catch them going into the corner. Trail braking does not upset them as quickly, which sets you up so you can be of full throttle much faster sometime even before the apex. The 911 can't do that. Learn these 2 things and you can cut down your corner time by seconds while increasing your exit speed by 10 or more MPH above them.

1. Find 100 pounds to remove from the car, more if you're willing to part with trim and fluff
2. Get a set of Pagig R19 or R29 brake pads. These will not fade and wear like steel.
3. Buy a set of slick tires BF Goodrich R1S, Hankook Z214 or Hoozier R7
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Old 12-05-2017, 12:49 PM   #18
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Yep, I am sure there must be some fast 986 cars out there somewhere with just the intake, plenum, throttle body, and re-flash mods, I just haven't seen any. Ever. The 986 guys consistently at the pointy end of the time sheet have 4 things in common: suspension, tires, weight reduction, and talent.

YMMV
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Old 12-05-2017, 05:24 PM   #19
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I would sincerely like to thank all of my friends who are concerned about my lack of driving talents. I have only just finished my 3rd year of tracking with lots of instructor input. I promise that I will continue to seek this expert advice in the upcoming season. Comments from my instructors have been very positive and encouraging and every time I learn something. Yes, I do realize that adding a few HP does not replace a few more hours/days/years of seat time!
Humour me here. Over the next 5 months of Quebec winter doldrums, I like to tinker and prep my car for the next track season. Surely, doing minor mods like the ones mentioned, canít be such a sacrilege.
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Old 12-05-2017, 05:37 PM   #20
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OK, it isn't fast enough so lets list what you can do to cure that.

But I'm not sure any of the low priced mods are really that great. Though one that can help on both street and track is lightweight wheels.
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