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Old 04-09-2006, 09:14 AM   #1
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Different engine note between 986 and 996

Is the engine note difference between a 986 and a 996 due to a different muffler or the bigger engine size? I have an 01 2.7L and someone said that the 996 sounds "meaner". I don't know if I would use that word, but it is different. My 986 engine is the same sort of block isn't it? (Otherwise people couldn't swap the engines so readily ("readily is a relative term"). So if I wanted to, could I get the 986 to sound more like a 996?

Last edited by socratic; 04-09-2006 at 09:16 AM.
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Old 04-09-2006, 09:44 AM   #2
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The 996 started to sound "better" in 2002, with the additonal of some nice vario stuff. What I mean by that is that they tweaked both the intake and exhaust (if memory serves) to come on at about 2700 RPMs.

When you drive the 996 2002 and thereafter, the sounds is pretty nice indeed, once you get to these RPMs. Othewise, it is quite docile., like the Box exhaust.

Again, from memory, the Box does NOT have that sound. I don't think this is just a change in exhaust thing, but there are clearly better experts on the Board to help you out?

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Old 04-09-2006, 09:48 AM   #3
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"The base 2002 Carreras - you can't really call a Porsche "base," but you know what I mean - has minor cosmetic changes that make them a little smoother looking and also help their aerodynamics. But Porsche isn't about model-year styling makeovers. Porsche is about engineering, and the big change for 2002 is an engine that is extended from 3.2 liters to 3.4, which gives it 320 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque. The major technical change is the adoption of Porsche's Variocam Plus variable valve timing-system, which achieves the ideal combination of increasing power while at the same time decreasing fuel consumption - it's a good trick if you can do it, and Porsche has."

This is what I was referring to. Before the 02 model, I don't really hear anything impressive from the normally aspirated 996s.
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Old 04-09-2006, 11:00 AM   #4
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My friend has a 99 996 and it sounds just a little louder than my S. I test drove other 996 that has a "meaner" sound, but I think they have aftermarket exhaust in them. I just installed a Borla Exhaust in my S and it's now it sounds "Nastier"r than any 996 including GT3 that I've heard or drove.

I'll post some video/sound files when I get a chance to record it.
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Old 04-09-2006, 04:32 PM   #5
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It could be an Audible Illusion. With the engine/exhaust headers in the back on the 996, the sound waves may simply emanate from underneath the car whereas in the Boxster, some may bounce off the road back into the engine and either be absorbed, or as a wave function, get out of phase and cancel out some other waves, effectively lowering the sound you hear. Speculation to be sure. The only way to tell would be to use a decible meter on each under the same or near same conditions.

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Old 04-09-2006, 05:49 PM   #6
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Typically the larger the engine the deeper/throatier the sound. That is why 1.6L honda's sound like weed whackers and corvettes with the large displacement v8's sound the way they do. The increase in the 911's engine means the sound is deeper or "meaner" even though they use the same block as the boxster.
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Old 04-10-2006, 03:38 AM   #7
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Sound is also generated by the volume of air/fuel it's consuming and turning into power. The same car at 200hp sounds different at 400hp. So the fact that the 996 makes more power than a 2.7L will also give it a louder deeper harsher sound.

There are lots of variables, but displacement, head design, and hp are a few of the main ones. There are a few exceptions to the rule from small cars that sound really good like the VW VR6 motor is well known to have a beautiful sounding exhaust.

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