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A Look Back Into 2019

Updated: May 23, 2022

In the beginning of 2019, we set some lofty goals. We had our eyes set to achieve 1200-1500whp for our 996 turbo. Looking to break past the 200+mph ½ mile trap speed, we knew we had to have a power plant producing between 1200-1500whp. To help with traction at this power level we continued testing on our SDM 996 4WD controller. We believe this product will be a game changer for the 996 Turbo chassis.

The SDM 996 4WD controller worked flawlessly and we had full traction even with the factory Michelin Pilot sport tires all the way up to 180mph! We chose a VW VR6 engine swap into a Porsche 911 chassis. This included fabricating engine mounts using the factory engine plate from the 996 turbo, and designing and building an intake manifold to fit in the tight engine bay and still flow the volume we needed to make well over 1000whp. To complete the air flow path we fabricated a turbo manifold, mounted a large 8385 turbocharger from Precision Turbo and finished it off with a Syvecs ECU for the increased fuel, air and spark control. Another obstacle we had to overcome was combining a cooling system from the VR6 engine to mate up with the 911 radiators. The VW VR6 is based mostly for FWD transverse configurations which made the task a little daunting. Once we had a game plan for all the systems in March of 2019, we were ready to get the project going. Fast forward to the beginning of June 2019, and things were looking up. The long block was assembled, intake and turbo manifolds were done, exhaust system was completed, the fuel system was 90% done. But as of a few days before our race day in Colorado the engine still had not fired and the cooling system and intercoolers piping were incomplete…and so the long days continued. Thanks to 17 hour work days, we were finally able to get the car fired up, the cooling system completed and pressure tested, the intake pipes fabbed and we performed an initial break in on the engine. Once the engine saw operating temp, the engine oil was replaced with a high grade racing oil from Valvoline and we were ready to set the 911 chassis on the Dynamometer rollers.

June 20th was a big day. As with any fresh new builds, the car experienced a few mechanical odds and ends repairs. While sorting through issues we were able to produce 824whp and 564wtq on the dyno. This power was made on wastegate spring pressure, 22psi. With one of the issues, being unable to control boost via the ECU, the boost unfortunately was stuck at 22psi until further notice. We knew that in order to make around 1200whp we needed to increase the airflow of the engine to a boost pressure in the 40’s and in order to run 200mph in a half we needed around 1200whp. Because we were racing June 22nd and 23rd in Colorado and being located in the middle of TN, we had to load up and start heading out. We were able to diagnose and find the issue of boost control while on the road at a hotel one night. We found that there was no power to the wastegate solenoid, causing it to be an open circuit. We quickly rerouted a power source to the wastegate solenoid and we now had boost control via the ECU. We arrived at Colorado Spring Airport safely and were able to make our first pass. While going down the track, it was quickly apparent the engine was breaking up/misfiring and all the fuel and air that the turbocharger was packing in the engine wasn’t being burned correctly inside VR6 air pump. We found that the excessive heat from waiting in the stages lanes prior to the run caused the ignition coils to show their age. Upon further inspection, we found small cracks forming at the base of 4 of the 6 ignition coils. The original 996 Turbo coils had failed. What seemed like a hopeless race weekend quickly turned around. A gentlemen who was a technician at the Porsche of Colorado Springs Dealership had dropped by to check our car out. Long story short, a few hours later we had some brand new 997 Turbo coils in our VR6 engine and we were back up and running. With the ignition system and the wastegate fixed we were able to make our first clean pass. The boost pressure yielded roughly 30psi, confirming that we had successfully repaired our boost control and the new 997 coils were making sure that all the fuel was being ignited in the VR6 air pump. At 30psi we estimated the engine was making a little over 900whp, to propel the 3500lb 911 chassis to a speed of 179mph in a half mile. Looking at the logs for our 179mph run, the turbocharger was only producing the following boost per gear: 1st-14psi, 2nd-28psi, 3-5th-30psi. Being our first time racing at high elevation with the lack of air pressure we quickly learned a thing or two about large turbochargers. As you increase in elevation, the atmospheric air pressure decreases. What this means in terms of turbochargers is simply that they multiply air from atmospheric to desired boost set by the wastegate spring. Therefore, if you start with less atmospheric pressure, the turbocharger requires a faster shaft speed to develop the same pressure as it would at a area with higher pressure such as sea level. We were able to make another clean pass at around 30psi yielding a speed of 180 in the half mile.

After our next pass we realized that because of the lower air pressure and our wastegate solenoid routing being a 3 port, 30 psi was the highest boost we could achieve with this setup. Without access to a 4 port wastegate solenoid and more time at the track, 180mph was the highest speed we were capable of running the weekend at Colorado Spring Airport.

We returned to Middle TN and installed a 4 port wastegate solenoid, got the car back on the dyno and were able to produce 1203whp at 49psi! We had plans to bring the car to another half mile event towards the end of 2019 to test it with the 4 port wastegate solenoid, but we were unable to make it out.

2019 Recap

  • World’s first 996 VR6 911 Turbo!

  • 180mph in the half mile

  • Release of the SDM 996 4WD controller

  • Production of the SDM Billet intake manifold

  • Prototype of VR6 Billet Valve cover

Stay tuned as we share what we have planned for 2020!

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