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Midnight_Storm
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Building a Engine for Drift
Feb 15th, 2018 at 9:45am
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Hi, so I am currently in the process of rebuilding my engine and wanted to know if anyone had some suggestions or recommendations of things that I should do to the engine during the rebuild. My goal for this engine is to build something reliable and powerfull that I can take drifting at my local track and still be streetlegal. The engine being rebuilt is a 2.5 N.A out of an 1985 Late 944 with roughly a 179,000 miles . Currently toying with the idea of boring it out to a 2.7 (if possible)  and maybe adding a turbo. I'm taking a college engine building class with a well supplied machine shop an a teacher that likes racing, so probably a good opportunity to get this engine built solid. Also if you have any suggestions for other things I should modify on the car itself plz let me know,  the car is currently bone stock except for an upgraded shifter from Only 944. Thx!  Smiley
  

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Z├╝ndfolge
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Re: Building a Engine for Drift
Reply #1 - Feb 16th, 2018 at 9:23am
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Cheap, Reliable, Powerful? Pick any two! Tongue
But if you have deep pockets and/or a lot of time, go for it, have fun, and post pics here - nothing is impossible!

Regular advice here is: get a 944 turbo (no you can't swap an engine), or take the car for what it is, a good package from the 80ies. You can also go for an LS swap, where higher power levels are possible, but nothing is cheap.


A different base car would allow your drifter career to begin much earlier... No seriously, here some reasons:
* the weight distribution and default chassis layout is pretty bad for drifting I guess
* The available power levels are mediocre by today's standards
* Porsche tax on everything makes it a bear to run

  

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Re: Building a Engine for Drift
Reply #2 - Feb 17th, 2018 at 12:48pm
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I think you can bump the horsepower up to about 250 and still be normally aspirated and reliable (but it certainly won't be inexpensive to do this).
You'll need bigger injectors, adjustable fuel pressure regulator, new intake manifold, exhaust header and a larger diameter exhaust, bump the compression up by shaving the head, a lightweight flywheel, balance shaft delete, and a dozen other things that are $$$.
After all that is done, you may also get very good at removing and re-installing the transaxle because you will be shredding ring and pinion gears like there's no tomorrow...
The ring and pinion is the weak link in our 944's drivetrain, and if you're spinning the tires, you will be trashing those final drive gears.
I can think of a half-dozen rear drive cars with decent power that would make a better drift vehicle and be a lot easier on your wallet...any 15-year-old Mustang, Camaro, or BMW would be my starting point if I wanted to drift.
The 944 is too well balanced to be a good drift car in my opinion...they are way better as road race cars.
  
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Midnight_Storm
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Re: Building a Engine for Drift
Reply #3 - Feb 19th, 2018 at 3:00am
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Alright so maybe not a drift build then, but I still wanna modify the engine while I have it out and not just swap an LS in. Is it really worth it just to buy a 944 turbo in order to add boost to the stock motor or is there other options? also is there a stronger transaxle available? and would boring it out add a fair bit of power or would I just be wasting my time?
I want to build this motor, I have the time and the tools to do it right just trying to gather some information before I start buying stuff and cutting metal.
  

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jockellis
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Re: Building a Engine for Drift
Reply #4 - Feb 19th, 2018 at 3:22am
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Can this Reynolds aluminum block be bored out and returned to stock specifications? Also, did Porsche homologate a hillclimb R&P for the 944 as it did for other cars?
  

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Re: Building a Engine for Drift
Reply #5 - Feb 22nd, 2018 at 7:41pm
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CHEAP and Reliable? With a 2.5?  Uhhhhhh.  Properly building a 944 engine to be reliable along with "cheap" isn't a set of words that belong in the same sentence. 

This isn't a honda.
  

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Re: Building a Engine for Drift
Reply #6 - Feb 22nd, 2018 at 7:45pm
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Midnight_Storm wrote on Feb 19th, 2018 at 3:00am:
Alright so maybe not a drift build then, but I still wanna modify the engine while I have it out and not just swap an LS in. Is it really worth it just to buy a 944 turbo in order to add boost to the stock motor or is there other options? also is there a stronger transaxle available? and would boring it out add a fair bit of power or would I just be wasting my time?
I want to build this motor, I have the time and the tools to do it right just trying to gather some information before I start buying stuff and cutting metal.


The entire drivetrain, parts, transmission, torque tube, axles, literally everything on a turbo is reinforced to handle the power compared to an N/A.  The 951 platform is superior to begin modding.

Less costly to start there than to transform an N/A to where a STOCK 951 is.
  

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Midnight_Storm
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Re: Building a Engine for Drift
Reply #7 - Feb 22nd, 2018 at 8:05pm
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First of all I never said I wanted to build it cheap, but with that said i'm not planning on spending a fortune on this car I'd rather just go buy a different car. So converting the car to a 951 without getting a 951 isn't a very smart option. So is there anything I can do to the stock motor or would I be better off just putting it back to stock specs and selling it?
  

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Re: Building a Engine for Drift
Reply #8 - Feb 22nd, 2018 at 10:27pm
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Midnight_Storm wrote on Feb 22nd, 2018 at 8:05pm:
First of all I never said I wanted to build it cheap, but with that said i'm not planning on spending a fortune on this car I'd rather just go buy a different car. So converting the car to a 951 without getting a 951 isn't a very smart option. So is there anything I can do to the stock motor or would I be better off just putting it back to stock specs and selling it?


Well, unless you're going to dump a lot into the head and internals to get it as peppy as possible, there's not much to gain on basic mods on these motors.

And once you do that you're unlikely going to get out of it what you spent on it if you sell it.

Unless someone wants an entirely N/A build, there's no reason to modify an N/A to be competitive, IMO, unless you're going to look at say the 944 spec races, and build it to a specific spec to be competitive in that specific class. 

But to go cost to performance ratio, selling it and starting with the better platform would make far more sense.

By the time you turbo, swap transmissions, get better internals to handle the power, and get everything where it needs to be to properly turbo an N/A, you could have just bought the 951 and already made more power, reliably, and have more money.
  

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Re: Building a Engine for Drift
Reply #9 - Feb 22nd, 2018 at 10:39pm
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Also sorry for leaping to the assumption you wanted cheap.  It seems so many go down this path and don't realize the cost of buying an N/A is just the point of entry, and they expect to just build a racecar on a honda civic budget.  I keep forgetting not all 944 peeps are this way.  Unfortunately seems to be a lot, but not all.  My apologies.
  

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Re: Building a Engine for Drift
Reply #10 - Feb 24th, 2018 at 1:20am
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Midnight Storm, we had a chap post that he wanted advice on his plan to buy a 944 and an LS and marry them. He had a total of $2,000 for his project. We have this knee jerk reaction when we get a new member with such adventurous plans. Did anyone ever hear how his car came out? The one I thought was the funniest was the guy who wanted to make more power with M7 spark plug wires and a K&N cold air box. If these worked, Porsche would have se t out a technical bulletin advising of such a change.
  

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Midnight_Storm
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Re: Building a Engine for Drift
Reply #11 - Feb 24th, 2018 at 4:25am
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Well that's something, I don't mind the assumption that I wanted to build the engine cheap. Was just trying to clarify, sorry if I came off as upset. Thanks for all the advice,  y'all have been very helpful thanks for taking the time to read this.

Just for final clarification is there any machining I should do the engine aside from the standard rebuild process? Currently have a full machine shop to play with.
  

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Re: Building a Engine for Drift
Reply #12 - Mar 13th, 2018 at 9:00pm
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I got a friend who is putting a 20G turbo motor in his 944.
Still upgrading the transaxle to turbo. Otherwise, he's fabricating the rest to fit. Tons of fab work, but in the end he will have a easy 300hp fun car.

I don't recommend this to anyone who is trying to protect any value in the car.
If it's a nice car, then leave it that way.. Otherwise, have fun.

there are a number of simple mods that can really wake up a N/A motor (maybe 15-20hp).
Performance chip
4deg cam advance
MAF conversion
Mill head for compression bump.
Mild port clean up work and matching of intake.
Clean injectors (original ones are guaranteed to be clogged up).
Dump the balance shaft belt ( you can just cut it off).
If it's an early motor, install a late model cam shaft.
Free flowing exh

This list will add significant power that you will most definatly notice. I got my N/A to run 15.30's in the 1/4m (more than 1.0sec faster than stock).
  

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WillFIN
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Re: Building a Engine for Drift
Reply #13 - Mar 25th, 2018 at 9:45am
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I don't know if 944 is the number one choice for drifting but you should be able to get some more out of the engine.
You have access to good machineshop and your engine has already done some fair milage so I would recommend head work as number one. 8 valve 944 has a very poor head as standard. It flows less than Honda 1.6 head. Do a proper multiangle seat work and grind the valves. Since work costs you nothing,  you might as well change the seat rings and get bigger 47mm inlet valves. With bigger valves you should open the valve throat little. These will gain you lot of flow and allow for more power. Then skim the head to get the compression up.
The next big hindrance in search for more power is the stock ecu or dme as Porsche community calls it. Ditch that and get some modern aftermarket one.(Not megasquirt if you want to play with your car and not your ecu. ) With new ecu you don't need airflowmeter which costs you 7hp alone. Also you don't need distributor any more and that means better and more reliable spark. I would believe that with these mods alone 944 engine makes little under 180hp and lot more torque through the rev range than originally.
At this point get a new cam. Nothing too wild and should be at 190 or little over.
Then there is the inlet manifold that is designed for low rev torque. Inlet runners are very long and plenum is quite small. Best option is to get itbs. Good head work,  ecu, cam and itbs gets you 210hp and 250Nm. More than that requires proheadwork and very carefull design/experiment with cam/valvetrain specs,  inlet length etc.

  
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Re: Building a Engine for Drift
Reply #14 - May 14th, 2018 at 7:28pm
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You mention 2.7 but I think the factory 2.7 from 1989 was a stroked 2.7 and not bored. Everyone correct me if I am wrong. Second boring these motors is not easy due to the Alusil process not sure how it is done but I think it is messed up far more than it is done right. So most will sleeve the block if they bore it. In the end these blocks seem to last a long time as long as the bearings last and are replaced. There is something to be gained with compression ratio. Porsche did this with pistons in 1988. Then head flow is another place to gain, a new cam is helpful, but I think air and fuel are ways to gain. A different FI system is helpful. Choose one that can be programmed.
  

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