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Video | I Fixed a Big Mistake I Made With My Porsche 911 LS-Swap Project

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Used 1999 Porsche 911 Carrera 4
Used 1999 Porsche 911
$23,900
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author photo by Tyler Hoover January 2018

I've been enjoying my finished LS-swapped Porsche 911 for the last four months now -- but like any build car, it's never truly finished. Mistakes were made with this wild project, and other changes are needed to improve the safety, performance and long-term health of my beloved Apollo 911. Of course, because I'm an idiot, the first thing I fixed had to do with performance.

The exhaust on my Porsche had bothered me from the moment the swap was completed. My mechanic, the car wizard, had mated the stock Porsche mufflers to the Chevy LS2 V8's headers with some properly bent pipes and a few welds. Strangely, the Porsche still sounded like a Porsche at idle -- but under acceleration, it emitted noise that emulated the most memorable scene from the movie "Blazing Saddles."

Sounding flatulent wasn't the only reason this exhaust stunk. During a recent dyno run, the owner of the shop thought the exhaust was very restrictive -- and robbing my Porsche of considerable horsepower. I guess 371 horsepower at the wheels wasn't enough for me, because I didn't wait long to schedule the installation of a completely new exhaust system.

With its new 3-inch exhaust hooked up to high flow mufflers, my Porsche now sounds like a properly loud muscle car. If they didn't before, I'm sure my neighbors hate me now -- but at least my car doesn't sound like an endless whoopie cushion anymore. I can also feel the power difference -- and I will certainly hit the dyno again after making other upgrades.

The previous dyno test showed another limitation -- my fuel pump was maxed out, and more power could be discovered if the fuel pressure was increased. A shop out of Texas has offered to help with this upgrade and install a flex-fuel system -- which could increase power by another 5 to 10 percent with my Porsche running on E85. The results of this will far surpass my goal of matching a similar-era 911 Turbo -- and it might have me nipping at the heels of a certain Oversteer editor's family station wagon.

The downside of all this power is that my Porsche now feels more like an old muscle car and less like a great handling sports car. Even though the LS2 V8 is supposedly lighter than the Porsche flat six, the center of gravity feels higher, and the car doesn't seem as well-balanced as before. I'm hoping adjustable shocks and some chassis stiffening will help with this. Additionally, I should probably consider upgrading the brakes to match the upgraded power.

With a few additional items on the list (such as cooling system upgrades to ensure I don't have overheating issues on track days), it's safe to say this mutt will continue torching my wallet well into 2018. I keep repeating to myself that it's all worth it -- but I realize that constantly muttering to myself makes me look even more crazy.

Tyler Hoover went broke after 10 years in the car business and now sells hamburgers to support his fleet of needy cars. He lives in Wichita, Kansas.

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Used 1999 Porsche 911 Carrera 4
Used 1999 Porsche 911
$23,900
This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Video | I Fixed a Big Mistake I Made With My Porsche 911 LS-Swap Project - Autotrader