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Video | My Porsche 911 Grenaded Its LS-Swapped Engine: Another Track Day Fail

I guess my hooptie fleet of cars enjoys kicking me when I’m down, since I’m having one of those months when bad things tend to happen in waves. As if my Ferrari F355 becoming a rolling roasted marshmallow wasn’t bad enough, my LS-swapped 1999 Porsche 911 decided to destroy another engine in the exact same place that it happened one year ago.

I was really looking forward to showing off my Frankenstein Porsche on the track — and even brought along my old 2002 Corvette Z06 and its new owner to have a little competition. The built versus bought argument is perfectly showcased with these two cars — as the cost of the Chevy V8 motor transplant in my 911 after the original Porsche flat-6 failed set me back a little more than $17,000. That figure easily buys a very nice C5 Corvette Z06, which is great straight from the factory at everything from daily driving to track days. Of course, I wanted to prove that my Porsche was superior and validate my decision to sell the Z06, but clearly, things didn’t go my way.

My Porsche was way faster than the Z06, and thanks to its custom exhaust, way louder as well. The Corvette did seem less labored in the turns — but unfortunately, we never really got the chance to duke it out much, as the engine pathetically gave out after 10 minutes of track driving. Given my history, I was watching the gauges as much as possible, and it gave almost no warning. Whatever let loose inside the engine seems to be catastrophic, as the motor had a violent knocking noise as I pulled off the track, and the oil pressure gauge again dropped to zero. Considering all the effort and money I’ve put in the car over the past year, my temper certainly boiled over in the parking lot. After letting out a few angry kicks to the already-damaged front bumper, I hopped back inside so I could load it on the trailer — but it refused to start. The engine had actually locked up solid since I had shut it off.

The good news is my old Z06 completed the 20-minute session with ease, and performed flawlessly for the two remaining sessions — making me feel like an even bigger idiot for selling it. Still, I’m not giving up on the Porsche and buying another Corvette yet, as I’m hoping we can figure out why this happened and make sure I never have to report another engine failure ever again. Also, swapping another motor will be way easier this time, as we already have the kit, wiring and everything else figured out — which is what originally made the build so expensive.

So,my 911 will live again, but obviously the timing isn’t great. After my mechanic and I figure out what happened to satisfy my curiosity, it will probably be months before it’s on the road again, since there are too many other projects in front of it. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to sit in the corner of my room in the fetal position for a few hours.

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