Best Porsche 996 Performance Mods Recommended by Rennlist

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Porsche 996 911

Want to turn your Porsche 996 911 into a track monster? Here’s what our members recommend you do — and don’t do!

Among the many generations of 911, the Porsche 996 has proven to be an affordable and fun platform to build on. Much of this pertains to the low cost of entry, of course. With earlier air-cooled 911s skyrocketing in price, few dare hack them up in the quest for lower lap times. Thus, it’s no surprise that Rennlister NickHolloman is looking to maximize the performance of his 996. And he recently went to the forums seeking advice on how to accomplish that goal.

“I have a 2001 Carrera with H&R sport springs, K&N intake, and Beluga Racing muffler bypasses. The car has had IMS/RMS done along with a new clutch, coils/plugs, AOS, etc. The basic safety maintenance stuff. I’d like to slowly start making the car into a track car that I can go out and enjoy on a lot of these Alabama back roads. Ride quality around town and noise are not concerns.

I will probably gut most of the interior and I’ve got a plan for the suspension. But I’m looking for sort of a ‘road map’ to get the most out of the 3.4. I’m not looking to make huge HP gains or anything like that, just maximize the power available and get it to the ground. What are some of the standard upgrades for these engines? I see a lot of talk about plenums and pulleys, etc. Without getting into internals what is the ideal setup to maximize the engine’s potential?”

Porsche 996 911

Surprisingly, most of the initial responses don’t have anything to do with performance upgrades.

“Shedding weight is probably the best thing you can do without spending tons of money on engine work or FI,” said bull3t.

“Take a look at this thread,” suggests strathconaman. “He has his car down to 1,086 kg or 2,395 lbs. Probably for cheaper than you could really add 50 hp to these cars.”

In addition to putting his Porsche on a diet, HenryPcar suggests investing in yourself.

“Spending on driver education, to me, is the most effective investment. Secondly is track time. Nothing rewards you more than getting your butt meter calibrated to know exactly where the limit is. You will be surprised how capable the car is after getting to know how it drives and behaves.”

Porsche 996 911

It takes a while, but eventually dan_189 chimes in with some actual mods that’ll upgrade the OP’s Porsche.

“- Exhaust systems – mufflers/cats in various designs, x-pipe, etc. Headers: I’d ditch the bypass and get 200CEL cats + sports mufflers + headers if the budget allows.
– IPD plenum/Ben’s plenum
– IPD plenum + GT3 TB
– 997 3.8 Carrera S or maybe the EVOMS intakes 
– Underdrive pulley 
– Light weight flywheel + sprung clutch disk.
– Supercharger 
– ECU tune
– FSI 3.8/4.0 bump up
– Motorsport AOS
– Accusump 
– Deep sump”

Porsche 996 911

Blue Chip has been there and done that with his track-prepped Porsche 996, thus he has some great suggestions.

“When you run the numbers – the most impactful thing you can do is weight loss. There’s a ton of it in these cars to be had. The theoretical power to weight is about 10 hp for every 100 lbs. The most impactful performance difference on track has been the LSD. It changed the car on track. Lots of room for upgrades on the suspension, it just depends on what you want. Ohlins have been a great add for me. All of the other stuff is mainly for additional adjustment and to remove any rubber bushing items.”

So far, this thread is chock full of great advice on how to extract maximum performance from a Porsche 996. But we want to know what you think. So head over here and tell us what mods have worked well for you, as well as which ones haven’t!

Brett Foote is a longtime contributor to Internet Brands’ Auto sites, including Chevrolet Forum, Rennlist, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts.

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