Uncategorized

Still not dead.

So it’s Jett. A lot has happened in the past year, main being I got a car! And shortly after my second. Already following my dad’s footsteps right?

So for my sixteenth and as most privileged kids do, I got a car. It was a 2006 2.0T Passat, that’d be loved on previously by some guy trying to get his wife over from Africa. As most of you if anyone actually will see this knows that we’re a German family when it comes to cars, so a Volkswagen fits in quite nice.  It was a solid car, but it started to get boring to drive after a while, mainly because it was an automatic. So I got talking to my dad, and we agreed if I found a buyer for the Passat and found another car in the with the money it sold for he’d set it up for me. So he ended up finding a bright yellow 2003 twentieth anniversary edition  GTI. The Passat was sold, and turned around and bought the GTI. The GTI doesn’t make any more power then a regular 2003 GTI but it has a six-speed manual, and the color was a one off for the twentieth’s. Also fun is the fact we’re not sure the clutch has been replaced in the last 100k miles. So kudos to the previous owner, but it kinda feels like sitting on a time bomb. I’ve got pictures of cars and things I’ll post later, but for now enjoy this little update.

3.6 turbo, 911, 911 Porsche, Bilstein suspension, Imagineauto, Personnel, Porsche, turbo

A Long Over due update…what do you drive?

Ok, Ok, I’ll post about it. Reese’s cups in hand and a side of milk standing by I thought I would go ahead and update the question, what do you drive? I drive a 1989 80K mile Ford Grand Marquis 🙂 Well, that is my winter car…Oh wait, it is a 2004 Infinity G35 coupe, my company car….Oh! the Porsche?

Upon the close of the company we had a 3.6T that was very sick and not anyone’s priority. A complete cluster between the company that sublet the work to us and the payments or lack of created a rather somber out look for this little jewel. I knew that the state of affairs left no other choice but to release the love of my life, the 997TT. That meant a new steed was needed in my stall. Besides that I really didn’t feel like hoofing it everywhere and I knew the boys would complain if we walked instead of drove.  So I set out to contact the owner, over and over. I guess this started in Oct of ’08. In March I received and email that was rather cryptic then a follow up call from the dad. It was one of the phone calls that the hair on the back of your neck stand straight up and you literally become frozen in words and Uhhh becomes the most intelligent thing you can manage out. It was explained to me that the owner and the son of the man calling was murdered in the fall for his Mitsubishi Lancer! Really! A Lancer??! What the hell is a matter with people? I was told that he didn’t want the car and if I wanted to make an offer he would entertain it. I quickly declined and said I would feel weird about doing such a thing. I was greeted with a retort that was simple but effective, I don’t want it so buy it if you do and enjoy it…My son would have liked that. Hairs on my arm standing up in rows like an army regiment headed in to battle I quivered a number past my lips to which he agreed.

So now the good part. What the hell had I bought? Many odd things about this car cropped its head other than the fact it wouldn’t accelerate past a sleeping turtle or road kill. It carried 993 door frames, 993 glass, 993 sunroof, 993 handles and a 993 cowl and windshield wipers. 6 Speed 993TT tranny with the AWD set in place. Big brakes, a healthy motor and a paint job that was as good as they could come. The car had 29K, didn’t run to save its life, no heat, no AC, the fuel gauge didn’t work and who needed a speedometer? Interior panels missing as well as the under carriage covers, wheel wells etc. However it had a really cool TV in the rearview mirror to watch Bad Boys on. LOL, pluuuease.

We set the car on the dyno and run after run the car spit and sputtered and I sat listening as Chris made adjustment after adjustment. Finally like Dr House with a Eureka moment I said hang on. I climbed in the back of the motor and pulled the covers to read the timing…at 5K RPM the timing was 54 degrees. Errr yes, 54 degrees. What is the average you say? Well, thanks Bob for the question. It should be 19-22ish. The good thing is was so advanced because it probably kept the motor from exploding all over the place. I reset it and pulled this pig off of the dyno and around the block…Can you say giddy up? I could because this thing ran like a stripped arse ape!

As summer progressed the boys and I spent every day on it bringing it up to speed, wheels, a clip here and there, the paint restored and any little detailed that didn’t work up to speed. We fixed the AC, the heat and I pulled the intake off and fixed what the hacks had done before me. We pulled the on board computer and graphed a real boost and AFR gauge and gave the car a new life….Oh and I got rid of the open exhaust and ran a cat with a muffler bypass. New suspension and lowering springs, sway bars,  bigger turbo, boost controller and new wastegate. We added more fuel with one of my fuel heads and I modified the warm up regulator and lowered the control pressure. Larger injector lines and pulled off all the air injection crap. The motor has large ported heads, increased CR and custom cams and powdered by an electromotive HPX.

By mid summer I was exactly where I wanted to be with the car. Lots of work but right back to my roots and having fun with it. After that, well many around town know of the “red Porsche” that has taunted and ate their lunch 🙂  

PorschePhD

911, 911 Porsche, 993TT, 997TT, Imagineauto

Gone But Not Forgotten

As many know or don’t know it has been since April of 2009 that I closed ImagineAuto. It was a dream that I had since I was about 11 that some day I would be one of those guys that could not only understand what I was looking at in the engine bay of a 930, but better yet one of those guys that could make them fast…night after night the posters on my wall reminded me why rocket scientist were German!  See, I got my passion for the cars when my mom remarried. I remember sitting in our trailer drawing a Chevelle SS. (After all I grew up building these cars along side of my father. Everything from 1930 roadsters to a 70 Z28 with 4 on the floor. We painted it candy apple red with gold racing stripes. That car was the fastest car in Wyandotte county for years!) as I sat drawing I heard the rumble of a V8 yet not like anything I had ever heard. Mom tells me he is here and says come look at this car. To my amazement there sat a silver 928. My first reaction was it looked silly. Bug headlights, round back and low to the ground. Nothing a good set of leaf springs and traction bars couldn’t fix. As we headed to dinner (Princess Garden) I asked a million questions about the car. I remember the smell and the feel of those seats as I poked and prodded every thing in the car I could. Much like Quinn does today. What intrigued me more than anything was this little V8 was faster than any 396 pushrod motor we had.

My passion continued to grow as I talked my step dad into buying any book about Porsches I could get my hands on. I realized that these funny little cars were something special and I wanted to be a part of that.

So we fast forward to my entrance in the teen years, Jr high….well was not something I thought I needed and I spent my days day dreaming, harassing other students and causing trouble where ever I went. The end result was C’s, D’s and F’s my first quarter. This did not sit well especially being the son of a Dr. My punishment was I was to go to my room every night, do my homework and read a book. At the end of the week the book had to be completed and a report was due to my dad on Sat morning. The only freedom I had was to choose what reading material I wanted. So naturally it was always a book about Porsches. At the end of the semester I had managed to make the honor roll which was nothing more than a byproduct of my dad structure. I quickly realized that if I ever really wanted to own one of these cars my grades would be the key to getting a job that would allow me to achieve this.

The week after I got married, graduated from college I bought my first Porsche. A 1967S 911, I owned it four hours and it dropped the chain tensioners  and crashed every valve in the motor. I looked for an economical way to have it fixed. When I found what I thought was the guy he put the car on the lift and took it off quickly showing me that the body was in such rough shape the floor was pushing through on the lift. I had decided at that point my quest for knowledge would never end until I new as much mechanically about working on these cars as I did statistically about them. There was a long road involved but I will just fast forward to many years later.

Upon buying my first 930 I made a mistake and put my hand where it shouldn’t be while working on it. I cut a couple of my fingers off and ended up not able to do much for a couple of weeks. Laid up at home I signed up for a email list called “Porschelist” (now rennlist)I was one of the first 50 members and quickly gained the respect of many by helping answer questions and offering free advice on performance upgrades. That eventually grew into the realization that I could actually make this work. And So Roxanne and I took the drawings of logos we had created as a dream so many years prior and opened our doors.

I have been blessed to have taken a dream and make it a reality. I could have never done it without the hundred of customers to have crossed paths with. So many great memories and more fun than anyone should ever be allowed to have! So I thank you guys for allowing me to make your cars an ImagineAuto build. my gratitude will forever be present. It will never be forgotten how I got where I did. It was because of you guys.

I miss getting to the shop before the sun started coming up as summer started to change to fall. Those morning I walked to the shop, coffee in my ‘No Spin” mug and the rush of the cool air as I opened up the doors and the smell of the humidity on those cool morning. Admiring all the cars around….I thought it would never end.

Where and what am I doing today? Well, I still have the occasional Porsche here to work on but only on the weekends and after I get home from work. So if you need a motor built I am still around just in a very limited capacity :=)

I now am a business consultant for ADP in the risk mitigation department. I look at company’s internal process, hard and soft cost and figure out ways to stream line core functions and processes to impact their top and bottom line. I have been doing this for a little of a year and thankful that someone else is now writing my paycheck. It has been a rough couple of years. Change is inevitable, growth is always optional.

I am divorced and the boys continue to grow and tell stories of their once famous dad and the yellow 997TT that we use to prowl the streets with. They are now 11 and 8 soon to be 12 and 9 in Feb. regardless of the good or bad they continue to grow. I often remind them out of all the things I have created they without question were the single best thing.  They make me a great dad! I am still blessed.

Cars, well I would never not have a Porsche, right?! I picked up a 94 3.6T conversion that was a mess when I bought it. Would start but not run….But I promise to post about that in the future…..

911, 911 Porsche, Porsche, Porsche 997, porsche body kit, porsche performance, Porsche radaitor, Uncategorized

997 Center Radiator install

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Ok, we are back after a mandatory blog vacation issued by the boss! Oh wait, that was me and I really was just slacking. So time to stop slacking and post some of what’s been in the shop!

 

 In normal iA fashion nothing should ever be left stock. In this case we take a 997S and add a center radiator. We install and sell these as a whole unit. So whether you are having a shop install it or doing it yourself the kit comes with everything you need. Radiator, lines, bolts, screws, plastic shroud, plastic diverter and so on. It is a pretty nice kit that is great for any 997 headed to the track or someone that simply wants to drop the water temperatures down in a cost effective way. Yes, I did say cost effective. I know that seems foreign to use Porsche and Cost Effective in the same sentence.

 

dsc00934 The first thing is to remove the bumper. The install should take about 4 hours maybe more if you are a weekend warrior and tripping over that 6 pack of Budweiser on the floor with your buddies. You will want to remove the plastic cover around the latch area. This simply pulls up and around the latch. You will want to also remove the left and right turn signals. Next you will want to remove the torx. You will want to grab T30 and a T20. There are both sizes used in various positions. Pull the torx along the top of the bumper. Next remove the ones in the turn signal area and then work your way under the car and remove all the torx around the lower edge. Next you will want to remove the inner fender liners. I have seen guys do it without removing them, but to be honest to struggle around their placement is a pain and especially if this is your first and only time…it is easier to remove them. There should be 4 torx in the well then I believe two under the car. I always get these mixed up between the turbo and NA cars.

 

Once you have these all remove you will want to look in-between the fender and bumper just inside the trunk area. There is a blade that pushes like a latch, it mates the bumper and fender together to suck in the body line around the headlight. You can remove these by using a pick and grabbing the hole that is pictured in the jpg. Just tug on the piece. It may seem stubborn but it will come out. Next make sure that you disconnect the plug in the passenger side wheel well by the radiator. The last thing to remove is the headlight washer line. You can do this by pinching in the clip and pulling the hose out. This is located on the driver side on the inside of the bumper just forward of the turn signal.

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Now pull the bumper off. Make sure you don’t scratch it!! You have now exposed the front bumper support. It requires a 17mm socket on each of the bolts. Remove these and simply pull the support off. Next you will want to pull the plugs in the radiators on the side. In each radiator there is a factory block off plug in each end. This is so that you can add the center radiator easily and don’t have to change the hoses or the units in order to cool things down! As you can see from the pictures you just pull the clips and then the plugs can be pulled out. Once this is done you can now install the rear shroud. The kit comes with the bolts and nuts to attach it to the body. Grab the hoses and install these. There will be a left and a right hose to connect to the proper ports. I use a little silicone grease around the o-ring. This ensures that the hose drops into the neck and the outer clip seats fully. If it doesn’t and you do not hear a click then the hose will pop out under pressure.

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Now install the radiator. Same theory applies here with the silicone grease on the o-ring. This will help slip the hose in to the neck of the radiator. Once you have these in then install the lower support with the 6mm bolts from the kit. Next install the outer shroud. Suck the coolant system down and reinstall the bumper

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Tae Kwon Do

A break from cars….My Son Jett

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I normally I try to keep our blogs technical or business related. This is not one of those cases. This time of year I believe one should reflect on family and all that means. Stuff is nice, but without our children our spouses none of it would amount to much if anything if at all. I wanted to share an event that is somewhat monumental in our lives. At least to me and I know Jett. As many know and maybe not from the various blogs we have been blessed with two wonderful boys. Jett(9) and Quinn (6) Of course all parents think that their children are special. Well ours really are =) Jett is thoughtful, kind and honestly a very compassionate and soft soul. Quinn is assertive, playful, funny, compassionate and so sensitive below the surface. Both of our children, Roxanne and I put in martial arts at an early age. Jett had an incident when he was in preschool where another student pushed him down while he stood quietly to himself and his tiny hands attached carefully to the inside of his pockets. Furious I ran to the school to get my baby boy and told Rox that as soon as we could we would place him in martial arts.

 

My goal knowing how I was growing up was to place him in the arts as an activity not a means of self defense. After all like father like son. Well, not in this case. Jett being the kind soul he is, he was resistant to hitting anything or anyone. Kicking, punching was fun but when it came time to spar he always felt bad and never wanted a scuffle. All the makings of a true Black Belt! 

 

It has been so many years now I don‘t recall when we actually started Jett in the arts. See, it has been a journey for all of us as Roxanne reintroduced me to the arts and I am also Jett’s teacher from time to time. One of the hardest things I have found out through the years is you can be a teacher and a coach or you can be a dad. It is almost impossible to be both. You want to be a teacher and do all the things you know but when it comes to your own kids, you can’t stop being a dad and that truly interferes with what his/your goals are and your ability to teach effectively. It is important that one understands that our Jr Black Belts do not do anything different testing wise than what an adult does. Jett did exactly what I did for my belt to test for his belt. If you think about it that is huge for a 9 year old. There are criteria that he had to meet, but at the same time a spirit that had to be developed inside. This is not something you teach nor even something you can push. It eventually happens and as a father and an instructor you just know. They know and then the world knows. It is not a word or a conversation that happens, he doesn’t walk around saying anything, and you look at him and know…he has confidence and a glow about himself that explains what he is. As a teacher it is a sense of pride that a student achieves this. As a father I feel my arms go warm and my chest contracts as I get an overwhelming sensation throughout my body, that pride is almost without words to describe.

 

We were having our dyno day a few weekends ago here at the shop and I was torn as Jett had his testing. I am blessed to have a good crew and a wonderful wife that allowed me the space to skip out and take Jett to his testing. As we headed over there I shared these thoughts and feelings with him. I am not sure he understands all of it but I know in my heart 20 years from now he will smile and remember it. For me, well you see the movies as you pass on your final days-the waves of memories that pass. If that is true that ride to the school will be one of them. We quickly pulled up to the door and I rustled his baby fine blonde hair and said “give it hell and I no matter what happens I am very proud”. I Kissed the only spot on him that still has any baby fat, those rosy cheeks and rushed him inside.

 

The testing procedure is very long, after all there is a physical part to being a black belt…..right. =) The testing goes as such, board breaking, yes they have to physically kick through a one inch boards. At this level Jett was required to do two foot techniques. Both should demonstrate speed and focus. If you think just hitting the board is enough, good luck with that!

 

You must know every belt forum from white belt to black belt. Remembering there are 2 green belts, 2 blue belts, 3 brown belts. The order is white, yellow, orange, green, blue, brown, black recommended then the real deal, Black decided. You must perform a series of attack defenses, knife defense and finally show all your skills of all the years combined in sparring. Your rank then higher ranks, bigger people, etc….

 

Jett always seems to find an inner self at testing. He is a free spirit, but on these days he means business. This is very remarkable that a 9 year old can do this. He turns it on and off when he knows it is important. A very noble trait and one that is needed to be a BB. Jett’s first task was the boards. What is funny is in the beginning it was always a struggle to get him to have the confidence because his ability was always there to just walk up and kick the boards. So many of the kids can not judge their distance and have to touch the board, measure, touch again, one step back, another half step, hip in then snap the kick..As he walked up to the holders I ran to the front of the class only to sit down on the floor and ready the camera and look up to hear “crraaack” he didn’t setup up he didn’t think he simply walked up and knew his distance and popped the board. In real life there is no time to set anything up. I sat there in awe, speechless and fumbled for the on button on the top the camera. He switched sides and did it again! Now normally I am to be suited up, no excuses but I came up with many for Mr Lee that day as I sat on the floor. I wanted to be a dad and I was. As I stared through the view finder I fought what otherwise would have been a real mess of tears. The viewfinder got fuzzy as the tears sat on the top ridge of my bottom eye lash. As a single tear streamed gently off of my check and I quickly ran the back of my hand over it like a wiper clearing a bug from a windshield I couldn’t have been any prouder. I really couldn’t. This little soul I have watched from a little baby in the palm of my hand to where we are now and certainly that day was amazing, hell is still amazing! You never know how life will turn out and what your children will be on that memorable day that you and your wife sit together on that bed holding the perfect creation, your child. All without words really so that is the best I can do to describe. Hope some of it makes sense. If you are a parent then I know you do.

 

Testing is always filled with lots of people, one of them being my friend and master, Dave Johnson. He also happens to be the president of the Black Belt Association. He sits at the head of this table with 7 other masters and Mr Lee judging the testing. You are only allowed 3 mistakes in the whole process! That is not easy for anyone. Certainly not me and I can only imagine for a young child the pressure, but it was a wonderful feeling when you look up and Dave gives you that approving nod! As a teacher I get that approval or disapproval from the board by simply inquiring with my eyes, and in this case I was filled with joy to know that my judgment of Jett’s wonderful effort had not gone unnoticed by the panel either.

 

Forward now a week and a half. Tuesday we all left early to pick up the boys. My overpriced twin turboed snow mobile doesn’t do so well in the snow so Rox and I made like the old days and rode into work together then left together to go get the boys early to avoid being late. They played in the snow for a while and I text Dave back and forth to make sure we were still having class. The few hours passed as Jett watched some TV and Quinn shoveled more of the grass than the driveway. We finally headed to class. We walked through the door and looked at the 80s vintage paper printed off from what has to be the last working Dot Matrix printer in North America nice and secure in Mrs. Lees office. It doesn’t matter what the paper is as long as those names and ranks are on there and the stamp that has been used to from the 60s is imprinted on the bottom with the “AKTA” approval. We all peered at the paper and near the top was “Jett Kaspar 1R-1D” My boy was an official 1st decided black belt.

 

So hug your family, forget the cars, the go fast goodies for a second and breathe in if nothing more than a  moment what is important. Then when you are done call me for some mods 😉

 

Sorry for all the as I say “blah blah” So many things we get caught up in as our lives, things become more complicated and tasks seem to over run us. I just wanted to share something dear….

 

Happy Holidays, Stephen AKA PhD

 

 

 

 

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myboys1

jetttkd

Audi, Bentley ECU tuning, Bentley perfromance exhaust, BMW, BMW ECU tuning, BMW Performance, engine builder, EVOMSit, Ferrari ECU tuning, Ferrari performance exhaust, Forced induction, Lamborghini ECU tuning, Lamborghini perfromance exhaust, Mercedes Benz ECU tuning

Tuning for Lambo, Ferraris and more!!

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As many have read on the blog(or not) we have expanded our tuning abilities by teaming up with EVOMS once again. This has allowed us to bring a new unparallel level of tuning to Porsche, Audi and VW. Acquiring the means to write software to Bosch and Siemens ECUs is not so easy. But once you have the ability and the means to do them you also open the door to many other possibilities. For us that expansion now includes Lamborghini, Ferrari  Bentley, BMW and Mercedes Benz. There have always been those that offer specific tuning to these cars but we feel with the decades of experience between the two companies we bring a software product to the market like no other.

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We have spent countless hours tuning Murciélago’s, Gallardo’s, 360s and even the 430. These gains are mild to wild. Don’t be fooled by all the other hype in the market and on the internet. HP is king, but more importantly the drivability is what we notice. Most of the high performance cars we own make good power, but at what RPM? Imagine if you could have that power, both HP and Torque down low, sooner, faster! What would that feel like in real world terms. Hard to completely imagine how something simple can make such a huge difference. Tuning like any other profession is an art. You can either be a general practitioner or a specialist. We like to think we are specialist. Tuning for MAX HP and TQ is easy. Add a little timing a little fuel, raise the RPM limiter and make a couple of pulls. What we do is that, but then spend hour after hour loading the car back and forth to create drivability and smooth response. We look at the VE table, the TQ Bias maps, and so much more. We tell the gas pedal to respond like a gas pedal and not a button simulating a cable. All these things take hundreds of hours to tune and perfect. That we have done. Best of all, we drive what we build. For 10 years (official and many more unofficially) we have used our knowledge, our products to test on our own cars and then drive them everyday. This ensure that if it meets our standards we know it will meet yours. After all no one is harder on themselves then we are! Drop us a call, discuss your wants, needs and expectations in tuning and let us create that for you.

 

In addition to ECU tuning we also feel that air in and air out is important. We have a long standing relationship with Fabspeed and therefore can bring total tuning solutions to your Ferrari and Lamborghini and even Bentley and Maserati. All of our exhaust are fabricated from T304 stainless steel and all of our cats are TUV level 8 compliant. Which means no problems with DOT here in the states. Components include, muffler, secondary bypasses and high flow cats that will allow twice the flow of air than the stock OEM cats. On some models we also have headers available for more TQ and HP where you want it.  All exhaust system keep compliance with the warranty. How much gain with the exhaust can one expect, try anywhere from 12HP to 28 depending on the model of your car. Group that with real world ECU tuning and your car and your driving experience will never be the same again.

 

 

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911, 911 Porsche, 993, 993TT, 997TT, EFI, Porsche News, porsche performance, Projects, turbo Porsche

iA moves in to a new world of custom programing!!

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For years ImagineAuto with my lead have been tuning turbos of many generations. Most of our major tuning in house has been on the various EFI systems installed from electromotive, Autronic to Motec. In years past we grouped with GIAC to help with program our TTs, Boxsters, 996s and so on. The biggest hurdle for us was always the time it took to deal with the larger companies and really getting the level of tuning we knew and wanted. Tuning EFIs for the last 15 years I am very particular about what I want for our customers and what they need. Always getting there is a different story.

Our relationship with EVO spans back since the beginning of both companies introduction into the Porsche tuning world. We have grown and built our companies together like two fathers watching their children grow on the same baseball league.

 

EVO Motorsports and more specifically Todd Zuccone over the last 1.5 years had been working behind the scenes to elevate the same issues I was having so he acquired the means to tune and headed down the path to become educated in a very complicated program. The end results have been nothing short of staggering.

 

How does this come into play with myself and iA you ask…Well, on many levels with the knowledge of tuning I have had for the last 15 years and what Todd has acquired in this specific arena and OBD port flashing and tuning we are now truly able to write and program for any Porsche with our exact needs, wants and criteria in mind.  There are only a few people in the industry associated with the EVOMSit software that can write it in house. We are one of those selected few that have that ability. So no more canned programs where we rely on the program accepting and moving parameters as much as 20% to compensate for broad tuning. We can specifically tune where and what maps we want.

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EVOMSit is dedicated to achieving ultimate perfection with the upgrades and services that we offer.  ECU tuning is an art and having the ability to manipulate various different Porsche ECU’s is something that only a handful of companies throughout the world can successfully perform.  EVOMSit is one of these elite few that can live tune Bosch and the Siemens-VDO ECU’s in house; however this is only a piece of the equation.

 

The other critical aspect of successful ECU tuning is to possess complete hands on mechanical understanding of the latest generation high performance Porsche engines.  This is the foundation of  EVOMSit and there are no other US based aftermarket performance companies that have more experience and has built more engines than Evolution MotorSports has.  We have practically reengineered the entire Porsche flat 6 engine and we have manufacture our own components that replace the OEM internals.  Combining these two equally important facets of the engine tuning process clearly sets  EVOMSit as a true leader in all aspects of engine tuning and development.

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Our testing and performance validation procedures are carried out under very strict conditions including dyno power testing and drive simulation, street driving as well as on the race track.  Our modified vehicles have been tested by professional race drivers for independent validation and product feedback at the Bondurant test track. We test vehicles with various different performance components, exhausts, intake systems, turbos and we ensure our software is compatible and yields powerful, consistent and reliable results.  Our portfolio of performance software is available for all late model Porsche vehicles from 1996 to the current model Cayenne and 911 DFI engines.