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…..

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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!!

winols2

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.

evomsit

 

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.

winols1

 

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.

911, 911 Porsche, 997TT, bilstein, Bilstein Coilover, Bilstein Damptronic, Bilstein PSS10, Bilstein PSS9, Bilstein suspension, Porsche, porsche performance, springs, suspension, turbo, turbo Porsche

On with the Mods….Suspension time! Bilstein Coilover heaven.

 

 

 

 

Originally when we bought the 997TT in from Chicago there were little in the way of modifications available. We created some in the form of tuning, worked with other companies to build intakes, etc. The one thing that simply was not available while leaving the PASM in place was suspension modifications. Knowing that the car was really not headed to the Dakar Rally we quickly teamed with Tech Art and waited until the first set of TA lowering springs hit American soil. Once in and on the car finally had a stance that we could be proud of.

The ride was firmer but like any lowering spring addition you always seem to find your self saying, does that rebound with the spring feel right….nah must be in my head. So we accepted that for the money it was certainly well worth the gain and the looks it created.

Over the summer we received a brand new Bilstein Dampstronic suspension. It has sat what feels like forever next to the couch in my office. Projects and day to day business certainly put the slow down on personal projects. So finally as we have found a small enough window to have installed my brand new suspension.

Unlike the suspension kits from Bilstein for past cars or current cars that would use the PSS9s or PSS10s this system doesn’t have the ability to control damping of the system by a knob on the top of the housing. The system remains completely PASM compliant and has all the workings to internally lock up the strut for a stiffer ride just like the factory. The difference is the progressive nature of the system. The more the system is pushed the more aggressive it becomes on the road. Drive to the grocery store and the system is very compliant and drives well. In fact much better than stock in my opinion. No bobbing, uneasy roll, very firm and sure on the road. Need a little more than that, hit the sport button and allow the system to lock it down and hit the track. This is without question one of the best improvements for the car both on the street and track use.

 

 

 

Install is pretty straight forward, pull the old ones off, install the new ones in the exact same fashion. This system is completely adjustable so ride height is open to the hearts content. I personally chose a GT3RS ride height. The alignment specs we chose are not that of GT3RS but one of a cross between the Gt2 and the TT. Win win for many situations and certainly daily driving.

 

911, 911 Porsche, 997TT, auto interior, Porsche, Porsche boost gauge, Porsche custom gauges, porsche performance, Projects, Sport Chrono, turbo Porsche

Custom gauge in a 997TT, sure why not.

What do you do when you have a dash of stock gauges that doesn’t lend its self to any space to do anything cool…As I love to say in other aspects of my life….create the space!! When I purchased my car it had to have the sport chrono in order to take advantage of the “sport” function Porsche offered. The 1850.00 upgrade not only included a more aggressive map, more boost, aggressive throttle response and a stiffer pasm program but it included this really cool gauge (not) in the middle of my dash. Just incase I live on a track I can keep up with my own time. Honestly I think the track slip is probably a better option but who am I to question Porsche’s thought process.

 

Factory gauge

We grouped up with a old buddy of mine who has started a gauge company called in your face gauges.  They specialize in many gauge application from Porsche to BMW and then some. We set up to do something in the 997TT that would set every other gauge into a boring category compared to this one. Understand that this is still under development but the base work is done on the gauge side. The function controls will eventually end up in the OEM computer stalk control or possibly the mirror control. Yes, both would remain functional with a toggle what would allow you to control the gauge and the proper OEM equipments.

This HD gauge is able to simply tap into the OBD2 port. In this case I have added not only all the available OBD2 data that is available through the plug, but we also added a boost module that takes its own source.  Other options for cars that do not have OBD2 like anything pre 96 you can add lots of stuff, as mentioned anything from boost to AFRs and then some.

The programming possibilities are endless with this setup. If you can’t find anything that you like in stock form you can also log into the company and actually request or down load a custom gauge faces! In addition to that you can have an analog setup, a plot setup, numbers, or your fancy custom gauge.

The unit we are using is a custom fit 52mm gauge that fit rather nicely in the stock sport chrono location….Nothing stays stock in my hands too long!

 

911, 911 Porsche, 997TT, Forced induction, GIAC, Porsche, Porsche exhaust, porsche performance, suspension, TT exhaust, turbo, turbo Exhaust, turbo Porsche, Uncategorized, Variable Vein Turbo, VTG

300 Mile 997 Twin with some added goodies. Our 610HP kit.

We have a very good customer that has sent various cars to us in the past. One of his priors was a very nice 91 965 that after 3 weeks of mods the car was truly to die for. As all things come to pass so did this car. No sooner than it sold I got a phone call that the new steed was on the way. In normal fashion the car made its way to KC for a list of mods. They include:

Our programming, Full suspension, intake, intercoolers, headers, exhaust, HF cats, short throw shifter, HRE P40s and tires. The car literally came to us with 300 miles on it and was never the same:) We do these mods on a pretty normal basis and the benefits are huge. While the TT has good power to begin with it lacks low end throttle response as well as a major dip in the power band at apx 5300 RPM due to goofy tuning from Porsche. The exhaust is very susceptible to heat and EGTs can be reduced by bringing back pressure down and increasing flow. The headers add TQ and the intake, well adds a little HP but really sounds great when you get on it =) That has to be worth something right…

 

911, 911 Porsche, 997TT, Porsche, porsche performance, turbo Porsche, Uncategorized, Variable Vein Turbo, VTG

Variable what?

I am constantly amazed at the amount of people that I run in to that A) do not know what a Porsche 911 Turbo has or what it is, B do not know what a VTG is once explained the car is a twin turbo with VGTs. If you are reading this then the odds are that you at least know that the 997TT is, well a twin turbo. So we will forget the definition and description of A).

 Now what is all this VTG bla bla…The goal of a regulated turbine is to expand the usable flow rate range in practical applications while maintaining a high level of efficiency. In other words trying to get the exhaust to the turbo as fast as possible so that it can hit it efficiency range and start to create boost. To accomplish this, the turbine output is regulated by changing the inflow angle and inflow speed at the turbine wheel inlet. In the case of the VTG turbocharger this is achieved using guide vanes located in front of the turbine wheel.

When the guide vanes are in the closed position, the high circumferential components of the flow velocity and a steep enthalpy gradient lead to a high turbine output and therefore to a high charging pressure. When the guide vanes are in the fully open position, the turbine reaches its maximum flow rate and the velocity vector of the flow has a large centripetal component. The advantage of this type of output control over bypass control is that the entire exhaust mass flow is always directed through the turbine and can be converted to output. The guide vanes adjustments are controlled through our ECU directly.

I recently removed my turbos and  sent them out for modifications to the compressor and the compressor housing. We can’t make much change to the turbine side due to the veins that are always moving. But between a larger compressor wheel and some more aggressive tuning we have easily raised the HP to over 700 HP. The best part about these types of turbos is they can simulate many turbine sizes if you will to create a fast spooling turbo that delivers boost much sooner than say that of a older GT2 Turbo or X50 car fitted with a K24. In fact the last set of dynos we did proved to make its HP at least 1000 RPM sooner. On the street and for drivability this is huge! The amount of TQ that can be created at low RPMs is staggering.

 

Porsche continues to give us the leading edge to play with. In 1974 it was the worlds first gasoline fitted Turbo in a production car, in 2006 it was the gasoline fitted production car with VTGs.

997TT, engine builder, porsche performance, Uncategorized

Funny Story…

Since I’ve literally grown up around Porsches and live and breathe them now, they are second nature – a part of me.  I sometimes forget about their exotic intrigue.  The awe in people’s eyes when they see the 997TT we drive on a daily basis, often goes unnoticed.  I am by no means belittling the fact that we drive a magnificent machine.  It wasn’t an easy road for us to get to the car we currently drive.  Buy, rebuild, modify, sell; buy, rebuild, modify, sell, and so on until we climbed the Porsche ladder and landed at the 997TT. 

We are in the process of moving and are having our new deck power washed and re-stained.  I had talked by phone to two college kids that we contracted to do the work but had yet to meet them until today.  I stopped by the new house and met one of the guys who had just started the power wash process.  Somehow we got on the topic of what I (we) did for a living.  I always keep it pretty simple and say we service and modify Porsches.  This kid was impressed to say the least and then started in with a story of his own.

He said that there is some guy that lives out our way that drives a yellow twin turbo Porsche.  He has raced a buddy of his who apparently has a supercharged Viper.  (The  Porsche won.)  He also owns a martial arts school.  I calmly say to the kid – I know the guy.  Really?? Is his response.  Oh man, that’s so cool!  I quietly tell him that’s my husband, Stephen, and he owns ImagineAuto and doesn’t own the martial arts school but he is a 2nd Degree Black Belt and a TKD and Gracie Jiu Jitsu instructor.  The kid flips out and starts talking about street racing and horsepower and martial arts and everything else he can spew out before taking a breath.

It wasn’t the conversation itself that left an impression today.  It was the excitement, the mystic, the legacy that is our speed yellow 997TT.  It was the excitement in that young man’s eyes when he told of the mysterious car and guy inside and the the wild fish tale that apparently has grown over time.  That’s ok with us of course.  This kid is the next generation of ImagineAuto customers and we can always use some security in this uncertain world! Be on the lookout for the next spotting of a speed yellow 997TT.  But look fast, it’s going to be passing you!