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 🙂  


Audi, Auto Enthusiast, dyno run, Porsche, racing, turbo

Breaking News! Dyno Day a Hit!

Great turn out Saturday at the ImagineAuto Dyno Day. Thanks to all who entered, attended, helped with and cheered on the cars. A nice variety of makes were represented: Mitsubishi Evo 9’s, Subaru STI Wagon, Corvettes, Turbo Mustang, Dodge SRT 8 Wagon, Audi S4, and a couple of Porsches. I actually was the last one standing when it came to grilling burgers for everyone and after the first couple hockey pucks, actually got into the groove. It was hard to tell though whether the smoke smell I carried away with me on Saturday was from the grill or the Mustang that was dyno’d!
A little excitement ensued when Brian Huff showed up in his 1988 Mustang 2.3 Turbo. Once it was strapped down on the dyno and some power was put down, it gave off quite a large amount of smoke. After iA made absolute certain that Brian understood that there was a possibility it was going to explode, the car actually put out an impressive 306 HP. Not bad considering the turbo, the motor and everything in between was in jeopardy of blowing up! Of course iA’s resident 6 year old was very disappointed that the explosion didn’t actually occur!
Below are the HP results:
Robert Lemmon – 2001 Mitsubishi Evo 9 – 342 HP
Richard Moncayo – 2006 Mitsubishi Evo 9 – 324 HP
Justin Mutch – 1998 Subaru STI Wagon – 227 HP
Joe Moncada – 2007 Corvette – 373 HP
Brian Huff – 1988 Mustang 2.3 Turbo – 306 HP
Mike Jacobs – 1989 930 Porsche – 488 HP
Jeff Parlato – 1999 Corvette – 354 HP
Peter Granat – 2001 Porsche 996TT – 271 HP
Dale Berry – 2006 Dodge Magnum SRT8 Wagon – 440 HP
Charles Waters – 2000 Audi S4 – 270 HP
Remember that ImagineAuto has the AWD Mustang Dyno available every day if you are interested in challenging your friend to a run-off. We also are pleased to offer car club discounts on multiple dyno runs. Call iA to arrange your next gathering here. I’d be happy to grill some burgers for you! 😉

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, 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 Porsche, 993TT, engine rebuild, Forced induction, turbo, turbo Porsche, Uncategorized

A diamond in a rough. A rebuild of a 993TT


Meet the new project of the family. This is our nameless 97 993TT. She is nameless because every name I come up with Roxanne doesn’t like. After all this is to be her car. We acquired this 993TT with 9K miles on her. Yes, 9K. Sadly enough someone thought they needed the car more and barrowed it. They didn’t take anything that would make them real money, rather they took things they thought might. Anything aluminum was removed or at least what they could tear off to be sold. They ripped bumpers instead of unscrewing them, cut harnesses and tore panels trying to get to the airbag. They took every fuse and relay in the car. We ended up with the motor but that is it. No intake, not exhaust. Nothing but a long block. The original owner and I came to an agreement and I purchased the car complete with a clean title.

In normal fashion I wasted no time coming up with parts. Some here, some there. The list when looked at is very intimidating. I immediately came up with an oil cooler, lines, AC condenser, fan and mounts. We still need to source an upgraded cooler. All in due time.

The motor we also were able to find most of the upper parts from LA Porsche. Thanks to Todd and Sara they will make it possible to complete the motor once and for all. The motor is also far from stock. It is a 3.8 liter with Carrillo rods, flame rings, o-ringed spigots and more. The motor on C16 can make well over 800 HP at the crank. Turbos were originally built and fitted. We will one up these and install GT3076s. They are rather large turbos but K24s with this type of build will be hard pressed to even make 550HP.

She is fitted with Bilstein sport suspension, monoballs, larger sway bars and a hand full of other goodies.

The body escaped most of the damage the interior suffered and various parts. The major damage was to the rear quarters. They chose not to unscrew the rear bumper rather they ripped it off causing slight buckles in the quarter. Not to worry this is a very easy fix and can mostly be PDRed!

I originally had purchased Euro S bumpers and have since acquired a pair of Ruf bumpers. The rear is complete with the center outlet for the exhaust. While some fabrication will be required to make it work Karl and I thought this touch would be nice and well worth the effort.

The wheels were originally SSRs and as you can imagine were never to be seen again. The original wheels were purchased with the car but I am not much about anything original. The first 993TT I had RUF wheels fitted to it. Heavy but stable and a very nice ride I enjoyed them. I transferred these to my 01 996TT then finally sold them off to a friend of ours. Since then he had decided that he wanted to sell them, I was first in line. I purchased them and sent them out to be powder coated artic silver. This should prove to be very durable in comparison to paint.

The interior looks worse than it is. In the box of goodies from LA Porsche there should be the airbag covers and the side quarter panels. The original front and rear seats came with the car since they were removed to install a bar and GT3 seats which ARE gone.

Sadly it was a week of craziness and the bumpers came in on Tues and it was yesterday that I finally opened them up. The box of goodies from Sara and Todd I have yet to unpack!


Fitted with the front S Euro bumper.


This should have gotten the stupid of the year award. Too bad the bag didn’t go off in their face!


They couldn’t get the roll bar out that bolts in to the seat belt holes without doing this!! Idiots.


Bilsteins and Monoballs installed.


Motor as it sits. I had purhased a NA intake and was going to change a few things to make it a TT setup. That has since changed of course.


Classic wheels, in a world of bling, something with class.


Front RUF bumper. Needs some tweaking but we are up to the task!


Damn inspector again. Making sure the bumpers are in fact not like the old ones. She approves!


911, 911 Porsche, 993TT, 997TT, engine builder, engine rebuild, Forced induction, supercharger, turbo, turbo Porsche, Uncategorized

To turbo, or supercharge that is the question


Which came first the chicken or the egg? Which is better the Turbocharger or the Supercharger? They both are very similar. The mechanics of these systems is where the difference is found. They both offer their own advantages and disadvantages but it depends on you, the driver.

So what’s the difference?




The Turbo-charger uses exhaust gases to drive it and the supercharger uses a belt that runs off the crank shaft to drive it. They both increase the speed of a car significantly. I spent many months researching this topic. The similarities and differences are stunning. These performance parts force the novice mechanic to graduate to the next level of planning and paying for that matter. These systems are not cheap. But for those who enjoy racing down the ¼ mile drag strip at top speed. This may be for you.


Both superchargers and turbochargers are forced induction systems and thus have the same objective – to compress air and force more air into the engine’s combustion chamber. The benefit of forcing more air into the combustion chambers is that it allows your engine to burn more fuel per power stroke. Using an internal combustion engine, burning more fuel means that you convert more fuel into energy and power. For this reason, supercharged and turbocharged engines normally produce 40% to 100%%2B more power than normally aspirated engines.

How They Work



A supercharger is mounted to the engine and is driven by a pulley that is inline with the crank (or accessory) belt. Thus, the supercharger robs horsepower from the engine in order to multiply horsepower, giving it back to the engine. Kind of in a circular fashion. (For example, I give you 5 dollars and you give me back 25 dollars) this is how the power multiplies within the supercharger. Air is drawn into the supercharger and compressed by either an impeller (centrifugal-style supercharger), twin rotating screws (screw-type supercharger), or counter-rotating rotors (roots-type supercharger). The air is then discharged into the engine’s intake. Faster crank speed (more engine rpm) spins the supercharger faster and allows the supercharger to produce more boost (normally 6 to 9 psi for a street vehicle). Typical peak operating speeds for a supercharger are around 15,000 rpm (screw-type and roots style superchargers) and 40,000 rpm (centrifugal-style superchargers). Thus a supercharger is easier to tune because the speed of the supercharger directly relates to the speed of the crankshaft.A turbocharger operates in much the same way as a centrifugal (internal impeller) supercharger, except it is not driven by pulleys and belts attached to the engine’s crank. A turbo is instead driven by exhaust gasses that have been expelled by the engine and are traveling through the exhaust manifold. The exhaust gas flows through one half of the turbocharger’s turbine, which drives the impeller that compresses the air. Typical operating speeds of a turbocharger are between 70,000 and 160,000 rpm. 


Let’s look at the 2 side by sideTurbocharger vs. Supercharger Cost

The cost of supercharger and a turbocharger system is basically the same. However, if you are deciding which to use. First, determine your mechanical ability and the accessibility of special pipe benders and welders. If you don’t have access to these tools then a supercharger will be more reasonable because you will likely be able to do all of the work saving on the cost of labor. Turbochargers require special pipe benders because of the extensive exhaust set up.

Lag vs NO Lag

The supercharger can very easily boast that the biggest advantage it has over the turbo charger is NO LAG. Turbochargers are driven by exhaust gas. The turbocharger’s turbine spools up first before it even begins to turn the compressor’s impeller. The result is what we call “lag time”. This is the time needed for the turbine to reach its full throttle from an intermediate rotational speed state. During this lag time, the turbocharger is creating little to no boost, which means little to no power gains during this time. It is common knowledge that smaller turbochargers spool up quicker, which reduces some of the lag. Turbochargers use what is called a “waste-gate”. The waste-gate is a valve that allows exhaust to bypass the turbine blades. The waste-gate senses boost pressure, if it gets too high, it could be an indicator that the turbine is spinning too quickly. In this situation the waste-gate avoids some of the exhaust around the turbine blades, allowing the blades to slow. Therefore, a waste-gate allows a smaller turbocharger to eliminate some of the lag time while preventing it from spinning too quickly at high engine speeds. A waste-gate is a crucial part of the Turbocharger.On the other hand, a Supercharger is connected directly to the crank, so there is “NO LAG”. Superchargers are able to produce boost at a very low revolutions per minute (RPM).

Which is more economical?

Some say the turbocharger is more economical. It all depends on your level of mechanical ability and your ability to access good quality welders and pipe benders. Some feel that the turbocharger is more economical to operate because it is driven primarily by potential energy in the exhaust gasses. The gas would normally be lost out of your exhaust pipes. However, the supercharger draws power from the crank, which is normally used to turn the wheels. One positive, is that the turbocharger’s impeller is powered only under boost conditions, so there is less internal drag when the impeller is not spinning. The turbocharger does create additional exhaust backpressure and exhaust flow interruption which can be viewed as less than positive. If you are looking to save money and have the tools handy that you will need to complete this installation successfully then this may be for you

.Very Hot vs Not so Hot

The turbocharger is mounted to the exhaust manifold which is extremely hot. Turbocharger boost may experience additional heating through the turbocharger’s hot casing. Hot air expands which is the exact opposite of what happens in a turbocharger or supercharger, therefore an intercooler becomes necessary on almost all turbocharged applications to cool the air charge before it is released into the engine. Remember, when we discussed the special pipe benders. This is where the complexity of the installation can be a challenge. A centrifugal supercharger on the other hand creates a cooler air discharge, so an intercooler is often not necessary at boost levels below 10psi. However, some superchargers (especially roots-type superchargers) create hotter discharge temperatures, which also make an intercooler necessary even on fairly low-boost applications.


Turbochargers spool up before its boost is delivered to the engine, when this happens there is a surge of power that is immediately delivered. This happens when the waste-gate opens at approximately (2500-3000 rpm). The surge can cause extreme damage to the engine and drivetrain, and make the vehicle difficult to drive or lose traction. Superchargers also experience surge which is why they have a blow-off valve to release the excess pressure during deceleration. (All superchargers should come with this blow-off valve as an accessory)

Exhaust Back Pressure

Remember the supercharger is powered by the crank, thus there is no need to deal with the exhaust gas interruption created by inserting a turbocharger turbine into the exhaust flow. The supercharger creates no additional exhaust back pressure. The amount of power that is lost by a turbocharger’s turbine reduces it’s overall efficiency.

How Loud is it?

The turbocharger is generally quieter than the supercharger. Because the turbo’s turbine is in the exhaust, the turbo can substantially reduce exhaust noise, making the engine run quieter. Some centrifugal superchargers are known to be noisy and may sound like a bird chirp at idle, which annoys some drivers.


Normally superchargers are more reliable than a turbocharger. When the engine is turned off (i.e. the turbo is shut off), residual oil inside the turbo’s bearings can be baked by stored engine heat. This, combined with the turbo’s extremely high rpms (up to 150,000rpm) can cause problems with the turbo’s internal bearings and can shorten the life of the turbocharger. In addition, many turbos require aftermarket exhaust manifolds, which are often far less reliable than stock manifolds.

Ease of Installation

Superchargers are substantially easier to install than a turbochargers because they have far fewer components and simpler devices. Turbochargers are complex and require manifold and exhaust modifications, intercoolers, extra oil lines, etc. – most of which is not needed with most superchargers. A novice home mechanic can easily install most supercharger systems, while a turbo installation should be left to a turbo expert.

Peak Power

Turbochargers are known for their unique ability to spin to incredibly high rpms and make outrages peak boost figures (25psi). While operating a turbocharger at very high levels of boost requires major modifications to the rest of the engine, the turbo is capable of producing more peak power than superchargers.


Turbochargers, because they are so complex and rely on exhaust pressure, are notoriously difficult to tune. Superchargers, on the other hand, require few fuel and ignition upgrades and normally require little or no engine tuning.