Porsche 997 Turbo Build


In this blog post, we take a look at Chris's Porsche 997 Turbo Build completed by Genome Design.

Where It All Began: 

Isn’t it always interesting wondering where to start with a write-up about such a cool project? They always start as a minor job and then spiral into a modified monster like most petrolheads good intentions vs reality don’t they?

997 Turbo Build

In this case customer and friend of the business Chris called us at Genome Design to look at an exhaust blow on his Porsche 911 997 turbo after experiencing a loss of power and some obvious issues with the exhaust system. We were very impressed with the rarity of this machine… a 2007 997.1 Turbo with a manual gearbox! Oh, and only 50k miles!

Having conducted our usual test drive of the car before manoeuvring it into the workshop we agreed with its obvious lack of power and terrible exhaust blow. Although at this point from our experience of the Porsche turbo market, we did have a suspicion of what might be lurking under the back end. We immediately put the car on the ramp and began to dismantle things.

One thing we know as Porsche motorcar enthusiasts is that none are immune to the rotting of nuts, bolts, studs, and anything road grime can find its way onto. In the case of this 997 Porsche turbo, it had made a healthy start on the turbo cores, exhaust manifold bolts, turbo bolts, and much more.

Upon removal of the Stock Porsche 997 exhaust system, we quickly found turbo issues. This would explain the lack of boost pressure given the amount of Axial play in the turbine shaft. To us, it was damming that the thrust bearings had started to wear, this meant the shaft was to fall out of balance, therefore the compressor wheel would score the compressor housings. This also happens on the turbine side of the turbocharger. Turbo repairs or replacement on the Porsche 997 platform are possibly one of the most frequent things seen in many independent Porsche garages, especially considering they are starting to come of age. (recently entered onto the Porsche classic register)

Couple this with rotten… well more or less non-existent exhaust gaskets along with almost nothing left of the manifold fixings and an obvious requirement for a new exhaust system, it felt like we might be cooking up a good excuse for some Porsche 997 turbo tuning.

What next for the poorly Porsche 911 997?

Well… after some discussion with the owner, it was clear his inner petrolhead was doing the decision-making.

Porsche 997 Turbo

This ultimately led to…replacement turbos, from our sister company AET Turbos, a shiny new set of high flow exhaust manifolds, coupled with a new X pipe style exhaust system and sport catalytic converters. Oh and of course, a full Genome Design Porsche 997 remap to tie all these tasty new hardware modifications together.

Any Porsche enthusiast would like the sound of that!

Repairing the 997 turbos… what’s entailed?

Turbochargers are in our blood. We have been working with turbocharged Porsches since their inception through our sister company AET Turbo's so when it comes to fixing them, we obviously ask for the best in the business.

In some cases, the turbo cores can be saved but in this case, we were left with no other option but to opt for a full remanufactured set of the BV50 Borgwarner turbochargers. This includes remanufactured housings on both the turbine housing and compressor housing along with a brand-new turbo core assembly.

Porsche 997 Exhaust Options:

We decided to run with a full set of stainless-steel large diameter exhaust manifolds along with 200 cell race cats (that are MOT-approved) which are bolted to an X pipe style stainless steel exhaust system. This allows for optimum flow while retaining factory approval for MOT purposes.

Keep reading to find out what this combination makes on the dyno before the Porsche 997 tuning begins.

Piecing the jigsaw together:

997 Exhaust Options

One of our in-house Porsche technicians was tasked with disassembling and re-assembling this 911 Carrera over two weeks. Given how corroded things were when we got started, his patience was impressive. Many hours of warming things up to make half a turn or a millimetre of movement on stuck pipes would have tested many, however, he found a way to remove all parts without damaging any of the vital pieces.

Having managed to successfully keep all the auxiliary hardware in one piece, We utilised the time during the turbocharger's remanufacturing to carry out a major service to the OEM Porsche service schedule. He also took time to remove the stock manifolds and replace the OEM fixings with a high-temperature stud kit and copper nuts, meaning we would have no issue with corrosion in the future.

Once our boost generators had been received back from AET Turbos, it was a quick and painless task to bolt everything back up. Aside from a leaky O-ring to the small turbo sumps found on the turbo itself, all was well and a quick removal to refresh an O-ring fixed that issue.

The first cold start of the 997 turbo was always going to be slightly trepid regardless of how experienced someone is, it's always a nervous moment but to our relief, the car burst into life and the soundtrack was glorious. Happy technicians all around!

Tuning the Porsche 997:

Finally, the time had come to take this Porsche turbo into the dyno cell and let the work do the talking!

997 Mapping

It's always referred to as "a real street" on our dyno because there is no hiding. Mechanically, if we have issues they will show up on the dyno.

After some initial steady-state load, which allows us to marginally build up to full runs meaning any issues can be spotted in a safe environment, it was onto power runs with stock software but the additional hardware.

A very impressive 470whp & 450 ft-lbs of torque can be seen in the graph featured. This, with a 10% transmission loss, suggests a BHP figure in the region of 520hp a gain of 40hp over the stock quoted 480bhp with just hardware additions. We were pretty impressed with these results.

With data logs and dyno graph looking good, it was onto our Genome engine remap for the Porsche 997. Having the ability to calibrate our remaps in-house means we have total control over output and features. In the case of this car, we optimised boost and ignition timing for 99ron fuel knowing the customer will only ever use Shell V-power as recommended.

The net results were somewhat astonishing and proved that every part recommended for the car, tied in perfectly with the software to exceed all our expectations.

A solid 533whp (586bhp) and 545 ft-lbs which is a massive gain not only over the stock cars originally quoted 480hp but even the power made with additional hardware. This shows that correctly optimised engine software with carefully selected hardware will produce fantastic results.

With datalogs in check and a consistent dyno result, we felt dyno tuning was complete and it was time to go for final driveability testing on the road.

Stretching the 997's legs…

997 at Genome Design

Words cannot describe how this car gathers pace. It is incredible but what is more important is understanding how correctly optimising the actuators and ignition tables has transformed the way this Porsche 997 turbo drives at low RPM.

Cruising around town, it feels more spritely, like it has a consistent energy and is eager to please even with normal driving. It could be driven as an everyday special road car without any extended effort.

Release its 580+hp with a heavy press of the right pedal and at around 2800rpm all hell begins to break loose. You could easily be mistaken in thinking you have clutch slip before realising that you have all four wheels spinning and the local plane spotters are looking for a fighter jet. The acceleration of this 997 is phenomenal and almost difficult to comprehend. The noise can only be described under load as old-school raw turbo noise it's insistently remindful of an externally wastegated Porsche race car.

Fundamentally this Porsche 997 Turbo with its sprinkle of Genome Design magic is fantastic and we couldn't be happier.

Want to discuss a similiar build for your Porsche model? Be sure to contact one of the Genome Design sales team for all the information you need!