A look back onto 2019.
In the beginning of 2019, we set some lofty goals. We had our eyes set to achieve 1200-1500whp for our 996 turbo. Looking to break past the 200+mph ½ mile trap speed, we knew we had to have a power plant producing between 1200-1500whp. To help with traction at this power level we continued testing on our SDM 996 4WD controller. We believe this product will be a game changer for the 996 Turbo chassis. The SDM 996 4WD controller worked flawlessly and we had full traction even with the factory Michelin Pilot sport tires all the way up to 180mph! We chose a VW VR6 engine swap into a Porsche 911 chassis. This included fabricating engine mounts using the factory engine plate from the 996 turbo, and designing and building an intake manifold to fit in the tight engine bay and still flow the volume we needed to make well over 1000whp. To complete the air flow path we fabricated a turbo manifold, mounted a large 8385 turbocharger from Precision Turbo and finished it off with a Syvecs ECU for the increased fuel, air and spark control. Another obstacle we had to overcome was combining a cooling system from the VR6 engine to mate up with the 911 radiators. The VW VR6 is based mostly for FWD transverse configurations which made the task a little daunting. Once we had a game plan for all the systems in March of 2019, we were ready to get the project going.
Fast forward to the beginning of June 2019, and things were looking up. The long block was assembled, intake and turbo manifolds were done, exhaust system was completed, the fuel system was 90% done. But as of a few days before our race day in Colorado the engine still had not fired and the cooling system and intercoolers piping were incomplete…and so the long days continued. Thanks to 17 hour work days, we were finally able to get the car fired up, the cooling system completed and pressure tested, the intake pipes fabbed and we performed an initial break in on the engine. Once the engine saw operating temp, the engine oil was replaced with a high grade racing oil from Valvoline and we were ready to set the 911 chassis on the Dynamometer rollers.
June 20th was a big day. As with any fresh new builds, the car experienced a few mechanical odds and ends repairs. While sorting through issues we were able to produce 824whp and 564wtq on the dyno. This power was made on wastegate spring pressure, 22psi. With one of the issues, being unable to control boost via the ECU, the boost unfortunately was stuck at 22psi until further notice. We knew that in order to make around 1200whp we needed to increase the airflow of the engine to a boost pressure in the 40’s and in order to run 200mph in a half we needed around 1200whp. Because we were racing June 22nd and 23rd in Colorado and being located in the middle of TN, we had to load up and start heading out. We were able to diagnose and find the issue of boost control while on the road at a hotel one night. We found that there was no power to the wastegate solenoid, causing it to be an open circuit. We quickly rerouted a power source to the wastegate solenoid and we now had boost control via the ECU.
We arrived at Colorado Spring Airport safely and were able to make our first pass. While going down the track, it was quickly apparent the engine was breaking up/misfiring and all the fuel and air that the turbocharger was packing in the engine wasn’t being burned correctly inside VR6 air pump. We found that the excessive heat from waiting in the stages lanes prior to the run caused the ignition coils to show their age. Upon further inspection, we found small cracks forming at the base of 4 of the 6 ignition coils. The original 996 Turbo coils had failed. What seemed like a hopeless race weekend quickly turned around. A gentlemen who was a technician at the Porsche of Colorado Springs Dealership had dropped by to check our car out. Long story short, a few hours later we had some brand new 997 Turbo coils in our VR6 engine and we were back up and running. With the ignition system and the wastegate fixed we were able to make our first clean pass. The boost pressure yielded roughly 30psi, confirming that we had successfully repaired our boost control and the new 997 coils were making sure that all the fuel was being ignited in the VR6 air pump. At 30psi we estimated the engine was making a little over 900whp, to propel the 3500lb 911 chassis to a speed of 179mph in a half mile. Looking at the logs for our 179mph run, the turbocharger was only producing the following boost per gear: 1st-14psi, 2nd-28psi, 3-5th-30psi.
Being our first time racing at high elevation with the lack of air pressure we quickly learned a thing or two about large turbochargers. As you increase in elevation, the atmospheric air pressure decreases. What this means in terms of turbochargers is simply that they multiply air from atmospheric to desired boost set by the wastegate spring. Therefore, if you start with less atmospheric pressure, the turbocharger requires a faster shaft speed to develop the same pressure as it would at a area with higher pressure such as sea level. We were able to make another clean pass at around 30psi yielding a speed of 180 in the half mile.
After our next pass we realized that because of the lower air pressure and our wastegate solenoid routing being a 3 port, 30 psi was the highest boost we could achieve with this setup. Without access to a 4 port wastegate solenoid and more time at the track, 180mph was the highest speed we were capable of running the weekend at Colorado Spring Airport.
We returned to Middle TN and installed a 4 port wastegate solenoid, got the car back on the dyno and were able to produce 1203whp at 49psi! We had plans to bring the car to another half mile event towards the end of 2019 to test it with the 4 port wastegate solenoid, but we were unable to make it out.
World’s first 996 VR6 911 Turbo!
180mph in the half mile
Release of the SDM 996 4WD controller
Production of the SDM Billet intake manifold
Prototype of VR6 Billet Valve cover
Stay tuned as we share what we have planned for 2020!
A look back into 2017 with our stage 2 package. With the goal in mind to achieve 175mph in a half mile with a stock 996 turbo 3.6L Mezger longblock engine we knew we had to start with high quality components. This goal of 175mph in a half mile with a 3500 pound vehicle, manual shifted transmission would have to have a power plant producing somewhere in the neighborhood of 750-800 horsepower. To increase airflow into the engine we chose a set of Precision 5858 Turbochargers. These turbocharges are mounted to the engine with a set of custom turbo manifolds built in house. Hanging in front of the turbocharger exhaust inlets we mounted a set of Precision 46mm waste gates. These gates are responsible for controlling turbocharger shaft speeds by diverting a portion of exhaust to bypass the turbocharger exhaust wheel. The waste gates ultimately are the ones responsible for controlling boost being fed into the engine. After the Precision turbochargers spin up to compress atmosphere air, the air is forced throught a set of 4.5″ bar and plate inter coolers. We chose a set of SRM 996 turbo inter coolers, because of there high quality and efficiency. Since an engine is nothing more than an air pump, increasing airflow into the engine requires an increase of fuel. This increase in fuel is responsible for the increase in horsepower and torque that the engine produces. For fuel upgrades we went with a set of 1700cc injectors from Injector Dynamics, a custom twin fuel pump basket with 2 Walbro 480lph fuel pumps and stainless fuel lines with AN fittings. While our stage 2 package is available in a pump/race fuel or E85 configuration, we chose E85 as our fuel source. E85 is a great fuel with an octane rating of around 105 and it burns 30% richer, meaning more fuel to air ratio, which in turns has many benefits. E85 advantages include cooler intake runners, back of intake valves, piston tops as well as cooler combustion chambers. The increased octane rating from fuels such as E85 allow the air pump to compress the fuel without self ignition, which in turns allows higher compression ratios, higher boost levels or higher cylinder pressures with a steady controlled burn of fuel being initiated by the spark plug rather than heat, also know as detention. Responsible for controlling the engine we chose the standalone Syvecs. Syvecs does an perfect job integrating with the factory modules for a seamless operation which behaves just as the factory ECU does, including full operation of instrument gauges. Syvecs has the ability to monitor critical engine data such as oil pressure, coolant pressure, knock activity, air fuel ratios and fuel pressure. We were able to acheive 175.9mph on stock Michelin sport 2 tires.
SDM Billet intake manifold
Fitting a VR6 Vw engine into a 911 chassis was no small task. With our goals to make well over 1000whp, we had to design an intake manifold that fit under the rear decklid and flow enough air to make the power we had in mind. We chose to use a Skunk2 plenum as a starting point and design a lower manifold to bolt to the inline six style head. We designed this manifold to be modular. What we mean by this, is we will be offering this setup in 12 different configurations. The plenum will come with a center feed option and a side feed option. The center feed plenum from Skunk2 has a large volume plenum starting at 5 liters. In our 1200whp VR6 we used the center feed plenum and the Skunk2 2 liter spacer, giving a total intake plenum volume of 7 liters. The side feed is best fitted for transverse drivetrain configurations such found in the Vw Golf, Audi TT and Audi A3 platforms and has a volume of 3.5 liters. With this swap becoming ever so popular in the Audi S4 chassis the side feed or the center plenum could be used.
Tech information on the VW VR6 Engine.
The VR6 block in stock form is a great starting point to produce high RPM horsepower. First off the block is made of cast iron. On the underside it has 7 main bearing caps. The 7 main bearing caps house a very sturdy crankshaft. Because the VR6 is neither a V6 or a inline 6 cylinder engine, it has a very small footprint and overall size is nearly identical to a inline 4 cylinder engine. Spinning at the bottom is a short forged crankshaft. The crankshaft measures a little over a foot and half. These factory crankshafts found in the 2.8 liter VR6 and 3.2 liter VR6 are both forged steel units.