2009 Porsche Cayman S – Unleashed


Veteran club racer Steve Floyd didn’t restrain when he showed me the lines through Chuckwalla Valley Raceway’s 17 turns. There wouldn’t become a warm-up lap or turn-by-turn descriptions of braking, turn-in, and track-out points, in addition to one warning about a blind off-camber right-hander. Floyd had the Yokohama Neovas sliding by the second corner, making small corrections to the steering angles as the tires danced back and forth over their limits on the broiling desert asphalt.

Given the speed and the ease in which he tossed throughout the car we were in, you’d think Floyd knew the automobile inside out. Was that was the very first time he’d been on a track in the heavily fortified Cayman S by using a 3.8-liter Carrera S engine he built for owner Dave Petty, although the reality.with some serious power, the kind of capability to scare away from the 911, the type of car even Porsche admitted it couldn’t build without upending the pecking order.

So when Petty met Floyd, whom, in addition to racing his ’68 911 in POC events, is likewise the owner of Desert Performance Motorsports in PalmDesert and California, plus a Porsche technician since ’71, it didn’t take long so they can decide to build what they like to call a Cayman “RS.”They first considered getting the stock 3.4-liter bored to make it a 4. liter, but Floyd didn’t believe the cylinder walls were thick enough. After they nixed that idea, they began the search for a Carrera engine, eventually finding a 2011 factory re-built, Carrera S 3.8-liter with zero miles from Los Angeles Dismantlers in Sun Valley, California.

Floyd said the engine bolted right in without modifications to the engine mounts, but it wasn’t as straightforward as that. The 3.8’s intake plenum extends straight out and bumps up against the top edge of the Cayman’s engine bay.

To protect yourself from Petty, Floyd and cutting contacted IPD about supplying them with a curved intake plenum. IPD, who makes higher-flowing Y-pipes and intake plenums for a long list of water-cooled engines, sent Floyd a number of plenums to check for clearance.

2009 porsche cayman s cayamn r front lip 10

2009 porsche cayman s cyaman r front lip spoiler 13

2009 porsche cayman s rear spoiler 15

Eventually, two different plenums were used, each of which needed to becut and welded, and reshaped to create the throttle body remove the transmission’s bell housing. The welding and powdercoating were performed by B&J Powder Coating. The top section of the intake plenum butts up against the engine cover’s seal, as you have seen from the photo.

Attached to the 3.8’s throttle body is a Fabspeed Stage 1 cold-air intake. Floyd and Petty had the pipe wrapped in a hand-stitched, heat-shielding blanket to help keep it from absorbing the temperature in the engine bay. In the exhaust side, FVD Brombacher sport headers and 200 cell cats connect to a Fabspeed exhaust system. Softronics then wrote ECU code, taking into consideration all of the upgrades. Petty estimates the engine now produces 420-430 hp and 350-380 lb-ft of torque compared to the stock engine’s 385 hp and 330 lb-ft. The extra power eventually ate through the stock clutch, so Floyd and Petty installed a stronger Aasco full-race flywheel/clutch using a six-button flat-drive plate. It chatters a lttle bit on idle, which is a trade-off Petty was more than happy to live with.

Additionally, it requires extra revs to get off the line, as I found out when I pulled out of the pits. The throws in the stock Cayman S gearbox have already been reduced having a B&M short-throw shifter, so grabbing anotherThere are actually few better cars to accomplish this than a 987 chassis since it communicates very well and forgives your small mistakes when you have to learn a track and get a feel for a car at the same time. While I took it relatively easy in the first lap, Petty’s Cayman “RS” tell me there was plenty of grip left unexploited.

The aforementioned Yokohama Neovas measure 235/35-19 in front and 295/30-19 in back, which provides it the same width of tire in the front and an extra 30 mm in back when compared to a Cayman S. They’re placed on 19×9-inch and 19×10.5-inch three-piece BBS race wheels with the forged centers painted black. The car sits a bit lower on a set of Bilstein PSS9 coilovers, set at the 5 position. GT3 front control arms and tie-rod ends were supplied by Tarret Engineering, as were the rear adjustable toe links and thicker sway bars. The shock towers are tied combined with an FVD Brombacher strut brace, and FVD’s Clubsport rollcage tells you the car has serious intentions. Once all the new suspension parts were in place, Petty and Floyd corner-balanced the car to optimize handling.

After the warm-up lap, I began to probe the limits with a little extra speed to the corners, a feeling more throttle on the exit, and near-redline shifts in the two long straights. The engine responded to the increased demands if you take deeper breaths through the Fabspeed intake, emitting unfiltered, feral screams since itsince the chassis lets you know exactly what you’re doing wrong or right. Small mistakes are easily corrected with a littlethrottle and brake, or steering, along with the chassis stays stable throughout. It feels flat from the corners, with only a smidgen of lean to let you know you’re getting close to the limit. Every corner is actually a quest to feel that magical neutral feeling where both front and back tires are working equally hard at hanging on.

They did start to feel greasy after five laps, even though the tires held up well however the track temperature was easily more than 130 degrees. Floyd and Petty installed an OS Giken limited-slip differential to increase grip plus it locks in immediately and helps guide the rear through the turn when requested power.

And there is never not enough propulsion. The 3.8 never feels restrained since it shoots the automobile from corner to corner and on the straights. The ability curve feels progressive and linear, building continuously to redline. The car accelerates without resistance, like a speed skater with cartoonish quads powering toward the finish line, an ideal fusion of velocity and fluiditySteering Wheel 12

To rein it in in the triple digits I mentioned the Petty, straights and Floyd replaced the stock brakes with front Brembo calipers and rotors from a GT3. These were so effective that I never had to inquire about all that they had to give, nor did they fade after many laps in high desert heat.

Shortcomings were hard to find in Floyd and Petty’s “RS.” It took everything without feeling sloppy or overwhelmed, beautifully tuned to handle the extra power and high-cornering loads. Around the fastest of Chuckwalla’s sweeping turns, there may be enough grip and speed to make you question your skills and sanity.

Just before driving Petty’s Cayman, I had suggested getting a Cayman R to compare it to. Petty said it could be no contest and thought a GT3 would be a better comparison. After just someHondas, Lowriders and VIPs Nissans; none has escaped the wrath of modification. And irrespective of what he was behind the wheel of, Nissan’s 240SX has long remained a unique car for Real. “I’ve loved [the 240] even though I underwent my Honda phase,” he says. “I enjoy the fact that it offers so much potential and the ability toThat’s mostly because, like Honda, parts interchangeability between the brand’s most performance-minded sports cars and some of their more sobering sub-compacts is rampant. And like Honda and its B-series, Nissan’s factory-turbocharged SR20DET has the capacity to make its way below the hood of more than a dozen Nissan chassis-a virtue nobody has to tell Real about as well as a swap he completed early on that’s since culminated into 463hp beyond the rear wheels.

Real had planned on keeping his S13 relatively stock. All things considered, he was already creating a race car. As it turnsout and though, there hasn’t been a place to race in the island of Oahu, where Real lives since ’04, which led to the whole thought of turning his 240 into what he says will be the ultimate street car. Real started on all of this in earnest in ’10 after taking a two-year hiatus from modifying anything in an effort to pay back a student loan. “The hardest part was relearning and getting the hang of things,” he says about getting back into the groove. It wasn’t only the two-year break that impacted Real’s progress, though. “With a family now, I needed to learn being patient and purchase wisely,” he says. “I no longer possess theAs such, every change made was purposeful and calculated. Knock-off muck courtesy of Chinese trading company riffraff you won’t find here. Instead, Real pursued upgrades that have been proven, like the Tomei cams and Garrett GT3071R turbo that bolts to a Full-Race exhaust manifold and complements the two.0L engine swap yanked from his race car. According to Real, although the car may have been a spur-of-the-moment purchase, none from the modifications were.

Ask Real and he’ll tell you that apart from another potential wheel swap, the four-year-long build is finished. According to Real, it gets him to work and back every then and now and is even put to utilize on the weekends, though it isn’t the daily driver he thought it might be. Real admits he’s got an affinity for a number of Japanese sports cars of the ’90s, but it’s the S13 240SX that’s captured his attention the most which is exactly what’s delivered him from hiatus to creating something so special.Back Into The Saddle

Tuning Menu

1992 Nissan 240SX SE

Owner Mark Real

Hometown Makakilo, HI

Occupation respiratory therapist

Engine SR20DET engine; Eagle connecting rods; Arias pistons; GReddy oil pan, underdrive pulleys, intake manifold, 750cc injectors; Blitz oil cooler; Tomei 260° Pro Cams, solid lifters; Ferrea valve springs and valve retainers; ATI dampener pulley; Edelbrock 70mm throttle body; Garrett GT3071R turbocharger; Full-Race twin-scroll exhaust manifold; dual TiAL MV-S wastegate; A’PEXi GT-R intercooler; Walbro 400lph fuel pump; Aeromotive fuel fuel and filterDuring Thefamily and wife for encouragement and support; Dylan Nakashima; Barry Higa at AP Garage; Aaron Tokuda at Autotechnics; Justin Izumi at Izumi Racecraft; Jspirit; Speed Syndicate crew; all othersa lot more opting for it, the majority of which can be retrofitted onto any North American-spec model that’d been duly turned down for American car buyers. All this is most apparent underneath the hood, where early Japanese models featured the factory-turbocharged CA18DET that was an indication of the car’s name. At a later time, the 1.8L engine was superseded by naturally aspirated and turbocharged 2.0L powertrains, but the 180SX name remained. Both turbo engines bettered the standard-issue, naturally aspirated American versions, yielding 167 hp and as much as 245 hp, respectively. Features like factory-equipped intercooling and some of the stoutest four-cylinder engine blocks recognized to the small car market make more power easy to come across on either engine.