Sunday, July 29, 2018

SCCA B-Street Ready

I have to admit something. While I did pick Kay up yesterday, I actually bought her two weeks ago and was only waiting for all the paperwork to clear up and get the car legally registered before flying down to VA to pick her up. Before this, I had already put together a build sheet if I ever bought a 987.1 Cayman S and so I went ahead and starting sourcing all the parts so I could get as much of it done in one day once I brought her back to "NY" and scheduled time with SJF Performance to get everything sorted.

Kay in BS Trim - 7-29-2018
First order of business was to take care of standard maintenance. The M97 engine isn't exactly Porsche's most reliable but one way to try to do your best to keep it healthy is using really good oil and being on top of oil changes. I believe an oil change was done earlier this year but I prefer to always change fluids on any car I purchase so I switched out the recommended Mobile1 0W-40 Euro formula with Joe Gibbs Driven DT40. I got it as part of an oil change bundle from LN Engineering where I also decided to switch to their spin on oil filter adapter so I can use NAPA gold filters (apparently same ones used in Corvettes) and a magnetic drain plug.

Joe Gibbs Driven DT40 - 7-29-2018
LN Engineering spin on oil filter adapter - 7-29-2018

Spin on oil filter - 7-29-2018
Next up was arguably the most annoying part, switching to the Tarett Engineering GT3 style  26.8mm, 5 position adjustable front sway bar and drop links. It's not so much annoying because there was an issue with the sway bar but that the Porsche engineers sure love to nicely package their cars up. By nicely package, I mean connect things in way that's crazy complex and it took us at least 3 hours to get this installed since you have to drop the subframe and disconnect all kinds of stuff to get the old bar out and the new bar in.

OEM sway bar top, Tarret GT3 style  - 7-29-2018
Tarett Engineering drop links - 7-29-2018
Tarett Engineering front sway bar installed - 7-29-2018
Tarett Engineering front sway bar installed - 7-29-2018
I was fortunate enough that two weeks ago a guy with a B-Street prepped boxster S sold his car and was selling his competition wheels and tires. They were exactly what I was looking for. Anthracite colored OZ Allegherita HLT wheels, 18x8.5 +53 front, 18x10 +40 rear wrapped in 265/35/18 and 285/30/18 Bridgestone RE71Rs. I met up with him last weekend and had Steve install new TPMS sensors and rebalance the wheels. He also had a Rennline stud conversion kit so I don't have to deal with annoying wheel bolts. We got those installed along with the wheels today as well. The best part about the OZ wheels is that they take OEM hardware (bolts/nuts and center cap). 

OZ wheels + RE71Rs + wheel stud conversion - 7-29-2018
Wheel stud conversion - 7-29-2018
We then put the car up for alignment. The alignment on the car wasn't too bad actually (at least for street use) but for B-Street, we wanted maximum camber up front and almost as much as we could in the rear. In the end I settled with:

Front Camber: -1.0 left (will try to get some more at next alignment), -1.4 right 
Toe: 1/8" total toe out (-0.03 inches each side)
Caster: 7.9 left, 8.4 right

Rear Camber: -1.9
Toe: 1/8" total toe in (0.03 inches each side)

Getting first alignment - 7-29-18
While Steve was working on the bar and changing the oil, I took care of a few cosmetic (comfort and convenience) things since I can't really leave anything alone for too long. I never really liked the OEM fog lights. They remind me of the old Mazdas from the mid-2000s. Thankfully, a fellow PCA member makes and sells LED replacements ( that are extra helpful because they have an integrated grill that blocks stuff likes big leaves from blocking the radiator. I think it really helps clean up the lines in the front and make the car look a bit newer.

LED Spars installed - 7-29-18
(They are white but just came out blue in the photo)
Compare to yesterday's "before" picture 
For the rear, I didn't like that the lights were only partly red. Porsche makes an OEM tail light that is all red so I opted to get those and put them in. It's an easy 5 minute swap that adds a nice detail that adds to the aesthetics I think. Despite the whole rear light being red, the lights actually still light up correctly as amber for turn and white for reverse so they are fully DOT legal.

All red rear lights - 7-29-2018
Compare to yesterday's "before picture"
For the interior, I got rid of the plastic-y OEM shift knob and got a Raceseng Circuit 100. It's got a bit more weight and is talling, bringing the shifter closer to my hands for faster shifts. I love the way it feels and how it's changed the shift feel in a very positive way with the added leverage.

Raceseng Circuit 100 - 7-29-2018
I also added a fabspeed jack point which is an easy way to lift the entire rear of the car up.

Fabspeed rear jack point (red) - 7-29-2018
Really loving the way she looks right now. Still understated but with a tad bit more aggression.The new sway bar, wheel, tire and alignment setup feel excellent on the SJF "test course". I can't wait to take her out to her first event. 

Maintenance updates:

Mileage: 32713
- Oil change - 8 quarts Joe Gibbs DT-40, Napa Gold oil filter
- Replaced the blown 7.5A fuse so now the 12V outlet by the passenger footwell works again

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Say Hi to Kay

It's pretty much no surprise to anyone that I've always wanted a Porsche so when I finally let go of Lupa, my 2nd S2000, the replacement had to be a P-car. Anything else would've been an illogical reason to get rid of such a great car in the first place. Although I spent a lot of time kicking tires on a few different models and was all over the place, after annoying friends on a daily basis by sending them ads for all kinds of options, I finally came back to earth to come up with this criteria:

  • Porsche
  • Manual transmission
  • Try not spend too much more than what I got back from selling / parting Lupa (resist the YOLO, be a good boy)
  • As close to stock as possible
  • Car should be low key and drivable places without attracting too much unwanted attention (no crazy colors)
  • Bonus points if classed in a competitive autocross class for SCCA
Well it turns out, with that criteria, the only practical option is an 06-08 Porsche Cayman S (987.1) with Sports Chrono and PASM (Porsche Active Suspension Management). It has the better 3.4L engine rated at 295hp and 251ft-lb torque over the 2.7L base model. Sports Chrono adds better throttle response and PASM provides better spring rates and damping for SCCA "street class" and lowers the car about half an inch. Coincidentally I had spotted a well maintained 2007 Atlas Grey Porsche Cayman S with only 30K miles on rennlist with the rare combination of Sports Chrono, PASM and the factory short shifter, just as I was getting ready to sell Lupa. I contacted the seller, Stephen, and was surprised to find out it was a fellow autocrosser from Virginia (though we had never met before) and now fast forward a few weeks to today and my wife and I flew down to Virginia to pick her up and now here she is, meet Kay, my 2007 Porsche Cayman S. What a fun car to drive! I think it's the perfect fit. Just the right amount of power to have fun, understated and more importantly just a solid car overall.

Kay - 7-28-2018
Kay - 7-28-2018
Baby got back - 7-28-2018
I've always loved the first gen Caymans. Being mid-engine, they're really practical having very usable front and rear trunks. The size is just right and the lines on the car are swooping and gorgeous. I think it looks great from all angles. The sound of the 3.4L flat six at full revs is also quite intoxicating.

Interior - 7-28-2018
She's bone stock except for the FVD Brombacher "cat-back" and Tranzit Blu bluetooth adapter. The headliner was sagging like crazy (common problem on these cars) and Stephen was kind enough to get that sorted out for me before sale. Under today's SCCA street class rules, the exhaust isn't quite legal so I'll have to put in the stock exhaust once I seriously compete with her but I think for now I'm going to keep it as is because it sounds so awesome.

Fresh Alcantara headliner - 7-18-2018
While I was waiting for the title to get the car registered so I could fly down to pick her up, I finished up my own "build sheet" to prep her for SCCA B-Street and adding a few details to make her my own. The packages trickled in this past week and in the next installment of this blog, we'll see her transformation.

Factory build sheet 
For my own records, noting the maintenance history noted here by the previous owner (s):

@ 25,000 miles
Replaced serpentine belt (preventative)
Cabin air filter
Oil change 0w40 Mobil 1

@ 27,858 miles
Replaced Waterpump (preventative)
Replaced Tensioner and pulleys
60/40 water/antifreeze mix went in

@ 28,008 miles
Oil change 0w40 Mobil 1

@ 28,177 miles
Replaced all spark plugs

@ 28,294
New battery

Friday, July 20, 2018

Hella Fresh

It's been almost two months since Bumblestook was painted so it was time to finally get some protection for her paint. Detailing is a very contentious topic I find for serious car owners. I certainly want a clean car but there's a point of diminishing returns especially on a car that actually gets driven so I was looking for a detailer that offered good value for my money. I knew a few friends that had already taken their cars to PeeJ Auto Detailing with good success so I went to give him a try.

Up on a quickjack for closer inspection
Doesn't really matter who paints your car, there will always be swirls as part of the process. Sadly this is true even for new cars. Bumblestook was no exception  and when put under the scrutiny of proper lighting you could definitely see it.

Swirls when you look really close

I left the car with PJ for the week and the results were amazing. The car was washed, claybared, compounded and polished. Then two coats of Optimum Gloss Coat ceramic coating were applied and once left to dry topped off with Optimum Opti-Seal Sealant as an extra short term barrier. Even the Mugen MF10s were coated in ceramic coating to  help protect from brake dust. I'm not even going to pretend I'm some kind of car care expert but the tldr version is that she looks immaculate now.

Final product - 7-20-2018
Final product - 7-20-2018
Super clean wheels - 7-20-2018
The interior and engine bay were also cleaned. I don't think Bumblestook's been this clean in at least five years.

Clean engine bay - 7-20-2018

Freshy fresh interior - 7-20-2018
The ceramic coating is incredible. Hit a giant bug on the way back to the garage and took little to no effort to simply wipe it off the bumper. I think I'll have to do this to all my cars.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

On To The Next One

A couple of weeks ago I posted that I was planning on selling Lupa and the response was a bit overwhelming. Almost every part including the car itself was spoken for within 24 hours and I'm glad that it all went to people that will put her and her parts to good use. I kept some of the choice pieces such as the ATS diff and Motons as spares for Bumblestook though. There's no such thing as too many spares! SJF Performance did a bang up job getting her back to stock for me pretty quickly once I had finished acquiring the missing stock parts.

Lupa with her new owner, Glenn - 7-15-2018
Today I finally handed over Lupa to her new owner, Glenn. This makes me particularly happy as I'll still be able to see her at races and I'm sure Glenn will enjoy her every bit as much as I did. I forgot how incredibly awesome the S2000 is even in stock form. It's been a fun few years but I've got something else lined up that I'm really excited about. The awkward part is that the new car will go head to head against Lupa in B-Street so that'll make things extra fun for me.


Saturday, July 14, 2018

Fun in the Sun - NNJR SCCA/PCA AutoX

After almost a month hiatus, we finally got to go back out there and autocross again today. This time it was another NNJR SCCA / PCA joint event. It was a pretty hot day in the low to mid 90s by the time I got to run but with sporadic cloud cover and a stiff breeze it was much more manageable than the last event.

Meadowlands, NJ - 7-14-2018
Overall, Bumblestook continues to surprise me. I'm feeling more confident that everything is working well and I'm able to chuck her into corners without any fear. Ok, maybe a little fear but mostly because I'm dropping her off with the detailer tomorrow and I'm trying not to cover her in cone marks or mess up the paint before he has a chance to seal it all. Once the paint gets that little bit of extra protection then I'll feel better about being more aggressive. For now I'm pretty surprised I only hit one cone the entire day.

Meadowlands, NJ - 7-14-2018
Photo by: Alex Meramo

NNJR SCCA/PCA Autocross - 7-14-2018

This might be her last autox for some time though as I've got something in the works. We are at least going to hit the track in September for the S2K Take Over Round 2 at NYST. I'll need to finally order track pads and rotors for that event and put an end to over 5 years of not letting Bumblestook fully stretch her legs into the triple digits.

Friday, July 13, 2018

S2K Bear Mountain Cruise

Last weekend I got to take Bumblestook on her first S2Ki bear mountain cruise since 2011. I met up with the NJ crew at the Rockefeller Lookup right off the Palisades Parkway bright and early then we started our drive out to meet the rest of the group.

NJ crew rollout to bear mountain cruise
Rockefeller Lookout - 7/8/2018
There was very good turnout this year. I don't have the official count but it was somewhere between 70-80 cars. I obviously knew many of the people on the cruise but also met lots of new faces which was fun. It's always great to meet new S2K enthusiasts.

Meetup point - 7/8/2018
We went to the usual first stop at the New Croton Dam then enjoyed the amazing twisty roads working our way to our final destination of Brother's BBQ for lunch.

Final Stop - Brother's BBQ - New Windsor, NY - 7/8/2018
One thing that kept coming back into my head on the drive was how this was exactly why I brought Bumblestook back to street legal trim. It was great just really enjoying the drive, hanging out with like-minded S2000 enthusiasts and letting your mind clear. Can't wait to do this again in the future.