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    Champion Turbo w/ Susp. Mod: "Better Than GT3RS"!!

    Just got my Excellence 5/2008, in which there is THE RAVE TO END ALL RAVES for Champion's modified Turbo, called Werks K1. Sorry I resorted to sensationalism and paraphrased "a little bit" to grab your attention. This car has much more than just suspension mod--ECU, roll cage, exhaust, cup tires, etc. Please see the review for full details.

    However it is the suspension mod that is extremely intriguing to me. The list includes: GT3 Cup pieces (front lower control arms plus rear upper and lower control arms and toe links), Werks' bump-steer kit, front upper strut-tower brace, and adjustable anti-roll bars. Surprisingly, it seems H&R lowering springs are used with the **stock** coil-overs. Not necessarily a good idea but it seems to work here.

    Here are some of the raves (For background, Excellence is considered by many to be the best US mag on Porsche. They have been critical of the Turbo's stock suspension setup, which in their *opinion* is essentially too soft, preferring the GT3/GT3RS instead. Pete Stout is an experienced and knowledgeable reviewer, the "real thing."):

    >>>>>>>>>>
    But there appears to be more to this mod Turbo than a great motor. Leaving the first section of Excellence's South Test Loop and heading into its most challenging set of turns -- turns riddled with bumps, elevation changes, and varied surfaces setups from brilliant ones -- first impressions are good. So good, in fact, that the K1 may be the best modern Porsche we've driven here in years. If so, that would put a heavy 997 Turbo ahead of the 997 GT3 and RS, two 911s that are handling specialists if nothing else.
    >>>>>>>>>>

    ... And the conclusion:

    >>>>>>>>>>
    The most shocking thing about the K1 is it's a Turbo I find more desirable than a 997 GT3 or GT3 RS. But then pershaps that's not so shocking when I realize it's the MOST THRILLING MOST SATISFYING modern Porsche I'VE EVER DRIVEN on road and track since the Carrera GT.
    >>>>>>>>>>

    Frankly, I am stoked! This suspension mod is extremely appealing because it appears integrated and well tuned, not a result of just throwing a bunch of components together. And it comes from an extremely reputable company. Remains to be seen how this suspension changes the Turbo's function as a daily driver, but from the review, sounds like it's the PERFECT 911!! At least that's my interpretation of it. The cost is high, $7500-8500 for the suspension, but it does seem to turn the Turbo into the best of both worlds, as great a track car as the GT3 with power and torque to spare, and easy to live with on a daily basis.

    If you have any further info on this suspension mod, please post. Those on the fence about 997 Turbo purchase, what are you waiting for?

    Re: Champion Turbo w/ Susp. Mod:" Better Than GT3RS"!

    cannga, could you post some pics? much appreciated!

    Re: Champion Turbo w/ Susp. Mod:" Better Than GT3R

    Can,

    basically the K1 is what many people here have done - taken the very solid 997TT platform and improved it by

    1)reducing turbo lag with low restriction exhaust
    2)extending turbo boost and power with GIAC ecu mod
    3)lowering the car and increasing spring rates
    4)alignment of the car to more aggressive specs

    this can be all achieved much cheaper than the K1 package

    Re: Champion Turbo w/ Susp. Mod:" Better Than GT3R

    Yes Eugene but the interesting thing here is that they also changed other components as well. Any insight on why these components (control arms) were taken from the cup cars? Is it mainly to achieve more aggresive alignment settings? Also excuse my ignorence but what is achieved with the different bump steer kit, and upper strut tower brace?

    As for the stock shocks with different springs, I have this setup with techart springs (and roll bars) with mixed feelings. I had to tighten the bars to reduce roll to an acceptable level, but beyond a point you lose traction. So its all a compromise really. Also yesterday I just got the first Pasm fialure warning light which comes from the front right shock. Waiting for dealership to tell me what this is about.. (Premature shock failure because of the lower springs? will know soon)

    Re: Champion Turbo w/ Susp. Mod:" Better Than GT3R

    The control arms are from the Gt3 cup IIRC - probably add a bit more caster to the equation and increasing range of camber adjustment. I think for most of us even moderate track users it will be overkill. The upper strut brace is completely useless on the 997 and the bump steer kit is useful on lowered cars. On the 15mm techart lowering I don't think it is needed as much as if you dump the car 30+mm

    Re: Champion Turbo w/ Susp. Mod:" Better Than GT3R

    Eugene,

    Re. the control arms, do you think it's overkill because it doesn't make the car better, i.e. only there for adjustability?

    Or it's overkill because it does make the car
    better, but to the degree that one will not notice with street use?

    I remember your car has Billstein PSS10, but none of the other componenets mentioned here? No after-market toe links or anti-roll bars, right?

    Thanks.

    Quote:
    eclou said:
    The control arms are from the Gt3 cup IIRC - probably add a bit more caster to the equation and increasing range of camber adjustment. I think for most of us even moderate track users it will be overkill. The upper strut brace is completely useless on the 997 and the bump steer kit is useful on lowered cars. On the 15mm techart lowering I don't think it is needed as much as if you dump the car 30+mm


    Re: Champion Turbo w/ Susp. Mod:" Better Than GT3R

    Quote:
    GT said:
    As for the stock shocks with different springs, I have this setup with techart springs (and roll bars) with mixed feelings. I had to tighten the bars to reduce roll to an acceptable level, but beyond a point you lose traction. So its all a compromise really. Also yesterday I just got the first Pasm fialure warning light which comes from the front right shock. Waiting for dealership to tell me what this is about.. (Premature shock failure because of the lower springs? will know soon)



    Hmmm, I'd be interested to know what your dealer finds re. the suspension warning light. That is worrisome.

    Lorenzo:
    I am at work now so can't scan the mag. Gradyex posts it in 6speedonline here:
    http://69.13.120.185/forums/showthread.php?t=122148

    Re: Champion Turbo w/ Susp. Mod:" Better Than GT3R

    Can many of the upgraded GT3/cup arms and links have solid bushings as part of the upgrade. This is great in terms of added road feel and responsiveness but on the street it can get to be noisy and wearisome. I sold my Gt3 for that reason as my intended application 99% of the time is as a street car. I also have not added any sways either for the same reason - I don't ever push the car hard enough to experience understeer and excessive body roll on the street, so the ride degradation of stiffer sways is not something I can justify at this point.

    Re: Champion Turbo w/ Susp. Mod:" Better Than GT3R

    You're right on sways. They do degrade the comfort on the street somewhat but they do help a lot on the track - especially with my driving style since I like to throttle steer with a bit of slide. One solution is to have it always on setting 1 (softest) while before a track day switch the front to setting 2, its a 10 min job.
    I wonder though why they kept the stock shocks. I understand you are (and everyone is) very happy with the damptronics right? I was told by sportec that through their testing they found that the optimum performance would be with damptronics but combined with stiffer HR springs (the ones compatible with the bilsteins of course) as the front ones are too soft.
    So now this report has confused me somewhat.. Go with stock shocks and stiffer springs combined with more (maybe much more) agressive alignment, or switch to damptronics altogether?

    Re: Champion Turbo w/ Susp. Mod:" Better Than GT3R

    GT in reading Pete's Excellence write-up one has to remember that

    1)Pete did not like the stock 997tt
    2)Pete loved the Gt3RS
    3)Pete thought the 996Gt3 offered more roadfeel than the 997Gt3

    To me it means Pete(Excellence) has placed a premium on road feel and sharp handling. In that measure the mods the Champion car had undoubtedly matched well to his preferences - solid bushings, aggressive alignment, lower center of gravity, flatter cornering. Pete said though the KW Variants were even stiffer, the ride became even more jarring and the car would skip around on the track. WR and Porsches' NRing testing showed that the softer PASM settings were better for their NRing track, and it could be that Gingerman is too rough for the KW VAriants.

    As far as the H&R springs, GMG has done testing and supposedly the standard H&R lowering springs are approx 10% SOFTER rates than stock, and the TEchart (Eibach) springs are about 15-25% stiffer than stock. The GMG springs (Eibach also, but specified by GMG) are about 50-75% stiffer than stock. I don't know if Champion uses a proprietary H&R spring but it is probably quite a bit softer than the KW Variants. I am guessing any combo of spring with the stock bilsteins will be an improvement so long as the rate is not significantly stiffer

    Re: Champion Turbo w/ Susp. Mod:" Better Than GT3R

    After reading this thread, I found myself wondering if I should go as far as adding cup car control arms but I think that'd be taking it a bit too far. I truly believe that I've managed to create the best setup with the damptronics, H&R sways and Tarett droplinks. These have managed to create a "true" street car with all the comforts that us Turbo owners are accustomized to but coupled with the greater road feel that some of us do desire. I think that by adding the cup car components that could easily take it to another level. Perhaps as eclou said, a bit too far. I'm very satisfied with the changes I've made.

    Re: Champion Turbo w/ Susp. Mod:" Better Than GT3R

    Eugene,

    Thanks for the (as always !!) very helpful info. Pete's conclusion in some way reminds me of your (& Atomic's I think) rather prescient observation that you could tune a Turbo suspension close to GT3 level if so desire, but you can't tune a GT3's engine to that of the Turbo.

    Given how much you track, I am slightly surprised you have not added stiffer sway bars. Do they make the car that uncomfortable for the street or is there some other negative?

    Lastly, I assume you prefer Bilstein PSS10 to the GMG World Challenge setup?
    http://www.gmgracing.com/porsche_suspension.shtml

    Quote:
    eclou said:
    GT in reading Pete's Excellence write-up one has to remember that

    1)Pete did not like the stock 997tt
    2)Pete loved the Gt3RS
    3)Pete thought the 996Gt3 offered more roadfeel than the 997Gt3

    To me it means Pete(Excellence) has placed a premium on road feel and sharp handling. In that measure the mods the Champion car had undoubtedly matched well to his preferences - solid bushings, aggressive alignment, lower center of gravity, flatter cornering. Pete said though the KW Variants were even stiffer, the ride became even more jarring and the car would skip around on the track. WR and Porsches' NRing testing showed that the softer PASM settings were better for their NRing track, and it could be that Gingerman is too rough for the KW VAriants.

    As far as the H&R springs, GMG has done testing and supposedly the standard H&R lowering springs are approx 10% SOFTER rates than stock, and the TEchart (Eibach) springs are about 15-25% stiffer than stock. The GMG springs (Eibach also, but specified by GMG) are about 50-75% stiffer than stock. I don't know if Champion uses a proprietary H&R spring but it is probably quite a bit softer than the KW Variants. I am guessing any combo of spring with the stock bilsteins will be an improvement so long as the rate is not significantly stiffer


    Re: Champion Turbo w/ Susp. Mod:" Better Than GT3R

    Atomic/eclou:

    You both use GT3 street alignment, but looking at previous posts, why do your rear toe values differ from one another please? Is it because Jason uses different unit (mm)?

    Second, I thought it desirable to have negative rear toe? Yours are both positive?

    Thanks so much for being the guinea pigs!!

    Atomic's specs:

    Front
    Left camber: -1.0
    Right camber: - 1.0
    Left caster: 7.5
    Right caster: 7.5
    Left toe: 0.4mm
    Right toe: 0.4mm

    Rear
    Left camber: -1.8
    Right camber: -1.8
    Left toe: 2.0mm
    Right toe: 1.9mm

    eclou's:

    Front
    camber -1.2
    caster 7.5
    toe 0.04

    Rear
    camber -1.6
    toe 0.16

    Quote:
    atomic80 said:
    After reading this thread, I found myself wondering if I should go as far as adding cup car control arms but I think that'd be taking it a bit too far. I truly believe that I've managed to create the best setup with the damptronics, H&R sways and Tarett droplinks. These have managed to create a "true" street car with all the comforts that us Turbo owners are accustomized to but coupled with the greater road feel that some of us do desire. I think that by adding the cup car components that could easily take it to another level. Perhaps as eclou said, a bit too far. I'm very satisfied with the changes I've made.


    Re: Champion Turbo w/ Susp. Mod:" Better Than GT3R

    I have avoided sways to date (even though they are relatively cheap) to avoid the potential added harshness. My TT is right at the tipping point where ride quality would begin to deteriorate. Also, even though I do track the TT on occasion, I don't push it nearly as hard as I do my track car. I simply don't possess the skill and experience to be able to be able to drive this car at the limits

    Re: Champion Turbo w/ Susp. Mod:" Better Than GT3R

    I wouldn't say that I possess the skills to drive my TT at the limit either. I haven't had any experience driving a Turbo on the track, only a C2 and C2S and a couple BMWs.

    eclou, I'm surprised to hear you say that you think sways would affect the ride characteristics that much. I admit that I was a bit concerned about sways initially but those fears were alleviated once I made the jump. I'm very satisfied with the ride chracteristics. I'd encourage you to reconsider your stance on this matter. Eibach has a setup that isn't quite as aggressive as H&R but I think the latter rides just fine.

     
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