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Olemiss540
Olemiss540 Reader
2/4/20 3:40 p.m.

Grassroots Friends,

I am on the cusp of having in my possession a 2004 GT3. One of my bucket list cars which fell directly into my lap. I need some feedback from anyone on here that has driven a 996 Porsche in anger on a track to give me some idea of what to expect (and ultimately if its worth the $$$ to keep as a dual duty cars for HPDE events). I have been driving e36 chassis cars (current a 400whp caged race car) at HPDE events for 10+ years, and have owned a 996tt but never drove it in anger before selling it.

Could some of you chime in that have driven/ridden in 996 Pcars as to if the hype is REAL on track or if you are paying more for the badge (both on purchase and maintenance), and less for the experience compared to e36/e46 chassis cars. Thanks in advance and BE BRUTALLY honest since I am undecided on my long term aspirations with this new ride. In case it makes any difference, I am pretty capable for a shade tree mechanic, which the e36/e46 chassis have allowed me to perform most all of the work excepting tires. LSD/trans work is probably the scariest part of the 996 maintenance schedule seeing as thats $5k and fairly common (syncros, LSDs).

Thanks in advance!!
 

enginenerd
enginenerd Reader
2/4/20 4:02 p.m.

Well, I definitely can't speak for the GT3 as I haven't been lucky enough to own or track one but I have a bit of experience with other 996 cars. I have tracked both a Carerra 4S as well as a base 996. Both were stock on street tires. 

I've done 4-5 HPDEs in the 4S and would say it was good, but not great. It would push in most tight corners and it felt like I had to be somewhat violent with brake & steering inputs to get it to rotate. Granted, aftermarket suspension and alignment would probably help with that. 

The base 996 surprised me for how good it was for the price point. I had a lot of fun and it really seemed to just drive where I intended so long as I kept on the throttle. I found it enjoyable to drive but it wasn't set up as a hardcore track rat. 

For comparison, I've done multiple HPDEs on the same track in a bone stock C6 Z06 and it blew both cars away in just about every regard. 

While I really do enjoy the 996s on track, they seem to need maintenance that is rather involved. Ours involved dropping the engine several times to get at various components for replacement. I'm not sure about the gearbox; we have never needed to tear into it but usually drop it with the engine. Personally, I'd build a different platform into a dedicated track car but I think they are just about perfect as street cars w/ occasional track days.  

AnthonyGS
AnthonyGS Dork
2/4/20 9:39 p.m.

The GT3 is an entirely different engine so C2 issues aren't comparable.  The handling should be similar with GT3 having more adjustability.  I'd probably sell all my cars for an 04 GT3.  They seem hard to find at a good price in good shape.

docwyte
docwyte UberDork
2/5/20 8:37 a.m.

GT3's are brutal on the track.  They're specifically setup by Porsche for track driving and it shows.  With the exception of needing the coolant pipes pinned/welded they're pretty much bullet proof.  Oh and the rear diffs wear out prematurely but they still drive fine, you'll just have one wheel peel out of corners.

Whether you're actually faster on track with it vs an E36/46 M3 is a different story.  The M3's punch well above their weight class and are much easier to drive fast out of the box.  They also have much lower consumable costs.  Working on the powertrain of the GT3 is quite a bit more difficult than the E36/46 as well.  I did *everything* on my E36 and access was easy.  I've done basically everything on my 996tt and access is extremely limited, with having to drop the motor a few inches considered "normal" to get at things.  Most everything else is a motor pull, which is also considered "normal" for these.  The good news is they're wicked durable, so you don't have to do that unless there's a big issue.  It's just then the "while I'm in here"syndrome hits really hard and you're going to spend big $$$.

One of my big regrets is not buying an '04 GT3 back in '10 when they'd bottomed out. 

Olemiss540
Olemiss540 Reader
2/5/20 8:48 a.m.

Thanks doc, I was really hoping you would weigh in. I am planning an engine/transmission drop (DIY) if the coolant lines arent pinned which will probably lead to $5k in while I am in there not counting a transmission refresh/LSD (no idea where I would take the tranny once ready for that step).

May just have to live with a slipping LSD if it hasn't been done for a year until I recover.....

dps214
dps214 Reader
2/5/20 9:27 a.m.

If it's half as good as a 997 GT3 I'm sure the hype is at least a little real. I think there's a few minor reliability things to take care of (weak rear main seal, maybe?) but realistically reseal the coolant pipes if it hasn't been done already and you're good to go. But once that's done it's more or less built for track use, everything is pretty robust so aside from some of the consumables being a little more expensive, it should be at least as reliable as any other track car. The only real downside is that they are not easy cars to drive at the limit, getting the most out of it takes some skill, practice, and trust. But if you can manage to do it...I'm not sure any other driving experience compares.

As far as the transmission, i think you can get the diff rebuilt fairly cheaply, you just have to remove it from the transmission which I think is basically just a matter of pulling the axle stubs then poppiing off the side cover. But it might be worth the cost to upgrade it, otherwise you'll end up rebuilding the stock unit every year or two forever.

turtl631
turtl631 HalfDork
2/5/20 2:18 p.m.

What's the story on your 400 WHP E36? S54 with some work done?

Olemiss540
Olemiss540 Reader
2/5/20 2:33 p.m.
turtl631 said:

What's the story on your 400 WHP E36? S54 with some work done?

Heavily worked over LS1 cam/valve train/intake/exhaust/etc. It was a previous World Challenge Car (Turner I believe) that needed resurrected. Fender flares/275 tires/400whp/AIM Dash/etc/etc. Just got a new plasti-dip job in anthracite much better than the worn out yellow/blue theme IMO. Hope my picture works... (No those are not pink floaties, they are personal protective devices similar to a much more comfortable and fashionable HANS device).

 d.

wearymicrobe
wearymicrobe UberDork
2/5/20 2:54 p.m.

Personal opinion after owning one for street and auto cross/DE. they hold up very well as you have heard but man they are expensive for the speed you get.  As long as your fine with the $ / performance that you are getting then have at it. 
 

If this is track only I would buy a fully prepped car off rennlist or RJunk. They are out there. There is a serious Porsche tax on parts and it's hard to evaluate which parts are actually working as the average Porsche is not getting really beat on with the track as it's predominate use. 

docwyte
docwyte UberDork
2/6/20 8:50 a.m.

In reply to Olemiss540 :

Consider doing the BBi welded coolant pipes, I think they're $800.  That's probably the way I'm going to go but I'm not going to do it until either my clutch starts slipping or my coolant pipes leak.  However, given the fact I'm doing a clutch, plus all the other "while I'm in there" stuff, the bill will be at least $8000.  It doesn't pay to NOT do the clutch while you have everything out of the car...

They can be a bit fickle to drive, I'm constantly razzing my friend with one about how he needs to bring a Swiffer sweep to the track to clean the dirt off his rear windshield after he spins, lol!

My 996tt is the only car I've been able to bring to the track with just changing the brake pads and pound on it and it's fine.  Ambient temps were 97F, track temps were I'm sure 125F+ and my coolant temps never went over 190F.  The GT3 is the same, it'll just shrug it all off...

Olemiss540
Olemiss540 Reader
2/6/20 9:01 a.m.

Researching, it doesnt appear the engine drop procedure is TOO big of a deal at this point having pulled engines out of BMWs and aircooled Pcars. I may drop it/inspect it/clutch/flywheel/pin and reglue cooling and try to keep costs around 3500 or so until I can get a full season of HPDE under my belt. The LSD clutches have been replaced in the last 4 or so years so hopefully they hang in enough for the next year to not be a big concern. It sounds like the engine is the least of my worries and tranny/synchro rebuilds may be a bit of an overblown concern for a DE environment.

I can drive my current racecar until the GT3 is ready and then sell it if the GT3 scratches the itch. It would be great to focus more on my driving abilities and less on keeping my lunch down on track, even if that means getting passed by the latest tech that frequents the advance sessions. 

docwyte
docwyte UberDork
2/6/20 11:37 a.m.

There is some stuff you should also do, like all the hoses, belts, rubber bits and the coolant over flow tank.  Removing the engine isn't that big of a deal, Porsche designed everything with quick disconnects.  Bleeding the coolant is a PITA, get one of those vacuum bleeder things and you should be fine.

My friend did the gearbox rebuild and Cup Car gearing, along with a Guard diff.  He ended up spending an insane amount, something like $30k, but a shop did all the work for him, along with a complete Fabspeed header back exhaust, etc.

The 6GT3 is a completely analog car, ABS only.  It doesn't suffer fools well, you can't just trail brake it and throw it around like an M3 without it spinning.  However, they're a gas to drive!

Olemiss540
Olemiss540 Reader
2/12/20 6:58 a.m.

Fly in Saturday to pick her up and bring her home!

Plan to quickly drop motor, refresh rubber/coolant parts, pin fittings, and spend as little money on upgrades as I can while I work to restore. >50k miles so I am assuming this one will need some attention to detail.

Will keep tracking the e36LS for the time being but hope to have the gt3 ready for Chin in April at NCM since the BMW has zero chance of passing sound.....

Also have to sell the e39m5 before I risk divorce. Is BAT the go to for getting best money on a low mileage (18k) showroom stock car?

docwyte
docwyte UberDork
2/12/20 8:24 a.m.

Reach out to EAS and see if they'll buy the M5 from you.  That car sounds like something they'd go for.  I'd remove the fittings, knurl them, JB weld them back into place, then pin them...

Slippery
Slippery UltraDork
2/12/20 8:40 a.m.
docwyte said:

Reach out to EAS and see if they'll buy the M5 from you.  That car sounds like something they'd go for.  I'd remove the fittings, knurl them, JB weld them back into place, then pin them...

He meant EAG out of Ohio. Automotive Enthusiast Group. 

Congrats on the GT3!! What color is it?

Olemiss540
Olemiss540 Reader
2/12/20 9:32 a.m.

Grey! Looks stunning under the lights.

I am very familiar with EAG but not sure I want to deal with a lowballing dealer/consignment retailer anyhow. Would rather sell on m5board and the other forums if BAT isnt the way to go. Thanks!!

AnthonyGS
AnthonyGS Dork
2/12/20 11:16 a.m.
Olemiss540 said:

Grey! Looks stunning under the lights.

I am very familiar with EAG but not sure I want to deal with a lowballing dealer/consignment retailer anyhow. Would rather sell on m5board and the other forums if BAT isnt the way to go. Thanks!!

I had pretty good luck on BaT with a car.  I have another that may end up there too.  Figure 14 days or so from first contact to paid.  That's hard to beat.  I feel like the site has become more high end, but your car sounds like it's in their wheelhouse.  

Slippery
Slippery UltraDork
2/12/20 11:49 a.m.

BAT should be great for an e39 M5 with sub 20k miles. 

I sold a car there with great results. 

Just make sure they let you put a reserve that you feel OK with. Sometimes they pressure people into very low reserves as they want cars to move. 

turtl631
turtl631 HalfDork
2/12/20 1:05 p.m.

Nice, please post with some pics and impressions. I basically have the pre 991 GT cars on a pedestal and would love to pick up a 997 GT3 someday, but still just spending a lot of time wrenching on old Nissan at this point.  

Olemiss540
Olemiss540 Reader
2/12/20 2:18 p.m.

Agreed on a 997. I love the interior but WAY outside my price range. A GT4 would be my dream car but it doesn't look like the new models are going to kill resale for them as I was hoping......

mfennell
mfennell Reader
2/12/20 4:20 p.m.
docwyte said:

One of my big regrets is not buying an '04 GT3 back in '10 when they'd bottomed out. 

hahaha.   Sold mine around August '10!  12k miles.  No track time.  $56k.  The buyer went full-on track rat with it.  He now co-owns a P-car performance shop in NJ.

Bought the 360 I still have and am much happier with.  As a street car, I found it to be too much.  I'm sure it would have been an awesome track car but my pockets were not that deep.

Olemiss540
Olemiss540 Reader
2/12/20 4:44 p.m.
mfennell said:
docwyte said:

One of my big regrets is not buying an '04 GT3 back in '10 when they'd bottomed out. 

hahaha.   Sold mine around August '10!  12k miles.  No track time.  $56k.  The buyer went full-on track rat with it.  He now co-owns a P-car performance shop in NJ.

Bought the 360 I still have and am much happier with.  As a street car, I found it to be too much.  I'm sure it would have been an awesome track car but my pockets were not that deep.

I would have guessed maintaining a track gt3 to be cheaper than maintaining a street ferrari! Has the 360 been pretty good in that regard?

dyintorace
dyintorace PowerDork
2/12/20 10:57 p.m.
Olemiss540 said:

Grey! Looks stunning under the lights.

I am very familiar with EAG but not sure I want to deal with a lowballing dealer/consignment retailer anyhow. Would rather sell on m5board and the other forums if BAT isnt the way to go. Thanks!!

A friend sold a very low mileage e28 M4 to EAG a few years ago and had a very straightforward transaction with them. He did so realizing that he would leave some money on the table, but it was painless and they wired him the money ~24 hours later and had a transporter pick the car up a few days later. Regardless, an e39 M5 with super low mileage is right up BaT's alley. I'd go there first.

mfennell
mfennell Reader
2/13/20 7:13 a.m.
Olemiss540 said:
mfennell said:

Bought the 360 I still have and am much happier with.  As a street car, I found it to be too much.  I'm sure it would have been an awesome track car but my pockets were not that deep.

I would have guessed maintaining a track gt3 to be cheaper than maintaining a street ferrari! Has the 360 been pretty good in that regard?

It's been good in the sense that nothing serious has broken (a throwout bearing has been it) but my average maintenance is easily $3k/yr. I try not to add it up too precisely.  :)

It's probably cheaper than tracking a GT3 3 or 4 times/year.  It's not the maintenance that gets you, it's the consumables.  By the time you factor in everything (fees, fuel, tires, brakes), you're at $1k+/event.  I don't think I would have enjoyed tracking something so expensive either.

docwyte
docwyte UberDork
2/13/20 8:04 a.m.

I was interested in listing my LSx swapped 951 on BaT until they tried to force me to accept a reserve of $15k for it.  I sold it on Craigslist locally for something like $23k and kept a bunch of parts off of it for my next car. 

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