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1982 Porsche 911 - Half the Cylinders, Twice the Machine

Revisiting the Honda-Powered Porsche That's More Polished, More Powerful and Still on Everyone's Sh*t List

Richard Fong
Jul 24, 2019
Photographer: Arlen Liverman

Rescuing an old Porsche from a V-8 fate was just what Scott Girondo did when he purchased this V-8-swapped '82 Porsche 911. He just didn't know how far this swap project would go, especially after the challenges he faced at the beginning. Just two hours after taking ownership and checking the 911 off his bucket list, the car stopped running. He pushed the 930 into the garage and swore he'd build it better than the last guy. His instincts told him to swap in something different, so he kicked around some ideas with his friend Nikolai. Their conversation led to Scott exploring his Honda roots and settling on his mill of choice: a K20A2 engine. That iteration garnered quite a bit of attention two years ago, appearing in the January 2018 issue of Super Street, and Scott appreciated the feedback his 911 drew from fans and foes alike. It was a decent build in his eyes, but not as good as he thought it could be. Nonetheless, it was quite unique and captured the attention of the team at Turn 14 Distribution. In February 2018, he was presented with the opportunity to represent Turn 14 at the 2018 SEMA Show nine months later, to which he responded with a resounding, "Yes!"

1982 Porsche 911 993 RS Rear Wing 01 Photo 24/24   |   1982 Porsche 911 - Half the Cylinders, Twice the Machine

First Phase

After figuring out how to make Honda's K20A2 work in the 930 chassis, Scott strengthened the engine for reliability and loftier output targets. He discovered the block to be in excellent condition and elected to maintain the same bore size to retain the factory cylinder liners. Once honed, a quartet of 11.5:1 compression Wiseco pistons filled the cylinders, joined to the factory crankshaft by way of Eagle connecting rods. To button up the bottom end, a Moroso aluminum oil pan was added to increase the oil capacity by 2 quarts and defend against oil starvation by way of trap-door baffling around the oil pickup. The pan came fitted with two 1/2-inch NPT bungs, one of which connects to the oil return line from the turbocharger. Up top, Scott fortified the K20's roller rocker valvetrain with Supertech valves, springs, and retainers. A pair of Prayoonto Stage 3 cams provide greater lift and longer duration to the valvetrain.

1982 Porsche 911 993 RS Rear Wing 02 Photo 24/24   |   1982 Porsche 911 - Half the Cylinders, Twice the Machine

Hampered by Heat Soak

The initial build centered on a top-mount Garrett GTX3076R turbo that forced air through an air-to-air intercooler located on the rear deck behind what would have been the backseat. This compact arrangement proved tidy but suffered from inadequate airflow and heat soak from the turbo and manifold.

1982 Porsche 911 Bride Seats Photo 24/24   |   1982 Porsche 911 - Half the Cylinders, Twice the Machine

Going From High to Low

Changing up the forced-induction system on this Porsche was no simple feat. Scott and Nikolai rethought the layout then modified the Sheepey manifold, converting it to a low-mount configuration for the turbo. It now sits rotated with the compressor facing the rear. A new custom-made downpipe and exhaust direct spent gases from the turbine to the atmosphere. On the cool side, new Vibrant piping with HD clamps joins the compressor discharge with the inlet of a slightly larger Vibrant intercooler core with custom end tanks. This new intercooler sits higher in the GT Racing flush-mounted rear Lexan window and relies on cool air collected from four NACA ducts. These ducts force cool air into a custom carbon-fiber box Scott and Nikolai designed and made to shroud the intercooler. The repositioned turbo, along with the more efficient intercooler and ducting, help combat heat soak and stabilize intake air temps for everyday driving, and, of course, track duties.

1982 Porsche 911 GT Racing Front Bumper 06 Photo 24/24   |   1982 Porsche 911 - Half the Cylinders, Twice the Machine

Fortified Fuel Delivery

Given the chance to make improvements and further tidy up the build, Scott shifted his attention forward to the "frunk" (front trunk). The original V-8 swap featured a frunk-mounted fuel cell Scott originally retained, but he added a network of externally mounted Radium fuel pumps, filters, and a surge tank. Since then, he ditched that entire setup for a more contemporary Radium system based on a Fuel Safe Enduro fuel cell. The fuel cell surge tank unit incorporates all the benefits of the previous fuel delivery system, but with an in-tank configuration. This simplifies the plumbing to just -AN lines leading to and from the internal fuel surge tank. A Radium multi-pump regulator ensures consistent fuel pressure is delivered to the K-Tuned fuel rail and the ID1000 injectors. Once the Hondata KPro had been calibrated by R/T Tuning, the Porsche put down 470 hp and 325 lb-ft torque to the ground.

1982 Porsche 911 Volk TE37V Photo 24/24   |   1982 Porsche 911 - Half the Cylinders, Twice the Machine

Heat Exchange Change

Older vehicle builds sometimes require additional TLC compared to newer ones. Some parts might not last forever, and, in the case of the radiator, a leak developed, which justified replacement. In his search for a suitable substitute, Scott felt a Koyo radiator intended for an NSX looked like it could work. After inverting the radiator and making some minor modifications to the inlet and outlet, it proved an ideal fit. To keep the coolant flowing through the radiator without parasitic draw on the crankshaft, a K-Tuned water block-off plate replaced the factory water pump on the block while a Meziere 300 series electric water pump took over the duty. As an added measure of protection against air pockets in the cooling system, a TracTuff swirl pot ensures coolant returns to the cooling system without bubbles. This is important, since air trapped in the water galleys prevents water and coolant from transferring heat away from the engine.

1982 Porsche 911 Volk TE37V wheels Photo 24/24   |   1982 Porsche 911 - Half the Cylinders, Twice the Machine

Improving the Ride

There is no point in making power if you can't control it, and the old 911's torsion bar suspension technology soon proved to be a limiting factor. The suspension was updated with Elephant Racing GT3 arms and bushings to upgrade to a set of adjustable KW Clubsport coilovers. The new suspension presses a wide set of Volk Racing TE37V wheels mounted with Toyo R888R rubber to the pavement. Scott noted the new rolling stock worked brilliantly with the modernized suspension to radically improve the traction and handling of his 911.

1982 Porsche 911 Defi Tachometer Photo 24/24   |   1982 Porsche 911 - Half the Cylinders, Twice the Machine

Visual Distinction

The air-cooled Porsches have a distinct profile that draws the eye of the enthusiast and the 911 fanatic. To make this build stand out from the rest, a GT Racing front bumper replaced the stock unit to provide a more aggressive appearance to the 911's front fascia, while the rear bumper was modified to have an RS-style appearance. To put the finishing touch on the exterior, a set of Craft Square GT mirrors intended for a Honda S2000 lend to the race car theme.

1982 Porsche 911 Porsche H4 Headlights 02 Photo 24/24   |   1982 Porsche 911 - Half the Cylinders, Twice the Machine

Seven Months to SEMA

Scott was given a deadline of September to complete his build so the Turn 14 team could have the vehicle wrapped in fresh livery for the SEMA Show. Although he had no idea he would be investing every spare moment into this Porsche project, the effort proved well worth it. The pride and satisfaction of seeing his polished product in Turn 14 livery on display for thousands to view was an unexpected bucket list achievement he could check off. He concludes, "My Porsche is a product of my automotive experience and taste. While it's not everyone's favorite build style, it certainly rings well with enthusiasts that can appreciate my JDM infusion into this German classic. It's a mutant, but it's rad."

1982 Porsche 911 naca intake ducts Photo 24/24   |   1982 Porsche 911 - Half the Cylinders, Twice the Machine

The GT Racing Lexan quarter windows each have a pair of NACA ducts that direct cool air to the carbon-fiber box that shrouds the intercooler.

1982 Porsche 911 911 custom intercooler shroud Photo 24/24   |   1982 Porsche 911 - Half the Cylinders, Twice the Machine

Scott constructed the custom intercooler shroud from sheets of carbon-fiber joined together with epoxy and rivets.

1982 Porsche 911 Honda K20 Swap Photo 24/24   |   1982 Porsche 911 - Half the Cylinders, Twice the Machine

A pair of Radium catch cans trap the fluids suspended in blow-by gases. For convenient filling of the cooling system, a K-Tuned water neck was incorporated into the coolant circuit in an easy-to-reach, remote location. To supplement the cooling system, a cleverly disguised Setrab oil cooler spans between the taillights. Making the connection between the engine and the oil cooler, a TracTuff oil filter relocation kit not only makes accessing the oil filter much easier, it also offers ancillary -10AN fittings that permit oil to be directed to the oil cooler before returning to the engine.

1982 Porsche 911 Sheepey Race Exhaust Manifold Photo 24/24   |   1982 Porsche 911 - Half the Cylinders, Twice the Machine

The modified Sheepey exhaust manifold now positions the Garrett GTX3076R turbo down low to better manage the heat and mitigate heat soak in the engine bay.

1982 Porsche 911 K Tuned Intake Manifold Photo 24/24   |   1982 Porsche 911 - Half the Cylinders, Twice the Machine

The K-Tuned intake manifold and throttle body distribute the incoming air charge to the combustion chambers.

1982 Porsche 911 Radium Fuel Cell Photo 24/24   |   1982 Porsche 911 - Half the Cylinders, Twice the Machine

Radium Engineering's fuel cell with FCST replaces the previous fuel cell under the hood. The new system is cleaner in appearance, with the pumps and surge tank contained within the cell.

By Richard Fong
19 Articles
1982 Porsche 911 - Half the Cylinders, Twice the Machine
Tuning Menu
Owner: Scott Girondo
Hometown: Norristown, PA
Occupation: Bimbo Bakeries Independent Operator
Instagram: @dunk186
Power: 470 hp, 325 lb-ft of torque
Engine: Honda K20A2 engine swap; Wiseco pistons; Eagle rods; 11.5:1 compression; Supertech valvetrain; Prayoonto Racing Stage 3 cams; Garrett GTX3076R turbo; modified Sheepey Built K Series LEAN turbo manifold; custom exhaust and dump; modified Avid motor mounts; TiAL wastegate, blow-off valve; Vibrant intercooler, piping, HD clamps, couplers, lines, and fittings; K-Tuned intake manifold, throttle body, water pump block-off plate, upper coolant housing, fuel rail; ID1000 injectors; Radium Engineering dual catch can; Fuel Safe Enduro fuel cell built by Radium Engineering; modified Moroso oil pan; Tractuff oil filter relocation and plate; Setrab oil cooler; TracTuff DIY swirl tank and overflow kits; modified Koyo NSX radiator in custom V-mount box; Meziere 300 series water pump
Drivetrain: Late-model Porsche 915 gearbox; Kennedy Engineered plate adapter; Spec stage 3+ clutch; Rebel Racing transmission mounts; Hargett Precision 915 shifter
Engine Management: Hondata KPro ECU
Footwork & Chassis: Coilover conversion from torsion bar; Elephant Racing GT3 front suspension, adjustable spring plate rear, PolyBronze; Porsche 935 front and rear sway bars; Rennline upper strut support; Rebel Racing rear shock tower support; KW Clubsport coilovers
Brakes: Porsche 930 master cylinder, 996 calipers, 930 rear rotors; Rebel Racing adapter brackets, two-piece front rotors; StopTech pads
Wheels & Tires: 18x9.5 front, 18x12 rear Volk Racing TE37V wheels; 235/40R18 front, 305/35R18 rear Toyo R888R tires
Exterior: GT Racing front bumper, flush-mount Lexan quarter glass and rear window with molded Lexan; modified rear bumper and 930 decklid; handmade aluminum side skirts; Craft Square S2000 mirrors; Porsche 993 RS rear wing; Infiniti Q45 projectors retrofitted in Porsche H4 headlights; APR NACA air ducts
Interior: Custom rear firewall, rear seat delete, door panels, carbon-fiber intercooler box; welded-in four-point rollcage; Bride seats; Vertex steering wheel; Rennline hub adapter, floor boards, lower dash; OMP six-point harnesses; Defi gauges

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