The cat is out of the proverbial bag. Often when we are fortunate enough to bring you a behind-the-scenes, "deep dive" look into a car we know is going to make a big splash, there's a build up—a crescendo, as snooty creative types call it—leading to an ultimate reveal. OR sometimes we get the car feature first and the tech story later (actually this is pretty rare, but play along). In the case of Ryan Hoegner's SEMA Show-stopping 1982 Porsche 911SC barn-find, though, we changed the script a bit; we started the tech story, did the reveal, and now we're back to how it came to be.
It worked out this way specifically because it was being built for SEMA, a goal that was not necessarily part of the plan when it was being thought out initially. Eibach Springs wanted the P car for its booth, and maybe it was the fire that Ryan needed lit in order to get things moving (not that it seemed like it stalled out or anything), but whatever the reasons we felt you deserved a little explainer about why these articles are coming out in such a weird sequence. We begin, then, where we left off, with the 911SC in a million pieces, waiting to be reassembled; first up is rebuilding its 3.0-liter horizontally opposed six-cylinder power plant. And for that, we returned to Sleepers Speed Shop in Costa Mesa, Calif.
This is what we found in Sleepers' engine assembly room when we came back for day one of the rebuild for us—a table full of cleaned, mainly factory aluminum parts that came off of Ryan's engine. Sleepers has an in-house ultrasonic parts washer for this, which uses sound waves to create millions of tiny bubbles in a tank of cleaning solution. The parts were submerged in the solution and as the bubbles are formed and "pop" they remove dirt, grease, carbon, etc.
The engine case halves also went through the parts washer. When items are pulled out of the washer, they're rinsed off with regular ol' water and gone over with compressed air in order to finish cleaning and make everything super spotless.
The stock oil pump was sent out to Glenn Yee Motorsports, which rebuilt the pump and "ported and polished" it to make it more efficient. GYM offers the service and claims up to a 20 percent increase in flow, with a resultant pressure gain. The main reason you want this mod is to increase the engine's margin of safety.
Since we're in the bottom end with the oil pump, might as well take a second to acknowledge the rotating assembly parts going in—namely the JE pistons and Carrillo connecting rods. Ryan went with JE because the engine's bore size ended up being "wacky" (his words, not ours) and the piston-maker was willing to make a custom set of pistons on a quick turnaround ("They saved the day," says Ryan). JE came through with a set of forged, CNC machined, aluminum-alloy slugs that should do the trick.
As for the rods, Carrillo was chosen because they are "the go-to in the air-cooled 911 world"—Carrillo even has a separate catalog for its Porsche product. Also machined from forged alloy, one of the key differences from stock is that the Carrillo rods are an H-beam design while what came out of the 3.0L were I beam.
Actuating valve lift and duration are a set of Web billet cams. Again, these are a go-to part in the 911 world, and Web offers a bunch of different camshaft grinds. Ryan used to use them in the mid- and late-'90s for Honda builds and opted for them for his SC.
Among the parts parade is also a set of MSDS exhaust headers. Ryan picked the brand because he needed something that deleted the heat exchangers as well as was equal length, and the MSDS units do both. Ryan met Martin Schneider, the owner of MSDS, at the Rennsport Reunion, a guy who's been making 911 parts since the '80s.
Since we're talking about parts help, we'll mention at this point that Pelican Parts came through with all the OEM parts Ryan needed for the rebuild. You might recall from the teardown chapter of the story it was the Pelican online forum where Ryan was able to track down this car.
As much as we would've liked to have hung out at Sleepers for every second of this build, that work-life balance just wasn't havin' it. So shortly after we took stock of many of the bits that would go together, the Sleepers team assembled the bottom end—but we weren't around for that; we showed up to find already installed the rotating assembly, oil pump and intermediate shaft, and the case closed up on an engine stand. Lucky for you, we've kinda covered the topic previously; Ralph B Hollack pieced together the 3.2 flat-6 out of a slightly newer Carrera (destined to be swapped into an SC, coincidentally) for a story we did some years ago, and while the two engines are technically different, and the info might be slightly dated, many of the steps are similar. We're pretty sure with some diligent research the gaps in information can be filled in pretty easily.
In fact, five of the engine's six cylinder barrels and heads were already bolted on, and one bank of heat deflecting tins, too, freshly powder coated by Velocity Powder Coating in Riverside. We caught Sleepers' engine builder Francis sliding the final barrel onto its piston.
So that everything would flow better, the intake sides of the heads were ported to match the individual throttle body manifolds from Borla, which are part of the company's ITB kit for the engine. The heads also employ slightly oversized valves for a bit more airflow. The final deflector tins were also installed; Porsche designed these diverters to ensure the proper amount of air generated by the fan sufficiently cools the engine, so while they may not seem critical at first they are definitely necessary.
Francis presses in by hand the lower oil return tubes outfitted with fresh O-rings before dropping on the cam towers (where are Web billet cams will go), doing so one bank at a time.
The Velocity powder-coated chain boxes are bolted on next, and everything that goes inside them—namely cam gears, chain ramps, and tensioners. The cam sprockets were properly oriented before hanging the timing chain and sliding it into place. A special tool is used to keep tension on the chain during this step on a 911 engine assembly, as the oil pressure-fed chain tensioners should not be installed until after the cam timing has been set. The cam bolts should only be tightened by hand at this point, as they will be removed again later so the cams can be properly timed.
Once timing settings were verified on both banks, the cam bolts were torqued down. Rocker arms and shafts were installed and valve clearances adjusted. After the chain tensioning tool is removed and tensioners finally installed, the chain housing and valve covers were placed into position with new gaskets. The cam oil lines, oil temperature, and oil pressure senders are also attached at this time.
Francis stuffs the alternator into the refurbished fan, which is in turn installed in a powder coated fan housing and the housing strapped to the mill. The fiberglass engine shroud is then put on, which was originally red but restored and painted a custom gray by WillyWerx, aka body specialist William Galan, in order to fit the car's new color aesthetic—you will see a lot more of his remarkable work in the chassis and body portions of this story.
The manifolds for the ITBs went on, too, outfitted with Injector Dynamics injectors and topped by the kit's air horns. Ryan is going the ITB route because the 911SC's stock intake manifold doesn't flow very well and generally looks terrible he says, and the Borla kit is ideal because it comes with air horns, fuel rails, and linkage. Since he is going with fuel injection, it only made sense to improve everything.
We mentioned earlier the oil pump's improved efficiency—Ryan tapped CSF for a modern oil cooling solution, and they came up with a heat exchanger that is front mounted and fits nicely in the bumper cover's lower opening (especially fierce-looking in rattle-can black). WillyWerx also cleaned and restored the car's oil tank and brass oil lines that run the length of the 911, a process we understand takes hours and hours.
Ryan decided to bring his 911 into the 21st century by updating its engine management, and playing a central role in that modernization is Ryan Basseri and RyWire Motorsport Electronics. RyWire kicked the old-school distributor ignition setup to the curb and converted the engine to coil over plug, also installing one of its crank trigger kits and a number of aftermarket sensors (for throttle position, cam sync, etc.) An AEM Infinity ECU orchestrates the suck-squish-bang-blow, tied in via RyWire harness, and RyWire's latest was also incorporated into the system—a solid state Power Distribution Module (PDM) that's designed to replace conventional relays, fuses, and circuit breakers. Hoegner also mentioned Rywire is working towards getting the ITBs to run on a drive-by-wire setup, so that should be pretty cool.
The gearbox for Ryan's 911 project is the engine's original transmission, but Sleepers went through it and added a Wavetrac differential, as well as bolted the Centerforce clutch and Patrick Motorsports lightened flywheel to the engine. Besides the suspension, the Wavetrac will apparently make the biggest difference in how the car handles at corner entry and mid corner. Since Wavetrac diffs don't lock like a clutch-type diff, each wheel is still independent of one another; you won't encounter understeer or push. But unlike other automatic torque biasing (ATB) diffs on the market, Wavetrac are able to bias power in zero-load situations. This is achievable due to their patented "Wave Hub" that acts as a cam, or load generator. And especially in a Porsche where the motor and drive axles are both in the rear, it keeps everything very neutral and smooth both on and off throttle, as the Wavetrac can work in both acceleration and decel.
Probably two of the greatest things about having Sleepers rebuild Ryan's car are the shop's in-house fabricators, Danny Oda and Gary Castillo (that dude from Design Craft Fab, and ex-Import Tuner editor). If a part isn't readily available, Danny or Gary just makes it. Take for example the ignition coil brackets—since the car ran a distributor previously, there were no provisions for coil packs. Gary stepped in and built brackets using some hex stock and aluminum tabs.
After the engine went back in the car (which was by this point painted by WillyWerx—more on that next time), Gary had to make some custom fittings for AEM fuel pump, and while he was at it he also created a way to mount the AEM fuel pressure regulator and filter in a way befitting of a SEMA show car—dead center and right up against the firewall for all to see. Gary and Danny additionally teamed up to make the custom catch can/vacuum manifold.
We'll leave you with the custom header-back exhaust fabrication executed by Danny. The plumbing terminates with a 997 GT3 muffler, which Ryan opted for because, as he puts it, "it sounds amazing, ... [is] very light, and fits perfectly."
We wrap up this SEMA project car next time, with a look at the coilover suspension developed by Eibach Springs, upgraded brakes, and remarkable exterior and interior paint and restoration by WillyWerx and Sleepers. See you soon!