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Project Turbo Whale Tail - Undoing The Bad With The Good

Saying goodbye to some dated modifications.

Peter Tarach
Nov 22, 2013

There’s an ever-expanding laundry list of issues that need to be addressed on our newest project car, some minor and some major. It’s somewhat daunting to know where to start because the major fixes require a lot of downtime, and that’s never a good thing. We can all agree, though, that an oil change should be priority number one. It’s mundane and boring but a needed necessity, especially since this car hasn’t seen one since it was purchased.

As you would expect, an oil change on a 930 isn’t that difficult to perform. What you have to watch out for is the large volume of oil that will drain, so be prepared for anywhere from 9 to 11 quarts of oil to come pouring out. A standard oil pan won’t suffice; get two ready or one with a large capacity.

Project turbo whale tail kendall oil Photo 2/13   |   Oil is the lifeline to a healthy engine, and the Porsche requires a lot of it—so be sure to use a quality brand with ZDDP additives. Same goes for the oil filter. You can’t beat a K&N.

Because this engine is air cooled, the oil plays a critical role in keeping it cool, so be sure to use the right grade of oil. Standard 5w30 or 10w40 viscosity isn’t going to work here. Choosing the right oil will depend on where you live and how you drive the car. Be careful with what you read online because there’s literally too much information. Some of it is counterproductive, and most of it is based on opinion. My advice: Stick with a quality brand name and make sure it contains adequate levels of zinc dialkyl dithiophosphate (ZDDP), since this additive provides additional protection to wear item parts such as the flat tappets found in these engines, which can wear quicker than normal with a non-ZDDP oil.

Conveniently, I had a stash of Kendall GT-1 with Liquid Titanium 20W50W synthetic oil sitting in my basement that met the oil weight I needed and contained ZDDP. A K&N filter was used because of its outstanding oil filtration and higher-than-standard flow rates. Plus, it has a built-in nut, which makes removal of the filter so much easier. And just like that, check oil change off the list.

One of the more trivial yet unacceptable (to me at least) items that had to be replaced was the steering wheel. I’m not going to hate on the MOMO Apache steering wheel. Instead, I’ll just say it doesn’t fit my tastes. I needed something that looked a bit more in line with what you would find in an older 911. A Grip Royal 350mm Grain steering wheel was the perfect blend between new- and old-school design. Grip Royal may be a new player in the wheel market, but with a ton of options in colors and trim finishes—not to mention the affordable price point—it’s no wonder why the company’s steering wheels are becoming so popular.

Project turbo whale tail grip royal steering wheel Photo 6/13   |   Project Turbo Whale Tail - Undoing The Bad With The Good

Another horrid, err, I mean interesting choice of taste is the shift knob. This thing is straight out of the ’90s, fake carbon-fiber insert and all. Much like the wheel, it too had to go, and quickly. I was originally looking for an OEM shift knob as a replacement, but the transmission and shift lever in this car is as loose as a (you can fill in the blank). Thankfully, there’s a company that’s designed an entire shifter setup to reduce the slop that plagues many of these 930-and-older gen 911 Porsche vehicles. The Wevo shifter offers a 30 percent reduction in lever travel and adds a precise, solid feel that the 930 so desperately needs. The beautifully crafted, billet cut piece includes a shift knob, and together it ads much needed style to the Porsche’s interior.

Project turbo whale tail exposed look Photo 10/13   |   Opting for the exposed look, the shift boot was left off in an effort to give the interior a raw, race-y feel.

The difference in shifting and overall performance is amazing. You’d think there’s a new gearbox in the car with how more precise engagement is. I can wholeheartedly say that this is a must upgrade for any older-911 owner. You won’t regret it. You may, however, want to give yourself a full day for installation time because, as I learned, the Porsche’s interior isn’t exactly the easiest to take apart. It had me cursing more than a few times, but after I removed the center console, the job went much smoother.

Unfortunately, not that I expected it, but the 4-speed manual still grinds at higher rpm and quick shifts, therefore it’s on the list of dreaded major must dos.

With the interior all but buttoned up (there’s a wideband install coming soon), I had just enough time left in the day to spruce up the exterior with a bit of rattle-can magic. While I wait for the custom wheels that are being made for this car, a quick coat of black Plasti Dip paint onto the stock rollers would give the 930 a much more menacing look.

This was my first time using Plasti Dip, and it works as advertised—meaning it will peel right off. However, always apply liberal coats of it because I had the misfortune of trying to clean light overspray off the tire sidewall, and it’s a tedious task. In this case, more is better. Inside and out, the 930 has improved considerably. In the next installment, I’ll look at the engine’s state of tune and an LED headlight upgrade I’ve always wanted to do but never had the right car to perform it on.

Project turbo whale tail painting wheels Photo 11/13   |   Project Turbo Whale Tail - Undoing The Bad With The Good
Project turbo whale tail peeling excess paint Photo 12/13   |  
The miracle that is Plasti Dip: Paint your wheels, and when you get bored just peel ’em off. You don’t even need to mask anything!
Project turbo whale tail repainted wheels Photo 13/13   |  
Much better than the stock silver, don’t you agree?


K&N Engineering
Riverside, CA 92507
By Peter Tarach
352 Articles



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