Hello there,
Welcome to my project blog! My name is Vlad, I'm a Mechanical Engineer from Toronto, Canada. Please follow me on this quest to convert a Porsche Boxster S roller into a V8 beast!

Boxster V8 conversion

Filling in on the last two years

996 M96 Rebuild
So the rebuild dragged on for almost 2 years… The first 4 months were pretty active until I ran into a major issue at first startup, and then the car just sat there for about a year. Below is a timeline breakdown:

I had the engine cleaned and head surface at the shop. The valve guides were on the limit of spec and the cylinders were a bit out of round, but I didn’t have the $$ to do a valve job or to sleeve the block. I just threw new rings on the pistons and hoped for the best.

m96 rebuild

Engine coming together in my kitchen

96 rebuild

Drilling a hole to locate the gears with a set screw. These are known to slip and grenade the engine.

Putting the engine back in.

When I started the engine for the first time, it ran like crap. I also had the MAF off, which probably contributed to this. I tried tinkering with it and restarting, until I heard a loud knocking noise and the engine started gushing oil. When using the cam holder tool, I accidentally pushed on the edge of the cam freeze plug, which dislodged it. The oil pressure buid up in the cam was enough to propel the freeze plug out of the engine.
Looks like I’m not the only person with this issue… The car then sat for about a year, until I decided to try the threaded plug fix. This didn’t go so well since the cam cracked instantly when we tried to tap it… After two more months of extreme procrastination, I made a trip to a local scrap yard and picked up a used cam. I did the swap with the engine still in the car, which I think was the right move. The hardest part is putting the valve cover back on without smudging the sealant. In the process I also ended up cleaning the lifters, which still had some metal shavings in them from the IMS failure.

Valve cover removed on the car

3D printed cam alignment tool. I didn’t feel like paying 100 bucks for a flat piece of metal.

3D printed cam orientation tool (so its not out 180 deg)

Cleaning out the lifters

I also added a Powerflex bushing insert, since my transmission bushing was starting to crack

This is a picture of my first drive. Once I buttoned everything up, the car started and ran with no issues

First drive

Quick update on the M96

I haven’t had much time recently to work on the engine. I took it to a shop last week for ultrasonic cleaning and some head surfacing. Sorry for the crappy pics.

Now I’m just waiting for my parts to arrive. The oil spray jets are nearly impossible to find. I’ll try to document this more once I start putting the engine back together.

Moving to California. Leaving the car behind

Sorry for the lack of updates, I’ve been a little busy the last few weeks with jobs interviews. Looks like I will be moving to San Francisco at the end of November to take a dream job with Tesla Motors. Unfortunately, there is no way the Porsche will pass Cali emissions, so it’s staying behind with my roommates. I still have a few things to finish up, and I’m hoping to post a couple more updates.

The doors have been letting in quite a bit of water at the sills, which I’m guessing is due to lack of door membranes. I’m going to pick up some string caulk and plastic sheeting tomorrow and get that fixed. I also got some new door harnesses and passenger locking mechanism (thanks Woody!) that will go in at the same time. Other things on the list are tie rods, seat covers, wheel spacers, random electrical stuff, tach, water temperature sensor, and alternator belt.

The water temperature sensor has been a huge pain in the butt. The parts diagrams all say that I need a two pin connector, but based on wiring diagrams and google images, it looks like I actually need a 4 pin sensor. Two outputs for the ecu, and two for the cluster. I will probably leave this one for my roommates to fix next season once I can get my hands on a proper connector.

I really wanted to get the tach working with an arduino, but I don’t have time to deal with the electrical interference I’m getting from the engine. I just picked up a Dakota Digital converter to make my life easier.