2 years ago

Slipstream - October 2016

Maverick Region: Porsche Club of America Monthly Newsletter

Five Speed Chatter:

Five Speed Chatter: Holding It Steady By Ash Seidl-Staley nyone can go fast, but the mark of a true A driver lies in how he or she handles the speed. I encourage all to look up the You- Tube video Ruf CTR “Yellow Bird” full laps on Nurburgring Nordshleife 1987 (Option Auto). Though dated, and somewhat long, it mesmerizes my Porsche soul. You might recognize the track and the iconic Yellow Bird, but I really hope you notice how the driver drives. The driver has no helmet, no fire gear, no roll cage, and is wearing penny loafers! Apart from thrilling my inner gearhead, this video shows just how versatile and agile Porsches truly are. It stands as proof that, if maintained at tip top condition, our cars can zip and zoom around any track, practically at any speed. Last month we discussed some of the low-cost options that you can utilize to boost the power output of your engine. This month I would like to focus on the steering and suspension. If you noticed the Ruf drivers’ hands, they were constantly in motion, keeping the car steady, even while screeching past motorcycles and what look like Citroens. First and foremost, the key to handling a car like this relies in the car’s stability. Tie rods, A-arms, shock absorbers, torsion bars, and strut assemblies all need to be locked in place. Worn or damaged bushings need to be replaced, and shocks need to retain their dampening characteristics. To add stability, or better yet rigidity, to your car, you can install a stabilizer bar onto either the rear or front suspension assembly. Used sway bars and stabilizers can run up to a few hundred dollars, and a new kit from Elephant racing or Weltmeister, which does come with everything you need in a nice little package, can easily double that. Strut tower braces and variously sized torsion bars can also be purchased. These typically go for under $200 and install easily. To improve the handling of your Porsche, you can also choose to lower its stance. This can be accomplished by adjusting the bolt located on the front suspension, or one of the four bolts located on the rear radius arms (i.e., the spring plates connecting the trailing arm, shock assembly, and torsion bar together). Elephant Racing again offers a spring plate upgrade that is actually modeled after the 935 suspension, but it is not cheap. It is extremely important to note that adjusting the height of the vehicle, from any of the points described above, alters the toe-in alignment and camber specifications of the wheel. Height adjustments should be carefully executed, and a quick trip to get the wheels realigned is a must. In addition to realigning the wheels, it might be prudent to install a bump steer kit if your classic is void of one, as lowering the car without one might cause the wheel to jerk in your hands while driving on less than perfect roads. The choice of steering wheel, likewise, effects how one controls a vehicle. A true “Stig,” which I believe is the identity of the Ruf driver, wouldn’t care too much about a steering wheel, but some thrive with the subtle change. Lighter and smaller Momo-type wheels are great for racing; the classic 930S wheel for style; and the Prototipo wheels for both a vintage look and feel. Personally I lean towards the Momo, but stock wheels work just as well. Keeping our cars on the road, or, if we are lucky enough, on the track, is a must. Power and speed are significant and exhilarating, but control and stability are just as imperative. Equally important is the stopping power of brakes. Join me next time where we will dive into the world of brakes. Enjoy the video at, and as always: Wrench on Mavs! 10 October

Porsche of the Month Selected by Bill Orr Silver Porsche Cayman GT4, photo by Andrew Barber For instruction on how to submit your Porsche photos in the POTM contest go to : 2017 Maverick Region Officers Ballot I am a (pick one): _____ Primary Member _____ Associate Member President _______ David Robertson _______ _________________________ Vice President _______ Jim Falgout _______ _________________________ Treasurer _______ Richard Solomon (incumbent) _______ _________________________ Secretary _______ Wendy Shoffit (incumbent) _______ _________________________ Print Name _________________________ Signature _________________________ Turn in your ballot at the Annual Celebration or mail it to the Nominating Committee Chair, John Hamilton at 103 Clear Brook Court, Southlake, TX 76092 prior to November 5. Mailed ballots must be signed and received prior to the Annual Celebration or presented at that time. Winners will be announced during the Annual Celebration. You can also get this ballot online at or use the QR code in the upper right. 11

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