Thursday, 3 May 2012

911 SC RS Preparation

A few weeks, later our Porsche 911SC RS arrived in Bahrain and we set to work on preparing it for the seasons rallying.
Ghuloom our man had cleared the car from customs and when it was finally in the workshops, we all poured over it to finally inspect this limited edition Porsche 911SC RS special.
The car was street legal so we needed to remove all the items that were either not necessary, such as the petrol heater, which was located in the steering rack well, as the engine had an RS exhaust manifolds, there were no heat exchangers like a road car. This was an old Porsche idea from the 1950’s that actually burnt petrol from the fuel tank to heat the air to warm the car’s interior. They were very efficient heaters, but I personally never liked the idea of burning fuel as I knew of some fires from the earlier days when the cars and system got older.
The full roll cage needed fitting, which was in lightweight aluminium alloy. The road going seats belts removed and replaced with 6 point Luke racing ones.
The aluminium under shield was for the entire length of the car, which was in several pieces so it could be shipped easier.
The handbrake was changed to a “fly off” type, that is when you put it on, you hand to manually lock it as on, but when you lifted it and let it go, it automatically went to the off position. This allowed using the handbrake during the special stages without the fear of leaving it on accidently.
A four light rally light cluster was fitted to the lower bonnet, which was detachable, so it was only used during the night when required.
The suspension was always the weakest part of any Porsche 911 rally car. Jürgen having learned so much from the Waldergard days in the East African Safari rallies had engineered additional steel wire ropes to limit the suspension travel when the car was jumping or airborne. These retaining ropes stopped the dampers pulling apart when the suspension was at full extension (which was what had happened the previous year to Joe Moussa’s 911 SC road car suspension). This system was a bit agricultural but it worked very well. We also had a selection of uprated Bilstein gas filled dampers, which could be changed easily as inserts.
The suspension had notional coil over springs but these were more for homologation reasons than actual use. We did have some coil springs fabricated locally and we tested for a while but we abandoned these as too difficult to sort out in the time we had available.
We had pre-ordered and imported all the special competition parts from Jürgen Barth at Porsche Weissach, supplied to us as bespoke rally competition parts for this car.
However we were not that impressed with the protective aluminium under shield, as it looked much to thin and weak. The oil tank shield was also very poor and not strong enough. Chris and Rob both agreed we needed to strengthen these substantially. Rob and his team set about sourcing materials locally to replace these items and they also changed and fitted Aeroquip oil, fuel and brake lines.
We sourced a trip navigator, reading light and other special rally equipment from the UK and these items were fitted.

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