HOME­BREW MAN­UAL GT3 RS IN THE MAK­ING

Where there’s a will, there’s a way

911 Porsche World - - News And Views -

They said it was im­pos­si­ble. But that hasn’t stopped one en­ter­pris­ing user of the Rennlist Porsche web fo­rum from hav­ing a go. Known as RJGT3RS and based in the US, his aim along­side tech­ni­cal part­ner BGB Mo­tor­sports in Florida is to cre­ate the world’s one and only Type991 GT3 RS with a man­ual gear­box. And his plan is to do it with 100% OEM Porsche parts.

As he puts it, “I don't like that Porsche took the man­ual op­tion away from us GT car own­ers only to put it back into a limited num­bered car and play games with al­lo­ca­tions.” So a home brew man­ual ex­am­ple it is and based on a vir­tu­ally brand new car with just 900 miles on the clock.

Need­less to say, the con­ver­sion is an in­cred­i­bly com­plex process. Or­der­ing the parts alone ap­par­ently took six months. A brand new gear­box as used in the ul­tra-rare 911 R was sourced, along with the R’s light­weight fly­wheel and me­chan­i­cal dif­fer­en­tial.

Apart from the trans­mis­sion it­self, the list of parts is huge. Pedal box is ob­vi­ous enough as is the re­moval of the steer­ing wheel pad­dles and re­place­ment of the steer­ing wheel shroud with a non-pad­dle shift item. Fur­ther de­tails in­clude dis­as­sem­bling and con­vert­ing the in­stru­ment clus­ter to re­place the PDK in­di­ca­tor for the man­ual gear dis­play. Tiny bits of trim around the gear lever that don’t ap­pear in parts di­a­grams also had to be sourced.

An en­tire switch kit for the cen­tre con­sole was or­dered, too, be­cause it’s the only way to get hold of the re­quired ‘SPORT’ but­ton to re­place the ‘PDK SPORT’ but­ton in the RS. A 911 R shift knob with the fac­tory boot was ac­quired and then taken apart and re-stitched in Lava Orange to match the car’s body­work.

Of course, with the hard­ware fit­ted there’s per­haps the great­est hur­dle re­main­ing, namely the elec­tron­ics. Es­sen­tially, the car needs to for­get that it ever had a PDK box fit­ted and with a plethora of ECUS filled with pro­pri­etary Porsche code, that is no mean feat. What’s more, there’s ap­par­ently also the risk that the next time the car vis­its an au­tho­rised dealer, hook­ing it up to the Porsche com­puter and mak­ing any changes could see the re­vised code re­placed again with orig­i­nal fac­tory set­tings. It’s all very com­pli­cated.

In­deed, as we go to press it seems the car has had all the hard­ware fit­ted and is un­der­go­ing that very elec­tronic over­haul. Fin­gers crossed and look out for an up­date soon. In the mean­time, it’s worth not­ing that while the project is un­doubt­edly costly, its pro­tag­o­nist is prob­a­bly right when he points out that it’s still around $250,000 cheaper than buy­ing a 911 R. More power to him and the best of luck with the project.

Con­vert­ing from auto to man­ual has never been easy, but it’s even more com­pli­cated in the era of con­nected elec­tron­ics. Good luck, then, with this US project to put the man­ual ’box back into the 991 GT3 RS

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