CSF Cool­ing boss Ravi Dol­wani and his mod­ded 996 Turbo

911 Porsche World - - This Month -

The Porsche 996 Turbo ap­pears to be hit­ting smoother pave­ment lately; this model has de­pre­ci­ated to more af­ford­able than new or most clas­sic 911 lev­els, and serves up tremen­dous per­for­mance. As the first wa­ter­cooled 911, the 996 has gone through its Shock and Awe phase with air-cooled-only en­thu­si­ast types, and is now find­ing a more ready au­di­ence than per­haps when it was new in 1999. More good news is that its Mezger based en­gine is im­mune to all of the IMS bear­ing risks that can im­pact sev­eral nat­u­rally as­pi­rated 996 mod­els. And for most Porsche buy­ers, this is as close to a 959 as they’re likely to own: twin tur­bos, big power, all-wheel drive and a 6speed man­ual gear­box.

For­tu­nately for Ravi Dol­wani, the 996 Turbo has sig­nif­i­cant cool­ing needs; it em­ploys ra­di­a­tors, in­ter­cool­ers and oil cool­ers, too. Why is this a boost for South­ern Cal­i­for­nia based en­thu­si­ast Dol­wani? Be­cause he’s CEO of CSF Ra­di­a­tors, which just hap­pens to pro­duce high qual­ity, high per­for­mance alu­minium ra­di­a­tors, in­ter­cool­ers and oil cool­ers. And while of course his fab­u­lous paint-to-sam­ple Min­erva Blue Metal­lic 2002 Turbo wears a full com­ple­ment of his com­pany’s prod­ucts, it is so very much more than that.

It was de­liv­ered to its first US owner in early 2003, and came about fully loaded. The win­dow sticker ev­i­dences a $115,000 base price, with no up­charge for the paint to sam­ple metal­lic fin­ish (per­haps be­cause it was a fac­tory of­fered 1970s and ’80s Porsche colour al­ready, found on some num­ber of 930s and 928s), Graphite Grey full leather, or the US Emis­sions pack­age. The Full Light Wal­nut wood in­te­rior group

For­tu­nately for Ravi, the 996 Turbo has sig­nif­i­cant cool­ing needs

was a spendy $7825, and the rest of this car’s op­tions list ran the 16-years-ago sticker to $133,175 – try buy­ing a new Turbo for that now!

Dol­wani’s car over time had criss­crossed North Amer­ica and three pre­vi­ous own­ers be­fore land­ing in his hands just a few years back, al­though it has yet to turn its “50,000th mile. Thus it’s in many ways still quite fresh, still wear­ing ex­cel­lent orig­i­nal paint (all rust free orig­i­nal body pan­els re­main in­tact), al­though the front seats were re­trimmed in full leather in 2014. Each owner has mod­i­fied or upgraded the car along the trail to make it the daz­zler it is to­day. Dol­wani has left many of those mods in place, and also re­placed or redone a few oth­ers; mak­ing it much racier, while still main­tain­ing its adult gran turismo per­sona. The last thing he wanted was a bone crush­ing, poor rid­ing Turbo that would be great on track days, but mis­er­able for ev­ery­day or week­end away driv­ing. Think of it as a home brewed cross be­tween a Turbo S and a GT2.

Body mods are sub­tle yet ef­fec­tive, with the car look­ing the biz from any an­gle. The front fas­cia and Aero side win­dow mir­rors come cour­tesy of R Turbo. The rear bumperettes have been shaved away. The rear wing is a car­bon-fi­bre Techart piece, fin­ished in body colour, all ex­cept for a strip of the car­bon-fi­bre weave which was masked off and re­mains in view – a very hand­some touch. The trunk liner is a Schild piece, and the en­tire front end and head­lights are EX­PEL clear­bra pro­tected, as are other touch­point and wear sur­faces around the car. The cabin is largely stock, save two ma­jor adds, and a set of charcoal grey RUF floor­mats. The first is an upgraded, Porsche full Al­can­tara steer­ing wheel, and the se­cond, which you can­not miss, is a paint matched GMG Motorsports roll bar, which mounts the oil reser­voirs for the Mo­ton sus­pen­sion com­po­nents. Dol­wani points out that the lac­quer on the wood trim is be­gin­ning to check and craze a bit, so he’s con­tem­plat­ing re­fin­ish­ing or re­place­ment with gen­uine car­bon-fi­bre trim bits, to keep up with the level of the sharp­ness of the rest of the cabin and the re­trimmed leather seats.

Things get more se­ri­ous in the en­gine

Think of it as a home brewed cross be­tween a Turbo S and a GT2

bay; the stock tur­bos are binned in fa­vor of hy­brid units by UMW em­ploy­ing 997 GT2 tur­bine wheels; more air through, more air in. UMW also pro­vides the 3-inch in­take pipes, and the new in­ter­cool­ers are 997 GT2 RS pieces. It all breathes in via a car­bon-fi­bre dual in­take snorkel air­box, and sits firmly on Wevo en­gine mounts. Fuel pres­sure is also cranked up to 5 bar, and the fuel pump is a GT2 piece. The in­take di­verter valves are forged bil­let alu­minium bits, and the hoses that carry boost are Samco sil­i­cone units. Up­dated/upgraded power steer­ing pump and fluid reser­voir come cour­tesy of a 997. Just to make sure all the electrics were sharp enough to de­liver their max best, the O2 sen­sors, al­ter­na­tor, boost con­trol valve, man­i­fold dual switch, fuel pump re­lay and bat­tery were all re­placed. Nat­u­rally, all three ra­di­a­tors are CSF alu­minum com­po­nents, which fit in the stock mount­ings and lo­ca­tions.

A Speedtech high per­for­mance ex­haust sys­tem re­places the stock muf­flers and pipework for max­i­mum per­for­mance with more and bet­ter sound qual­ity; the new pipes are fin­ished off with Porsche ac­ces­sory pol­ished stain­less faux twin-split tips for a quad pipe look. The re­sult of the mo­tor mods, all of which are ex­ter­nal to the en­gine, boils out a dyno ver­i­fied 515 horse­power at the wheels, and a moun­tain mov­ing 585lb ft of torque – re­mem­ber­ing that the en­gine is still a 3.6, not a punched and drilled 3.8, 4.0 or 4.1. The stock horse­power rat­ing was 415 at the fly­wheel, not at the wheels. So the 100 horse­power and mas­sive torque gains are real, and make it to the ground.

The fac­tory rolling stock hit the floor in favour of RUF 19-inch five-spoke al­loys wrapped by Hankook Ven­tus V12 evo2 245/35ZR19S front, and Ven­tus V12 evo2 305/30ZR19S aft. The brakes have been fully up­dated and upgraded us­ing top shelf Porsche com­po­nents, with GT3 yel­low 6pis­ton calipers up front, and yel­low 4-pis­ton calipers aft, run­ning End­less MX-78 brake pads front and rear. The slot­ted 350mm ro­tors are from Girodisc. A GT3RS has do­nated its brake cool­ing ducts.

The sus­pen­sion has also been given a thor­ough spa treat­ment, in the form of mild low­er­ing fore and aft, Mo­ton Clubs­port ad­justable dampers, Mode cam­ber plates, 450 pound front springs with 700 pounders in back. The new front and rear anti-roll bars are sourced from TPC, and TRG con­trib­uted front and rear droplinks. RSS front ad­justable up­per con­trol arms work in har­mony with ad­justable front steer­ing arms to ad­dress any po­ten­tial bump­steer. The rear up­per con­trol arms are also ad­justable pieces, the whole set up of­fer­ing max­i­mum tai­lorabil­ity in terms of stiff­ness, com­pres­sion, re­bound, roll and ride qual­ity.

Even though the en­gine is in­ter­nally stock, the trans­mis­sion isn’t; it’s been re­built and fresh­ened with new steel syn­chros on 3rd through 5th gears. The shifter and trans mounts are all 997 pieces. A Sachs sport

clutch works with a light­ened fly­wheel.

Enough pieces and parts; time to drive. Dol­wani’s Turbo fires eas­ily as would any un­mod­i­fied ex­am­ple, bur­bling deeply from its big pipes, and sound­ing just that much edgier than a stocker would. The 997 shifter falls nicely to hand, and snick-snicks through the gears. The clutch takeup is smooth and clean while ask­ing none too many more revs for a crisp get­away. Into se­cond, and foot to the floor re­ally wakes up the tur­bos. We didn’t have the op­por­tu­nity to in­stru­ment test this car, but 0–60 is surely a sub four-se­cond move. A quick shift to third and the boost just keeps on com­ing in a quick lag free run up to an easy 100mph.

From there on, we’re only limited by road and traf­fic con­di­tions; Dol­wani has had the car up to “an easy 140” and “150 isn’t much be­yond that.” By any mea­sure, def­i­ni­tion or con­text, this car is fast. Like GT2 fast, or bet­ter.

Steer­ing re­sponse is in­stant and mush free, the car re­ally re­spond­ing to all driver in­puts. Any no­tion of body­roll has been van­quished, yet the ride qual­ity re­mains on the firm side of sup­ple with some but not harm­ful in­crease in road noise or rum­ble over a stocker. Ma­ture, civilised, with two scoops of crazy fast on top. The big bore ex­haust thrums and pops a bit; al­ways there but never too much.

Dol­wani cred­its Global Motorsports Group (GMG) for the car’s well syn­the­sized build and top notch main­te­nance, as well as the three pre­vi­ous own­ers for mak­ing mostly smart moves and not ru­in­ing it. You won’t tempt Dol­wani with talk of GT2 RSS, GT3S, 911Rs or 992s – he’s happy with his car just the way it is, and now has it right where he wants it. “I think of it as a can­vas that’s been painted on by four dif­fer­ent artists and some­how our vi­sions all came to­gether very har­mo­niously.” His goal was to in­crease his car’s per­for­mance over a stock 996 Turbo in ev­ery mea­sur­able pa­ram­e­ter, without ru­in­ing it as a semi daily or week­end trip driver. “It’s great on the track, but I didn’t want a race­car that pun­ishes me on the free­way.” Sounds like a guy who not only has what he wants, but wants what he has. PW

The ride qual­ity re­mains on the firm side of sup­ple

The stand out vis­ual fea­ture of Ravi Dol­wani’s 996 Turbo is, of course, its eye­pop­ping Min­erva Blue paint­work

An ex­am­ple of CSF’S Porsche ra­di­a­tor range. Ul­tra high qual­ity, with en­hanced cool­ing ca­pa­bil­ity. Shame to hide it away re­ally

CSF Ra­di­a­tors’ main man, Ravi Dol­wani. You’d be smil­ing, too, with a 996 Turbo like his!

Cool­ing so­lu­tions from CSF. Up­rated ra­di­a­tors with spe­cially shaped cool­ing fins, plus cen­tral ra­di­a­tors for ex­tra cool­ing ca­pa­bil­ity

The low­down. Ravi’s 996 Turbo sits just right. Styling is kind of a cross be­tween 996 Turbo S and 996 GT2

GMG in­stalled rear cage is painted in Min­erva Blue to match the ex­te­rior. Also sup­ports the re­mote Mo­ton damper reser­voirs. Right: Ravi is con­sid­er­ing re­plac­ing the wal­nut trim with car­bon-fi­bre

It’s a street ma­chine, not a track weapon, so it re­tains a level of street com­pli­ance

Left: Ruf five-spoke wheel is one of the all time great al­loy wheel de­signs. Be­low: En­gine looks ex­ter­nally stock, but there’s enough go­ing on out of sight to boost power to 515bhp

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