Liv­ing the Leg­end

Our con­tribut­ing en­thu­si­asts from around the world share their real-life ex­pe­ri­ences with their Porsche 911s

Total 911 - - Contents - Northamp­ton­shire, UK @jcx911 Joe Croser

Real-world owner re­ports from our spe­cially se­lected global col­lec­tive

For a while now

I have not been happy with the way my car feels when press­ing on. Turn-in is of­ten de­layed, re­quir­ing ad­di­tional in­puts, and bal­ance mid-cor­ner can feel pre­car­i­ous. Ac­cel­er­at­ing hard it was akin to wrestling a bear. I wanted a sec­ond opin­ion, so I called Cen­tre Grav­ity in the Mid­lands to book a con­sul­ta­tion. Widely re­garded as the best of the best, they were rec­om­mended by some of the fussi­est peo­ple I know.

My con­sul­ta­tion started with a quick in­spec­tion by Chris Franklin who spot­ted a miss­ing bolt from one of my coil packs, which he duly re­placed, fol­lowed by a shock ab­sorber test on the Beiss­barth sys­tem, all be­fore head­ing out for the road test.

Mov­ing for­wards at a steady state Chris found my car all too ea­ger to pull to the left, fol­low­ing the cam­ber of the road. This was ex­ag­ger­ated when ac­cel­er­at­ing hard, re­quir­ing con­stant corrections to the steer­ing. The car main­tained a straight-ahead di­rec­tion when the cam­ber fell away to the right.

I’ve al­ways felt that my Turbo was slow to turn in, and when it did it was slow to set­tle. Chris di­ag­nosed this as a two-stage turn-in within sec­onds. I’d not de­scribed this ‘fea­ture’ to him, but he spot­ted it in­stantly. He is good.

In the sim­plest terms I had too much cam­ber, mak­ing the ride hard and re­duc­ing the size of my tyre con­tact patch in all but the fastest and hard­est of cor­ners. I had un­even toe, too, my car fight­ing to pull in dif­fer­ent direc­tions.

The for­mer was good for track days but hor­ri­ble for the road, and the lat­ter was just hor­ri­ble. Snaking roads were a con­stant bat­tle to bal­ance the car, with each new in­put forc­ing con­stant corrections which un­set­tled the car fur­ther. Again, I didn’t know this was a prob­lem; I just thought the Turbo was heavy and hard to drive.

With is­sues iden­ti­fied and a de­brief com­pleted to im­part his con­sid­er­able knowl­edge, we set­tled on a plan to make the car sta­ble, bal­anced and ag­ile on B-roads with white lines down the mid­dle. My favourite driv­ing ter­ri­tory.

Neg­a­tive cam­ber was re­duced to min­i­mum Porsche spec and a smidge of pos­i­tive toe was ap­plied for straight-line sta­bil­ity.

When my set-up was com­plete Chris took me out to test the car. He ran through the same tests and quickly de­clared his sat­is­fac­tion that the car was now lighter, more ag­ile and bet­ter bal­anced. We then swapped seats and he acted as my nav­i­ga­tor while I pushed the car to feel the new be­hav­iours.

The dif­fer­ence was stark. Bumps were soaked up eas­ily, di­rec­tion changes were light and im­me­di­ate and the car in­stantly set­tled af­ter each new in­put. No more con­stant corrections. I had a new car. I soon turned off the mo­tor­way on my drive home and threaded the needle of Le­ices­ter­shire’s B-roads with a smile as wide as the county.

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