Chance Meeting: Prepping the 930 for the Texas Mile
A Turbo slant nose Cabriolet closed on an early, apparently non-intercooled Turbo on a toll road north of Toronto. The older 930 accelerated, and the lettering on the red U.S. Marine booster sticker in the 930’s rear window blurred in the expanding distance, easing forward with an F/A-18 Hornet’s thrust. There was an intercooler hidden under what appeared to be a stock early Turbo tail. Also, a host of modifications contributing to 365 hp and 387 lb-ft of torque.
The drivers in question, Marco Preiano (overly confident in the stock Slant) and Bill MacEachern (smiling his trademark grin in the sleeper), had both been bound for the PCA Upper Canada Region’s “Shift into Spring.” There they met for the first time, conversing after each recognized the other’s Porsche. Preiano explained that he ran a performance shop and was a drag racer with a best run of 10.32 seconds at 154 mph in his own Turbo. Fascinated, Bill subsequently visited the shop, SEM Motorsports, to exchange ideas. But when Bill’s flat six was due for a rebuild a few months later, he returned to trusted Auguste Automobile Service in St. Catharines, Ontario.
The fresh 3.4 unit attained 415 hp in the fall of 2009 after dyno tuning by Paul Neethling at his Oakville, Ontario shop, Neetronics. Neethling, well known in pro rallying for his work on winning Subarus, advocated a critical switch to an Autronic engine control unit and the installation of Acura coils on each cylinder.
Only later, after earning Bill’s trust, did Preiano become involved. “Bill had been dropping by to talk, but…then he had a problem with his car shutting down and he thought it was one of his fuel pumps,” explains Preiano. “I put some thought into it and found the main wire for his standalone was loose.” Preiano then argued that three fuel pumps, as installed in an earlier engine build in California, were two too many. Two were removed, and Bill gained further respect for the hot-rodder’s thinking.
“I said, ‘You know what, you need to get a real turbocharger (a Precision 6262),’ and we did the injectors at the same time because I felt he was running out of fuel — so we got him some 830-cc, flow-matched injectors,” recalls Preiano of progress made in 2009. While Bill’s 930 was undergoing its second paint job and its first interior restoration in the winter of 2009/2010, Preiano modified the 3.2-liter intake manifold to accept an 80-mm throttle body for improved flow. At some point, he brought up the idea of entering the car in the Texas Mile.
Great, Bill said, he’d consider that.
To cool the cocktail that was charged more forcefully than ever before, Preiano designed a new intercooler housing with end tanks that improved air flow around the core. A beautiful piece of compound-curved polished aluminum it is, and Bill subsequently noted a 25-percent reduction of intake temperatures.
On August 9, 2010, as Neethling’s tuning maximized the cumulative effect of Preiano’s modifications, Bill’s engine registered 525 hp at 6000 rpm and 485 lb-ft at 5400 rpm. With this, Bill drove his 34-year-old 930 Turbo to 175.6 mph at the Texas Mile. —DP
POSTSCRIPT: Almost a month after driving home to Toronto without incident, a water-methanol injection system (not used in Texas) locked up, pumping fluid non-stop and causing Bill’s engine to hydrolock, fracturing pistons, bending two valves, and spitting bits through the turbocharger. A hugely more powerful engine was in assembly as this was written — to propel MacEachern in Texas or wherever the urge for foot-to-the-floor runs might take him.