Looking for 914 upgrade suggestions

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BobP
Posts: 67
Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2002 3:01 am

Looking for 914 upgrade suggestions

Post by BobP » Sun Jan 13, 2002 5:05 pm

I have a '75 914 1.8, I purchased it two years ago, other than a big BUNCH of maintenance items, clutch, tires, hoses, etc, done right after the purchase, I have not done anything to it. Yet!

The car is solid, only rust I have found is minor stuff in the battery tray area. Some PO installed euro turn signals, an electric rear trunk release and rear logo reflector, and spoilers which I think all looks pretty good and will probably keep. It has an older repaint in a real nice bright blue metallic, I plan to fix any rust I find and repaint again probably a similar color. The interior needs work and I am trying to gather as many used parts as I can to redo it as new ones are expensive.

It runs well other than some ignition points and shift linkage problems I had the first summer and an ongoing issue with 1st gear I detailed in another message. It still has the original L-jet FI. I was thinking about the Pertronix kit to replace the points. It has functional heaters, which I would like to keep.

I love the car, and the handling is already better than anything I have ever owned. I want two things, more power and even better handling.

The car will only be used in the summer and probably get much less than 10K miles a year of use. I will use it for street driving, autocross, summer road rally, some road trips and probably an occasional performance driving event at a track.

My plan at this point is to redo the suspension with urethane bushings, 22mm torsion bars, 140lb rear springs, a front sway bar and either Bilstein or Koni shocks and struts.

On the power side I am thinking that Jake's 2270 sounds like the best trade off in power vs longevity vs price, I would like to get up near 140HP or so with good midrange for street and autocross, I think that is realistic with this engine. I want electronic ignition and Fuel Injection. Can the L-jet be tweaked to work at this displacement and HP range? Anyone here have any tips on how or at least baseline mods to get started? If not I would rather go to aftermarket fuel injection than carbs. Any suggestions for EFI systems that have been tried in this size/power range? Someday I may go to a bigger motor, the 102mm P&Cs being discussed here sound REAL interesting, or forced induction and if I buy an EFI unit I would prefer something that can grow with the car.

I just realized this is getting very long, I appreciate any suggestions anyone has. Thanks

BobP
Posts: 67
Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2002 3:01 am

Looking for 914 upgrade suggestions

Post by BobP » Mon Jan 14, 2002 7:10 pm

I got those suspension specs from a post somewhere, I don't remember exactly where, a while back. It is interesting to hear that it is too much front spring. I am looking to get decent autox and driver school track performance while still keeping a street driveable ride. The car will see alot more miles of commuting and road trips than autox and track use. My understanding was the 140# rears were not bad on the street, how do think it would be with 19mm torsion bars and a 19mm adjustable sway bar? What shocks seem to give the best ride/performance trade off? I don't think I need a huge amount of tuneability in the suspension, so I would guess Konis are overkill. I have seen listings for Bilstein and I think KYB also.

I don't mind swapping parts around or doing some fuel/ignition map tuning on an aftermarket system. I have a laptop and it might be real interesting if I can at least find some baseline tuning info to start from. I don't have to worry about smog testing, cars are exempt after 25 years in upstate NY, per the NYS DOT site my car became exempt last year. I would however like to keep the emmissions reasonable, no need to be a pig and I think the engine might be real sweet with modern engine management. I am not looking to build max power, just a bunch more than stock in a street driveable package.

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Dave_Darling
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Looking for 914 upgrade suggestions

Post by Dave_Darling » Tue Jan 15, 2002 2:59 am

Suspension setup is, in one way, all about balance. You want to balance the grip of the front and rear ends so that they will tend to break away at about the same time. I think your torsion bars up front are too stiff for the 140 lb-rate springs in back. Particularly with an added front sway-bar.

Stock torsion bars and 140# springs, together with a 19mm or 21mm aftermarket front sway bar, seem to be a decent balance. Maybe 19mm torsions, as you can adjust most aftermarket sway bars.

If you go 22mm torsions, 200# or 250# (or more?) springs should match better. The spring rate of a torsion bar goes up with the fourth power of the diameter, so small changes in bar size have large changes in spring rate.

As for the L-jet, I'd bet you can find an L-jet system that will work quite nicely with a 2270, as long as the cam isn't too wild. But I think you'll wind up replacing a fair bit of the stock system if you go that route.

There are a bunch of aftermarket EFIs out there. They pretty much all require extensive setup and programming, except for the very simplest ones. If you spend some time checking through the FI forum here, you'll see some discussions of several of them.

--DD

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1974 VW-Porsche 914 2.0 (Type IV powered!)
http://www.pelicanparts.com

Mueller
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Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2001 2:01 am

Looking for 914 upgrade suggestions

Post by Mueller » Fri Jan 18, 2002 4:16 pm

Bob,
Does the car have a front swaybar already installed (stock)?

I just got my car back on the road and for the suspension all I've done is the street compound welt. bushings (including front swaybar bushings, stock swaybar) and install Bilstien gas shocks on all four corners.
The rear springs are 140's.

So far I am very happy with this setup, the torsion bars are stock and I really don't see swaping to larger bars right away. The car is for the street mostly, I see myself Auto-x'n it only a few times a year and I would like to take it on a big track a few times, but I really don't see myself getting too far into the hobby of spending every weekend at the track.

Don't go overboard and make the car too stiff if you want to drive it and have a comfortable car as well. It seems that a lot of the folks that install the 19mm swaybars on thier street cars, run them full soft. Unless you have money to burn, you can find a stock swaybar dirt cheap (most of the time they can be found complete between 75 and 150 dollars) I'd run the stock swaybar and go from there.

------------------
Mike Mueller
'75 914 2.0

BobP
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Looking for 914 upgrade suggestions

Post by BobP » Fri Jan 18, 2002 5:09 pm

I think it does already have a front bar, although I would have to climb under the car to confirm that.

I have no idea what the current rear springs are but, the car seems to be settled on the suspension pretty far, I think they may be older stock springs.

I am about the same as you as far as driving plans with probably a road rally or two thrown in, at least if I can ever get the Odo to work reliably.

I don't know, maybe I'll try new bushings and shocks all around and new stiffer rear springs and see how it feels before I do more.

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Racer Chris
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Looking for 914 upgrade suggestions

Post by Racer Chris » Fri Jan 18, 2002 6:34 pm

Hi Bob,
I agree with Mike M. 100% on suspension for a basic street 914 setup. Also the Pertronix is an excellent idea to replace the points, and don't get rid of the FI unless you want a whole new set of problems to deal with.
Chris

BobP
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Looking for 914 upgrade suggestions

Post by BobP » Fri Jan 18, 2002 7:42 pm

I'm starting to think that Mike's route is the way to go for suspension, I am NOT trying to build a race car. I am going to continue to think about this and put some more miles on the car before I do anything drastic. I need to go out in the garage and look under the nose for the sway bar.

I AM going to order the Pertronix Ignitor and repair parts for 1st gear, see the other thread I started, as soon as I pull the rear cover off the tranny and see what I need. I want these done by spring driving season. I was planning to order from Pelican, from what I have seen they seem to generate less complaints and some of their people seem real decent in the various discussion groups.

I am thinking about an engine upgrade either 2l or 2.2l, I am working the numbers to see if the L-Jet will stretch that far. I also have had some discussion in the FI group here about this. I am starting to think air may be a bigger problem than fuel, but with some work the L-Jet should do it. I hope to build a motor next winter, I am hoping to find a complete used core to use, so I can keep my car in running condition if it takes longer to finish than expected.

I have to fix the battery tray and support for right now I am thinking of using a rust stop product, until I pull the motor next year. I have not found any other rust yet, but I have not pulled the car apart, so I will keep my fingers crossed. The PO imported it from California a couple years back and didn't drive in bad weather, so it should be OK. I want to repaint but will finish the rust repair and going over the rest of the car first.

The interior has me stumped mine has 30 years off wear and sun damage. Cracked dash pad and top vinyl on the doors, worn seats and carpet. Right now I have covered the seats with seatcovers and the cracked vinyl with black racer tape, the tape isn't noticeable until you get pretty close. I have not so far found any used stuff in much better condition and new stuff is crazy price wise. I am thinking semicustom at this point, I can do real nice custom door panels and seat recovers, buy one of those ABS dask covers and a carpet kit and have a very nice but nonstandard interior for a lot less than I could restore the interior.

I love this little car, I have since I was a kid and they were new. I probably already have more in the car than I could ever get back, a bunch of that was having a qualified mechanic go over the whole car and replace any questionable wear parts after I bought it so I could drive all summer with minimal worries the first year. At least I'm having fun.

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Bleyseng
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Looking for 914 upgrade suggestions

Post by Bleyseng » Fri Jan 18, 2002 9:02 pm

I don't think you will any problems with a 2.0l L-jet motor. I have seen three of them already that ran fine without much in the way of mods. They just bolted it all up from what they told me.
But I have Djet so what do I know.........
Geoff

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76 914 2.0L

BobP
Posts: 67
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Looking for 914 upgrade suggestions

Post by BobP » Fri Jan 18, 2002 9:20 pm

I am sure 2l will work without mods. A standard 2l is 94x71 (1970cc), I believe.

I am thinking of doing either 96x71 which is 2065cc or 96x78.4 which is 2270. I think the 2270 will require some mods to the L-Jet to run right, but if I keep the cam reasonable, it should be doable.

I am looking for street power and acceleration. Probably 130 to 140HP at less than 6000rpm with a nice wide torque band. From what I have read and been told the stroke will be what gives me the torque.

Right now it is just in the thinking stage, but that kind of power sure sonds like fun and on a reasonable budget too.

BobP
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Looking for 914 upgrade suggestions

Post by BobP » Sat Jan 19, 2002 12:21 pm

I found reference to another configuration which may have potential 96x74 (2142cc). I wonder if it would be a good tradeoff some of the additional torque from a stroker without going so far that the L-jet won't keep up.

I have been reading back through old posts and it seems several people including Jake Raby, who seems to have a good rep as an engine builder, insist that the Fuel Injection won't work on a 2270. I really don't see why. I can see how a big cam might make the fuel pressure regulator somewhat unstable with wild fluctuations in manifold pressure. But I don't see how stroke could effect the EFI much, as long as you increase fuel and air delivery enough for the displacement. Even the cam would probably have much more effect on the MPC of D-Jet than on L-Jet which is air flow controlled.

zeke914

Looking for 914 upgrade suggestions

Post by zeke914 » Sun Jan 20, 2002 10:50 pm

You won't have to "get under the car" to see if it has a stock sway bar. The bar itself comes out of the body in the fender well. The extension arms are bolted on there in plain sight and the drop links go down to the control arm. The lower part of the drop link can be seen from the front of the car if you are down on one knee. Hope that helps for a quick check. BTW, if you haven't ridden in a modified suspension car, you might want to before going to even a 140# rear spring. Shocks must be tuned to the spring rate for optimum performance. Stiffer spring rate, stiffer shock. No point in putting a stiff shock on a weak spring, and vice versa. A stiff shock on a soft spring just keeps the spring from compressing as fast. And a stock shock on a racing spring can't manage the spring bounce. So, like DD says, it's a matter of balance and more balance. A good performance set up will rattle your bones; and should. It's also tough on the car's body as well as yours.

kevin powers
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Looking for 914 upgrade suggestions

Post by kevin powers » Mon Jan 21, 2002 12:17 pm

bob, i think going to the stiff set up you are thinking about might be the wrong way to go. after driving on the roads in your area last fall i think you would be very unhappy(the ny thruway would be torture),i put kyb gas units on my car. i hated them and felt every expansion strip in the road. you can set up the corner balance to a pretty fine degree at home. after you get used to your car, you will find an afternoon cruise out in the western tier is more fun if you don't have to take a leak every 20 minutes. there is a big diff in a car that you want to drive for hours and one that you drive for a half an hour on a track or a auto-x course. find someplace where you can discover where the cornering limits are for your car are. if you are running 165-15 the first step i would recomend would be tires, i went to 195/60's and they made a big improvement. kevin (will look for lock cyl after posting)

BobP
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Looking for 914 upgrade suggestions

Post by BobP » Mon Jan 21, 2002 1:15 pm

Thanks, I will have to look in the wheel well for the swaybar when I get home from work.

I have Potenza 205/60-15s, I am pretty sure although they might be 195s, which I had installed in the spring of 2000.

When I rework the car next winter, I hope to do all the bushings, shocks and springs. I guess I will have to think more on this. Maybe I will go with new stock springs & torsion bars and a set of Bilstein shocks. They seem to get pretty good reviews and from what I understand aren't real stiff.

Kevin, let me know about the lock cylinder, thanks.

BobP
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Looking for 914 upgrade suggestions

Post by BobP » Fri Jan 25, 2002 1:23 am

I looked, I don't currently have a swaybar. I am going to try and get a stock type swaybar and see how the car feels before I make any more suspension mods. I plan to drive the car daily in the summer and I don't want to take a beating.

I don't know if I will have much chance to try a car with modified suspension. I have only seen or heard of three others locally, one is bone stock and might pass for brand new (beautiful), I met the owner, one is a beater I have seen driving around and the third I heard about from the VW/Porsche mechanic that I had check out my car before I bought it, from what he told me it is also pretty beat. I talked to a couple people at the local dealership about the local PCA and whether they knew of anymore 914s and they just wanted to refer me to their friends, who were selling "real Porsche's".

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