Welcome to my Porsche 993 build article. If you’ve been following my YouTube channel (Rennthusiast) then you know that I consider my Porsche 993 as being the best car I’ve ever owned, and at last count, I’ve been fortunate enough to have owned over 60 cars.
And, if that’s not enough, my 993 is not only the best car I’ve ever owned…it’s also my favorite 911 out of the 3 I own. At the time of writing this article, I own a:
1986 Porsche 911 3.2 Coupe in Guards Red
2007 Porsche 911 997.1 Manual Turbo in Guards Red, and
1995 Porsche 911 993 Manual Coupe in Polar Silver
And yes, the 993 provides the most rewarding all around driving experience.
With that being said, I have really been yearning to make the car even more exciting to me, and I have decided to embark on a project with the car. The overall vision for the project is to give the car a more aggressive focus with some nods to the 993RS, some weight reduction measures and some funky personalized color choices.
So, this build involves a fairly deep set of modifications – some cosmetic, some performance-oriented – and I thought I would share the decisions I’ve made.
Here they are:
Porsche 993 Build Mod #1: 993 Turbo bumper swap with US bumperette delete
Almost a year ago now (pre-pandemic), I bought a used US spec 993 Turbo bumper from a 993 Rennlister Facebook group member. I put the installation off because I was not yet ready to really dig into my Porsche 993 build. Because the seller was located in Las Vegas, it was a complete pain the get the bumper to where I live in North Carolina. We used Greyhound shipping, which I would not recommend. Took way too long. After a couple of months, though, it showed up was as described.
The bumper was in need of several repairs:
The portion of the bumper adjacent to the undertray had been clearly curbed and as a result had a long crack in it that would need to be plastic welded.
Because it was US spec, the bumper featured the US bumperette cut-outs, and I figured I would get those filled in order to convert the bumper to euro spec since it would need plastic welding anyway.
As you may know, the turbo bumper also requires turbo scoops, foglights and euro corners, all of which I sourced from various places.
The turbo scoops and bulbs I got from eBay. I normally shy away from eBay for car parts because of quality and fitment issues but in this case a friend of mine had used them successfully, so I felt comfortable with them.
The corner signals I sourced from a Rennlist seller.
I love the turbo bumper look and am excited about the visual impact this change will make along with the uniqueness it will give the car.
Mod #2: Porsche 996 Hard Back Sport Seats w/ Tartan Centers and Contrast Stitching
A cornerstone of this Porsche 993 build will be the seat upgrade in the car.
I have always loved the look of tartan seat centers in an old school Porsche, so I knew that part of my 993 transformation had to include doing this mod.
Initially, the plan was to rework the factory Porsche 993 comfort seats by replacing the original leather with new leather and replacing the centers with tartan. My existing seats are in exceptional condition so this would be an easy, no brainer solution for the seat cores.
However, I was super excited to randomly find some used 996 hard back sport seats removed from a 996 turbo for sale on eBay for $2500 in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. And, luckily enough, I have a contact in the air cooled community located nearby who was willing to go take a look at the seats, make the purchase for me and then ship them to my shop in Porsche performance shop in North Carolina. Talk about luck!
I’ve selected a mostly-blue tartan fabric that mirrors a Patrick Motorsports build and that I think will play well with the polar silver. I will incorporate that into the door cards and will also have red contrast stitching matching the color scheme incorporated into the leather.
I’m quite excited about this component of the build and while tartan isn’t necessarily exactly “correct” for the 993, it’s what I want and I think it’s going to look great.
Mod #3: Fister Stage 3 Sport Exhaust
If you’re a 993 enthusiast then without question you have heard the name Darren Fister of FD Motorsports. FD Motorsports makes KILLER 993 upgrades and I have already been running several of them prior to making the decision to modify my car even further.
When I bought my 993, it came with a Fister Stage 2 sport exhaust. I have shared in previous posts and videos that the exhaust note produced by the flat 6 993 engine in combination with the Fister Stage 2 is THE best exhaust sound I have ever had the pleasure of enjoying. It cracks and pops just right but at the same time is totally “daily-able” without being annoying.
So, when I made the decision to take my car in an even more aggressive direction as part of this Porsche 993 build, I knew that I wanted to step up the exhaust by bumping up to Stage 3. I have heard Stage 3’s live and in person so I know that I’m going to enjoy it. Yes, my neighbors may get a little irritated but the truth of the matter is you can contain the sound by keeping the revs lower and being less aggressive with the throttle…until you get out of the neighborhood (LAUGHING FACE).
The really nice thing about this mod is that I’ll get a hefty core credit when I ship my Stage 2 back to FD Motorsports, so this upgrade will be remarkable inexpensive for the enjoyment I’ll get.
Mod #4: DAS Bolt-In Rollbar
Ok, so this is admittedly a little bit overkill and is a mod that I have gotten some negative feedback about in my 993 upgrade videos.
I don’t plan to track the car enough to require this mod, but I do think it will enhance the stiffness and handling performance which is definitely in alignment with where I want to take the car. It adds a performance/motorsports vibe to the look and feel which jives with the
The downside of adding this rollbar is obviously the added weight and the obstruction it will create in the rear view mirror. I will also lose the use of the backseat which frankly isn’t a problem for me as I almost never carry passengers in the car.
At the end of the day, this mod is totally reversible which is part of the reason I am trying it out as part of my Porsche 993 build. I also got a solid deal on it so I feel good about the fact that I can remove it and sell it to recover my money. So, it’s a win because I like the look, idea and marginally enhanced performance…and it’s also a win because I can recoup my money if and when I decided I want to remove the rollbar.
Porsche 993 Build Mod #5: Grey German Square Weave Carpet In Charcoal Grey
Ok, so first of all, removing the factory carpet from the Porsche 993 is a complete pain in the ass. Porsche elected to use more glue in the 993 than in any previous generation of the 911 and as a result, removing the factory carpet is a tedious, labor intensive process. Thankfully the shop is doing this work.
Bigger picture, the motivation for removing the factory carpet was to replace it with something a little more exciting than the standard issue, expected, predictable black carpet. Now, I know the purists out there think this is a travesty…to speak ill of the carpet that Porsche installed in the 993. And, to be fair, I have to admit the factory carpet is strong quality and holds up well. However, I just found – for me – that I wanted something a little different from what you find in every other 993, so I chose the German square weave in charcoal grey.
Porsche 993 Build Mod #6: Porsche 993RS Steering Wheel
I have been running the Porsche 996 3-spoke steering wheel for about a year. I love the ergonomics of this wheel but was seeking something a little more unique to align with the direction of the build.
Earlier in my Porsche 993 build decision-making process, I believed I was going to go with the Momo Mod07. It’s a more “modern” looking and feeling version of the Momo Prototipo (which I love and have on my 1986 Porsche 911 Coupe) but one night while perusing the Rennlist classifieds – which I do daily – I tripped over this really clean 993RS wheel. So, I figured that since I already have the Momo on my other air cooled 911, it would be cool to go in another direction with my 993 wheel.
Admittedly, I don’t know a lot about this wheel and frankly need to learn more about the Porsche 993RS in general…but I can say I do appreciate the look and feel of the wheel as well as the fact that it has 993 heritage.
Porsche 993 Build Mod #7: Rear Seat Delete
Deleting the rear seat in my 993 is something I’ve always wanted to do.
Given that I am replacing the carpet, installing a rollbar and replacing the front seats it’s a no-brainer to delete the rear seats.
This move has several layers to it.
I love how it looks in other 911’s that I’ve seen. It gives the car a motorsports/weight reduction feel which aligns with the direction I’m taking the car.
With the rollbar installed, I can’t use the back seats anyway, so why not do it?
The German square weave carpet I am having installed can easily be patterned to appear to have the factory rear seat delete so it should look completely intentional
But wait! That’s not all! There’s More To This Porsche 993 Build!
These are only the first 7 mods I’m making to my 993. I’ve decided to make 7 more substantial changes to the car, and will be revealing the second set of 7 in my upcoming “Part 2” video on this topic. I’ll also publish an article laying them out.
My initial budget for this build was $10,000. At this stage, I have exceeded that amount but it has definitely been because of mods I’ve added to my 993 project. It could have been kept lower, but I keep figuring, “you only live once.”
Another way I’ve been looking at it is that thankfully, my Porsche 993 is mechanically sorted. It’s a GREAT, solid candidate for this kind of project because it runs well and that’s always the most important thing to take care of: making the car mechanically road worthy, safe and up-to-date on maintenance.
I have done many videos about getting my Porsche 993 sorted, which you can check out here.
If you’d like to stay in the loop about how this 993 project unfolds, be sure to check out my channel and subscribe. Most of my Porsche content is in video form.