Sonic Boom Boy
911 & Porsche World|November 2017

In an unplanned attempt to emulate Bloodhound’s world land speed record challenge, Johnny Tipler discovers his 986 S is halfway to the sound barrier with a Cargraphic silencer, which provides the required acoustic effect.

With hurricanes and tidal surges in the news of late, my newly acquired 986 Boxster S has gone along with the flow and adopted a new soundtrack – a rushing tsunami tune that, under hard acceleration at high revs, conjures up nothing so much as a fast-moving tidal wave. All credit, then, to Cargraphic for bringing about the transformation from babbling brook-style choppy sea to full on surf-smacker surge.

A day on the hoist at Cargraphic’s Cullompton, Devon, factory saw the standard 986 box replaced by a gorgeous shiny ovoid cylinder. If that sounds like a straightforward job, hear this: with the car up on the ramp, first action is when Keith, a veteran exhaust specialist, cuts the brackets off the old pipes connecting the silencer so it can be de mounted. He removes the car’s rear bumper panel and raised the spoiler to gain better access via the engine bay to undo the captive nuts to the silencer support. ‘There’s no way of getting your hands or a tool on the other side of the nut to prevent it from spinning, so the only option is to remove the rear valance, and the job is made far easier by doing that, once we’d figured out how to lift the spoiler.’

It’s evident that on the bolts holding the manifold in place, especially on the left-hand side, the corners of the nuts have rusted away. We’ll tackle those in a future report, no doubt, but they give a clue of the chore in store. Meanwhile, Keith had the devil’s own job getting the pipe with the cat on, because the triangular flanges were corroded together, and it’s very difficult to separate them without applying heat, particularly as he’s remounting it onto an existing plate; if he was replacing everything he wouldn’t have to be too careful about how he removed it – he would just hit it or cut it. ‘You just don’t know how long it’s going to take to get the old stuff off,’ says Keith; ‘and when you go into a high street exhaust place, they tend to just cut it, they use gas, they use grinders, with no thought of having to fit back onto something that’s already there.’ After that, the job becomes more straightforward, though Keith needs a second pair of hands when reconnecting cat pipe to silencer, itself supported on a tripod stand. It makes an incredible difference having one fitted at source. 

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