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How about a 3.8?

That could be a great idea or it could be a lot of money.

Lets look at some scenarios.

1) Take an early 964, and simply do a top end.
2) Take an early 964, increase the bore to 3.8, and simply do a top end.
3) Take an early 964,  increase the bore and completely rebuild it
4) Take an early 964, convert it to a 993 VRAM RS 3.8 with solid rockers
5) Take a 993 VRAM and convert it to VRAM 3.8  with Cams and valves
6) Take a 993 VRAM and convert it to VRAM RS 3.8

Lets say you got a 3.6  with leaky heads for $5000
Replace the P&Cs with Late used ones for a grand Then add rod hearings, bolts, and head studs along with basic  top end, $3,000 parts, $2000 labor, $10,000 motor. Ouch.

2) If you simply increase the bore to 3.8, the only difference in price is the P&C set and a little head work and tuning $3800, but you save a grand on the used P&C,   $12,800 total

3) for the complete rebuild add $300 in parts and $1100 in labor and you are at $14,200

4) To go with a 993 3.8 VRAM RS you need to port the heads, increase valve size, intake and exhaust, change out  the cams, buy  all the parts it takes to change over  to 993 intake, harness and brain, plus the large runners for the intake and replacement stacks, and don't forget better springs and caps etc. We recently did  this. $23,150 including bottom end, fuel injectors and a few other odds and ends, after selling off the surplus 964 stuff.

5) Now buy a VRAM that has some worn exhaust guides. Get one with euro electronics and you'll still pay $9500 or so. Now increase the intake valve size to 51.5 mm RS , add some RS cams, do the top end  and you are looking at $8300 in parts ($6800 from (2), top end, rod bearings and studs  plus $1500 in cams and valves) and $2,200 in labor to make it a round $20,000.

6) To convert to a true euro RS 3.8 you add the larger RS intake stacks and runners ($800) port the heads ($600) and  and just to put icing on the cake add some nice springs and retainers ($600) and you  are at $22,000, but you may as well do a bottom end so lets just call it $23,400.

The difference between 4) and 6) is mainly in whether or not you want hydraulic lifters. If you want to get some  more power I'd go with the solid lifters and a more aggressive cam. You could also convert the 993 to solid lifters (the factory did this on the race cars, about $600)  in which case the 993 motor will be a bit nicer. In case you are thinking about starting with a ' 95 993, that's fine, you just have to figure out the engine management and buy the VarioRAM Intake and throttle body, hoses, etc. so that may or may not be cheaper.  Depends or what you have available.

All of the above assume you invest in a decent set of headers (1-7/8")  and a free flowing exhaust. If you look at the factor figures below, the 18 hp of the 3.8 RS is less than impressive Considering all the work. On the other hand, if you think about it, it wouldn't have cost the factory any more to do them all as 3.8 RS!

Look at the figures though:
Stock Models Torque at 4000 RPM (ft-lb) Change Max Torque at 5000 RPM (ft-lb) Change Max Power at 6200 RPM (HP) Change
95 993 (type 06/07) 199 243 272
96-98 (type 21/22/23/24)  238 +20% 251 +3.2%  282 +3.7%
96-98 3.8 RS (type 20) 248 +24.6%  261  +7.4 %  300  +10.2 % 
Tuned Models w free flow exhaust  Torque at 4000 RPM (ft-lb) Change Max Torque at 5000 RPM (ft-lb) Change Max Power  (HP) Change
95 993 (type 06/07) 230  254  286
96-98 (type 21/22/23/24)  276 +20.0 % 286  +12%  297 +3.8% 
95 993 3.8  240  265 +4.3% 300  +4.8%
96-98 3.8 VRAM (type 20) (5) * 288 +25.2%  296  +16.6% 328  +14.6% 
96-98 3.8 RS VRAM (4 and 6)**  300  +30.4%  312  +22.8% 343  +20.0%
*Euro 3.8 RS Hydraulic Cam
**More aggressive solid  lifter grind

Is it worth it?

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