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Ever seen a Porsche with a small block Chevy and a Sniper 2x4 setup?
Now you can say that you have, thanks to our friend and Awesome Customer, Bob Cole. Below, Bob shares with us the backstory that lead to him putting a 383 SBC, 915 transaxle, and the Sniper 2x4 EFI system in his treasured Porsche 914.
"In the early 80’s I bought an ex-race ‘68 Camaro RS/SS 396. It came with a fiberglass tilt front end and 4.56 gears, but no motor or trans. I built up a big port 427 and installed a Super T10 4sp. It nipped into the 10’s at the Fremont dragstrip (now a mall). My roommate at the time was a Porsche mechanic who had a 914 set up for autocross - flares, really sticky tires, and ALL the suspension work. He was stunned at how fast my Camaro was, and I was shocked by how well his 914 handled. I wanted both! An evening with a tape measure showed that an SBC would just fit in a 914. Then I had to sell my Camaro to pay for Engineering school.
"My first job out of college, in the late ’80s, I bought my 914. I had it up and running with a 350 and good suspension in 1990. I used a Kennedy adapter plate, flywheel, and clutch. Everything else was DIY, no kit.
"Around 2002 I built up the 383 and 915 transaxle.
"I did the flares and 5 lug wheels after I retired in 2015. The Tunnel Ram, Sniper 2x4 EFI system, and electric power steering were added in 2019."
"I brought it down to Lake Havasu last winter (‘19/20), and showed it off a bit. (Havasu is one of the Hot Rod capitals of the world...) It was fun watching people try to figure out what carbs I'm running! A custom car painter made me a deal I couldn't refuse, so the car is blue now."
"In a word - Fantastic!
"Initial start, it fired up on the first hit of the key. It was pretty well-tuned from Holley, except for a lean area from 2000 to 3000 RPM under deep throttle. This cleared itself up quickly.
"It pulls nice and clean from 1200 RPM, even in the (very tall) 5th gear, and I can drive around town without ever going over 2000 RPM. It has the driving manners of my Camry. From 2200 to 3300 RPM, power really ramps up, and from 3500 to 6000 (red line), it absolutely rips. It takes full throttle cleanly below 2000 RPM.
"I recently leaned out the idle and cruise Fuel Target to clean up a bit of fuel smell. I richened up the acceleration enrichment (accelerator pump) and now I can snap full throttle at 2000 RPM without any stumble.
"I think EFI on a Tunnel Ram, with a short duration cam and good heads, is a really good setup for street driving."
"Up in the hills the car barely wakes up at speeds too fast for any sane driving. It easily catches well-ridden sportbikes on tight and medium roads, (I used to race sportbikes…).
"The steering was a bit heavy below 35 mph and very heavy in parking lots. This was due to the wide tires, lots of caster, small steering wheel, and tight limited slip. But with the electric power steering, (which tapers off over 35 mph), it steers great."
"I need to get a shift light, as it rips into the rev limiter too fast. I need to implement the timing control in the Sniper EFI. I will be upgrading to big Wilwood brakes. The 915 transaxle strength is marginal (at best), so I’m saving up for a Mendeola SDR5 Transaxle. These have a big 10” ring gear, and run a modern Corvette clutch."