What Our Customers Say...
Here are just a few of our favorite testimonials that we have received lately.. In the Porsche engine industry a reputation may be hard to attain, but its even harder to retain. How do we achieve these compliments in today's world where its hard to even meet someone's expectations and basically unheard of to exceed them? Well, we do what we say, charge what we agree to and carry out the best damn work possible. We do this while maintaining exceptional communication at all times, because we feel if our customer has to ask us for a project or job update status, that we have failed.
Dear Mr. Raby
I wanted to send you a quick note just to let you know what, in my experience, the difference is between a "R.E.D. Flat 6 Innovations engine" and a "regular" Porsche engine. At Kansas Speedway on the roval there, I made the mistake of missing a shift at about 125 mph out on the banked track. At red line I shifted from fourth to third (instead of fifth) and zinged the engine for about a second. There was some damage to the engine's ignition timing, valvetrain, and some running gear as there always is in such an instance. The engine not only held together but ran fine in the paddock and onto the trailer.
Compare that to the unfortunate incident the day before involving a gentleman in a Cayman S with stock internals. He also missed a shift and, in the paddock, I could hear the internal damage to his motor as things let go. I'm guessing his motor was trashed. Mine was not. Thanks for the work you and your team did. That's why I put my trust in you again -- I get the expertise, quality, service, and support that I expect.
This testimonial comes to us from the owner of the only car we have ever had to repair "under warranty" after our reconstruction processes.
Collingwood, Ontario, Canada
Bruce has a hole in his engine....
A Happy Ending
My story is different than most and forgive me upfront for being longwinded. I own a 2000 Porsche 996 Carerra 2. Although I have owned other Porsche’s over the years, this is my first 911 type. Prior to purchasing the 996, I researched everything I could about this particular car, especially the M96 engine. Months were spent on internet forums and speaking with fellow owners in my PCA region before I began searching for a car to purchase. Flat 6 Innovations and Jake Raby’s name kept popping up, as did the IMSB issue. My curiosity got the best of me and I began to fully research the IMSB issue with the hopes of fully understanding the issue and risks. I also did lengthy research on Jake Raby and Flat 6 Innovations. My research proved one thing to me: Jake Raby is the predominant expert in the M96 engine. With that said, I hoped I would never have to use his services.
Fast forward 13 months after purchasing my 996. The car was running great with the exception of a known Rear Main Seal leak. I had decided to wait out the repair until I put the car in for a new clutch. 3 weeks ago I was driving home when the car lost all power. 30 mph, no noise, no symptoms. It just died. I coasted into a parking lot and took a deep breath. Deep down I was thinking the worst. My wife picked me up and took me home. I immediately got online on the Flat 6 Innovations web forum and posted my symptoms. Jake responded almost immediately. I don’t think he ever sleeps. He advised me to go back to the car in the morning and see if I could turn the crank with a wrench. If the engine turned freely then that was good news. If it didn’t, well, that wasn’t a good sign. I went back to the car with my trusty 24 mm socket and ratchet and tried to turn the engine over by hand. Imagine my absolute horror when it wouldn’t budge. Not one bit. Now I knew I had major issues and feared the worst. I had the car towed home and called Flat 6 Innovations. Dean answered the phone and I explained my situation. There was no delay, Jake was on the phone with me. From the symptoms I described, we both agreed that it sounds like the worst case scenario and the engine may be toast.
During this lengthy phone consultation, Jake took the time to explain every possible option available to me, knowing the financial and emotional burden an engine failure causes owners. Remember, I did my due diligence and knew everything I needed to know about Flat 6. Speaking with Jake only reinforced my faith in FSI.
At this point I had a few options. I could take the car to an indy or my Porsche dealer and hope for the best. Hope that I would get an honest evaluation and service. I made a few phone calls but came to my senses rather quickly. Why would I take the risk and send my car elsewhere? I had access to Flat 6 Innovations! The next thing I know my car was being picked up by the transporter and was on the way to Cleveland, GA. Now, I had already prepared myself, and my wife, for the upcoming expense to get my car running again. That was not a pleasant conversation with the wife!
My car was picked up on a Tuesday afternoon and it arrived at Flat 6 Innovations on Thursday morning. I was sitting at my desk in my office when sent me a text message. To paraphrase, “your car just got here and I have it running. Call me!” What? It’s running? Can’t be! I was on the phone immediately with Jake. He explained to me that my alternator had frozen up so severely and that is why I couldn’t turn it by hand. Words cannot describe my elation. So, as long as the car was in such great hands, I had a ton of maintenance items done to include the IMSB retrofit, clutch, water pump, etc. All the little things that need to be done but none us want to do! A not so honest shop could have, and would have; sold me a new motor or a major rebuild and I would have been none the wiser.
Knowing Jake’s backlog, I knew I wouldn’t see my car for several months. It has been a little over three weeks and my car is home and I am spiriting around town. It has never run so beautifully and I couldn’t be happier.
So, the moral of this long winded letter is this; you will not find a more honest and forthright company or owner. Jake and his staff have unbelievable at communicating with me every step of the way. All of my pesky questions via phone, email and text were answered immediately. Honesty in the auto repair business has been, well, lacking over the years. Everyone is out to make a dollar. I understand that. But, it’s my money and I work hard for it. To find someone like Jake Raby that is honest to a fault and passionate about what he does was a breath of fresh air. If you even think that your Porsche is experiencing an issue, pick up the phone and call Flat 6. Don’t do anything else first. Just talk to them and go from there. They will not lead you astray.
Please do not take my testimonial as gospel. Do your own research and due diligence on Flat 6 like I did. It’s not hype. Jake Raby and Flat 6 Innovations is the real deal.
Thank you Jake for everything that you have done for me. Dean and all of your staff have been fantastic. You have earned me as a customer for as long as I own Porsches!
Lake City, FL
Mr. Michael Davidson,
Spare Parts & Broken Hearts
(unedited other than adding bold and italicized text to those areas that YOU need to read and absorb)
I bought my 2003 996 C2 in late 2008 with 40k miles on the clock. The driveline was bone stock when I bought it. I added the X51 oil pan, a Fabspeed Maxflo Competition Air Intake and a Porsche short shift after the purchase. My M96 engine experience began at a Chin HPDE event at Homestead in March 2011 with the mileage around 58k. I went out for an afternoon session and the car felt down on power. Then the CEL came on. I backed off and headed in. As I as crawled into the garage, the low oil pressure light came on. I’d had the oil changed (Mobil 1) just prior to the event. We let it cool some and then drained the oil. It was darker and murkier than oil that fresh oil should be. There were no visible metal or plastic bits in it but it there was a slight metallic sheen to it and on the magnetic drain plug. No one had a spare filter so we couldn’t cut the existing one open for examination.
A call went out to the mechanic I used at the time who advised there should be no problem driving it the 70 miles home if I took it easy and brought it in the next morning. We rounded up a new batch of M1 and put it in. I was able to drive home on the Florida Turnpike at 65 – 70 mph with no drama and then on to the mechanic the following morning. The quick diagnosis after they removed the oil pan and something else was it had a spun bearing and the oil scavenging pump on the 4-5-6 bank side had let go and done some damage to the #5 piston and its valves. The service ticket read simply “Engine is blown”. It wasn’t a catastrophic failure – the core components (casings, crank, carrier, camshaft, IM shaft) were still good.
I was seriously taken aback by this news and didn’t have the $18,000 (including labor) for the PCNA crate engine swap out recommended by this mechanic. Thus began a search for a less expensive alternative. Internet searches yielded several outfits offering M96 rebuild programs in the $7,500 - $10,000 range. All but one was located well west of the Mississippi and I was uncomfortable dealing with someone so far away from South Florida. I went back online and did more research. The majority of the positive endorsements I read related to Charles Navarro at LN Engineering and Jake Raby of Flat 6 Innovations. I absorbed what I could from their websites and then called them. LN doesn’t do rebuilds but my discussions with Charles taught me a lot.
I then called Jake and he was very helpful also but his price was even higher than the crate motor option. He didn’t volunteer any detailed information on the scope of FSI’s rebuilds so I assumed (wrongly it turned out) that theirs was similar to the other outfits I had spoken to which essentially was to replace the damaged parts. My impressions after the call and after the endorsements I had read online was that FSI was very, very good at what it did and was therefore able to command a significant premium over the competition. I thought that was great for Jake and FSI but not necessarily good for me given my financial state.
I then reached agreement with a shop in Miami to rebuild my motor for $8,900. I purchased LN’s deep sump, spin on filter and IMS retrofit kits, Fabspeed headers and SportCats and paid to have them installed. Installation of the LN and Fabspeed components worked out fine but the rebuild did not go well. It was very difficult to get any status reports and have calls to them returned. When I did get the car back, I got multiple CELs and then the low oil pressure light started coming on when I lifted off the throttle at low speeds like when pulling into or out of the garage. I took the car back several times in the first 1,100 miles and each time got fresh assurances that everything was fine and I should have no concerns about driving the car as I had before. The engine blew soon after, catastrophically this time - D chunked cylinder, damaged carrier, ruined crankshaft. After much arguing, the proprietor said he would make it right by rebuilding it again once he could find a used core in good condition. That was a relief but I soon started having serious doubts about how they could get it right the second time and how much faith I’d have in the finished product. I considered selling it at a significant loss once the engine was back in it but didn’t feel comfortable selling something I had no faith in to an unsuspecting buyer.
It was time to talk to Charles and Jake again. I arranged a 30 minute consultation call with Jake one evening. I learned that there was a significant difference in scope between FSI’s rebuilt motors and the low cost option shops’ offering. I didn’t know how much of a difference at that point but my interest was piqued enough to cash in some FF miles to fly up and visit FSI’s shop to meet Jake and his team. If only I had done this in the beginning.
Jake was very personable and gave me a tour of their shops. While unimpressive from the outside, the shops are spotless inside and filled with machine tools, dynos, test gear and M96 and Porsche air cooled engines in various states of dis- and re- assembly. The store rooms are meticulously organized. The differences between FSI and the outfit and Miami could not have been starker. He then gave me a detailed description of what constitutes a FSI rebuild (more later). Here again, the differences were like day and night. I went with the Stage II 3.8 option on my car because I planned to continue to use it on the track. Jake prepared a proposal on the spot. I signed it and paid 50% upfront. He gave me a 12/9/11 completion date, we shook hands and I left for home.
The Miami outfit subsequently reneged on their offer to provide either a working, rebuilt engine or to ship the disassembled engine plus the replacement core parts to Jake. So I was out the $8,900 plus around $4,600 for a replacement casing half, crankshaft, carrier and IM shaft. Jake, Charles and Dean spent a lot of time running down those ever harder to find parts for me at little or no markup.
I noticed another huge difference between FSI and my other experiences right away – communication. I started getting status update emails and phone calls from Jake and Dean within a week ok of inking the deal. This continued throughout the build process. This was a totally new experience for me. I had to drive back and forth to Miami (over 70 miles round trip) three times when I couldn’t get return calls from the first group I used. The update emails from FSI included photos and, later, audio and video clips and dyno reports. What a difference!
The video file from the dyno run sounded wicked. The 319 h.p. and 284 lb/ft of torque at the rear wheels were pretty impressive also. The 11/9/11 status email reported that Jake had road tested the car for almost 300 miles, the oil and filter had been changed, the old oil tested and the car was ready to ship back to me. A month ahead of schedule! I got an invoice for the final 50%. Not a penny more than quoted and ahead of schedule. How often does that occur in the auto repair / modification industry? The car was delivered four days later and it is nothing short of outstanding.
I obviously love the car and have since I bought it. I never thought I would own a Porsche and I get a huge smile every time I walk in the garage and see it, much less drive it. The FSI motor raises it another level entirely however. It starts right up every time and idles so much more smoothly than it did before the troubles. It revs so very freely and smoothly it is hard to describe. The mechanical noises it makes at low speeds are wonderful. It is so tractable on the open road and in traffic. My road cars for the past 32 years have all been BMWs and all have had manual transmissions as does my current 135i. My wife has driven them all and drove the P-car prior to the troubles. I picked her up at the airport the second day I had it back and tossed her the keys. She drove off and into the South Florida evening traffic as smoothly as in any of the Bimmers. Completely tractable and so smooth (talking about the car here).
You would never know it is such a high performance engine -until you exert some downward pressure with your right foot that is. Then it is Katy bar the door as it gains speed in a hurry. It revs quickly and smoothly and torque increases rapidly from 3200 rpm up through the 284 lb/ft max at 4500 before leveling off. It remains above 250 past 6000 rpm. Horsepower is extremely linear with the 319 peak coming at 7000 rpm. It is 312 or so at 6500 which is where I will be shifting on the track. Two of my track buddies have driven the car since it has been back from FSI. We swap cars occasionally (heavily modified Boxster & Caymans S’s) and all had driven mine prior to the engine failing. You have to see the looks on their faces when they climb out of mine now. It is unbelievable. The proprietor of a well known independent Porsche racing / performance operation in Riviera Beach drove the car also. He replied simply “very impressive, very impressive” when I asked his opinion after he drove mine. This man has driven many high performance Porsche race and road cars.
My original impression of Jake and Flat 6, based on that initial phone call could not have been more wrong. The FSI program is much, much more comprehensive than any of the outfits I spoke to and light years ahead of Vertex Automotive. The cost of the new parts (that FSI includes) alone must be 2 – 3 times what the “cheaper” alternatives provide. Factor in the engineering and R & D expended developing these solutions to the additional parts, associated additional labor, plus the crankshaft magnaflux inspection, the driveline balancing, dyno runs, road testing and first oil change and FSI’s higher cost is actually a great deal.
Don’t get me wrong, $17k - $21k is a lot of money to most of us but it represents significantly greater value than spending $10k for any of the supposedly “cheaper” alternatives. I have a very high degree of confidence that my motor will be as reliable as it is powerful. I’ll bet not all owners of M96 engined P-cars share that confidence – especially those that have had, or know one or more others that have had, M96 motor failures. It cost me 14,000 hard earned dollars to learn that lesson. Hopefully my experience can keep another Porsche 996 lover from taking a similar bath. Most impressively, Raby and the team have developed their engine program so thorougly that all my power improvements were accomplished without any ECU/ software modifications. I extend my sincerest thanks to Jake, Dean, Blake and everyone else at FSI / RED as well as to Charles Navarro and his team at LN Engineering. It is great to see American companies investing in the development of new and improved products all the while maintaining the highest quality levels and ethical business practices.
Greg Morrison's 3.4 after a 3.6 Big Bore Reconstruction...
My 2000 996 arrived home a week ago today with its brand new FSI Performer engine. What a transformation! I expected noticeably more power given the increase in displacement from 3.4L to 3.6L, a bump in compression,and the “DE” head modification package, but the difference is truly remarkable.I should have anticipated this given the dyno results that Jake had shared, but there’s no substitute for feeling it. While freshly assembled and still filled with break-in oil, the engine cranked out 246 ft lbs. of torque and 286 horsepower at the tires on the initial run. Those figures aren’t far from the factory 3.4L at the flywheel. Despite 90,000 miles and three summers of DEing, my original stock engine was still putting out 233horsepower. Nevertheless, the leap of over 50 horsepower is amazing.
"The torque curve is extraordinarily flat, breaking above the200 ft. lbs. level by 3,000 RPM and steadily climbing to the 246 peak around6,300 RPM. No red line necessary to move this car around the track at a snappy pace."All this, by the way, with a completely stock intake system,stock ECU (no re-mapping), as well as stock headers, cats and mufflers—I should clarify, these are the originals, too. The performance gains are solely attributable to upgrades internal to engine. Wanting a higher-performance engine for the track that would be long-lived, while also friendly to drive on the street and for extended road trips since I spend a lot more time on the highway than the track. Despite this being a tall order, I’ve gotten exactly the performance that I am after.
I'm heading to Mid-Ohio this weekend for MORPCA’s Driver’s Education event. I can hardly wait to get re-acquainted with the car at thetrack and continue breaking-in the engine.
Thank you Jake, Blake, Dean and the rest of the crew!
My name is Jack Koch and I live in Vancouver WA. Like you, I had serious concerns with the warranty section of my proposal for a rebuild of my 98 Boxster engine.
I chose to make the leap of faith after talking with friends who are big air cooled VW fans. They knew of Jake’s work and told me he is known for doing great work and “Making it right” if his work did not stand up.
I received my engine and had it installed locally and it purred like a kitten until the 8k mark. The engine suffered from a bad lifter that actually blew out of the valve cover and my heart stopped. Jake was very apologetic and attempted to work with qualified local shops to do the repair at his expense. Due to the lack of knowledge about the Boxster engine he could find no one that was willing to do the work. I talked with Jake and he informed me that he would fly out and do the work personally to make it right. He arrived and not only with the parts (camshafts, lifters and carriage) for the damaged side but also for the other side to make sure had I had no more issues. He completed the work and I have been driving my Boxster trouble free to work every day since. The repairs Jake made were over 20k miles ago and my engine is purring like a kitten.
If you would like to discuss my experience with Jake / Flat 6 over the phone just let me know.
Flat 6 Innovations saves another M96Engine from catastrophic failure with the IMS Bearing Retrofit kit!!!!
My 20032.7 Boxster had covered 49,000 miles and was in at an official Porschedealership for a routine service. During the service they noticed a small leak from the engine - the infamous rear main seal. I booked it in for repair and once the gearbox was off, it was also apparent that the intermediate shaft bearing retaining bolt had sheared off.
The car was running absolutely fine when it went on the ramp but we didn't dare fire it up it again knowing this! To fix this I was told by my dealer the engine would have to be stripped down and a completely new intermediate shaft fitted(Porsche don't sell the bearing on it's own). COST for parts and labour -6000GBP!
Needless to say I was not impressed and after asking around on the internet I came across flat6innovations. Their IMS retrofit kit addressed this issue - not onlydo they have the kit and the know-how, but Jake identified the type of IMS bearing from pictures I sent him, advised exactly what tools were required, how to do it and shipped me the kit to the UK within days. GREAT customer service!
Porsche fitted the new IMS for me (the techs were gathered round while it as being done!) and I have the car back. It runs as well as it always did, but with peace of mind that the IMS bearing is a quality item and the retaining bolt isat least twice as thick. It's as Porsche should have designed it!
COST for this repair - 650GBP including parts, tools, labour, overseas shipping and taxes!!! I am a very happy customer!