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Hello all. I love this forum - great job!

I took the plunge and bought a 2002 911 Cab last week and have been eating, sleeping and dreaming Porsche ever since - woohoo! No, I am not in my 20's - just feel like it again. I do have a question for the veterans out there, please chime in on this too Loren. I have read every post I could find herein related to this subject and even thought the last guy was ridiculed, I would like to ask for a bit more info than is presently available.

What are the optimal shift points for 911s (in RPMs) for casual driving?

I have owned a Honda prelude, which I shifted around 3k, but that was many years ago (yes I know - no comparison!). My last vehicle was a Chevy Tahoe and before that a TrailBlazer, etc - all automatics.

I want this car to last, but want to enjoy it as well. Is shifting at 3.5 to 4k too high for everyday driving? Meaning shifting thru the gears so that the car is usually in the 3-4k RPM range. I plan to drive it daily, which includes a lot of city driving and consequently a lot of shifting.

What RPMs do Porsches like to cruise/operate at? It 65-70 miles per hour too slow for 6th gear? Where should I be worried about bogging the car out? It seems to be ok going up slight inclines at 2-2.5k RPM's without trying to accelerate - should I be in a gear below though? My goal is to keep from unnecessarily wearing the car with high RPMs, but I don't want to put stress on the drivetrain from not enough power either. What is the best RPM range for non-spirited, everyday driving?

Please let me know your experiences/opinions.

Thanks,

Travis

Edited by twiins
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After 2 911's and now a Boxster S, I have found the best place to drive is with the tach pointing straight up. It's not the best for gas mileage, but you bump the thottle and it goes. Porsches were meant to be driven and I think if you experiment you'll find you own sweet spot. The tach straight up doesn't get much better.

Pure Fahrvernuegen!

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What are the optimal shift points for 911s (in RPMs) for casual driving?

Please let me know your experiences/opinions.

Okay, I'll bite on this one, but I'm not a resident expert or anything. First off, welcome to the forum and congratulations on your new 996! I got mine in June and I still find myself going out on errands for no good reason - wandering into the garage for the hell of it - sometimes listening to music in the driver's seat while parked in the dark... sometimes awestruck by how cool the cockpit is at night. I'm not 20 either, but yep, I get it.

"Optimal" is all relative without a qualifying context - and your context was "casual driving." So, first looking at "casual driving" I would assume that you want comfort for yourself and your passenger, as well as power on tap - a good balance between minimizing engine wear and maximizing performance.

Personally, I find it very comfortable driving in the 3k range. I tend to run it in the 2.6k - 3.4k range in general. With cruise control set, I'd have it in 6th gear, as long as it's above 2k rpms or so - running at a steady speed on relatively flat terrain. I don't think you're risking lugging the engine on this car above 2k.

Shift points for me tend to be in the 3.5k - 6k range, depending upon how much fun I want to have. Needless to say, you can run it up to 4-5k rpms all day long and shouldn't do anything negative to the engine, besides lower your mpg a bit. Most important is to never run the engine hard in the first 10 miuntes or so after cold-start - make sure the oil is good and warm before using even more than 1/2 throttle. Regarding redline - I'm not a redline junkie, but I figured redline is okay if the engine is designed for the rpms. However, I've decided that I don't plan to run to redline as often as I did when I first got the car...

Okay, so (perhaps off-topic) "optimal" as relates to maximum acceleration - I'm thinking redline doesn't necessarily maximize speed in this car. The power curve seems to pick up so strongly above 4.2k rpms - that shifting as early as 6k rpms probably still provides nearly maximum power and acceleration, with plenty of room for error, without going all the way to redline. I know that the fuel cutoff will protect the engine - but it also logs a redline "event" into the OBC every time you do it - and I'd prefer to keep that to a minimum on the (warranty) engine.

This is more of a personal decision, frankly - and I don't think it's vitally important to engine health except "use your head" and don't try to drive the engine into the ground. I hope you find your optimal and share back with the group sometime in the future.

Regards.

Edited by eDoug
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What are the optimal shift points for 911s (in RPMs) for casual driving?

Please let me know your experiences/opinions.

Okay, I'll bite on this one, but I'm not a resident expert or anything. First off, welcome to the forum and congratulations on your new 996! I got mine in June and I still find myself going out on errands for no good reason - wandering into the garage for the hell of it - sometimes listening to music in the driver's seat while parked in the dark... sometimes awestruck by how cool the cockpit is at night. I'm not 20 either, but yep, I get it.

"Optimal" is all relative without a qualifying context - and your context was "casual driving." So, first looking at "casual driving" I would assume that you want comfort for yourself and your passenger, as well as power on tap - a good balance between minimizing engine wear and maximizing performance.

Personally, I find it very comfortable driving in the 3k range. I tend to run it in the 2.6k - 3.4k range in general. With cruise control set, I'd have it in 6th gear, as long as it's above 2k rpms or so - running at a steady speed on relatively flat terrain. I don't think you're risking lugging the engine on this car above 2k.

Shift points for me tend to be in the 3.5k - 6k range, depending upon how much fun I want to have. Needless to say, you can run it up to 4-5k rpms all day long and shouldn't do anything negative to the engine, besides lower your mpg a bit. Most important is to never run the engine hard in the first 10 miuntes or so after cold-start - make sure the oil is good and warm before using even more than 1/2 throttle. Regarding redline - I'm not a redline junkie, but I figured redline is okay if the engine is designed for the rpms. However, I've decided that I don't plan to run to redline as often as I did when I first got the car...

Okay, so (perhaps off-topic) "optimal" as relates to maximum acceleration - I'm thinking redline doesn't necessarily maximize speed in this car. The power curve seems to pick up so strongly above 4.2k rpms - that shifting as early as 6k rpms probably still provides nearly maximum power and acceleration, with plenty of room for error, without going all the way to redline. I know that the fuel cutoff will protect the engine - but it also logs a redline "event" into the OBC every time you do it - and I'd prefer to keep that to a minimum on the (warranty) engine.

This is more of a personal decision, frankly - and I don't think it's vitally important to engine health except "use your head" and don't try to drive the engine into the ground. I hope you find your optimal and share back with the group sometime in the future.

Regards.

Thanks for the insight, it is much appreciated. There really is not a whole lot from Porsche (or any other technical source) on the internet about the optimal rev range for 966s. Suppose I am being cautious because I just got it and want it to last - while still enjoying it. Will do on the post, once I get used to the car.

Best,

Travis

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In my opinion (and there is no absolutely correct answer here):

For casual driving, I usually keep it around 2500 rpm. As I accelerate, I rev up to 3500 and then shift to the next higher gear.

As you noted, it all depends on load. Load can happen by you applying more fuel to the engine or by you going up/down a hill. So the above guidelines are for casual driving on a flat road. If you are going up a hill, you need to rev up to a higher RPM (say 4000) before shifting up.

From here, you should experiment, listen and feel the engine, it will tell you if it is lugging or too loaded up for any given RPM. I can tell you that as you fine tune your driving style, that there is actually a slighty different optimal shift point for each gear - and not a constant set of rules for all 6 gears.

I have had my car for 5 years and still enjoy driving it every day... :)

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I've had a 2000 C4 6spd and now a 2004 C4S Tip that my wife and I share. Both cars rev freely and I seem to get most out of both by pushing them to the red line now and again. I found that these cars are pretty resiliant. Casual driving in the 3,000 rpm range does it for me.

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