If my opinion counts for much, I’ll firmly state: the Porsche 911 is the quintessential “sports car.” Almost inexplicably, it exists in its own arena, filling the void between supercars and their road-going high performance consumer-tier counterparts. Porsche has made it clear that their entire ethos centers around driving enthusiasm, racing pedigree, and heritage in a way no other brand seems able to emulate. And, to ice the cake: despite Porsche’s insistence to keep the engine at the back of the 911, they’ve still managed to create a machine quite renowned for its handling. Even Porsche isn’t infallible though, having to make sacrifices of performance in the name of streetability and customer satisfaction. That’s where Joey Seely of Emotion Engineering steps in once again.
Joey has spent the last decade-or-more perfecting his craft: suspension tuning on Porsche’s crown jewel, the 911. The latest project at Emotion plays to Joey’s talents, of course, receiving a slew of components to set it apart from your average, if one dare says, GT3. Initially, the GT3 owner’s request for Joey was simple: a “Stage 1” suspension setup. As Joey explains, while every customer’s setup is tuned to their needs, a “stage 1” setup primarily implies a spring swap. Spring frequencies from the front to rear of the GT3 are not ideal from the factory, but new springs paired with a set of sway bar drop links help to plant and corner balance the 911 properly.
Joey kept the client informed and educated throughout the installation and suspension tuning process, and it didn’t take long before the customer was eager to kick things up a notch. “Stage 2” brought solid spherical bushings and adjustable radius arms to the car. “This rids the car of any unwanted rubber deflection under load and allows me to position the wheel anywhere in the wheel arch I want, in order to optimize wheel clearance and front track. This allows me to widen the front track as much as possible without rubbing, and the result is sharper steering response and a better front platform that enhances rear grip,” Joey explains. To balance out the front, the lower control arm and the rear toe steer arm were upgraded with spherical bushings, too, all in the name of reducing deflection under cornering loads.
Joey admits that the client’s enthusiasm continued to pick up as the build went forward. After the second round of modifications, Joey and his client decided to go even further. The client expressed some concern of getting “too carried away,” a milestone all-too familiar to Joey with his own projects. The mentality for the GT3 became “dual purpose” – something usable on both the street and the track, without compromise to performance but able to provide peak driving enjoyment through all of the street time its sure to see.
The rest of the car’s rubber bushings were converted to spherical bushings, and then Joey turned to the brakes. Brembo Type 5 front rotors and Type 3 rear rotors replaced the stock steel counterparts, and his own high performance street/track brake pads were installed. Joey took the time to explain the nuances of custom brake pads: “I had the pads developed because I was never satisfied with performance street pads. Nothing on the market really satisfied me and what my clients were looking for. I needed more bite and higher thermal limits and consistency at high temps while not making too much noise for street use.” While most would search for the right pad, and settle for what works best, Joey has taken the extra leap to fine-tune a brake pad to his own liking: all part of what has become known as the “Seely Setup.”
E88s were an obvious choice for the car, both for their obvious motorsport heritage, and also for their rigidity. With so much effort invested in minimizing suspension deflection on the GT3, it was important not to skimp on wheels and negate the benefits earned thus far. Reduced unsprung mass plays a key role too. The width and offset of the wheels required some finesse to fit: thanks to substantial suspension adjustability, and lots of experience, Joey was able to easily fit 911 GT3RS tire sizes under the stock fenders.
To complete the Seely Setup, they ditched the stock dampers and fitted Moton 3-way Motorsport dampers, which were of course matched to Joey’s hand-selected spring rates that were installed at the project’s start. Remote reservoirs can offer a few challenges to mount, so Joey opted for his own custom-designed and 3D printed mounts. As a lighter option to the more common aluminum mounts on the market, they eliminate the possibility of over-torquing the reservoir, a massive benefit that will keep the units from failing, should anyone service the car with less care. The front units are mounted under the car’s hood, and the rears are mounted directly inline with the air flow path of the rear wheel well, ensuring it stays cool despite its proximity to the exhaust manifolds.
With the suspension install finalized, Joey turned to finishing out a few interior tidbits, as requested by the client. Recaro seats with custom pink alcantara inserts, and a matching roll bar in the back half of the car, add some admittedly wild color to the interior, but as the color of the client’s brand which affords such a build, it was yet another obvious choice. Joey installed a set of silver Schroth harnesses to add a touch of contrast to the interior, and with that, the project is complete. With the client’s penchant for going above and beyond, we’re wondering: is this the last we’ll see of this GT3? I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see.