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Should You Keep Your Air-Cooled Porsche Stock or Modify it?

The stock steering wheel or a MOMO steering wheel for your air-cooled Porsche?

When you first acquire your air-cooled Porsche 911, the first thing you want to do is to modify it to make it your car and a steering wheel change-out is where you start.

I acquired my 1986 Porsche Carrera 3.2 in 1998 and made two immediate modifications: 1) added a MOMO steering wheel and 2) removed the stone guards. You can see the stone guards in the actual ad from when I purchased my first, and still-owned Porsche 911.

Now, 22 years later I decided to take my Porsche back to its as-delivered state by reinstalling the original steering wheel and putting stone guards back on the car as you see were originally on the car as shown in its "for sale ad" as shown below when I found and purchased the car.

MOMO Steering Wheel on Porsche 911 Carrera
MOMO Steering Wheel Installed on my Porsche Carrera

The steering wheel was changed back to the original wheel for driving reasons. My driving is mountain driving and since moving to the Blue Ridge Mountains, it has just seemed the MOMO steering wheel’s smaller diameter really made some of the sharp mountain turns a lot of work. Turning the small 13” diameter MOMO wheel without power steering is a lot of work.

I looked at the original 15” wheel thinking the larger diameter would make turning the front end an easier job. Plus, in looking at the Porsche COA my Porsche Carrera features the optional steering wheel with raised hub. It only seemed right to go back to stock.

So, the big question: how is the steering feedback? I am shocked to say it is a big improvement over driving with the MOMO steering wheel. The steering wheel is much closed to me with the extended hub and with the larger diameter wheel just feels better. Turning input is much more natural and it just feels more comfortable. I guess the Porsche engineers knew what they were doing and designed the proper wheel for the proper steering input. I still like the looks of the MOMO better, but the driving input and feedback is much better with the original Porsche steering wheel.

The second modification that I returned to stock was adding the stone guards back onto the car. I removed them when I bought the car because I didn’t think they were stock as most 911's I saw did not have them. The stone guards are not listed on the COA so I suspect they were a dealer-added option. They do show in the for sale ad when I purchased the car so I decided to add them back onto the fenders.

I’m torn on whether I like the car better with the stone guards as opposed to the cleaner look without the stone guards. I agreed with myself to live with it for a month or two and see how I feel about them as I live with the car.

What do you think; stone guards, or no stone guards?

Tags: Modified Porsche 911, Stock Air-Cooled Porsche 911

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