where are the Porsche cayenne expo builds?


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Forgot to add, if only I keep the ride height on the highest setting offroad now, I'd be really happy.

I've searched the internet for how to do this, no luck.


Forgot to add, if only I keep the ride height on the highest setting offroad now, I'd be really happy.

I've searched the internet for how to do this, no luck.
If you mean to have the vehicle at the off road height but all the time everywhere, that is a terrible idea. it was not engineered to be driving around all the time at that height. It will handle like crap, be much less safe, and put a lot more unintended stress on various components.


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Another tire to consider is nitto Terra grappler g2. I've got 2 years and 10k miles on mine. Road performance is great for an all terrain, wearing evenly, and do well running trails in Colorado.


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Is it a terrible idea? I'm not sure how. The handling will be poor, I know. But the increase in ride height is very beneficial. The constant raising and loading puts strain on the compressor (I've had it over heat). The compression stroke of the suspension remains available, I am struggling to see how it is much worse than a lift kit (but happy to be educated on this). This is of use in dunes, when in a technical area and going up and down for short spells, by the time you get up the next slope the suspension has dropped just when you need the height for the next straight crest. The overide would be used only in these situations, not for long trips on trails. Currently I either get stuck or risk overheating compressor.

Ideally, you would find the speed feed to the suspension control, and fit cockpit switch to enable it be selected for these periods. I like the fact I can run the car at lower levels on road. Other choice would be swap the air for steel, which I really dont want to do.


keeping the struts extended decreases their ability to extend down for absorbing road changes. An IFS is designed to be at neutral most of the time, not extended. When you see trucks with "lift kits", they actually have new springs and shocks with longer travel. On an air suspension with no new components, it's no more than stretching those out .... so yes, terrible idea due to the design.

However, you had said "all" the time. If what you mean is to simply avoid the speed based auto-lowering, then I see what you mean. I have an aftermarket height controller that allows me exactly what you'd love. It's on demand multi-step from about -30mm to +25, +50, +70. The +50mm would be perfect for dunes like you say but honestly, you're probably driving a bit faster than is actually needed ;) even though it's fun.


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Yes you are right, I did say all the time. I did mean to say "be able to override on demand". I kind of get what you mean with lift kits and springs and shocks, its not ideal

Also agree, that possibly I am going too quickly, that's partly compensation for lack of talent (as well as fun). Some of the taller dunes require a run up, very annoying if the suspension drops down on you. I've really got the wrong car for the job, but kinda stuck with it now and trying to make it work.

This is what wrong looks like
you could argue that better technique would do more than a 20mm ride height lift, and you'd be right, but for a beginner its got to help.


[editted to say - I do appreciate the advice!]


I should've have also pointed out that I had a V10 Touareg for a while as well as 10 yrs now in an air suspended Land Rover Disco3. On the VW I used the BFG AT Ko 265/65-18. I really loved that vehicle, kick myself every few months for selling it but my needs outweighed the love ;) The Disco gives me over 16" under the sills and 14" under the rear differential but can still get under a standard 81" garage door with the Hannibal rack and awnings mounted. Plus it's fairly large inside which was the main problem in the Touareg.

I finally realized the Touareg was more of a very burly wagon than a softened truck. My disco3 actually is unibody on ladder frame, a hybrid of sorts that makes it more stout but also very heavy. Sand dunes would likely be tricky but the best tire is going to be tall profile so it can be deflated into long contact patch, this approach ends up better for most of our 4x4's unless it's purpose built sand racer.

Where have you been going for this sand running?

oops. i just realized you're using a Cayenne GTS. Similar air suspension and controls to my V10 I think from my many test drives in the Cayenne. What tire and size are you using?

New edit: i see the photos are near Abu Dabi. Incredible places in those photos! You mention above wanting to try 265/65-18. If you could fit it, the 265/70-18 would allow you a lot more deflation and probably really transform the sand capability. Not sure how the front fender liner area is on yours though. The V10 tdi had large cooling parts in there so tire size was limited on turning without doing modifications. Could be worth trying though for you with the terrain you're in so often.
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yep sorry, perhaps should have made my requirements and location a little clearer.

The Cayenne, including Air suspension is pretty much the same as the Touareg from what I can work out. I am currently running a 265/60/18s which are fine, no rubbing at all. The Cayenne I think is similar to the Touareg in terms of wheel arch space, and I have cooling on one side, what might be an issue. I know that the they ran the Transsyberia version with 265/65/18 (As you clearly have) so that seems easy. I think I would need to find a garage and get some 265/70/18s tested,, I'm really not sure they would fit. The tyres I run now are ATs, in fact I bought them just for sand, so a cheap road brand which meant soft sidewalls, and good deflation. Been working well...however, I've now started doing trails and I'm clearly going to get into trouble with them! The compromise is difficult it appears. But BFG AT Ko 265/65-18 seem like first choice, but trial fit a set of 270/65/18s first to see.

One of the problems in UAE is sourcing stuff and getting garages to work with you on odd requirements can be difficult or time consuming. Thats another factor, which has favoured the BFGs, they just seem commonly available.

Sounds like you've got it sorted. To be honest, I should probably be selling the cayenne and buying a nissan or Toyota out here, but sometimes its fun not to run with the crowd. Lets see how I get on. :) I''m not doing very hardcore routes, its more overlanding than offroading.

Certainly quite lucky to have good options locally to explore, which is why its so appealing.

thanks for advice.


I'm currently in the "feasibility study" phase of making an expo build on a 2004 Cayenne Turbo thanks to a lot of great information here and on Rennlist. I suppose I'm at about phase 4 now (acquire, shake down, maintenance, tires) and went with the BFG KO2s in 265/65/18.

In my case, it appears that someone has been in the inner fender liners before and lost some clips/fasteners. My guess is they were trying to clean the intercoolers, which looks like it's going to be a regular thing - mud and leaves just settle down in there and there's really no good way to get it out short of pulling the inner fender lines to expose the back and the bottom grilles to expose the front. The plastic was a little out of sorts, but even before getting all of the fasteners back in place (still waiting on a few clips/speed nuts) I was able to get acceptable clearance at all suspension heights:

I used a heat gun to soften the plastic and move it inwards (potentially back to where it was stock?). That pic is with the suspension at Normal. I'd really prefer to be able to run this height while on road with this set of wheels on and it appears to be fine now even on low. Once things are buttoned up I'll be taking it out for some light trail test runs before proceeding any further on this potential build.

I'm hopeful, but also realistic. This isn't my first time around doing something like this and with the benefit of age and the school of hard knocks I've learned to wade in slowly and make sure the outcome appears to be what I want and not just "well, I'm so far along I have to finish it now".

Obligatory full shot, but there's not much to see: it's dead stock with a set of tires on it's stock wheels:

Bonus light body damage on the back bumper and rear deck as I got rear ended in stop and go traffic a week after I bought it........Waiting on my PDR guy to look at the rear deck and mulling over whether I care enough to replace the rear bumper cover due to some scratches and gouges (thinking no). I was able to get just about everything back together acceptably on my own with minimal parts, so the insurance payout is covering the first part of this build.

Thanks again for all of the info in the thread so far. Now that I'm getting started on this I'll be reading regularly.


New member
That is close!

I have taken the lower spoiler offf mine and trimmed the liner so it is flush. I have already had it pulled off in sand after its caught

Will need to fit carefully and see then

Please keep us posted on your build i am sure there is a lot i could learn


I control the horizontal and the vertical
I enjoy seeing the "Alt-Rigs" on this forum. If I want to see a built Jeep or Toyota all I have to do is take a trip to the grocery store. There will surely be a few there to look at. ;-) Keep the Cayennes coming!
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Matthew Wells

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I've not been able to get on here much as we've been relocated for the last few months, but it's nice to see more and more people embracing the Cayenne for overland and offload duties.

As for tires, we started off with 265/70-17 (31.6") general Grabber AT/2's which lasted a good 45-50k miles. We've now switched to the new General Grabber X3's in 255/75-17 (32"). These are technically MT designated, but they were designed to reduce NVH, etc. I don't think they are any louder than the AT/2's were. I was worried about rubbing but decided to go for it. The AT/2's rubbed slightly at full lock when new. The X3's never rubbed at all. This is due to the fact that, though they are a bit larger over all diameter, they are also slightly narrower. So, at least in Grabber X3's, 255/75-17 is a 32" tire that will not rub with factory suspension geometry/height.

I will say this, and for some it will be very important. If you've not changed tire diameter on a truck before, know that it will have a large impact on acceleration/response/etc. I have a 6 cylinder which I'm happy with. I bought the Cayenne specifically to convert to an overland vehicle and it's fine for that. Changing to the 32" over all diameter has had a substantial effect on acceleration and response. The Cayenne needs to downshift more frequently and on less steep of inclines than with the stock tires. This doesn't bother me but for some it may get annoying. Also, when I bought the Cayenne it felt like I was driving a large, well performing car. It now feels, firmly, like a truck. That's not to say it's bad, just know what you're getting in to.

Having said all of that, I towed my 944 from Houston TX to Little Rock AR with my Cayenne equipped with the X3's. Total towed weight was around 4,500 lbs. The cayenne needed to downshift for most every hill but had no issues and was perfectly happy.

I apologize, as this is getting a bit long, but I want to say a few things about reliability. Many people have brought up reliability regarding the Cayenne. My advice is this. If you've worked on vehicles quite a bit and are willing to continue to do so with the Cayenne then don't hesitate to buy one. You will need a few special tools here and there but it's not difficult at all. If you take your vehicles to the dealer for every issue, do not get one. All vehicles wear and eventually things need to be replaced. Porsche charges very, very high prices for any service.

If you plan to work on it yourself you will be fine. Reliability/failure wise, I've done the following.
-Oil/filter change
-transmission fluid/filter change (requires Durametric to read a/t temp, weird process but not hard)
-engine air filter
-cabin air filter
-HVAC blower motor (failed around 110k miles)
-ignition coils (failed around 90k miles)
-spark plugs
-accesory belt
-Drive shaft (center bearing support failed around 100k miles)
-misc bulbs

I think that's about it. I'm now over 150K miles and rocking along fine. Most of the big failures I had all occurred around 100k miles. Nothing major for the last 40k or so.

I've posted about my Cayenne on page 42 of this thread. I realized the picture links had broken so I fixed them. We're in the process of making some large changes in preparation for our next trip (Badlands/Black Hills) in May/June. When those are complete I'll post about them with more pics on here.

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