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Few ergonomic questions from a prospective buyer.

Old 12-22-2012, 04:37 PM
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wrinkledpants
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Default Few ergonomic questions from a prospective buyer.

Been looking at some SCs and 3.2s for awhile now since my beloved B5 S4 avant was totaled. To me, they're the last of the analog cars and they all pretty much look like sex, sound like sex, and drive like a dream. Couple questions I'm having a hard time researching.

G50 vs 915 tranny - if it were just me driving the car all the time, I wouldn't care which I had. But, my fiancee will likely drive the car a few times (when I need her SUV to get to the resorts in the winter, long road trips, etc), so it does seem to matter a bit which one we have. From what I've read, a well functioning 915 is a perfectly capable clutch. So, I have no issues with getting one up to speed if it needs it. I do find myself in stop and go traffic occasionally (we live downtown Denver). Is the difference between the two that much to matter given where I live and who is drivng it? My fiancee is an OK stick driver (drove my B5 S4 just fine), but not awesome. I've clutched my way up some stop and go mountain climbs before - so I'm willing to suffer a bit, but not sure the clutch is up to it. I guess I don't know what tangible differences there are between the two to know whether it should be a factor in the car search. My S4 made it to 200k on the original clutch when the motor was making 150 lbs of torque over stock (400 total). So - I consider myself to be a graceful driver in that regard and appreciate the idiocyncracies that each tranny comes with.

AC - read all about it. Are the AC units in the later cars enough that a well functioning unit will be adequate in Denver-type temps? I don't use AC often, but being stuck in traffic on a 95 degree day is not fun. And, while I'll happily suffer, the people riding with me don't always like to. I just can't tell if the later cars have adequate heating and cooling (I will be driving it in the winter) to make them attractive to a person who drives the car in all weather conditions, or if the SC cars with a few grand in AC upgrades would trounce the later versions. I plan on having the car for a *very* long time, so 1-3 grand for functioning AC isn't an issue. But - if the later cars will need a grand or more to be useful, then it doesn't seem like it should be a factor. I guess I'm unsure if all the fans that come on the later cars to move air around can be retrofited to earlier cars, the larger vents, etc. Seems like the earlier cars can get chilly if you're not moving because of the lack of fans. Since I live downtown and a lot of my driving is in the city - this seems like it might be important.

Lastly - M491. I've got a budget cap of mid 20s for a car, and want fat fenders and all the other lovely tid-bits that come on the M491 cars. I haven't seen many for sale lately, so I'm not sure if my budget will allow for a M491 that is reasonably clean (visually and mechanically). Coupe only, prefer black paint, but not against any of the other colors except the blue.

I'll be putting a rack on the roof, and I will drive this car for nearly every task you can think of - and love every minute of it. I drove my S4 hard to 200k miles - so this car won't be a garage queen or a weekend warrior. I won't drive in the mountains during a snowstorm, but it will see snow in Denver.

Thanks all. Sorry for the long read. Excited to find my car and start contributing here.
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Old 12-22-2012, 05:01 PM
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If you are looking for a daily driver you want the newest car your money will buy. Just my $.02 and welcome to Rennlist.
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Old 12-22-2012, 05:10 PM
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Well - maybe for most people. I won't be in it everyday as I commute by bike. So when I am in it, it's because I *want* to be. I could buy a 996 or a boxster since they're newer, but that's not the experience I'm looknig for. At the same time, there seem to be a few relatively minor differences between the later cars that could make a big difference in my driving experience.
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Old 12-22-2012, 08:14 PM
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In that case go for the gusto and get what your heart wants. We know I did. The 930 will not disappoint. ....and don't give a second thought to a well working 915 gear box. It's all part of the experience.
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Old 12-23-2012, 12:14 AM
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Go for the quality of the car, not which trans it has. The 491's will probably be out of budget. IMO, unless it's a real turbo, I like the NB cars better.
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Old 12-23-2012, 02:52 AM
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+1 on finding a real M491 for mid 20's, and if you do it might need some work to get to a dd level or reliability

911's don't make the best daily drivers, I can deal with mine on a daily basis but I'm 26 and have a strong back. Also I've owned cars without AC in AZ so the fact that the stock A/C doesn't work well over 90 doesn't bother me as well

Your wife is going to never want to drive the car just as a heads up, esp if its a 915, its not so much the shifting on a 915 thats overplayed mine shifts fine, but they do have a heavy clutch pedal that she won't like
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Old 12-23-2012, 01:25 PM
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Here are my thoughts on driving an air cooled 911 as an everyday car.

Some background:

I drove my '84 coupe everyday for 5 years and "retired it" last year for various reasons. I put thousands of miles on this car driving to work, picking up the kids, loading groceries in it, etc.

I had an '86 coupe for many years before that, drove the wheels off of it too. The 964 is still in the garage (and will be sold this spring) after 12 years of ownership. I went through an '02 Boxster, bought a new '08 Boxster and lived with a possessed 997 for 6 months before getting rid of that nightmare. I drank the Porsche Kool Aide...

What will happen is that since these air cooled cars are getting rare and hard to find, you'll search for 4 to 18 months trying to find that exact car that appeals to you. It'll cost a few bucks since these are no longer $10,000 or $15,000 cars anymore. Anything nice is over $20k to $25k. Anything you buy, regardless of it's condition, will need work. There is always something to repair or restore. Sooner or later, you'll have $30k into one of these things getting everything up to snuff to endure dailing driving.

You'll really enjoy driving it. A lot.

Then, some winter, some moron will do something stupid while they are texting or not paying attention and clober your poor air cooled car. Now, you're sitting in a 20+ year old car that may not be as safe as even a new Kia as a 4300 pound Jeep comes barreling at you. Think about that. It happened to me in my '08 Boxster and my current daily driver. My '84 has barely escaped collisions over the years (by the skin of my teeth the car was saved...). My '86 was hit in the rear and the paint never did match again. Drove me nuts...

The 911 will get hit. Possibly even pretty hard. Where do you take it to get it repaired? Most body shops these days don't even know what an air cooled 911 is, much less how to straighten the tub right.

Parts are getting rediculously expensive. Geez, new rear tail light assemblies can be over $500! Wait times can be long for certain parts (I waited 9 months for new OEM torsions bars from Porsche). Matching 25+ year old paint is hard (ask me how I know). Will your everyday insurance company be able to handle the costs involved in putting a classic Porsche back together correctly?

All of these cars rust at this point. I can show you pics of my galvanized '84's body with a hole through it under the rocker panels that was a surprise. That zinc coating does help quite a bit, but these cars still rust. My '86 endured 10 Wisconsin winters before I bought it. It was a rust bucket with bubbling paint, hard to work on corroded parts and fasteners, etc.

Do you have a good shop in your area to work on the car without long lead times? How much can you DIY? Do you have the tools, time and space to do maintenance on your old car?

Do you really want to go through all of that with such an old car as a daily driver?

Again, think about the old school safety factor of these old cars as you daily drive it.

Yeah, I love driving pre 964 cars. There is absolutely nothing like it. But, for the everyday slog to work or the grocery store, you're better off in a new 3 Series / C Class (if you prefer the German cars) or, yes, even a new Kia or Honda.

I've Been There, Done That with driving a 911 everyday. These cars are getting to be way too special and way too hard to find to drive 'em everyday surrounded by idiots on the road. Buy one, drive it hard on the back roads by yourself, show it, clean it, or race it on a track and enjoy the car that way.

That's my $.02.

Jay
'84 911
'90 964
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Old 12-23-2012, 04:50 PM
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In my opinion, avoid the 915. It's a very finicky transmission. It's fine if it's only you, because you can get used to the idiosyncrasies, but your wife will hate it. I know mine does.

I have to disagree with Jay on parts. Yeah, car parts in general are expensive, but between Rennlist, Pelican, and Sunset, I haven't found them out of line with other nice cars. And good body shops can fix damage, as I can unfortunately speak to from experience.
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Old 12-23-2012, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Graymills Craig View Post
In my opinion, avoid the 915. It's a very finicky transmission. It's fine if it's only you, because you can get used to the idiosyncrasies, but your wife will hate it. I know mine does.
I love the old school 915. But, +1 to the statement above. The wife will absolutely hate it...
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Old 12-23-2012, 07:49 PM
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and the wife won't drive it and that is a plus in my household....I drive my SC everyday for whatever, stores, errands or fun. Great all day car. The only time I take another is when we need 4 seats or the wife want to grocery shop.
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Old 12-23-2012, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Reiver View Post
and the wife won't drive it and that is a plus in my household....I drive my SC everyday for whatever, stores, errands or fun. Great all day car. The only time I take another is when we need 4 seats or the wife want to grocery shop.
+1, but I'd add the the only time I don't drive mine is also when I cn take my motorcycle.
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Old 12-24-2012, 12:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Jay H View Post
Here are my thoughts on driving an air cooled 911 as an everyday car.

Some background:

I drove my '84 coupe everyday for 5 years and "retired it" last year for various reasons. I put thousands of miles on this car driving to work, picking up the kids, loading groceries in it, etc.

I had an '86 coupe for many years before that, drove the wheels off of it too. The 964 is still in the garage (and will be sold this spring) after 12 years of ownership. I went through an '02 Boxster, bought a new '08 Boxster and lived with a possessed 997 for 6 months before getting rid of that nightmare. I drank the Porsche Kool Aide...

What will happen is that since these air cooled cars are getting rare and hard to find, you'll search for 4 to 18 months trying to find that exact car that appeals to you. It'll cost a few bucks since these are no longer $10,000 or $15,000 cars anymore. Anything nice is over $20k to $25k. Anything you buy, regardless of it's condition, will need work. There is always something to repair or restore. Sooner or later, you'll have $30k into one of these things getting everything up to snuff to endure dailing driving.

You'll really enjoy driving it. A lot.

Then, some winter, some moron will do something stupid while they are texting or not paying attention and clober your poor air cooled car. Now, you're sitting in a 20+ year old car that may not be as safe as even a new Kia as a 4300 pound Jeep comes barreling at you. Think about that. It happened to me in my '08 Boxster and my current daily driver. My '84 has barely escaped collisions over the years (by the skin of my teeth the car was saved...). My '86 was hit in the rear and the paint never did match again. Drove me nuts...

The 911 will get hit. Possibly even pretty hard. Where do you take it to get it repaired? Most body shops these days don't even know what an air cooled 911 is, much less how to straighten the tub right.

Parts are getting rediculously expensive. Geez, new rear tail light assemblies can be over $500! Wait times can be long for certain parts (I waited 9 months for new OEM torsions bars from Porsche). Matching 25+ year old paint is hard (ask me how I know). Will your everyday insurance company be able to handle the costs involved in putting a classic Porsche back together correctly?

All of these cars rust at this point. I can show you pics of my galvanized '84's body with a hole through it under the rocker panels that was a surprise. That zinc coating does help quite a bit, but these cars still rust. My '86 endured 10 Wisconsin winters before I bought it. It was a rust bucket with bubbling paint, hard to work on corroded parts and fasteners, etc.

Do you have a good shop in your area to work on the car without long lead times? How much can you DIY? Do you have the tools, time and space to do maintenance on your old car?

Do you really want to go through all of that with such an old car as a daily driver?

Again, think about the old school safety factor of these old cars as you daily drive it.

Yeah, I love driving pre 964 cars. There is absolutely nothing like it. But, for the everyday slog to work or the grocery store, you're better off in a new 3 Series / C Class (if you prefer the German cars) or, yes, even a new Kia or Honda.

I've Been There, Done That with driving a 911 everyday. These cars are getting to be way too special and way too hard to find to drive 'em everyday surrounded by idiots on the road. Buy one, drive it hard on the back roads by yourself, show it, clean it, or race it on a track and enjoy the car that way.

That's my $.02.

Jay
'84 911
'90 964
Awesome. Thanks for the response. I guess I should clarify what it'll be used for. I walk to the grocery store, ride my bike for errands, etc. I could easily go two weeks without driving my car because we live downtown and everything is walking or biking distance. I only drive to get myself to the front range to trail run, climb, hike, bike after work, or to get me out of the city on the rare occasion I need to get to the burbs for dinner with friends. My fiancee and I frequently would drive my S4 just to get out of town - and we'd just drive places and wander around. I *love* driving. Simply. Love it. So - when I say it's my daily - I mean it's driven maybe 3 times a week and it's after work for recreation. That's why it'll see maybe 6k miles a year. Since I do need my lady to drive it, and it *would* be nice to have some semblance of AC when my fiancee is looking hot and not wanting to sit and fester in traffic - the 87-89s seem to be looking more appealing. Sucks to have to narrow it down to the G50 and functioning AC (even if not that great), but I don't necessarily think those two things will detract from the essence that comes with driving these 911s. Thanks for the insight, fellas.
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Old 12-24-2012, 02:50 AM
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If you think an 87-89 has more functional A/C than an earlier, I hate to break the news to you.....any of the pre-90 911's are challenged in the A/C dept. My 993 is light years ahead of a 911's A/C, but it still isn't on pa with a '95 Ford, Chevy, etc.

Originally Posted by wrinkledpants View Post
Awesome. Thanks for the response. I guess I should clarify what it'll be used for. I walk to the grocery store, ride my bike for errands, etc. I could easily go two weeks without driving my car because we live downtown and everything is walking or biking distance. I only drive to get myself to the front range to trail run, climb, hike, bike after work, or to get me out of the city on the rare occasion I need to get to the burbs for dinner with friends. My fiancee and I frequently would drive my S4 just to get out of town - and we'd just drive places and wander around. I *love* driving. Simply. Love it. So - when I say it's my daily - I mean it's driven maybe 3 times a week and it's after work for recreation. That's why it'll see maybe 6k miles a year. Since I do need my lady to drive it, and it *would* be nice to have some semblance of AC when my fiancee is looking hot and not wanting to sit and fester in traffic - the 87-89s seem to be looking more appealing. Sucks to have to narrow it down to the G50 and functioning AC (even if not that great), but I don't necessarily think those two things will detract from the essence that comes with driving these 911s. Thanks for the insight, fellas.
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Old 12-24-2012, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Ed Hughes View Post
If you think an 87-89 has more functional A/C than an earlier, I hate to break the news to you.....any of the pre-90 911's are challenged in the A/C dept. My 993 is light years ahead of a 911's A/C, but it still isn't on pa with a '95 Ford, Chevy, etc.
+1
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Old 12-25-2012, 12:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Ed Hughes View Post
If you think an 87-89 has more functional A/C than an earlier, I hate to break the news to you.....any of the pre-90 911's are challenged in the A/C dept. My 993 is light years ahead of a 911's A/C, but it still isn't on pa with a '95 Ford, Chevy, etc.
So - do you think the differences between the 87 and pre-87 ventilation systems isn't enough to warrant me narrowing my choice?

It seemed that between the larger vents, footwell fans, and I thought some updated AC hardware - the car might be a bit more comfortable during those days where I might have someone else in the car with me. Can the earlier cars be fitted with these fans? I've read up on the AC upgrades that can be done, but thought I could get away with the stock unit on the 87 car if all the parts were functional - at least to take the edge off. I'm not looking to turn the car into a fridge like modern AC units.
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