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Just bought a 'garage find' estate sale '83 944! HELP!!!

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Old 09-10-2017, 12:11 AM
  #1
Western_PA 944
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Exclamation Just bought a 'garage find' estate sale '83 944! HELP!!!

Hello all! First off I'm a Porsche 'newbie' here and just scored a 1983 944 that was part of an estate sale. The owner had multiple sclerosis and passed away some time ago and the executor of his estate sold it to me. The car was garage kept its entire life and has been parked in the garage and hasn't been run for at least the past 8 years. She has 75k on the odometer which I believe is accurate and the body is perfect with the exception of a few tiny scratches on the paint and there is absolutely no rust on her anywhere!

Here's where I'm a little concerned and would appreciate any good input/advice on how to proceed. The license plate on the car has a sticker that expired in 1997, but I was told that the car has not been used for around 8 years, but if they were wrong and it has been sitting since 1997 when the registration expired I'm worried that even just trying to crank the motor might cause damage... so I'm putting it out there to all of you that know wayyyyyyyy more than I do about Porsches. I really don't think it's been sitting since 97 though... there are some really nice Pirellis on there with almost 100% tread and no dry rot at all, so I'll let those out there more knowledgeable than myself let me know how I should proceed with this. I work on all of my vehicles myself but have never worked on anything that has sat unused for anywhere near as long as this 944 has, so I'd like to say THANK YOU in advance to whoever may be able to help guide me with this sweet car!
As found in the garage

Last edited by Western_PA 944; 09-10-2017 at 12:32 AM. Reason: Added phoyos
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Old 09-10-2017, 12:54 AM
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alex.rhodes
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Based off the registration sticker, i would estimate It's been off the road 20 years. Before you start it, you will want to change the timing and balance shaft belts along with the water pump. All of the fluids will need to be changed, along with the fuel filter, oil filter, air filter, spark plugs, cap and rotor. It will be a rough start trying to clear the old fuel out of the system and you will probably want to use techron or a similar fuel system cleaner in the first couple tanks to make sure everything is clean. The tires will also need to be replaced before you drive it. I might have missed a few and others will chime in.
Once you are at this point, i would recommend driving it for a while. Get to know the car and see what requires attention now and what you can put off for a bit.

Another suggestion is to see if you can locate any history on the car. Window stickers, old registrations, receipts or any other documentation can help along the way. Under the carpet in the back, should be to the drivers side of the spare tire you should find a sticker with a bunch of codes. If you can take a picture of that and post it here, we can decipher it and let you know what you have.

Congratulations on the car, it looks to be in pretty decent shape. As you start to bring it back to life make sure to take plenty of pictures.
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Old 09-10-2017, 10:43 AM
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fwb42
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^^^ Good advice. To add one more to your list, fuel lines! These cars do have trouble with them. Also welcome to Rennlist.
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Old 09-10-2017, 01:09 PM
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951Tom
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The tires should be date coded. That would help narrow down the time frame some.
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Old 09-10-2017, 01:28 PM
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Western_PA 944
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Good point... I'll do that!
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Old 09-10-2017, 02:32 PM
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Do not drive on those tires, they have aged out, period.
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Old 09-10-2017, 08:40 PM
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Air up the tires, put it on a flat bed wrecker and take it home..Then commence on the list above. Yours looks like it is much better shape than mine was..hope that you have a good time with it..
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Old 09-10-2017, 10:54 PM
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Curious why it has an extra rear fog lite ( looks like off a 914 ) under the bumper.... did it spend time in Europe ?

Agree with all of the above ^^^^^^^^

It needs to be saved
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Old 09-11-2017, 11:58 AM
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very nice looking car , that is a great colour . I am new to Porsche as well so can't help you on anything mechanical , but there is a thread around where someone found a similar car that had not been run in along time and he details all the steps he went through . his was very low mileage but the steps should be the same .

on when it was on the road last , i have 2 suggestions .
1 - check the mechanical inspection sticker ( assuming your area has one ) that should give you a better idea of when it was last driven .

2 - you could run a car fax , the one I ran on my car b4 i bought it , showed every time the Registration had been transferred and renewed for the entire life of the car . This won't tell you when it was last driven , but may help you figure out if the 1997 plate is right for the car , or if it is a plate the PO or someone in the estate just threw on the car .

not much help , but all i have .
nice find
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Old 09-12-2017, 12:14 AM
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Just got this sweet 944 to my place today! I decided to get it here on a flatbed, All 4 Pirellis held air (woo hoo!) and no problem rolling her into my garage. There was no battery in the car when I first looked at it, and I have no idea when it was removed, but both battery cable terminals are totally clean. I hooked up my jump starter pack to the cables, opened the door... AND THERE WAS LIGHT!! Key in the ignition - dash lit up, buzzers buzzed, turned on the headlights - they flipped open and lit up! Turned on the radio - the antenna rose up, and there was sweet music!!! Tried the power windows... and they both work! And that's all for today. Buying a battery tomorrow. Need to drain the fuel (if there's any in the tank - haven't even looked yet), replace the filter, get some good injector cleaner/fuel conditioner, gas her up, say a prayer, and turn the key. Stay tuned...


Finally got her in my garage!
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Old 09-12-2017, 06:34 AM
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morghen
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Did you read what the guys wrote above?
Don't turn the key until you changed the belts.
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Old 09-12-2017, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by morghen View Post
Did you read what the guys wrote above?
Don't turn the key until you changed the belts.
I had exactly the same situation with a very low mileage 928S that I picked up last year. Mechanics said it was like Russian roulette every time the car was cranked with that old timing belt. By the way, my car was inside for its entire life and sitting for 7+ years before I got it, and the fuel hoses had cracks when I had them replaced (with only 36K original miles). Make sure you do those, as it could be a life safety issue. The rubber hoses were never intended for the crap gas we get in the states, which almost always contains ethanol which dries and eventually cracks rubber.

Congrats on your score!! Looks sweet!
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Old 09-12-2017, 08:53 AM
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harveyf
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Whoa Cowboy! Like Alex Rhodes says, you best go through his list before you try and start (or even crank) this thing. If and when the old timing belt breaks, you'll bend valves and be in for a costly repair. I know the guys on reality TV get away with starting old cars but you are just asking for trouble if you put that at the top of your list. You'll going to want to do all the routine maintenance stuff regardless. Do it first, before even cranking the car. BTW Make Clarks-garage.com your very good friend. Extremely good tutorials on the maintenance actions you'll need. Go ahead and buy the Arnworx tool for adjusting the tension on the timing belt. Other than that and a set of "triple square" sockets, a standard set of metric tools should get you going. I would suggest that you could hand crank the engine by putting a socket and breaker bar on the nut that holds on the crankshaft pulley, just to pull it through a few rotations and make sure it's not frozen for some reason. But no starter motor until you change the timing belt. Good to hear that the electricals appear to be in good order. We're your friends here. Not trying to be negative. Just want you to have a happy experience with your new baby.

Somebody in Western PA with a 944 go over and give this guy a ride. Talk him off the ledge.
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Old 09-12-2017, 09:31 AM
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Scott at Team Harco
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Agree with the above idea of rotating the engine with a breaker bar. However, I would remove, at least, the upper belt cover and observe the movement while rotating the crankshaft. Better yet, have an assistant do the rotating while you observe.

You'll get a good idea if things are moving freely, or if there may be any binding. Regardless, replace the stuff with new parts before trying to start the car.

Nice find. Best of luck with the rehab.
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Old 09-12-2017, 09:43 AM
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Have we verified why the car has been sitting for 20 years? Before I did anything, I would make sure the current timing belt is intact before thinking about a belt change. A timing belt failure is quite a common reason to park these cars for long periods of time and if that's the case, it's not going to be as simple as just slapping on a new belt and going for a drive.
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