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Buying a 944 and wanting a fun project to modify

 
Old 03-12-2019, 03:10 PM
  #16  
tempest411
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I know these cars are wonderful handling cars, and awesome on the track, but that's irrelevant. What ever you put on the track is going to be destroyed, sooner or later, and there aren't so many 944s around that I think it's wise to use them for that. On top of that, the parts supply chain is more costly and less robust compared to other cars out there. I also know Camaros and Mustangs are garbage out of the box, but that is also irrelevant. They can be modded pretty easily to do the job as your abilities as a driver grow. And one aspect that is very relevant is that they're CHEAP! That's pretty important when you know your car has to be disposable.
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Old 03-12-2019, 03:27 PM
  #17  
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Originally Posted by tyler corder View Post


right now I'm looking for a car I can keep for a long time,but also modify and put time into, I'm being taught performance driving by my father who learned at bob bondurants racing school and has over 40 years of sports car and performance driving experience, and I'm stepping into this 944 from about a year or so of hooning around in a miata. Thanks for the response,I really appreciate it.
Welcome to the addiction.
So you are going from one of the most popular entry level track cars to the other. I have heard Miatas are an absolute blast on the track and relatively cheap to get into so many people use them. The problem for me is that I am 6'4" and just do not fit in them. Bummer too as I have driven the wifes and they are just a very quick car both in acceleration and direction changes. Based on my limited experience with both [I have both a 2006 Miata (wife's) and 1987 944na (son's) in the driveway right now], the 944 is fun but nothing compared to the miata in terms of sheer responsiveness (pro's here correct me if that is not a valid statement for a properly sorted 944). 944 is old and tired(193k mi) though so surely needs full suspension rebuilt to be at it's best. The miata is lightning quick response to throttle and steering input, the 944 is more relaxed in response but is extremely composed and balanced. Given the almost 30yrs in age difference it is about what I would expect and I find the 944 more forgiving of sudden (new driver) actions. For now for my 16yr old inexperienced driver it is plenty quick enough so I am not going to make it any more sporty just yet.

One thing I really love about the 944 is that they are are easy to work on, and with some thrifty internet shopping you can keep the costs down doing the work yourself. We spent $1800 for a running car, I have about $1k in parts into it for "manditory" like timing belts, plugs/wires/distrib, brake sensors, oil cooler seals, etc. Another $650 in all new tires and a used sett of 951 shocks/struts/sways. Car needs more, but we just hit things one at a time as they appear and he drives it to school daily. It has been a good learning experience for both of us and will help when I get digging into my 944 that just got moved into the garage for a long term project.

Another plus for the 944 is they are just damn sexy! Even my son's paint worn and faded one turns heads everywhere he goes! Miata's are a dime a dozen.
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Old 03-12-2019, 03:38 PM
  #18  
Dan Martinic
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Easy to work on? lol good one

I remeber changing a starter on a Volvo. Took all of twenty minutes--from the top.

I'll give you the sexy part though
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Old 03-12-2019, 03:48 PM
  #19  
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Originally Posted by Dan Martinic View Post
Easy to work on? lol good one

I remeber changing a starter on a Volvo. Took all of twenty minutes--from the top.

I'll give you the sexy part though
It has its quirks, I will give you that, but compared to recent cars I have worked on, I will take the 944 anyday. Nothing like having to remove your entire intake system (supercharger, cooling system, AC and all) to replace a starter... Then there is how cramped most modern car engine bays are, you cannot get in to take anything apart. I just found that the 944 has been pretty straight foreward to work on so far compared to modern cars. It's not a Chevy pickup with a small block 350, Holley carb and distributor, but not bad by any means. ( I will likely pay for this comment at some future time with my project car I am certain, DOH)
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Old 03-12-2019, 04:05 PM
  #20  
Dan Martinic
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When I first laid eyes on the 951 motor, I thought wow, you can pee on top and it won't drip underneath.

Now I know that's the plastic tray lol

I only seem to put my hands into either old cars or my wife's Kia, both of which are easier than most moden stuff I'm sure. But nothing in the 951 ever seems to go quickly or without an extra trip to the tool store. I finally learned why sockets come in three different lengths and multiple drive configurations.

PS my 951's starter factory heat shield is secured on top by one of the Torque Tube bolts.
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Old 03-12-2019, 07:35 PM
  #21  
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I can change the starter in my N/A in 20 minutes.
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Old 03-12-2019, 07:42 PM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by snb13 View Post
I can change the starter in my N/A in 20 minutes.
Not with a heat shield attached to the torque tube bolts

Lucky NAs!
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Old 03-12-2019, 08:19 PM
  #23  
911Dave
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Originally Posted by snb13 View Post
I can change the starter in my N/A in 20 minutes.
In a Triumph Spitfire you can change just about anything in half that time!


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Old 03-13-2019, 01:26 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by 911Dave View Post
In a Triumph Spitfire you can change just about anything in half that time!

Does that include pausing for a cuppa?
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Old 03-13-2019, 11:29 AM
  #25  
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Tyler
I have a car you may be interested in:
1988 924S 1 of 500 in US
alan dot stark five one at gmail dot com

69K mile
$ 4500.
https://www.pca.org/news/2018-10-16/...ll-be-shopping

https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/20...ne-is-for-you/
Scroll to bottom of article

This is a great driving car. It has nearly perfect balance. Equal weight front to back, right to left. You will not be overwhelmed by HP (160 ponies), but you will be seduced by how comfortable this car is to drive at speed. Balance is the word that comes to mind. I find driving this car intoxicating, itís that much fun. This car comes alive above 4K rpm. And, lets face it, at this price, with the maintenance this car has had, it should be tons of fun for a long time.
I replaced the soft fuel lines, including line from the fuel supply to the injector fuel rail.
I removed the fuel injectors, sent them to Witch Hunter Performance for rebuild and flow test (Results Below). Witch Hunter strips the paint off the injectors as part of their cleaning process. I painted mine Red to match the silicone hoses.
Replaced all vacuum hoses with red silicone hoses. There is one stock hose (from the ICV to the J Boot) custom hose from Porsche. I was so impressed with the factory hose clamps ( Oetiker) that I sourced and used them in the rebuild.
I ďnotchedĒ the dipstick bracket. The dipstick tube has an O ring at the bottom where it enters the engine block (Pix below). This O ring is often overlooked and not replaced. This can result in a loss of vacuum. (Old Porscheís seem to be sensitive to vacuum). As you can see, mine was deteriorating. By notching the tube bracket, it can be removed and the O ring replaced without taking apart the top of the engine. I cleaned and replace the gasket on the Air Oil Separator.
I cleaned the distributer, replaced the cap, rotor, and spark plugs (old ones looked fine, evenly colored, no deposits).
DME replaced with: Focus 9 Solid State Relay with Pump Prime. First, itís nice to have a solid state relay. When you turn the key to the run position, prior to turning to start the engine, the relay starts the fuel pump for 3 seconds. This pressurized the fuel rail and makes starting easier. The engine does not have to spin to get pressure up.
http://www.ftech9.com/new-products/993-ssr-pp

THE GOOD:,





Front shows reflection of garage

Passenger front shows reflection of garage




1 of 500 in US (aprox 500 additional cars world wide)
Has medallion on dash
Correct light weight fabric on doors
Factory increased Compression Ratio
Factory Increase Torque
M030 Suspension
Seats in car NOT original. (I have one original seat that came with car. Itís in poor shape). The drivers seat in the car has been recovered in cloth, not original.
Everything works (unless described below). Headlights pop up and work, turn signals, fan, radio (I have original faceplate), gauges, switches, all exterior lights work.

THE NOT SO GOOD
A/C dosenít work (frankly, Iíve had multiple Porscheís and the A/C didnít work in any 30 year old car).
This car is no garage queen. Frankly, I find that acceptable, I donít worry about parking lots.
The dash has the usual cracks. The clock does not work.
The keys have a difficult time in the ignition. I have a replacement lock and key set that comes with the car. I wanted to install it when I cleaned the grounds for the dash lights. The dash lights donít work, but all other and other console lights work. (in old cars, when I see electrical problems, I think: grounds...just me.)
Currently the car has an indwelling key. (My brother-in-law took a working key and made a top that looks like it came from the factory. This key stays in the ignition and always works, Removing the key will result in time to fiddle with the lock to get the key past lock. The fix is relatively easy R/R, parts are included with car:
http://www.clarks-garage.com/shop-manual/elect-25.htm

So, thatís it. Great driver, good bones, and cheap!

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Old 03-15-2019, 04:28 PM
  #26  
Wisconsin Joe
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Welcome. I would suggest spending some time reading through the forum. Go back, page by page and read threads that catch your eye.

Common issues will have show up more often than unusual ones (Captain Obvious, at your service).

The N/A 944 is actually pretty easy to work on. Turbos have much more of the 'layering' issue, where you have to take off three or four layers of parts to get to the one you want to replace.
They are also pretty decent cars to begin with, although not terribly powerful. There's not a whole lot you can do to soup up the motor, short of a V-8 swap, but as was noted above, a good slow car is a better learning tool than a bad fast one.

More or less in order:
Brakes, springs, swaybars, bushings, maybe a bit with the motor. You will also need a variety of safety stuff, depending on what sort of racing you want to do.
If you are going "full bore race car", I would suggest finding one that's more or less done.
The work and expense of converting a car is pretty significant. You can often buy one with a cage, race seat & harness, ect for a lot less than the cost of building one.

I'm going to disagree with those who suggest that risking a 'rare' 944 in a race environment is a bad idea. While there are 'collector grade' 944s, the car itself isn't that collectible. Keep in mind that there are 'collector grade' Pintos too. You won't see people paying 5 figures for a rusted out 944 shell with a VIN Plate & title. It's a fairly common car on the track, it has very good handling, even in stock trim, has replacement parts mostly available and the 'standard' upgrades are readily available.

They made a whole lot of them over the years. Really nice, low miles examples are not cheap, but you aren't looking for that. The 924 listed above is something that would fit your needs. You could go cheaper with something that needed more work, or more expensive for something nicer.
The nice thing about these is that there is a very wide range of cars available. From rusted out shells to pristine, ultra-low mile museum pieces.
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Old 03-15-2019, 08:17 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by tempest411 View Post
These are interesting cars to be sure, but I'm not sure why anyone would put them on the track. At this price point a Camaro, Mustang, or Charger would make a lot more sense. Far more plentiful and easy to get parts for. And if you total it, so what? It's not like a Porsche that's been out of production for over 30 years...
LOL, Take yours there, you will know why after that.

T
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Old 03-15-2019, 08:18 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by Van View Post
Leave the car alone - invest in seat time at the track. Get coaching. Get data. These will make you faster, and that's how you'll impress your friends and get the ladies.


T
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Old 03-15-2019, 08:33 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by tyler corder View Post


on the car I'm looking at all the bushings don't urgently need to be replaced,but I am thinking about doing all the bushings when I'm putting in the coilovers and new swaybars just to get it all done, and I'm planning on doing basic matinance like fluids and brakes and stuff already, do you know what bushings I'll need and where to find them? That would be extremely helpful, thanks for the response.
Tyler, others will have different opinion, sure, but if I were you, I'd look for the late offset car.
The improvement in just the fuse/relay center and the later car's wiring upgrade alone are worth it.
Not to mention the electronic speedo vs cable, easily removable nose panel, aluminum suspension components and the availability/price of better wheel choices.
The 88 NA will have the higher compression engine too, so, if you are eventually doing some track events, you have the most desirable base engine to upgrade.

T
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