944 Cabriolet turbo engine swap - Rennlist - Porsche Discussion Forums


944 Cabriolet turbo engine swap

Old 12-10-2017, 09:54 PM
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Default 944 Cabriolet turbo engine swap

Hi, I bought a 1991 cabriolet without an engine (engine blew 10 or 12 years ago and was removed but never replaced) and plan on putting a turbo engine in. I also purchased a complete 1996 turbo engine with a great service history and 91k on it. I have searched this subject of turbo swap and 90% of the answers are very negative. I am looking at the car and the engine and really can not imagine what could be so hard. If anyone has some insight other then "buy a 951 it will be cheaper", which is wrong, It would be appreciated.
My plan for the car (181k on the chassis) is to make it into a nice example of a 944 cab. I am not looking for crazy hp #'s, 275-300, to try and keep it reliable.
I will start with the mechanical s. Replace rubber brake lines and possibly rebuild calipers. New bearings for the torque tube. Seal rear end. All new fuel hoses, pumps and filter. Once the car is running I can better evaluate the rest of the suspension.
Any thoughts on engine maintenance before install would be appreciated since I am not too familiar with this engine. Recent service (with in last year) includes rebuilt turbo, engine oil cooler gasket, head gasket, starter and belts. Unfortunately the water pump was not done so it will need to be replaced (not many miles since last replaced but many years). I also plan on getting a lower reseal kit and rod bearings.
One item that popped up frequently on the service history was various coolant hoses. I plan on replacing them with silicone to hopefully prevent this. I am not looking to rebuild the engine so I am not going to replace rings, rods, grind valves etc.
At this time I see no additional work or parts needed (other then coolant tank) to do a turbo swap compared to putting a S2 engine in. If there is something I am missing please let me know.
I will try and get some pictures up soon. I am also considering a youtube series going through the swap in detail if there is interest in it.
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Old 12-11-2017, 01:06 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Posts: 41,775

all the parts bolt in, no problem there.
the stumbling block for most folks is the wiring changes between the 8v/16v chassis, but even that is pretty straightforward.

OR, you could take an easier step and get a plug-and-play aftermarket ECU that will plug into your car's existing engine harness but still be able to handle/tune for the boost you expect to see.
I use the VEMS system and you can get it from rennlist user "Raceboy", it is an excellent system.

side benefit is that VEMS is a MAP-based system rather than the ancient flapper-door AFM like the 951 or 944S2 use, so removing that big restriction from the intake tract will make the turbo spool faster and will unlock power/torque across the RPM range.
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Old 01-21-2018, 12:00 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Tacoma WA
Posts: 170

I have done this swap and as V2Rocket said it is bolt in. I have a question do you mean 1986 engine?if so then your wire harness will make it a bit more difficult but still quite doable. I used an 86 engine harness and I had to do a little hacking to get the gauges working. you will also need to bypass the ignition amplifier that is on the driver side. the other issue will be wiring for the electric water pump for the turbo. If you go with an aftermarket dry turbo then you can use the S2 coolant resivor and not worry about wiring for the electric water pump.
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