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Possible new owner, should I take the plunge?

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Old 06-14-2018, 12:30 AM
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Troy Hellwig
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Default Possible new owner, should I take the plunge?

Hello, long time Saab owner here so Iím no stranger to turbo cars and tinkering. Iíve built a few, and modified a few too!

Brother in law law across the country has an 86 turbo he is ready to give me. He is a great friend, ready to sell a company he started and realizing after many years he cannot give the Porsche some love. Thatís the quick version!

car has been sitting since 2008 in Utah, and previous to that came from California. Has about 125k miles.

Not sure of rust, or if it is likely? It is probably not running, and he says it needs a new master or slave cylinder cause the clutch goes to the floor. It was running and driving when he parked it in 2008.

Ill need to ship it from Utah to Ohio!

What am am I getting myself into?!? Is there a thread of what to look for when buying? I couldnít find one in the useful links thread.

Any word of advice?
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Old 06-14-2018, 12:32 AM
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Troy Hellwig
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Adding some pictures!
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Old 06-14-2018, 01:22 AM
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Paulyy
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welcome!

Looks like it needs some love, Id start buy new belts, rollers, water pump, oil and filter and probably fuel filter before starting it. Id even consider changing fuel lines to the rail.
Rear wiper should be facing up, not right.
Rear light looks cracked.
Dash needs fixing.

These cars are galvanized so they don't rust. If there's rust, there's a serous issue (excluding battery tray)
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Old 06-14-2018, 05:20 AM
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Voith
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Looks like it needs some serious TLC. Other than that, dive right in. I owned SAAB 99 turbo too and if you're comfortable around SAAB, 944 turbo shouldn't be much different.
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Old 06-14-2018, 07:02 AM
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Chapman951
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Hopefully mice or rats have not called it home and started eating the wiring. Has it been sitting outside?

any engine bay pictures?

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Old 06-14-2018, 08:19 AM
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jerome951
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OK. I'll be the dissenter here as much as I love the 944 platform.....

Run!!! Troy!! Run!!!!

Best case, you spend ~$4,000 and quite a few hours doing all the PM work and the cars runs fine.
Worse case, you spend $5-10k and many hours trying to get it to run.
In either case, in the end you have a reasonably-performing 30 year old sports car with a host of known issues.

Also, a non-running car won't be cheap to ship that distance.
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Old 06-14-2018, 09:03 AM
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It’s not that bad, just go open another bank account dedicated to your new 951 and see how many times you can fill it all the way then empty it before your new 951 starts. Let’s hope she doesn’t catch on fire during testing. That causes the need for another bank account or two to be opened with a less desirable drain fill affect. If you don’t want it let us know, you do know you have caught the attemtion of the winged reaper right? Speaking of, Luis what do you think?
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Old 06-14-2018, 09:22 AM
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MAGK944
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It will cost you $15k to make it into a reliable car that looks good and at least another $5k to make it fun to drive. A tired stock 86 951 is an absolute money pit.
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Old 06-14-2018, 10:44 AM
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Troy Hellwig
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Thanks everybody, I appreciate the comments. It's good to hear that these cars don't rust, that eases some concerns. I did also find some info on Clarks Garage, and am fully familiar with things that would be required to get it going like timing belt, etc, etc.

I would really appreciate some more detail on the $$ figures that some of you have quoted ($5k to get it reliable etc....) Where do those come from? Is this paying a specialist to do the work and buying factory parts? I'm planning on doing all my own work, and usually shop at rockauto, where parts acutally look comparable to what I pay for Saab parts!

I understand getting it concours level would be big $$, I'm really not interested in a car like that. I prefer a driver, something that I can enjoy...
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Old 06-14-2018, 03:37 PM
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No really we love these cars but we also tell the truth.
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Old 06-15-2018, 02:07 AM
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Step 1 - read the sticky above on useful maintenace and modifications.
step 2 - read it again, and roughly price out the parts cost
step 3 - double that budget for other crap that you will find wrong

i also have an 86 951. Bought mine just about 5 years ago, running, but not well. I have just gotten it roughly where i want it to be, and am still sorting out a cooling/fan issue. I have spent over what i paid for it to get it to this point (but maybe half of that was personal preference and mods, not really required work). I am not a pro mechanic, and work on it when not dealing with the job or lawn or soccer practice or the honeydo list... so progress is slow.

That said, every time I drive it and the boost spools up and hits me in the back, i giggle like a little girl.

i hope you get it...love the white wheels. Just be warned it is a time and money pit

malcolm
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Old 06-15-2018, 01:04 PM
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PaulD_944S2
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Nah, it's not worth it..............Oh wait, they aren't making them any more!

Buy the car, do what you can money and timewise to make a driver. Enjoy the car as you go.
And if you need any help, just ask, there's a million voices here!

Worst case, you can sell it for parts.
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Old 06-17-2018, 06:24 PM
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mdj577
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White on black with white phones. Damn that does look nice. But as others have said-you will spend a lot, even if doing the work yourself. Figure 5k minimum to get it running adequately and another 5K to get it running well and addressing age related decline. Minimum.

However: white on black with white phones. Hear the devil calling?
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Old 06-17-2018, 06:57 PM
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NCLA951
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When I tell my wife that my car has doubled in value since I bought it, she reminds me that Iíve spent way more than that on it. But they are fun, and I do love it.
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Old 06-18-2018, 07:28 PM
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I say go for it. As others have said read up on your literature from Clark's garage and rennlist, there is tons of info on diy repair which sounds like you are no stranger to. As for cost, I personally have less than 5k into my 86 951 including the cost of the car, that has over 200k mi on the odometer(which was broken when purchased). You are in a worse situation than I was 2 years ago since mine actually ran, and it will be frustrating if it isn't something simple to get it running again but don't lose hope. Btw my car is no gem, it needs brakes, bearings, and the engine reassembled from a rebuild

If you go through with it good luck and may the Germans be with you.
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