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911 guy needs a new toy

 
Old 02-11-2019, 03:46 AM
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911Dave
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Default 911 guy needs a new toy

I'll never give up my air cooled 911 but after 15 years of owning various ones (and a 928), I hanker for something new. I've always like the 944 but have never been in one. I think I might want to buy one, but I have some questions for those of you who own, or have owned, both. I'll do some learning before I get serious about finding one.

1. How would you compare the driving experience? I know the 944 is better balanced than the 911, but is it as much fun to drive as an air cooled 911? Exciting? Can you hear the engine and/or exhaust?

2. Are there some easy mods to the turbo cars, like a performance chip? Can boost be increased via wastegate spring or other method? Are there good exhaust options out there?

3. Belt service. How often and how much does it typically cost? Is it significantly more for a turbo vs. NA?

4. Are they easy to work on yourself? Harder or easier than a 911?

Thanks!
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Old 02-11-2019, 07:36 AM
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333pg333
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Expect quite a few answers I'd think.

My take. Air cooled 911s are super tactile cars. You feel and hear everything and you think you're going 100mph when in fact it's only 50mph. They're super fun and satisfying cars and really live up to the whole Porsche experience.

The 944 is really a totally different animal. I've said for years that perhaps it should have been released as an Audi under the PAG / VAG umbrella. They would have a lot more respect in general if that had happened. As a Porsche, they get looked down upon as 'not a real Porsche' but it doesn't seem to matter as you watch their 911 GT3s disappear in the rear view mirror.

As you probably know the 924 was originally designed to be a VW but deals were done. Porsche at the time were going badly with the credit crunch and these little front engined things saved Porsche's bacon. Then the 944 / 928 series came out. Designed for different customers of course.

In reality the n/a 944 is an ok car but should be looked at through rose coloured glasses. Almost like you're driving an old MG or Alfa. You have to drive those in context. Whereas the turbo version can be brought up to match virtually any modern day supercar in performance. I'd say it depends on your budget and what you're expecting. See if you can find someone in your area that has a nicely modded 944 turbo and take you for a ride or wangle a drive yourself. Pretty sure Sid (blown 951) is in your neck of the woods. He's not on these boards much but there are a few guys in that area who have some very quick turbo versions. If you try, you will buy!
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Old 02-11-2019, 09:07 AM
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I did it in reverse. Started with a 944 turbo which has been heavily modified and then moved on to an air cooled 911. The 944 turbo is a much better driver, handles better and is somewhat a jack of all trades. The air cooled 911 is poorly balanced and has so many interesting engineering quirks to make what is effectively a platform first designed in the late 50's work as well as it does. That being said, getting in the 911 is a visceral experience unmatched by anything else I've ever owned. Driving it is an absolute event every time.

In regards to your questions. Yes the 944 is a fun drive. They have great balance, are small and agile but still have that old school 80's feel. I drive my 944T just as much as the 911 and find it as enjoyable for different reasons. The 944T is a relaxing drive despite being super noisy (straight piped) and 350hp at the wheels is about perfect and easily achievable safely with bolt on's. It is fairly laggy and the boost does not come on quickly like most modern vehicles however I've learned to love lag and it certainly gives that slingshot feeling to acceleration. They are super easy to work on and belt service is a piece of cake for most competent home mechanics. I do all my own maintenance and upgrades and definitely find the 944 multitudes easier to work on than the 911.

I would definitely avoid an N/A 944. They are fairly gutless and definitely are momentum cars. Stick with a turbo. The hardest part about owning a 944 is finding a decent one. The fact that they are/were so cheap means many have been owned by budget minded people. Deferred maintenance is almost expected for most of them out there.
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Old 02-11-2019, 09:59 AM
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Stuff in a 3.0L and the lag disappears
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Old 02-11-2019, 11:22 AM
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The 944T is more of a grand touring car when compared to an air-cooled 911. If that's what you're after, then they can be really enjoyable. The engine will be quieter but you can open up the exhaust a bit for more noise.

They're not difficult to work on, but realize their age is showing and parts can be expensive. Lot's of advice here so you'll rarely ever need to visit a mechanic if you are a mid-level DIY'er. I've never had an older 911, but I'd say working on my 996 was similar to my 944T. Always something in the way of what you're trying to get to, though the 944 gives much better access to the engine top side.
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Old 02-11-2019, 12:05 PM
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Have you considered a 968?
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Old 02-11-2019, 08:00 PM
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I have a 1988 Porsche 944 Turbo with 54k miles for sale if you're interested
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Old 02-11-2019, 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by jihad051783 View Post
I have a 1988 Porsche 944 Turbo with 54k miles for sale if you're interested
Thanks but it will be mid-summer or later before I'm ready to buy anything. I'll keep you in mind though, if it's still for sale then.

Thanks for the comments so far. It sounds like this may be what I'm looking for.
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Old 02-11-2019, 08:20 PM
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This one is for sale
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Old 02-12-2019, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Humboldtgrin
Have you considered a 968?
Curious to hear why and how they differ.
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Old 02-12-2019, 01:09 PM
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Sounds good! I am sure I will have it by then I haven't really posted it for sale, but should sell it LOL.
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Old 02-12-2019, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by 911Dave View Post
I'll never give up my air cooled 911 but after 15 years of owning various ones (and a 928), I hanker for something new. I've always like the 944 but have never been in one. I think I might want to buy one, but I have some questions for those of you who own, or have owned, both. I'll do some learning before I get serious about finding one.

1. How would you compare the driving experience? I know the 944 is better balanced than the 911, but is it as much fun to drive as an air cooled 911? Exciting? Can you hear the engine and/or exhaust?

The 944 is way more fun once you get past the ego I had all the 911's and gave them up to learn how to drive. I used the 944 and got a NASA race license and now a PCA race license. I now have 2 944 race cars, 924S SE, 944S, Japanese import 944S2 , and a 968 M030 968.

2. Are there some easy mods to the turbo cars, like a performance chip? Can boost be increased via wastegate spring or other method? Are there good exhaust options out there?

Good option would be a 3.0 turbo, S2, or 968

3. Belt service. How often and how much does it typically cost? Is it significantly more for a turbo vs. NA?

The belt services is easy . Cheap compared to a 911 the other issue while you are in there is the replacement of oil seals.

4. Are they easy to work on yourself? Harder or easier than a 911?

I think the gear box is a bit more difficult that the same year 911 to get apart and put together shimming etc but I have spent a ton of money on an equal year 911 gearbox and scared every time downshifting for the money shift. When I was learning to race I hade a pro built 915 gearbox . It took all the the thinking to get the car ready for the apex downshifting. A $200 944 gearbox will out shift the same year 911 box any day.

Thanks!
This Forum is the 944 handbook
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Old 02-12-2019, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by autosea View Post
This Forum is the 944 handbook
I don't doubt that at all. The 928 forum is the brain trust on that model too.
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Old 02-12-2019, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by MooreBoost View Post
This one is for sale
how much and is it modded?
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Old 02-13-2019, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by lart951 View Post
how much and is it modded?
10k, all stock. Not my car. Just putting it together for a friend
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