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Old 04-08-2009, 07:19 PM
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[z0ne]
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Hello Gents

I'm in the market for a 964C2 (or C4) cabrio. It'll be my summer/weekend car. If you look at my previous posts, I've moved on from a 986S. My price range is capped at $20k and I'm wondering what kind of trouble I'll be getting myself into. A friend of mine has an E36 M3 cabrio (MY99) and after 85,000mi, it's getting very expensive to keep in running order. Will the 964 be more of the same because it's even older?

Of course, I'd have to bring it someplace for a PPI and try and get as much of a logged history on the vehicle as possible. What should I look for? I'm not mechanic but I'm no idiot, either. What's prone to catastrophic failure?

ANY help is appreciated. I put a lot of faith into car forums as I am on many of them. (My father just bought a Factory 5 Racing Mk3 Cobra kit. With a bored-out 427ci he found on ffcobra.com ... JEEEEEESUSSS that is insanity fast.)

TIA,
Jake in NJ
MY02 WRX

PS, I'm looking at these:

1) http://www.autotrader.com/fyc/vdp.js...e&rdpage=thumb

2) http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1990-...3A1|240%3A1318

3) http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Porsc...3A1|240%3A1308

I guess I'd have to arrange shipping if it was too far to drive to.
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Old 04-08-2009, 07:35 PM
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I've also got a few (dumb to you, innocent to me) questions.

1) Can you tell me how the top works? :X Unclip what? Press what? Pull what? Folds into what? When it's down, secure it by doing what? The most "complicated" convertible I've ever operated was two latches on the windshield and hold down a button 'til it folds away (on aforementioned E36M3).

2) What are the slider things in the middle? http://i21.ebayimg.com/01/i/001/39/4c/f30c_12.JPG Airflow from the top vents and floor vents?

3) What is the circle thing in the middle of the door? http://i6.ebayimg.com/03/i/001/39/4c/da7c_12.JPG Is that a manual window adjustment? Or is the vertically mounted A/B switch (to it's left) the window controls or power door locks?

4) What do the two swivel ***** ahead of the gear lever do? http://i15.ebayimg.com/01/i/001/39/4c/ef97_3.JPG I know one (driver's side, I think) controls the rear wing. Left is down, middle is auto-up at 50(?)mph, and right is up.

Please correct me where I'm wrong and appreciate my passionate curiosity.
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Old 04-08-2009, 07:48 PM
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You need to go test drive one and play around with it. These cars are so 'unique' that we could be here all day discussing the idiosynchrosies. Seriously.
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Old 04-08-2009, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by [z0ne] View Post
1) Can you tell me how the top works? :X Unclip what? Press what? Pull what? Folds into what? When it's down, secure it by doing what? The most "complicated" convertible I've ever operated was two latches on the windshield and hold down a button 'til it folds away (on aforementioned E36M3).
Just one switch, no latches, catches etc. Engine must be off.


Originally Posted by [z0ne] View Post
2) What are the slider things in the middle? http://i21.ebayimg.com/01/i/001/39/4c/f30c_12.JPG Airflow from the top vents and floor vents?
Yes, heater/ac controls:

The upper slide controls air emerging through the defroster/center vents - extreme left is defroster vents closed/center vents open. Extreme right is defroster vents open/center vents closed
.
The lower slide controls air into the footwells - left is closed/right is open.


Originally Posted by [z0ne] View Post
3) What is the circle thing in the middle of the door? http://i6.ebayimg.com/03/i/001/39/4c/da7c_12.JPG Is that a manual window adjustment? Or is the vertically mounted A/B switch (to it's left) the window controls or power door locks?
Manual door lock.

Originally Posted by [z0ne] View Post
4) What do the two swivel ***** ahead of the gear lever do? http://i15.ebayimg.com/01/i/001/39/4c/ef97_3.JPG I know one (driver's side, I think) controls the rear wing. Left is down, middle is auto-up at 50(?)mph, and right is up.
Depends on year. Most common is to lower/raise the spoiler. On a C4 there is a control on the right to lock the differential.




This should help too:





As always, make sure you get a PPI before buying and know exactly what you are getting into. these are wonderful cars but have a slight learning curve.

Best of luck!!!


--Howard

Last edited by Kahdmus; 04-08-2009 at 09:40 PM.
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Old 04-08-2009, 08:13 PM
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2) those slider things control air flow to the windshield/vents and feet
3) circle things are to manually lock/unlock doors.
4) left one is for the rear wing. right one is for the AWD system in the C4's.
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Old 04-08-2009, 08:36 PM
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[z0ne]
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Originally Posted by Kahdmus View Post
Just one switch, no latches, catches etc. Engine must be off.
---
On a C4 there is a control on the right to lock the differential.
Thanks for the help!

So, the top is completely self-powered? Great!

And, if you look at my cited picture about the switches in front of the gear lever, it looks like there are 3 positions for the C4 differential switch? Do you know off-hand what each position denotes?
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Old 04-08-2009, 09:13 PM
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Originally Posted by [z0ne] View Post
Thanks for the help!

So, the top is completely self-powered? Great!

And, if you look at my cited picture about the switches in front of the gear lever, it looks like there are 3 positions for the C4 differential switch? Do you know off-hand what each position denotes?
There is actually only one position. The switch is spring loaded you turn it right and it locks the diff (then returns to original position), turn left to unlock. Also going over 30mph (could be less) unlocks it.

Not quite sure how drilling down on operation of the C4 diff lock switch helps you decide to purchase or assists in the process...but glad to be of help!
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Old 04-08-2009, 09:29 PM
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If you are absolutely serious about this then I would recommend Adrian Streathers book as being absolutely essential. There is more here than you would or could ever want to know about the 964; basically the 964 enthusiasts bible...

http://www.bentleypublishers.com/product.htm?code=GP64
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Old 04-08-2009, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by [z0ne] View Post
I've also got a few (dumb to you, innocent to me) questions.

1) Can you tell me how the top works? :X Unclip what? Press what? Pull what? Folds into what? When it's down, secure it by doing what? The most "complicated" convertible I've ever operated was two latches on the windshield and hold down a button 'til it folds away (on aforementioned E36M3).
I own a '99 M3 Cabrio, it is fully automatic, no latches on the windshield. It was only on older models that it wasn't fully automatic. Pre MY98, and then it wasn't a M3 Cabrio, just a normal 3 series.

Comparing the cars is isn't simple, they are completely different animals. You need to drive both and decide for yourself. As far as cost to maintain, both are potenitally expensive it they weren't well maintained. Ensure you get a PPI and see the repair records.
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Old 04-08-2009, 10:09 PM
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[z0ne]
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Originally Posted by Kahdmus View Post
Not quite sure how drilling down on operation of the C4 diff lock switch helps you decide to purchase or assists in the process...but glad to be of help!
It doesn't help me decide on purchasing one, but as I scour the internet, lots of pictures come up and I can't decipher what each one means by myself, thus my asking RENNlist.

Also, can anyone elaborate on my original question about having one for under $20k? Major problems? Things to look for during a walk-around? You guys know better than I do. I've driven a few 996's and 997's (993C2cab, 996C4S [i am in love], 996C2cab, 996ttS, 997C2Sc, 997tt) but have never owned one myself.
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Old 04-08-2009, 10:58 PM
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Where in NJ are you. If you're south, you can take mine for a ride. If you want to see a bunch of them for sale, go to Hershey (Park) on the 25th. It may be the largest gathering of Porsches you may ever see.

For the $20k range, you can pick up a '99-2000 996. Depends what you want. Classic lines with air cooled motors, or generic look with water cooled engine. Right now car prices are all over the place. Motivated sellers are everywhere.

as said before, pick up Adrian's book and read it.

Good Luck in your search. Take your time and you'll find the right car.
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Old 04-09-2009, 12:18 AM
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I considered the first car you listed. It seems like a good deal, but I bought mine before seeing that one. That said, it has been for sale since at least January. http://www.autotrader.com/fyc/vdp.js...e&rdpage=thumb
I am not a PPI expert by any means, but I could go take a look at it for you if you are serious.

The 964 is very different than most cars. It is reliable, but it can be temperamental. If you do not like to work on cars this is not the car for you. It is a 20 year old car and going to the dealer every time something goes wrong will put you in the poor house quickly. Fortunately the internet support is exceptionally helpful and you can do most fixes yourself.

It is not a Honda Accord where all you do is put in gas and change the oil and it runs forever. Porsches need TLC. Maintenance is not prohibitively expensive if you do it yourself.

IMHO the motor is the issue. If it goes bad you are looking at +$10K. When does this happen, who knows? Mine went at 110K miles, but there is another guy here +200K with no problem.

In short, a 964 is not rudimentary transportation, it is not luxurious either, and it is not a drag car. What is it? It is a driver's car. It is a road race car on the street. A very pretty go cart. The cabin smells like gas and oil and it does not have a cup holder. If you can appreciate why these are great things maybe this is your car. You have to drive one to really know.

IIRC someone on this board suggested to budget $2K per year in maintenance. That seems about right. Maybe you will have a good year an not need it, but who knows. On the good side you will probably not lose that in depreciation like you would with most cars. Plus you get to drive a Porsche.
Best of luck.
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Old 04-09-2009, 12:58 AM
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^^^^^^^^^
Blueheeler, that was perfectly said and a must read for anyone considering a 911 verses something else. For me, I’ve always been a Porschephile and so have only thought of the day when I would finally own one. People considering a BMW vs. Nissan Z vs. should really understand and take to heart what you’ve written.

Often I think in my head how would I describe why I love my car so much… your words really describe what its like to own a 964.
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Old 04-09-2009, 01:45 AM
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Originally Posted by 911Jetta View Post
^^^^^^^^^
Blueheeler, that was perfectly said and a must read for anyone considering a 911 verses something else. For me, I’ve always been a Porschephile and so have only thought of the day when I would finally own one. People considering a BMW vs. Nissan Z vs. should really understand and take to heart what you’ve written.

Often I think in my head how would I describe why I love my car so much… your words really describe what its like to own a 964.
Thank you. The words only make sense because you already know 911/964. If someone is asking why the 964 is so great they will never know, if they do not ask, there is no reason to explain.
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Old 04-09-2009, 02:19 AM
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Originally Posted by BlueHeeler View Post
I considered the first car you listed. It seems like a good deal, but I bought mine before seeing that one. That said, it has been for sale since at least January. http://www.autotrader.com/fyc/vdp.js...e&rdpage=thumb
I am not a PPI expert by any means, but I could go take a look at it for you if you are serious.

The 964 is very different than most cars. It is reliable, but it can be temperamental. If you do not like to work on cars this is not the car for you. It is a 20 year old car and going to the dealer every time something goes wrong will put you in the poor house quickly. Fortunately the internet support is exceptionally helpful and you can do most fixes yourself.

It is not a Honda Accord where all you do is put in gas and change the oil and it runs forever. Porsches need TLC. Maintenance is not prohibitively expensive if you do it yourself.

IMHO the motor is the issue. If it goes bad you are looking at +$10K. When does this happen, who knows? Mine went at 110K miles, but there is another guy here +200K with no problem.

In short, a 964 is not rudimentary transportation, it is not luxurious either, and it is not a drag car. What is it? It is a driver's car. It is a road race car on the street. A very pretty go cart. The cabin smells like gas and oil and it does not have a cup holder. If you can appreciate why these are great things maybe this is your car. You have to drive one to really know.

IIRC someone on this board suggested to budget $2K per year in maintenance. That seems about right. Maybe you will have a good year an not need it, but who knows. On the good side you will probably not lose that in depreciation like you would with most cars. Plus you get to drive a Porsche.
Best of luck.


I agree...this is an excellent post and sums up why I love my car and why some people either 'get it' or don't get it.
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