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Old 10-23-2006, 05:11 PM   #1
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What do you guys know about 944's?

Depending on how much in repairs the Boxster sets me back of course. I have been looking at 944's on e-bay for the last couple of weeks but I dont know anything about them. I can pick up a decent looking high mileage 944 for a little over 2k. I would like to drive it in the winter and maybe a few times over the summer beat the heck out of it on a track. Waste of time? Keep in mind I dont care if its turbo they are still pricey for a winter beater as far as Im concerned. I have researched web forums and the only thing I figured out is the fact that they need the timing belts looked after. Any info?
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Old 10-23-2006, 05:59 PM   #2
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944s require a lot of maintenance, head on over to:

http://www.clarks-garage.com/
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Old 10-23-2006, 06:01 PM   #3
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ohioboxster,

My first Porsche was a 1987 924S which I had for about 2 years ( 2003 - 2005 ).

Basically the same as a 944 without the flared wheel wells...

A fun little car ( picked it up for about $3k ) but absolutely SUCKS in the snow !!!

The hatchback and removable sun roof is nice, but due to the front engine / rear wheel drive design, if there is ANY snow on the ground don't expect to go anywhere ( I found this out the hard way one night ).

Hope this helps...

Nick
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Old 10-23-2006, 06:04 PM   #4
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Ohio, my mechanic says that the 944 is the repair shop's dream... always in for this and that, and the parts and labor ain't cheap.

My mechanic claims he bought and paid for his wife's new Mercedes with the monies coming in from repairing 944's!
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Old 10-23-2006, 06:05 PM   #5
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ohioboxster,

I had a '84 944 before I got my Boxster. Yes the timing belt is important to check out. My 944 had the belt broken and replaced before I bought it. The car ran great, but it would not pass emissions testing. Found out it had a bent valve. This lead to the whole head getting rebuilt (also replaced the timing belt). Replacing the belt requires you to take the whole front of the engine off. So you might as well replace oil seals and water pump (if it has not be done already). The 944 also has an issue with motor mounts not lasting. The replacements are much better than the originals. All in all it was a fun car. They handle well and parts are not as costly as the Boxster. Further, things are easier to get to than in a Boxster. You will probably appreciate that after your SC install.

The only major draw back was I never got acknowleged in the 944 like I do in the Boxster. 911 and Boxster owners now give me the nod. I feel so special.

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Old 10-23-2006, 06:12 PM   #6
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I found that there are a ton of high mileage 944's out there some in the 200k range, it just kind of made me think that the car must not be too bad. I did notice the timing belts and water pump issues. I really dont want a money pit.
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Old 10-23-2006, 06:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NickCats
ohioboxster,

My first Porsche was a 1987 924S which I had for about 2 years ( 2003 - 2005 ).

Basically the same as a 944 without the flared wheel wells...

A fun little car ( picked it up for about $3k ) but absolutely SUCKS in the snow !!!

The hatchback and removable sun roof is nice, but due to the front engine / rear wheel drive design, if there is ANY snow on the ground don't expect to go anywhere ( I found this out the hard way one night ).

Hope this helps...

Nick
Did you have snow tires on the car? If not, I agree 924s are helpless in snow.

I've driven 924s in the winter for decades. If you install quality snow tires on all four wheels and put about three 40 pound bags of salt in the hatch, they are great in the snow.
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Old 10-23-2006, 06:43 PM   #8
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I owned a pristine, ducumented early '85 944. The car is a great joy to drive, rock solid in corners with a great third gear. It would be a considerable come down in power from a Boxster. The cars are aging, they require expensive maintenance, it would not take much to have a repair eclipse the value of the car depending on what breaks, unless you are mechanical and enjoy being on a car as a hobby, I'd advise staying away. My (almost a father in law) owned a Porsche dealership. He told me on many occasions the Turbo's required more shop time than the NA units. The turbos are however, very quick.

Last edited by stucatz; 10-23-2006 at 06:45 PM.
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Old 10-23-2006, 06:48 PM   #9
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944s are fun, the Turbo is the Bomb.

Sadly, it is an annuity for your mechanic and parts shop.
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Old 10-23-2006, 07:28 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul
Did you have snow tires on the car? If not, I agree 924s are helpless in snow.

I've driven 924s in the winter for decades. If you install quality snow tires on all four wheels and put about three 40 pound bags of salt in the hatch, they are great in the snow.
Paul,

I had a Jeep Grand Cherokee for the winter, the 924 was my fun car, but one night I got caught in an unexpected snow storm without winter tires and without anything to weight down the rear. I was caught at a red light at an intersection on a slight incline and when the light changed I could not go anywhere. Once all the cars stuck behind me finally went around me, I had to back up and turn around and head back the way I came...

Nick
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Old 10-24-2006, 03:06 AM   #11
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I think the 944 was quite a bit different from the 924. Maybe it was the same platform, but if you check out the interior, dash, engine specs and so on, the 944 was basically it's own model.

I seem to remember the early 944s had motor mount problems and something to do with the dashboard.... I can't remember if it was a heater core problem or what..... but when I was looking, I was advised to get a newer model rather than older. I ended up ditching the idea and buying a second generation Toyota MR2.
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Old 10-24-2006, 05:51 AM   #12
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I have owned 4 944/951's and I will tell you first..

They can be expensive to maintain
You must get a PPI
A clutch can cost huge $$$
Timing belts if not taken care of can break and bend your valves
These cars are getting old!

Those are just a few items... that said..
They are fun to drive and well balanced. I drove a 951 for years in the winter, you must get snows.

Check out the 944 forum on Rennlist.com
If I was going to buy one I would probbaly look for a nice 944S2

my .000944 cents
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Old 10-24-2006, 05:57 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverstreak
I think the 944 was quite a bit different from the 924. Maybe it was the same platform, but if you check out the interior, dash, engine specs and so on, the 944 was basically it's own model.
I was thinking the same thing. The suspension, interior (after the first year), exterior and engine were all different between the 944 and 924. I think the only real similarity were the car's profiles. In fact, I think the 924 was even built by Audi where the 944 was assembled in the Porsche factory.
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Old 10-24-2006, 06:01 AM   #14
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I was thinking the same thing. The suspension, interior (after the first year), exterior and engine were all different between the 944 and 924. I think the only real similarity were the car's profiles. In fact, I think the 924 was even built by Audi where the 944 was assembled in the Porsche factory.
Nope, most 944's were built in the Audi Neckarsulm (sp?) plant
I think only the 968 and "maybe" some very late 944's were buit by Porsche

The 87-88 924S had the 944 2.5 engine and suspension, the early 924's had the Audi motor. The 944 had the same interior as the 924 until 85.5 when it was updated.

944 faq
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Old 10-24-2006, 07:03 AM   #15
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The 924 used an Audi engine, I think until the S model which then used the 944 Porsche designed unit, essentially half a 928 engine. The dash changed in 86 to a more Euro design without separate dials, I liked the old style better. The motor mounts did fail on some cars over time, I think they were fluid filled. The car always had a slight vibration to it and ran lousy till warm. The AFM (air flow meter) was prehistoric in design and failed with age as well.

Last edited by stucatz; 10-24-2006 at 07:05 AM.
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Old 10-24-2006, 07:33 AM   #16
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Hi,

Here's what Sports Car International (Nov. 2005 ) had to say of the 944 Turbo in their Sports Car Buyer - 10 Best Sports Cars for $10,000 :

1986-89 Porsche 944 Turbo

The Porsche 944 has received plenty of criticism for not being a "real Porsche," but then again, everything watercooled and/or non-rear-engined has been subject to those barbs by the Porsche faithful. The 944, of course, is both front-engined and watercooled, plus it can trace its roots back to the Porsche/Volkswagen-developed 924.

All of this is bad news for the 944 owner's bragging rights at the next club dinner, but good news for anyone trying to get into a Porsche for a relatively small amount of dough. Missing the 911's historical appeal, the 944 has long languished beneath it older brother in the secondhand marketplace.. Torn-up standard 944s go for $5k and under, while our $10k budget can buy a very respectable 944 Turbo.

Introduced to the US market as a 1986 model, the 944 Turbo - known numerically as 951-immediately stood apart from the non-turbo version. Changes to the front and rear styling gave the Turbo a more purposeful look, while 16-inch rollers with upgraded brakes at each corner improved stance and stopping. The big news, of course, was in the go department, where Porsche's big 2.5-liter 4-cylinder was boosted to 217 hp and 243 lb-ft of torque. Sport suspension helped contain the new-found power, and the 944's existing balance-aided by a rear mounted transaxle-made it much more forgiving than a 911.

For 1988, Porsche introduced the 944 Turbo S, which included a power increase to 247 hp and 250 lb-ft of torque. A series of upgrades, including larger brakes with ABS, uprated springs, stiffer suspension bushings and available limited-slip differential, further separated the Turbo S from earlier turbocharged models. The Turbo S trim level became standard for all 944s in 1989, their final year in the US.

Though the 944 may or may not be considered a "real Porsche" by some, many 944 parts and repair expenses are shared with its supposedly more authentic siblings. So, if you have the choice, an immaculate standard Turbo is a much better choice than a ratty Turbo S-the latter is more willing to nickel-and-dime an owner to death. Indeed, most of the worthwhile $10k choices will be standard 944 Turbos-power-hungry buyers can slowly bring these cars up to Turbo S specs as budgets allow.

All 944s have timing belts and interference engines-in simple terms, if the belt breaks, expect severe metal-on-metal contact. Like most timing belt cars, most of the Labor involved in changing the 944 belt is the same as changing the water pump. But, since belt changes are much more frequent than water pump failures\ and since Porsche water pumps can cost a few pennies, plenty of owners change the belt and leave it at that. To decipher that sort of history, service records are a definite plus on any prospective purchase.

The 944 will never have the cachet of the 911, but a 944 Turbo provides reasonably comparable performance, more user friendly handling and easier to swallow entry fees than it's storied stablemate. If you can handle the hit to your reputation, the 944 Turbo is an excellent $10k pick.

Hope this helps...

Happy Motoring!... Jim'99

Last edited by MNBoxster; 10-24-2006 at 09:14 AM.
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Old 10-24-2006, 08:40 AM   #17
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"the 944 Turbo is an excellent $10k pick"

I agree, but "choose wisely, my son!"
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Old 10-24-2006, 08:43 AM   #18
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many a porshafile have been duped into buying a 944 because of its cheap price.
Pay me now or pay me later=== so true with this car, in the end you'll have wished you saved up for a nicer Porsche.

That being said growing up in the 80's I always thought the 944 like the 928 was a very modern design. Back then I didn't like the 911 like I do now, I thought it looked like a beetle.
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Old 10-24-2006, 10:00 AM   #19
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I use to have a 1988 944 as a winter beater. It ran great in the snow as long as you keep the stock rims and a good set of all season tires. So many people put 17s on them but the stock skinny rims cut the snow better.

I would reccomend a 1987 and newer 944. They have the newer interrior and most importantly, they have the updated timing belt tensioner (can you say less time in the shop??)
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Old 10-24-2006, 12:33 PM   #20
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i owned and maintained a 924S for two years in college and loved the car, but it did require a ********************LOAD of maintenance.

finding a 924S/944/944 turbo with a limited slip differential will help a ton in the snow. however, they are tough to find and probably need a rebuild by now, as they are clutch-type LSD's.

IMHO there are better winter beaters in this price range, but there aren't any better sports cars in the $10K range than a 944 turbo.
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