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Feasibility of DIY on the 930

So I've been saving for a while and have been wanting a 930 and plan on pulling the trigger. But here's the thing, I'm a DIY kind of guy. I have several sportbikes and a 944 and 924, all of which i do every single piece of maintenance on them myself.

The 930 is really what I would like to get, and I'll probably pick one up this next year..... IF... and here's the if....

My questions are:

- What are the major challenges in maintaining these cars?
- Having no previous experience with forced induction, how feasible is it to pick up the learning curve to properly maintain it?
- Is there anything to look out for specifically on these cars when buying, such as catastrophic telltale signs of "don't buy me!" besides the normal car inspection type thing? For instance things they are prone to?
- How feasible are they for a daily?
- How well do they handle in snow?
- What would you say you do on a YEARLY basis in maintenance on these cars to keep them at optimal shape?
Old 10-28-2009, 02:08 PM
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if your a bit handy with the wrenches than I wouldn't hesitate with the 930, I do the work on mine and hadn't spun a wrench for quite a few years, sorta got back into it with this car. The great thing is this board and the good advise and help that you can get for any project on the car that may have you stumpped. I'd say go for it and let a pro do the PPI.
Old 10-28-2009, 03:23 PM
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These cars feel most at home with a DIY owner. The cost and availability of knowledgable professionals are big factors. In part, that's why this forum exists. Lurk here long enough, ask enough questions and do enough searches, and you'll soon gain the knowledge. Buy a few recommended books to better understand the car and it's fueling system, and you'll have her licked.

Daily driver? Yes, why not. These need to be driven...sitting all alone just pisses them off and they break down on you. Daily driver? Mine is!

Snow: That topic has been covered here (some have regular experience. In my opinion, not the best machine for snow - a bit light in the front.

Yearly maintenance cost has been discussed here as well. So much depends on how "free" the labor is. Read this to get an idea 930 Maintaince Cost

What to look out for? I don't think there's anything in particular that stands out as a "problem" with these cars. More important is how they've been treated before you lay down the green. Complete service history is a real selling point. Do get a PPI performed.

Finally, buy one while the market is down. Not for an investment, but for driving and wrenching enjoyment.
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Old 10-28-2009, 04:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CorsePerVita View Post
So I've been saving for a while and have been wanting a 930 and plan on pulling the trigger. But here's the thing, I'm a DIY kind of guy. I have several sportbikes and a 944 and 924, all of which i do every single piece of maintenance on them myself.

The 930 is really what I would like to get, and I'll probably pick one up this next year..... IF... and here's the if....

My questions are:

- What are the major challenges in maintaining these cars?
Quote:
[ Buying the right part for the right price and avoiding the urge to buy upgrades that are advertised as "bolt-on.]
- Having no previous experience with forced induction, how feasible is it to pick up the learning curve to properly maintain it?
Quote:
[Doesn't take long to burn a motor - stick with stock settings and learn how to drive it before you start tinkering with more power.]
- Is there anything to look out for specifically on these cars when buying, such as catastrophic telltale signs of "don't buy me!" besides the normal car inspection type thing? For instance things they are prone to?
Quote:
[Pay for a prepurchase inspection - the list is long.]
- How feasible are they for a daily?
Quote:
[If you do your own work, then not too bad.]
- How well do they handle in snow?
Quote:
[Probably piss poor - this coming from a guy in GA. I'm very careful of mine in rain.]
- What would you say you do on a YEARLY basis in maintenance on these cars to keep them at optimal shape?
Quote:
[Make something up - it's all over the place because most of us can't seem to stay satisfied with the power and handling it already has. And yet others must have the latest $15 per quart oil and $15 per spark plug religiously changed every 3000 miles or 3 months, whichever comes first.]
....
Old 10-28-2009, 06:00 PM
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Awesome answers thank you guys! Very detailed info and lots of info! I am gonna read those threads and take in the info. No worries on the high maintenance intervals, i'm used to doing valve adjustments constantly on a pain in the ass ducati and my ninja, on top of the constants the 944 gives me. So it sounds like it's fairly normal minus the cost of parts.

So aside from generic maintenance it sounds like they're too much fun to mod haha!

Last edited by CorsePerVita; 10-28-2009 at 06:34 PM..
Old 10-28-2009, 06:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s_morrison57 View Post
if your a bit handy with the wrenches than I wouldn't hesitate with the 930, I do the work on mine and hadn't spun a wrench for quite a few years, sorta got back into it with this car. The great thing is this board and the good advise and help that you can get for any project on the car that may have you stumpped. I'd say go for it and let a pro do the PPI.

Great advise, I would not pay someone to do the light wrenching, it's to much fun. These cars are more expensive to keep running right than the NA cars for sure.

PPI do not buy one with out one. Problems on 930 are very expensive get the inspection from someone that knows 930's

Not really a snow car could be hard to keep on the road.
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Old 10-28-2009, 08:19 PM
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I think if you were to buy some snow tires for the rear you'd be ok. They aren't that hard to keep up. My motto used to be do it right the 3rd time. Then years latter do it right the second time and finally do it right the first time. Slow and steady.

I would say buy one after a reputable shop did the inspection. Learn basic stuff then mod the he'll out of it.
Old 10-28-2009, 08:43 PM
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I have had my 930 now for almost a year, and have done nothing but lurk in these forums grabbing as much information as I can. The people on here are more then happy to give you the information, all you have to do is ask.

I would also agree with the statements above... do not buy one of these cars without a PPI done. It will at least give you an idea of what might be an issue upfront, or down the road.
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Old 10-29-2009, 07:36 AM
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PPI should be done at a Porsche specialist shop familiar with aircooled turbos. Don't pick the shop where the PO (previous owner) gets his/her work done; the shop's allegiance may be to the PO, and not to you.

930 can be used as a DD. You won't have working airconditioning and the comfort level found in even a modern econobox, but there are only a couple times I've ever regretted taking the 930 to work. Peoples' complaints about having "only" a 4-speed gearbox on the pre-89s is garbage.

Wrenching is only mildly more difficult than on a similar-vintage 911. After all, the chassis is still essentially the same in how stuff is put together. The turbo charging is a little more complicated, but not overly so. It just takes a little time to take that stuff off to access other bits. The car is a bit of a mix of eras, though. The body in my '87 is similar to normally-aspirated 911s. But the engine uses CIS as its fuel injection system, which was found on earlier 911s. So one minor complaint is that there's no single shop manual that addresses the 930.

Cost of maintenance isn't prohibitive. Again, the chassis is still essentially a 911, so it's laid out like a 911. The cost of oil changes, brake fluid changes, brake pads, transmission fluid, etc is going to be roughly the same, turbo or no turbo. 930 specific parts cost a bit more, but aren't totally ridiculous. But, you have to realize that all that high heat in the engine compartment means stuff wears faster. Don't expect a 930 motor to go 200-300K miles, like some boast about their 911s. And a rebuild can run $10-25K, depending on what the damage is and how much while-you're-in-there you want. It's nice to have roughly 260-300bhp from a stock motor. It's nice to be able to bolt on things like an exhaust/headers, turbo, intercooler, cams, etc. and get another easy (if not cheap) extra 50-100 hp.

I can't give you a definite annual cost for maintenance and repairs. I've taken it to the shop 3 times in my 20K miles of ownership (not including tire changing and alignment, which I can't do at home). Maybe a total of $2000 for those 3 unscheduled visits. The other semi-big ticket item was replacing the four CV joints, which I did myself one afternoon (and evening). That cost maybe $500.

No snow experience. I'm in California, and didn't drive the car in the salt when I was in Mass.
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Old 10-29-2009, 08:05 AM
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Good leak down and compression numbers are important to try to determine if it has a cracked ring or is starting to burn through a P&C. Oil leaks are fixable but some require removal of the motor and possibly re-timing of the cams (rocker arms, cam to chain housing). Oil consumption may be an indication of valve guide issue (look at the plugs to). Some smoke on accel is not necessarily an indication of valve guides as the turbo seals can allow some oil to enter the intake.

Look for Carrera chain tensioners or install them right away. I did not do this and it cost me a 930 motor.

Head studs failure seem to be a function of time, corsion, and luck and can be an issue on a few cars. Exposing them to salt that often comes with snow driving may not help.

Running it in the Snow would almost be a deal killer for me from a corision and driving point of view.

It can be done but a turbo has more weight in the rear than a 911 and the power output is not as progressive and manageable. Might spend some time making sure the bottom paint is well protected from the elements and run the best snow tires you can afford. I suspect driving a 930 on ice is at times going to be like trying to throw a dart backward. Still, it is doable for the faithful.

If you have snow, you probably will not be so concerned about weak A/C that comes with pre 1990 air cooled Porsches.

You should reset your CO (AFR's) with major changes. CIS measure's the volume of air, not its mass and this can through your AFR's out of whack. The 85 and newer do have a Lambda system that can improve gas mileage and adapt at idle and cruse for environmental changes, however this will not help you when in the throttle when it go's closed loop.

Might want to look for a 930 with all the goodies. There is about an additional 100hp with an inter-cooler, turbo, exhaust upgrade. As you seem to be a fellow speed freak, if you later want to add these yourself it can be a $5k investment.

930's are a very fun, low tech, and fixable car. Enjoy.
Old 10-29-2009, 08:33 AM
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I'm coming up on 3 years now with mine as a daily driver, no major maintanance complaints.

I do all the wrenching myself, and commute 54 miles a day.

I live in Washington state and YES they suck in the snow, doesn't help that I have only 2" of ground clearance either!

You learn to handle the rain, so it's no big deal there. Just keep it off boost in the corners and your good to go.

Mark
Old 10-29-2009, 08:55 AM
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Wow thanks for all the replies everyone. Definitely sounds like it's the car for me. I heard also the weight distribution makes it for interesting handling and that roll off can kill you if you're not careful.

I wanted to get an old vintage 911 at first, but the more I've scoped out the 930 the more I want one. they just look like an asinine amount of fun. Sounds like it wouldn't be any worse than maintaining my Ducati.

PS: full quack, love your Duc.
Old 10-29-2009, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CorsePerVita View Post

- What are the major challenges in maintaining these cars?
The usual 911 stuff. Worn valve guides, oil leaks etc. plus some 930 stuff like worn turbochargers, shattered piston rings etc-

Quote:
Originally Posted by CorsePerVita View Post
- Having no previous experience with forced induction, how feasible is it to pick up the learning curve to properly maintain it?
Not a problem. Actually, you will want to DIY on it, as there are not many shops who have experience with 930's. Except CIS, they are as complicated as a hammer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CorsePerVita View Post

- Is there anything to look out for specifically on these cars when buying, such as catastrophic telltale signs of "don't buy me!" besides the normal car inspection type thing? For instance things they are prone to?
Shattered piston rings. It will still run (and run pretty well, due to boost) but consume oil. It's hard to detect. Do a leakdown. Broken head studs can be missed as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CorsePerVita View Post
- How feasible are they for a daily?
Not overly so. Hard clutch, high fuel consumption, noisy and no AC.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CorsePerVita View Post

- How well do they handle in snow?
Terribly bad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CorsePerVita View Post
- What would you say you do on a YEARLY basis in maintenance on these cars to keep them at optimal shape?
With good car, not more than oil change and occasional brake job. With bad car, sky is a limit. YMMV.
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Old 10-29-2009, 02:53 PM
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Make sure you do a leak down test by a qualified mechanic. 930 is very susceptible to broken engine studs due to high temps, corrosion and maybe some previous owners. VERY EXPENSIVE!!!

Make sure yours has the Carrera tensioners upgrade. Expensive and is a must.
Brakes - worn disks, leaking calipers, etc....expensive

These cars are GREAT cars....they require a DIY and a lot of self-instruction in order to fully enjoy your car (and save some bucks $$$)

For me, the key is on the initial inspection. These cars are a piece of heaven but they can turn into a nightmare if you make some wrong decisions.

The feeling of driving a 930 is like no other sports car....test drive and find a good mechanic before the final decision is made.
Old 11-08-2009, 09:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s_morrison57 View Post
if your a bit handy with the wrenches than I wouldn't hesitate with the 930, I do the work on mine and hadn't spun a wrench for quite a few years, sorta got back into it with this car. The great thing is this board and the good advise and help that you can get for any project on the car that may have you stumpped. I'd say go for it and let a pro do the PPI.
+1

My 930 was the first car I really wrenched on (above and beyond oil and filters). Thanks to the kick-ass guys on this forum, I have now re-built calipers, fixed wastegates, replaced steering racks, starters, etc... Pelican as a resource is excellent.

The 930 is actually very easy to work on... and rewarding.

- Mike
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Old 11-09-2009, 10:29 AM
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