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I have a 3.2 with a 915. The engine is great and has never broken down or had any trouble (I guess the motronic is really a good thing). My particular transmission has a slightly...agricultural...feel compared to a modern manual transmission. It's still a blast to drive and the usual DIY improvements have really improved the shifting tremendously. I would think that the G50 transmission cars probably cost a little more for that reason.
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Old 03-17-2016, 05:17 PM
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Since you are looking for a light weight coupe check out this car. It's on Detroits craigslist. Not related in any way to me. Search 1984 911 Porsche Euro Carrera - $35000 . Notice it's got Euro skinny bumperetts and rear fog light. No sunroof. It has H4 or H1 headlights.
I like my SC performance. It shifts fine and as someone stated before the harder you drive it the better it shifts.
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Old 03-17-2016, 06:54 PM
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You're in FL. You need air conditioning. In my mind, this means that you need an 86-89, because of the A/C improvements. I like the SC better, but I have a ROW targa with SSI exhaust and live in a place where heat is more important than A/C. G50 vs. 915, 3.0 vs. 3.2, you'll go crazy thinking about it and never come to rest. But the A/C improvements are reason enough to prefer a later car.
Old 03-17-2016, 07:08 PM
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Hi, the SC's and the Carrera's are both great cars. Like any used car, particularly ones that are now thirty years old +/- you really want to find a very good one. I think that at this point it would be fair to use the cliche that states that 'you only get what you pay for'.

I myself would tend to lean towards a 3.2 Most years of the 911's saw gradual improvements, and all though not that noticeable, the 3.2's do have larger brakes, more hp and the preferable Motronic ignition system, as others have already stated. (1984-89)

BTW, the 3.2 hydraulic chain tensioners are not a problem as a previous post stated. The SC's have spring tensioners, and most have upgraded to the 3.2's hydraulic type.

I understand that you do not, in general, do mechanical work? If that is so, I personally would be looking high and low until you find a premium SC or Carrera that has had only a couple of owners. Look for one that has low/lower mileage, records, original paint and upholstery that both are in great shape. An owner of a 911 like this will get a premium price; the purchaser will end up being one very happy guy.

We have a '86 Carrera, which they claim is the 'last of the Mohicans', meaning that it has no power steering and has a cable clutch.The full synchro G50 is without doubt smoother shifting but at the same time, the 915 in our '86 shifts very well. It doesn't leak oil, it uses a quart of oil around 850 miles, it does not smoke on startup, and has been very reliable. I have had the clutch replaced and have replaced, more or less, all of the sensors over time. This though was only done as preventive maintenance. Other than that, it has had the same foibles that most SC's and Carrera's both have.

Unfortunately for the current shoppers, the prices for these cars, as you may know, has over doubled within the past couple of years. Some now find, after wanting to own a classic 911 for some time, that the current higher prices have kind of put a damper on purchasing one.

My advice would be to look until you find a very good SC or Carrera, and then have a full mechanical inspection done by a reputable Porsche shop/mechanic. They will perform the normal checks such as brakes/calipers, alternator, clutch, suspension, transmission, electricals, including the not so common leakdown and compression tests. They should also be able to verify for you if it has had any major accidents.

Just keep on looking until you find the right car... It can be very time consuming, but it will prove to be well worth your time and effort in more ways than one.
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Last edited by A horse with no name; 03-18-2016 at 10:02 PM..
Old 03-17-2016, 10:14 PM
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After owning two Carreras (both '86) and now an '88 CE, my opinion is that the G50 transmission is in another world from the 915. The 915 drives fine and is a good transmission WHEN it is set up well (most are not), but the G50 is smooth as butter and a joy to drive. The G50 only adds about 25 lbs. over the 915. The hydraulic clutch feels a lot better than the cable-operated one in the 915, and is self-adjusting and fiddle-free.

I don't know where you got the idea that the 3.0 has more torque than the 3.2. Not true. The 3.2 has more torque AND more HP. The 3.0 may feel like it has more torque, but it doesn't. I wouldn't know what it feels like as I've never driven one. The Carreras are only around 150 lbs. or so heavier than an SC, which you would never feel driving around on the road. You could feel it in competition driving, but the 3.2 is also more powerful than the 3.0 which makes it up. Here are the torque and DIN HP numbers:

78-79 SC - 175/180
80-83 SC - 189/180
84-86 Carrera - 192/207
87-89 Carrera - 195/217

The source of this data is Peter Zimmerman's "The Used 911 Story". Peter posted earlier in this thread. I recommend reading his book before deciding what you want.

A word on A/C. It SUCKS in any pre-964 car. The bigger dash vents were an attempt by Porsche to help the miserable A/C system, but it was a failed attempt. If you want good A/C in any of these cars, it's going to cost a minimum of $2k to install a decent aftermarket system (Griffiths, Kuehl, Rennaire). There are many, many threads on Pelican about this. Do a search and you'll have weeks of reading to do.
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Old 03-18-2016, 06:31 AM
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I just did 1800 miles in my 84 Targa this weekend, and the transmission worked just fine. The 3.2 Carrera is just a fantastic car.

Last edited by chjuig; 03-18-2016 at 07:40 AM..
Old 03-18-2016, 07:35 AM
  Pelican Parts Catalog | Tech Articles | Promos & Specials    Reply With Quote #46 (permalink)
 
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One simple answer.
Buy them both.
Enjoy them both.
If you don't like one of them... Sell it.
You may even make a profit in a year or two.

That was easy.
Old 03-18-2016, 08:09 AM
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These cars are all 'old' now. Some quick rough opinions after owning an 81 SC and driving an 88 3.2/G50.

-I like my CIS and it is setup well and works well. The motronic is likely a better system period. Since I like my CIS, I don't like to admit this, but its probably true.

-A tired transmission in general will suck. My 915 was tired when I got it, it is now sorted and awesome. I drove it back to back with a tired G50 that felt like an 18-wheeler transmission, and couldn't wait to get back to my 915. I'll take a good 915 over a tired G50 any day. I am not blown away by the G50 in general and feel the 915 feels more sports-car like. I like the connected feel of a 915.

-AC sucks in both and need the same upgrades.

Me personally - even though I own an SC, I would likely say 3.2 due to HP and motronic. As others have said - its more how well its been taken care of / condition. Although as you can guess, a top notch '86 3.2 with the updated dash/vents and a good 915 sounds great to me.

And adding to that thought, people are ga-ga over rare colors. I'll take a well cared for Guards Red (not my favorite) over a car that is a semi-mess but is in some awesome rare color any day. The premiums I have seen people try to get for rare colors is getting silly.

Just my opinions....
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Old 03-18-2016, 08:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A horse with no name View Post
Hi, the SC's and the Carrera's are both great cars. Like any used car, particularly ones that are now thirty years old +/- you really want to find a very good one. I think that at this point it would be fair to use the cliche that states that 'you only get what you pay for'. I myself would tend to lean towards a 3.2 only due to the Motronic ignition, as others have already stated. (1984-89)

I understand that you do not, in general, do mechanical work? If that is so, I personally would be looking high and low until you find a premium SC or Carrera that has had only a couple of owners. Look for one that has low/lower mileage, records, original paint and upholstery that both are in great shape. An owner of a 911 like this will get a premium price; the purchaser will end up being one very happy guy

We have a '86 Carrera, which they claim is the 'last of the Mohicans', meaning that it has no power steering and has a cable clutch.The full synchro G50 is without doubt smoother shifting but at the same time, the 915 in our '86 shifts very well. It doesn't leak oil, it uses a quart of oil around 850 miles, it does not smoke on startup, and has been very reliable. I did have the clutch replaced and have replaced, more or less, all of the sensors over time. This though was only done as preventive maintenance. Other than that, it has had the same foibles that most SC's and Carrera's both have.

Unfortunately for the current shoppers, the prices for these cars, as you may know, has over doubled within the past couple of years. Some now find, after wanting to own a classic 911 for some time, that the current higher prices have kind of put a damper on purchasing one.

My advice would be to look until you find a very good SC or Carrera, and then have a full mechanical inspection done by a reputable Porsche shop/mechanic. They will perform the normal checks such as brakes/calipers, alternator, clutch, suspension, transmission, electricals, including the not so common leakdown and compression tests. They should also be able to verify for you if it has had any major accidents.

Just keep on looking until you find the right car... It can be very time consuming, but it will prove to be well worth your time and effort in more ways than one.
Yes, this is good advice and exactly where I have been at. I have actually been looking for a few years. I sold my other 914 for the money to buy 911. If I had been more diligent a couple years ago when I sold it it basically would have been a car swap for what I got for my 914. But now they are twice as much. Which is made it more difficult. The search continues...
Old 03-18-2016, 11:36 AM
  Pelican Parts Catalog | Tech Articles | Promos & Specials    Reply With Quote #49 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by porschenut View Post
After owning two Carreras (both '86) and now an '88 CE, my opinion is that the G50 transmission is in another world from the 915. The 915 drives fine and is a good transmission WHEN it is set up well (most are not), but the G50 is smooth as butter and a joy to drive. The G50 only adds about 25 lbs. over the 915. The hydraulic clutch feels a lot better than the cable-operated one in the 915, and is self-adjusting and fiddle-free.

I don't know where you got the idea that the 3.0 has more torque than the 3.2. Not true. The 3.2 has more torque AND more HP. The 3.0 may feel like it has more torque, but it doesn't. I wouldn't know what it feels like as I've never driven one. The Carreras are only around 150 lbs. or so heavier than an SC, which you would never feel driving around on the road. You could feel it in competition driving, but the 3.2 is also more powerful than the 3.0 which makes it up. Here are the torque and DIN HP numbers:

78-79 SC - 175/180
80-83 SC - 189/180
84-86 Carrera - 192/207
87-89 Carrera - 195/217

The source of this data is Peter Zimmerman's "The Used 911 Story". Peter posted earlier in this thread. I recommend reading his book before deciding what you want.

A word on A/C. It SUCKS in any pre-964 car. The bigger dash vents were an attempt by Porsche to help the miserable A/C system, but it was a failed attempt. If you want good A/C in any of these cars, it's going to cost a minimum of $2k to install a decent aftermarket system (Griffiths, Kuehl, Rennaire). There are many, many threads on Pelican about this. Do a search and you'll have weeks of reading to do.
Yes I have Peter's book and have read it a couple times. Excellent source before buying a 9:11. And yes I agree about the air conditioning. I'm hoping to find one that has been retrofitted as that would be a great bonus and a lot of money saved.
Old 03-18-2016, 11:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by littleoldman View Post
One simple answer.
Buy them both.
Enjoy them both.
If you don't like one of them... Sell it.
You may even make a profit in a year or two.

That was easy.
That would be fantastic. He
ad I pulled the plug on one a couple years ago when I sold my 914 I could have two for the price of one now. But they were in a bubble and all over the place then and was very discouraging. Unfortunately I can only barely afford one. But I would love to have a coupe and a targa. But now that I can only afford one it'll be a coupe I think. I love going without the top. I have a 914 and never put my top on it. But I just love the roof line of the coupe. Although that wrap around window on the Targa is killer!
Old 03-18-2016, 11:41 AM
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I have had 2 earlier cars that had 3.2 updates put in them, A '74 Targa, and an '83 euro coupe. IMOP if you like open air cars, a Targa is fun, but I like the looks of the coupe much more.
I personally like the European versions, have had 2, an '82 turbo and my current S/C.
Lighter, less emissions crap, Better lighting/headlamps, ect. ( We have in my state an old car license option that does away with emissions and safety inspection, and costs less to license, NICE!) But if you have emissions that's a different story. I do think a 3.2 is easier to get thru emissions running properly. My car had the 200 hp 3.0 before it was exchanges for the 3.2, and the previous owner hated emissions testing every year.
when the 3.0 got tired, that's one of the reasons he opted for the 3.2
The Motronic can be problematic as well, I just put $400 into my DME, but there is more performance potential w/ bolt ons and I think they run better overall.
The 915 is an excellent trans. Porsche overbuilds on a lot of their components. The 915 will support 400+hp all day long if not abused and serviced properly.
The bottom line is ANY car you get, being that old, will need repairs, sooner or later.
You should get some tools and get on the forums and learn how to do your own maintenance. Fortunately, these are fairly easy cars to work on once you get the hang of it, and there is always someone willing to give good advice that's priceless.
Find the car you like, either way, and make it yours. In your situation, the old advice is the best, find the best car you can for the money. They are all awesome in those years.
Just go and find the best deal on a car you can afford and anjoy it!
Old 03-18-2016, 02:11 PM
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I had an 84 Carrera a few years ago and an 88 now. IMHO the g50 is just better, easier to drive. Not sure I would put a huge premium on..but the reliability and ease is worth something to me..

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Old 03-18-2016, 02:32 PM
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an important consideration is how well sorted the car you're looking at is. Valve guide condition is VERY important on these cars, as worn valve guides will both cause excessive oil consumption and potentially lead to valve/engine failure if not remedied. Unfortunately, fixing worn valve guides requires the top end of the engine to be completely rebuilt and will cost $7+k to have done by a shop. Once properly done, however, the repair should completely solve the underlying issue and leave you with a strong engine for a LONG time. SO -- while I acknowledge that getting a low mileage car would be a plus, as the happy owner of a well-maintained '86 that just passed 170k, I wouldn't shy away from a higher mileage car that's been well cared for and had necessary repairs, etc. Also, since you see virtues in both coupes and targas, I'd personally look for both and let overall quality (and completed work on problem areas) drive your decision.
Old 03-18-2016, 02:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darrin View Post
an important consideration is how well sorted the car you're looking at is. Valve guide condition is very important on these cars, as worn valve guides will both cause excessive oil consumption and potentially lead to valve/engine failure if not remedied. Unfortunately, fixing worn valve guides requires the top end of the engine to be completely rebuilt and will cost $7+k to have done by a shop. Once properly done, however, the repair should completely solve the underlying issue and leave you with a strong engine for a long time. So -- while i acknowledge that getting a low mileage car would be a plus, as the happy owner of a well-maintained '86 that just passed 170k, i wouldn't shy away from a higher mileage car that's been well cared for and had necessary repairs, etc. Also, since you see virtues in both coupes and targas, i'd personally look for both and let overall quality (and completed work on problem areas) drive your decision.
+1
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Old 03-18-2016, 10:09 PM
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Both are excellent cars……
SC had more personality and was a hoot to drive……The combo 3.0/915 felt so right... Preferred over the 3.2/915.

3.2/G50 was more refined also preferred over 3.2/915.

I would go for the best condition car for the money.
Given everything being equal….. 3.2/G50 due to value proposition.
Old 03-19-2016, 02:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Macroni View Post
Both are excellent cars……
SC had more personality and was a hoot to drive……The combo 3.0/915 felt so right... Preferred over the 3.2/915.

3.2/G50 was more refined also preferred over 3.2/915.

I would go for the best condition car for the money.
Given everything being equal….. 3.2/G50 due to value proposition.
Thats interesting as I prefer the 3.2 915 most of all. I have a 1984 ROW which is close to SC weight with 231hp that is the best (to me) 911 I have driven within the years discussed.

I would be great if you could go into more detail as to your thoughts on how they drive.
Old 03-19-2016, 09:06 AM
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Another question to ask yourself is what's the REAL Intended use? A couple thousand cruising miles a year won't make a huge difference on repair or reliability issues of a 915 if it's in decent shape to start.

The 3.0 with some exhaust mods is a blast to drive on the streets. I truly never yearn for more power. Track days are another story, but I'd think I'd still be wanting more in a 3.2 (or even 3.6!).
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Old 03-19-2016, 09:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whiterabbit View Post
Thats interesting as I prefer the 3.2 915 most of all. I have a 1984 ROW which is close to SC weight with 231hp that is the best (to me) 911 I have driven within the years discussed.

I would be great if you could go into more detail as to your thoughts on how they drive.

Personality and Balance.... the 3.0 Liter appeared to bring the best out of the 915 and vice versa. They felt very well matched. This also might have been a bi-product of the whole SC package which I felt had more of a Long Hood T feel then either of my 2 G50 cars. They felt more refined.

The 3.2/915 combo felt a bit notchy not as smooth. Candidly speaking, I do not think my 3.2/915 combo transmission was in the best knit and my friend Dave had his totally re-built after I drove his.

To your point WhiteRabbit... there are many who feel the 86 915 Carrera is the best of the 79 through 89s.
Old 03-19-2016, 01:48 PM
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I like the fact that I can have friends and family who can drive a stick can jump into the driver seat and have some fun. It gives me joy to see them drive my 87 Targa. I'm pretty sure they would be more challenged driving a pre G50 tranny.
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Old 03-19-2016, 04:13 PM
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