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Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Maryland
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First 944 - From an Aircooled guy. Few questions.

Hey fellas,

Quick intro: big Porsche guy, VW guy. PCA member. For clarity, I would say that I am not a green, teenage car mechanic (maybe a tad shade tree, though .)
I have '71 914 that I've done a full frame and floor sheet metal resto - nearing completion on a scratch built big bore motor for that now.

My old lady was loosely looking for a 944. I've always wanted one - I used to daily an SLC Corrado and I miss it, kind of the same field!

I fully understand the lingo and and relatively versed in their quirks.


Onto the car:

We found this car about an hour north from me. Has some cool options (#757 for those in the know). So went to tire kick and take a look.
It hasn't run in almost a year, and was full of leaves and cobwebs...
I shot a lowball of about 50% and he took it on the spot, no questions asked.

So unexpectedly, we now own an '88 944!

Here are the specs:
1988 Celebration Edition
1/250 - Studio Plaid - Satin Black Metallic
128,000 (we think)
Runs and shifts nice, it fired right up with a jump and I drove it home.

For clarity - paid in the range of 2k. I think that's a steal.





Had a few boy racer "mods": Sparco tow straps, white painted twists, a DEEP dish OMP....

Luckily I found the stock steering wheel under some junk in the trunk. I immediately stripped the rest of the crap off.
(tow strap flapping in the wind like a little red tail on the ride home







We deeeeep cleaned it for about 4 hours. I stripped the wheels with Jasco's, sanded a bit (they are rough) and sprayed with Duplicolor Wheel Silver.
Temporary fix, but not as embarrassing....





The Studio plaid is absolutely gorgeous, unfortunately, as they all are, it's heavily worn. The fabric is made from a linen material and is really thin.





I gaff taped the bolsters, so there wouldn't be much exposed foam. We'll put seat covers on it for now, likely temporarily replace the front seats.
I found the fabric in Germany (924werke or something), but its and arm and a leg for a yard - maybe down the road.








Issues: (pretty sure all of these are typical)

-Lots of scattered records going back to the 90's, but none for a timing belt. So it needs that ASAP at least for piece of mind. I will be doing this my self with the water pump
-Coolant gauge doesn't work, has a tacky SUNPRO water temp, which does work.
-Dome lights don't work
-carpet is not great
-Missing a center vent
-maybe small vacuum leak
-Both front ball joints needs replaced. Wheels wiggle a bit when jacked up.
-D window regulator is touchy.
-generally a little loose feeling, (probably the ball joints)

Had to don it with the PCA cling:




ALSO needs stockers, D90's or 16" teles.








Questions:
-Special tools needed for timing? I'm see both yes and no.

-Voltage gauge is intermittent, coolant does not work. Typical? Bad ground or sender?

-Dome light doesn't work, new bulb, wiring looks great. Check the hatch strut wiring?

-Dash gauge illumination lights do not work. There is some jerry-rigged soldered LED situation in there. I need 3 new 194 sockets (the white ones) cannot find them anywhere online! Any ideas? I read to replace the reflectors, but the lights do not work at all. (every other dash light does)

-Suspension is clunky on bumps in the front, Typical for strut tops? If I wiggle both front wheels there's movement in the ball joints, so I'll replace those... the Late kit is odd though... whats up with the 18 piece ball joint situation.
Any other bushing to check?

-Hatch struts are no good. I hear not to replace them due to separation...

-Any replacement for the side skirt vinyl decal thing?

-No reverse lights, I'll try to locate and check the reverse switch.

-30 amp fuse for the fresh air blower was melted, but not popped.

-Power seats do not work. Fuse is good and they are plugged in. Is there a way to adjust the height manually? It's too low for me, lets alone the girl.

-The hatch button deal on the side footwell doesn't do anything, again struts dont hold.


Thanks guys! Any feedback is appreciated!

Jared

Old 09-14-2020, 08:01 AM
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As far as the bulb sockets that I'd like to replace... Checking the PET it appears the socket is: #13 92864192700. 194/168 bulb. I will try and source a few of these.
Old 09-14-2020, 08:27 AM
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Great purchase! I'm excited to see the progress, and also to see what you find on the reverse circuit. Both of my cars have the entirety of that circuit inactive which includes the power mirrors, rear wiper, reverse lights, and I'm sure something else I'm forgetting. I haven't dug into either car yet to chase down the wiring issues.
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'88 951S - zermatt silber/black - staying stock. purchased in 11-2006
'84 944 - gemini grau/tan+brown - lightly modified. purchased in 11-2001
'14 Ford Focus ST - tangerine scream/black
'83 944 - zermatt silber/black - Dad's 40k mile time capsule. purchased in 09-1998 @ 18k
Old 09-14-2020, 09:19 AM
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I have had great luck sourcing parts from Plyhammer's Parts. They are very responsive and reasonably priced. I got lots of bits and pieces for the interior of my 86 at a fraction of the cost of new. Good luck with the restoration
Old 09-14-2020, 04:13 PM
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Thanks for the response fellas.

We already fixed a few things. I pulled the drivers seat. Cleaned up the contacts and re attached everything. WD 40 on the moving parts and switch, seat motors work great!

Also, I found the rear passenger strut had a broken wire, stripped and put a new spade on there, cleaned the door ajar switch. Added and LED in the dome and boot - they both work!

Cleaned and shampooed the carpet while the seat was out. Such a difference.

So, some progress!
Old 09-14-2020, 04:26 PM
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-Special tools needed for timing? I'm see both yes and no.
Special tools suggested, not required. Google "twist method 944 timing belt"

-Voltage gauge is intermittent, coolant does not work. Typical? Bad ground or sender?
I replaced my alternator after it went out - four alternators later I have it working. Three were bad out of the box. Make sure your battery is getting 14v with car running with all the accessories on.

-Dome light doesn't work, new bulb, wiring looks great. Check the hatch strut wiring?
Fixed, I see. Congrats!

-Dash gauge illumination lights do not work. There is some jerry-rigged soldered LED situation in there. I need 3 new 194 sockets (the white ones) cannot find them anywhere online! Any ideas? I read to replace the reflectors, but the lights do not work at all. (every other dash light does)

No idea here. I did put in an LED strip to brighten my dash gauges; it worked sorta.

-Suspension is clunky on bumps in the front, Typical for strut tops? If I wiggle both front wheels there's movement in the ball joints, so I'll replace those... the Late kit is odd though... whats up with the 18 piece ball joint situation.

Sway bushings, ball joints, shocks in front are all contributors. Haven't thought strut tops but maybe.

Any other bushing to check?
Rear torsion bushings are supposedly culprits of rough ride. And shocks all the way around, I hear (haven't done mine yet.)


-Hatch struts are no good. I hear not to replace them due to separation...
Replace them with 1990 Jeep Wagoneer/Cherokee tailgate struts. Don't buy the ones for 944, too strong.

-Any replacement for the side skirt vinyl decal thing?
Nothing here, sorry

-No reverse lights, I'll try to locate and check the reverse switch.
Nothing here, sorry

-30 amp fuse for the fresh air blower was melted, but not popped.

-Power seats do not work. Fuse is good and they are plugged in. Is there a way to adjust the height manually? It's too low for me, lets alone the girl.
Pull them and investigate. Easy to fix. Two motors per seat geared into threaded rods.

-The hatch button deal on the side footwell doesn't do anything, again struts dont hold.
There's apparently a microswitch somewhere. You can find and replace/debug it.
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92 968 coupe
Old 09-15-2020, 07:18 AM
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I had a problem with a worn-out reverse light switch and it was not expensive or too difficult to replace. It's on the top area of the transmission, on the passenger side. Mine would work, but only when you pressed a bit extra on the shifter lever. With the clutch pedal down, try keeping your hand pressed on the shifter when in Reverse and see if the lights activate.

An easy way to check your rear hatch motor is to go into the car when it's very quiet, maybe at night or in the early morning. Press the button and listen for the motor in the hatch area. You should be able to hear it go through a rotation. Mine was working, but the cable connecting the motor to the rear latch was broken. And, you'll need working hatch struts if you want to be able to pop the hatch with the motor.
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Old 09-15-2020, 11:42 AM
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Awesome responses guys! Thanks a ton! We will definitely be ordering those hatch struts. I ordered some bulb holders for the gauge panel on Auto Atlanta, we will see if those work.

I will check for the power hatch motor, mess with the reverse switch. Look into the ball joint rebuild, timing procedure, etc.


Will keep updated as necessary.
Old 09-16-2020, 04:01 AM
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Beautiful car. Maybe someone already mentioned the following two resources but they will be extremely helpful:

- Clark’s Garage (google it), an online shop manual for the 944 series created by a guy (who’s since passed away) who wrote it with extreme professionalism yet accessibility for us DIY-ers.

- look up “edredas Porsche” on YouTube. He is renaissance-man mechanic in Virginia who fixes 944’s all day. His videos - and there are many, covering just about everything - have become a go-to resource for me, as a person who can learn more from watching than reading a description. He explains the Why as much as the How, a natural teacher.

Support Pelican where you can by making purchases here; this Forum is a huge gift to all of us.

Best of luck, and looking forward to all you’ll share about you car and experiences with it,
John

Last edited by jjeffries; 09-16-2020 at 04:39 AM..
Old 09-16-2020, 04:36 AM
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I like Edredas too. I think he's in North Carolina.
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Old 09-16-2020, 01:25 PM
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Welcome to our home JaredM.will need some TLC work to bring it up the oe condtion ,specialy the interior but the car in gereral look good .Suggest you thrash the interior plaid cloths cause it will be hard to come by & replace by either leather or leatherett one,shop around there is lot of good interior laying around that won't break your piggy bank, take care & have fun with your project.
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Old 09-16-2020, 06:18 PM
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That’s a great score, 88 is a great year
Old 09-16-2020, 07:11 PM
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Thanks for the resource info. I am in the same boat as the OP with an '86 that needs a lot of love. I have purchased from Pelicans and Only944.com. So far finding most of what I need. I would like to find a good center console pad in black. The foam core is deformed pretty bad. Any ideas are welcome. Sorry JaredM, not trying to hijack your thread but add to the conversation.

John
Old 09-17-2020, 11:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JaredM View Post
Awesome responses guys! Thanks a ton! We will definitely be ordering those hatch struts. I ordered some bulb holders for the gauge panel on Auto Atlanta, we will see if those work.

I will check for the power hatch motor, mess with the reverse switch. Look into the ball joint rebuild, timing procedure, etc.


Will keep updated as necessary.

Let me know what hatch struts you ordered as I am looking to make this replacement soon. Please and thank you.
Old 09-18-2020, 09:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaSnaka View Post
Thanks for the resource info. I am in the same boat as the OP with an '86 that needs a lot of love. I have purchased from Pelicans and Only944.com. So far finding most of what I need. I would like to find a good center console pad in black. The foam core is deformed pretty bad. Any ideas are welcome. Sorry JaredM, not trying to hijack your thread but add to the conversation.

John
20th St. Auto

DC Automotive

ebay has been a big resource to me as well when it comes to stuff like this as well

also check the classified ads on this forum as well...make a wtb post and see...

Old 09-18-2020, 09:34 AM
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