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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia
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Project JXR944

Hello all,

I just registered to this site and this is my story (that is, if anyone is interested).

I started my restoration project, here in Nova Scotia about 3 years ago when I bought an '86 944n/a (5 speed, sun roof) which was an insurance write off due to a fuel rail fire. Damage was restricted to the engine compartment (plus a cracked windscreen, roasted engine hood, damaged headlight mechanism, lids, front pan) and concentrated to the passenger side ahead of firewall. No A/C compressor, damaged condenser, burnt wiring harness and all plastic parts in engine compartment melted. Lots of fire extinguisher spray in carpet and dash area. Interior is burgundy leather with sport steering wheel. Dash is cracked, no radio, the leather shift boot is missing and the casette leatherette top has a small hole in it (but the hinge and casette tray are perfect!!). The glove compartment door holder is broken. The car was not only burnt, it had been abused as well. The odometer shows 104000 miles.

Actually, now that I think about it, the car was probably a better parts car than resto project. But, I'm a sucker for an orphan car and enjoy the challenge. By the time I get the car on the road it will probably be the most expensive 944 around.

After transporting the car to my backyard garage I completely stripped it down to bare shell and prepped (to my delight, the body was perfect, except for minor scorching in right side of firewall and inner right fender (inside and out as well as the undercarriage). Removed motor and stripped engine bay.Had it resprayed with 4 color coats of diamond silver metallic and two clear coats.

Then the car was returned to the garage and raised up on jack stands and supports (24 inches off the floor). I put the motor on engine stand and stripped it to the bare block and cleaned it. I farmed out the head for restoration. The cylinders and bottom end were well within specs so I installed a rebuild kit ( new seals, belts, gaskets, etc) and put motor back together to await installation.

As each exterior and interior piece and part was re-installed it was detailed and/or replaced (with some new parts and some good used ones). I had to install sun-roof seals and latches and also a new operating cable mechanism (that was interesting but not a difficult job since I had removed the headliner).

Driver seat outside bolster was ripped and foam padding shredded. I took the seat to a local backyard upholsterer who rebuilt the foam and stitched in a new burgundy leather skin on the bolster.

I removed, cleaned and rebuilt the front crossmember, a-arms, ball joints, rod ends, sway bar bushings. Rebuilt the starter and alternator. Installed new sensors, distributor cap and rotor, plugs. The engine bay is detailed and painted and motor installed with replacement DME wiring harness.

I bled the brakes last weekend and put the car back down on 4 wheels and am still trying to figure out the vacuum lines. After putting everything back together I am pleased to say that all electricals work (even power driver seat, mirrors, sunroof and windows, except the car won't start (no spark). I installed a new DME relay. I removed and inspected the DME and didn't notice any cracks in the printed circuit, or any signs of burnt or melted electronics. After reading the posts and the fact there is ticking sound from the factory alarm has me suspecting that the alarm may be activated and is keeping the car from starting. There is also an after market Viper brand control unit hanging from beneath the dash on drivers side. Installing the the new nose badge was a special moment. If I ever get it started will also be a very special moment.
Old 04-30-2003, 03:04 PM
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Disconect and remove both alarm systems.
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81 924 N/A

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still can't help but smile when you see one tumble down the stairs.
Old 04-30-2003, 03:22 PM
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Yep, I'm gonna try that. Hopefully I can figure out the wiring (electricals are not my strongest skills). I'm learnin' as I go along. Should I do this by disconnecting the wires at the alarm key switch or disconnect the wires at the control units?

Last edited by caper; 05-01-2003 at 03:27 PM..
Old 04-30-2003, 03:33 PM
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Caper............

way to go!!

Bringing a car destined to be parted out is really a special thing!! (PRICEY............but special)

Few things to make sure your car starts of on the right foot.

You seem to know the car pretty well...........but to make sure a fellow canuck enjoys his car. I need to ask you the following questions.

1. Timing belts - You are aware of the issues and have it tensioned properly before turning her over.

2. Oil pressure - You will crank her over and make sure you have oil pressure before you fire her up.

AND lastly post some pics of this car!!!!

In regards to your question. More than likely the factory alarm is not working. The previous owner probably installed the Viper alarm since the factory one stopped working (more than likely lost the key).
The viper alarm module is probably underneath the car. If it was done properly you should be able to follow either 2 thick (red or yellow wires) up into the ignition wires. They will be spliced in. Ignition kill may have been activated.

GOOD LUCK!!
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Old 04-30-2003, 03:44 PM
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Thanks for the kind words and advice. My car is in my garage in Sydney and I work 250 miles away in Halifax. I only get to work on the car on weekends and during evenings when I get to Sydney on business trips. I didn't have access to tensioner tool when I installed the belts. I followed the advice of the local porsche mechanic and tensioned by hand to get it close enough for installation and then bring it to them for tool tensioning.

I filled the motor with oil, turned it over by hand a few revolutions w/o plugs and then by key. Am now going to drain it and install new filter and 15/50 mobil 1 before turning over again.

The factory alarm control unit is making a ticking noise (like signal light flasher) when the ignition key is turned to on position. I thought the ticking sound means that it the alarm is operating.

'80 Fiat X1/9
'82 Renault R5 GL
'98 Audi A6
Old 04-30-2003, 03:59 PM
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Project JXR944

I will post photos of JXR944 as soon as I get them scanned onto disk.

Meanwhile here is a picture of Caper admiring a very nice 356 cabriolet at a car show in italy.

Old 04-30-2003, 04:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by caper

I filled the motor with oil, turned it over by hand a few revolutions w/o plugs and then by key.

Caper..........

How did you turn it over by key if the alarm is activated???

SHe has to crank by key (no injectors in/take fuel pump relay out) and the oil pressure guage should jump all the way to 5 BAR. It may take about 15 seconds of cranking to get the pressure to register.

Also you will need to change the oil at ~500 km then ~3000 km.... at 3000 km you can consider this engine broken in......

Oh by the way...I think 944SBOYEE is from your neck of the woods.......
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Old 04-30-2003, 05:12 PM
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Good point. The motor turns over by key but no spark. The factory alarm makes a ticking sound when key is turned to on position.

New porsche coil, new sensors, new DME relay, new spark plugs, new distributor, new rotor.

I will remove injectors, spark plugs and fuel pump relay next time I turn it over. I look forward to being able to change the oil after running the car.

I have been turning it over with a battery that is not fully charged (shows less than 12 volts on voltmeter on dash gauge.), am I right in thinking that the 944 wants a lot of cranking amps to show some spark?
Old 04-30-2003, 05:25 PM
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Uhmmm time to start troubleshooting........

It should still want to fire up if the battery is low.

Check if you have spark. No different than any other car. CHeck that the spark plugs are firing up.

1. Fuel - is first on my mind. After a rebuild most of the fuel has come out of the fuel rail. She may not be building pressure yet....But if you have cranked her over a number of times you may have flooded her as well...........

2. Since you rebuilt this engine - Did u install the reference sensors properly? This would be my next concern. The 2 sensors on the clutch bellhousing. If these are not in properly she will not fire up.
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Old 04-30-2003, 05:43 PM
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Definitely no fuel in the rail. I removed the end plug on the rail and no fuel present. Even if no fuel I should still be able to get spark.

I pulled the #1 plug wire and tried sparking it with screwdriver, nothing.

I installed the reference sensors as close as possible to proper clearance spec. I also switched the two sensor plugs just in case I connected them in wrong order, but no difference.
Old 04-30-2003, 05:56 PM
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hmmm...looking at the print, the factory alarm opens the fuel pump on the '86...and it also looks like if you remove it you'll have to bypass it to supply +12v to the DME/fuel pump relay. I hope someone can confirm this though. It also looks like the horn is involved as well.

Alarms/Immobilisers can open the fuel circuit and/or the ignition coil and/or put a steady ground on one side of the coil to defeat the DME 'pulsing' a ground to the coil to give a spark. dunno what a viper does but the ticking/cycling relay doesn't sound like any normally working alarm. Maybe a broken one though.

When you turn the ignition key to 'on' do you have +12v on the input terminals of the coil...the thin black wire and the green wire? The black should get it's +12 from the key switch. The other terminal gets it's +12v from the black wire as it goes thru the primary coil winding. The green wire supplies a pulsing ground to that terminal as the engine turns. The pulsing ground comes from pin 1 of the DME. Pin 1 sends the pulse because the 'reference' sensor is sending a ~2v spike to pins 25 & 26 of the DME.

Did you say wether the fuel pump was going when you turned the key?

Well we're off to a good start (no pun intended!)
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Early '85 944
Old 04-30-2003, 06:17 PM
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With the ignition key in on position the 12 volt probe tester lights up when I touch it to each of the coil posts (black wire and green wire) so that tells me the power is reaching the coil and transferring thru the coil to the green wire post. Haven't tried for pulse yet.

I haven't heard any sound from the fuel pump. That seems to mean that the fuel pump and coil spark are being restricted which seems logical if the schematic shows alarm system in the middle of this wiring route.

I unplugged the Viper control unit but the factory alarm keeps right on ticking when the key is in on position.
Old 04-30-2003, 06:37 PM
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again...looking at the factory alarm...if you remove the module it looks like pin 4 (green) would need to be connected to pin 1 (black/white) to bypass it...but it's been a long time since I stole a Porsche? Anyone into Grand Theft Auto should be able to answer this in....60 seconds??
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Old 04-30-2003, 06:39 PM
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Of course, the alarm key switch should be a simple SPST (single pole, single throw) and if so, either the 2 wires going to the switch either are open to activate it...or closed. But this being a German car there are probably 17 wires going to that switch!
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Early '85 944
Old 04-30-2003, 06:48 PM
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The wiring diagram on Pelican Parts site shows two wires to the alarm key switch. I should be able to do something at that point in the circuit. I'm gonna sleep on it. Thanks for now, e buona sera a tutti.
Old 04-30-2003, 06:54 PM
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and a good nite to you too!
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Early '85 944
Old 04-30-2003, 07:07 PM
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I would make double sure that I had the sensors in correctly. Also, the motor has to crank so many RPM before the fuel pump will run. controlled by your speed sensor.
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Old 05-01-2003, 01:58 AM
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I have always removed nonfunctioning alarms. I have never had success troubleshooting or figuring out how to bypass them.
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81 924 N/A

Some people are like Slinkies. Not really good for anything, but you
still can't help but smile when you see one tumble down the stairs.
Old 05-01-2003, 04:33 AM
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Todwic...was it something better than 30 RPM? Then after it starts if it drops below 200 RPM the DME/fuel pump relay cuts it off.
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Last edited by carsontc; 05-01-2003 at 04:56 AM..
Old 05-01-2003, 04:54 AM
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yeah, sumpin like that. and I agree with carson: disabled alarms should be removed. what good are they?
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my web site Torque values maintainance and repairs lots of my rebuild pics weights and measurements
'84 944 auto/ps/ac/cc
'86 951
Providing ignorance one post at a time.
Old 05-01-2003, 05:34 AM
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