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HELP my 1983 944 wont start

I just bought a 1983 944 today and the guy told me he had parked the car a year ago after it quit running. He said that sometime sit would run fine other times it would not start at all. He thinks it is the control unit or something else in the electrical system. After i got it home I jump started it and it ran fine for over an hour. After i shut it off the battery was dead so i replaced the battery. Now it cranks fine but will not fire at all. I am getting fuel so thats not it. Any of you gearheads no of a common problem like this and is it the control unit. Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. thanks.
Old 10-12-2003, 08:00 PM
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maybe your coil??? could also be the dme relay...ect
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84 944 5spd,85.5 auto
Old 10-12-2003, 08:01 PM
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DME relay most likely

check your plugs and wires, as well as connections to your coil

(DME relay is on the top row of your fuse\relay box, second from left, says DME on the top of it)

(your fusebox is under the dashboard, drivers side)

AFJuvat
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Old 10-12-2003, 08:07 PM
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OK great that helps alot but now can you tell me how much a new DME relay will be and can i get that at like an Oreillys or Auto Zone
Old 10-12-2003, 11:59 PM
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about $35 and deffinatly not avalable @ most parts stores
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84 944 5spd,85.5 auto
Old 10-13-2003, 04:44 AM
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The very first thing you should look at is the earth off the engine to the firewall - this ground (even when it looks fine and clean) is responsible for a plethora of faults such as poor starting, dodgy idling and charging problems. Replacing it will be the best 3.00 you ever spend.
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1983 944 Lux (manual) 2.5 litre 8 valve na and no pas

1991 944 (automatic) 2.7 litre 16 valve na and pas

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Old 10-13-2003, 04:55 AM
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I have also run into problems with the speed sensors on both my cars. sometimes all it takes is a good cleaning and re-install as the magnetic pick-ups get coated with gunk and metal particles. If these pick-ups don't send a signal to the DME - no spark.
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Old 10-13-2003, 09:09 AM
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Grounds! Why is it always the grounds!

Or the DME relay.

Or the spark cable between the coil and the dist.

First welcome to the 83 owners club. Now as to figuring out your problem.

After you clean all of the ground connections between the battery, chassis and engine (including the positive side terminal and the several 10 gauge wire connections):

Take a test light or volt meter and test for 12 volts at the coil and at the injector plugs with the key on. This will tell you two things; the ingnition key is working (voltage at the coil) and that the first set of contacts in the DME/fuel pump relay have closed (voltage at the injectors). Connect the negative of the volt meter to the negative or ground side of the battery.

If there is no voltage at the coil then suspect the battery to chassis connection as well as the ignition switch. If there is no voltage at the injectors but at the coil then suspect the DME relay.

If there is good voltage at both then on to the next step.

The coil is fired by a circuit in the DME. This circuit's logic looks at the pulses coming back off of the reference sensor. The reference sensor and it's mate the speed sensor, read pins and the teeth of the starter ring on the flywheel and send voltage pulses to the DME.

Use an ohm meter across the center pin and one of the outer pins on the sensors. You should get from .6k to 2k ohms. The other outer pin should not have any reading. If it does then there is a short in the sensor or the wiring to it.

The sensors send back a 2 volt pulse or better. They are adjusted by setting the rear sensor (speed) to 0.8 mm from the teeth on the starter ring.
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NOT a 'real' Porsche -- Its Better!!!!
When was the last time you changed your timing and balance belts and/or cam chain and tensioner?
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Old 10-13-2003, 09:26 AM
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Thank you guys so much this is all a great help. I am in the processof trying to locate a DME relay so if you guys have a good place to look let me know. Thanks again for all your help.
Old 10-13-2003, 09:42 AM
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Ok guy i have checked for power at the coil and at the injector plugs and everything is fine there. Can you explain the next step a little more. Are you talking about the sensors that are next to the DME by the fuse box or what. Is there a way to test the relay it self to see if its good. I took it apart and everything appears fine but who knows. Also i have a new computer coming in the mail is there a way to test to see if my old one is ok.
Old 10-13-2003, 03:26 PM
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A simple next step is to get a spare spark plug -- any will do. Set the gap to what your car calls for. Pull a spark plug wire and stick the spare plug in it. Lay the plug on the intake manifold where it can ground out and crank the car. You should get a spark.

If you don't get a spark then pull the coil wire out of the dist and sit it next to the fender and crank the engine. If you have a spark at the coil then the problem is between the coil and the dist.

The coil to dist wire has been known to pull out of the connectors inside the weather boots. The screw that holds the rotor on to the end of the cam shaft has been known to fall out. The cam pulley can come loose from the end of the cam and cause the rotor to hit against the inside of the dist cap.

And last a broken timing belt will not turn the cam and thus not turn the rotor.
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Hugh - So Cal 83 944 Driver Person
NOT a 'real' Porsche -- Its Better!!!!
When was the last time you changed your timing and balance belts and/or cam chain and tensioner?
New Users please add your car's year and model to your signature line!
Never break more than you fix!
Old 10-13-2003, 08:27 PM
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