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Post Looking at 1985.5 944 tommorow...need advice ASAP

Hi everyone, I am new to this board and I am interested in purchasing a 944. I am planning to drive for 2 hours tommorow to take a look at a 1985.5 944. The car is champagne in color with a brown interior, I'm not sure if it is leather or not. The car has 63K miles and the current owners say they have all the service records. The car has a aftermarket cd changer and the people selling it claim that everything works and nothing is wrong with the car. They want $6000 for it. How low should I bargain? What would be a good price? The people selling it are the third owners. Are there any things I should look out for besides the water pump and timing belt? I plan to get the car inspected before buying it. Also, does anyone in the Cincinatti/northern KY area know of any place that would inspect the car?
Sorry for the long post, any help about the car would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Nabeel

Old 10-04-2001, 10:21 PM
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That sounds so much like my car a few months ago... 3rd owner, CD changer, all records, champagne/brown, 63k miles, wait nevermind

Anyway, $6k is too much. I wouldn't even make the drive...
Ahmet

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Old 10-04-2001, 10:33 PM
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Make sure that there are records showing a new timing belt and water pump service within the past few thousand miles as service on these items is due at that mileage. The price is way high unless the car is in VERY good shape. That's around what I paid for my 1987 N/A 5 years ago. Good luck.

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Dennis Russell
Indianapolis, IN USA
1987 944 n/a
Old 10-05-2001, 06:18 AM
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Things to look out for:
1. Timing belt: the engines are interference engines. Porsche recommends the timinig belt be changed every 30k miles, but most mechanics say they will go 45k miles. Also: make sure there's record on when the belts on the counter-balance shafts were replaced.
2. Clutch: the n/a's (including the 944S and 944S2) had a rubber center clutch hub that would deteriorate in time. While test driving, if you're shifting and clutching and hear a clunking sound, the rubber center is gone or in pieces. Clutch jobs are expensive to do on these cars: $1500-2000.
3. Oil/coolant mixing: if the coolant res. or the dip-stick has a chocolaty residue, the oil and coolant have 'seeped' together. This can occur for a number of reasons: head gasket (mostly), and some other seals. This is a bad thing: such cars should be avoided. If a car you see hasn't had this problem, as long as you keep up the maintenance, you should be ok.
4. Motor mounts: if these go, excessive vibrations can be felt at idle. Most people upgrade to the turbo motor mounts if they start going. Not that expensive a fix.

There are other things, but if you find a problem with any of the above, you know the car's not in excellent condition.

Excellence magazine from last February gives this price range for the 1985.5 944na:
Poor: $3953.00
Good: $4494.00
Excellent: $6016.00
I have seen many 'excellent' cars, according to the owner. Once I actually saw these cars, I realized how over-rated the car was. Is that a 2 hour drive each way?
However, I don't discourage you from looking at the car: just don't make any hasty decisions about it: don't believe them when they say "...if you don't put money down now, there's a person coming this afternoon to pick it up..."

I have a 'handy-dandy' inspection checklist for buying a 944 in MS-Word format. If you're interested in it, send me an email: z-man@944fanatic.com.

Good luck!
-Zoltan.

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[This message has been edited by Z-man (edited 10-05-2001).]
Old 10-05-2001, 06:46 AM
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I own the tightest early 944 I've seen in person. About two years ago (with 17 inch rims, and less faded paint, as well as sport seats, and many other 'extras'), I was offered $6k several times, but only by people who weren't really interested if you know what I mean. That was two years ago.

About a year ago I put my car on sale, and I was thinking seriously about buying a turbo. There wasn't a thing wrong with it, nada. Full records, no rattles, no leaks, etc. I was willing to go down to upper $2k range, couldn't find a buyer. I've seen nice turbos for around $8k, with less than 110k on the odo. Comparing the late cars to the early ones (yesterday I got a full set of factory training guides from work, original stuff), than to the turbos, the S2s, and even 968s, and considering the market I'll have to say that I personally wouldn't pay a dime over $5k (if that)for an 85 944, period. Don't care if the thing has been kept in a bag it's whole life, $6k is just not worth it, for whatever reason. Most of the cars ARE indeed over-rated, as I went around to look at 'excellent' examples many times before (when I was selling mine). Yeah you might come by so many examples selling for $3k, advertised as perfect, but there's always going to be those few that actually are in quite nice shape, for similar prices. I'm telling you, I had full records from a very reputable shop of everything, every single oil change, all the upgrades (power steering cooler, updated belts/tensioners, transaxle rebuild, clutch, many more), even has original paint, glass, and body panels, didn't have ONE serious buyer in months. Ofcourse after I pull the car, I get a call from somebody, who ends up paying some $6+k for an early car, that was in worse shape than mine (I've seen that car too). Don't be that somebody!

PS: Burnouts don't do ANY damage to your 944, save for the transaxle (diff), and tires if you don't dump your clutch.
Ahmet

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Porsche owners Gallery.../My 944
Old 10-05-2001, 11:11 AM
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Read a post in todays Rennlist.com 924/944 board titled "Receipts are worthless". I kick the tires ($$$) and bounce the car-shocks, alignment, A arms ($$$). Oil leaks by engine-seals. You'll still buy a Porsche even after all advice or wish you had one.
Old 10-05-2001, 12:55 PM
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You might ask the seller to send you a bunch of detailed photos of the car over the internet. I bought my S2 this way, but not before seeing good shots of each door panel, rear seat, cargo area, gauges, dash, wheels, bodywork, engine compartment, etc. It's true that not everything will show up in photos, but it will give you a better idea if you should make the 2-hour driver or not.

Ahmet, I value your input, but have to disagree about burnouts doing no harm to drivetrain. You might not break something immediately, but repeated shocks to clutch plate, CV joints, etc. (not to mention the sharp, instantaneous loads to those expensive, hard-to-replace motor mounts with the yummy liquid centers) will catch up with you in the long run. But after all, it's your car; do what you want.

--Doug
Old 10-05-2001, 02:25 PM
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Doug, I think you misunderstood my post. Indeed dumping the clutch is something to avoid in pretty much any car, it puts stress on the entire drivetrain. On the otherhand, you don't need to dump the clutch to do burnouts, or doughnuts.

Quote:
Originally posted by 1.2gees:
PS: Burnouts don't do ANY damage to your 944, save for the transaxle (diff), and tires if you don't dump your clutch.
Ahmet
------------------
It's all the driver...
My page over1g@hotmail.com
Porsche owners Gallery.../My 944

[This message has been edited by 1.2gees (edited 10-06-2001).]

Old 10-06-2001, 12:28 PM
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