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fliphkd778's Avatar
 
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Turbo or 944 S2? Inexper. Mechanic with moderate cash...

Basically I'm an inexperienced mechanic. I need a 944 model that has airbags and ABS. The upkeep costs don't matter too much, however, the level of difficulty on working with the engine is a big factor, as well as parts availability. I've heard several stories:
1---Don't get an S2 becuse the valves get busted often, and they are not too cheap...
2---Don't get a Turbo, they are too hard to work on for a backyard mechanic with basic garage tools, plus they are very expanesive to maintain.
3---Buy a Turbo, they are great daily drivers cars.
4---Buy an S2, the parts are easy to get because all the parts for the S2 are the same as the parts for the standard 944.
I can't find a 968 either. Thanks so much
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Old 04-06-2005, 04:56 PM
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There are many here that would vote for the S2...I don't agree, I had a 968 (better version of the S2 in virtually every way) and I much preferred my 951.

Upkeep costs don't bother you? That's real good, because no matter which Porsche you choose, you'll be paying a lot to keep it on the road.

I don't work much on my own cars, but I'd guess the turbo would be a bit more complex to work on than the n/a's.

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Old 04-06-2005, 06:01 PM
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I know litte about either car, but generaly turbos are more difficult to maintain.
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Old 04-06-2005, 06:52 PM
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Basically, you get what you pay for.

944 S2 is better than a 944 S- they had most of the 16 valve issues worked out by then. That said, parts are rather expensive. Special tools are definately needed for head gaskets, etc.

944 Turbo doesn't require many special tools aside fromthe belt tool. However, they are difficult to work on (tight spaces and heat shielding everywhere) Parts are also expensive.

Whichever one you get, buy the best one you can afford. Plan on spending 15 - 20% of the purchase price in maintenance\repairs in teh first year.

AFJuvat
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Old 04-06-2005, 06:54 PM
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lets try this approach. What is your budget to buy a good condition car? How much money are you willing to spend to maintain it? How willing are you to learn?
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Looking for a nice 944S for a daily driver.
Old 04-06-2005, 07:58 PM
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S2s are actually much closer to Turbos than to normal NAs in terms of parts - same body panels, upgraded drivetrain, upgraded brakes. The S2 has about the same max HP as an early (86-88) Turbo. However, the torque in the low end is far better -- S2s make for a better "about town" car, whereas the Turbos don't really get into their stride until they can get up to highway speeds. They can be quite flat and unresponsive in the low rev bands.

When I was looking for a second 944, I was willing to consider both Turbos and S2s, and found a good S2 before I found a good Turbo. Both are good cars, and both overcome the major perceived problem with the normal 2.5L NA cars -- nice handling, but not enough power. They just deliver the power in different styles.

If you get a chance, drive both and see what you think.

-Mark
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Old 04-07-2005, 01:30 AM
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I have owned both.

The S2 does have more room to work on. I also agree that it is a better "around town" car.

Both are an absolute hoot. You'll be happy either way.
Old 04-07-2005, 06:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by AznDrgn
lets try this approach. What is your budget to buy a good condition car? How much money are you willing to spend to maintain it? How willing are you to learn?
Yes well...$8,800 is about my max. I would like to spend at most $2,500 a year. Sure I am totally open to learning anything having to do with any car that I buy.
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Old 04-07-2005, 05:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by fliphkd778
Yes well...$8,800 is about my max. I would like to spend at most $2,500 a year. Sure I am totally open to learning anything having to do with any car that I buy.
I think your budget on both quoted figures is quite realistic, subject to one proviso: you buy a well-maintained car in good condition to start with. A well-maintained car will keep going almost indefinitely on $2,500 maintenance a year, as long as you are doing most of the home mechanic level stuff yourself. If you get the local porsche guy to change your oil and put air in your tires, the $2,500 isn't going to go very far, however.

There is a lot of information (FAQs, articles, etc.) on how to determine whether a 944 is a "buyer" or "be afraid - be very afraid" proposition, but the best single thing you can ever spend your money on is a pre-purchase inspection done by a Porsche specialist -- and preferably a 924/944/968 specialist at that.

This is the one time you want to spend your money on the guy names Dieter that has the factory training and charges $100/hour, or whatever. Not just any mechanic will do -- even a competent general mechanic will not know all the typical failure modes peculiar to these cars, and whether it will be expensive or not, even if they advertise themselves as "European car specialists".

E.g. ball-joints need replacing. How much movement means they need replacing? (Answer: ~1mm.) Pre-1985 model? No big deal - replacable parts, $15 each side maybe. 1986 or later - much bigger deal, non-replacable parts, you need to rebuild control arms yourself using a kit, or buy them rebuilt. Either way, getting expensive. Don't even think about buying them new through your local Porsche dealship, unless money is no object.

There are about 1000 other things like this to know, then you are qualified to do a 944 pre-purchase inspection report .

When you get your pre-purchase inspection report, post it here, and you will get some rapid feedback on what you're in for. This is what makes it all feasible. If you are willing to learn, you will learn a lot, and save some money and get a lot of satisfaction out of acquiring new skills, and increasing your knowledge and appreciation of your car.

Best of luck. I'm sure you'll find a good one. Patience is well-rewarded in the search.

-Mark
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Last edited by Mark944na86; 04-07-2005 at 06:25 PM..
Old 04-07-2005, 06:14 PM
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With your budget, you should for sure find an excellent Turbo. S2s seem to be a little harder to come by, and a bit pricier. I was willing to consider both on my recent search, I just got lucky and was able to purchase a Turbo from someone I knew, the car was basically a known commodity. The stack of records from new doesn't hurt either. If you have any desire to modify it, go Turbo, you're only limited by your budget, but initially there's a lot of cheap HP to be had, especially if you DIY like me. I love mine, it's an excellent daily driver, no regrets here.

FYI, '87 944 Turbo, pewter over burgandy, Weltmeister chips, LBE, shimmed wastegate, SFR cat back, Bursch test pipe, Bilsteins, strut tower brace, SS brake lines, recent control arms, bushings, etc. Exterior and interior are very nice except for dash cracks, 115,000 miles, I paid $7700. Needs a timing belt in 5k, washer pump is out, heater won't shut off (fixed with $.94 clip), needs tires (now has new Fuzions).
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Old 04-08-2005, 04:16 PM
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I also recommend driving both. I had an 86 951 with a k27 and it was chipped, running about 15psi. Very quick, but I didn't like the turbo lag. Driving around town in traffic it seemed slow.
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Old 04-08-2005, 05:06 PM
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Recently I was talking to a local Porsche-only mechanic and he said that the rubber in the 951 goes bad or something, which leads to oil, seal, and gas leaks frequently. Other than the engine, the S2 and turbo seem to be the exact same?
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Old 04-08-2005, 06:13 PM
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Turbo has taller ring & pinion. S2 has better gearing for daily driving.
Old 04-08-2005, 11:02 PM
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It's not my cup of tea either, but an S2 does make a better "daily driver", that said I wouldn't own one over a Turbo. I think it'd be much less headache to own an S2 as well. Turbos are not very friendly to work on.
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Old 04-09-2005, 03:07 AM
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The big advantage of a turbo is the ease of generating silly horsepower numbers with available aftermarket parts.
Old 04-09-2005, 06:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dantilla
The big advantage of a turbo is the ease of generating silly horsepower numbers with available aftermarket parts.
True, but there is a difference between max HP and drivability. You can get the numbers as silly as you like, but it won't make a bit of difference at the lower RPM range before the boost kicks in.

-Mark
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Old 04-09-2005, 06:16 AM
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Absolutely true.

For a little while I had both a turbo and an S2 next to each other in the garage. Even though I liked the color combo of the turbo better, I sold it and kept the S2 for quite a while.
Old 04-09-2005, 07:09 AM
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I saw a post on Rennlist that explained it like this, if you do a lot of around town, stop and go type driving, get an S2. You'll appreciate the gearing and low end torque. That said, if it's more highway type continuous driving, you'll love a turbo. Once you get going, the acceleration over 3000 RPM is amazing. No worries about passing on a two lane.
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Old 04-10-2005, 05:49 AM
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I'd have to say go for the turbo. The S2 is a sweet car, but I think they are much more expensive to maintain, and well, who doesn't love the turbo on this board?
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Old 04-10-2005, 07:28 AM
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