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Join Date: Mar 2001
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One less 944 on the road

Well, as some of you may remember my post from a few weeks ago, my 944 S failed to start one day. After unsucessfully looking for the problem ourselves, we took it to a mechanic. The valves and the cylinders collided, but the timing belt was fine (they said it looked brand new) - they told us that the cam chain was the culprit. I don't know how I didn't hear this when I tried to start the car.

Anyways, we're at a huge loss. They told us it would be $4k (WTF?) to rebuild it and $3k for an engine swap. So, our only choice now is to give it up to a junk yard for $500-1000, part it out, or sell it to someone who wants it. This is where I need advice.

edit: it's an 1988 944 S, black/beige

-The interior is good, 8/10 (beige).
-Most of the body panels are good (right rear quarter panel got hit while it was parked, they drove away, front left panel has some scratches on it, most likely from keys).
-Odometer doesn't work, stopped at 120k miles, shouldn't have more than 130k on it now (I drive fixed lengths, so we know, and we have good documentation).
-Wheels are good (have some scratches on two)

Recommendations?

We are going to tow it back to the house today or tomorrow, and I have pictures if any of you want them.

Damn, I miss that car already.

edit: car is in Atlanta area (south), does any one know of a rebuilder?
Old 01-02-2006, 11:22 AM
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Do the work yourself. Just pull the head and inspect the pistons, If they are OK then send the head to a machine shop to have it checked and install new valves. If you do most of the labor you should be fine 4k seems like way to much.
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Old 01-02-2006, 12:49 PM
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I agree (somewhat) with Fast. I would price out the repair yourself. That's what i did on my 968, which had the same failure ar yours. My shop quote was around 6K. Did it myself for about $1800, and that included replacing a LOT of the incidental things.

I think your best bet is a junkyard head (with cams). On the S, S2 and 968 cars, when the cam chain tensioner fails, it damages the cam gears, so your cams are gone as well. Unfortunately, it's not just as simple as changing a few valves. New cams are pretty much out of the question, they're only available from Porsche, and are probably around 1400 for the pair. SInce they didn't make too many 944S's, you might have to search for a while before you find a head. Keep checking www.car-part.com, and eventually a head should pop up. (there was nothing when i just looked)

If you have to sell it, I would part it out......Provided you have space, and time and the motivation to do it. (it takes more than you think of ALL 3) Even with the engine dead, you'll probably be able to part it out for 5-7K. Possibly more, if you manage to sell even all the small parts.
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Old 01-02-2006, 01:21 PM
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Ask them if the head was broken when the chain tensioner went. If it wasn't, and it's just bent valves with no significant piston damage (which won't be known until the head is off) it shouldn't cost near that much. If a replacement head is needed the cost definitely goes up. The good news is that when they go just on cranking the engine, (as opposed to when the engine is running) the chances of head/piston breakage is greatly diminished.
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Old 01-02-2006, 01:23 PM
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You can get rebuilt heads here:


http://www.944paradise.com/


I'm sure 944 Ecology could hook you up with a used head as well. (I'm not sure if he has rebuilt heads.)

There are options, and you can get your car back on the road for less than $2k if you do some or all of the work yourself.
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Old 01-02-2006, 01:53 PM
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ask your shop what it would cost in just labour if you're not wrench savvy... get all the parts on your own (i'm sure there will be help with that here) and see if it's more worth it for you..

also, shop around.. when you need a mechanic to do a big job, it's best to shop around if you're not happy with the price.
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Old 01-02-2006, 06:07 PM
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If you do end up doing it yourself, let us know, cause there are a few of us that will come help if ya need it :P
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Old 01-02-2006, 08:08 PM
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yea, there are a bunch of GA guys on the board...
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2008 Mini Cooper // '83 Porsche 944 // '01 Mazda Protege [sold] //
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Old 01-02-2006, 08:55 PM
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I live on the south side of ATL and would be willing to give my .02 worth. I think I've seen you driving around.
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Old 01-05-2006, 02:14 AM
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