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Talking one last major expenditure before marriage

Well this must be the first time I am posting here without asking you folks questions on an early 944 with the problems Ive had since I acquired the car. I guess I should finally introduce myself...

I got my car in August 2005 as a belated graduated present from my brother. Before him it had 2 owners according to carfax.com (although prior to 1993 this cannot be verified). He picked it up from a used car lot that was closing which was run by a good friend of his in 1998. At the tender age of 18, I was the lucky one to drive it home. He then took it to a Porsche shop to get things working properly (mostly electrical and clutch/timing belts/water pump). He drove the car 5,000 miles, only mods being a hot air intake, lightweight throttle cam, and rear KYB shocks. He took it to a few auto-x sessions in NNJR region and stickered the car. Some time later he got sick of it, just drove it occasionally, let his wife take it out, his bro-in-law take it out etc... Finally, things got busy for him and the car sat for 1yr. Back when I was 13, he told me that if I finished college in 4 years, he would give me "a 944". I was hoping it would be a 85.5 or later, but after driving his, wouldnt mind it. A year ago, we looked at a gold '88 951. The car had minor body damage, some surface rust and an unknown owner history. The car ran but smoked somewhat. Back then, he offered me the '84 or would contribute to buying the 951. I thought about it long and hard and wanted the 951 but couldnt come up with the rest of the cash. At the time I was so infatuated with the 951, I didnt even give the 84 a thought. Again the car sat 6mo. Finally, August 2005, he came to me and said he wanted to free his driveway of space and offer me the 84 944 again. I decided to take it and make it a project car.



When I came to look at it, the car had water in the rear footwells, the carpet throughtout was wet, the leather had detioraed and deformed, mold everywhere and the car wouldn't start.





I towed it home and began to work on it. First thing was I removed all decals / stickers. I cleaned out the interior as best I could and first priority was to get the engine running. I ended up replacing the DME relay and the DME unit and got the car to start. Turned out a year of moisture and condensation got a little water to build up in the engine harness and DME. After cleaning that all out, replacing every fuse, I installed my new to me DME.

Then I began work on the interior. With the rear carpet soaked, I decided, I best take it out, replace the soaked sound dampening, shampoo and steam clean carpet, and while this is all going on, replace the door and sunroof seals. About 2 weeks later, time for reassembly...



Also I mentioned when I got the car, the seats looked like this...



I searched high and low for a replacement set and got a pair out of a newer 944 for a great deal. So I replaced the hardware and re-installed them with a friend, then vacuumed out the interior.







So with a clean interior, i went to work on all the issues to get the car roadworthy again. One by one, I replaced many relays (turn signal, cooling fan, fan blower, DME). With the turn signals, I had to end up replacing the switch itself. eBay was a big help in many of my parts searches.

So I insured the car and began driving it a few short trips. When I went to drive it to a friend's lift to flush coolant, i noticed the car would stall out on me. Regardless of accelerating, idling or coasting, the car would just shut off. I also noticed the battery light would be somewhat dim when the motor was on. I went ahead and flushed the coolant and replaced the alternator, but the problem was still there. With a cold December, i decided i'd leave the car at the shop with my friend's dad to replace my speed and reference sensors. 2 months later, lots of aggravation
, and $$ spent I got the car back.

So here we are, yesterday morning. ON a whim, maybe an impulse move, I decided to drive her to my friend's body shop to respray the car and fix some exterior rust. The idea was, i'd just get an estimate and then be on my way, and start saving. Well the estimate came out to be very reasonable for me and I left the car with him and gave him the green light: $2200 to respray the car completely with clear coat and factory paint, replace or clean up all exterior trim, emblems, stickers, stoneguard, replace a rusted through front passenger fender and repair a previously mis-repaired qtr panel that is now bubling with rust and has cracked. I will be visiting the car later this week to help source out exterior trim pieces and do-dads. This will probably be the last major expense for the 944 for most if its life, at least till after im married in a year or so. Then i'm thinking a full engine rebuild. As of right now, I'm keeping it as stock as possible. I must say, that new issue of excellence gave me some motivation, maybe a little more justification to throw some $$ into the car as by a promise, i'm not allowed to sell it. With the market value (albeit somewhat optimistic) goin up on early 944s, I can justify the work im doing. I've always wanted a 944 and here I am with one. Taking it to the gym and walking back to it, with all the new modern cars parked around her, she stands out, looking very vintage. Even spotting them on the street, in my case, very rarely, the car is still pleasing to look at, and what better else to improve its image other than a freshening.

I hope you enjoyed my little story and will be offering pics of the progress in bodywork to this thread if anyone's interested. I am very psyched and can't wait to see what the guys at the shop will come up with!!!

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-Frank
'90 Range Rover Classic 3.9 SWB
'01 TT225Q Roadster
'04 LS430

Last edited by fmalgapo; 01-29-2006 at 12:04 PM..
Old 01-29-2006, 11:57 AM
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WOW that interior came out nice.

Its gonna be purdy.

Congrats
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Old 01-29-2006, 03:55 PM
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Lovely. The older dash is the best in my opinion. Its my hope the car won't have anything hidden to bite you. Enjoy!
Old 02-04-2006, 01:33 PM
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Hi Neighbor!

Drive by your area all the time and have seen your car a few times!

best

Joe

PS - I'm in WO also!!
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Old 02-05-2006, 09:06 AM
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Interior looks great. Keep us posted.
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Old 02-05-2006, 01:39 PM
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some updates

Well Wednesday I went to the bodyshop to get a list of all the plastic trim pieces, gaskets, seals I will be replacing. I decided to take some pics of the car.









I already ordered my replacement fender and trim pieces the last few days since I took these. Ill have more progess pics next week.
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'90 Range Rover Classic 3.9 SWB
'01 TT225Q Roadster
'04 LS430
Old 02-05-2006, 07:23 PM
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Frank, that car will look very nice when its repainted. Great job on the interior.
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Old 02-06-2006, 11:04 PM
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Thanks for the fender Jerad!!
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'90 Range Rover Classic 3.9 SWB
'01 TT225Q Roadster
'04 LS430
Old 02-07-2006, 05:29 AM
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As a very proud owner of an immaculate 944 that I have invested way more money than it is worth, I say 'welcome to the club'. There will be no regrets. You will love your baby day in and day out. With the car looking 'as new' you will have tons of pride driving her around and laughing at all the other cagers who spent worlds more for their new Hondafordyotawhatever and not having half the car you do.

Enjoy her and drive her like she was meant to be driven.
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Old 02-07-2006, 06:16 AM
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a few more updated pictures....ver. PRIMER





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'90 Range Rover Classic 3.9 SWB
'01 TT225Q Roadster
'04 LS430
Old 02-10-2006, 06:35 PM
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'04 LS430
Old 02-10-2006, 06:36 PM
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'90 Range Rover Classic 3.9 SWB
'01 TT225Q Roadster
'04 LS430
Old 02-10-2006, 06:37 PM
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Stopped by again this morning to drop off some parts, surprised to see my car already sprayed...still has to be wet-sanded / buffed...









Next set of pics will be assembly
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'90 Range Rover Classic 3.9 SWB
'01 TT225Q Roadster
'04 LS430
Old 02-11-2006, 05:32 PM
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Very sweet
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Old 02-11-2006, 09:37 PM
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Good to see the progress. Believe me, car expenses will seem minor once you are married. There never seems enough for "toys" when all the house hold expenses come up. I made sure I bought my 944 before I remarried the wife, and getting rid of the 944 was not a condition of marriage. In fact in the Antinuptual Contract the car is a specific item excluded from any claim should things come unstuck (don't know if ANC is a marriage contract in States). Spend,spend spend on the car whilest you now can. Actually the wife is beginning to enjoy coming to the Autocross etc. Train the wife early!
Old 02-13-2006, 11:55 PM
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Well she's home...snapped a few pics leaving the bodyshop but was more anxious to get her home safe in the garage for the paint to cure.







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'90 Range Rover Classic 3.9 SWB
'01 TT225Q Roadster
'04 LS430
Old 02-17-2006, 05:18 PM
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Frank

This car looks great. I remember you 1st posting pics in the CL months ago. Now the car has been completely transformed!! Lets see some pics of the interior. Are you going to stick w/ the cookies or go for something else?
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Old 02-17-2006, 06:05 PM
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My hat goes off to you for a project well done. The paint looks great, and I would also like to see some pics of the interior. I would really like to see the final result.

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Old 02-17-2006, 06:30 PM
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