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944 race car

Okay, I may be crazy and need this bbs to talk me in to/out of this.

I have a chance to purchase an '85 (series 1) 944 for $1500. It's got 107k on it. My intention is to gut it, strip it, and trailer it to autocrosses, DEs, time trials and races.

I currently own an '86 911 coupe and do all of the work myself, however I know nothing about 944s.

What am I getting in to? Advice? Opinions?

Oh, one more thing... My budget is very modest.

Thanks,

Al
Old 10-22-2006, 07:33 PM
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You do all the work yourself. That's a big plus. If the engine is good and the chassis straight, you probably can't go wrong.

Racing is always expensive, no matter which class. But it sure is fun!
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Old 10-22-2006, 08:33 PM
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My 944 currently looks like this:



Originally purchased for $1000, and did what you're about to do. Great fun to run with a bunch of other 944s.
Old 10-22-2006, 08:39 PM
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DO IT!!!
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- Elliott
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Old 10-23-2006, 12:10 AM
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Your knowledge of 911s will lend itself nicely to 944s. A 911 is a precision machine, a 944 is just a car. It handles really well, but the mysteries of oil lines, flat 6s, crappy a/c and heat are not present. www.clarks-garage.com is your friend. They are great little cars, have fun!
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Old 10-23-2006, 04:01 AM
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+1, definitely do it! I was going down the same path but I got lucky and found a really nicely built 944S so I sold the one I was going to build.

I'll second what others have said about maintenance. Having had both 911's and now the 944, I find the 944 to be pretty easy to work on. It's not as simple as the 911 is mechanically (aside form the engine), but it's not overly complicated either.
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Old 10-23-2006, 04:25 AM
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Hey, great replies. Thank you everyone. Dan, your 944 looks fantastic.

Okay, I'll start looking. Heating, AC, etc., won't be an issue as I'll most likely gut the thing.

Thanks folks. This is a great forum.

Al
Old 10-23-2006, 07:55 AM
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The car pictured above had a seized engine. A friend owned it, so I knew of it's great maintenance history.

I threw a junkyard engine and a roll cage in it, squirted a little blue paint on it, and went racing.
Old 10-23-2006, 08:48 AM
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I don't want to rain on the parade, but I am about to make a similar move. I have a 89 944S2 that i am considering turning into a racer for the new SCCA class called ITR. I currently race a RX-7 in ITA.

If you are considering a built to the max car, in other words, you'll go through the engine to produce the max power the rules allow, get out your checkbook. It won't be cheap. Now, you can probably build a cheaper version, and run and have fun, and depending on where you live you'll win some races, but in my part of the country, it's not so easy. ITS and ITA are very tough to win in around here, and ITR will follow suit. Milledge needs about 15K to make a great top shelf engine. Gulp..I could buy a BMW E36 motor from Sunbelt and run in ITS for significanlty less.

So, what I am saying is, determine your first, second and third year goals, and do your research. In a way, owning a Porsche is a bit like boat ownership...all the parts cost twice what they should, LOL>
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Old 10-23-2006, 08:01 PM
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Ah, sounds like Jake really knows his stuff.

Thanks for the advice. I may hold off a little longer until the funds come back around (I currently work for non-profits; they're not so financially rewarding to work for).

Thanks for the advice Jake.

Alan
Old 10-23-2006, 08:09 PM
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True.

I have since gone throught both the engine and suspension in the car pictured above. Cross drilling the crank, and trap doors in a later style oil pan insure good oil pressure at sustained high rpm's. Other than that, Improved Touring rules require a basically stock engine. New intake and exhaust are a must to be competative.

Stiffer suspension really crisps up the car's responsiveness. Much more fun to drive, along with lower lap times.

I've got more money in the car now, but to get started, I did what it took to pass tech, and took it to the track. great way to get started.
Old 10-23-2006, 08:12 PM
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Yea, to run at the front can be sobering, LOL.

Dantilla has chosen the classic route, and it's a great one, where you and the car grow together. Both get faster as you progress.

But sometimes there are stumbling blocks, like when you go to the ARRCs, and you are all over the guys in the corners, and even off the corners (the key) and you get halfway alongside on the straight, and then they just drive away, to the tune of 4 car lengths by the braking zone.

Gulp...guess what honcho? You just got beat by.....a checkbook. You outdrove him, but he outspent you. As in he wrote the check to the motorman, LOL.

That's fine if its something you can stomach, but when you call the motorman and find the check is 15 large, you have to think twice. SCCA allows a 40 overbore. Uh oh...that displacement, and you gotta have displacement, right? Right...so the moroman sends the block off to the one place in the country that can reapply the Nikasil or whatever magic plating it is, and then you write a check for thousands. Then you buy the magic 40 over pistons...not Chevy 350 prices here either, LOL. The perfectly gound "stock"cam, properly reindexed (3 or 4 dyno runs, cam in, cam out), the con-rods all balanced to the lightest one. Multiple heads bought and flowed to find the best one..(A big key to a "stock" motor that makes more power than other "stock" motors), And on and on.

Look up all the prices on Chuck Morelands Elephant racing site for the suspension stuff. Nice stuff, and honestly, it's fairly priced, but it isn't free.

Dantilla has probably not added up his receipts, and he probably won't....if he doesn't know the total, his wife/girlfriend/significant other can't either, LOL.

But a famous first bit of advice is that you can usually sell your race car for 25 -50% of what you have in it if it is a fast relibale and unwrecked car. Which means you can usually just go and buy one for half what it would take you years and thousands to build.

The raw chassis it the bait...people see a free chassis and they thing it's like a free car, but in the end, it's such a small bit of the big picture.

I'm not saying don't do it, but just think about what you want to get out of this very carefully. Hang around race tracks....everyone will love to help and fill you in on their experiences. Then make your move.
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Old 10-23-2006, 08:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by lateapex911
Dantilla has probably not added up his receipts,
Good thoughts above. No dissagreement here.

I've got about five grand in the engine, and just about that in suspension. Monoballs are pricey. My custom welded cage is a work of art, and was about 1/3 the normal cost because the cage fabricator had just lost a bunch of work because of a series getting cancelled, and needing to pay the rent. I scrounged up some used parts, did quite a bit of work myself, and bought a couple 944s from an auction, for both myself and to sell parts to my other 944 racing buddies. That helps defray some of the costs, and my buddies like having my parts cars available to scrounge parts from.

Overall, I'm into my car for far less than most, but it still adds up over time. hopefully, I'm down to just gas, tires and entry fees for a while.

A typical ITS prepped 944 sells for about $10,000. I'm a bit over that now, but not by far.
Old 10-23-2006, 08:43 PM
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I don't know if you know Chris Camedella or not. He's a fast (fastest in the country except for Kip Van Steenburg) ITS 944S owner. his car is built to the 9s...Milledge motor (like Kips), and he's decided to offer it for sale. Gulp...$50K. And he says he has more into it. Gulp again, LOL.

Granted, some of the stuff is fluff...Stack dash, etc, but still, LOL. Thats a TON of money!

If you're out there racing for that kind of money, you've done very well. It adds up, and lucky deals like your cage deal aren't always possible. Just 3 sets of wheels and tires is 3K+. Keep up the smart work!

By the way Dantilla, what kind of wheels are those? they look nice. Weight? (Assuming they are 16 x7)
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Last edited by lateapex911; 10-23-2006 at 08:54 PM..
Old 10-23-2006, 08:50 PM
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Those wheels & tires are just my rollers for getting on and off the trailer, and for the tiny bit of street driving the car sees. Bought them from a Boxster owner who wanted to jump to 18's.

I race on 15x7 Cookie Cutters with 225 Hoosiers.



944 parts, anyone?
Old 10-24-2006, 02:08 AM
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hows this for a Budget?

used RA1's $200
extra set of Phone dials $400

I compete in stock so I am somewhat limited as far as what I can do. My plans for next year are to change the shocks and struts to Konis, replace the suspension bushings and probably get another set of rims with 710's. On this wish list are sport seats (or actual race seats) harness bar and harness.

Racing can be expensive but it really depends on the level that you want to compete at.

Old 10-24-2006, 09:37 AM
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Since your in No Cal, you can drive/race in the 944 Spec class with NASA. Go to their web site and click on the 944 spec forum. If you want to drive to So Cal you can race with NASA and POC. The rules are the same.

While no racing can be considered cheap, 944 spec attempts to keep the costs down by allowing no engine or trans modifications, same tires (Toyo), stock 15" wheels and limited suspension upgrades. Minimum weight with driver and fuel is 2600 lbs. You can make your car competitive for around $15,000.

The 944 Spec class is a drivers class. Several of our top runners have driven my car several seconds faster than I have. It is all about seat time and driving skill rather than how much you spend.
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Old 10-26-2006, 08:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dantilla
Those wheels & tires are just my rollers for getting on and off the trailer, and for the tiny bit of street driving the car sees. Bought them from a Boxster owner who wanted to jump to 18's.

I race on 15x7 Cookie Cutters with 225 Hoosiers.



944 parts, anyone?

Dantilla, is that a Saratoga top on that red N/A I see? (it might be just a mismatched sunroof of a darker color)
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Old 10-27-2006, 04:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Panzer909
Dantilla, is that a Saratoga top on that red N/A I see? (it might be just a mismatched sunroof of a darker color)
The red car with the dark sunroof is a driver that will make another good race car someday. It's sunroof was pretty buggered up, so the roof on the car is from the burgundy car farthest back in the picture.
Old 10-27-2006, 09:30 AM
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looking for 1987 944 front spoiler and fog lamps. can you help?
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Old 11-30-2006, 03:57 PM
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Old 11-30-2006, 03:57 PM
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