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Custom944 10-21-2012 07:39 PM

Noob 944 build??
Hello To all. I am thinking of picking up a 944 for a project.Just wondering which cars I should be looking at.Since this will be a project and chances are the power plant wount stay the same I am not looking at any 951's.More along the lines of 944 5 speed cars.I am wondering if there is any body differences as far as 924 and 944's??It seems as 944's have wider fender front and back can anyone confirm this?I am looking for a fixer upper.I'm a Audi mechanic by trade.I am looking for a project for the winter to have some fun with.Also i've done some research regarding engine swap it seems as just about anything can be swapped into these cars.I think I will be looking at a AAN inline 5 cylinder turbo engine from engine.Just wondering if anyone has more information when it comes to performing something like this.Thanks.

PDX-944 10-21-2012 07:46 PM

im not well versed yet in the porsche arena but - the 924 body wise is more narrow as you said. the 944 has the widebody look.
if you look at wikipedia for 944 it shows the various powerplant changes over the years. progressively up until the 968 change they got more powerful. the 944 s and s2 are more powerful as well (DOHC vs SOHC), but more expensive obviously. 85.5 was a turning point for interiors as well as other things. wikipedia is a great source for the basic info. basically the later the 944 the more hp/tq.
they are all belt driven, and the S/S2 are 16v DOHC with a cam chain.

in the end for me, availability had a great impact on what i got. i wanted a post-85.5 for the interior mostly, but settled on a clean 84 because it was as close to what i wanted as i could find, and i searched for several months within a few hundred miles. the key is patience... wait until the right one pops up. first thing i find out is when the T belt was done last. if they dont know then it probably wasnt well maintained, because thats a very important part of the car. replace every 30k or 5 years. if they have no idea, they probably dont know enough to have maintained it well or done it.

Custom944 10-21-2012 08:00 PM

Thanks for your information,I have gone through the wiki page and looked up the specs myself as well.I know there is a difference in interiors and such.I believe 85.5 was when the dash and interior upgrades were finally made to the car.I think I will be looking at a 86 944 at the very least but then again i might wait and see what pops up.Like you said about timing belt and maintnance.Thats the first thing I will do once I pick one of these cars up.

As far as engines go I will Consider maybe a 951 engine swap but well see.I cant seem to find alot of information as far as what kind of power these engines are good for before internals needs to be changed.I know that rods are a weak component on most engines and thats what fails first.I will need to do some more research and see what kind of power can be made with the 951 engine before it needs to be opened up and upgrade the rods/pistons,and valve train up.

Jrboulder 10-21-2012 08:10 PM

If you're looking to put a different engine in it then look for a 951 with a broken or missing engine. I bought a 9.3/10 951 without a shortblock (came with all accessories and head) for less than I could have bought a 4/10 944 and that wasn't too uncommon of a deal.

FrenchToast 10-21-2012 08:12 PM

As an Audi mechanic you should feel at home with a lot of things. The transmissions, with the exception of those in the 924 Turbo (aka 931) are essentially Audi boxes. The car was originally destined to be an Audi-badged sportscar,, but the fuel crisis led Audi to sell back the project to Porsche (who had developed it for them from the start anyway). Nevertheless, All 924s and 944s (with the exception of very late 944s and all 968s) were produced in Neckarslum.

As I'm sure you know, Porsche and Audi have collaborated on many projects, the last probably being the RS2.

Visit Clark's Garage Home Page for an overview of model year changes.

I would recommend an '87 and newer car for a variety of reasons. In 1988 they came with a plastic fuel tank. 1987 cars and later all have suspension for late offset wheels, allowing for a greater selection of OEM Porsche wheels.

An NA 8-valve 2.5 engine isn't good for much power without doing gobs of internal work. Even then, it isn't good for much north of 275 hp.

Look forward to hearing more on your project.

Take care!

Dave Colangelo 10-21-2012 08:22 PM

I own both cars, a 924S, and a 944 (87 so it has the latter interior). The 924 chassis is a bit lighter but the over all shape is more rounded. The 944 has in my opinion better lines and is a bit wider but generally they are the same chassis. If you are looking to swap the engine I assume you will be keeping the transmission in which case you may want to get a 944 turbo trans as it was a bit more solid and has an LSD. It would be more suited to handle the power of say a V8. As far as the engine compartments, they look very similar and you could most likely fit similar engines in them.

On any note I will say this on engine swaps. There have been many threads here about engine swaps. Mainly LS1's into both 944's and 911's. They all follow a similar trend, a car is bought, and engine is found, a ton of custom parts are paid for, and then many snags are hit. In the end the projects either get abandoned and sold or finished but dont work right etc. I really dont mean to say any thing bad about them but a great deal of research, reading threads here is worth it. The other thing to consider is that the transmissions in these cars were not made to handle the output of say an LS1.

As for something like putting a 951 engine is a 944NA you may as well just buy a non running 951 and get it going. I would not consider a 951 engine in a 944 a swap mainly because of how similar the chassis are and generally the same every thing will be.

A stock 944 can be a great car to drive and own and is worth keeping stock. For the price of an engine swap 944 you can get a running 911 SC coupe which is a great car as well, if you are looking for a Porsche.


Custom944 10-21-2012 08:23 PM

Thanks French!!I have that site book marked Alot of good information on there.Alot of good DIY and hints and tips as far as replacing parts or taking things apart goes and loads of technical specs.It does look like the transmissions used are very similar if not audi boxes.

I will consider purchasing a project car as long as its complete for the most part or can be driven after some issues are addressed.So i can enjoy the car as a daily driver until i decide which engine I will choose to put in the car and build it up accordingly.

Custom944 10-21-2012 08:29 PM

I do agree and totally understand that these transmissions will probablu not hold up for long when using a ls1 or something like that.I dont think i will be putting a ls1 or v8 in one of these cars as I think it will change the weight distribution in the car and make the front end nose heavy making it a pig in the corners.I just might take your advice and try to find a non running 951.However most that Ive seen are going for big money even non running.So I will consider all options.

Dave Colangelo 10-21-2012 08:32 PM

There was a guy on this forum selling a non running 951 that he was really trying to get rid of just a few weeks ago you may want to contact him if you can. Also post your location so that people can make you aware of local cars or lend a local hand.


Jrboulder 10-21-2012 08:40 PM


Originally Posted by Custom944 (Post 7044771)
I do agree and totally understand that these transmissions will probablu not hold up for long when using a ls1 or something like that.I dont think i will be putting a ls1 or v8 in one of these cars as I think it will change the weight distribution in the car and make the front end nose heavy making it a pig in the corners.I just might take your advice and try to find a non running 951.However most that Ive seen are going for big money even non running.So I will consider all options.

Just check craigslist regularly and be ready to pounce on a deal. Don't settle for some POS that you will always question spending money on.

Custom944 10-21-2012 08:46 PM

Yeah ive been on craigslist I havent see anything that really stood out a couple of 944 but earlier cars which im not a big fan of.I will try and see if that 951 is still available.Ideally something thats needs a motor that popped a timing belt or a trans would be my preference but im open to just about any issues.

Gawernator 10-21-2012 08:46 PM

There was/is a running 951 in my area that I talked to guy down to FOUR thousand for. The paint was okay, needed to be buffed. Had nice phone dials, interior was maybe 4/10 but it ran and had a new clutch.

Custom944 10-21-2012 09:04 PM

Too bad your on the west coast sounds like something that i could possibly pick up.

PDX-944 10-21-2012 09:56 PM

i literally had a row of like 8 bookmarked tabs along the top of my browser for a few weeks, each was a search for "porsche" under 5000, and in various different locations in oregon and washington. each one basically covered the surrounding craigslists as well.

helpful things in big cities can be searching for "porsche" not 944, also porche, or porshe and common typos. there was one i missed for a long time and it ended up selling out from under me because i found it too late, it was listed as porche not porsche.

heres a site i looked at some. it picks up some from craigslist too

Dave Colangelo 10-21-2012 10:16 PM

I see you are in North Jersey, Im in Westchester NY so if you need a hand with any thing feel free to give me a shout ill do my best if I am around. There are a lot of great P-Car guys in the area that I have met through this forum many of whom I drive with often.

Here is the car that I was talking about in an earlier post

Could be worth checking out if its still for sale. Also if you are ok with sharing it you may want to list your price range, people will better be able to guide you if they know what you are willing to spend. A decent running 944 turbo is fetching 7K-12K these days but running ones can be had cheap. I was contacted by a friend recently who was selling a non running 951 I did not follow up (I dont have the garage space) but the car was in jersey ill give him a shout and see what the deal is.


FransB85 10-22-2012 12:26 AM

Here in Holland there's a guy who built a 944 with an audi 2.3 20v NA engine (7A). The site of his build in English here. He just built it to race, kept it NA, put on the AAN manifold so it would clear the hood.

Gawernator 10-22-2012 01:06 AM

That's just insane. He custom made so much!

FransB85 10-22-2012 01:38 AM

How do you like that exhaust? It's beautiful don't you think... Yup, he's got some skills

EliteThink 10-22-2012 09:14 AM

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v2rocket_aka944 10-22-2012 09:25 AM

The Audi 5-cylinder engine will bolt up to the 924 turbo bellhousing....:)

Have fun.

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