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Converted 944 Guy
 
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Question Timing Belt Missing Teeth- Jumped Timing

Hey guys,

Have a couple questions about a 87 944S I looked at today. Going over the service records I noticed that the car would not start. The mech determined that the timing belt was missing some teeth and had jumped timing. All belts, rollers, and WP were replaced. Mech noted the car started and idled smoothly. Also noted that the owner was made aware of potential valve damage. Has anyone run across this situation without valve damage?

There is a minor oil pan gasket leak. How bad should it be before being addressed? I was there for 2 hours and no oil hit the floor during that time.

Also a PS leak was noted, but I couldn't detect it. There was seeping on the hoses leaving the pump, but no apparent dripping anywhere.

Unfortunately I was not able to drive the car, but took a test drive with the shop. It was pouring rain and the car is on consignment--least that's the excuse I was given. Car idled smoothly, accelerated nicely with no odd noises.

Thanks!

Old 09-22-2013, 12:03 AM
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Anything is possible. The car isn't running with missing teeth now is it?

If there's no odd sounds, the car starts, idles and runs smooth, feel like it has full power across the board, then I'd say it sounds good. But you really have to try it for yourself.
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Old 09-22-2013, 12:20 AM
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If you want fairly cheap and easy ways to check the valves hook up a vacuum gauge and watch the needle. There should be several places on the web to help you diagnose based on needle behavior (one random site I quickly found is Vacuum Gauge troubleshooting). Another good site with animated gauge in the "scenarios" is http://www.secondchancegarage.com/public/186.cfm. Then, a little more effort is a compression test. A mechanics stethoscope may be helpful to track down any strange noises such as bad bearings; they are around $10 more or less and can be helpful. Good luck and have fun!
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Last edited by 88Silver924S; 09-22-2013 at 01:32 AM..
Old 09-22-2013, 01:03 AM
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To answer your direct question, no I have not seen a 16V car that skipped timing and survived without bent valves. I suppose anything is possible. Can you call that mech and ask for details?

The oil pan gasket leak and power steering leak are typical. You can fix them or "live with them".

Regarding the whole situation though, I would never buy an old P-car that I couldn't drive, and I never buy a car in the rain.
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Old 09-22-2013, 05:18 AM
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I don't know what you're considering paying for the car and what it's overall condition may be but I will offer this to consider: If I were to be the potential buyer, I'd insist on a compression check to verify solid valve condition. A small oil leak on these cars can (and did in the case of one of mine) turn into major oil leaks in a short time. I assume the leak is in the rear, as most of the time, that's where they are most common. A leak that appears here may not even be coming from the oil pan area. It may be from somewhere else and above. If you buy the car, I recommend investing a few bucks in a fluorescent oil dye tracer kit at Autozone or some other autoparts store. They include dye, special flashlight and glasses. After running the engine for a few hundred miles, with the dye in the oil, you'll be able to easily trace the source of any oil leak. This will also work with the power steering fluid leak, if it truly exists.

Also, there are many other items to consider before putting out the money. Such things are: rusted battery box that leaks water into the DME that's under the passenger floor-board, delamination of the upper part of the rear hatch so that it leaks, vacuum leaks (old rubber seals) and when an oil leak shows up in the engine area, expect all the other rubber seals to be of the same condition and will likely begin leaking as well. This condition can be taken care of by removing the the timing and balance belts and replacing all the engine rubber seals in the front of the engine, including the crankshaft seal. Good luck in your decision. I hope it all turns in your favor.
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Last edited by mytrplseven; 09-22-2013 at 08:43 AM..
Old 09-22-2013, 08:41 AM
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No the timing belt was replaced. I took photos of the invoice for the work. Basically it reads, the car wouldn't start, timing belt had missing teeth and jumped time. All associated parts were replaced. That was between 1000-1500 miles ago (in July).
Old 09-22-2013, 10:51 AM
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I did a inspection visual inspection on the car using the 944 guide posted here and read all maintenance records. It's very clean, 3 owner locally owned all it's life.

On inspection, cabin seals tight, battery plate sound, no stains whatsoever in the interior, dash is immaculate, engine bay displayed no leaks, everything looks as it should. Exterior good. Car started easily, idled nicely.

It has 132K on the clock and asking price is $6,000.

I have the contact info of the last 2 mechs and will contact them tomorrow.
Old 09-22-2013, 10:59 AM
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for 6K you better make sure it doesn't have any bent valves, this seems to be towards the very top end of this price range for the S these days.

At least do the compression test although that's not a foolproof, it's better than nothing. Where's the car located? Do you have any video of the car running? Can you get it in it and rev it, see if it feels like it has power or feels a little "off"?
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Old 09-22-2013, 12:37 PM
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Quote:
..It has 132K on the clock and asking price is $6,000.



I have the contact info of the last 2 mechs and will contact them tomorrow.
If you're considering paying anywhere near $6k for a 944 confirm all the records, check maintenance dates and mileage at each service and speak with the shops who did the work. It better be cosmetically a 9+ and you better get to drive it first. If it doesn't run as sweet as a strawberry in springtime walk away.
Old 09-22-2013, 12:47 PM
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Thanks to everyone who replied to my post! I appreciate your knowledge and time very much.

The car is located in Sacramento, about a 3.5 hr drive for me. I was disappointed that is started raining right as I got there.

I did rev it and it seemed OK. Although to be honest, the other 944's I've seen have been POS, so this one was definitely a step above. Having said that, I am no expert and will rely upon the folks that last serviced the vehicle.

The dealer was fine with providing all the contact info and as it turns out Frank's Automotive in Sac did the timing belt and got the car running. I contacted the Sac chapter of PCA and spoke with a member that recommended Frank's prior to my trip yesterday. Said they are honest and will give a true assessment of the vehicle. Additionally the dealer is fine with a PPI with Frank's, so I will set that up and seek a compression check (I watched the oil pressure during test drive and was consistent at 5). Should I also seek a leak down test?

Here's a link to the car. 1987 Porsche 944 - Used Car Sacramento CA | Luxury Motor Cars

There are a few things that need attention. Front button control on the drivers seat is missing. Front hood struts need to be replaced, dealer said they will do at no charge. Original point is in good shape only a couple touch ups. Interior is immaculate. Back hatch struts are good, and no leaks. AC needs condenser. And the previously mentioned leaks.
Old 09-22-2013, 02:19 PM
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Sorry to be direct, but there is no way I would pay $6K for a 944S today, especially with those high miles and a report of a broken timing belt in the recent past.
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Old 09-22-2013, 02:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tamathumper View Post
Sorry to be direct, but there is no way I would pay $6K for a 944S today, especially with those high miles and a report of a broken timing belt in the recent past.
No problem. That's the kind of info I'm looking for.
Old 09-22-2013, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by mhariush View Post
for 6K you better make sure it doesn't have any bent valves, this seems to be towards the very top end of this price range for the S these days.

At least do the compression test although that's not a foolproof, it's better than nothing. Where's the car located? Do you have any video of the car running? Can you get it in it and rev it, see if it feels like it has power or feels a little "off"?
I called the PCA in the Sac area and they recommended having Frank's Automotive check out the car. Ironically Frank's did the timing belt repair. Dealer is fine with a PPI. I will ask Frank's for a compression check and a leak down test.

Known issues on the car are the jumped timing, the previously mentioned leaks, and bad AC condenser. A couple small things on the interior-- front control on the drivers power seat missing. Otherwise interior is very nice despite the color. Dash is perfect. As is the carpet and seats are very nice. No signs of leakage inside including the back hatch.

With the known issues, what would be a good price for the car? I understand that I'm looking at a few thousand to get the mechanical issues resolved. Normally wouldn't bother, but with the exception of the broken belt, the maintenance history is solid and car is very clean.

Here's a link to the car's details and pics.

1987 Porsche 944 - Used Car Sacramento CA | Luxury Motor Cars

Thanks to everyone for your input!!
Old 09-22-2013, 02:55 PM
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You know the dealer will cost you more plus they'll throw in extra fees that you don't need to pay if you buy Private Party. It's a nice looking car but there's the additional repairs that should bump the total acquisition price over 7 grand. Walk away and take the time to research a better deal on a more complete car.
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Some people try to turn back their "odometers." Not me. I want people to know 'why' I look this way. I've traveled a long way and some of the roads weren't paved.
Old 09-22-2013, 05:04 PM
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You know the dealer will cost you more plus they'll throw in extra fees that you don't need to pay if you buy Private Party. It's a nice looking car but there's the additional repairs that should bump the total acquisition price over 7 grand. Walk away and take the time to research a better deal on a more complete car.
Thanks for the advice. I've decided to continue my search.
Old 09-22-2013, 05:30 PM
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I think that's the best course. The 16 valve cars are overly complex and cost a ton of money to keep running. I bought my 944 S for $7K about 15 years ago, then spent about $23K fixing it. It was just one big thing after another.
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Old 09-22-2013, 06:25 PM
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I bought my S for 1100, but it had a broken timing belt, 11K into now and still needs some more TLC...

The car looks pretty good, but has a dent on the right rear fender? Engine isn't the cleanest but the interior looks pretty good. The fact that it has all the manuals, paperwork, brochures and even the original air compressor is a good sign. But I wouldn't pay 6K for it. Try and get them down, maybe 4K...if you're fine with the exterior and interior colors. They won't sell it any time soon...
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Last edited by mhariush; 09-22-2013 at 07:37 PM..
Old 09-22-2013, 07:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhariush View Post
I bought my S for 1100, but it had a broken timing belt, 11K into now and still needs some more TLC...

The car looks pretty good, but has a dent on the right rear fender? Engine isn't the cleanest but the interior looks pretty good. The fact that it has all the manuals, paperwork, brochures and even the original air compressor is a good sign. But I wouldn't pay 6K for it. Try and get them down, maybe 4K...if you're fine with the exterior and interior colors. They won't sell it any time soon...
Good eyes! Yes it has a small dent. They were good enough to text me a pic of it prior to my driving up.

The rest of the body is in really good shape. Paint has a couple minor touch ups. I'd say it's an 7-8 on the exterior. Interior is very nice, a 9. All service records going back to 87.

Color combo not a great one.

I did call the folks that did the timing belt and spoke with them about the car. Received some good info about the car.

For the record, I never planned on paying the asking price, if I decided to buy it. Just happens that this is the cleanest, documented 944 within a short drive of me.

I read here and Rennlist that solid 944's can be had for $3-5k. Everything I've seen advertised in that range has been a total POS. Seems more likely to find a $6-7K advertised car and offer $4-$4.5k. Either that or I need to develop pelican car finding skills.
Old 09-23-2013, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by tamathumper View Post
I think that's the best course. The 16 valve cars are overly complex and cost a ton of money to keep running. I bought my 944 S for $7K about 15 years ago, then spent about $23K fixing it. It was just one big thing after another.
Yikes! Maybe I'll stick to the N/As.

Old 09-23-2013, 02:39 PM
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