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Spring cleaning... PORSCHE 944

Hello to all!

This spring, I have took it upon myself to finally take out a car that my family has stored for what seems like an eternity! A 1986 Porsche 944 (non turbo) has rested in my grandfather's garage for just about 20 years now. Any 944/Porsche or restoration experts that have any advice for me? What do I have to do to the car to get it back to run again and in what order? All help will be greatly appreciated!
Old 04-10-2014, 04:36 PM
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1990 944S2
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Sherman Oaks, CA
Posts: 225
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Welcome to the cause!

So... please let us know a little more about you. Experienced in mechanics? Beginner? How much do you know about Porsches?

I'd recommend you do a lot of research before you actually touch anything. Clarks-garage and this site both have excellent articles and checklists of how to go through your car, what to look for, and how to fix it.

This is a hobby for a lot of us, something physical to do after a day or week of sitting at a desk, for instance, and it's very rewarding to be able to drive in something one has physically worked on one's self.

Having said that, and even though the 944's current blu book values aren't very high, this model car isn't cheap to get sorted (restore) or maintain.

Of particular note is the interference engine, where the valves travel down into the cylinders for part of their cycle, and must be precisely timed so that they are up and away from the cylinder heads when the pistons inside them are at the top. Otherwise the piston will hit/interfere with the valve and you're into an engine rebuild and/or out a set of valves, minimum.

This system is timed mechanically and held in time by a system using a timing belt and pulleys.

Obviously, like the a/c-accumulator belt and the power steering belt, both the timing belt and the balance shaft belt (which balances the motor (which looks like a half a V8, sitting at a slant to the rest of the car) and stops it from vibrating overly) - are made primarily of rubber, and in your car will certainly have to be replaced. That's four belts now if you're counting, with their seals, gaskets and rollers as well.

Usually new owners will replace all of these belts as a matter of course, and then replace them again once every 20-40,000 miles. The only time when new owners don't have that done right away is if the previous owner of the car has documented evidence of their having been done within the specified service period. And even then, I think that most new owners will change out at least a part of that system "just in case".

The belt kits, water pump, seals and gaskets will run you over $500 in parts alone, and there's a core charge for your old water pump if you choose to buy a remanufactured water pump.

Why water pump? Because that too can fail and has rubber parts, and to replace the pump and the thermostat that goes very closely nearby, you have to take off the belts and thus risk throwing the engine out of time again.

So most people take no chances and replace the water pump and thermostat and all the seals "while they're there".

Take note of that saying: "while I'm here..."

Because essentially what you're going to have to do is to replace every rubber part, hose, gasket, boot and cover in the entire car, eventually, and "while you're there".

This means that the car, in the beginning, will be a money pit. At least several thousand dollars from front to back, not including tires, which themselves can run $500+ for a decent high performance set.

Then you have the regular tune-up set, which is air, oil and fuel filters, distributor rotor arm and cap, spark cables and plugs, typically a couple hundred in new parts right there.

And that's doing the work one's self.

Pro mechanical labor will put this car into the "can't afford upkeep" category pretty quickly, which is good for us DIY'ers because that means lots of lovely spare parts!

Well, not really, because if one is going to go to the trouble of tearing a car down and then rebuilding it, why would one ever use second hand parts?

Usually only two reasons - a) they're NLA, which means No Longer Available as new from the manufacturer/dealer, or b) they're too expensive for the DIYer to afford.

And this is where this forum, and others like it, comes in.

Here's where you will sound out your ideas, and then ask someone who's been there before you if your ideas are sound.

Before you spend a penny or lift a screwdriver.

That's it, in a nutshell.

If you have a look at the Porsche parts section of Pelican's site (this one), you'll soon discover the PET - which is the catalog of parts, in illustrations, descriptions and part numbers.


This is how you'd address your questions - the "left wishbone's eccentric bolt" works, as does "951.341.431.02", but as you go along you'll also find that the PET-designated "left wishbone, non M030" is also called the "Left Front Cast Aluminum Control Arm", and also the Left A arm...

so firstly get your year and model and if it's a non turbo listed, then go into the parts.

Just FYI we usually call turbo 944's by their factory designation (Porsche 951's) to avoid confusion. There is also a pretty solid distinction/break between early model 944s, going from 1983 to the first part of 1985, (and the car models from that period 944/1's), and the later model 944's that go from 1985.5 and newer.

So yours would be a late model 944, or a 944/2 to make the distinction from the early model 944/1. This does make a difference as a lot of parts from early cars won't fit in yours. And note that a 944/2 is not the same model as a 944S2, which is a 3-liter, 16-valve (16V) car and not a 2.5 or 2.7 liter eight valve (8V) car.


And so on.

I know that this can be a long road, but start by dividing and conquering: look through all of Pelican's catalog, section by section.

Then start to become knowledgeable on each system as you go though the car part by part, area by area, comparing what's on paper/laptop and what's sitting in front of you in real life.


I started by following the PET:

Main Group 0: Accessories and others
Main Group 1: Engine
Main Group 2: Fuel and Exhaust system
Main Group 3: Transmission
4: Front axle and steering
5: Rear axle
6: Wheels and brakes
7: Hand lever system and pedal cluster
8: Body
9: Electrical equipment



Then build yourself a road map.

Priorities first:
Are you limited on time? Budget? How much time? Money?

And then where to start?
Two approaches:

Do you want the car on the road quickly, and then work on it as you go along?

Or do you want to take everything down and then spend a few years sorting, sourcing, repairing and/or replacing until the entire car is cherry, and then put it on the road?



Go from here, ask loads of questions.

Enjoy!
__________________
84 944 gold sold
90 944S2 black current DD
89 735il white fixing
89 GL1500 white restoring, 01 955i S3 black current DD
01 955i Sprint brg customizing, 89 955i Daytona gold restoring

Last edited by ChrisRL; 04-11-2014 at 05:17 AM..
Old 04-10-2014, 05:24 PM
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ChrisRL, amazing post. One of the most informative and non-judgemental ones I've seen in a while. Thanks!
Old 04-10-2014, 09:11 PM
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Proprietoristicly Refined
 
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: ~Carefree Highway~
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+1!

Bookmarked

J_AZ
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1988 924S 77K July 2017 ...+ 1987 924S 145K DD (+15K est. bad odometer)
Old 04-11-2014, 04:31 AM
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1990 944S2
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Sherman Oaks, CA
Posts: 225
Garage
Send a message via Skype™ to ChrisRL
Many thanks!
I could go on.
Want more?
__________________
84 944 gold sold
90 944S2 black current DD
89 735il white fixing
89 GL1500 white restoring, 01 955i S3 black current DD
01 955i Sprint brg customizing, 89 955i Daytona gold restoring
Old 04-11-2014, 04:40 AM
  Pelican Parts Catalog | Tech Articles | Promos & Specials    Reply With Quote #5 (permalink)
Proprietoristicly Refined
 
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: ~Carefree Highway~
Posts: 5,822
I checked your homepage, nice skills.

Consolidate/update a "No Start" checklist, topic mentioned at least 2X+ daily.
Fuel, Air, Spark & Compression

Example:
Let start a NO START checklist

John
__________________
1988 924S 77K July 2017 ...+ 1987 924S 145K DD (+15K est. bad odometer)
Old 04-11-2014, 05:19 AM
  Pelican Parts Catalog | Tech Articles | Promos & Specials    Reply With Quote #6 (permalink)
 
1990 944S2
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Sherman Oaks, CA
Posts: 225
Garage
Send a message via Skype™ to ChrisRL
John, good morning!
Hmm... excellent idea. Let me ponder on that!
Cheers
Chris
__________________
84 944 gold sold
90 944S2 black current DD
89 735il white fixing
89 GL1500 white restoring, 01 955i S3 black current DD
01 955i Sprint brg customizing, 89 955i Daytona gold restoring
Old 04-11-2014, 06:02 AM
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Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Alberta, Canada
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ChrisRL: the Merriam-Webster to our Dr. Seuss.

Excellent post.
Old 04-11-2014, 06:32 AM
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1990 944S2
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Sherman Oaks, CA
Posts: 225
Garage
Send a message via Skype™ to ChrisRL
LMAO!!! Thanks again!

And what do you think, farinacciom? This is, after all, your thread.
__________________
84 944 gold sold
90 944S2 black current DD
89 735il white fixing
89 GL1500 white restoring, 01 955i S3 black current DD
01 955i Sprint brg customizing, 89 955i Daytona gold restoring
Old 04-11-2014, 06:35 AM
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Andrew Gawers' Dad
 
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Location: Andrews moms house, CO
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Nice post Chris, I was just gonna tell him to part it out and buy one that's already running. I might have also showed him the search button, lol. Maybe I should quit being a dick. lol. Again, great post.
Old 04-11-2014, 07:20 AM
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