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Swap out '84 944 parts for '86 951... how crazy am I?

First, I'd like to thank the members of this forum for countless moments of insight and help for the trials I've endured with my trusty 944, affectionately known as Wolfgang. I've owned this '84 for 3.5 years now, touching almost every bolt, driving it 1,600 miles on our honeymoon... my wife and I are in this thing for the long haul.



That being said, after the recent purchase of an Audi URS6, I feel the need for a bit more power, but I'd like to keep the heart of the Porsche true to the 944, so I started my hunt. I've found a perfect donor '86 951 (rear ended)... good engine, early offset phone dials, complete brakes and suspension... the whole nine yards.

I'd like to transplant the engine from the '86 951 to the '84 944 (and whatever brake/suspension goodies that are upgrades for me).

How much of a headache am I walking into? Questions I know I have to solve; intercooler placement, 951 DME talking to early 944 interior/electronics, clutch master/slave cylinder differences(?), ability to swap my LSD unit to turbo trans, swap 951 brakes to 944 (lines, caliper, rotor). What am I missing? What other troubles will I inevitably face? I'm hoping this thread can become a good discussion board to help those in the future. If this has already been answered extensively, shoot me the feed. All I keep finding are articles discouraging the prospect, but for the deal I've found, I think it's time to make it happen.

Any input and response is much appreciated. If you're going to tell me "don't do it, just buy a proper 951", please refrain. If I'm able to do the swap, I'll be looking to sell (for cheap) the parts from my 944 I replace (cookie cutters, engine, transmission, suspension, brakes, etc.).

Thanks!

Jacob
Old 02-21-2017, 12:47 PM
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I swapped a '87 951 engine into a '87 924S'. Here's a link to my build thread:

924Board.org :: View topic - My narrow 951 project

This was a ground up build where and I spent around $2k on the gaskets and seals alone... despite this I barely have $5k in the whole car. I have even installed late leather seats so its nicer than a lot of 951's I've seen. If I had bought a 951 for $5k I would still need to spend $2k to rebuild the engine properly since the seals and gaskets are 30 years old and that doesn't include any other items that need to be replaced. So, I personally believe that if you have a nice car to begin with swapping a turbo engine into it isn't a bad idea. People that tell you not to do it have never tried and probably can't do it, so ignore them. Its not that expensive to do it right and it will be better than a worn out old 951 that blows smoke. My car gets loads of hate but a lot more people love it!
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Old 02-21-2017, 02:07 PM
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I just swapped out suspensions from my 1988 924S to my 1983 944. Fit like a glove! Unless you're OJ~! Lots of work, took me a week working alone, and cars on jack stands. The CV axles are longer than used on steel arms back there. I'm 58 and the heavy parts, were, well, heavy. While all the parts are laying on your driveway, it's a good time to replace seals, rebuild calipers, repack bearings, brake pads, etc.

You can remove the front struts from the control arms and towers and install them as a unit to the '84 car. Unless you are removing the calipers for a rebuild. Not sure on what the '86 car has for control arms, aluminum or steel, but you can decide which to keep. The steel is easier to rebuild, the ball joints are cheap, just grind the old rivets off and replace. And replace the bushings too.

Under the front nose panel in the '86 is the item you'll have to figure out on how to transplant into the '84 car. This holds the intercooler. In my application, the '88 DME and and the AFM, fit perfectly in the '83 car; they're talking with the older wiring, and works fine.
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Old 02-22-2017, 03:49 AM
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I want to stuff a bigger engine in my '84 944 so I hope I can learn from this...
Old 03-28-2017, 01:27 PM
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I appreciate everyone's response on this. While the 951 donor car sold out from under me, I'm taking a step back to plan a bit more for the build. I'll document my findings and progress here for anyone interested (although an Audi AAN is also being considered because I also drive a URS6). Thanks for your help!


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Old 05-24-2017, 07:25 PM
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DAMMMMMN Son, you do very nice work! Great thread. Wow. And to the thread starter, YES it can be done. Just lots and lots of work. You must be very patient and also have tools. But if you actually go through with it, then it's an opportunity to enhance the appearance and condition of anything you touch. Mind you, it appears as though you already own a very clean and beautiful 944, so maybe there isn't a lot to be gained in that dept. Best of luck with your decision.

Quote:
Originally Posted by edredas View Post
I swapped a '87 951 engine into a '87 924S'. Here's a link to my build thread:

924Board.org :: View topic - My narrow 951 project

This was a ground up build where and I spent around $2k on the gaskets and seals alone... despite this I barely have $5k in the whole car.

Last edited by Noahs944; 05-25-2017 at 03:53 AM..
Old 05-25-2017, 03:49 AM
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To be fair you should consider the value of your time. You could have instead restored a car for a $10K profit or remodeled your bathroom to add $10K to the value of your home. This is no weekend project, that's a massive project requiring hundreds of hours of skilled labor worth thousands of dollars.

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Old 05-25-2017, 05:54 AM
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yeah but how fast is that bathroom?
Old 05-25-2017, 07:49 AM
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We all work on our own cars at the Edd China labor rate per hour.

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Old 05-25-2017, 09:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfgang116 View Post
First, I'd like to thank the members of this forum for countless moments of insight and help for the trials I've endured with my trusty 944, affectionately known as Wolfgang. I've owned this '84 for 3.5 years now, touching almost every bolt, driving it 1,600 miles on our honeymoon... my wife and I are in this thing for the long haul.



That being said, after the recent purchase of an Audi URS6, I feel the need for a bit more power, but I'd like to keep the heart of the Porsche true to the 944, so I started my hunt. I've found a perfect donor '86 951 (rear ended)... good engine, early offset phone dials, complete brakes and suspension... the whole nine yards.

I'd like to transplant the engine from the '86 951 to the '84 944 (and whatever brake/suspension goodies that are upgrades for me).

How much of a headache am I walking into? Questions I know I have to solve; intercooler placement, 951 DME talking to early 944 interior/electronics, clutch master/slave cylinder differences(?), ability to swap my LSD unit to turbo trans, swap 951 brakes to 944 (lines, caliper, rotor). What am I missing? What other troubles will I inevitably face? I'm hoping this thread can become a good discussion board to help those in the future. If this has already been answered extensively, shoot me the feed. All I keep finding are articles discouraging the prospect, but for the deal I've found, I think it's time to make it happen.

Any input and response is much appreciated. If you're going to tell me "don't do it, just buy a proper 951", please refrain. If I'm able to do the swap, I'll be looking to sell (for cheap) the parts from my 944 I replace (cookie cutters, engine, transmission, suspension, brakes, etc.).

Thanks!

Jacob

Just sell the 944 and buy a 951. See I said it.

Why kill yourself doing all this work, just buy a used 951 and be done with it. You'll thank me or you'll look back at this time and regret not heeding my recommendation when in 5 years you'll still be tinkering with swapping parts and hunting down 951 stuff for your conversion.
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Last edited by fiily; 05-25-2017 at 01:41 PM..
Old 05-25-2017, 01:38 PM
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Agreed. his 944 would probably fetch a good dollar if its as nice as I suspect.
Old 05-25-2017, 03:34 PM
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I'll be different...Build the urs6, it'll be faster!

Lol, I own both, I know where your coming from. The Audi is the perfect family car but the 951 is a different animal. It's a ton of work (that's totally doable) but time is one that always gets you in the end. Start by making some goal points if you dive into this project...
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Old 05-25-2017, 04:18 PM
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From the rationality that comes with having no connection to your car, it sounds like a huge waste of time and money.

Being 'in for the long haul' on the wrong car is just stupid. I know it's a common thing around here and when I did 944s I had the same mentality but seriously, buy something that's closest to what you want and then go from there.

If you want a 944 then enjoy it for what it is. They're awesome cars.

If you want a 944 Turbo then buy one.

I just finished a project where I rebuilt my 912E engine and bought an entire fuel injection system part by part and manufactured parts I couldn't get. After all that, the engine isn't even fully broken in yet and I'm seriously investigating selling it and getting a Cayman or a 997 because what I want out of a Porsche is changing. How interested in a less-awesome, more cobbled-together version of a 944 Turbo are you really going to be?
Old 05-25-2017, 11:59 PM
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I think it's a cool project, I swapped 944 Turbo brakes and suspension onto my '84. However, the extra weight of all the Turbo accessories loses some of the appeal of the N/A cars. You feel the extra weight (I've had every year 944 from '83 to '88).

My advice would be to stick in a high compression n/a motor - either an '88, a 2.7 from an '89, or a 16 valve motor. You'll be surprised what a 2.5 16 valve engine feels like with the proper gearing from your '84.
Old 05-31-2017, 12:52 PM
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