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Javelin SuperDork
4/26/11 9:17 a.m.
docwyte wrote: That's what I thought. That the late offset 944's could only use the alloy A arms they came with.

Correct. 87-91 is it's own design and cannot back-date. That also means an 83-86 cannot update without swapping everything over. I was hoping the minimal extra length would just give me some natural camber, but it would have been 11 extra degrees negative (had the strut even worked with it), which is obviously useless.

93EXCivic SuperDork
4/26/11 9:31 a.m.

Reading this thread makes me wish I had of bought that 944 instead of my Civic.

joepaluch Reader
4/26/11 12:43 p.m.
docwyte wrote: The steel control arms have the same geometry as the late model 944 arms?

No steel arms have the same geomertry as 85.5 and 86 aluminum arms. The 87 and later aluminum front arms are slightly longer.

Javelin SuperDork
4/26/11 12:59 p.m.

40MM longer as measured between my car's original 86 arms and a 87 951 arm I bought & sold. Totally non-compatible.

joepaluch Reader
4/26/11 1:00 p.m.
Javelin wrote: 1. My car has power steering, making the standard over-the-top oil filter wrench useless (unless there's a super-thin-wall one out there). Moot point though, as the 1" nut on the K&N filter solves it. 2. My car's suspension probably sags, it has the M456 setup, and the tires are very short, so it probably sits lower than it should. I can get the jack under the side rail, just. The nose is an absolute no-go though. 3. Can't, not legal for the class I'm running. Not to mention by the time I source and buy a complete steel arm setup I could have just had my alloy ones rebuilt (I already have the kit), and they are heavier. 3A. My car is not lowered. Stock shocks, springs, and ride height (minus sag from age). The tires are shorter is all for now.

1) I have powersteering on my 944 turbo and use the silver oil filter wrench shown here. I never use strap type any more nor use black one. I used then on different cars.

2) Huh? My 944 race car is lower 2-3" from stock and I can get my aluminum jack under the side sils. No issues. I can't get it under the front cross member, but would never jack the car up on the cross member. I am to worried about breaking it or have it slip and fall on the pan. Alos the difference in height between a 225/45 and 225/50 both 15in is 1/4" or so. Not much, but there is no way you can run stock springs and be as low my car.

3) Not sure what the class rules you have for backdating parts, but that is what it would be. Backdating from 86 to 85 in effect. The cost difference is not fair to compare ball joint kits to a complete steel arm swap. You need to consider what cost a complete aluminum A-arm is. The reason is that running low on the track/autocross with the short aluminum arms puts you at higher risk for the ball joints ripping out of the aluminum arms. I have seen this happen on race cars with much stiffer suspensions and fat sway bars. Those actually make the situation better as the more suspesion travel you get the more you can bind the ball joint.

Also rebuild kits only work if the arm is not too damaged. I run steel arms on my race car give up nothing to aluminum arm competitors. The longer arms on the 87 and later cars tend put less binding on the joints simply due to the longer arms.

Javelin SuperDork
4/26/11 1:09 p.m.

Maybe my jack isn't as low? Like I said, it just makes it under the side sills. I can measure the full ground clearance when i get home. Also, most tires advertised size might as well say "Bob" for how accurate they are, my tires could easily be 1/2" shorther than yours and be within the industry acceptance.

As for class, I am autocrossing, not road racing, which is vastly different rules. I am running the P02 class in the PCA, which is about half of an SCCA ST-category mod allowance. Backdating is forbidden, period.

Also again, my car is not lowered. Stock M456 springs and shocks, stock suspension arms and (worn) rubber bushings. The only non-stock item is the aforementioned 225/45/15 Hankook RS3's.

joepaluch Reader
4/26/11 1:16 p.m.
Javelin wrote: Maybe my jack isn't as low? Like I said, it *just* makes it under the side sills. I can measure the full ground clearance when i get home... As for class, I am autocrossing, not road racing, which is vastly different rules. I am running the P02 class in the PCA, which is about half of an SCCA ST-category mod allowance. Backdating is forbidden, period.

Are you sure? How is the entry list in rules? I believe that if 83-88 944 are listed in the same line you can use any parts that came on 83-88 944's. Heck you mentioned manual steering. It came on the 83's only does that mean it is limited to 83 years only?

Javelin SuperDork
4/26/11 1:22 p.m.

PCA doesn't use SCCA-style "line" rules. You start with an absolutely as-delivered car (including toolkit and spare, can't even take them out) in the category S (Stock). Move up to P (Prepared) and you are allowed to change tires, shocks, swaybars, and some other minor stuff. I (Improved) allows the full gamut of ST-type mods such as headers, tuning, suspension links (geometry has to be same as stock for year of manufacturer), and racing seats, etc. M (Modified) is basically anything goes.

joepaluch Reader
4/26/11 2:19 p.m.
Javelin wrote: PCA doesn't use SCCA-style "line" rules. You start with an absolutely as-delivered car (including toolkit and spare, can't even take them out) in the category S (Stock). Move up to P (Prepared) and you are allowed to change tires, shocks, swaybars, and some other minor stuff. I (Improved) allows the full gamut of ST-type mods such as headers, tuning, suspension links (geometry has to be same as stock for year of manufacturer), and racing seats, etc. M (Modified) is basically anything goes.

The rules for Oregon PCA. Class: P02 924S 2.5; 924 Turbo (931); 944; 944S; 944 Turbo (951); 944S2; 968; 928

Looks to me like they don't even distinguish between a any 944 from 83-89. Just swap over to steel arms and don't worry.

Lets face it.. PCA Oregon is alot like PCA Az. Autocross is fun diversion. Maybe the top 10 guys are competitive and the rest are there for fun. Classing is not a really big deal. How do I know? Well how else can you class a 250hp 944 Turbo S along with 150 hp 924S? These are not the same cars by any means one is not competitive with the other.

So I am not say you cheat, but chaning to steel arms which are the same as on the 85 944 and have the same geometry will have zero impact other than to save you money and potential damage in case of a failure.

If we really want to get nit picky is your throttle cam even legal? Possibly not, yet I know you would never catch any flak over that. If someone did then there would be alot of complaining about the general classing.

Javelin SuperDork
4/27/11 10:16 a.m.

In reply to joepaluch:

I measured 5 1/3 inches ground to bottom of rocker and just at 5" ground to side jacking rail. My Harbor Freight "racing jack" is just under 5" tall at the pad.

As for the classing, I realize they lump everything together (they do that to the older cars), but it's less of a difference than you think in autocross. In fact, at the last one I whooped a 968 M030 car that's fully prepped to the rules, though driving may have something to do with it . The throttle cam is legal, BTW. I'm going to install the replacement ball joints from Rennbay since I already have them, and if I have any other issues I'll switch to the steel arms.

joepaluch Reader
4/27/11 1:51 p.m.

My HF aluminm racing jack is 3 1/2 inches.

The 968 M030 is the car to have in autocross of the stock 944 family. Very fast if well driven. However nothing can make a poor driver fast in autocross.

Back when I ran my 83 944 in autocross in stock form on street tires I would routinely be the near fastest overall on street tires. Part of that was because I had been autocrossing for year and been racing for 3 years. Ax in a stock "parts car" was just for fun. The other part was that most the guys move to R-tires when they start to get more skills. I was one of the very few experieced drivers on street tires.

BTW.... my point was that don't worry about the PCA classing rules when it comes to front control arms. It is more important for you to find cost effective solution and not be limited by class rules. Now if were running for a SCCA solo national championship then rules are critcal.

Javelin SuperDork
4/27/11 1:55 p.m.

Well, I already own the alloy arms and the new ball joints, I might as well use them.

docwyte Reader
4/27/11 5:35 p.m.

My AC Hydraulics jack pad is 2" off the ground and the jack lifts the car 36" in the air. :D

Javelin SuperDork
5/2/11 9:34 a.m.

I figured out how to take the sunroof off and on this weekend. Hell of an update, right?

pigeon Dork
5/2/11 9:58 a.m.

At least it works, which many 944 owners can't say. Just don't break the hinges that hold the wind deflector - they're old and britle. Ask me how I know

SillyImportRacer Reader
5/2/11 12:00 p.m.

You're really making me want to go home and work on my 85.1 Maybe the Marys car I'm looking at will fall into place.

Javelin SuperDork
6/26/11 12:02 a.m.

Update catch-up: 6/25/2011

Fresh ball joints!

What we have here is a brand new set of lower ball joints in the OE Porsche aluminum lower control arms. These are the steel Rennbay Competition ones. So not only did I fix the bad joints, I ensured they will stay fixed, and upgraded the car as well. Great kit by the way!

Rennbay Competition Ball Joints

After having a shop install the ball joints I had the alignment done on the 944. Final specs are: -1.8 degrees camber, 4 degrees caster, and 1/16” toe out up front with -1.0 degrees camber and 0” toe in the rear. Not the most aggressive, but I am still on the stock suspension.

Another victory! Autocross #3 for the 944 project was on 6/12. I came in 1st in Class (P02) and Audra nabbed 2nd again (over the M030 968!). Overall I got 35/66 and Audra earned 61.

I am now 3 for 3 this season, but more tellingly, my times would put me at 3 for 3 in the next class up (Improved 01)…

As for how it drives, the 944 is very balanced and predictable. The torque is very welcome (compared to my past autocross cars of a 12A RX-7 and a 1.6 Miata!) and the steering is sublime. The new ball joints and alignment helped cure the understeer and gave crisper turn-in.

I was .055 behind a 951, so I need more power now!

Steering debacle: So the story is I bought this Dino wheel at the 2010 PIR Swap Meet thinking it was for the Ferrari. Turns out it was an aftermarket wheel, but for $5 it was cool and vintage. I hung it up in my garage. Fast forward to this year and I find a Dino to 944 adapter on CL for $30, new in the box! So of course I haggle him down to $20 and bring it home.

The issue is the adapter is for the modern Dino/Momo 6-bolt pattern, and my wheel is the old school 7-bolt pattern. So I basically spent an hour disassembling everything to figure it out. What I came up with is I think I’m going to re-drill the adapter with the 7-bolt pattern, so I got some hardware. We’ll see…

Temporary seat repair...

Yeah, it’s duct tape. Sue me. It’s actually Gorilla tape, and it’s only temporary until I replace the whole seat! The Sport Seats are awesome to sit in, but those damn bolsters make it nearly impossible to climb in and out of the car, especially with a helmet on. The leather is slipperier than a politician as well, so they have to go. I’ll be replacing them with some reclineable cloth or suede sport buckets, think Recaro’s.

I also pulled 53 cents worth of nickels, dimes, and pennies from the tilt mechanism! No wonder they were shard to adjust!

Javelin SuperDork
8/25/11 1:22 p.m.

Update time!!!

Portland Historics:

We were able to get some infield passes to the Portland Historic races back in July and displayed the 944 in the PCA area. We were the only 944 present (though there was a very pretty 951), and people genuinely seemed to like it. It’s no show car, but she does shine up pretty decently.


Running errands one weekday (because driving your race car to work regularly is required) the car decided it only liked 2nd gear. Crap! Luckily ze Germans made the console easy to destroy, so all of the plastic surrounds on the shifter popped right off and I was able to see the issue. Apparently the circlip that held the shift handle to the shift rod broke and allowed the handle to come free. Shoved that bad boy back in there and finished my errands. We’ll have to fix that…

New shifter:

So I ordered up a new pivot bushing, shift handle, circlip, and wavy washer and got to work. See the difference on the pivot arm!? The old one was worn into a football shape, causing sloppy shift action and possibly the breakage in the first place.


Installation was easier than I had feared it to be. Once you get past the quirks and use the proper tools, the Porsche is actually fun to work on. The new shift action is so smooth and precise. It’s like a bolt-action rifle mechanism, solid and metal-on-metal. This is now the 2nd best shifting car I’ve ever driven.

Das boot!

The original leather shift boot had long since faded to crappy, so I decided to stick with the plastic knob that goes under it as the new nob and a quickie universal vinyl boot from the spares to keep the gunk out. It’ll do for now. I’m using the original leather boot (which covers the knob as well) as a pattern to make a new one. I’m going to try myself out of something cool, like suede maybe (GT3 style!).

Packwood Autocross:

We took the 944 to it’s 4th autocross, another PCA event, this time in Packwood, WA (a National Tour/ProSolo site). It’s 100 miles each way, 95 degree heat, and acres of blacktop. The 944 performed perfectly and we scored another 1-2 finish over the M030 968! Once again my time was fast enough to beat the Improved 01 class…

The truck brought me something!

Wonder what’s in those!??!

Answers tonight!

turboswede SuperDork
8/25/11 4:39 p.m.

Very cool!

You know what's funny? Some of the local 924 crew were over on the outside of the track meeting up and showing off our cars that weekend. If you did the parade lap, you saw us up on the hill outside of turn 3/6 :)


One of the 924 guys had the same issue with his shifter (early 924 with the 4-speed Audi box, similar to the 5-speed Audi in yours). The solution was to cut the old bit off, drill a hole and replace it with a bolt welded in place. Also allows him to move the pivot slightly and shorten the throw :) Still some shifting is better than no shifting!

Congrats on Packwood! I drove through there on the way to Crystal Mountain a few weeks ago, saw lots of AutoX folks there, wished I could've stopped.

Javelin SuperDork
8/25/11 4:59 p.m.

I was too busy concentrating on the slow 911 in front of me to sight-see around the track! He asked if it was a 951 after the laps I'd love to a DE with this car after I do a fresh clutch, rod bearings, and shocks.

I so need to meet up with you guys soon. Does anybody have a set of seat tracks (manual)?

turboswede SuperDork
8/25/11 6:31 p.m.

I have a set of Corbeau seat mount brackets (924/944/911) for racing seats. Collecting dust in my garage....

I suspect my buddy might have stock seat rails, or knows someone who does. He's also an instructor for CSCC and would love to help out a 944 guy at a CSCC DE. I'll suggest him as a friend to you in FB.

You know those were supposed to be parade laps, right?

Maroon92 SuperDork
8/25/11 6:43 p.m.

Hey Javelin...Where'd you get those sweet parts?

Javelin SuperDork
8/25/11 7:01 p.m.

Parade laps, eh? The Saturday ones were, but the o-dark-thirty Sunday AM ones were pretty epic. Maybe because PCA was first out and behind the 911 pace car...

What do you want for those Corbeau's? PM me...


Well, the sweet shifter and 99% of the other gubbins came from you of course! I'm gonna need to do a "one last order" before you leave for the new place as I assume you won't be accepting orders there for a bit. The new boxes are from eBay and a surprise...

MrBenjamonkey HalfDork
8/26/11 1:11 a.m.
Javelin wrote: Updates 4/25/2011: The new shorter tires coupled with the factory M456 Sport Suspension makes for a VERY low ride height! The nose now rubs on things and my low-profile jack won’t fit under the nose. I’ll be getting some 2x10’s for ramps. I did wash and detail it out for the first time though, and she cleans up pretty nicely! So the original exhaust system includes this built-in tip that I assume is stainless steel. After a little elbow grease and some polish it shined up pretty good! The next step on the 944 is to address the suspension. This side of the car has all of the issues, as the right rear shock is blown and the right front ball join is bad. I have already purchased the Rennbay racing ball joint kit, but if I’m going to pay a shop to take the A-Arms off, I might as well get the shocks done too to save on labor. Koni’s are on sale through the end of May, and adjustables would bring my M456 spec up to M030 specs (minus bushings). Obviously I should think about front springs and strut mounts, too. Decisions, decisions… Suggestions?

Suggestions? Depends on how much you like the comfy ride, but I followed this advice with the Daewoo of Death and came away very, very happy.


dean1484 SuperDork
8/26/11 7:19 a.m.

Being the cheep.. . . Errrr Frugal person I am . This is how I fixed my shifter.


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