SillyImportRacer New Reader
Nov. 17, 2009 6:28 a.m.

Saturday, I was at the drive up window at the bank when I saw a 944 with "4 Sale" written on the windshield and a price that I couldn't make out from the distance. We were going to Columbus after leaving the bank and when I turn into the parking lot were the 944 was, my wife rolled her eyes at me. But when the price turned out to be $800.00 she suggested that I come back when they open on Monday. When I went back, I learned that the starter didn't work and the engine made a mystery bottom end kinda noise. The body needs some relatively minor work, the interior has the usual worn out look, and someone put a Flowmaster muffler on it. The fuel pump and filter have recently been replaced. and its an early 1985 model. The guy there said that he's selling it for a friend that has moved and he has a clean title. I offered him $600.00 and he agreed so easily maybe I should have started at $500.00. He has a friend with a role back who will be delivering the car sometime today and that cost will come out of the $600. I guess the guy handling the sale of he car is more interested in making it go away than getting his friend a good price.

I've always liked Porsches. didn't think I'd be able to find one that wasn't a rust bucket for so cheap.

Looks like I got some learnin' to do.

Here's a pic. I'll try to get more up later. On a dial-up at home. Some of the truck stops have free wi-fi. Makes surffin' better.

joepaluch New Reader
Nov. 17, 2009 7:28 a.m.

bottom end noise could be a rod bearing failed. This will trash the motor. Look underneath and prepare to pull the oil pan.

44Dwarf HalfDork
Nov. 17, 2009 7:57 a.m.

I bet there a musty smell of damp mo-hair inside too right? Pull the battery and check out the bateery tray. The white sealer will be there but not the metal.... I loved my 944 also an -85 model. Handled like no other but slow as a 3 leg dog 0-60. Hell my Geo was faster but the 944 was smoother going down the road.

Chech the oil and coolant the 944 of that time have water to oil heat exchanger on the side of the block the O-rings are famous for failure. Think oil maybe you noise. or could be a bad T-belt tentioner which you should change ASAP.


Tetzuoe Reader
Nov. 17, 2009 8:38 a.m.

very nice, Id replace the whole timing belt first, regardless of what anybody says... unless they say to replace the timing belt.. in which case id STILL replace the timing belt.

Replace the timing belt.

wheelsmithy New Reader
Nov. 17, 2009 8:53 a.m.

968 swap

Carson Dork
Nov. 17, 2009 9:19 a.m.

El Es Juan.

Tetzuoe Reader
Nov. 17, 2009 9:21 a.m.

In reply to Carson:

that motor will grenade the 85 trans. That said I fully support the suggestion

joepaluch New Reader
Nov. 17, 2009 9:23 a.m.

really drain the oil and check for coolant mixing (will be a milk brown) and check for metal.

The mystery bottom end could very well be a spun rod bearing. If you resolve it early you might able to save the crank. If not the crank is damage you need to pull the engine and fine a replacement crank. If you button it all up you can run it to the point the bearing seizes and then it blows a hole out the block. Then you need not just a crank, but an entire bottom end.

This is far worse than breaking timing belt and bending valves.

It is possible that the bottom end noise is not a rod bearing, but give the nature of it I certinaly would not risk it. Pull the pan and inspect the bearings. It is easy to see if it has been spinning. #2 rod is the place to check. If they are all good then just replace the 4 rod bearings, putin a new pan gasket and be happy they are good to go for many years to come.

M030 Reader
Nov. 17, 2009 9:32 a.m.

I'm somewhat addicted to cheap front-engine Porsches, so I'm a bit biased, but I say for $600 how can you go wrong?

Lots of people say you can part these cars and make money, but I never have any luck with that. I just stock pile them and use the parts to fix other POS 924/944s I drag home.

All that being said, rod bearings are a common problem among beat up old 944s. I've got one with a spun bearing taking up backyard space right now.

mattmacklind SuperDork
Nov. 17, 2009 10:16 a.m.

Wow, I'm jealous. I'm looking for one of those, 86 or newer, next year myself. Congrats.

924guy Dork
Nov. 17, 2009 11:25 a.m.
M030 wrote: I'm somewhat addicted to cheap front-engine Porsches, so I'm a bit biased, but I say for $600 how can you go wrong? Lots of people say you can part these cars and make money, but I never have any luck with that. I just stock pile them and use the parts to fix other POS 924/944s I drag home. All that being said, rod bearings are a common problem among beat up old 944s. I've got one with a spun bearing taking up backyard space right now.

tis truth... the remnants of a 944 in my back yard and pile o parts in my garage back it up, though i have sold a few parts for a good price here and there, ive given away far more bits than ive sold, and used allot more on my 924's that i thought i would/could... $600 for complete car is a good investment in education on these cars, $300 wouldve been better, but 6 seems a fair price to jump in at...

nderwater Reader
Nov. 17, 2009 11:55 a.m.

M030, 924guy, others - I've always wanted a Porsche and (much to my wife's dismay) I've been giving a lot of thought to bringing home a cheap 924/944 as an inexpensive autocross/track beater. My worry though is that it will be slower and less fun to drive than a Miata. What are your thoughts?

I also like 968's, but I bought an E36 M3 instead because it offered similar performance and driving dynamics but more practicality and cost less money.

joepaluch New Reader
Nov. 17, 2009 12:14 p.m.

The speed is compareable to a Miata. The 944 is heavier especially stock, but once lightned similar in speed.

Spec Miata and 944 spec are run to similar prep. Stock motor, stripped, resonable budget suspension, similar tires.

On track both cars turn lap times that are the same. Who is faster depends on the details of the prep and most importantly driver skill. I would say the average 944 spec is just a bit faster than the average SM, but only just.

The miata is slightly faster in corners, but 944 has a clear edge in top speed.

Now a 2.0L 924 will be slower than a Miata. That is due to less hp in the 2.0L motor.

Now how much fun compared to a miata. Well part of the fun of a 944 is that it is a Porsche. Sounds elitist, but you then become member of a unque club. I have loved Porsche's since I was little and in a even dolllar trade would race a 944 over a miata any day. I respect the Miata, but I am just not huge fan. I feel the 944 is special underapperciated car. The fact they can be picked up cheap enough for track beater use gives them even more appeal. I have been racing my 84 944 since 2002 and first built it as autocross/track toy back in 2000. Back then the goal was cheap simple porsche autocross and track days. It evolved into a race car and I never really had visions of running it this long. Well I am very happy I didid and have been amazed at how well the bits and pieces have held up over these years and some 100+ races.

mad_machine SuperDork
Nov. 17, 2009 12:31 p.m.

I am seriously considering ditching my Ti for a 944.

corsepervita New Reader
Nov. 17, 2009 2:54 p.m.
mad_machine wrote: I am seriously considering ditching my Ti for a 944.

Luke, Come to the dark side.

BoxheadTim Reader
Nov. 17, 2009 3:18 p.m.

Slightly dissenting voice here, if I may. I like Porsches, got an IB 911 at the moment and used to have a 924 a while back. I do really want to like 944s but the only one I've driven that didn't feel underpowered to me was an S2. In fact I would have bought the S2 I tried if that hadn't had an 'interesting' issue with bad drivetrain judder on downchanges into second gear.

I've also had several 1.6 Miatas and while they certainly weren't any faster, they didn't feel as if they lacked power if that makes sense?

The one 944 I'd still like to try would be the 8V 2.7l as I think that that would address some of the power/torque issues without the additional complexity of the 16V heads.

SillyImportRacer New Reader
Nov. 18, 2009 10:09 p.m.

Thanks for the input. I will have to wait on playing/working on the 944 until I fix my 95 Accord. I hit a deer. Once I start on the 944, I'll let y'all know how it goes...& I'll probably bother y'all for advise.

Thanks David

Varkwso Reader
Nov. 19, 2009 8:02 a.m.

Nice car - still a proud owner of a 88 944S (on its third engine)

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