Carrera30 New Reader
July 31, 2009 7:28 p.m.

Well instead of buying a $2500 miata, I went and bougt a 1983 944. Black. 66,000 miles. Not currently running, but good even compression on all 4 cyl. All signs point to a DME relay. DME Computer was switched to another car and that car ran fine. Amazingly there is no rust to speak of. The underside of car is quite clean. A few dings and dents, but hey, it was $1200. I could part the car for $1200 if there is a serious problem with it. My schedule probably doesn't allow me to attend a $200x ($20x0?) challenge at this point, but I am going to hold myself to the rules anyway to see what I can make of her!

fiat22turbo SuperDork
July 31, 2009 8:08 p.m.

After '79 or so Porsche started galvanizing the body panels to cut down on the rust.

If the rubber covers for the drains from the cowl are still intact, remove them. They just plug up and increase the chance of rust forming in the cowl area.

Pull the battery and double check the battery tray, it tends to rust there fairly easily.

Though with the low amount of mileage you're probably not gonna have many problems at this point. I would change the water pump and timing belt since they tend to fail almost as often due to age as they do mileage.

Carrera30 New Reader
July 31, 2009 8:28 p.m.

Thanks for the advice. It was pouring buckets today and I was watching the water run out of the cowl drains, so I know I'm good there. We had to put a battery in, so I know the tray is good, as I had a nice look at it. Once I get it home (need to go back with trailer tomorrow) I plan on changing/flushing all fluids, changing timing belt, etc., dropping in a fresh battery and DME Relay, and see if she won't fire up.

I've still seen some of these pretty well rusted out on the rockers. This one's way more solid than others I have seen, and far better than the $2500 miatas I was looking at. Damn the New England winters. They eat miatas.

P71 SuperDork
July 31, 2009 8:32 p.m.

That timing belt/water pump job sucks giant ones. Don't forget to do the throttle cam ASAP. I have a soft spot for these even though every one of them I have been around was a cursed POS.

PaulY Reader
July 31, 2009 9:21 p.m.

Nice find, got any more pics? What are the specs on these early cars?

Carrera30 New Reader
July 31, 2009 9:53 p.m.

No more pics yet. Once I get it in my yard/garage, I'll definitely take some more. It's by no means a beauty queen - it's a $1200 car. But methinks there is some potential.

A few specs from Wikipedia: 2.5 liter, 150 HP, 2600 lbs., top speed near 135 mph, about 5500 produced in 1983.

924guy HalfDork
July 31, 2009 10:30 p.m.

nice find! its getting hard to find early 44's that are still in decent shape, your going to love it~!

mad_machine SuperDork
July 31, 2009 10:36 p.m.

I think I hate you...

Seriously, nice price on a nice looking 44

Aug. 1, 2009 1:12 a.m.
Carrera30 wrote: Well instead of buying a $2500 miata, I went and bougt a 1983 944. Black. 66,000 miles. Not currently running, but good even compression on all 4 cyl. All signs point to a DME relay. DME Computer was switched to another car and that car ran fine. Amazingly there is no rust to speak of. The underside of car is quite clean. A few dings and dents, but hey, it was $1200. I could part the car for $1200 if there is a serious problem with it. My schedule probably doesn't allow me to attend a $200x ($20x0?) challenge at this point, but I am going to hold myself to the rules anyway to see what I can make of her!

Fantastic! I've always loved 944s. I was a young man in the 80s. As much as I loved (and still love 911s), I thought that was the direction Porsche should go if they wanted to build "modern" cars.

I see by your nym & avatar that you're a 911 guy..were you one the "purists" that cursed front-engined Porsches back then? (I will now run away in a serpentine pattern, trying to stay out of your gunsight..please recall that I'm just yanking your chain because I'm so jealous!)

neon4891 SuperDork
Aug. 1, 2009 11:36 a.m.

Nice find.

Carrera30 New Reader
Aug. 1, 2009 12:40 p.m.

In reply to friedgreencorrado:

Ya. I personally never understood that purist mentality much myself. I am a fan of the engineering and innovation of the brand. Ever since my buddys dad had a 944 when I was in high school, Ive liked these cars.

dean1484 Dork
Aug. 1, 2009 7:56 p.m.

I would inspect the T belt very carefully before firing it up unless you know when it was last changed

Plan an at least another $1000 for basic stuff (you doing the labor) and you will have a great car.

Auto or manual? If a standard and with that millage I would suspect it may have the original rubber centered clutch disk. IT will fail leaving you with a loose / clunking drive line. Not catastrophic but it will need to be addressed. Than just go through it. These cars live best with preventive maintenance. Yes the water pump and belts are a bit of a pain but I would rather do a 944 than a ford escort. Oh ya there is an update for the water pump that involves guides for the timing belt, a new roller and some cutting of the plastic housing around the belt. Again due to the low millage I would bet you will need to do this.

When you crank it does the tachometer bounce? If no you will probably speed and reference sensors. Or at very least they will need adjustment. Inspect the connections and the cables as they tend to deteriorate. Order replacements but from a from a 87 535 BMW (1/2 the cost of OE Porsche) The only difference is that the cable is a tad shorter

If you have not been there already Clarks Garage is a great resource as is the forums over at Pelican Parts. If you need more info on things just PM me or email I have quite a library of sources for info and parts

Oh ya once you get it running these cars like to be driven. It seems that when ever I park my car for a week or more it seems to develop problems. Drive it regularly and no issues.

dean1484 Dork
Aug. 1, 2009 7:58 p.m.

I forgot. Welcome to the obsesson!!!!! Driving a P car gets in your blood.

Aug. 2, 2009 12:27 a.m.
Carrera30 wrote: In reply to friedgreencorrado: Ya. I personally never understood that purist mentality much myself. I am a fan of the engineering and innovation of the brand. Ever since my buddys dad had a 944 when I was in high school, Ive liked these cars.

One of my Corner Worker buddies back in the day had a fantastic 944 Turbo S. Fantastic car. The 944 really is a great platform for almost anything someone would like to to with it. Nice find! As much as I'm enjoying this Alfa thing, I'm now wondering if I shouldn't have been looking for a 944 before they get expensive again..

1slowcrx Reader
Aug. 2, 2009 12:33 a.m.

What a beautiful 944 for 1200 bucks!

I also hate you just a little for the find

Carrera30 New Reader
Aug. 2, 2009 12:39 p.m.

In reply to dean1484:

Fantastic advice-thanks! I've already ordered parts for timing belt and water pump. Car turns over great and has great compression #s across all 4, but no spark. So a new DME Relay is on order as well. I'll definitely check for the tach bounce.

I suspect the clutch is orignal as well. So I'll be sure to keep an eye on what you describe.

Unfortunately I probably won't have time to play around with this for the next two weeks, because of some family obligations and travel for work (any place fun to hang out in Orlando? I'll be there the 9th-13th), but I'm hoping to at least put new fluids into/through it, get the relay dropped in and see if she fires up.

Once I get her running, I do plan on driving it pretty regularly, when it may-or-may-not rain and I don't feel like chancing it with my 911, and I don't want to burn up fuel in my truck. So probably at least 3-4 days a week. That should keep her fresh!

pigeon Reader
Aug. 2, 2009 1:55 p.m.

The clutch center being shot is easy to tell. A couple weeks ago I was out on my bicycle when a 944 downshifted about 1/4 mile ahead of me for a turn and I heard the car go "clunk - clunk" and knew that he needed a new spring-centered disc.

Carrera30 New Reader
Aug. 2, 2009 10:37 p.m.

Car is home now. Fiddled with the DME Relay and that ain't it. We dropped one in from my buddy's 924S and put mine in his. His car fired right up with mine in it. Probably the crank sensors, but how the H-E-Double Hockey-sticks, do you get at them? You have to be a midgit contortionist to get in there? People say working on my 911 is bad . . .

More pics here.

mad_machine SuperDork
Aug. 2, 2009 10:41 p.m.

I will own one of those someday

PaulY Reader
Aug. 3, 2009 1:46 a.m.

Looks like a really good car for the price. I like how it says "Porsche Porsche" on the back.

Carrera30 New Reader
Aug. 3, 2009 7:43 a.m.
PaulY wrote: I like how it says "Porsche Porsche" on the back.

That's just so you don't forget. I'm actually thinking of going badgeless with this. Just all black with a flat black stripe set (think Porsche Design Cayman). Anyone with a black back panel want to trade for that "Porsche" reflector panel?

mad_machine SuperDork
Aug. 3, 2009 10:15 a.m.

I thought stock there was no panel there at all. That was where the license plate went.

Honestly, I always hated those "filler" panels. I think the car looks better with the plate up there

Rusty_Rabbit84 HalfDork
Aug. 3, 2009 10:27 a.m.

I have to congradulate you sir on a very nice find. I am very jealous and would love to own a 944... one day...

Carrera30 New Reader
Aug. 3, 2009 12:17 p.m.
mad_machine wrote: I thought stock there was no panel there at all. That was where the license plate went. Honestly, I always hated those "filler" panels. I think the car looks better with the plate up there

You know, I think you are right. This panel probably just covers up that original spot. I'll have to check that out later. I can probably put $50 back into my budget by selling that aftermarket panel to someone who loves these things!

fiat22turbo SuperDork
Aug. 3, 2009 1:49 p.m.

Yep, my 924 has one as well. It is a bit chintzy once you take it off and look at it. Be prepared to fill a couple of mounting holes, but relocating the rear plate is a better deal IMHO.

Of course if there was a filler plate designed to also hold the plate then you could add some more lighting to the rear and not have a bit of a carbuncle on the rear bumper.

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