Javelin SuperDork
March 2, 2011 4:51 p.m.

Reader's Ride

Okay, now that I bought this thing, what the heck do I do with it? Obviously clean it up, do some maintenance, yadda yadda, I mean performance wise.

The progressive throttle sucks, do the throttle cams really work? Best one?

Idle is a little rough and low-end power isn't what I'd like. I think I hear a vacuum leak. Is it just that or should I look into a tune-up or something? Runs out great and the top end is quite magnificent.

Chips. Yes or no? Best one?

Shifter: It's got long throws and is kind of mushy, plus the original leather is a little worn. I know the handle is slide-on stupid. Is there a good short shifter that uses normal knobs or newer Porsche ones?

Wheels/tires: It has 225/60/15's on the original 15x7 ET23 phone dials. I actually love the wheels and with the sport suspension it has almost no fender gap. Are there some ST-style tires (140-200 treadwear) in this size or close enough? I'm not putting 205/50's on it, that's for sure.

Anything else? First autocross is in 10 days...

TR8owner Reader
March 2, 2011 4:55 p.m.

You can give it to my wife.:-) She wants to get a toy car for herself but I've told her to get something that I won't have to maintain. An early 944 might be a good choice for her.

Javelin SuperDork
March 2, 2011 4:59 p.m.

My wife would love yours in ways we can't imagine if she did buy it off of me.

pigeon Dork
March 2, 2011 5:21 p.m.
Javelin wrote: My wife would love yours in ways we can't imagine

Try harder, and don't forget the video camera

Javelin SuperDork
March 2, 2011 5:56 p.m.
pigeon wrote:
Javelin wrote: My wife would love yours in ways we can't imagine

Try harder, and don't forget the video camera

If only I were so lucky.

TR8owner Reader
March 2, 2011 6:14 p.m.

In reply to Javelin:

Hey, maybe our wives should have a talk.:-)

pigeon Dork
March 2, 2011 7:38 p.m.

Sorry, I took that way off topic. It was just set up so perfectly though.

Anyway, add your list of questions to your "helllo" post on Pelican and you'll get all the anawers you need, except maybe the tire one. Do Star Specs come in that size?

Ignorant SuperDork
March 2, 2011 7:44 p.m.
Javelin wrote: The progressive throttle sucks, do the throttle cams really work? Best one?

If it had drive by wire you could just...... Oh never mind.

I have nothing more the add except I am super jealous of your car. My dad gave me a bad case of P-car lust many years ago.

johnp2 New Reader
March 2, 2011 8:18 p.m.

For the sloppy shifting, could be the shift rod that is worn, check that. If not(which was the case on mine) there is a small adjuster bolt on the transaxle. Mine had backed itself all the way out, turned it in till it was tight, and had nice tight shifting again...best bet may be to sell it and snag a miata lol just kidding enjoy it.

docwyte Reader
March 2, 2011 8:53 p.m.

Not a whole lot you can do to that car performance wise that's worth the money you'll spend besides suspension bits.

Not a lot of power in the motor to be freed up.

Spend your time and money on maintenance, then suspension and tires.

mattmacklind SuperDork
March 2, 2011 9:06 p.m.

Nice buy. I've always wanted one myself.

Josh Dork
March 2, 2011 9:46 p.m.

A friend of mine at work had one of these, almost exactly like yours but in red. As I remember, there were NO decent tire selections for it (unless you consider Yoko ES100s decent). Aftermarket wheels are not particularly cheap or easy to come by either.

IIRC, he also had some off idle/low rpm issues that were greatly improved by rebuilding the AFM.

dean1484 Dork
March 2, 2011 11:23 p.m.

The progressive throttle sucks, do the throttle cams really work? Best one?

The throttle cams do help feel but not performance. Automotive sells a good one.

With out hearing / seeing your car run it hard to tell. I lost a timing belt recently in my 924s and it started out just like as you describe. Check compression, check vacuum and triple check that the timing is properly aligned between the cam and the crank.

Chips. Yes but will at bet get you 8-12 hp and 500 more rpm. They will help the low end a little. I liked the weltister chips.The wilks ones also have a good rep. I got much better results by installing a programmable EDIS based ignition system.

Shifter: The stub connection where the shift rod meets the strict is probably worn, bushings back at the trans are worn. Cure is to replace the shifter or if you can weld a 10 mm bolt welded in place of the stock stub on the shifter fixes things. the bushings in the back are replaceable. Short shift kits are installed back at the trans. Only way to get other shift knobs to fit is cut the handel and weld on a bolt with the proper diameter for the knob you want. I did that and it worked very well.

Do the timing belts and WP, There really is not alot more HP to get out of NA 944's Want more go get a 951

Improvements that do help are: Koni Yellow sports all around are the best mod you can make. Followed by weltmeister sway bars, Iboc front springs and weltmeister rear torsion bars. The torsion bars are a PITA to install and provide the least improvement of the things in that list.

Brakes really do not need improvement just go get really good pads (porterfield or coolcarbon are a good place to start)

As for tires. I drive on the street with 195, 65 16, I have 205, 65 16 Yokes and 225 55 16 R1's. The 225's are faster but will also get you in deep you know what much faster. They are not at all forgiving. But when driven correctly they are very fast. The 205's are much more forgiving. You will feel the limit coming. They give you a chance to collect things. Yes they are a tic off the 225's

Javelin SuperDork
March 3, 2011 12:04 a.m.

pigeon: Yeah, I'll post the list at Pelican, Rennlist, and 944Online. The 225 15 Star Specs are shorter (45?) than I could use.

ignorant: Damn thing feels like DBW now Seriously though, owning a "P-Car" is cool. My insurance agent "oooohed" at me, and she's pretty jaded to the crap I insure. Also, the key has a built in LED light.

johnp2: Thanks, I'll check it out. I wouldn't say the action isn't "crisp" as much as just it has really long throws. I am used to the stubby little Miata and FB RX7 shifters though.

docwyte: I'm going maintenance, tires, suspension. I don't expect anything big from the motor, but 10HP would be nice.

mattmacklind: Thanks!

Josh: I've found BFG Sport's in the right size. Not ST-class sticky, but still good tires. If I could only find an affordable 17" wheel...

dean1484: Yes, I'm looking for better feel with the throttle cam. The engine feels lazy, and I know that that is it. Compression was 155/150/150/155 when the PPI was done ~700 miles ago. Timing belt/water pump 7K ago. Thanks for the chip advice. Also, I never thought to weld on the shifter, I'll look into that. Suspension is already the factory non-adjustable sport setup and is freaking low and stiff. Bushings need help though. I can't do r-comps, this car has to drive to events on the same tires. I'd like something sticky though, at least 200-ish (like BFG KDW?).

Thanks all!

bravenrace SuperDork
March 3, 2011 6:08 a.m.

The normal idle is rough. I remember a friend who bought one new, and it had a good amount of vibration at idle.

Otto Maddox HalfDork
March 3, 2011 7:58 a.m.

Sometimes a rough feeling idle is actually failing motor mounts, a common issue on the 944.

racerdave600 HalfDork
March 3, 2011 8:00 a.m.

Replacing the throttle cam in my '89 was by far the best mod to a car I have ever done. Yes, it makes that much difference.

Also, do you know the timing belt history? If in doubt, change it before you autocross it. It's bad news if it breaks, and a timing belt interval on these cars is not a suggestion. My turbo broke it's belt a few weeks after I bought it, even though the seller claimed it was still ok. Of course he had no records to prove it, but it was a lesson well learned.

Shift knobs are generally still Porsche items, but you can find "recover" kits for them reasonably. I did one and it was no big deal. There's lots of linkage in these cars and they will never shift like a Miata, but parts of it are rebuildable to improve it.

Congrats on the purchase, great cars.

16vCorey SuperDork
March 3, 2011 8:30 a.m.

I've heard the throttle cams are a great improvement, but have no first hand experience. I always meant to get one for mine, but never got around to it. As was mentioned before, the sloppy shifter is probably due the the peg that comes off of the side of the shifter assembly. New shifters are cheap (at least they were when I replaced mine), and IIRC there was a short throw shifter available for a bit more. Pretty much the same design with the peg in a different spot. I installed one of the recover kits on my shift knob and it looks factory, and wasn't too difficult to do. I think I got it from Pelican Parts YEARS ago. Check the boot from the AFM to the throttle body for cracks for your idle issue. They crack all the time.

EricM Dork
March 3, 2011 8:46 a.m.
bravenrace wrote: The normal idle is rough. I remember a friend who bought one new, and it had a good amount of vibration at idle.

Motor mounts.

When you replace them, get the "turbo motor mounts" they last a lot longer.

Maroon92 SuperDork
March 3, 2011 9:03 a.m.

The throttle cam does drastically improve the feel of the car. Also, it sounds considerably better with a good cat-back exhaust.

docwyte Reader
March 3, 2011 9:07 a.m.

Belts on this car are every 30k miles or 4 years, whichever is less.

Javelin SuperDork
March 3, 2011 9:14 a.m.

7K miles ago, but 4 years... It's been garaged though. Only did 700 miles the last 2 years.

Maroon92 SuperDork
March 3, 2011 9:15 a.m.
docwyte wrote: Belts on this car are every 30k miles or 4 years, whichever is less.

quoted for truth. I have seen the destruction that a bad belt can do to the engine...

racerdave600 HalfDork
March 3, 2011 10:28 a.m.

I don't think I would go 4 years either...2 might be a better choice on the belts.

Javelin SuperDork
March 3, 2011 10:43 a.m.

Sounds like I'm doing a belt job then. Water pump was done at the same time and the water temp is great in the car, plus it's already the Turbo pump and only has 7K miles on it, so I will forego the pump at this time.

I figure full belt job, oil change & filter, plugs, air filter, and fuel system cleaner + fuel filter for underhood, fix the idle/vacuum leak, figure out the transaxle drip, and fix the little issues it has on the body/interior (defrost/wiper inop on hatch, rear hatch struts bad, tear on driver's bolster, missing seat reclicne plastic tab, and clean everything).

Once all that's done it will be time for a throttle cam, some better tires (possibly wheels?), and go through the suspension (bushings, ball joints, maybe shocks - can the factory Koni's be rebuilt?).

Drove it to work today and I have to do a 200 mile trip to BFE and back. Still debating whether I should risk it in the 944 or not (I did drive it 170 miles home in a storm).

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