corsepervita New Reader
Nov. 17, 2009 3:01 a.m.

Well, months after having worked on my little 924 project car... I got it tuned up well enough to have it reliable for small trips. I finally felt confident.

No sooner had this happened, My daily driver, my 944 had a thermostat go bad and a radiator get plugged up. But having never actually WORKED on a cooling system it took me forever to iron it out and figure out the issue. 1: No radiator shops would touch it. They heard "Porsche" and flat out would tell me "We don't touch those here." and the nearest place that WOULD was too far away... 2: pain in the ass to bleed + lack of understanding how to bleed it had me taking forever to figure it out.

Finally.... got ready to move into our new house, things are going great. Fire up the 924, drive it over, and hear a horrific "PVFFFFT" from the passenger side of the engine bay. Can't be good. I'm 3 blocks from my house and say "Screw it." i limp it there with an enormous loss of power only to find out the headgasket is gone. To top it off.... there's no oil in the engine. Low and behold I found out one of my wonderful neighbors drained the oil out the night before I left for the new house. Going away gift I suppose?

Week later, new radiator comes in the mail + new wahler thermostat. 944 runs like a new car now.

Guess I can't win all the battles.

On that bombshell.... Should I rebuild the motor while I'm here? Drain all the coolant out and just refresh it and get a new head gasket? Or swap powerhouse and go to a Euro motor (different pistons, some head work, N/A power) or a 924 turbo motor....

I'm having a hell of a debate on which to choose. Turbo seems like it would be easy to tune and easier to get power out of. Although there seems like there'd be more points for failure. An N/A sounds like fun with one of the euro spec motors, but then again they don't make a ton of power either.

I'm fairly used to the CIS system at this point and am not having too hard of a time troubleshooting it and testing it and working on it. So I don't MIND keeping the CIS system. But I figure if i go with a different engine rather than rebuilding current that I may as well go to megasquirt as others have suggested. One of those "While you're there...." things.

sigh hard to be motivated on it but i'm trying to work it back up. Took me since august of 08' to get it to where I could get it on the road in a RELIABLE fashion I felt safe with. Now it's just sitting there. I guess at least it's not all the way back to square 1.

PS: I hate vandals.

corsepervita New Reader
Nov. 17, 2009 3:08 a.m.

Forgot to mention.... the 924 is going to be a trackday car, which is why I am having a hard time debating on the build for the engine.

BoxheadTim Reader
Nov. 17, 2009 3:41 a.m.

Gah, sorry to hear that, sounds like a good neighbourhood to move out of.

If you've driving it for any distance without any oil in the engine, I'd been looking for another engine or another car - by the time you've torn down the existing engine and replace everything that's been damaged, the wallet damage will be quite scary. Easiest way to get it back up and running would be to find a decent 924 engine. The turbo engine is surprisingly different from the N/A so you'd be better off with a donor car (plus the whole turbo drivetrain is different) and at that point, why not just fix up the donor car instead?

Of course, you could always throw an SBC into the 924 instead...

SillyImportRacer New Reader
Nov. 17, 2009 6:47 a.m.

I feel your pain. Would the Euro motor swap & keep/rebuild the original motor be a worth while option?

corsepervita New Reader
Nov. 17, 2009 7:25 a.m.

Ah hell good point, i never took into consideration any drivetrain differences. Usually 924 stuff is pretty bolt up but I didn't think about that one.

The euro motor is basically just a non-us model with the euro pistons and a different head and a few other things if i recall. The other option I suppose would be to rebuild the original motor INTO a euro spec. Not sure what it would cost but some of the guys on the 924board have them around for cheap.

BoxheadTim Reader
Nov. 17, 2009 9:14 a.m.

IIRC the 924 turbo stuff is all bolt-on, but it's a heck of a lot to bolt on as you'll end up transferring the whole drive train including engine, everything under the hood, parts of the front suspension (turbos are five-bolt) and potentially brakes, gearbox and parts of the rear suspension and brakes.

Not sure if that's worth the effort.

DILYSI Dave SuperDork
Nov. 17, 2009 9:59 a.m.

Have any proof on the oil draining? Most vandals aren't that commited, but if you have proof, then small claims FTW. Let them pay for a new motor. At porsche dealer prices.

iceracer HalfDork
Nov. 17, 2009 10:08 a.m.

Hmm. Some one crawled under a very low car and drained the oil. You drove the car with either the oil warning light on or the oil gauge reading zero. And you drove the car how far ? Them Porsches are built tuff.

turboswede SuperDork
Nov. 17, 2009 10:53 a.m.

Sorry to hear of your problems, oddly I've never had a problem like that up here in the "big" city :) I agree that if you can prove it, file a police report and take them to court over it. You may not actually get anything from them but at least you'll have done the right thing.

The biggest problem with rebuilding a 924 motor is the cost of the main bearings, they had gone out of production and are being reproduced at about $150/set. Otherwise everything else seems available.

If I were you, I'd hit up car-part.com and pick up a spare, low mileage motor to freshen up with new gaskets, belts and hoses before tearing your car apart. That would be the quickest way to a running car again. Just swap the engines and ancillaries and rebuild the original at your leisure to be the more powerful track day solution down the road (think stroked, ported, cammed and then maybe boosted with EFI, heh)

I found one motor in Seattle for $625 with only 90K on it and 150+psi compression on all cylinders. Plus in 79 or 80 I think they bumped up the power from 95 to 125hp so you'd start ahead of the game a little.

There is also this one on Fleabay: http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1979-Porsche-924-Non-Turbo-Engine_W0QQitemZ260508044429QQcmdZViewItemQQptZMotors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories?hash=item3ca77d4c8d for a little cheaper, with lower mileage but farther away.

BTW, the Euro spec cars just have higher compression pistons, and slightly different base timing from what I understand. If you do rebuild the original motor, you can just add Euro spec pistons and bump up the timing a little.

FYI, the 924Turbo motor is the same block with a different head and pistons and of course the turbo bits bolted on top. From the engine back, the bell-housing, starter, clutch, flywheel, torque tube and transaxle are different. However, aside from the clutch, flywheel and bell-housing the rest can be recycled 944 bits since the 931 bits can be a little difficult to find. You'll want to find a 944 to steal the suspension and brakes from anyway, so nabbing the rest shouldn't be too bad.

turboswede SuperDork
Nov. 17, 2009 10:54 a.m.
iceracer wrote: Hmm. Some one crawled under a very low car and drained the oil. You drove the car with either the oil warning light on or the oil gauge reading zero. And you drove the car how far ? Them Porsches are built tuff.

Actually there is some speculation that the Audi 100LS motor was actually designed by Mercedes. So yeah they are tough.

corsepervita New Reader
Nov. 17, 2009 2:52 p.m.

Considering the gauges on the 924 are not functional at this time, no, there was no oil light. I had checked the oil and changed it like a week prior. When I went back there was a few tiny specks of oil dot where it was parked, and nothing more nothing less. So all things considered, where'd the oil go?

Aside from some neighbors who heard from he said she said and a police report with no one able to do anything or prove anything i'm stuck. It's not worth my time to chase after the vandal. I'm going to just make it water under the bridge and move forward on it. I'm in a new neighborhood, new house, time for a new start.

Besides the 924 isn't that low lol.

Thanks for the advice on the engine stefan, i never thought of that, that's a good idea. I'll check that out on the used engine. 90k isn't a bad deal actually.

I had planned on the 944 suspension swap, perhaps if i can find an ENTIRE 944 project car, i might go turbo, otherwise it sounds like it may be better to just rebuild an NA and beef it up.

Good discussion and info. Thanks everyone.

Gonna go grab a cup of coffee and tune up on the 944 some more.

AngryCorvair SuperDork
Nov. 17, 2009 5:20 p.m.
corsepervita wrote: Forgot to mention.... the 924 is going to be a trackday car, which is why I am having a hard time debating on the build for the engine.

buy my v8 944 for less-than-challenge money...

kb58
kb58 New Reader
Nov. 17, 2009 5:49 p.m.

Wait, so a neighbor brings a tub and wrench into your yard at night, carefully drains the oil, replaces the drain plug, and carries the full tub of oil back to his house?! Not saying it didn't happen, just that the pieces don't fit together real well.

Could it have instead been a slow leak that drained the last of the oil on your drive to your new place? Did you secure the drain plug and filter when you changed the oil one week prior? Maybe the "few spots of oil" under the car were the last few drops from that leak? Just sayin...

iceracer HalfDork
Nov. 17, 2009 5:56 p.m.

Maybe he needed oil for his car

corsepervita New Reader
Nov. 17, 2009 7:46 p.m.
kb58 wrote: Wait, so a neighbor brings a tub and wrench into your yard at night, carefully drains the oil, replaces the drain plug, and carries the full tub of oil back to his house?! Not saying it didn't happen, just that the pieces don't fit together real well. Could it have instead been a slow leak that drained the last of the oil on your drive to your new place? Did you secure the drain plug and filter when you changed the oil one week prior? Maybe the "few spots of oil" under the car were the last few drops from that leak? Just sayin...

Considering it was on pavement, i think i'd notice all those quarts of oil since the car had not gone anywhere. If it's who I think it is, then it wouldn't surprise me the slightest. We had some interesting stuff fly when there was some ruckus in our complex that was causing huge problems, cops were called to stop said individuals, and what was supposed to have an anonymous call ended up having my address on the report, and after that my car was continuously vandalized. Since the car has been vandalized on 4 other occasions by the same individual in some pretty malicious ways. Up to and including lugnuts being loosened, body damage, gas siphoning, breaking my gas locks, and attempting to remove the emblems from the car, having my windows etched... Every time I file a police report and get stuff looked into on it, nothing ever comes of it because there's no solid proof. It's beyond the point, the car is not running at this time. Like I said, i'm not going to dive into this over and over and over and create 3 pages of "who done it". It's not worth my time to go through the process of getting myself worked up on it, again. I don't feel like going there, just depresses me to talk about it. Like I said, i had been working on the car since august of 2008. So I'm a bit frustrated.

Capt Slow Reader
Nov. 17, 2009 7:57 p.m.

It may be a neighbor with a grudge?

Edit: you beat me to it

corsepervita New Reader
Nov. 17, 2009 8:00 p.m.

^^ huge grudge. I'd imagine getting arrested is a good reason to get mad at someone. lol.

kb58
kb58 New Reader
Nov. 17, 2009 8:06 p.m.

And I had assumed people are basically good...

Appleseed Dork
Nov. 17, 2009 10:45 p.m.

If it WAS a former neighbor draining my oil, I'd leave the dead lump of an engine on the hood of his car.

DWNSHFT Reader
Nov. 18, 2009 5:00 p.m.

Why not drop in a 944 motor? You'd need to swap all the electronics, but if they put the 944 motor into the 924S, it seems like it wouldn't be too hard.

And, if you're going that route, how about a 944S 16-valver? 170 HP stock.

David

Nov. 18, 2009 5:03 p.m.
kb58 wrote: And I had assumed people are basically good...

My dad used to say it only takes about 2% of the human race to berkeley it up for the rest of us..

Appleseed Dork
Nov. 18, 2009 5:08 p.m.

Hmmm...I've met that 2%.

cwh SuperDork
Nov. 18, 2009 5:14 p.m.

They are the ones that keep me in business!

turboswede SuperDork
Nov. 18, 2009 5:57 p.m.
DWNSHFT wrote: Why not drop in a 944 motor? You'd need to swap all the electronics, but if they put the 944 motor into the 924S, it seems like it wouldn't be too hard. And, if you're going that route, how about a 944S 16-valver? 170 HP stock. David

Motor mounts and cross-member are completely different. Oddly the control arms are the same. The swap requires cutting and welding, so might as well put in a motor that requires less maintenance and makes more power!

924guy Dork
Nov. 18, 2009 7:30 p.m.

find another 924 to use for parts, swap all parts onto the best platform (often the parts cars are better than the one your fixing up!) spend no more than $300 and a couple days labor, go drive the doors off it, after all,youll have a spare set!.

and get a big dog to watch over things for you.....

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