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944: Bad Choice as a Daily Driver?

Discussion in 'Other Off Topic Forum' started by karmavore, Mar 29, 2004.

  1. karmavore

    karmavore Formula 3

    Dec 29, 2002
    1,641
    Maryland
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    Luke Colorado
    I was planning on one but now I'm hearing lots of maintenance woes. True? 20+ hours to replace a clutch? WTF? I see plenty of people driving them everyday who look they can't afford the maintenance. ...perhaps they could before they bought it? ;)

    discuss.

    Luke.
     
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  3. cairns

    cairns Formula Junior

    Nov 13, 2003
    421
    Potomac MD
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    George Williams
    I owned a 1990 944 S2 (from new) for almost ten years. It was the most trouble free sports car I ever owned (except for maybe the 993). The clutch is a six hour approximately $1,200 job. They are very reliable, underrated cars with excellent handling, and (in some versions- the Turbo and Turbo S) power that can put more modern far more expensive cars to shame.

    It is, IMO, probably the best daily driver/used sports car out there.

    Like any car, I would buy the best one I could afford and look for all the service records. If you can find and afford a nice 968 you are even better off.
     
  4. 4re308

    4re308 F1 Rookie

    Jun 13, 2001
    4,712
    Woodstock, GA
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    Mitch D
    I have always wanted a 944 Turbo as my daily driver. I'm torn between 944T or a 911 3.2 Carrera. The 968 has the largest 4 cylinder engine ever made!! A 3.0 liter 4!
     
  5. Fastviper

    Fastviper F1 Rookie

    Nov 20, 2003
    4,410
    Texas
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    Dash
    i also had a 85 1/2 944 red with black just like all my sports cars have been, for the money it was the best sports car I have ever owned I paid $8k or so, if memory serves in 1991 on my 20th birthday, drove it like crazy, the only problem i had was the clutch which was $1,400 to replace, I remember because I was poor then. fun car, everytime I see one I think boy that was a fun car.

    john
     
  6. yesod

    yesod Formula Junior

    Nov 2, 2003
    344
    Lakeland,fl
    Full Name:
    Keith
    I have had a 944 turbo for about six and a half years. Maintenance is not bad at all. Just make sure you change the timing belt regularly. If it breaks, it could be between $1500-3500 to fix depending on the shop you use and how many valves get bent. There iaren't many cars that give the kind of performance of a 944 Turbo for the money.
     
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  8. Jason W

    Jason W Formula Junior
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    Oct 31, 2003
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    Jason W
  9. 62 250 GTO

    62 250 GTO F1 Veteran

    Jan 9, 2004
    7,732
    Nova Scotia Canada
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    Neil
    As an owner of a 924 and previous owner of a 944, I would say, they {944} are a very good buy, if you have service records and keep up on the service. They aren't very expensive to run and they are a race car right out of the box, go for it!

    I guess I will have to add more 944 info to my site.
     
  10. jasono

    jasono Rookie

    Nov 22, 2003
    11
    I had/have a 1987 944S (the 2.5l 16 valve one) and trust me, ALWAYS make sure to change the timing belt on time. I had one let go and the repair bill was nasty.

    Right now, I'm at college so the thing sits, but the car was abused by me and my brother in high school (roughly 6 years of idiots driving) and after rebuilding the motor in the first month of ownership, nothing major really went out and the car took abuse like no other (I'm talking driving through fields, flying off bumps, hopping curbs, redline many times a day).

    Car currently just sits as I drive my 86.5 928S to school. It's an auto, and deals much better in Seattle traffic. Has been dead reliable (had for about 5 years).

    If you must buy one, get an S2 or Turbo- far superior cars!

    -Jason
     
  11. MRFOTOS

    MRFOTOS Karting

    May 26, 2003
    232
    Maui, Hi
    I have a 87 944 turbo, lots of fun, not too many problems
    ( steering rack seals, and clutch hydro-leaks)
    But remember it is quicker and can also out run my 80 308GTSI,
    lots of performance for the money Plus two tiny back seats
    ( none on my Ferrari)

    In my opinion go with a turbo or S2 model (better looking) than an old standard 944 plus you get the added protection of Airbags !
    Mark
     
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  13. allanlambo

    allanlambo F1 Rookie

    Jun 9, 2002
    4,363
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    Allan
    944 Turbo is an awesome car as a daily driver. Lots of tuning potential, lots of fun.
     
  14. Eric308gtsiqv

    Eric308gtsiqv Formula 3

    Nov 26, 2001
    1,952
    Orange Park, Florida
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    Eric Eiland
    #11 Eric308gtsiqv, Mar 29, 2004
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Would concur with everyone thus far that the 944 series is a great P-car. They aren't that difficult to work on either. Many sources are available for just about any part you'd need for these cars -- from screw caps to engines. Tons of resources are available online as well.

    I purchased an 85.5 944 back in '02 simply because I always wanted one -- it isn't my daily driver though. Initially, I spent about $3400 in service to get the car sorted out mechanically, roughly $ 3400 for new paint job, and $$ here and there on misc. items -- all in all to get this car restored back to as close to original condition as possible. I ditched the 15" wheels in favor for the turbo-style 16" rims. $1,200 to $1,400 is more of a realistic price for a clutch job (looking through my receipts, the P.O. paid $1,200).

    Timing belts should be changed approx. 45k miles (interference engine). Engine overhaul typically occurs every 130k miles or so. Once a year, I send it to the mechanic for its yearly "checkup" -- fluids, filters, coolant flush, AC serviec, etc., etc. -- and this runs approx. $275 - $350 (unless there's something that needs repair). Most of this can be done yourself if you wish.

    Here's a pic:
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
     
  15. Texas Forever

    Texas Forever Four Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Apr 28, 2003
    44,810
    Texas!
    What about comparing a 944 Turbo with a 968? The 968s look like they are headed for under $20k.
     
  16. davem

    davem F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Jan 21, 2002
    6,072
    Stepford, Connecticut
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    dave m

    I just looked at a 944 turbo this weekend. Im looking at them cause the PCA is so big here and i would like to do D/E days and autox.
    968 would be better for autox im guessing. No turbo lag. 944 turbos can be modifed cheaply to easily outperform a 968.
     
  17. bobafett

    bobafett F1 Veteran

    Sep 28, 2002
    9,193
    If you can, spring the extra for a 928. They are HUGELY awesome cars, and extremely powerful (or can be made to be). Check out Devek - those guys are *the* porsche v8 specialists. Mark and Susan are gifted, and their white car is a testament to that.

    I have seen daily driver 928s (albeit with an extremely talented driver) absolutely SPANK 996Turbos and a custom-made 911RS (whose engine costs almsot 2x what my friend's daily did) driven by capable drivers.

    If you're looking for something cheaper, a 944 is tough to beat. There are myriad ways of making big power from these cars, but be sure to drive a few - the one I drove (said track monster / daily driver) wasnt' exactly the best fit, and the Devek white car scared the crap outta me (0.93g in ACCELERATIVE force)

    --Dan
     
  18. 62 250 GTO

    62 250 GTO F1 Veteran

    Jan 9, 2004
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    Neil
    I was going to mention a 928 but it's a bigger bag.
     
  19. dm_n_stuff

    dm_n_stuff Global Moderator
    Global Moderator Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Dec 10, 2003
    35,564
    The Sunshine State
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    Dave
    Owned a 944 for about 5 years, 1st three as my daily driver. It was very reliable, as Porsches generally are, and drove great. Excellent handling, no major repairs, just routine maintenance.

    Put maybe 60K on it with original clutch. Only thing I can recall was that it could have had a little more oomph, but, apparently, mods are not a big deal.

    Test drove a 968 when I got rid of the 944 for a 911. The 968 was seriously faster, really strong, and handled even better than my 944, but opted for the 911.

    You know, a 911 doesn't make a bad daily driver either, and their prices, late 80's are under $16K, are in the crapper right now. Might be a consideration, too.
     
  20. jakermc

    jakermc Formula 3
    Owner

    Jan 17, 2004
    1,778
    Palm Beach, FL
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    Rob
    They are already there. I bought my wife a 968 about a year ago for her daily driver. 60K miles on a '93 and paid $15,900. They have depreciated even further since then. Had a DME relay go bad, but other than that its been problem free.
     
  21. karmavore

    karmavore Formula 3

    Dec 29, 2002
    1,641
    Maryland
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    Luke Colorado
    Thanks for the encouragement, I knew the VW guys I was talking to were way off base. Plus they're generally less affluent, and are obviously more easily scared of potential maintenance. The things you have said have convinced me that this is the way to go. Other cars I was considering, BTW, where:

    E30 M3
    E29 M5
    Corrado
    2nd Gen. RX-7
    1st/2nd Gen Supra
    Starion (sexy, but hard to find!)

    One more question: can I assume that, as with any car, the rule is to buy the most expensive model 944 I can afford?

    Thanks again!

    Luke.
     
  22. Greg G

    Greg G F1 Rookie

    Luke... feel free to hit me up with any questions concerning the early Supras (82-85, AKA mk2). I have owned the blue one I posted under the Lamarossa thread last week for the past 17 years and I have restored 3 others. They are not very fast, but they are virtually bullit-proof and the built quality exceeds many new cars today. Some guys are opting to install motors frm later turbo Supras to produce 300+ HP.

    16 valve and turbo 944s are really nice. I also have a sweet spot for older 928's... amazing how far they have depreciated.
     
  23. dm_n_stuff

    dm_n_stuff Global Moderator
    Global Moderator Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Dec 10, 2003
    35,564
    The Sunshine State
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    Dave
    One more question: can I assume that, as with any car, the rule is to buy the most expensive model 944 I can afford?

    Thanks again!

    Luke.[/QUOTE]

    Yup.

    Newest model, best overall condition, although I don't think these are particularly known to rust, I think maintenance records would be nice to see, too.

    The guys at Excellence magazine always suggest that. Also, you might want to pick up a copy of the most recent issue. There's always a market value section for one model or another. The guy who does these, ( can't come up with his name at the moment) will always answer an email from a reader about where the marke tis on a particluar model.

    Pay as much as you can afford, but, leave maybe 20% aside to spruce/fix anything that isn't instantly apparent. You'll find stuff in the first couple of weeks of driving that you want to fix or change and a couple of grand is not a lot to hold out for repairs.
     
  24. matkat

    matkat Formula 3

    Mar 18, 2003
    1,840
    Scotland
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    Dave McGuire
    I had 2 944s one was the 16valve version(stay clear) and the other the 944 S2 3.0 litre this is a fantastic car super handling and superbly reliable,as previous posters have said make sure you change the timimg belt(immediately)the balance belts should be changed at the same time,if the timing belts let go it can destroy the engine(it happened to me).All in all I would certainly have another S2 3.0 litre.
    Best regards
    Dave McGuire
     
  25. karmavore

    karmavore Formula 3

    Dec 29, 2002
    1,641
    Maryland
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    Luke Colorado
    The ones I'm considering checking out are 85-87 (turbos and non). These happen to be the cream of the crop (most expensive -- 5000-8800) in my area (acording to autotrader). Does this change things?

    Luke.
     
  26. cairns

    cairns Formula Junior

    Nov 13, 2003
    421
    Potomac MD
    Full Name:
    George Williams
    Timing belt changes are critical on all of them. Water pumps tend to go also. The Turbo's and Turbo S's will blow head gaskets. But overall all of them are very reliable.

    The S2 was my favorite even if not as powerful as the Turbo the power was far more usable- torque over the entire rev range rather than (what I call) the on-off turbo button. I DE'd it for a number of years- even the S2 can get seriously fast capable of low 1:28's at Summit Point. The clutch never went until around 65K- on the straightaway at Summit incidentally. If it does go, replace the rubber centered clutch with the spring centered one, preferably kevlar faced.

    If you can find one with the M030 suspension option and limited slip that is a big bonus.
     
  27. Daytonafan

    Daytonafan F1 Rookie

    Oct 18, 2003
    2,700
    Surrey, England
    Full Name:
    Matthew
    I love my 1990 944S2, I've had it 6 years and its my daily driver with 117k miles. The clutch is a pain to replace £1k (ouch) and it has quite an appetite for brake discs and pads average about 15k miles for replacement. The other think to look out for is worn front wishbones another £1k. to replace. Personally I think it handles best on Pirelli P zeros.

    I'm actually considering replacing it in the next few months as the sun has come here in London for the first time this year and this has increased my desire for a Boxster. I will miss the 944's surprising practically though.
     

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