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    Thread: Living with a transaxle Porsche - my '87 944S

    1. Senior Member
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      07-02-2020 12:25 AM #26
      What a great looking 944S! I enjoyed mineóuntil the day it died. (It was reborn by a friend and now lives in Arizona, fortunately.)

      Iím sure you are aware of the cam chain tensioner ramp? Have you pulled the valve cover to inspect it? If not, donít drive it further until you do. Mine failed on my 944S, causing catastrophic damage. The heads are basically unobtainable anymore due to so many being damaged beyond repair due to this failure.

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    3. Member Dr.AK's Avatar
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      07-02-2020 03:53 AM #27
      Quote Originally Posted by Numbersix View Post
      What a great looking 944S! I enjoyed mineóuntil the day it died. (It was reborn by a friend and now lives in Arizona, fortunately.)

      Iím sure you are aware of the cam chain tensioner ramp? Have you pulled the valve cover to inspect it? If not, donít drive it further until you do. Mine failed on my 944S, causing catastrophic damage. The heads are basically unobtainable anymore due to so many being damaged beyond repair due to this failure.
      Thanks!

      Yeah, I am aware of the issue. According to the documents I have with the car they were actually replaced like... two timing belt jobs ago (which now is 17 years ago), which is why I'm not TOO worried. But when I get around to doing the timing belt, I've also got new chain ramps waiting. I very nearly picked up a second hand 944S engine the other day ago, as someone local to me was selling one for 800Ä but it was already gone when I called. People usually want like ~3500Ä for the whole engine. There's some guy here in Germany who parts out 944s who is supposed to have a few heads sitting around.

      But yeah, in case of a failure it would be a major problem. There's only about 250 944S left on the road here in Germany, so I'd like to keep it that way and not decrease that number any more.
      '87 Porsche 944S - make flip up lights great again!
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      07-02-2020 09:19 AM #28
      Your pictures do a great job of capturing the lines and design of the 944 Thank you for sharing your stories!
      Someday: Porsche
      Today: 2019 Ram 1500 & 2019 Audi S4
      Bygone: '87 GTI 16V, '91 GLI 16V, '91 Vanagon, a few e30s and Jeeps.

    5. Member mhjett's Avatar
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      07-02-2020 09:42 AM #29
      Apologies if this is a little off-topic, but quick question on your number plate with 944 in it -- can you request numbers on your plate in Germany?

    6. Member cockerpunk's Avatar
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      07-02-2020 09:44 AM #30
      these threads are like therapy for me. every once in a while i get the bug that i miss my 951, those classic lines, so beautiful. but the maintenance is no ****ing joke, the parts costs are insane ... nope. im glad someone is able to take care of them, cause they are bite the back of your hand beautiful cars.
      Quote Originally Posted by ice4life View Post
      Sounds great. Maybe I'm just a fascist and didn't know it.. I don't know if I even care anymore.

    7. Member NotFast's Avatar
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      07-02-2020 09:51 AM #31
      Wow, very very awesome thread!!

      I'm old enough to remember loving these cars when they were new (and I was young )... I always wanted one too.

    8. Member Dr.AK's Avatar
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      07-02-2020 10:12 AM #32
      Quote Originally Posted by Hufeisen View Post
      Your pictures do a great job of capturing the lines and design of the 944 Thank you for sharing your stories!
      Thanks for the compliment, glad you like them!

      Quote Originally Posted by mhjett View Post
      Apologies if this is a little off-topic, but quick question on your number plate with 944 in it -- can you request numbers on your plate in Germany?
      Not a problem, I'm all for answering questions!

      You can request numbers to a certain amount. Our plates follow this system [Region] [Letters][Numbers][Extras]. The region is determined by the region in which the car's owner lives, in my case BM stands for Bergheim. The letters and numbers can be chosen, you may pick one or two letters and between one to four numbers. On mine the letters are actually my initials and the 944 should be obvious. The extra bits is for certain cars, like the H on the end of my plate designates it as historic tags (H for 'historisch') - cars 30 years and up are eligible for this if they are in decent, original condition or with period correct mods. The benefits of historic plates are a fixed tax rate, instead of it being calculated by the exhaust standards and displacement which can be a lot cheaper, especially for cars with big displacement engines. We also have other extras like E for EVs and cars that are registered only a certain period of the year have this period there. Like this for a car that may be driven from April to October:



      And here's one of the E plates:


      Quote Originally Posted by cockerpunk View Post
      these threads are like therapy for me. every once in a while i get the bug that i miss my 951, those classic lines, so beautiful. but the maintenance is no ****ing joke, the parts costs are insane ... nope. im glad someone is able to take care of them, cause they are bite the back of your hand beautiful cars.
      Preaching to the choir, my friend I am lucky in that regard as I can do most of the work myself and I actually have a high tolerance for pain when it comes to parts costs. It helps that it's not my daily driver, so even if the car is out of commission for a few weeks or even months it's not like it's a major problem. Sure, it sucks not being able to drive it, but it's better than having to do all the work instantly or paying a shop to do it.
      Last edited by Dr.AK; 07-02-2020 at 10:15 AM.
      '87 Porsche 944S - make flip up lights great again!
      '87 Audi 80 1.9E
      '10 Ford Mondeo Titanium 2.0 Ecoboost
      Instagram: @bastienbochmann

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      07-02-2020 10:24 AM #33
      Awesome pictures and descriptions. I love threads like these so much.
      Quote Originally Posted by 20aeman View Post
      No, the real enthusiast vehicle would be the RX8. It combines V12 Lamborghini gas mileage with Hyundai Genesis 4cyl. performance.

    10. Member mhjett's Avatar
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      07-02-2020 01:29 PM #34
      Thanks for the number plate explanation, I find that kind of thing oddly fascinating. Some of it I had figured out from the plates on German press cars but it's interesting to hear about the numbers and extras.

    11. Geriatric Member Air and water do mix's Avatar
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      07-03-2020 01:15 PM #35
      Quote Originally Posted by Dr.AK View Post
      Preaching to the choir, my friend I am lucky in that regard as I can do most of the work myself and I actually have a high tolerance for pain when it comes to parts costs. It helps that it's not my daily driver, so even if the car is out of commission for a few weeks or even months it's not like it's a major problem. Sure, it sucks not being able to drive it, but it's better than having to do all the work instantly or paying a shop to do it.
      Thatís what I do, although my threshold of pain for parts costs is considerably lower than yours!

      I too have had to let mine sit for extended periods as life got in the way, but Iím back to enjoying it semi-regularly for now, with more to come. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
      Quote Originally Posted by Boyz in da Park
      Proletariat, Bourgeoise - Everybody smellin' my potpourri...

    12. Member fbobberts's Avatar
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      07-04-2020 05:00 AM #36
      Hey, Doc, The Lads say hi from The House of Pain!





      One thing about owning two of a relatively rare (yet still somehow undesirable) car is you can use
      one as a reference for the other. While it is true they will both be broken, it is actually rare that they
      are both broken in the same way. This can be very valuable when testing harness issues and instrument
      panel foul ups and other such electrical stuff as an example (yes, and yes these apply).

      Another thing is local shops like using them as a reference when another S comes in, if they have the same
      questions. There are a few 944S specific parts, like DMEs etc where my red car in particular seems
      to be the popular choice. This paid off for me this week as a local guy had a turbo and wanted a new PCCM
      radio, but the dealer hadnít installed one yet. Since Iím always at that dealerís parts desk, they thought of me as
      a guinea pig. (His car is pristine, concourse level 1986 turbo while my cars are not pristine or concourse level)

      My red car had one of those pull out slide boxes and not one but two Blaupunkt Aspen 42 radio CD players, both
      equally period brilliant to look at and miserable to use. The only reason I had two is if one broke it made it very easy
      to just pull out the offending unit and send it out, replacing it with the second unit sitting ready in my garage. They
      run about a hundred bucks or so to buy so itís cheap to keep an extra on hand. I didnít need a shop to pull it and if
      one got stolen I could just thank the Lord and pop in the second one. (My blue car has the 944 ten speaker system
      option and a reasonably modern JVC head unit, so itís okay for now.)

      The new PCCM is much better than the old PCRN, as it adds Apple Car Play and streaming to the older unitís GPS
      functionality, Bluetooth, and USB storage. The old unitís Nav worked solely on its internal maps. While you can
      purchase the maps still (and I did, just in case) the new unit can pull in Waze and your standard Apple navigation apps.

      Itís odd to give a 944 modern navigation and streaming, along with voice commands. Itís like giving the Romans the
      Manhattan Project.

      They gave me a killer deal to install this in my red car as practice for their techs, they did a great job, and I love it. I get Docís radio choice and I think itís awesome for the stock look and functionality, but if youíve spent any time in a modern car
      just plugging into your phone or using Bluetooth to stream itís really nice to have this functionality in these cars. The
      Porsche unit is going to cost you three times as much as a normal unit, but they fit in so well :



      I love it. I might treat the blue car. I have so many things to fix that may take awhile, though. Just did the rack on the blue car. I still have to repack itís rear axles and fit new covers. The red one has sprung a small leak in the upper radiator hose.
      For the first time in six months they are both off the road at the same time.

      I think Iíll take up sewing. Something with a double reverse baseball stitch, maybe?



      Doc good luck with your car. Love the Teledials, here in the US we got the forged seven slot sewer lids. Not pretty but stock.
      Last edited by fbobberts; 07-04-2020 at 05:11 AM.
      I decided to calculate the actual cost of ownership in 3 years and 0 miles driven(maybe 2-3 miles pushed) the 951 cost me $3695.21(maintenance parts). If I was a betting men, I would bet that this is far from the total this 951 will cost me. (PawaK_2001)

      Quote Originally Posted by freedomgli View Post
      Good. Sometimes the only way to deal with knuckleheads is to have the lawyers duke it out.

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      07-04-2020 04:13 PM #37
      Quote Originally Posted by cockerpunk View Post
      these threads are like therapy for me. every once in a while i get the bug that i miss my 951, those classic lines, so beautiful. but the maintenance is no ****ing joke, the parts costs are insane ... nope. im glad someone is able to take care of them, cause they are bite the back of your hand beautiful cars.
      Me, too. These types of threads always remind me exactly why I do *not* own a classic car.

    14. Member Dr.AK's Avatar
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      07-05-2020 06:11 AM #38
      Quote Originally Posted by Double-V View Post
      Awesome pictures and descriptions. I love threads like these so much.
      Thanks!

      Quote Originally Posted by mhjett View Post
      Thanks for the number plate explanation, I find that kind of thing oddly fascinating. Some of it I had figured out from the plates on German press cars but it's interesting to hear about the numbers and extras.
      Glad to be of service

      Quote Originally Posted by Air and water do mix View Post
      Thatís what I do, although my threshold of pain for parts costs is considerably lower than yours!

      I too have had to let mine sit for extended periods as life got in the way, but Iím back to enjoying it semi-regularly for now, with more to come. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
      Eh, it's not like I was always this way. I was taught to live with pain when I owned a D2 A8

      That's good to hear!

      Quote Originally Posted by fbobberts View Post
      Hey, Doc, The Lads say hi from The House of Pain!

      https://www.dropbox.com/s/g0vtbsc8io...4ss1.jpg?raw=1

      https://www.dropbox.com/s/xbqqj7pkv1...44ss.jpg?raw=1

      One thing about owning two of a relatively rare (yet still somehow undesirable) car is you can use
      one as a reference for the other. While it is true they will both be broken, it is actually rare that they
      are both broken in the same way. This can be very valuable when testing harness issues and instrument
      panel foul ups and other such electrical stuff as an example (yes, and yes these apply).

      Another thing is local shops like using them as a reference when another S comes in, if they have the same
      questions. There are a few 944S specific parts, like DMEs etc where my red car in particular seems
      to be the popular choice. This paid off for me this week as a local guy had a turbo and wanted a new PCCM
      radio, but the dealer hadnít installed one yet. Since Iím always at that dealerís parts desk, they thought of me as
      a guinea pig. (His car is pristine, concourse level 1986 turbo while my cars are not pristine or concourse level)

      My red car had one of those pull out slide boxes and not one but two Blaupunkt Aspen 42 radio CD players, both
      equally period brilliant to look at and miserable to use. The only reason I had two is if one broke it made it very easy
      to just pull out the offending unit and send it out, replacing it with the second unit sitting ready in my garage. They
      run about a hundred bucks or so to buy so itís cheap to keep an extra on hand. I didnít need a shop to pull it and if
      one got stolen I could just thank the Lord and pop in the second one. (My blue car has the 944 ten speaker system
      option and a reasonably modern JVC head unit, so itís okay for now.)

      The new PCCM is much better than the old PCRN, as it adds Apple Car Play and streaming to the older unitís GPS
      functionality, Bluetooth, and USB storage. The old unitís Nav worked solely on its internal maps. While you can
      purchase the maps still (and I did, just in case) the new unit can pull in Waze and your standard Apple navigation apps.

      Itís odd to give a 944 modern navigation and streaming, along with voice commands. Itís like giving the Romans the
      Manhattan Project.

      They gave me a killer deal to install this in my red car as practice for their techs, they did a great job, and I love it. I get Docís radio choice and I think itís awesome for the stock look and functionality, but if youíve spent any time in a modern car
      just plugging into your phone or using Bluetooth to stream itís really nice to have this functionality in these cars. The
      Porsche unit is going to cost you three times as much as a normal unit, but they fit in so well :

      https://www.dropbox.com/s/tualj5v19s...adio.jpg?raw=1

      I love it. I might treat the blue car. I have so many things to fix that may take awhile, though. Just did the rack on the blue car. I still have to repack itís rear axles and fit new covers. The red one has sprung a small leak in the upper radiator hose.
      For the first time in six months they are both off the road at the same time.

      I think Iíll take up sewing. Something with a double reverse baseball stitch, maybe?

      https://www.dropbox.com/s/9vfuv07y10...heel.JPG?raw=1

      Doc good luck with your car. Love the Teledials, here in the US we got the forged seven slot sewer lids. Not pretty but stock.
      Ah, a fellow sufferer

      Those two S looks great! Regarding the radio: I actually added Bluetooth adapter to mine, so it does actually have semi-modern features, kind of. A friend has the PCNR in a 924 and while it is decent, I personally am not really a fan of the navigation, mostly due to the position of where the radio sits in the car. You have to take your eyes too far off the road to see the map for me to be comfortable with it.

      Yeah, I'm actually a big fan of my teledials as well, but I really want to swap them out for a set of staggered 16 inch ones. Mine are the 7x15 ones, but I really want the 7/8x16 setup. That said, I do kinda actually want the seven slots as well, as that is what most of the 944 S press cars wore! I actually would love to own a set of each of the late model 944 wheels.

      Speaking of press cars, I actually own a 944 S press kit that I bought on eBay a few months ago. It's really cool.











      I also have a few car magazines from back in the day with reviews of the car kicking around.

      Quote Originally Posted by Canaletto View Post
      Me, too. These types of threads always remind me exactly why I do *not* own a classic car.


      Believe me, I get that. If I didn't love driving these old things so much, I probably wouldn't own a classic either because I am by nature a very lazy person.
      '87 Porsche 944S - make flip up lights great again!
      '87 Audi 80 1.9E
      '10 Ford Mondeo Titanium 2.0 Ecoboost
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    15. Senior Member UncleJB's Avatar
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      07-05-2020 07:18 AM #39
      Nice score on the press release. I love random things like that.

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      07-06-2020 10:20 AM #40
      Quote Originally Posted by Sold Over Sticker View Post
      I've always gone for the pretty one that needs mechanical work. I can turn wrenches better than I can do body work. Well let's be honest. I can buff headlights and replace dried out trim, but I cannot do body work.
      All this, give me a car with NO engine or trans or whatever, I've got it covered. Rust? GFYS.

    17. Member Dr.AK's Avatar
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      07-09-2020 04:13 PM #41
      So, the car has been sitting in the garage for the past few weeks as it refused to charge the battery properly.

      I swapped out the generator regulator, still the same. So I went and looked for a new regulator. Oh boy. New from Porsche it's 899Ä. An aftermarket one is 350Ä. I found a specialist who sells refurbed OEM parts for 250Ä and got him to just overhaul mine. I know it wouldn't have made a difference wether I had mine overhauled or chose another one in exchange, but I felt that with an overhaul of the original generator it would at least stay true to the car, be the part that belonged with the car. That took some time to arrive, but it finally showed up today.



      ​​


      So I went over to the garage and installed it straight away. Went and started the car... and it looked good at first, if a bit weak. I measured 13,2V at the battery. Did a test drive and had my eye on the volt meter in the dash. At first it stayed at 13V, then it fell to 12V, rose again, fell again and so on. Something's not right.

      Back into the garage. My father was with me in the garage but even together we couldn't find the fault. Our last idea was to measure the voltage directly at the cables from the generator, so I was going to start the car, he would pull the cables from the battery and measure there. But just as I started the car he shouted 'Stop! There's sparks!' from where he was standing next to the open engine bay.

      After some digging, we found the culprit. Looks like we didn't properly tighten the ground cable that has to be removed for the clutch change and the nut rattled loose and got lost on the way. The cable was hanging loosely on the bolt and thus sometimes it had a ground connection, sometimes it didn't. Found a new nut and fastened it up again and voila, everything works now. Steady voltage of 13,8V when the car is idling, it stay steady during driving as well.

      Looks like I didn't have to change the generator at all, but oh well. It doesn't hurt and in fact only makes the car better so it was still worth it.

      ​​
      '87 Porsche 944S - make flip up lights great again!
      '87 Audi 80 1.9E
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    18. Senior Member Silly_me's Avatar
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      07-09-2020 04:54 PM #42
      Man, back in the day I had a 1986.5 944 (non-S) in Garnet Rose Metallic. I absolutely loved that car (it was my bachelor mobile ). Seeing yours makes me super nostalgic......

      Though I do have a bit of her with me every day, I nicked the tool roll before I sold her (it was a serious kit, even had a ball peen hammer ). My favorite go-to screwdriver is from the kit, a hybrid/reversible made in West Germany



      in for this thread!
      Germans are white people. Look up #84 on the list of things white people like: Gear. Lots of Gear. We even have gear farkles over here. -Atomicalex

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    19. Member Dr.AK's Avatar
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      07-10-2020 07:06 PM #43
      Haha, yeah, I think those reversible Screwdrivers are cool! You just made me realize that mine is missing some sort of tool kit... I wonder if Porsche included one with the car when it was sold new? Time to investigate.


      But as it runs again, I took the Porsche today to run some errands and to pick some non-car stuff up that I bought on eBay 40kms away. Gave it a good run through some back roads. It drives pretty well, although I still have some nagging issues. Mainly that it sometimes is hesitant to accept throttle when in low revs and sometimes dies when clutching in to come to a stop at a light. Think it might be that I did not adjust the throttle position switch properly. I'll have to have a look at that soon.

      Gave it a quick wash on the way back home.







      Then hit some more backroads and took some proper photos as I figured it was time to use my new-to-me camera on the Porsche. Recently made the switch from Canon to a Fuji and I couldn't be happier.


























      God, I love this thing.
      '87 Porsche 944S - make flip up lights great again!
      '87 Audi 80 1.9E
      '10 Ford Mondeo Titanium 2.0 Ecoboost
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    20. Member NotFast's Avatar
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      07-10-2020 09:54 PM #44
      Quote Originally Posted by Silly_me View Post
      Man, back in the day I had a 1986.5 944 (non-S) in Garnet Rose Metallic. I absolutely loved that car (it was my bachelor mobile ). Seeing yours makes me super nostalgic......

      I JUST saw a 944 in this same color 2 nights ago on my bike. Do you know how rare 944's are in my area? I never see them!

    21. Member fbobberts's Avatar
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      07-11-2020 04:16 AM #45
      Quote Originally Posted by NotFast View Post
      I JUST saw a 944 in this same color 2 nights ago on my bike. Do you know how rare 944's are in my area? I never see them!
      Well, they are there - just not on the road 🙂
      Yep toolkit was std I’ll dig mine out and post.
      I decided to calculate the actual cost of ownership in 3 years and 0 miles driven(maybe 2-3 miles pushed) the 951 cost me $3695.21(maintenance parts). If I was a betting men, I would bet that this is far from the total this 951 will cost me. (PawaK_2001)

      Quote Originally Posted by freedomgli View Post
      Good. Sometimes the only way to deal with knuckleheads is to have the lawyers duke it out.

    22. Senior Member Silly_me's Avatar
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      07-11-2020 09:44 AM #46
      Quote Originally Posted by NotFast View Post
      I JUST saw a 944 in this same color 2 nights ago on my bike.
      Did it have black Fuchs? I'd love to think she's still breathing
      Germans are white people. Look up #84 on the list of things white people like: Gear. Lots of Gear. We even have gear farkles over here. -Atomicalex

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      07-11-2020 07:42 PM #47
      Great photos man; love the tones and overall balance

      Quote Originally Posted by Dr.AK View Post
      So, the car has been sitting in the garage for the past few weeks as it refused to charge the battery properly.

      I swapped out the generator regulator, still the same. So I went and looked for a new regulator. Oh boy. New from Porsche it's 899Ä. An aftermarket one is 350Ä. I found a specialist who sells refurbed OEM parts for 250Ä and got him to just overhaul mine. I know it wouldn't have made a difference wether I had mine overhauled or chose another one in exchange, but I felt that with an overhaul of the original generator it would at least stay true to the car, be the part that belonged with the car. That took some time to arrive, but it finally showed up today.

      What do you call that part in German?

      Because in English, that's not a generator, it's an alternator

      Despite their names, both 'DC generators' (or 'dynamos') and 'alternators' initially produce alternating current. In a so-called 'DC generator', this AC current is generated in the rotating armature, and then converted to DC by the commutator and brushes. In an 'alternator', the AC current is generated in the stationary stator, and then is converted to DC by the rectifiers (diodes).

    24. Member andyA6's Avatar
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      07-11-2020 07:54 PM #48
      English = Alternator

      German = Lichtmaschine which when translated directly means lightmachine.....
      Keep right except to pass!

    25. Member Dr.AK's Avatar
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      07-12-2020 07:13 PM #49
      Yup, that's correct! For some reason I keep thinking that alternator is the English word for the starter (which in German would be called Anlasser)

      Quote Originally Posted by hushypushy View Post
      Great photos man; love the tones and overall balance
      Thanks man!

      Was asked to shoot a Mk1 Golf the other day, so we met up for some snaps.






      I've driven the car about 200kms since the new alternator (hey, I learned a new word! ) went in but sadly, not all is well. I've always had some issues with the idle and throttle response but it's been getting worse these past few days. Engine will rapidly loose RPMs when clutching out at low speeds sometimes and it won't accept any throttle for a while. Also the idle has been getting worse the last few days, it was pretty stable the last few months but now it's worse than ever. It also seems to run too rich.

      https://imgur.com/a/xJ4NOUG
      Here's a video of it. I'm pulling in to my garage's drive way, clutching in and the RPMs rapidly drop to about 500, 600 and become erratic for a moment and it's not accepting throttle until suddenly it all goes back to normal again.


      Thought it might've been the DME relay as I read that if it has some crappy solder points it might cause an occasional failure so I pulled it today and reflowed all the solder points and cleaned up the contacts, but no luck. Same as before. I was a bit skeptical anyways as I personally think that if the relay is bad, the car won't even run but apparently some people have had some luck with similar issues and reflowing the solder points. At least the relay looks a lot better now and the solder points are usually the failure point so it should be better than before at least.

      Before:



      After:




      I'll probably have to schedule a visit to a shop to have the engine tested and possibly adjusted with a proper engine tester unit.
      Last edited by Dr.AK; 07-12-2020 at 07:17 PM.
      '87 Porsche 944S - make flip up lights great again!
      '87 Audi 80 1.9E
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    26. Geriatric Member Air and water do mix's Avatar
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      07-12-2020 10:48 PM #50
      Could it be a ground (earth) issue? Iíve seen problems just like that clear up instantly with a good scrubbing to the ground cable mounting points.

      Also, I thought in German it was Generator (hard ĎGí for non-German speakers) or a derivative of the English word ďDynamoĒ. I was unfamiliar with ďlichtmaschineĒ, so Iíve learned a new word today, too!

      No, I donít really speak German, but I took it in high school and college.
      Quote Originally Posted by Boyz in da Park
      Proletariat, Bourgeoise - Everybody smellin' my potpourri...

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