Six Things You Probably Didn't Know About the Porsche 924
- The Porsche 924 is something of a hero. When you say "Porsche", most people automatically think of the iconic 911. It was the 924 and its successful run from 1976 to 1988 that both saved the company from financial ruin and provided the necessary funds to kick start the 911's development.
- Just a year after it came out, the Porsche 924 was already a star on TV! From 1978 to 1991, it was the car driven around by J. R. Ewing, one of the main cast-and one of the more controversial characters-of the extremely popular American series, Dallas. Apart from that, the car also featured-albeit less prominently-in some famous movies like Lethal Weapon.
- In a nod to its European racing pedigree, the first Porsche 924s to arrive in America had black and white checkered flag design for its seat fabric as well as on the door panel. When it comes to valuing older 924s for re-sale, this one little detail sometimes becomes deal breakers for very serious collectors.
- Everyone knows that Porsche's come from Germany, and that Germans are world-famous for their manufacturing genius and unmatched quality. In a rare act of reaching out and fostering foreign relations (a rarity with European manufacturers at the time), Porsche hired an American, Tony Lapine to design the water-cooled 924. He stayed on with the manufacturing giant for several decades until his death in April 29, 2012.
- In the era when the Porsche 924 came out, it was easy for people to confuse Porsche and fellow-German auto manufacturer Volkswagen. The confusion was understandable as there were no exclusive Porsche dealerships at the time-Americans had to buy Porsches from VW dealers! This would become an interesting foreshadowing as Porsche would later acquire a sizable share of VW.
- The 924 has its own racing series in the United Kingdom run and maintained by the Porsche Racing Drivers Association. The Championship began in 1992, and was headed by Jeff May until his death in 2003. As one might guess, only 924s were allowed to participate and compete. The very first cup went to Dave Clark who drove a modified 924S.
The Most Common Gripes with the Porsche 924
The Porsche 924 has a very special place in the German manufacturer's history. Before being the luxury sports car brand that it was today, it struggled through the 70s just to keep afloat. It was the 924 that saved the day for Porsche-generating enough revenue to raise the company up and providing the funds to promote the development of the 911 which would go on to be one of Porsche's most iconic and recognizable brands. Today the 924 is considered a classic, and a dream of sorts to many collectors. The following are the most common problems encountered with the 924.
Showing its age
Because of the age of the Porsche 924, a lot of the body work did not benefit from zinc-plating-especially those released prior to 1980. This zinc plating is the reason why a lot of vehicles today remain in tip-top, un-rusted condition even under the worst circumstances. The rusting on the 924 is most visible in the car's lowest extremities. Particularly vulnerable areas include the roof gutters, lower door sections, and the front wing edges. Apart from the aesthetic, rusting can cause a dangerous breakdown in the body.
While the solution may be obvious, it is not advisable for anyone to undertake anti-rusting themselves. Unless the one doing so is a trained or experienced restorer, doing so might do more harm than good. Zinc-coating after such restoration is advisable.
Can't get going
Another problem commonly manifested by the Porsche 924 is that it will occasionally be difficult to start. Many immediately assume that it has to do with oil leaks or faults with the engine block itself. This is a dangerous assumption that has led many to splurge on engine re-tunes or replacements only to find that the problem persists. The many fault lies within the fuse and relay box. Over time, the contacts inside the box fuse completely open or closed due to repeated heat-ups. While the problem is extremely inconvenient, it is not as dangerous or life-threatening as one might think.
An upgrade to Porsche's more modern DME relay permanently fixes the problem-the trick is to get it brand new.
I've been driving my old but trusty Porsche 924 when suddenly, I heard a loud thump in the hood of my vehicle. I pulled over to the side of the road and checked that my hood was open. I remember closing it and ensuring that it is locked when I left home. What happened along the way?
If you are sure that you were able to lock the hood before you start driving, then the opened hood might be caused by a failed upper lock. This is not an unusual problem to 924 owners. It could be due to a manufacturing issue; in fact, there was a recall ordered for this particular issue. It is important that you get this fixed immediately, as this would cause distraction and blocking when you are driving. Thus, it increases the risk of encountering a road accident. You should bring your vehicle to the technician as soon as possible to replace it with a new one.
I found out that my airbags are not working one time when I almost hit a vehicle in front of me. Should I be alarmed?
Yes, you should be. Airbags are standard in Porsche vehicles, and it is important that it is functional. As a vehicle that is usually driven at high speed, it needs to have airbags that are properly working. You should check your wiring harness that controls the knee and frontal airbags for signs of damage. If it is loosely connected, it can cause injury to the passenger when you encounter a collision. A recall was issued for this particular problem, so it is safe to say that you can take your car to the dealer to have this problem fixed.
How often should I replace the cam timing and balance shaft belts of my Porsche 924?
It is important to have both these belts replaced and tensioned regularly to ensure that they will not collide or cause the valves to get bent, which will be a very costly repair. These parts are the most common components to wear out and fail, so they should be replaced at least every 45,000 miles. As a Porsche, it might cost you a lot since the parts are as high-end as the car itself.
Last night, I noticed a puddle of water underneath my vehicle. It's my first time to see such, and I'm worried if there's something wrong with my vehicle. What could be causing the leak?
If you've recently heard any noise or saw a leak underneath your vehicle, then your water pump might be in a bad condition. When this happens, you need to have it replaced immediately. Do not wait until it fails completely; the leaks may affect your belts and cause them damage. It can also destroy the timing belt, which is going to be very expensive to replace. When you change your water pump, it would also be good if you can replace the thermostat at once. This is to ensure that you will no longer have water pump problems in your vehicle.
Porsche 924: The Car that Brought Porsche Back in the Game
A highly successful luxury sports car, the Porsche 924 was a two-door coupe that served as a replacement for the Porsche 914. This car represented many innovations made by the company. In terms of production, this model was the first Porsche car to be built with a front-mounted, water-cooled engine. The 924 was also the first Porsche to be sold with an automatic transmission system. Aside from introducing various innovations, the 924 was also the car that pulled Porsche out of a financial dilemma; it created enough revenue for the company to keep on developing the 911 model, the company’s current flagship vehicle. Despite its discontinuation in the 80s, the 924 continues to be a favorite among collectors.
1976: From a scrapped Volkswagen car to an innovative best-seller
In the early 70s, the 924 was initially meant to be a collaborative project between Volkswagen and Porsche. But due to the oil crisis in 1973, Volkswagen scrapped the idea. Porsche then bought the design back since the company needed a replacement for the 914 model. Fast forward to 1976, and the Porsche 924 was born. It featured a front-mounted, water-cooled engine, making it the first Porsche model to do so. For models sold from mid-1977 onwards, a three-speed automatic transmission became available. Many have praised the 924 due to its reliability, fuel efficiency, handling, and design. It became one of the brand’s best-selling cars and helped Porsche get back on its feet financially.
1978: Introducing the 924 Turbo
The 924 Turbo was introduced in 1978 to bridge the gap between the basic 924 and the flagship 911 model. Using the same Audi-based 2-L I4 engine, Porsche engineers redesigned the cylinder head and modified the anti-roll bars and spring rates. The 924 Turbo was also equipped with a NACA duct, 15-inch alloy wheels, a five-speed transmission, and four-wheel disc brakes. Two years later, Porsche introduced a 924 Carrera GT version to be used in racing competitions.
1983: The 924 is pulled out from the US market
In 1983, Porsche decided to discontinue the 924 model for the US market to make way for the Porsche 944. However, the 924 was continually manufactured and sold for other markets around the world.
1984: The 924S enters the market
When Volkswagen stopped manufacturing the engine blocks used for the 924, Porsche decided to tweak the 944’s engine to come up with a more budget-friendly, entry-level model. Dropping the 924 model at that time was impractical despite VW’s move, prompting Porsche to detune the 944’s 2.5 L straight four engine. Four years later, the 924 was completely discontinued to make way for the 944 model in other markets.
1992: The Porsche 924 Championship
Despite its discontinuation, the 924 is widely known for its racing capabilities when equipped with the right upgrades. As a matter of fact, the Porsche 924 Championship was established in 1992 in the UK. Currently, the 924S is qualified for the 944-Spec racing class.