Interesting Trivia about the Porsche 944
- Considered as a redesigned 924, the 944 was given an updated bodywork. It also received a new spoiler, front air dam, bumpers, and other Porsche 944 parts.
- The Porsche 944 was designed under the direction of an American car designer, Tony Lapine, who was most well-known for conceptualizing the front-engined Porsche 928. Before working for Porsche, Lapine started his automotive journey at Daimler-Benz before traveling to the US to work for General Motors. After being transferred to GM's research center in Germany, Lapine was then taken in by Porsche beginning 1969.
- In 1986, Porsche introduced the 944 Turbo, which was a turbocharged, intercooled version of the original Porsche 944. The Turbo was the world's first car using a ceramic port liner to retain exhaust gas temperature as well as new forged pistons. In 1987, it also became the first production car in the world to have driver- and passenger-side airbags as standard equipment.
- In 1987, the Porsche 944S Super was introduced. The car featured high-performance driving that was normally aspirated. It was also the first Porsche 944 version to use 408-valve-per-cylinder heads and DOHC. The S version was short-lived, however--its production ended in 1988.
- The Porsche 944S2 was introduced in 1989, a year after the 944S was phased out. It bore the largest production four-cylinder engine of its time. The car also got a revised transmission and gears to better suit the 3.0-liter powerplant. It had the same rounded nose and rear valance found on the 944 Turbo as well. This version was the first to use an integrated front bumper, wherein both fender and hood profiles merge smoothly with the bumper. This design feature was only seen on other cars starting 1990. The 944S2 can go from 0 to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds at the top speed of 150 mph. It was also used in racing applications around the world including the Porsche Motorship Championship. However, this version was only produced until 1991.
- Well-renowned for its fine handling, the four-cylinder, water-cooled Porsche 944 was very popular in the US. This was in spite of many critics saying that the model was not considered a "real" Porsche.
Porsche 944 Common Problems
The Porsche 944 was built from 1982 to 1991 and was manufactured on the same platform as the 924. Although it was intended to last into the 1990s, major revisions planned for a 944 "S3" model instead brought out the 968, which then replaced the 944. The 944 was a successful Porsche model in the United States. However, because production of the car had stopped, these cars would be sold with used, aging Porsche 944 parts. For those looking to buy a used Porsche 944, here are some things about car parts wear to take note of.
The most basic problem with the alloy control arms is that the ball joint keeps riding inside a nylon cup or sleeve, which is inserted into the aluminum housing of the control arm. This, in itself, is not a huge problem. However, because of the geometry of the control arm, spindle, and ball joint housing orientation, a pre-load is created. This prematurely wears out the nylon cup, housing, and ball joint pin. When the pin is worn, it develops cracks and shears completely. This problem is more prevalent if the Porsche 944 had been driven extremely hard.
As the Porsche 944 becomes more inexpensive to buy, many owners have put off their car's maintenance. However, components like the timing belt is not an item that should be neglected. When inquiring about a used 944, ask for a record of its repair and maintenance history. If the owner doesn't have any, ask how long ago the timing belt was last checked or replaced. This component has a lifespan of about 30,000 miles.
For those who already own a Porsche 944, know a little about servicing the belts, or look for a mechanic who can do this work well. Failure to maintain the belt could result in the component turning faulty.
While this is not a major issue, the water pump is a component that can and does fail, and in a car like the Porsche 944, there is a fair amount of work needed to get it replaced. Some owners take it as a wear-and-tear car part and just swap it out at the same time they change timing belts. Some might find this an overkill, but it's a workable, precautionary detour that can help Porsche 944 owners avoid some hassles.
Prolong the Lifespan of Your Classic Porsche 944
The Porsche 944 is one of the luxury sports cars that can now be considered as a collector's item. With the production running only from 1982 to 1991, only very few of this vehicle remains on the streets. If you own this car, then you are quite lucky. Whether it's the coupé or the cabriolet-style, no doubt you get envious stares when you take it out for a drive in your neighborhood. When it comes to handling, this car is a champ. Its accurate power steering, great stability, and superb grip no matter what the road condition are some of the reasons that make it one of the most-loved vehicles by Porsche. To keep its great stance and resale value, here are some tips that you can do.
A classic like the Porsche 944 needs to be tuned up on a regular basis, especially if it has original parts. It's a fact that car parts age over time and will require replacement and a tune up can help you in this area. There are some tell-tale signs that lean towards a tune up like lack of power, sluggish engine, rough running, and engine misfires. Expect to spend some hard-earned bucks during tune ups since the replacement of the distributor cap and rotor, ignition wires, and fuel filter may be called for.
Although the timing belt is one of the most important parts in an engine, this seems to get overlooked most of the time. The timing belt typically needs replacement every 60,000 miles to 105,000 miles. However, if it already shows wear and tear before this mileage, then replacement is a must; otherwise you won't be able to drive in any way.
The engine drive belt is also a vital engine component that needs to be replaced. If it shows signs of wear because you fail to do so, it may result in extreme engine damage, especially since it controls the alternator, air-conditioner compressor, and other engine accessories.
- Never miss an oil change.
The engine parts are the ones that work the hardest in your 944 that is why they need to be well-lubricated all the time. Engine oil prevents the moving parts from rubbing abrasively against each other that could cause premature wear and tear. Oil needs to be at a correct level, and you can ensure this by checking regularly using the dipstick. As time passes, oil becomes dirty, and when this happens, it loses its ability to lubricate. It is advisable to change your engine oil even if the regular oil change interval hasn't been reached yet.
- Don't neglect the exterior.
How your 944 looks is the first thing that is noticed by other people that is why regular wash is important. Aside from washing the side panels, be sure to remove sticky dirt under the windshield wiper blades. Get rid of debris from the cowl panels to prevent moisture from collecting in the said area. Occasional waxing is a must because it protects the paint and makes your Porsche 944 shiny and attractive.
Porsche 944 and Its Evolution
The Porsche 944 debuted in 1982 as the company’s entry-level sports car and as a replacement to the Porsche 924. It was discontinued in 1991 when Porsche engineers realized that what was intended to be the 944 S3 or the third evolution 944 had so many changes that they had come up with an entirely new model. So instead of making a new version of 944, Porsche shifted to producing an entirely new model, the 968. Throughout the 1980s, the 944 was a big hit for Porsche; it was offered in several forms throughout its years of market existence. The very first 944 was equipped with a 2.4-liter straight 4 engine.
1985: Porsche 944 Turbo (951/952)
The Turbo is a higher-performance version of the first Porsche 944. It is internally known as 951 for left-hand drive and 952 for right-hand drive models. Its turbocharged and intercooled version of the standard engine is able to crank up 220 hp at 6000 rpm. It’s also the first car to use a ceramic portliner to maintain a favorable working temperature inside the engine.
1987: Porsche 944S (Super)
The 944S derived its power from a 190bhp engine, marking Porsche’s first use of four valves per cylinder heads in the 944 series. This version’s base model comes with an anti-lock brake system and dual air bags as options. To provide clearance for the optional ABS brakes, the wheel offset was increased from 23mm to 52mm.
1988: Porsche 944 Turbo S
Compared to the 944 Turbo, the Turbo S came in more powerful with 247bhp and 250 ft lb torque. This model owes its higher power output from its bigger turbo housing on the exhaust, remapped engine management computer, as well as larger exhaust valves that are sodium cooled. When it was tested by Car and Driver in June 1988, the 944 Turbo S was able to achieve 0-60 mph in staggering 5.5 seconds and quarter-mile time of 13.9 seconds at 101 mph, making it the fastest production four-cylinder car of its time.
1989: Porsche 944 S2
By the time it was released, the Porsche 944 S2 was equipped with the world’s largest four-cylinder engine at that time—three-liter engine that’s capable of delivering 211bhp at 5800 rpm and 280Nm at 400 rpm. This engine is large enough that Porsche even needed to use a balancer shaft just to play down roughness in the engine’s balance.
1991: Porsche 944 Turbo Cabriolet
In this model, the powerful 250 bhp engine of the Turbo S was housed within the Cabriolet body. Among the 625 Cabriolets built, 100 were right-hand drive and were sold in the UK market. None of these units were sold in the US market.