Originally Posted by Ursa Major
Sasquatch, what are your thoughts from a reliability/ service cost/ home mechanic maintainability (sp?) perspective (realizing that the home mechanic in question may not be as skilled as you):
1. Is it worth stepping up to a 968 from a 944?
2. Turbo vs. non-turbo?
3. S or S2 vs. 8 valve 944?
All are subjective. The 968 is the last of the 944 line with a 3.0 NA Inline 4 with dual overhead cams and vario cam adjustable cam timing and a 6 speed. It puts out (I think) 250ish HP. I would trade a nut for one. Guards red coupe please.
With the price of pristine 968's being in the low teens, hell, they are a great buy. A bit heavier than a 944, but much more refined.
944 turbo. I could write volumes about this car. Can be very reliable, or if you are tweaking the hell out of it for power can
be a tweakers nightmare. But I have seen dyno sheets from guys getting over 300 hp at the rear wheel with not a bunch of $$ invested.
944S, nice, but not enough of an improvement over the standard 944 to warrant any special mention.
After owning my 87 944 for over 10 years, and putting 188k miles on it, I can say that I do long for more power (968, or Turbo). It is paid for, cheap to insure, and still places in the top 3 at car shows since the restoration, so I cant complain.
With any of the 944 line, some simple swaps of suspension components can turn a well balanced, fine handling sports car into a corner killer. I have most of a M030 suspension package installed on mine with coil over Bilsteins all around, big sway bars, poly bushings, and lowered. I even had the alignment settings set for track use (hard on tires). This car will get through a corner so hard I have thought about using a neck brace when I auto cross it because it will throw my head around, and do it violently with slicks. The suspension is so good that the car really needs 150 more HP.
I am getting winded, hope this helps.