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Old 04-17-2012, 06:47 PM   #16
Sasquatch
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I love how many non 944 owners commenting on 944 reliability and handling. Priceless.

This is my 87 944. I have owned it for 15 years (my previous car was a BMW).


This car is currently sitting at 196,000 very hard miles on the original motor. Runs like a top and still gets 21/27 mpg city/hwy. I have another set of wheels with slicks on it for track days, auto cross and hill climbs.

Quote:
Blah blah blah.
I race an E30. I've passed plenty of 944's, and I'm only a mid-pack driver. Stock, yes, the 944 will handle better. It's not really any more powerful than a M20 equipped E30 though. Now add lowering springs, sway bars that aren't made of piano wire and some stiffer shocks to the E30 and you'll school the 944 pretty easily, all the while enjoying much cheaper parts prices and simpler and less invasive maintenance.
Do the same to the 944 and it will return the schooling. Both very capable, but set up equally, and with equal drivers, the 944 would have an edge on the handling. Mine has Koni adjustable coil over struts/shocks, corner balanced, M030 sway bars and drop links, and an S2 transmission. I'll take almost any 325 you want to throw at it in the handling department.

As far as parts pricing goes, I 100% disagree. If you shop outside of the dealership, pricing is on par with everything else these days. The only regular maintenance that is not on par with everything else is the timing and balance shaft belts. Yes, they have to be done at 40k. But they are not expensive, and if you do it yourself, takes about an hour once you do it once. No biggie.

Early versions, pre 1985.5 did have weak water pumps, but they have not been available for years now so most likely it has already been upgraded. Same with the original rubber centered clutch.

Overall reliability I would put about equal between the two, when properly cared for. The problem comes when trying to find one that has been properly cared for and used since new. Most versions of both cars have been ridden hard and put away wet, so finding clean examples is getting harder and harder (good for those of us with nice ones).

But in the end, they are both totally capable cars and a hoot to drive. Drive both, look at the service history, have them checked by a mechanic that is skilled in both cars, then buy the one that makes you want to get up in the middle of the night and go for a drive.
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Old 04-17-2012, 06:58 PM   #17
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Not a fan of any version of the 944 except the Turbo, and then only marginally so. I worked for Porsche when those cars were new. Jesus, they ate a LOT of parts. Coolant leaks, front engine seal leaks, that dumbass belt tension gauge needed to set the proper tension of the cam belt, and the fact that they only last about 3 yrs or 30,000 miles, all for very mediocre performance.

I'd go with the bimmer.
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Old 04-17-2012, 07:50 PM   #18
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I would vote 325i, but I have an 85 635, so its a known quantity for me... I have heard too many horror stories about 944s and very few about E30s over the years... E30s are lil' bulldogs that don't die... and they seem to be in fashion again...
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Old 04-17-2012, 08:26 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sasquatch View Post
I love how many non 944 owners commenting on 944 reliability and handling. Priceless.

This is my 87 944. I have owned it for 15 years (my previous car was a BMW).

Good god that is Beautiful!
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Old 04-17-2012, 08:41 PM   #20
thechickencow
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I would absolutely go 944, simply for the fact that everybody is lusting after old bmw's lately it seems.
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Old 04-18-2012, 04:19 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bueller View Post
Not a fan of any version of the 944 except the Turbo, and then only marginally so. I worked for Porsche when those cars were new. Jesus, they ate a LOT of parts. Coolant leaks, front engine seal leaks, that dumbass belt tension gauge needed to set the proper tension of the cam belt, and the fact that they only last about 3 yrs or 30,000 miles, all for very mediocre performance.

I'd go with the bimmer.
Not sure I can buy into all of that...I also worked for a high end dealer back in the late 80's, Porsche, Rolls, Ferrari bla bla bla....all in different little buildings. I think a great deal of the problem with porsche service in the 80's was the porsche owners.

I will also say that SOME parts are on par with eachother, others it is about equal.....even if you are getting salvage parts. Drivers side power window guts for the 944 $$$$, Idle control valve on an e30 is pretty spendy as well.... Point is that don't go into these cars without a reserve of $$$....you are going to likely need it.

I also disagree with the comment about the belt on the 944....it is a real Pain IN the ASS and it is expensive....double that if you need water pump...hell you might as well you are in there anyway....and any pullies...the job sucks. Then you have to time everything, and have the above talked about tentioner. Not a job for the guy that thinks he knows how to work on cars because he has the 150 piece set from sears and changes his own oil. Clutches are also a real bitch. Brake bits are on the spendy side as well...but hay you are driving something that says Porsche on the back.

Don't let all of this get you down tho....if you can afford to pay someone to work on the thing, and it is a good sound car, they are great fun to drive. If it came down the my e30 or the 944 it would be a flip of the coin type deal....but I think the edge would go to the e30, just because it is a little more practical.....god that last line made me sound like my mother....I need to go pour bleach in my ears.
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Old 04-18-2012, 08:00 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sasquatch View Post
I love how many non 944 owners commenting on 944 reliability and handling. Priceless.
Same here. I think I've put a total of $1K in my 968 since I bought it 7 years ago. And $750 was in a recent complete going through fixing a bunch of niggling BS that I'd been putting off for years. (Leaking power steering hose, cracked O-ring in one of the water lines, etc.)

BTW, Sasquatch. I've been meaning to ask if you could do a rebuild of my OEM Bilsteins, (non-M030 sport package). Shoot me a PM if you're interested.

Me, I'd prefer the 944 simply because you don't see one at every friggin stop light you stop at. But that's just me. You want a BMW? Get a 633 or an 850 coupe.
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Old 04-18-2012, 08:06 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FPGT72 View Post
I think a great deal of the problem with porsche service in the 80's was the porsche owners.
Well, that and the Porsche "mechanics."

























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Old 04-18-2012, 09:28 AM   #24
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hay now..... :)
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Old 04-18-2012, 09:39 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by FPGT72 View Post
I also disagree with the comment about the belt on the 944....it is a real Pain IN the ASS and it is expensive....double that if you need water pump...hell you might as well you are in there anyway....and any pullies...the job sucks. Then you have to time everything, and have the above talked about tentioner. Not a job for the guy that thinks he knows how to work on cars because he has the 150 piece set from sears and changes his own oil. Clutches are also a real bitch. Brake bits are on the spendy side as well...but hay you are driving something that says Porsche on the back.
I disagree. I have done the belts and pulleys on mine more than a couple of times. 87 and up had the auto tensioner. I also have the proper P9201 tensioner tool and calibration strip. But I used it to properly calibrate and check the auto tensioner. Now that I know it is accurate, belt tensioning is a snap.

Start to finish, I can do a complete set of rollers, idlers and belts on my 87 in under 2 hours. There are tricks to make it faster, like take 3 minutes to pull the electric cooling fans off of the radiator and it frees up a ton of room. I do not change my water pump each time. No need with the updated pumps. I feel the bearings, look for any sign of leakage, and make a judgement call.

But the bottom line is that if I never want to work on a car, I would by a bicycle. I am willing to put the time and effort into this car because of how it looks, how it drives, and how it makes me feel when I properly execute a series of twisties up in the mountains. To have a car, any car, that gives this sense of joy is going to require some time, money, and frustration occasionally.

Beautiful 944's are getting so rare that this car seems to get more looks than my dad's Ferrari when I drive it. Many people comment on it and I have had a few cash offers to buy it on the spot.
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Old 04-18-2012, 09:58 AM   #26
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Of course, it is nice to have a proper place to work on the car.....


She sure is fun...


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Old 04-18-2012, 11:55 AM   #27
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If I were to put the money into such a toy, I'd think about even an older 911, I guess, if that's what it takes to get one in your price-range ballpark.
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Old 04-18-2012, 01:23 PM   #28
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Of course, it is nice to have a proper place to work on the car.....


She sure is fun...

Nice shop....I just got mine built last year....and putting in a lift was the best thing I ever did....also the best $400 I ever spent was having someone else install it.

I live in missouri so the summers are thick and hot and winters can get darn cold....I have AC installed and heat...it is so nice....took me long enough and wish I had it when I was building my race car, but even with the very limited stuff I do now it sure is nice.
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Old 04-18-2012, 02:31 PM   #29
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Both seem overpriced but maybe thats canada??

Esp the bmw.

I'd buy the porsche, way more fun, better resale perhaps. The 325, esp that vintage is a little long in the tooth

I looked into e30's around my area and you're looking at 3-4k for one that needs work. An automatic convertible one with 115k miles is up around $8k


All the fun cheap-o cult cars around here have had the prices driven up
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Old 04-18-2012, 03:31 PM   #30
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Real good write up on the 944
http://grassrootsmotorsports.com/art...e-944-profile/

Sasquatch is 100% right on that the cost of maintenance (if both have been regularly serviced with proof) between the E30 and 944 will be pretty close IF you maintain it yourself! Many shops will upcharge for a 944 even though it's got a lot of VW/Audi parts just because it has the P-car badge.

In SCCA ITS (10 years ago) the E30s used to run a lot higher in the pack the 944s, but that could have been due to the rule structure (min weights, can handicap some cars more than others).

$7K still seems like a lot for a 944, I've seen 968s for $10K that look like new cars. They're the most refined and regarded by many as one of the best handling cars ever made.


I'm still more partial to E30s but that's just me. BUT MKI Sciroccos and Rabbit GTIs with a 16V swapped in and a 3.94 or lower R&P and a Quaife LSD are even more fun
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