October 2016

15 October 2016

Recapping the missing months

Well, these past few months did not go as I had planned. Several non-Porsche things piled together completely derailed my summer months. Only now is the dust starting to settle. Doesn't mean I did nothing with the cars, but I certainly haven't gotten around to posting any details here. Let's try to catch up.


Pretty quiet on the 911 front. Since the A/C repair mentioned in the May post, the only other thing I've done to the car was an oil change last month. I did find a little time to drive the car over the summer, a few nice drives with the local club. But nothing of note to report.

Upcoming changes—I've ordered a complete new carpet set to match the rest of the interior, should have it shortly, and then will spend some time carefully installing it. More on that later.


Short version is that the 944 is sold and gone, and I did keep under budget and even made a few bucks on it. I did plenty of things to it prior to selling it, including a couple of unexpected repairs.

Porsche 944 picture

Sharp-eyed readers may note that the car as sold has a different set of wheels than it started with. The wheels on the car when I bought it were optional staggered width 15" forged Fuchs wheels that are rather desirable for later air-cooled 911 models. I had factored those wheels into my original purchase, considering them as a safety net in case the car turned out to not be affordably repairable. Since the engine was able to be repaired without too much cash outlay, I had figured I'd just leave them on the car.

But two things conspired to change that. About the same time that I was researching the potential costs of fixing the power steering, I found a really affordable set of the later 944 wheels. So affordable that I figured I could buy and refinish the newer wheels, swap the tires and sell the forged ones for a "profit", adding some breathing room to the budget. As a side benefit, I think the later wheels look better on the car anyway, so this was a win in all directions.

After augmenting the budget with the wheel change, I started looking for good parts for the steering. I figured I probably needed to convert it to manual steering, as parts to repair the optional power steering rack were not cheap, and the success rate on those repairs is really rather poor. But as I looked for used manual steering parts, I came across a good, used low miles power rack for a really good price. Using that replacement rack fixed the power steering for less than I was expecting the manual steering conversion to cost.

So with the extra money from the wheel change, and the far cheaper steering repair, I was feeling pretty flush with money and began thinking about some things that I figured would make the car nicer and easier to sell at the end. Some interior improvements, mainly, although I was not happy with the handling and thinking that some better shocks might be in order. That's when the big unexpected item popped up.

One afternoon, while working around inside the car looking for something under the dash, I raised up and bumped my head on the rear view mirror. Not a hard bump, no pain or anything like that, but I heard a POP! I looked up and saw that the windshield now had a large star break centered where the mirror attached.

This was totally unexpected, and at this point I was very happy that I had profited from the wheel swap. Because the new windshield cost over $300 installed. This could have been a disaster, but due to the wheel swap and the affordable steering repair, I could get it done and still be OK. Serious interior improvements were off the table though.

I did take care of the suspension before selling though. After driving around a bit, I had discovered that the front shocks were very soft and worn, and one of the rear shocks was seized. The combination of soft up front and solid in back made for some rather odd handling. A full set of replacement shocks front and rear took care of that.

At the end, I had done all the above items, plus a lot of other little things, and had a car that actually drove really nice, the way a Porsche should. I posted it on Craigslist and sold it within 3 days. I saw it on the road a few days ago, which made me feel good.

Porsche 944 picture

Continued in November...