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Porsche 944 maraschino red metallic

porsche 944 recommission

What exactly is a Porsche 944?

The Porsche 944 is a sports car manufactured by German automobile manufacturer Porsche from 1982 until 1991. A front-engine, rear-wheel drive mid-level model based on the 924 platform, the 944 was available in coupé or cabriolet body styles, with either naturally aspirated or turbocharged engines. With over 163,000 cars produced, the 944 was the most successful sports car in Porsche’s history until the introductions of the Boxster and 997 Carrera.

Extensive design revisions for the 1992 model year prompted Porsche to drop the 944 nameplate and rebrand the vehicle as the 968.

Porsche introduced the 944 for the 1982 model year. It was slightly faster (despite having a poorer drag coefficient), was better equipped and more refined than the 924; it had better handling and stopping power, and was more comfortable to drive. The factory claimed a 0–97 km/h (60 mph) acceleration time of less than 9 seconds (8.3 seconds according to “Porsche the Ultimate Guide” By Scott Faragher). The car had a nearly even front to rear weight distribution (50.7% front/49.3% rear) courtesy of the rear transaxle balancing out the engine in the front. North American-market cars had bigger bumpers and the front bumper had a larger rubber portion, replacing the auxiliary lights as required by the North American laws.

In mid-1985, the 944 underwent its first significant changes, these included: new dashboard and door panels, embedded radio antenna, upgraded alternator (from 90 amp to 115 amp), increased oil sump capacity, new front and rear cast alloy control arms and semi-trailing arms, larger fuel tank, optional heated and powered seats, Porsche HiFi sound system, and revisions in the mounting of the transaxle to reduce noise and vibration. The front windshield was now a flush-mounted unit. The “cookie cutter” style wheels used in the early 944s were upgraded to new “phone dial” style wheels (Fuchs wheels remained an option).

For the 1987 model year, the 944 Motronic DME was updated, and an anti-lock braking system (ABS) and driver and front passenger airbags were introduced. The 944 Turbo was the first car to offer airbags as standard equipment; they were optional on other 944 models. Because of the ABS, the wheel offset was changed to 52 mm (2.05 in), and Fuchs wheels were no longer available as an option.

In early 1989 before the release of the 944S2, Porsche upgraded the 944’s engine from the 2.5 L four cylinder engine to a 2.7 L engine having a bore of 104 mm (4.1 in) and stroke of 78.9 mm (3.1 in), with a rated power output of 165 PS (121 kW) (versus 160 PS (118 kW) for the 1988 2.5 L version) and a significant increase in torque. In addition to the increase in displacement, the new engine featured a siamesed-cylinder block design and a different cylinder head which incorporated larger valves.

944 S :

For the 1987 model year, the 944 S (the S being the abbreviation of Super) was introduced. The 944 S featured a high performance naturally aspirated, dual-overhead-cam 16-valve 190 PS (140 kW; 187 hp) version of the 2.5 L engine (M44/40) featuring a self-adjusting timing belt tensioner. This marked the first use of four-valves-per-cylinder heads and DOHC in the 944, derived from the 928 S4 featuring a redesigned camshaft drive, a magnesium intake tract/passages, magnesium valve cover, larger capacity oil sump, and revised exhaust system. The alternator capacity was 115 amps. The wheel bearings were also strengthened and the brake servo action was made more powerful. Floating 944 calipers were standard, but the rear wheel brake circuit pressure regulator from the 944 turbo was used. Small ’16 Ventiler’ script badges were added on the sides in front of the body protection mouldings. Performance figures included 0-100 km/h (62 mph) being achieved in 6.5 seconds (Best) and a 232 km/h (144 mph) top speed due to a 1,296 kg (2,857 lb) curb weight. It also featured an improved programmed Bosch Digital Motronic 2.1 Computer/DME with dual knock sensors for improved fuel performance for the higher 10.9:1 compression ratio cylinder head. Like the 944 Turbo, the 944 S received progressive springs for improved handling, larger front and rear anti-roll bars, revised transmission and gearing to better suit the 2.5 L DOHC engine’s higher 6,800 rpm rev limit. Dual air bags, limited-slip differential, and an anti-lock braking system were optional on the 944 S.

A Club Sport touring package (M637) was available as was the lightweight 16-inch CS/Sport Fuchs 16×7 and 16×9 forged alloy wheels. This version was raced in Canada, Europe and in the IMSA Firehawk Cup Series held in the U.S. Production was only during 1987 and 1988. It was superseded in 1989 by the ‘S2′ version. The 1987 944 S’ power-to-weight ratio was such that it was able to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.5 seconds thus matching the acceleration of its newer larger displacement 3.0 L 944 S2 sibling.

The timeline

In February 2024, Jasmine PorschaLink received an enquiry for a recommission on a 1987 Porsche 944 S which had been off the road for 7 years. The new owner approached us to assist with making the car roadworthy again.

Our technicians carried out an initial visual assessment and identified the required repairs and maintenance.  Once given the go ahead the following works were carried out: –

  • Full Service including Distributor Cap, Rotor Arms and HT Leads replacement with a Compression Test also carried out for the customers peace of mind.  Cam Cover Seals were also replaced and the Cam Shaft Cover resealed.
  • Rear Axle was removed to enable access  to corroded Brake and Fuel Lines.  All corroded Lines were replaced with new. Handbrake Shoes and Cable were also replaced. With the rear axle removed it was a good opportunity to also replace the Clutch and renew Exhaust Bolts andGaskets.  The underside of the chassis was Bottomguarded to assist in preventing any further corrosion in the near future.
  • Wiring repairs were carried out to the ABS and Brake Pad Wear Sensor Looms.
  • The Washer Pump was replaced and the Washer Jets were cleared.
  • Our customer sourced a set of 16″ Wheels to replace the 15″ Wheels fitted to the car.  The move to 16″ Wheels not only improved handling of the 944, but also enabled the customer a wider choice of tyres available. This will make future tyre changes easier as the 15″ tyre options were somewhat limited.
  • A new Battery was fitted as the one on the car was unfortunately not holding charge and failed the battery test.
Now this Porsche 944 S is ready to be enjoyed by the new owner for many years to come.