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Just purchased a 87 924S

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2002 4:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just purchased a 87 924S that I'd eventually like to use for driver's ed events and club racing. I am not that familiar with water cooled Porsches.

It looks like the previous owner ran over a curb or something since the front spolier is trashed and the power steering pump has been ripped off (it is currently held on by a cable tie). Also it seems to run a bit hot. If I'm sitting still the temperature guage hovers right at the red line and it will drop a bar when moving. With this information I have a couple of questions.

Could the front spoiler damage be effecting the cooling? All the fans seem to be working. Could this be the thermostat or even worse the water pump?

How hard is it to replace a power steering pump? I haven't worked on cars that much before so this is going to be a learning experience for me, but that is one of the reasons for a 924 so that I could learn to work on it.

I took it to a local shop, but was told that if I really wanted to race I should buy a 911. Well I'd love to, but since I've never raced before I don't know if I'll like it or if I'll even be any good at it so I'm looking for a cheaper solution. Is there anyone who uses their 924S for drivers ed or club racing?

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2002 6:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bill, Grats! You have just bought the most forgiving car you can. The 924S is the best car to get started out on for DE and Club Racing! IMO! Your car has an even weight distribution and you can't beat that. A 911 is going to be faster, although I have passed a couple in DE! The 911 is a tricky car to handle because all the weight is over the rear wheels and not near as forgiving when an error is made. The 924S is also faster and has less drag than the 944na. For your tech questions, watch for (gohim) to reply, he knows these cars well! As other do also! Good Luck! D
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2002 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The front lower valance on most 924 and 924S cars are damaged, because they hang so low. Most of the cars out there have had 3-4 owners by now, and have been seriously abused.

The damage that you noticed to your car is typical, and an experienced 924 owner can tell how bad the car has been scrapped in the front by the amount of damage to the lower valance, and the front of the fenders.

The power steering pump is not that hard to replace. Have you checked to see what exactly is damaged? Is it the pump, and/or the bracket that it is mounted to, and/or the belt tensioning rod? The bracket looks like part of the engine block, but fortunately, it is a separate piece that is bolted to the right balance shaft bracket. The Belt tensioning rod hangs awful low, and they get ripped off also.

I take it that the lower engine shield is missing, or damaged, as well. Make sure that you buy a replacement for it, as it helps channel cooling air to the engine mounts, and also help cool the engine itself.

It sounds like the engine is running warm, but you won;t be able to tell if there is a problem unitl you replace the lower engine shield (if it is missing), replace the the thermostat, thermofan switch, refill with the correct coolant, and bled all of the air from the cooling system.

If you did not get complete written maintenance records for the past three years, you should plan on having the normal 30K mile/3-year major front of engine service performed immediately, before you drive the car another mile.

This service includes the replacement of the timing and balance shaft belts, the pulleys and rollers that ride on ball bearings, front engine oil seals, and the water pump. All of these parts are normally replaced at the same time, because the labor to replace them is virtually the same, no mater how many of these parts are replaced, because you have to remove most of them anyway to get to any of them. The failure of any of these parts usually results of the the breakage or stripping of teeth from the timing belt which costs $2500-$3500 to repair (or replace the entire engine).

Retensioning the timing and balance shaft belts requires the use of a special tension gauge with costs around $500, with some required, related tools.

Expect the cost of the necessary replacement parts to be between $500 (if you shop hard), and $1000 (if you let the a shop do the work, and you pay them for the parts. Labor for the work will be between $800-$1500 (depending on where you have the work done).

This necessary service must be performed every 30K miles, or 3-years (whichever occurs first. The belts must be inspected and retensioned every 10K miles, until they are replaced.

Many of the cars for sale out there are overdue for service, and being sold, because this critical major service is due, and the owners do not, or cannot afford to pay to have this done.

The clutch has a rubber center part. These clutches are known for cracking and failing due to old age or abuse. If you are planning to AutoCross, or Club Racing, you should plan on replacing the clutch before you start, or expect to DNF when the clutch fails. Clutch replacement will cost you $500-$600 for parts, and another $500-$1000 for labor.

When these cars were 3-4 years old, I was looking for a decent used one, and found that the head gaskets on many of the 87 924S cars (virtually every one I saw) had already failed on was failing on cars with mileage between 70K and 90K. If the odometer on your car reads somewhere in this range, and you notice some light brown scum floating in your coolant tank, your car is probably going to need a head gasket.

Take a look at the engine oil. If you see any coolant in there, the oil cooler seals are failing, and you must replace them immediately or the engine bearing will be damaged and need replacement (if they have not already been damaged).

The 924,944,924S series of cars are excellent handling vehicles. You will not feel a big jolt of accelleration, just smooth consant accelleration, like taking off in a plane. These cars are not 1/4 milers, they are touring cars (go fast, long distances).

Good Luck with you new car.

Do not continue to drive it, without addressing the issues that I have raised, you you will be the next person pissing and moaning to the board about bent valves, or a broken cylinder head.

[ This Message was edited by: gohim on 2002-10-06 15:10 ]
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