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RE: 944 TURBO RELIABILITY
Since this isn't a Porsche mailing list, I'll keep this (hopefully) short.
>From my 19 year membership in the Porsche Club and ownership of 3
different 911s (150,000 miles on first, 125,000 miles on second), I will
say this first:
REAL PORSCHES DON'T USE ANTIFREEZE!!!
Now, on to the 944 Turbo problem areas.
1) Water-related items (pumps and radiators). Porsche has gone through
a number of changes in these items over the years.
2) Timing belts. Due to the addition of the balance shafts in the 4-cylinder
engines, the belts do extra duty. 50,000 miles is about the limit. Biggest
problem is that replacement is NOT a home-garage operation, since belt
tensioning is critical and you need a multi-hundred dollar tool to adjust
it properly. I have not heard of any "shade tree" method that works.
3) Motor mounts. These are liquid-filled affairs, that have a tendency to
after a period of time due to engine heat.
4) Clutches. Thse can wear prematurely, due to having a bonded-rubber
center piece (I believe) that can start tearing out. I'm pretty sure this is
the case for the normal 944, not absolutely sure about the Turbos.
5) Turbos. Run them hard and don't let them cool down afterwards, and
they will prematurely fail. The later cars ('88 and '89) I believe had
turbo oiling designs.
6) Crank bearings. If the car is driven hard, invariably the No. 2 crank
will wear prematurely. This is apparently even the case when running
7) Lower control arms. This has shown up primarily in cars run at race track
races or driver's schools. The higher cornering loads and added roll puts a
strain on the ball joint mount in the control arm, and a sudden breakage can
occur. This is apparently hard to detect beforehand. Cure is to replace the
arms with a revised design that is stronger, but my understanding is not a
Recommendation is to buy a '88 Turbo S or '89 Turbo; these have many upgrades
over the older models, including MUCH better brakes, more power, all the
latest upgrades, ABS, air bag, better chassis, etc.
Also, check out the "Porschefiles" archives; they were a very active user
A one-month archive was approx. 1 MB, and it was all text!
Ray Calvo (firstname.lastname@example.org)
1990 Coupe Quattro
1995 Porsche 993