Looking at a 944 Turbo S for sale,

Karl Nugent

Asked by Oct 26, 2009 at 04:30 PM about the 1991 Porsche 944

Question type: Shopping & Pricing

Looking at a 944 Turbo S for sale, any advice would be most appreciated. It looks and runs great but have been told the later models are a bit of a nightmare on running costs. Have owned a  '87 944 previously and was a bit of a money pit, Had to replace the entire front steering rack - not cheap - and timing belt, rear brake calipers seized and needed to be replaced also. Am i just getting myself into a bigger money pit with the 1991 944 Turbo S????  

10 Answers

Adam Morgan

IME with Porsches in general, you need to keep up with regular(and somewhat irregular) maintenance. Most cars it kinda a judgment call but with a Porsche it almost without exception pays to do the maintenance, because the parts can be just brutally expensive to replace when you can get away with maintaining whats there... And if at all possible avoid going to the dealer for parts... If possible used parts from a Porsche or 944 community would be the best bet. pelican parts, then salvage yards (like german auto dismantlers), and as always PCA should be places you look first for parts, along with any 944 specific communities. My friend has a pair of 944s and I always forget what all he says needs to be done. I want to say a hydraulic clutch hose needs to be replaced as well as timing belts. But I can't say for certain.

Adam Morgan

hmm... dunno about the Porsche community over there, hopefully it's as strong there as here because it's invaluable in saving time and money here. Good luck mate, and I personally hope you get it

Robert DeNicola

I have heard the same about the hydraulic clutch hose but have not had to change mine in my 90 s2. Never had a 951 but i have heard that the wastegates are a common failure point on them. While everyone always mentions the timing belt, they usually fail to mention the balance belt too. If that goes it also destroys the top end on the engine. I know that depending on what options you have, a lot of the brakes and suspension components are the same as the s2. FYI, they are significantly more expensive from my experiences. I believe the 951 has also had issues with the exhaust manifold cracking. Some people have had there reinforced or retrofitted using aftermarket for this reason. The calipers on these are 4 pot monoblocks and the rear brakes are hard piped, not fun to do brakes on due to trying to bleed them. I would recommend a vacuum bleeder if you do your own brakes. The calipers are also really expensive, last time i priced them they were about $550 a pop.

Karl Nugent

Hmmm, first of all, glad we can still talk about something else for a change, thanks for the comments, I really didnt mean to cause offence! maybe its my Irish sense of humour. Thanks for the advice, a friend of mine races porsches over here in Ireland, checkout out http://www.cameroncars.ie/ You will see his car. He up rated his 944 Turbo to between 300 - 315 hp without changing any parts and raced it sucessfully for a couple of years. (apparently) you can do this quite easily with the 944 Turbo by just adjusting the waste gate. I'm beinjg very carefull to not say anything that implys anyone is stupid or to imply that I might actually know what i am talking about for certain because it seems, i dont. Ta.

Robert DeNicola

Yeah the 951 is a lot easier to modify. The euro i believe are even easier due to the lack of emissions controls. Did he get the crank cross drilled due to the #3 bearing, if he has not it is highly recommended for the track. It is also recommended to baffle the oil pan too so you dont starve the oil.

Robert DeNicola

I also forgot to mention the ball joints in the aluminum control arms. They tend to wear through the plastic bushings and start to wear into control arm itself, eventually shearing the pin. They are not too bad to do and you can get chromoly's with bronze bushing from www.ssi-performance.com. Heavier suspension and sway bars, lowering and also hard cornering on a regular basis makes this issue much worse.

Karl Nugent

Hmmmm, even though you said all that, I still want one, really, really want one.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Robert DeNicola

Keep up on the maintenance they arent as much of a problem. You save a fortune doing this stuff yourself. If you plan on getting into racing i would recommend an s2 over the turbo due to the very flat power band. They are also much easier for driving around due to a lack of turbo lag. If you get a twin cam 944 like the 944S or the S2 make sure you check and inspect the cam chain tensioner pads that go between the cams under the valve cover. When they wear and break, it will take the cams and head with it (very hard to find parts). The pads are cheap, a new engine isnt.


Repairs can be very expensive. Also, you need to insure it for what you have in it, not what you can sell it for.


Of all the 944's the Turbo S was by far the best one. Parts can be pricey on certain items as compared to a regular 944 where parts are plentiful and not overly expensive. If the car seems well maintained and has service records, buy it if that's what you really want. Maybe consider for the same price a used Boxster? Just saying...

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