I am looking at buying a 1979 924 porsche what are some pros and cons about this car
I purchased a new 1979 924 as a daily driver. 100k hard local road miles from 1979-1983 in a non-salt area. No major engine issues, tires, brakes, exhaust were replaced.
You want a "S" model with the Porsche 2.5L engine. The older Audi engine set-up is a disaster. Should say PORSCHE on the cam cover, can't miss it. I'd do a cam and balance shaft belt replacement and check the seals while in there. To do it right you need the Porsche tension-er gauge. Very expensive gauge, about $500. Do not anything else, they do not give the accuracy needed. All good Porsche shops have them. Other than normal maintenance, those engines are bullet-proof.
This was my first Porsche I owned it was a 1979 Sebring Model with Jackie Stewart plaid seats. I bought it for around 3,500 dollars and put over 350,000 miles on it when the odometer stopped working and it kept running until it just died one day with probably 400,000 miles on it. Pros-awesome pricing, great gas mileage, fun car. Cons- replace batteries and tires often, starter and ignition will need to be replaced around 90K miles. Overall awesome car if you do your maintenance and change to oil every 3K miles you can't go wrong buying this car.
As long as you buy a 924S model, that one has the Porsche 2.5L engine, OHC and balance shafts, basically bullet-proof with care of course. Do not, under any circumstances buy the Audi engined model, a complete disaster by any standard.
I have a 1979 924 and will agree that the Audi based engine does not idle smoothly by modern standards, and it's no rocket, but it gets better gas mileage, can be repaired by a mere mortal and for a lot less money. The bottom end of these 2.0 liter motors is bullet proof. I had always heard they were rotten motors but for a daily driver on the cheap for those who can do their own maintenance this is the highest smiles per mile car I've ever owned and that includes a 300+ hp European sports car.
Here are some pics of the 1979 924.
If it has the Porsche 2.5L engine, it's worth looking into. If it has the Audi engine, walk away.
Like I'd mentioned my 2.0 Audi engined car does idle more roughly but it is far cheaper to run and rebuild than the Porsche 2.5l. I get over 30mpg and can outrun most modern cars on the freeway and almost any car on a very twisty road. The car has way more capacity than most drivers and I include myself in that. The car's handling is unbelievably neutral and when it does pivot the center of gravity is where you're sitting- very easy to control unless one is doing something really crazy. Don't ask me how I know!
My first road tour in my Audi powered 924 was from San Diego to British Columbia and back at speeds of 80-110mph the entire way up and back. On snowy passes, down the Grapevine in LA nothing could keep up unless it was on the straights or up a long hill. Just get a low mileage- well maintained example with maintenance records. Mine had 43,000 miles, new Michelins, new timing belt, new brakes and water pump with the Porsche 5-speed A/C and sunroof and only cost $2,700. I was just as biased as anyone until I actually drove one for a year. It is my daily driver and it has not been in the shop once. I have three other cars but almost always drive the 924 instead- simply because it is the most fun to drive.
What ever you say. To test the handling, try a few autocrosses and see how you do in your class.
I agree with you that the 2.5 l would win every time. I am simply surprised that the 2.0l's are far better cars than most people think (and as noted that also included me). Not that they are better than the 2.5l. For example if you are dead set against the car's that's ok. But if you have never owned a 2.0l then I think there shoiuld be room for discussion, just as I concede the 2.5L is faster. If the guy has an Old's Alero either car is an upgrade.
I worked at a Porsche shop with a mechanic that had to work on them at a dealership when they first came out. No one else would touch them, they were so problematic. When our shop got one he refused to work on them, and I don't blame him. The 2.5 is faster, only much more reliable.
I own a Porsche 924 2.0 litre model for the last 30years, it is a fabulous car, cheap to maintain and perfect balance. plus loads of smiles from it's mid 70' era lineage. the 924 2.5 engine is very expensive to maintain and not as bullet proof as the 2.0 litre. if you desire the speed buzz buy a Hayabusa like I did....195mph...busaman.
Porsche dropped the 2.0L Audi engine in favor of the stronger 2.5L OHC Porsche designed engine. Not that difficult to maintain as it has electronic fuel injection instead of the mechanical pump injection that's on the 2.0. Timing belt and balance belts are the only expensive maintenance items on the 2.5, as specialized tools are required to tension the belts. The 2.5 is nevertheless a much better engine. These need changing about every 40-50K miles.
I beg to differ, is it a better engine because it makes more power? personally I prefer the 2.0L, I have a single silencer with a 3 inch tail pipe that makes the humble 924 sound like a Ferrari at 5 thousand rpm...........busaman.
Ask any Porsche mechanic who had the pleasure of working on that Audi engine. That's why Porsche dropped it. The Porsche 2.5 is head and shoulders a better engine. The 2.7 is better, and the 3.0 that ended up in the 968 is the best. They are all based on the 2.5 engine. You may beg to differ, but you're wrong.
I have lived with that Audi engine for over 30 years, believe me when I say I have driven that engine hard and it is still pulling like a train. overall I stand over my assertion that it is a much maligned engine but it is basic and reliable. as I have pointed out a nice stainless pipe and k n air filter makes it sing...........busaman.
The Audi engine was designed by Mercedes. It is simple and very strong, the whole car was over engineered, the 2.5 is not as strong, the 944t had weaker con rods then the 924t.
To Stephan: Porsche did not drop the 2.0 Audi engine because of problems. They did it because the engine was being discontinued. And, the demand for the 924 diminished. Putting the 2.5L in the 924 was a stroke of genius as that car was lighter than the 944. Just remember 2 things: the 2.0 Audi engine was originally designed by Daimler-Benz when it owned Audi in the mid 1960s. It was a pushrod unit then, but was updated to SOHC in the early 1970s by VW Audi. At the time it had to meet very stringent emissions regulations in the US and Germany. But it is one stout motor as mine has proved to be. The other thing: that wonderful 356 Porsche originally had a VW engine (then the VW short block with special heads) before Porsche designed it's own aluminium crankcase for the '54 model year. And the 356 had a VW suspension, steering, brakes, fuel tank, lights, door handles and gearbox, among other things. These were quality items then, and were quality items when used on the 924. There was nothing cheap or inferior on that car. Robb
Thank you for your excellent article on the much maligned 924, 2.0 litre engine. It is refreshing that you appreciate the simplicity and reliability of it......as I reiterate I have driven that engine hard over the last 30 years and still pulling like a train, with only basic servicing. regards.......busaman.
Here in California, with the price of gasoline hovering near, or even over $4.00/gallon I really appreciate the great gas mileage of my little1979 2.0l 924. Plus, even a shade tree mechanic novice like me can diagnose and fix most mechanical problems. The car has everything i need and nothing I don't. I've had mechanics tell me to just change the fuel injectors once every 10 years and that the engines are overbuilt. Plus the engine is a non-interference type- breaking the timing belt won't break the bank. Not a car for everyone but if you don't want to see yourself coming and going all the time, this is one car to consider. Just get one that's had at least some maintenance. A new water pump/timing belt and oil/trans changes being among the most critical. I live in San Diego, and in 10 years I have Never seen another 924 on the road.
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