Thinking of buying one

Asked by Jul 13, 2009 at 12:56 PM about the 1986 Porsche 944

Question type: Shopping & Pricing

I recently found a 86' 944 at a small car lot. The mileage on the odommeter reads 56k. The interior is in excellent shape aside from the sunvisors needing to be replaced. My concern is the engine. When I test drove the vehicle it appeared very sluggish and slow. I have never driven a Porsche before but I thought is would have had better response. I am in the automotive industry but am very ignorant regarding Porsche. Could I be getting myself into a money pit? Are there things I should look out for mechanical wise?
Thank you in advance for any help.

19 Answers


Aside from the turbo models, the 944 was/is a bit under powered. It, like most Porsches, are momentum cars. Almost all models of the 944 have nearly perfectly balanced front to back. I don't know too much about the 944 mechanically, other than you should invest in a 3 piece cross member to make your life easier, so I'd go to the forums over at if I were you to get some better advice.

5 of 5 people found this helpful.

The naturally aspirated models are not really that fast in a straight line and are very difficult to modify, so if you're looking for power look elsewhere. However, the handling on the 944 model range was and still is stellar, and I get a huge kick out of driving my 944 every single day. If you do decide to buy, immediately change the timing belt. If it breaks during operation, the whole engine is going to basically rattle itself apart very very quickly. If you cannot verify that it has been changed fairly recently, then it is a must when buying a 944.

6 of 6 people found this helpful.

I purchased my 87 944 3 years ago. I was able to find a lot of information about the car's history through carfax. I located the former owners who were more then happy to speak with me. I well maintain 944 is a joy to own. A 944 that has been driven into the ground, not maintained can be the worse money pit you can ever encounter. The timing belts on these cars is the week point. If you can't find out the last time it was replaced either don't buy the car or plan on spending $1500 dollars to replace as soon as you take ownership. If the belt goes while you are driving you REPLACE THE MOTOR!!!

5 of 5 people found this helpful.

Dont get it, get a turbo model or an S2, it is a bit dissapointing, only 170 bhp while the turbo and S2 models are both 220 bhp, makes ALL the difference, and you will keep saying to yourself "I got the wrong car".

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

The s2 makes 207 torque and 208hp and has a very flat torque band. So pretty much from about 2k rpm to redline you have fairly even power distribution. The s2 and the turbo are a lot more of a pain in the neck for maintenance. S2 parts also cost a lot least twice as much. Used parts are also a lot more rare for the s2 so if the top end on the motor goes, expect to look for at least 6 months before finding parts. Plus the s2 motor can take about 6 grand in parts to crank out between 450-500hp without changing internals :).

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

Sorry, I dont mean to be a nob about this, but, ELECTRIC cars have MOTORS, Internal Combustion cars have ENGINES. Get it right guys!!!!!!!

6 of 6 people found this helpful.

You're being a snob and a especially misinformed one at that. An engine is a type of motor... One that converts thermal energy to mechanical energy to be exact... All engines are motors but not all motors are necessarily engines... To quote you 'Get it right'

11 of 11 people found this helpful.

My neighbor has owned a 944 since it was new. Its a great car and it is fast, fun, and reliable if it was treated right. Go ahead and buy it, its a great porsche

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

Adam is right. An engine is a type of motor but a motor is not a type of engine. I believe the definition of an engine is a machine that turns one type of energy into kinetic energy. In the case of an internal combustion engine you have chemical to thermal to kinetic. A motor on the other hand is just a general machine that imparts motion. Know what you are talking about before correcting an engineer next time.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

I said NOB not SNOB. See previous post!!!

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

Actually i am not up my own ass with superiority complex, you were. You were the one acting like snob by trying to correct us when we were in fact correct in the first place. And yes you did imply i was stupid. Are the immature insults really necessary? Oh yeah and if you get excessive vibration at certain rpm band make sure you check your MOTOR mounts, they like to go bad on these cars, especially on the exhaust side due to the heat.

4 of 4 people found this helpful.

Just an FYI, for those reading, that comes up often on this board in regards to your comment... 'It's probably 207 in USA because you have lower octane fuel over there than in Europe.' There is actually very little difference in octane between the US and Europe, and at that point in time there was practically no difference in fuel (Now we have bloody ethanol fucking our shit up but that's another story). The rating difference comes from the RON vs. MON vs. (R+M)/2. Roughly 91 Octane Europe = 87 Octane US. Most euro Porsche motors have uprated compression though especially from that time period... I'd have to look into it but I'd be willing to bet that the difference in this case. Also a thing to note, high octane isn't always better, most lower octane fuels have more energy in 'em and if your compression is low enough to use 'em effectively you can get more power from the lower octane... Granted there are a crap ton of factors now that screw with that general statement, but generally speaking the lowest octane that runs right is the best.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

Adam is correct about the fuel octane ratings. The motor mount statement had nothing to do with being an engineer, just was emphasizing the fact that they are referred to as motor mounts and not engine mounts. I was not being a nob (euro way of calling me a d*ck?), i was just correcting misinformation. If you do not wish to be correct, please do not post unless you know what you are talking about.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

I actually cant beleive you are all getting so pissed off about this, I was just stating that in normal conversation most people refere to motors as electric mototrs NOT electric engines. DO THEY? Let it go!


Look out for everything. Repairs can be very expensive.


ok jw how can you get between 450 to 500 hp out of a s2 engine?


There is a post on Rennlist with the details. But basically you run a fuel management system so you can bump the ratio up, larger injectors, i believe a new MAF to handle the increased air flow turbo it. I believe it is about 14 psi of boost, but i don't remember the air fuel ratio required. It was fairly rich though. It also involves mating a 951 intake to the S2 intake and the obvious exhaust work. You can also use a 951 intercooler because the mounts are there on the S2 (goes in place of the air box).

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

oh i see i didnt know they ment MAF

Robert, About the 944's. Is it better to use synthetic oil? I love these cars! You are the BEST here!

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