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Old 07-28-2013, 10:12 AM   #51
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Re: Porsche 944: Actually there is a substitute

Next important measurement was in the engine bay. The bay width at approximately the header height - in other words how wide is the bay where the motor has to stuff the headers into?

On the 944 this is 27-28"

Mustang 30-31"

Firebird 30"

Then the distance from CL of front spindles to the firewall. This is my way of thinking about how far back will the motor sit and how much of the Porsche firewall has to go away to clear the bell housing of the motor.

Porsche is 10" & 13.5" (stepped shape as you can see in the previous pics).

Mustang 15"

Firebird 18"

^^ These results are what led me to want to remove the Porsche HVAC unit.
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Old 07-28-2013, 10:16 AM   #52
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Re: Porsche 944: Actually there is a substitute

And last measurement is the approximate distance between the CL of the rear axle and where the lower swing arm mounts to the body/chassis.

Porsche 944 this is 20-21"

Mustang 18"

Firebird 20"

Another feature I took note of is where the fuel tank is located on each vehicle.

944 is above and behind rear axle CL

Mustang is behind

Firebird is in front of rear axle CL.
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Old 07-28-2013, 10:33 AM   #53
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Re: Porsche 944: Actually there is a substitute

Based on these observations this is my hazy plan at this point.

(Keep in mind that whenever I mention the Mustang I am not wanting it's motor/tranny - that will be GM all the way.)

I like the Mustang for track width and engine bay shapes. I also like the Mustang rear axle setup and their reputation for being rugged. The GM/Camaro/Firebird axle just looks wimpy. Staying at a track width same/similar to the 944 gives me the most flexibility in wheels. I can always use spacers if I want to try a wheel with deeper back spacing on the Ford track width.

I like the GM F body for the LSmotor/tranny and I know that if I used the GM front suspension it would work in harmony with the motor's oil pan. However then I have to contend with the wider track width. This would lead to either body mods and/or funky choices on wheels and back spacing.

There are plenty of Mustangs running around with LSX conversions and there are aftermarket K member kits. I might not need to even go that way because I can always set the LS motor farther back than a stock Mustang would since I'm already going to chop up the Porsche firewall.

So at this point I'm leaning toward 2 donor vehicles. This is more expensive but what the heck. A late 90's Mustang for the front and rear suspension and a late 90's GM F body for the motor, tranny, brains, fuel system and vapor recovery.
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Old 07-28-2013, 10:46 PM   #54
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Re: Porsche 944: Actually there is a substitute

I went back to the yard a re-measured the Mustang track widths.

61.5" rear on a disc brake model GT

62" front.

Then I went home and yanked the Porsche HVAC unit out, tied off the harnesses up out of harms way.

For all intents and purposes the 944 is ready for surgery. Now the hunt for donor vehicles begins!
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Old 07-30-2013, 03:38 AM   #55
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Re: Porsche 944: Actually there is a substitute

Isn't the main issue with the 944 rear the weak transaxle/diff? Anything wrong with the rear suspension otherwise?
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Old 07-30-2013, 09:41 AM   #56
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Re: Porsche 944: Actually there is a substitute

Brakes, axles and CV joints are too weak. The typical fix for V8 conversions is to upgrade to turbo components. These are therefore rare, desirable and expensive to acquire. Even then the wear items are expensive to replace.

Porsche rear turbo brake pads $150-ish a set
Rear turbo rotors $90-200 each
CV Joint kits turbo $76 each

Mustang rear pads $56 a set
Mustang rear rotors $79 each
Mustang rear wheel bearing $27 each

But the Porsche power train and suspension sure have some beautiful aluminum castings!
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Old 07-30-2013, 12:09 PM   #57
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Re: Porsche 944: Actually there is a substitute

I just can't see going to a solid rear axle in a car that was originally IRS. Only exception (for me) would be for a purpose-build drag car.

There's gotta be a good solution for an increased capacity IRS...

Machine the Porsche arms to accept larger bearings/hubs..?
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Old 07-30-2013, 04:36 PM   #58
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Re: Porsche 944: Actually there is a substitute

There's the Corvette C4 stuff. They are almost in my price range. I even saw a CList ad for a C4 frame and suspension for $800. The rear is certainly IRS and certainly capable of taking 300HP. It's got that funky transverse leaf spring but hot rodders convert them to coil overs all the time.

Once again though the track width raises it's ugly head. The C4 is a wide car and I think I read where the C4 rear hub-to-hub is in the high 6X".
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Old 07-30-2013, 07:42 PM   #59
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Re: Porsche 944: Actually there is a substitute

I'm not the only guy putting a solid axle in the back of a 944...
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Old 07-30-2013, 08:46 PM   #60
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Re: Porsche 944: Actually there is a substitute

..
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...purpose-build drag car.
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I'm not the only guy putting a solid axle in the back of a 944...
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Old 07-31-2013, 09:14 AM   #61
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Re: Porsche 944: Actually there is a substitute

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I'm not the only guy putting a solid axle in the back of a 944...
Straight axle or not, I really like the body kit on that.
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Old 07-31-2013, 11:22 AM   #62
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Re: Porsche 944: Actually there is a substitute

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Isn't the main issue with the 944 rear the weak transaxle/diff? Anything wrong with the rear suspension otherwise?
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Brakes, axles and CV joints are too weak.



But the Porsche power train and suspension sure have some beautiful aluminum castings!
Not sure it would make any sense but what about 928 components? I have heard they are very strong. Might find cheap but still have expensive maintenance items.
As for the Porsche castings, how about recouping some cost and making a IRS
coffee table? Bet that would sell?

No matter what your steering with the throttle anyway. Right?
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Old 08-02-2013, 11:33 AM   #63
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Re: Porsche 944: Actually there is a substitute

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There's gotta be a good solution for an increased capacity IRS...

Machine the Porsche arms to accept larger bearings/hubs..?
There just isn't any domestic rear diff that would easily adapt up with leaving the 944 swing axles in there. I'm definitely going the Mustang late 90's solid axle route and there's yet another reason this is the right move for me. If down the road I want to throw more $'s and time at it I can convert to the Mustang/T-Bird/Explorer style IRS with ease. The Ford IRS uses the same attach points plus weld 2 more brackets in for the diff and boosh you're IRS.

This week is Sunriver vacation and then I'll be in full hunt mode for a Stang donor.
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Old 08-02-2013, 11:39 AM   #64
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Re: Porsche 944: Actually there is a substitute

This past Wednesday I met up with a really nice guy who owns SIX Porsche 944's between he and his wife. I had prepared a list of the 944 parts I was taking out and a list of the 944 things that were broken that I need fixes for. Once we got to know each other a little, talked about Halfbreed a bit and then went over the lists - this guy said he thought he had just about every part I needed and would trade me that stuff for my discarded parts.
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Old 08-11-2013, 04:59 PM   #65
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Re: Porsche 944: Actually there is a substitute

When I returned from vacation I had received my fitted car cover. Friday I started hauling all of my Porsche discards off to the nice guy and started swapping for things I need.

Yesterday I bought my donor Mustang. It's a 98 and looks to be free of major accidents (perhaps none at all).
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Old 08-11-2013, 11:07 PM   #66
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Re: Porsche 944: Actually there is a substitute

How cool is it to be able to use the truck for hauling all this stuff?? Glad to see you got a donor vehicle. Looking forward to seeing it come together!!

Chad
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Old 08-16-2013, 11:39 PM   #67
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Re: Porsche 944: Actually there is a substitute

I had been thinking about a 944 project also. I like the body style and the reputation for handling. But now that I've read this I'm kinda glad I haven't really looked at it too hard. Mainly based on the things you have said about the failures of these cars and costs to keep them going. I like what you're doing with it.

I used to own an 83 Toyota celica and really like the shape of them also. Very similar to the 944 I think. It had the same R22 engine the trucks had and I always wondered if the sbc conversion kits they used for the trucks would work on the celicas.

Which now has me thinking that there may be some toyota options for a drivetrain swap into a 944, such as a supra turbo 6 cylinder. Or the sbc swap, and there may even be LSX swap kits available for those now. The toyota stuff can be pretty cheap and available too.

Anyway, was just thinking out loud, err, through the keyboard. Carry on. Looks like a hell of a fun project.
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Old 08-18-2013, 09:27 PM   #68
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Re: Porsche 944: Actually there is a substitute

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Anyway, was just thinking out loud, err, through the keyboard. Carry on. Looks like a hell of a fun project.
I would recommend you read a few pages of the 944 forums on Pelican or Rennlist to get a feel for how many things break on these cars. Thanks for following along on my build!

This past week was spent tearing into the donor Mustang. The rear half is stripped and I am getting close to pulling the motor and trans out.

When the Mustang was fresh in my yard after it's tow down I15 I took a can of spray paint and shot all four shocks to mark where stock ride height was. Then I pulled the coils and shocks out of the rear and fabbed up some dummy shocks to hold it at ride height.

As I took out the seats, console and carpet from the Mustang I slowly became rich from the spare coins I extracted out of the coffee soaked carpet.
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Old 08-18-2013, 09:41 PM   #69
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Re: Porsche 944: Actually there is a substitute

Back on the Halfbreed build I had bought a cheapo used engine hoist to help me with loading my broke 4L60E. The first motor I used it on was the 944's and I found the design of the spreader bar lacking in just about every way. So today I did an overhaul on it. Now it has trick chain assemblies on each end that can quickly be dropped into chain hooks during the initial rigging. There are also eyes on each end should I want/need to use tie straps or rope. And most important it has a swivel eye so I don't have to fight how the hoist hook is clocked - now I can focus on pulling motors and not on lame product designs.

I should mention that I'm using our big MIG at work for the welds on structural stuff like the motor hoist and the receiver hitch on my truck. Here is a pic of the MIG, the 5'x5' welding table and a cart I fabbed. It definitely puts the heat into the thicker metal!

And I also began welding up some conduit for the 16'x12' awning I will be hanging over the 944. Mostly need this for shade but also for the short but intense rainy season.
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Old 08-18-2013, 10:12 PM   #70
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Re: Porsche 944: Actually there is a substitute

Here's the weld table I mentioned up there ^^^
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Old 08-20-2013, 02:14 AM   #71
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Re: Porsche 944: Actually there is a substitute

In for the build sparkydog!
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Old 08-25-2013, 09:05 AM   #72
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Re: Porsche 944: Actually there is a substitute

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In for the build sparkydog!
Thanks to all of you guys who are following along!
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Old 08-25-2013, 09:10 AM   #73
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Re: Porsche 944: Actually there is a substitute

A shot of the newly overhauled spreader bar in action. Chain hooks in use up front, strap loop in the back, swivel eye swivelin'.

Two motor removals down, one to go.

The awning made a temporary debut so that I could mark where to put some additional eyelets. I'm almost out of the prep/facilities mode and will then have some better updates as I get into dedicated car mods. Stay tuned.
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Old 08-25-2013, 07:08 PM   #74
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Re: Porsche 944: Actually there is a substitute

G'day,

Great project, great progress. That Ford engine, I only see three exhaust pipes, surely it's not a V6? If not, what engine is it? Keep up the good work.

Regards from Down Under.

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Old 08-25-2013, 11:36 PM   #75
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Re: Porsche 944: Actually there is a substitute

The Mustang is only donating it's suspension, brakes and some structural metal to the Porsche. The Ford motor came out to be sold off along with almost everything else.
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