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Old 06-29-2013, 09:49 PM   #1
sparkydog
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Porsche 944: Actually there is a substitute

Hi everyone! Usually I am pic heavy and word light but I thought I would announce the start of my 1st official 2nd project before anything has actually happened and before there are any pictures!

I just bought a 1986 Porsche 944 that will be the foundation of my next build. Like most of us on this forum, I succumbed to ADD and bought a 2nd project before I finished my 1st.

I will be stuffing an LSX V8 into a Porsche 944. This alone is not unique but as those of you who follow my Halfbreed build know – I seem to be the guy who tries to throw a special “spin” on my build. That will be the case with the 944. There are already many pioneers ahead of me who have rigged a 944 with LSX power. There are also a brave few who have stayed California Air Resources Board (CARB) legal. I will be following in the footsteps of these guys but will attempt to throw my typical twist on things down the road a bit.

My publicist told me that there is no such thing as bad publicity so I thought I would make the announcement just ahead of the holiday weekend and generate some buzz! I won’t have the vehicle in my sinister little hands for a couple of more weeks. Stay tuned for the next post – which will include a rant concerning all the things wrong with the 944 and what I will try to do to show those German bastards how they should have done things!

Have a safe and happy July 4th holiday!
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Old 06-29-2013, 10:04 PM   #2
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Re: Porsche 944: Actually there is a substitute

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Old 06-30-2013, 12:20 PM   #3
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Re: Porsche 944: Actually there is a substitute

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Old 06-30-2013, 05:22 PM   #4
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Re: Porsche 944: Actually there is a substitute

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Old 06-30-2013, 05:47 PM   #5
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Re: Porsche 944: Actually there is a substitute

Quote:
Originally Posted by sparkydog View Post
Stay tuned for the next post – which will include a rant concerning all the things wrong with the 944 and what I will try to do to show those German bastards how they should have done things!
Can't wait to see it!
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Old 06-30-2013, 06:45 PM   #6
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Re: Porsche 944: Actually there is a substitute

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Old 06-30-2013, 07:34 PM   #7
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Re: Porsche 944: Actually there is a substitute

Im in cant wait to see what ya do to this thing..
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Old 06-30-2013, 08:56 PM   #8
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Re: Porsche 944: Actually there is a substitute

In.
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Old 06-30-2013, 10:25 PM   #9
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Re: Porsche 944: Actually there is a substitute

For about a year now I have been thinking I would do another build. One day I was surfing Autotrader looking for ideas on what was out there that was cheap and unique. My search uncovered the Porsche 944. I’ve always thought the body was nice but didn’t know much else. They feature a 5spd rear transaxle which gives them 50/50 weight and therefore good handling. After a few weeks of surfing the net I’d basically determined that they are a nice body with woefully underpowered motors that break easily. And if you re-power them then the brakes and transaxles go next. And if the tranny doesn’t break then you never use 1st and wish you had a 6th because the ratios are setup for a little 2.5L high rev not a V8. There are stronger Porsche components that can be used but they come off the turbo models and are therefore rare and more expensive.

So I’m just going to toss the motor, the suspension, the brakes and the transaxle and put stuff in there that will hold up to V8 power, stay reliable and if it breaks cost nothing to repair. An LSX motor is a given. While I’d like to keep a rear transaxle there isn’t anything (that I can find) that meets my three criteria – affordable, 300hp stock, 68-ish wide. A Corvette rear is the obvious 1st choice but it’s out of my budget and too wide without modifications. BMW M3’s rear IRS can take 300hp but are costly also. So along the way I figured I’d bag the rear transaxle and just go conventional motor/trans in the front. There’s the Ford Explorer/Stang IRS but again – a little too rare and costly for my tastes.

If anyone has a suggestion I didn’t consider please let me know! For now I am thinking I will use the front and rear spindles/axle/brakes/suspension etc out of a Mustang GT (late 90’s or younger). I’ll get an aftermarket K member because there are a bunch of Mustangs with LSX conversions and there are bolt on solutions. So bear in mind when I say this I mean I am going to surgically remove the structural metal out of the donor Mustang as well as the suspension, then cut big holes in the poor little Porsche and graft all that s*** right in.

All that should take a couple of weekends (joking) and then on to the hard part – equipping the engine bay with a CARB legal LSX. This means cramming the unmodified GM factory motor, air intake system, vapor canister, headers, cats, and rumor has it – even the same fuel tank. I’m still a noob on learning all the stuff I need to know about the CARB angle but there are a few 944 LSX owners who have already done it. I am hoping that by grafting a different front end into the 944 (like off a Mustang or Z28) that the resulting interior dimensions of the engine bay will be more willing to let me stab an LSX with stock headers.

My 944 is an 86, red, sunroof, 2 owner, Carfax clean with no reported accidents. Mostly garaged. Broke motor. I pick it up in 2 weekends. First I have to buy a tow dolly. I’m going to be lugging 2 or maybe 3 cars home in the near future and I’m tired of renting tow dollys.
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Old 06-30-2013, 11:05 PM   #10
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Re: Porsche 944: Actually there is a substitute

I should explain the title of my build thread. Back in the 80's Porsche had a slogan that went "Porsche. There is no substitute."

This slogan was made even more famous when it was used by Tom Cruise in the movie Risky Business. Here's the clip:
(That's not a 944 in the movie. I think its a 924 or 928 but I'm def not a Porsche guru.)
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Old 06-30-2013, 11:46 PM   #11
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Re: Porsche 944: Actually there is a substitute

I owned a 944 Turbo about ten years ago. They are really fun cars - when they run. Stuffing an LSX in there will be an awesome change. Good luck!
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Old 07-02-2013, 06:57 PM   #13
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Re: Porsche 944: Actually there is a substitute

Here's the car and the PO. And a picture of what the engine bay looks like with the LSX in it.




Hee hee!
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Old 07-02-2013, 11:05 PM   #14
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Re: Porsche 944: Actually there is a substitute

Damn!!!!!
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Old 07-14-2013, 09:18 PM   #15
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Re: Porsche 944: Actually there is a substitute

OK let's get this party started!

Here's some shots from Saturday when I brought the new toy home. Halfbreed did a great job pulling her new rival down the freeway and I promised her I would get the tow dolly surge brakes fixed before the next tow happens.

I pulled into my house at about 10am and by noon I had the interior stripped. I think the PO actually hauled hay in the back.
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Old 07-14-2013, 09:31 PM   #16
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Re: Porsche 944: Actually there is a substitute

Highlights/1st impressions:

A shot of the "collector" for the drain water that comes off the rear hatch window and is supposed to drain down a passageway and into a tube and out the rear fender well. I briefly thought this might be the start of a stash of dope that would make me rich but alas is was only straw from the hay hauling.

Kudos to Porsche for their famous quality of body prep/paint. I had heard there would not be much rust and so far that is true. Very nice to work on a well protected car for a change.

Remind me never to get in a wreck in this Porsche. The seats are held in by teensy tiny screws instead of the USA style flanged bolts that I am familiar with. At first I thought "OK different strokes for different folks - it doesn't really matter as long as the seat BELTS and anchored separately." But guess what - the latch side is part of the seat!!

I don't like the shape of the seats but I do like the two handles. One is for sliding and the other is for tilting the seat back.
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Old 07-14-2013, 09:38 PM   #17
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Re: Porsche 944: Actually there is a substitute

A pile of straw infused carpet.

Oh if only the red paint were as bright and shiny dry as it is wet!

Starting to build a cart for the carcass of some of the donor vehicles. Also some cheap, wooden (yes that's right WOOD) DIY jack stands.

There's something about the sight of a partially covered project car that hints at the things to come. The 944 has some good body lines. The looks are there - just not the go part. But we'll be changing all of that soon enough!
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Old 07-16-2013, 08:49 AM   #18
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Re: Porsche 944: Actually there is a substitute

Buy a whole C5/6 vette rolling chassis on ebay for 5-6k with LSX and rear trans! The vette is not too wide, the Porsche just needs to convinced to fit
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Old 07-16-2013, 09:28 AM   #19
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Re: Porsche 944: Actually there is a substitute

(-Widebody-)

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Old 07-16-2013, 11:45 AM   #20
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Re: Porsche 944: Actually there is a substitute

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frizzle Fry View Post
Buy a whole C5/6 vette rolling chassis on ebay for 5-6k with LSX and rear trans! The vette is not too wide, the Porsche just needs to convinced to fit
Listen to this guy Flounder, he's in pre-med.

Seriously, this is a great idea. The widebody kit on the 944 looks choice!
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Old 07-16-2013, 12:57 PM   #21
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Re: Porsche 944: Actually there is a substitute

Quote:
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Listen to this guy Flounder, he's in pre-med.
Hey! Are you guys playing cards?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frizzle Fry View Post
Buy a whole C5/6 vette rolling chassis on ebay for 5-6k with LSX and rear trans! The vette is not too wide, the Porsche just needs to convinced to fit
I definitely want some critical feedback and ideas about what I'm doing. So here's my reasoning for ruling out the vette equipment. a) Too much scratch for my budget and lifestyle. I'm hoping to come in around $5k total for all 2-3 vehicles that are in this mashup so the vette stuff busts my budget. And then when the vette stuff wears (brake pads, bushings for example) it's spendy. b) I'm trying to stay away from exterior body work on this project. Halfbreed kinda kicked my ass. So the vette suspension would require either the body kit for the Porsche or, expensive machining time to shorten the axles. c) Replacement parts for the vette suspension are just as spendy as leaving the Porsche parts on there.

So with that being said I sort of crossed off the vette option and then moved on to looking for IRS but no rear transaxle. The only domestic vehicle that I am aware of (that can take 300 rwhp reliably) is the Mustang/Explorer IRS but maybe I am overlooking something? There are Euro and Asian cars with beefy IRS but they too are expensive to acquire and expensive to repair when they wear/break.
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Old 07-16-2013, 01:02 PM   #22
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Re: Porsche 944: Actually there is a substitute

Check out a Mark VIII and 89-up T bird IRS. Those have an 8.8 center section, and you can probably buy the whole car for under $1k for a Mark. Instead of using an LS, you could use the 4.6 DOHC engine in that. Seems like those were rated around 300 HP also.
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Old 07-16-2013, 01:23 PM   #23
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Re: Porsche 944: Actually there is a substitute

At that point I crossed IRS off and the next logical choice was to harvest the front and rear suspension off the donor Z28/Firebird that has the LSX. The economics of this is tempting because with just one more vehicle purchase I get all of the donor equipment for suspension, brakes and power train. However...

I'm not sure if the GM swing arms on the rear axle will migrate into the Porsche chassis as "easily" as a Mustang rear axle will. The Porsche has a torsion bar with swing arms that sort of resembles the Ford 4-bar geometry and at this early stage I am thinking that the anchor points for a Ford 4-bar will be right about where the Porsche chassis structure is beefed up for the OE torsion bar.

That's about where I'm at so far - just dreaming and thinking for now. Once I strip the Porsche power train and suspension off the 944 I will take some pics and measurements and then make a trip to the wrecking yard and start comparing GM/Camaro and Ford/Mustang suspensions to see if there is a clear, compelling matchup that I think will graft better into the Porsche.
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Old 07-16-2013, 07:33 PM   #25
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Re: Porsche 944: Actually there is a substitute

Solstice IRS. It uses a CTS diff. You might get away with just a CTS (non-V) diff or go to the V - Would need some research.

Looks like Mallet might use the stock diff (maybe just a ratio change?) Some good reading here and here.

Another thought; Keep the 944 rear suspension and simply replace the transaxle with a CTS/Solstice diff and axles..!

As far as widening the body. we all know you have the skills not to have to buy anything buy consumables to make that happen

Don't forget about the insurance auto auction houses like copart and iaai for your parts car procurement.

...and dome Solstice Porn:


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