Wednesday, October 28, 2009

1985.5 Porsche 944: Next Steps

Next Steps:
Bringing this car back to 1985 is going to be a challenge to say the least. There is so much to do and so many obstacles that I face. This will be my first restoration plus the biggest challenge is not having a garage. Working on a car in a garage is priceless. Having a warm, locked-off area that shelters you from the elements where you can leave the car and your tools in pieces and not worry about theft, corrosion, and distractions is almost a necessity. But you make due with what you have and what I have is next to nothing, aside from the "drive" for cars, mechanical inclination, and the monetary need to sell this car.

Luckily, I do have a spot in a parking garage with shelter from rain and snow but it is technically still outdoors. So, for the sake of my reputation, my love for classic cars, and for the sake of the buyer, I will not take shortcuts nor short change any part of the car. Whatever this 944 needs to look and drive like new, it will get. Here's what I know it needs in order of priority:

  • 4-tires
  • front wipers
  • windshield
  • rear turn signal bulb
  • rear side marker bulb
  • exhaust
  • power steering belt
  • 2-hood support struts
  • 4-spark plugs
  • 5-ignition wires
  • distributor rotor
  • idle control valve cleaning
  • inspection
  • rear hatch release switch
  • sun visor clip
  • some body work
  • a paint job
  • center arm rest
  • leather sunroof bag
  • A/C blowing warm air
Following the paint job:
  • rear lock seal
  • Porsche decal (rear)
  • reassembly
On a car this old there will be plenty of things that need attention that you can't predict so be sure to factor this into your budget. Old parts break during procedures, rubber seals need replacing, and things tend to stay hidden until uncovered.
You can never know everything you'll need before starting so it is a good idea to shop around for the best deals. You might be tempted to buy the first few items you find for an okay deal but be patient when it comes to ordering because chances are you'll miss something if you rush and you'll pay more for shipping in the end. Also, during certain procedures, find out if parts need replacement after removal. Sometimes you can't use a part after it has been removed, you'll need to replace brand new such as but not limited to rubber gaskets and rusty nuts and bolts. Normally it's a good idea to replace some parts that may need service during a procedure if they're cheap enough and difficult to get to later.
The good with the bad, I think I bought a good little car for little money and a lot of character. It's a hell of a challenge for my first project and the learning curve is going to be a slap in the face since it is German engineered but who's got the time to learn the right way?
First priority is getting this thing ready for an inspection. All bulbs have to be functioning properly, windshield needs to be flawless, and emissions need to pass so the exhaust is very important. I'll be posting updates periodically so check back soon and wish me luck!


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