944kid

My name is Seven and I own an early '85 944 breathing 22lbs of boost that I had big plans for ever since I bought it for a whopping 900 smackaroos. I've got knowledge in certain areas, but don't claim to know everything, so my humility from this moment forward was crucial to the success of this project.

In my father's eyes, the 944 was always a water-cooled piece of shit compared to his mighty 911. That never phased me, though; there was something about the 944 I was drawn to. So I bought one as a teenager with the notion that when I was ready to get into, I could just turbo it like any other car — and that was all there was to it, right? WRONG.
Take a good look at what I got myself into. This shot alone would scare off anyone with an ounce of rationality...not me. I saw potential, something the others missed and I wasn't afraid to go in head first.

Over the next two years I spent my time fixing the crash damage and making the car look respectable. The time in between was spent polishing my driving technique around a chassis that would otherwise yawn at my approach. The 2.5 n/a motor had eaten somewhere around 200k miles and was getting weaker and weaker . Before I knew it, age was getting the better of it. One cylinder had completely failed a compression test while the rest wheezed on; it was losing power — fast! 

I lived in Orlando at the time and ran into a guy that needed an n/a engine and some phone dials. Turns out he had a turbo engine that was sitting around for 10+ years complete with wiring, the DME, and KLR! Problem was, the dying 944 was my only vehicle, the turbo engine was in Georgia, and I needed to get myself, a passenger, and my n/a engine from my parts car there! So I did what any sensible man would do; I hooked a trailer hitch and wiring on my 944 and went U-Haul to grab my trailer of choice! 
Once we were loaded up, I drove pretty smoothly all the way to Valdosta while the skies dumped water on us with fury the entire drive there. With the deal done, we drove back — in the rain. Towards the middle of the night, a trucker wrecked right in the middle of the road leaving me no choice but to swing the 944 and 1400lb trailer with my precious cargo around the truck's guts all over the road! I was able to avoid the debris, pull over, and get out into the monsoon to check on the driver of the truck. The guy was badly hurt, but he would be in good hands since my passenger was in med school. So we tended to him best we could and called the paramedics. Without further drama, we made it home and unloaded the 944. 

"We endured 35 minutes of CLACK CLACK KNOCK KNOCK BING BAM BOOM."

Barely a week into the turbo engine transplant, I was out drifting with some friends when I noticed the smoke trail my car was leaving became a bit excessive. It was after I stopped performing these sideways trickeries that the car started billowing smoke and developed one of the loudest knocks I had ever heard. I got right back on the road I came in on and sweet-talked it home — and she made it! 

We endured 35 minutes of CLACK CLACK KNOCK KNOCK BING BAM BOOM. At full throttle, the engine was taking its last breaths struggling to reach 40mph. She made it all the way home and seized right there in the driveway. It took a 6ft breaker bar on the crank bolt to convince me that, yep...it was seized.
There was no other way but forward, so the turbo motor received a stock rebuild. There were two reasons for going down this road. First, I was only making $10 an hour and had bills to pay. Second, making the car fast on a stock block was a good challenge for me; an education that would pay dividends later on. So, off I went and did the rebuild in my back yard with a bunch of Harbor Freight tools and some brake cleaner. 

The installation was the easy part, the trials would unfold during the long, rough path of tuning the thing never having tuned a car before. Every day for about two weeks , I tweaked, and tweaked, and tweaked that car until I got it to run 18psi with decent fueling. I drove it like that for about a year and did some moving around ending up in New Jersey where the next big evolution of this 944 story began — I got a second car! This meant that the 944 could be laid up giving me some time in performing these long term modifications I'd in mind. Low pressure — that was a big help. 
It's a work in progress, a slow evolution in the spirit of how Porsche approaches development of the species. I drew up a list of what was needed to keep focused in 2015:
  • new seats
  • CCW wheels
  • wide body pieces
  • 944 Turbo Brembo brakes
  • 944 Turbo axles
  • 944 Turbo control arms
  • 944 Turbo front spindles
  • Toyo race tires
  • a bigger turbo by Holset with custom fabrication/installation
  • 3" downpipe of my own fabrication
  • 850 cc injectors 
  • 4" MAF with new on-board tuner of my own fabrication
  • new intercooler
  • Greddy electronic boost controller
  • Tial Sport wastegate
  • Tial Blow off Valve
  • a new set of chips to offer variable timing maps 
With conservative timing and boost, the car made 360 horsepower at the wheels and 440lb/ft of torque at the wheels. Keeping it stock where possible, this was the concept from the beginning. The simplicity of it all invites any enthusiast wanting to pursue the thrills of more power by removing the complications that can smother confidence. With the current mods, running high 11/low 12 seconds in the 1/4 mile has been consistent. She's never ever ever seen a shop; everything's been done by me in my backyard — there's no better feeling of accomplishment than that. I've learned everything I know from this car and I love it to death, but come 2016 she's getting another rebuild with sights set on 700+ hp. 

It's a shot over the bow of these high horsepower $40,000 shop cars; I'll take you all on! Buy hey, it's all in the name of fun; what other point would there be? 


944kid
 


Comments

Matthew Mariani
11/09/2015 7:18pm

Bad ass 951 Seven !
Nice work,-Matt

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Michael Sarricchio
11/27/2015 3:35am

one word: talent

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