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