Here are the findings of the report with what I consider to be an appropriate priority level assigned to each item. Some of the ‘high’ ones would need to be done immediately and others I would want to do within the first six months of owning the car.
There are a few notes at the bottom that expand on some of these items.
Glove Box stays not holding, alloy ones needed – Low
Clock illumination inoperative – Low
Odometer inoperative – High
Tool kit bag in poor condition – Low
Spare wheel badly flat spotted – Medium
1 x horn inoperative – High
A/C fitting ports caps missing – ??
A/C compressor still leaking – Medium
Body / Seals / Wipers etc
Rear hatch seal sucks in exhaust fumes – Medium
O/S door seal torn – Low
O/S window belt line weather strip cracked from sun – ??
O/S door hinges worn (door dropped) – Medium
Rear hatch lock barrel seal – High
Wiper blade assembly needed – ??
Brakes / Wheels / Tyres
Front discs below spec – High
Rear discs well below spec – High
Front tyres near bald – High
Rear tyres not far behind & same age – High
3 x centre caps need repainting – Low
NSF rim gutter damaged (mild) – Low
Brake hoses old and OSF dangerous (due to power steering fluid) – High
Suspension and Steering
Power steering rack noisier than normal (hydraulic noise) – Medium
OSF lower ball joint excessive play – High
NSF lower ball joint boot torn in half and play in joint – High
NS steering tie rod excessive play – High
Steering shaft (lower) uni joints worn – new shaft – High
Front shocks way too soft (original 1990) – High
Front shocks bump stops broken and gator boots torn – High
P/Steering oil leaks from (text incomplete) – High
Driveline / Transmission / Clutch
Clutch hydraulic reservoir almost empty (hydraulics overhaul) – ??
Gear stick mod needed – ??
CV boot torn + 3 others almost – High
Engine and Cooling system
Cam and cam gear cover badly corroded – Med/High
Timing chain old – High
Timing chain guides – old – High
All front engine oil seals leaking – High
Rear main seal leaking – High
Sump gasket (and head gasket) – old – High/Med
Expansion tank in poor condition – Medium
All rad & heater hoses – poor to very poor – Medium
O/S radiator fan inoperative (need pair of fans) – High
Distributor cap and rotor stuffed – Medium
Hall effect sensor falling apart – High
Intake manifold flexible connector sleeve shrunk – Medium
Both engine fuel hoses old and need replacing – High
Accelerator cable ready to break – High
NTC II sensor very old – ??
Starter motor slow (old) – needs replacing – Medium
N/S engine mount from 1989 – ??
O/S engine mount sagged – ??
- The odometer malfunction would normally be a major red flag but it seems to be quite recent. I’ve got printed service history for the car and the mileage varies on those documents.
- The horn is listed as a high priority because having a working horn is essential for passing a roadworthiness inspection.
- The wiper blade assembly finding wasn’t properly explained. Need more info on what’s actually wrong with it but I haven’t sought that information yet.
- I’m told the power steering rack is normally slightly noisy in these cars. There was a problem with the rack previously, as evidenced by fluid having leaked onto the brake lines, but it’s since been fixed. The brake lines do need replacing, however, due to damage caused by the fluid leak from the rack when it was malfunctioning.
- “Gear stick mod needed” – this is an indicator, perhaps, that the inspector is aiming for his ideal condition of the car (which from talking to him, is concours condition). In other words, he might be emphasising things that an ordinary person could live with. Perhaps.
- The cam gear cover is made from magnesium alloy and is prone to corrosion if left unpainted. Porsche painted the cover at the factory but its common to see the paint stripped away due to excessive use of alkaline cleaners (which are OK on normal paint, but not OK used on the paint that has to be applied to magnesium alloy). It’s common to see discoloured cam gear covers on these cars as not many are aware of this. How big a problem is it? I’m told that if left untreated long enough, holes can eventually appear. That’s what I’m told.
As mentioned before, the items marked ‘high’ are all things I’d want to do reasonably quickly. Some are needed for basic vehicle safety. Some are needed as important near-term maintenance to prevent major malfunction. Some are highly desired to make sure the 944 S2 driving experience is what is should be.
Items marked ‘medium’ are mostly restoration or preventative maintenance items, many of which I consider I might actually be able to do myself.
I’m trying to keep in mind that the guy who inspected this car has extremely high standards and is very judgemental of anything that doesn’t meet those high standards. He’s very black-and-white about these things. An items is either in fantastic condition or completely f#@ked (his words, not mine). There’s very little in between.
Obviously you want a vehicle inspector to be thorough – especially with a car that’s expensive to repair like a 944 – but you’ve also got to temper the findings with a small dose of perspective. I can live for a while with an original coolant expansion tank if it’s slightly browned for example.
To pursue or not to pursue – that’s the question. Bear in mind that the seller is asking $20,500 for this car, which is around the mark for an S2 in Australia. Also bear in mind that the engine’s internals all seem to be very good, the interior was one of the best the inspector’s seen in a decade and the exterior was described as quite good.
I’d want to pay around $16,000 if I was going to buy it. Your thoughts would be welcome.