"A Porsche for the Masses."
We have a few Porsche owners among our members and quite rightly so, the 944 offers good levels of fun at a great price.
All 944s are good, practical cars. 2.5s are the common ones and are easiest for home mechanics. These come with 160bhp as standard but not much tuning potential. The 2.7 engine was better but has some specific parts which are expensive if they go wrong.
The more modern 3.0ltr S2 is a very good all rounder and entry into Porsche ownership. 211bhp standard so plenty for most people. If you want tuning potential though then the turbo model is the way to go. Originally 220bhp to start with, then in 1988 they did the 250bhp S model which became a standard model in 1989.
A highly regarded 'sweet spot' for this engine is around 330bhp. Achieved fairly reasonably (need to spend around £2.5k) and is reliable. After this you start changing turbo's and Maf kits etc and you jump to 400bhp+ for around another £3k+! There are 600bhp+ cars out there!!
Some of our members have used Porsche engines in other projects including a Morris Minor and a number of Classic VW Beetles so there are plenty of mods you can do to a Porsche engine. Improving the handling should be your first priority in your 944 tuning project. Drop the car by as much as 35mm and fit stiffer dampers, bigger drops will need other modifications in most instances.
Turning our attention to the 944s engine we need to get a bit more power out of the top end.
When looking at a car, condition and history is more important than mileage (they are all at least 18-27 years old these cars!) Sills are notorious for rust, blocked drainage tubes are also rust traps. Belts, rollers, tensioners etc should be done every 4 years along with water pump every other belt change.
Porsche 944 Tuning modifications.
One of the best mechanical mods you can do is to fit a fast road cam and get the head ported and polished. When pushing up the power you will need to pay attention to the fuelling. More power needs more fuel. Improve your cars response to the throttle with a Fuel pressure boost valve. Uprating the injectors is another beneficial modification and will deliver sufficient fuel. A fuel pump will only deliver a finite amount of fuel, so you may need to uprate this.
Porsche 944 Intake and Exhaust.
Now we move on to the intake and exhaust and ensure proper flow through the engine. Induction kits work well on turbo engines and larger engines, for the smaller 944 engines you should go with a sports panel air filter. Do not go with the biggest exhaust you can find - the best for power gains are usually between 2 to 2.5 inches but this largely depends on the engine you have in your 944.
A good fast road power clutch will help to keep that power going where it should. Never skimp or expect a standard clutch to cope if power has been increased by 30% or more. Remaps offer significant power gains on all turbo charged 944's. On NASP engines the benefits are doubtful, but will help unleash the potential if you have done a lot of mods. Adding forced induction will see big power gains but this is usually too expensive to be cost effective.
Superchargers are generally easier to add than turbos. It is harder to map a turbo as the boost comes on exponentially with engine speed. Superchargers however will give a boost which is proportional to engine speed so is easier to map. To cope with forced induction you will usually need to decrease the compression ratio of the engine.
Porsche 944 Wheel modifications.
The benefits of alloy wheels include a lower unsprung weight and more efficient brake cooling. The downside to large alloy wheels on your 944 is that you alter your effective final drive ratio and this will have a detrimental effect on performance. They will also weigh more and this unsprung weight is not good for handling. For this reason we would advise sticking to a maximum wheel size of 18 inches, although we know some of our members have gone larger than this with no problems.
Join us in our forum and meet up with other 944 owners where you can chat and swap tuning ideas for your car. Also have a read of our tuning articles to see what the pros and cons are of the many tuning options open to you.
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Please use our forums if you wish to ask a tuning question, and please note we do not sell parts or services, we are just an online magazine.