Project Track Rat

Codename: Das Porsche

starting point. total spent: $1400

problems identified: battery is dead, body damage (bumper, fender, etc), brake system not working... hydraulic issue, missing rear view mirror, missing rear wiper, various and sundry other things.

now for the pics:

I don't know what these wires used to be attached to:

day 2

new battery and rear view mirror brings the total to $1500. I got the car registered and got the title transfered. new plates should be here within the month.

Installing the new battery gave me a better idea of the condition of the car. it starts up just fine and idles ok with the new battery and repaired vac leak. new issues identified: passenger window won't go down. stereo seems to be wired into a constant 12v rather than switched... it's also asking for a security code, that i don't have. AC isn't cold. the damage to the bumper is preventing the headlights from opening... a major hurdle to passing an inspection. it might need some convincing of the sledgehammer variety. there was also a bunch of oil in the breather assembly... looks like it was coming from the pcv tube. i'll probably just install a catch can and be done with it.

day 3

Bummer... some research into various option/engine/transmission codes reveals that the car didn't come equipped with a limited slip differential as I had hoped. this is a $1400 part... it's going on the list as one of the first performance modifications.
EDIT: BONUS! It turns out that Phantom Grip makes a kit that converts the differential i have now into a limited slip for just $500. Some people swear by phantom grip, others say they're a shortcut to a box full of shrapnel between the wheels. I think much of it depends on the quality of the installation.

day 4

the lights are open now, bringing me 1 step closer to having the car road legal. i discovered another added bonus. The car was originally equipped with sealed beam headlights (as were most cars of this vintage). My car however, has had the sealed beam lights converted to use a standard H4 halogen bulb. i tried to get the nose panel off tonight so that i could try to pull the bumper back into place. the problem was that the last 2 bolts holding it on are a royal pain to get to. it's like you need a thin-wall, deep well socket in order to get to them. the more i work on this front end, the more frustrated i get. mechanical stuff i can do, but body work is not something i've ever dealt with. the bumper on my matrix comes off with 8 screws and 3 clips. this is completely different. it may be worth it to just get the brakes fixed and take it to a body shop so they can fix the body issues.
anyway, more pics:

minor update

my plates arrived

More updates

Well, the project has had some setbacks. Not long after the plates arrived, I was going to where the car is temporarily parked to do some work on it and when I'm 500 feet from my destination, the differential on my daily driver shreds itself. Looks like all those track events I did in that car were finally too much for it. Long story short, I needed to spend my Porsche budget on getting the daily back in running order. I've almost paid that off, and I've started doing some more minor stuff to the 944.

eBay has been a great source of used parts for little money. I've picked up a black nose panel, guards red front bumper, new bumper shocks, new rear hatch struts, ATE master cylinder and brake booster (the car originally had a Girling master cylinder and brake booster) and a sun roof diffuser all for under $300 including shipping. Body work can wait, so I've started work on swapping out the brake parts, and I've already installed the new hatch struts since that was an easy 5-minute job.

However, once I pulled the car into my parents' garage to work on the brake issues, I discovered that the engine is leaking some oil afterall. I couldn't tell from where since I didn't feel like jacking the car up and sliding underneath getting covered with oil and cat litter that night. I've been leaning towards replacing the engine anyway and I've found a place that sells used ones for $2100 shipped with a 3 year warranty. It's just a matter of saving up the money to buy one. I'd like to try to do the engine swap myself. This will definitely be the biggest job I've ever done on a car.