Prospective Owner Questions
>I have been looking hard at getting an 87 or 88 928 for my first Porshe...
>For an owner with reasonable mechanical ability, is this a difficult car
>to do minor maintainance on? By minor I mean I have no intention of
>opening the engine myself, but I'd rather put my own plugs in.
The 928 is a remarkably solid car and if you're considering an S4 you'll find many in excellent condition that will thrill you. Reading this list one could get the impression that the car is nothing but trouble... so keep in mind that this list is where people come to research problems and troubleshooting (and argue religion and politics) and rarely talk about what DIDN'T go wrong with their shark today!
I bought my '88 S4 last spring (w/45k miles) and since bringing it up to speed it has been fabulously reliable and a very strong runner. While not as simple to work on as MG's or Triumphs, most regular maintenance is easily within the scope of the home mechanic's ability. The keys to reducing stress are:
1. Buy a set of shop manuals (9 volumes, cost around $375)
2. Get the right tools - invest in a few of the more common ones
you'll need like the Behr wire removal tool... you can rent
many others from sources you can find here on the list.
3. Use the firstname.lastname@example.org to ask about procedures and experience
before you take on a project - the wealth of experience here is
nothing short of staggering.
4. Establish relationships with "the big 3" 928 International(LA),
928 Specialists (Atlanta) and Devek (San Francisco) - all of whom
will provide advice, knowledge, troubleshooting tips - and the
best prices on new, used and rebuilt 928 parts.
5. Join the 928 Owner's Club (http://www.928OC.org) - minimal cost.
6. Refer to Greg Nichols' Tips site which archives MANY of the routine
procedures that have been covered on this list:
A couple of things to look for in '87-'88 model years:
1. The fuel computer may be reaching the end of it's life span, and there is really no way to tell if it's going south if it doesn't exhibit poor behavior so plan on replacing it at some point when it does die - a rebuilt unit with 2 year Porsche warranty is around $1,100 or so.
2. The timing belt and water pump should be changed every 5 years or 60,000 miles. If there are no problems (like frozen bolts) a shop will charge around $1,200 for the work... but you can do it yourself if you have patience and the right tools. A shop usually charges around 8 hours of labor (and they should check, adjust and rebuild the tensioner as needed).
The general rule of thumb is to buy the newest 928 you can afford, in the best condition you can find... and as you likely already know from your 'vette experience, that does not necessarily mean the car with the lowest mileage.
Good Luck... and let us know what you do,
1988 928 S4 A/T RMB -> Daily Driver see at...
Cassisrot Metallic/Burg.-> http://members.rennlist.org/michael
928 OC Charter Member -> http://www.928oc.org PCA NOR
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