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Porsche 924 (1975 - 1988)

Last updated 19 September 2014

 
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Buying Guide

Bodywork

  • Like many modern cars, the 924 is a unitary construction so the body needs to be strong and solid.
  • All 924s were galvanised from new, but the early (pre-1980) cars only had the lower half of the body protected.
  • Later cars were fully-galvanised, so rust here could hint at accident damage.
  • Check for body repairs – do all the panels line up correctly? Are the panel gaps consistent? Are there any signs of overspray?
  • Roof gutters can rust on early cars.
  • Floorpans and sills are generally strong, but double check them.
  • Leaks are not unheard of, so check for damp or water-stained carpet.
  • Sunroof leaks are usually caused by blocked up drainholes.
  • Hatch leaks are usually caused by a worn out hatch seal, blocked up spoiler drains or a combination of the two.
  • Batteries can leak and cause the tray to corrode, resulting in water getting into the passenger footwell.

Engine

  • The 2.0-litre water-cooled front-mounted in-line four-cylinder is a strong unit – if it’s well maintained.
  • It does not use oil scraper rings, so all engines will burn oil and emit a small puff of blue smoke on start-up.
  • If blue smoke is bellowing out when the engine is under load (ie up a hill) then a rebuild is on the cards.
  • If the dash mounted oil pressure gauge is working, it should display between two and three bar when the engine is warmed up and idling nicely.
  • Vibration at below 1200rpm suggests worn engine mounts – not the easiest to replace thanks to the canted layout.
  • Don’t worry if the cambelt has gone – these engines are non-interference and belts are simple to replace.
  • Inspect fuel lines for leaks in the engine bay – the main fuel lines run the length of the floorpan.
  • If the fuel tank is corroded internally beware – replacement items cost more than £1000 and replacing them means dropping the rear suspension and gearbox.
  • Radiators come under attack from stones, so check it for leaks.
  • Inspect all the cooling hoses for wear.
  • Check for signs of coolant leaking from the heater matrix valve – situated just above the clutch, which can cause contamination.

Interior

  • Front seats often wear with splits along the seams. Vinyl and velour-type seats can be repaired.
  • Dashboards often crack thanks to heat from the sun. Repair and/or replacement is expensive.
  • Hold the steering wheel on each side and try to wobble it from side to side – if there is play, the metal frame under the plastic rim could be broken.

Electrical System

  • This is the Porsche 924’s Achilles heel and as the cars get older, we’re seeing more and more for sale with electrical issues.
  • Get the car on a ramp and inspect the heavy wire between the battery and the starter motor – it passes by the hot exhaust, which can melt the insulation and short the wire.
  • If the headlights don’t raise when they should, try swapping the motor-mounted relay and cleaning the connectors. Also check the fuse.
  • If this doesn’t work, it’s most likely that the headlight lifting motor switch has failed. These cannot be repaired – the only solution is a new motor.
  • If the battery tray has corroded (see above) water can leak onto the fusebox and cause all kinds of problems.
  • If the electric windows are failing, check that the channels are clean and straight – warped channels can over-work the motor.

 

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