Topic: 1985 944 or 1985 300zx, which should I buy?

Car decided to die at CMP test day yesterday, so I'm in the market for a new car.  Have a line on a 85 300zx and a 85 944. Neither are currently running, with owners unable to define the issue, but all the parts are there. Both have agreed to $450 price.  I'm leaning towards the nissan,  but want some 2nd opinions.

Re: 1985 944 or 1985 300zx, which should I buy?

The 944 will build more character...

That guy

Re: 1985 944 or 1985 300zx, which should I buy?

By build character, look up what is involved with a clutch swap.  Also check your tools...how many specialty tools do you make and/or buy?

Re: 1985 944 or 1985 300zx, which should I buy?

I built a lot of character with the last car, spending more time using a wrench than the steering wheel on trace weekends. I'd like something that will flip that ratio

Re: 1985 944 or 1985 300zx, which should I buy?

To elaborate, the clutch issue can be resolved if you just do it at home before taking it to the track. I'd recommend a solid organic disc, it's cheap and solves the rubber center (and eventual spring center) problems.

The 944 is electronically injected. The DME (Porsche for ECU, I think) or it's fuses often fail with age. I would go megasquirt, because I'm comfortable with it. There's a steep learning curve that way, but at least it's documented and I'm pretty sure you wouldn't be the first.

The fancy tools to adjust things... Those I know little about. I've been told here they aren't a big deal, probably true if you know about them in advance of raceday.

That guy

Re: 1985 944 or 1985 300zx, which should I buy?

I would pick the Nissan 300ZX.

Pluses:

You could install a later 3.3 VG engines with the 300ZX ECU (I think???)
You could install a VQ 3.5 engine with some modifications http://www.zfever.com/services/wiring-h … e-rwd.html

Minus:

The car's parts is rapidly being made of unobtainium.

Byte Marks Racing - "You knew the job was dangerous when you took it Fred."
1992 Nissan 240SX DM Edition (Drift Master)

Re: 1985 944 or 1985 300zx, which should I buy?

Y'all gots gud parsh? Heckin' dang, I love gud parsh. However, these are both great car choices.

People complain about 944 maintenance, but it's not that bad if you just take care of junk before you get to the track. Make sure the clutch still grabs at home, and is in fairly decent nick for the next race. It's a day-long job since you've got to drop a bunch of stuff to get to the clutch but that's a day better spent with a six-pack at home that will give you some peace of mind at the track. Also, pay attention to the timing and balance belts as it's an interference engine, and also the water pump since that's behind those stinkers. If you have any doubts in those, replace them just in case.

The upside to that shortlist of fiddly 944 maintenance items is the wealth of knowledge from it being a fairly popular track car. Clark's Garage is basically the Bible of DIY 944 fixes, the forums are decently well-traveled and it's not hard to find a Dane-glish rip of the full factory service manual, either.

So, I'm going to call the 944 the boring choice, given that it's a fine Porsche race car with its own spec series. You're not going to win any masochism awards unless you show up and your clutch goes kerblammo on practice day. Then HEROIC FIX IS YOURS TO LOSE!

I threw my spare clutch in a box with skulls and crossbones and a big "NO!!!" written on the front, and hide it in the truck for race weekends. That seems to have warded away that evil for now, but I still don't 100% trust it. It's going to go someday. This might be my off-season project to tackle, if I ever scrape up a new job.

Re: 1985 944 or 1985 300zx, which should I buy?

My general rule of thumb is if a German designed or built it, I don't want one.  I'd go for the Nissan and swap in a VQ, but the 944 chassis might be viable if you extract all the German bits from the drive train.

Captain
Team Super Westerfield Bros.
'93 Acura Integra - No VTEC Yo!

Re: 1985 944 or 1985 300zx, which should I buy?

VKZ24 wrote:

My general rule of thumb is if a German designed or built it, I don't want one.  I'd go for the Nissan and swap in a VQ, but the 944 chassis might be viable if you extract all the German bits from the drive train.

This is very wise. We haven't learned any better.

Re: 1985 944 or 1985 300zx, which should I buy?

I kind of like someone's interpretation of how Germans build things - "Why use 3 fasteners when 9 will do just as well?"

1990 RX7 "Mazdarita" 
1994 Jaguar XJ12 (Winner C-Class 2013 Sears Pointless)
1964 Sunbeam Imp (IOE 2013 Sears Pointless)
1980 Rover SD1 (I Got Screwed 2014 Return of Lemonites) (Sold -> Houston.  Gone and forgotten)

11

Re: 1985 944 or 1985 300zx, which should I buy?

cheseroo wrote:

I kind of like someone's interpretation of how Germans build things - "Why use 3 fasteners when 9 will do just as well?"

Why have a separate engine mount attachment point, when the starter is connected to the trans/engine already? /VW

Re: 1985 944 or 1985 300zx, which should I buy?

German engineer: "Yes, wheel studs work just fine for everyone else, but let's make ours a PITA and use a bolt instead".

Captain
Team Super Westerfield Bros.
'93 Acura Integra - No VTEC Yo!

Re: 1985 944 or 1985 300zx, which should I buy?

And let's put oddball fasteners in impossible locations just to make sure that you understand that we don't want you working on this yourself.

Everybody grab your brooms, it's shenanigans!

Re: 1985 944 or 1985 300zx, which should I buy?

rmcdaniels wrote:

And let's put oddball fasteners in impossible locations just to make sure that you understand that we don't want you working on this yourself.

Yes, and let's require that you procure an assorted variety of 15,16 & 18mm tools to remove that bracket.

1990 RX7 "Mazdarita" 
1994 Jaguar XJ12 (Winner C-Class 2013 Sears Pointless)
1964 Sunbeam Imp (IOE 2013 Sears Pointless)
1980 Rover SD1 (I Got Screwed 2014 Return of Lemonites) (Sold -> Houston.  Gone and forgotten)