Porsche 944 S – First changes

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It’s been a very busy weekend that’s for sure. After my previous post after our visit to EMC myself and Adrian had a decision to make – do we use the car we’ve bought or get an S2 (more expensive base) or just get a race prepped car?

The decision

The end result is that we’re going to keep the car we’ve got and spend a bit of cash making it a track weapon. Not necessarily the best thing since sliced bread, and certainly not a top race car, but just a much better than standard track car. A cheap base, fastish and has a fair amount of weight to lose (as have I!). I really respect Kev at EMCs opinion and he isn’t wrong. The issue though it that from his viewpoint (top race cars with experienced racers) he’s looking at it from what I would call a fully ‘pro’ point of view. We’re completely the other end. We’re just getting into racing and I think that getting all the best kit (like a full race car) right now might mean we’d learn faster or progress faster sure, but it doesn’t mean we can’t learn from what we already have a bit cheaper.

A decent race car will set you back £10,000. We bought the 944 S for £2,250 and will probably spend a maximum of another £3,000 getting it sorted to be a decent track car. That includes a few bits the car would of needed anyway like the cambelt (which is pretty expensive all done). It will also be money spent over the next 5-6 months not all at once which again is more palatable and a better decision for us right now.

So there you go, full steam ahead. We’re looking at doing four track dates – two in June, one in August and one in September. Hoping for one more date in September/October as well. The tracks are Oulton Park, Silverstone Grand Prix, Anglesey and Donington. All the tracks are pretty easy to get to for us, especially Oulton Park which is probably only 15 minutes away. The aim of course is also to get our race licenses on the last track session of the year.

So what work have we done so far? Quite a bit and not a lot all at once.

A few standard bits

On the visit to EMC the drive shafts were dry as a bone making a fair amount of clunking and the lower engine hose was nearly rubbing on the power steering belt. Those two things have been fixed by our local garage, D&M, and they will also be changing the cambelt and chain this coming week to ensure that it’s on form as I’m sure it’s not been replaced in 15 years – big potential blow point. Although I’m looking to do a fair bit of the work on this car myself, the cambelt was a little beyond me right now and a critical job to get right.

Also yesterday I changed the transmission fluid which you can read about here. That was a messy job and I learnt a lot. Fortunately the results are good – the transmission wine was greatly reduced and the gear change feels a lot slicker. I put Castrol TAF-X transmission fluid in after doing a fair amount of research and got it delivered from Opie Oils.

Geometry and alignment

I went up to Buckley Tyres yesterday for an hour or so and spoke to another Kev (seems a lot of knowledgeable car chaps are called Kev at the moment) about 4 wheel alignment. He felt that there wasn’t enough time to the rear alignment as he thinks the 944 rear adjustment tends to seize up a lot. I’ve agreed with him that if I manage to get it free and have plenty of time before the next track day that we’ll do the rear then. Much cheaper if I free up the rear for sure.  So what’s the results. Well below are the print outs before and after:

944 geometry

Before and After from Buckley Tyres - front only done


I got Kev to set the front back within spec as opposed to trying any kind of track spec mainly because I don’t have a track spec and haven’t researched it yet and also I wanted to know how it feels on a track on normal spec so I have a point of comparison. I’m a bit disappointed the rear is out as now I know the car isn’t completely setup right now as standard.

Some stripping

The final part of the weekend was to start stripping weight out of the 944 now we have decided to use it for track use. This was the first time the new set of tools from Halfords have been used in anger and they performed very well – whoever invented the rachet tool is a pure genius.

So out came the boot carpet, the spare wheel, the jack, the three quarter carpets and some sound deadening, the rear seat belts and mechanisms and the top half of the rear bench. So how much weight will that save? See the table below (yes geeky I know):

Spare wheel and jack: 17.1kg (shockingly heavy wheel!)
Rear bench (top half): 10.7kg
Boot cover: 7.5kg
3/4 carpet and some deadening: 6.9kg
Rear seatbelt mechanisms: 2.7kg

Total: 44.9kg (that’s half of me!)

Really happy with that. I’m aiming at getting a total of 100kg out the car when we do the front carpet and sound deadening, much lighter seats and so on. Should make a big difference. I quickly chucked it into North Wales for a spin and there are two things that are different.

First and obviously it’s a lot louder and in there. Enough said on that.

Second, while the straight line speed doesn’t feel markedly different, the agility of the car feels much better. Feels lighter on it’s feet, easier to change direction, gear changes feel better and slicker (fluid and weight loss) and generally feels a better car.


So the conclusion? I’m quite tired but very upbeat about the car. One week tomorrow until track day one and before then it will have it’s cam belt and chain done plus performance pads and fluid. Looking forward to it.


About Rob

I'm an average petrolhead - I love cars and get as much driving experiences as I can out in the world from test drives to track days.