Tuesday, February 10, 2015

5k: Khaki Pants: 1979 Porsche 928

 The Porsche 928 was released in 1978 as the shape of things to come from Stuttgart.  It was the king of the front engined water-cooled young-uns coming from Porsche and was supposed to replace the ancient 911.  Of course we all know what happened, but is it possible that the 928 was scuttled by its aspirations before it even left the dock?  Find this 1979 Porsche 928 offered for $3,200 near Kalispell, MT via craigslist.  Tip from FuelTruck.


From the very beginning the 928 was designed to slaughter the 911.  It had a bigger engine, better weight distribution, wider wheel/tires, better driving position, and technology out the kazoo...which may have been its downfall.  Where the 911 is M1911 simple and elegant in its purpose, the 928 is more like a Glock17 -- a synthetic polymer based contraption with a specification list that looks great on paper...but it only works half the time.

As a recovering 928 owner, this author can attest to the complexity that invades every corner of the car.  Under the passenger's footwell is a complex relay board, terminal strip/Medusa's head harness. Relays (I'll use that term loosely) on this board can have upwards of 12 pins (??) and can be as simple as ones that turn the fuel pump on when the car is cranking, to the complex (and impossible to buy) kickdown relay...don't ask me what it does and how, just know that 10 years ago they were selling in excess of $250 new and today are obsolete.


The 4.5 liter V8 under the hood was Porsche's first foray into production V8 engines and produces 219 horsepower in catalyzed US specification from its 16-valve setup.  Oddly enough, most of the costs of 928 ownership won't come from this beast, as it was over-engineered and understressed --same for the rear mounted 5-speed manual transaxle.  It is all the little bits surrounding the engine/trans that will bankrupt you and your children.


See a better exposed pop-up headlight equipped car? NONSENSE --none exist!!

23 comments:

  1. The sound of that V8 is intoxicating.

    Better? At least it's slightly cheaper...
    [img]http://www.porscheshop.co.uk/acatalog/1765a_large.jpg[/img]

    (Re)Watch the movie, instead.
    [img]http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_vAPXuUndMWQ/S9_UeIpRveI/AAAAAAAAAI4/-RU9oE2rYSA/s1600/Risky+Business+Movie-resized-600.png[/img]

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  2. Color me gone the 5 speed was only 15% of production lots of autoslush boxs out there.

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  3. Vince - I remember the nightmare of electrical components in your 928. It got me thinking - what if one could get a rust-free, mechanically sound 928, replace all the engine management with a standalone system (MS, AEM, MoTeC, etc) and then rewire the body using one of those pre-assembled "hot rod" wiring kits from Painless? Wouldn't that fix most of what's wrong with these?

    I mean it would still be a Teutonic Camaro, but some people get off on that I guess.

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    Replies
    1. I would be 100% for this idea if you could get a 1975 titled 928 in California...gotta start lobbying to reinstate the 30 year rolling exemption.

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  4. I have to say that I can't fight that color and wheels. Gross and awesome.
    I almost bought a 5 speed 928s off a guy in my town that trains bicycle race teams and has a bike shop. It was a running driving black example and he wanted $2,000. Very tempting. I had a mental build plan of removing anything that didn't work/stripping it and building it like I would build a hot rod. Much like what CFlo said. I think it would work if you didn't look at it as a Porsche but a cool looking shell that is a blank canvas.

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  5. I have to wonder why that gorgeous looking V8 was only rated at 219 HP when the I4 that has 8 valves has 160 hp in the 1988 924/944? It is supposed to be a half V8 which would be 5 liter? I would love to try moving the engine/tranni into a 944 if I could figure out the electronics? To me, the 928 always reminded me of a Pacer, just did not like the body style.

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    1. Once upon a time, there was this company called Robert Bosch GmbH. And this company went out and bought a bunch of patents off of another company called Bendix for something called 'electronic fuel injection' that the company called Bendix never stuck with long enough to make a profitable product with, and proceeded to try to sell it.

      And they did. They got BMW, Saab, and most notably VW using this thing they called 'D-Jetronic'. And when it worked, it worked great.

      And when it didn't work, it REALLY didn't work. The electronics were analog, and had no self-diagnostic capability, and there was no sensor redundancy or sanity checking in the computer for implausible inputs, the sensors and switches and etc. were mechanical things and the connectors weren't weathersealed so a little corrosion here, a little wear there, and you're at the mercy of a dealership mechanic and a big cart of diagnostic electronics about which he knows bugger-all despite all the training.

      Eventually, they turned D-Jet into L-Jet with an airflow meter, and it worked better, and HItachi licensed it and made it work better, then Bosch came up with digital electronics for Motronic and lots of other folks bought or licensed some of the parts and did their own electronics and the rest is history.

      But in the meantime when their customers were struggling with D-Jet someone at Bosch got cold feet and said 'Zees electronische Scheisse is ze ficked! Was else can ve do?'

      And so K-Jetronic CIS was born. Instead of electrons pushing on things through wires, it used fuel pressure. Instead of resistance-based sensors and wiper contacts it used calibrated orifices and bimetal-heat-actuated valves. Instead of a computer it had an airflow-controlled lever that controlled fuel pressure on one side of a block full of valves. You have to study the manuals for a while to understand how the whole mess worked, and it did work, and mostly more reliably than D-Jet.

      But it had certain deficiencies, most notably that there was this big THING through which all the intake air had to go to control fuel flow, and by its design it was a HUGE restriction in the airflow into the engine.

      So engines equipped with K-Jet - like this 928 - tend to have long, ugly intake systems and a lot of crap that's hard to figure out just what it does, and all that extra plumbing and restrictions eat a fair bit of power.

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    2. Just to finish the thought - the 944 and later 928s benefited from the L-Jet and, I think, later LH-Jet/Motronic systems.

      As for the 944, that car was built for an LS3. Don't bother with the Porsche motor with twice the parts count, eight inches wider, and (at best, in 928GTS form) two-thirds the HP.

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    3. Thanks for such a great write up of Bosch fuel injection history, that was awesome. My only experience with older fuel injection systems were the Mercedes and Lucas mechanical systems from the 60's, both of which I had to find specialists to help figure out.

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    4. Thanks MrKwong for that very instructive and enlightening explanation of Bosch Fuel injection. It certainly warns me of which classic cars to stay away from. Unfortunately too many of my favourite ones use those sytems. Although I have had relatively little problems so far with my 1988 924S SE which came to me 10 years ago and has been my summer companion ever since. When I got it, it was molested by teens and with unknown mileage. George in Toronto

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    5. Nice summary of Bosch Jetronic history there. But don't forget...Volvo was way ahead of most other manufacturers (except VW) in adopting D-Jet, and later K-Jet (without and then with closed-loop "lambda sond" mixture control). In the US anyway. In the rest of the world where "emissions" were still mainly what happened at night during a particularly risque dream, Volvo got away with carburetors through the '90s.

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    6. mrkwong -- with your permission, I'd like to make your Bosch FI into a feature -perhaps with some additional info (models, pics, etc). Let me know.
      -Vince
      DT E-i-C

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  6. I have to wonder why that gorgeous looking V8 was only rated at 219 HP when the I4 that has 8 valves has 160 hp in the 1988 924/944? It is supposed to be a half V8 which would be 5 liter? I would love to try moving the engine/tranni into a 944 if I could figure out the electronics? To me, the 928 always reminded me of a Pacer, just did not like the body style.

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  7. When I saw the first picture, I thought you were going to "sell" us on the gorgeous Hummer all-wheel drive vehicle in the background of the P 928. I saw one for sale yesterday for $ 13 K with low mileage and a 6 cylinder Cummins turbo diesel. Would be a great ute for this winter.

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  8. headlights remind me of Panic Pete

    [img]http://g.christianbook.com/dg/product/cbd/f400/218899.jpg[/img]

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  9. I've always thought these were gorgeous, but - unlike, say the E39 M5 - it's never done enough for me emotionally to make me think it might be worth the inevitable trouble of ownership.

    When it comes to owning aging machinery, researching availability of parts/tools and service/diagnostic information is kinda like meeting your girlfriend's family - you might decide to disregard what you learn but you do so at your peril.

    Fords scare me off because they've been so horrible at obsoleting parts.

    The mid-'00s Jag S-type R is a blast to drive but your typical late Jag owner couldn't tell a Vise-Grip from a speculum and there appears to be damn little useful repair info out there

    CTS-Vs have the opposite problem - everyone knows everything about them, or thinks they do, so be prepared to look for those solid subframe mounts and other poorly thought-through mods.

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    1. Oh, and in general terms Jag parts pricing makes BMW look like a trip to Costco.

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    2. mrkwong -- you've mentioned the Ford obsolescence issue before, but which era Fords are you referencing? My only Ford experience is with a 60s Mustang so parts actually fall out of trees and into my garage -- but it is all aftermarket. Also, I've heard that Toyota has incredible legacy support for its old vehicles and someone I know claims to have purchased an entire set of brake lines for a 70s Land Crusher directly from the Toyota parts counter.

      -Vince

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    3. I'll second that about Toyota, Vince. When I worked for them in the mid-90s, we had several customers who owned a Crown, mostly from the 60s, though I had one or two from the very late 50s. I think we may even have had an imported Toyotpet or two. Never had a problem getting parts.

      [img]http://cdn2-b.examiner.com/sites/default/files/styles/image_content_width/hash/d3/5a/d35a5867ec9c791069e43f4423cbbba6.jpg?itok=Ujvydog9[/img]

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    4. "couldn't tell a Vise-Grip from a speculum"
      There's a comparison to cause involuntary crossing of the legs.

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