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Sparkydog New Reader
11/10/17 9:26 a.m.

Nohome, Irish44j and many others who are wondering about what (if any) rationale there was - I'll post the "story" soon. It will probably be wordy but then again this forum seems to have a nice collection of people who can write AND wrench.

Sparkydog New Reader
11/10/17 9:34 a.m.

Just three more sub-projects and we'll be caught up to real-world status.

First up is my battery relo/circuit block. I moved my batt to behind the passenger seat and was wandering around the wrecking yard looking for donors with rear-mount batts that I could harvest some tech from. I found that an early 00's Buick Lesabre has some nice tech:

And with almost no mods later I have the beginning of my main circuits and harness:

My main batt/starter cable goes up the right side rocker panel cavity. I'm in the process of fabbing a little area near the firewall that will have a place to jump start the car without having to dive behind the seats. More on that later.

Sparkydog New Reader
11/10/17 9:50 a.m.

I know there's a lot of weird stuff going on here - and here's another segment. I will initially get the car running with an L36 (NA 3.8L V6) and then later on convert to an L67 (Supercharged 3.8L V6). I have both the running L36/T5 combo out of the donor Camaro and an L67 for mockup out of.. ah... well I forget but probably a Park Avenue(?). Anyhoo there are some significant differences between the two motors and while I'm in the middle of all this cutting/welding mayhem I wanted to prep the car for it's future life with the L67. What follows is more sawzalling of clean, virginal Porsche metal. Not to mention a serious "leap of faith" wherein I "hope" that I can solve HVAC later on down the road.

Here's the T5 from the Camaro getting mocked up onto the L67 (flywheels were left alone as this was just mockup).

Once I stuffed them into the 944 I had two areas of trouble. Throttle body and EGR wanted to live where the OG HVAC unit goes. The 944 HVAC unit was already facing serious mods due to the arrival of a T5 below it and with the need for more space above it for the L67 throttle body... I said "eff it" and did some more cutting and welding. So I lost my home for an HVAC unit and my plan for recovery is to ignore it until later.

So I fabbed up an "annex" for the future L67 and then proceeded to finish off the top of my firewall.


pres589 PowerDork
11/10/17 10:01 a.m.

So this is a V6 build?  

Sparkydog New Reader
11/10/17 10:03 a.m.

And then next up is the radiator sub-project. I'm already on radiator #2 or 3 or 4 depending on how you look at it. Neither the Mustang or Camaro radiators were going to fit between the very narrow 944 frame horns. And the 944 radiator wouldn't handle the bigger power unless I upgraded to a turbo version - which cost $200-ish used and $400-ish new. So next I thought that a Jeep Grand Cherokee would work but it too failed in mockup. (But it is shown in a couple of the pics.) I am currently the proud owner of a brand new early 90's Ford Ranger/Explorer radiator which (after some obligatory shaving of mounting ears) seems to be playing well with most of the 944 frame. By the way the new Ford radiator set me back $50 + shipping. There is also an even higher capacity version available should I need more cooling down the road, but for now I'm staying with the cheap bastard scenario.

The fan that I'm trying to use is from the Mustang. It should be fun when the time comes to integrate it with the GM ECU.

Sparkydog New Reader
11/10/17 10:07 a.m.

And there we go boys and girls! We just covered the period from 6/29/13 until now via the magic of electricity! You are all caught up with reality. Next up I'll try and tell the story of why I dug this particular rabbit hole and jumped in it. Stay tuned. Thanks for reading thus far.

Cousin_Eddie New Reader
11/10/17 2:55 p.m.

I followed your truck project on another board. I'm sure the hive here would be impressed by that project too. 

dannyzabolotny Reader
11/10/17 2:59 p.m.

All that work just to put in a V6? Odd choice, but alright.

java230 SuperDork
11/10/17 3:30 p.m.

OK I'm in for the story :D

NOHOME UltimaDork
11/10/17 3:41 p.m.

Don't worry, you are in good company around here. I like to say that what makes this build thread board so awesome is the diversity. And as far as diversity is concerned, you pretty much got it covered in one project!


And its funny, even though it might have been obvious or stated, as soon as I saw the Cramit  ( akaCamaro) donor, my brain saw LSx swap.


wheelsmithy Dork
11/10/17 8:46 p.m.

Sparkydog New Reader
11/11/17 9:30 a.m.


My name is Steve and I like to fabricate. More specifically - I like to try and convert odd vehicles into something different (and possibly better). And along with that I like to harvest stuff out of the wrecking yard and try to adapt it into the project. And most importantly, I try to do this for the least amount of cash as possible - because I am at heart a cheap bastard mofo. Until I discovered GRM I did not know there was a forum with a high concentration of like-minded others.

This love of fab/mashup thing emerged when I built my first weird vehicle back in 2010. I mashed a 67 International pickup, a 68 International Travelall and a 97 GMC Z71 into this:

Starting with this picture crop as my "detailed plan".

Linky to the truck build if you want to read about it.

I daily drove that truck for about 45k miles. I even used it to tow the 944 home.

While I was building that truck I learned some things about myself and my mashup-itus. The things I did well and the things I did not. The things I enjoyed and the things that sucked. For me the project was like a sculpture or art that is industrial (not the same as industrial art).

So I started looking for a second project but with different parameters than the truck. I wanted a car that was cheap to acquire but somehow unique or different. I hit up Autotrader and looked for what I could buy for under $3k and eventually discovered the 944 amongst a sea of PT Cruisers. I remembered the 944 body from the 80's and also knew they had some issues - which explained how a Porsche could be had for under $3k. So I started reading the forums on Pelican and Rennlist. I also discovered the 944hybrids site and read about the issues involved in a V8 swap. (They also have a non-V8 swap section.)

By that point in time, based on the knowledge I acquired at that point, I decided that 944's:

  • Had a great body shape/style,
  • Had never-ending mechanical and electrical problems,
  • Were cheap to acquire but (to me) their parts were still expensive,

So it seemed to me that the "easiest" thing to do was solve all the problems with an American blitzkrieg.

My vague goal at that time was that I wanted to try and end up with a car I could drive to work half the week, take on weekend trips with Mrs Sparkydog and service/repair for less $'s right out of the local NAPA store.

I wanted to try and do all of this for under $5k (before paint).

{I'm going to need to spread the back story over several posts. A.D.D. or OCD or maybe DVD? cheeky}

Sparkydog New Reader
11/11/17 2:06 p.m.


Have I mentioned about how much fun it is to take a sawzall to a Porsche? I mean really get in there an let it rip.... (sigh).

OK so back to the story - there I was back in the Summer of '13. I had a bonus check in my hand. I had done some casual research and was starting to Jones for the 944's. Had I thought everything through? Hell no!

So I popped on a non-running, very dusty California 86 NA and drug it home while continuing to wander around in the wilds of the interwebness. Yes I wanted to LS it - but could not justify the scratch if I wanted to hit my cheap ass budget goals. (And I need to hit my budget goals because I'm on Sparkykid#3 in college.) I also considered an LT1. But for a variety of reasons I started gravitating toward the L67 Supercharged V6. I even decided to buy a donor Grand Prix GTP - that was promptly hijacked by Sparkykid#3 while she was still in high school.  (Still has it now in college and it may yet donate its L67 to the 944 someday.)

The 944's engine bay just seemed really small to me and all of the builds on 944hybrids etc spend a lot of time struggling with cramming all the gizmos into some really narrow frame horns. So I started measuring engine bays at the wrecking yard. The obvious donor choices were either a Mustang or a Camaro (I know I'm supposed to say Crammit). Ideally I wanted to buy just one donor car and harvest every last goodie I needed off it. So the LT1 in a Camaro was high on the list. I'm not really a Ford guy. But the track width on a Camaro is waaaaaaaaaaay wider than the 944 and the Mustang engine bay is wider and deeper and the track width was close-ish. So there you go - I bought a donor Mustang knowing that I wasn't going to use the motor.

Turns out I really berked the choice of which Mustang to buy and ended up with a 7.5 open diff rear axle instead of the 8.8 posi I wanted. Such is life when you wade into the deep end a little too early.

{ADD again - gotta go.}

NOHOME UltimaDork
11/11/17 4:40 p.m.

Loving the story. I can so relate to the linear path you took.




Sparkydog New Reader
11/11/17 6:12 p.m.

Internet fist bump Nohome!

Now that I read back over what I just wrote... I wish I could re-title this thread to "An American Blitzkrieg."

pres589 PowerDork
11/11/17 6:58 p.m.

That IH truck seems really cool!  

BlueInGreen44 SuperDork
11/11/17 7:19 p.m.

Love it.

You should post it on some Porsche forums for... uh... entertainment at the P-car purist's expense.

Sparkydog New Reader
11/13/17 9:16 a.m.

In reply to BlueInGreen44 :

Snicker... Yeah I need extra drama in my life! wink

Sparkydog New Reader
11/13/17 9:17 a.m.

In reply to pres589 :

Thanks! Yes it was really fun to hack away on that thing!

Sparkydog New Reader
11/13/17 9:23 a.m.

I haven't figured out how to multi-quote (if it's possible), but:

Rodan, Tom_Spangler, GTXVette, ayeurand, jackwagon and wheelsmithy - thanks for the enthusiastic comments! It makes the dirty hair, welders cough and taste of iron dust worth the trouble!

Sparkydog Reader
11/13/17 9:40 a.m.


Time to wrap up the back story and get on with the build in real time.

So I bought a Mustang donor and stuffed it's engine bay and K member into the 944. I kept the carcass of the Mustang as a backup in case I wanted to use the Ford rear suspension. I tried to rig up an 8.8 IRS pumpkin into the stock 944 rear but backed out for valid reasons. Queued up the Plan B and grafted the Mustang suspension mounting metal into the 944.

Did I ruin the legendary handling of the 944? Yes. But in relatively easy steps I gained wheel bearings, brake pads/rotors, strut*/shocks et cetera that would be easy and cheap to service. (*struts not so much. We'll be talking about them later on in the build.)

I also feel like I have a potential rescue plan on the handling that might (emphasis on the might) return her back to parity with a factory 944. In my dreams I wonder how my little Blitzkrieg might stack up against a factory 86 if mine were equipped with the Full Monty of Maximum Motorsports' products.

If I had known about GRM back in '13 I'm sure we would have co-created some different solutions to my goals. But I didn't know about you. As usual the moral of the story is: "No matter where you go, there you are. And no matter where you are, there you go!" So I am pushing on with my car because I enjoy working on it as a hobby and I'm too stubborn to quit this deep into it. And I can use some hive-ification on some important decisions in the near future.

So whaddya say?!!!

gearheadE30 HalfDork
11/13/17 10:13 a.m.
Sparkydog said:

I haven't figured out how to multi-quote (if it's possible), but:


Unfortunately there is not a multiquote tool - in the post editor window, there is a quote button (" icon) that gives you the quote box. You can then mimic the formatting and get a multiquote out of it that way, like my manual quote below:

I said:

no multiquote :(

Sparkydog New Reader
11/13/17 11:49 a.m.

OK hive - time for some help with radiator plumbing. I want to "bury" the radiator cap under the nose skin of the 944. So normally I will not be able to access that cap. Instead I will use the expansion tank cap for normal servicing. If I have to fill the coolant from scratch I will break open the return hose at the top of the block. Trapped air will be bled off with the screw.

So my basic question is "will making the normal pressurized radiator cap inaccessible bite me in the ass?"

EastCoastMojo Mod Squad
11/13/17 6:46 p.m.

I'm diggin' it. You're going to fit in just fine here. wink

TED_fiestaHP Reader
11/13/17 6:56 p.m.

Some cars do use a radiator cap on a separate tank, but then you would connect the rad overflow (just in case) and another hose to the tank.   Maybe use a higher pressure cap on the rad, and a lower pressure one on the tank.

   I have a car with a separate tank, no cap on the rad.

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