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Looking to buy a 928s - are they really that costly to maintain?

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I have always loved the look and sound of the older 928s, and everything i read about scares the hell out of me (i understand some of them are 30 years+)!

 

$$$$$ on maintenance every year, timing belts destroying engines, transmission rebuilds, you name it.

 

With the intention of only using it on weekends and with club rego, are they really worth all the hassle? I don't mind about little things like aircon not working or runnbers not perfect etc...its just the drivetrain and major mechanical issues.

 

I would love to hear from anyone who has owned one for a while

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The 928s are basically a mechanically robust car, maintenance is the key to these porsches. the electrical systems seem to let them down though. When new they were the flagship car for porsche.

I would recommend the 928 S4s or later cars as these seem to be the most reliable of the 928 models.

I would really like to own a 928 GTS and would like to think that I eventually will sometime in the future.

If you have any questions about particular models, post them up and I will try to answer them for you.

Adrian Harkin from hartech in melbourne is a very experienced 928/944/968 porsche specialist, I would strongly recommend talking with him and having him do a PPI on any 928 you are considering.

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My impression of them, is that they are like 964/993s to look after.  In that they are basically robust, but they have a lot more electrics than the impact bumper 911s, and everything is that little bit more complicated, so there's more little bushings to replace in the gearshift (whereas the old 911s usually just wear out the coupling, for example). 

 

Also there would be things like a/c or heater electrical malfunctions to diagnose.  But if it's like 964/993 then it's all doable as DIY, and there are plenty of forum threads which show you how.

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i really want one, i guess the maintenance etc is similar to a big body mercedes (like 450SEL - same ZF box, same injection etc)

 

same massively designed and overengineered body.. the weissach axle sounds expensive if it goes wrong though

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One of our specialties is the 928. They are a fantastic car and very much misunderstood from the "automotive journalist". Its unfortunate for the 928 that it received this stigma of being an electrical nightmare. Its actually the complete opposite. Every fuse and relay is located in one spot, under the passenger footwell. its extremely easy work with and the schematics are brilliantly laid out. The problem is (as wasserkhul has mentioned) is maintenance and the human factor. We have found no end to guys getting at the fuse board or any electrics in the 928's for that matter and butchering them. Whether it be adding accessories (badly) or trying to fix what may be a problem and the worse is stereo shops fitting aftermarket alarms. Its a shame really.

 

As for A/C they have the best, bar none, air conditioning systems fitted to any porsche. with a massive condenser fitted in the right place(at the front in the airflow) a multi piston compressor from Nippon Denso and the Behr evaporator located just 10cm behind the main vent. Over the years we would have refurbished over 100 systems, Im not just talking about a receiver dryer and gas, We replace all 3 flexible hoses, TX valve, overhaul the compressor, new parallel flow condenser, receiver dryer, low pressure switch and adjustable evaporator switch. We are regularly seeing 6 degrees on a 30 degree day. The system will actually go colder but we use the evap switch so that the evaporator wont freeze into a block of ice.

 

Most 928's are automatic as most were leased when new. Most business execs didn't want to have to change gears on their way to and from work everyday( hence the high number of 993 Tiptronics there are). But there are manuals out there. As for bushing in the gearshift there is actually just 2. the gearshift on the manuals is a floating gearshift. Held at the front by a metal cup with a nylon bush and at the rear with almost the same coupling that the 911 uses. These generally last on average 20 years. Not too bad i guess.

 

The Weissach axel is actually not very complicated, its a basically a double wishbone top arm with what you could almost consider a half trailing arm/double wishbone arm on the bottom. The reason it works so well is that there is room for it to do so. Its the only porsche that we have seen on the hoist that stays perfectly perpendicular when its raised off the ground. Unlike the 911 and to a lesser degree the 944 which as soon as you load or unload the suspension the camber changes. That change is one of if not the main reason why the 911 is so hard to drive at the limit around a corner. Lift of and the the cars geometry with change dramatically which unsettles the car. Unless you have big ones like Walter Rohl and keep your foot into it. The Weissach also incorporates bushes near the front toe adjuster that keeps the toe correct under acceleration and deceleration, the other interesting thing about the Weissach rear axle design is that it has no ball joints at all to wear out ( like later independent suspension systems Porsche uses ) , meaning we have ( like others) replaced quite a few rear suspension arms on 996 & 986 models that their incorporated ball joints have worn out , meaning replacement of the entire arm , this does not happen on the 928 rear suspension 

 

As you guys have already mentions its about the condition. you will find cheap ones out there and they are cheap for a reason. Usually the owner and previous owners have neglected the car and its due for some big repairs. If you find that gem out there you would be surprised at how good they can be.

Remember a bad example of any Porsche , be it a poor condition 911 , 930 , 944, 951 , 964 , 993 etc etc , will always leave a poor impression to the person who drives one for the first time , &  conversely an excellent example is a joy to drive because everything is as it should be 

 

Regards

Bruce Buchanan

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Thanks Bruce, wish and everyone else. Bruce, I just wished I was in NSW for your services!!!

 

 

I have found a nice landshark, a white 84' 928 s2 (310hp), completely stock.

 

I just like the overall look and raw sound to these than the later models, and as it is my 2nd Porsche (good wife!) it was never intending of getting the best on the market - just another weekend toy.

 

I bought from another enthusiast (who has owned a dozen P-cars) and he has invested $$$ in preventative maintenance over the years, which I have also put aside to keep it healthy and alive

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Thanks Bruce, wish and everyone else. Bruce, I just wished I was in NSW for your services!!!

 

 

I have found a nice landshark, a white 84' 928 s2 (310hp), completely stock.

 

I just like the overall look and raw sound to these than the later models, and as it is my 2nd Porsche (good wife!) it was never intending of getting the best on the market - just another weekend toy.

 

I bought from another enthusiast (who has owned a dozen P-cars) and he has invested $$$ in preventative maintenance over the years, which I have also put aside to keep it healthy and alive

Pics!!

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Well done , looks really great!

The ex dealer here told me when the 928 hit town , the reaction was similar to that surrounding the Panamera. They were given an orange one with Pasha interior...not sure of the acronym for WTH in 1978 , but the Stuttgart crew said "we designed this car to look modern for 20 years"... and guess what , they were right!

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I love the look of the Shark, I didn't like it initially until I saw the behind on the road recently in the flesh, low and wide.

 

Serious road presence. Totally different feel than to my 911. Somewhat solid, stronger and more stable round the bends. Both equal in my mind, but for totally different reasons. The seller said that I am going to have a big dilemma every weekend....which one to drive??

 

I agree Taz, now the Panamera look has grown on me...it will be killer if they release the Turismo Sport version 

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Ive owned mine for 12 years now. I paid top dollar for it to!

 

Its an 81S, and is a fantastic car. The maintenance is pretty straight forward. And it has been ultra reliable for me.. the only major issue, I have had, as Bruce points out, was a human one and involved very old coolant doing nasty things to head gaskets.

 

Its also an extremely practical car. You can load a lot of luggage into it and still see out of it! Long road trips are superb and supremely comfortable. The longer you drive it, the better it gets...

 

Dependable handling, wonderful thrust, fantastic sounds, and I car you can live with every day... bit heavy on juice, but its a Porsche!

 

The only advice I have, is to buy a good one... don't fall for a cheap one, it will send you mad, and ruin the enjoyment of what is one of the best Porsches ( and cars ) ever made!

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I have had my 1989 928S4 for six years now and I have found her very reliable and practical in that time. I have had some AC issues and had to replace the hoses etc but not a big deal. I did the usual- leads, caps , timing belt , waterpump and a new buhr radiator. It's been a great car and I think I wouldn't have spent more than $4000 on maintenance in that time. I think it's been excellent value and worth about the same as what I paid for it six years on. They only reason I would think of ever selling is if I could find the extra money for a 996 Carrera 4S. Those carrera 4S's do something inside my brain that the 928's do.

Sam

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1st post.

 

Like burningunit, I have a 1989 S4 which I've owned for 14+ years.  To reiterate other comments, the key is to buy on condition.  The 928 is possibly more sensitive to neglect (and will be more expensive to bring up to scratch than most other early Porsches) so make sure it has an unblemished service record.  Mine's been looked after by Bruce since I've had it and in that time I would guess it would average $2000 to $3000 pa to maintain for between 5000 and 10000km pa all country kms.  It's definitley more complex than a 911 and although some guys maintain them diy, there are lots of preventive items that need attention that could only be picked up by someone like Bruce with years of experience.  For a Sunday blat, pick a 911.  For a lengthy road trip, a 928 anyday.

 

Mark

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Yes I like the old looking vehicles too. Especially cars. I am still wondering why the new generation can't make strong cars like those days. When we look at he old interior they are superb!

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Great to see some shark owners contributing and always great to hear Bruce's thoughts as I doubt anyone knows these cars better. It is a car that is on my long list of *love to own* cars and every time I see one I always think how lucky the owner is to have what maybe one of the greatest cars ever made. They are not for every one but I could happily have one in my driveway

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