1985 Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2 from North America
There is still no substitute for a Porsche
Front caliper seized at around 125000 miles. I replaced both front calipers when the one failed. I also had to replace the rotors, because as the one failed, it caused the car to pull to the right slightly. Tapping the brake cleared the issue all but one time. On that occasion, because I was about 1/4 mile from home, I attempted to drive slowly home. Bad idea. After about 50 feet, I noticed heat waves disturbing the air above the right quarter panel! The rotor had become almost red hot from the friction. I had it towed.
The accelerator linkage at the transmission pivot point, due to lack of lubrication, would stick with the accelerator pedal engaged. I cleaned and applied a graphite lube. It has been fine since. When it stuck throttle open though, it could be alarming.
Heat fan stopped blowing heated air. The relay working with the thermostat and servos to provide heat from the heat exchangers became defective. This relay contains surface mount semiconductors, so it is acting as more than just a switch. It is expensive too, around 249.00 last I checked. When it failed, the heater fan stops blowing heat into the cab. I could bypass this, however I wanted to maintain the car as original. Having another vehicle reduced the urgency of the repair. I have not completed this repair as there were additional heater related failures to complete.
Heater valves rusted. One additional heat related repair is the heat supply doors, which became defective. The hot air in this model is supplied by vent system, which gets air from the heat exchangers under the car. A thermostatically controlled servo system opens and closes doors to provide heat. The doors are attached to chambers called valves, which have a cable configured to open the valves, and a spring provides closing. The valves rusted completely requiring replacing.
Oil tubes leaked. I had heard of 911's that leaked a little oil. I have read that it is a nature of the car and the owners accept it. My car only leaked as it passed 20 years old. The culprit was oil tubes, which supply oil from the hemispheres of the engine. The original tubes had o-rings, which allowed leakage. Replacing them at home on my car port using ramps was one of the toughest jobs I had ever done. I had to crush and remove the original, which was easy, however the replacement tubes were two piece aircraft aluminum, which had to be assembled, positioned and expanded in very limited space. Use of metal band clamps, clamped on each piece of the tube while compressed assists with the expansion of the tubes. By using anything long, thin and stiff enough to fit in the narrow space, and provide leverage to simultaneously press to force the bands to expand was how I did it. Each of the 6 tubes required a variation of the same method to expand them. Having been replaced about 6 months now, the car hasn't leaked a drop. I couldn't be happier with the outcome. I wouldn't do this job again. It took me about 10 hours. I've read some took an hour. The difficulty level varies with the year.
The fresh air fan bearings seized. The motors are made by Bosch. When the bearings begin to stall, a terrible high pitched loud shriek is made. Replacing them is not complicated.
Air conditioning blower motor seized. I have yet to replace this one, also made by Bosch. This motor, as with the fresh air fan motor, shrieks when going bad.
Driver's seat control switch became defective. Not hard to replace. The seat had to be removed to route the wires to the new switch.
DME relay failed. When this fails, the car won't start.
I have owned and driven for several years each, a Porsche 924, Mazda RX7 GSL-SE, and a Nissan 300ZX. The 911 has the perfect blend of horse power and handling.
Horsepower and handling are excellent. You could literally cruise along at 100+, and as you press the accelerator, you feel there is a lot more room behind that pedal to go, and it has the G force pull at each modest press to prove it.
It is travels well in the snow. I have driven in snow with no fear of handling. It has good traction, having the engine over the drive wheels. Turning must be done with care.
The cabin is more like that of a prop plane, with analog gauges and the engine sound.
You don't have to be rich to own and maintain a 911. For the money, given the level of maintenance available for those willing to acquire the manuals or procedures, there is no finer true sports car.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 11th July, 2010
10th Sep 2013, 21:39
I am considering purchasing a 1985 Porsche 911 Cabriolet. This review was very well written and to the point. Concise and very helpful.
The car I am looking at is a one owner, with just 76K, a nine out of a ten. Well maintained.
14th Sep 2013, 07:40
I own Corvettes, but I love these cars. I had the opportunity to drive my bosses modded 400HP 930 Turbo, air cooled, Black Whale Tail Carrera from Baltimore to De. The acceleration and g forces involved were unreal in a light car. Not only pushed me back in the seat, but also up and down as well. All you see out the windshield is the tops of the 2 front fenders at the headlamps, and a blur out the sides. He removed the A/C; a pretty big commitment for the sake of power during the mods. This car was a real handful and a real blast to drive. You had to keep full attention to handle this one.