1986 Porsche 944 Turbo

Hello I love the show BTW

I recently went down to Florida from St Louis to purchase a Porsche 944, I have been shopping for a 44 for a few months and finally found one that seemed like the right car for me. I had the local Porsche Club go inspect the car for Manx; they found it in very good condition with one minor problem. The lower coolant line had a pin hole leak in it. This line feeds the auxiliary water pump and the turbo. The part is not made any longer and the repair procedure entails modifying a 89 part to work with my 86. The shop that did the repair is a very high end shop in Fort Lauderdale that only works on Porsche’s. Vinnie is the shop owner and he explained the repair to me before I purchased the car. I also had him look over the car for me before I came down to tell me if he saw any other problems. He had inspected the car for the previous owner in January of 10. The previous owner only put about 3k miles on it since he purchased it, so Vinnie was able to confidently say some of the basics were still solid. Chamber pressure, water pump(new) and timing belt(new) transmission clutch and suspension all okay.

Vinnie and I talked about the car when I went down there to buy it. and he showed me all the good and some of the not so good. But all in all the car checked out. When I tested the car out, I noticed it was smoking when accelerating from a stop. Only when pushing it over three thousand RPM’s and giving it a lot of gas. It was not just oil smoke, seemed to be a combination of oil and gas. I spoke to Vinnie about it and he said it was due to the previous owner not driving it much. Made sense to a point, but it still seemed excessive to me. But he is the mechanic, not me, so okay.

I drove the car in FL for one day and then started back home, 1207 mile trip, in my new Porsche. Pretty cool.

I got to the end of my first tank of gas and noticed a bit of a spasm in the turbo, a surge really. It went away after 3700rpm, then seemed normal again. I figured it was old gas left in the tank. I filled it up and emailed a few people, then continued driving. The car was fine again. So bad gas seemed right.

I had a similar issue about 200 miles later, got gas again, bathroom and food. Seemed normal again. About 600 miles into my trip, it all went wrong. A driver caused me to hit the brakes very hard. When I did, the master warning light and brake light came on. I accelerated again looking at my dash for problems. The car had very low power, and more idiot lights came on. I lulled over, noticing the temperature was fine, but as I pulled off the highway, the Christmas tree of lights started. Basically all of them. Oil pressure was gone, it was the last light to come on. I looked all over the engine bay and under the car, no oil trail. When I checked the dip stick, it was bone dry. Vinnie had just done an oil change on the car the day before and put 7 1/2 quarts of 20w50. I put 4 quarts in before it registered oil pressure came back, and the car runs, but the lower engine is ruined. We are still trying to find the oil and where it went. My mechanic is tearing it down now, but Vinnie and he have no clue what could have happened to the oil. Please help me figure this out! I would love to be able to point the problem back to the shop in Florida but have no clue how to prove they messed it up if we can’t find the oil.

Thanks Jonathan.

my thought is turbo drank the oil ,and , that 'splains tha smoke good luck

As I recall the 944 has unusual engine construction in that it has aluminum cylinder walls instead of steel or cast iron . I think there was sort of etching process that allowed oil to stick to the walls but a gently driven 944 would never seat the rings resulting in heavy oil consumption .
This is as I remember it fro the days when the 944s were new . If I were you I would find a specialist Porsche web cite and ask those who know .

If the shop in FL that checked this car out did not perform a compression test at a bare minimum then they did not do much of an inspection at all. Runnng a compression test is always Step One in a car inspection. If the engine top end won’t pass muster then there’s no sense in proceeding any further.

What happened to the oil? If it’s not leaking then the car burnt it. Those guys should not be puzzled by this and the engine is likely trashed.
The engine was very low on oil and when you hit the brakes hard what little oil that may have been in the pan sloshed forward. This would expose the pickup tube to air and this means no oil pressure. Low power means the engine was trying to seize due to lack of lubricant.