My 944S2

944S2 being autocrossed

This was taken in November, 1997, shortly after I purchased the car. I'm at my first autocross with the car.

944S2 after winter storage

Spring, 1998, and the car is out of winter storage. Look how clean those rims are!

The car as of November 1998. Note the addition of 17" Ruf Carrera rims, GT Racing splitter, and 928 (!) fog/driving lights. Car has been re-painted (properly, with all glass, etc., removed) with three coats of Sikkens Guards Red plus three clear coats. The colour isn't really evident here but the effect is spectacular in person.

Front of the car showing splitter detail. Note the two guy wires dropping from the bumper bracket to the splitter to help against drooping at high speed. (Or so they say.)

Some extra info about some bits

About the wheels:

They're called "Ruf Carrera" rims. They were what Ruf used on his C2 and C4 conversions. It is not the rim on Ruf's currently sold. The Carrera rims have weird offsets (If I remember correctly, 27mm on front 8", 44mm on rear 9") that push the tires right to the (rolled) fenderlip of a 944 (w/ABS offset).

As mailing list messages have indicated, the rims are heavy. *Really* heavy. Not as heavy as those cheap C2 turbo clone wheels, but close. Factory forged or even factory cast are much lighter, as are aftermarket forged like BBS or Fikse, etc.

I got them because they were used, in good condition, and what was available at a fair price when I "needed" another set of rims. The original owner had them on one of the first Ruf C4 conversions (certainly the first one I ever saw). He sold them to a club racer for his RS America. He sold them to me. I use them on the street. The quality is there - they're made by Speedline.

I had to use a thin (5mm) spacer in the front for clearance. The "Porsche" raised lettering on the brake calipers (turbo S) brushed against the rim otherwise. This shouldn't be a problem for regular turbo's/S2's.

About the 928 fog/driving lights:

As far as I can tell, the only difference between the 944 and 928 foglights is the lens. I think the back part is identical. I didn't try this, though.

The 944 turbo/S2 fog light lens follows the contour of the bumper. Therefore it has a slanted face, jutting out at the top and receding at the bottom. The 928 lens is flat, perpendicular to the ground.

One problem with the swap is the clear plastic edge clips. The 944 ones are slanted to follow the 944 lens, so the plastic sticks out in front of the 928 lens at the top. This is only noticeable if you look carefully. I tried the 928 clips, but they are a half-moon kind of design on one side and don't match the angular openings in the bumper. These are the lights on the S4, I believe.

There may be another problem with aim. The aim of the lights is way off. There are aim adjusters, but I haven't played with them yet and don't know if there is enough adjustment. (I told the body shop not to aim the fogs as I prefer to aim them myself)

The reason I bought the 928 lights is the dealer's price on them was cheaper than the best price I could get on the 944 ones (don't ask me why). It also included the driving light (without bulb or wiring).

The part number for the 928 light is 928 631 449 00 (left) and 928 31 450 00 (right). The mounts may not be necessary - I don't know. My housings had hardware rusted in them so I replaced the entire light. The lens part number (includes reflectors, mount for bulbs, and gasket) is 928 631 951 02 (left) 928 631 952 02 (right).

Bulbs are the usual H-type available everywhere. Automotion (and maybe others) sells a wiring kit that uses the fog light switch - low beams gets you fog lights, high beams get you driving lights. I didn't use it, having relays and such around. I will wire the driving lights as a separate circuit in the conventional manner. Note it doesn't look like there's enough cooling to handle both fogs and driving lights being on at the same time.

I did try one of the lights in my car before the splitter was put on. To be honest, I thought it looked weird with the stock front. I like them with the splitter, though. Stands out from the gazillion other guards red 944's out there. :-)

About the GT-Racing splitter

Price of the splitter from GT-Racing was $279.95 (according to an early 1989 catalog I have). This is for fiberglas, Carbon Fiber is $447.95 (Whoah!) In either case the bottom is kevlar. It sticks out about 3."

AIR also sells a 944 splitter - though I had heard the AIR one had fit problems. I have subsequently heard they have been rectified with their new design. I have no experience.

The picture in the catalog was not very helpful but I went ahead and ordered anyway based on the quality of some fiberglass 911 parts a friend ordered (The quality of the fiberglass work in his rear bumper is so nice.)

I wanted a splitter because, well, they looked cool and I wanted the car to look different from all the other guards red 944's out there. (I also want 968 mirrors/door handle, 968 S rear wing, heavy tint (to make the coming-soon roll cage less obvious) and red brake calipers, but ...)

The splitter arrived in perfect condition, ready for surface preparation. Sizing was excellent. My bodyshop did the installation work so I don't know how easy it was. The existing black plastic piece was removed (The splitter replaces it). The black piece forms part of the mount for the engine undertrays so a substitute had to be fabricated. Most racers will run without the undertrays. They fabricated some little strap brackets to match some existing mounts to the splitter, work easily done. The only other bit was fitting a couple of guy wires to the front of the splitter. Mr. Godfredson at GT-Racing advised these would be necessary to minimize distortion at high speed. My bodyshop (Mark Motors in Ottawa) dropped a couple of stainless steel braided wires from the license plate bracket to the splitter. Large washers put on the bottom of the retaining bolts spread the load.

I have only had one case where the splitter got caught up on something, and that happenned on the entrance to a friend's steep driveway. I don't expect much problem, as the splitter is about as thick as the old black piece.

It remains to be seen if the splitter does something performance-wise or not. I'm guessing the S2's oil cooler will work a bit better. It certainly looks cool, though. :-)

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