968 Club Sport

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968 Club Sport buying guide

Generally, the 968 is a robust and reliable car when properly maintained and will happily reach 200,000 miles and beyond. It is best to make your purchasing decisions based upon condition and recent service history rather than mileage alone.

A summary of key points when considering a 968:

Cam and balance shaft belts - These should be replaced every four years or 48,000 miles (the condition of the rollers should be checked at the same time). Evidence of a water pump change in the recent life of the car is a bonus.

Camshaft chain - It is ideal if this has been replaced (along with the tensioner runners), as an old chain can cause damage to the camshaft teeth.

Camshaft teeth wear - These do wear and break off, which can lead to great expense if the cams need replacing. This is difficult to check as the cam cover needs to be removed - not many owners will be open to this. If the owner has proof (i.e. a photograph, as below) or a specialist has checked them fairly recently then this can offer good information.
Porsche 968 cams

Fuel and brake line corrosion - As these will be over 20 years old, most will be showing signs of corrosion if they have been left untreated. If you can view the car on a ramp, the section of pipe over the rear axle tends to suffer the most corrosion and can be difficult to replace if you are going to use genuine parts, as the rear axle needs to be dropped. JMG offers a flexible kit as an alternative.

Rust in sills - This can happen if the rubber drainage hole next to the fuel filler cap is blocked or if the sunroof drainage holes are blocked, causing water to enter the sills. To check the condition of the sills, the plastic access cover in both door shuts (see below left) can be removed. As these can break easily it is advisable to request that the owner does this, to enable a torch to be shone into them. Spraying a good anti-corrosion guard down inside the sills is good preventative maintenance.

Slight bubbling at the bottom of front windscreen pillars - Quite common when a new windscreen has been fitted in the past and the paint has been damaged. To do the repair job properly the windscreen would need to be removed.
968 pillar

Clutch wear - If you can view the car on a ramp there is a small inspection hole for checking clutch wear. If the clutch needs replacing, the job isn't as expensive as on a 944 as the gearbox doesn't need to come out on the 968. If the distance between the front of the inspection hole to the start of the clutch piston is 34mm or greater than the clutch will need replacing.

Gearbox pinion bearing wear - Quite a common problem on 968s and 944s. A whining noise from the rear of the car on the test drive could indicate it needs replacement. This is expensive to fix as the gearbox would need to be removed for this. It is advisable to change the gearbox oil regularly.

Brake plate lift on the calipers - If the brakes are not up to standard on the test drive, or you can see the pads are not releasing properly off the discs (rust on the surface of the discs after a good drive), then it is likely that corrosion has built up between the plate and caliper and is not allowing the brake pads to move correctly. It is not expensive to fix if you don't want to do the job yourself, but is something that needs to be done quite regularly (every few years) to keep them working properly.

Accident damage - Probably a large number of 968s have suffered some sort of accident damage over the years, whether on the road or track. The panel gaps are fairly large but should be consistent and, so long as any light damage has been repaired correctly, this shouldn't cause a problem. Lifting the rear boot carpet should tell you if the car has had a heavy impact at the back; under the bonnet there is enough space to see if anything has become bent.

VIN location and car options - The VIN is located on the inside of the passenger side (RHD car) front windscreen pillar and under the bonnet, embossed at the back left. It is also on the option sticker found under the rear boot carpet. This sticker also lists the options of the car from new. If it is missing, a call to your local dealer will confirm the specification or a Certificate of Authenticity will provide the information.
968 options

Interiors - These tend to wear very well considering their age. The Recaro bucket seats can suffer from tears to the side bolsters because of the restricted access. If the car is fitted with a sunroof it is worth checking that it works correctly, as the plastic cogs within the roof can easily break (it is an easy fix). They can be prone to leaking so it is worth checking to see if the rear carpets show any signs of water damage. They typically leak if the drain holes are blocked or the inner seal is letting in water underneath it.
Porsche 968 Interior

Battery location - Left hand drive cars have their battery located in the engine bay next to the windscreen washer bottle, right hand drive cars have them located in the rear boot.

Carbon canister - If you can find no evidence in the service history that the carbon canister in the front wing has been replaced, it is advisable to change it. As they are now over 20 years old, in many cases the carbon is escaping from the canister (as below). As a result, it can block the breather pipe between the canister and the fuel tank. This can eventually lead to the fuel tank contracting and squashing the in tank filter, bending the fuel sender and potentially blocking the fuel pump if the carbon gets that far. Signs to look out for include a fluctuating fuel guage and air escaping from the fuel filler cap when the car is being filled up with petrol. The below right photograph shows its location (this one has been unbolted from its fixed vertical location).


Porsche 968 carbon Canister Porsche 968 Carbon Canister

World market differences for Club Sports - German cars often have the standard 968 airbag steering wheel and passenger airbag (including a slightly different dashboard to accommodate the airbag) and many come with optioned rear seats. Australian cars have 2 additional metal plates attached under the bonnet detailing the build date, chassis number, approval number, model type (Porsche 968 CS) and the number of seats. A small number of cars were imported with rears seats and this is detailed on one of the plates. Japanese cars have different rear lights compared with the rest of the world featuring a clear section (instead of red) over each reversing light.


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