Last Updated 22 May 2008
Wil Tosado has updated the look of the stock 944 S2 gauge cluster using a combination of reverse dial backlit Porsche 928 gauges from Speedhut and some very nice machined stainless steel gauge bezel rings from Jaeger. Wil's cabriolet is rather unique... he calls it a 948 because it's a combination of a 944 body and a 968 rear end. Check it out in the Galleria here.
968 DOOR HANDLES
The door handle design on the 944 is an old design that is failure-prone, and frankly, not that attractive. Therefore, the first cosmetic change I made to the S2 was to replace the stock door handles with those from the 968. The new design and shape are much nicer and really help update the look of the car. I was fortunate to find a used pair in excellent condition at Parts Heaven in Hayward, CA. Another good source would be PAP in Murrayville, GA. Expect to pay $200-300.00 per pair... if you can find them.
Thanks to the internal anti-theft shield over the lock area on the late model cars, what should have been a simple swap turned out to be a bit of a hassle. In order to get at the door handle connections the door panel, window, and window guide channel all had to be removed. Hey, I'm glad I let the body shop owner do it! As you can see, the result was well worth the effort. In short, the 968 handles were a perfect swap for the old 944 versions, and no re-keying was necessary because the lock tumblers were easily swapped between old and new handles.
Keith Foster has published detailed installation procedures for the 968 door handles. Check 'em out.
To compliment the look of the new door handles I updated the old "flag style" mirrors to the aero design used on the 911 C2 and 968. I wasn't sure whether the 968 wiring harness was the same as the 944 (it isn't, but can be adapted), so I decided to purchase the upgrade kit from Porsche. Part number 944-731-901-00 includes all the necessary parts shown above— mirror housings and body mounts in primer (shown in Guards Red), mirrors, inner mounts, motors, wiring, wiring adapters, gaskets, hardware and instructions. List price is now over $500 at most dealers... so be sure to ask for a good discount! Incidentally, the body mount-to-mirror housing attachment used in this kit is an improved design. It uses a bayonet type mount that can't work loose like the threaded interface in the 944 version. Say goodbye to loose housings!
Keith Foster has published detailed installation procedures for the 968 mirrors. Check 'em out.
EURO REAR BUMPER
Coming soon... it's all painted and resting serenely under the bed... waiting for warmer weather :-)
968 CS STEERING WHEEL
With a few 968 components on the exterior, it made perfect sense to add one to the interior. I really liked the look of the 3-spoke, non-airbag steering wheel I had seen in various publications. This wheel style is known as the "930S" since it was originally used on the Porsche 930 turbo. The steering wheel I actually purchased is from the European 968 CS (Club Sport). The only difference between this wheel and the one used on the 930 is the crest on the horn pad. The 930 wheel has a cloisonné crest and the CS wheel has an embossed crest. I purchased my wheel from a friend in Germany. Once I had the wheel... and the Porsche part number I decided to check with my local Porsche dealer to see if it was available in the US. It was! The part number is 968-347-084-00-8YR (black). Retail price complete with hub is about $440 and will require a special order from Germany. Check out Sunset Porsche in Beaverton, OR for the best price in the US. Sunset sells Porsche parts for cost plus 15%, and that puts the price around $379, with about a 5-day delivery from Germany. Another source for those in the UK or Europe would be Porsch-Apart in the UK. Price is £289, or roughly $410 US plus shipping.
A copy of the 930S wheel is available from AJ USA for about $300. This wheel is the same style as the factory wheel but is constructed from multiple pieces of leather instead of the single, continuous piece used on the factory wheel. The leather is very soft and supple and the wheel looks and feels quite good. I didn't really like the multiple-piece construction technique however, so I opted for the factory part... and I'm glad I did.
Installation on non-airbag equipped cars is straightforward. Just remove the old wheel and bolt on the new one. The procedure on airbag equipped cars is a bit more complicated since the airbag cars use a totally different horn contact configuration. In addition, once the airbag equipped steering wheel is removed, modifications must be made to the Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) wiring in order to keep the warning lights from activating. A technical discussion of this procedure is presented here.
968 REAR HATCH & TURBO S WING
The 968 hatch is similar to that first used on the 1991 944 S2 shown in the "row of 944s" at left. Instead of the molded rubber-type spoiler used on all other 944s, the '91 S2 and 968 have a hard wing made from Fibron. In addition, the 968 hatch moves the 3rd brake light from the upper window glass to the under wing center trim molding. The rubber gaskets around the latch pins also move from the hatch frame to the body on the 968. This helps keep water out of the latch pin receptacle.
As it turns out, the hatch I purchased wasn't in the best of condition... but at least the price was right. The wing itself had plenty of scratches as did the side trim pieces. I decided to have the wing, side trim, and under wing spoiler molding painted in Guards Red. They really turned out great... and I wish I could show them to you... but I haven't installed them yet! And since I haven't installed them, I decided to do an "about face" and purchase a genuine 968 Turbo S rear wing from Germany. This is a 3-piece wing with a rake-adjustable center section as seen above on a modified European 944. I've seen one in person on local Seattle area owner Eric Krause's 968 Turbo S look-alike... and it's going to look great.