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1980-1983 911SC


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  • 8 months later...
I am interested in purchasing a 911 from roughly 1980-1983. I would love to hear about issues relating to any mechanical or electrical problems common with the car and any advice you think could help a buyer with very little knowledge of the vehicle. Thanks for your help.

check out my 1979 911SC in the for sale section. runs strong with 160K on the engine. 326k total miles. obsessively maintained, cold a/c, Pioneer am/fm/cassette w/remote cd changer. fuchs wheels, new Potenza RE750 skins. momo wheel, other stuff, silver/black. everthing works, looks good and is a real kick to drive. send me a pm if you'd like some more information. I'll send pictures to your email. Best, jl

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  • 2 months later...

I had an 83 Euro spec'd SC as a daily driver for over 11 years. They are bulletproof, great cars. Have fun with the search. 3 items come quickly to mind. They are requirements. 1. Carrera chain tensioners, 2. Air box flapper valve, and a good history. (Seems like there is one other mechanical thing and I'm forgetting it)

Good luck.



Edited by TKE878
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  • 3 weeks later...
I'm looking at a 1980 SC as well. I've been able to find a few references and explanations for the Carrera tensioners, but not the flapper valves. Could anyone point me to a link that explains that issue? Many thanks!

After digging around, it seems the flapper valve is the thing that opens or closes a port to the engine that lets heat flow into the car?

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  • Admin

I think he was talking about a product called a "flapper" that goes on the CIS intake. It is supposed to be like a popoff valve - if the cold start valve leaks too much gas into the intake then the car can ignite that gas. This backfire usually cracks the CIS intake box and makes the car undriveable. The idea behind the flapper is that it blows open taking the pressure hit instead of the intake.

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I think he was talking about a product called a "flapper" that goes on the CIS intake. It is supposed to be like a popoff valve - if the cold start valve leaks too much gas into the intake then the car can ignite that gas. This backfire usually cracks the CIS intake box and makes the car undriveable. The idea behind the flapper is that it blows open taking the pressure hit instead of the intake.

Ah, ok.

Would you mind pointing out which part is the flapper?


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It is not in that image because it is not a Porsche part.



At $49 it is 1/10th the cost of a new CIS airbox.

ahhh, so it's a mod done to the CIS box? Do most people use it?

After reading the CIS documentation there, it seems like a complex but reasonably designed system. Is it usually reliable?

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CIS is usually reliable - but remember a 1980 car is 28 years old. So, some parts are going to wear out and some are going to break from age.

The pop-off valve is a little extra insurance just in case - and like I said a new air box is $490 just for the air box - no labor.

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I hope it's ok to use this thread, as the original poster seems to have abandonde it. Can you guys help me appraise this 1980 911 SC Targa? There's several issues I found that I don't have expertise in evaluating. People who know older Porsches and the CIS engines will probably be able to explain a lot of things.


- Original owner. He seems pretty well off and isn't into wrenching cars, and so has had all maintenance work has been done by a reputable (I had heard of them before as a good exotic shop) local shop. He's friends with the first owner of the shop.

- He's driven the car as a weekend cruiser for the last few years. Gone to plenty of PCA track events with it. Car has never been in the rain or snow.

- Last year or so has mostly seen storage for the car, with spring maintenance done to let it drive this past spring and summer. However the owner got busy and let it sit in his garage. The sitting around is a red flag, as a mouse managed to get into the engine bay and die. However, the car was serviced after that by said exotic shop and given the thumbs up.

- Car's odo broke at 35k and got a replacement right after, which now has 43k on it. So 78k total miles.

- Car was broken into via window had the original Blaupunkt head unit stolen. There's an aftermarket headunit.

- Car has been repainted (which I know hurts resale) reasonably nicely.

- Transmission and calipers were rebuilt 2500 miles ago. Spring-centered clutch was put in at the same time.

- Engine doesn't have the upgraded Carrera cam chain tensioners. Airbox doesn't have pop-valve safety mod.

Inspection and impressions:

- Overall the car is super straight and has very little rust. I found almost no rust on the underside and along the rocker panels and fender wells. I magneted the car and found nothing suspicious.

- The suspension had tight bushings all over and revealed no noises or symptoms on the test drive.

- Owner is tall and had the pedal box moved far back. The push-to-floor style pedals were very hard to get used to, as I had to press them tip-toed. It was a really unusual pedaling experience and fairly awkward.

- The shift throw is enormous but the engagement was pretty nice.

- no power steering was kind of bad below 5 mph but otherwise invisible

- seat belts were a bit worn and the retractors weren't winding that well

- the dash gauges were showing their age and not very well lit. Some of the small plastics (including the red heat vent levers) were color-faded

- the headlights were quite dim compared to my modern car with HIDs, though I suspect that's just how lights were back then. It's possible that the alternator wasn't giving enough juice when coupled with the dim dash, but the owner said both had always been like that. They were also pointed too far left, imo.

- Floor mats sit on bare metal - is that normal? The metal was in good shape though. No rust at all.

- Spare tire is totally rotted.

- Porsche tools are there. Owner has the original manual.

- Car had been driven earlier that day and the engine was lukewarm to the touch when I got there. So the first start was not a cold start. Owner had never had problems with the car's warmup but he also never drove it when it was really cold.

- Owner seems like an honest guy who doesn't know much about the internals of this model.

What follows is a set of pictures, arranged to convey a story of the inspection. Most of the big ! items are detailed under the associated pics.

Outside shots of the car.



dime sized rust bubble under right B-pillar


small rust bubble under right door


paint chip next to trunk


dent, paint crack on right headlamp


quarter-sized rust bubble under right headlamp


chipped paint and rust on antenna hole


chipped paint and rust on left fender


This was the worst spot on any of the fenders

junk in the frunk


The amplifier supports an aftermarket headunit. The original was stolen.

spilled/pooled brake fluid


The cap to the brake fluid reservoir was loose! Is it more likely the the fluid came from out under the cap or overflowed from that line there?

left engine bay


What is the orange cap? I assumed it was the distributor, but I'm not positive.

center engine bay


right engine bay


cracks in CIS? hose


Use the left engine bay picture for location reference. Is this hose actually part of the CIS system? I haven't been able to get a good labeled diagram of the CIS cars' engine bay. This hose could very well be for something else unrelated. But if it is part of the CIS system, I'd be worried about the whole unmetered air issue.

big cracks at the other end of the same hose.


These worry me a lot more, as far as unmetered air being let in goes.

oil/? leak right behind distributor


hmmm, can't think of what could be leaking that.

wetness/oil? beside the right head


This seemed to be water based and not oil based. Not sure though. It was a very light film. Given the car's storage and infrequent use, it's either very fresh (the car was fired up before I got there) or very old.

oil/? on floor of airbox


I was surprised to see this when I took off the top of the airbox. Is the airbox supposed to fit loosely, without a gasket or rubber seal? That's how it was in this car.

metal opening into the top inside of airbox is oily/greasy


I have no idea how CIS works but I assumed that inside the airbox is just air, and not fuel-air mixture. Would backfiring cause

liquid to come back into the airbox?



detail of seat


gap between map pocket and door


Is this unusual?

long shot of wiring nest


Under the dashboard, there's extra wiring to support the alarm system and aftermarket headunit. Is this messy or on par for what exists stock on 911 SCs? The actual connections and joinings seem to be neat, but as a whole, it's awful to behold, and not really something I'd want to work on fixing.

wiring nest on passenger side


wiring nest detail under steering wheel


wood panel behind pedals


I was shocked to see wood in a Porsche. Is this really stock? The wood seems in mediocre condition.

left shot of passenger side wood panel


same kind of wood panel. looks well made and fitted, if not stock.

another shot of the passenger side wood panel


crumbled torsion bar cap


The structure of this piece seems gone. I actually forgot to check the other side, but one side seems bad enough. How bad is it that the car has been riding on it like this? I can't tell from this tutorial http://www.pelicanparts.com/techarticles/9...per_rebuild.htm whether the cover bears any load. This would be pretty expensive to get new, yeah?

Things I forgot to check (doh!):

- oil level and color. It's probably in decent shape given it's driven less than 1000 miles a year and changed annually

- wheel bearings. There were a lot of the guy's friends there staring at me crawling all over the car, and I felt a bit weird about grabbing the wheels and yanking. But I should have checked.

- electrics. I took the owner's word that everything worked. The lights and wipers certainly did on our test drive.

As it stands, I'm pretty interested in the car because it drives really well. But it has quite a few cons, and I should break everything down:

+ updated transmission, calipers, clutch

+ new targa top

+ original owner, have whole story of car, full maintenance records.

+ wheels in fabulous shape. Not a scratch

- repainted, and rusting at the fringes

- minor mystery leaks in engine bay

- aftermarket stereo and steering wheel. (stock wheel is in frunk, but in bad shape)

- broken antenna motor; antenna is off the car

- broken spare tire

I'm not really sure how to factor in the non-stock parts of the car, but my guess at a fair price would be $8500-$10000. Thoughts? Help with the engine bay issues? Thanks very much for such a big request.

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  • 2 months later...


This is my first reply in the 911 forum, I usually hang out in the caynne forum here and other 911 forums. Anyway 3 words for you; read, read, read. There was a good article (I think on Pelican) as what to look for in an SC. The one you mentioned has me concerned in one area; the bare metal under the floor mats, Porsche used a heavy rubberized coating on the floors to provide sound/protection that is really hard to remove. If the owner didn't do it, and doesn't know why it was done I would pass on the car.

Why did you exclude the '79? It has bigger ports and because of this can get better performance with upgrades.

I searched for 2.5 years to find mine and was happy I waited, I looked at probably 13 before I found mine. Things I can remember are; Spring centered clutch as you mentioned, definitely needs pressure fedd chain tensioners and a pop-off valve. The gears should be "clunky" compared to modern cars but they should not be too hard to engage (except second gear from a high RPM pull from first), as this might be an indicator 1st and 2nd need a rebuild and new dog teeth. Any signs of rust I would be concerned with as with rust there is usually more you can't see. Also a trick is to run you finger under the fenders, Porsche "dimpled" the fender lips to protect them and if the panels were repaired or replaced most repairs didn't apply this approach so you know they were changed.

Once again read a lot, Pelican and Rennlist are other good forums and the more knowledge you have the better. When you do buy try to keep $ 2000 as a reserve for yearly issues as there will be issues. These cars are old and do need good maintenance, and replacement parts, but award the owner many years to good times.

Good luck in your hunt

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  • 2 months later...

If your still looking for an sc, then really check out the information in this forum....all your questions will be answered. Dont automatically exclude the '79. I sold mine with 326k, and it was still going strong. ( it was either sell the car or build a new garage extension...still not sure I made the right choice.) the fan blades are good, the 3.0 is reliable, careful with the trans, and for sure put in a pop-off valve and carrera tensioners and then you'd be all set and good to go. good luck.

and check out a recent article in the Panorama about the sc's..... very good article about one of the best 911's ever. why did I sell mine you ask? well, besides the garage issue, my spouse was very keen on my finally having air bags and cupholders if she ever took a ride with me. re cupholders, well..... ask me if I care...

Edited by judgejon
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