Bargain Exotic: 1980 Porsche 928


This is a real rarity; a manual transmission, inexpensive, non-rusty Porsche 928. The engine runs well and it even passes California smog testing for you left-coasters. It’s located in Arcata, California, and is for sale here on eBay where the buy-it-now is only $2,500. The interior needs work but that’s to be expected at this price. Unfortunately, there’s just one major problem. Of the original 5 forward speeds, the seller states that two of the synchros aren’t working correctly. They have found a transmission for $300 and have a seal kit to fix the leaky power steering rack. I know these have a transaxle as opposed to a transmission, but I don’t know if that’s more complicated to replace than a regular transmission. Maybe a Barn Finds reader knows more? Or maybe you just want to buy-it-now and then tell us how you plan to fix it!


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  1. jim s

    the people, in the racing series you complete in, who have tried to race 928’s should be able to answer the question on how easy a transaxle is to R&R. a labor hours quote from a dealer would also work. interesting car.

    • Horse Radish

      While the 928 has a transaxle just like the 944 I don’t know how difficult a replacement is.
      What’s confusing is that the seller is talking about first and send synchros, though most of the US cars were automatics.
      928s are as complicated as a car can get with electronics that make a knowledgeable person stumble.
      Almost forty years later these cars are falling apart as the leather dries up, wiring corrodes and plastic cracks and breaks.

      There is no such thing as a cheap Mercedes and I would think the same would apply for this Porsche too.

      A Weissach edition clone ??
      I am not certain that that was worth emulating

  2. jim s

    there are videos on youtube on how to R&R the transaxle. after viewing them i think this is going to be a parts car.

  3. Trickie Dickie Member

    NOTHING that needs, doing, fixing or replacing on a Porsche 928 is inexpensive. The owner of my Porsche MBZ service shop here had said for years…… not buy a 928 unless its been throughly checked out. I could see repairing what needs to be done on this one could easily run twice its purchase price.

  4. Dolphin Member

    In my experience transaxles are more difficult to R&R than a regular transmission that bolts to the back of an engine.

    For one thing you have both half-axles to remove in addition to the driveshaft. Then there is the remote shift mechanism. Then pretty much any transaxle is going to be found on an upscale car like this 928, and it’s going to have 5 or 6 gears, which makes it more complex inside. Then there is the weight and size because it’s got both the transmission and differential inside, which added to the complexity makes it much harder to get out and back in, and then maneuver when you’re actually working on it.

    I have had experience with 2 transaxle cars, a ’66 Ferrari GTC and an Alfa GTV6. The Ferrari unit was tricky but not impossible for one person to get out with the right equipment to move it back and down once all the fasteners were loose. The biggest problem I had was lifting the darn thing off the transporter and up onto a bench by myself. At that time I was the strongest I have ever been and it was all I could do to lift it up.

    Many, maybe all cars with these don’t have regular U-jointed driveshafts. They have straight 1-piece solid driveshafts that run in a torque tube (the Ferrari) or open on a series of bearings (GTV6). I don’t know for sure, but IIRC the 928 shaft runs in a torque tube—someone can correct me. If so, that could be easier than the GTV6, which is a bear to do without bending the shaft.

    Bottom line: If someone doesn’t have experience with heavy and complicated transmissions I don’t recommend tackling this job. Get an independent Porsche mechanic to do it.

    And that’s based on somebody deciding to buy this car. I think T D is right—get it checked out by a knowledgeable Porsche mechanic. That will be the best money you spend on this car.

  5. Tirefriar

    Hold on a second guys. Before we are going to write this car off, let’s see what we have here. It’s a 928 with a manual transmission which, while not exactly rare, certainly is much less common than the auto version and IMO is more desireable. Automatics were quite popular because Porsche got the gearing right and these were really designed to be GT rather than all out sport cars. Remember the pushback porsche received from the purists when these came out?

    928 have gotten pretty hot right now. Low mileage Pasha interior cars are the most thought after nd their prices are well above the $20k mark. As the P-bubble continues to blister, the affect has spread to other models as well. The 928 is definitely the next Porsche model to experience the rise in price tide – just a year or two this same car will easily double in price. Don’t believe me? Just look at the 914 market and those are just a rebranded VW. Forget the 914-6 – those are trading in the $50-$60k right now.

    I agree that every car should be inspected so that the buyer knows exactly what is on the table. I believe that this car can be gotten for $2500 with trans and seal kit thrown in. Yes, it’s cheaper to buy one in a better condition probably for about $6-$8k but at the asking price of this car someone can have a project that can be quite rewarding if followed through to the end…

    • Bobsmyuncle

      I agree with you, but I think your dollar estimates are awfully low not only these but the 914-6.

      These don’t inspire me in the least. I’m sure I’ll learn to regret that.

      • Tirefriar

        Bobsmyuncle, I agree with you but I didn’t want to paint an uber rosy picture here. I like these cars, and as the time goes buy I like them even more but like you, I’m not genuinely inspired. I know that feeling – scouring the forums, Craiglist, etc, just to get any kind of lead on the car of my dreams – but alas, I don’t experience it with the 928.

        It is still very much possible to find a decent 928 for under $10k. The Pasha interior cars and S4 enjoy a high level of interest from the collectors and as such are in the league of their own. Either way, I believe this is a good find for someone “infatuated” with a 928.

  6. Mark E

    Step one: stick a GM V8 into it!

    I’d definitely save the original parts and bits the way the prices are going so I could change it back but I’ve always thought a renegade 928 would make an awesome summer driver!

  7. Fran

    HA! I have had about 4 928’s and They are the absolute worst car to work on, and if you did the job right, there is always something else that need attention and makes you have to take whatever you did back apart and fix! NIGHTMARE CAR!

    • Trickie Dickie Member

      Hey FRAN…..long time Porsche owner here, Speedster, two 356SC’s, 2 911’s and never a 928. Same gripes from club members. My own Porsche fixer guy says never to buy one. No wonder Porsche stopped making them and now are extremely hard to sell.

      • SharkHunter

        Easy to work on. Have been working on my own 928’s for over 20 years. Have 10,000’s or thousands of miles behind the wheel, and have been stranded seldom by my 928’s. I guess some people aren’t mechanically adapt. You guys should stick with the simple air cooleds.

  8. GreaserMatt

    Damn; that sucks to hear; I was hoping to try one of these out someday…. : (

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