Porsche 944 Rebuild

I turned the rear defrosters on about a month ago and noticed the faint smell of plastic burning. I turned them off quickly, thinking that it was the window tint aflame in my trunk. I tried the next morning only to smell the same thing. A third day and then the smell stopped...and so did functioning defrosters. This is what I found.


The wire itself must have corroded so well that resistance shot up, heating up the spade connector. The end result was a melted, plastic coating that ultimately destroyed connectivity to the window bands. The fix would be easy - a new wire. Unfortunately, I am sick and tired of working in twenty degree weather. The fix would wait until today when the mercury (alcohol, actually...or metal strips even) topped sixty degree.

12V of current continued to flow to the bottom hood strut so the connection there was fine, although the wire was showing signs of wear. I don't have any crimps that are big enough so a twist cap would suffice for now until I can get one.


I was measuring only 2V of current, however, at the top of the strut. The reason that ordinary OEM hood struts can't be used on the 944 is due to exactly this. Current for the rear defrosters actually travels up through the strut itself, unlike on VWs and Audis. The connection at the bottom was reading 12V but only 2V was making it to the top.

Taking off the strut is fairly simple, although it hurts your head to hold the rear hatch up. I suggest a block of wood or a broom handle instead. Each end cap twists onto the strut, snapping into place with a metal clip. Tightening up both ends, making sure to align them properly so they reattach to the hatch, did the trick. Somehow, the bottom end was slightly loose, leaving the spade connector floating.


Once 12V was measured at the top, I connected the defroster grid and measured 0.8V on the other end, a sign that things are working properly.

Being sixty degrees, however, I may not get to test them for another nine months.

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