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Boxster Hacks

 

Please note carefully (Disclaimer):

 

The following information is neither written nor endorsed by me.  It was taken from various emails and posts on the Boxster Board. All I did was to save it and put it all together in one file. Although I hope it is helpful, please be very careful before embarking on any modifications to your car unless you know what you are doing. These hacks are not to be followed blindly as I cannot vouch for their accuracy.

 

 

1.    Fog Lights

2.    New Switches

3.    Heated Seats

4.    On Board Computer

5.    DSP

6.    Variable Intermittent Wiper

7.    Euro Turn Signals

8.    Footwell Lighting

9.    Lighted Sun Visor

10.    Cellphone

11.    Installing the Spin Locks

 

Fog Lights

Pull out relay in socket number #12. (left-most relay in second-from the bottom row)  Either throw the relay away and insert a jumper in the relay panel between socket #3 and socket #5 in the slot where this relay was,  OR do what I did - modify the relay itself by putting a jumper wire on the under-side of it that connects pin #30 to pin #87 (those are the pins that get inserted into sockets 3 and 5).  Then reinsert the relay back in its socket.  the latter method is preferable because a  dealer tech won't be able to tell you've modified your electronics, whereas the first method is real obvious as you have a home-made wire showing on your relay panel. 

New Switches

 is pretty easy - I put a switch in for the garage door opener.  You can order a wide variety of switches from your dealer (any 986 or 996 switch will fit).  I like switch 996.613.134.00.A02.  HOWEVER, getting the "socket" side connecter (the female end) is very tough - Porsche only sells the sockets as part of the whole wiring harness.  However, if you look at an existing socket in your car, you'll find a VW part number on it.  I went to a VW dealership and ordered some of those for $2.00 each.  If you need it, I can find the part number.  

 

 

Heated Seats

Lots of confusion here. The data is (I did it) that the seat bottoms have the heater coil. The backs don't, however the back and the bottom are wired in parallel, so either will work without the other. You install the heated seat console switch. This requires a wiring harness plug, but since there are only 6 connections you can make it yourself. You run this to the under seat bracket where you install the 'Control Unit Seat Heater" which is a relay+transistor switch to control the low/high voltage output (for you technical types it's a voltage regulator using a series pass transistor for the load). Now you wire from this to the fuse block The destination on the block is A6. You then install fuse A6 and voila. The hardest part is finding the tiny wire clip that fits in to the relay block to hold the fuse wire harness attachment. For those with a wiring diagram, connector X16, X17 are the connectors, the wires coming from the seat pads are Brown and Red/Wht.

The 1999/8 seat heater coils are in parallel, so that if one breaks in use you can at least retain use the other (I guess). The back of the seat cushion needs to be opened to shove the coil in . Take the cushion to a decent saddlery to have it resewn. This is MUCH less expensive than an entirely new cushion. BTW it lifts up and out from the seat back. What a pain for a $400 option !

On Board Computer

Apparently adding the OBC on MY2000 Boxsters is not asimple job since the wiring is not in place according to several people who have tried it.

On pre-MY2000 cars, have your dealer enable the temp display to turn on the trip computer. In the default position it displays the temp. In reality, it's waiting for a closure to ground of one of the stalks 4 contacts, who’s wires go to the Motronic unit, this determines the function of the computer. What you need to know is that the steering column harness is prewired with these wires. You can at this point add the stalk to your steering column or add 4 switches to ground these wires for each desired function, since there are 4 wires 2 ^^4 is 16 combinations, some funky displays when you try 'illegal' combinations, btw. The stalk is part and parcel of the Cruise control stalk, meaning that you have to order a replacement which had BOTH stalks in the same unit, i.e. your Left side steering column stalk unit has either one or two stalks. The steering column has a rubber plug which covers the hole for the computer stalk. Yank it out, disconnect the battery to prevent airbag deployment (just in case!), take off the steering wheel and remove the Torx screw holding the L stalk unit, disconnect the little wire harness plug, drop in the new unit, reassemble. Voila !

DSP

The DSP unit for the stereo is a drop in unit also. There is NO software change required. You get your hands on a DSP unit, called a "DSP Actuator M680" and it has a wiring harness which goes straight to the radio *amplifier*, not the radio itself. there are 6 wires in this harness. You take out the CD/Cassette shelf and the DSP fits oh so nicely right in and works straight away. The drag is that the friendly Porsche parts bandit wants $800 for it (Gulp).

Variable Intermittent Wiper

1. Get the 996 wiper variable pot from CFG or your dealer.

2. ALL the mentions on the net have the WRONG part number for the relay required ! Grrr. The correct relay has a pin in position #1 on the relay, the correct part # is 993 615 101 00.

3. Make a wiring harness up, take 4 x 20Ga wires (not critical) about 4 ft long.

4.Trim the connector edges away on the rear of the pot to expose the pins. Install heat shrink tubing on the wires before soldering them to the pins.

5. Solder the wires to the 4 pins, now slide the heat shrink down over the pins and shrink it with a heat gun. Now *carefully* pry the entire switch panel on the L side of the radio off (it has 3 switch blanks and the blank for the wiper pot). Once it is off, push the blank for the pot out from the rear, now install the pot.

5. Pins 3, 4 are the illumination pins. Run the wire from pin 3 to any blue/grey/brn near the radio and use a 2-1 crimp connector, tie in. Now take pin 4 and tie to any Brown wire. There are several illumination wires around here, any are fine. I suggest looking at the other switches (top, door lock) etc and attaching to one of them for lighting.

6. Pin 1, 2 of the pot go to the relay. Undo the 10mm bolt holding the relay block, swing it out (after removing the kick panel by taking off the fuse cover and then undoing the 4 screws that hold it on).

7. Look at the big blue relay in the middle row, far right (position 16). Take it out. Pull hard.

8. Solder or get a connector pin and install a wire to pin #1 on the new relay, now insert the relay in the block. Feed the wire through the holder or, if you have installed a terminal, attach a wire to it. Pin 1 is not connected in the Boxster normally.

9. Tie one of the wires from Pin 1 or 2 of the wiper switch to this wire going to pin 1 on the relay.

10. Now tie the other wire from Pin 2 of the pot to Pin 6 on the relay.

11. Reinstall relay holder block, kick panel, fuse cover.

Enjoy ! It's REALLY nice to have the delay..

rgds

 

Buy a Wiper potentiometer, Part #(from CGF's site) 996 615 115 00 A 02.

You already have the correct relay installed. It is in relay position 16 on your relay block. (Part #996 615 103 00) check to make sure !

Install the Pot. Now connect one side of it (one of its contacts to pin #1 of your Wiper relay (not connected in Boxsters). Connect the other side to the Yellow Black wire on Pin 6 (Wiper switch common). Presto ! variable wiper delay.

I'm going to measure the pot's resistance and then ditch it, install a nice Bourns 10 turn pot with a black anodized cap in the unused switch cover plate to the L of the ignition key (when I get time. sure..) get the Black and Decker out !

 

You have the relay already installed. the only thing left out is the pot. You do NOT need anything else. Unlike American cars, the Porsche relay 'can' contains a 555 like timer which causes an SCR to switch the 12 Vdc on and off to the common +V pin going to the wiper control stalk. This causes a re-wipe and reset to normal position of the wipers.

Many US cars need another relay because they have a wiper motor winding to hide or rest the wipers when 'off'. Since you don’t want the wipers going under the hood to the rest position on every delayed wipe, they switch 'via a relay' a special winding on the wiper motor. Click click, es muy estupido !

Since this hack consists of exactly 2 wires, and the relay exists.. go for it ! To get behind the relay panel, remove the R side screw, the panel swings out. Be careful, the pin numbering of the relay is bizarre and non intuitive - look on the relay can and match up the pin #'s.

Euro Turn Signals

Ever want your side turn signals in front to flash when you turn but not light up with the running lights (this is the euro default) ? I think they are more noticeable when they come on from dark and flash.

To make yourself Euro, move the Black and Green wire coming from the side Turn signal (not the marker light in the headlight assy) from Pin 3 of connector X1 or X2 in the headlight area to Pin 4. Ta da !

Footwell Lighting

Ok, so I got really frustrated when I dropped my keys on the floor and couldn't find them at night. Why is there only 1 cheesy light on the overhead ? Sheesh !

So here's the plan for this coming weekend, I haven't done it yet, was too busy with the OBC stalk etc (more on this in a short while).

So, here's the hack.

Tools required: Xacto razor knife, wire crimper, stripper.

Mental Tools Required: Patience & devious, rat like cunning to ascertain where the mind of the designer was when he did (or didn't) create these things. I admire how much they stuffed in to such a little space, amazing !

Parts Required: 2 x 959 632 201 00 'Lamp Holder' - these are the lights which are clear rectangular plastic, the same as the lights in the trunks (still cheesy but better than nothing).

2 x K25673 Phillips cartridge lamps (listed in your Porsche owner's manual for the trunk lamp) 12Vdc 10W

4 x crimp on wire connectors 16Ga. Radio Shack.

2 x 'trailer connector' or crimp on splice to existing without cutting existing wire. Radio Shack.

About 4m of 16 Ga wire, 2m brown (gnd) and 2m red or yellow (pretty is important) Radio Shack.

Wire strap ties (black) Radio Shack

Instructions ------------

1. With a VERY sharp exacto knife trace out the *inner* perimeter of the lamp rectangle on a piece of cardboard. The lamps snaps in to this perimeter with a simple clip. Congrats - you have just made a template.

2. Now take this template and hold it to the bottom of the weird composite plastic/cloth under panel on the passenger side. Hey, it even has a cutout for this light (hmmm). Be careful, there's expensive stuff above this panel . Score the material in a rectangle, a metal ruler makes this much easier, btw. Now cut out carefully. It's easy to slip.

3. Your choice of placement on the driver side. I think that cutting it in to the carpet on the L side footwell is best (for me). Or the Fuse plastic cover panel ? Not sure.

4. *IMPORTANT* these mothers get HOT, and fast too. So make sure, absolutely sure, that there is sufficient air space behind them, that they are not in contact with anything flammable etc. You really didn't want to burn up your baby for a $3 light, did you ? Plus they are about 1.5cm deep and require some decent clearance.

5. Each doober has two simple push on terminals. Go to radio shack (blech) and get some crimp on 14-16 ga connectors. Run adequate wire (16 ga sounds good, these critters only draw about 830mA when on, so thick stuff is not too important here.)

Run one wire from the lamp to ground (any solid brown wire connection point, look under the instrument column, there are 2 big nuts with several brown wires on them.

If you got the crimp on 3 way connector/trailer connector/"hook a new wire on to an existing wire without cutting it" connector, then crimp one on to a brown wire, with your wire going to the light coming from it.

Warning - read the below carefully:

If you are going to remove these nuts to attach a new lug - DISCONNECT the BATTERY. If you remove the ground side of something nasty with power on the other side and it 'floats' the component - bzzzt ! When disconnecting the battery, always disconnect the ->negative<-, wrap it in a towel and shove it away from the battery. Also, NEVER have the key in the ignition, or the ignition on when you connect/disconnect the battery, a certain way to damage instruments if you do. You've been warned . This courtesy of the best mechanic I know, who looked over this doc (it cost me a nice dinner at Calif Pizza Kitchen).

6. Now, connect the other side of the lamp to Brown/Yellow wire on Plug II (that's a 2) coming from the Control Unit - Alarm system (under the driver's seat), this is the switched auto dim Interior light control. The alarm is what controls the lights (via sensors, switches etc). If you are scared you might cook the alarm, get a simple SPDT 12V relay and drive the relay with the Brown/Yellow II wire and drive the lights off it.

Lighted Sun Visor

Here's a ten minute hack. Get from CFG the lighted visors (leather if you wish). To install:

0. Open roof about 5cm, then remove key from ignition. Disconnect negative side of battery. I *always* recommend this when working on anything electrical on these cars. it's a 20 second insurance policy against fried electronics.

1. Remove the two oval IR transmitter/receiver plugs next to the roof handle, gently pop them out with a small screwdriver. The are very fragile so be careful. The clips are along the long edges (inside) of the ellipse. Use a small screwdriver carefully. Now unscrew the 2 x 24 Torx machine screws which hold the light/latch assy. Gently swing it down. Be careful - the connector for the alarm IR sensor may be easily bent (it's the small flat black connector on the L rear of this assy). Be gentle.

2. Note the 3 wires going to the interior dome light. Look closely at the brown connector, you want the middle wire (red) and the end wire (plain brown ). Do not use the brown with red stripe.

3. Unscrew the sunvisor by taking out the 2 machine threaded black #24 Torx screws that hold the side of the visor to the top of the frame, these are at the outer most side of the visor, the visor frame forms part of the latch for the roof.

4. Now look at the inner (closer to center) end of the visor. With a small screw drive, lift up the center 'hatch' of the black plastic mounting square holding it to the windshield frame. Look inside the mounting square. There is a small Torx screw that should now be unscrewed.

5. Pull the visor assembly down, toward the floor, it should slide right out. Do NOT pull *towards* you. Pull DOWN towards the floor.

6. Look at the new visor, at the inner side mounting clip. Note the red and black wires going to the small contacts on the inside of this clip.

7. Solder a #22Ga wire to each clip, have the wire parallel to the contacts, coming down from the clip. Make these wires about 2 ft long. Twist together before you solder (for tidy installation)

8. feed the wires through the opening in the dash frame in to which the visor will fit, this means to gently pass the wires through the opening where that clip will sit, and have them exit out the opening where the overhead light is mounted, running inside the windshield frame plastic channel.

9 Now slide the visor fully in, note that the inner side clip has a guide post (white) over which the visor mounting plate sits. Align this and then push the visor up in to place. Now's the time to screw the visor in to place. Note: make sure that the visor mounting plate which forms part of the latch for the roof goes *over* the black rubber gasket which forms part of the roof/windshield frame. If you do not have it beneath the mount plate (and smooth) the roof might leak.

10. Ok, now you have 2 sets of wires (left and right - right ?) coming out where the ovhd light is hanging down. Solder or crimp them together, take a wire from each lead and connect one wire to the brown, one to the Red of the the overhead light connector. The way I did it was to strip 2mm of insulation off the wires, then place them physically in the connector for the ovhd light parallel to the pins in the connector (there IS enough room), Then I carefully soldered them to the existing pins with med heat, but quickly so I didn't melt the plastic.

11. Put the overhead light back in, re-insert the 2 screws. Reinsert the IR sensor windows.

12. Reconnect battery. Recycle power windows (to reset their auto up features), reset clock and stereo tone settings.

13. Close roof. Start engine, open+close a door (this resets the lighting on off/dim logic).

Cellphone

In Europe the car can be ordered prewired for a hand held cell phone (M618 Handy Phone). This fits in to the "E Box" or accessory box between the seats. I have not yet hacked it, but the wiring diagrams show that it's cake to install, plus it gives you mute of the radio when the phone is off hook. This is the next project . There's a wire loom which comes off the bottom of the E Box which goes to power, illumination, mute, hand's free mic. CFG - can you get the part number of the E Box ? You'd then wire this to your cell phone's cradle/holder wiring. I'll let ya'all know when I have the Nokia 6162 cranked in.

So - I get the parts from a mechanic friend, I'll send you a complete list of part #'s if you send me email, there are a lot and I thought it would clutter up this message.

My STRONG recommendation is to go to http://www.myporsche.com/and get the wiring diagram ($43), the parts fiche ($18) and the assembly manuals ($39) You are then in the same spot as anyone at the dealer.

Well. on to seat memory (MUCH more involved, a huge number of parts). It looks possible to do ASR too, but also a huge number of parts.

Oh yeah, the best cellular antennas (Hirschmann) are available from Tessco ww.tessco.com (tithe largest distributor of commercial radio gear in the USA). Have your car radio store get the Tessco/Hirschmann list, what you want is the 314 or "In City dual Band PCS 1900 MHz and AMPs 1/4 wave trunk mount" antenna. It's 2" high, in fact it's what is on the Boxster in the picture on the cover of the Boxster sales brochure. It mounts (drilling reqd) on the windshield frame near the top release handle. IT must be tilted back 25deg or you get wind whistle. Have fun and don't let the morons at the car stereo place drill, YOU do it.

For you folks who want a CLEAN cellphone installation:

Go to http://canyoncellular.com, go to the antennas page and look up Antenna Specialists or Hirschmann. HM sells a very nice behind the bumper hidden 'plate' antenna for AMPS (Analog 800 MHz) service. It sticks behind the front or rear bumper, I used it on another car, decent performance. If you are a PCS (1900 MHz) and AMPS dual mode type of person ie Nokia, Motorola, Sprint, look on the canyon cell page for antennas/Larsen or Antenna Specialists. They both have a Dual Band PCS/AMPS antenna about 9" high. Canyon Cell has tons of connectors to just about any cellphone too. You then mount this antenna NOT on the glass, but get the roof/trunk mount and stick it in the R seat roll bar's inverted U. Cook that passenger's cranium ! (hey, it's only 650-800 mW) sheesh.

Now look on the wiring diagram, bet your phone has a MUTE line to quiet the radio when the phone is in use. The Becker radio in the Boxster supports this. Look for the Yellow/Black wire going in to the AMPLIFIER, not the Radio !. This is the mute line, tie in to your cell mute line at installation. When the phone rings or is in use, the radio says "PHONE" on it and quiets. Clean. Now for the fun part: There is a "Changeover Relay" for sending the cell phone audio through the audio system speakers (moo hah ha).. It goes in Relay Position #5 (footwell relay frame), part # 996 657 005 90. It was originally part of Option M 614/618 Cell Phone Prep. It causes the audio output from the amp to be disconnected from the speakers (LF and RF) and the audio output of the phone to be connected to the input of the amp for LF and RF speakers. I am checking to see if the wiring is in place (9 wires - ugh). See if there are any Blue Yellow, Blue Green, Yellow Black and Red Grn wires going to your Relay #5 block. If so, you are cruising. If not, get out the wiring diagram.

Oh, to make it easy for the local cell phone dufus installer, here's the wiring recommended by Porsche for any cellphone: Red Grn to Fuse E7 is +12VDC continuous. Green/Black to fuse E8 is switched 12VDC, any Brown is Ground.

Also, the only decent mounts are made by Panavise, check out their mounts http://www.panavise.com

For all of you with ATT One Rate/ Nokia 616x phones, Nokia now makes a *handset* which plugs in to the car kit. Ask for an HSU-1 (canyon cellular again - I don't work for them, honest !, but they are cool), now you can hide the phone and have only a handset in the console compartment. Put the phone in the front trunk near the CD changer. sweet. Handsfree, dialing via handset etc. Ahh..

 

Andrew Corp makes a dual band PCS and AMPS cell phone concealed antenna, it mounts along the inside top edge of the windshield, looks like a very fine wire.

 

All the German pictures you see with factory phones use Nokia components (handset, mic et). By an *incredible* coincidence, most of the parts fit the US Nokia phone doo-dads and accessories perfectly. Nokia - thank goodness you make world ready phones and accsys.

For example, the handset seen in the pictures of the german cars is really a Nokia HSU-1. This plugs straight in to the Nokia HandsFree Kit (CARK 150) which holds US and Rest Of World phones (6160 et al). The mic for this kit fits exactly in to the same CARK kit from Nokia. The mute line does trigger the mute of the stereo when a call arrives etc. In case you didn't notice, the amp and speakers for the stereo are Nokia also..

Antennas: the Andrew concealed antenna arrived. Yech ! It's a big black lump about 3" on a side, no WAY is that going on my windshield. I guess concealed to them means concealed from LEO satellite surveillance.. Anyway - it double-sticks PERFECTLY on the interior of the L front bumper. Presto - instant concealed antenna. Run cable to phone - done. Ok, before some other engineer beats me up about the radiation pattern etc, it's a 0 db (unity) gain antenna in the first place, the philosophy is 'better than inside the car!". So there:-) By the way, this is where the Hirschmann concealed AMPS only antenna for Mercedes goes, i.e. bumper interior are fine. However, the Andrew is both AMPS and PCS.

So you can mount the phone itself with Chris's euro mount to the dash, or mount the phone in the console storage bin (requires removing bin) and have the handset on the R lower console kick panel (cool). More on this as I experiment this weekend. The hardest part of this ? Getting the darn FME to TNC connector for the antenna to phone connection. Even here in Silicon Valley I had to go to Haltek Test Equip to find one (local reconditioned microwave test equipment joint - dump your start up ? you sell your spectrum analyzer for food to them). Then of course I found that they sell them for $5 at the cell place listed below.

 

Got the antenna and doo dads from canyon river cellular in Texas (via the net).

While doing the footwell lighting, I took off the R side kick panel for the center console. What was staring out at me ? A pre-wired cell phone harness ! Thank the cell phone gods, ommmmm... How neat, *all* the connections in a nice clean AMP connector.

Since I ran the AMPS/PCS cell phone antenna to the inside of the bumper, this means that the total install consists of mounting the darn holder thing.

Other Box-volk, check out and see if you have it too ? Take the R side lower console panel and pull hard from the *rear*, it pops out, then slide the whole mess to the rear. Look above the airbag sensor, it should be there. If so – you’re 95% of the way towards a clean install.

 

Installing the Spin Locks


Many thanks to Denis Marer, the spin-lock guru.

 

1 5mm metric BALL-END hex wrench - must be at least 5" long!
1 strong plastic freezer baggie (at least sandwich sized)
1 LEFT spin-lock (part #98656371302 $33.30)

1 RIGHT spin-lock (part #98656371402 $33.30)

2 spin-lock bolts (part #99921904100 $10.62 each)

Roll down the convertible top, and remove the plastic plugs - save these! Drop in the spin-locks. You can't go wrong here - one is marked 'L' and the other is marked 'R'. There is a notch to help with alignment. Using a block of wood, gently tap the spin-locks to make sure they are well seated or else the bolts will not be able to pass through! Roll back up the convertible top, and lock it into place.

Make a small (1/8") hole in the corner of the baggie and push one bolt from the inside through the hole to the outside. Stop when the plastic is up to the flanged part of the bolt - there should be about 1/4" of bolt still inside the baggie which is plenty to keep it from falling out. Insert the hex wrench into the bolt inside the baggie, then start twisting it until the baggie binds up around the wrench. This keeps the bolt from falling into the car, the wrench from falling out of the bolt, and your sanity.

Follow the procedure to remove the engine compartment cover to release the back plastic window and fold it up.  Do not remove engine covers!

Look from behind and locate the spin locks while the top is in this position. Insert the bolt/Allen/baggie combination into the hole in the spin-lock. The bolt will slide in about 3/8" before it hits the threads. Tighten it as far as possible with the plastic baggie still attached and then give the plastic baggie a firm tug, pulling it free.

Make sure the bolt is in all the way before you attempt to lower the top, since the bolt head will be right in the way of the top mechanism. Tighten the bolt enough to keep it from falling out. The spin-locks are held in place by the bolt, not by how tight you've made it.

The plastic plugs seem to fit (tightly) back into the newly installed spin locks, if you care.

Denis, I agree, the plastic baggie idea was a stroke of genius!