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About dmcole

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  • From
    Raleigh, NC
  • Porsche Club
  • Present cars
    2002 996 Carrera 2<br />
    1993 Nissan Sentra (still going strong at 203K miles...hope Carrera does the same)
  • Future cars
    911 GT3
  • Former cars
    1999 Boxster

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dmcole's Achievements


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  1. Hello

    Would like to replace the poorly engineered ignition on my 2004 996 C4S. I have read your DIY post and would like to give it a shot. I have already replaced the switch once and would like to avoid any future issues. My question.....What is the part number for the upgraded ignition switch? Who did you purchase from? Thanks much for your help.


  2. OK, this was one of those, " I wish I never said anything..." posts. When I was doing the maintenance last week, I also moved a bunch of stuff around in the car. It turns out that I had set my umbrella on the outside of the passenger seat and it was resting on the seat adjustment controls; so it was continuously trying to adjust the seat even though the seat couldn't move any further. Anyway, problem solved, but thanks for the feedback.
  3. 2002 996 C2 42K miles I tried a bunch of site searches and came up with nothing; so I apologize if this is already captured somewhere. Seven days ago I was doing routine maintenance, and when I popped the hood there was a tremedous amount of + terminal corrosion buildup on the battery, like an inch of corrosion in every direction away from the terminal. I sprayed battery cleaner on it and then used a scrwdriver to break off the chunks. Since the cleaner had over-sprayed to small areas other than the battery, I took distilled water and poured it gently over that terminal and surrounding areas--probably a quart total. Some of the water ran down the wiring bundles to who knows where... It looked like most of it ran through the bottom and out onto the garage floor, similar to how rain water would run through the area, though i suspect that rain water doesn't actually run through that particular area due to the battery cover. Immediately after, I started noticing a soft CLICK-click sound every seven seconds--it's clockwork: never faster, never slower. This clicking occurred all the time--car on, car off, every speed. All electronics work fine, it seems. No trouble starting, using HVAC, radio, alarm, CD, etc. So I assumed that the water ran down into *something* that had shorted some circuit. Now the battery is dead, which I can deal with, but it would appear I need to dry out something, as well. Does the seven second pattern ring any bells for anyone--is there some process that checks for status 'x' every seven seconds and flips a switch of some sort? Once I deal with the battery, I can get it on ramps and look under, but that's just a crapshoot at this point. Is there someplace or something I should be looking for specifically?
  4. Glad to see that someone finally benefitted from this article! I would check every couple of months, but no replies until a month ago. I do need to give credit to Loren and several other articles for helping me through the repair. I could not have done it without them.
  5. The DIY writeup is done in a separate post called "DIY Upgraded Ignition Switch Installation for 996/Boxster"
  6. This is a DIY for anyone who wants to replace their crappy ~’99-’03 ignition switch with the upgraded switch/steering lock combo Porsche came out with in about ’04. I’ve seen this problem in both 996 and Boxster posts, so I suspect owners of both models may undergo this repair. I was able to do 90% of this from the driver’s seat rather than having to work under the dash. It may be possible from underneath, but I was glad not to have to do it. I’m sorry I don’t have pictures. Cameras just aren’t my thing. However, I will try to create very accurate descriptions in lieu. As far as DIYs go, it’s not so much difficult as time-consuming. The workspace is very tight; I’ve got small hands and forearms, but I still found it tough to reach certain bolts from time to time. Also, you need either very compact tools or the ability to improvise. For example, I put a Torx bit into a set of needle-nose Vise-Grips to get one screw out. Aside from these relatively minor issues, it’s not so bad. With that said, here we go… First things first: 1) Completely disconnect the battery. I can’t prove that total disconnection was necessary, but I also didn’t have the alarm go off suddenly. Better safe than deaf or shot by the neighbors. 2) Remove the rubber gasket around the ignition key. I could pull mine off just using my fingers. 3) Remove the left hand vent. There’s a nice writeup on this already; so I won’t repeat all of that here. http://www.renntech.org/forums/index.php?a...ost&id=6617 4) Once the vent is removed, remove the screw straight in the back back that holds the vent tube in place. 5) Now reach or crawl under the dash and remove the center horizontal vent tube under the steering column and the vertical one you just freed up in the step above. 6) Put on a long sleeve shirt. After working through the vent hole for a couple of hours, my forearm is pretty beat up today. I’ll save you the same realization… You’re now ready to start working on the issue at hand. 1) Reach to the back and disconnect the wiring harness from the ignition switch. It just goes straight off the back; no special clips there and don’t twist it. 2) Remove the immobilizer. It’s the black box on top of the steering lock housing. Unclip the little wiring harness on the front right. This one has a little catch on it so don’t just pull it out. There is a little plastic Phillips head near the key that you give a quarter-turn. Mine had ‘wings’ on the Phillips head that I could turn by hand. Once you’ve turned this, slide the immobilizer straight toward you along the top of the steering lock housing. That will free it up to remove. 3) Remove the key cylinder. Around the key hole is a silver beauty ring. Around the edge of that ring is a small hole. Make sure the hole is near the 7 o’clock position instead of near 1 o’clock. Mine had turned 180 degrees at some point and made this cylinder removal impossible until I figured that out. Insert your valet key (it’s just easier, but your regular remote key will work) and turn to position 1. Now stick a straightened paper clip (I used one of the larger, sturdier clips instead of a standard one) in as far as it will go. The cylinder should virtually fall out if you’ve done this right. If you’re having to tug on the key to pull it, try again. Carefully disconnect the electrical clip from the key cylinder. Leave both the key and clip in the cylinder and set the thing aside. 4) Disconnect the steering lock housing mounting screw near the key. This requires the same Torx bit you used to remove the side vent cover. I didn’t have a stubby Tork driver; so I clamped the bit into a pair of needle-nose Vise-Grips to get it loose. Once loosened, I could unscrew it by hand. Once the screw is out, swing the vertical mounting strut up and out of the way. 5) Disconnect the mounting bolt next to the steering column. A small 10mm ratchet worked for me. I didn’t have to put a wrench on the nut, but I had to use a bit of hand work to finally get the nut off and the bolt out. 6) Remove the steering lock housing. The trick here is that there is a spring-button that locks the housing into the steering column. You can see what you’re up against by looking at your replacement part. You depress the spring through a small hole on the steering column. I used a 2mm allen wrench to depress the button so that I could wiggle the housing out. Now you need to prep the new part. 1) Remove all of the clips from the old housing and attach them to the new one. There is a metal clip that secures the mounting screw near the key hole and two plastic wiring guide clips. I removed the plastic clips by punching out the center pins from the bottom (they are small and actually come completely out; don’t lose them) and then carefully squeezing the prongs until the clip came off. Attach them to the new part. 2) Put a little lubricant (just a light surface wiping, nothing more) on the housing surfaces that insert into the steering column. Install the new steering lock housing: 1) If the shiny silver steering lock ‘spear’ is extended from the housing, use a large flat blade screwdriver in the center of where the key cylinder would go and simulate turning the car on. This will retract the spear. 2) Insert the end of the housing into the steering column. This was the hardest part for me. I don’t know if the new part was just thousandths of an inch bigger or what, but it was 20 minutes of wiggling and jiggling that thing to get it in. Don’t forget that you will have to depress the little spring pin once it gets to the flange. I wasn’t sure I heard the spring pin pop into place in that hole; so I crawled under the dash to inspect it to be sure I seated the thing completely. 3) Replace the mounting screw near the key hole. By the way, I never replaced the 10mm bolt at the steering column. I couldn’t figure out how to restart the nut on the bolt, plus with that spring pin engaged, I can’t see how the housing could ever come out under normal use. 4) Reconnect the wiring harness to the ignition switch in the back. 5) Reconnect the immobilizer and its wiring clip. 6) Push the key cylinder in firmly (aligning it in the little guide on the top left of the steering lock housing) and pull the paper clip. It should be secured. Remove the key. Reconnect the tiny wiring clip to the key cylinder. 7) Reconnect the battery. 8) Start the car at this point to ensure that you’ve done everything right. If the car won’t start, something didn’t get reconnected properly or you have a different issue. Note: it is not necessary to have the headlight switch reassembled to start the car. If the car starts at this point, start replacing the rest of the stuff you pulled out. Start with the vent tubing. It was helpful to loosely attach the vertical tube with its screw before reconnecting the horizontal tube underneath. Once done underneath, tighten the vertical tube and replace everything else. Be very careful with the headlight switch reattachment as that lighted ring looks pretty fragile and the little bulbs have to fit exactly right into the plastic ring that covers it. Start ‘er up and hope that the new part is a thousand times more reliable than the one you replaced.
  7. DIY Upgraded Ignition Switch/Lock Installation for 996/Boxster This is a DIY for anyone who wants to replace their crappy ~’99-’03 ignition switch with the upgraded switch/steering lock combo Porsche came out with in about ’04. I’ve seen this problem in both 996 and Boxster posts, so I suspect owners of both models may undergo this repair. I was able to do 90% of this from the driver’s seat rather than having to work under the dash. It may be possible from underneath, but I was glad not to have to do it. I’m sorry I don’t have pictures. Cameras just aren’t Author dmcole Category Carrera (996) - Common Fixes and Repairs Submitted 09/23/2007 12:37 PM Updated 03/17/2017 05:06 AM
  8. Loren, thanks as always. It works. One note for anyone who stumbles across this post in the future... The little silver 'beauty ring' around the key hole can get turned 180 degrees; at least it was in my car. So the hole into which you stick the paper clip was up at the ~1 o'clock postiion instead of ~7 o'clock where it should be. That completely explains why my prior efforts in this post weren't working. After figuring out this little nugget of knowledge (some number of hours into the effort...) and following the info above, the cylinder just falls out. Once it's out, leave the paper clip in until you put the cylinder back in. Push the cylinder in firmly, pull the paper clip, and it should be in there just right. One other thing...use your valet key instead of your remote key. The slim head makes it a lot easier to work around.
  9. OK, I've got it removed. I'll write up a full description of the procedure for posterity here at renntech. The last question I have is how to transfer the key cylinder from the old to new part. I've posted that question as a new topic, but any help is appreciated.
  10. I've removed the old ignition switch/steering lock mechanism from my '02 996 Carrera. This was so I could replace it with the upgraded model. Replacing just the ignition switch in the back didn't fully solve the problem. Anyway, my last remaining task is to remove the ignition key cylinder from the old part so that I can put it into the new one. How do you do that? I read somewhere that you turn the key to position 1, stick a straightened paper clip into the little hole (the one on the upper right of the key in the silver ring surrounding the key) as far as it will go and that will supposedly free the cylinder to be pulled straight out. That's not working for me... I'm trying to understand three things: what is the correct procedure, how far is the paper clip supposed to go in, and what are you supposed to 'feel' when you do it right? Some notes: --In position 1, the paper clip won't go in at all --In position 2 (or in the 'starting' position as well), the paper clip will go in about 1-1/4", but it doesn't feel like it's actually depressing anything that would free the lock. --I've already detached everything else--ignition switch, wires, etc.--so if those are supposed to be attached when I do this, please let me know. Thanks for any advice.
  11. Can anyone please confirm whether there is a DIY article for replacing the entire 996 ignition switch and steering lock mechanism? I commit to becoming a contributing member in return for accurate answers to my questions above. Thank you!
  12. I've spent two hours searching the site for this and haven't found it; so I hope this is a somewhat unique post... 2002 996 C2 with 34K miles. I just DIY'd the 4A0-905-849-B ignition switch (German-made one with the Audi rings on it) based on all the help in these forums. Thanks to all the previous articles I again have AC, lights, and wipers! Right after fixing the switch, the car started right up. I ran it a minute and turned it off. Two minutes later, it barely make a coughing sound and then wouldn't start at all. Next morning it started first turn, ran until I turned it off, then would never start again, and I mean I can only get a 'cough' probably once every ten turns. It's in no danger of starting, I assure you. I took the battery to AutoZone and they said it's fine. Reinstalled it and still barely get a cough once in a while. So I think the upgraded switch is the only choice; I can't believe the starter coincidentally went bad with the switch replacement. I saw similar notes with this complaint which led to the advice to replace the whole mechanism with part number 996-347-017-07-M100. The advice seems sound, but I want to confirm a couple of things before moving forward. Here's the bottom line: --Does a guru agree that the switch is still the likely problem based on the facts above? --Is there a DIY article on this procedure here or anywhere? (I already found the one for just the black switch but could not find one for this) The rest of these may be answered by the DIY article if it exists... --Is disconnecting the battery a must? I didn't do it the last time, but since it started a couple of times, I can't believe it's truly mandatory... --Are there more than two mounting points and have the mount points changed from the '02 original model to this upgraded model? After jamming my head between the clutch and brake pedals, I only see the one bolt by the steering column and a screw next to where the key is inserted. --Is engaging (or disengaging) the steering lock mechanism with the steering column difficult? it looks like it is inserted about a half-inch beyond the flange, but is it splined or something that makes it difficult? --How do you pull the existing key barrel so that it can be reinserted in the new mechanism and I won't need new keys? --Is there another 'gotcha' that I haven't asked about? I've seen the estimates of 2-3 hous of work and comments about how shop mechanics don't even want to fool with this, and I assume that's because it's just so hard to get to the bolts on this thing. --Am I an idiot for even thinking of trying this myself? I can fix a lot of things, and since towing is already my only option for moving the car (well, I could push it, I suppose...), I don't see how getting halfway through this and then bailing is going to make it much worse. Looking forward to your expert advice. One update since I posted this...another old thread led me to try and hold the key in the '2' position for a while. It turns out that, after a few seconds, it starts strongly, but it's completely silent for those few seconds until the starter engages. It's weird, but I tried it over and over and it does work. My friend with an '07 Cayman says his always takes 2-3 seconds; so I feel a *little* better. I still believe I should replace the whole ignition switch; so I look forward to any knowledgeable replies to my questions above.
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