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Oil Pressure Gauge?

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A Boxster oil pressure sender unit only has one terminal and one wire since we do not have a gauge, just an on or off idiot light in the cluster. A 996 sender has 2 wires, one for the same idiot light, plus a wire for the gauge. Replace the Boxster sender with a 996 sender. Hook up our existing wire to the 996 sender for the idiot light, then run an new wire from the sender to the gauge. The sender is on the passenger side cam cover and it would not be hard to run a wire under the carpet or under the center console to the dash area.

If you did not want you run the second wire then just hook up our single wire the the 996 sender terminal for the gauge side of the sender. Then remove the other end of the wire from the back of the instrument cluster that goes to the idiot light and hook it up to the gauge. The idiot light will no longer work but you don't need it since you have a gauge.

Then buy any electrical gauge you like that reads 0-5 bars. Jeff

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Jeff you indicated in your Aug message to use an "electrical gauge you like that reads 0-5 bars" The gauges I have seen are in PSI. Can I use these. How do I determine if the sender unit is compatible? Is there a voltage or mili-amp range I should be looking at? I was considering a digital readout, if I could find one to match the amber porsche boxster color.

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All I know is Peter said to use an electric 5 bar gauge. 1 bar equals 14.5 psi. The 996 has a 5 bar gauge. The 996 sender unit works with a 5 bar gauge.

Our instrument cluster is made by VDO and VDO has some small gauges that would be a good match with the base Boxster instrument cluster. A guy on ebay was selling a trim plate for 2 gauges that would mount where the storage bin is.




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Outstanding I have the Guru's attention [no disrespect intended] :D , would the busses match or did they. I have never taken mine apart to see the pin out. If they are matching and everything seems to look right. It should work, but if the traces lead to other places. Then it would not function.I would need to get a 996 console and check the resistance at each trace in order to figure out if I was going to down the right path. If there are any microprocessors on board the console, then I would need a schematic to figure it out.

The obvious conclusion is, you would have at least 8 new traces 2 for each gauge[2+2 for lighting], unless it had a common grounded board.

Enough of that, do you know if it would work, or were you just taking a chance. I was considering the same thing but using maybe a female connector to jump the console buss to the sender. Kind of "Hot wiring" it to see if the gauge operated simplistically or microprocessor wise. If the latter, then oh well... to much time it would be easier to put gauges in the bat wing.

Maybe just solder the leads off of the two 996 gauges [amperage and oil pressure] and then attach the traces to the sender, then it would work [old stereo repair days.]

Sorry to be so long winded, but if someone had the back off both , and if they could send me a picture I might be able to figure it out. I would be more then happy to post my findings [conclusions], if I could draw some.


Then again I may not have any idea what I am talking about, because all of my assumptions are based on a conjecture.

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The 1999-2001 996 cluster just plugs into a 1997-2000 Boxster. Everything works except the oil pressure gauge - but there is a fix for that.

This is a 1999 996 cluster on my 1997 Boxster from ebay. The center LCD display was defective so I did not bother to hook up the oil pressure gauge.


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I wish I could see if your amperage gauge was working, your oil pressure looked pegged.

To much voltage ? trimable.

Could I see the back, does it look like you could terminate the traces to the amperage and the oil pressure, and maybe jump it to the "idiot" light wiring. That would be my plan "B" if I could not get the gauges to work in a stock configuration.

What conclusions do you draw from what you have done so far, the digital screen is a no biggy.

Does the wiring exist to support the new gauges.



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The volt gauge worked fine when I plugged in the 996 cluster - nothing needs to be done. The oil pressure gauge did not work because I never hooked it up once saw the LCD display was defective. I contacted 3 VDO repair shops and they cannot get parts to fix the cluster.

Don't know the electrical stuff you mention. The 996 cluster just plugs into the 3 connectors for the Boxster. The wiring is the same - except the Boxster does not have the extra wire for the oil pressure gauge. You can add the 'missing' wire to one of the connectors that plugs into the back of the cluster.

My cluster is on top and the 996 on the bottom in all pictures.




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If you could plug it back in and see if the 996 console oil pressure is working, it seems it would be academic to further evaluate the consoles. Because everything would work and the consoles are the same.

The only hang up would be you might need to get the proper sender installed in your Boxster. I have seen early VW senders operate in a dual duty mode, as a idiot light and a temp sender, weird but it worked.

If you find the oil pressure working also, Outstanding.

Your only investment would be your time and the console, and a oil pressure sender. Swap led panels? [if you can]

I can't determine that from here, you would need to determine if the board is plug and play with the LED, and/or hard soldered to the board. If you can find out if the IC board [green board everything is plugged into, you can see the edges in your pictures lower portion of the picture [light bulb receptors] is multi-layered, it would tell me if you should mess around with soldering. Multilayer=no go, single layer=go.

If you want to e mail with your number and I will call you, to tell you what I know. [whatever that may be ;) ]

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The subject is over as far as I am concerned unless I find a cheap 996 cluster that works.

When I saw the 996 cluster had a defective center LCD display I put my Boxster circuit board in the 996 cluster housing with the 996 dials. That is why I have a picture of both clusters apart. The volt meter did not work. So the circuit boards must be different.

Then, I thought about removing my Boxster center display and putting it in the 996 circuit board. The display is connected to the circuit board with ribbon wire that is soldered to the board.

I was not going to mess around with my Boxster cluster by removing the LCD display since I might have ended up with 2 defective clusters. End of story.


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I am sorry for your problems, but I think you have answered all of my questions.

I believe if I terminate the traces going to the oil pressure and the amperage gauges I can make it work.

I will have to try to either get a broken 996 console/gauges and see if my voltage inputs are remarkable, along with the oil pressure.

Please correct me if I am wrong, everything worked in relation to your 996 gauges beyond the LED. If the basic Boxster functions are there, adding the oil and amp will be a matter of connecting [soldering traces] wires to the idiot lights, and then installing the proper sender.

My last question :eek: [hopefully] what will have to be removed to support the 996 console, and will it fit without much reverse engineering.

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I am not an electrical person so terminating traces means nothing to me.

Nothing needs to be done to a 996 cluster for the volt meter to work on a Boxster. For the oil pressure to work you replace the one wire Boxster sender with the two wire 996 sender. These wires run from the sender to the instrument cluster.

The Boxster sender has one wire for the idiot light. The 996 has two wires - one for the idiot light and the other for the gauge. So you have to run an extra wire from the sender to the cluster. There are 3 connectors that plug into the back of the cluster. You can insert a wire into the proper connector in the proper slot. On a Boxster the slot is empty for the wire for the oil gauge. Put the new wire into the empty slot, and plug in the 3 connectors into the back of the cluster. The oil pressure gauge will work.

If you do not want to run the additional wire then I have said how to do it that way.

The 996 cluster is wider due to the additional gauges. You can cut the black plastic surround from the Boxster to fit the 996 cluster. Or you can buy a 996 surround - but then you also need to buy a 996 cap for it. The 996 surround will not fit a Boxster cap.

This shows how we add wires to the cluster connector for the trip computer retrofit.


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