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OBC Dealer Install

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Hi folks. I was guided here by the members of PPBB.

Vehicle Specs: 2004 986, Carmon Red, Convenience Package, Heated Seats, TrafficPro Nav, 17" SII tires (tyres, for the Brits on the board) :D .

Just purchased vehicle from showroom floor...Holbert's Porsche in Warrington PA

Here's my situation:

I wanted the dealer to install the OBC before I picked up the vehicle this coming Saturday. If the cost was prohibitive, I asked that he at least have the outside temperature turned on in the dash. I even sent him the instructions for his service technician using the Porsche System Tester 2.

The dealer told me the following:

"Allen, as you had mentioned, mid-year '97 through '03 cars had the outside temperature guages in the car and only had to be switched on. Unfortunately, not so with the '04 car, and nobody knows why."

My first question is: Is this true?

Next my dealer said the following:

"The cost for the OBC installed with the stalk is $2370.00. Please advise how you would like us to proceed."

I think that price is outrageous for what the OBC does. Is it possible that installing this option could cost so much, or is he really telling me his service department doesn't want to do it?

I really want this option installed, but no way am I spending $2370 for it. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.


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I cannot answer your first question but $2400 is ludicrous. I did mine without the stalk for about $50 (swithc on the dash). If you want the stalk instead of the switch, then talk to ToolPants. He has done numerous OBC retrofits and can tell you the cost. I would say less than $500 but dont' quote me.

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I assume you sent your dealer Peter Smith's instructions for a 2003. I have known Peter for 6 years as he works at my local dealer. Each year when a new model comes out I ask Peter to try and turn on the trip computer to see if anything has changed, as our local group has done many OBC retrofits. That's how we found out the issue with some 2003s - for some strange reason the vehicle model number was not in the DME. When the model number was entered then Peter was able to turn the OBC on.

When 2004s first came out I asked Peter to turn on the OBC and he did.

As of 2002 the standard instrument cluster is different than the cluster with the OBC option. If you do the retrofit on a 2002-2004 with the standard cluster then the displays you see look like a 2001 with the factory OBC. On a 2002-2004 if you want the displays to look like what is in your owners manual then you have to buy and install an OBC cluster.

I suspect the price you were quoted includes replacing your standard cluster with an OBC cluster and that is why it is so expensive. Call your dealer and ask what parts are included in the quoted price. We do the retrofit using the standard cluster as an OBC cluster is very expensive. The stalk, wires, and connector are about $170. I can do it in less than an hour if the owner is not helping. :lol:

This OBC 'hack' is not an official retrofit. There are no Porsche instructions. The mechanics are not taught how to do it at their training school. Some dealers still say it cannot be done on a 2001. A while ago I was at a dealer that Peter did not work for. The service guy told me the retrofit would not be done as of model year 2001. I told him it could because I had done it on cars newer than 2000. Gave him the instructions. Then he told me they did 1 car and it worked, but did not think they would be doing any more cars.

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Thanks, Tool Pants. Yes, I gave the dealer Peter's instructions. I'm not convinced they even tried them, as the impression I have is they read it couldn't be done on the '04s and simply told me that. My feeling is they just don't want to do it, but I'm not sure.

Also, based on the Q&A post made by charlesl on August 24, 2004 (http://www.renntech.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=1578), even if the dealer were willing to enable the option, it seems I Until I "physically add the 4th stalk or switches, you won't see anything" displayed.

I would love to have you enable this option for me, and either install the stalk, or wire it to a dash button (which I wold actually prefer), but unfortunately, I'm in the NJ/PA area and couldn't get my car to you.

Am I sunk? I'm not technically inclined at all, so me doing in myself is not an option, but I really want this option.

Any further advise would be appreciated.

Thanks - Allen

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I have no advise other than to bring your car to sunny California or find someone locally that can help you. I get Peter to turn on the computer for the local owners. Then we do the retrofit at our local work on cars day.

A long time ago we filmed the retrofit on 4 different cars, including a 2003, so I would not have to answer all the questions as each model year comes out. Stalk, switch, year - does not matter.

This is Peter turning on Scott's computer on a 2003 S over 2 years ago, and then we did the retrofit in the parking lot at Scott's office building at lunch time. Nothing changed for 2004.



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