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CDC-3 Loading Problem

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Hi Boxster Owners,

I need your help again !

I am having problem with my CD changer on 1998 Boxster. It is trying to load a selected CD, but it never completes it's operation on any CD. So, I purchased a new CDC-3 Changer only (excluding the CD cartridge) and installed it. It is still the same condition. This points me to the CD Cartridge could be the real issue for not loading the CD into the drive unit. As far as the movement of each CD cradle finger of the cartridge, they seems to work properly when I do it manually. But, I do noticed that they are very heavy, takes more effort, to pull the CD fingers swing out by hand. I can't imagine if the CD loading motor could develop such force to swing out the CD finger to complete the loading process. It will cost me another little over $65 to try out the new cartridge which I hate to continue spending when I am not even sure if this is the real problem or not. So I have few questions for you:

1. Have anyone had similar situation that points the problem to the Cartridge ?

2. Can anyone locally, in San Jose or Bay Area, willing to let me try out your cartridge on my new changer ? Or be able to compare my cartridge with yours manually to see if there is any significant amount of the force differences for swinging out a CD finger.

3. Any other suggestions will be appreciated.

Thanks in advance for your advice,

Taka S.

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You can go to dealer and ask ther service advisor to try a new cartridge on yours. CDC4 and CDC 3 use same cartridge. The cd tray should slide out easily. Try spraying some WD40 on the hinge of the cartridge with the cd's out and trays swong out.

I work in SJ on 1st St and can hook you up too.

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Thanks for those good ideas. I sure like to meet with some of the Boxster owners in San Jose. Where can I find the next Workshop meeting schedule and meeting place ? I can also bother the service advisor at the dealer. This is another alternative approach. I may try the DW40 after I can compare two cartridges.

Thanks again,

Taka S.

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  • Moderators

I have 3 cartridges you can try. I work near the arena and you can swing by.

I almost positive the CDC-4 cartridge is different than the CDC-3. The drive on the 3 is made by Sony and by Panasonic on the 4, or so I have been told.

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  • 2 weeks later...

My original idea of trying to blame my CD Changer Loading problem to the CD Cartridge is not true. ToolPants were kind enough to let me try his CD Cartridge on my new CD Changer and it did not cure the problem. Now, the situation is: I have replaced the CDC-3 Changer with new one from the Becker and using the original CD Cartridges of mine and ToolPants'. The CD Loading Problem still exists.

I am ready to pull-out the CDR-210 radio to see if the cables to the CD Changers are plugged in tightly or not. I need some help on how to remove/pull-out the CDR-210 radio from the dashboard. Could anyone can give me the hints how to go about doing this removal procedure ?

Another question is about the CABLES to the CD Changers. Do anyone had any problems with the factory installed CABLES between the Radio and the CD Changer?

Any comments and advices will be appreciated,

BoxsterGuy :(

So, we met at my office.  I have a twin.  Something wrong with his changer or head unit as none of my magazines worked on his car, and his magazine worked in my changer.

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Thanks for the nice picture of how the radio gets pulled-out. I am going to try to find some scrap sheet metals to make the keys to remove the radio. If it doesn't work, I will contact you or ToolPants' help again.

Highly appreciated your quick response,


To remove the radio you need the Becker keys. About $2 from Becker or both Jeff (Tool Pants) and I have a set.


(photo courtesy of Tom Morris)

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Come to the next work on cars days and I'll swap changers with you. It takes 5 minutes to remove the changer. I also have the radio removal tools.

If my changer works in your car then it is your head. If your changer does not work in my car then it is your changer.

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I appreciate your recommendation of swapping of the Changers to narrow down the defective component. I checked the connectors in back side of the Radio unit. They all seems to be tight and secured properly. This leaves only two components to blame, the cables between the radio and changer or the head(radio it self). My radio seems to work fine on the AM, FM, and CD0. It does display the "CD Loading" message in the display panel for CD1 through CD6, but it does not complete the loading process or it may not send the "CD Load" signal to the Changer unit.

Yes, I am looking forward for the next "Work on Car" days.

Thanks lot for your help,

Taka :(


Come to the next work on cars days and I'll swap changers with you.  It takes 5 minutes to remove the changer.  I also have the radio removal tools. 


If my changer works in your car then it is your head.  If your changer does not work in my car then it is your changer. 


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  • 3 weeks later...

We found out that New CDC-3 Changer I bought from the Opert Racing in New Jersey was Dead On Arrival (would not complete the CD Loading steps) with Tool Pant's help.

I am shipping the unit back for a repair. It was hard for me to believe that identical, CD Loading, problem developed on both my original changer and the refurbished changer from Opert Racing.

Again, Thanks to Tool Pants for his help. :)

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