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Boxster speedometer: swapping to 996 unit


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Hi I have 1998 US model 2.5 Boxter.

I wonder can one install the 996 speedometer unit into a Boxter?

Is some calibration needed? What about the voltmeter and oil pressure readings, how can I get the operative?

has anybody done the conversion?

Thanks

Kare, Spain

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Search around because this has been covered a few times. http://www.renntech.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=304&st=0

The speedometer and volt meter will work - nothing needs to be done. The oil pressure will not work unless you do something to hook up the gauge. There are 2 ways to make it work. Either way you will have to buy a 2 wire 996 oil pressure sender to replace the 1 wire Boxster sender.

You also have to do someting so that the 996 cluster will go in because it is a bit wider due to the 2 extra gauges. That has been covered before.

Monster Boxster with a 2000 2.7 has a 996 cluster. Since he put in a 3.4 from a 996 that engine already had the 2 wire sender. Your 1998 will look just like his 2000.

post-4-1137936356_thumb.jpg

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An easy thing to do is since the 996 and 986 clusters are pretty much the same part with the voltmeter and oil pres gauges soldered to the circut ribon and a different face cover is to simply swap the gauges with your boxster cluster and keep the printed circut board portion from the boxster. This will allow you to retain the accurate odometer reading of your original cluster while adding the 5 gauge cluster. This is what I did. It is really simple.

Todd

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Search around because this has been covered a few times. http://www.renntech.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=304&st=0

The speedometer and volt meter will work - nothing needs to be done. The oil pressure will not work unless you do something to hook up the gauge. There are 2 ways to make it work. Either way you will have to buy a 2 wire 996 oil pressure sender to replace the 1 wire Boxster sender.

You also have to do someting so that the 996 cluster will go in because it is a bit wider due to the 2 extra gauges. That has been covered before.

Monster Boxster with a 2000 2.7 has a 996 cluster. Since he put in a 3.4 from a 996 that engine already had the 2 wire sender. Your 1998 will look just like his 2000.

Heya ToolPants... Do you still have that defective cluster, and if so would you want to sell it? :) I know it was almost 2 yrs ago, but if you do have it lying around (and it's not cosmetically damaged)...

Thanks!

Shash

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Well, then fix it for me so I can put it in my car.

When I got that cluster I contacted 3 VDO repair shops to see if I could get a replacement LCD display. I was told VDO does not sell parts for electronic clusters. I even contacted VDO but they did not get back to me.

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Tool Pants

I have a spare LCD display that you could swap in to make it a functional unit. If you like you can send me the cluster and I will swap the LCD board or I can send you the LCD board and you can swap it in.

Todd

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Well, then fix it for me so I can put it in my car.

When I got that cluster I contacted 3 VDO repair shops to see if I could get a replacement LCD display. I was told VDO does not sell parts for electronic clusters. I even contacted VDO but they did not get back to me.

I was going to take parts from my existing cluster to repair this one, and since you said you didn't want to risk your cluster to repair this one, I didn't offer to fix yours!

I can fix it so you can use it, if you want, but I will probably need spare parts from another cluster (such as the one Todd has just offered)... Either way, I'm not too far from you (Redwood City)... If I can take a look at it I would be able to tell if it's repairable without spare parts too.

Thanks!

Shash

Edited by Loren
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Well, then fix it for me so I can put it in my car.

When I got that cluster I contacted 3 VDO repair shops to see if I could get a replacement LCD display. I was told VDO does not sell parts for electronic clusters. I even contacted VDO but they did not get back to me.

Toolpants - if you get me the cluster I'll see about fixing for you...

Thanks!

Shash

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Ack!

Todd - do you have a spare cluster with those parts on it that you could send to Toolpants?

TP - I'd send you my cluster, but then I couldn't tell how fast I was going (dunno if that's a good thing or a bad thing - it would be an awesome excuse to give to the police though!) ;)

Thanks!

Shash

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Shash,

Actually I don't. I was messing around with doing some different things to my cluster, and well, long story short, I needed to use the spare one to fix my cluster.

I do have some spare parts like the adjustment posts that seem to be bent in the pics above, but the lcd board I have is fried. The only other cluster I have is a later model 996 one that I bought by mistake when I did the cluster swap into my car. I need to throw it up on ebay or if anyone is thinking about swapping a 996 cluster into a later boxster let me know.

Todd

Edited by tholyoak
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We need clusters for parts, unless VDO will start selling parts. Long ago I asked the mechanics at my local dealer for defective clusters that had been replaced so I could use them for parts. Problem is, if it is a warranty replacement, is that the defective cluster is kept at the dealer for 90 days in case Atlanta wants to see it. After 90 days it is supposed to be destroyed.

When I got the 996 cluster long ago I wanted it so bad that I took my Boxster cluster apart to see if I could swap parts over, and I saw that I could. But as I stated in the previous thread, I chickened out because I thought I would end up with 2 clusters that did not work properly.

My Boxster cluster is on top. The 996 ebay cluster on the bottom.

post-4-1139105237_thumb.jpg

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Toolpants,

Here is my experience in swapping the 996 gauges onto the Boxster LCD board. It works just fine and allows you to keep the odometer mileage correct for your car. A couple of caveats.

1) I you use the 996 speedo gauge face to 175 mph, the analog speedo will not correspond to the actual speed. The output from the digital board must be different between the two to account for the different ranges and not the electrical gauge portion.

2) the voltmeter gauge portion did not work. This is how I fried my boxster lcd board on Friday, trying to figure out why. With the 996 lcd board hooked up to the 996 gauges it worked just fine, but swapping in the 986 board with the 996 gauges it failed to work.

This may or may not be universal but is something to keep in mind. Oh, and don't hook 12 V to the voltmeter gauge directly, the gauge will work fine when disconnected from the car but when everything is hooked up it will fry the cluster. Ask me how I know :)

Todd

Edited by tholyoak
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When I put the 986 board in the 996 cluster I had the same issue - the voltmeter did not work. http://www.renntech.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=304&st=20

I did not drive the car with it this way to see if the digital and analog speed displays matched. There was no reason for further testing since the purpose was to have the voltmeter and oil pressure gauges.

As you said, the boards must be different.

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Both shafts are bent/broken. The middle LCD display has missing segments. Other than that it is in great shape. :lol:

I would need a donor cluster for parts. Send me your cluster....

I have repaired many liquid crystal displays in portable electronics devices, specifically Fluke digital volt meters and think that the cluster display appears to be similar... well, similar in that it they appear to be of similar style of display technology.

If you take the actual center assembly apart you should find a rubber type of material that seems like a spacer that may surround the liquid crystal display. It may surround it, or be on only two sides. This spacer will actually contain carbon that acts as a conductor and shock absorber for the liquid crystal display itself. From personal experience I can tell you that there is likely dust inbetween one side of this rubber strip that is preventing the carbon to conduct. Generally these things are delicate but if you play with it a bit you should be able to clean up the membrane contacts with a little rubbing alcohol. Use an eraser or fine fiberglass scrubber to clean the contacts that the membrane rests on....both sides. Reassemble it and you 'might' get lucky. Good luck.

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When I put the 986 board in the 996 cluster I had the same issue - the voltmeter did not work. http://www.renntech.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=304&st=20

I did not drive the car with it this way to see if the digital and analog speed displays matched. There was no reason for further testing since the purpose was to have the voltmeter and oil pressure gauges.

As you said, the boards must be different.

Finally did the swap: very easy and a positive surprise, the outside temperature was working as well (no need to visit the Porsche dealer).

The cluster I bought was from a tiptronic (mine is manual), so I have the 4th geat flashing continuously. But everything else works fine.

I simply cut off some plastic in my original trim going around the cluster to fit the two additional gauges.

The next step is 3.4 conversion.....

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Did you hook up the oil pressure gauge yet, or are you waiting for the 3.4? If so, you might want to tell people how you did it.

If the outside temp display worked then that is because it had already been turned on in the 996 cluster.

The 2.5 guy with 5 speed manual who put in a 996 tip cluster never mentioned a flashing gear indicator light. In fact he wanted the tip gear indicator lights on the 996 tip cluster to indicate what gears he was in on his 5 speed manual.

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Did you hook up the oil pressure gauge yet, or are you waiting for the 3.4? If so, you might want to tell people how you did it.

If the outside temp display worked then that is because it had already been turned on in the 996 cluster.

The 2.5 guy with 5 speed manual who put in a 996 tip cluster never mentioned a flashing gear indicator light. In fact he wanted the tip gear indicator lights on the 996 tip cluster to indicate what gears he was in on his 5 speed manual.

I did nothing with il pressure gauge - waiting for the 3.4 swap.

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  • 3 months later...

Okay, one more question on this topic.

I have a buddy that can get me a 996 guage cluster, and the surround with it so I don't have to cut my factory surround.

My quesiton . . . the rumor is that all boxsters came with the OBC, you just have to have it activated, and install the wand if you want full control, so I 'm wondering if any gauge cluster will work with the OBC activated.

Now, this is before the OBC screens went to the dot matrix screen, so I was just wondering.

The part number is 996 641 103 02 (70c).

He needs an answer by COB Thursday, so any feedback would be great!

Thanks

Todd

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Your profile says you have a 2000. A 1999 - 2001 996 C2 cluster will work. Do not get a C4 or turbo cluster.

If the OBC was not turned on in the 996 cluster then you can have it turned on once it is in your car. The OBC is in the cluster, not the car.

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Slightly off-topic, but did you ever get yours fixed, Jeff? The offer is still open if you want me to take a look at it... It might be repairable, assuming all the mechanical parts are still okay.

Thanks!

Shash

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Hi

My fuel gauge is not showing the correct amount (when I fill the tank, the gauge shows only 3/4 full).

Are the any process to correct this? After the swap was made the gauge worked well, don´t know what happened....

Kare

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Here is a photo of an '02 996 Turbo cluster installed in an '01S Boxster. I added the 996 oil pressure sender and wired it up to the cluster. All gauges work including the 200 mph speedometer (which is just as accurate as the original 175 mph one), with the improved readout of the 02 OBC display. The only issue is that the oil level readings do not work due to the different functionality of the Turbo engine's oil reading - that is why the non-turbo gauge is preferred. I was originally just going to switch the two extra guages over to my Boxster cluster, but decided to stay with the new setup for the time being. Generaly, the Turbo gauges are cheaper on Fleabay because of this compatibility issue.

boxster_turbo1_gauges.jpg.w300h200.jpg

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