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How do I replace my instrument cluster?

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Hi there,

I'm replacing the instrument cluster out of my Boxster because according to my mechanic, the original one got fried for whatever reason. He plugged in another cluster and everything worked, except the Speedometer, he told me that it didn't work becasue his instrument cluster would need to be programmed to my car. Is that true? He told me I could buy a used one and use it. I found one with 60,000 miles for a $400. Is that a good deal? My car has 19,500 oroginal miles on the old ODO. I found this place called Palo Alto Speedway that will reprogram the miles, so that is not a problem. My question is, is there anything else that needs to be done to it besides reprogramming the miles? Does the VIN # of the new instrument cluster need to match the VIN # stored in my DME, immobilizer, etc?

Thanks! Any help appreciated!!!

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If you plug in a functional new or used cluster everyting should work. You did not say if the digital or analog speedometer on the new cluster your mechanic pluged in did not work - but it does not matter as both should work if the cluster is functional. I plugged in a used 996 cluster on my Boxster and both speedometer displays worked - but the digital display had problems as it was a defective cluster.

A used cluster will have the VIN from the car it came from. Your car does not care.

$400 sounds a bit high for me.

What I have said is for pre 2003 cars. Jeff

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Thanks for the reply!

Actually, everything worked on the instrument cluster except the speedometer. The digital and analog tachometer, the ODO, and everything else worked. The mechanic said the speedometer didn't work cause it had to be reprogrammed. Is that right?

Thanks again!

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You still have not said if it is the digital and/or analog speedometer. There is no digital tachometer. The tip and manual clusters do have different part numbers, as there are no shift indicator lights on a manual transmission cluster.

Whatever the problem is, I do not know if it is because it is a mis-matched cluster and I do not know if they can code the cluster to eliminate the problem. That is a Peter question. There is a Boxster owner with a tip who put in a 996 manual transmission cluster and he did not report any problems other than there were no shift idicator lights - but I do not know if they had to change the coding or something else.

There is a cluster on ebay with no bids for $250, but it is for a manual transmission. I see tip clusters in the same price range from time to time, and they do not get much interest as most Boxsters have a manual transmission. If your cluster is in fact defective then why not wait until you can find the correct one. Jeff

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Palo Alto Speedometer is about 20 minutes away from me. I contacted them last year to see if they could replace the defective center LCD display on the 996 cluster I bought off ebay. They may have to take the cluster apart to change the mileage. Let them clean it.

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He told me would open it up and used compressed air to blow the dust out, but wouldn't clean the crystals because he didn't wan't the liability(?)

Is it that complicated?!? Hence my question on how to replace or clean....

So, what would you recommend? Have you done this before?

Thanks again!

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