May 8, 2011

Door Sub Upgrade

One can tell the Boxster is a real sports car because the designers made no effort to fit it with a particularly good sounding stereo. I can just picture a German engineer sitting at his desk saying: "Vhy vould you vant to listen to music vhen ze engine sounds so good?"

Ok, it really doesn't sound THAT bad. And I do in fact spend more time listening to the engine than the stereo. However at one point I decided to do an experiment to see if I could squeeze some more bass out of the Boxster sound system.

Click the link for the full story.

Apr 15, 2011

Brembo Caliper Refinish

While they could still stop the car the way throwing a boat anchor out the back would, my Brembo calipers did not have the shiny red finish they bore the day they left the factory.

Having done powdercoating work back in the day (I used to paint wheels, valve covers, all sorts of things) I decided to refinish them myself.

(apologies for the mix of cell phone and camera pics, I used whatever was handy)

This is what I started with. Yuck. Hard to tell, but the red had become dull with no gloss at all.

Click the link to see my refinishing make these look like new again!

How to Fix the Climate Control LCD

When I first got my Boxster, the climate control display was all but useless. The numbers didn't display properly and the vent controls (top, bottom, middle, etc) were completely blocked out by what looked like a liquid crystal fireball that was liable to consume the rest of the display in time.

I had to poke at the unit, try to read the garbled numbers and wait for the air to start blowing somewhere without knowing whether it was supposed to be hot or cold. It was like playing with dyslexic el niño.

Fortunately I found a cheap solution. Module Master makes a $53 LCD rebuild kit:
Module Master Porsche Climate Control LCD Rebuild Kit

It includes instructions and is very easy to install.

For some pictures from my install, check the link below.

Mar 25, 2011

Boxster eBay Headers: Close Up Pics

Since I was redoing my Boxster's catback, I figured I'd replace the headers as well. I decided to give the ~$100 Chinese headers that are all over eBay (just do a search, they're everywhere) a shot.

When buying headers, please make sure to note how many holes for O2 sensors the headers have. Some will only have one hole per header, which won't work on cars that have two holes per header stock. I asked the seller prior to buying the headers to verify that they had the necessary holes for O2s.

I also made sure to buy O2 sensor spacers. This is simply to prevent the check engine light from coming on when replacing headers that have pre-cats (such as the headers on my '01 S). Since the secondary O2s are right after the cats, they will detect the lack of a cat and throw a CEL unless a spacer is used. Some recommend buying an angled spacer and tilting it upwards to prevent condensation pooling up at the head of the O2 sensor.  

Here are some close up pics of the headers. Look like they're pretty well put together. Impressive for the $100 or so they cost.

See the rest of the pics by following the link!

Oct 21, 2010

Custom Boxster exhaust on a budget! ($450) DIY

Customized budget exhaust - total cost? About $450!
Porsche, trying to deliver some audible pleasure to its buyers, flagrantly positioned the Boxster's engine intake near the driver's head. This does a reasonable job of conveying the flat-6 soundtrack. 

Unfortunately Porsche decided to, in earlier models at least, completely mute the exhaust tone using bland tips and a bloated muffler. This is great for those who prefer their films the same way they prefer their cars (silent),  but a bit of a downer to those of us who want some more sound.

Unfortunately, most decent catback exhaust systems for the Boxster cost $800-$1000+.The cheapest I'd found was a $600 Chinese catback on eBay but I found the tips quite ugly and I was not about to pay $600 for the thing. Sure I wanted my car to sound good, but not so much that I'd spend over a grand on a muffler. 

So I decided to improvise, and modify a cheap, $300 exhaust to my liking. Read on!

Sep 10, 2010

Intermediate Shaft (IMS) Bearing Info and Fixes

LN Engineering upgraded dual row IMS bearing and flange.
If you're considering a Boxster and have done your homework, you've no doubt raised an eyebrow at stout warnings regarding intermediate shaft (IMS) bearing failures sending engines to the scrap heap. No doubt, one is shaky to pull the trigger on a Boxster when presented with "there's this thing called an IMS bearing that can fail and blow up an engine that you can't afford to replace." On the other hand, if you already own a Boxster, you've probably turned the key at least a few times and thought "is my engine going to turn into an eligible candidate for an enthusiast's coffee table?"

Fortunately, there are kits available to replace the IMS bearing and prevent your engine from spending the rest of its life in a living room. What's more, they're not extremely expensive nor are they extremely hard to install. The kits cost ~$600-$700 depending on what type of bearing you have.

Click the link to read more.

Sep 8, 2010

Forums, FAQs and Other Boxster guides

Welcome to the 986 Enthusiast Guide!

Whether you're looking into buying a Boxster or getting started with mods/maintenance/repairs, this site will provide a pool of information to help you along the way.

To start out, here's a few links that cover many basic questions about the 986:

Mike Focke's Boxster Pages - Lots of Boxster info, everything from purchasing to DIY guides.

Bombay Digital - Some good DIYs and other info here.

986 FAQ - Detailed information about the Boxster in general, including lists of factory options etc.

Pelican Parts Boxster tech articles - a gold mine of DIY information. Wayne's writeups are thorough and well written and help immensely when tackling DIY projects.

RennTech Forums - Most Boxster forums are kind of slow, however RennTech usually yields quick and helpful answers. There's a specific thread for fetching radio codes, too.