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Old 12-14-2017, 05:37 PM   #1
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Waaaa! My Ignition Switch Died!

Pulling out the old one with wayyy not enough room seems like a right of passage.
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Old 12-14-2017, 05:51 PM   #2
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You wanted to put all that suspension work off anyway..
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Old 12-14-2017, 06:59 PM   #3
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Removal

Im sure you know by now....but removal of the AC vent is a must to get at this project
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Old 12-14-2017, 08:15 PM   #4
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Warning: Be sure that no one who might be offended by foul language is nearby when undertaking this repair.
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Old 12-15-2017, 02:51 AM   #5
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I think I'm on my fourth switch. I keep a spare in my parts box. I need to be ready when the current one breaks. Broken switches cause some odd problems.
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Old 12-15-2017, 04:37 AM   #6
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I used the technique from the pelican parts page. Pull out the lower vent tube and remove the electrical connector and two screws. The only hard part was getting my head under the clutch pedal so I could see the second screw. Grinding down a quarter inch drive straight blade screwdriver bit so it is teeny tiny is a must to get access.
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Old 12-15-2017, 05:08 AM   #7
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I pulled the seat out opened the top so i could lie on the floor of the car and not be tied up like a pretzel to get at it. A few minutes more work but a lot easier.
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Old 12-15-2017, 05:45 AM   #8
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The original switch in my 03 lasted 13 years. The Chinese one I bought at NAPA lasted about 6 months and failed when I was picking my car up from my indy specialist just after 5 PM on a weekday. They scrounged around and found a switch to get me going. Next service I upgraded to the newer style column lock and switch, I hope that one lasts 13 years. They showed me how the Chinese switches are made from a much more brittle plastic than the European ones and wear out so much faster. Make sure you use a good brand for the replacement switch, spend the extra $10 or $15 if you have to buy a switch.
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Old 12-15-2017, 06:50 AM   #9
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The difficulty of trying to get to some of these things always makes me wonder "how would the dealer do this" as there MUST be an easier way. For example, many years back and on a different car, I needed to change an alternator...simple enough, bolt off bolt on, right? I bought a new one and the one to remove was easily visible, however the bolts (or at least one of them) were obscured. After much frustration, I ended up calling the dealer to asked, and the response was "how would WE do it, or how would YOU do it?" I asked how they would, they responded "pull the engine". Being younger and stubborn, I KNEW it could be done...and with several universal-joint socket extensions I set to work. Using a magnet I could seat the socket on the bolt, but then could maybe turn 1/16 of a rotation before I needed to remove/reset socket and then repeat. I eventually removed the single problem bolt, and then reversed the process to put in the new one. To just remove/reinstall ONE bolt took well over 5 hours, and in the process I created many new interesting words to describe my level of happiness felt towards the engineer who thought "this is a good placement".

Point is...well I guess there really isn't a point, except I feel your pain...and I am dreading that moment when I need to do mine.
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Old 12-15-2017, 06:54 AM   #10
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Must be the cold weather in TX as mine failed this week as well. Changing it out this weekend I hope.
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Old 12-15-2017, 01:06 PM   #11
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I need to do this type of work too, are there any guides out there?
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Old 12-15-2017, 02:13 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MHudson View Post
I need to do this type of work too, are there any guides out there?
Go to the pelican parts page. I may do a DIY since it is so common.
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Old 12-15-2017, 04:28 PM   #13
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I need to do this type of work too, are there any guides out there?
Hi MHudson, I've included the link to the ignition switch replacement DIY for you:

Porsche Boxster Ignition Switch Replacement - 986 / 987 (1997-08) - Pelican Parts Technical Article
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Old 12-17-2017, 02:02 PM   #14
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My elbow hurt for 2 weeks after fixing that thing!
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Old 12-17-2017, 06:16 PM   #15
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I'm with Pdwight, pull AC vent and tube and replace the switch without spending a bunch of time on you back under the clutch pedal.
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Old 12-17-2017, 06:35 PM   #16
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Is this problem...

....an issue for ALL 986's or just early year models?
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Old 12-18-2017, 05:37 AM   #17
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Did mine thru the AC vent. I did get underneath and pulled out the lower vent tube and was thinking OK maybe if I had two tiny little arms I could get this... Going thru the AC vent was easier, and I have pulled that vent before to replace the light switch.

And I replaced the two tiny set screws with thumb screws that I filed to a point so next time I can just reach in and remove without a tiny screwdriver.
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Old 12-18-2017, 06:42 AM   #18
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Ignition Switch Replacement: HOLY CRAP!!!

Read the entire thread.
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Old 12-18-2017, 09:50 AM   #19
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....an issue for ALL 986's or just early year models?
From what I've read the 2004 550 SE has the updated switch and lock assembly that also went into the 987 and 997. Those are supposed to be more robust but I've also read that they still can fail. My 2003 had the earlier one and I've updated to the later style that you should have. My indy told me he hasn't seen any of the newer ones fail yet.
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Old 12-19-2017, 10:46 AM   #20
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As mentioned above, the trick here is to remove the side AC vent & vertical AC tube. Doing this exposes the ignition switch assembly from the side/top, which enables you to see, and reach the 2 annoying screws which secure the electrical component into the back of the barrel.



With the vent out of the way, its fairly easy to get your arm through the gap and loosen the 2 screws holding a 3mm slotted bit.



One thing that caught me off guard when I did this was the quality of the spare electrical component I ordered the edges of the pins were rough, and it was impossible to clip it into the back of the barrel. Sand paper fixed that!

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