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Old 01-16-2018, 07:48 AM   #1
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2000 Boxster - gauge cluster removal - please help

Folks, on my car the key was getting hard to turn from off (0) to accessory (1) position. Especially when it was colder outside and/or the key hadn't been turned in awhile.

I first replaced the electrical portion of the ignition switch, but that did not help at all.

Next, following the guidance in the pelican tech article (86-ELEC-Replacing_Your_Ignition_Switch_Steering_Lock.htm) ...my goal was to replace the mechanical portion of the ignition switch (aka pistol steering lock assembly).

To do that, you are supposed to remove the dash/gauge cluster first.

I was not able to get that done unfortunately. The instructions stated "D: Lift the gauge cluster up so that you can disconnect the wire harnesses on the back.".........but in my case I couldn't get the thing to lift off far enough (it seemed stuck on something I couldn't see on the driver's side moreso --- i'm guessing the wiring to the 3 cable harnesses on my car just didn't have much slack).

I had to decide on whether to just keep tugging away until it gave or to stop and avoid more $$ damage and chose the latter.

Any tips on how this gets done for a beginner? I'm going to be forced to take it into the dealer it seems if I can't figure this out.
Thanks

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Old 01-16-2018, 02:38 PM   #2
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There are 2 bolts you have to remove. One behind the circular mesh thing on the left. They other behind the emergency flasher button. Then it should lift right out.
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Old 01-16-2018, 02:40 PM   #3
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I had my whole ignition out less than 1 month ago so this is still fresh in my memory. I'll post some picts for you after I dig them out of my phone.

Also check out: https://www.google.ca/search?q=986+cluster+removal&rlz=1C1GGRV_enCA751CA751&oq=986+cluster+removal&aqs=chrome..69i57j69i60.4943j0j8&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8#kpvalbx=1

I like her videos and your cluster removal will be the same.

I'm assuming you have a complete DIY write-up so I won't go into a ton of detail but,
most importantly, I did NOT have to remove my cluster to remove the ignition lock. I removed my cluster so I could de-CEL my car. BUT, it is easier if you remove it because you can then easily push the little pin on the lock down. But a 90 degree little screwdriver will work if you can reach your hand up in there from underneath. Thus, if you can't get your cluster out for whatever reason you can still do this job. It will just be more painful.

If you swapped your ignition switch then you already know how to remove the vent down there (foot-well) and with that out of the way you can see the bolt and nut that holds the lock to the column. The little pin is close to that and with your key in the ON position, you can push the little pin down. You'll also need to remove the screw that can only be accessed with the driver's side vent out. After that the whole assembly pulls out to the left and then you disconnect the RFID transmitter wires and ignition switch plug from the back.

Hope these help, I edited them with MS Paint to point out where you need to push the little pin down from. As you can see, you should be able to access this easily enough from underneath. That said, my driver's seat was also out so I didn't have to contort as much as you normally do when working down there (been there done that).
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Last edited by Porsche-Eh; 01-16-2018 at 03:12 PM.
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Old 01-16-2018, 02:52 PM   #4
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Thanks for responding.. I had found and watched those videos you shared several times. And I got the 2 torx bolts out w/o any issues.

It's just in my case, it did not just "lift out" like she shows in her video. Her car either had more slack in the wiring harnesses or maybe she'd done it on that car before (i'm assuming) so when she filmed it, things were already loosened up and ready to go.

I just didn't have that much slack despite an hr or 2 of wrestling with it and trying not to make matters worse by over-forcing something.

Porsche-eH - It sounds like you are saying you got that entire ignition pistol (aka steering lock assembly) out/replaced in your car, and did it all w/o removing the dash/gauge cluster. Ostensibly by working from underneath (while perched in the wheel well). If so, that's good for you. I would not want to even attempt that as I feel like getting this pistol assembly out, I would need as much access as possible (and I can't imagine doing it from underneath only) since we are talking a fairly large part that's gotta be pulled out.

If you have more photos/video you can share of what you did that might really help.
Thanks
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Old 01-16-2018, 03:15 PM   #5
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No problem. Photos uploaded (see my original post). First 2 are of my car and last one from PP is to help you understand where the pin is. All red text was added by me. The first picture shows the pistol by the fuse box. It comes out from underneath, the only reason they recommend you take out the cluster is to make it easier to push the little pin that is IN the pistol down. The hole to push the pin down is accessible from the top, but you can pretty easily reach it from underneath if you feel around with your hand. The trick, like most things car related, is having the right tool. I have a few 90 degree alan keys, and such that would work. You just need to make sure the key is on so the steering lock retracts into the pistol and then push the pin down, it doesn't take any real force to push the pin down. Does that help?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ben2000 View Post
Tommy/Porsche-eH
Thanks for responding.. I had found and watched those videos you shared several times. And I got the 2 torx bolts out w/o any issues.

It's just in my case, it did not just "lift out" like she shows in her video. Her car either had more slack in the wiring harnesses or maybe she'd done it on that car before (i'm assuming) so when she filmed it, things were already loosened up and ready to go.

I just didn't have that much slack despite an hr or 2 of wrestling with it and trying not to make matters worse by over-forcing something.

Porsche-eH - It sounds like you are saying you got that entire ignition pistol (aka steering lock assembly) out/replaced in your car, and did it all w/o removing the dash/gauge cluster. Ostensibly by working from underneath (while perched in the wheel well). If so, that's good for you. I would not want to even attempt that as I feel like getting this pistol assembly out, I would need as much access as possible (and I can't imagine doing it from underneath only) since we are talking a fairly large part that's gotta be pulled out.

If you have more photos/video you can share of what you did that might really help.
Thanks

Last edited by Porsche-Eh; 01-16-2018 at 03:18 PM.
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Old 01-16-2018, 05:06 PM   #6
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Porsche-eH - thanks for taking the time to add that info. Yeah it helps some. "Some" being the operative word. The pictures are really clear and probably help a lot of people here at some pt.

In your 2nd picture, the dusty looking thing at the bottom is basically the bottom part of the dash, but the top side of it I guess.

In your 1st picture, it looks like you have (white wires) an inch or 2 of slack in that......which I don't recall was there for me. I had a really hard time getting the ignition lock cylinder back into my car (because there was no slack in that wiring - i posted separately about that here). Did you have the lock cylinder removed before you actually removed the pistol lock device? Or was the lock cylinder in place when you finally removed the pistol lock device?
Thanks
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Old 01-16-2018, 05:26 PM   #7
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Answers in-line in red below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ben2000 View Post
Porsche-eH - thanks for taking the time to add that info. Yeah it helps some. "Some" being the operative word. The pictures are really clear and probably help a lot of people here at some pt.

In your 2nd picture, the dusty looking thing at the bottom is basically the bottom part of the dash, but the top side of it I guess. Correct. I took this picture via the drivers vent you need to remove. I never tried but now I think about it you may be able to get your arm through the hole created by removing it.
My iphone certainly fit as you can see.


In your 1st picture, it looks like you have (white wires) an inch or 2 of slack in that......which I don't recall was there for me. I had a really hard time getting the ignition lock cylinder back into my car (because there was no slack in that wiring - i posted separately about that here). Did you have the lock cylinder removed before you actually removed the pistol lock device? Or was the lock cylinder in place when you finally removed the pistol lock device?I removed the whole pistol before I did anything, including removing the ignition switch on the rear.
Thanks
As for why your cluster won't come up it is curious. If you use a pry,
like a screwdriver or something less damaging, to pop up each clip, do you see it is actually un-clipped all the way around and you simply can't move it around after that OR, you can't even get it un-clipped? The three connectors on the back are in different locations so even if one was tight (say the one closest to the passenger), you should still be able to tilt up the left hand-side of the cluster. It's not like it comes way out after you get it undone, you really only get enough room to undue each connector. Can you post a picture of where you are at now?
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Old 01-17-2018, 11:53 AM   #8
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Porsche-Eh --- thanks for the info.

Here's the only picture I had of the issue (at this pt things are buttoned up)


As far as the clips..........I only saw 1 on the driver's side of the dash piece..........and, as I recall there were 3 or 4 on the passenger side. All the clips I managed to get off/free. It was just I couldn't lift things out/up like in that woman's video/etc. What's shown in the picture was about as far as I could lift it out. What you can't see in the photo (looking from position of sitting in the driver's seat --- you could see it lifted off on the passenger side an inch or 2 up.......but on the driver's side it wasn't able to come up but about 1/2" above the spot where the clip was disengaged). So, as far as any clips I saw, I definitely got them all unclipped. Just couldn't get it to lift out like was needed.
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Old 01-17-2018, 01:11 PM   #9
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Hmmmm..... I would be inclined to undue the 2 wire harnesses closest to the passenger and see if that helps you lift up the cluster enough to get the one by the driver's side off.

That said, if you look at the following picture

https://cdn4.pelicanparts.com/techarticles/Boxster_Tech/86-ELEC-Ignition_Switch/images_small/Pic3.jpg

You'll notice in "B" and "D" that you not only need to take out the cluster but also the steering wheel and housing to just get at the pin and bolt easily. This is simply too much work for something I can reach from underneath with a little blind feeling around and a little bent screwdriver or small Allen key. The bolt has a nut on the bottom which is easy to reach and take off from underneath. It's really only the pin that will give you grief.

As such, my advice is to attempt to reach it from underneath and not bother with your cluster.

Good luck my friend.

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