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Old 08-27-2013, 04:44 PM   #1
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Little concerned

Purchased my used 1997 2.5l boxster this weekend. Put plates on it a 7pm, taking wife to dinner, drove two miles and something happened. Shifted smooth into 1, ,2 ,3 4 and when shifting into 5th, I got third gear...Now the only gear it will go in is 3rd and 4th. Has no resistance left to right, feels disconnected, cannot get into 1,2,5 or R. Feels like something disconnected on the linkage. Please tell me the first three miles we have driven are not a foreshadowing. 99K on vehicle, perfect maintained , every document since it was put on the road November 4, 1997.
thanks in advance for any guidance.
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Old 08-27-2013, 05:41 PM   #2
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first of all, great looking car.. welcome

there are two cables connecting the shift lever to the transmission.
one is for the left-right, the other is for front and back motion of the shifter.
if you go to here

Porsche Original Parts Catalogue - Parts and Diagnostic Information - Porsche Service - Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG

you can see the catalog for boxsters. select your model..

my best guesstimate is
it's the case of broken/disconnected "fastening part for cable adjuster" by the shifter or the "linkage adjustable" pieces by the transmission.

easiest is to look between the muffler and the secondary catalytic on the passenger side. there is an aluminum protection plate and the cable ends are behind it.
make sure that the parking brake is on, car is on level ground and place brick or 2x4 such that the car does not move.

get a person to move the shifter left-right-left and see if the upper linkage at the transmission moves.
if it moves then follow the linkages and see if it is moving a shaft in/out of the transmission.
if there is no motion, most likely is the cable adjuster by the shifter or a square block in the shifter assembly.
anything else... is... beyond the understanding of this Boxster owner.
hope this helps.. and good luck.
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Old 08-27-2013, 05:48 PM   #3
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You could also have a look under the console to see if one of the two cables has popped out or broken.

Here's a thread with some pics:

DIY - 997 Shifter Install

If you need to remove the console to do the fix then these are good instructions for getting it out:

http://bmracing.com/wp-bnmcont/uploads/45135.pdf
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Old 08-27-2013, 06:50 PM   #4
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I managed to break a small plastic rivet/retainer in the shifter housing under the console that holds on one of the cables, resulting in a situation similar to yours. Just pushing the shift cable back on worked, but it was a great excuse to upgrade to the 9x7 short shifter.
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Old 08-28-2013, 03:43 AM   #5
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thank you for your responses.I will explore under the vehicle tonight, follow up with console removal. Very hopeful, with your responses.
very excited about this vehicle, as well as every document back to it's launching, factory tire change gloves, unwrapped Porsche leather key pocket, embroidered 986 mats, all came with vehicle
ironically it came with an EXTRA new black Porsche steering wheel with airbag inserts, new in box. is this worth anything??
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Old 08-28-2013, 05:24 AM   #6
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3 spoke or 4?
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Old 08-28-2013, 08:19 AM   #7
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steering wheel has three points of contact, obviously two to the sides, one down, airbag insert with pin connectors on the back, pretty heavy, Porsche symbol is embossed, not the gold shield like on the original, but box and packing looks like factory stuff
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Old 08-28-2013, 08:39 AM   #8
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You could get a good price for a brand new 3-spoke steering wheel with airbag if you don't use it. The 97 would have come with a 4 spoke wheel originally. It's one of those things that we all pay big bucks to upgrade.
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Old 08-28-2013, 09:14 AM   #9
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Great looking car! Sounds like the shift linkage as others have said. That's a bummer your ownership started out like that, I am sure the wife is impressed! Hopefully it will be a simple fix and then try for dinner this weekend. Cars break, not just Boxsters, it happens. It looks like you got a well cared for car.
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Old 08-28-2013, 09:19 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bella986 View Post
steering wheel has three points of contact, obviously two to the sides, one down, airbag insert with pin connectors on the back, pretty heavy, Porsche symbol is embossed, not the gold shield like on the original, but box and packing looks like factory stuff
Here is one with the shield:

Porsche Boxster S 986 996 993 964 3 Spoke Leather Steering Wheel W Airbag Black | eBay
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Old 08-28-2013, 09:43 AM   #11
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Married the best gal 26 years ago. Loves anything with a motor,(which is everything we own) loves to drive fast, always has preferred 5 speed manual, drives her own Polaris SS sled, hogs the jet ski on the lake and can't keep her out of my Z3.
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Old 08-28-2013, 09:49 AM   #12
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Iapologize for the last post, still new to this format. That was neither a "performance or technical chat": will clean up my posts.
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Old 08-28-2013, 10:37 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by bella986 View Post
Iapologize for the last post, still new to this format. That was neither a "performance or technical chat": will clean up my posts.
No worries, we are not that strict here
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Old 08-28-2013, 11:37 AM   #14
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OMG!! He made a post under the (gasp!!) wrong heading!!! Ban him!! Fine Him!! Off with his head!! Make an example of him to others of his ilk!!
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Old 08-28-2013, 11:53 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by bella986 View Post
... and can't keep her out of my Z3.
You will soon lose all use of the Boxster and be relegated to the Z3 on a full-time basis. Might as well start looking for a second Boxster now...
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Old 08-29-2013, 07:49 AM   #16
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found my problem thanks to your combined guidance. it ends up being a deteriorated joint rod retainer clip , exactly where sb01box suggested to look. Any idea where i can find the plastic retainer clip, parts schematic does not show it, only adjustable joint rod, OEM 986 424 931 05 for rod assembly, hoping to purchase just the 5/8" diameter push retainer.

took console out to better understand cable-shift operation, found another interesting surprise. as there is a slit between the ashtray and console, the ashtray being used for coins, they tend to fall through. found 16 years of loose change!
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Old 08-29-2013, 08:34 AM   #17
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Well looky there! Now you have a fund for future repairs!
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Old 08-29-2013, 11:16 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bella986 View Post
found my problem thanks to your combined guidance. it ends up being a deteriorated joint rod retainer clip , exactly where sb01box suggested to look. Any idea where i can find the plastic retainer clip, parts schematic does not show it, only adjustable joint rod, OEM 986 424 931 05 for rod assembly, hoping to purchase just the 5/8" diameter push retainer.

took console out to better understand cable-shift operation, found another interesting surprise. as there is a slit between the ashtray and console, the ashtray being used for coins, they tend to fall through. found 16 years of loose change!
With no signs of rattling all this time ?
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Old 08-29-2013, 05:16 PM   #19
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most ball and cup fittings are designed to be self centering. that is the plastic cup has a race that is deeper in the center versus the two side.
with wear, the center groove would wear but the sides should hold. if the "clip" is damaged due to wear (and not rusted off due to salt and weather) then your car may have additional problem that is inducing side force onto the ball and the cup.

shift linkage can prevent the car from being driven. a bad situation.
if it was my car, I would replace the linkage. also check all the joints at the transmission as well as at the shift lever.

good luck
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Old 08-29-2013, 05:24 PM   #20
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My god, that would've rattled so hard.

I can't stand any rattling when I corner. It drives me crazy.
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